Monday, March 2, 2015

Muddy Magnificent March Monday Morning!


Okay... I'll admit this is going to be random (as you've been previously warned...) ~ but it was running through my head and I just decided that I HAD to write it!  And what better place than a blog that is LOOOoooonnnngggg.... oVeRdUe for an update?  Yeah, I couldn't think of a better place either.  So here goes:

It's ALREADY been one of "those" Mondays!!  You know the ones that people often refer to as "Manic Mondays"?? -- Yeah!  It just seems that thus far this morning when I type the keyboard has stuck, or jumped or my fingers somehow hit the wrong keys... Ugh!  Oh and then you have the dogs ... on the bed -- Yes, I'm sitting up, in our bed, trying to 'comfortably' get some work done! One of the perks (as I see it; though some days more than others... ) of the lifestyle, huh?  [Emphasis: "trying"!!]

So... let's see where should we start?  Back up:  The alarm went off and I didn't feel like I'd slept. [Ugh!] after 'snoozing' it, and dreading 'getting up!' ... Finally I got out of bed 15 minutes after the original alarm and managed to get my tea and hubby's coffee started -- dogs fed -- pottied (paws wiped) -- coffee and tea poured... Off to a roaring start, huh? [LoL!] Oh and grabbed granola bars for the 'breakfast of champions' touch! haha!

Okay -- realize:  "It's cold!" ... Oh yeah, we're low on propane, so conserving for cooking til we get more later...  (Yes, nomadic life -- I STILL LOVE it!!) adjust electric heaters, head for cupboard to get computer.  Ahhhh... [notice] my sweet hubby has set up my bolster and pillows for me.  What a love! I'm blessed! -- It's the little things... ya know?  [.>>> breathe in; smile<<]

Okay ... get computer out/booted/etc.  Sip a bit of tea. Nibble a bit of granola bar (Yes it's chocolate chip, but it's Organic!  Do I get points for that? haha!)

So now... the fun starts!  I'm trying to do my "routine" ... you know... update Craigslist ads ... check/update mind map for today and this week's schedules?  Chatting with hubby a bit and the dogs decide that they just cannot get comfortable.  Distraction.  DisTRacTIon... DISTRACTION!  So... I get up and slather their favorite toys in coconut oil.  This is a recent 'finding' that often seems to quell the chaos with our furbabies -- except when the younger/bigger of the two (Hubby's Boxer girl) decides that All ... yes ALL!! of the toys are hers!

It doesn't matter if I give them equal amounts or if she gets four and our Pug boy gets two or even one!  SHE (who I have taken to calling "Duchess") is determined to claim ALL!!  **sigh**  So ... take back A toy for Pug boy; redirect Duchess; resume 'working' ... **sigh**

Break:  Hubby leaves for job.

Settle dogs again.


Work on schedule (mind map); make calls for bill payments, etc (after all it is the first of the month, right?  **sigh**)

 Tea is cold.  :(  **sigh**  -- Break for a fresh cup.  After all it's a good time to 'restart' and divert 'manic' to 'magnificent' right?

Remember an adage once shared with me:  "If you didn't have a good '9 o'clock' start over at '10'!" -- Okay, I'm up for it...

Break over ... back to 'work' --

More doggy mayhem!!  **sigh**  More slathering... More re-direct!

Give up!  Outside time:  Potty break.  Wipe paws.

Resume.  Again.

More 'first of month' phone calls, etc..

Hubby called.  But he couldn't hear me because I accidentally hit the "Mute" button with my face when I answered the phone.  **sigh** -- Got that remedied.  "Can ya hear me now??" haha!

Updates. Got it! Okay. Make a few related phone calls for his jobs.

Focus.  Next...

Check one (of too many) email.  Respond. Respond. Respond... File. File. File...

Oh yeah... What's on 'To Do' schedule for today? (Love my mind maps! -- most of the time!)

