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Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’

I had a really wonderful trip to Omaha to visit all my friends and relatives and to help my sister load up the moving truck with all of her belongings.  Now I’m back in Virginia to help my mom get ready to move.  If I haven’t mentioned it before…..I think my family might just have a little gypsy blood in it somewhere….it’s the only way I can justify all the moving around!

My mom has been renting her house for the past 4 years and it has now been sold….she and all of her housemates (she rents 4 rooms) have to be out by August 1st.  We have A LOT of work to do to get ready.  We have 4.5 weeks left and out of those 4.5 weeks we will be spending a week at the family summer house for our annual family summer vacation in Deltaville, VA.  So yep, count it out…..we actually have 3.5 weeks!!

We are gearing up for another BIG yard sale next weekend and still have a lot of stuff to go through.  Not only my mom’s stuff but everyone else’s stuff…..over the past 4 years not only has my mom rented out 4 rooms but myself, my 2 boys and my sister have all lived here at varying times as well.  Every time someone leaves they leave stuff behind.  The house, especially the kitchen, is a maddening mod podge of STUFF!!  And no one really remembers what belongs to whom!!  To make matters even worse this past week I have been really sick.  So much for being here to help my mom……she’s been waiting on me hand and foot instead since I haven’t been able to get up off the couch!

We had a really great visit with a new “vandwelling” buddy from our vandwelling forum discussion group….Jessie.  He was great.  I really enjoyed talking to him.  He has the same type van as I do and so we had a little show & tell with our vans.  I almost passed out (did I mention I’m sick…….oh and we are having a heat wave) so I didn’t get to play show and tell for too long.  But just long enough to get some really great ideas for my van.  He had a lot more done on his van than I do.

Today I’m feeling a little better…..at least enough to get back on the computer…..so I have been getting a little bit of work done…..some new ideas, some rehashing of ideas, some brainstorming…..a little bit of reorganizing…..you know, my normal life!!

So that is about it….not really much to fill you in on…..no grand adventures this month I’m afraid to say…..family obligations are keeping me grounded for a little bit….but I’m working on the next chapter ….. so stay tuned!!  🙂

 

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One of the things that I like about vandwelling and the new life I have chosen is also one of the things that can be so frustrating……the flexibility and the way things seem to change from day to day.

I would love to tell you that I am on my way to Omaha…..but who knows what tomorrow will bring??  My plans have changed a minimum of 4 times in the past week.  I have finally left ….. I am on the road…..and I am headed to Omaha……let’s just keep our fingers crossed that things don’t change mid trip!!

Omaha At Dusk

The new plan is to head to Omaha where I have a lot of friends and relatives and hang out there for 5-6 weeks.  While I’m there I’m going to look for some temp work to help get the coffers filled up some.  I’m still working on Today’s Gal Friday and another project but things are not going as quickly as I would like sooooo…….hi ho, hi ho it’s off to work I go!!

I left this afternoon but didn’t get real far.  I took the splint off my leg and it’s doing pretty good but I don’t want to push it.  So I got kind of a late start and then had several stops to make on the way.

Right now I am in Waynesboro, VA.  I am sitting outside the Buffalo Wild Wings using their internet and it is pouring rain.  That probably doesn’t sound so great but I am just loving it!  I’m comfy cozy and the sound of the rain on the roof is so relaxing.  I really do just love being in this van.

It was still daylight when I got to Waynesboro and the fog around the top of the mountains was really cool….I kept trying to find someplace where I could get a picture but no such luck.  Then just as I was looking for the exit (of course) I ran into a bank of fog and could not see 2 feet in front of me…..it was really crazy…..I was getting a little nervous I wasn’t sure what to do if I couldn’t see but right before I panicked I saw the exit and the fog lifted enough for me to get to the Walmart.

Not my picture but very similar to what I saw in Waynesboro, VA

I used my lunchbox stove to cook some pot pies while I was driving here and they turned out perfect…..the only problem I had was that they were too salty so probably won’t do that again.  But the stove worked out perfect!  It won’t work so great in every situation but if I’m driving for a few hours it’s so easy to just pop something in there and let it cook while I’m driving!  I love it!!

Pot Pies For Dinner

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God is Laughing

I love the saying by Woody Allen “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans”.  And boy is he laughing at me this week!!!

My plans were to leave tomorrow for Nashville but I’ve had a slight bump in the road.

Sunday morning, about 2:30 a.m., after my wonderful Saturday night date I had to make a mad dash from the van to my mom’s house for the bathroom.  I spent the rest of Sunday laid up on the couch within easy access of the bathroom.  Today I’m not feeling so great yet.

