Welcome to Venice~

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This gallery contains 57 photos.

I love photography, LOVE IT, mine, yours, old, new…does not matter.  I love that photos need no words to convey a message or a feeling, drumming up emotions. I’m just a fan, never having had a class or a mentor, … Continue reading

Where Have I Been?

I’m sure a few of you have been wondering where I’ve been…and physically, I know where I am, but sometimes, mentally, I tend disappear. I’ve always thought it’s the writer in me. I’m a great pondered, analyzing everything…incessantly at times, looking at every angle of things. Why? I’m not entirely sure. Just a form of entertainment, I suppose. I enjoy my internal dialog and debates, on most days.

Seems like a whole lot of holidays have happened since I last wrote here.  Let me catch you up…

We are still living lightly, just in a much nicer home. We sold the motorhome and bought a 5th wheel.  We decided since we made the first 6 months of alternative living and have no real desire to own a tradition home at this point. we needed a wee bit more space  I love it and I LOVE the kitchen. I have sooo much more room, so I’m enjoying cooking again, which Randy is ecstatic about. He enjoys the benefits of that.

 

We have changed locations and have moved on from Ramblers Rest RV Resort north a tad, this will be our home for the next 6 month.  Should be a bit drier in this area during the rainy months ahead. I do miss the fabulous view of the Myakka River~but we will return in the autumn.

Still loving the lifestyle, even tho agencies can sure act like what you are doing is suspicious or something.  I’m not sure what the issue is. Last I knew it wasn’t against the law to live an alternative lifestyle.  Krikees, people can’t even get our address change to a postal service correct.  Customer care is on the endangered list in America…can it truly be that hard to change an address on a computer screen and hit save?  Ok, rant over

So, I want to begin sharing some of my photography with you.  It’s another great and fairly safe escape for me. I like fun and funky findings. I also often take pictures of subject matter that moves me in some way.  Also, at times, I’ll share a poem that the picture inspired me to write, or just share with you the thoughts the photo evokes.

Since we had a great 6 month at Ramblers, I thought I’d use that area as my first photography showcase.

I hope you enjoy, hope you feel joy, perhaps some zen in the images herein.

Namastè

L

 

 

RIP Earth Angel


Kris Palmer; poet, author, mother, earth angel.

Kris Palmer; poet, author, mother, earth angel.

earth angel

there’s a glow about those
that are graced with a halo
your light before you goes
earth angel

there’s a recognition
our spirits know
we are of one another
i share your glow

our love is comfortable
our friendship old
conversation easy
when you share a soul

so rest assure
where ever you travel
i’ll be there with you
you are never alone

remember
earth angel

we share a soul

 

I wrote this in early 2011 for my friend, Kris, who was leaving Venice, FL and moving back home to Missouri, feeling apprehensive at leaving her grown children and the town she now called home. I hated that she was leaving us, her friends and poets who loved her so deeply, but she needed to be close to her family (parents, siblings, cousins) and for that, I couldn’t fault her.

Kris was diagnosed in her 30’s with Young-Onset Parkinson’s Disease, a shocking life sentence to this vivacious young mother. Her life changed in ways in which I could never understand.

I met Kris in 2004 at a magnificent coffee house in Venice called Stir the Soul, oh, how I loved this space and those that drifted in and out of those doors.  I no more than landed in Venice and found my way into Stir the Soul in search of poetry, and it happened that the owner, Mr. Daney Jelley was looking for someone to bring poetry to life in his space.  This was synchronicity in all its glory!  So I began hosting open mic poetry on Saturday nights, and there was this girl (she looked so young) that had the sweetest spirit about her, who would get up and kill it at the mic. Her words were moving and real, inspiring and charged with emotion.  Occasionally, we’d pause, while Kris would tolerate some moments of several tremors, then pick up right where she left off.  Perseverance.  At that time I didn’t realize she had Parkinson’s since I wasn’t real familiar with it, just that I thought older individuals were more apt to have it.

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At poetry in North Port FL

Through the years, we continued as poetry buds. Kris was writing her book “Dancing with an Elephant”. She knew I liked to dabble in photography, so she asked if I would mind taking pictures of her for her book.  Of course I said YES.  That lead to me designing her book cover, but more than that, it lead me to an even greater closeness with this remarkable woman. She asked if I would mind video taping her preparing for an average day, in case she wanted to use that to promote her book.  I have several hours of video that leaves me speechless every time I watch them. Makes me thoroughly ashamed that I ever complain about anything!

