Sunday, August 19, 2018

The end of an era and a new beginning

It's been more than a month since I lost Katie.  That was such a sad post to write through my tears.  Thank you all so much for your kind comments, they helped, for sure.  I still miss her, of course, and think about her often.  I'll adopt another dog - I'm not ready yet, but I love having a dog, so I know another little critter is in my future.

There have been lots of changes in the last month.

Before I lost Katie, I started looking for a house to buy in Elephant Butte or Truth or Consequences, NM.  I've been thinking about this for a few years now, and suddenly the time was right and all the elements needed to do it came together.  I've been considering this area, and really only this area, for a while.  I really like Cottonwood, AZ, too, but all in all, New Mexico beat Arizona for me.

When I arrived at Elephant Butte Lake State Park in February I decided to start the process by becoming a New Mexico resident and we lived in an RV Park for four months while establishing residency.

I insured The Palms in New Mexico and got her registered at the MVD here, and when I had met all the requirements and had the proper paperwork, changed my Driver's License from CA to NM.  I've been doing some freelance writing, and got a business license in new Mexico to set up a legal business here.

Then I started looking at houses in Elephant Butte and Truth or Consequences.

We had a family vacation planned for July up at Lake Tahoe in California, and before we left Elephant Butte, I did some house hunting, found four I really liked, both in EB and in TorC.  I finally decided on one that was a keeper.  It has everything I wanted and needed, was move-in ready, is in a good neighborhood, and fit my budget, so I made an offer on the house.  The seller countered and I accepted the counter.  The morning we left town the home inspection was done, and the house came through with flying colors.  Nothing negative on the report.  😁

It was so hot in Elephant Butte I was happy to leave the area for a cooler climate.  I packed up, and Katie and I started the drive to King's Beach, CA, where I was meeting up with the kids and grand kids at my son and daughter-in-law's beautiful house in the lake area.

Before we drove on to Lake Tahoe, we stayed a couple of weeks in Flagstaff, AZ, mostly camping at A-1 Mountain Road, where it was much cooler than in EB.  Sadly, two days before I left for Tahoe, I took Katie in to the Vet for the final time and said goodbye.  I'm doing fine so far, but it'll take time for all the emotion to calm down.  😥❤.  I keep thinking I'm over Katie, then it hits me. Whew... 

I drove on to King's Beach alone and spent time with my son's and daughter's families, and it was a really good visit.  Here's a photo of all the kids and grandkids out for lunch:

And on another day - the photo is a small size, so I can't blow it up, it gets too fuzzy.

And here's me with all five grandkids:

Then I left and drove back to the state park at Elephant Butte.

Meanwhile the home loan and home insurance were in process.  We had a closing date of July 31, but ended up closing a week early, and now I've been here in the new house in Truth or Consequences, NM for almost a month.

I've been setting up house - I haven't done this from scratch since I was a newly married young woman, and it's been fun (but expensive!).  Thank goodness there's a Walmart in town!  It has almost everything I've needed so far.

My son, Tom, and I were talking about my new house, and I said I didn't have a stick of furniture, but I'd camp out inside the house as I accumulated what I needed.  I've done that before and don't mind it a bit.  I'd bring in all my kitchen and bathroom stuff, the mattress and bedding from the rig, and I have camp tables and chairs to use, as well as my clothes, TV and computer.  AND I'd have a large swamp cooler to keep me cool, a full kitchen and a bathroom with a bathtub and lots of water!  The Palms would be parked in the driveway and I'd use her to get around until I found a little car that I liked. 

Tom has been flipping houses for years now, and when I told him my plan, he said he was glad I mentioned that - because he had some staging furniture that he wanted to thin out.  So when we were in Tahoe, Tom and I went through photos on his computer of all the furniture, and I got to pick what I wanted.  How nice was that?

AND...  he also gave me a small truck that he was rotating out of this company's fleet. It has high mileage, but is in super condition and runs like a top.  One of Tom's employees who has a commercial driver's license trucked out the furniture and truck a week or so ago, so now I'm all set.  I still have some decorating to do and small things to purchase, but I'm so far ahead of where I thought I would be at this point!  Thanks, Tom!  Your generosity has been overwhelming and is so appreciated. 💗💗💗

I've met some of my neighbors and they are all very friendly, nice and helpful.  It's a small neighborhood of similar homes to mine, all pretty well maintained.  My house was in move-in-ready condition.  Yards were clean, the house looked like it was newly painted inside and out, appliances looked new, the carpet and tile bathroom floors and wood laminate kitchen floors looked brand new.