Then on top of that….the friend that I was going to visit in Nashville is now coming here to Virginia for the weekend…..sigh……

So now I will wait till next Monday to leave for my trip.

It is probably for the best honestly.  I need to spend some undistracted time working on making some money.  I have come across several “work from home”, virtual type jobs that I’m really interested in looking into and I have finally gotten my website to the point where I can start advertising and listing it on Virtual Assistant Sites.

One of my favorite, favorite websites is a site called The Rat Race Rebellion.  I have known about this site for a very long time and it’s been recommended to me several times by people I trust.  It is a site that researches work at home, virtual, telecommute job listings for scams and then lists the ones that are reliable.  Lately I signed up for the daily email that sends out new job listings and have come across several listings that I am interested in.  I thought I would pass them along for any of you who might also be interested in these types of openings……

www.wegolook.com – this is a site that sends out “lookers” to check out items that a consumer might want to buy on line.  For example if you wanted to buy a car on eBay that is in a different state from you and you were not able to look at it in person you could have this company send out a “looker” to check it out for you, take pictures and generally make sure it is not a scam.

www.cloudcrowd.com  – this company will take projects from companies and break them down into smaller tasks and then farm them out to people who work from home.

www.leapforceathome.com – with Leapforce you can sign up to become an “agent”.  The information on what you actually do is pretty vague so I’m not real sure about this company but from what I gather “agents” do analytical research online to see how companies are ranking on the internet.  You do have to take an exam and apparently if you fail it…..you don’t get to retake it.

www.getsetservices.com – this is not really a work from home position but it is one that I’m interested in because the openings are all over the states and you can travel to them, complete the job and then move on.  Get Set Services is a merchandising company who provides set ups for brand new stores.  For example…..if there is a brand new WalMart opening in Texas, I can apply for the position, travel to Texas help merchandise (put new products on the shelves and racks) the new store and then move on to the next store in a new state…..if I want to.

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This post was actually written while on the road but not completed.  I had to go over it and finish it up before I could finally post it.  I am back home with my sister in St. Michaels for the time being and so finally had some time to finalize this post.  It’s a long one….so grab yourself a drink and settle in.  On my next trip I promise to break it down to more of a daily run down rather than the entire trip in one post!!……..

Well my friends I apologize – I have been chastised by more than one of you for not writing – but it has been a rough road the past few weeks.  Yes I am on the road – but it has been a huge learning curve for me and on top of that I have had the worst time with allergies.

My mom and I finally left….3 days late…..2 Thursdays ago.  If I haven’t mentioned it before, my mom makes beautiful home decorations out of hydrastone and other mediums.  The most popular by far are her angel wall hangings.  The plan was for her to make product before we left and then for her to sell it at stores on our trip.  So between her trying to get her product ready and me trying to get the van registered and tagged….we left a little late.

Just one of my moms beautiful angels!!

Of course about 3 to 4 days before we left the pollen count was at an all time high and my eyes became so agitated that I could barely see…..which in turn then caused a horrific headache.  This did not help with us getting a timely start!  I checked the pollen map to see if there was somewhere else with less pollen that we could travel to but the only state with little to no pollen was Oregon…..so we stuck with our original plans!

We first drove to Charlottesville, VA.  We have both been trying to get to Charlottesville for the past few years and every time we plan a trip it gets cancelled for unforeseen circumstances…..the last time mom ended up in the hospital with chest pains.  The last time I did go to Charlottesville I went with a boyfriend who did not enjoy the same things that I did and so it was a complete waste of time.  I wish I could say that this visit was better but unfortunately I can’t.

To begin with my allergies were so bad that I could not see real well (imagine having a tablespoon of sand in each eye ball) I looked like I had been on a 3 day drinking binge they were so red.  Needless to say this was making me a tad bit cranky (yes that is a major understatement).  Then (here comes the learning curve) driving the van around town was sooooo cumbersome.  I really missed my car at this point.  I can’t parallel park (is there any such thing as a cute little downtown district WITHOUT parallel parking??), I feel like I’m driving an 18 wheeler and I don’t like following my mom or her following me.  Of course some of this complaining had to do with me feeling like crap!!

That first night we parked in the parking lot of a hotel.  It was our first night of “stealth” parking and felt a little strange.  Of course just about the time I was falling asleep there was a domestic disturbance of some type.  Lots of screaming and yelling and carrying on….I thought I might need to call the police at one point but it finally died down.  Then….just as we were settling down again another girl (not sure if she was related to the earlier domestic disturbance or not?) decided that the back of our parked vans was the perfect place to pace back and forth and cry on her phone.  Needless to say, after this evening, I made sure I knew where my ear plugs were!

