Elizabeth, Andrew and I decided to start out with a fun stop off at Cracker Barrel for some breakfast. Some great pancakes and bacon for Andrew. A little of everything for me and a lot of French toast for Elizabeth. It is a new day and a good day. I’m trying to get more time out of each day and I’m trying to get in front of everything. This requires getting up a little earlier these days.
Andrew was probably surprised that we were at a restaurant for breakfast on a Sunday, which I am trying to change. I have to admit, staying in bed a few hours later on the weekends has been the way I usually spend my breakfast time. This morning, Andrew and Elizabeth were already awake and enjoying the morning, like they do everyday and they mentioned Cracker Barrel and I decided to start making some big changes in my life and turning them into great habits. I want to spend more time with my family, and there is only one way to do that. I need a new routine.
Cracker Barrel vs. Sleep
Watching Andrew and Elizabeth enjoying the morning at Cracker Barrel is much better and more important than a few hours of sleep. Andrew playing the golf tee triangle game and Elizabeth taking a few pictures and catching up with me on the latest news felt good.
So, what are we going to do with all of these delicious breakfast foods. Eat them! And, I’m craving some milk to wash it down. Unfortunately, for the grits, they didn’t get much of a chance. They are very tasty, but the consistency gets rough as soon as they start to cool. The bacon on the table had no chance as did most of the eggs.
Elizabeth polished off most of the French toast sharing a whole piece with Andrew who thinks he may like it. We will see, in a few weeks if he weather he really likes it when we give him the option of choosing it over pancakes or waffles. It was a good start for an overcast Sunday. We are going to need this good start to get all of our chores done. The dogs need a bath. The dog room needs a scrubbing and the garage needs organizing and the laundry needs to be completed for the start of a new week. It isn’t fun, but it feels good when everything gets done.
Small Bumper Pull Trailer
So, after all of the research I have done to come up with the best possible travel trailer with the cheapest outlay of cash, I am a little stumped. We have a tow vehicle that can tow 5000 pounds max with 500 tongue weight. The tongue weight is a problem. Man is it a problem.
Part of my objective is to put a travel trailer together that could be lived in for a month at a time while we look around and enjoy the beautiful country we live in. Unfortunately, with my current specs, we are looking at some of the smallest models and a max of 22 feet with some of the “ultra lites”.
I have found a few Flagstaffs that can do it, but I want to be a lot closer to unloaded weight of about 3000 pounds. I hate hybrids, so the choices are small. For a family of three it will be tight.
Andrew has been excited about this project and we have gone to look at a few of them. He wants them all, and price is not a consideration for him. Just ask him! Elizabeth is on board, but I do believe a few nice options will be best for both of us, as we want to be comfortable without spending too much.
I suspect over the next month I will find it. After all, it is something new and a challenge we all want. Living in a trailer, staying at great locations, sometimes with full hookups and sometimes boondocking, is exciting.
Green Line – Boston
Looking into taking a trip back to Boston someday. The whole area is wonderful, clean and full of great people from all over the world. I think our next trip is going to be to Des Moines, but I can do two things at the same time. We found a few good Travel Trailers in Iowa and we always wanted to check out the people and the scenery.
Boston is a place of great ideas, strong intelligent people and allows for enjoying everyday life, if you like to be alone surrounded by tons of people. I do enjoy be a part of something bigger than me. I think Elizabeth and Andrew will enjoy it as well. Elizabeth and I have been to Boston, but this next trip will be different. It is a chance to see if it might be a place to land some day.
For now, I enjoy what life brings, and the interesting and exciting times in the South. Dreaming of the memories that make life wonderful. It is exciting to think about and I look forward to planning it as well. Spending some time at a pub behind Fenway, getting off the Green Line at Park Street, or just walking through the farmers market would be fun, even in the rain.
Beer For My Friends
It is the end of the work day and it was a long day. I can’t sit on the beach so I think I’ll have a beer. Trying to make right things that were wrong all day can be exhausting. Going through paperwork and documenting as much as I can makes the day fly by though. The overall atmosphere in the office was good today. We just don’t have fun and we probably shouldn’t. But, I finally made it home and I see my family doing well and it feels good.
Andrew is listening to music. And, if you guess what type you will get the prize. Christmas music in the middle of February is the winner. He can really show you what life is supposed to be like. “I just wanted to listen to Christmas music, dad”, he answered when I asked. It is fun and most of the time I forget that life can be fun. Not that a beer makes life fun, but why not. The last time I had a beer right after work was ages ago.
As Feliz Navidad plays in the background, Elizabeth was kind enough to make dinner. I suggested I would make some lemon and pepper chicken wraps, but she wanted pasta. Both are quick and tasty. I will make the wraps tomorrow. Or maybe they will be pita pockets. I’ll try to take a few pictures.
It is a lot more relaxing without the TV and Andrew is right. Christmas music is fun, even if it is February.
Blog SEO & WordPress
The options they have for blogs these days are endless. Do I have SEO? Should I attach it to YouTube? Is there a way to automatically link my posts to Instagram? The answers are difficult and complex. What to do? Well, I expect that I can get through the most important aspect of a blog, the content.
Spending my time trying to figure out all of the plugins and widgets is confusing and outside of my skill set. This is from someone who spends a lot of time on computers and enjoys unlocking the secrets that computers have brought us. But, not this time. I have more important things to do.
So, join me in believing my content will tell the story and my blog will just have to live with it. How many times can you try to set up a form, until you decide that the form isn’t as important as you thought it would be.
I feel that now is the time to let the words wag the blog.
An RV Versus a Brick and Mortar Home
Trying to live as cheaply as possible is a challenge. A challenge that I’m willing to take on. However, I have a family and it may not be done growing. When I look into all of the possibilities of turning bills into a memory, the full time RV lifestyle catches my interest.
