We struck a deal. The Honda Odyssey is sold!
This marks the end of a seven-year struggle for me. When I bought that car in 2004, she was already over ten years old. At that time I was emotionally exhausted and depressed. I was three years into a very challenging, stressful career and I was recently estranged from my daughter and three grandchildren.
I drove that car through a very long, dark valley.
If you’ve read “about rvsue” you know I’m not the sentimental type. However, one early evening last week, looking at that car, freshly polished, sparkling in the dim light of dusk, I realized how far I had come since the day I drove her off the used car lot in 2004. I choked up remembering the difficult days I had faced, days when car trouble would have put me over the edge! Thanks, trusty ol’ pal. And thanks to God for walking me through to this sunshiny day.
I’m retired! Tuesday is my last day!
My retirement will make the canine crew extremely happy. They hate workdays. Saturday mornings I’ve sung this little song to let them know the weekend had finally arrived: (with gusto) “It’s Saturday. I don’t go away. I stay home all day. So we can play! Hip-hip-hooray! It’s Saturday!” Without fail this makes Spikey go nuts with joy, barking and doing his 180-degree spins . . . Janie prancing around and Bridget jumping on me, squealing, losing her mind . . . What a happy ruckus!
Now every day is Saturday!
What’s next? Get the Perfect Tow Vehicle equipped: a transmission cooler and a tow hitch with brake controller. Call the firing range and sign up for Tuesday gun class. Take Janie to the vet for her annual visit. Walk every morning — no more excuse that there isn’t time before work!
I just hafta’ say . . .
. . . on behalf of the canine crew and myself, thank you for coming back again to our blog or, if this is your first time here, for reading this and past pages. If you’ve been dreaming, like me, of becoming a fulltime vagabond, you’ve probably read a lot of blogs written by people who have lived the nomad life for several years. You know what’s available in cyberspace: blogs with fantastic photos and stories about incredibly wonderful places to camp and such. So we appreciate you stopping by!
We zipped right by 3,000 on the sitemeter!
Great comments! Be sure to click and scroll down to watch the javelina video!
Wow…. it’s really beginning. Your critters have no idea the fun that their pack is in for, do they? Enjoy your shooting classes…. what weapon did you choose??
Yeah, the crew won’t know what is going on. It’ll be fun to see how they react . . not just the sights will change … the smells also.
I haven’t chosen a weapon yet. The gun guy suggested I try a few at my first class before I decide. You know, it has to fit your hand and feel right. I’ll be writing about the whole experience, for sure, as this is a big step for me. I touched a gun for the first time in my life when I stopped by the gun shop/firing range to inquire.
It’s fun to finally be checking off my list of things to do before I head outta’ here!
Sue, I’m not sure how I found you (I think it was via the Bayfield Bunch), but reading about your upcoming new chapter and the preparations you’re making had been absolutely delightful. I hope that in your travels you come out to the Left Coast and I have the opportunity to treat you to a great Mexican meal. 🙂
Thanks for the invite, Laura! I absolutely love Mexican food. And I’m happy you’re with me.
I will miss you!!!! I know that you are so excited and I am excited for you. I’ll admit it; I am jealous:) I look forward to reading about your grand travels and wish for you the peaceful retirement that you deserve. Safe travels!!!
Hey, Lynn! Wow! You’re the first co-worker to show up here. What? Are they shy? I think not!
You are much more than a co-worker, dear friend. When those feelings of jealousy pop up, remember your day will come. Thanks in advance for being my ride home from work next Tuesday when I leave my Odyssey with its new owner. It’s altogether fitting that you should be the one to drive me into this new chapter of my life. Remember when we said, ala Casablanca, “we’d always have Walmart” because that’s where we’d bump into each other? Now we can say …
We’ll always have rvsue and her canine crew! Hope you are having a relaxing Memorial Day weekend … luv ya…
Congratulations, retirement is wonderful, been retired for over five years now and it has been the best time of my life. I wish you the same 🙂
Thank you, Kay Julia. I know good times are ahead. Isn’t it wonderful that we can share those times with each other? I’m enjoying your blog posts about your happy trails in New Mexico.
