First Time Adventuring Out in a Pandemic

I will start off by saying that I’m incredibly privileged right now. In addition to all the usual privileges I have as a white American, I work mostly from home (yes, we lost of all our performing/in-person teaching gigs, but that’s a small percentage of our income most months), most of my clients still have lots of work for me, I have a car and I live in a nice community and can walk to things.

All that being said, I also live in an RV without laundry facilities or a useful shower situation (no hot water and it’s the best place for us to store supplies), so that means I incur extra risk just by living aka keeping myself clean.

Because of that, we’ve been using the money we’re saving by not going anywhere to fund grocery deliveries and take advantage of Misfits Market. We’ve also taken advantage of pharmacy delivery or drive-up contactless pickup when needed.

And all of that has meant that until this past weekend, we hadn’t stepped foot inside a building outside of our campground.

But this weekend, that changed! We’re still being super cautious, but since I was celebrating my birthday this past week, and since it looked like I would be able to visit a local botanical garden without going inside a building, I headed out.

The bad news? I had to go inside to show them my ticket (purchased online), which meant going in a building at the start and end of my visit, and since I hadn’t yet received my equipment for stealth bathroom use on the go (I totally have now!), I also had to visit a restroom in the garden.

The good news? They were following social distancing and cleaning guidelines impeccably well, and until the last fifteen minutes or so of my early morning garden visit, I rarely encountered anyone on the trail with me.

This won’t be something I do every week. In fact, given the spike in cases in Florida, I’m quarantining myself for two weeks as a precaution, just to give myself some piece of mind. But the reality is that visits like the one I did this past weekend should probably be a part of my routine, in moderation, to help me stay both sane and safe in the coming year (or however long this is our new normal).

With Disney World opening up soon, we could be planning a trip, but the more we ponder it, the less likely it seems that we’ll feel safe doing that anytime soon. It’s really important to us that we a) protect ourselves and b) don’t help spread the virus to vulnerable people.

So I’m thankful for equipment like this (I did lots of research, there are lots of options to choose from – I was even considering a portable toilet for the car!) that will give me extra piece of mind as I go exploring in the coming year. Who needs a gas station bathroom when you’ve got your car?!

TMI? Sorry, but I’m sharing in case that helps anyone else.

Be well and stay safe, friends.

______________________________

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.

Celebrating But Staying Flexible

It’s been a good week here in the RV. We’ve gotten some clarity around options for the future and we got offered a fun job recording a song. We’re doing our best to stay focused, but with all that’s going on in the world, we’re each taking time to a) advocate for the causes and people who need it (namely BIPOC) and to b) take some time to check in with each other and try to make sense of everything in the world right now.

As someone born to a Jewish father, with Jewish family, the anti-Semitism has been particularly frightening to experience this week. I know it’s nothing like being a black person, or a trans person, in our country right now, but it’s so strongly reminiscent of Hitler that it’s really tough not to worry if we aren’t doing enough or if it’s even too late to stop this train.

But I promised you I’d talk about celebrating right now, and honestly, I think that’s important. When we all have tons of extra stress right now, carrying the burdens of the world, having our own opinions and beliefs challenged, facing the constant stress of racism or persecution and of course of COVID…it’s a very tough time. So taking time, as you can, when you can, for little celebrations can be key to maintaining some level of normalcy or joy.

June is a big month for us. We got married in June, and my birthday is in June – this week in fact. Because I’d also set a financial goal for June (and hit it!), I had scheduled an incredible nine course meal and wine pairing to celebrate at Walt Disney World, on my birthday.

Well, you’ll be shocked to know that the reservation was canceled – and honestly, with COVID, I’m kind of glad it was canceled, because it would have been really hard to say no to attending if they’d been open right now.

So in its place, we’re celebrating my birthday in a bigger way than usual, with fancier food and drinks, Jeni’s ice cream and a gluten-free cake. I was also able to take today off (Friday), giving me a coveted three day weekend! Always a treat as I’m self-employed and don’t get any paid vacations.

Even if your own celebration looks different from mine – a luxurious bath? Fancy tea? Backyard distancing with a friend? – I hope you’re finding time and the means for a treat now and then. Ross and I have also recently put in an order for a mystery box – it’s like an escape room, except without a timer and with a mystery focus. There are also lots of “date night” boxes out there if you need ideas for those. You can do them as monthly subscriptions or, in some cases, as one-off boxes.

I think the key to celebrating right now is flexibility. Go into things knowing your favorite food may not be available right now, and you may need to make due without or change up the day if you run out of key ingredients for a cake before grocery day (eggs, perhaps?). Trying to be open and thankful each day is really saving me right now. (It was super helpful when I found out my day off would be full of thunderstorms, so a garden walk was out of the question!)

Thanks for reading, and stay well. Be safe and take care of each other.

______________________________

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.

 

 

 

Looking For Some Amazing Produce?

