"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Monday, May 23, 2011

week end away

Well the lemonade is not quite made yet but it is getting better around here. We have spent the last several days just getting our emotions in check so we can move forward. I think we finally have a resemblance of a plan for our future.

We are very fortunate that we sold the house and moved into the 5th wheel when we did. Our financial situation is stable enough that we can take the hit of losing 1/2 of our income and still have our heads above water.
We do have a few bills left that we are going to take care of and get as close to being debt free as we can. We met with a financial advisor last week and went over our retirement funds and laid out our plans of leaving the 9-5 world and being semi retired full time rver's. He gave us a lot of good advice and helped us with our "plan".

So what is the plan you ask? Well I can't really say since my job is slowing down and I don't want them having a reason to "retire" me early. Let's just say there will really be no reason to wait until 2015 which was our initial launch date to start traveling. :-)

The owner of the KOA learned of Rudee's job situation and offered her some work. She will do some work camping in exchange for lowering our rent some. They still have not worked out all the details but she is looking forward to getting some experience that will look good on her resume'. I will help out some as well. We can only do a little in the evenings and on week ends for now but every little bit helps.
Tonight we went over and helped paint the interior of the pool. We only worked about 1/2 hour when a storm kicked up and we had to call it a night. They are hoping to get most of it done tomorrow and we will help them again if there is still more to do after we get off our "day jobs".

This past week end we attended the Indiana GWRRA motorcycle rally in Greensburg Indiana. I took Thursday and Friday off and we were able to head out around noon on Thursday. I had loaded the bike onto the back of the semi Tuesday evening so I only had to pack up the outside of the 5er and hook on.
We headed east on the interstate and met up with Rob and Jany Runion who were sitting on the on ramp near Brownsburg waiting for us in their rig. We traveled together the 80 or so miles to Hidden Paradise Campground in St. Paul Indiana.
We have stayed here the last 2 years for the rally since the fairgrounds where the rally is held has limited facilities for campers. I guess we have become spoiled with our full hook up sites :-).
The drive into the park is a little tight and has some twists and turns with trees that looked like they would jump out and grab the side of your RV at any moment :-O.

Once in the park we found our site which sits right next to the river, The only down side was I had to turn the rig around and then parallel park the whole out fit .... yowzer! Rudee hopped out and guided me around, and back, and forth and back and forth ..... you get the picture :-)
Actually with her expert guidance I only had to pull forward one time to center the rig in the site and we were parked!
Here is a photo of our site (the river is to the left):

We enjoyed the rally and spending time with our friends and riding our motorcycles. Our Harley has an intercom allowing Rudee and I to talk to each other while we ride. For some reason it was not working. I checked all the fuses but since the radio still worked I really didn't think it was a fuse and I was right, they were all fine. There are several adjustments that you can make and Rudee has controls next to her seat as well as my controls on the handlebars. I adjusted it every way I knew how but it still didn't work. I even called the dealer and talked to one of the service guys who told me it was probably just an adjustment ........ yea right. I knew it was more than that so I went ahead and made arrangements to stop there on the way home Sunday and drop it off so they can check it out Monday.

We even hit the Lottery this week end! We share tickets with Steve and Trish Suter where we each buy 5 tickets for each drawing and agree to share any winnings. Rudee checked our tickets from Wednesday nights drawing and we hit 4 of 6 numbers for $48. Missed the big bucks by 2 numbers :-(

I called Steve and gave him the happy news and we all decided to re-invest it into more tickets trying to get those last two elusive numbers to come up.

We made it back to our site here at the KOA late Sunday afternoon and got everything set back up. I even got a call Monday morning from the Harley dealer that our radio was "bad" and they are replacing it under warranty. We should be able to pick it up later this week so we can do some riding this week end, unless of course we are doing our work camping jobs :-) I'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 16, 2011

trying to return to "normal"

We have spent that last week going over different scenarios in our minds and on paper of what our future may look like. Still not sure what all our options are but we are determined to make lemonade out of these lemons!

