Stillness, Movement and Disney

Still in Florida. Still spending 99% of our time in our RV. And still thankful that we have enough, and that there’s plenty to enjoy, even in a small space.

Stillness

We haven’t gone anywhere since we last checked in. Just walks around the campground. And honestly, that’s fine. In fact, I just took about 3.5 days off this past weekend, and you know what? I LOVED it. I hadn’t taken that much time off since last summer! So having hours to stream great programs (like Bernstein’s Mass, a Hal Prince documentary and a livestream of The Marvelous Wonderettes from Seacoast Rep) was delightful, and having time to make cookie dough (the kind you don’t have to cook – mine was an almond flour base) and enjoy whipped coffee courtesy of my husband? It was so lovely.

I also had the time to make a Pros and Cons list, something I’d been threatening to do for many weeks. And the grand conclusion, shocking, I know, is that it’s safer and better for us to stay put in Florida than go anywhere else right now. We’ve got plenty of internet access, an affordable site in a comfortable place, access to deliveries of all sorts…and the moment we move, we’ve got extra risk and a whole bunch of new variables. So, barring weather or other changing tides that make staying here unsafe or unsustainable, we’ll be sticking around. We’ve got a few logistics to figure out with doctor appointments and the like, but this feels like the best course of action through at least most of the winter. So we commit and stay the course.

Movement

It can be easy to get restless when you realize you haven’t gone anywhere for about six months and won’t be going anywhere until next year. One way I’ve been able to combat this has been participating in projects to get me outside of my RV. I had a blast with a virtual choir experience (I’ll let you know when it’s complete), and more recently, I got to participate in some movement. I really love how this one came together if you’re interested. (I’m in the blue dress later in the video sequence.) It was lovely to have an excuse to dance for a while!

If you know anyone wanting to create one of these videos, let us know! Ross’ video and audio editing background means he can do these types of things very well.

Disney

Disney has announced that Disney World will be re-opening, with lots of modifications of course, in mid-July. July 11th and July 15th, mainly. We don’t feel comfortable going, because of underlying health conditions and the knowledge that it will be a LOT of extra risk for us. We haven’t been in a building off the RV park grounds since March 16!

I’m happy for the people who have been in need of this. I truly hope and pray that Disney can keep their employees and guests safe. Since Florida testing has gotten really unreliable and shady, I’m not sure how we’ll know if “it’s working” or not. So I’m just going to be thankful for all of the time we got at Disney in our first three months here. It was really wonderful. And now I’m going to practice self-care and be thankful for all that we do have. (It is so, so much.)

Wishing you and yours all the best. Take care and be well.

______________________________

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.

Making The Lives We Want: Our Scorecard

Though we casually refer to our travel blog as “Ross and Jamie Adventure”, the actual name is Making The Lives We Want: A Practice In Living. I named the blog long before we hit the road, secretly writing away and documenting my thoughts as we navigated this crazy dream – becoming full-time RVers, traveling the country, giving Ross the chance to be a touring musician and ultimately finding a new place to settle down.

“Ross and Jamie Adventure” goes back to when Ross and I married in June of 2014 (almost six years married, and we’ve passed ten years together now). We coined the phrase then, creating an email with the moniker for handling our wedding details. It felt right. Even when our disposable income was almost non-existent, we always loved going on adventures, from our first New Year’s Eve together (also our anniversary) spent at Santa’s Village, to drives around northern New England for ice cream, museums or just whatever we’d see, to our short but magical comedy & music cruise out of Miami, to our epic two weeks of mostly camping and living it up in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Even though we’d never dreamed of anything like this when we got married, should it really shock anyone that we decided to embrace adventure fully with a life on the road in late 2016?

Obviously our adventures are looking very different right now. So instead of discussing traveling, I’m revisiting our name to ask the question, are we making the lives we want?

Here’s how things have evolved since I started this blog.

  • We bought an RV; and then when that one turned out to be a clunker, we bought another RV (this time with financing!)
  • We sold most of our furniture, got a storage unit and pulled a lot of favors with family and friends (thank you!!)
  • We traveled the U.S., especially down the East Coast, across the southern part of the United States, spent some time in the Pacific Northwest and cut a northern route back to NH (in several combinations).
  • One or both of us has performed in many communities across eleven states, from bars to libraries, restaurants to yoga studios and clubs to churches.
  • We went from mostly workcamping (at campgrounds in NH, TX, NC, CO and NM) when we weren’t performing to building a thriving virtual assistant business to supplement our not-insignificant teaching and performing income.
  • We’ve eaten premium and super premium ice cream across the U.S. in at least 19 states.
  • We’ve made new friends, spent time with family and old friends, fallen in love with several communities and continued to expand our time table from at least one year to coming up on four years this fall.
  • We’ve participated in yoga classes (Ross as a musician, Jamie as a student) in at least a half dozen communities.
  • We’ve created new goals for the future, no longer content to return to the status quo but instead working to remain location-independent indefinitely.