Kris Palmer's book about Living a Full Life with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease.

Kris Palmer’s book about Living a Full Life with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease.

My Earth Angel passed away last week, with her beautiful daughter by her side, and her family nearby. A strange mix of gladness and sadness came over me. Glad that she is finally still, that she has shed the body that tried to trap her, but you see, she was bigger than any disease. Her spirit can finally soar.  But my human self is sad, for entirely selfish reasons.

So on the days when my body feels like its dragging behind me, when I want to lay on the couch and lick my wounds or satiate whatever whim I feel I need, I’ll look to Kris…to the woman that taught me more than I even know at this point, because it’s often not until someone is gone, do we remember the wonderful moments, the soothing and supportive words, the sheer physical and mental will to keep on going.

Fly high Earth Angel. Until next time~Rest in Paradise

At Kris's daughter's wedding.

At Kris’s daughter’s wedding.

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Kris sharing her poetry~

Living Lightly~6

Not our cart, but there are some wicked good ones around.

Not our cart, but there are some wicked good ones around.

Tomorrow will be 4 weeks of Living Lightly, U can safely say this week was waayyy better than last.  I believe all the technological issues and the odds and ends of moving are behind us. Whew…survived what I hope will be the end of the frustrations.

I had been feeling like we had been so extremely busy, that we hadn’t even had time to enjoy where we are, but we had a fun and restful weekend.  Helps tremendously when you just tell the world to STOP for a few moments.  It’s at that point that I’d like to jump off for a few non-swirling moments.  When I can and do, it works miracles. Call it daydreaming, call it meditation, call it communion…whatever word works for you.

I also started a new part-time job this past  week.  Just a few hours for a few days a week.  I’m very excited about it and it just kind of landed in my lap. I’ll share more about that in a later post.  Feels good~

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See the gator?

The weather has cooled here in SW Florida, and it has definitely cooled in the northern states.  The winter travelers are flocking in to their little nests here at Ramblers Rest, and the park is coming alive.  Entertainment is scheduled throughout the winter, so we’ll have to check some of that out and report back.

Hope all you peeps reading this are enjoying your autumn and the technicolor trees!

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Living Lightly~4

What a beautiful morning!  It’s finally not blazing hot.  It’s currently 78, just about perfect.

So let me take this time to introduce you to Rambler’s Rest RV Resort.  You can continue to read and experience it through my eyes, or you can click on the link and discover it for yourself.

Welcoming arches.

Welcoming arches.

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We’ve been coming to Rambler’s for many years as campers.  We have always owned some sort of camping apparatus.  Started over 28 years ago with a slide-on camper.  Oh boy, that was fun!   We remodeled that too.  So we had become familiar with it, and really loved the feeling we would get when we would drive through the arches.  It’s one of many RV resort style campgrounds that are familiar to the Florida landscape; offering both full-time residents as well as long-term and short-term campers.

What appeals to me about Ramblers that the other resorts around here lack is that it feels like camping.  It is not a place where the units are neatly lined up, same distance from the road, same size concrete pads, same tidy lot…way too sterile for this girl.  I love the eclectic array of park units in various positions, the many difference camping units peppered between the stationary units and towering pine trees.  There is green space, lawns, various Florida flora, vegetation, personalized displays of fun and fancy.  It has a communal feel, yet doesn’t feel too invasive.  Now keep in mind, this is October in FL, come January, I may be bitching up a storm about all the people. Right now the park is relatively quiet and very laid back. But once the birds all return it could get to be crazy, but hopefully it’s the kind of crazy I flourish in.

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Some of the amenities the park offers is first, my favorite place, the Myakka River.  I love rivers, they calm me, like most bodies of water do, but a river seems to take the cares and carries them away.  They have a great size pool with tables, umbrellas, cabanas and misters.  There’s a hot tub and a seating area with a fire pit, it might be gas, haven’t really checked that out yet.  There’s volleyball, shuffle board, boccie ball, tennis, a kid’s play structure, a splash park for the wee ones, pavilions, a life-size chess set, a sweet weight room, a billiards room with (i think) 3 tables, ping pong tables,a bike shop and even a wood shop.

