Today is Wednesday, Oct.22, 5:27am. I have a bit of insomnia going on and weird things will pop in my head as I lay there trying to fall back asleep. Today the weird thing was that I never posted my potato soup recipe for my friend, Tracy. So, up I got and posted my potato soup recipe! It really is delish and I even added a new section “Soups” to “Eating In”, which is under “Foodies Welcome”. If you want to check it out – click on the 3 lines in the top right corner, it will open the other sections of the blog.
Another thing that was floating around in my head, while laying in bed, hubby sleeping soundly, listening to my wind chimes hanging outside the window, was “THIS IS REAL”. Our dream has come true! We are only in the very beginning, baby stages really, but it is REAL. We don’t have a house anymore. Neither of us have jobs. We are living in our rig! Our 5th wheel home on wheels! We truly have everything we need right here with us (ok – I could use just ONE more closet! – ha!) We have our health, our dog and 2 cats, we have each other. Having been married 29 years, I’ve been asked more than a few times, “How do you stay married so long?”, and since learning of our plan to live/travel full time in an RV the question has evolved a bit to sound more like “How are you going to stay married in that small a space?” The answer for me has always been very simple, and that is, as cliche’ as it sounds – hubby is all I need. I was told years ago, it is unfair to expect one person to be “all” to you, girlfriends and family and activities are good to have. I agree with that, and learning that was HUGE early on in my marriage, but at the end of the day, all we have ever needed was each other. I know, it sounds sappy, but it is true. Of course, our kids are a MAJOR part of our lives, major part of US, as literally as it gets and like any other parents on the planet, we would do anything for our kids, but again, at the end of the day, they are still only an extension of US. I was also taught early on in my marriage that the most important relationship in the family is the marriage, the husband/wife relationship. As a young mother, I was like “WHAT?”, as I nursed my young infant, I could not imagine that being true, but ladies and gentlemen, if you don’t know that yet, it is TRUE. I know so many people who’s marriages fall apart after their kids grow up and leave. That is a lot of times because they don’t put an effort into the marriage while raising their kids. They devote themselves so fully to parenthood that they forget each other. It is really sad to me when that happens. Really sad. I have always made it a priority for Bill and I to have date nights, weekends away for just the two of us. I didn’t want my kids to grow up and leave and look at Bill and say “Who are you again?” My kids leaving was hard enough, thank goodness I wasn’t looking at a stranger beside me at the same time – that would have been devastated times 2! (ok – devastated is a bit strong – but you know what I mean!)
Anyway, totally got off on a tangent there. Back to the dream – the one we are actually LIVING! WOW! We have always loved to travel, so this really should come easily to us, going to new places, seeing new things. I know Bill worries about money, and not to say that isn’t valid, but he has always worried about money. It is my hope this whole experience helps him chill about it. The budget might get tight, but I truly believe we will be ok. We are going to be just fine. We will figure it out – as we always have – together.
One of the things I have noticed is that among full-timers we’ve met, the couples truly seem to be each others best friends. I really think that is essential to living together at all, but especially in a smaller space. Full-timer couples truly have a deep commitment to each other as well as the lifestyle, I don’t think it could work any other way. I’ve heard stories about those where one spouse is just not as “into” it as the other, sometimes they decide only to part-time full-time (going out for months at a time, but maintaining a home-base), or maybe they go out for a set about of time, a year or two, then settle back down. Sometimes the reluctant spouse gets fully on board with the idea, sometimes not. I think each couple has to find what will work for them. The situations that make me sad is when one spouse asks for advise on how to talk the other spouse into doing this. They want to do it so bad and their partner just isn’t into it at all, for whatever reason, grandkids, job, just wanting a house, whatever. If Bill didn’t want to do this full-time, I think we could have found some type of compromise, and I hope those couples find something that will work for them.
Well, I am up now, after having gone back to bed for a little while. It is raining and damp and nasty here today. Bill went to see his brother and finish up some things with him there, so its just a good day to sit and type, keeping you guys up on all we have been doing.
First, our solar install is complete! We have 6 – 160 watt panels up on our roof, 6 Lifeline AGM deep cycle batteries with a total storage of 660 amp hours, Magnum 2800 watt Pure Sine Inverter w/remote display, Tristar MPPT solar charge controller w/remote display. This system will allow us to boondock indefinitely with the sun shining or 2 days without, and if the sun isn’t shining for longer than that, we have our 2 Honda 2000 generators as a back up and/or if we want/need to run the a/c.
I wanted to tell you about the storage solution Bill and I came up with for my wine glasses. I LOVE my wine glasses, they were a gift years ago from Bill. I knew I wanted to bring them, but they are very fragile, so I was very concerned about them breaking during travel. I originally got a box and filled it with peanuts and transported them that way, but what a pain in the butt! So, look at what my very inventive hubby made:
We have had some visitors come to see us. Bill’s former co-worker, Ken, and his wife Nancy stopped by and enjoyed a campfire with us. They had actually gone to the Hershey RV Show, so they had seen quite a few rigs there. Bill and I enjoyed giving them the tour of our home on wheels, Nancy and I spending more time inside, while Bill showed Ken the solar and the more manly outside stuff. We are both pretty proud of our home and love showing it off. I just wish I had gotten a pic! I really have to be more intentional about that!
