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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Q&A Session: How about when one parent wants the lifestyle & the other doesn't?

Ute Pass Colorado Hwy 24

Recently, I asked people to submit their questions to me in regards to living this lifestyle. No topic was off limits.

Jo Anna Pautsch asks: “How about when one parent wants the lifestyle & the other doesn’t?” 

If I were put in that situation, I would start looking into a lot of resources, information, to learn everything I could about the lifestyle. When the other person says "no" are armed with a wealth of knowledge to defend your dream.,, and are all EXCELLENT sources of knowledge to see how everyone adapts, accomplishes and loves (or loathes) their full timing lifestyle...with or without kids.

This lifestyle isn't for everyone. A lot of people are claustrophobic and can't imagine living in such small quarters. Others need the stability of a Stick and Brick home stuck in a foundation to feel secure. My arguments would be that if you don't like small quarters GO OUTSIDE…all the time! Become one with nature. Get to know this big beautiful planet. Plus, you get the exercise...which is always an added bonus. After being outdoors all day running around, once you get home, I highly doubt you’ll even have the energy to keep your eyes open, let alone the energy to freak out about your lack of square footage. Of course, I could always be wrong.

As for the security of a S&B home...I suppose it all comes down to your definition of "secure". I am at my most "secure" when I'm with my Husband and doesn't matter what dwelling we are in. I personally would find being stuck in a mortgage forever incredibly suffocating. If a house fell outta the sky on me, I would be happy and certainly wouldn’t turn it away, but I don't want to have to work my ass off every second of every day to pay for a house that I'm never home long enough to enjoy...nor would I want my Husband to do the same. For us, it isn't worth it. On the flip side, without the burden of a mortgage, we are FREE to go wherever we want to, do whatever we want to, see whatever and whoever we want to (for the most part whenever we want to). IMHO, it doesn't get much better than that.

Also, when other kids are going to school, either public or private, your kids are getting out in the REAL world experiencing life the way it should be. There’s only so many times you can read to your kid out of a book about the Civil and Revolutionary Wars. However, in Virginia, we are smack dab in the middle of where both of those wars were centered. A lot went down out here. My 7 year old has learned more from just being here than she ever learned out of a book (including the encyclopedia) or that show she used to watch on Saturday morning cartoons (Liberty Kids). When other kids are watching cheesy movie reenactments and falling asleep in class, we have the advantage of watching a re-enactment LIVE, complete with costumes, dwellings, canons and ships! You’ll never get that growing up in a S&B house.

I don’t want it to come off as “we’re better than you because we travel the country”, because that’s not it at all. My very best friend bought a beautiful house a couple years ago and I was so incredibly happy for her and her Husband! It is an amazing home and she has and will continue to make a million special memories there for her and her family. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law just bought their first house, too! We’re all very proud of them for doing so! That is a HUGE step in your life when one finally makes that commitment.

For us though, we aren’t ready to buy a house. Financially, yes, we could easily afford it, but we aren’t quite in a position yet to be able to handle the “Oh Crap! The __________ just broke!” or “We have to replace the ________ immediately!” moments. We have the ability to easily handle those moments in our RV however, which frees up a LOT of worrying and commitments. While we are able to save money, pay down debt and prepare for the inevitable S&B house, we get to see the country, learn new things, see spectacular sights and forge new bonds between us 4 that we wouldn’t have ever been able to do before.

That leaves me with the last thing I would like to say: I don’t think there is any way of telling what will happen to you or your family if you RV fulltime. I don’t think you can ever find that out BEFORE you just jump right in. I have heard that it is about 50/50.  For some people, I’ve heard of marriages ending in divorce, parents destroying their relationships with their kids (especially teenagers) and families just all-together being ruined out of the desire to become closer. For other people, living in such tight quarters and seeing the country brings their family together to completely new levels that would never have been attainable in a S&B house. You either learn to respect each others’ boundaries and personal space, or you don’t. I think that is the defining factor which sets the two apart. Since doing this, we are still working on respecting each others’ personal space, but in just the 2 months that we’ve been back together, we’ve come such a long way.

