My last truck

My last truck / firetruck chevron striping on

Today was a rather big day. It started like any other… I just went to work, and then came home again.

But what made today different was, I gave notice. I just signed and striped my last truck. Out of fire trucks alone, this was #500. For one client.

I’ve been in the sign biz for 22ish years and leave it to the LAST day on the job, to #1 document the job with pics for writing purposes and #2 take a picture of myself as proof that yes, I was really there.

I can’t even tell you what this means. I’m freaked out! But excited. 🙂

Bottom line is, my son is in his teens and I just feel a need to hover around home more vs less. Working 2 jobs for the last 6 years… I’m over it. 🙂

I feel so fortunate this little junk hobby of mine just kinda took over my life for all the right reasons, and it’s what makes me tick today.

My last truck / firetruck graphics on

My last truck / firetruck graphics on
I owe a great deal to this amazing company that has been loyal to me for my entire sign making career. You know who you are, guys. And I promised to oversee them if needed, as they get settled in with someone that can continue on in my absence.

But they are responsible for all my reclaimed wood projects. All of them. This is where I found every single pallet and loose board that I’ve created with over the years. And they said I can still come back and get wood. (and coffee…)

I’ll be eventually blogging a little more about what I did to make this possible, but for today, I’m just going to go to sleep with a big ‘ol junker’s smile on my face and remind myself…

that tomorrow morning…

I am waking up as…


Funky Junk Interiors.


And I have one more message to crates and pallets all over firetruck land…

Firetruck crate coffee table with tray, and reclaimed wood coasters on

CLICK to visit Firetruck crate coffee table with tray, and reclaimed wood coasters

I think you’re just as special as a firetruck. 🙂

– – – – –

Part 2 – What it took to make the final leap into blogland

And here’s how I did it…

How to build a dream job when you work a day job

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81 thoughts on “My last truck

  1. Donna!
    What a super huge thing! I’m so proud of you. You are living the dream and have such wonderful talent.
    I can’t wait to read the story…though, I kind of know it, since I’ve been following you for so long, but still; I can’t wait to read it all again when you tell it.
    How you went from a single parent, 1 income to 2 incomes and now…a successful business woman (running her own business). I’m super thrilled for you.
    What a blessing.

  2. …soooooooo happy for you Donna…have followed you quietly for quite awhile and have a tear in my eye that you are where you have wanted to be…i have a 3 year plan in place – following your direction asap…:)

    Love to you and yours…<3

  3. you are my hero! you DO what others only dream of- love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life!! True words and congrats!!

  4. Donna!!!!!!!

    Seriously, this made my day! The world is your oyster my friend and I’m so thrilled for you. This has been a long time coming. Congratulations!!!!!

    I can’t wait to see what happens for you next.

    xo Michael

  5. How exciting! I’ve been a stay at home for the last 20 years and my son turns 18 in November, graduates HS in January. My Project Garden Up green is new this year and so far doing pretty good. I’m to am excited for the morning I wake up and it’s just about that. Being a stay at home mom has been fantastic and I’m blessed to have had the opportunity, time for the next chapter. When I was reading your post I could feel your excitement it made me smile and reminded me to not give. I love coming over to your blog it is really a favorite and well written. Thanks for being a positive example. Carole @ Garden Up green

  6. Congratulations! What an exciting time in your life. So proud of you too for making time with that teenage son of yours, who you and I know, is growing up way too fast. Where does time go? My boy is 35! Yikes! Enjoy your morning and your coffee. I can’t wait to see more of your awesome projects. 🙂 -Bev

  7. Congratulations! Job well done and I look forward to reading about your continued adventures transforming “junk” !!

  8. Donna, Congratulations to you! That is a wonderful achievement! I will be looking forward to reading how you got started! I love your designs, and thank you for sharing your stories with us! It is a real encouragement!

  9. Congratulations Donna! This will be so exciting, and everything else that goes along with it. We’re here for you when you need us.

  10. WOW….way to go Donna. That is a big step, Congratulations. I am sure you soul searched to the nth degree…good for you for taking the leap of faith in yourself. I am cheering for you. One of your faithful followers.

  11. Congratulations Donna! It’s exciting to see where God has and will take you on your life journey! Keep on trusting! I will keep on following you. I already have been inspired by you and your kitchen make over and did the 3 window thing and I love it. Thanks. Have a wonderful day!

  12. Donna! Oh my gosh, You finally did it!!! Good for you! I cannot tell you how happy I am for you to embark on this “new” adventure of just working on stuff you are passionate about and not punching the time clock. I am so excited to see all the stuff you come up with. I am in love with your style. You will go far! (I am a bit jealous too as I haven’t quit the 8-5 necessary ball and chain yet…but someday.) Good luck! God Bless. Jill

  13. I too know exactly what it’s like to work multiple jobs for many years, and the bittersweet freedom you feel when you finally leave one behind. I’m excited for you and all that your future holds!

