RRBC Blog Tour Page

blog tour

Welcome to my second blog of this blog tour event. This is Let Life Begin by Jo Ann Wentzel! I hope you’re enjoying this RRBC Book and Blog Party. I have been delighted to meet so many of you by visiting your blogs or being visited on my own blog. We are so happy to be part of this event. I say we because my husband Dan, is my photograher for this blog. He does my website, helps with publicity and household chores so I have time to write. Sorry, for the brag but, he is vital to this enterprise. RRBC is a great book club and everyone should consider joining for author support and book exposure. Check for the rest of this month’s blog lineup here.

Just comment below to be entered for prizes. There will be three winners- $10 Amazon gift card, an autographed copy of It Begins and Ends with Family and an autographed copy of Ultimate Betrayal.

This blog today comes to you from our little old motor home parked in Sumner Lake State Park in New Mexico. I highly recommend this state park if you love wildlife.Since here, we have seen deer, rabbits, coyotes, coyote pups and we believe three young raccoons. The deer were a group of three does and they tried to look in the door while my husband was having his coffee.We also have a pair of Hawks and one loves to fish. We have enjoyed several varieties of birds including Hummingbirds and a huge array of dragonflies in a multitude of colors.

This blog is dedicated to the new lifestyle we embraced when we retired to live in a little old RV on a full-time basis. Will explain a bit more about our decision and the great experiment in progress but first, a brief peak at my books.

my foster care e-book (160x160)                   BookCoverImage


Last blog post was all about me and my books so I will not bore you with much repetition. You certainly are welcome to revisit all that info here. After fostering and working with kids for decades I finally published a book about our experiences. The title is It Begins and Ends with Family.  This book was first designed as a training tool for foster parents. It was put onto a CD-ROM and used as a way to get basic as well as some rather unique info to those doing this job. It has been published as an e-book and paperback. Read about it here and purchase your copy here.

The second book is my first novel and this book was a way of bringing to light the prevalence of child sex abuse. It is called Ultimate Betrayal. I felt compelled to write this as I saw too many broken kids. Though a disgusting topic, hope is given as good people fight evil. I used an ‘end time’ scenario and the feel is Sci-Fi and Dystopia but, told from a Christian point of view. This means I was careful in my examination using less graphic writing than some would believe possible. I hope I succeeded as in the old English mysteries where the violence is subtler and there is still time for the murderers to straighten the doilies before tea. Read about it here and purchase your copy here

                                                                  Hey it’s me again

novel pic

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Let Life Begin

When we decided to retire we did it out of basic necessity. Though I had been working from home most of the past few years, my husband had still been involved in the daily grind. It was time. Most previous jobs we held were not high paying especially those working with at risk families. There was little opportunity for big savings accounts or retirement funds. With our age and health issues, we decided we could retire if we opted for a very simple, inexpensive lifestyle. We found a very economical way to live if which works well if you can enjoy pleasures of an uncomplicated daily existence.

Since we never had time to travel before, now was the time but, more slowly in small sips rather than large gulps. We wanted to travel. We also wished for those peaceful times to meditate and take stock of our lives and who we are at this moment in time. We enjoyed supplementing our education with opportunities to learn. We longed to increase time for spirituality and grow our faith. Most of all we were excited to experience total freedom.

April 1st of 2015 we made the move. There was a lot to learn and this is not like an endless vacation. After 17 months, we still love the lifestyle if not the speedily aging motor home. We hope to squeeze a little more time out of The Duck and then update to a newer old one and a larger small one. We travel with Jessie, a rescue dog of an Australian Cattle and probably Dachshund mix heritage.

Full time RV-ING gives me time to write and Dan time to take photographs which he does for my blogs now. It gives us both time to learn about technology which amazes us when we are not calling it bad names. So for this blog here is a small selection of photos  to show you what we’re up to and what we have seen.

