The Future Is Unknown – So Enjoy Today!

Hi everyone! Nothing super exciting to report this week. We’re continuing to find ways to have fun in a small space, from cooking elaborate meals and trying new fruits and vegetables to finding new things to watch on Disney+!

We’ve been talking a lot about what’s next for us, and COVID-19 has really thrown a wrench into our planning. Will we feel safe traveling? Will we feel safer elsewhere? When will we again want to go into a theme park, or feel safe going into a bar for an open mic night?

Our goal has been to try out Portland, OR for their music scene…but if the music scene isn’t open to us yet, we’ve actually got several other favorite places in Colorado and New Mexico we’d be happy to spend time in. So we keep expanding our list of options, clarifying our goals and staying as flexible as possible.

Are your plans changing because of COVID-19? What do you think things will look like next spring?

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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. 

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!

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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.

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.

Happy New Year and Next Steps

Wow, it’s hard to believe 2019 is ending and 2020 is beginning! We have managed to fit so much into this year, it’s really been a banner year for us. So here are some of the highlights of where we’ve been and what we’ve accomplished this year, with a few musings for the future.

We started the year off in New Mexico, and we actually spent almost six months there, with ample time in Tularosa/Alamogordo and Deming, where we threw down routes with a state park pass for hiking and history and trips to Tucson, AZ (the desert museum is always our favorite), El Paso, TX (free theater, yoga and flying out of the airport to NH), Las Cruces, NM (ukulele festival and of course all of the free museums and parks) and Silver City, NM (performing, good eats, amazing shops and ice cream). We also spent time in neighboring cities, including a few visits to Roswell to perform, explore and eat excellent ice cream. In May and June, we shifted north, basing ourselves south of Albuquerque mainly, with visits to ruins, time in Taos (the best chocolate ice cream ever!), Santa Fe art explorations for our anniversary and of course a full week falling in love with Albuquerque during the Senior Olympics. We performed a lot throughout New Mexico, with the anchor being at yoga studios, which meant meeting people and, for Jamie, lots of free yoga classes!

At the end of June, we headed north, dusting off our Harvest Hosts path rather than going the campground route, and fell in love with new parts of Colorado, including Pueblo, Old Colorado City in Colorado Springs and a variety of Denver suburbs, with an RV park bordering a huge park perfect for Jamie’s walks. While staying there, Jamie flew to Slovenia, and while Ross’ promised work fell through, he took advantage of the location to see more of the music and comedy scene in Denver and get further work done on his ukulele course. We also performed together in Denver at Your Mom’s House.

After Jamie returned, having said her goodbyes to her grandfather, it was a quick dash out of Colorado, with the next month spent exploring Boulder, CO (complete love and wonderful performing experience!) and a visit to Tillamook and the coast for a few days. We also stayed at a winery with hookups, washer dryer, an open schedule and the nicest people imaginable, and our Tillamook location was perfect for the beach and had absolutely amazing food and drink for purchase.

From Boulder we enjoyed the gorge as we headed north (oh, we also boondocked on the gorge, just amazing!) and spent wonderful time with family in the Eastern part of the state. They catsat for us while we spent almost a week in Seattle, having an absolutely incredible time with Jamie’s cousin, enjoying a Star Wars stage show, outstanding ice cream and our first pho in addition to a great performance. We also fell in love with Seattle, made easier with a gorgeous week of weather, and Ross bought a new game system. When we returned to Ross’ family, via some delicious ice cream, we had some RV trouble, and a generous gift made it easy to get back on the road quickly.

Then it was time to head back. We spent a great night at a brewery in Missoula (with okay beer but tasty seltzer and a great location), and Jamie and Ross went into the town and walked her old haunts, getting ice cream too of course. The next day, Jamie got a call that her grandfather had passed away and the funeral would be in four days. So it was time for quick decisions.

While Ross would take a more typical pace across the country, with a stop to see friends in Iowa, Jamie raced, loading up on a gluten-free bagel sandwich with lox in Missoula, MT before departing at noon Wednesday. She made it with minutes to spare to an 11 a.m. funeral on Saturday in New Hampshire! She also got some tasty ice cream and a nice walk in Wisconsin as well as tons of city driving experience along the way. Ross’ mom acted as her travel agent, booking motels as needed on her path.

Jamie was reunited with Ross and Squeak about a week later, and the fall was full of teaching artist work (ukulele for Ross, theater improvisation for Jamie), performing for yoga and at Amphora (so much delicious food and drink!), teaching, socializing and of course producing the musical Goblin Market at the Hatbox Theatre.

After a full fall, with amazing Hatchland soft serve and Sweetly Offbeat gluten-free cheesecakes, we spent a quiet Thanksgiving together before heading south. We spent time with Ross’ sister and husband and Jamie’s cousin and wife and new baby, visited an awesome cheap winery, had an incredible visit to Savannah where Ross declared we could move there based on the dessert cafe alone and then made it all the way to central Florida, where we are now, in time to visit Galaxy’s Edge, eat a cookie butter sundae and eat a s’mores sandwich, amongst other things, at Disney World before year’s end.

