Tag Archives: new adventures

Tim went for a walk

A really long walk on the Pacific Crest Trail is what the summer and fall revolved around for our family.  It has been a memorable experience for all of us, with many priceless lessons learned.  

Our family picture before Tim started his epic journey!

Our family picture before Tim started his epic journey!

Tim set out over a year ago with plans to hike about half of the 2,650 miles of the PCT.  Not really having any idea of what to expect once on the trail, except for what he had gleaned from the copious amounts of reading he had done about the PCT and long distance hiking.  So, we bought gear, made camping reservations for the kids and I, figured out resupply points and approximate dates for meeting up, how to communicate with us while hiking, and countless other logistics in our attempts to reach his goal.  Most of this was done before knowing about the high snowfall year (record setting in places), late snow melt, unforeseen foot problems, near record setting heat waves, wildfires galore, worsening sleep issues, and more homesickness than he had imagined.  

Figuring out the logistics...planning miles, resupply points, alternate routes, etc.

Figuring out the logistics…planning miles, resupply points, alternate routes, etc.

REI, happily accepted much of our time and money!

REI, happily accepted much of our time and money!

The gear, the food, the hours and hours of prep!

The gear, the food, the hours and hours of prep!

One thing Tim has mentioned in hindsight, is that he would have planned this adventure much like how it actually turned out.  Walking half the miles he had planned to, in the same amount of time.  And he would have done more cherry-picking in order to hike “the most scenic” sections of trail during the best time of year!

Walking behind Tunnel Falls.

Walking behind Tunnel Falls.

Views of the magnificent Mt. Hood!

Views of the magnificent Mt. Hood!

The kids and I are so proud of his accomplishments.

The kids and I are so proud of his accomplishments.

Just a walk in the fog-filled woods.

Just a walk in the fog-filled woods.

The beauty of mossy bridges!

The beauty of mossy bridges!

Lessons learned from the trail…

It’s unforgiving on the feet, which slowed him down more than he had anticipated.  He wore out 2 pair of hiking shoes and finished off a pair of hiking boots he picked up from a hiker box.  His feet had blisters on top of blisters in the first 2 weeks on the trail.  In hindsight, he realized that he may not have had these issues had he attempted this venture before his calluses from the steel mill wore off from being a stay-at-home dad.

Epsom salt foot bath after 400 miles of trail under his belt.

Epsom salt foot bath after 400 miles of trail under his belt.

Borrowed boots from the Burney Falls hiker box.

Borrowed boots from the Burney Falls hiker box.

Gorilla tape is superior to duct tape for all things long distance hiking.  This became evident when trying to keep his shoes from tearing up his feet.  And also attempting to keep the corners together of his (very used) tent.

Campsite views of Mt. Jefferson!

Campsite views of Mt. Jefferson!

Water is never hard to come by when hiking in last years “snow”, or as Tim puts it, ice in the mornings and slush by the afternoons.  However, finding the trail is much more difficult in the snow, and worse when you’re one of the first through the area for the season.

Finding the trail in the snow!

Finding the trail in the snow!

All the snow!

All the snow!

Finding a dry place to camp was difficult in the snow!

Finding a dry place to camp was difficult in the snow!

When your already poor sleep quality is exaggerated while on the trail, his reading material helped pass the time.  He was already an avid reader prior to this adventure, so he chose some classics to help pass the time while in the wilderness.

Books that made the trek along the PCT, minus Tom Sawyer: which was left in the hiker box at Burney Falls.

Books that made the trek along the PCT, minus Tom Sawyer: which was left in the hiker box at Burney Falls.

Homesickness was more apparent and at the forefront of much of his thoughts throughout his hike.  He thought seeing the kids and I once a week or so would be enough to keep it at bay; however, it ended up leading to more breaks from the trail.  And these breaks afforded us the opportunity to go on more adventures as a family and to really explore the places we were calling home along the way!  Not to mention, we added six more National Park stamps in the kids passport books.

Resupply trip for dad at Frog Lake.

