ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY SIX…warm breezy beach or cool snowy mountain

We’ve been full-timers now for 4 months. A total of one hundred and eight days on the road.

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On the one hand it’s gone by so fast. It seems like last week when we drove to Ohio from Michigan to pick it up. I remember having to drive back to my in-laws house in a torrential downpour. I was a nervous wreck. The next morning, I called my friend Elena, who has experience with driving mammoth vehicles (she was a firefighter in Miami) hoping she would pump me up or at least give me some good advice. “Don’t worry about hitting parked cars on the side of the street downtown” she said, “I used to do it all the time. If those people are going to park close to traffic, they deserve to get hit. You’ll be fine!” That’s what I needed to hear.

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On the other hand, it feels as if we’ve been full-timers for a lot longer than 4 months. Maybe it’s because Greg and I are getting the hang of the duties we have quietly assumed responsibility of. We know the drill both when we park and when we’re packing up to leave. I have the few things I do, I won’t bore you with the minutia, but suffice it to say  we are work in tandem. It’s a true team effort. We are simpatico.

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We have also officially gone one month without a “date-night”.  I am missing our old babysitter of 4 years, Amanda, right about now. I missed her before, but I REALLY MISS HER NOW! Greg is great about letting me go to a movie or whatever I want once or twice a week and vice versa. I don’t often take him up on it, because what I really want is to be alone with him and enjoy a nice conversation without being interrupted or having to take someone to the bathroom, or having to ask someone to sit down, stop yelling…and eat your food. But once a month I do take him up on it. For instance, the other night I bought myself dinner from Chipotle and snuck it into the theatre. I sat in the very back row, silently ate my dinner and enjoyed alone time in a dark practically empty theatre. It was lovely.

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Other than the occasional missing of date-night, family and friends, life on the road is going swimmingly. Every time we enter a town Greg begins his “How long before Angie Beth says she could live here” countdown. I keep falling in love with all the little small towns we find ourselves in. Mount Shasta, California has my heart at the moment. It’s sunny 80% of the time, but if your looking for snow or mountains, just drive 10 minutes up the mountain, bring a blanket, snacks and toys for the inmates (aka children) and take in the view.

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If you want to visit the beach, just drive 10 minutes south and you will find yourself in the middle of a beautiful state park with a long sand bar, beautiful blue water, a view of Mt. Shasta and let the inmates run around in their swimsuits until they can’t run anymore.  The best of both worlds.

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I had always heard that about California. During my short times visiting the state, if I was at the beach I never made it to the Mountains. And if I was in the mountains I never made it to the beach. I was always on someone else’s timeline.

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4 full months and there is still so much to see it’s overwhelming. To think there are other little untouched gems out there waiting to be discovered, loved and appreciated blows my mind.

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Date night or not, I am loving life today and  am annoyingly happy.

(It was very difficult not to put an exclamation point after happy, cause happiness can be annoying)

One hundred and eight days on the road. So hard to believe. I find myself lost in “I can’t believe we did this” thought.

 

 

ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY FIVE…watermelon, the potpourri of life

I have serendipitously discovered something huge. For my whole adult life I have been burning candles in my kitchen. Mostly because they smell amazing, but there’s also the soothing lull of the candle flickering in the background. It makes me feel calm.

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I chose not to bring candles into the RV purposefully. My philosophy in life, especially lately seems to be, “If something can go wrong, it probably will”. When we began concocting this whole “lifestyle choice” I had a daymare (instead of a nightmare). Daymares usually happen for me during the day, when I am wide awake and usually folding clothes or procrastinating. When we were moving ou of our home, I was packing up our kitchen and the last item to go in the moving box was my favorite candle; the one smelling of cotton I had bought time and time again from my local Publix Grocery store. I can smell it even now. This particular daymare involved my cotton smelling candle, Cecilia, and her curiosity, which didn’t turn out well. That’s all I needed. The deal was sealed. Absolutely no candles. I can live with that.

So I was wondering how to keep the home on wheels nice, clean and smelling fresh. I have tried the mixture of blue dawn dish soap along with vinegar and water which is fine for cleaning but doesn’t really give it the overall aroma I was hoping for.

Well imagine how surprised I was to find out that spilling an entire watermelon on your floor will give you just the right amount of freshness you’ve been craving. That’s right folks yesterday afternoon, this mama came home with the biggest watermelon I could find. I had it in my brain this was the perfect day and location for watermelon.  A watermelon for dessert in California? Who wouldn’t love that? I lugged it into the abode, cut it in half and went to work on what was to be THE BEST DESSERT EVER!!!!

