Stay Healthy On The Road? (RV Tattles #2)

***Disclaimer. I am not an expert in RVland. I just RV fulltime. Period. This is a tattletale post, entirely for fun, with a tidbit of truth you may find helpful! I love #RVlife!

(By healthy I mean eating, exercise, and lifestyle! I’m not a bodybuilder!)

How do I stay healthy on the road? (I don’t!) I have a chronic illness! ‘Healthy’ is the epitome of an enigma in my present world. But it’s time to outsmart the drudgery!

RV Eating. It feels like you are on vacation… you eat like you are on vacation… don’t do this! You are not on vacation! Portion control is your friend. By the way, so is the celery! Google it!

RV Exercising. You are in a home on wheels! Packing up every few days and moving to a new RV Park. Staying maybe a couple weeks at one site, otherwise moving and moving. This is exercise! (No, it isn’t.) Exercise increases your heart rate… I know, I know, but the truth needs to be told! Figure out how to get your heart rate up! Dance, walk, climb stairs! Just do it!

Try these awesome tunes to get your body moving. (Change up songs as you wish, these seem to work for me!)

Slowly… stretch, move those hips, and breathe!

Now, turn it up and MOVE!!! Jazz for your soul!

Finish Strong! Get those arms up and keep on clapping through the whole Booze Cruise! Yee-Haw!

Cool down, maybe take a short walk…

That is all it takes, once a day!

Live your best life!

~Kim

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How Do You Decide What Clothes to Bring? (RV Tattles #1)

***Disclaimer. I am not an expert in RVland. I just RV fulltime. Period. This is a tattletale post, entirely for fun, with a tidbit of truth you may find helpful! I love #RVlife!

When beginning this fulltime RV life, hard decisions needed to be made. No longer could I own four different sizes of crockpots!!! My china dishes could not accompany me. The six totes I kept in the basement with ‘seasonal’ clothes would need to be sorted and … (gulp!) shoes… my shoes! My purses! ALL things would need to be paired down. I no longer could ‘keep’ that dress coat, because I had three! My leather coats… suedes, ski jackets, spring jackets… There just isn’t room to keep it all. (I am starting to get anxious just thinking about the process I had to go through!)

Do it, just do it! It is worth it, I promise.

The hubby simply gathered his favorite jeans, shorts, and graphic tees! A few pairs of shoes, sandals, and tennis shoes. Two flannels, two hoodies, a fleece jacket, and a basic warm winter coat. (And at my assistance one ‘funeral’ outfit, just like the Royals, we travel – ready for anything!) Done. No problem. Next!

…my turn.

To begin, the key is to pick a basic color that suits YOU.

I chose black because I spill whatever is in my hands on my clothes ALL THE TIME. I’m clumsy, too! If there is a way to fall on freshly mowed green grass, I will find it! (I’m a trooper like that!)

Your basic color plus hues that look good on you. I chose jewel tones. You may be a pastel gal with a basic khaki color. There is no wrong choice. it’s about building a wardrobe where every piece serves a purpose. (You can do it!)

  • Tees; you’ll probably buy one for every state you go to, don’t bring many tees. (You need something to shop for!)
  • Personal accessories; all I can say are scarves will be your best friend! You can dress up or down an outfit with the addition of a scarf. Scarves can protect you from the sun, be used to tie up your hair or cover up a swimsuit. The best part, easy to pack!
  • Remember to put in a ‘funeral’ outfit that is timeless and seasonless. I have a basic black jersey dress that’ll work for numerous unforeseen events. (I am not trying to be morbid, just practical.)
  • Shoes; flip flops, sandals (one dress), tennis shoes, maybe a pair of (cowboy, biker, or hiking) boots and wellies!
  • Purses; you will be setting your purse down on dirt surfaces (you’re RVing now!), just bear that in mind when you choose a few bags to bring with. Remember, EVERYTHING seems to make its way into your purse…especially on the days you move RV sites. I chose a bohemian crossbody bag. (OK. TWO, I bought two!!!) 
  • Outerwear; one light, one midweight, and one heavy jacket/coat. That is all you need. Remember to have a flannel, hoodie, and I like a cardigan option.
  • Your PJs and intimates are your business! This stuff should not take up too much space, and you’ll be fine!

