Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kim and Lauren - Post #3

Kim and Lauren are a mother/daughter team, training to run the Disneyland Half Marathon in September of 2012. Kim, the the 50-something mom is vegan, and is training at the literally breathtaking altitude of 7,000 feet in Taos, NM. She has never been any kind of athlete before. Lauren, the 20-something daughter, is mostly vegetarian, and is doing her training in Seattle, WA. Running isn't new to her, but distance running is. This weekly blog, written by both of them, documents the journey, and hopefully, will inspire a few others to follow a dream, do something that's harder than they ever imagined they'd do on purpose, and enjoy the entire journey. Find all the entries by entering "Kim and Lauren" in the "search this blog" box to the left.

Kim:
When I was a teenager, my grandmother, Florence - Gramma to me - was this tiny, soft spoken woman with an iron will and a relentlessly cheerful outlook on life. She drove me nuts finding silver linings to everything. I was a surly, cynical, pessimistic teen, and I just thought when something sucks, it sucks, and there's nothing you can do about it. But Gramma was a smart cookie, and although it didn't click at the time, she was a lot happier than I was too. Over the years I've found myself seeing the world more and more the way she did, because now I know that what you see really is what you get, so we might as well see those silver linings, instead of blocking them with polarized sunglasses.  It took me long enough, but I know she was the one who got me started in looking for the bright side. I wish I could tell her now how grateful I am.

This running thing has me perplexed. Well sort of. I'm less perplexed now than I was a week ago. Partly because my knees feel a lot better, and partly because I'm remembering to look at how my little knee problem is actually a very good thing. How can aching knees be good? Well, they're good because they slowed me down, right at the start, and refused to let me go for months with bad form, setting myself up for serious injury. They told me to take it easy, do some research, and figure out what to do before I started doing it, which is not normally how I operate. I listened, and I've been doing my homework, and now, along with being grateful to Gramma, I'm grateful to my knees. Thank you, dear knees, for showing me a better way.

Today my knees feel almost perfect. Better than they have in two weeks, and possibly even better than before I started all this half marathon madness (I mean that in a good way), and the Egoscue knee exercises (see my last post). I'm also learning a lot about walking and running form, which I never would have bothered with if my knees hadn't so eloquently pointed out that I was doing it all wrong. I'm revising my training plan, and I'm more excited than ever to do this thing. I dreamed last night that I was running, and it felt like flying... Even my subconscious is looking for the bright side. To me, running used to feel like torture. Flying is a whole lot better, and much more attainable if I look at it that way. Grandmothers and knees are so worth paying attention to.

Lauren:
Last Wednesday I planned to follow my training schedule, walk 1.5 miles, run for 10 minutes, walk for 5, run for 10, walk for 1.5 miles…. But something happened and I became intensely motivated to just run!

It wasn’t an incredibly nice day in Seattle, but it wasn’t raining. I was running with someone, a nice change of pace, and I wasn’t trying to convince him to ditch out on our run and go to happy hour instead (my usual behavior). Rather, I complied with his suggestion to run all the way around the lake… without stopping.

My brain was a mess. What if I can’t make it? What if I look stupid? What if I have an asthma attack and pass out? How embarrassing. Then all of the sudden I realized I was half way around, I was actually giving it my best shot, and maybe going to make it.

Towards the end I was picking up the pace, perfecting my form and really giving it my all, I was barely even tired. I made it! Three miles, all the way around, without stopping, my longest run yet. I was in awe, so proud of myself… then I wondered, did I do this because of the person pushing me, or did I do it because I was pushing me?

A week later I am still not entirely sure who was responsible for pushing me. I think it was probably a little of us both. At first I was averse to the thought of having someone or something motivate me through this. I am not doing this because I have a broken heart, or I need a new hobby, or I wanted to get fit. I am simply doing this because I needed to set a goal and stick with it. Whatever motivates me on the way, the guy I like, a friend, my mom, a bad day or whatever is fine with me now. I am comfortable saying I am not doing this for any other reason or person; I am doing this for me.

February Bead Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner! If this is you, please contact me with your shipping info before Sunday. On Monday I'll pick a new winner.

Karla has left a new comment on your post "Running Ahead": 

Hooray for you, and know that you are motivation for the rest of us mid-50-y.o. women. I'm trying to stay with the "Couch to 5K" website.....although I'm not really a runner. I prefer bicycling, and I've mentally committed to a long ride this summer. Training starts soon. I look forward to your dual blog. 