They also have activities such as pool exercising, karaoke, concerts (a Motown group, a Frankie Vale group, a Whitney Houston show, stuff like that, cheap!), bus tours (some nice trips!), cookouts, they are always adding things. There are groups that meet however often like quilting, and even a Michigan group.  Maybe I’ll have to start a poetry group! .

They also offer park units and trailers for rent (or purchase), so anyone planning a winter visit, this is a nice alternative to a traditional motel or condo.  Here are pictures of some of those units:

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trailer for sale

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trailers for rent

park units for sale or rent

park units for sale or rent

We”re on site C51.  We are quite close to 75, and about equal distance to greater Venice, Englewood and North Port. Rather handy.

red arrow, HERE, is our site

red arrow, HERE, is our site

Hope you enjoyed your little tour of our new community, and as I learn things, I’ll be sharing with you.  I enjoyed having you stop by…see you again soon.

Living Lightly~3

Tomorrow will be one week of Living Lightly.  I must say it’s going fairly smooth. Adjusting to working in the same place I cook…literally, and the amount of times I move the same items I find a little repetitive, time to get creative and find some solutions.

“If you can’t find the solution you are not being creative enough”  LNW

We’ve been blessed to have had no effects from hurricane Matthew. We did bring in outside items and secured things in case it got a little ‘exciting’ through the night, but I’m happy to report that all is quiet, except the constant, non-stop reporting on all medias avenues. Ugh~but hey, no politics!! Woot!

It’s rained every day since we’ve been here, the tail end of Florida’s daily summer rains. I know it’s autumn, but the nation’s appendix doesn’t know that yet. Even though I have seen some of Florida’s fall colors in the form of the pink and yellow flowering trees. Slightly reminiscent of Michigan’s gorgeous autumn colors, very slight.

Randy has added a canvas screened-porch onto the RV, extending our living area. (I told him I wanted it for a closet, can you imagine…with a chandelier, of course. Ha.) It’s pretty cool and reminds me of the tenting days with my parents, then with my own boys when they were little. So now, even if it’s raining, we can sit out there and enjoy the sights and sounds. Maybe we’ll sleep out there some night.  Won’t me able to move or get up off the floor but it would be awesome to lay there and listen to the sounds of the night

I have discovered a couple of things I would like to tweek. Cooking is a slight challenge with having to move everything off the stove counter top (like 5 items, I do not like clutter) to get to the burners, not a huge problem, except when I’m hangry or just having a painful day. I have to move the office on the dinette to put items from the kitchen on the table to use the stove top. BUT on an exciting note, I remember how much I LOVE cooking on a gas stove, so it’s worth it. The greatest joy; heating up tortillas on an open flame…the way God intended!!  Yum, brings back great memories of my days living with my friend, Debbie Arecheja Alvarez. Good times!!

The other thing I’ve really noticed and need to address is the amount of trash 2 people can accumulate. Really?!?  Everything has so much packaging, and all the crap that comes in the mail!! Buying bulk might be an option if I had more storage.  So we need to work on shrinking our footprint on the planet. Bugs me~

So here are a few pics to share…enjoy.

The add-a-room Randy put up. Giving us an extra room that we use like a den.

The add-a-room Randy put up. Giving us an extra room that we use like a den.

Bella passed out on our bed. She's a light-weight.

Bella passed out on our bed. She’s a light-weight.

A few feeder bands moving thru from Matthew. Very little blow and even less rain, whew~

A few feeder bands moving thru from Matthew. Very little blow and even less rain, whew~

Dinner at my little fold-down counter. I don't care to wear my food while eating off my lap, Randy's happy with his recliner. It's a win-win.

Dinner at my little fold-down counter. I don’t care to wear my food while eating off my lap, Randy’s happy with his recliner. It’s a win-win.

Next blog,  I’ll give you a little tour of Rambler’s Rest, where we park our nest.  Maybe that’s what we should name our new digs. RV or Motorhome seem too impersonal, and the House doesn’t exactly capture its essence.

