Thursday, December 24, 2009

Blogging comes up again...and me walking around in circles...

I find your style of writing informative and entertaining at the same time. My sense of humor as well. I do hope you start a blog as I follow several dreamers as well as Howard and Linda's. You can develop quite a following!
Although we are a few years off from doing this RV thing, we have decided to cleanse the house of unused stuff this coming weekend. I figure, go into the final implementation stage of FT'ing lean as opposed to continue to accumulate until the time comes. GF and I have already set a plan of attack right after Christmas to get this accomplished.
As a matter of fact, she liked the idea so much she started already in the kitchen as I write. Immediately she said, we have so many dishes we can get rid of almost all of them. I shot back "we can't do that, we may need them some day" then stopped dead in my tracks thinking, this is why we accumulate so much junk, because 'maybe' some day we may need it and that day never comes. Suddenly everything that all of you have been going through hit me.....So the dishes are on their way to being donated.
For those of you that remember George Carlin, he had a hilarious bit on 'Stuff'. Somehow, deep inside, he was an RV'er or a wannabe.

Rick

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Rick,

Thank you for the compliment!

We have talked about doing some blogging once we get out of here and on the road.

I want to make sure we are in a position to keep up with it and post everyday.

So even though today is Christmas Eve there are still things to be done before we pull out on Monday.

What I get to do today is to install the satellite receivers, digital converters, surround sound boxes and the new Wii console that the kids don't know we have yet.

The biggest fun I will have is going to be running the RG-6 coax from the outside into the two television locations. 

Running wiring so that you can't see it is always fun and takes great patience and world class skill.

I talk to myself when I do things like this -- I talk to inanimate objects as well -- as if they will talk back to me -- I ask them questions such as why they are so difficult -- I sometimes just sit down to think about what I am doing -- but never end up thinking about it.

I also follow the "man-school" creed of NEVER and I mean NEVER reading the instruction manual. 

There is one exception to this rule. 

That is when Nanette decides she has had enough of me walking around in circles trying to figure something out and calmly sits down close to me with the manual and starts reading it.

You see, technically this makes it okay for me to read it -- just to make sure she is getting it correct. 

I feel it is my duty as the mechanical head of the family to tutor her in the art of understanding directions.

My installation adventure should be most entertaining as I connect all of the wires -- the composite vs. the component connections with their subtle, never can tell the color in low light situations, the figuring out of the "in" vs. "out" connections, and the inevitable loops I create as I hook up two "ins" to each other.

Let me tell you about the worst wiring nightmare I ever ran into.

I bought a used boat once.  Shortly after I got it I had an electrical problem develop in the dash.

I crawled under the dash to find one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

It seems the previous owner had rewired the boats entire electrical system. 

A fine job of wire management I might add. 

There was, however, one anomaly.  One single thing that for the rest of my ownership of this boat haunted me.

It seems the previous owner got a really good deal on wire for the project.

While I appreciate a mindset of frugality in this case there was an oversight and that was....

ALL of the wiring in the entire boat was the same color -- Red.

Just so you get the picture -- every single wire -- going to every single electrical connection was the same color -- Red.

In one regard it made it easy knowing that if there was a problem it was always the red wire I needed to track.

The problem was that since all of the wires were red there was no earthly way to know what wire went where.

It was on this solid foundation that I built my connection capabilities.

So -- I would suspect before this day is over that there will be strange things happening with our electronics.  

Amusing actually I suspect. 

So while I have my grand adventure today...

Nanette, Isaac, Christian and me want to wish everyone of you a very restful and joyous Christmas!!!

It is our hope that you find the peace and happiness this day brings and that you find a renewed focus to enjoy the journey and not wait on the destination to be happy.

Life is lived in moments and within those moments opportunities for laughter, compassion, empathy, and happiness are presented to us simply for the taking.

But to be able to grasp them we first must see them.  So perhaps a scavenger hunt would be a great idea -- to seek out those things over the next few days -- to find them and seize them -- and to offer to others the opportunity to feel the warmth of such things.

Ken and Nanette

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Its all gone!...

It all gone!!!  To the auction I mean.

Now to just build "Mount Trashmore" in the front yard.

What a relief to have everything gone except for the trash.

We leave OFFICIALLY on Monday the 28th.  We had moved it to the 15th but due to delays we ended up right back at our original date of departure.

We are very excited here.  Having gone through all of this has been a very enlightening experience or is that "lightening" experience.  Either way we have learned a lot about the process and more importantly about ourselves.

So...today we do a little last minute Christmas shopping and start hauling stuff to take it's place of honor on our new monument.