Enjoy a brief sampling! All photos are by Dan Wentzel


Wildlife: One of our biggest sources of enjoyment comes from observing wildlife. It is a daily learning experience.

ring tail

Ring tailed  cat on top of lava bed in Valley of Fire, NM.

Watching the Skies We spend a great deal of time in New Mexico since that became our domicile state. One of the many things they have to offer are big beautiful skies, bluer than blue in the day and the blackest of blacks at night.

two thirds (300x225)

Two thirds eclipse

Attractions- We look for many free or inexpensive attractions. Funds are carefully regulated for an occasional splurge but, many enjoyable things are free or inexpensive. With the America the Beautiful pass and seeking out the local color and free entertainment, you can fill many hours for little money. Many museums and art galleries ask for a small donation. Towns offer free movies, concerts, bingo and celebrations that are more about having heart than large budgets.

flying saucer (400x398)

Wonderful display at the Roswell UFO museum. The space craft actually appears to be getting ready for take off.

Zoos- We find it hard to pass up a zoo with our passion for animals and thirst for knowledge.

Tall twins

Our passion for animals is never-ending and Giraffes are among our favorites.

Art and museums -another of our favorite pass times is viewing great art and museum displays.It is one of those things that feeds the soul and is a great bargain, lots of bang for your buck.

grasshopper (400x269)

Loved this and it just stood out to me here. Not sure why, but it spoke to me.

Local Celebrations – We love small towns. Even the struggling ones do great celebrations from three vehicle parades to everyone in town serving free cookies. It is the spirit of the people and the joy of a community that matters.

flag kid

One of my favorite photos of a July 4th event.

Campgrounds -We focus on state parks. Price is a factor, being close to nature, solitude and being free are bonuses. Here in New Mexico you can live for almost nothing if you buy an annual camping pass. There are many different types of places to camp including mountains, lakes and desserts each with their own special reason to stop there.

PPSP3 (500x375)

We like to hike but, our fitness level is not improved enough for some jaunts so we like these trails with many steps and things to see and plenty of places to relax along the way

Memorials- Dan and I love to honor our veterans and current military in any way we can. We often make a point of visiting some memorial. We have several past and present military in our own family.


At a Veteran’s Memorial in Truth or Consequences, NM these plagues line the star shaped walkways and give the sobering facts about losses in each of our wars.

Local Color- Take in examples of local color such as these murals and how people beautify everything when they really care.


Old buildings get a face lift and revitalize towns while telling their own history. They often use locals faces.

 Beautiful Scenery- Probably most of his photos contain the sights of this gorgeous country that we are blessed to be traveling. God created a beautiful world and we try to appreciate it every day. Too many to include.

BLSP beach (400x300)

We love Bottomless Lake in Roswell ,NM.


To get a better idea of the experiment and the places it takes us and the sights we get to see Dan, has created a page of photos for you to enjoy.


108 responses to “RRBC Blog Tour Page

  1. JoAnn,
    You are living the life my husband and I envision in less that ten years and counting! Right now we have a trailer we pull everywhere with us, Some day we hope we will upgrade to the whole package and take to the roads. New Mexico is one place I want to see. Loved this post and really enjoyed your husband’s pictures.


    • I highly recommend the life even though it seems a bit more challenging than we bargained for sometimes. To escape the hustle and bustle means you go places that are not always convenient. It is fun to work with my husband, though that has happened off and on for many decades. Good luck on your upcoming adventure and thanks for stopping.


  2. Hi again. I’m so glad I was able to catch your second stop on this tour. I’m so jealous if the way that you are living, cuz I would love to be able to just drive around the country and stop whenever the spirit moved me. Lol Enjoy your second day at the party. 😃


    • The freedom is certainly fun. We sometimes get bogged down and travel less when we have other projects to complete but, most times it is spontaneous. I thank you for visiting today.


