Friday, January 29, 2010

Like a bobcat in a cage...

Lately I have become aware of some subtle changes occurring in my life. I am noticing more detail outside, paying more attention to my surroundings, hearing more sounds, and seeing more in depth colors in the sky and in nature... I began to wonder why this was occurring.  And then it struck me... I am mentally preparing for my life of freedom from the everyday confines of my current life, I am letting go of my current existence. 

Since I have set a date for retirement I have been slowly mentally retiring for some time now.  I first noticed this when I shared my impending retirement with my co-workers.  To which many reacted with jealously while others reacted with curiosity or animosity... more on this another day.  But it wasn't until I shared my future plans with my co-workers that I noticed a shift in how I carried myself when in meetings or in office conversations.  I was suddenly, or seemingly, more respected for my thoughts and ideas. I was also communicating with a more definitive purpose in getting things done to begin the shift of my responsibilities to others. 

So these subtle changes that are occurring are becoming less and less subtle and more and more obvious.  As a result a weight has begun lifting off my shoulders and I have begun to enjoy more the little things in life that were important to me in my early life but that I had been neglecting now for some time.  Now my only problem is my retirement is still a year or so away,  Thus, the day that I will no longer work and will begin the transition form the lifestyle I have now to a completely new one is on hold. As a result I am feeling somewhat trapped in my working existence and more like a bobcat in a zoo pacing mindlessly back and forth and back and forth waiting for the door to the cage to open and be set free...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Narrowing down the list....

With the RV show coming up in February in Houston it is time for me to narrow down some motor homes to focus on. As much as I want to have a diesel pusher my budget may not allow me to do so. I have looked at a lot of models and manufacturers and floor plans... to the point that I can hardly do it anymore. One of the key issues that I have had to contend with is the wheelbase to length ratio which has excluded many motor homes I initially thought I would be getting.  I really want a home a motor home with at least a 55 percent ratio and it is amazing how many there are with less than that.

We have also decided that we want a home between 30 and 34 feet and they build very few homes in this size range for full timing.  We also have decided we want no more than 2 slides and prefer those that don't move the kitchen.  A bedroom slide and a dinette/sofa slide is preferable.

So what does that leave me with... My most prefered right now is one of the Tiffins....

Tiffin Allegro 30DA with the FO chassis and it has a bed slide and dinette/sofa slide
Tiffin Allegro 30DAwith the WO chassis and it has a bed slide and dinette/sofa slide
Tiffin Allegro Bay 32BA with the WO chassis and it has a  bed slide and dinette/sofa slide
Tiffin Allegro 34TGAwith the FR chassis and it has a bed slide and dinette and sofa slide and kitchen slide
Tiffin Allegro 34WA with the FR and it has a bed slide and dinette/sofa slide

I am still considering the ones below but many do not have more than 3000 payload for which I feel we must have...

Newmar BayStar CSCA 3102 with the FR or FO chassis
Monaco Windsor 32 PDB - bed slide and dinette/sofa slide
Monaco Windsor 34 SDB - bed/wardrobe slide and dinette and sofa slide
Monaco Windsor 34 PBS PB/FD
Monaco Monarch 32 PBD - bed slide and dinette/sofa slide
Monaco Monarch 33 SFS - wardrobe/fridge/dinette/sofa slide
Monaco Monarch 33 SDD - bed slide and dinette/sofa slide and has a Tub
Monaco Monarch 34 SBD - bed/wardrobe slide and dinette/sofa slide
Monaco Monarch 34 PDB - bed/wardrobe slide and dinette/sofa slide
Monaco Lapalma 32 PDB - bed slide and dinette/sofa slide
Monaco Lapalma 33 PDB - bed slide and dinette/sofa slide
Monaco Lapalma 33 SFS - wardrobe/fridge/dinette/sofa slide
Monaco Lapalma 34 SDB - bed/wardrobe slide and dinette/sofa slide
Monaco Lapalma 34 PDD - bed slide and dinette/sofa slide
Monaco cayman 32 PBD - bed slide and dinette/sofa slide
Monaco cayman 34 SBD - wardrobe and dinette/sofa slide
Monaco cayman 34 PDD - bed slide and dinette/sofa slide
Monaco cayman 34 SKD - bed slide and dinette/sofa slide
Monaco knight 34 PDD - bed slide and dinette/sofa slide
Monaco knight 34 SBD - wardrobe and dinette/sofa slide
Monaco Montclair B+ 293TS -bed slide  and sofa slide and dinette slide
Monaco Riptide 33 SDD SBD - bed slide and dinette/sofa slide
Monaco Riptide 34 SBD - wardrobe and dinette/sofa slide
2000 Country Coach Seaside
2004 Rexhall RoseAir 3300 S
2005 RexHall Aerbus 3250
2007 National Sea Breeze 1311
2006-7 National Tropi-Cal
2008 winnebago sightseer 34M - bed slide and dinette/fridge
2004-7 Triple E Comander A3509FB
Itasca Sunova 35N - bed slide and dinette/sofa slide

So in Houston I will focus once again on the the size (30 vs 32 vs 34 feet) and on the floor plans.  I will secondarily start focusing on brands and quality of construction for full time use.  I hope to learn enough from the RV trade show to create a top five to ten list of homes to look for.  Wish me luck...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Therapeutic exercise...?