Resupply trip for Tim at Frog Lake.

Seeing lava fields for the first time at McKenzie Pass!

Seeing lava fields for the first time at McKenzie Pass!

Building walls in Odell Lake!

Building walls in Odell Lake!

Sunset at Odell Lake!

Sunset at Odell Lake!

Camping at Burney Falls!

Camping at Burney Falls!

Exploring Lassen National Park, a beautiful place.

Exploring Lassen National Park, a beautiful place.

I could follow these three for miles!

I could follow these three for miles!

Learning how to purify water with dad!

Learning how to purify water with dad!

Swimming near Indian Falls!

Swimming near Indian Falls!

Learning about gold mining with dad.

Learning about gold mining with dad.

In the end, or maybe even the beginning, Tim knew he had no desire to be a thru-hiker.  After spending the summer and fall on an epic long distance hike he realized the journey was about way more than the amount of miles he walked.  All of the trials and joys he experienced on the trail were very much a part of the adventure.  And what an adventure it has been!

Mt. Jefferson

Mt. Jefferson

Camping amongst the Lava fields, apparently not the most comfortable place to sleep.

Camping amongst the Lava fields, apparently not the most comfortable place to sleep.

Pacific Crest trail, somewhere in Oregon!

Pacific Crest trail, somewhere in Oregon!

Many miles of trail.

Many miles of trail.

The beauty through the wildfire smoke!

The beauty through the wildfire smoke!

Near Lassen Peak

Near Lassen Peak

Water as smooth as glass.

Water as smooth as glass.

unnamed-34

In the midst of Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe.

In the midst of Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe.

What can seem like a never ending trail.

What can seem like a never ending trail.

Walking along the saddle of a mountain ridge.

Walking along the saddle of a mountain ridge.

Tim spent many nights sleeping without his tent.

Tim spent many nights sleeping without his tent.

The trail leading toward the high Sierra.

The trail leading toward the high Sierra.

The GPS tracking of Tim's hike.

The GPS tracking of Tim’s hike. Approximately 6 weeks on the trail walking 650 miles!

The mountains are calling…

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

To bring you up to speed, we have been traveling and living the full-time RV lifestyle for the last two and a half years.  I have been working various assignments around the country as a travel physical therapist.  And my hubs has taken on the role of stay-at-home dad, head chef, dish-washer, laundry-doer, dog-walker-feeder-caretaker, potty-trainer, swim instructor, and teacher of all things; to name a few.  Without either of us, this journey would not be possible; and certainly, a lot less entertaining.

Photo credit: personal photo edited in Canva app

Photo credit: personal photo edited in Canva app

So when your husband, who has played an integral role in the last two and a half years, mentions (on more than one occasion) he would like to attempt a long distance hike; you jump on board and support the h@&$ out of that goal.  Because, obviously I’ve had the easier job over the past couple years, since I get to leave our “tiny home on wheels” everyday and go to work.

THE GOAL: Attempt a 1,500 mile section-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in ~100 days

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Our current transient lifestyle makes it easier to bring these “crazy” ideas to fruition.  Which also leads to greater flexibility when planning such a monumental feat.  Although preparation is a critical part of this goal, figuring out logistics and making concrete plans has been difficult, because…Mother Nature…she has been here long before us and will be here long after us.  Most of these uncertainties are due to the weather, snow pack, snow melt, miles walked per day, caloric intake/expenditure, unforeseen challenges, etc.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Author unknown Photo credit: Pinterest

I thought I would take a moment to answer a few of the most frequently asked questions and voiced concerns we get from various people we’ve told…

Is Tim going by himself?
Yes, his plan is to hike alone!  He is not afraid of the dark, creepy crawly things, or sleeping outside.  He has been preparing for this adventure for the last year and is looking forward to what the trail has in store for him…physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

What will myself and the kids do without Tim?
Our main purpose will be keeping Tim alive by supplying him with food.  We will be meeting up with him at various trail crossings every five days or so to make sure he has enough calories to make it to the next meet-up.  It should be a pretty adventurous summer and fall, for all of us!

