Tuesday, April 26, 2011

settling in

I am trying hard to settle in. I still have boxes upon boxes to unpack but I have unpacked the kitchen and the living room so that is a big start.

My new home is smaller then the last one so its a good thing we got rid of furniture. :) I just wish that i had some money left after the move to replace what we don't have... In time it will come but I hate waiting.

I also get to use some of my creativity to add storage and build some of the things that are needed like storage and closet space. I am hunting up free stuff and trying to utilize what I have within my grasp right now. I love getting to be creative.

I am totally in LOVE with my new home. My neighbors are a dream come true! My home is surrounded by trees and its beautiful and relaxing and the birds sing to me every morning. I get to live "in the country" but am only 10 minutes from town. I am close to all the shopping I need to do and yet far enough out that I can sleep with my windows and doors open all night long. It is a truly glorious feeling!

I still have HUNDREDS of photos to download but the desktop comp is not set up yet and I honestly do not want to sit and upload that many pics on my laptop. LOL But hopefully soon I will be able to upload some of the fantastic pictures my daughter and I took as we crossed the United States. She took many while I drove of some unique things we saw as well as the landscapes of the different states we traveled through. I took some when we stopped to enjoy some of the sites. I didn't take any of the places we slept, because we often slept in the car in a parking lot somewhere.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Road trippin

Well its funny how you can try hard to plan out your adventures and end up having none of the adventures you planned on having.

The first major stop on our move across country was supposed to be the Grand Canyon and Four Corners. Only Saturday when we left our little town of Yuba City California it decided to snow in Arizona at the Grand Canyon. This meant we were forced to decide do we have the money to stay in a hotel or do we just drive as far as we can or camp out in the car. Since the low in Flagstaff Az was supposed to be 19* we opted to drive farther east and then camp in our car.

This turned out to be the story of out trip. Each destination ended up not happening for one reason or another. New Mexico's destination turned out to be closed in spite of an email saying they would be open and to come on over. It was a state park and who knows why they were not open. After a long drive the day before and not nearly enough sleep in the car we opted to find a camp site early in the day and camp for the night in a different location. We found a KOA and they were more then welcoming. A hot shower was a wonderful thing and the free cookies and breakfast was a nice touch. I was not thrilled with the price but we didnt end up sleeping in the car that night! It took far to long for us to tear down the tent and repack everything into the truck in a way that would allow everything to go back into the truck. So after getting a late start the next day we opted to not camp anymore along the trip because we are on a time crunch.

There are so many things that I would love to post about but tonight I am exhausted. We are hanging out in Birmingham Alabama waiting out the tornado warnings, severe thunder storms and horrible rain. We are only 8 hours and 35 minutes from our new home. We are anxious to be home in our new home but we are also not willing to attempt to drive through this storm.

I hope to update you all with photos soon. So far my bookworm has taken over 400 photos as we drove through each state. I am not downloading those until we have arrived and can set up the desktop! thats a whole lotta photos!

Until I have arrived this maybe the only post while On the road.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Books I have read

This is no where near all the books I have completed but it is a start. This is just a quick list I put together not long ago and I intend to come back and add to it or create another blog to continue, I have not decided which yet. I thought it would be nice to get this blog posted and see how many of you have read some of these books... please don't be afraid to comment.

  1. A Town Like Alice
  2. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  3. Alice in Wonderland
  4. Atonement
  5. Captain Corelli's Mandolin
  6. Catcher in the Rye
  7. Count of Monte Cristo
  8. Crime & Punishment
  9. David Copperfield
  10. Dracula
  11. Gone With The Wind
  12. Grapes of Wrath
  13. Great Expectations
  14. Hamlet
  15. Jane Eyre
  16. Les Miserables
  17. Little Men
  18. Little Women
  19. Lolita
  20. Madame Boveray
  21. Moby Dick
  22. Of Mice & Men
  23. Oliver Twist
  24. Our Town
  25. Rhett Butlers People
  26. Romeo & Juliet
  27. Scarlett
  28. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  29. The Great Gatsby
  30. The Hobbit
  31. The Scarlett Letter
  32. The Secret Garden
  33. The Three Musketeers
  34. The Wind in the Willows
  35. To Kill a Mockingbird
  36. Ulysses
  37. Vanity Fair
  38. War & Peace
  39. Watership Down
  40. Winnie The Pooh
  41. Wuthering Heights

Jane Austen
  1. Emma
  2. Mansfield Park
  3. Northanger Abbey
  4. Persuasion
  5. Pride & Prejudice
  6. Sense & Sensibility