The 2ndnight we parked at the local Wal-Mart and I for one was much more comfortable.  I don’t think my mom cared for parking at Wal-Mart but I liked it because I knew we were “allowed” to and most likely would not receive a knock on our doors in the middle of the night.  And since other RV’ers were parking there it just generally felt safer.  But I definitely still need the ear plugs!!!

Mountain View

Our next stop was Lynchburg, VA and then Roanoke, VA.  The Roanoke Wal-Mart was a little crazy…..have you ever seen the website “People of Wal-Mart”???  Yeah, it was kinda like that!  We spent two nights at the Roanoke Wal-Mart – the first night we must have parked where some of the employees had also parked so sometime about 11:30 pm or so they came out and turned on their car radios LOUD to some kind of screaming head banging stuff that my kids would have loved.  Thankfully they left fairly quickly…..but I was a little concerned for awhile there!  The second night we got a visit from a cab driver.  I don’t know what was going on…..was it a prank, was he actually supposed to be knocking on the RV’s next to us??  I don’t know but he kept driving around and around our vans, then he honked, he got out of his car and kind of walked around….then he actually knocked on mom’s window.  Eventually he did finally leave but it was the strangest thing…..I mean really…..why would a taxi driver arbitrarily drive up to 2 parked vans like he was there to pick up customers??  I think it was a prank.

Overlooking Roanoke from Mill Mountain

We spent Easter day on Mill Mountain in Roanoke – it was a beautiful day and I did get out and enjoy it some but again the allergies won out and I spent the rest of the day relaxing in the van reading and napping.  It was super windy…..I opened up all the windows on the van and enjoyed the breeze!

Finally we made it to Mount Airey, NC where my friend lives.  Mount Airey, NC is where Andy Griffith grew up and is dubbed “Mayberry USA”.  It is a very cute little town and since the last time I was here was on a Sunday and everything was closed, I was very interested in getting a chance to explore this time.  Franci’s mother-in-law Nancy allowed us to park in her driveway (I wouldn’t park, at first, in Franci’s driveway because the driveway was so long and steep I was scared to drive the van down it!!) for a few nights and that was lovely compared to the Wal-Mart parking lots!

Mom and I spent a lovely day exploring Main Street Mayberry – I think she got a few good leads for her angels and I got to drool over all the stuff that I wanted that I couldn’t afford and don’t have a house to put in anyway.

Me and Andy Griffith - I always wanted a man that was tall, dark and metal!!

The next day mom and I decided to part ways.  I think she was tired of my crabby butt and I can’t say I blame her…..sigh…..!!!  I was still absolutely miserable with allergies and couldn’t really do much for very long…..I think I was really only good for about 2 to 3 hours a day before I just gave up in misery!  However, she said that she felt we were holding each other back from what we wanted to do and that we both wanted to do different things…..and I agreed.  My idea of vandwelling had been going places and staying a while….getting to know the area…..exploring…..until I was ready to go.  The whole going to a new town everyday was a little exhausting for me.  Of course the pollen/allergies did not help matters.  Mom of course had work to do….and it was imperative for her to get to all these towns.  So it was good for us to split up.  And of course she was only going to Asheville, NC which was only about 3 hours away.  So we were still close enough to each other for an emergency.

That first day that we split up I literally spent the ENTIRE day laying in my van reading a book.  It was the most gorgeous day – sunny, breezy!!  I found the perfect spot in the library parking lot where I was in a corner surrounded by trees.  So I could put the shades down on the side and the back of the van where I faced the parking lot and leave the shades open on the front and side of the van facing the trees.  I opened up the windows and let the breeze through and …..heaven!  I could see through the windows to the trees and I felt just like I was up in a tree house!

