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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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

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

Hey Lady! Get a New Purse!

A new purse. Such a simple thing. Why does it take us so long to find the perfect one? It takes me months and months of searching, deciding, second-guessing, then making the purchase! I’ll be honest, I’ve had years to shop, and I have a boatload of purses. All sizes, shapes, colors, and fabrics. I told my husband I MUST have choices! I also told him a purse always fits. (No argument there.)

I found the perfect travel bag! I honestly did! It is ergonomically correct, the right size, a bit larger for traveling, and cheap! Yes, you can get all sorts of colors!!!

I’m not an affiliate of Amazon anymore, but I do like a great day of shopping on this site! Here is a link to the best darn purse you’ll ever own for travel. (Your back will thank you, mine did!)

Fair Isle Trade Bags.

 

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They run about $15 – $18.

Here is mine…

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Get yourself a purse. I solemnly swear that this purse prevents backaches! I will never believe one purse is enough… but I am thinking one purse that prevents backaches is worth a second purchase!

Live your best life!

img_7612-2~Kim

In Transition

I’ll be back In November. Be kind to each other! Sunday Quick Questions will be back in November as well! We are transitioning into our RV. I want to focus on this exciting time. I will have many stories to share with you! ~Kim

The Stone Begins to Roll!

Yep, we did it. We purchased our ‘rig.’ A  2020 Keystone Impact 359, 5th wheel, toy hauler. Say that five times fast! Here is the kicker; we still haven’t seen it in real life. There is no need to go to an RV dealer’s lot to purchase an RV these days if they are honest (do your homework!). You already know what you want anyway. There is now no-haggle pricing (yes I still haggled a bit, anyway) no discovering a new layout (we’ve walked through them all, this was our homework!) no new paint job unless specified that it has one. There is just not a lot of mystery!

You should go to many RV shows. You should visit many dealers, private sellers, and every seller on the web through RV Trader and RVT.com. This is a journey, not a destination. Well, it’s kind of a destination because you end up with an RV or you may not… may not would be bad at this point. YouTube videos and RV blogs are to be followed and watched with vigor (like the rabid dogs we are). You are consistently hungry for knowledge, and you must gain it before taking on this life-altering decision to full-time RV. We did it all!

So without further ado, here is our brand new home!

Isn’t she a beauty! What to name her? I just don’t know yet. All I know is that this is my ticket to living the fullest life I possibly can! No longer will I be homebound, teetering on visiting the ‘shut-in’ status. No more winters of being too afraid to venture outside in case I fall on the ice, then freeze to death.  I am so happy to be looking at a mobile life chasing the sun. I know my symptoms are increasing. Some of my conditions are getting worse… so I will travel now before that option is taken from me. I feel very blessed to have reached this destination. I am so lucky to be able to try to live this lifestyle. I want to take you all with me! Believe me, I will try.

This Fibro Warrior is finding freedom as a rolling stone!

img_1722~Kim

The Search for an RV.

Ok, we are living in some pretty good digs right now. There is a fireplace! There is a lake and a grill and a fire pit. I’m certainly not complaining. All I want to make clear is that I am ready to have my own home again. Whatever I define as my home. That would be an RV!

There is an RV I like in Oregon, Texas, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Arizona… now, what the heck do we do? Update. The Arizona one sold. What? One day on the RVTrader!!! Wow. That went quick. And there goes the one in Texas as well. I still have a total of seventeen RV’s on my saved list. Seventeen!

The decision to purchase a 5th wheel was fairly obvious soon after we began our search…at least I thought so until the buying process started. Eventually, you need to choose, and we decided to hunt for a 5th wheel! Then we heard some of these 5th wheels come with a garage! A garage translates into ‘office space’ to me as well as a place to hold our CanAm Spyder once we are travel bound.

A 5th wheel toy hauler is for us!

There are different ‘makes.’ There are various ‘models.’ There are different lengths, colors, and floor plans! There is the Cadillac of RVs then there are the humbled down versions. We tried to pick something in the middle.

We chose the Keystone brand as we like their track record in the warranty department. We also like a number of their models. This being our first RV purchase, we want to be somewhere in the middle of the price point of the RV ‘sales’ when we choose our first home on wheels! Not too long, not too short! Not too expensive, not too cheap! We have to live in this, so it’s got to have a little appeal and adequate storage. (Whatever adequate means at this point.)

We have four contenders. Starting with the high-end Raptor (nice but scary expensive). Then continuing in the price point spread; the Fuzion, Impact, and Carbon. One of these will be our future home! We like the Fuzion a lot. Then, looking at the most bang for our buck, we have decided to go after an Impact.

First things first, after deciphering the weight of what we’d need to pull a 40 foot, 5th wheel, we needed to purchase a 3/4 ton, diesel pickup truck. We decided on a low mileage 2015 Chevy Silverado, 3500. We bought this little beauty last Saturday!

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We will pick up the truck today. The ‘Anderson Hitch’ (Really cool, google it!) arrives this afternoon. Next, it’s time to decide on a toy hauler… and make that purchase!