How will Tim protect himself?
Having respect for the wilderness and being aware of his surroundings will certainly come in handy.  That and we’re pretty sure his smell after a few days will deter any predators from wanting him for lunch.  Various other backpacking tips of not cuddling your food at night or sleeping where you eat are also known ways to prevent creatures from visiting.  Oh, AND he will have a Delorme In-reach that can ping his location, provide him with gps maps, text his wife, and send an SOS…so no worries!

Many people, including us, enjoy life indoors with climate controlled environments and food easily attained from the local grocery store.  However, people have lived in and explored the wilderness for centuries.  And they definitely did not have any of our modern day conveniences to make their trek safer.

Dirt paths are usually the best kind of paths.  Photo credit: Pinterest

Dirt paths are usually the best kind of paths. Photo credit: Pinterest

While some people may think we’re crazy (which we may be), many have found our plans to be exciting.  And hopefully this journey will inspire just a few to occasionally live outside their comfort zones.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

John Muir was a wise man!  Photo credit: Pinterest

John Muir was a wise man! Photo credit: PinterestWander

Be the change…

It has been a personal goal of mine over the last couple of years to find ways to “lend a hand” and give hope to as many people as possible, while in return, growing into what I hope is an improved version of myself.  While this is certainly not an easy-do-over-night task, it has been, and absolutely will be, worth it in the end.

Striving to make these my "eulogy virtues".

Striving to make these my “eulogy virtues”.

Shifting my thoughts from selfishness to altruism, is part of my ever growing moral bucket list and a definite work in progress.  I would say this intentional living thought process was initiated when I married my favorite person.  It began to evolve once we had kids, and took a drastic hold after going through a very eye-opening and heartbreaking loss in the murky depths of international adoption.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

In the midst of this journey we met some incredible people that are stepping up, taking risks, and showing the love of Jesus to the poorest of poor.  These women and their families are doing amazing work and have started organizations that promote family preservation, health, and education to those that would otherwise not have access to these “basic” needs through monthly or yearly sponsorships.  We have the pleasure of helping a family through A Heart for Korah and a “street kid” through Life Thru EDU.

For the full details of how we moved from a heartbreaking loss to a story of sharing hope see my earlier blog post “Beauty from Ashes”.

http://satisfyingourwanderlust.com/beauty-from-ashes/

It is truly a blessing for us to have the opportunity to bring a little hope and love to these “strangers” lives.  We have been able to communicate with our sponsored families through letters, which they impart how grateful they are for our support, but I’m not sure they will ever know just how much they have impacted my life, all while I was attempting to change theirs.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Because we have become passionate toward helping others and looking for more ways to make a greater impact on others, I was drawn to Trades of Hope.

Be a world changer... Photo credit: personal photo from the Hine family farm

Be a world changer…
Photo credit: personal photo from the Hine family farm

Trades of Hope is a company that gives women in poverty an opportunity for a better life, a life that they now feel empowered to change.

These artisans have been rescued from sex slavery, others are single women raising handicapped children, some are in war torn countries, and others have aids and leprosy. These women have never had the chances we’ve had, yet they are just like us in so many ways. They hope and dream of a better life for their families.

Here in the U.S., we are helping by marketing their products through the home and online party model, so they can put food on their table, a roof over their head, receive medical care, and provide an education for their children. We want to tell their stories to the world.

Check out their stories and beautiful products here:

www.mytradesofhope.com/stephaniehine

Photo credit: Trades of Hope website

Photo credit: Trades of Hope website

Photo credit: Trades of Hope website

Photo credit: Trades of Hope website

All women really want is to feel strong, loved, dignified, and respected.  And what these artisans create allows them to feel this and when you wear their products, this feeling can trickle into your own heart, mind, and soul (I know it does for me).