This will be the last of the Bead giveaways for a while. Why? Not enough of you benefit from it, and it's not giving me what I'd hoped for. Besides, it's a lot of extra work for me, and you know how I love to streamline my life wherever possible! So... onward to something new. I don't know what that is yet, but I'll surely keep you posted!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dog Park

One thing leading to another again, as it always does - little people on beads led to little dogs on beads. I really want to show you what these look like as a whole piece, so I shot these short videos. They aren't great film making, but I think they give you a better idea of what these beads are like than a series of photos do. Unfortunately, my bead shop software will only let me use still pictures, but after seeing these, you'll sort of know better what you're looking at. And as a reminder, when I take more than one picture of a bead for the BeadShop, you'll find little arrows beneath the main image, so you can click to see them all, and click on each picture to enlarge it. I think some people don't know that. It's not all that obvious. These beads will be available in the BeadShop sometime on Friday. I'm calling them the "Dog Park" series... of course! I love my little doggies!

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kim and Lauren - Post #2

Kim and Lauren are a mother/daughter team, training to run the Disneyland Half Marathon in September of 2012. Kim, the the 50-something mom is vegan, and is training at the literally breathtaking altitude of 7,000 feet in Taos, NM. She has never been any kind of athlete before. Lauren, the 20-something daughter, is mostly vegetarian, and is doing her training in Seattle, WA. Running isn't new to her, but distance running is. This weekly blog, written by both of them, documents the journey, and hopefully, will inspire a few others to follow a dream, do something that's harder than they ever imagined they'd do on purpose, and enjoy the entire journey. Find all the entries by entering "Kim and Lauren" in the "search this blog" box to the left.


Lauren:

“There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something, you do it when it’s convenient. When you are committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.” – Kenneth Blanchard

I found this quote on Pinterest six month ago, about the time I had learned about the Disneyland Half Marathon.  At that moment I knew I was not committed to anything besides my freedom and fly-by-the-seat of my pants demeanor. Nothing would hold me back from having an amazing summer with my friends, not even exercise.

Fast forward to three months ago, I re-read this quote and began to really think about it. Could I ever be committed to something? Could I ever have the drive to make anything more important than my social life? Could I ever give up my anti-scheduling attitude to finally have a set routine? Then it hit me, if I wanted some sort of commitment, something bigger in my life I would have to work for it. This is when I decided that exercising would be my passion; I was going to lose weight.

November passed, then December, I went to the gym when it was convenient. I noticed I was losing weight so I would go, but then I felt great so I would stop. Then the holidays came around and life happened. I got lazy again and figured, “this is no big deal, I do it when I feel like it and I don’t when I don’t.” That was my mistake; I obviously wasn’t taking this seriously, it was an interest, not a commitment.

Now today, after signing up for the half marathon I have made the decision to take this seriously. I have made this my commitment. And I didn’t come to this conclusion because I wanted to lose weight. I tried that and clearly it didn’t work. I made the decision to run this half marathon, to try my best and feel something bigger for life.  I made the decision to become a runner, and the minute that clicked in my brain it was like something had changed, I felt different. From that point on it was a thousand times easier to get out of the house and go for a run. I will admit I have not started my half marathon training yet. I am currently working on a 5k, which is a stepping stone in the right direction. The most important thing is that even though I may not have started the hard training yet, I have made the commitment, no excuses, I follow my current training schedule just as I should and once I start the hard stuff I have no doubt any of this will change. I am excited for what is to come. I am excited to be an active happy person and share my journey with others. I am excited to be a runner. 



Kim:


I read Lauren's entry before starting this, and what she says about commitment really rings true for me too. I've started and stopped exercise plans all my life, and have always been distracted by something else "more important" after a few days. This time around feels different.

So far there have been plenty of obstacles that could have easily made me give up. Things like snow, mean dogs, lack of time, sore muscles, a cold, and the dreaded achy knees. All of these can be dealt with though, and rather than give up, I'm dealing. And I'm learning. I had no idea when I started all this that I would care a hoot about what it takes to be a runner. And now, not only do I care, I want to be a runner. That, my friends, is a very strange thing for me to hear myself say.