  14. Congratulations! I knew there was a reason I really liked your blog (other than the fact that you make awesome stuff!) My husband is a fire fighter! 🙂

  15. I am just thrilled for you! Having the courage to follow your heart is such a huge thing and I know it will be so rewarding for you. Being there for the teenager will have its own rewards down the road. Be the house where the kids can hang out if possible. I think that is one of the things that has kept me closer to my two boys over the years, 27 and 31 now.
    Happy creating, LOVE your Junk!!!

  16. So happy for you Donna, and happy for me too- now you will have more time to inspire me – hahaha! Congrats and God bless on your continued adventure.

  17. OH wow!!! You did it!!! So happy for you! Go get ’em girl!! You have planted so many seeds in my heart for going out on a limb in a business you love. Go enjoy your harvest!! ♥

  18. Donna, I’m so happy for you. I’m sure you will be missed at your other job, but their loss is our gain. To be home with your son at this time in his young life is so important, young teens need guidance as much as the little ones it really can be a tough time or the best time, I think as close as you and your son are it will be wonderful. To be able to work your blog full time will be wonderful for your followers, you have been such an inspiration and a blessing to us all. Congratulations Donna you have worked long and hard and now you can reap the rewards, with even more hard work.

  19. Congratulations Donna!! What a big step, and what a wonderful achievement to attain the goal that you set for yourself! I love visiting here to be inspired and reminded that I can, in fact, make it on my own 🙂 With just a little help from family and friends! xoxo

  20. Congratulations Donna! I retired when the oldest of my two daughters was entering junior high. Best thing I ever did, not regrets! More adventures ahead. Look forward to your upcoming posts.

    Rocklin, CA

  21. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! So Excited for you! You are Awesome! & so Inspiring!!
    I look forward to following along on your new adventure. Best Wishes !!

  22. Congratulations!!! I am very excited to hear about your big move and transition. May this time in your life shine like a bright star! May your gifts and talents bloom and your heart be filled with many blessings for you and your son!

    Warmest wishes for unending ideas, projects, happiness and success!

    Beth Oliver

  23. Congrats Donna! I’m so happy for you!! I was so touched by your post several months ago about working a day job as you build a dream job, and I had a feeling then that this was on the way :). You are such a talented blogger and diyer, congrats!

  24. donna to follow ones dream is something that so few people do…. you have worked like a dog to get to do that and everyone that follows you is happy and jealous for you and of you…. all i can say is you go girl xx

  25. I am so excited for you! Taking such a big step is never something we take lightly, so I know your ready to do this. You are now officially no longer a “sheeple, now your are a shepherd. Best of wishes on this wonderful adventure, and may you NEVER quit blogging.

  26. I knew you were deep into signs but I had no idea you “stickered” firetrucks!! My youngest (son) is 200% addicted to firetrucks. I mean obsessed. How cool! Sounds like you’re walking through one more door in the right direction! Good luck with this next level of discovery and fun!

  27. Congratulations! I can totally relate to the emotions as I am preparing to do the same thing within a few weeks. Early in my online business, you featured some of my projects and store items and I will always be grateful for the boost it provided me. Best wishes for your future!

  28. Congratulations, I’m so happy for you! I really, really hope to be able to follow in your footsteps, quit my day job in about 2 years, and be a blogger full time!!

    Best of everything in the future!!

  29. So very excited for you! Congratulations! You are one of my bloggy heros! You have been so generous in sharing not just your blog but all that you have learned along the way. Bless you in every way! Can’t wait to read your new adventures!

  30. Donna

    Congrats to you! I can understand that being freaked-out and excited
    all in one fell swoop also. I have been involved in EMS for 20+ yrs (around fire engines as well)and have taken some time away to follow my
    creative channels. Best of luck

  31. Congratulations! I made the jump 2.5 years ago, with the help of my DH as a back-up income. I still have some time to go before hitting that 5 years but I’m working on it and meanwhile I have some pin money coming in that helps us through the lean times.

  32. Donna – congratulations! Your son is a very blessed young man to have you around more. So happy for you both!

  33. Oh what a wonderful thing! So excited for you (and a little envious) – you are so inspiring. Wishing you loads of happiness and success!!!!

  34. Wow, kudos to you for daring to step onto the other side of the fence (a pallet fence of course). Wishing you much joy, success, and opportunities along this milestone journey you are about to embark on full time. Congratulations!

    Looking forward to reading more about your 500 fire truck adventures. I think you may know a friend of ours!

  35. I am so pleased to hear of your new direction ..what courage you have shown in your life. I admire you so much. And I love that you put your son first! You are right, they need moms at home at teen years just as much or more than the little ones do.I did house cleaning for years so I could be home when they got home! (maybe because I remember how much stuff I did with my ‘not at home parents’ un aware of what I was doing.) He is so lucky to have such a hip mom! Way to go!