Saturday we took a motorcycle safety course. I have taken several of these over the last 20 years but this was the first one we took "2-up", meaning Rudee was on the bike with me during the training.
The class was held in Southern Indiana at Brownstown High School. We both took Friday off and rode down with friends Rob and Jany Runion.
The class started bright and early Saturday morning and was spent riding through the courses they had set up in the parking lot. We did cone weaves, quick stops, stopping while in a curve, swerve to miss and obstacle and the dreaded figure 8.
The training took most of the day and ended around 3pm when the instructors presented us with our certificates. I think I did pretty good except for the 15' skid mark I left doing the quick stop .... oops :-)

We had been watching the dark clouds build all day and it was still dry when we headed back North. We made a stop at Cracker Barrel for supper and that's when the rain caught up with us. Since it didn't seem too bad we got our rain suits on and headed out.
The rain was never too hard and would even stop for several miles before starting again. We did have to stop one time and hide under the canopy of an abandoned gas station waiting for the rain to lighten up some.
Rudee and I made it home just before dark. The temperature had dropped quite a bit and we were both chilled. We quickly changed into our fleece lounging clothes and fired up the furnace to get the 5th wheel warmed up.

We woke up Sunday to rain and cold temperatures. We decided to drive to Plainfield and see Rudee's parents. We told them about Rudee getting laid off and talked to them a little about our options.

We both have another short week this week. We are taking Friday off so we can attend the Indiana GWRRA Motorcycle Rally. We will hook up and leave Thursday after work. The campground we are staying at is about 90 miles from here so it will be a short drive. The biggest issue is having to drive through Indianapolis during rush hour to get there :-O. In the meantime we will be squeezing the crap out of these lemons trying to get some lemonade :-) I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Busy time in OK

Well I made it back from Oklahoma late on Friday. My time there was spent looking at damaged cars from sun up to sun down. They put is up in a nice motel that served a full breakfast buffet each morning so that was a nice amenity.
My work day started at 7am and ended at 6pm when I would usually just drive back to the motel, picking up something for supper on the way.
I would eat in my room, watch a little TV and head to bed by 9:00 so I could do it all over again the next day.
They were even "nice" enough to assign us appointments on Friday morning which caused a lot of rushing around just to get to the airport on time. I guess working 10 hour days for the previous 8 days was just not enough for them so they had us running through the airport like Olympic sprinters dragging our suitcases just trying to catch our flights home :-(

Rudee picked me up at the airport and I was sure happy to see her and to be back home. I even had a nice Mothers Day surprise for her. I had used the laundry at the motel and got all my laundry done before I packed up to come home! Aint I a nice hubby :-)

We did some bike riding on Saturday when we rode to Marion to ride in a friends funeral procession. Afterwards we checked the weather radar and rode a little further North hoping to miss the showers they were predicting.
Well North maybe wasn't the way to go because we got pretty wet before finally finding a place to spend the night.

Sunday was a great day with temperatures rising into the low 70's with the sun shining bright. We had a nice leisurely ride to Amanda's house where we were treated to a meal cooked out on the grille. We had a great time and ended up back at the camper totally wiped out and ready for bed.

The past several months we have been worried about job cut backs at Rudee's work. They are cutting about 1/2 of the people in her position and we had hoped that her experience and excellent reviews would put her above the crowd. She found out today that it was not to be and they told her that her last day working would be late June :-(
We are not sure what to do at this point. Neither one of us have ever been through something like this. I guess the first step will be the unemployment office until she can find something else.

Our plans have always been to retire early and we had set her retirement date for March of 2015 because she would have enough time in to qualify for company subsidized insurance. I can't help but think this may be one of the reasons she was let go because if they kept her another 3 1/2 years they would have to pony up the benefits!

She will get a small severance package and then it's adios. I am trying to talk her into letting me quit too! She keeps talking about paying bills and saying things about keeping a roof over our heads etc :-) Guess I better keep my nose to the grindstone.

I did see a funny but appropriate bumper sticker the other day. It said " I would tell you to go to Hell but I already work there and don't want to see you there everyday"

I'll keep you posted.