Wednesday, June 10, 2020

What I did on my summer vacation in 2017 and since

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One of my readers pointed out that I hadn't done a life update since 2017, so I figured it was time I did that.  I pretty much quit blogging for a while because I lost a contract I had to write monthly, and I just started redoing some old posts and such to keep some traffic coming to the blog.  I have missed writing, and I finally made some money from Google AdSense, so I'm thinking of getting back into it.  I took a blogging course a few years ago, and the only thing that happened was my page views went down, so that was super discouraging.

Trips we have taken since I last wrote:

My husband and I went to the Nazarene General Assembly in Indianapolis.  I went to a Nazarene college over half a lifetime ago, and I wanted to to go the alumni banquet and see friends.  The one friend I was hoping to see and didn't passed away about a year ago -- killed by a drunk driver.  We weren't close, but knew each other and were still friends on Facebook.  From Indianapolis, my husband and I decided to road trip a little further west -- a bucket list item for me has always been to go to all 50 states, so we went out to Iowa and went to Antique Archeology, up into Wisconsin and visited a town that was filled with dozens of troll statues, had cheese curds at a bar, and visited Illinois for the first time and even played mini-golf in the basement of a funeral home!

That summer and the next my husband and I went to the church camp I went to growing up.  They have a week of what is called "family camp" and we had the best of both worlds -- staying at a Hampton and enjoying pool time with my friends from high school and then doing stuff on the campground.

In 2018, we visited New Mexico for the first time and fell in love with it.  In 1998, I sold an item on eBay to someone in New Mexico.  We stayed friends for over 20 years, and we finally met in 2018.  His family welcomed us with open arms, and we stayed at their home after a couple nights at a hotel and we knew we hit things off (can always be kind of iffy when you meet someone you have known only online.). We also did a road trip with him, his daughter, and sister.  We went to Santa Fe and up to Los Alamos.

In 2019, my husband and I decided we were going to take a lot of time off and pretty much drive cross country.  We didn't make it to the Pacific ocean, but we made it to the Mexican border just south of Bisbee, Arizona before starting our trek home.  We meandered through 18 states (I'm now just 6 away from having been to all 50).  We visited numerous national parks, stayed with our friends in New Mexico again, and went to various quirky roadside attractions.  During this time, our guinea pig was staying with a nun friend of ours who loves guinea pigs.  She has several of her own and fosters.  Her girls were fixed and from what I understand, our guinea pig was glad that the girl guinea pigs were not nuns.  *sigh*.

Also in 2019, my husband celebrated 5 years at his work, and the company does a big overnight celebration for people who have been there 5, 10, 15, etc. years.  Unfortunately, there was mold in our hotel room that the company paid for and I was sick much of the overnight trip because of the mold.

My husband won a cruise in 2019 but because of me getting sick from the mold, we were unable to go.  I've never been on a cruise and I was excited about it, so it was really disappointing.


I got both the flu and food poisoning at the end of 2018.  I was in the hospital for 3 days -- including Christmas.

2019 was the first year of our marriage I haven't been in the hospital overnight.  I found a new doctor (again) and my meds have been switched around and things are going so much better for me.

I have a new therapist.  It's quite a trek to his office but it's worth it (2 1/2 hours EACH WAY!)  It's nice to go during nice weather and have a day where we visit the "city" and able to go shopping at places we usually would have to order online, etc.  Of course, now he's been doing online appointments and I hope that can continue for some time.  As much as I love visiting the city, plus I have a cousin who is so much fun who lives near there and I love getting together with her, it's still quite a trip.

Because my health problems put me at high risk if I were to get covid, my husband has been off work now for almost 2 months.  He will likely be going back this month taking lots of precautions.

He also fell just below full time, so we have been having to pay for our insurance and not having the company pick up part of the tab.  That has been over $1,000 a month, but we both take meds that would be more than $1,000 a month if we were to pay out of pocket, so we have no choice but to keep paying it.  This is one reason we have been hitting eBay so hard.