I don’t know why I feel inclined to give you lots of unsolicited advice. Certainly there are better sources.
But anyway, regarding the “gun class” and the inevitable shopping, I’d recommend:
1. for concealment, a short barrel name brand revolver, with a grip small enough to really fit your hand. Little to go wrong, can be neglected for years and still work perfectly, and if you need more than 5 bullets you shoulda run in the first place. Or practiced more.
Buy a major brand. Spend the money or leave it be. Ask your instructor.
Don’t buy a cheap auto. When you really need it, it will fail you. And sometimes they will cut up your hands when practicing, so you will hate to practice, and eventually forget where you put the dang thing.
2. For varmints of various sorts, a shotgun in the closet of as big a caliber as you are comfortable shooting. Preferably 12 gauge. Lots of critters who don’t pay much attention to handguns know exactly what a shotgun is and what it means. And the two legged kind will be aware you don’t have to have any particular store of talent or courage to inflict a lot of damage with one.
That doesn’t mean you don’t need to practice.
If you are in bear country, you can buy 12 ga. slugs instead of shot. The big ones would probably just eat your handgun for dessert, anyway. O, and unless things have changed recently, you can take the shotgun up into Canada, if that interests you. And it should. It’s generally on the way to Alaska.
What ever you get, put your dogs on leash when you practice and take them along. Within hearing range, at least. Get them used to the sound. You’d hate to try and run off some coyotes and end up scaring your dogs so badly you never see them again.
I know why you are inclined to give me unsolicited advice. It’s because you can’t bear to see someone flopping around not having a clue!
Okay. I’m pretty sure I’m getting a Smith & Wesson revolver. It’s small and doesn’t have a hammer. Do you know which one I mean? What is that, a 38? Whatever. I have very small hands (small palm and short fingers) plus small wrists that aren’t very strong. Everything else I picked up… those ones with the longer barrel that look like the kind used in old-timey Westerns… they’re heavy in my hands. The gun guy wouldn’t let me make a decision, however, until I have tried more than the little S& W. He said the S& W hurts the hand of some people, and then they don’t practice the way they should … and so on.
I want the gun for protection against people and for rattlesnakes. The gun guy showed me the ammo that sprays out so you don’t have to be a sharpshooter to hit a snake. As for people, you don’t have to tell me how dangerous it is to pull a gun on a person if I don’t have the cuj…..s to use it. I’m little Miss Nice Person until it’s him or me. Then it’s definitely me. No qualms at all.
About bears and shotguns…. no matter how much sense you make on this point… I know I’ll never buy or shoot a shotgun. It’s all I can do to pick up the itty-bitty revolver at this point. I can overcome my ingrained aversion toward havingt a handgun around, but I think it would take years of therapy to get me to pull the trigger of a shotgun! I’m just going to have to be smart about where I go. I know Bridget and Spike are potential snacks for various creatures in the wild (especially fat Bridget!).
I hadn’t given any thought about practicing near the dogs so they don’t panic and run at a gunshot. I remember reading a guy’s blog.. (Boondocker Explorer or something like that)…. He was out hiking with his poodle and came near some guys target shooting. His dog ran and was lost for quite some time until another hiker found him.
Thanks, Bob. I bet you’re shaking your head at this reply!
Lol. I am not qualified to give more specific advice about the perfect gun for somebody else. Too many variables.
There have only been a few times I had need of a gun on the road. Critters each time, and each time I was weaponless. A couple of confrontations with large dogs while hiking. And then once in Big Bend, when I slowly realized I was being hunted and subtly herded by a pack of javelinas. While walking from the store into the campground! Individually they may seem harmless, but they are all muscle and teeth, and a dozen of them is no joke. It’s enough to make you look around for something to climb up on. Even in a scrub desert where the only refuge is probably the hot roof of a locked car.