View Into The Trees

The next day I decided to drive to Blowing Rock, NC.  What a cute little town!  I loved it!  I did have a little trouble in the evening when I got there because when I drove through the local Wal-Mart it didn’t seem like RV’s were allowed to park there.  This was the first night by myself that I was really unsure where to park.  I spent about 2 hours driving around and around trying to decide where to park.  But I’m a little bit of a chicken shit when it comes to parking.  I don’t want to have any knocks on my window at 2am and then have to drive around trying to find a new spot.  If I had gotten a minivan or a cargo van I would have felt better – a minivan looks normal parked just about anywhere and a cargo van can be parked anywhere industrial and look normal.  But a conversion van just doesn’t always look normal parked anywhere.  I had assumed, before I actually got out on the road and looked reality in the eye, that I could just park in a neighborhood – like a guest or something.  And I probably could but it just felt a little “iffy”.  In fact even when I stayed in Nancy’s driveway with her permission her neighbors still called Nancy and asked what was going on.  So I guess it depends on the neighborhood….but I wasn’t finding anything I liked the look of in Blowing Rock.  FINALLY I went back to Wal-Mart and asked the manager……and here is where I learned a very good lesson…….before I spend a lot of time and effort…..just ask FIRST!!!  The manager said “oh sure…just park over here”!!  Sigh………………..

ONE of the few pictures that I took that I actually liked!!

The second part of that lesson involved FINALLY just going up to the pharmacist and explaining to him the trouble with my eyes and allergies and all the OTC medications I had taken and could he PLEASE help me…..don’t you know he walked straight over to the shelf, handed me some eye drops and my poor bloodshot eyes were instantly cured!  All that time AND money wasted…..I should have just asked the pharmacist to begin with!!!

The next day with a good night sleep and my eyes finally cured I had a great day exploring Blowing Rock.  I visited some great shops – scoped out some great ones for my mom – had a ginormous bowl of the best caramel salted ice cream (makes me drool just thinking about it now) – and then headed out to explore the great Blowing Rock itself.  Again it was another incredibly gorgeous day and I got some great shots.  I did some experimenting with my camera.  I would really, really like to learn how to be a real photographer!  As it is right now I just snap, snap away and hope that something turns out!!  I don’t have a very good camera either so that doesn’t help.

After Blowing Rock I headed back to Mt. Airey and did a lot of relaxing and hanging out with my friend Franci until it was time to head back to Virginia.  Her kids are soo cute and fun…..she has a great family.  And although I love her family and her……it was so nice to have the van to escape to!!  I think that is one of the things I’m going to love the most about the van…..having my own space to retreat to.  When I got tired or cranky and needed my space I just got in my van and drove off to my favorite spot in the library parking lot and relaxed….read a book….took a nap….it was great!!

Me Sitting On Top Of The Blowing Rock

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Well, as you might possibly have noticed, I’ve been MIA for a few days.  There are some really good reasons and one not so great reason.  Let’s start with the good stuff first (I always have liked eating my dessert first)!!

I am finally, finally, finally done with my classes…..and for those of you who care to know…..I didn’t pass them.  I’m not proud of that, but it was a choice of losing my mind or letting go.  I chose to let go…..I’m working real hard on that concept these days.  This was a hard one for me as I have been on the Dean’s List since I started school and I hate the bad example I have set for my children…..but……letting go, letting go, letting go.

Note to my children if you are reading…..letting go DOES NOT mean not giving it 100% effort FIRST!!!

So now that I am finally done with the mind sucking drudgery of school and done with the hair pulling experiencing of moving, getting settled and handling all the myriad of things that come with moving and relocating…..I can finally settle down to business.

My plans are finally starting to firm up for the next 6 months…..they have changed a few dozen times so I can’t promise that anything is in stone just yet….but I’m excited.  I can FINALLY start planning!  I have started looking for a van and will be selling my car in preparation for the first leg of my new “vocation”!!

The plan as it stands now is this:

  • The first 3 weeks of April my mom and I will drive in tandem to the South Carolina/Georgia area and just meander around to wherever we damn well please 😛
  • Then I come back for my brother’s wedding at the end of April.
  • The week after the wedding my mom and I are, again, driving in tandem out to Nebraska (meandering again along the way) where we will visit with friends/relatives, help my sister get her stuff out of storage so it can be transported back to Virginia via my oldest son and attend a wedding.
  • By the time we arrive back in Virginia with my sister’s stuff in tow it will be full blown summer here in St. Michaels, MD (where I’m using my sister’s house as a “home base”).  I will be staying here for a while at that point because this is the best of the best times to be living in this area!!  I have many, many “summer things” that we do every summer and I am looking forward to participating with my family.  AND St. Michaels in SUMMER….who the heck wouldn’t want to do that??!
  • In July I am planning a trip to California with my children for their collective birthdays.  They chose California but we haven’t decided where just yet.
  • Then sometime around the end of the summer my mom and I will be traveling together again.  This time we will be traveling across the northern states out to California and then back across the southern states.  The purpose of this trip is to work on an idea that we have both been brewing in our heads for a long time. We will be visiting relatives from the Anderson side of the family and working on an “Anderson Family” book.