So, there’s a lot going on in the world right now, and as I mentioned last week, I’m especially mindful of the fight for racial justice and equity for black people right now. It’s also Pride Month, and of course life under COVID-19 continues.

So I thought that this week, I’d mix things up and tackle a lighter subject – food! I know that food can be a really heated topic – not everyone has access to good food, and food deserts are one of the factors that’s undoubtedly contributing to black and brown people being harder hit by this virus – but Ross and I have been taking advantage of one resource for good food that’s been an incredible blessing.

Misfits Market is a produce subscription service. On a weekly or twice monthly basis, you get organic fruits and vegetables delivered in a box. That might sound like it would be really expensive, but since the produce is the slightly blemished or otherwise overly abundant produce of organic farms across the country, you save 40%!

When we started our subscription, it was a box of a dozen fruits and vegetables, and we didn’t have any control over what was inside. That was honestly a LOT of the fun, reminding us of our past CSA shares from local farms, and the unboxing was always a fun surprise! But in the last few weeks, we’ve been offered the chance to CHOOSE what we want in our box (within specific parameters) and that has been such a treat!

After your first week’s subscription, you can also enjoy add-ons. Add-ons can vary from super cheap to super pricey, but they let you add on items like bulk nuts, gluten-free treats, chocolate bars, oils, herbs and specific higher-end fruits and vegetables (like berries, cherries and avocados). For those on a budget, it’s easy to skip the add-ons, but if you’ve got a little extra money since you aren’t eating out right now, there are some wonderful treats available. (One of my favorite things is their selection of mushrooms!)

 

Misfits has been an incredible blessing. We absolutely love the delicious produce, which is rarely blemished enough to warrant notice, and we’ve really enjoyed the challenge of cooking new foods each week. I also am thrilled by the fruit options, which are delightful and not something I usually have room for in my budget. And the convenience of weekly produce delivery really helps extend the time between grocery store visits.

If having a subscription to produce sounds appealing, I highly suggest joining their waitlist. You can use my code to save 25% on your first week. Their customer service has been outstanding (they rarely make mistakes, but they’ve taken care of us perfectly when something has happened) and I know we’re doing a much better job getting all of the nutrients we need thanks to the variety of foods we’re eating each week.

Wherever you are, I hope you get a great meal or two this week. Please take care and stay safe! Thanks for reading.

______________________________

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.

At a loss for words, but it’s important to try

Hi. Thanks for reading this today. It’s been quite a week, and I’m struggling between feeling like I should say something, because I have a platform and people read what I write, and yet also feeling like there are others who say it better.

(If you can’t approach this with a generous heart, an open mind and the attitude of seeing the best in what I write, please keep moving. I’m not going to tolerate hateful comments here, and I appreciate you respecting that. We can respectfully disagree, but I’m going to keep this post focused and kind.)

I know that the work I do, in my own way, to be avowedly anti-racist every day is really important. Every conversation I have with someone has the potential to give them a glimpse of a perspective they didn’t understand. Every time I call out the racism or prejudice in front of me, it could have ripple effects, and if nothing else, it could make one person feel seen or feel loved instead of feeling betrayed or rejected or disposable. I can also point out the history and systemic inequalities that contribute to why someone is where they is or why they’re going through what they’re going through. I was privileged to be educated about these issues in a way that I know most people really aren’t. Our educational system is overly rosy and extraordinarily focused on white men, and until we are all educated on the flaws in our systems, we won’t recognize the need to change them. I know I’m extraordinarily privileged and I try to not just be aware of it, but to do something meaningful with that privilege each day.

Black lives matter. Every black person who has been murdered has been denied the right to a life, to due process, to pursue their dreams. Their families and friends have been robbed. Until we change the systems that create oppression in this country (the police, the courts, the jails, the schools, the laws, the social service systems….) we will continue to see racism, both individual and systemic, continue to flourish.

No one should live in fear. Black people, trans people, women, homosexuals, those who are living with disabilities or poor or in abusive situations….I could go on, but if we look around us, there are SO MANY people living in fear. And many of us have 2, or 3, or 4, or 5 or more of these challenges stacked against us.

Just because I’m not black doesn’t mean I haven’t struggled, or don’t struggle. It just means I haven’t known the specific experiences of racism and the prejudices due to being a black person in this country. In my opinion, to be anti-racist, every day and openly, is to be a good human being.

Our country needs leadership, visionary leadership, not a dictatorship. We need a vision for the future that works to fix these inequalities, and that won’t be complete or content until no one has to fear being murdered in their own home, walking down the street without cause or due process.

We all have a lot of mixed emotions right now. I’m trying to push the rest of them aside and focus on a vision for the future and supporting black people in every way I can right now. Those of us with a little (or a lot of) privilege and power need to make the most of it and do what’s right.

Stay safe, and take care, friends.

P.S. Here’s a list of resources to show your support and a guide to being anti-racist if you’re not sure where to start in this journey.