MoRe DoG MaYheM!!!! .... UUUggghhh... REALLY???   More slatherings... More re-directing...

More granola nibbles. Sip of tea... ahhh... << breathe.  smile.  this too shall pass.>>

Where was I?   Oh yeah... inspired to write blog post about my "Muddy Magnificent March Monday Morning!"

Why you ask?  Because I'm determined to get back on a positive focus!! I have so much to be excited and feel blessed about.  After all:  the snow has passed (at least for today ... I haven't looked to forecasts yet to see if it will resume, as I've heard that is likely... I don't have to deal with that today!)  now we just have to deal with the mud puddles at potty breaks.  **sigh**

But those puddles mean water ... Which will bring Spring blossoms!  Yes!!

It's the beginning of a new month -- that holds MUCH promise!! [Yes!!!]  Not only is Spring around the corner (which always seems to bring a bright, happy, cheery feeling to my soul) but we have much new on the horizon... Stay tuned!! This will be good!!  WooHoo!!  JaZZed!!!

So as the mid-day is upon us here in the Central time zone ... I shall close and wish you a Most MAGNIFICENT Monday!!  And an equally Magnificent March!!

Oh, did I mention? ... the furbabies are napping.  Ssshhhh...

Perhaps NOW I can make some progress on my tasks at hand.  Bliss! ***Aaaahhhh.... ***  <<<SMILE!>>>  Such excitement!  So much "Good Stuff!" in the works! ...

Until next time...

Enjoy the journey...


PS.  What's new with you?  Perhaps you'd like to share in the comments below?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Back to School Memories... BE(ing) BOLD... and Remembering: September 11th, 2001

I know, I know it has been waaaayyyy... too long since we have posted.  But today I have been inspired.  Inspired by a friend reflecting on their commitment to home teach, or as she aptly summarized: "homeschooling/unschooling/worldschooling."  They, like us, have chosen to BE BOLD and live a nomadic lifestyle, thus also choosing (like us) not to send their children to public school.

This time last year, our friend Monica posted to their blog, Family Trek, about the emotions of "Back to School" time... Interestingly it was one year ago today... the 11th of September, 2013... the 12th Anniversary of the 9/11 attack; the post:  "Unexpected Loneliness and Jealousy in the Life of a Homeschooler"

There was kind of an interesting perspective that overtook me, as I read what she shared; I totally related to all of the mixed emotions that she conveyed in her post -- after home teaching our youngest son (now 15) for all of his  "school years" thus far -- September 11th, 2001, was definitely a most memorable day that I would not have wanted to have a young child in school.

It was difficult enough that my husband and I, along with our then 17 year old son, were all attending a local junior college in the community where we were living at the time.  Our youngest, then two, typically went to on-campus daycare while we attended classes; except for that day.

I remember, vividly, waking up to learn that the Twin Towers were gone. It was surreal.  I was shaken to the core.  I stayed home and clung to our two year old -- vacillating between whether or not I should even check the updates on the computer (we didn't have a TV then.)  I really didn't want to know.  If I knew then I had to acknowledge that something horrific had happened that would forever change our country; and it has -- sadly.

My husband and oldest son did journey to campus that day -- but the emotions were raw and they found everything from tears to altercations present there as a result of the tragedy.  This was at a small campus in a rural California County -- nearly 3,000 miles away from the tragic onset of the day's events.  Yet, it may as well have been in the same neighborhood.  That day, our entire country became one, very small, neighborhood.

As our youngest son now approaches adulthood, I  reflect on our choice not to send him to public school.  Monica said it best:  "I am confident this path is a good one for us..."   We have enjoyed having our son with us daily and experiencing life with him and through his eyes.  We can't imagine our life any other way.

As we take time today to reflect on that tragic day 13 years ago, we can't help but wonder where is our country going from here?  What is happening to our freedoms? What will our country be like when our son is our age?  We can pray that our children, and grandchildren, study history and learn from the mistakes of their elders.

