Time flies when you're having fun!
I know, cliche, but geeze louise... how is it December already? I have totally lost track of days. We've been on the go for a while. Lazy days aren't a part of our existence.
The end of day 46 had us driving to Orlando so that we could go to Universal Studios with my mom, brother and his family on days 47 and 48. We had a lot of fun but it was smaller than I expected...I guess smaller isn't accurate, there were fewer roller coasters than I expected. Most of the rides are simulation machines now. So there's a lot of audio and visual stimulation combined with movement. They're fun but definitely not the same experience as a roller coaster. However, when we finally DID go on a big one, I was dizzy for quite some time after. 😂 Definitely not as young as I once was.
We met some new friends from Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic when we arrived in Orlando. They were so entertaining, I had to strike up a conversation and connect with them on social media. My "friends list" on FB is getting quite full... I'll have to start sending people to IG I guess since all other pages are so rigidly watched by the FB algorithms. Sorry, my train went off the track a bit. 😁 Back to our new friends... they had us rolling in laughter. I look forward to seeing them again someday, now we have a place to visit in Puerto Rico!
We headed back to Jacksonville after our day at the park because Wednesday we had to vacate our spot.
Day 49, took us to Fort Myers to our longest stay so far. This is the first time I'll be in a space long enough to get mail. But first, another RV adventure in Jacksonville. Involving shit again. Thankfully it still hasn't gotten me. But, the tube fell off the rack as the black tank was emptying. I go to put it back up and somehow the connection just POPS loose. I holler to Jordan (that's my VIP - my adventure partner - my chef 😁) and say "look out! The connection came loose and it's coming your way." He was standing on the other side of the trailer ... downhill from the spill and the excrement was flowing that way. Thankfully, my first reaction was to close the tank so not very much spilled...AND, thankfully, most of it had already emptied. It was also very sandy (remember the sinking problem mentioned in the previous post).
And that, my friends, is why you never walk barefoot in an RV campsite. Gross.
We made it to Fort Myers though. A few odd things - the guy who tried to direct me when backing in was terrible ... I would've done better if he hadn't tried to help because what he was trying to get us to do made no sense with the size of my rig (our spot is a pull through but the location of electrical boxes - trees etc. made it interesting to get in). Anyway, we got in... only to find our electrical cord wouldn't reach their box. So we plugged into the site next to us. No one is there... so why not?
Then began their phone calls... "you're plugged into the wrong site." Yeah, I know, but we couldn't reach the other and haven't had time to get an extension cord (which, of course, costs $50). We rolled in fairly late and were exhausted. The next morning was Thanksgiving... and we had another drive ahead of us. Back north to my brother's in Lakeland. We left after getting a few things done... but no extension cord because we didn't think stores would be open. We'd deal with it when we got back.
Thanksgiving dinner was nice. Actually jumped on the trampoline with the kids 😂 Then day 51 had us up early (5am) to go swim with manatees. A little experience my brother set up.
We got our wet suits - I was the first in mine. Then a short boat ride from Crystal River. A few rules of what's allowed and what's not ... how to make yourself more attractive to manatees. All that fun stuff. I was the first in the water. It was a bit cold - it took my breath away.
I don't remember ever snorkeling before so I held on to the ladder for a bit, getting accustomed to having my face in the water. Jordan joined me and off we swam. Immediately we had a manatee friend. It came right up to my face. It really was an awesome experience. It rolled over so Jordan could touch it's belly. We got to hang out with it for a while before my brother's kids made their way over - and the manatee swam away.
But we all eventually got to see them. I think the kids got to touch them as well. Mom and my sister-in-law didn't touch them. They were gentle giants. If I get the chance, I'll do that again someday. It was a peaceful experience for sure! We spent about an hour and a half in the water. I started shivering, and couldn't get warm even by swimming around so I knew it was time for me to get out. It took a while to warm up again. The kids and I stood in front of the heater on the boat, our wet suits steaming. But I couldn't stop shivering until our captain (Jordan and I were on our own boat) gave me some hot chocolate and I got out of my wet suit.
We had a delicious lunch before heading back south. Arriving at our home around 5 in the evening Friday. I stopped by the office to figure things out... they were closed already.
Went by again on Saturday. Closed. We want to figure out the mail situation so we can tell people our address. Guess we'll try again Monday - the office hour sign had Saturday and Sunday marked off.