Stay tuned!

img_1722~Kim

Going Dark?

I’ve thought about putting my blog on hold… again… for a little while, and going dark. My house is going officially on the market on August 1st, I’d be lying if I said I was ready. In fact, last year at this time, we were prepping to sell our house, and I was able to sell a few of our more significant items. Then I got pneumonia in both lungs, and had the flu after that! It took me about six months to recover. We pushed the selling of our home into the next year, where we are NOW.

If there is one thing people with fibromyalgia get good at, it is handling change! Emotional change that is. One minute we feel fine, the next is anyone’s guess! Eventually, we stop reacting and start preparing for what we know is uncertainty in our days and unforgiving nights that are full of restlessness.

One thing people with fibromyalgia are not good at is physically changing locations. It can take a fibro warrior an entire day to plan and execute one trip to the drug store, grocery store, OR hardware store. It can take one whole day to go to the doctor’s office; travel time, wait time, and examination time. A straightforward day trip can throw us into a flare for days, sometimes weeks.

With all of the above mentioned, what do you think I’m planning to do once my house sells? The hubby and I will be living in an RV fulltime, moving every two weeks from site to site … yassss! (What the hell am I smoking!?!?)

Jeff and I have researched many areas we have considered relocating to. The weather in Minnesota is not kind to a person with chronic pain. There is a saying in Minnesota, “If you don’t like the weather wait 10 minutes or drive 10 miles.” That is our weather in this state, everchanging. Instead of picking a place to move to, we are going to try it out first. (In an RV.) We are going to travel this big, beautiful United States of America and see where we will fit!

We will be purchasing this model; a 39′ Fuzion 5th Wheel Toyhauler, similar to this floorplan below. The garage will make the perfect office! We will enjoy the patio as well.

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I follow quite a few blogs of fulltime RVers. Some I follow, have fibromyalgia. All RVers have said it is the best thing they’ve ever done (there are a few exceptions) and many with fibromyalgia say they’ve never felt better. I’m betting on it!

My brother asked me, “How much time have you ever spent living in an RV?”

Me, “None.”

“Then how do you know you’ll like it? That this is what you want to do?”

“I don’t know if I will like it.”

“Well?”

“Well, I have been researching this. The hubby is all for RV living and is finally mobile with his day trading. I checked with my doctor, and she is on board, she thinks this will really benefit my health. Speaking of health, I am not going to ever get better. I have a chronic condition. I will only get worse with age, so I want to go now. I want to travel while I am mobile enough to enjoy this type of experience.”

“Sounds like you’ll be RVing then.”

So, back to going dark and shutting down my blog for a few months, no way. I need my tribe! I want to take you all with me on this experience. I want to tell you the truth, what this is really like! I’m not going to go on YouTube and tell you everything is wonderful when it is not. AND. I wouldn’t tell you anything on YouTube because there is no way I’d do my own YouTube channel! (I’m glad others have already done this, don’t get me wrong, and there are some very good ones that I follow!)

So, the good, the bad, and the ugly… it’s all coming out on I Tripped Over a Stone! I’m going to tell you like it is. I will ask you for ideas when I feel lost and look to you all for support. I will post some short slide shows from time to time on my blog. I promise to always show you the reality of living fulltime in an RV and living life on the road with fibromyalgia.  Come with me! I definitely need my tribe.

I will also be needing a clever new tagline once we are on the road! I’m open to suggestions… any ideas???

Live your best life!

img_1036-3~Kim

Death Must Be Faced

I planned on doing Fibromyalgia Awareness posts all this month, every Wednesday. It was a sound plan. Then my parent’s neighbor died, she was very ill. This was expected but when it happened it was still sad. About two days later… my uncle died. He, too, was very ill. In fact, he was in hospice care, his kidneys were shutting down and he opted not to receive treatment. He passed very quickly after that.

I had been planning to take a week and spend it at our family lake home. It was all planned. My health had been questionable for some time and I was hoping a change of pace would help me over the last hurdle. However, two funerals in one week were not planned.

How was I going to get through these funerals?

Would I get through these funerals?

How was I going to be of any use to my parents, who are elderly, during this week?

Would I be able to follow through or fail again on my plans?

When you have fibromyalgia you don’t get better. You never get better. Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome. We say illness or disease but it really is neither. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome because it has many contributing coexisting conditions. These coexisting conditions tend to be progressive, worsening over time. But fibromyalgia itself is not a progressive ‘illness.’ (I am not the ‘syndrome’ word police!) This progression of symptoms is very confusing to those of us with fibromyalgia. For the rest of you, it must seem like a damn soap opera!

[Scene: Betty and Jan are talking about their friend Laurie; camera pans to Betty.]

Betty: Then Laurie said she had Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. But now she calls the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome some weird word; mya-lgic- encepha-something?

Jan: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

Betty: Which is it!?!? And what does THAT word even mean? I swear she made that up! AND Laurie says she has depression, migraines, restless legs syndrome, and [whispering] bathroom problems … how can one person have that much wrong with them?

Jan: I know! Like, go get it fixed already! 

Betty: At least pick one thing. Jeeze!

