The Practice of Finding Joy Daily

We’re on Day 10 of our self-imposed quarantine, and we are healthy and I think handling things about as well as can be expected right now. Since last week’s blog, we’ve been getting a lot done:

  • We signed up for, recorded, edited and submitted a lecture & questionnaire as part of a new course on working from home.
  • We sent out an email to our ukulele list with a video lesson and all the materials needed to learn to play the song “Wagon Wheel”.
  • We created and completed about 2/3 of an “In Case of Emergency” doc that had been on our to-do list for several years, in the event that one of us becomes incapacitated and the other person has to step in for them.
  • We had lots of phone and video calls with friends and family.
  • We had a virtual Happy Hour with some of Jamie’s co-workers.
  • Ross played a lot of Animal Crossing.
  • Jamie took four yoga/meditation classes with great instructors.
  • Ross edited several podcasts & Jamie completed a week’s worth of virtual assistance for her clients.
  • We researched online food ordering options, put in our first orders & made decisions about how we’ll be proceeding in the near future.
  • We had a game night and played Sabacc (from Star Wars).

So despite lots of mind wandering and wondering about how we and those we love will be able to get through this, we’ve still been quite productive, and while everything is still surreal and frustrating and frightening, we’ve got a clear road map to follow as we move forward. And I think that’s the key for us. By having clear goals, a schedule (especially for Jamie) and taking time each day for gratitude, I think we’re going to get through this. And I hope and pray that you will too.

How are you getting through this? Any suggestions you’d share with others?

Take care and be well.

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

Things are changing. The arts can help.

Oof. What a week and what a month and year it’s been. First off, I’m sending a hug out to all of you. It’s virtual, so no germs, and it’s warm and real. Take care, please.

Ross and I are still in Florida. We’re hunkering down here for the duration. It’s inevitably going to get warmer and we’ll deal with that as it comes, but for now, we’ve got space enough for fresh air here at the park, everything we need (we have to share space for showers/mail/laundry but are otherwise independent and self-contained) and due to Jamie’s always be prepared tendencies and Ross’ frequent trips at her request, we’re well-equipped to hole up for a while.

We’ve lost our in-person gigs through April, and at this point, we anticipate we’ll likely lose our June and July gigs as well. Thanks to Jamie’s thriving virtual assistant business, Ross’ growing podcast editing business (starting a podcast? Let’s chat!) and some online music teaching, we are not panicked and should be able to support ourselves through this.

We’ve put ourselves into self-quarantine for two weeks (another week and a half to go) and though it felt overwhelming at first, like many of you, I imagine, it’s starting to feel like a new normal. Jamie’s having some really wacky, presumably auto-immune annoyances, but all things considered we’ve got tons to be thankful for and plenty to keep us busy.

Like many musicians, we’re embracing our online work & finding new ways to share the love during this challenging time. If you have a ukulele (or want to grab one on Amazon – we’ve got suggestions), get on our email list and we’ll send you free music lessons, ukulele arrangements and discounts and a first in line place to sign up for our group online classes. We’ve been hard at work at a recorded, learn at your own pace series, but due to COVID-19, we’ve decided to offer LIVE group classes as well. If you want to join the fun, head here to sign up!

We’re thankful for lots of virtual time with our family and friends, and we wish you all continued health (both mental and physical) and hope you’ll stay in touch.

Love from both of us, and take care. Have a great week! (Here’s a glimpse from our RV park two days ago.)

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

In the Midst of Uncertainty

Hi everyone. In a flurry of activity this week, fielding emergency requests from clients, I let writing this blog get away from me a bit, but here it is, a few hours later than planned. This week has been a lot. This month has been a lot. And even in the best case scenario, it’s time to hunker down for a while and accept that things won’t be “normal” for quite a while.

Humbling, isn’t it? We live our lives feeling like we’re mostly in control of them, mostly, and then something like this comes along and we are questioning it all. Ross and I have our own anxieties, but we are truly sheltered from the worst, and even from most, of what others have been feeling this week. We lost a little income (my upcoming Broadway sing-along has been canceled) and we will likely lose more before this is over. But our income streams are diverse and mainly remote, which means that as long as we stay healthy enough, with strong enough internet, we can likely keep working and earning a living.