You will adjust as you travel and readjust. You’ll donate what you overpacked and hit Bass outlet stores… to get sensible clothing items! Ha!

Finally, I suggest you start this whole process by pulling out a basic, one-week wardrobe. Clothes that fit, that you are comfortable in… and go from there!

Happy Trails!

~Kim

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Hello? Is It Me You’re Looking For?

I’m back! My two-month blogging hiatus has expired, so let’s catch up!

Here we go!

Let’s get this out of the way; COVID-19. Hoarding, isolating, and assigning blame in the MOST fascinating ways. (Seriously?) Well, this has certainly been a fine example of how people behave in a crisis. I don’t think I’ve heard “fuck you” as many times as I have in the last 30 days. I don’t think I’ve ever run out of toilet paper in my adult life except in the previous 30 days. I don’t think I’ve ever observed such selfish, public behavior, disregarding the safety and health of others, as much as I’ve seen it in the last 30 days. I believe the squeaky wheel gets the oil. There are a lot of squeaky wheels in this world. Sadly.

What has been happening with me? Really not much! Here’s a little run down.

My time in seclusion… let’s see, practicing social distancing because of the coronavirus. We fight on…

Taxes. Well… the only certainty in this life is death and taxes. Who fights with their tax man and gets dropped? (Just me?) Damn. Taxes… at least we have until July 15th. A welcome reprieve, not to mention ample time to find a new tax dude.

We left Texas and traveled through New Mexico and into Arizona. Stayed in Arizona, locked down. Now I’m in Las Vegas, Nevada! Yes, quarantined, and socially responsible in (of all places), ‘Vegas!’ (Can you feel the agony in those typed words?)

Now, I must report, in my RV travels, I have met some fascinating people! Some nice, others not so much. I find the notion of ‘kindness’ nothing more than a relatively politically correct statement in most of the 55+ RV parks. I fully admit this may be mostly tied to the COVID-19 restrictions and flat out fear! Hoarding, isolating, disruptions in necessary daily rituals seem to lead to coarse attitudes. Hey, I get it!

Then again, I wonder if I really do get it?

I have been in self-imposed isolation for almost 20 years! When you have a chronic illness, this is necessary for your very survival. What has it been, 30 days in quarantine and people wig out. Really? I think I do not get that!

I’ve come back home to my blogging tribe. Here is where I find peace. I find support. I’ve missed you all! I’m so delighted to be back.

Always live your best life!

~Kim

December

Winding down December! Here is the last of the Christmas pictures, scenery pictures, and a few candid shots of our December in Texas.

A four-minute slideshow with an awesome song!

(Music: Second Star to the Right by The Devil Music Company)

 

Live your best life!

img_0254~Kim

This is Fibromyalgia on the Road

We have been on the road for two solid months. (The Stone Begins to Roll.) I can tell you now how this lifestyle is working for my health. Physically and Mentally.

First, I want to be straight up with you. RVing was an option the hubby and I found very appealing for us. The actual cost of living for full-time RVers is much less than living in a ‘sticks and bricks’ home. I think the ability to downsize dramatically was easier for us then it would be for a couple with children. We had less emotional attachment to our stuff. Finally, Jeff was willing and able to make a career change. Basically learning new skills to become a day trader that would allow us to become mobile. We can now live anywhere.

During the beginning of 2019, when we decided to get serious about selling our house, we began to do in-depth research about everything there was to learn about the RV lifestyle. I can not stress enough the importance of research! The information on the internet is vast. YouTube videos became our nightly news. We hit every RV Trade Show we could. Camping World became a second home. There is so much to learn, and it can be just that, learned! Heck, if we can learn it, you can too! No one is going to hold your hand, but it seemed everyone who currently RV’s is more than willing to help!