With all the homes I've bought and sold over the years, this is the first one that had absolutely nothing to repair or replace - or even a negative comment on the Home Inspection Report.  It was all good.  Truly move-in ready.  I just wiped things down, vacuumed the carpets and then had them professionally cleaned, and that was it! I was really lucky. The seller took very good care of this house and I look forward to many years of living here and enjoying the house, yards and neighborhood.

There's room on the side of the house for The Palms.  It doesn't quite fit because my large swamp cooler is attached to the side of my garage, but my next door neighbor very kindly said I could park her on his property at the side of his house so she would fit. Luckily he has no windows on that side, and she won't be visible or in the way for him. So she's parked between our houses.

And BONUS!  One thing I hadn't thought about when buying a house in TorC was that I wasn't leaving the sunrises, sunsets, bunnies, quail and other birds, or even roadrunners when I left the state parks.  They live here all over the place!

I was happy to learn I have a little cottontail bunny living in my backyard.  I'm told his name is Charlie, and he lays in the shade of a grape plant that is growing on the fence. The swamp cooler drains into the dirt under the vine, and since it's cool and shady, it's a perfect bunny spot on a hot day.  He also has a little depression he's made under my plum tree's shade that he lays in, as well as other spots in the yard.

My bed is in front of the bedroom window overlooking the backyard and when I wake up I look out the open window and some mornings I see him hopping around the yard, as well as lots of quail and other birds.  So I still have lots of nature out the windows to watch and enjoy.  I've rigged up a bird bath in the side yard for the little birds.  It's right out the window by my desk, so I look out often.  They are investigating it, but so far no birds have jumped up into the water.  I've seen lizards there, too, rooting around and sunning themselves.  I'm wondering if they will investigate and find the water.

My house faces west, so I still get to see the gorgeous sunsets here in New Mexico from my kitchen and living room windows. And my bedroom windows face east, so I see the sunrises in the morning.  That seems so lucky - sunrises every morning without even getting out of bed, and sunsets out my front windows in the evening.  Perfect!

And guess what?  I'd heard there's a Roadrunner in the neighborhood, and I just saw him running along the street in front of my house!  I love that!  😍

So now, instead of The Palms being my home, she's my "ticket out of town."  I bought a New Mexico State Park annual permit again, as I do every year, and whenever I feel antsy or need a change of location, I'll load her up and move to a state park for a get-away.  Even if it's a "stay-cation" 12 minutes away at Elephant Butte Lake.

It's hard to believe I'm settled again and no longer full-timing.  It's the end of a 7+ year lifestyle that I loved and will never forget.  That seven years fulfilled so many wants, dreams, issues and needs I've had for years, and I wouldn't change a thing.  I learned so much, met so many people, stayed in so many cool locations.  Only full-time RVers will understand what I'm saying.  It's one of those things you have to do to really understand.  And I will forever be grateful and happy that I had a chance to be a fulltimer for so long.  And so, so grateful that I had Katie with me the whole time.  She really made the difference in so many ways.

My only regret is that Katie isn't with me now.  She would have loved this house and yard.  But, I'll get another dog.  I'm thinking I'll probably rescue a medium size dog instead of a tiny one, which is what I've always thought my next dog would be.  A medium dog would be fine in this house, with RV trips from time to time.  So we'll see what the future brings me.

I plan to continue this blog but will only post from time to time as I have been for the last year or so.  I'd like to keep my private life more private now, but definitely plan to post when I take The Palms out for a trip.

The name "Me and My Dog... and My RV!" will stay.  Katie will continue to be in my header until her successor appears, then I'll move her photo to the top of a sidebar.  She'll always be my RVing buddy, my protector, my mouse finder, my best girl.  I doubt I'll take The Palms out again for a trip until I have my new dog.  I can't imagine taking off without a dog on board.

So... I'll see you down the road, or at least post about it to let you know I'm still out there from time to time.  I've loved writing this blog and appreciate all my followers.  There are a lot of you who posted comments (that I LOVED reading) and many more who read all the posts without commenting.  Thank you to all of you - without your support blogging wouldn't have been half the fun it's been. You are the reason I posted so often for so many years, and now I have a wonderful travel and life log for the past seven years.  A wonderful, special time of my life that I can read about in the future, and my kids and grand kids can read, too, if they want.

So long for now,


P.S.  Even though I won't be posting much now, I'm still checking in on your posts to see what's going on in the RVing world.  I'll be keeping up with what you're all doing - I don't want to totally lose touch!  😉


  1. Congratulations on the new home! I wouldn't trade those 7 seven years we were full-timers, either. It was an amazing adventure with memories we will treasure always. But ... it is nice to be settled in one spot these days. We're totally content here in northern MN with no regrets in exiting the RV life. When our Maggie passed, it was like the "fun" was gone from our lifestyle, so I understand about that, too. I hope a new doggie friend appears in your life when you're ready. Us? We're talking about adopting a cat! Enjoy your new home!

