Jack’s First Time at the Ocean!!!!

Ever since we got Jack I have been wanting to take him to the ocean, but something kept getting in the way.  We know he loves sand because of our time in Utah and we thought a dog friendly beach would be a really fun day with him.  Weather didn’t cooperate while we were in Oregon, so the first chance we got we decided to go to a beach in Charleston.  It didn’t take long to find out which beaches were dog friendly and we settled on the Island of the Palms County Park.  We thought the off season policy was morning and evening off leash was OK, but I have since learned that really wasn’t the case.  That probably explains why some dogs were on leash and others were off.  After doing more research it looks like Kiaweh Island has specific off leash times and areas.  Next time I will go to the city site rather than relying on third party websites.

Seasonal Dog Leash Area: From the Critical Habitat Area west of Beachwalker County Park to the eastern boundary of the Beach Club.
March 16 – October 31 Dogs must be leashed at all times.
November 1 – March 15 Dogs are allowed to be off leash.
• Dog Use Area: Dogs are allowed off leash year round in the designated “dog use area” located between the eastern boundary of the Beach Club and the Ocean Course pedestrian access provided they are under control. Off leash stipulations: The owner must remain with their pet and have in their possession a leash. Pets must be leashed if requested by another beachgoer or by Beach Patrol.

We weren’t really sure how Jack would do so we found a stretch of beach without any people and put him back on leash whenever other dogs walked through.  This worked OK and he had a good time especially sniffing a crab body he found and running up near the grass.  He didn’t want anything to do with the water, although he wasn’t afraid of it.  Like Timothy Lake he just wasn’t interested.  The best part of the day was when a couple brought a 4 month old puppy by to play.  They had a blast running around in circles and Jack was the first one to call it quits.  If you have met Mr. Energy Jack you know how rare this is.  We got some awesome pictures and Lee made a great video that I wanted to share with you.  Wonderful experience and well worth the 45 minute drive each way to get to the beach.

 

Heading to the ocean

 

Surprising number of people on the beach

 

Lots of flat space to run around.

 

Seriously look at that happy face

 

This was the picture I wanted !!!

 

First time drinking from a doggie water fountain. Once he figured it out he lapped it up.

If that wasn’t enough we decided to stop and see Kyrston on the way home so Jack could meet her dog Finn.  We have been introducing people to each other, saving the dogs until last but it turned out really great.  Jack and Finn got along really well which will make things much easier if we spend long days with them.  Plus it was fun for Finn who has been a little cooped up with new baby.

So happy everyone was buddies

 

Finn was happy!

Nice doggie day and good for everyone.  Super relived it all worked out.


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog. You can help by doing any or all the following:

  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links.  There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds help support our blog.  Search Amazon.com here.
  • Purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • Purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.

Kelly and Bill, A Fair, and a Flea Market

Now that things are settling down a little Lee and I wanted to make sure that we were getting out on the weekends and doing some things.  We started the weekend with Kelly and Bill stopping at our campground on their way to Florida.  We had talked weeks before about them rerouting themselves to see us, and as always I am touched by the effort people will go through to see each other in this lifestyle.  The daily rate at our campground is NOT cheap, but they happily paid it and got in around 1:30pm on Friday.  I was working, but Lee was able to go over and hang out with them, and then Kyrston drove over with baby Oliver to meet them.  She met Cori & Greg and Steve & Deb before we ever hit the road, when they came to visit us in Keene, but she had never met Kelly & Bill.  Kyrston used to be a bartender so you know what she and Bill talked about, and Kelly loved meeting Oliver.  It was a great visit and I was so happy everyone got to meet, even if it was only for one day. We’ll take it!

Bill and Kelly

 

Kyrston enjoying all the grandparents on baby duty

 

Bill is the baby whisperer

 

Jack likes Oliver

 

But the full face puppy kisses may be a little much!!