A word from Sanskrit and Pali, spoken in India that has no English counterpart.  Considered one of the Four Immeasurables in Buddhism. Photo credit: Pinterest

A word from the Sanskrit and Pali language, spoken in India, that has no English counterpart. Considered one of the Four Immeasurables in Buddhism.
Photo credit: Pinterest

So, after being introduced to what this company stands for, my support of them only grew.  Which is how I decided to become a Compassionate Entrepreneur with Trades of Hope.  I’m able to purchase their beautiful products for myself, give them as gifts, tell others about the artisans, raise awareness, empower women, and most importantly give hope!

This new journey is not a business for me, but an avenue to further my global impact.  I will be donating any and all of my earnings and free products to A Heart for Korah and Life Thru EDU to provide hope and opportunity for others.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Please visit my website www.mytradesofhope.com/stephaniehine for more information on Trades of Hope, to shop, ask a question, book a party with me, or join my team!

For information on A Heart for Korah visit: www.aheartforkorah.com

For information on Life Thru EDU visit: www.lifethruedu.org

 

Be blessed

❤

Fostering a sense of community

Most of you know about the journey we are currently taking as a family of four traveling in our RV.  Before leaving, we thought a lot about the things we wanted to gain from traveling.  One of the topics that always seemed to come up was giving back.  We really wanted to immerse ourselves in the communities that we were visiting and search for ways to contribute.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Even though our kids are only toddlers, we have a strong desire to foster in them a feeling of compassion and empathy toward others as well as cultural sensitivity.  One of the ways we were hoping to do this was through various volunteer opportunities.

These opportunities where much easier to find in the communities we grew up in, where as, life on the road has made it more difficult.  My first two jobs took us to small, rural towns in Texas with fewer resources, making it harder to find volunteer opportunities.  We had the chance to take some time off between work assignments, which lead us to a much bigger city in Texas…Austin.  Tim and I had heard from several people that, “you do not want to go to Austin, they’re weird there.”  Believe it or not, we actually fit in with weird right now.  And after researching Austin, we knew we had to make the trip.

Many Austin locals don this shirt.  Photo credit: Pinterest

Many Austin locals don this shirt. Photo credit: Pinterest

One thing that drew us to this fantastic city was how different it was from nearly all of the rest of Texas.  It seemed to be a city on the forefront of the “Go Green” movement, with multiple levels of promoting sustainability and providing ways to encourage the environmentally conscious person.

Photo credit: my photo edited in photo grid app

Photo credit: my photo edited in photo grid app

While researching volunteer opportunities, we stumbled across this great organization, Keep Austin Beautiful (www.keepaustinbeautiful.org).  We happened to be in Austin during their Clean Sweep event, where the Austin community comes together to clean-up multiple locations throughout the city.  According to their website, the event had 4,200 volunteers contributing 8,300 hours of service to remove 27 tons of trash from the city.

Helping out at the KAB Clean Sweep!  We helped clean at the Texas River School.

Helping out at the KAB Clean Sweep! We helped clean at the Texas River School.

After a lot of kid-centered volunteer research, we found an organization called Little Helping Hands (www.littlehelpinghands.org), which focuses on community service opportunities for children.  We participated in a “garden day” at a local church’s community garden, where they have volunteers come and manage small garden plots, and then harvest their goods for a local food pantry.

Planting beans.

Planting beans.

Working hard at Garden Day!

Working hard at Garden Day!

Through Little Helping Hands, we were also able to help out another worthwhile Austin organization, Meals on Wheels and More (www.mealsonwheelsandmore.org).  The kids made cards for the five clients we were delivering meals to that day.  Griff was eager to help deliver the meals along our route.  It was so neat to see the interaction between Griff and the people we were serving meals to, he is coming out of his shell more and more every day!

Proud of his card!

Proud of his card!

Our time off also gave Tim a break from his role as stay-at-home-dad, which he had been embracing over the last four months.  He was able to spend Tuesday and Thursday mornings volunteering at Urban Roots (www.urbanrootsatx.org), which is an amazing organization that helps to empower youth as leaders, and hopes to instill in them a love of vegetables and an appreciation for the earth along the way.