As I mentioned, my husband has been off work, celebrated his 5th (and now 6th) anniversary with his company, and is planning on returning.

I have been continuing to sell on eBay,  designing t-shirts for sale on Amazon,  using many of those same designs for journals on Amazon, doing some additional gig work, and teaching at VIPKid.

Also, I am working on getting books my mother wrote up on Amazon so they can be purchased on Kindle or read through the Kindle Unlimited program. But with everything else I am doing, this is something that doesn't get accomplished very often.  I need to make several changes to The Time Before Landon, because there is a couple problems with dates lining up, an extra page in it, a typo on the back cover, etc.

Family and Pets:

Recently a cousin of mine who hadn't spoken to me since 2013 started talking to me again.  That's been wonderful to start to repair things.  I have found relatives through Ancestry and a second cousin I have met through there, we joke we would have been best friends growing up had we grown up together.  We have so much fun together.  My husband had his first niece born 3 months ago, and so far we've only been able to meet her online.  My uncle and I have reconnected.   A cousin I hadn't seen since childhood, we have also reconnected.  He's even got us a couple deer over the years. After having no family for so long, it's so wonderful to be able to start knowing I have some.

We were looking into foster to adopt at my last life update, but decided that our house would have too many repairs to be able to make it acceptable.  We decided it would be cheaper to move, but haven't been able to save enough money yet to move.  So, that's something that is on the back burner.  At my age, we likely will never be able to adopt because policy in our state is you have to foster / adopt a child that you would have been able to biologically give birth to him/her.

Lucky, our guinea pig I had since 2013, died in August 2019 from old age.  He was very old by guinea pig standards (9 years!).  It was so lonely without the wheeking and other fun sounds from guinea pigs, so we decided we were going to see about getting one from a rescue.  We kept an eye on Petfinder.  One day when we were going to Pittsburgh, I checked Petfinder and saw there were two different bonded pairs at the Humane Society.  We came home that evening with Winnie and HoneyButter.  This is the first time I have had female guinea pigs since I was a child, and it's been a nice change of pace from boys.  Girls are cleaner and less smelly from what I have seen so far!  The guinea pigs have been continuing to entertain everyone on their Facebook page.


I still am entering sweepstakes.  I haven't won much this year, or for a few years, actually, but it's still fun to enter.  I have picked up cross stitching again.  I used to do that a lot, but got out of it.  I'm still reading quite a bit, however I've only read 18 books this year.  Last year I read 63, and the year before that 57.  While I'm no longer doing paper coupons, I still do a lot with savings apps and save quite a bit on groceries that way.  I'm also trying to find more information on my family tree, but I feel like I've hit brick walls on every branch.  My husband is learning to sew.  I can sew, but I'm not great at it.  We dusted off my 70 year old sewing machine, and he has been making masks and having a great time sewing.  He compared it to math, the universe, and who knows what else while I grinned and nodded.

Looking forward:

My husband and I have been doing lots of work on eBay lately.  Not only to bring in money, but to help clear out stuff we don't want.  I am thankful I had a bunch of stuff in storage to list on eBay so we could have some income while he was off.

I would still love to move for various reasons, but it's not fun to still live in the same house you did when you were 12.  My mother died in this house, and I have to walk past the spot she died several times a day.

I'm looking forward to being able to travel again.  I'd love to do a family history road trip in Germany, visit the states I have not yet visited (North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii), meeting our new niece, doing some family history traveling in this area, and visiting Amish country again.

I'm going to try and post a little more often.  I earned more money from my blog than I expected so far this year (not tons, but some) and that's part of the reason I started blogging -- to share what I know, my hobbies, and hopefully bring in a little money.  So you may see me around more often!

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful life update! Thank you SO much for this. I am delighted that you are doing better, that makes me so happy. And the road trips sound so fun.