The next morning we all got up early and went out to breakfast at a little place near us called Eggs Up Grill. It’s a regional chain down here and the food was fantastic!! When we got back to the campground Bill & Kelly started to get ready to leave, but Bill had an issue dumping his black tank because there was something blocking the sewer pipe in the ground.  The KOA staff made it right by helping him solve the problem with a bucket and comping his stay.  I have to say I really like this campground.  In the winter season (starting Nov. 1) it is $675 for two people with no additional money for electric.  Considering the park that’s five minutes from Kyrston is $900 a month that is quite a bargain.  The staff is excellent, and the folks staying here are really nice.  We get plenty of one or two nighters of course, but our neighbor is staying a month.  They have three dogs that Jack loves to play with and on Halloween they brought over a treat just for Jack.  It was the sweetest thing and very representative of the types of people who are staying here.

From Left: Kelly, Bill, me and Lee

 

Check out the sweet note and treat from the puppies next door…Jackson, Allie, and Teddy!

 

After breakfast Bill and Kelly were heading out so Lee and I decided to stop by the Coastal Carolina Fair.  It is only a couple of miles down the road and we like local fairs.  We got there pretty early to beat the crowds, and paid the $12 each to go in.  Overall we felt the price was kind of steep and we were disappointed that their weren’t more 4H activities and animals.  The craft building was spectacular though, and we particularly liked that there were people sitting in each section actively doing their craft and available to answer questions.  That was the best part for us.

Flower and plant awards

 

I loved the section of hats made from natural materials

 

And necklaces

 

Loved seeing old school awards for canning

 

Gorgeous quilts

 

Loved, loved, LOVED this ceramic truck and camper!

 

I do needle work and the difference between this picture and the stuff I do was amazing. Loved talking to the cross stitchers

 

Our favorite part was the people crafting that you could ask questions of

 

Lee spent a ton of time with this wood carver

 

Lee’s absolute favorite section is photography

 

Kyrston, this reminded me of some of your work. You should enter next year!

 

The art section was also amazing especially the youth section. I loved this picture by a 17 year old

 

Amazing job by a 12 year old

 

How much do you love this pizza by a 6 year old?

 

But my absolute favorite was titled “The Day the Crayons Came Home” by Hasaan age 6.

(Here are some of my favorites from the photography exhibit – Lee)

 

Quiet Trail

 

Reflections

 

Sunrise At Botany Bay

 

Lorem

 

Still Motion

 

Together

 

Reaching

 

Zen Falls

 

Blue Light Sunrise

 

Fall Mountain Stream

 

Glade Creek Grist Mill

 

Before It Fades

(Here are some of my favorites from an exhibit if art made from recycled materials. – Lee)

This was a HUGE starfish, probably 3 feet across, all made from junk picked up on a beach. By a 7th grader.

It was a bit downhill after the art area.  There were a couple of buildings of commercial vendors, but their selling tactics were pretty aggressive.  We finally found one animal area, but it was really small.  I love the 4H pieces but the only thing we saw was a few people showing goats and rabbits.

I wonder what Jack would think of this guy.

The layout was interesting as the space had a giant pond in the middle and they rented boats for people to go on.  The largest section of the fair was the midway, and it was blocked off so only wristband wearers could go in.  The wristbands were an additional $27, bringing the total cost for families up pretty high I thought.  What we did see a ton of was food.  I mean lots and lots of food trucks, and because it was the south some things I have never seen before.  You will be happy to know that we walked all around and did not buy one item of food.  It was close a couple of times but we ended up eating lunch at home.  Yeah us!!

The pond was in the middle of the fairgrounds

 

Never seen this before

 

Or this …a surf and turf sundae yikes!

 

Gators and taters!

 

And a huge candy store. That almost got us but we both walked out!!!

 

The only thing that even looked healthy was this vegetable stand. Of course since it was all fried it wasn’t but it was cleverly portrayed to look healthy.