We decided to check out Fort Myers beach. It was really cool, restaurants - shops - bars. We spent a few hours on the beach then stuck around for live music. They played cover songs my mom would've loved... wasn't our cup of tea so we walked farther. Then, we ... well I ... sang karaoke. We had a blast, besides some drunk dude making passes at me. He was a bit out of control. People, if your friends have to apologize for your behavior, it's time to make a change. His friends thanked Jordan for his patience. Jordan was ready to defend me if need be... but I shut the guy down. I honestly thought that guy was into guys at first... that was the only reason I talked to him to begin with. Guess I'll have to be more careful. 🤦
Anyway, besides the obnoxious drunkard, we had a wonderful time! Sunday was a day of rest and a little bit of painting on the deck. But, as I was out emptying tanks, the guy who was terrible at directions pulls up in his cart and says "we've tried to call you for three days." My reply, "yeah and I've tried to go into the office every day but you've been closed." He proceeded to tell me what the message already said. He wasn't pleasant. Perhaps I want either because I'm pissed I'll have to spend another $50 on a cord. He says the office is open today. We go down to the office. The woman is not friendly either. Wtf? I ask Jordan if I'm being rude, he says no. He'd tell me if I was. So weird. They certainly aren't making me feel welcome.
Yesterday, Monday, we drove to Parkland to visit Jordan's dad. I worked (grading and what not for iSucceed) as Jordan drove. That works out really well. It's nice to have someone here with me. Someone who SEES me. Guys reading this... tell your gal she's beautiful. She may say you don't have to say it, but damn it feels good to hear it. My ex rarely - if ever, said it (honestly, I don't remember him saying more than "you look nice"). All I ever wanted was someone to express their thoughts - to talk to me - to SEE me. Someone who didn't want me to change. Someone who didn't expect me to do things their way. It seems I've found him. My heart is so happy. My soul is so happy. We have a dynamic that I don't even understand. It is truly magical.
I hope that you can find the magic in your life - in your relationships. Afterall, this life is short - choose love. Choose happiness. Don't stay in something because you're expected to. Life is too short for that bullshit. We were not made to be miserable.
We're going to Miami today so I better get moving. Love you all! Have a beautiful day!
We've been in Jacksonville, in the jungle for 5 days now. Only a few more days before we head further south.
We've enjoyed walks on the beach and walks through the jungle. I've worked out on the deck, he's gone for a few runs. We're both focused on being healthy, eating healthy... exercising... getting those beach bods. 😂
I have my mountain bike here, there are trails through the jungle but I've been busy painting and working. Trying to get myself all caught up, organized and bring in the money. I know I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be... but the bills keep rolling in, the money keeps going out... it'll be nice when we get to our winter spot so I can REALLY focus on getting work done.
My VIP - perhaps I'll call him my fellow adventurer... he is very important to me so VIP fits - anyway, he is very good for me. He's done a few of the drives so that I can work. He's making sure I'm eating more than almonds and green drinks. He cooks dinner for us... some of you know my relationship status with food. It's never been good because my stomach just doesn't agree with a ton of food that I want to eat, so I get frustrated and just eat almonds. He's taking good care of me and fixing things I can eat. Best part, he makes the decisions on the meals. Because there's so much I love but can't eat, deciding WHAT to eat is frustrating. So I've REALLY appreciated having him here. And we're enjoying the adventures together.
We went down to Daytona Beach to check it out. That was fun. The beach was beautiful, lots of shops, restaurants and hotels. He got in the water, had fun trying to body surf... it wasn't quite warm enough for me but I was in my bikini, enjoying the beach walk. There was an artist who pulled his van onto the beach and painted. I'll have to do that... I'm sure there are permits or something though that I must procure... so I'll look into it. I also have not worked with both hands at the same time for a while now... maybe even since I left Boise. Not sure why, I just haven't. Every time I think I'm going to... either something else catches my attention or it's a travel day so the set up and tear down takes all my energy.
I'll figure it out though. Like I said, I feel like I'm getting into a groove. I will sit down and write out all my plans - all the things I'd like to do - all the things that need done - make those lists so that I can start being more intentional with my work time.
For now, I'm still letting the universe define my actions. I may not feel like I'm getting everything accomplished that needs to be but I hear my coach, Natasha Hazlett's words over and over - "you are exactly where you are supposed to be in this moment."
I trust that is truth.
Time to do some laundry - Yep, real life... not just all fun and games.
Love you all. Have a beautiful day!
