Motivational Monday (Healthy Eating Habits)

After years of practice (of trying to eat right), I’ve developed 5 things that help me stay motivated in my good eating habits. Sometimes I fail (because I love Edgar’s Bakery), but these basic things are simple and have helped me!

1. Get your mind off of food! Get your hands and body in motion to doing something to keep you busy. The less you think about food, the better off you’ll be. Eat when you are hungry. Don’t eat just because it’s “that” time of day. Just STOP thinking about food. You need to EAT to survive! That’s the purpose of it. Don’t survive to eat. I work with people that come in at 8am talking about what they are going to order for lunch. SERIOUSLY?! Planning is one thing, but letting food RULE your life…that’s different!

2. STOP eating when you are full (eat slow to recognize this point). We were trained to clean our plates because there are starving people in Africa. While that may be true, we don’t send our left overs to Africa. It’s not helping the children in Africa when we clean our plates. STOP THAT MADNESS! Start putting less on your plate. Start using a smaller plate. Stop going back for seconds too!

3. Make a list of foods you LOVE that are ‘approved’. If you eat something and say, “THIS IS SOOO GOOD” (you know where you grunt while chewing), write it on your list. When you get in a rut, refer back to the list and pick that exciting dish that you may have forgotten about. Keep this list with you so when you go to the grocery store, so you can buy the ingredients. When you feel like you are having the same things over and over, go back to the list and pull out that exciting recipe again! You’ll love it again! This will keep you from getting burned out! And another tip: Preparation is key!!!! Don’t be caught without something in your purse to snack on!

4. Think about all that you CAN have. NOT what you CAN’T have! Focus on the goodness that you can engulf yourself in all day long! I like to think of this as one of the shows on Food Network. You know how they have a set basket of ingredients and they can make anything they want with those ingredients? DO THAT! Be creative with your list of approved foods. What all can you come up with from these veggies, protein, cheeses, nuts, etc? Dennis jokes in that I can go to the pantry and fridge and ‘whip’ up a meal with no recipe. I think it’s just from my raising. What spices can you use to change up that chicken dish? What flavors do you enjoy? Make it yours! Don’t be scared to venture out. Don’t forget to write down your recipe once you perfect it. You may think you’ll remember it later…you won’t! Write it down (remember item 3?).

5. Water intake- I noticed a HUGE improvement in how much water I drink when I got my Yeti (the big one). I know it’s dumb, but having the COLD ice water and being able to use my essential oils was huge for me. I also have a stainless steel straw. I like my water cold! I used glass containers for a long time but didn’t like the ‘sweating’ or the melting of the ice. I bought a handle from Amazon and I tote this huge thing EVERYWHERE with me. To every meeting, to the car, to the house, EVERYWHERE! My body now CRAVES water!

A few of my go to’s are:
Cole slaw, deviled eggs, Caprese salad, taco salad (no tacos), roast (with cheese), hamburger steak, steak, shrimp, beef sticks with laughing cow cheese, hot wings, bacon, bacon, bacon, prosciutto wrapped asparagus on the grill, green beans (with ghee, onion and seasoning), grilled chops, baked chicken thighs Mediterranean style (then bone broth with the bones), bacon, boiled eggs, and the list goes on and on……


Separation Anxiety

It’s not the first time I’ve dropped Sterling off with a stranger, but it is the hardest.  For the last few weeks, I’ve spent so much time on the renovation.  Today, I feel like I did the day I dropped my kids off for the first time at daycare or Kindergarten.

The black water tank is barely hanging on, so it has to go.  In the 3 prior towing instances, I’ve been fearful that this tank would end up on the interstate in pieces.  It’s time to have it ripped out.  A new portable tank will be installed in it’s place.

My wish list for “Glenn the Camper Guy” (as listed in my phone) looks something like this:

  • Remove the black water tank and install a portable system.
  • After removing the old tank, see why my bathroom floor is hanging down.
  • Get prices on a new bumper with the storage for potty pipes.
  • Check out the electrical and plumbing – I need it to be safe!  Make changes as necessary!
  • Repair the crossed up wires that causes the left turn signal to initiate break action.
  • Find out why my new tires are leaking- one worse than the others.

Then there’s another list of wishes that we decided would just wait.  Like install solar panels, fix the door handle, install a generator, take out the stove and furnace, etc.

Glenn said that this seemed a little overwhelming after we got our heads in the clouds with the wish list.  I brought him back down to the original list…I need to be able to tow the trailer safely and be able to plug it up.  The rest of the stuff can wait.  He was fine with these requests.

Now, how long will this take?  Glenn mentioned 3 weeks but he knows I’m anxious to have it back.  My guess is that he will want to get it off of his lot sooner than later.  I think he will be done in a week.  Maybe I’m just being excessively positive.

On a different note, I’ve been trying to figure out the WBCCI numbers that used to adorn the front cap.  Well today in the sunshine, I could read them… 32835.  Now to find out more about the history of this camper.  Where has it traveled, who all has owned it, who had it the longest, etc.  I’ve emailed WBCCI and am hoping they will come through with some answers.


Traded in the Twins!

My Sterling (1972 Airstream) was designed with 2 twin size beds, one on each side of the aisle leading into the bathroom at the rear of the camper (see how I did that?).  When I originally tore down some walls, I decided to keep this layout so that I could also keep the storage that was above one of the twin beds.  The storage cabinets are connected to the twin footer wall for support, so I thought it would just need to stay.

After some thought, I decided that I would tear down the wall, remove the above head storage, remove one twin bed, and make just one bed for the other side (the other twin bed) that could pull out into a full/queen size.  I could always create more storage in other ways and this would free up floor space when we were not sleeping.   It would open the floor plan up and give it a more airy feeling.