The 4 acre garden at Urban Roots

The 4 acre garden at Urban Roots

Over Easter weekend we were lucky enough to be able to witness an unconventional Easter church service.  This church happily and humbly takes their role of “being the hands and feet of Jesus,” to literally serve their homeless brothers and sisters.  It was a moving experience to be part of an event that served meals and shoes to hundreds of Austin’s homeless.

We were first introduced to this church via my “obsession” with Jen Hatmaker (check her out on Facebook) and how much respect I have for her books “Interrupted” and “7”!  She and her husband, along with their friends, planted the Austin New Church (www.austinnewchurch.org), and how they do church is inspiring.

ANC church service and music under the 6th Street bridge in Austin

ANC church service and music under the 6th Street bridge in Austin

Serving our homeless brothers and sisters with food donated from Hatcreek Burgers and donated shoes.

Serving our homeless brothers and sisters with food donated from Hatcreek Burgers and donated shoes.

These were just some of the ways we were able to give back while in Austin.  During our travels, we have lost that secure feeling of a community, and volunteering is one way we feel we can gain that sense of community while on the road.

I would highly encourage you to find various ways you can make a difference in your “community”, no matter where you are.

Photo credit: my photo edited with photo grid app.

Photo credit: my photo edited with photo grid app.

Shifting our Perception of Happiness

Most of you know that in December we began our life on the road.  We sold nearly all of our belongings, put our house up for sale, and moved into our newly purchased 5th wheel RV with our two kids and two dogs.  Life as we knew it would be changed and hopefully for the better.

 

Our old home

Our old home

Our new home

Our new home

The conversations that Tim and I had over the last 5 years had evolved greatly.  Talks went from “material must-haves” to “how can we live a greener, simpler, more full-filled life.”  Things got deep in the Hine household!

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

We did our part to lessen our carbon foot print with dreams of becoming more self-sustaining.  Growing, canning, and freezing from our garden, recycling everything we could, upgrades to the house to make it more efficient, buying second hand.  Working toward the “Laura Ingalls times,” but with 21st century perks of TV, Internet and cell phones, of course.

Our beautiful garden my husband worked so hard on at our former stick and brick house!

Our beautiful garden my husband worked so hard on at our former stick and brick house!

Even with these things and the conversations we had about simple living, we were surrounded by stuff, and time seemed to be a limited commodity.  We both worked a combine of at least 70 hours a week outside the home, two kids, two dogs, a “too big for us” house that was filled with stuff, which all required  time.  Clearly not everything was getting sufficient attention.  I believe they call this the “American Dream.”

Photo credit:  Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Many people live this lifestyle and love it, we did for over 30 years.  However, recent events in our lives (you can read about those in past blog posts), removed the blinders, so to speak.  We were oblivious to how the rest of the world lives and how our first world problems were and are so, so very small.

Photo credit:  Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

So we embarked on a journey to follow a dream, see the country, embrace cultures, give back, live simply, and have quality family time while doing it!

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

First stop, Texas!  We new this journey would make it difficult to achieve a self-sustaining lifestyle.  However, Texas has made this far more challenging than we thought.  Let’s face it, we end up in a grocery store about every three days.  Our dependence on conventional food sources was not what we had in mind.  We have found no farmer’s markets during this Texas winter and health food stores are scarce, let alone the two grocery store options we have within 30 miles.  Mind you, we’ve only lived in rural Texas, so this may not apply everywhere.

Our main food source options…our current location does not have an HEB and I sure do miss it!  Photo credit:  Pinterest

Our main food source options…our current location does not have an HEB and I sure do miss it! Photo credit: Pinterest

We were fortunate to have resources available to us in Indiana that allowed us to recycle or donate everything we possibly could.  This is not the case for the places we’ve stayed in Texas.  Not only has it been hard to find places to recycle, it’s even more frustrating how many people don’t give a second thought to recycling, including the Texas State parks we’ve visited.  Sorry for the rant, but I hate throwing away things that can be recycled.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

However, what we have lost in green living, we have more than made up for in simple, clutter-free living and I’m not just referring to less stuff.  I’m talking about the freedom that comes with literally disconnecting from technology.