Another travel day but, it brought us to our last stop before we get to our winter home (well, through January 7th) in southern Florida. We'll be here a week... we're in the jungle between a lake and the ocean. I got to back into this narrow spot... it was great to have someone here to guide me! It will be lovely to get some painting done today. The rotten weather has kept us on the move... making it difficult to work. It's still a little chilly here for Florida but, it's finally warm enough to wear tank tops, for a little portion of the day anyway.
This location has very sandy ground... and we had a rough time getting set up because of it. But, we finally got it.
This RV life is full of adjustments. From the constant relocations to simply allowing my cats on my bed... change is my life. And it is good!
Change is inevitable. You can embrace the adventure or fight it (you'll be miserable if you try to fight it). I used to be afraid of change. All of this is definitely outside of my comfort zone, but, that's where the magic happens...outside of the comfort zone.
I've dropped my trailer the same way in I don't even know how many locations now. Yesterday, in this sandy ground, that didn't work. I'm very grateful that we were able to solve the problem ourselves (and extremely grateful nothing was damaged).
You see, the plastic block that I've been using under the jack simply sunk in the sand... then, it shifted and the jack went deep in the sand, on nothing. We were able to reconnect it to the truck, thankfully. And I now need to call my mom and apologize.
You see, she and Ray sent me with things that I was like "I don't have room for that"...I was not very grateful. One of those things (a big wooden block to pull up on if I get a flat) is what worked for holding the jack out of the sandy ground. Its larger surface area made it more stable. Today, I'll eat crow and apologize and thank my mom and Ray. ð¤·
Once again, I am reminded to simply show gratitude.
Well, I think it's about time for the sun to rise on this new day. A walk on the beach at sunrise is calling me.
Here's to a productive and wonderful day. Love you all!
We went to a place of dreams yesterday. Chapel Hill. University of North Carolina basketball. We stood on the court where dreams have come true. So many young men dream of making it to the next level, this university has made it happen. With a record or 52 NBA first round picks, beat only by Kentucky, UNC consistently produces the best of the best.
Michael Jordan being one of those people. Sometime, if you aren't familiar with all the inspirational quotes out there by him, do a search. He is one of the most inspirational athletes - besides being one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
He was cut from his high school basketball team.
He never gave up.
He never let failure or other people's opinions keep him from his dreams.
He gave his all in everything he did and saw the gift of all the lessons, even in pain. "I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." ~Michael Jordan
He made a decision. A decision to succeed. So that is what he did.
All you have to do is take steps toward your dreams. Hell, never did I think I'd be living in an RV with my art, taking it all over the US. Meeting people, finding new opportunities, new friends, new clients. But, I took the first step and here I am.
Is it scary, yes. Especially when it is completely up to me to make the product that makes the money. But, I won't quit. I am committed to making a difference in lives all over the world. This is just the beginning of that.
"Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion." ~Michael Jordan
Make the decision. It is possible. It is time.
It's time to move on from North Carolina. It's too cold here. But I will be back. Fair Game Beverages in Pittsboro is an amazing destination - art, brews, organic foods...a whole oasis with wonderful people. But, I am drawn south. So, day 38 is another travel day. Who knows what wonderful things we will find.
I love you all. Have a beautiful day!
A huge storm is blowing into the Outer Banks so we hit the road on day 36. I was concerned about the wind, reports were calling for 45 mph gusts. After we left, my VIP found an article saying there'd be 65 mph gusts, chest deep flooding in some areas and 25' waves.
We celebrated getting the heck out of there.
The weather had been bad anyway. Cold, windy, rainy. Then, the KOA had some workers doing electrical work and they cut through the water line, 2 days in a row (uh, aren't you supposed to check for underground lines before you start digging).
We were not happy with the location. The service was not great either, they never even replied to my text this morning (they have a text line for guests). So off we drive (once they got the water fixed so we could fill our fresh water tanks).
We found this wonderful place called Fair Game Beverages. The owner, employees and a few other patrons were inside. We ate, we drank, we talked about the universe and life. There's an art gallery, the owner - Lyle - is an artist and a collector. One of the employees lost a loved one to suicide. This was a divine connection for sure.
You can't control what happens around you, you can only control how you respond to it. We ended up in an amazing place - we're going to stick around for another night, check out the area. Typically, Harvest host is a one night deal... but we were invited to stay another. So, we are staying.
Friends, there's opportunity all around you. Even in the storm. All you have to do is open up to it. Move if you feel prompted to move.
Here's to another wonderful day on this planet. Rain, cold weather and all. Love you all!
My apologies for the brief absence. I've been enjoying company!
