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.

Passing Time

Time passes quickly and slowly right now. We haven’t been in a store since March 16th. Our days are spent in the RV or at the campground, doing the same things we used to do there – working, relaxing, creating – but there’s no escaping to Disney World or Orlando and the like to break things up. 
In some ways, that should make it easier to focus on our goals. But with the world falling apart around us, focus is a much, much tougher thing to attain than it used to be. 
We interviewed a new potential client yesterday. Video editing and some virtual assistant work – we love the type of work and when the right clients connect with us, it’s an absolute joy! Being able to be picky about what we want to do is a blessing in itself, of course. We remember our blessings and our privilege every single day. 
Life is simpler than it used to be, in some ways. We spend more on food than we used to, and we actually budget for alcohol, so we’ve got weekly produce from Misfits Market, twice monthly food and supply deliveries from Aldi and Amazon (yeah, trying to limit that) and though we’ve only done takeout/delivery once so far, I’m sure it’s a matter of time before we do it again. I also budget for yoga classes, affordable ones but nevertheless an indulgence and an appreciated gift. 
And then, of course, there’s the logistics. Produce delivery means I spend about two hours getting the box in the RV without getting the germs transferred to the RV, and all produce gets washed before it gets put away. Shelf-stable deliveries get quarantined in the car for a few days since we are running low on Clorox wipes and can’t seem to refill them. And as the temperature increases, getting outside for walks requires a system all its own, especially with the addition of a mask. 
Yes, the mask. So far, behavior around us isn’t changing in regards to mask-wearing. We are still one of a handful of people wearing a mask around the park. This last week Florida “opened up” again, at least somewhat, with all but the three hardest-hit counties allowing retail and restaurants to operate at lower capacity, assuming their city or county didn’t restrict things further. 
We know, of course, that that’s a dangerous thing. So we strengthen our resolve to control what we can control and try not to panic when we have to be in shared spaces and around other people. 
Ross said to me last night that the thing he really misses is our ice cream dates. And I agree! Going on an adventure and stopping for a cup (or two!) of ice cream is one of our favorite things to do. Being unable to do that, at least in a manner we feel comfortable with, is definitely a bummer. We are so looking forward to that changing.
Our July gig has been canceled, so we officially have no more reason to be in Florida. And yet with the uncertainty of next week and next month, is there really a reason to go to another state right now? We are residents here. We were hoping to go back to New England in July, but NH campgrounds are closed to non-residents this summer (which we applaud!), and our work seems really unlikely to go on as planned (library performances? Teaching older adults?) so we weigh pros and cons, feeling like sticking with a situation that’s working well could be the best course of action. 
And then there’s the news of Disney Springs, Disney’s shopping complex, opening May 20. We certainly don’t feel comfortable going back yet. But the whole reason we are here is for Disney World. So how long will it takes for us to get comfortable with the idea? A month or two? A year? 
Right now, we feel safest staying put. That may change in the coming weeks or months. 
Meanwhile, we pray for our family and friends and for those less fortunate than us. So many are struggling right now, in so many ways, and of course our essential workers aren’t being given the protection they need to do their jobs, or in many cases, adequate compensation. We continue working to build our businesses knowing that the more we earn, the more we can give back and support others. Thank you to our front line workers in all industries. Truly.
I hope you’re well and taking care during this time. Virtual hugs your way. Thanks for reading! How are things where you are? 

______________________________

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.

Surreal Experiences In A Florida RV Park

Ross and I love the little RV park we stay in while we’re in Florida. It’s got a super convenient location, friendly neighbors, plenty of space to walk the park and even a slice of a water view at the far end. RVers as a whole often are more conservative than us (let’s be fair – most people probably are when we get down to it), but we try to be open-minded, and when we do our best to avoid politics, we find we’ve got lots to talk about and lots to enjoy in the people around us. We also like this park because there are lots of people of color here, mainly Latino but also black people, which makes it feel a lot less exclusive than some of the RV parks out there. It also seems to have a diverse range of incomes, judging by the range of people who stay here, some of them staying year-round.

All that being said, our neighbors, in our humble opinions, aren’t taking the virus seriously. Ross and I have been self-isolating since March 17th, and by early April snowbirds were mostly vacating the campground here (still lots of year-round folks staying). People still congregate in tight (closer than six feet) groups outside of their RVs. It makes no difference if some of them are extremely high risk, and all of them are 60+. With one exception, the only people wearing masks at the campground are a few maintenance workers. Well, besides us, that is.

When we go to do laundry, it’s extremely awkward, because people congregate around the entrance or do their laundry inside the tight quarters as if the pandemic doesn’t exist. When I walk the park, I feel like a lunatic in my mask while everyone else visits and acts like everything is fine.

Campground management, on the other hand, takes it extremely seriously. For weeks the office has drastically reduced their hours, and they’ve asked us to avoid using the trash pickup service so the maintenance workers are exposed to less germs. Sanitizing and cleaning has been stepped up, the mail room is no longer a gathering place and the community room is closed. And yet when you look around the park, it’s like a time machine to a few months ago.

Given our ages, we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to fight this thing off. But we don’t know, and we’d prefer not to test that out, especially with the underlying health challenges we are aware of. We’re in a communal environment and that won’t be changing any time soon. We haven’t left the campground since March 16th.

We’re so thankful to have a safe place to be. And yet, it feels like we’re bracing ourselves for impact, because if our neighbors aren’t taking precautions seriously, it feels like it’s just a matter of time before things will start to change around here.

Take care everyone, and stay safe. Lots of love from Ross and Jamie in Florida.

P.S. If you missed your chance to learn about Ross and my new course, part of the Essential Work from Home Survival Kit, check it out! Our course is “Navigating Relationships When You’re Both Working From Home”, but the bundle covers a wide variety of topics and might help you relax and become more productive in the coming weeks. Now that we are thinking of it, maybe we should dive into that as some counter-programming 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 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

______________________________

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.

Progress and Passion

It’s been a good week. This, despite both Ross and I battling illness (again). We’ve been plugging away at our respective jobs and projects, and while nothing is complete, we’ve seen some progress along the way.

Today we had one especially fun thing happen. A national news station reached out to us about Ross’ ukulele work with older adults!

Now, this wasn’t technically out of the blue, because I’d sent about twenty five unsolicited pitches in the fall. But this was the first positive response we got!

We don’t currently have a class, so no news yet, but if they covered the program, it could greatly increase the rate we can book the program at.

It was also a nice pat on the back to say yes, you’re doing good work and yes, people can recognize that.

So between that and my work on a musical theater workshop, there’s lots to be excited about this week.

I will leave you with a few photos from the campground. Have a great week, and thanks for reading!

Davenport, FL | Ross and Jamie AdventureDavenport, 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.