Announcing the winners of my latest giveaways and a sneak peek for another.

Hi, Girlfriends and Guy friends.

The first winners are…

Join me in congratulating Aaron and Tina Jones – winners of Laura Fahrenthold’s “The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles”. Oh, and check out their vblog at They’ve been on the road for two years in their 5th wheel and travel with a Great Dane and two cats.

Summer Reading?

As you recall, the interview with Laura Fahrenthold describes a poignant yet hysterical RV road trip. If you haven’t picked up your copy for your summer reading- now is the time to snag one. Click on the book below to order and let me know what your favorite part was.

Not naked

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about our naked RV wall and the story of how I got it un-naked with a personalized one-of-a-kind wall graphic. My nephew Karl Fay created the art, and I seized the opportunity to blog and brag on him – sharing how art enriches our relationships. And you have to read my post to find out WHY I had an extra wall art to give away.

And the 2nd winner is…

The winner of the wall art is….Betty Ramsey! Two weeks ago I chose a random, computer-generated number, and had no idea that I had chosen Karl’s aunt Betty who lives in Kansas. Betty is thrilled to adorn her wall with Karl’s art and it’s cool that we pretty much share the same core values and love for red hot convertibles!

Speaking of Core Values

Remember the challenge I gave you about writing them down to savor and enjoy? It will only take you like two minutes to print out and learn more about yourself in the process. Let me know what’s on your list. I’d love to hear from you. Maybe Karl can create a wall art to adorn your home. Or, do you want to see your Core Values on a T-shirt, coffee mug, or bumper sticker? Just ask Karl. He can create anything for you.

This brings us up to date with my giveaways, but I still have one more Relationshippy gift waiting for you.

A savory giveaway

Sometime in May, I’ll be posting my interview with author, chef, and friend Sherri Ewing Rahmanop. Her story begins in the wilds of Alaska where she hosted a gourmet TV cooking show.

*Sherri’s self-taught culinary journey began at the tender age of eight and rose to a pinnacle of success when her extreme catering business was featured on National Geographic and The Outdoor Channel. Her family business served upscale meals, in pristine outdoor settings, throughout remote Alaska.” ~ quote from Sherri’s website; Alaska’s Wild Gourmet

Like Laura Fahrenthold, a sudden tragedy pushed Sherri to process pain through travel, cooking, and the world of RV’ing.

Have I piqued your curiosity? If you cannot wait till the release date – check out the first chapter by signing up on Alaska’s Wild Gourmet. I’m excited to read Sherri’s story and enjoy the recipes contained in her book. You heard me right. A memoir with recipes!

And yes, one of my lucky subscribers will be chosen to receive an autographed copy of “Alaska’s Wild Gourmet”. Details on the giveaway will be found in my May post. Stay tuned.

Outta here

John and I are winding down here in Tucson Arizona and excited to hop on our route to the Philadelphia area where we will spend the summer seeing our adult sons and daughter-in-law.

On the way we’ll venture through the five National Parks in Southern Utah, traverse Colorado, check out three Harvest Host locations (Alpaca farm, Railroad Museum, and Goat farm!) head up to see family and friends in Wisconsin and Indiana and eventually land in the Philadelphia area.

Your turn

What are your summer plans? Are you setting up an adventure? Seeing family? Getting out of your comfort zone? Let me know where you’re headed. Maybe our paths will cross and we can meet up.

Before you go

Thought you’d like to read about the Tucson area before you leave. Check out Jonesn2travel’s article on the Arizona Sonoran desert. It will enrich your life!

Don’t forget to check out Karl Fay’s art at

Congratulations, Tina, Aaron, and Betty, and Happy Trails to all my readers!

Your Unlikely RV’ing Girlfriend,


An interview with Laura Fahrenthold- author of The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles- plus author-signed Giveaway!

 “Laura Fahrenthold tackles grief and loss in the most American of ways, hitting the road in a camper, with two kids, a dog, and her dead husband’s ashes.  Courageous, brutally honest, and observant, “The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles” is a classic road story of love and healing.  It’s also laugh-out-loud funny.”  Barbara Barker, Newsday

Hi, Girlfriends and Guy friends.

What drew me in?

It was the RV on the cover that immediately caught my attention on the Facebook post.

Bonus that it was an RV named “HaRVey The RV.” 