I had no idea anyone would live in a travel trailer. How is that even possible? Then I started looking into it and I wonder why I never thought of it before. I have the type of skills that would allow me, in the future, to work the hours needed, but I still had to make a lot of money to live the life, we currently enjoy. So, how do people do it? It looks like we are stuck on the treadmill traps of life. Make more, buy more.
We do not have a lavish life, but we do spend a lot of money. Our home as rooms that we don’t really use and a yard that we spend more time mowing than playing in. I started to think, maybe we are missing something. Let’s face it, I work hard to have things that I don’t really have time to enjoy, including my family.
I have looked at the possible types of trailers and I think the smaller bunkhouses are all that is needed to have a good place to sleep and be safe. With the travel trailer’s mobility, we would need to stay ahead of the weather to have the best time easing into a new life style. But, the real problem is trying to live without all of the modern comforts that seem to be allow extremely lazy behavior get in the way of real life.
The challenge is on and I have enjoyed looking into the very basics of freedom from debt and I’m hooked. But, hooked in a good way. I want to have a better life for my family and I want to be a big part of it. I want my time to be spent enjoying the people I’m here to enjoy life with and not spending my time getting “shiny things” I don’t really have time to stare at.
For now, I need more information and time to plot the right course. After all, I know how to work hard to make money. Now, my challenge is to work hard to have a better life.
Food for Thought at Ruby Tuesday
I just don’t know why it is so difficult to cook dinner and lunch each day, but I have to make a better effort. It seems that I get caught up in things and lose track of time too often. Planning ahead is usually not that difficult, but when it comes to eating lunch and dinner, I would hope to do a little better.
So for dinner this evening, it will have to be Ruby Tuesday salad. They make a pretty good salad as do many restaurants do these days. However, the price is a little more than you would expect. How could something so cheap cost so much.
Elizabeth figures that when you try to buy all of the items it costs a lot and you either eat salad for a week, or let the rest of it rot. When it comes to salad that seems about right. I will work more this week to get some good meals cooking.
I’m thinking crock pot chili for at least a few meals. For now, I’ll keep you ‘posted’.
Just Do It Already
Doing laundry is tedious, boring and absolutely necessary. I hate doing laundry like you do. I should clarify. I have folding laundry just like you. I mean, putting the dirty clothes in a washer and then in a dryer is relatively easy and doesn’t take much time. So, if you are complaining about this aspect of laundry, you obviously aren’t doing the real work.
Everything is always inside out and needs to be turned right side in. I’m not sure how it is that this happens to every piece of clothing, especially pants, but it does. And, did I forget to mention that as soon as your done, there is always more to do. It is a never ending pain in the bottom.
Who cares? We all do it, after all. True and not so true. What I have learned over my 30 years of doing laundry is easy, simple and true, but I can’t seem to use this information. The more clothes you have, the more time you will spend doing laundry. If you can’t wear anything more than once, you also make life much more difficult.
It is all about what you need and not what you want. It seems to be this simple yet difficult mind set to follow. The more clothes you have, the more laundry you will do. The less clothes you have the more likely you will take better care of your clothes. However, when we buy a ton of clothes, we can go weeks without doing any folding, washing or drying. Sounds great. Nope. Sounds like a weekend of laundry.
Truck Purchase: Ford, Dodge or Chevy?
I can’t seem to find a vehicle other than a truck that will be able to pull a travel trailer without constantly worrying about the weight of the rig. Therefore, I am moving on and closing the possibility of even light weight or smaller trucks. I just have to find a good 1/2 ton pickup truck and that is all there is to it.
I am now moving forward with either Dodge, Ford or Chevrolet. I was able to eliminate Nissan and Toyota for different reasons. I felt the Nissan trucks towing capacity were a little to close to my limit and the Toyotas are just expensive compared to Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet. These trucks without any type of additional equipment appear to haul 7000 pounds and with some add on products can do much better.
The challenge is now to get the truck for under $20,000 which means used. It is not possible to get a new truck at all and so the used market will now hold my attention. The other issue is whether I can get away with just an extended cab or do I need four door handles? I’m not sure, but on with the research. I think all of the trucks look great. The gas mileage appears to be about the same and the quality is similar.
Perhaps, I will have to solve the four door issue and then work on V8 vs. V6 vs. Diesel. For now the journey continues and I will keep you ‘posted’
Stay in or Eating Out
Stuck in a world of convenience? What is convenient about food that someone else makes? When eating out the food is always filled with fat and salt. It is always washed by chemicals and prepared in bulk. It costs a lot and takes longer to get than it would be to just make it ourselves. But, staying in and making our own meals is too much work and all you have to do is look at all of the billions of dollars spent by people selling food to remind you of this one hundred or more times a day.
So, what do we do? We eat it anyways. We eat junk whether it is served through a drive thru window, brought home and eaten on the couch or when we sit down in the restaurant and pay another 20% to have someone bring it to us. It is a complete waste of time, money and energy.
At this point, I am working on how to stop the craziness of eating out. I probably eat more fat and salt than appears possible, and I will never know. Do you know what these restaurants are actually putting in the food? How much butter and salt substitutes? I can’t be the only one who thinks that there is a problem.
I want to eat well and enjoy the food I eat. I am all for a little convenience, but restaurants are anything but when it comes to our overall health and well being. Do you really think the places you eat at are worried that you might be eating too much sugar, fat, salt and empty calories? Of course they don’t think about you.
From this day forward, I am going to change it up a little. I am going to move in the right direction and stop eating anywhere but at home. I am going to start treating myself to good food at a good price.
Could it be true that buying all of the ingredients cost more when we go to the store than it would if we just buy it from the restaurant? Is it true that we just waste more food trying to cook at home? I will keep you ‘posted’.