Lucy Maud Montgomery

  1. A Tangled Web
  2. After Many Days
  3. Against The Odds
  4. Anne of Green Gables
  5. Anne of Avonlea
  6. Anne Of Ingleside
  7. Rainbow Valley
  8. Anne of the Island
  9. Anne of Windy Poplars
  10. Anne's House of Dreams
  11. Emily Climbs
  12. Emily of New Moon
  13. Emily's Quest
  14. Kilmany of the Orchard
  15. Magic for Marigold
  16. Mistress Pat
  17. Pat of Silver Bush
  18. Rilla of Ingleside

C.S. Lewis
~in the order they were read~

  1. The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
  2. Prince Caspian
  3. Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  4. Silver Chair
  5. A Boy and His Horse
  6. The Magician's Nephew

Young Adult

  1.  A Swiftly Tilting Planet
  2. A Wind in the Door
  3. A Wrinkle in time
  4. An Acceptable Time
  5. Break Dawn
  6. Brisingr
  7. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
  8. Charlolett's Web
  9. Eclipse
  10. Eldest
  11. Eragon
  12. Inkdeath
  13. Inkheart
  14. Inkspell
  15. Many Waters
  16. New Moon
  17. Northern Lights
  18. Stuart Little
  19. The Battle of the Labrynth
  20. The Door Within
  21. The Final Battle
  22. The Last Olympian
  23. The Lighting Thief
  24. The Lord of the Rings
  25. The Lost Hero
  26. The Outsiders
  27. The Sea of Monsters
  28. The Titans Curse
  29. The Wyrm Lord
  30. Twilight


  1. 1984
  2. Catch 22
  3. Dune
  4. Lord of the Flies
  5. The Clan of the Cave Bear
  6. The Color Purple
  7. The Mammoth Hunters
  8. The Plains of Passage
  9. The Shelters of Stone
  10. The Valley Of Horses
  11. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Stephen King

  1. Blaze
  2. Carrie
  3. Cujo
  4. Deloris Clayborne
  5. Dreamcatcher
  6. Firestarter
  7. From a Buick 8
  8. Insomnia
  9. IT
  10. Misery
  11. Nightmares & Dreamscapes
  12. Pet Sematary
  13. Rage
  14. Roadwork
  15. Salem's Lot
  16. Song of Susannah
  17. The Dark Half
  18. The Dark Tower
  19. The Drawing of the Three
  20. The Gunslinger
  21. The Long Walk
  22. The Running Man
  23. The Shining
  24. The Stand
  25. The Talisman
  26. The Tommyknockers
  27. The Waste Lands
  28. Thinner
  29. Wizard & Glass
  30. Wolves of Calla

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

First Aid Kit

My first aid kit has home remedies that I have used for ages that I know work in it as well as some emergency stuff.

First for the emergency stuff:
Instant ice packs. You can buy these at any chain drug store or even box store. They usually carry them in the first aid section but sometimes its in health and beauty.

A tube of Crazy glue. Yes crazy glue! brand new never been used before crazy glue is best because you want to know it can be used not stuck together and never to be opened again. I keep this on hand for the just in case you have a minor cut that just wont go back together... crazy glue works fast and will keep dirt out of the cut better then a band-aid.

Steri strips. These are for just in case that little cut is not really so little but not really big enough to abandon camping and run to the ER.

Iodine. A small bottle of Iodine is perfect for cleaning out cuts so that you know that there is no way you will get any infection.

Peroxide. For those small things you might step on or get cut by.

Band-aides, Thermometer, Gauze, Tape and of course Ace Bandages. Always bring at least one Ace Bandage. They work wonderfully for a variety of treatments. Don't forget the safety pins to hold the ace bandage shut, bring a few extra because those come in handy too!

Some form of antihistamine, acetaminophen, both in adult and children's formula's.
A box of rubber gloves, qtips, tweezers, sewing needles, tiger balm, and biofreeze are also in this box for sore muscle relief.

Now for the Natural Remedies.

Tea Tree oil. This little power house can be used for a whole ton of things. It is a natural antiseptic so it can be used on minor wounds. It can also be used on bug bites that itch.

Eucalyptus oil. This is wonderful natural way to repel mosquitoes as well as spiders. A little of this inside the tent and you wont have any bugs in the tent either.

Baking Soda. Now I know that you are thinking "But that is a kitchen item" or something along those lines. But the truth is that Baking Soda has many many many uses and it is wonderful for bee stings, or any bug bite that leaves anything swollen. Baking Soda will draw out the poison and help reduce the swelling.