After we walked over the fair we went outside the fairgrounds footprint, and realized the flea market was running.  This is a huge area every weekend and has over 14 buildings and lots of outside vendors.  We did the fresh fruits and vegetable area and a few buildings but I got pretty tired.  It’s nice to know its there though because the vegetables were incredibly priced and looked great!

 

We came back to the house and took a break because we were both tired from all that walking.  But since it was a beautiful day we got our second wind and we headed to the beach with Jack.  That’s going to be a separate post, so see you next time!

 


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog. You can help by doing any or all the following:

  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links.  There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds help support our blog.  Search Amazon.com here.
  • Purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • Purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.

October 2019 Budget

When I saw these numbers my immediate reaction was WOAH we spent $7600.  I had said we were going to try and keep with our previous spending even though I had gotten a job, but obviously that didn’t happen.  In all fairness though it was part not needing to worry about budget for once, part traveling across the country, and part the week we spent with my sister for a family emergency.  We did things in a hurry, and that always costs more.  I’ll go through the details below.

Campground Fees – Previously we were spending less than $200 a month in campground fees.  That will probably change with my new job especially because the places near Kyrston’s house are NOT cheap.  Lee may mitigate this some through volunteering, but then again he may not.  I do know that we make adjustments to categories in January and this one will definitely go up. These fees include coming across the country.  The weekly rate at the KOA (Monthly rates start November 1st) and a daily rate at a county park near my sister.

Dining Out – This one we just went crazy on.  We took Cori & Greg to dinner to thank them for letting us stay with them.   We bought food for people when we were at my sister’s house.  We also ate out as a convenience while traveling.   What does that look like?  Blowing the budget by over $500.   The biggest reason we will probably stop this is we spent a ton of money and we both packed on the pounds.  Eating out is usually NOT healthy.  It is cheaper and easier on the waistline to stay at home. That being said this is an area we haven’t been able to splurge in for a long time.  I’m not going to feel guilty about going out a bit now that I am making more money.

Entertainment – I had to go back and see what all this money was.  A chunk of that was paying for the RV-Dreams rally in April.  We are planning on attending with our friends Kelly & Bill (Bill does solar installations and will be there doing estimates and presenting at the rally) so if you have been thinking about going to a rally but keep putting it off, come to this one!  Aside from experiencing what may be a life altering event you get the bonus of meeting us and getting a walk through of our RV, as well as the RVs of lots of other people. That’s one of the highlights of the rally. We really can’t say enough about how much information is packed into these rallys, and you will meet lots of like minded people. For the record we are not getting compensated in any way to attend the event.  We find them valuable and enjoy going to them when our schedule allows.

Truck Fuel – This was San Antonio to Charleston then to Charlotte and back to Charleston, plus all the running around in between.  We always look at this as an annualized amount and YTD we are $472 to the good.  Since we aren’t planning on taking any more long trips until the next year we should be really close to budget.

Truck Maintenance – We spent $368 on two new truck batteries.  One was pretty old and had weakened the other one so Lee just replaced both of them  That was an unexpected expense but thankfully it happened while we were with Cori & Greg so it didn’t cause any trouble while we were traveling.

Healthcare – We spent $244 on healthcare out of pocket on medical bills.  Our HSA account is wiped out but we are now putting money in a new one.  This was a bill that came in between.

Clothing – I spent roughly $300 on work clothes, new bras, and workout clothes this month.  Lee also bought some clothes to wear to the funeral.  I mention the bras specifically because when we first came on the road five years ago I had extra bras and underwear I brought with me that Lee stored in the “basement” and I just grabbed them when I needed them.  That “stock” lasted a full five years and finally needed to be replaced.  Have to say that was one of the best things I did and I highly recommend if you are going on the road and will be on a budget stock up on that stuff prior to leaving.

Cigarettes – This category is now for my e-cigarette. Lee completely stopped smoking but I still use an e-cigarette. The cartridges are three for $15 and last roughly two weeks.  Yes I have seen the news reports and no with everything else that has been going on I am not ready to stop doing that yet.  It is definitely the lesser of two evils.  Speaking of smoking it took an act of extreme will to not buy a pack of cigarettes the week I was with my sister,  I do not regret at all heavily relying on my e-cigarette to get me through that.