We’ve accomplished a lot this year. We’ve quadrupled our virtual income. We’ve seen tons of bucket list places and found several new places we’d consider moving to. We produced a show we are incredibly proud of.

We also hit a few snags along the way, as Jamie learned the importance of narrowing her focus as a VA and of putting excellent business management practices in place to make her as successful as she can be. Meanwhile, a ukulele course we’d hoped to finish in quarter one is still in process a year later. We’ve also had to let some of our projects, like this blog, slide sometimes to meet our deadlines. But we’ve learned a lot, grown a lot and truly accomplished a lot along the way.

Thank you to everyone who has taken lessons from us and hired us for work this year. Thank you for all of the generous gifts and for cheering us on along the way. We’ve passed the three year mark and while our path is still somewhat unclear, we are narrowing in on next steps as we prepare to settle somewhere, at least part-time, in the relatively near future.

As we gear up with ambitious plans for growth and fun in 2020, we thank you and wish you an incredible year. Happy New Year!

Ross and Jamie AdventureRoss and Jamie AdventureRoss and Jamie AdventureRoss and Jamie AdventureRoss and Jamie AdventureRoss and Jamie AdventureRoss and Jamie AdventureRoss and Jamie AdventureRoss and Jamie AdventureRoss and Jamie AdventureRoss 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.

Return to Denver

Well, we’ve been parked in Denver for the last three weeks, and as usual for Colorado, we loved it!

Though I was traveling most of the time, we had a great time, enjoying an awesome park with four lakes next to our campground, performing at Your Mom’s House and the All Terrain Yoga at the Boulder Farmer’s Market and visiting new and favorite spots for ice cream, gluten-free treats and hard cider as well as open mics.

The only bummer in the area was that Ross’ favorite bar is desperately raising money to stay in business. We love you, Dungeons and Drafts!

We also got to catch up with my friend from high school, Melanie.

Here are a few highlights from our time!

Best Places near Denver, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureBest Places near Denver, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureBest Places near Denver, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureRoss Malcolm Boyd in Boulder, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureBest Places near Denver, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureBest Places near Denver, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureBest Places near Denver, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureBest Places near Denver, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureBest Places near Denver, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureBest Places near Denver, CO | 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.

The Las Cruces Uke Fest plus Silver City Fun

Our adventures have continued in southern New Mexico, and though we both caught a virus that we struggled through for a few weeks, we didn’t let it slow us down too much.

This past weekend was especially fun. Friday, we made our way to Silver City, where we had a return gig at Diane’s Restaurant. After mailing out a yoga CD (thanks to everyone who bought them here) we drove about an hour north from Deming. It’s a gorgeous drive, and returning reaffirmed how much we love it there. We visited favorite old haunts, like the game store and Vicki’s Eatery for homemade ice cream, and new spots, like this incredible vintage shop where every dress I tried on looked incredible and the hats were absolutely gorgeous too.Vicki’s Eatery, Silver City, NM | Ross and Jamie Adventure

Diane’s Restaurant, Silver City, NM | Ross and Jamie Adventure

After that, we headed to Diane’s, where we enjoyed a tasty meal, three drinks each (Jamie stuck to port and sherry!) and played three super sets. The audience loved it and showed their love, doubling our compensation with their tips!

The only downsides to the gig were that a) we didn’t get enough sleep and b) Ross missed the concert at the Las Cruces Uke Fest. But no worries – he spent the rest of the weekend soaking up workshops, assisting with sound and making new connections with people from across the country. I volunteered for a few hours too, and enjoyed the jam, but otherwise I occupied myself with visits to a couple of gardens and getting some work done.Flower, Las Cruces, NM | Ross and Jamie AdventureLas Cruces Uke Fest | Ross and Jamie Adventure

After a wonderful weekend, we knew we needed to pack up and leave Deming. But with a few more days at our disposal, we decided a return to Tucson was a priority.

So we returned to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson for another round of animals, cacti and gorgeous views.Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ | Ross and Jamie AdventureArizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ | Ross and Jamie AdventureArizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ | Ross and Jamie Adventure

I also found a family of birds (with seven little babies!) and Ross, as always, made friends too.

Thanks for a wonderful stay, Deming! We highly recommend Roadrunner RV and look forward to returning someday.

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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.

Wacky Weather In New Mexico

We’ve been enjoying our stay south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. We’ve been cooking up delicious Mexican and New Mexican cuisine (easy on a budget here) and we even celebrated Ross’ birthday by playing his new video game (yes, I played with him!) and having an incredible dinner out by a little cantina with an owner who’s extremely versed in what it means to be gluten-free.Pack’s Restaurant, Willard, NM | Ross and Jamie Adventure

100% gluten free…and options for celiacs too!