  2. Good luck on your new lifestyle. I am sure you will enjoy it immensely. As far as state parks close by, I have found I like Oliver Lee State Park with its morning up on the mountain sun party and its evening across the desert lighting displays. On top of that it is only about 12 miles in to the Alamogordo Walmart and a few good restaurants.

  3. Congratulations on your new home. I'm glad to hear you have kept so busy since Katie's passing. You'll always miss her, but time and activity make the days pass easier. I've always had my stix 'n' brix home and I only part-time RV in my Minnie. So I understand the settled and secure feeling of owning a home even when you want to RV and see the country some of the time. I really enjoy being able to go when I want to, but also be "home" when I want to. Hope to still see you down the road from time to time.

  4. What a good looking family you have. I can tell they all get their good looks from you! I'm very glad you have bought a house and can now have a home base so to speak. New Mexico has a great deal with their state parks pass and it's so easy to hop to one of them for a few days vacation. Good luck with the fun of home ownership and hope to see you sometime down the road.

  5. Wow! I'm dying of curiosity about where you are - don't make me scan every neighborhood looking for The Palms!

    Congratulations on your perfect home!

  6. I am so happy for you. T&C is a wonderful place. We spent some fantastic times there. It's been over 2 years now since we lost Scooter and I still have moments when she brings me to tears. But most of the time its wonderful memories. With our new trailer in AZ and our spot here at Canyon Ferry, we aren't traveling as much either. We're making one last big trip out East but we'll stay West after that. So not near as much blogging either. But please do post once in awhile. Especially when you get a new fur baby. You know we love them.

  7. Wow! You're not kidding that you've had some changes. Congrats on the new house! I'm still looking for that perfect place. Glad you found yours.

  8. Congrats on your new home! We bought a small place last year also so I understand how nice it is to have a home base and just rv on a part time basis. I'm glad to hear you plan to blog from time to time. It will be nice to hear how it's going in your little corner of the world. :)

  9. Great news that you found your ideal place! A new life for sure and I'm sure you will enjoy, especially the resident wildlife!

  10. There comes a time when we have to hang up he keys and settle down. You have had some wonderful years fulltime. Sad to see Katie go. but i hues it was her time.
    Thanks for the update and am sure you will lovee it there on TorC we love that area as well ..
    Glad that we connected and met you over the years and hope we can meet up again on down the road.
    Always enjoy your postings !

  11. Congratulations to you. Here's hoping you'll be ready for that new pal sooner than late.

  12. Have enjoyed being with you from the beginning. I'm a part-timer too and enjoy both situations. My best to you and look forward to updates.

  13. I was sorry to read Katie had passed away and I well understand the emptiness left behind. We devote so much of our love and time to our best Pals and they to us. We've been to TorC a few times over the years (Walmart too) and liked it there as well as some of the old towns nearby like Hillside and Chloride. Reading your post I could feel your excitement with your new digs. I remember how excited we were a few years ago when we bought our little place in Congress Az. Nice to have those cuddly critters around in your yard. Bunnies, Birds. and Roadrunners. Nice, nice, and nice. Love the lizards too. All we RV'ers have to one day hang up our keys whether we're Fulltimers or Snowbirds but it's good that you are keeping The Palms for those much needed getaways at times. A cozy home base with and RV parked in the driveway is about as good as it gets I figure. We've been fortunate to have had that for the past dozen years. All the best to you Barb and know that as soon as you meet your next best Pal that loving inner circle will once again be complete for you......Al and The Bayfield Bunch

  14. Wow. A big change and a new adventure. You've had an exciting run with Katie and the RV and I'm sure the new house will be home to a lot more fun. I wish you the best in your exciting new lifestyle.

  15. That is definitely a big change but by staying in an area like T or C all your favourite things to see are there.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  16. I've enjoyed your writings over the years, and was saddened to learn that you had lost Katie. Best of luck to you in your new digs.

  17. So glad some good things are happening in your life . Please do blog once and a while as I know a lot of us out here will wonder how your doing . Good luck and safe travels when you do travel .

  18. Sounds like you are just were you need to be!!! what a fun journey you have had!!! Take Care and God Bless

  19. It was wonderful to read your update, and it is all positive after the last one about sweet Katie. There are varied opinions from other dog owners who have lost their best friends. Some had to get another dog immediately in order to get through their days. They needed the distraction of training a new friend.
    Good luck, your house will be wonderful and I absolutely love NM and Elephant Butte area.