I lucked out. In the end, I was willing to take that risk and my Husband was too. It’s that leap of faith where you hope for the best and plan for the worst. Our worst was, if we get to the point where we hate each other and want a divorce, it is because of the RV. We will not divorce. We will ditch it, move into a S&B home and try to rekindle our marriage. Luckily for us, our family has gone the other direction and with every passing day, our bond strengthens and our love grows to new depths. It has a been a beautiful path of self-discovery for each of us.

I would just assume though, that if you’re on board, and the other person is reluctant and hesitant and fighting you the whole way, that it most likely will not end pretty. I could be wrong. Everybody’s different. I’m pretty sure a LOT of it also comes down to the personalities of each individual. My Husband and I are very spontaneous, risk-taking, adventurous people. We are not to the point where we are impulsive about decision making, we do like to do our homework first, but altogether, we are down with trying new things. Fulltiming was no different. We took about 6 months to research this lifestyle, shop for RV’s, plan our future living in it and then commit to the lifestyle for at least a year.

It’s a HUGE decision and a HUGE adjustment. Also, it isn’t for everyone. There’s a possibility that you will never change the other person’s mind. If that is the case, I am truly sorry (they are really missin’ out), but maybe there is some kind of compromise that could be reached? Perhaps you could buy an inexpensive used one off Craigslist and just vacation in it, then go from there?

I wish all of you the best and GOOD LUCK!

 owl family signature 2

Where Do We Put Our Clothes?

Everywhere! Just kidding…kinda.

We have moved clothing several different times. This home isn’t really well equipped for a huge closet, so without further adieu, I give you…our “closets”.

First up, the Man of the House. He played the martyr and sacrificed the 1 “closet” we had in order for me to have it. The overhead cabinets he removed above the slide, and later placed alongside our bed on the floor, are the new location for his clothes. That’s a mouthful. It was incredible actually. I was certain that there was NO POSSIBLE WAY he was going to be able to shove all his big clunky man pants, numerous t-shirts, socks and boxers into such small square footage…but I stood corrected. Our front door is directly to the right of that cabinet.

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1. Top Tote: Socks Bottom Tote: Boxers Side Shorts                           

2. T-Shirts

3. Jeans, Pants, Shorts


Next up, we have my clothing. My “closet” is also the cleaning closet/broom closet and because it’s ultra close to the water heater/furnace/refrigerator…it’s really HOT in there. Believe it or not, I think I managed to bring at least 3, if not 4, weeks of outfits with me. The thing is though, that I wear a lot of flimsy, flouncy, stretchy materials and sometimes, I don’t wear much at all. After all, it IS really hot here in the Summer. This is the first Summer in my life that I actually wore shorts…and not just once in a while…we’re talking pretty much every day. The days I am not wearing shorts, I’m probably wearing a mini skirt. My legs are LOVING the Virginia humidity though! Anyways, I digress. The use of small amounts of fabric (that stretch no less) allows me the ability to roll everything up into these ultra-compact rolls. I have approximately: 7 t-shirts, 7 long-sleeve or 3/4 length shirts, and 9 tank tops/halters. 3 dresses (1 of which is formal), 4 floor-length skirts, 2 minis, 7 shorts, 2 capris, 5 jeans, 1 pair of sweatpants, and 2 pairs of yoga pants. I also brought: 1 pair of leggings, a week’s worth of panties and socks, 5 bras (2 are sports bras), 3 swimming suits and a couple belts. I have 1 pair each of: high heels, wedges, sneakers, skater shoes, fringe boots, Dr. Martens, sandals and flip flops. (Yes, I brought 8 pairs of shoes...don’t tell my Husband)! Oh! I also brought my Urlacher Bear’s jersey and my Hubby brought his Brady Patriot’s jersey (for when we’re feeling competitive)…not that there’s much competition.  :(  In the department of coats (which are stored under our bed during the summer), all 4 of us each brought a stout winter coat, 1 jacket each, 1-2 hoodies each and MHG and I both brought our cloaks. We wear those a lot during the Fall. Other winter gear is stored alongside the coats under our bed. Typically, I store our mini-shop vac in a small rubbermaid tote on top of my dresser.

