Changing Gears

2015-08-19 18.51.35
Our life of selling, discarding, moving and remodeling is coming to a close. Yes, there’s lot still to be done but nothing that can’t wait until later.  Definitely time to take a long slow breath and relax.
And time to focus on something else….like our new to us Escape!
Mid-August finds us heading north to Tennessee RV in Knoxville where Andersen Weight Distribution Hitches are installed.  Our little 2002 Tacoma needs all the help she can get.  It is worth the 3 week wait for an appointment and we are out the door in a few hours.
Friends meet us on the side of the freeway and escort us to Panther Creek State Park where we take the above photo of Cherokee Lake.
From there we head to our favorite summer camp, Mt Pisgah on the Blue Ridge Parkway (just below Asheville, NC.)   I worry about pulling the trailer straight up the mountain from Waynesville.   The last 4 miles are all hairpins curves but the truck does ok after shifting to second gear.
We have our hiking gear with us but it goes untouched.  We spend 4 days of doing nothing but enjoying the views and the cool air.
2015-08-20 19.35.39
DSC_0018Looking Glass Rock

Mt Pisgah
We are still getting acquainted with our new trailer.  We put everything away in May before the onslaught of moving chores.  Now we can’t remember where any thing lives!  Constantly searching!   But this is our first real camping trip…not counting the two days in June…and we will eventually find a routine.
Sylvester is not bothered by all the fuss.

Notice how the truck is dwarfed by the trailer.
Our time in the mountains goes fast.  Soon we are back home and learning how to live at a less demanding pace.  We see our first movie of the year, take our first bike ride in 6 months.  I hike with my Tuesday group, another first for the year!
Adjusting to the unknowns of a new home and a new trailer is not enough stress for me.  A visit to Best Buy during our August tax free weekend results in a new tiny HP laptop.  Now I am trying to learn how to transition from my 2008 Windows Vista to Windows 10.  Windows 10 is ok, so far, except for my inability to download Live Writer.  Still have much to figure out.  Also did not realize the photos would look so poor on the small screen.
Speaking of inabilities….I am unable, so far, to get the Casita language off the blog as it is distributed.  I may need to create another URL.  If anyone can help, sure would appreciate it!!  I am so technically challenged, it is a miracle that the blog exists!
Also been playing around with the new Google photos app..thanks to videos from Geeks On Tour.  Still learning, but hope to get all my photos uploaded.  Lots of fun so far!
2015-09-12 11.22.072015-09-12 11.05.14
A short hike on Signal MTN results in a few phone photos.  Left, David at Mabbit Spring; right, turkey tail lichen.
2015-09-12 12.02.25
Looking north from Falling Water Falls overlook.
2015-09-07 10.55.122015-09-11 17.11.25
David on the Chattanooga River Walk and Sylvester trying to be good.
Results of playing around with the app, PicsArt. ( which disappeared when I was playing with Google Photos.)
Looking forward to beau coup good times this fall in our yet unnamed Escape.  Heading east in 5 days back to the mountains of North Carolina.  Then west to the Land between the Lakes Rally.  October will find us at the rally in Cherokee, NC. 
Looking forward to seeing many of you out there!


Downsized and Happy!


The title says it all!  It has been a heck of a ride but we did it!  Now we are beginning to enjoy our new home.  Phone photos are the best way to show our summer. 

2015-06-03 13.55.24

June 8th, 2015, this is the depressing reality of our new outdoor space.

2015-06-27 12.31.37

First splash of primer on the old kitchen walls.

2015-06-29 15.13.59

The kitchen/living room wall comes down.

2015-06-29 15.25.06

Bedroom floor after carpet is removed.

2015-06-30 10.52.04

 Ceiling braced before header beam installed.

2015-07-01 15.30.19

The beam is up…loving the open space!

2015-07-10 10.10.25     2015-07-10 10.17.21

2015-07-10 10.16.54

Meanwhile, back at the old home, piles of unwanted stuff start accumulating. Our criteria for keeping something:

1. Do we love it?       2. Is it necessary?

2015-07-11 09.06.25

2015-07-11 09.07.31

Our first look at the new floors. Wow!

2015-07-11 09.09.02

David removing hinges.