This tech-free living was not exactly by choice, rural Texas had a hand in that one.  The two different parks we’ve lived in, had little to no cell phone service, no wi-fi, no 4G hot spot capabilities and at best, 5 digital television channels.

While I was teetering on a tragedy to live without these things, my husband who was born without the “tech loving” gene thought it merely an occasional inconvenience.  I went from having an iPhone where I had access to anything at my fingertips to a phone that could barely text or make phone calls.  Fortunately, my work was located in a prime 4G location!  Tim went from a flip phone he rarely used to a flip phone he was rarely able to use.  We went from 15 digital TV channels in Indiana down to 5 channels, which were sadly not PBS.

We love PBS and going through withdraw…photo credit: Pinterest

We love PBS and going through withdraw…photo credit: Pinterest

Because of our lack of technology, we no longer had the TV on just because, I was no longer checking my phone for Facebook updates far too often, and the computer was rarely turned on.  We were definitely not getting our money’s worth from our Verizon data plan!

It really is amazing how many books you can read, and thought-provoking conversations you can have with your husband, without all of the outside world distractions.  We were living in a beautiful 3,000 acre State Park that aside from us and the park hosts, was nearly empty.  We caught the most beautiful sunset at Cooper Lake during one of our evening walks.  We have seen countless Texas wildlife and were able to “enjoy” the quiet beauty of the park following a heavy Texas snowfall.

The beauty of snow in Texas.  Photo credit: my hubby

The beauty of snow in Texas. Photo credit: my hubby

Footprints in the snow!  Photo credit: my hubby

Footprints in the snow! Photo credit: my hubby

Even though we had to drive to the highest point in the park to make a phone call, try four times to send a text, and not being able to catch my favorite show, the Blacklist, on NBC, we not only survived; we realized we can thrive in this environment once we changed our perception.  Hopefully this new found mindset will carry over to other aspects of our journey.

P.S. My husband, Tim, was my chief editor on this post.  Still talking him into a guest post on the blog about his adventures as Mr. Mom…stay tuned!

Life in Texas from a Hoosier perspective

Life in Texas from a Hoosier perspective

Let me preface with, this post ended up longer than I imagined due to the insufficient Internet we have around here resulting in far less frequent updates than I had planned.

We have officially been “Texans” for a little over two months now, so an expert on Texas I am not!  But I have made some observations about this particular part of Texas that we are currently parked.

First…the roads…most lead to nowhere!  It is nothing like Indiana, where you can just take the next county road if you miss your turn.  If you miss your road in Texas, then you better just turn around and go back because the next road will not take you anywhere near where you wanted to go.  Many of the county roads are “farm to market” roads and they literally go from someone’s farm to the nearest town. The roads here tend to move with the land and not through it (cars movie reference…you can thank Griffin for that!).  So, if there is a railroad, river or bayou, then the road will just “wind” around rather than cross over it.  Google maps can be either your ally or your enemy around here :)

This is how directions are around here.  Google puts roads where there are none and end roads before you reach your destination.

This is how directions are around here. Google puts roads where there are none and end roads before you reach your destination.

Let’s talk basketball!  I know Texas football is way more popular, but we decided to take the kids to a Friday night local high school basketball game because it’s not football season here.  Let’s just say, when we got there, we weren’t even sure we had the right night.  It did not hold a candle to Hoosier high school basketball games.  There were no cheerleaders, no big production at the start of the game, the whole town wasn’t there to watch.  It was definitely different.

Food in Texas…some of the best brisket and BBQ sandwiches around and one of those sandwiches was from a little roadside stand…it was excellent.  And beef is probably never in short demand around here, because everywhere you drive you see pastures and pastures of cows.

Cows, cows and more cows!

Cows, cows and more cows!

While we’re on the topic of food, I’d like to give a shout out to the late Dick Freeland and his Pizza Hut franchise in Northeast Indiana! None will compare, not even here in the Lone Star State ;). It has got to be their breadsticks…we will definitely be making a trip (or maybe two) when we make it back up north this summer!