Gifts – One of the first things I did when I got to my sisters was give her teenage kids $100 each.  It was gas money and fast food money for them and something I have done occasionally for other teenagers who have lost someone close to them.  If you are ever in a similar situation I highly recommend slipping the kids some money.  They will appreciate it.

Home Equipment –  If you have been following along you know that when we get a little extra money I eat out,  and Lee does home maintenance.  It’s a pretty familiar pattern and this month was no exception.  Take a little extra money and being in a place you can work on stuff and you can bet Lee will get cracking on his list.  This time it was adding a convection oven and several other repairs which are detailed in this post.  All these cool mods Lee does are NOT cheap!!

Miscellaneous – This $178 was to rent a car one way from Charleston to Charlotte,  I went to Enterprise and they were great about getting me out the door quickly but it really bothers me how much they charged for one day.  Certainly I could have looked for coupons and bargain shopped, but it was an emergency I just needed to go.  I feel I got gouged in price and frankly think less of them as a company because of it.

So that’s where we are. It will take a couple more months to really get a feel for what our new normal looks like…if we even do that.  Our goal is to live reasonably and sock some money away but we also are going to loosen up a bit.  We have been on a VERY strict budget for five years and need to discover how things settle in.  I’ll report that honestly as we go along, but I am definitely not feeling bad about it.  🙂

 


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog. You can help by doing any or all the following:

  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links.  There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds help support our blog.  Search Amazon.com here.
  • Purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • Purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Time Joining a Gym on the Road

Before I started this post I wanted to take a moment and share the series of events that led me to be near my sister when the recent tragedy happens.  I mention it because this is why I personally believe in God/Higher Power and also I think it’s important to take a moment and acknowledge how this lifestyle can be a benefit.  Back in August I started looking for a job to be closer to Charleston where my daughter lives and I knew it would put me closer to my Mom in Myrtle Beach and sister in the Charlotte area.  The search came down to two job offers which I received on the same day.  I prayed quite a bit about which job to take and ultimately chose the one that allowed me more freedom to travel. The other job was working on cutting edge technology and would allow me to travel internationally (a dream of mine), but I made the choice based on being closer to family and giving Lee more options.

Initially we were going to stay in San Antonio through November 1st and then head to Charleston.  After having our first Facetime with Oliver though we decided to head this way early, even though it meant we would have to pay an extra $700 in campground fees for two weeks.  The monthly rate at the KOA doesn’t start until November and we both winced at the high weekly rate, but we wanted to be there.  IF I hadn’t gotten a job we would have been gate guarding and that wouldn’t have been possible.  If I took the other job I would have spent the first month in London and Lee would have stayed.  Instead we made the unusual choice to spend the money and drove 1200 miles in three days to get to Charleston. Originally we were going to take four days to get to Charleston.  We arrived very late, setup and the next day went to see Kyrston and Lee met Oliver.  Tuesday morning I got the news about my nephew.

I grabbed a rental care and was able to get to my sister within 4 hours.  Lee called the campground close to her and snagged their last available spot.  We needed to stay through Halloween weekend and the campground was packed.  Lee packed up the rig, followed behind me, and was with me by 3pm.  Through all of this I didn’t need to worry about my job oir money because I was now a full time employee with bereavement pay and my boss was someone I had known for twenty years.  It was not lost on me that the other position would have put me in London and I don’t know what I would have done.  If we were gate guarding we could have packed up and left, but we would have risked upsetting the company we worked for and it would have taken days to get there.

It was a horrible tragedy and something no one should ever have to go through, but I am so grateful that God put me in a position where we could support my sister and her family.  I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that.