Well as I mentioned in my last blog, I had created a punch list to get the house ready for sale.  As I gazed over the list I decided I should try to tackle the hardest jobs first and then if I got into a time crunch I would only be left with the easier and thus, less expensive tasks if I had to hire them out.  So my first task was to undertake the refinishing of a large built in cabinet in our dining room.  We had damaged it some time ago when we sat a fish tank on top of it and even though we sat the fish tank on towels the moisture from the tank had damaged the wood counter over time.

So I sanded the top of the cabinet and re-stained it only to find that the damage was too deep to be blended in well with the patina of the rest of the wood. So on to plan B... tear off the cabinet top and replace it with left over concrete board in my garage from a previous kitchen tiling project.  Use up some of my left over mortar and some granite tiles from the same kitchen  project and viola!... I have a new counter top that matches the kitchen counter top that can be seen through the pass through window in the dining room.  Couldn't look better if I planned it!

 So what does this have to do with therapeutic exercise you may ask?  Well as I began to start tasks associated with my punch list I found out that much of this work was therapeutic.  Not only was it therapeutic but it was considerably more exercise than I had been getting for the past six months.  The word therapeutic comes from the Greek word therapeutikos which means to attend or to treat with the results tending to be judged as desirable and beneficial.

What was I treating?  As I pondered this thought it became obvious to me that I was ridding myself of more stuff while at the same time mentally letting go of my house of the last 15 years and all its memories.  The more "stuff" I took out of the garage and used to improve my house for resale the more relaxed and calmed I felt.  And then it made me wonder if this is the feeling that everyone who has been retired and full timing in an RV has described as to how the feel....  I wonder...

Friday, January 15, 2010

The punch list...

Well before anything really can happen the house has to be readied for sale.  We would like to get everything done around the house in order to have the house fully ready to be put on the market in late spring to early summer.  Although that is several months away it will take time to do all the little things we need to do to have the house staged properly.  So yesterday we went around the house visiting each room and wrote down on a tablet each and every item that a potential buyer might have issues with. 

"What do you think about the color in this room?" "What about those window treatments?" "Do we need to change out that light fixture?" "Should we steam clean this carpet or just replace it"  These were some of the many questions that arose as went from room to room.  The end result was a list for each room of things that had to be done and things that might be done if time and costs permit. We will attack each room one at a time and then in early spring we will address the landscaping to provide the necessary curb appeal to help sell our home. Looks like we have a plan and now all I have to do is do the work...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Mrs...

It always amuses me to read my husband's blog.  I rediscover the reasons I married him at each reading;  mainly because he thinks so differently than I.  He loves research whereas I am too impatient to endure it.  He is  methodical and practical when buying; I am emotional and spontaneous.   The process of choosing our RV is sooooo laborious to me but as with all our other big purchases, I can rest assured that my DH will make the most practical decision possible. He has patiently collected information about what I want:  It has to be comfortable with pleasing decor.  The kitchen has to be functional as we love to cook and bake.  There HAS to be closet space because of my "essentials". And (tee-hee) what I think is essential may somewhat conflict with what is most practical.  I love clothes and shoes and makeup.  Most women would relate that it is a big dilemma to decide just which shoes are possible to live without. This year before we commit to the new lifestyle will give me time to evaluate the essentials.  I will pay more attention when we go on vacations this year and picture life with what I have in my suitcase.  The thing that fills me with joyous anticipation is remembering the time we first married we didn't have much, yet were extremely happy.  It seems we will be going full circle to a simpler life but certainly richer because
at this time of our lives we have the opportunity to enjoy each other, to travel and explore, and love one another again like honeymooners.   I can't wait!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Learning the ropes...

 Well I decided to reach out to those with wisdom and posted a question on a web site devoted to RV's.  My question was this - "Is anyone Full Timing in 34 Foot or less Motorhome? My wife and I are going to full time in March 2011 and are leaning towards 34 feet or less. Just wondering if anyone here full times in 34 feet or less motor homes and if so what are your thoughts about it?

The feedback was very enlightening and pointed out some flaws in my thinking about what my future home will or should have.  If you had read my previous blogs about my wishes, desires and needs of my future RV then you would understand I have many wants.... But by conferring with thosewho actually full time in smaller RV's I have made some adjustments.

I will now look for a minimum of 3500 lbs CCC instead of greater than 2000 as several pointed out that to full time I would need this much CCC.  I have also decided against the electric awning and go for the manual awning after much discussion about the shortcoming of the electric one. Also, I will more closely scrutinize the attributes of the14 cuft refrigerator.

I am still looking at a 34 footer or so to allow me the most flexibility to get into more sites that a 40 footer just won't let us do. As was mentioned earlier I  have just recently gotten the cd from as to quality and handling issues with RV's and my single biggest task now is not buying a piece of junk that won't handle well.

There are just too many brands and models and each one has a specific "best use" which isn't advertised anywhere... combine this with the varied opinions and it makes it very difficult for a first time buyer to make their initial purchase.  Lots and lots of research is still ahead and fortunately time is still on my side...