Day 30 was filled with travel and another portrait delivery. I actually stayed the night on an ostrich farm between 29 and 30. I petted an ostrich and held one that was 2 months old. I am not really a huge fan of touching birds...I don't even like them close to me... so this was a great experience in overcoming fears. I have pictures I posted on social media if you want to see how huge (the Male I touched was 10 feet tall). While there, I met this tiny kitten who kept running in my home if she got the chance (video of her and pics also on social media). I could've easily adopted her... but...I am NOT a crazy cat lady. 3 cats in my RV is still too many. No way, no matter how cute it is, will I travel with 4. She did make me late for my portrait delivery.
I took Sophie home on day 30 of my travels. I absolutely loved sharing stories with her mom, she's a hoot. We laughed quite a bit. Here's Sophie's story (the rest of the weekend will be below)...
"A prankster. who always had a twinkle in her eye, Sophie Champoux had a fierce love for her brothers and her country. An infections laugh and wicked pranks made her quite the pistol at 4’11. She did everything her brothers did and would often talk them in to doing things that she knew her mom wouldn’t want them to do. She was quite the instigator. She joined the Army after attending college. She became a medic and was well loved by her Army family, and everyone she met. She would have her mom send candy so that she could give it to the children in Afghanistan. Tragically, Sophie was raped on three separate occasions –twice in the United States, once in Afghanistan. On two of those occasions she was raped by the same man, who stalked her from Afghanistan to Georgia. No one in her chain of command would protect her from this stalker. Sophie lost her battle on September 30, 2011"
She was a beautiful young lady who is still a strong force. Funny to note that every exhibit, Sophie's portrait goes crooked on her hook. I think she's pranking me now... her mom agrees she probably is.
The rest of day 30, I was driving to the Outer Banks of NC. It's beautiful here, except the weather has been awful. An arctic front blew through... and today (day 34) it has been raining all day. And the wind... yikes. Up to 45 mph gusts.
Day 31 I spent the day waiting on and preparing my house for a guest. I'm not saying who yet... I have decided that I'm keeping this part of my life for ME for a while. Just know, if you've been worried about me traveling alone, I have a bodyguard now (and someone to cook for me - no more almonds and green drink for dinner). I drove to Norfolk to get my VIP from the airport. We stayed the night there, too tired to drive the several hours home (it would've put us home after 1 am). That gave us a chance to explore Virginia Beach where we walked the boardwalk for about a mile and a half, maybe two miles. The boardwalk is lined with giant hotel after giant hotel. This day, most were quiet, many of the shops and restaurants were closed for the season. I'm thankful for it being a little quieter so we didn't have to deal with crazy crowds. It was a cool place, but with that many hotels, it would be insane in the summer! After spending the day there we headed home in time for dinner. We've walked on the beach, we toured the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. THAT was cool...it was SO massive! Unfortunately we didn't get to climb to the top. We've had a wonderful time! The weather isn't cooperating but we have each other.
The last several days have been amazing! Truly wonderful. Know that there will be things (and people) that are placed in your path... all are there to teach you something. When I first met him, I was angry with the universe for putting someone so wonderful in my path right before I was leaving. I didn't realize that maybe this path was for both of us. So, my friends, the journey continues. The wind is howling, shaking my little home - blowing change into our lives.
It's magical if you'll open up to the gifts from the universe! The sun has set on one part of my life. I am excited for what's next!
I love you all! Have a beautiful day!
Today I got to tour the home of a woman so full of love. As soon as we saw one another, it was a giant hug... and many followed. We laughed, a few tears were shed, but oh my goodness... she's so full strength.
You see, this was the home of Ellis's mom. Ellis is part of my Words Matter Military edition. He lost his battle against suicide at 24 years old.
We talked for a few hours. We shared thoughts on how to help people who are struggling. There has to be a change in society. A change in the way we view life. That is the only thing that is going to help more than the ones we impact directly.
This lifetime is only one of many that your soul has ventured on. We each have a mission, and we have things we must heal. But, sometimes we do not remember that in time. And the pain of this existence is too much to bear. It happens most in the one's who are altruistic - wanting to make everyone else happy.
They seem to forget about their own happiness. And then that's when the darkness wins. That's when the voices of "you'll never get it. You'll never be good enough. Everyone is better off without you. You are better off if you leave."
But the truth is... if you exit before you've healed what you came into this life to heal - you'll get the same shit show all over again.
I certainly don't want that. That's where my shift happened, in that realization and in the connection to my higher self.
