Friday, June 20, 2014

Joon van Spirit to Creek Chalet

Let's see, where do I begin?

Being back in Georgia has been a whirlwind of...well, everything! We found a place to live, while we're here for the Summer and maybe into Winter (fingers crossed we won't have to endure a Winter here).

[caption id="attachment_5501" align="aligncenter" width="569"]Summer Cottage Summer Cottage[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5502" align="aligncenter" width="579"]Inside Inside[/caption]

When we first arrived our friends were welcoming with more than open arms, offering us the upstairs part of their house to stay in while we got settled. We accepted the offer but it only lasted for about 15 minutes the first night we went to sleep. They have many cats, which I'm allergic to, and the cats use the upstairs as their play/sleeping soon as I laid down I couldn't breathe, was itching & scratching and my eyes started swelling up. I was going to try to get through it (didn't want to be a bad house guest the first night) and at that point Tiger, their biggest and most awesome cat, jumped from the floor onto my chest, I jumped up and said, "I'll be in the van!" Jamie followed! haha Hey, I tried!

They have a lot of land so we tucked in behind one of their barns and slept in the van for the remainder of our stay, a few weeks, even getting to finally 'endure' a huge thunder and lightning storm in the van! They were so funny, always asking if we were okay out there, the wife/mom Karen, was soooo worried about us. I kept trying to explain that we like it in the van, this has been our home for 2 years and we're absolutely perfect out there! Plus, it was almost like we were still out "in the wild" due to the land around them and all the animals they have; 6 dogs, several cats, 5 birds, 2 Roosters, 12 Hens/Chickens, 3 horses and 2 donkeys! Our girls were right at home with friends to chase and play with, I started calling their house the Park! haha

[caption id="attachment_5506" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Their front "yard" Their front "yard"[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5507" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Handsome Major Handsome Major[/caption]

Playing with dogs - Video Dailymotion.

Being back in a house full-time has been a HUGE change and there's a lot to get used to again. The things I'm diggin' the most right now is hot running water for dishes and showers, although I still can't (or don't want to) shower every single day. My skin and hair just can't take it, the water here is soft and for the first few weeks I couldn't get my shower routine right! haha Sounds a little weird, but with the water (in this house) being soft it makes you feel like you haven't cleaned anything after the shower is over, feeling like you need another shower, almost like you just showered in oil. So, I started experimenting with every other day, barely any conditioner, no conditioner, this shampoo or that shampoo. I think I finally have it down!

Let's see, what other things are different....we can stand up and stretch in the morning, instead of having to wait to get out of the van to do it. We have a place for everything, the silverware is ALWAYS in the drawer! This was one of our obstacles in the van..."Where's the silverware...grrrrr", haha A flushing toilet that doesn't stink up the whole house has been nice and not having to find a place to dump the toilet is also nice. We have "unlimited" internet, which is totally fun because we can watch all the Youtube videos & Netflix we want as well as Pandora or IHeartradio and I can finally download all my pictures and videos to the sites I use for back-up. I think once we get back "into the wild" that will, again, be the biggest thing we'll have to get used to...only 20g of data instead of 250, haha Oh well, a little give and take I guess, can't be data whores forever! And we have an oven and stove, no more teetering our cooker on the floor of the van! Cooking is not a strong suit of mine and every time I attempted to cook inside the van our meal ended up on the floor...yuck and no fun to clean up!

I guess there are a lot of differences from sticks 'n' bricks to the van life. There are a ton of things we do miss about living in the van and a ton of things we will miss about living in a house. For instance, right now we have 4 bird feeders hanging; 2 Hummingbird feeders and 2 seed feeders with 2 Impatiens flower plants hanging and with all the windows we have, it feels like we are living inside of a botanical garden. The birds are always flitting about, playing and fighting over the food and always always singing...I LOVE that and it's so fun to watch them.

[caption id="attachment_5509" align="aligncenter" width="580"]My Sanctuary My Sanctuary[/caption]

We even have a Cardinal, we named Louie, that sits on the side mirror of the van all day looking at his reflection. You can hear him at all times of the day flying into the side of the van!!?? I don't know what he thinks he's going to accomplish by doing that but he does it every single day! When I hung the feeders he wouldn't come to them, it took him about a full month to notice they were up. Once he found the feeders, he would feed then he'd fly into the window pane! I guess he really likes his reflection! He's a very 'special' bird, haha So we rigged up a space for him to look at himself all day, without hurting himself!

[caption id="attachment_5511" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Louie's Mirror Louie's Mirror[/caption]

This way he can sit on the feeder and see himself, as well as fly to the shelf, eat and reflect...literally! Even though I clean the mirror every couple of days, you can see where he pecks at it.