So there it is….like I said it might change again…..but it is finally at a firm enough point that I feel confident in making actual plans….so that is a good thing!!

Now for the not so great reason I have been MIA….I have been having a lot of trouble with my wrist lately.  I had surgery on my left wrist in 2009 for a torn tendon (which is a huge part of the reason why I was unemployed for so long).  Of course you are probably thinking it is my left wrist that is bothering me so much (and you would be partially correct)…..but no it’s even worse….it’s my right wrist.  Since I am right handed and my left wrist still bothers me I am now looking at a double whammy.  I spend about 95% of my life on the computer (which of course is the reason I’m having problems) so to have both of my wrists bothering me is not a good thing.  Not to mention the one small, itty, bitty, little issue of me making my living (whether on the road or in an office) on the computer.  I have dug out all my old wrist bandages/guards/cuffs etc in the hopes of trying to ward off the inevitable. I am icing, and resting, and heat padding, and elevating and all the other things that are recommended…..but in the meantime….in the back of my head…..I’m furiously thinking of things that don’t involve me being on a computer…..just in case.

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I spent a weekend at Virginia Beach recently for a scrapbooking retreat.  A lot of fun was had by all!  I didn’t get out too much as there was much scrapping to do but here are the reviews of the places that I did get to:

Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel, Virginia Beach

I would love to give this hotel a good rating because the employees were all so wonderful and helpful and friendly, especially the young men who hauled all our scrapbooking crap up to our tables and then back down again when we left.   And perhaps when they have completed all of the construction it WILL be a really awesome hotel.  But unfortunately I was there in January during the off season while there was major construction going on.  I understand that renovations have to be done occasionally and that off season is the time to do it…..however, staying here during construction was a major pain in the rear end.

We waited 20 minutes minimum each time we wanted to take the elevator because there were construction workers going up and down continuously.  9 times out of 10 when the elevator finally arrived we couldn’t take it because it was full and we had to wait for yet another elevator.  We were staying on the 7th floor so taking the stairs was not exactly “do-able”.

The noise was atrocious.  The 8th floor was being gutted so the construction was going on right above us.  Our first morning there (Saturday) the hammering started at a little after 8 a.m.  That is just ridiculous in my book!  All I can say is that it is a good thing that I wasn’t really there for a “relax in my hotel room” kinda vacation because if I had wanted to sleep at any time during the DAYTIME it would have been impossible.  The Sheraton was nice enough to leave earplugs for their guests but what would have been even nicer is if they had started construction after 10 a.m. since most people who stay at a hotel on the beach are most likely sleeping in.

Big Sam’s Inlet Café & Raw Bar, Virginia Beach 

Two things I loved about Big Sam’s…..the bathroom signs and the She Crab Soup!  The soup was to die for and I kinda wished I had just ordered another bowl instead of my entree.  I would definitely go back just for more soup!  The restaurant itself was a little too claustrophobic for me and very loud.  That doesn’t make it a bad place just not the place for my sensibilities.  It’s obviously a very popular place!

I ordered the Bay Fries which came without the Old Bay and cold.  The waitress very nicely brought me new fries with the Old Bay even though I told her that she didn’t have to, but they were still cold and then had way too much Old Bay this time.  So I was a little disappointed about that because I love me some fries with Old Bay!  But the burger that I ordered was really good!

The bathroom signs were hilarious.  At first we could only see the men’s sign so we didn’t understand.  The men’s sign said “Stand”.  Finally we saw the women’s sign…..it said “Squat”.  I loved it!  I tried to get a picture but they didn’t come out too well….too dark.  Some rather drunk and rowdy patrons sitting in front of the women’s bathroom offered to take a picture of me in front of the women’s sign…..of course they wanted me to squat for the picture but I declined!

Taste Unlimited

Taste Unlimited was a block away from the hotel that we stayed at and was recommended by the bell hop.  I was expecting your basic deli but was pleasantly surprised.  This was not your typical deli.  It was very gourmet and chichi.  A lot of specialty cheeses and other wonderful foods that I should not be partaking of.  I believe they have wine there as well.  Since I’m not a wine drinker I didn’t pay as much attention to that as I did to all the yummy foods!

I ordered the rare roast beef sandwich and it was out of this world.  I loved that it was “rare” roast beef.  I love roast beef sandwiches but usually the meat is dry and needs lots of mayo.  I don’t think that I have ever had a roast beef sandwich that was actually specifically rare.  I’m really wishing that we had one of these stores a block away from my home but it’s probably a good thing that we don’t ….. I do not need to be eating roast beef sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

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