When we finally put our house on the market on August 1st, 2019, we knew we would not be able to make our September mortgage payment. I had a serious heart to heart with our realtor. He knew what the stakes were.

We used to be your average everyday middle-class couple. A few month’s savings in the bank. A two-car garage with his and her cars to fill it. We bought a city duplex, always adding an additional income to our plight. Then it all changed. President Obama started implementing his policies, and our life was simply turned upside down. Yes, the poor were cared for and insured and the middle class, most of it anyway simply disintegrated.

Our insurance rates tripled. Jeff was phased out of his high paying job, as were many because of the cost of healthcare per employee. Jeff took a much lower-paying job that was actually one of the highest paying jobs left in his field. Having a chronic illness is very expensive. I went through numerous hospitalizations and surgeries. My insurance company crumbled and closed. I had excellent insurance, then I didn’t. We paid three times more for health insurance and received less coverage. Medication costs skyrocketed under the new government. We somehow made too much money to qualify for medical or financial assistance through Obamacare. We just weren’t poor enough, yet. We quickly found ourselves not quite making it from check to check. We began the downhill spiral into credit card debt…

We sold our house in five days and closed in thirty. (This just does not happen!) We were extremely lucky.

Currently, it turns out my daily pain has decreased substantially. When we began RVing, I could barely do stairs. My pain was absolutely debilitating. I could not cook, I couldn’t stand that long as my back pain was severe. I could not physically do much of anything. Now the stairs are an afterthought. Cooking is convenient, even more so now that my hubby has time to grill! Cleaning the entire RV takes less than 20 minutes. I honestly can say I enjoy living in a space I can care for.

Mentally, in the beginning, it was surprisingly difficult to deal with. I felt a bit like an orphan with no place to call home. It’s a strange feeling. A bit unnerving. Luckily those feelings pass quickly! I am genuinely in the best headspace I’ve been in for years. I think the hubby would agree, and I believe he would report his own improvements as well!

We are now confident we will bounce back financially. We now live without fear of the next mortgage payment. We still have bills, but they are manageable! Physically I continue to improve. Yes, I still have bad days. Evenings remain very difficult for me. Going the entire day with almost no pain has been a gift! I am cautiously excited!

I know this isn’t everyone’s bag of chips for many reasons. That is OK. Control your surroundings and make your living area into space you can manage and enjoy.  What does that look like for you? That is the right way! Be kind to yourself, don’t beat yourself up. Life is hard enough. You are so much more important than stuff. Always.

Live your best life!

img_7612-2~Kim

The ‘Impact’ of Parking (The Rolling Stone)

We own a Keystone Impact 359. This is a 5th Wheel Toy Hauler named the Rolling Stone. It is 39′ long, approximately 13,000 pounds at dry weight. We pull the Rolling Stone with a Chevy Silverado 3500 diesel. It is a lot to handle!

Driving down the road with this massive 5th Wheel hitched to the back of our truck was (at first) a bit unnerving! You are literally pulling your home behind you! But this just didn’t compare to the first time we were backing this beast into an RV camping spot. I thought I was going to lose my damned mind!

We left Minnesota on Friday, October 26th, around nine PM. We drove, stopping at a couple of rest stops along the way to sleep until we arrived 800 miles south in Branson, Missouri, around seven PM on Monday, October 28th. 

Recommendation for new RVer: Do not travel more than six hours a day. This would be the sum of about 400 miles and two, reasonable rest stops per day. It is very stressful starting out! You are towing a monster. Take it slow. If you rush, there will be accidents. This isn’t a race!

The hubby and I have experience with bigger rigs. He drove a truck, I drove a school bus. Both of us have first-hand knowledge of towing a trailer behind your vehicle. We know when backing up a trailer if you want it to go left, turn your wheels to the right. When backing up into the left, turn the wheels to the right. It doesn’t seem that difficult! But oh man, it is!!! Two Type-A personalities trying to back into a 42′ spot with a 39′ camper in the dark. Why did I think that would go smoothly?

