Yes, I’m still here, though life has continued to bring more changes my direction.
The trip to France, England, The Netherlands, and home across the sea, was an amazing dream come true. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you will have seen some of the photos. My sincere apologies for not blogging throughout my trip. At the last moment, I made a fateful decision to bring my iPad instead of my laptop, and I discovered once in France that I could not post photos in my usual fashion, which prevented me from blogging. Now that life is returning to 'normal' I hope to bring you remembrances of the trip periodically as I return to more consistent blogging.
Returning home brought unanticipated challenges that were difficult emotionally and financially. I discovered that travelling in the RV by myself was very isolating and that I could not stand the idea of not having a home to return to. There were a few other complications with living the RV that I had not anticipated as well, which there were no easy answers for especially if I did not have a home base.
Much of the summer was spent looking for a new place to live, a task made more difficult by my financial constraints. In August, I purchased a 1000 square foot double wide mobile/modular home on a reasonably sized lot which I rent in a nice neighborhood. It is centrally located to my family and friends, and in a community where I had lived when the kids were still young. In some respects, it feels like I have moved back home.
The kids and I spent three weeks renovating. We removed all the nasty dirty carpeting and vinyl flooring and replaced it with a lovely laminate floor. My sister came and helped me repaint the entire interior, from ceilings to walls and kitchen cabinets. This little home is sadly short on storage space, so I’ve added shelving and cabinets where I can to help. I find I still need to maintain a small storage locker for seasonal items and for the massive amounts of family genealogy research and photo archives that my Mom compiled.
The exterior still needs painted and the yard is desperate for an overhaul. The lawn is in sad shape, not having been watered consistently for a very long time and now overgrown with thistles. I had hoped to add a garage but having had to unexpectedly replace the furnace and AC, that is financially no longer a possibility, so instead, I’m thinking of putting a nice garden in that space.
The RV has been emptied and is currently parked for the winter and I am considering selling it. I hope to exchange it for something smaller for travel. Maybe a small van, or a tiny trailer that I can pull behind my car.
Stitching? Truthfully, I’ve done almost no stitching whatsoever since early April. I did complete one old project which I will share about in a future post. As always, there is a basket of projects waiting to be completed and lots of ideas (and supplies!) for many more! My hope is to get a number of the small projects completed and out of the way before starting on a couple of new large projects that I have in mind.
Painting? I have been painting! On my travels, I was able to paint quite frequently and came home with a sketchbook and folder full of watercolor sketches. Painting in Monet’s gardens in Giverny was a dream! I’ll have to tell you more about that later. In July, I took a break from home-searching to take a two-day workshop in Rocky Mountain National Park through the RMNP Conservancy. Karen Ramsay was a wonderful and encouraging instructor she was able to teach me a couple of things that have taken my work to the next level! I’ve been oil painting again as well, embarking upon some self-study in order to expand my skills. At this point, I’m working to get back to daily painting. And yes, as some of you have asked, I do sell my work – more on that in a future post!
I’m still finding my way with this new home. There is still a long list of things that need done. I am often asked if I miss my old house. Yes. I do miss the lovely cozy study and the beautiful light filled kitchen and stitching studio I had, as well as the flower gardens. But gardens can be made again, and I’m adding touches to this home that make it cozy as well. Eventually, even this boxy little modular home will be filled with character and feel like a true home too.