I’d sooner run into a rhumba of rattlesnakes.
Another Big Bend experience, in Cottonwood campground, at the mouth of Santa Helena canyon: I was reading inside the trailer, looking out the window occasionally, when I saw a fox sniffing around my neighbor’s tent. I watched for a while, but when it started digging at the sides I went out and ran it off. Later I discovered the lady had gone hiking and left her cat in there. Slurp.
So yeah, pets are always potential snacks. You have to watch that.
That same trip, while sitting outside, I had a wild turkey sidle up and snatch a sandwich right off my plate. Arrogant pile of feathers! Then I discovered that yelling at a turkey is about as effective as yelling at a rock. But shooting the thing would probably have brought on an avalanche of paperwork, all the while being lectured mercilessly by an environazi in a funny hat.
Now I KNOW my life is boring. You comment on a fox raid, a wild turkey sandwich thief, a threatening pack of Cujos, and a menacing plot by a herd of evil javelinas (with video and sound effects!). Let’s see…. what shall I blog about today…. hmmm….. I know!…. How about the day the UPS truck arrived… or how excited the crew is on Saturdays! Yawn.
Just kidding, Bob. I appreciate you adding so much to rvsue and her canine crew! I’m sure readers are enjoying your comments. Man, there’s something spooky about those javelinas . . .
Poor writing alert! Did you know that there are turkey sandwiches in the wild that steal stuff?
And it’s an evil plot by a herd of menacing javelinas! Hoo-boy.
Like Bob above, I don’t know why I’m asking an unsolicited question…
Well, actually I do. You have pulled your readers into your life and we want to know about you. Just like Tioga George did years ago.
The question: Have you reconciled with your family?
Absolutely none of my business, I know. (You should have a link on your BLOG which allows readers to send emails to you outside of the comments area.) Feel free to reply to my email address or just tell me where to go publicly!
No, my family and I have not reconciled. After all this time, I don’t expect anything to change. Sometimes it’s better to love from afar. I don’t mind that you asked.
I don’t exactly know why I’ve hesitated to put my personal email address on my blog. I’ve always been a private person. Blogging is a BIG step for me. I guess I’m afraid of ugly emails or pests. In time I’ll probably make it public.
I have found it very useful to have more than one email address. They are all free. One, gmail, is for family and close friends. Another is yahoo, for a more general audience, and for backup in case Gmail goes down.
The third is strictly for junk and commercial. It is for every sort of spam and all those websites that demand to have an address before they will do any business with you. This last one gets hundreds of hits a day. I just scan down the list of titles for something I remember, or someone in the sender slot I know. If nothing stands out, then I delete the whole list unread. I can process tons of messages in seconds this way. Deletion unread and unopened is the default response.
I suggest you get a throwaway address like that, and use it freely. It doesn’t matter who writes me there or what they say. Unless I am expecting something or recognize something about the name, I don’t click on it anyway.
Delete all. Poof.
Once again, Bob, good advice! NWDITOT!
Gmail in particular has a certain amount of automation available. The way I handled mail to my blog was to use my spam address but request that readers use certain key words in the title. POP mail puts everything written to the spam address in a particular folder on the Gmail page (which also can work off line). Gmail can then be instructed to search for these word(s) (“Spike”, say, or “Sue”) in that folder and redirect those messages to the gmail inbox folder. Works pretty well on auto, though I still check the spam address folder regularly. Things occasionally sneak by.
I am sure that other email providers have similar features. Yahoo won’t forward POP mail from their free accounts, so I have to go there to check mail occasionally unless I want to pay. But my spam address forwards POP just fine. I haven’t had to actually go there and look at mail in years. It all comes to a Gmail folder and erases itself on the native server.
If you would rather use an off line mail filter program, try Mailwasher. I used it successfully for years, before I noticed Gmail had much the same utility.