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1. Top Drawer: TOPS                                       

2.Middle Drawer: Unmentionables                                         

3.Bottom Drawer: Bottoms/PJ’s

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1. Left Side: Jeans and Jersey’s                

2.Right Side: Skirts, Dresses & my favorite Boho shirt


On top of my closet door are all of my Norwex rags (including some Norwex knock-offs that suck in comparison). I also have my wet/dry Norwex Mopping system, and the Camco Pop-A-Bag grocery bag holder (which works awesome). I mounted mine with screws though, I don’t mess around.


Under the Norwex display I have a few random cleaning items and food storage items (wax paper, aluminum foil). Goo Gone is a MUST in this home and the Norwex rubber brush, spray bottle, dust pan that I never use cuz I sweep directly out my front door. I got the paper towel holder at Wal-Mart.

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1. The best pic I could take from the hallway                                            

2. I hung up one of those floor length mirrors on the back of my bathroom door

MHG, Cindy and I all have the same “dressers”. They’re just the Sterilite brand stacking organizers. They come in a billion different colors, are sold nearly everywhere and are cheaply priced at $10 a unit (3 drawers per unit). Cheaper on Amazon…$12 for 6 drawer units…but I couldn’t wait a couple weeks to get them.

MHG’s is pretty hidden away at the end of their bunk bed. She wanted blue. I should mention that MHG’s entire 6 drawer dresser with clothes inside weighs 35lbs…Cindy’s is the same…but, my 3 drawer unit with clothes weighs just as much. They are secured to the wall for transit mode via screws. The screws go through the plastic frame of the dresser into the wall’s studs. The latches I found in the baby department at Target. $3 for a pack of 2. They didn’t stick well, so I hot glued them to the plastic frame and drawer and haven’t had any problems with them falling off ever since. From Top to Bottom MHG’s dresser is organized like this:

1. Unmentionables   2. PJ’s   3. Shorts & Tanks   4. Shirts   5. Pants   6. Dress-up Clothes


Cindy’s dresser is the exact same thing, with the same latches and mounted to the wall the same exact way. Her dresser, Top to Bottom, is organized like this:

1. Random Baby Items i.e. clippers, brush, harness, etc.   2. Socks, Shoes, Hats, etc.   3. PJ’s   4. Tops   5. Bottoms   6. Spare Bedding

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In order to maximize storage space, we roll up EVERYTHING…except for Hubby. He folds his shirts and pants…but that’s because he HAS to. I learned that handy dandy trick from my long standing girlfriend of 18 years that is a Flight Attendant. That girl can pack an entire state into a suitcase I bet! We are talking about some seriously mad skills!!! Love you Mandy!

Well, I think that pretty much covers all our clothes and where/how they’re stored. Also, I do laundry twice a week. That’s another blog for another day.  :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Upholstering The Cornices

The first cornice I upholstered, is the one above our front door. It was an ugly plaid design and I reupholstered it with our old maroon and gold Victorian-like curtain fabric. It matches the curtains I made that are up behind the kitchen sink.

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Next up, is the cornice that goes above the girls’ hallway door. It’s on the inside of their room, not the hallway side.

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Lastly, I upholstered the cornice that goes above the girls’ door to the outside. Their cornices are midnight blue crushed velvet with bronze metallic screen printed on stars. MHG had picked them out forever ago to make bed curtains for her top bunk. With the lattice treehouse now, there’s really no need for bed curtains.