Epsom Salts. This stuff is great for soaking your feet in but it also can be used to draw out things.

Aloe Vera gel. This is clearly the best stuff on the planet for burns. The plant is best but not ideal to take camping so I take the gel.

Apple Cider Vinegar. This stuff is awesome for upset tummies. A little honey and ACV in water and generally the tummy ache will go away.

GSE. Grapefruit seed extract is a wonderful natural tool. You can discover some of the uses here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Camping prep

In the midst of trying to sell things off and pack the other things we are not selling I am also trying to compile the needed items for the camping that will be happening as we make our way across country.

There are so many things that make camping more enjoyable. I find that when the little things are planned out it makes the experience so much better.

For me practicing the tent set up and being proficient at that is a big thing. If you double check your tent for holes, rips and tears as well as making sure all the poles are there it will be less stressful when you get there to set up.

Air beds certainly make it more comfortable to sleep out. I recently found twin size air beds for all 4 children for less then 20.00 each. I jumped on the chance to get them so that each child will have their own air bed. When buying an air bed be sure that you get a sturdy one. The ones I found are Coleman brand and I know they have a great product that us durable.

Sleeping bags are certainly a must. I insisted we buy cold weather ones because even if you are camping in the summer you really can't know how cold it will get over night. The average temps at night can drop even in the summer to 40* or lower depending on the area.

I insist on having a folding card table when I go camping. This can be used as an extra prep space for food or a place to sit and play games in the evenings.

I have a two burner Coleman camp stove. I always buy extra propane tanks they are not that expensive and the small ones last a long time, but you just never know how long it might take to cook because altitude effects cooking times.

I also always bring my cast iron pans. Should something happen to my Coleman, or I run out of propane I can cook directly over the fire pit. I have a cast iron griddle, 2 large frying pans, 1 medium pan, 1 small pan and 2 dutch ovens. I always bring wooden cooking utensils and one metal spatchula for flipping pancakes. Cast iron gets hot and if you try using plastic you can melt your plastic cook ware.

Another very important item to bring is a sharp hatchet. You will need to cut firewood and kindling for a fire. Even if you think its summer time and it wont get cold enough for a fire you would be wrong. Those early morning hours are chilly. Not to mention the need to be able to start a fire to cook with should your camp stove go out is an important one.
Speaking of starting a fire... there are some important tricks to starting a fire and being responsible with your fire. If you are camping in a state park they have fire rings that are built for the sole purpose of building your fire in it. Always use it for that purpose only. If you are not camping in a state park and there are no designated fire rings build one! This is for your safety as well as the safety of the forest around you. Building one is easy. You will need a little shovel (my husband calls them E-tools, this is his Military code, but they are shovels that fold and take up little space.) and a few rocks. Dig a shallow pit that is at least 3 feet across and be sure there is no debris around the area. Line the perimeter of the pit with boulders as large as you can find and carry in the area. These do not have to be really large but you do have to surround the pit with them. Once you have built your fire pit you can start building your fire. Depending on the rules for the area you are camping in you can either gather natural materials for starting fires or you may have to chop kindling from your fire wood. Some good natural starters are moss, dried twigs, leaves (be careful though because leaves tend to smoke a lot). You can also use newspaper, if you are using newspaper be sure that you do not use the shiny paper of advertisements. If you use newspaper a trick my grandpa taught me years ago was to use a full length and tie it in a knot and lay them in a tee-pee pattern intermixing them with twigs or kindling.

Lets not forget a first aid kit! I pack a first aid kit that contains both natural remedies and emergency fixes. I think that I am going to expand on this in another blog. I am realizing that this blog post is growing and growing. I will even go as far as to tell you what natural remedies I always carry in my first aid kits.

I store all of my camping gear in a large plastic tote. The tote keeps everything together so that I always know where everything is. I go through it and make sure that its all there, because you never know when some little gremlin will make off with your stored item's ya know!

I also have a tote that I keep all my dry goods in for planned out meals. I prep pancake mix and put it in gallon bags so that I just add the liquid and we have from scratch pancakes. I also plan out what meals we will have when camping and pack my ice chest accordingly. I pack with day one on top and work my way down each day so that I do not have to dig through the ice chest to find any items. it works out beautifully. I keep a smaller ice chest for everyday items like condiments for sandwiches or drinks. I buy bottled water and freeze it so that we have plenty of drinking water and no messy ice. Freezing the juice or water means that I don't have to buy ice at the store and we can drink the defrosted part and still have cold drinks.