Music Projects and Bills – Oh My!

Music for yoga, Alamogordo, NM I Ross and Jamie Adventure

Ross and I have been working almost non-stop on our businesses this winter. Ross in particular has been very focused on two projects: his online ukulele course, and his new album, an ambient album composed with yoga and meditation in mind.

The number one challenge in working on both projects, but particularly the ukulele course, has been the limitations of Ross’ current gear. Ross has an old, reliable, wonderful laptop, but because it’s almost ten years old, it just can’t keep up in the video department. After waging battle after battle to edit and render video his laptop, Ross finally admitted defeat and came to me for help in choosing the next step.

After much debating, we decided we’d get him a new iPhone. The fanciest one, so it would have all the space and specs to do everything he wanted. (To be fair, his old phone was about three and a half years old,  and it was no longer useful as a phone, so some sort of replacement was imminent anyway.) Ross spent his first week with the phone testing all of the things to make sure he’d be able to edit the videos on his phone and wouldn’t still need a computer. The phone passed all the tests with flying colors!

Unfortunately (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?), we’ve since found that while the phone itself is equipped for it all, the editing apps can’t handle long (10, 20, 30 minutes) videos without crashing. After putting up with it for a while, it became clear that for Ross to get his course ready at the speed that I was asking him to (aka within the next few months, not the next few years), we’d need to invest in a new laptop.

It was a tough decision, but we eventually decided to go with what we could afford without debt, which turned out to be a gaming laptop with great specs that can handle all sorts of video editing. It won’t replace his existing laptop, but it should be an incredible asset for video editing. (Please send all the good vibes/prayers/happy thoughts are way that we’ve got all we need to succeed in this department!) The extra benefit of going with the computer? Now we can market Ross as a video editor for real – he’s got the gear he’ll need to edit video for anyone who needs it.

Luckily, in the midst of the ukulele course editing drama, Ross was able to distract himself by recording/editing/mixing his new album. We’re putting the final touches on cover art and hope to release it before the end of this month. In the meantime, if you’d like some free tracks, head here to join the list and get some free stuff!

Music for yoga, Alamogordo, NM I Ross and Jamie Adventure
Ross playing music for a Buti yoga class. He’s played Yin Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga and Restorative Yoga classes too.

So if it seems like we’ve been quiet in New Mexico, it’s because we’ve been oh, so busy with projects…and making the tough decisions about financing a phone and not financing a laptop. And we’re extremely thankful that we can handle these purchases – we haven’t forgotten that if this had happened two years back, we’d have been forced to ask friends or family for help.

One fun piece of news – our new podcast, “Finishing The Season”, has received some happy (5 out of 5) ratings on iTunes! Here’s what Christie Conticchio had to say in her review: “Jamie and Ross have an undeniable chemistry and conversation in regards to everything Broadway. Jamie is so resourceful and knowledgeable about music. Her fun personality comes through. Ross adds his opinion and banter which makes this show so fun.”

That’s the news from Deming today! We’re setting up CD release parties and working on booking out through the summer, and we’ll be returning to New Hampshire as teaching artists (both of us!) this fall. Life is beautiful and we’re exceedingly thankful.

Stay warm and safe, wherever you are, and we’ll talk to you soon!

p.s. We’re giving away some private music lessons on Facebook if you’re interested! Just find the post and follow the instructions.

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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. 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 full year on the road: So long, 2017!