  3. Reblogged this on marethmbotha and commented:
    JoAnn, your blog is an inspiration and I can only foresee much inspired writing coming from your pen … PC , I suppose, because living that close to nature certainly has a wonderful influence, not just on one’s emotions, but in our trade especially, keeping the creative mind working at full speed. Thank your husband too, for these lovely photographs and his support, making this blog post special. Kind thoughts, especially for today.


    • I think you’re right about the creative juices flowing better when close to nature. the wonder and beauty of God’s creations do inspire. I hope it eventually shows in my writing. Thanks for the kind words for us both and visiting today.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s wonderful that you work with your husband now and that you are both enjoying the freedom of travelling and following your passions of writing and photography. Have a great blog party today.


  5. Hi Jo Ann! Pleasure to meet you! I really enjoyed reading about you and your hubby! Hubby is vital to me at home too (when he’s not at work) and one day I hope to be writing full time at home too so he can help me play Mr. Mom for a bit haha! 🙂

    We’re in hot Texas..NOT huge fans at all…we’re hoping to move to Idaho in the next year or so 🙂 I bet its pretty awesome traveling in an RV though! You get to write, hang out and of course when you’re bored of a place you can head on down the road and try another stop. Would have loved to see a pic of those coyotes from your hubby 😉 Maybe next time?

    One day I’d love to travel with hubby too so we can find new places to camp etc…I especially would love to find some natural hot springs to go soak in, maybe while its snowing outside? LOL 🙂

    Thanks for being apart of this blog hop! Loved your hubby’s pictures and your personal story 🙂 I’m nosy like that LOL! 😉


    • Wished he could have photographed the pups but, sometimes you must put the camera down I guess to eat and stuff.We lived in Texas years ago, it is very hot. New Mexico is beautiful with friendly people. We hang out in truth or consequences a lot and that town was built on natural remedies and so has lots of places to ‘soak’.thanks for visiting today.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Too bad he could not get pictures of the pups but, you need to put the camera down occasionally to eat and stuff. They were adorable and fluffy.We hang out in Truth or Consequences in NM and that whole town was built on natural remedies and you can ‘soak’ there. Thanks for visiting.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Just like you, Jo Ann, I travel a lot too, but I have never made it a habit of photographing please I visit. Bad habit indeed! This will certainly change. :). Happy to be visiting again with you. Yes our party, this year, has introduced to us many new faces and books, and I have enjoyed discovering them all. Enjoy your day. 🙂


  7. What a great way to enjoy retirement years by traveling around the country. The US has so many beautiful places to see, to take in slowly and savor. God’s blessings on you as you enjoy His creations.


    • This country is amazing and everyone should try to see as much of it as possible. I want to go everywhere but, as I said need to move more slowly to do it.Thank you for your kind words and stopping by.


  8. You are living my dream! I always tell my students that before they spend thousands of dollars visiting other countries, they need to get into a car/truck/RV and visit all of the states of our own beautiful nation. I am hoping one day to rent an RV and spend my whole summer just going from one state to another. I actually have two friends who are retired that are doing as you are, and they are loving it. I live vicariously through their pictures (and now yours). Thank you for sharing your simple but beautiful lifestyle with us. 🙂


    • There is so much to see and we have just begun but, this country should be first for anyone with a wanderlust as there is such a variety of scenery. Whatever you want to do or see can be found. thanks for stopping by today.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. An entertaining and picturesque post, sharing your nomad lifestyle with us. I once lived in a house truck for 3 years (with a partner, baby, and dog) and I certainly got more writing done then.


    • Wow living as you did, you understand the challenges of being confined in small spaces.It is a different life. I think of myself as a gypsy and am sure I must have some blood in me that needs to keep moving. Thanks for visiting.


  10. Well! After being late everywhere yesterday, it looks like I’m first off the blocks today! 😉 Makes a nice change! 😛 Great post JoAnn – hope you have a lovely day with lots of visitors 😀


    • My husband is delighted people enjoy his photos.Our budget dictates that we find those options that are free or low cost and they are usually lots of fun. Appreciate your visiting us today.