That is the shift that must happen. A shift away from an existence as a human that needs an external force to save you, because you're broken - you're wrong - that shame and blame is killing people. An average of over 129 people per day. And those are just the United States statistics. Rates are rising.
There has to be a change. Everything you need is already inside you.
This life can be difficult and painful - unless you realize that the pain is there to help you heal.
The pain is HELPING you. It isn't meant to put you in a state of victimhood. It's meant to show you something. Show you a piece of your soul that you came here to heal. Will you listen? Or will you listen to the doom and gloom of society?
It's time for change.
I'm delivering another portrait today. I must run and get some things done. But first...
Here's Ellis's story...
A free spirit who was wise beyond his years, Ellis Weems called himself “The Last Gentleman”. He had an uncanny ability to make everyone smile and loved to make other people laugh. He was also very smart, always looking at how things worked. His mom took him to a circus when he was 5 years old. Unlike other children, instead of admiring the acts, Ellis wanted to know what was going on with all the wires in the back...much more interested in how they made it all work. He also loved to eat. His mom cooked every day, he preferred her cooking to eating out, and he at A LOT which meant a large grocery bill. He never wasted food, and needed the fuel for his avid love of skateboarding. He also loved to travel so the military was a good fit. Unfortunately, Ellis lost his battle on July 15, 2016 at the age of 24.
#youmatter If you are struggling, PLEASE reach out for help. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
You are so loved.
See all the portraits and read their stories at http://www.jessicatookey.com/wordsmatter.html
Love you all!
The picture today is from a campground I stayed at in Asheville, NC. My favorite one so far. I love water. I am excited to be near the ocean soon! Once again I have no plan as to what I will write, so I'm just beginning. Perhaps the inspiration will come as I fill the page. Yesterday I did get out a bit but only to go for a jog then go to the store. So nothing big to report on the travel front. Just existing in this wonderful life and moving forward.
Ooh, just got a push to grab one of my favorite books... SOOOO here is what I am meant to share today...
The purpose of this existence is to learn, grow, evolve, and remember who we are. A book I've come to love "Quantum Consciousness" by Peter Smith offers 5 ways to moving forward:
Oh that's good stuff. Not sure why I was prompted to share that today. Maybe it was YOU who needed it? Maybe it was me? Either way, there it is. I never know what to expect when I start writing.
The word "expectation" also popped in my head first thing this morning. My dream last night was regarding expectations that had been placed on me. But I know I have placed many on others. I apologize if you were a receiver of my unwarranted or unspoken expectations.
The problem with expectations is we don't always make them clear. We just expect people to do things for us or behave in a certain way. Unless you voice these expectations, you are bound to be disappointed because what you think is "normal" will not be the same as the next person's normal.
Silent expectations destroy relationships.
Expectations destroy self worth.
Expectations destroy joy.
Why? Because in expectation, you are looking toward something that MIGHT happen instead of living in the moment. In expectation, you have this idea of how everything should look and when that doesn't happen we feel down. We often start beating ourselves up if we don't meet expectations - we place the greatest expectations on ourselves. It's time to release and live in gratitude, love and joy instead of in expectation.
All the wonderful things happen in the now... and they're happening for you. EXPECT THAT because the Universe (God, the Divine, whatever you call the power that is all of creation) wants to give you everything you desire. To be sure that you get wonderful things, you must raise your vibration to the highest state... live joyfully and out of love... in the feeling of a dream fulfilled. Then you WILL have that dream fulfilled. It's a law. The law of attraction. Like attracts like. So if you're in the space of negativity, you'll attract negativity. If you're full of gratitude and functioning in a space of abundance, you'll attract abundance.
It works! It's crazy to believe by our human minds, but it works!
Right now I have a vision of these amazing paintings I've created so, it's time to go play. I love you all (even those I don't like. I believe that to love someone doesn't mean you condone things they've done to hurt you, or others. Liking someone does condone the actions. Liking someone means you agree with how they behave in this existence. I definitely have humans that I don't like... but I love their souls because the soul is beautiful... they've just chosen a different existence in this lifetime. So I don't like the human them). A little expansion on love and like was apparently necessary today. Perhaps someone I love but don't like is reading this? Or maybe you needed that clarity? Who knows? ð¤· I just share the message. Have a beautiful day! TTFN!
I had a dream that I was traveling all over the world. In less than 6 months, I sold almost everything I own...bought a Toy Hauler (the "garage" is my art studio) and am now living wherever, whenever...just me, my art, and my cats.