I recently read that what is happening in our country now was set in motion by those who came before us forty years ago... I shudder to think where the United States will be forty years from now, if it remains on it's current path. My prayer is that our youth today study History -- Study our Constitution -- and DARE TO BE BOLD!!

I believe that the youth of today are going to need to BE BOLD to create the type of prosperity that our parents had.  And truthfully, I think that more children would benefit from being home taught -- public schools are not about teaching free thinking, and certainly not boldness.

Thank you Monica and Clark for being willing to candidly share your thoughts and experiences as you live a nomadic lifestyle.  We look forward to seeing you soon!  We are blessed to consider you friends and enjoy that we are able to share in your life from anywhere in the world via your blog: Family Trek.  It should be noted too, that we are SO looking forward to your book being published Clark!  We'd happily be one of your Beta Readers... just sayin'!  ;)

And to the rest of you... hold your loved ones tight ... share your feelings... embrace what is important ... BE BOLD!! and... until next time...

Enjoy the journey!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Closure -- Reflections On A Drunk Driver ... R.I.P.

BOOM! Thud! -- Were the deafening sounds that accompanied the jolt!  "What was that??" I said as I gave my husband a startled look.  Upon reflection of that moment later, we agreed that collectively we thought that perhaps we had broken our axle.  But the thoughts and words were interrupted as a vehicle slammed into the driver side of our FJ40 LandCruiser; we were hit a second time...

As the same vehicle glanced off our side and began passing us, Rich did his best to keep our truck from drifting or rolling.  I fought the fear that was trying to over take me, as I watched a small light colored car spinning out of control and directly into our path.  Rich said "Hold on, this could get ugly!" He didn't know how right he was...

It was a rainy winter night in Humboldt County on the North Coast of California. Not a torrential downpour, mind you, but just a seemingly mild rain fluctuating between drizzle and constant.  Having just left hubby's parents at their hotel, following a birthday dinner for our son, we were on our way back to the RV park where we were staying.

I don't recall what we were talking about, but I do recall the first hit as it was so hard my glasses flew off my face and hit the dashboard, and I grimaced with pain as the seat belt did it's job tightening around my waist and torso preventing me from mimicking the action of my eyeglasses. The second hit, side smack, was not as bad, but definitely jarring!  The third however was mortifying... as I watched the car then cross our path directly in front of us.

I remember praying fervently as I saw no way that the driver could escape certain death!  The car was small (Volkswagen Jetta) in comparison to our 4-wheel drive truck, which also had the added weight in the front with a a heavy duty bumper and housing which contained our winch.  As we collided with the car Rich was able to steer enough to the left to hit more the rear of the vehicle than the front -- though still technically 't-bone' as we hit from the center back, on the passenger side.

I was further horrified as I saw our shovel and hi-lo jack go airborne upon impact with the car -- straight up -- and knowing that they could very easily come down through a windshield or roof of one of the vehicles and do dreadful damage.  I continued to pray.  I closed my eyes and then felt another thud to my right.  And then we stopped.  I looked and the little car had come to stop adjacent the passenger side of our truck facing the direction from which it had originally come.

My husband asked our son and I if we were both okay, which we affirmed, and then he immediately hurried to aid the driver of the car while I called 911 for emergency assistance.  Astonishingly as my husband rounded the end of the car, of which the mangled body was still attached to the front right corner of our truck, the driver got out under his own power.   My husband asked if he was okay and he said that he thought that he was.  At that moment my husband heard horns and saw headlights heading right for our truck.

You see -- we were still in the slow lane on the freeway.   As I was speaking with the 911 operator I looked behind us and became aware that there were many cars stopped along the side of the highway.  When the operator asked how many vehicles I told her that I could only say two for sure, but there were many behind us and I had no idea if there were issues there.