  11. Wonderful pictures! I loved hearing about your travels, congrats on a fabulous retirement. I noticed your passion for giraffes and if you haven’t been to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, CO… it’s a must see! Their giraffe program is amazing and gives you up close personal contact with these great creatures.
    Have fun today!!


  12. Wonderful post! I loved traveling with you through descriptions and photos. It sparked my dreams of doing something similar. I’m looking forward to reading your books, as I’m sure they hold the same magic.


    • Glad you enjoyed our little tour. Traveling seems to open up your mind and is so good for your soul. when you can do it, give it a try. It is very rewarding. Thanks for visiting us today


  13. Wonderful photos and writing! The scenery and the sky remind me of travels with my family yearly from Tucson AZ to OK to visit grandparents. With eight kids in our family, we often camped out and charged up and down the wilderness trails. Fun to remember! Thanks!


    • Dan will be so pleased you enjoyed his photos.Large families usually do utilize camping when traveling for economic reasons. Glad it brought back good memories. Thanks for coming by.


  14. Hello, again, Jo Ann. I think the lifestyle you and your husband have chosen for retirement is fabulous and adventurous. I loved the photos and checked out Dan’s photo pages, too. I particularly like the sky and wildlife shots. Wishing you a great party day!


  15. The photos are so beautiful! If I could RV around the USA right now I certainly would. I have been to all your pages on this blog and reading up on how to plan in advance, etc. The helpfulness of what I read was awesome and I shared your blog to my twitter so that others can read your sage words of advice.


  16. Slowing down seems to be something we must relearn. when you’re older you want to make up for lost time. My nature makes me want to move on constantly but, I am trying to train myself to enjoy all those moments.Thanks so much for visiting.


  17. First, thank you for your service to at risk families. I work with vulnerable populations as well and know the rewards and challenges of the choices you have made. So nice to hear about your life now in an RV exploring the world. Best wishes!


    • Besides working with at risk families, i also worked with mentally handicapped and know the challenges to well. You are to be commended as well since I now how tough working with those populations can be and also know the rewards of knowing them. Thanks for stopping.


    • It really is kind of a weird looking animal but sits there pretty proud of itself if you ask me. Seeing the wildlife is a favorite part of this adventure. Thanks for stopping today.


  18. Oh, wow, Joann! I love the lifestyle you’ve both chosen and hope you get to enjoy many more years yet. Dan’s photos are great, and I shall definitely be adding your books to my TBR. What a pleasure to return to your lovely blog. Best wishes to you both for all your endeavours 🙂


    • My articles explain the many reasons for our choice. I am certainly not sorry we chose this lifestyle though as I said it does have challenges and it is not a year long vacation.thanks for visiting.


  19. Hi Joann! You are taking us on a tour of your own. I love the photos and especially the wildlife. Animals are showstoppers, right after children. And you have a husband who assists you in your endeavors. Thank you for sharing your life with us.


    • It was my pleasure to offer a peek into our lifestyle and yes I have a great husband and we do everything together.He loves when people enjoy his photos. Thanks for visiting and the kind words.


  20. I find your lifestyle fascinating, Jo Ann! I’m not sure I’d have the courage to follow a nomadic way of life – of course, here in Canada, it would be very challenging in the winter! Bravo!


    • It is fascinating and all that must change is your thinking and attitude. We spend winters in New Mexico so do not need to brave the cold. We have lived in many super cold areas like Minnesota and the UP in Michigan. When we are in NM when it is too hot just reminds just to better plan next time LOL. It is a constant learning experience. Thanks for stopping.


  21. I just noticed your photo on veteran monuments. That has a special meaning for me too as I lost my oldest brother to the Viet Nam war. I still have not gotten over it because his death was by accident and they don’t talk about it. It took me too many years to find this out as the government is so secretive when it comes to mistakes they make. I also have a photograph in my book of my brother’s name on the Wall in D.C. and his picture. God Bless you for sharing these beautiful photos.