I’m doing a lot of praying and focusing a lot on gratitude. Gratitude to have enough food and supplies in our RV (my always be prepared tendencies meant we haven’t had to panic this week – such a blessing). Gratitude to have plenty of entertainment on hand, from books to instruments, and plenty of work to keep us busy and earning income. Gratitude to friends and family making the safest choices for them. Gratitude for the ability to stay connected with all of you in the face of uncertainty.

If you’re able, I hope you’ll keep taking walks outside. If you’re able, I hope you’ll make phone calls and send emails, just because. Appreciate each other, remotely or otherwise. Take it easy. And know that you are loved and appreciated, and we’re glad you’re here.

Take care, friends. If we can help you in some way, let us know. And stay strong. It will be worth it.

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

The Best Part

The best part of waking up early is getting to see a gorgeous sunrise.

The best part of a nutritious breakfast is how it fuels you well for the day.

The best part of a bowl of ice cream is how delicious it is! Though science would say the first eight bites.

The best part of visiting friends is creating new memories and reminiscing on old ones…well, unless the food is amazing, in which case that’s pretty great too.

The best part of working hard is the financial freedom you can create for yourself and how you can spend the money.

The best part of living in Florida is the sun and the Disney time.

Hope you’re enjoying the best parts of your week, even if there’s a lot you’d like to change.

Our First Disney World For RVers Meetup

Last weekend, Ross and I, for the first time, met up with a couple that we only met because I started the Facebook group Disney World For RVers. Lily and Anthony are, as it turns out, absolute gems of human beings, full-time RVers, fellow geeks and nerds and just truly lovely, kind human beings.

We spent four hours hanging out, and if Disney Springs hadn’t closed an hour prior, we may well have stayed even longer than that! We enjoyed dinner at Cooke’s of Dublin (amazing gluten-free food for me!), wandered World of Disney a bit and then had delicious goodies at Amorette’s – two out of three were gluten-free! In fact, I took home a mini-cake that I indulged on during the week too. Yum. Coffee cream…

We wish them the happiest of weddings this week and a beautiful life together, and we look forward to spending more time together soon.

Here are a few pictures from our fun! Cooke’s of Dublin, Disney Springs, Florida | Ross and Jamie AdventureCooke’s of Dublin, Disney Springs, Florida | Ross and Jamie AdventureAmorette’s Patisserie, Disney Springs, Florida | Ross and Jamie Adventure

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

Visiting Sanford and DeLand, Florida

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Ross and I spend a lot of time at Disney World when we are in Florida. In fact, it’s our favorite thing to do in our free time, in part because we want to get as much value from our passes as possible. But every now and then, we get an itch to check out a non-Disney spot, and that’s just what we did on Friday for Valentine’s Day.

After spending the morning working (me) and waking up (Ross), we made our way toward Sanford, a town the bloggers Technomadia had fallen in love with. It’s got a great downtown, with friendly people and excellent food, and we also found a wonderful used bookstore/record store etc. with great deals. Parking wasn’t too stressful and we loved our visit to Wondermade for local marshmallows and delicious ice cream.

Sanford, FL | Ross and Jamie Adventure

They also have a great coffee shop where all the proceeds go to fight sex trafficking, and another ice cream shop across the street serves ice cream and waffles for the same cause. The coffee shop also had a board where you can pay a cup of coffee forward for the next person who needs it. So sweet!

After enjoying our Sanford visit, we hoped back in the car to drive another 40 minutes or so to DeLand, and we were not disappointed! We came for a museum event that was kind of a bust, so we skipped that, but we got a primo spot downtown for their Friday farmer’s market (tons of arts stuff, food trucks, health supplements…it was awesome!) and we had an amazing time meeting people and exploring it all. After that, we made two more stops for ice cream (ever important for the ice cream blog!) before making the drive back through Orlando to our RV park.

Wondermade, Sanford, FL | Ross and Jamie AdventureIt was our kind of Valentine’s Day, with treats and adventures and quality time. It also confirmed that we’d be excited to spend more time in both locations, especially DeLand, so if we ever decide we want to live in Florida in the future, we’ve got more options.