After the funeral, we came back to Charleston and were lucky enough to get our same spot back.  In general I am not a huge fan of KOAs but the Ladson/Charleston Holiday KOA has been amazing.  Their monthly rate is extremely reasonable($675 for two people) and we absolutely love our site.  All of the people we have met here have been super friendly as well, and it’s close to grocery stores, laundromat, etc.  When we got back and set up I jumped on the scale and saw that for the first time I was over 160 pounds.  Menopause took me to 140, and stopping smoking added another 20 pounds.  I knew I needed to do something and I looked around to see if there was a gym close by.

The reason I chose a gym was I had stumbled across a video on weight loss from a doctor who was my age and she talked about the need for resistance training.  According to her, I could do all the cardio in the world, but at our age we needed to convert the fat to muscle.  Many, many years ago I worked out in a gym and I liked it, so since we were going to be in the same area for a couple of months I decided to give it a try.  Initially I felt hesitant, but I went at lunch and signed up at a gym 3 miles away and last night I had my first workout experience.

The gym is 24/7 which is important to me, and has lots of machines.  The cost is $35 per month with no contract required, and they gave me half off the activation fee which ended up being $30.  I am sure I could have found a better deal somewhere, but I liked how close it was, and the woman I signed up with was very nice and low pressure.  The only unfortunate thing was when I put on the one pair of gym shorts that I own I discovered they had a huge hole in them.  So I had to go to a nearby Kohl’s and grab a couple of items so I would have something to work out in.  The best part of that trip was that I saw a Donato’s right near the Kohls!  We absolutely love Donato’s which is a Columbus based company, and had no idea they had them in Charleston, let alone so close by.  I grabbed us a couple of subs, which were deee-licious, and then I knew I was definitely going to need to start working out.

When I went into the facility, I went from one machine to another and tried them all.  Thankfully there were small explanation cards on each one and most were self-explanatory.  I could have gotten help from one of the trainers if I needed it, but I preferred just working through it on my own.  People seemed to recognize that and respect it and folks just gave me space.  I didn’t feel ignored or anything, just allowed to do my own thing which I appreciated.  I focused mainly on my upper arms and did not push it.  I lightened the weights on each machine to the point where I felt some resistance but wasn’t straining  and tried to do at least 20 reps on each one.  I also spent some time on the treadmill and the cross country ski machine, just to throw in a little cardio.  I was there a little over an hour and I feel pretty good today.  A little sore in the upper body, but nothing too terrible.  My goal is to go a minimum of three days a week and more if possible.  Between work and spending time with Kyrston and Oliver I am not 100% sure when the best schedule times will be, but I am not putting too much pressure on myself.

Any exercise is good exercise!  I am also walking the dog and walking when possible while I am on conference calls just to keep myself moving.  The other side of the equation of course is eating.  I am trying to reduce carbs and reduce processed sugars but I am not eliminating them completely at this point.  Now that we are settled I need to get back to making healthy meals for both of our sakes.

That’s all for now but I do have some pictures of Oliver to share.  He has been such a blessing during all of this.  Holding him has been the best comfort.

My brother meets Oliver for the first time

Oliver meets Jack

I love how he sticks his tongue out. His grandpa does that too

Checking out the mirror I bought him

 

Then showing me how he can roll over now

Grandpa trying to get him to scootch a little

 

 


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog. You can help by doing any or all the following:

  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links.  There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds help support our blog.  Search Amazon.com here.
  • Purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • Purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.

Providing Support For Loved One After a Suicide

When we received the call that my nephew committed suicide we were thankfully only three hours from my sister and were able to be with her within a few hours.  The next week was incredibly difficult but I am proud of how we came together as a family to support her.  There are so many moments that can make things worse or just a little bit better.  I don’t think we got them all right, but while it was fresh in my mind I wanted to share what helped.  I am not a therapist but these are a few things that I found to be true in our particular situation.  God forbid you ever find yourself in this situation, but if you do I hope it is helpful.  Note: I asked my sister to review this post to make sure I got it write and she agreed.  I post this with her permission. 