As I turned forward, after reporting info to the 911 operator, I saw my husbands face aghast -- waving his hands -- shaking his head and yelling "Nooo!!!..."  I told our son to stay in his seat belt and hold on, as we might be hit again.  My brief horrifying thought at that moment was that if a vehicle hit us our truck would most likely run over my husband... I closed my eyes again in prayer and felt relief as despite the braking and squealing of tire noises, the vehicle sped around us with horn blaring.

My husband immediately hurried to the truck and moved it out of traffic, over to the side of the road -- taking part of the car with us.  Once we were parked I helped our son to buckle into the front seat to allow my husband access to the inside back of our truck to get flares and reflectors to hopefully minimize our propensity for being hit again, as the first hit had taken out our taillights.  Once I was assured that our son was okay, not seriously injured at any rate, I called hubby's parents at their hotel.  I told them what had happened, where we were and asked if they would please come to pick up our son as it was not safe for him to remain there.

A short bit later, just after the arrival of emergency-responders, hubby's parents arrived but CHP instructed them to a safer spot for them to park to wait for us. After taking down my husbands personal information, since our vehicle was still operable, a CHP officer followed us to the next off-ramp where we could safely transfer our son to the care of his grandparents while we dealt with the aftermath of the accident.

It was at this point in time that the CHP officer who we were talking with got a radio call and informed us that he was switching places with another officer at the scene.  Upon the arrival of the second officer she asked my husband if he had noticed if the driver of the other vehicle seemed to be under the influence of alcohol.  Rich said that he did not have enough interaction with the other driver to evaluate that.

The days that followed were filled with much contact with doctors (for injuries sustained by all three of us), insurance agents, rental car offices and automotive repair shops.  Reflecting on it now it is a bit of a blur, but I do recall that the pain was horrific for weeks and driving, for me, became a frightening experience for many years and panic attacks continue intermittently today.

While my husband was giving his information to the highway patrol officer, that night, he mentioned that we had just recently arrived in Humboldt for him to attend the University.  The driver of the other car volunteered that he taught there. When my husband asked what department, the tone of his voice changed and he said, 'perhaps I shouldn't say.'  My husband initially thought that was an odd remark, since it appeared at that moment that the accident was nothing more than that -- an accident!  Over time, the question asked by the officer coupled with the response of the other driver, in being reluctant to give information, would make more sense.

But let's pause here and consider the question by the officer that night: "Did the other driver appear to be drunk or under the influence to you?" ~  So... What does an 'alcoholic' 'drunk' or more specifically a 'drunk driver' look like?  Wouldn't he/she be readily identifiable?  I mean think about it -- You've watched "COPS," right?  Or perhaps similar shows that share videos from their 'dash-cams' -- drunks are usually staggering, unstable, sometimes funny to watch or perhaps belligerent.  Often times not well kept -- from as mild as 'a-bit-disheveled' to a down-right 'dirty-mess!'  That's how I recall the portrayals... thus I continue.

It took about a week to get the police report, as I remember, it was then that we would learn the name of the man who hit us.  Since the man had said that he worked at Humboldt State University we immediately searched his name via the school's website.  We were startled to discover that he was a Priest who taught in the Religious Studies Department.

And now... we learned too, that though we knew he had gone to jail that night, for DUI, we had no idea that his blood alcohol level was .15!!   At that time in California (and currently I believe) legally drunk was/is .08 Thus .15 translates to  nearly twice the legal limit.  What?? No. NO. That can't be!!  He was a nicely dressed guy, seemingly just a little stunned and perhaps disoriented from the accident.  Added to the fact that he said he worked at the University?? ...

This won't compute!  I was bewildered to be sure.  And then I felt angry... and then saddened...  How could a person of his stature, his level of education, intelligence and position do something so stupid??!! Seriously??? How could he not make a better choice and call a friend or call a cab?? Heck call a tow truck, they'll take you AND your car home!!