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I will not be keeping the cornice above their hallway door forever. Eventually, Ahdoo is going to install a door frame, door jam, threshold, and Dutch doors for their bedroom, so at that point, a door cornice won’t be necessary. He’ll do such a nice job framing it out with the trim, that I won’t want to cover the top trim up with a fabric cornice.

I can’t wait for the Dutch doors! They will be the final touches to their room! Dutch doors are the doors that are kind of like barn doors, where the top and bottom of the door can be opened separately, or locked together to both open as one. I figured that it’ll be like having a door or baby gate depending on which I prefer at any given moment. We will also be putting a cat door in the bottom, so the boys are always able to get in and out of their room. We will be using some old-world style hinges to give the room kind of a fairytale/pirate/fantasy theme. I can’t wait…I’m hoping that the door comes out looking something a little like this…and if I can convince my Husband to round the top of the door I will squee with joy!!! Yes…I said squee.

dutch door 1 dutch door 2 dutch door 4 dutch door 3

I would love it to have the window from pic #1. I would want it to be extra reinforced like pic  #2. I LOVE the wood in pic #3. I would be thrilled to find the HINGES from pic #4 for it.  Something like that. If it can’t be rounded, I still NEED the Dutch doors, and I would prefer some cool, black, wrought-iron looking hinges. The window isn’t necessary really, but I’m pretty sure reinforcing it is important.

Highlights From Our Week

life of ours

Last Saturday, we went to the Farmer’s Market this past weekend. We walked away with $20 of steals! I was really impressed with the delicious hydroponic lettuce from one vendor.


Cindy decided she was going to start shucking the corn days before I was ready. It was so precious that I decided to let her do it all.

shuck 1

She thought shucking the corn was the greatest thing in the world, as seen in the pic below.

shuck 2


For $20, we got a pint of blackberries, a pint of blueberries, 3 Hanover tomatoes, a bundle of carrots, hydroponic lettuce, 6 ears of corn, 1 huge green pepper, 2 smaller yellow peppers, 2 bulbs of garlic and 2 pounds of potatoes (4 potatoes). Not a bad deal, AND everything was chemical-free, except the blackberries. The old farmer selling them told me they were Organic, but he sprayed them on Monday’s. I asked why he told people they’re Organic and he answered, “I don’t know what it means, but people sure like hearing it!” I laughed and explained to him what it meant to clear up in lingering confusion. He thanked me for telling him what it meant and said he no longer was going to tell people that.

farmers market food

Ahdoo got home after working half the day and He and MHG just channel surfed while Cindy napped between them and I talked on the phone outside.

Avvie Naps

On Sunday, we were planning on going swimming. It had been hotter than Hades all week and I finally talked the Hubby into swimming (he doesn’t like swimming in other people’s pools cuz of how well the chlorine DOESN’T work). Sure enough, it poured down rain ALL day! We took the girls out for lunch instead and laughed at all the Virginia drivers on the way home. Practically every other car was scared enough, by the sheets of rain coming down, that they turned on their hazard lights while driving, yet never once slowed down or pulled over. The even funnier thing is, of half the people with hazards lights on, they didn’t have their regular lights on. It was ridiculous!

Here are a few silly pics from the week:

MH House 

Av Lorax


rock on



(Above: This is finally the method I’m going with to dry the laundry. Before it was hanging all over our home and in the way OR I was spending a small fortune on quarters to machine dry.)

av down dog  Av hair


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The girls joined in on our “dance cooking” session too earlier this week.


Earlier in the dance cooking day, I watched from afar (not actually thinking she’d get higher than one step) as Cindy climbed all the way up the rock climbing wall at the playground. I can’t say I was all too pleased. She JUST turned 2 and she’s absolutely fearless. Her sister NEVER did anything like this. She excelled artistically and academically…not athletically. I honestly didn’t think she’d make it to the top…but she did. After a day of rock climbing and dance cooking, she passed out in her own bed, but around 1am, when Hubby and I finally came inside for the night, there she was, curled up in our bed, fast asleep.