The knees had me worried, but then I remembered the book, Pain Free, by Pete Egoscue. I know several people who swear by this simple method of realigning the body to work properly, not only in sports, but in everyday life. And I'm happy to say that after only 2 days of doing a few seemingly too simple exercises, my knees feel better. It makes total sense that all these years of sitting on my butt making beads have rendered me somewhat out of whack. I'm glad my knees let me know about the problem, so I can fix it. And as I put myself back in whack, I'm changing my training strategy somewhat.

I was probably a bit too gung-ho last week, and I hurt myself, but only a little bit, and only enough to remind myself to ease into this and do it right. So for now, more walking and less running. In fact, no running at all until the knees are happy again. But I'm still "all in" on this thing, and snow and dogs, and even work are not keeping me from getting out there 3 days a week, and putting in the miles.

A supportive friend pointed out that my name ties in nicely with all this running stuff. She's right. Some days I feel like I'm "Miles From Nowhere," but the truth is, I have "Miles To Go," and I know I can do it. I'm committed. I imagine there are a few people who think I should be committed... and I'm not the tiniest bit interested in what they think.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Meet SOLARIA


Taos is very different from your usual Small Town USA. We have art, among other things. Boy, do we have art. And all manner of artists who create it. Sometimes it seems like everyone who lives here, no matter what they do for money, is an artist on some level. This is a good thing, rather than a competitive thing, because it makes for a pool of creative thinkers and doers. Like anyplace, Taos has its problems, but lack of creativity is certainly not one of them.
A friend of ours bought an Earthship several years ago, and has been lovingly decorating "her" from ceiling to floor all this time. She's turned bare mud walls into glowingly layered waves of color, and shifted the interior from "Taos Hippie" to Earthship Chic. Her love of mosaic surfaces all over the "ship," adding brilliant facets of light, color and pattern, and turning the off-grid, sustainable, sensible dwelling into more of and Earthen Palace. The term "jewel box" is often used in describing beautiful homes, but has never been more appropriate than it is for the beautiful SOLARIA.
SOLARIA is the Earthship's name. And now, lucky you, you can stay there on your next visit to Taos. If you've never been here, well, I think you should consider it. We have, as I said, art and artists, great restaurants, skiing, hiking, river rafting, and all sorts of other outdoor sports. We have scenery and light that will make you want to be an artist too. And we have the strange and wonderful Earthship community out there on the mesa, just a few minutes from town, but far enough out to overlook the entire world. There are several Earthships available for vacation rentals out there, but SOLARIA is by far the most beautiful. Visit her website, see for yourself, and let me know when you're coming to Taos. You can't stay at my house, but I'll meet you in town for coffee... if you can tear yourself away from your haven on the mesa...



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kim and Lauren - Post #1

Kim and Lauren are a mother/daughter team, training to run the Disneyland Half Marathon in September of 2012. Kim, the the 50-something mom is vegan, and is training at the literally breathtaking altitude of 7,000 feet in Taos, NM. She has never been any kind of athlete before. Lauren, the 20-something daughter, is mostly vegetarian, and is doing her training in Seattle, WA. Running isn't new to her, but distance running is. This weekly blog, written by both of them, documents the journey, and hopefully, will inspire a few others to follow a dream, do something that's harder than they ever imagined they'd do on purpose, and enjoy the entire journey. Find all the entries by entering "Kim and Lauren" in the "search this blog" box to the left.


This is the first installment of the "Kim and Lauren" posts, which we'll do about once a week as we train for the Disneyland Half Marathon, coming up in September. Go back to my last post for my first thoughts on all this, and stay tuned for more!


Kim:

I agreed with myself to start training for the Disneyland Half Marathon on Monday. I have until September, but I feel like I need every minute available. I got my new Brooks trail runners over the weekend - trail runners because I plan to do most of my training in my own neighborhood, on rough dirt roads. But when I woke up Monday morning, there was snow on the ground for the first time in weeks, and it was still stormy and snowing. I could have said, OK, I'll start next week, but that's not my style. I went to the closet and dug out my snow boots, leaving the snazzy new running shoes for another day.


All bundled up, and out in the driveway, I was sort of less than thrilled by the conditions. Remember I was in Mexico just two weeks ago, and am still contemplating ways to spend more time at the beach...