[Betty and Jan roll their eyes and sigh, end scene.]

The truth is, WE DO have that much wrong with us and many times much more! Take a peek at this sweet little list of possible coexisting conditions!

So, how did I handle my week at our family lake home? I attended everything that was planned. I rested when I could for as long as I could. I wore my therapy belt and snacked on protein-rich foods. I did my fibro exercises. Basically, I went ‘old school.’ I treated my body just as I had right after I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I was very aware of every ounce of energy I spent and was meticulous with my medication. I called my husband frequently. I continued to check in with my tribe for support and received it with a grateful heart. I made sure I was mindful every day of the beauty around me …

 

I made it!

Live your best life!

img_0749-1~Kim

Fire! Try Again…

I have been posting some pretty serious stuff lately, so I wanted to post something ‘light-hearted.’ I want to talk about the difference in basic hotel safety rules in the United States to those in Mexico.

The hubby and I have traveled to Mexico on five different occasions. We love their culture! The colors are bright and beautiful, the language sings, the food is delicious, the tequila is grand. The people of Mexico are so funny and engaging. We have enjoyed our stay each and every time!

 

 

Who reads the fire evacuation route on the back of the door when you check into a hotel? I do! My brother was in a hotel fire, he’s fine, his luggage was not. Ever since then I have always checked the evacuation route in any hotel I stay in.

In the States, you are told to get the hell out of the room as quickly as possible and evacuate the hotel! Leave everything behind … in Mexico, not so much!

First, you are to locate the fire! Then you should find a fire extinguisher and attempt to extinguish the flames. If that doesn’t put the fire out, you are encouraged to try again! For the betterment of all those staying at the hotel, try a third time before gathering your personal items and leaving the scene of the fire to evacuate!

Try again has become our travel battle cry!

(After all, third time is a charm!)

fullsizeoutput_3ea~Cartier in Cozumel

B&W, Seven Days Photo Challenge, 6&7

I was tagged by Jo, at Life in the Spectrum, to complete the seven days, black and white photo challenge! This is a new blog for Jo, (The Momentum of MoJo). It is wonderful, please check it out.

The rules are straightforward. Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day.

Day #6 and day #7 I am going to include in this post. The 4th of July is upon us, so I will not challenge any more bloggers and instead wish you all a restful, peaceful, (except for fireworks – see a good show) happy 4th of July! Here are my last two pictures, I hope you enjoy!

Day #6

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Day #7, final picture:

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Thanks for the challenge, Jo!

~Kim

Before I Tripped Over a Stone, Fridays #21

If you’d like to catch up, please go to; Before I Tripped #20

Amy and I had everything packed. Two cars completely full, Amy’s 2 cats, and we each had a walkie-talkie; purple with yellow buttons. We would drive from Minneapolis to Seattle over a span of 3 days. Amy had gone to Triple AAA, and they had mapped out our route for us. Oh, the things we did in 1996 before home computers and cell phones!

Amy would be the pace car if she tapped her brakes twice, that meant to turn on the walkie-talkie she wanted to tell me something. As the car following, if I flipped my brights at her twice, that was my signal, turn on the walkie-talkie, I wanted to talk. We didn’t want to wear out the batteries, and we agreed to say “over” as we finished speaking to the other. And off we went!

(Somewhere in Montana… Amy again taping brakes, Kim again turning on the walkie-talkie.)

“Did you see that trucker cut me off! Over.”

“Yes. Over.”

“I almost died! …Over!” (and so it went…)

We drove with only minor mishaps! Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Western Washington, the Cascades, and then, finally… Seattle! (West Seattle to be specific!)

Our first week in our new apartment which we would learn later was on bullet alley across from crack row… (how do we end up in these areas?!?!) We had no furniture, so we purchased air mattresses, a futon and a bean bag chair with matching ottoman. We also bought two director chairs for the patio and a little matching table. We both got our driver’s licenses and set up bank accounts. My best friend Holly lived about an hour away and came for a visit! Our first visitor! Two weeks later we would both attend her wedding!

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I loved this little complex, there was a pool, a weight room, a party room. The apartment itself was laid out quite nicely. If this was their idea of ‘a bad neighborhood,’ I was impressed. When we left Minneapolis, it had just been coined, ‘Murder-apolis.’ We only heard gunshots once while we lived in that apartment, and we were there for a little over a year.

We discovered micro-brews, fresh seafood, the Ballard Locks, Pikes Place Market, The Fishermans Warf, Post Alley, The Underground Seattle, the Space Needle and Mt Rainier. Amy landed a job with a temp. agency as a paralegal and I would start as an assistant director for a state-run work release after we attended my best friends wedding.

The Bishop Lewis House, State Work Release, downtown Seattle. I would work each shift to get to know the employees, then move to a permanent 2-10 swing shift. I was told after I reported for my first shift, my first priority was to shadow two problem employees. I was thinking I have 70 convicts and 12 staff to oversee and you are worried about 2 employees? My boss wanted them both gone, but I had other ideas…

(Continued, Before I tripped, #22)

IMG_0250~Kim