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My hair is getting so frickin’ long. I have no choice but to start trying out new ways to do it. Also, I bought 2 new headbands from Wal-Mart. The hippy flower headband & turquoise one were only $4 ea.

hippy headbandfishtailcrown braidpeasant turquoise headband  

Here’s my Boho jewelry from one day this week. The “mom loves zoe” heart is a charm on the bracelet she gave me a very long time ago. Her Mom gave it to her, she gave it to me, and I’ll give it to whichever of my girls that want it someday. However, most of my assorted bracelets are either clearance finds from Target, or eBay steals. The key necklace was given to me by my mom a while back and the owl locket I found on eBay. The shirt is from Wal-Mart. (An ash burnt a tiny but noticeable hole in my shirt, so I cropped it.)   

Mom loves Zoenecklacesbracelets  

We had some good eats this week. A ton of homegrown veggies, thanks to the Farmer’s Market. If it’s an option, I usually stick to Organic items and foods. They cost more, but in the end, your health reaps the benefit when you aren’t paying a fortune in medical bills and co-pays. :)


IMG_0877(Above: I realize that all of these items are processed [usually I try to avoid processed foods and bleached sugar/flour] but we’re trying to eat up the food in our pantry before we go shopping again. We’re still adjusting to grocery shopping weekly.)


We celebrated our Anniversary on Thursday. I love that man with every single last fiber of my being. Words seriously CANNOT express how depth my love and devotion to him are. I did post a blog on our 9 years together (8 married) here: Typically, I get a card for our Anniversary. We’re not really the types to get each other Birthday/Christmas/Anniversary presents, unless either of us really want something. This year though, I don’t want flowers (they die and I have nowhere for them), or a card (I know He loves me and I don’t scrapbook anymore), or jewelry (an expensive and useless waste of money-in my opinion). All I wanted was a quick photo session together and he shockingly obliged. :)



embrace 1 


Happy Family  

holding handshearts as one 

After our photo session, we enjoyed the rest of our evening together playing with the girls. There were car rides and bubbles and lots and lots of “The Claw”!!!



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MHG’s tomatoes are growing SUPER fast and the plant on the right already has 3 blooms on it! Pretty soon we’re going to be picking our own ORGANIC tomatoes!!! Woohoo!

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My basil has literally exploded with growth, my oregano and parsley are doing just alright at about 3 inches in height, and I’m pretty sure I cannot grow spearmint in Virginia. That’s ironic, because years ago, spearmint was the only herb that I COULD grow in Colorado. Go figure.


The last of the gifts from my Mom and Faye, that were hidden in the RV, was a solar powered mushroom lawn light. It is soooooooooo freaking awesome and it matches the Dryad she got me a while back, perfectly!!!! Thank you very much Mom! I love it, and I love you!



Dad and Ma (Ahdoo’s parents) sent a very sweet card with such an inspirational message to us written inside. Thanks guys! We love you!

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Saturday the girls just had fun running around both inside and out, and later that afternoon I ruined the majority of my Norwex rags when I let the water boil out of the pan and melt them to it. :( No one’s perfect.


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He worked on Saturday, but on Sunday, he decided to start working on and planning out the design for our dinette. I really wanted to put the hardwood floor in first, and after a couple unfortunate mishaps on my part this weekend, I think he felt sorry for me, and finally let me pick out the floor I wanted. That blog is here: 

Last, but not least, we were treated to this beautiful sight Monday evening. This Full Moon has gotten me especially frisky, ornery and feisty the past few days…that’s for sure. Oh well. I am a Cancer after all (astrological sign) and Cancer’s are incredibly influenced by the Moon. I just have been noticeably MORE influenced by this one! (Or perhaps it’s just my newfound freedom???)

buck moon

(Above: The ultra dark areas were the clouds passing in front of it. It was really cloudy that night.)