  20. So sorry you lost your best bud. You can tell in all her pictures that you were *her* very best buddy too so I think your little girl Katie -even more than anyone of us 2-leggers - wouldn't want another pup who needed a home to be deprived for one second of the wonderful care & comfort & special attention you filled her extraordinarily life with. You were both blessed to have each other, but those blessings don't have to - and shouldn't have to- end.

    But I've been through this a few times myself (I rescued a few dogs that turned out to be... elderly),and you have to do it when you're ready. Be prepared, though: as deep as your pain is, that day will come sooner than you think.

    I'm also curious about why you chose New Mexico. Seems like a lot of RV full-timers are getting off the road lately and, so far at least, their landing places seem about evenly distributed between NM & AZ. Do you think you could explain your choice in a future post? It could be helpful to those of us figuring where to make a home base out that way later.

    Best of luck to you now that you've open a wonderful new chapter in this incredible post-retirement life you've created for yourself!

    1. I forgot to add: when you do decide to get your new dog, make sure it's not *too* big. None of us are getting any younger, dogs do get sick & they have to be carried into vets on occasion. It's just something to think about if you're a woman & have zero upper body strength like me and your new dog isn't one of those handy-dandy ones that comes with a Tall Handsome Cowboy to do the hoisting into a car. ;-)

  21. I'm so happy for you, Barb. And sad about Katy as well. I lost two dogs I really loved and traveled with - now I'm settled and just got another dog. A puppy this time and almost more than I can handle. I see a bright future for you, and wish you well for years to come.

  22. How exciting for you! Glad you found the perfect place. We are still searching :-) Can't believe how many fulltimers we know have bought houses this year.
    Hope to see you when we get back to NM one of these days.

  23. Congratulations on your new home. It sounds wonderful. I wish you many happy years in your new home. I'm sure you will enjoy a new pup to one day soon to settle in with you.

  24. Wow, that's a big move. Congrats!! Sounds like you've found a good spot to stop for at least a while. Glad to hear you'll still be on the road sometimes. The right dog will come into your life when the time is right. Be well. Enjoy!

  25. Congrats on your new home! I'm jealous. Jealous of the time you spent in your RV, now jealous of a home in small town desert Southwest. I'm about four years away from retirement and torn between both of those. Oh my goodness, we could probably talk for hours. So many questions and things to consider! Again, happy for you!
    Cindy CF

  26. Katie will always travel with you in your heart and, it is a tribute to her that you want to rescue another dog. Hope you enjoy your new home. I do miss your posts and hope to see more in the future.

  27. Congrats on finding a new nest to settle in and soon too a new friendly pooch will be at your side... As we are now in our eighth year of FT'ing we talk about settling down but simply aren't ready yet...

  28. Will miss your posts. Always looked forward to hear what you and Katie were up to. Enjoy your new adventures.

  29. My heart hurts for you at the loss of Katie. My ChaCha is 15-1/2, mostly blind, deaf as a post and is insulin dependent. Can't imagine what I'll do when he gets his wings. Good luck to you in your new adventure in Truth or Consequences.

  30. As others have said and as you know, Katie will always be with you. I'm sorry she's not there to explore the new house, but maybe, just maybe she really is, just over your shoulder, just around the corner, smiling at you and the fun you're having building a new home. I look forward to your next post!

  31. Best wishes to you in your new life style.
    I will miss your posts and hope you do touch base with all of
    us, your followers.
    Eventually a rescue dog would be a wonderful idea.
    Blessings to you ! ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  32. Good luck in your new venture. I've followed your blog from just before you went full time and I bet there's lots of exciting adventures around the corner. All the best.

  33. Barb, please forgive me, as I have been remiss in commenting on the recent changes in your life. It seems the more I try to slow down, the more life speeds up. But I just wanted to say how very sorry I was to read about Katie's departure. Having met her first hand, I know she was such a spirited companion, and you must miss her terribly. But what a great adventure you two had together. And now it's on to the next chapter...congrats on your new home! I hope you are finding lots of ways to create joy in your new space. All the best, Suzanne

  34. Barb, will certainly miss your posts. Congrats by the way for the new adventure!
    Reviews Seekers

  35. Hi Barbara ... I just watched the video with Bob and followed you to here. You mentioned that you considered Cottonwood but settled on NM. I seriously considered Cottonwood but haven't done anything about it ... I just wanted to let someone else know. Thank You for being here, God Bless ... Carl

  36. Happy Thanksgiving, Barb. It would be wonderful hearing from you and getting an update on how things are going at your new home. Just knowing you’re adjusting well and are happy with your new way-of-life would be nice. Please give us an update on your life. Thanks.

  37. It never fails...I always arrive too late to the party...;0)
    SO sorry about the loss of your's really a difficult thing to have to go through.
    Hope you continue to post...

  38. So happy for you in your new life!!! And in your new home....


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