So you’re saying …. Set up a gmail to use as my contact email on my blog and tell readers to use certain words in the title. Dumbness alert! Can I assume spam will not pick up on the “certain words in the title” trick? Can I also assume that there’s a box to check or something obvious when setting up the gmail so I will know how to instruct it to search for those words?
You are going have to get help with this, perhaps. It’s not hard, but you have to study it a bit and walk through it. POP mail is a protocol by which you can forward email from one Email client account to another. Google it.
Here’s what I did:
1. Set up a spam account. Make sure it allows forwarding by POP mail. Most do. Yahoo has it blocked, so you will pay for the privilege.
2. Set up a Gmail account with Google. Enable POP download in Settings, giving it the info on your Spam account. You only have to do this once. From then on whenever you check your mail, Gmail will request mail from the spam account, and it will go into a Gmail folder that you choose. And announce itself. Be sure you set it up to delete that mail from the spam server, or it will build up there forever.
3. Under “Settings, filters” you follow the directions to set up Gmail to filter all incoming mail with certain words in the title to a particular folder. Anything with “RVSue” in the title goes to “Inbox”, for instance. That way you don’t have to look for it among the thousands of spam messages.
4. Don’t worry about Spambots. They are looking for addresses, not random words in the titles. The words are operated on internally in the Gmail filtering only. Spambots wouldn’t know what to do with it.
5. If all this is gibberish to you, seek help, study, or just forget it. Or try a little program called “Mailwasher”. One version of it is free.
You can do the same thing with just about any Email client. You don’t have to use Gmail as your home screen for mail. That’s just the way I did it. Gmail can even be used as your “spam account”. But man, what a waste.
There’s probably a way to do this using your present email client. The key is to set up a spam account somewhere, and have the mail forwarded from there, so you only have to actually look at one email screen to get all you mail. You then treat the spam account mail source more suspiciously than the stuff coming from the account only your family and friends know about. The spam account address is the only one you let out generally on the web, or in your blog. But the blog mail sent to that account with key words in the title is filtered by Gmail automatically into a special folder, so you don’t have to search for it amid the dross.
Using Gmail as your home email screen just gives you the benefit of their excellent spam filters. And it’s what I know about. Yahoo does the same thing, but you have to pay for anything beyond basic service.
Sorry if all this confuses you. It’s a lot easier than it sounds. Consult whoever set up your current mail account. Or you could just not do email in connection with your blog. Nothing says you have to, but it means you are going to get really looong comments like this one from people trying to “help”.
Here’s my email instruction page from my blog:
If you have trouble getting a Gmail account, just email me and I will recommend you. Then they will send you all the info.
I can do this, I can do this, I can do this. . .
Hi, Bob! Wow, what a pal you are to write all these instructions! I can set up a gmail account. I set one up in connection with my work. I really want the gmail for my personal account because I’ve heard about the good features it offers. Unfortunately I’ve given out my present email address (not gmail) to so many people in anticipation of my leaving the area…. well, I’ll just have two personal accounts and then set up a third one for my blog and spam.
I can do this, Bob. It just has to be on a day when I’m well-rested. able to focus, and have all my faculties. Once in a while I have days like that. If I mess things up, you know to whom I will direct my whining.
Again, thanks so much.
BTW I like these really loooong comments.
Spam is not a mystery. It happens because you put your email address out there with people you don’t know. Buying stuff on line, for instance. Or commenting on blogs. You don’t want to quit doing that. You just want to control the outcome somewhat.
Remember the object here, which is to force, over time, almost all the ugly stuff – like sexual solicitations from Belarus, copycat drugs from India, and assorted malicious viruses – into ONE of your accounts, which you will then handle with tongs. It will take time, but if you only put the one account out there, that’s where all the bad or useless stuff will appear.
Unless, of course, one of your friends has her address book hijacked. But you can’t stop everything. You just play the odds.