Also coming to visit was our son, Bill. I, of course, still call him Billy, but he prefers the rest of the world to call him Bill. Makes it a bit confusing since that is also Dad’s name. So, if I refer to Billy, it’s my son, Bill is a.k.a. Dad or hubby. He came out in time for lunch Monday and stayed over until Tuesday. I loved that he was able to stay so long, just wish his fiance’ Renee could have come also. She is working full-time+ while also taking classes, working on her masters degree, so she is one busy lady with mid-terms coming up. Bill got to show Billy the whole solar set-up and explain the whole thing to him. They speak the same “language” when it comes to the manly things, most of which goes over my head. Since Bill is visiting John, I am going to see Renee later for an early dinner.
I finally got a new phone! My old one was almost 2 years old and getting pretty glitchy, basically driving me crazy! So, I took advantage of the Verizon offer to recycle your old phone and get a new iPhone 6! I got the gold color one, even though I wasn’t sure how I would like it, but ended up getting a clear case so I can see the gold. It is a really nice phone, so much nicer than the old 4 I had! Bill is getting one also, we will be picking it up tomorrow. The camera on the new phone is really nice, with some effects that I haven’t really played with yet, but I am sure I will figure it out.
Yesterday, while Greg finished up last bits of wiring, Bill decided to blow leaves. Greg has a Rigid brand shop vac/leave blower combo. It is fairly small and Bill now HAS to have one! Greg and I were joking that Bill was blowing the leaves all the way to China. He just kept going and going! It is really the perfect size for the rig basement, doesn’t take up too much room and I am sure it will come in handy!
To celebrate the solar being complete – Bill and I decided we wanted to take Cori and Greg to dinner, so we went to one of our fav places, Frank and Diannah’s Arbor Inn. It is definitely a special occasion place, very good every time we have gone, so we knew it would be a great evening out! But – guess what? I forgot a pic! So, I borrowed one off the internet.
Last night I did go see Renee and we had dinner together. I am very glad she and I get along so well.
Bill got home much later than expected from his visit to see his brother and finish up the container electrical, but all that is taken care of now – so one more thing checked off the list! Love it when that happens!
Today was the day for errands!
First stop was to see the CG owner, Carmen, and let her know we plan to take off Saturday morning. We will be sad to leave Brandywine Creek CG, we have loved staying here! We will owe her for 2 extra nights plus our electrical usage.
Next stop was our fav breakfast spot, Effies in Exeter Township. Bill and I both got our usual breakfast – 2 scrambled eggs, crispy home fries w/onions, ham slice and wheat toast for me and a sausage & cheese omelet, crispy home fries w/onions and rye toast for Bill – and today the home fries were extra good!
We then went and FINALLY got Bill’s phone! I think I’ve mentioned it before, maybe not, but the first one that was ordered for him arrived as only an empty box, so another one had to be ordered. They wouldn’t guarantee that it would arrive before our leave date, but it got there late yesterday, so we were relieved that we could pick it up. He has the gray iPhone 6 and decided to get a clear back case so you can see the color through it. Didn’t take too long for everything to transfer over from his other phone and move on to our next stop.
We cashed two checks at our bank, one was from Service Electric, who overcharged me when I closed our account, the other was a reimbursement from an overpay on our sewer/recycling bill at the house closing.
At Lowes, we returned some items he had bought for the container electric project, but then didn’t need. He commented that he would have probably usually kept the items as spare parts, but no more of that. It came to about $18, so we will have a credit on the VISA.
We stopped in at Home Depot for the shop vac/blower that he had to have. It is a 4 gallon size, so it is really perfect for us!
Kohls had the perfect pair of new jeans for Bill! He has been in serious need of some new jeans, all his current ones have been used for working in, so he now has a pair to wear for dinner out or something other than hanging around the rig/CG.
Our next stop was to pick up a pizza from one of his fav pizza places, Pizza Como. They have a “coupon” program, each time you get something there, you get a coupon. When you get 10 coupons, you get a small cheese pizza, at 15 coupons, you get a free large cheese pizza. On our way there, I called b/c Bill wanted me to order it ahead so we could just pick it up. He had 13 coupons and had me ask if we could just pay a bit extra and get the large. They said no problem! We also added onion and sausage, which is an extra charge. When we arrived, Bill handed the coupons to the guy behind the counter (the owners son – who is there most of the time when Bill goes in) and he says “you don’t have enough coupons”, the girl standing nearby says “oh – when they called I asked Poppy and he said they could just pay a bit more to make up for the other 2 coupons”. I realized that seemed like an odd thing, so I chimed in and said “We are moving out of the area and just didn’t want to miss out on our last pizza”. The man then said “Your last pizza? Well – here you go – it’s on us!” How nice was that? Bill and I both thanked him very much and promised to stop by if we were ever in the area again.
Our very last stop before heading home was to Jambalaya J’s for my last quart of jambalaya and remoulade sauce! That man – Jay – sure does know how to cook! YUM!
I know I don’t usually just give a blow-by-blow of my days, but I wanted you see that living in our RV, in some ways, isn’t a whole lot different than living in a regular house. There are still errands to run, things to be bought, banking to do, etc.
Today and tomorrow we will be packing up and getting ready to leave, either Saturday (tomorrow) or Sunday. Might be Sunday b/c when trying to run just on the solar today – its a gorgeous sunny day! – Bill discovered that two wires must have been marked wrong b/c the microwave wouldn’t come on, and instead the fireplace was working. So, some of the panels had to come back out and wires switched, so we are running behind. No biggie! We are heading to OBX to a CG in Avon. When I called, they were very flexible, as it is their very quiet season right now. It is a Passport America CG, so it will be $24 per night – good price for that area!
So, I will quit my ramblings for today and catch up with you again in a week or so.
Thanks again for reading and being a part of our lives!