A quick search on the internet inspired me!  We were already headed to Lowes, so I would just pick up the supplies for my new little Sunday project.


  • 1 x 4 x 8- qty of 15- $1.98 x 15= $29.70
  • 2 x 4 x 8- qty of 2- $2.32 x 2= $4.64
  • Wood Screws- already had those!
  • Hinges- qty of 2- $2.98 x 2= $5.96

Total cost: $40.30 plus cost of screws

I drew out the design, or rather scribbled it out, to make sure that I could make it work.  After measuring my available space and getting back to the shop with the supplies, I became the manager of the project while my husband and son did most of the heavy lifting.  I had planned on doing this totally myself, but since they were the pro’s with the tools, I let them help. I told them what to cut, how long, and how many pieces.  I laid it all out and told them where to place the screws.

Everything went really smooth, until the ‘dry fit’ into the RV.  Isn’t this where it usually goes wrong?   Due to the placement of the wheel-well, you can not have a standard frame, and I knew this going into the project.  There is a small ledge that supports the bed to the wall.  We had planned to utilize this ledge, just as the original bed.  This ledge is less than an inch in-depth.  We could screw the newly constructed bed right onto the ledge, but then we would lose the storage underneath (just can’t bear the thought of that).  We had hoped to use hinges, but decided this little ledge would not support the weight because of the way we would have to connect it.  It’s not a total loss!  Just a little refactoring.  The overall design of the inter workings of the slide was perfect!  The frame is all that needs to be altered and it’s not a huge issue!

I was pretty impressed that I had figured this slide motion out!  I couldn’t find any good instructions online, so I had to just take a concept and run with it.  When you pull the slide out, you need support on the corners and middle.  I thought it would be a great idea to use spindles/table legs to add a little ‘funk’ to the design.  I mean, who would want just a 2×4 leg or block?  Not me!  Back to Lowes.  Whoa!  They are $10 each and I need 3 (one for each end and another in the middle for extra support).  $30 on this small amount of wood wasn’t going to happen for this thrifty girl!  That’s when I get an idea!  All of the time, I see tables at the thrift store for around $10.  I can purchase one of those and just recycle the legs.  Who knows, I may could even salvage the table top for a fold down table or something.  Since it’s Sunday, no thrift stores are open in my area.  I decide to make a post on Facebook to see if anyone has any legs lying around and would give them to me for free or really cheap.  A total strange responds on our local page and is giving me 4 (3 plus a spare).  I’m picking them up tomorrow!

It wasn’t a total success today, but I’ve realized that everything will not go 100% as planned. I’ll document the good and the bad and maybe it will help others along their journey as well.  Once we get everything squared away, I’ll try to post exact measurements and attempt to draw out a real pattern for others to use.  I must say, overall I am very impressed with what I designed out and that the measurements where so accurate.

I’m hoping to find a folding mattress that will work better than a futon mattress.  I want something really comfortable.  I have plenty of repairs to do before needing it, so I have time to look.

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Yesterday’s Lunch

With my vintage Airstream parked at my grandparents house, memories flood my mind while I’m there working on the restoration.  I recall running and playing through their large flat yard with my Alabama/Mississippi/Georgia cousins at family reunions.  We should plan another for this Labor Day!  It’s been way too long. If I could just pick up pecans with my mamaw just one more time.  The few little dips in the driveway held just enough rain water to have a great time of feet stomping and splashing. I learned what a coop was and loved to help gather fresh eggs.  It’s like I can hear Papaw saying, “Shut the gate behind you or the cows will get out” and, “Put that tool back in its place when you’re done”.  Crab apples still grow on their trees and my boys love to enjoy the tart fruit that still grows in the summer, even though my grandparents are long gone.

The old shop remains with jars full of screws, and bolts, and electrical pieces that I have no idea what they would be used for.  My granddad kept everything.  He recycled baby food jars and had it all sorted out on the homemade wooden shelves that still stand today.  There’s a strong smell of thick black grease in the air.  He loved to work on anything with a motor or that ran off of electricity.  I often wonder about in the shop thinking about what he may have planned for some strange piece of metal that was placed on the shelf.  I pick up a tool and wonder if he was the last to hold it before this moment in time.  I can almost feel him standing there with me wearing his long-sleeved grayish blue shirt, tucked in his loose denim faded jeans.

With the tin door open, a stream of sunshine brings light on the dust that dances in the air.  This was a cherished place for my papaw.  It was his old-school ‘man cave’.  Papaw could use his tools and talents to fix things.  He could escape from the house and Virgie Lee to be alone to do what he wanted.  He could be creative.  He was a deep thinker.  He was thrifty.  He was a fixer.  He was IMG_6818strong.  He is deeply missed.

In the dark back corner, there it sets; a black metal lunchbox that I saw my mamaw pack many a time.  Ben H. Reynolds worked at U.S. Steel.  My daddy followed in his footsteps and retired there as well.  Layers of dust cover the rounded top and leather handle.  I’m not sure how it found its way to the shop.  Maybe papaw saw that it could be used for random supplies.  Or could it be that he came home from his last shift and decided it should be retired as well.  I wanted to pick it up and look inside, but decided to just leave it there for now, just as my papaw left it.  Maybe one day.

So, what’s inside?  A handkerchief, work badge, old food wrapper, insulated thermos, screws or nails, or maybe nothing at all.

For now, I’ll cherish yesterday’s lunch and the memories made with two of the most precious people in my life.  Don’t miss out on making memories with those that will be around when you are long gone.  Life is just too short, way too short.

Note:  If I borrow a tool, it goes right back on the shelf where I got it!