Monthly Archives: January 2010

Another iHouse message?

Yes, friends, yet another message about the Clayton Homes iHouse. We’ve talked about it a couple of times previously. We can’t resist one more post, except it probably isn’t the last time we’ll talk about this.

We can try to tell you how impressed we are with how it looks, and why we like it. The open floorplan, economical use of space (1,023 sf iHouse, 199 sf Flex), and durable finishes inside and out all appeal to us. The notions of Usonian design we feel in the sensible and appealing floorplan remind us of our tours at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesen West.

We may not buy an iHouse but it has, at least, started us thinking about what we expect from any house we might build. The Andersen Low-E windows, no VOC coatings, the complete collection of rainwater from roof systems, great use of natural light, these things all appeal to us. And we like the small footprint.

Words fail in describing the fine job Clayton Homes has done staging these model homes. So we thought we’d share this link to pictures we’ve taken. We hope you like these pictures as much as we do. And no, we still aren’t planning to quit full-timing.

This iHouse is so nice we’re tempted, but we just haven’t found yet where we want to stay more than six weeks. We’re full-timing North America, visiting all the places we can. How can we decide before we have checked all the places?

Another message about iHouse, yes. And we’ll offer another, perhaps, down the road as we consider full-timing and its alternative(s).

[Disclaimer — Jim and Debbie are not connected to, nor compensated in any way from, Clayton Homes nor any division related to them nor to their advertisers or agents.]

Jim and Debbie
visit our website
locate us here

©2010 Dreamstreamr

What Time Helps Us Forget

Time helps us forget. We forget things we want not to remember. We blank out unpleasantry. This strong tendency happens automatically, particularly when we are away from the painful, ugly, or unpleasant stimuli.

Let’s remember the good things, the great things. Great meal, great game, great victories, sweet tastes, we can remember these. Can’t you almost taste, as you think back on it, that bite of a wonderful tamale or the sip of an ice cold margarita, or a nibble from your last favorite candy bar?

What’s blue, green, yellow, and wet all over (except today, when the blue is gray)? Florida! The skies have been beautifully blue. Lawn grass and flowering bushes are richly green throughout our park. The drinking water is yellow, still yellow. We’d forgotten about this. The water color isn’t much of a big deal, really. We filter it twice, as we do for all drinking water. And it is still yellow.

We told our Arizona friends we were going to spend Q1 in Florida. They all said, “Florida? It’s so humid!”

We replied, “Aw, it’s not really, not in the winter.” And we believed ourselves because we’d forgotten. We like it here in Okeechobee. We love our friends, and the pool, and the green grass, and nice weather most of the time. Time helps us forget some things, like really high humidity in Okeechobee from a year ago.

Jim and Debbie
visit our website, see our new 2009 travel map,
locate us here

©2010 Dreamstreamr

How did 2009 work out for Dreamstreamrs?

We realized today, with a laugh, our last year’s resolutions were almost identical to this year’s. Well, maybe they worked out well and are worth repeating. Let’s see how well we did in 2009 living our resolutions.

We resolved for 2009 the following:
# 1. Spend less
# 2. Eat healthier
# 3. Exercise more
# 4. Expend fewer non-renewable resources

We spent under our budget for the year 2009. A few of our reductions included dining, site rental, and, most notably, truck fuel. Truck fuel cost reduction was easy, just reduce towing mileage. 2008 we had very high towing mileage (18,000 miles) and fuel costs per unit were very high. We cut this greatly in 2009 (see #4), so #1 achieved.

We dined out less in 2009 and prepared more of our own meals. We ate almost no “fast-food”. We managed to eliminate pop from our (Jim’s) diet. We drank more fresh-brewed green tea. We made healthy choices for our pantry and refrigerator. We ate healthier, so #2 achieved.

Exercise was on our minds throughout 2009. First quarter we walked a lot, at least three miles a day. 2nd and 3rd quarters we were traveling and still managed to walk frequently. Not enough but we were trying. 4th quarter we went wild, playing tennis almost every day for six weeks in November and December. We managed to finish the year having had more exercise than in the previous year. #3 achieved.

Finally, we pledged to expend fewer non-renewable resources in 2009. Did we? We spent whole weeks powered only by our solar panels powering the RV’s electrical system and re-charging our pair of 6 volt golf-cart batteries. And we reduced our towing mileage by almost 9,000 miles or over 850 gallons of truck fuel. We don’t generally know how much electricity we buy is coal or gas-fired. All the energy we saved by driving less is non-renewable energy. Yeah, #4 achieved.

So our resolutions worked great for us for 2009. We hope we’ll do as well in 2010.

Jim and Debbie
visit our website
locate us here

©2010 Dreamstreamr

Happy New Year

We celebrated New Year’s Eve testing our resolutions before we conceived them. We ate at home, drove very little, spent nothing, and played tennis together. Later we enjoyed a candlelight dinner of grilled steak, salad, and broccoli, and discussed our resolutions for 2010.

The best way to attain compliance on any resolution is to tell others about it. You make yourself more accountable when you pledge, over and over again, yourself to your new goals.

We’ve already spilled the beans but let’s review the resolutions again.

  • 1. Spend less,
  • 2. Drive less
  • 3. Exercise more
  • 4. Reduce our RV’s weight
  • Eating at home exemplifies resolutions #1 and #2. Never mind we almost always eat at home, this is still a good resolution for us. We think we have better food at lower cost and without driving by staying home for dinner.

    Jim played doubles yesterday morning while Deb walked over two miles. We played tennis together yesterday afternoon, our second day in a row (and a good thing too, since it’s raining today). Resolution #3 is good for our hearts, minds, and bodies, and is especially fun together.

    Resolution #4 makes more sense than you might think at first. We can reduce or avoid costs by reducing wear on our trailer. Imbalanced or overweight trailer conditions can impair driveability and increase wear on some parts. We have a few opportunities to reduce our trailer’s hitch weight through eliminating extra books and paper goods (from the front book well) or by moving more from the trailer to the truck.

    Not too many resolutions and four we can work on together. This ought to work. Since we told you we know you’ll help us. Invite us over for dinner, give us a ride, exercise with us, and let us share our stuff with you (or maybe you’ll carry it around the continent for us?).

    We watched Twilight Zone episodes back-to-back after dinner until close to midnight. And we raised our glasses in a toast to ring in the new year.

    Today we are watching the Rose Bowl Parade (on any of about a dozen channels) and listening to the rain pounding down on our aluminum roof. We hope you are dry, happy, and safe wherever you are.

    Happy New Year!

    Jim and Debbie
    visit our website
    locate us here

    ©2010 Dreamstreamr