Once I began reading the book, I couldn’t put it down.  It helped that Laura is funny.  

Super funny.  

Even though she tells a deeply traumatic story. 

You’ll fall in love with her too.  And you’ll be surprised at her coping skills…

Another reason I was drawn to Laura is because we had something in common.  We each coped with loss by getting out of our “normal” surroundings.  Hers was death, mine was divorce. 

(Read to read my coping story.)

These three things

  1. I am delighted to share this interview with my reading audience.  AND…
  2. How cool that you have the chance to win a FREE AUTOGRAPHED COPY of “The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles” just by subscribing to my blog! (Previous subscribers are automatically entered in the giveaway.)

3. PLUS…Laura happily agreed to meet/chat with all of us on Facebook live Monday, February 25th at 12 noon CST. Start reading, Girlfriends and Guy friends! It’s a fairly quick read, told in slice-of-life, page-turning dispatches.

The Interview

I wanted to know more about Laura, her late husband Mark, and her incredible journey.

So I asked.

Gretty:  Tell me more about yourself and your background.

Laura:  I got a lucky career break in landing a job as a crime/police beat reporter for the New York Daily News. From there, I worked at another newspaper in Sunday features and then became an editor at Woman’s World magazine, where we have 1.6 million weekly readers throughout the US and Canada.

I have interviewed more than 60,000 women over the course of my career at Woman’s World. I’m not a news junkie. More like a human-interest story junkie. That’s why I love my job so much. I get to interview and write the stories of women’s lives. We are incredibly resilient! It is that resilience that drove me through grief.

Gretty:  I loved reading the pages where you describe how you and Mark met.  Can you share a bit of your love story with my readers?   

Laura:  Let’s put it this way. I called my mother after meeting Mark in the newsroom of a new job and told her I was in love with one of my editors. She said I was crazy (in the nicest of ways.) How could that be possible? Mark and I moved in together a week later! I never believed in love at first sight, but I saw home in his eyes the second we met. We were together and married for 15 years.

Gretty:  What advice would you give to other couples who find themselves facing health concerns? Or even the death of a loved one, a divorce or a lingering personal crisis?

Laura:  I wish I had the perfect answer. No one does. Each of us has to come to our own place of acceptance in life. We can lean on friends and family. We can go to shrinks.  We could even fly the Dali Lama in to give us private meditation classes and pedicures. But at the end of the day, everything just takes time… lots of time… All I can say is be kind to yourself.

Gretty:  You begin each chapter with an excerpt from Mark’s personal journals.  How long had Mark been writing these prophetic words?  Did you read them prior to his death? 

Laura:  It’s crazy because after traveling all those miles, I found the answers at home through a lone sunflower and the discovery of his journals.

Gretty:  Since I live in an RV fulltime, I am naturally fascinated by all things RVing.  Your decision to travel the country in an old RV was impulsive and hilarious.  Can you share what ran through your mind in that decision process?  

Laura:  It was all about the price. $4,200 seemed totally worth it to ditch the tents and hit the road.  

Gretty: Your book describes your journey through grieving the death of Mark, but I know your grieving didn’t simply end when your manuscript was finished.  Describe the effect that promoting your book had on your grieving process. 

Laura:  You are the only person who has ever asked me that. It honestly often makes me feel uncomfortable like look at me, look at me. It’s not like that at all. I wished there were a book like this when Mark died. Then I could have lived vicariously through another person’s life!

My Kindle Copy of The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles


If you have signed up for my blog, you’re already registered.

If you’re not receiving my email updates and newsy RV and Relationshippy stuff, sign up now! I promise you that I’ll never share your information with anyone else.

Deadline to sign up is 11:59 p.m. MST on Friday, February 8th, 2019.

A name will be selected by a random number generator. I’ll contact the winner by email, and they’ll have 48 hours to reply with their mailing address. If I haven’t heard from them in that time, I’ll select another name randomly, and we’ll repeat the process.

A special thanks to Laura for this interview and our future Facebook live event on February 25th. I’ll be sending a reminder on FB.

Hugs from your Unlikely RVer,


P.S. I love to hear from my readers! Just like these nuns who did a book club with Laura! Check out her FB page!

Please let me know if you’ve read Laura’s book already or if you are planning to. Can’t wait to meet up with ya’ll on Monday, February 25th for our discussion!

“Grettytheunlikelyrver is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to her site.”