Counting You!
You're Visitor #
Nothing in this site is copyrighted -- I'd be honored if you'd reuse anything you find here for your website
CLICK HERE to return to the index of my periodic Retirement Tips and RV Stuff newsletters. 
If you'd like to get on the distribution for the next newsletter, send me email at
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Retirement Tips and RV Stuff Newsletter
Issue 2010.06         Jun 2010
Publisher, Bob Hoffman -
Back Issues at -
PRIVACY STATEMENT: This newsletter's email addresses are never sold or otherwise made public.
If you're receiving this by email and don't want it, just email me and I'll take you off my distribution list.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Big news in our lives right now is that we've gotten ourselves into another "great adventure" by purchasing a neat little cabin in the mountains. We've been sort of looking for something for several years, not too steadily but more enthusiastically when the weather gets hot in Florida and the hurricane season arrives. We had in mind something that was in the mountains (and therefore cooler in summer), had space to park the RV, had an area where Joyce could comfortably do her artwork, and was within our somewhat vague budget. If you're retired and living more or less off of social security, with a bit of a nest egg IRA, you know what I mean by vague. Your IRA can jump a thousand dollars or more in one day when the market fluctuates, so it's really hard to decide what you can and can't afford. But that's another whole newsletter ...

Last year we found ourselves looking around Mentone, Alabama (yes, it's in the mountains ... so much so that they have snow skiing there in winter). Our realtor at Mentone Realty found us a really neat old log cabin right downtown, with plenty of space in back for the RV, with plenty of space inside for Joyce's art activities, and it was close in price to what we'd decided we could afford. In addition, it was already a vacation rental, so would possibly bring in a few dollars when we weren't using it ourselves. Long story short ... we bought it in April, spent a month refurnishing and doing a little remodelling, and we're now the proud owners of the Artist Retreat rental cabin in Mentone. And, on July 2-4, we're having the Grand Opening of the Art Gallery @ Mentone, our intent for the cabin when we're there and it's not busy being a rental. A little complicated, but certainly a challenge to see how it's going to work out.

To read more about the rental, the art gallery, and Mentone in general, check out some of the websites listed under LATEST SITE UPDATES below.

Part of our Mentone adventure was to pick up the Dish TV satellite service at the cabin. As part of that, we paid a little more and got a separate dish for the RV, so are looking forward to trying that on our next trip. Reason for mentioning this is to tell you about this great website I found for TV schedules ( Using their options, I set up a schedule for the Dish TV, one of my antenna when travelling, and a third for our cable in Florida. Very easy to use and to set up as many schedule options as you need.

Another really interesting site I encountered recently was one that has the most complete list of Viet Nam wall names that I ever found. If you've got a friend or relative that is listed on the wall, go to ( and do a search by name, home city/state, or any of several other options.

On the topic of RVs, thanks to Chuck Woodbury's newsletter for putting me onto the Jeff Daniels videos on RVing. As Jeff says (tongue-in-cheek): "You’re not a real American until you’ve been behind the wheel of a Recreational Vehicle." If you're an RVer, like Jeff Daniels, or just want some good laughs, just go to YouTube and check out his hilarious series on RVing.

Here's a really neat video
that I found recently. It's
not at all related to RVs or
retiring, but is quite enter-
taining. If you've never
seen Snowball the Cockatoo
dancing, take the time! And
I heard that researchers
are fascinated by her
ability to follow the rythym
so closely. Seems that only
animals that can talk have
the ability to keep time to
music. I didn't know that!

Recent Travel: Took a 2-day trip to Ft. Lauderdale to pick up some of Joyce's artwork that was on display in a furniture store there.

Upcoming Travel: Returning to Mentone next week to open the gallery and stay for 2 months.

Read on for notes on my latest site updates, some words about how I'd make some money if you guys would buy something off the website, Art News, and wrapping up with my RAMBLINGS.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


- NEW BOOK : Please Freshen My Water , a book about the many idiosyncrasies and peculiarities of our dogs. Look closely on that page and you'll see how to get it free!

- A site I built to highlight the businesses in downtown Mentone, Alabama, along with a little info on each of the other Mentones in the world. Included over 40 links to businesses and attractions around the Mentone, Alabama area.

- All about our rental cabin, with a calendar to help you decide when you want to come visit.

- Home page for our Art Gallery @ Mentone, with some art examples, our hours, and other info.

- Various tweaks and updates through various websites.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


- : New website I recently created for a great hardware store (and the hardware cafe) just east of Mentone. For those who don't know, the Little River that runs through and around Mentone is the only river in the country that starts and ends on a mountain top.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


No doubt the biggest news in our art world is the new gallery we're planning to open on July 4th weekend. Stay tuned to see how that all works out ... or, better yet, come see us!

If you see anything on the Joyce's website that you'd be interested in buying, email Joyce for info on size, price, etc. Also, if you have a topic, pet, or whatever that you'd like an original painting of, just let her know. She's doing mostly portraits now and can work from a photograph.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Hmmm ... what to ramble about? Guess I don't really have to ramble, but it's somewhat of a custom, I suppose.

Seems like three things occupy our thoughts these days, the first two of which are our age and our medical situation. I just turned 69 in May and Joyce isn't far behind, plus we've both had several doctor visits for various reasons recently. The third major topic, however, is our Mentone adventure. I'm thinking that it's a great idea for a number of reasons, other than that it's the mountain getaway that we've been wanting to find for a few years. It's also a major undertaking, both financially and physically, so certainly takes our minds off those other two and may even serve to make us feel a little younger (or older) as time goes on. Guess we'll see ...

I'm looking forward to spending some time wandering around the area to check out some of the great nature experiences ... Desoto State Park, Little River Canyon, DeSoto Falls, and I can't wait to see how that skiing goes this winter. Part of this exploring will also be to provide Joyce with some great photo-ops, so she can do some paintings of Lookout Mountain flora, fauna, and other highlights.

Who knows if we may eventually decide to make Mentone our primary home .... guess it will depend a lot on how we fare up there in the winter. We've lived in Florida for over 10 years and are a bit spoiled by the warm weather here. I'm thinking we'll try to go up there for a month or so this winter and see how we do with cold and a little snow. Stay tuned ...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Email to sign up for the next newsletter, coming whenever I'm in the mood again.
Permanent Mailing Address: R. Hoffman, 1033 Jacaranda Circle, Rockledge, Florida 32955.
If you're looking for a specific topic in one of the old newsletters, the Search box on the right will find it for you. It will also point you to other references to the topic throughout the website.