We were invited to some close friends house last night for a farewell dinner -- wow -- what a dinner.

So after dinner as we sat in their family room just talking -- guess what yours truly is sitting there thinking about?

As I looked around at all of their stuff -- I was thinking what it would take if they decided to do as we have.  I found myself thinking -- it would be impossible.  But then realized we had just done it and with much more stuff and found a plan developing in my mind as to how to approach it.

I am not sure but I think this is not a normal reaction when visiting friends -- to be sitting there thinking of the plans to get rid of all of their stuff for them. no

Hey maybe there is a business opportunity here -- to offer disposal services to people wanting to move to this lifestyle!!!

Brilliant!!!

See what this has done to us.

Well on to the next phase -- we are getting very uncomfortable being in our old house with the new one sitting just outside visible through the picture window.

One last thing -- as I sit here and type this -- sitting on a box -- which is weird in its self -- I am looking at Nanette sitting on one of those rubbermaid containers looking like Schroeder from Peanuts hunched over typing on the keyboard of her computer. 

Maybe I am the only one that finds this scene amusing.

See just another reason to get moved into our new home -- she is going to lose her sense of humor in all of this very soon I fear! smile

Ken and Nanette

Monday, December 21, 2009

It is like Reality TV!...

Following along with your wonderful adventure as it unfolds... please keep posting, it's truly the first Reality Show we have enjoyed that is interesting compared to the junk on tv! LOL

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Karen -- It IS like a reality show now that you mention it!  The only problem for us is that we can't just turn off the TV during the rough parts. smile

Yesterday, was a very good day.  We can actually see the end of all of this moving thing. 

I took a "little" load of stuff up to Goodwill yesterday.  They have one of those drive through things where your tires ring a bell and then curb service shows up.

Once I rang the bell the first guy showed up -- took one look at the load -- then said I need some help! 

More people arrived and as they planned the attack on what must have appeared to be the "mother of all Goodwill loads" I started to unload bags into the first of MANY carts.  (You know as I looked at those little carts -- I had this compulsive desire to ride one of those things just once around the parking lot. biggrin)

As I watched -- I just kept thinking two things -- the amount of money all those things represented in dollars spent and why in the world did we need all that stuff??!!!

With that out of the way we finished loading the last auction trailer.  We thought it would go yesterday but they were  not able to take it in at the auction site until today.  So at 11 this morning we will be off.

Now -- here is the point we are at.  From this point on -- everything that is left either goes in the trash or to my new friends at Goodwill with their really cool little carts.

I had one obstacle that has been hanging over my head and that was a truckload and I mean a big truckload of PA equipment.  Big speakers -- racks of amplifiers -- racks of effects processors -- and a lot of other things that had really neat flashing lights and stuff. 

Anyway -- I think it was somewhat overwhelming for someone to buy the entire load of stuff.  The problem was we had no place to put it so we were really in a bind.

Well a couple of weeks ago a man in the local area bought my very rare Fender Walnut Elite guitar. He called me a couple of days ago asking if I still had the PA equipment of which I did.  It seems they had been performing and blown one of their amps (that is technical talk for -- the really neat flashing lights stopped flashing).

He then told me he would take everything I had for a very good price.  He showed up last night to get it in what must have been the largest horse trailer ever made.  I think I saw Howard Hughes name on the side -- as it came down the street it just keep coming and coming.  I am pretty sure a couple of families could have lived in that thing.

Anyway -- not only did he take all of the equipment -- he had a guy with him that asked about the 2 remaining guitars I had for sale.   At the end of the night -- I not only got rid of all the equipment I also sold both guitars.

I know this may seem a boring story, however, what I learned in all of this is that as you transition to the road -- things like this take on a significance as they are resolved.

I am finding it hard to accept all of the things that have happened and the way they have happened as mere coincidence.  I realize that the future can be explained away as the consequence of the decisions made in the past and present.  There just seems to be too  many things falling in place to accept that premise.

So today -- off to the auction then start the garbage pile which we have decided to name appropriately.  We are thinking something like Mount Trashmore.  When all of this stuff gets stacked up it is going to be a monument to mankind worthy of such a name.  Although I expect the neighbors will not be quite so enamored with our creation.

Things are really moving now for us and we are feeling the pressure release as we can see the starting line now.  (notice I typed "starting" not "finish" line since this is the beginning not the end.)

Isn't it funny how you don't actually have to arrive at a goal for the pressure to start to lift -- only see it within your grasp.  I guess that is why setting goals "through" and not just "up to" is important.  I think what happens is once we "see" the goal line the motivation starts to drop.  This drop in motivation unfortunately can come before the goal is actually achieved. 