[caption id="attachment_5510" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Silly Louie! Silly Louie![/caption]

He is a very silly bird and keeps us amused while sitting at the computer. So far, the birds that visit the most often are; Of course the Cardinal (that's Louie), Tufted Titmouse (yes it's a bird and yes I said Tit! When I see them I say, "Hello my lil titties!) White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Chickadees and I believe our Hummers are either Calliope or Rufous Hummingbirds, they're harder to specify because they're so freakin' fast!

We will enjoy the time that is spent here, in this cute little cottage with our own private creek and all 'our' birds but we do talk about "the road" almost every single day. It is something that is within us, in our blood, in our spirit. The road, the wild, the life makes us feel alive and free and like we have a life worth living. Hopefully my medical stuff won't keep us here any longer than needed and we can get on with it sooner rather than later but we will just have to see which way the wind will blow us when that time comes.

I wish you all a peaceful, fulfilling weekend with maybe a little bit of travel and adventure!

[caption id="attachment_5516" align="aligncenter" width="400"]PEACE PEACE[/caption]

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Georgia on our Minds

Hello, hello, hello everybody!!

Well, as you could imagine a lot has happened since the last time I posted...right when I think I'm going to get all over this blog, it seems our whole lives change.

And change is probably the most common thing happening these days!

We have moved from our lovely spot in Sedona, AZ to an even lovelier spot in the Northeast Georgia Mountains. It took us 4 full days of driving to get here. Most of the drive was the same, lots of open barren land with big rock formations on the sides of the road, then we'd drive through a major city with the scenery changing back into vast openness. The majority of our trip was on I-40 so we drove through some cities and even states we had both never been through before.

[caption id="attachment_5488" align="aligncenter" width="480"]New Mexico 600 New Mexico[/caption]

My favorite part of the trip was right at Amarillo, Texas where we saw a bunch of people (off to the side of the interstate) walking through a big field of nothing, except for some things sticking up out of the ground. We turned around and went back to see what was going on and discovered Cadillac Ranch. How cool is this!?

[caption id="attachment_5464" align="aligncenter" width="540"]what is that 600 Art from 1947[/caption]

Kyn w. cars 600

James cars

[caption id="attachment_5461" align="aligncenter" width="540"]Cad Ranch 2 600 Leaving our mark[/caption]

We drove on through Texas into Oklahoma and it wasn't until we woke up in Shawnee, where we stopped the night before, that we noticed a huge difference in our green green everywhere. Trees, shrubs, grass...everything around us was green, lush, so beautiful and so very different than what we've been used to seeing over the last two years! The more miles we drove across Oklahoma, Arkansas & Tennessee, the greener it became and that's where all of the rivers and creeks came in as well.

[caption id="attachment_5468" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Arkansas 700 Arkansas[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5470" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Georgia Roads Georgia Roads[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5469" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Oconee Creek Oconee River[/caption]

All in all we spent 4 full days driving and covered 1,900 miles and at one point we got 18 miles per gallon!! We decided to pack the van differently for the drive so we threw some things away, gave some weights and jack stands to Goodwill (getting rid of about 90 lbs.) and gifted some things to a nice homeless lady that needed them more than we did. We averaged about 13-15 miles per gallon, but that one day we got 18! woo hoo. We kept the bed down, the dogs totally digging that and packed the underneath side of the bed with most of the stuff we keep on the top. It worked out better than we had planned and gave us the mileage we were hoping to get!

[caption id="attachment_5494" align="aligncenter" width="480"]Where's all our stuff!!?? Where's all our stuff!!??[/caption]

Being back in Georgia after being gone for two full years is very, very different. We aren't just in Georgia, we are in one of the most beautiful places in this state, I believe they call our county the hidden gem of the Northeastern Georgia Mountains and also considered one of the greatest vacation meccas in Georgia. Pretty cool, huh!

[caption id="attachment_5477" align="aligncenter" width="485"]NE GA sign Welcome[/caption]

We are surrounded by cascading waterfalls, lakes, mountain vistas and fish filled creeks & streams. It's humid here, but with all of the water and canopies of trees around us, it seems to stay cool most of the day.

[caption id="attachment_5481" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Stonewall Creek Falls Stonewall Creek Falls[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5482" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5483" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Abundance is flowing Abundance is flowing[/caption]

This part of Georgia is also considered a rain forest due to the amount of rain we get per year: over 55 inches (140 cm) a year and I tell ya, we had forgotten how much it rains here! The second night we were here, we were staying on our friends' property in the van and it stormed like crazy, at that moment we had realized we hadn't seen an actual storm in two years, it was thundering, lightning with heavy rain and a little hail, the van was even swaying! Our friends wanted us to come sleep in the house but to us, it was very exciting!

Rainy day 700The future is wide open at this point, we will be here for the Summer due to being able to work for the season and get my medical stuff handled and then we hope to head back West, but we all know how plans go...believe us, two months ago we were going to Utah's Great 5 for the we're in Georgia!

Dang making plans! haha

Wishing everyone the absolute best~

[caption id="attachment_5486" align="aligncenter" width="336"]A fro hello PEACE[/caption]