We eventually got it parked, decided we would not be divorcing and vowed to never repeat THAT behavior!

There is a thing about directions too, what I hear and my hubby thinks I hear are entirely two different things. When we arrived in South Texas about 950 miles from our last stop in Branson, I am happy to report the backing in is going much more smoothly! I called for park directions to our site, the hubby looked at the site map… I should have put my phone on speaker… not cool to argue about camping sites.

Recommendation for RVers: When getting directions to your site over the phone, put the phone on speaker, so you and your co-piolet hear the same instructions!

I think the bottom line is to relax! The Rolling Stone is big. We are newbies. Everything is a new experience! We have to continue to talk with each other and not at each other. We are working on this… after all, it’s him and me against the world right now. When we forget that, nothing goes well.

(3-minute slideshow)

 

Live your best life!

IMG_7612~Kim

Don’t Mess With Texas

I want to say hello!

I fought my way back! I thought about how I started this blog to simply remember how to write, not much more than that… but did I receive so much more from all of you! Wow. I want to share an account of the road (paved with good intentions) that I have been on since we sold our house in August.

We sold our house in five days and closed in thirty days. Wow! I really didn’t even have time to think! I wasn’t prepared for this massive disruption to my daily life. Even though I knew this change had to happen. I wanted that change, but the reality was that it was much more difficult than I had imagined.

A company called One Eighty Solutions contacted me and informed me they had a corporate buyer interested in the timeshare we own in Mexico… the offer was at $36,000. Was I interested? Heck yeah! I’m in! It was a scam. Of course. I think the hubby and I both somehow knew. In fact, we agreed the money we had to spend to be able to sell our property in Mexico was a complete gamble! No better shot than if we had taken that money to a casino and played the slot machines … but the casino would’ve at least provided some entertainment! We purchased the ‘license’ to be able to sell our property from the Mexican government. The next thing we knew, the ‘real estate’ company was asking us to pay a 20% capital gains tax upfront. We declined, and they told us they’d sue us for breach of contract. We said,

“Bring it!”

We would absolutely love to see all of you in court!”

They ceased contacting us. 

We bought our truck and our 5th wheel toy hauler. (Yay!)

Picking up our RV was delayed by two weeks. Once we were able to pick it up, we had to pack it and get the heck out of the Midwest! We left the very night before it started snowing. We raced south and stopped in Branson, Missouri. I thought we should go to a show! (Not this time around.)

The hubby reminded me that this was not a vacation we were on but a lifestyle we were living. We had just purchased a pickup AND an RV. There would be no attending a show! 

I admit I did agree.

We continued on to the very southern part of Texas to escape winter. We currently remain in the Harlingen area moving from RV park to RV park and will continue to do so until the first part of January.

The RV lifestyle…

I still haven’t figured this out. (I have been in a constant but mild fibro flare since August.) Right now, we are only in our fourth RV park. We had landed in South Texas. The snow was stalking us, pushing us deeper into the south. We had a toilet and a furnace that required maintenance. The MANDATORY demonstration we were required to attend (and pay for…!) was not THAT helpful.

Recommendation for first time RV buyers: Record the demo! I have the entire demo recorded on my cell phone. We have gone back to that video many times!

Today is the best I’ve felt since I left the house on Taylor Street!

It is a good thing, too, because now that we are in Texas, I found out my pain pills will not be refilled in this state. “Texas Law.” I don’t know about you, but I am NOT about to ‘mess with Texas!’

So, tribe, I’m back! I don’t believe I will be able to read all of your blog posts I’ve missed. I DO apologize for that. Look for “What About You?” It will return on its regular day, Sunday, December 1st here on I Tripped Over a Stone.

It is good to be back!

IMG_7612~Kim