Over the next several months we went to court on this matter three times.  Each time our case was continued.  Each time an attorney appeared on the behalf of the 'accused' -- the man who hit us.  Then a day or two prior to our fourth trip to court we received a call from the Humboldt County District Attorney's office telling us that we did not need to be in court.  You see we were, at the time, about a six hour drive from Humboldt visiting family.  The DA's office knew that we were out of town and yet we were going to make the trip to court; we wanted -- no NEEDED -- closure.

She assured us that the case was going to be continued (again) and that she would notify us when the next hearing would be as that would be the opportunity, perhaps, for us to speak and that would be followed by sentencing.  She was wrong.  She called us the day after the hearing and informed us that he had been sentenced.  His Felony DUI charges had been punishable by a few days in jail, $10,000 fine (payable to Humboldt County) and three years probation.

To say we were disappointed doesn't even begin to cover it.  Not because we wanted some horrific punishment but because 1) We were not there because we were told not to attend by the District Attorney's office -- we expect that their information to us should have been correct and in our best interest; 2) We don't believe that the punishment was a deterrent for future repeat behavior -- I do not believe that a man driving and conducting himself at that level with a .15 BAC is a casual drinker;  3) And then -- Not once over those months of court did he actually appear -- an attorney was assigned in his place;  4) And sadly -- Not once over those months or in the years since did he ever contact us to apologize.  I would have expected that from a caring, considerate, moral person; and I doubly expect it from a clergyman.

Another aspect of this whole thing that often comes up in circumstances like this is that there are lawsuits. Yes, we could have sued over the damages, injury, negligence, etc.  However we believed that would have only resulted in the insurance and/or the Diocese paying out (as we believe the Diocese paid for the attorney) and thus would not truly have had any lasting affect on the man actually responsible.

Last year we were in Humboldt County both for work and pleasure.  During our stay we learned that the man who hit us had become the Pastor of a large Catholic Church in Eureka, where we were staying at the time.  Many times I had the urge to call the church -- or just stop by -- and see if I could talk to this man who had touched our lives so deeply in such an abrupt way.

It may seem odd, but there were many reasons that I wanted to talk with him.  As I mentioned earlier -- closure.  To me it was important to tell him that I/we did not hold a grudge and that we're all human -- we all make mistakes.  I wanted him to know that I had been praying for him and hopefully that he had learned from the experience and that at the very minimum if he chose to drink -- don't drive.

Also, through all of this I had never seen the man who hit us and after having spent so many years praying for him I believed that meeting him in person would also be healing to me.   But it was not to be.  I couldn't get the knot out of my stomach long enough to make the call, or just stop by the church.

The date of this accident to which I have been referring:  February 19, 2007 -- So why am I writing this now?  Praying for closure.  We will head back to Humboldt for another visit later this year and I was certain that this time I could do it.  I could make that phone call and have that meeting.  But very early this morning I got a proverbial gut punch -- I found out that the man who hit us had been murdered.

Subsequent to that news, I had a conversation with a very dear friend who shared her understanding that it seemed now that he was gone there would not be closure and that fact would be difficult for me, and for us. Thus writing this post seemed the answer.  Thank you for bearing with me through its length.

It's odd.  Though I never met Reverend Eric Freed, I will undoubtedly remember his name, accompanied by his picture, in my mind forever (courtesy of the internet and national news.)  I feel sad for him and for his family. I don't know the circumstances of the murder -- but does it matter?  A man is dead and another in jail being charged with the crime.  A community is saddened by the loss of a pastor and friend.  A family is devastated over the loss of a brother and son. Through this tragedy that is so much more horrendous than the accident, that we all survived that rainy February night, somehow we'll find closure.

Rest In Peace, Reverend Eric Freed.

In writing this I hope perhaps it may help others to address their needs for closure on certain items in their lives in order to move forward.  Feel free to post here if you'd like.  We always appreciate your comments.

Until next time...


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Did someone fart or was that a Duck Call?

** Disclaimer: Adult(?) content below. 
(Then again what children are reading my blog?)

Ok, time for me to put it out there. Phil Robertson. There, I said it!