The very first thing I did when I got the news was call my friend Kelly.  She lost her nephew a few years ago and I knew what she had been through.  When I called I simply said tell me what to do to not screw this up.  Her reply was simple but incredibly helpful.  “Say as little as possible.  Do as much as possible”.  Those words stayed with me through the week and the best that I could I tried to live them.  When I am upset or nervous I tend to chatter, so I had to keep a tight grip on myself.  It is very easy to allow nerves to push you into saying something really stupid so the less said the better.  I will add one caveat to this.  DO NOT say “I don’t know what to say”.  Think about what you want to say in advance.  If you just don’t know you can always say I am so sorry for your loss.  In my case I had a long three hour car ride to think about what I would say.  When I saw her I just said, “I’m Here” and I held her. Everything else felt false so I kept it simple.

  1. DO NOT ask how they killed themselves.  People want to know.  I get that, and before this experience that was my first question as well.  But ultimately it doesn’t matter because the person is dead.  The only thing that does matter is who found the person and in what state.  There is trauma associated with finding a dead body that goes above and beyond normal grief.  Understand that the person is in shock and dealing with that trauma FIRST.  Asking them how  it happened makes them relive that trauma. If they want/need to tell you the story listen and be as supportive as possible. Keep your judgement to yourself.  If they wish to keep the details private respect that. If they do share with you be very careful about who you share those details with.
  2. DO NOT assign blame.  There is plenty of shame, guilt, and anger in these situations that you do not need to add to them.  If the person you are comforting feels angry by all means accept that, but DO NOT heap your own feelings on top of theirs.  This is tough because there are endless questions of Why.  Some of those questions may never be answered. #EndTheStigma.
  3. Remember it’s not about you.  Tell yourself that over and over again. It’s about the people closest to the person and everyone needs to put their grief away for a little while and take care of that family.  There is a concept called The Ring Theory that I kept thinking of.  Based on your proximity to the person who has died you comfort inward and dump emotion out.    My sister, her husband, and their kids were at the epicenter.  Everyone else was on the outside.  I tried to take care of everyone in the center and had to let everyone on the outside of my ring go.

 

4.  Feel how you need to feel but try to not hurt anyone.  I am a big believer in the fact that people grieve in different ways.  That being said it’s important that people don’t take those feelings and hurt others with them.  Being kind to one another in grief is one of the best things we can do.  If kindness is not possible then removing yourself from the situation is the better choice.

5.  Be present as needed.  This is a tricky one.  You want to be present to do things for the people you love but they also need space.  It’s a delicate balance and asking doesn’t always provide the right answer.  Even in a horrible situation, people have manners and they don’t want to ask for what they need because it would be rude.  Try to be as intuitive as possible.  Remember it’s a marathon and not a sprint and you can only take care of others if you take care of yourself.  At the first hint that people need left alone try and accommodate that.  If you are present and nothing is actively needed just sit quietly and wait for an opportunity to present itself.  Constantly asking what can I do to help is often not helpful.

6.  Pay attention to the small things. When people have undergone trauma and grief it is very difficult for them to think clearly.  There are a myriad of details that need taken care of in these situations.  If you are not tasked with taking care of them make sure the person has water and if possible food.  It’s unlikely they will eat much but it is very important they stay hydrated and helping them remember to drink water is a small thing but very important.  Walk the dog, feed the fish, make sure there is food for people to eat.  These are all small things that may get forgotten that still need to be done.

7.  When bringing food think about the long term.  It is incredibly nice when people bring food, but it can quickly become overwhelming.  Non perishable items like snacks and bottled water are nice and any meal item that can be frozen for later is excellent.  If the person has a favorite restaurant item think of bringing that to tempt them to eat and keep in mind any dietary restrictions.  Eating healthy doesn’t go out the window even in a situation like this and its good to have some healthy alternatives.  The best thing we received all week was one of those fruit bouquets.  I always thought they were a little silly, but it was a healthy snack that everyone could pick at which was wonderful to have.