Out on the road, I could see I had some extra challenges to deal with. Looking up the first stretch on my one-mile "block," I knew I was going to have to watch every step. I found it less slippery to walk in the un-packed snow along the side of the road, which of course was slower going. When I got to a drier part of the road, up around the corner, I added in a little bit of running, but mostly felt it was safer to stick to the walking and just put the time in. The training plan I'm using called for just 30 minutes, and that's just about how long it took me to pick my way around the block.





Trying to rustle up a cheerier outlook, I took out my camera and starting looking at what was around me. It had stopped snowing, and was actually a pretty spectacular morning. I never would have seen it normally. I would have been huddled up in the studio, or hunched over my computer. And even though I have huge windows in my house, looking out of them doesn't come close to actually stepping outside into the world. I watched the clouds race across the blue, and was grateful for the greeters who met me along the way.



Before long, I could see our house at the end of the road, and when I got there, a great big jack rabbit was waiting for me in the driveway. Of course, I took it as a sign of encouragement as he dashed off across the road. I'm pretty sure I heard him say, Go, Kim, go! You can do it!




My training schedule gives me rest days in between three days a week of walking/running. Yesterday, Valentine's Day, was the perfect day to go to the hot springs and loosen up some newly discovered muscles. And then last night, it started to snow again... It's another winter wonderland scene out there today, but I really don't want to slip slide around again. I won't wimp out though! I'm going to Baca Park, to check out the track there. I might even be able to test drive my new shoes... but I'll bring my boots too, just in case.

Lauren:

The Happiest Place on Earth

It was about six months ago that I learned about the Disneyland Half Marathon, being obsessed with Disney for most of my life it seemed that if I was going to put in the effort to do something as big as running  13.1 miles I might as well do it in one of my favorite places. Let me preface this story by being completely honest, I am great at having ideas and goals, ambitions and dreams, but I am not that great at obtaining them. I am excellent at making excuses about why now is not the time … but not anymore.

I logged onto Facebook Friday morning and saw that my friend Courtney posted about the Disneyland Half Marathon, she had signed up already. My mind instantly started racing, “wait it’s not until September” and “I talked about doing it, but can I actually do it?” For the next five minutes I thought to myself about how excited I was when I originally found out about it. How I planned to run it with my neighbor, how I was going to finally do something I talked about doing rather than making an excuse. Then I saw the cost of the race and promptly decided that it was too expensive, I couldn’t afford it. I made my excuse and I was sticking to it. Then something really weird happened. I talked myself out of the excuse, I pulled out my emergency credit card and I signed myself up for the race… by myself, with no one to hang on to.  Obviously at this point it was time to call my mom so she could justify this crazy decision I had just made.

Once mom had signed up too and had begun the preliminary planning I only felt one emotion, proud. It made me so proud of my mom to sign on for something like this I shed a few tears. It’s not easy to try something new, and it gets harder the older we get. I am neither a runner nor a serious athlete by any means. I played sports growing up and enjoy being active but in my adult life I have been more lazy than active. So this is big for me too, but I’d say it’s expected for someone my age, not really for my mother’s. I am over the moon that we get to experience this together. And so excited to add another thing to the list of why my mom is so cool. I hope I grow up to be more like her.
Lauren Miles

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Running Ahead

Just a couple of days ago I was thinking, I really need to come up with a way to trick myself into exercising more regularly. It was just a passing thought, and I didn't put any further energy into it at all. But thoughts are creative little beings all on their own, and I had turned one loose.

Yesterday morning I was having my tea in bed and checking my email, like I always do in the winter, and my phone rang. It was my daughter Lauren, who sounded a little bit stunned, and laughingly told me that she'd just signed up to run the Disneyland Half Marathon in September. This is a first for her, and being a supportive mom, I said something like, Great! That's so cool! And then jokingly I said, Maybe I should do it with you... to which Lauren said, Yeah Mom! You should! Do it! Somehow, within about a minute, I was actually considering it, and within an hour I was signed up too.


How did this happen? I am not a runner, or any other kind of athlete. It has never ever occurred to me to run anywhere at all. I'm 54. I'm out of shape. I don't even have the right shoes. But this morning it still feels like a good idea, and for several reasons. Lauren really wants me to do this, and it will be a great mother/daughter thing. I want to show her, and my other two kids, that being "my age" is not the end of the world, and can actually be a beginning. I will be 55 when I run the race, and 55 is the age my Mom was when she died of cancer in 1990. So in a way, I'm doing this for her, and also for me, to chase away that lurking fear that I might too be checked out of this planet at 55. I know that's silly. That's how fear operates. And funny enough, fear is often a good motivation for running, like for instance if a tiger is chasing you. I'm really concentrating on running toward a goal though, rather than away from something I fear, and I think that's the mindset that will get me to the finish line.