2015-07-11 09.09.37

Rockers relocated from old porch to new porch.

2015-07-15 08.12.302015-07-15 08.11.51

The painting begins!

2015-07-17 16.06.36

And ends.

2015-07-20 18.34.42

The Escape finds new parking.

2015-07-25 06.48.51

2015-07-24 15.50.15

2015-07-25 06.49.36

  Our furniture arrives.    Bellhops move us.

2015-08-01 08.12.46

The new fridge arrives….now we can eat!

2015-07-26 18.25.57

Princess moves with us…still looking for her new home.  Sheba, the Siamese, finds perfect loving new owners. Sylvester, the camping cat, adjusts to his new smaller space.

2015-08-01 08.06.24

Small improvement to back yard.

2015-08-01 08.10.14

Woods behind the house.

2015-07-31 07.22.162015-08-03 07.53.41

Our daily walk.

2015-08-12 18.02.28

David enjoying our first outdoor meal. (Two days ago)

2015-08-15 06.50.30

Before photo…spot for our storage building.

2015-08-15 09.01.28

2015-08-15 09.03.15

And now.  It is being built as I type this post.

We will resume camping soon!  Heading to Knoxville next week to get the Andersen WDH and hope to camp a few days before returning home. Rally time will start the end of September!

My goal for this post is to document our summer and to give hope and inspiration to those who are continuing to downsize.  We are living in 3 rooms plus a bath and utility room, less than 975 square feet, and I have never been happier!  There are absolutely NO REGRETS!

Yes, it has been a roller coaster of emotions…picking every object up and asking “do I love this?” But the rewards are huge! 

Good luck to all..go after those dreams!!


What a Difference!


What a difference 3 days made!  Three days after writing that last, kind of pitiful, post, we got an offer on our house!  One that we could accept.  And my sweet husband drove up to the duplex,  pulled a few nails from the wall, carted off more trash, spackled a bit and suddenly I am able to sleep through the night!

The place does not look that much different.  I am just choosing to see what it can be, rather than what it is! 

Last week some friends asked us to join them at Henry Horton, a state park in middle Tennessee.  It was time to try out our new-to-us trailer home.  The park is big…. boasts a golf course, restaurant, inn and cabins.  But it was so hot and muggy, we went into survival mode.  Spent more time inside with the A/C than we ever had and the hubby still managed to get two tick bites!

2015-06-17 13.53.42

2015-06-17 17.21.02

We are working on getting a WDH.  Our buddies at the Townsend rally sang praises for the Andersen Weight Distribution Hitch with sway control.  Even those with full size pickups were using it with the 19’ Escape.  This is what we want, we think, but no one in our area sells it and the one RV dealer who was willing to get it from the manufacturer in Idaho told us he did not understand how it works….even after watching the video on You Tube.  Not sure if we want to spend $600 and not get it properly installed!!  Still trying to figure out what to do.

We have got a new transmission cooler on the Taco.  Our little truck pulled the trailer up the big mountain at Monteagle.  I just need to get accustomed to the engine noise in second gear and 3500 rpms!

Another challenge that we are facing, one we can barely discuss, is the issue of the cats….as in, too many cats!  Last week I finally made up flyers for the two older females, Sheba and Princess and began distributing them at local vet offices.  Several calls have come in but when I mention their ages, 11 and 13, the interest suddenly disappears.  (Please don’t try to shame us. If we had a motorhome, I could see us traveling with 3 felines, but the truck barely holds the two of us and Sylvester.)

After our short jaunt to middle Tennessee, we immediately got back on the road, minus the Escape, and headed for Louisville, KY, delivering a load of family antiques to one of the granddaughters.

That night we strolled across the Ohio River on an old railroad bridge.  Loved the views from the river.

2015-06-19 21.39.20

Louisville at night

2015-06-19 21.22.53

The Big 4 walking bridge with led color changing lights

2015-06-19 21.13.32

Ohio River

2015-06-19 20.39.40


We are one month and one day away from closing on the house, assuming we can get all the necessary repairs completed.  Hope to find a contractor to take out a wall in the duplex and get new flooring before we move in. 

Can’t believe we are starting the next phase of “the dream!”