Thursday, January 31, 2013

Unclutter Your Mind

I'm working on dis-inviting fear, worries, and restlessness to my mind. Without going into too much detail, lets just say that 2012 was my year for fear, worries, restlessness to move in to my head. It was a very tough year, mostly emotionally.

Its very difficult to just stop thinking about those that you once had a relationship with, but this morning I've decided to just pretend this person no longer exists. We'll see how that works out. Some folks are much easier to forget than others.

Then there's the family member who just keeps coming back for more. DONE. This one I will never get rid of - nor do I truly want to. However, I can learn to dis-invite the fear, worries, restlessness that said family member causes. After all, we get to choose how we allow people to make us feel. And I am no longer willing to allow this person to make me feel anything less than spectacular. Sorry, your garbage is no longer invited into my mind.

We haven't had a chance at all to work on decluttering the physical parts of our house. However, since I've started working on decluttering fear, worries, restlessness some new things have come to light. I've been so worried about finances and trying to figure out a way to increase our finances. I've been racking my brain for many months over how I'm going to do this. And then one day, I went silent. I purposefully and completely shut off fear, worry, restlessness and I listened. And my soul revealed the answer.

When you listen, God will speak.

So now I have a new purpose. And it fulfills every need that I have for my life's work. It will bring in finances, yes. But deeper than that, it will bring gratification. And glory to God, through helping His people that need it most.

This new project is very much in its infancy. But hopefully it will be up and running very soon, at which point all will be revealed. In the meantime, just add another project to my long list! That's ok though, cuz this is a really good one!!
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Friday, January 18, 2013

Matching T-Shirts

Aren't we cuuuuuuuuute??

Our mantra for 2013: "Simplify"

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jim makes it work today

Good post Hunny, I like it.

Removing clutter, always good. Simplicity.... Also good.

Simplicity is tough for me. I like my "stuff." But I like it to work for me, not against me. To give me joy, not make me crazy.
My old jeep makes me crazy. I like it, and it gets me where I need to go, but it ain't the smoothest ride on the highway, and at 13 years old and 255,500 miles, well, she got some issues. I am not gonna buy a different car, so this was a good time to attack those issues.

#1 was some new tires. Old one's were shot, and us Jeep owners are always hopeful something easy will cure the 52-57 mph "death wobble". Big score on the tires. 33's were actually cheaper than the 31's that were on it, and the death wobble is gone. Also gone are the 7 plugs and patches I've put on those old Goodyears, along with those ominous wearbars.

#2 was some maintenance. Oil change, trans fluid change, and new trans mount. First time I've ever seen a trans fluid change stop a trans from slipping, but it did. Score! again.

#3 was today. I use a portable XM radio that my factory radio picks up on FM.... sometimes... and I really on a cel phone that I hear rarely over all the noises a Wrangler puts out at highway speeds, along with the radio cranked up loud enough to overcome those noises. So yesterday and today I parted with $210 for a new Alpine stereo, with dash adapter, wiring kit, and a real cable to run into my snap XM. Installed it yesterday, got the Bluetooth to talk to my phone today. So now I absolutely will hear my phone ring, and I can answer it and talk handsfree. Road test tomorrow, heading up into Wisconsin, actually looking forward to it.

Oddly, I feel I've made great strides in simplifying today. I am bending my stuff to my will, making it perform as it should without causing me aggravation.

And really, that's the bottom line, right?
Reducing aggravation.

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So Far We've Gotten Rid Of...

2 sofas - they went to the curb because the puppy chewed them.
Brian's clothes that don't fit anymore - 2 bags full to the donation box. That child grows like a weed!

Sounds easy enough right? Baby steps...

Next up - my closet. I'm afraid no matter how hard I try, those old pants are just never going to fit again (insert really sad face here). Sucks to get old.

While getting rid of all of these tangible things is certainly a great thing to do, I need to also work on clearing the cobwebs out of my brain. I'm a worrier. I fret. A lot. About everything. Most nights I don't sleep because I'm up staring at the ceiling and worrying about one thing or another. Mostly my kids. Well, one kid in particular. Somehow he has managed to completely suck me in to his drama-filled world. And I hate it. I need to learn to step away from the problems that he has created for himself. I'm trying to learn to give it all to God, but its easier said than done. This is also unnecessary clutter - clutter in my brain, that needs to be addressed. Again, baby steps...

This excess - whether in our home or in our heads - was not created in a day, and its going to take some time to rid ourselves of it.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Showing At The Studio Today

Everybody cross your fingers, cross your toes, face East and pray to Allah please! I've been trying to sell this place for over TWO YEARS at this point, and it has to go!! Showing this morning between 10:00 and noon, central time. Send good vibes!!

One other reason we NEED to go minimalist. I brought my son Brian (15 years old) to hang out at a friend's house the other day. They were just gonna play Magic Cards and video games. So I drop him off at this beautiful house on a couple of acres - really cool place. I go to pick him up and he says to the kid, "Next time you can come to my house - its bigger and we have more stuff!"


