Posted in grief

Not at all Wordless Wednesday

Most of you know my Mom died in February very unexpectedly and at a very young 72 years old. I’ll be honest, I’ve struggled with grief. All the stages. Sometimes all the stages in one hour.

On Tuesday I received an email from Dad that kind of brought that part of grief that’s a deep, deep sadness to the surface. Her headstone is finally placed.

Thanks to Dad’s military career, they both qualify to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. That’s where she is. He’ll join her there eventually. (God, please not soon.)

As with all government run entities, actions take way more time than they should. She died February 24, was buried April 8, and we just now have a headstone.

But it’s here and it makes this all oh so real all over again.

Mom I miss you more than I could have ever imagined missing anyone. My faith tells me you are in heaven awaiting the rest of us and spending time with those who’ve gone before. I cling to that. But oh how I miss you.

Mom’s headstone at Arlington National Cemetery

Posted in hiking

A New Hiking Trail

Saturday we went for a short hike on a new trail. We recently discovered Cedars of Lebanon State Park. It’s beautiful! How have we lived in this area for 18.5 years and never explored this park? It’s criminal. LOL

We chose a short, easy trail close to the welcome center to just get a feel for the park. We talked to a couple of rangers who were super helpful and nice.

The trail itself was amazing. We are excited to go back next weekend.

Do you visit state parks often? Where’s your favorite? Do you have a favorite hiking trail?

Posted in Finances

Budget Day

I’m going to admit something. We’ve never used a budget in our almost 22 years of marriage. It’s embarrassing, but true. I’m honestly so embarrassed, I may never publish this post.

Yikes!

Today we started trying to budget.

Okay, let me back up. I do have an Excel spreadsheet with our bills and their due dates. It’s not like we’re completely and totally willy nilly with our money.

But today we sat down together with last month’s bank statement, tallied up where all our money went, and wasn’t that eye opening, and created a rudimentary budget for August.

I even got organized enough to put the budgeting materials in a folder for easy access. A physical folder, not a virtual one. I’m a little old school about some things.

We may eventually move to budgeting on the computer when we get used to doing it. For now this plastic folder and printed budget sheets work just fine.

The catalyst for this much needed attention to our finances is our goal of leaving our day jobs for full time RV life late next year. We will need to learn to live on a strict budget once we are on the road. We also need to save as much as possible between now and then so we have a tiny bit of cushion.

For a while we’ll meet every Saturday to see how we did with our budget for the week and adjust as needed. I’m getting a little excited about making our money work for us for a change.

However, I’m still super, super embarrassed to admit all this publicly. So be kind, okay?

Do you budget? How often? Do you stick to it?

Posted in Frugal Living

Oats and Peanut Butter and M&Ms. Oh My!

I played Holly Homemaker today and made our snacks for next week.

I’m tired of paying so much for protein bars and trail mix when it’s so easy to make them at home. So while we were shopping today I bought a few supplies I didn’t already have on hand.

For our trail mix I poured a third of a bottle of roasted peanuts, half a bag of Bear Naked maple pecan granola, and half a sharable bag of M&M mini into a gallon storage bag and shook it up. Yum!

I found a very simple recipe online for no bake protein bars. Yes, of course I tasted before I put the mixture in the fridge to set. Delicious!

Since I already had peanut butter, honey, oats, and protein powder on hand, and I used the other half of the mini M&Ms from the trail mix these bars cost a fraction of a box of bars from the grocery. Plus, I will get 8-12 bars from this batch rather than the 5-6 I’m most grocery store boxes. Yay!

Do you make your own snacks? What’s your favorite afternoon snack?

Posted in Creativity, RV Life

What’s in a Name

Daniel and I want to start a blog/vlog/Instagram/Facebook for our RV life. But coming up with a catchy name is a challenge. At least for me. I’ve NEVER been good at titles. Never.

So that’s where you come in, my friends. Over on my personal Facebook page I asked for ideas for a name. I’m getting some great ideas. But I want to broaden the participant pool.

Help me come up with a name for our YouTube channel, Instagram, Facebook, and blog. I’d love to see your ideas in the comments.

Posted in General

A Short Sunday Hike

Ah…we made it back to Long Hunter State Park today. It’s been way too long. We didn’t hike far, probably a mile or maybe a smidge more. But it was blissful.

This park is one of my happy places.

Hope you’ve had a great Sunday, too.

Posted in General

Amazon Prime Day Score

My Amazon Prime Day steal arrived today. I’m so excited! I’ve had the Instant Pot Duo Mini on my wish list for months. I bought it Tuesday at 50% off. Yay! I made perfect brown basmati rice in it tonight for supper. It’s going to be great for our RV life.

Did you shop during Amazon Prime Day? What was your amazing find?