    • Sorry for the loss of your brother especially in the way it happened. Vietnam was a tough war and those who returned were treated badly. We think all military should never be forgotten and try to visit these places often.Thanks again for your comments.


    • Please, please don’t miss Mount Rushmore Larry. It took me forever to take the time and go see it.For me it was almost a spiritual experience.thanks for visiting today.


    • After 52 years we are so used to each other and comfortable with the close quarters, that most days it is a joy. Be assured there are still moments of conflict since we both have strong opinions. lol I believe i must be part gypsy since freedom means more to me than most anything now.


  22. Wow, Joann, you and your husband are living the lifestyle I keep toying with. I too, retired, but live in the Dallas area and have to continue working because my retirement isn’t enough to live on. The biggest drawback to living in an RV has to be the teeny bathroom. That is what keeps me from taking the plunge. Insight?? 🙂 Also, I worked in Child Protective Services in a small town out in west Texas for many years and I totally relate to all that you say about the foster children and the huge problem of child abuse. Kudos to you and your husband for making life such an adventure!!


    • I understand the retirement not being enough to live on and have settled on a much simpler, less expensive life. I am amazed at how little you can make do with if you change your thinking. I do not like a teeny bathroom either but, since everything is teeny, you get used to it. We use the park showers most of the time. What you need to consider is what comforts and what possessions you are willing to give up. We gave up everything and it actually is freeing to not have possessions own you.


  23. That sounds like an awesome lifestyle. We love camping, but the aging RV thing frightens me a bit. If the engine goes, you’re really stuck. We tow a camp trailer, and the vehicle can get an upgrade on occasion. Love the photos too.


    • It can be a bit scary so we are trying to prepare for such eventuality. We have towing and road assistance and getting closer to a newer old motor home. We may switch down the line to a truck and camper.the engine has been deemed in good shape but, not everything is as it appears. Right now we baby it, fix often and make shorter jaunts. Most days, it is all worth it.Thanks for stopping.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Jo Ann, this is an absolute treat. Thank you for taking us along on this tranquil journey. Please thank your hubby as well. I find I’m at peace when I’m in nature. Pure peace. Cheers to you both for enjoying a soulful life. Have a fabulous party day! 🙂


    • I like your description of a soulful life. Pretty accurate most of the time.Nature is a chance to find that peace and spirituality most of us search for every day.We thank you for stopping by and the kind words.


  25. Hi JoAnn – love the ‘second time around’ looking at your blog. A carefree life on the road sounds so wonderful – i hope you are enjoying it. Best regards – MikeL


  26. Thanks for stopping by and happy we gave you a moment to just relax. Some days get so busy and it is helpful to refresh the mind and soul.Dan will appreciate you like his photos.


  27. Hi Joann! I enjoyed learning more about you. Dan’s photos were very good so I went to his link and found more. I especially like his scenery, wildlife and sky categories! You guys are AWESOME!


  28. Hi, Joann. It’s lovely to pop in again and for such an interesting post. My late husband and I traveled across Australia in an old camper-van for a few years. It was the most marvelous of journeys. And it’s true that we needed to re-educate ourselves on how to slow down and enjoy being relaxed. Your journey sounds marvelous, and the photographs certainly add their own dimension. Lovely post. Have a marvelous week!


  29. So sorry for your loss. I hope you had many special memories of your time together. I believe traveling, learning new things and nature soothe the soul. Relaxation is an art and some days I fear I have yet to learn it. Dan is happy people are enjoying his photos. Thanks for stopping to visit.


  30. Another great post. There really is so much to see in the United States. We moved to the United States from Canada about six years ago and most of our vacations have been road trips since we arrived.


  31. Pingback: wooo who… #RRBC Goodies | Finder's Keepers – Author Tracey Clark·

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