A nest, on the other hand, conjures visions of comfort and cozy. A place of nurturing and learning…and a place of preparation. Not sure exactly what we would be preparing for but I have always said “be prepared for the opportunity, whatever that opportunity may be” (maybe it’s to prepare for retirement), it’s time to put some of my words into action. I’m always looking to expand my knowledge and to experience the journey, wherever that may lead to.  Life feels like I’m closer to the short end. Gotta focus and capture the joys of the simple pleasures. NOW is the time and sometimes I struggle to let go of the strong holds of society. Makes me crazy when I feel I can’t find a balance. Because NOW is the time, and I don’t want to miss any of it!

Mummy has always called me a pioneer woman (after herself)…perhaps I am forging a path, even if it’s unknown or a personal one. But we truly never know who is watching, and what fertile soil a seed may have been dropped into.

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Namastè

Living Lightly-2

We have been in our new home since Saturday, today is Wednesday. It has poured every evening since we’ve been here at Ramblers Rest. So no evening swim, hot tub or golf cart rides.

On top of evening rains, hurricane Matthew is knocking on Florida’s door, so we can only hope it doesn’t veer left and come calling on the west coast of FL. That would be a fine welcome to life in an RV. At this point we plan to secure outside items and stay put. But if that huge sucker decides to bobble, we will high-tail it to our kids’ house in Venice.

Things are going quite well, we are adjusting to living lightly. I’ve had a couple challenges with technological issues to tackle, frustrating as hell, but I figured it out and now our devices and printer are all talking again and getting along. Thank goodness, living quarters are too small NOT to get along. Ha.

Had our first lovely dinner Sunday. Crock pot and oven work well. Ate outside on our new Halloween tablecloth and the house warming mums from our oldest son and family💙❤️💖

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Have even washed 2 small loads of laundry in the washer/dryer unit. Works like its suppose to! That’s always a good thing~

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So all in all, things seem to be moving along nicely. Sure do love living near the river. It’s always a beautiful sight. Hail Mother Earth!!

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Hope you all are enjoying living vicariously through our adventures. I enjoy having you visit. Like I tell my friends…you are always welcome. So visit often. Until next time…

Living Lightly


imageWell, we made it!!  We are now block and mortar homeless, which was the goal at this juncture of our lives. We have made our way to our new home at Ramblers Rest approximately 7 miles from the house we just sold. Living the river life along the Myakka. Should and could be very interesting.

Can’t say we didn’t make it without a hitch or two.  Flat tires happen, and the slide-out on the rv wouldn’t go in.  Makes me far more anxious than it makes Randy  I get hung up on logistics to begin with, then when a wrench is thrown in the mix where one isn’t needed or expected gets me nervous.  I like things to run smoothly.  Ha, when will I ever learn that that is not the way of the world.

So here are pics of moving day yesterday, enjoy (because it’s not you going through this, baha).

Today, may we rest and play.  Dinner is in the crock pot and wash is in our little washer/dryer combo unit.  Time to exhale.

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Getting Real

Well, things are getting real folks.  We are ever so close to beginning of the Living Lightly series. 

Our house has a solid offer (5 days on the market) and closing is set for this coming Friday!  We are realists (well, some days I am, other days, not so much) and we know one must know how to roll with the flow when it comes to real estate.  Can’t get excited until the ink is dry. But if all goes as scheduled, and it WILL, Saturday we will “officially” be RVing it, not hitting the road, but living in a campground style RV park 5 minutes down the road, ok, maybe 7.

So, to say that the air is thick with swirling energy is an understatement, we are trying hard not to get sucked into the eddy.  Seems like every minute of every day for this past week, month, year obstacles of odd proportions have been tossed our way.  As if selling our house, shedding our lives of everything we own (nearly) and moving into a slightly larger than 400 square foot space (a palace, mind you) isn’t enough!? For real?? Let’s just throw in some hurdles that make your heart rate go up and test you coping abilities and see if you can survive what would give most people a panic attack, a heart attack or stroke out.  My shingles areas have been as active as an angry hornets’ nests, luckily no outbreak though, whew.  But what can one do but keep swimming, upstream, barefoot, through 8″ of snow (oh, wrong story, focus Linda).

The setting up of the homestead in the motor home is coming along relatively easy at this point, only if everything else in life were going that smooth. Randy has built a few custom items to make momma happy, cuz you know what they say “if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. That’s a proven fact!  I like to be organized, I look at it as a huge time saver and stress reliever.