DeLand, FL | Ross and Jamie AdventureHope you had a nice holiday too, and even if not, know we are sending our love from Florida to you!

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

Fun with Friends in Atlanta

This last weekend, I had the delightful privilege of surprising a friend for her birthday!

We haven’t finished exchanging our photos yet, so I don’t have photos of the two of us, but I’ve got photos of the views and the amazing gluten-free food I enjoyed. (Don’t worry, I gave the waffle pieces away.)

Atlanta and Peachtree City are lovely, and I had some amazing food and incredible quality time. So blessed! The airfare was only $133 total round trip – thank you, Southwest!

A few photos from the fun. Have a wonderful week! Atlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie Adventure

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

Five Fun Things at the Festival of the Arts

Let’s be honest – the main reason Ross and I are spending the winter and spring in Florida is that we want to go to Disney World. So it shouldn’t surprise you that attending the Festival of the Arts has been a priority for us.

If you’ve never been, we highly recommend visiting at least once. Here are five compelling reasons to try it!

1. Broadway Performers

Festival of the Arts, Epcot, FL | Ross and Jamie Adventure

I almost called the festival performers free, but then I remembered you paid a lot to get into the park. But however you think of it, you can see some outstandingly talented performers at Disney World, and during the festival, talented Broadway performers abound. If you have the chance, I highly recommend catching Heidi Blickenstaff like I did!

2. Tasty Food and Drink

Festival of the Arts, Epcot, FL | Ross and Jamie AdventureThere are some delicious treats during the festival. It’s harder to find gluten-free options than I’d like, but since I’m not celiac, I have more options than a lot of folks. One of my absolute favorite treats is trio of drinking chocolate! You’ll find this in the American pavilion. Adding alcohol is an option, but I’m a purist when it comes to drinking chocolate. 🙂

Festival of the Arts, Epcot, FL | Ross and Jamie AdventureRoss recently got one of Joffrey’s specialty coffees with a donut – he went for a white chocolate something or other and a red velvet donut that looked and tasted decadent, according to him. Super fun!

3. Amazing Artwork

Festival of the Arts, Epcot, FL | Ross and Jamie AdventureThroughout Epcot, you’ll find incredible originals and prints, much of it on a Disney theme and much of it just really beautiful and unique. This is the only time of year to see most of this work in person.

4. Meet the Artists, Be an Artist

You’ll also be able to experience art in a whole new way – meet and greet, grab signatures, watch artists at work and try your hand at creating, whether in a free workshop or one you pay for. Be sure to book ahead of time if you’re interested in a workshop!

5. Experience Epcot With New Eyes

Festival of the Arts, Epcot, FL | Ross and Jamie AdventureOne of the best parts of festivals at Epcot is that everything just feels different. There are new things to see and do, and wandering through it all can take up a day or a half day of its own. The other benefit of this is that you may find the crowds are less busy than usual when you check out a ride. And if you hit big crowds somewhere, it’s fun to wander elsewhere instead.

Have you been to Epcot’s Festival of the Arts? I’ve been to three of the four they’ve had so far, and I’ve really enjoyed them. What did you think? And if you haven’t been, what would you be most excited to check out?

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

Present Over Perfect

Present over perfect. I’ve started reading this book, and I almost could have written it myself.

When we decided to take this journey, my physical and mental health were near a breaking point. I was ready to find a new way, though I imagined it was going to be a temporary break.

Over time, I’ve come to realize just how exhausted I was, and just how much I’d overdone things. It doesn’t matter that I usually get eight hours of sleep – it wasn’t enough.

And now that we’ve created this amazing, almost sustainable life for ourselves, I’m working harder than I have in many years, and I have to keep checking in with myself, making sure I’m not overdoing it. But things feel so different. I’m grounded. Even on a busy day that could be stressful, I take the time for breathing, for walking, for myself and even when the obstacles get thrown at me, I remain continually, pleasantly surprised and thankful that I feel comfortable and capable.

Present over perfect. I just started this book, but I couldn’t resist a reflection. And a recommendation. Celebration, FL | Ross and Jamie Adventure

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.