What a year it’s been! We hit the road in October, and we’re so overjoyed that we’ve been able to make this crazy adventure work for another year. How amazing is it that we were full-time travels for all of 2017? And we’re cautiously optimistic that 2018 will be the year we see our income increase and our lives become more sustainable. (Believe me, we have some serious plans to make that happen.)
2017 was the year we:
Celebrated the New Year at the most amazing Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum aka the only way I’ve found to get the equivalent of my Disney fix outside of Disney. (It’s that great!)
Visited Austin and participated in the Women’s March.
Visited New Orleans and the one and only Eric Bolivar after WAY too many years of saying we’d get down there.
Stayed at a Walmart with views of the Gulf of Mexico.
Experienced wonderful museums & historical sites.
Visited Savannah and Charleston (we’ll be back) and got tastes of many other cities, including Brunswick, ME, for the first time.
Spent many months visiting Disney World, experiencing Flower & Garden Festival, Festival of the Arts, Festival of the Holidays and Food & Wine Festival. We also had a truly special Christmas dinner and some amazing treats and fun at Disney Springs. Plus Jellyrolls and Sanaa with Ross’ sister Emily and her husband Ryan.
Ate a ton of homemade ice cream, custard, gelato and frozen yogurt!
Spent an outstanding summer visiting all there is to see on the Outer Banks and making the best friends we’ve met on the road so far. Way too many moments to name, but a few include our first blue crabs, beaches, all the historical sites, lighthouses, a seafood buffet for our third anniversary plus wine, whiskey, a first martini and more with our friends.
We made friends with multiple cats.
We purchased a car, an adorable Chevy Sonic that we’ve nicknamed “Hedgie”.
Explored Delaware for a weekend, including John Dickinson’s plantation and Dogfish Head Brewery.
Played music in assisted living facilities, senior centers, preschools, bars, churches, theaters and open mics, including one with outstanding homemade ice cream.
We got a few enjoyable tastes of upstate New York, including Rochester, Albany and Binghamton.
Jamie played keyboard in a genuine praise band at a contemporary Methodist church service.
We led a ukulele workshop for seniors that was literally a dream come true – we were paid to teach music for free!
We visited with family and friends and despite the distance, had Christmas with a few family members too.
Jamie finally updated this blog to make it easier to search and follow our travels!
We held our first music recital in Bethlehem, NH!
We’ve continued to build our businesses, from teaching online music lessons to working as a virtual assistant (Jamie) and as a podcast editor (Ross). We even auditioned at Disney (Jamie, two times) and entered a competition to handle social media for Cancun.com (both of us). We’re thinking big and bold as we head into 2018.
Ross got a Nintendo Switch after patiently waiting until we had the money for it! Jamie got a Groot (from Guardians of the Galaxy) that she enjoys dancing with.
In addition, Jamie flew back to NH to lead the band for the musical The Drowsy Chaperone in Littleton and Ross held down the fort in Florida for almost a month without her. Jamie also had a birthday party while on the Outer Banks that included homemade ice cream cake and some of her favorite people – thank you Ross for the nudge to make that happen!
We are so lucky that we’ve been able to do this, and we’re so thankful to all of you who’ve supported us, whether in promoting our work, purchasing an EP, taking lessons or sharing gifts that have helped make all of this happen. What’s amazing about this lifestyle is that these things have almost exclusively happened as a part of our normal week. We rarely take “time off” for more than a day or two each week, and yet we’ve been able to have an incredibly fulfilling year with tons of adventures and even some relaxation (thank you, Outer Banks beach access!). We realize every day how incredibly fortunate we are.
As we look ahead to 2018, we’re setting goals, designing schedules and finding ways to make even more success in the upcoming year. We hope you’ll follow along and join us now and again.
With love,
Ross & Jamie

Enjoying the perks of “settling”

We’ve been staying in the Orlando area for almost two months now, and in settling down for a while, there are a lot of perks. We’re enjoying full hookups and access to high-speed internet (we never thought we’d be so thankful to have Comcast), and we’ve been Squeak tonguebefriending a lot of cats, including one who has adopted us that we’ve nicknamed Squeak due to her adorable squeak instead of a meow.

We’ve gotten tons of Disney parks time in, seeing the Halloween decorations in the Magic Kingdom, enjoying the Food and Wine Festival and experiencing the holiday magic throughout the parks. Probably the biggest highlight was our gift from Ross’ parents – dinner at San Angel Inn, Mexico at Epcot followed by a reserved seat for the Candlelight Processional with Jodi Benson (the voice of Ariel, the Little Mermaid) as the narrator.

  

Jamie has also auditioned twice for roles at Disney – once for Finding Nemo: The Musical and once to be an improv performer. No luck thus far, but it doesn’t hurt to try! The absolute dream would be a role as a musical director or performance coach, but we hope this gets me noticed at least.

We’ve also done a wee bit of performing (an open mic here, a few church services) and have been booking future gigs like our lives depend on it – which they kind of do! And we’ve got a new website up for teaching online music lessons! New students can save big with our “holiday special” if you book before the end of December.

We’re also enjoying the opportunity to visit with family and friends. So far we got to see our friend and performer Judy Pancoast and we’ll be seeing Ross’ sister Emily and her husband Ryan for Christmas. We also plan to visit with some of our friends from the Outer Banks while they’re in town early next year, and we’ll be reaching out to my grandparents and aunt for a visit soon too. And there’s the chance for other family and friends visiting in early 2018 too! So all of that is really wonderful. If you’ll be in town by the end of February, please let us know!

I’ve been loving being a paid blogger for Outdoorsy, and my most recent article documents why I think ice cream should be a popular RV and road trip activity. In a similar vein, an opportunity to apply to manage the social media for Cancun.com has taken the world by storm, and it sounds so perfect for Ross and I (as a team) that we have applied for it. If you want to help us pay off our debts and spend six months living and working in Mexico, we’d greatly appreciate you voting for us here. No need to sign up for anything and voting is super easy – just click the button! And if you really want to help in an extra, above and beyond way, you can actually vote for us DAILY. Sharing our link and our story with your friends and family helps us get additional votes too!

Happy Hanukkah if you’re celebrating, and if you’re celebrating Christmas, we wish you a merry one. Lots of love and peace to all of you this holiday season, and thank you for your support and for following along on this journey with us!