Oh God, I about died of embarrassment, chastised him right there on the spot and then had words all the way home. How embarrassing!!

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Yes Honey, it was my turn...
But that's OK.

Simplify, that's the ticket. To me, simplifying will give me back time.
My days are so unbelievably busy, it's not even funny. Dawn to dusk and more, everyday, go go go go, never stop, never slow down.

Carol talked about all the "stuff" and yes, itsa lotta stuff. Much of it I like, my stuff is good. Some though, simply eats up so much of my time that the "good" is driven right our of it.

Take our wonderful home. It's big and beautiful, double or more what we "need", and it takes about 1/2 of each of our weekend days just to keep it clean. And that's in the winter. Add summertime yardwork and pool maintenance, and fugetaboutit. So it has to go. Soon.

And the business... Yes, indeed, I am truly blessed not to have to "work for the man" for my daily bread. But... it's both quarter end and year end, and I must cut this short. Today, I must do a quarterly federal 941 payroll tax return. And both federal and State unemployment annual reports. W2's. and a whole host of government mandated crap that I barely know how to do.

Talk to you again soon.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I Know It's Jim's Turn But...

I just have to put this up here. Talk about God telling you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. Today's "Daily Inspiration" that I read on my cell phone every morning:

Habakkuk 3:17-19
"For though the fig tree doesn't flourish, nor fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive fails, the fields yield no food; the flocks are cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice in the LORD. I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The LORD, the Lord, is my strength. He makes my feet like deer's feet, and enables me to go in high places."

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Monday, January 7, 2013

You Can't Have Everything.

Where would you put it?

In my home, there are 4 people.

There is also:
*2 houses (!!!!!)
*9 television sets
*5 PC computers
* 2 laptop computers
*3 or 4 video game systems
*5 DVD players
*4 cellular phones
*2 refrigerators
*3 freezers
*2 stoves
*2 sets of washer/dryer
*4 Sofas
*Countless movies
*4 cars (mind you, one of the persons in my home is not yet old enough to drive)
*1 motorcyle
*2 dogs
*1 cat

You get the idea. Its actually pretty sickening.

One of mine and Jim's resolutions this year is to become "minimalist". What does that mean? As defined by Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist "Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it." In other words, it is to rid ourselves of that which no longer serves a purpose to us. Our purpose is to enjoy more time together as a family. To love more and clean less. It has become apparent that the things that we own have come to own us.

Society has taught us that we must have *this* in order to be "all that". TV commercials flood our brains every day with the things we should own, and how to get them. We're told we are nothing if we don't have a big house, 42 TVs and fast cars. We are "sheeple" - we do what they tell us to, and what each other does. We've somehow lost our ability to make those decisions for ourselves - the Best Buy commercials make them for us!!

I've been laughed at already since starting this project. That's ok. I don't mind. People are going to laugh, because they don't understand. Its not what they've been taught, its not the way of life that they know. That's ok. Hopefully they will read my blog and learn!

I'm resurrecting this blog for those that want to follow us on our journey to minimalism. We don't even know what that journey looks like right now. All I know for sure is that it will involve selling and/or giving away "anything that distracts us from the things we most value." I don't know what those things are yet - the things that I value, or the things that I'll sell. But we will figure it out as we go along. And its not going to just be about selling our possessions. Its about simplifying our lives - organizing, streamlining. For example, I believe at this point I have at least 5 email addresses and I'm betting Jim doesn't even know how many he has. One of my goals will be to simplify that down to ONE email address, and to make sure the spammers take a hike. One of my emails has over 10,000 unread emails in it, simply because I cannot keep up with all the junk that gets thrown into it every day. That one may just get deleted altogether.

Does any of this sound familiar??

And rest assured, at the end of this we will NOT be living in a grass hut with dirt floors. We're reasonable people. We will be living in a house, and watching TV and playing video games, just like we do now. We'll just be doing it in a smaller house, with less TVs and video games, and hopefully more time to enjoy each other!!

Jim and I have agreed that we will be taking turns posting on this blog. Be sure to check back often!

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Friday, July 1, 2011


Getting close to time to leave on our big trip of the year.
Not as long as recent years, at 1 week plus travel, but special indeed. Carol's family has gone to Pine Aire Resort on Lake Kabetogama, in Voyaguers national park in Norethern Minnesota, for 3 generations. Really, her Grampa took them there when she was a little girl.

Our family has been there many many times, but less often in recent years, and not at all in 4 or 5. We decided to explore different places, and we'll continue to do that, but this year, we're going "home"
It was mostly my family, and Carol's sister Lori's who've done "Kab." Lori and Phil especially, I don't think they have ever missed a year, and some years they have gone twice. The others, not as much. It's particularly hard with Ron and I, he's my right hand in the business, and we really can't be gone at the same time. Once that I recall, and I broke my leg that year.

Anyway, this year, Carol's Brother Ken, wife Shannon, and Kayla and Andrew are going. When we heard that, we signed on in a heartbeat. Best news is Pine Aire resort has expanded thier campground, and they have room for my new super bus, LAKESIDE since I reserved early.