  36. Donna – I am sooooo excited for you…you are living my dream! I have three years to go before I can retire (if I want to)-I’m a secretary in a middle school and love those little urchins running the halls. However, I LOVE JUNK! I am a picker and love to do what you do-reinvent, recycle and reclaim all that good stuff and give it new life.
    Congrats on your new journey and good for you, you lucky girl! Your hard work has paid off and to be able to do what you love is awesome!
    By the way…absolutely love your blog!!

  37. So excited for you! Love, Love, Love your blog! Even though I’ve been away from blogging for almost a year, and barely there for awhile befor that, I’ve always kept up with your posts, writting, and your facebook page. Good Luck, even though you don’t need luck when you’re as talented as you are!

  38. Wow, so super exciting!!! When you can do what you love for a living, well, that’s just perfect! Congrats!!!

  39. Donna I’ve been a bit MIA around the blog and blogland lately as life has been way to crazy to keep up with it all. I am so glad I clicked through to your blog today from my email and then to this post from the one I started at. I’m so excited for you – I knew it would be coming sometime soon – you deserve this so very much! Congratulations on your hobby becoming your day job!

  40. I want to give you a BIG hug! I literally got choked up when reading your How to build a dream job when working a day job post, and now this post as well. I started my jewelry business 3 years ago, and am literally at that stage of WANTING so badly to quit the day job and shoot for the stars… except the stars don’t pay the bills just yet. I was encouraged to read your 5 year plan, and that gave me hope to just continue to bust it out and do what it takes to get to a point where I am making a reasonable profit at least close to my day job. My eyes began to well up when I read the part of your exhaustion… daily exhaustion. I occasionally have melt downs on my husband (who is a wonderfully patient and encouraging man I am blessed to have) and tell him I am BURNT OUT! I want to give up so much, but I can’t… I can’t. I started this baby of mine with SO much blood, sweat, and tears, not to mention the money invested and that alone is reason to push through, but then I have 3 beautiful young adults in my home, my children ages 15, 18, and 22 who watch me in this. I want to be a shining example to them of what hard work looks like and hopefully one day what it will look like when it pays off! I have to do it for them as well. But all in all, I just wanted to say you gave me hope. I am so happy for your leap of faith. I will support you in any way I can and will continue to follow and hopefully read up on how you are doing. You are amazing!

    Thank you for sharing this. You have no idea what is has done for this 45 year old mom, wife, and dreamer!

    Take care,

    • Oh Sharon… a reply like this? YOU are the reason I chose to do my current 31 day series. These posts don’t get promoted much by others. But the behind the scenes emails with hearts attached with renewed hope? Priceless!

      Thank-you for your support, it means the world to me!

      And I’m here to tell you, if I can do this… well, you know the rest. 🙂

      Fly my friend, just fly!

      • My wings are extended and ready! I will fly… I will! And when I take that leap you will be one of the first I tell 🙂

        Blessings to you my friend.

  41. Congrats on making the leap and now being able to enjoy ONE job, doing just what you love most and what you obviously have much talent for.

    I’m way behind you, but will never give up. Working a day full-time job, and doing more than my 30 on my passions of which I have two. I do graphic design as well as recently started flipping furniture, upcycling and creating fun pieces out of pallets, spools and old wood.

    I wish you all the best and much success – I hope I’m not too far behind!

  42. Oh my gosh Donna! I cannot tell you how sincerely happy I am for you! Believe it or not, I just heard this wonderful news. Since I am in the same boat that you recently left (day job plus blog) I don’t get to keep up with my favorite blogs as much as I’d like. You are incredibly talented in so many ways and your How to Build a Dream post…let’s just say I had to reach for the box of tissues more than once. Of course I know you didn’t write it just for me, but it sure felt like it! You validated everything I’m feeling and THAT means so much to me. {hugs} Thank you from a fellow fifty-something, tired-beyond-words, but-never-giving-up dreamer.

  43. Wow! So happy for you!! I am trying to be you when I grow up…lol. I turn 50 in a few more months and my goal is to have my online business and my blog paying the bills. I am just getting started and it looks like I am a bit impatient. So, maybe it won’t happen in the next 4 months but, hey… I am determined to make it. Thanks so much for your inspiration!

  44. Good for you. Congratulations on moving on. I used to make firetrucks and but they were so bad about throwing away a 15 yard dumpster of wood every week, but you weren’t allowed to take anything out. So much happier now.we have to get back into our blog sort of neglected it the last few months. Thanks for the inspiration.

  45. Wow I’m just getting time now to read these fascinating (and empowering) posts. How brave you were, Donna. Kudos to the company that said you can take all the wood you want for your new blogging career. How nice!

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