"Boycott A&E"

"Ban Phil Robertson"
Which do I listen to? Why should I listen to either? Why should I care? What the hell did Miley do last night?

Now here's the question that is bouncing around in our, er, house. What is the best way to get HUGE amounts of free publicity? Cause a major controversy of course. How do you do that? Prey on peoples beliefs and feelings. Society has been shifting towards social acceptance of homosexuality. Homosexuals and those supporting their rights have been battling for years now to get them the same rights as heterosexual married couples. So you want to ignite a firestorm? Insult both sides. Then there will be chair chucking back and forth. That will get peoples attention. Just ask Jerry Springer.

Did I insult you?

“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”  Phil Robertson said in a recent interview with GQ magazine.

I find this very interesting because, in a way, I agree. Ya see I am a straight male. I like women. I like women's parts. I don't like women's parts because it is logical, I like them for what they are. If I was to be logical about it I would have only had sex with my wife once for our one child. And like my wife knows I WANT more sex than I want children. But then again what does love have to do with logic?

Please please please? Come on don't make me beg.

Is Phil Robertson a representative of A&E? Or is he a very animated character that A&E is using to make money? LOTS of money! I tend to believe the latter. They know his beliefs, they were never hidden. Yes there are repercussions for what you say if you are a public figure, but does that mean that you should stop being you because of it?

I digress. The question that I asked above is, "What is the best way to get HUGE amounts of free publicity?"  I am looking at friends on FB and people across the internet blasting Robertson and A&E. I do not think I have ever been bombarded with publicity like this. It surpasses Miley Cyrus' twerking, the infamous Kardashian wedding and Michael Jackson's poor cuddle choices and all in less than 24, yes I checked, not even 24 hours ago.


Over the last few months I have not been able to go anywhere without being inundated with Duck Dynasty merchandise.You can buy copies of the show on DVD to watch again and again, Bobble heads, CH-CH-CH-CHIA, hat, socks, shirts, mugs, Koozies, Segways (yes I said Segway), ties, jewelery and let us not forget what they started with -- DUCK CALLS (QUACK QUACK).

You called?

So at this point I am interested (sorta) as to what will happen. Will A&E put Robertson back on??...  Will Robertson apologize for his comments??...  Will  Hannah Montana keep twerking??...(I hope not!)  

What do you think will happen? Leave your comments below. So, check back later...

Same Bat Time.
 Same Bat Channel.

"We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?" - Phil Robertson

Until next time...Enjoy the journey...

P.S.  For a great commentary on the view of a gay man who is supporting what Uncle Si said go to Talon Unplugged. It is a great post to read and nice to see positive perspective from someone who could easily argue and rant about. Thanks Talon.

Friday, December 6, 2013


~Another brief intermission from Blog Love~
The day before yesterday we were going to do some work on a boat at Lake Ray Hubbard and stopped to grab some lunch at a local burger joint. Ian's order was wrong so Carolyn went back in to remedy it when I heard what sounded like a large box falling off a truck. I looked in the mirror and saw the trunk of a white car pointed straight up in the air (not the direction it was suppose to be.) I immediately knew that someone got tagged so I grabbed my phone and went to see if I could help.

It turned out that there were four cars in a row that were involved and I was on the phone with 911 right away and walked from car to car checking on the occupants. One of the cars requested an ambulance so the 911 operator got things going for us. I sat with a nice, but very shaken, passenger of the white car that I first saw. Winifred appeared to be OK but was in a little pain. Since she was in advanced years and was the one that requested the ambulance I thought that I should stay with her.

I heard the sirens and looked up to see a Fire Truck... Stuck in traffic at the light about an eighth of a mile away. There were no apparent injuries so urgency was not vital, but it was annoying to see a Big Red Firetruck with lights and sirens stopped behind two cars waiting for a light to change. After about thirty seconds the light changed and traffic continued.