I’ve also been adding some things to make it feel like home, I like a few things that comfort my soul and bring me joy, I don’t require much, not really.  Doesn’t take much to make me smile.

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Of course, I had to honor peace in some way in the new digs (above left), but I told myself that I would not go over board with it this time.  So I will inject it tastefully in a few choice spots.

Also added some art work, some favorite trinkets (like those in the picture above right). Then I found the cool shelf that hangs on the outside of the shower for added storage and I can hang necklaces on the bottom hooks.  Adds a nice pop of color and gives an eclectic vibe that I favor in my surroundings.  Click on the image for a closer look.

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In the above picture is my favorite thing!!  Randy built me this awesome bookcase right above the head of our bed (click on the pic to get a better look). Holds my dearest books, a few choice music and poetry cds, my writing journals, and my most precious of poetry books given to me as gifts. I love to surround myself with good reading material, some favorite sounds, smells and pen and paper.  I imagine this to be my hideaway, my creative cave.  Above the sign is storage, two large storage areas. There’s 4 average size (for an RV) closets to hang clothes in, 6 drawers (4 average and 1 small drawer on each side of the bed) and storage underneath the bed.

I have to laugh at the sign above the bed.  Randy made it, and I painted it in chalk paint.  I wonder how many times that sign will get changed in the first couple weeks of adjusting, you know, I just have to verbalize~teehee.

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A few more personal effects.

 

 

 

 

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I’ve added mesh shoe holders that I stapled to the bed frame to keep shoes up off the floors and not taking up closet space.  They are easily hidden by the quilt hanging off the bed.  Clever if I must say so myself.

 

 

 

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Since I work primarily out of my home (wherever that might be now that home has wheels), Randy has built under-shelves, short shelves that hang under the upper cabinets over the sofa and dinette. These I can use for office supplies that I need at my disposal.  Also, I love this collapsible faux leather storage container with a lid.  It’ll double as my file cabinet and also as our coffee table. Booya!

 

 

So we are well on our way to wanting to get this show on the road, pun intended!

When we get done with September, we might, maybe, hopefully (can I get an amen?) we can exhale for a few fine moments. We just want to sit in a lawn chair and stop doing for a minute or ten and just BE. Here’s hoping!  And I hope you’ll join us for a visit, virtually or otherwise.

Keep checking on us…keep coming back to see how it goes; the good, the bad, the ugly…Living Lightly.

 

 

 

 

 

Crazy Mofos For Sure~

Are we crazy???  At times, I really think we are.  But when we talk things over, and pencil things out, it just seems like our unorthodox ways work for us.  And in this particular case, they had better.

We are doing it, yep, shake your head if you’d like, but we are selling our beautiful home and our eclectic 01b22de98b3c542c63114ef031cfc921bdd68901e4array of belongings and moving into our motor home.

This decision did not come lightly, took a lot of research, questions, and some questions with answers, a lot of “i don’t knows” and a wee bit of gypsy on our part.  Randy really appealed to me when he said that it would be a fun way to test our skills.  I have to say that’s true, we pretty much know what we can do with a typical property, so let’s see how we do living in this rather Bohemic way. Well, not totally Bohemic, if you’ve seen our RV in previous posts, you know…

But it’s been a process.  A process of changing the way we look at things, the items we’ve accumulated over the years.  Things that have been near and dear to my heart for the time, the place, the people that are connected to those items.  So things have been gifted to many, sold and donated.  It takes time and the proper state of mind.  I’m kind of an expert packer…this will be my 29th time moving in my 58 years. The catalyst is that both of my husband’s wrists are deteriorating and he needs to take a much needed break from using tools, which means we are through, for the time being, of fixing houses up for ourselves.  Home ownership will not be in our future for perhaps a year or so, longer if we like living lightly.  Living Lightly…I like the sound of that.

We will stay local for the time being, not wanting to leave the Venice area, family and friends, and of course we will continue to work.  Not near enough to retirement age.  Just need to take a time out, won’t help the damage done to Randy’s wrists, but it may prolong the inevitable (they are talking a double fusion).

So stay tuned for what could be the ride of our lives~the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Living Lightly~