I started this just 2 days ago and then life got very busy! So I will pick up and continue-
12/30/21 Oh! An exciting day! Nearly everything is all gathered and packed in place for departure tomorrow morning! It's nice to have it mostly done (except for what's needed to get up and going in the morning) and feel relaxed that we are pretty sure that we've remembered all the important stuff! Actually, we have refined our checklist since our last trip in September/October. We were making use of a generic list created and shared by someone else online. Now we have customized that list for ourselves. If any of you are RV folks and would like to compare lists, just send me an email email@example.com and I will send it your way. It's kind of nice to see what similarities and differences we have on our journeys!
It's also nice that this is not our first rodeo! We have taken enough trips with our trailer to shake off that newbie feeling by now. But there still are enough choices in things like clothes and food supplies to sort through, and thinking about what is needed for about 3 months in Florida, depending on the weather, etc. I think I have a case of decision fatigue! How did I do this with kids, too?! We did so many camping trips and road trips, near and far, and I don't think I ever needed a list back then!
Packing up in winter is hampered a bit by the cold and the little bit of snow on the ground. So even though the trailer is parked inside and has the furnace running, it's a lot of traipsing back and forth and tracking dirty snow inside. I had planned to start out the trip with a clean floor, but I gave up on that idea! It will get cleaned somewhere further south than here, with a little bit of warmth! And when I have running water, not antifreeze in the plumbing!
I've really changed things up a bit with the things I'm taking along for my crafting/sewing/quilting/knitting entertainment. I'm not even taking along my sewing machine! Which means that I am sure to need it for something but won't be able to do that something! So, this is a little round about explanation about that -- over Thanksgiving, we stayed at my mom's place. I took along the yarn to make another stocking cap to donate to Hats For Sailors. They require the use of 100% washable wool. Which is easy for me to lay my hands on if I just walk upstairs to my little yarn stash. So, back to Thanksgiving - I was happily knitting along with my wool yarn, and having a heck of a time with my eyes itching horribly! I have a history of itchy eyes for a long time, seasonal allergies, or so I thought. When we left mom's house, I stowed away the knitting project. And my eyes felt so much better! So, since then, I have not touched wool yarn. I've still been able to wear wool sweaters, hats, scarves, etc., without problems. But I guess when I'm handling wool yarn, touching my eyes, handling more yarn, it ruins the fun of my knitting. I haven't been brave enough to re-test my theory, so I'm just waiting it out for awhile. Which means that the only knitting I'm bringing along is cotton for hand towels. But, instead of machine sewing, I've dived back into English paper piecing! I have several started, partially finished, EPP projects all ready to work on. The first thing I am doing is from a kit that was gifted to me a few years ago. The design and fabric is by Tula Pink, a distinctive and talented designer.
The hexagons are a heavy paper and covered with fabric, then sewn together by hand. Those hexagons are ¾" on each straight edge and they all fit together nicely. The fabric was all precut in the kit, so that's a big help in getting going.
That's just one of about 4 projects that I have packed up to bring along for our Florida trip. We have made a lot of reservations for 10 weeks in Florida because it is a pretty popular place to wait out winter. We plan to stay 4-7 days at most of the places, and get some enjoyable downtime when I can read and stitch in between exploring the local sights. Plenty to look forward to!
12/31/21 We were up a bit late last night with last minute stuff to gather or pack. Then, first thing this morning I had an orthodontist appointment to check my progress with my clear braces. That didn't take long, and I got enough packs of braces that continue with the progression of moving my teeth to last until April.
Then it was right back home to finish up loading the food. Because it's freezing temperature in the trailer as we travel, we have to give a little thought to what will happen to our food. The refrigerator/freezer stays on so that food is fine. The freezer is really stuffed full with prepared meals and meat and vegetables. We didn't have room for the tater tots, so we'll pick up some of those after we have eaten down the freezer far enough to make space.
We got all hitched up and left about 9:30, which is a good start time for us! We pointed the truck south and stayed right on that track. We went towards Rochester and ended up in Mount Pleasant, IA, for the night. Not very eventful, except we did stop at a smalltown brewery, Trout City Brewery in Preston MN. It was nearly dark when we stopped for the night, and we just hooked up the electricity because it was too cold to de-winterize the plumbing yet. We turned our electric blanket up to high and got all snuggled in with some episodes of Bones! And a little bottle of champagne to toast the new year!
We woke up to snow in the air and weather radar that did not look very promising. But, we saddled up and took off anyway, Bob feeling that he was comfortable with the driving conditions. Which was good, because if it had been left up to me I would not moved until the sun was out and snow was melted! We didn't have a real restful night, hearing some fireworks, trains, wind and the furnace running frequently. We need to get more propane in our tanks if we have another cold night requiring the furnace!
One really good thing was that there were very few other fools out there on the roads this morning! Maybe nursing a hangover? The temperature steadily rose as we continued south, and then the snow turned to sleet and then rain. It was about 55 when we stopped for the night near Sikeston, MO. We're south of St. Louis, so making some good progress. It has been raining steadily, and there are some flood warnings for areas here and we can see little streams running fast and water standing in the fields. It has tapered off now, so we don't have to worry about floating away during the night! We had time to de-winterize the plumbing, and we filled up our propane tanks, so we are warm and comfortable now. Our new table and recliner setup is working out quite well so far! I even got to clean up our very dirty floors, wash dishes and take a shower! We will be heading into Mississippi tomorrow!
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Hi! I'm Pam! Join me on this journey through the next steps of life!