Some might say I'm having some kind of mid-life crisis. That's fine, especially since that would mean I'll live to be over 100 if I'm in the middle now. But I think it's more of a mid-life awakening. I'm still here, I'm healthy, and I'm not done yet. There's never going to be a better time than right now to do something new. And for me, this is as new as it gets.

Lauren and I have decided to blog about this whole experience together. We're not exactly clear on how that will work yet, but I think I'll just set it up so she can sign in and blog here with me. Not only do we want to document this adventure for ourselves, and use the blog to keep us motivated, we hope to inspire and encourage our readers to do things they've always wanted to do, and maybe even things they never knew they wanted to do. The point is not to just do it, because that leaves room for procrastination. It's more like Do It Now, because Now is where everything gets done.

So I'm off to buy some running shoes today. Any excuse to buy new shoes! My cute little Keen sneakers just won't do the job...


Another adventure, Kim Style. I sure didn't see this coming! Come along with me. It's going to be fun, and it's definitely taking the long way home. And keep an eye on your thoughts, friends. They have more power than we know.

Kim and Lauren are a mother/daughter team, training to run the Disneyland Half Marathon in September of 2012. Kim, the the 50-something mom is vegan, and is training at the literally breathtaking altitude of 7,000 feet in Taos, NM. She has never been any kind of athlete before. Lauren, the 20-something daughter, is mostly vegetarian, and is doing her training in Seattle, WA. Running isn't new to her, but distance running is. This weekly blog, written by both of them, documents the journey, and hopefully, will inspire a few others to follow a dream, do something that's harder than they ever imagined they'd do on purpose, and enjoy the entire journey. Find all the entries by entering "Kim and Lauren" in the "search this blog" box to the left.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February Bead Giveaway

Time for another Bead Giveaway! But first, this is LAST CALL for our January winner to claim her prize. If this is YOU, please contact me by email before Friday. After that, I'll choose a new winner from January's entries!

"Bella Chic aka Gina has left a new comment on your post "Here's to Creative Maladjustment":
Very awesome quote! Thanks for the chance to win your giveaway :)
 "


UPDATE - 2-11-12
We have a new winner! (Sorry Bella Chic. You do have to be sort of "present" to win...)
Here's our new winner...


"Anonymous  to kim
show details Jan 16
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Here's to Creative Maladjustment":

Kim, artists and thinkers who are not joiners and who don't have a political or group voice are sometimes call "The Cultural Creatives" - a term coined by Ray and Anderson in a book by that title. They maintain those 50 million CCs are changing the world. Vegans and artists are obvioiusly a part of that very independent movement. Norine"

Congratulations Norine! Please contact me with your mailing info!

Moving on.
Here's the prize for the February Bead Giveaway...


It's a Troll-size Laffy Taffy Bead, lined in sterling silver. Just the bead, not the bracelet.

To enter to win, leave a comment on any or all of my blog posts, old or new. One comment per post, but feel free to comment on as many posts as you like. (I like it best when you actually read the post and comment thoughtfully. I will not respond to the comments because it throws off the numbers for the drawing, but I read every one of them. If you need a reply from me, please send me an email.)

You are also automatically entered when you opt-in to the Beadist Mailing List. I encourage you to join the list if you're interested in beads, not just to enter the giveaway.

The blogs to comment on are:
and 

The drawing will be held on February 29th, and the winner will be posted here on TakingTheLongWayHome. The winner has one week to claim their prize. After that, I'll pick a new winner. So if you enter, be sure to check back here on the 29th to see if you won!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Choices

We all wish we had more hours in a day, and more days in a week, and more years in a lifetime, right? But we get what we get, and we have to make choices in how we spend it. I'm getting better and better at choosing what I want over what I think will make someone else happy. I guess that's one of the perks that comes with age. A certain amount of uppityness becomes more socially acceptable. It makes us seem interesting, hopefully, and also hopefully, not too bitchy.

Yesterday was the Superbowl. I'll be honest. I hate football. I mean no offense to those of you who love it. I just happen to find it a huge waste of time and money, and I've noticed that the mere act of watching it on TV tends to make people act all crazy and mean and aggressive. I know I'm in the minority with my football disdain, but I'm used to that. And I've gone to enough Superbowl parties over the years to know that I never have to go to another one again.

