Thursday, November 4, 2010

Random Notes and Thoughts

Jim 054

Today’s picture is another one we took of the sunset at Gulf Shores a couple of days ago – we haven’t been taking many pictures since it’s been raining!  The last 2 days have been mostly “at home” days, catching up on a couple of projects.

A lot of you already know that Jim is a spice nut.  I have to watch him pretty carefully, or our whole kitchen area could be overrun with spices.  Yesterday was our day to re-organize them.  We now have 6 shoe-box size plastic containers with our spices nicely arranged and catalogued for easy access!  Oh, yes, he’s already been shopping in the Penzey’s latest catalog!  They have a store in Houston, I see a visit when we get to that area.

Today was laundry and cleaning day.  While Jim was at the laundromat, I got both dogs bathed, their crates cleaned, and the floors vacuumed.  I needed a haircut, too.  I actually thought about going to a salon to get it cut, even made a phone call to see if I could get in today.  Every once in awhile I see a cut on someone else that I like, so I ask where she gets it done.  In this case, I called the person she uses, but couldn’t get in today, so I cut my own again.  It took me two hours, but I like the way it turned out.   I just take my time and cut a little bit at a time until I get it right.  That 2 hours probably saved me at least $20 – well worth it to me.

We’ve been getting some questions lately about different aspects of this lifestyle – how do we pack up for moving so often, what clubs & associations do we belong to, how do we handle things like mail and medical needs on the road, do we miss our family, home and friends – so I thought I’d answer a few today.

First, the packing.  Let me just say, tile floors, rough roads (including construction zones) and anything breakable definitely do not mix!  I’ve learned to cushion things that can rattle or break.  I also use those expandable bars on several cupboards as well as the shelves in the fridge.  I try to keep knick-knack type things at a minimum so I have less packing to do when we move.  I roll up our big rug and lay it on the couch for travel.  The glass coffee pot goes in the sink, along with the sugar bowl, salt & pepper shakers and other little things that sit on the counter.  We use the rubber non-skid mats that come in rolls, and Handitack – a sticky substance (available at places like Hobby Lobby, Michaels and sometimes Walmart) that is something like bubble-gum to hold things in place.   We learned most of this by trial and error, every rig and the stuff in it is highly individual, so we all sort of learn what  we need to do based on how our  own “stuff” behaves.  (Insert a plug for motorhomes here – we are right here with all our stuff as we travel, so we know right away if there’s a major problem).

As to clubs and associations, we belong to Escapees, Good Sam, KOA and Passport America. I don’t have a financial analysis in front of me, but as far as whether we think they are all worth it, if we were to drop any of them, it would probably be Good Sam, although we do like their emergency roadside assistance program.  We keep KOA because it does save us a little money when we go to Colorado Springs.  Most of the time, though we don’t stay in KOA campgrounds because we can almost always find better places to stay for much less.  Passport America always pays for itself, in our experience.  Escapees definitely pays for itself, and we use their mail forwarding service as well.

We have purchased a National Parks Pass, although I will be 62 soon, so will get what I call the “old people’s pass” on my birthday in January. 

Mail – we’ve switched the vast majority of our financial transactions to be handled online, so we don’t get paper bills very often.  We use the Escapees mail forwarding service, and I order mail every couple of weeks or so, using their online form.  We always have our mail sent via priority delivery, so we have a tracking number in case something happens.  Most campgrounds accept mail for their guests, but if we’re at an Escapees park or out boondocking, we use general delivery.

Medical – we’ve been very blessed with good health, so our medical needs are minimal.  We each have a prescription or two, and use Walmart’s pharmacy. We usually don’t have a problem transferring refills to new locations. We kept our doctors in Colorado Springs, so we take care of routine physicals when we’re visiting each year.  The few times we’ve needed to visit a doctor on the road, we’ve had no trouble getting seen at a local facility.  A few months ago, I stopped in a “walk-in” clinic in a grocery store to get a prescription for a muscle relaxant for a pulled back muscle.  Talk about easy – I was in and out before Jim got through the produce section!

Do we miss home, family and friends back home – yes, we miss our family!  We keep in touch, of course, but it’s not the same as being there.  So, we make it a priority to spend as much time with family when we make our annual visits to Colorado Springs. We have our home with us all the time, and we do not miss the “sticks & bricks” one we used to own.  We miss the friends who are still in Colorado Springs, and we have made a lot of new friends on the road, which makes for kind of a balanced situation.

So that’s how it is for us with some of the aspects of our life on the road.  We appreciate questions, so ask away!  Just remember that living life on the road is totally different and unique for everyone.

The rain stopped today, but it was windy and chilly.  We’re expecting colder temperatures tonight, and another chilly day tomorrow.  What happened to my summer!  Oh, well, life is still good!


Erin said...

Thanks for your thoughts ... we're still several years away from full-timing, but it's always interesting to read tidbits that we can tuck away from future reference.

cruzin2some said...

Thanks for the information. It is always nice to hear how other people handle RV Living.

Travel Safe

Randy and Terry said...

I am always so impressed with women who cut their own hair!! And it usually looks great. :) I would never attempt that 'cause I remember what our son looked like the one time I cut his. :)

And $20 is $20.

John and Judy said...

Love your sunset picture! I am also a spice nut and travel with a lot of spices too. Penzey's is wonderful!

Vickie said...

Love the picture of the sunset! Is it really that beautiful? Love the blogs. Ellie are you a lefty? Cause your blogs are now on the left side of the page. I like the layout.

Debbie Goode said...

Nice post....well said. I too am a spice nut!

Gypsy said...

Very good assessment of some of the aspects of life-on-the-road. I'd say there are plus and minus factors, but the two biggest ones for me wanting to go part time are family and health. I really miss it though.