Of course, it’s that last piece that makes us particularly well-suited to endure what’s going on right now. Working remotely combined with relatively diverse streams of income has meant that instead of panicking when our gigs were canceled, we knew we had a lot of other income streams that, thus far, are doing okay. So we live in gratitude for the blessings we have, for all of the privileges that have made this possible and for all of the people who have supported us along the way when our RV needed work or we needed someone to watch our cat or store our keyboard.

We really are making the lives we want. It keeps evolving, and we keep redefining what that means. We aren’t rich, but we’ve lived lives that so many people have only dreamed about. We are rich in experiences, and whatever comes next, we’ll remain eternally grateful for what we’ve had.

Wishing you health, safety and comfort, friends. Take care.

______________________________

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.

A quick check-in from Florida

Hope this finds you and your family well. I’d love to hear how things are going where you are.

Here in Florida, the governor has announced that all but 3 counties (the ones hardest hit) are opening up Monday. Restaurants and retail at 25% capacity etc….it will be interesting. As you’ve no doubt heard, some Florida residents have been pretty ridiculous flaunting whatever freedom they have right now, so it’s hard to say if opening up somewhat will make it better or just make them even more carefree and ultimately more likely to endanger all of us.

I spent some time yesterday reading NH’s plan for the next phase, and I was so impressed. PDFs of maybe 25 pages total with super detailed plans on rollouts in all industries as well as specific ones, including state parks (ocean beaches will stay closed!) and campgrounds (NH residents only will be welcome). In light of the campgrounds part, my current leaning is that we won’t go back to New England this summer. Even if family offers to host us, I don’t think we’d be comfortable doing so with this virus on the loose (we’d need to use their shower and laundry facilities at minimum), and if no campgrounds will have us, it just doesn’t make sense to go up there.

We’re still considering our options for the fall. Do we drive up in the RV just for a couple of weeks, for doctor’s appointments, and then leave again? Do we fly again and stay in a motel or air b & b and rent a car? Do we drive up in a car as an in-between of those options? Or do we find doctors in another part of the world entirely?

Yes, there’s a lot of uncertainty. But we’re so thankful for so much. Delicious meals (thank you Ross!) and plenty of food and supplies. A wonderful family. Sunny days, and cooler nights. A safe and comfortable home. Regular online sessions and phone calls with family and friends.

We’ve also submitted our video to the Tiny Desk Concert. We were able to perform (through the miracle of technology) with our favorite drummer, Tom Holmes!

Life is good. Wishing you all the best. Take care!

P.S. You can still show your support and get yourself incredible resources by purchasing the Essential Work from Home Bundle from us this 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.

Thankful and Fearful for Stay-at-Home

So the order to stay at home has finally come down from the governor of Florida. Since we’ve committed ourselves to staying here for the long haul, and since we’re Florida residents, staying put at this campground in central Florida remains our best option.

When the order came down on Wednesday, my feelings of thankfulness quickly made way for fear. Had I done enough to stock up on supplies? What if deliveries didn’t go as planned? What if my clients don’t need me to work for them anymore? What if we can’t get the aid we need? What if, what if, what if…

There are so many unknowns right now. I can’t do anything about that. All I can do is put one foot in front of the other, and hug my immediate family (my husband and my cat), and enjoy the meal in front of me or the beautiful sunny sky.

So each day, I will try to soak in a little bit more of the things that I love that I can control or enjoy right now. I’m having tea with family this weekend. I make phone calls, I write emails, I send texts. I relish “virtual happy hours” with co-workers and remote yoga classes and days without needing a/c and nights full of sleep. I write letters to representatives and know when to turn off the news stream. I discover new TV shows with my husband, appreciate his cooking evermore and work my way through my client checklists to keep my clients as happy as possible.

I know I can’t control it all forever. I know my family can’t either. But we can take care of ourselves as best we can. We can do the work to clean and isolate and exercise and give ourselves room to grieve and cry and also laugh and breathe. And we can know that whatever tomorrow brings, however long this journey is, we will have done all we could to live our lives in joy and thankfulness in the midst of adversity.

Sending so much love to all of you. Thank you to everyone who is making it possible for me, and others like me, to stay home. And thank you, for doing your part each and every day as we work to kick this virus to the curb.

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.

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.

______________________________

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.)

IMG_7891

______________________________

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.

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.