Not that I was actually invited to one yesterday. Rick was, because we don't have cable or dish or any other gizmo that brings actual TV stations to our television. I could have gone with him, but the one thing I adore about football is that Rick has to go someplace else to watch it, leaving me with a few hours to myself, and leaving him some time on the drive home to shake off some of that excess testosterone. I even resisted the tempting offer to go to a movie with a girlfriend, which was hard, but I knew how I wanted to spend my Superbowl Time - in the studio. And here's what happened...





I think I'm calling them Flower Fossils. and yes, I know they're flower beads, and yes, I know I thought I might not make flower beads anymore. I also think I made a No Rules Rule, so if the flowers want to emerge from what started as HeartStones, well, that's totally up to them. I'm just the hands that let the creativity through. It's all about the process, and I suppose even these will morph into something else before long. I'm enjoying the ride, and I'm glad I made the choice yesterday to follow my friend Inspiration into the studio. If I hadn't, she might not have waited until today for me.

Friday, February 3, 2012

All Inclusive


We had the best trip ever to Cabo, to celebrate my son Danny's 30th, and my daughter Lauren's 26th birthdays. It was Danny's call, to have his party there, and Rick and I were proud to be the only "old people" in our group of ten. Except for one night when I just couldn't walk another step, I think we kept up pretty well. We had the "all inclusive" package deal at Solmar, which worked out great.


We spent a lot of time by the pool, and were never without food or tasty beverages... once we figured out that even though tips are technically included, the service gets a whole lot better if you slip your waiter a few bucks or pesos at the end of a long hard day in the sun.



Communication is tricky enough in our own country, and when the desk clerks themselves neglect something as important as the intricacies of tipping, it can get kind of awkward. That passed quickly though, and now I have to say I'm a huge fan of All Inclusive. In fact, it seems to me, life itself is all inclusive really. When you get the energy flow going right, you ask, and you receive. It works almost as magically as that neon green plastic bracelet we all wore for a week. It has me thinking about designing some kind of All Inclusive Bracelet we can all wear any time, to remind ourselves that everything we need is always in reach. Sometimes we just have to ask.


Except for my trip to Seattle last summer, this was our first time out of Taos since we returned from our big RV Adventure almost a year and a half ago. It was too long to stay put, and now we're eager to get going again, as soon as we possibly can. The first thing to do is buy some new luggage. I discovered the morning we left, in the Albuquerque airport parking lot, far, far away from the terminal, that one of the wheels on my large check-in bag is broken. I had to drag it the entire way, and apologize for its brokenness to several hotel workers who wrangled it for me during the trip. It was something like dragging a dead dog along by a handle... not that I've ever done that, but you know what I mean.

I'm a big fan of traveling light. In fact it's sort of a hobby for me. But when I have a great big bag, more than likely, I'm going to fill it. I was careful this time, but because we took some vegan snacks along for the ride, and because I just threw in full sized bottles of shampoo and lotion and such, that bag weighed nearly 50 pounds. That's a lot to drag around. I actually wore everything I packed, which I think is a first for me. I could have done with only two pairs of shoes instead of three, and really could have left an outfit or two at home, especially if it was just Rick and me. I bought my current luggage years ago, before the airlines got all pinched up about checking bags. My humble set of two bags weighs 25 pounds before I even put anything in it. It's time for an upgrade.

I have my eye on a well planned, small rolling duffle from eBags, and a similar one in backpack style for Rick. With those and a nice zippered tote, we could carry everything on, and move about any country we choose with ease.

The next question is where to go next, and then, how to afford it. To be honest, I don't really care where we go as long as it's nice, and preferably warm and beachy. The money part is the real glitch, but I'm not going to let a little thing like that daunt me. I have grand post-vacation ideas of becoming a vegan travel writer, and I think I could do it. (Read more about the food on this trip on PositivelyVegan) So I'll be writing and researching and dreaming. And making beads too, because I still like to, and because they're still gracious enough to pay the bills. Maybe starting something entirely new is just a dream, but then again, maybe not. We've seen me put some pretty crazy stuff into motion in the past. With the right bags, a good internet connection, and Rick as my lovely assistant, I think I can do just about anything. All Inclusive, of course.