The Firetruck was going in the opposite direction as the accident so they passed us and attempted to turn around and come in behind us. Notice I said attempted! Being a Big Firetruck it had to move to the right side of the road so that it could make the turn. In doing this it gave all the cars that pulled over for the Firetruck further back, and the ones that were behind them to begin with, an opportunity to pass it on the left.

I stood there in disbelief and watched as midday traffic passed the Big Red Firetruck, with Bright flashing red lights and a really LOUD siren, as it tried to turn around. After about ten seconds I had enough. I walked around the broken car that held Winifred (who was waiting patiently in pain) and out into oncoming traffic. Carefully of course. Held up my hands and started yelling "STOP" repeatedly.

Four or five cars passed me in defiance as they were in some sort of hurry. Realize, I was not hard to miss. I happened to be wearing my diver down shirt. It was a red shirt with a white stripe on it on a well endowed belly. Not like you could miss it unless you were blind, and for the blind I was yelling, in my "Drill Sergeant" voice.

I don't know about "all-y'all" but I learned when I was younger that you pulled over to the right and STOPPED for emergency vehicles. I know that if I was the one that needed help, I would certainly want others to have the courtesy to allow the emergency vehicles to have absolute right of way to assist me. So think about how you should drive when you hear a siren. Pull over and give them room. Do Not pass them, ever, if their lights are on unless you are told to do so by them; unless you are on your way to the hospital because you or your passenger is dying or a doctor who is going in for emergency surgery or a spy who has the antidote to the Zombie Apocalypse and will save the world, you get the idea, Pull over! 

Sorry, I digress...The Firetruck was able to turn around, finally, and they were able to help Winifred out. I am not sure of how she did as I went off to join my family, finish my lunch and go to work.

Thank you for letting me rant. So how did your day go?

Until later, enjoy the journey...


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Posting 43 Days of "Blog Love": Day 15 ~ "Sailing with Totem"

Photo courtesy S/V Totem

I'm in love!!! Yes, Hubby knows... Remember?  I shared with you before... about a week ago?  When we were sharing some 'blog love' with Adventure Us 2? Remember my sharing with you about my first experience sailing and despite Hubby's 'test' -- I fell in love with sailing.

Perhaps that is why from the first time that I read the blog "Sailing with Totem"  I just grew more enamored.  The Gifford Family is rich!  Not in monetary means, I'm referring to the way they capture and share so many facets of their unique lifestyle via their blog and articles that they contribute to other publications.  Quite honestly I don't believe it is possible to read posts on their blog without learning something!  We so appreciate this as we're life-long-learners for sure!

Photo courtesy S/V Totem

One of my favorite quotes (that you'll also find in my "About" on my Facebook Wall) is "You don't stop learnin' 'til you're dead!" ~ J.H. Peart ~  Who is J.H. Peart you ask??  One of the wisest men I've ever known; my grandfather.  (Miss you PaPa!)  Just a side note, Papa loved to sail also, but on smaller boats, as I recall.

But back to the Gifford's aboard the S/V Totem:  I encourage you to read a bit about the Totem Crew, I trust that you will find that they are much like many families you know... they just happen to live aboard a Sailing Vessel ... and learning is facilitated by real life experiences!  Isn't that awesome?  I think it is!

Photo courtesy S/V Totem

I very much enjoyed reading a couple of recent blogs that really made life sciences fun! This past weekend they posted a very informative post titled: What are the best field guides for cruisers?  I really enjoyed that and thought that it would be great to post to our Roadschool group on Facebook -- I mean really, the info is universal, it's not exclusive to cruisers, but I can see where all of the books recommended would be awesome to have cruising, for sure.

So, I thought I would share the 'field guides' post here as our main topic.  And then... their post today, (December 3rd) ... Giving back: citizen science programs for cruisers.  Oh my gosh!  I think this is a post that everyone should read. Regardless if you really have an interest in the ocean, perhaps it will broaden your perspective about how you can help with scientific research, that is beneficial to our environment, from wherever you are in the world !  So cool, huh?