8.  Think about the children.  If there are small ones in the house babysitting, bringing them a special toy, or taking them out to play is one of the best things you can do.  With older kids I recommend giving them some gas/fast food money so they don’t need to worry about having some money if they want to get away for awhile.  The teenagers will likely miss quite a bit of work and won’t necessarily have a ton of money in savings to make up for that.  They will need/want to be with their friends as much as possible.  Try not to take that personally.  Offer rides if they don’t drive and be supportive of their need for space and time to process.  NEVER put your expectations of behavior on them.  If they want to wear their favorite pair of jeans to the funeral let them.  Allow them to pay tribute in their own way.  They are dealing with the same emotions that we as adults can barely handle.  Give them space.

9.  If you see an opportunity, pay for things.  The person will reflexively try to pay for everything which both pulls focus from what is important and could result in a ton of unexpected bills.  Paying for a meal or any unexpected expenses is both kind and something you can give to that person.  If they resist simply say, “Please let me do this”. If they still resist by all means let them pay, but whatever small thing you can do…do it. Life Insurance may or may not pay out in these cases so it is unclear what funds will be available to help cover the cost.  Be sensitive to that.

10.  Lead with Love.  Try and put your anger away.  It is normal, but needs to be dealt with away from the family.  Put as much love as you can into every moment.  Say it frequently.  And talk about how you love the person who committed suicide.  Share a sweet and silly moment you had with them.  Talk about them as a person you loved and not a tragedy or statistic.  Stand up for them as a casualty of mental illness.  This can be hard.  I kept thinking if he had died of cancer I wouldn’t feel this way and it helped.  Mental illness is an illness.  If we believe that we should believe there is no fault in a person succumbing to the disease.

The Eulogy

Earlier this week we lost our nephew who has been battling with mental illness.  Somehow my sister found the strength to stand up in a church that was packed with people and give this eulogy.  She has given us permission to share this message in the hopes that it will help others and end the mental illness stigma.  Words cannot express how much I love her and her family and how proud I am that in their moment of tragedy they thought of others.  Please send them prayers and good thoughts as the try to heal.

https://thestoryiwasunabletotell.wordpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR2rnbDmwd3p_8JVdfqC8K11xNxiC2JPu7ZDn8HHf-ZPj0Tt5WOac0erO0Q

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lee Meets Oliver

Lee started out Monday morning getting us settled in.  When you are planning on staying in a place for 2-1/2 months you want to make sure everything is right and we had learned the night before that this particular site only had 30 amp.  That was unfortunate because we loved the site, but spending two months on 30amp would not have been fun.  Every rig is different but with ours we can only run one major thing at a time with 30 amp.  That means one AC, or the microwave or the Instant Pot or Air Fryer.  The constant turning things on and off to avoid blowing a breaker is pretty annoying and although it is fine for a few days while traveling not something we wanted to deal with for an extended period of time.

Luckily when Lee went to the office in the morning he learned there was an unused 50amp right next door to us.  We are on a corner and they added a 50 amp next to us but there isn’t really a site there so it goes unused.  The office person told Lee we were welcome to use it or we could move to another spot.  Thankfully Lee carries lots of extra everything related to hookups and we had enough to not only use the pedestal but also back up quite a bit into our site.  It’s a bit funky looking but the site was totally worth it.

After we got set up I did some work and then we headed over to see Kyrston.  It’s been a long time since Lee and Kyrston have seen each other and they really missed each other. Then Lee got to see Oliver and there are no words I have that can describe how wonderful that was, so here’s the pictures.  You should know Lee loves babies in general and his grandson…well take a look.

Gotta boink the nose.

 

 

Finn, Kyrston’s dog, needed to get in on the action

 

This was the cowboy outfit that Sue and I made. How cute is that!!

 

Power nap after some serious playtime with Grandpa

 

But back at it after a 30 minute nap. Can you even stand it 🙂

 

 


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