For this reason we have reset our goals beyond getting this stuff out of here and are now beginning to focus on the stuff on the other side.  A side we can feel close at hand.

I think we have figured out the motivation thing is a mind issue.  We have seen our desires and motivation sometimes not sync up.  Even though we know we want things to happen we can't seem to get ourselves to do what is required. 

I think we have figured out when this happens we have allowed current reality to become stronger than the picture of the future we are inventing.  Once we reset that we are once again energized.  Just our opinion on this stuff.

I wonder if I am going to miss all those little flashing light things that went away in the horse trailer? 

Well...as I looked at the pictures this morning that Howard and Linda took yesterday on their float trip and knowing that can be us now -- I think not!

Ken and Nanette

A hard post about the setbacks and the blessings...

It has been a few days since we have posted due to being very busy and a transition to a new laptop.

Even though I have a lot of IT experience this transition was somewhat of a challenge but has now been conquered!

I would like to share with you all a couple of things about friends and blessings.

It seems that when times get hard true friends show their true heart.

The setbacks.

We have had some very difficult challenges since we last wrote.  Mostly logistical and some emotional.   The weather here in Kentucky has not cooperated in regard to trying to move everything one owns out. 

We got stopped in getting the 2nd and final trailer to the auction.  Today we are back on track though.  Emotionally this setback bothered us more than we anticipated.

Two days ago while trying to not stop completely I decided to give the RV a thorough going over (again). 

While taking a very detailed look at the tires (crawling under the RV on the cold ground in other words) I pulled around to look at the left rear inside dual.

What I saw -- shocked me.

This tire's sidewall has completely failed and must be replaced.  Why?  Who knows -- it is only 3 years old -- I am also certain it is not a weight issue -- having just weighted the RV and it is way below limits both overall and per tire.

So now that must be replaced before the RV can be moved.

A dispute has arisen at the job I just left regarding my final compensation.  Seems it simply didn't show up as promised on the 15th.  It is to include a severance as well as the final pay.  Seems there is some misunderstanding internally within the company that I have no control over.  Grr...

This money of course fits into the overall transition plan and is counted upon. 

The Blessings.

Money is not abundant for us.  We are comfortable and will remain so as long as we follow our plans.  For us, during the transition, timing is critical in regard to when money comes in and when it is spent.

For us the maximum expenditures are coming right now.  Paying off the bills at our current house and covering costs and setup at the "new" house and location.

Due to the last check not arriving it has put us in a very uncomfortable position -- having to dig into money that was never intended to be spent - certainly not right now.

One of the things we decided a while ago was to share with our friends our plans -- the details -- the timing -- the benefits -- the challenges.  So in other words those around us know EXACTLY where we are at this moment.

I don't think we told you that we have two boys -- Christian - 6 and Isaac 10.  I could write pages about these boys and why this move is so right for them and how excited they are for this.  How their personalities are designed for a mobile, see it all life and so on.

Well one of the challenges for us was what to get them for Christmas.  We had decided upon some gifts that would enhance their new lives.

The cost of these gifts was not insignificant but still in the budget.  The budget BEFORE the loss of expected income.

Yesterday -- as Nanette was getting ready to leave work -- her boss called her into the office -- he had a gift for the boys and an envelope.  Since nothing pink was showing through she was somewhat relaxed.

Her boss told her not to open it now. 

She asked why.

He said -- "Because you are going to cry."

She said -- "A happy cry or a sad cry?"  (Gotta know Nanette)

He said -- "Happy I think."

When we opened the envelope at home -- what we found in that envelope was something we will NEVER forget.  It still hasn't sunk in yet to be honest. 

...and she cried.

I had thought that not much would surprise me any more. 

Until this envelop and it's contents and the pouring out of the hearts of the people behind the many signatures on the accompanying card.

The words on the card were worth more than the currency within.  The deep warm effect it had on us will be etched in our lives forever.

It was an answer to a general prayer that was answered far beyond our expectations.

My point here is that blessings come sometimes from the last place you expect and at the moments most surprising.  We have been so blessed in all of this.

This is not even listing all the wonderful things our friends have done for us -- again in ways and to an extent that we could never possibly imagined.

So...we are thankful...and committed to return these blessings when the door opens to do so.  We know it will open -- we just have to be sensitive enough to see it and then walk through it.

If these are the things that making a change like this brings then we will take all the negatives -- for the positives are life changing -- and show the greatest attributes in people.

The be the benefactor of these blessings is something that was never within our power to decide -- however -- to accept these gifts and to allow the lessons they give to make us better people and to always give back -- is!

Ken and Nanette