Most recently Mom - Behan, Dad - Jamie, and kids (Niall, Mairen, Siobhan) are cruising toward Thailand in the Andaman Sea -- not sure where that is? You can follow along here: Where is Totem!  See!  A geography lesson!  Love it!  (Wonder what they do while cruising besides science?  Perhaps their post: Great games for cruisers might give you a peek.)

Photo courtesy S/V Totem

From our recent post about Green Global Travel I think that you may have gathered our awareness of sustainability and it's ranking of importance to our family.  I will admit that we have become much more eco-conscious since my hubby studied at the College of Natural Resources at Humboldt State University in California and while there also earned his Master and Scientific SCUBA Diver Certifications. 

His studies of the ocean have made us that much more passionate about it and also increased our desire to, at some point in the future, live aboard a sailboat. (We already have a name picked out, but perhaps we'll share that in another post. <<grin>> )

I could go on and on about the Gifford Family -- They (obviously) are on our list of families who we very much look forward to meeting up with!  Thank you Behan and Jamie for being willing to share so much (and such beautiful pictures) of your Cruising Adventures!  We look forward to following along and learning much more...

Photo courtesy S/V Totem

Thank you for reading all...  Stop by and share some 'blog love' with the 'Totem Crew' -- and perhaps learn something new while you're there!  Do be sure to tell them that the "Nomadic Jesters" sent ya!

Until tomorrow... Enjoy the journey...


Monday, December 2, 2013

Posting 43 Days of "Blog Love": Day 14 ~ ""

Hobbies are fun, don't you think?  We have a few, and Geocaching is one of them. For those of you who do not know, Geocaching is a 'treasure hunting' game of sorts.  All you need to play is a GPS and a computer (actually a smart phone can be used in place of both, if you'd like.)

If I recall correctly hubby and son started playing about eight (going on nine) years ago.  We found it to be a great learning adventure with our son, no matter his age.  Since that time the website that began as has evolved to include not only locations of Caches, but various membership levels, special events and of course a Blog.  We subscribe to the blog and find it a very enjoyable read.

A little navigation class.

Sometimes there are stories about events... other times there are stories that include unique Caches; you just never know what you'll find.  We got the latest blog post in our email today that included a story about some very special "travel bugs"!  Oh wait, if you're not familiar with Geocaching you're probably asking 'What's a travel bug?' ... "Is it a pet of some sort?"

It kind of sounds like something that you most likely would want to get rid of if it's contagious, that's for sure! But no, it's part of the game.  In this case the article shares about a new trackable "Lego Geocacher."  You see, the idea is that you have these special trinkets (in this case a Lego figure) that is attached to an I.D. tag.  You 'adopt' him/her/it, register it (trackable number), then "set it free" to begin a journey visiting Caches along the way!

It can be great fun!  Once you get into this game you'll no doubt find a huge variety of unique and fun 'trackables' that interest you.  There are even collectible coins, but I'll let you research that on your own.  When we first started, I found the trackable especially fun!  (I really love "Signal the Frog" -- shown below)

Photo from

Once you 'find it', you 'log it', sometimes include a picture with your log and then 'release it' into the wild via another Cache.  You'll find, though, that not all Caches are capable of holding travel bugs -- but again, I'll let you figure that out on your own... I have to leave some things for you to learn from their website, right?

Awhile back my hubby wrote a post titled:  "Am I a Bad Parent?" about a Geocaching 'mishap' shall we say??  So I've decided to share it here!  It looks like you can leave comments on the blog, though I never have. Perhaps you'd like to let them know that you read about Geocaching on our blog? Or perhaps you'll just share some 'blog love' and leave a comment for us below and tell us about your experiences Geocaching, or what you think about my Hubby's post.

Until tomorrow... Enjoy the journey...