They even gave Ross cake for his birthday! And the taco was literally the best I’ve ever had. (The shell was perfection.) In other words, life is good. But boy, the weather has been ridiculous! We’ve been through two winter storm warnings (that disrupted our plans) and one “special weather statement” in only a couple of weeks. Braving the wind we expected, and the cold, but not the snow!

New Mexico snow | Ross and Jamie Adventure
At least the views are gorgeous!

Nevertheless, we extended our stay here. Since we are trading for a campsite, it let’s us conserve our limited funds. And honestly, the people here are just fabulous. We spent about seven hours partying (with outstanding food) the day before Christmas Eve, and on New Year’s Eve we contributed to a potluck and played games for more than four hours before relaxing on our own. We’ve eaten and drank well throughout and have really enjoyed getting to know everyone here.

Turner Inn & RV Park, Mountainair, NM | Ross and Jamie Adventure
Workampers are some of the best people! Christine, Deanise and owner Ruth.

Nevertheless, it’s time to move on. The cold is wearing out our RV gear and the snow is getting to us mentally. Time to seek warmer climates and enjoy exploring new cities.

We will be staying in the Alamogordo area next, and we will be playing music while we are there. Where we book work will help dictate our future travels.

Thanks to all of the friends and family who made this holiday season special, wherever we were. Squeak, Ross and I resolve to eat more frozen custard and green chiles in the coming month.

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. 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.

 

How Did We Make Money This Fall?

The most common question people have as we spend time with people this fall is an essential one: how did you make a living this fall?

I write this from Raleigh, NC. We’ve got some really generous family members hosting us during our East Coast adventures as we head south and then West to New Mexico.

We are currently in relaxation mode, taking a few weeks to continue our online work but mostly relax and recuperate from our extremely busy fall in New Hampshire.

So here are all of the ways we made money this fall, if you’re curious!

1. Ukulele Classes

The number one way we made money this fall was teaching group ukulele classes. Thanks to grant funding, Ross taught three groups of about 15 people an eight week series of classes for older adults. The classes taught them to play the instrument and gave them a social outlet, and many of the students are committed to continuing to play in a group or individually in the future.

In addition, Ross taught a couple of classes to last year’s Littleton group, who have continued to meet weekly, and he taught an additional series of classes for students 12 and older as well.Ukulele class, New Hampshire | Ross and Jamie Adventure

2. Music for Yoga

Ross played music for yoga classes while we were here. He improvises ambient music on keyboard and guitar, and it’s the perfect soundtrack for a yoga class. We look forward to doing more of these wherever we travel in the future.

3. Music for Libraries & Senior Centers

Ross and I perform a variety of originals and covers in different concerts for different audiences. This fall we performed Splish Splash, music from the 50s, 60s and 70s, at a library; and Ross performed his solo Christmas concert at a senior center. We have a variety of offerings and perform at concert venues, cafes, libraries, senior centers, schools and more.

4. Produce & Record Demo CD

Our friend wrote an original musical and hired us to produce and record a demo CD for it. We hired musicians and did a live recording during one mammoth day. It was an absolute blast! I cast it and played piano, Ross played guitar and he was the audio engineer.

5. Direct & Accompany Musical

For the same musical, I was hired to direct a staged reading! I also played piano for it and Ross played guitar. It was a big success and I’m extremely proud of this, as I was the demo CD. It was a wonderful chance to get some of our favorite people together for a project, as was the demo.

6. Music For Church

I’ve spent about ten years of my life accompanying church services, and I’ve also got a concert that I perform at churches with Ross. I love accompanying services on piano and organ and enjoy working with church choirs too. I played the organ for a recent church service.

7. Online Music Lessons

One of our main sources of income while traveling is teaching music lessons. We teach voice, piano, ukulele, guitar as well as music theory and technology, songwriting, conducting and even drums.

8. Virtual Assistant Work

I work as a virtual assistant for a variety of clients. I work with entrepreneurs and small businesses and nonprofits, helping with marketing and social media, grantwriting, writing and editing, research, data entry, customer service…any kind of office assistance that can be done remotely.

9. Blogging

The final way we made money this fall is that I wrote blogs for one of my clients. I blog about travel, food, ice cream and RVing.

Hopefully you found that interesting! This lifestyle is challenging but extremely rewarding, and this fall we were blessed to truly be doing what we loved and making a living at it.

Thanks for reading!

RV Tailgating Tips

If you know Ross and I, you probably know that we are basically clueless about sports and fine with that. So you might be shocked to learn that I was recently asked to blog about RV tailgating tips for Outdoorsy.

I may not care about football, but I know how to research and I like being paid to write. So here’s my article on RV tailgating tips. Enjoy! And thanks for stopping by.

Want us to perform near you? We are seeking work in New Hampshire, particularly places we can perform our original music (cafes, theatres, restaurants, yoga studios, libraries).

Further out, we are booking Raleigh, D.C., Greenville and anything else near those East Coast cities in late November and December. Suggestions and contacts are welcome.

Thanks, and have a wonderful day!