Our Polite Dictator stomped in and demanded her milk in her usual aggressive tone while adding  “PLEASE” to her order. I sent her off to the back bedroom for her speech therapy video session. As I stepped back to my watermelon I put a little bit of my body weight onto the cutting board to steady myself. Much to my surprise, the board was hanging off the counter just enough for the board to flip-up, smack me in the chest and splat all over the place.

Awesome.

After I changed my clothes, I came into the kitchen to begin cleaning up the mess I made. I got everything picked up and washed the floor and most of the seating in our kitchen with hot soapy water. Damn that watermelon was juicy. An hour later, I am still happily amazed at the smell of fresh watermelon. So now I know. If I’m ever desiring that clean fresh smell, the answer doesn’t lie in my most favorite Publix grocery store candle of fresh cotton, but a large piece of fruit oozing with juices smeared on most everything I own. Making the mental note now!!! I’m nailing this mom thing!! On the flip side (pun intended), I did find an all-natural way to freshen up the smell of our home on wheels. As Phoebe would say “BOOM! NAILING IT!

After all the effort of cleaning up dessert, the last thing I wanted to do was clean the kitchen after making dinner. We ended up eating dinner out.

There is always tomorrow.

ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY FOUR…seeking stability within mobility

So…we are in Northern California for the next couple of weeks.

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Our amateur status strikes again. Camping season in coastal Oregon and Washington are peaking this time of year. I thought it would have died down significantly after labor day, but I was wrong. We were having so many issues finding a campsite we could stay in for more than 3 days.

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Moving around is great. But my favorite part of this journey so far, is to immerse myself in the towns and get an idea of how these people go about their everyday lives. It is very difficult to really get to know a place when you’re trying to call around in order to secure a campground for the next time we have to move. I desire and require (for sanity reasons) and Greg agrees with me, stability within mobility. It’s nice to commit to a place for at least 2 weeks. Oregon couldn’t offer that at this time so we are just going to hang here until October and then head north again to give it another go. We both feel there is so much more to see and explore.

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So we’ve been on the west coast now for 3 weeks…maybe 4.  I have to say, I can’t help but feel that I am cheating at life somehow. Being on the west coast puts us into the pacific coast time zone. I assume it’s psychological on my part, but I cannot shake the feeling that I have a leg up on all of my family and friends living in the eastern standard time zone. For example, I ordered a pair of shoes and had them shipped to the campsite. On the east coast, packages wouldn’t arrive until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. When your on the west coast, packages come at the 11 am hour. For me, that’s reason enough. “Reason enough” for what I don’t know, but it just felt like the correct thing to write in that moment.

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Another example, around 2:30 in the afternoon when I normally feed the kids an afternoon snack and then put Cecilia down for a nap…Greg is getting off work. Because he begins working the moment he wakes up at 6 by 2:30 he has already completed his 9 to 5 job. It’s like having a whole new lease on life. Getting to hang with my best bud at 2:30 everyday only means I can mentally clock out WAY before my usual 5:30 hour. Please people, I am joking! Sort of. But seriously, we use that time for field trips to Mt. St. Helen’s in Washington, Crater Lake in Oregon, or the mystical Mount Shasta in the perpetually sunny California.

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You want another example?

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How about this, I love waking up and seeing a text from my mom or my friend Elena at 7 am reading how they have already lived half their day (sorry Elena…don’t stop texting me at 7 am) and put out small fires (that’s for you ginger) that erupt between little inmates (or children as some people refer to them) all morning long. And then of course when I text Elena at 3 pm just to make sure it really is 5 pm somewhere…I always get a “hell yeah Biyacth!”

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 I woke up to a funny sound on my phone this morning.  It made me smile to see Ava, Lydia, and Gabriel (our kids best friends from Florida who are also homeschooled…which is why they are able to call at 10 eastern time…Elena, don’t tell your kids to stop please…I really do love it) calling to snapchat with them at 7 in the morning. I smiled and thought, “Should I turn up the heat before I snooze for another hour? It did get down to the 40’s last night.” I then proceeded to roll over and conclude my beautiful dream where I am having dinner with Goldie Hawn and Big Bird (cause we watch a lot of Sesame St I am assuming…I don’t normally dream about Big Bird) We were solving the worlds problems over pizza. Big Bird had some very insightful opinions I recall. He is so wise.