Anyway, I can't wait... We leave next Friday morning, and I brought the bus home thios afternoon to get ready... Now we're pretty good at this camping stuff these days, we get ready in a couple hours.... sigh.
Actually, don't tell anyone, but I'm sitting in my driveway in the bus, a/c roaring and nascar XM on the satelite radio.

I don't feel bad tho. Kayla is more excited than me, she's only been there once, and she was too little to remember it. To her, it's just this mythical place that me and her Dad talk about a lot.
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Still dreaming abouit Denver...

Hi blog, long time no post. I'm still dreaming about leaving the flatlands behind, tho I'm not sure when that might be. We're just wrapping up the time of year we spend with family, it's tough to even think about leaving this time of year. Last weekend we were at Ken and Shannon's for the bears game, going there this weekend as well. I've always liked Ken, though He's not aging well. Shannon is the best, and I'm very close to their kids, especially my best girl Kayla. she's gonna help my BBQ Ribs Sunday, we'll have fun.

Carol and I have been going to the RV shows, 2 in the past 2 weekends. We could go to the South Bend show, but she has a photo shoot Saturday. I'm gonna see what there 8r is for the following weekend. The big show in Rosemont is coming up in a few weeks, and after that it's almost March and spring is just around the corner.

This year, we're killing 2 birds with one stone vacation wise. Back "before rving" we used to go to Pine Aire Resort in kabetogama, MN, for a week every summer. I'd actually bought a fishing boat, once a year we took it up there, the rest of the time we paid to store it. Anyway, this is a place right out of the movines, Carol's grandparents went there, her parents took them there when they were kids, we went there with her parents after we got married, and we've taken our kids there since they couldn't even walk.

Lori and Phil go there religiously. We've skipped out some, been every other year for a decade, and we haven't been here for at least 4 years. Ken's wanted to go back there for a long time, he has these childhood memories, and when we heard they were going, we decided to go too. So we get the best of both worlds, we're taking our RV and camping at Pine Aire!!!

Finally and sadly, we won't be seeing Mark, Sandra, Danielle, and Shelby this summer. Not sure "what's up with that," but after half a decade, Mark and Sandra have decided they have better things to do. Hopefully, we'll get back on track next year. I'll miss them all a lot.

Gonna try to post on this more often, for now, see ya soon,

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Darby Canyon

Hi everyone, or anyone anyway.
I haven't posted for a while cause Carol's been doing a fine jobe, but yesterday she stayed back nursing a cold while the rest of us drove / hiked up Darby Canyon.
We drove north toward driggs, idaho, and mark spotted this turnoff. 4 miles later the pavement ended. 5 more miles on a good gravel road to the turn around at the end of the road. From there we hilked up the canyon along the stream. After awhile everything got narrower and steeper and we were climbing rather than walking. Eventually we ran out of room and couldn't get any higher.

Here's some pictures of Darby Canyon.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Riverview RV

This morning it was time to pack it up and move on up the road. After 3 nights and 2 days, it was time to head north. For those of you who haven't "camped" in a class A mortorhome, the drill goes like this:
Clean everything, put everything away, lock everything down so iy won't fly about the bus if I should happen to hit a bump.
Dump. Pull the drain valves for the "black" and "Gray" tanks.
Stow the "patio." Put away the lawn chairs and side table, sweep off and fold up the 9x12 mats, and stow them in "the basement"
Stow the awning. (loosen the side rails, hold the tube while flipping the release lever, gently feed in the lanyard while the tune and awning roll up. Secure the anti-blowout clips and put away the stick.)
Disconnect. Shut the vlaves. Disconnect the sewage hoase, wind it up, and stow it. Disconnect the fresh water hose and filter, wind it up, stop it somewhere else (we don't stow our water hose and our sewer hose in the same basement compartment!) disconnect roll up and stow the cable TV cable and electrical cord.
Finally, start the engine, bring in the slide, and dump the jacks.
Pull her out, and bring the jeep around for "mating"
Hook up the towbar,  safety cables, electrical cord, and breakaway cable.
Put the transfer case in neutral, turn on the braking system, turn off the brake light switch.

and finally do a full walk around, make sure nothing is hanging or falling off, everything is stowed, check the jeeps lights, pull the breakaway and make sure the compressor runs. check the air pressure in all 6 motorhome tires, 115 psi, end of discussion. Check em EVERY time. Blowouts are cuased by low pressure and blowouts suck. Oh yea, blowouts are someimes caused by curbs, but I'm getting better at that.

So, we motor on north on I25, an easy 120 mile run today. Did have to stop for gas, only needed a hundred and seventy dollars worth.

And here we are at Riverview RV. Site 40, end of the riverside row. This place is fantastic. Many RV parks pack em in so tight you can't breath. Many have next to no green, just gravel. This place has big sites. Grass, trees, nice. Very very nice. Here's some pics:
Riverview rv even had a dog excercise area, where we could let him loose and play some. Here's Riley platyingwith his new friend

And finally, business must be taken care of. This speaks for itself.

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