Goblins and Parties in Concord, Oh My!

Well, as we’ve mentioned, Ross and I have been super busy here in New Hampshire. This past week, we had the final classes and “final sharings” where our ukulele and theater improvisation students, respectively, got to share what they’d learned with the community. Both celebrations were a huge success, and we are extraordinarily proud of the work we’ve been doing with older adults. If you have any leads on venues for us or potentially funding sources, please let us know!

Next up we are diving even deeper into our production of the musical Goblin Market. Get ready for puppetry and poetry, in a take inspired by the world of Jim Henson fantasy films and with an astonishingly talented cast of singers and actors who move. It’s a beautiful and unique show, and you can learn more and purchase tickets here. It’s at the small Hatbox Theatre in Concord, a fantastic venue, and we’ve got an amazing VIP party on the docket for Friday evening. (You can save big if you purchase your ticket for that now!)

Otherwise, we’re plugging away at our work, teaching and helping our clients as virtual assistants. Life is good and we’re thankful for all of the opportunities!

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.

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.

__________________________________

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.

Visiting City of Rocks State Park

I recently had the opportunity to visit City of Rocks State Park, a park and campground I’d heard about from several bloggers in the past. It’s in between Silver City and Deming, New Mexico, and as we were staying in Deming, it was an easy drive of about a half hour to the park. I found it to be a small, but gorgeous, park, with a botanical garden, hiking and incredible large rock formations that you can camp next to, climb and photograph.

City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico | Ross and Jamie AdventureDuring my visit, I lucked into watching a hawk feed its family. Absolutely an incredible sight. I was also pleasantly surprised to have a pretty excellent cell signal (3 bars on T-Mobile, good enough for high-quality streaming on my phone). There are two campground areas – one area is with the rocks, boondocking, and the other area offers hookups. To be perfectly honest, I felt the area with hookups wasn’t too appealing. Sites are very close together and don’t have much privacy. But if you’re able to boondock for a few nights, I highly recommend it here. Due to the height of the rocks, the sites offer a ton of privacy and space, with incredible views and a truly unique experience camped among the rock formations.

City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico | Ross and Jamie AdventureNew Mexico’s state parks are an incredible and affordable resource. A day pass is only $5/car and will get you into multiple parks in a day, which is especially helpful in this area if you just want to drive through them or make quick visits. But an annual pass (day use) is only $40, making it extremely affordable.

An annual pass for camping is also a steal, if you’ll be using it for say, three months, but if not, camping rates at the state parks are only $8-$14/night, so it’s definitely a great deal.

I’mCity of Rocks State Park, New Mexico | Ross and Jamie Adventure very thankful I finally had the chance to visit City of Rocks. It’s an other-worldly experience that I highly recommend.

Next up for us: we are hard at work on our online ukulele course and are about to release a new album of ambient music for yoga and meditation. Lots of great stuff.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful day!

__________________________________

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!