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Of course, an hour later, the girls called their friends back and spent an hour making silly faces, singing to each other, making farting and pooping noises, and coaxing their baby sisters into doing funny things. I feel like being 3 hours behind somehow allots more hours in the day for me. Even though I stick basically to the same scehdule I always have. Still though, 3 hours is a significant amount of time. I can’t wait for daylight savings time this year!!

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ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY THREE…stop, look, touch and smell

173 A (1 of 1).jpgIt’s a cool 54 degrees as I sit out by our campfire in Tillamook, Oregon.  10:30 in the evening and everyone but little ole me is sleeping snug in their warm beds. I savor the opportunity (to reflect on our days) the nighttime gives me. I am just out enjoying a glass of wine thinking about earlier today when Greg was helping me do laundry. We pulled up to the laundromat and as I opened the car door, I made a mental note of the slippery parking lot divider curb thing…but the mental note eluded me as I proceeded to get out of the car, ultimately slipping and falling on the slippery parking lot divider curb thing.

It happened so fast.

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One side of my brain (while I was in the process of falling) was like, “OMG, you saw the divider…and your still falling?” While the other side of my brain was like, “OMG, what is happening?” I quickly made it to my feet with my heart pounding and my left palm bruised and bleeding. I wasn’t hurt or anything. I glanced around to get an idea of which angle I need to play my, “Oh I think my keys went under the car…I was just checking…but no, there they are…in the ignition” reaction to.

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Of course, the girls in the backseat were completely oblivious to their mother falling to the ground. Greg was busy getting the laundry out of the backseat (thank God), he hadn’t witnessed it either. Seeing me go down like that would have worried him and once he found out I was ok, he would have been completely annoyed. He knows I am a flighty, clumsy, type B, head-in-the-clouds kind of gal…but instead of laughing about it with me, he just stares at me…like I’m an extra terrestrial. Never mind the fact that he was the one, who 7 months ago launched our only set of car keys soaring down the vortex of an elevator shaft…

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I digress…

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There was however, the one lone laundromat attendant who, by the look on her face, most likely saw everything. It was as if ink was appearing on her face and it was reading, “dang girl…did you just learn how to walk today?” I was going to walk in and be all, “Haha, I just learned to walk today” but as soon as I crossed the laundromats threshold, I lost my nerve. She looked like she was having a bad day. I felt as if I had done my part to make this ladies day a little brighter. Now she had evidence that someone else may have been worse off than her. We went on for the next 10 minutes ignoring each other as most individuals in laundromats do. I desperately wanted to ask her if she saw the whole thing…but decided my energy would be better spent dividing up the darks from the lights.

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My heart was still jacked, palm still bleeding and my legs were still shaking…and I was in the process of separating the laundry when I pulled out Abby’s sweatshirt. I noticed something felt wet and slimy. My first thought was, “Oh crap, I’m bleeding”…but when I stopped, looked, touched and smelled my palm I quickly came to the realization that I was touching butter. Upon further inspection of the bright pink Biltmore sweatshirt, I located a round plastic container of half masticated butter, presumably from the seafood restaurant we had patronized the night before.

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Yes folks, not only was butter oozing out of the kangaroo pockets it was also smeared all over one whole side of the sweatshirt. I then looked up to read a note purposefully placed on all washers which read, “please do not put grease of any kind in the washing machines.” Is butter grease? It’s kind of greasy…we use it to cook…it’s grease isn’t it? My brain was having the hardest time processing the information it was receiving. “Oh feck it…it’s going in” and I threw the damn thing in.

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I nervously sat for 24 minutes examining and holding my bloody and bruised left hand, expecting the washing machine to explode because I had knowingly put in an article which contained “grease”. 24 minutes later, the washing machine was still intact and just ending the spin cycle and the clothes (including the bright pink Biltmore sweatshirt) came out looking and smelling brand new.  But I never really answered the question…Is butter a form of grease…and further more, what will grease do to a washing machine?  In time, the cosmos will present an answer to this most thought-provoking question, my palm wont be bleeding anymore and all will be right with my world again.

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Meanwhile, my words of wisdom on this frigid Tuesday night from the coastal town of Tillamook are, “Stop, look, touch and smell…taste only if you have to”

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Good night.

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