Ahh..”The Texas cold front,” says the meteorologist…makes me laugh every time and quite happy during winter! A cold front in Texas means lows may be in the 40’s and highs in the 50’s.

Here is an example of a TX cold front!

Here is an example of a TX cold front!

The landscape around here is nothing to get excited about between the oil refineries and various chemical and nuclear plants, it leaves much to be desired.  However, a short drive south will bring you to the coast…and it is quite refreshing!  Not sure I would swim in the water (note the chemical plants I mentioned earlier), but the beach in Matagorda is natural and somewhat untouched by tourists!  At least this time of year (“winter” season).  It makes for a secluded walk on the beach and sandcastle building wherever you like!

These not so beautiful and smelly refineries are everywhere around here.

These not so beautiful and smelly refineries are everywhere around here.

Matagorda beach

Matagorda beach

The kids and Tim building sandcastles!

The kids and Tim building sandcastles!

Another beauty around here are the pin/live oak trees with branches full of Spanish moss.  There are silvopastures filled with them, which is much different than the pastures you see in Indiana.

 

The beauty of trees and moss!

The beauty of trees and moss!

And last, but certainly not least (also Griffin’s favorite part about our park)…the wildlife!  The park we are staying at is home to an extremely large herd of rather small Texas deer (they do not compare to the size of Indiana deer, but then again they only have to survive the Texas “cold fronts”).

 

Deer in Texas

Deer in Texas

The turtles and their ‘master’, the alligator can be caught sun bathing in the area swamp/bayou/creek?  Griffin loves walking to see if the alligator is out!

 

The "friendly to turtles" alligator of Riverside Park!

The “friendly to turtles” alligator of Riverside Park!

Image 14


We have also caught the local armadillo scurrying around at night.  They are quite elusive creatures and rarely caught on camera (at least not by me anyway).

And I can not forget to mention the famed bird of Indiana…the vulture…that flies south for the winter.  According to our park ranger they followed us here to perch on the tall cottonwood trees they have in our park.  Vultures by the masses can scare the crap out of you at night.  When they’re perched and something startles them=me high-tailing it back inside. :)

Oh the vultures…the cottonwood trees here are filled with them...

Oh the vultures…the cottonwood trees here are filled with them…

A side note: Matagorda county (our current residence) has one of the most variety of species and number of migratory birds in the south.

I’m sure after a few more months in this state, I will gain a much greater perspective!

 

Leaving the stuff behind…

Over the last five years, Tim and I have been working toward a more simple, self-sufficient lifestyle.  We’ve managed to fill our medicine cabinet with essential oils and natural products, made our own cleaning products, expanded our garden every year, canning and freezing anything we could and worked to be more conscious of the effects affects (I may learn this one day) we have on our environment.
Even with these changes we still had, and were surrounded by stuff.  Stuff that required dusting, organizing, rearranging and putting away every week, if not everyday.
I was only working part-time and still felt that all my extra time was spent doing dishes, laundry, sweeping and picking up clutter instead of hanging out with my kids. Oh the mom-guilt!  

Travel Quote

Photo courtesy of Pinterest


With all of this, Tim and I have decided to leave the rat-race, keep up with the Jones’s, have to have it now, need more stuff lifestyle.  It may be in a drastic, completely out of the norm way, but why not, we only have a very short time here on this beautiful, God-given earth.

 

Go Explore

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

 So…the house is for sale, the 5th wheel and truck are purchased and the purging, organizing and packing have begun!  

 

Listed on 9/22/14

Listed on 9/22/14

Our new home

Our new home….name has yet to be determined, suggestions are welcome!

2006 Chevy Silverado 3500HD aka. "Our new chariot"

2006 Chevy Silverado 3500HD aka. “Our new chariot”

We are so excited for this next adventure…let the fun begin!  

Looking forward to taking you inside our home as I continue to make it feel “homey” :)