Sunday, August 30, 2015

Plans Are Coming Together

After speaking with the owner of the security company this past week, we know that there is simply no work going forward. We also know we will get a phone call should something become available.


When I first spoke with the manager of a possible landing spot (RV park) in Texas, she indicated there would be no long-term availability until mid November. After looking at some possible parks, including that one, Dave and I both decided it would be the one. I spoke with the manager again this week to indicate our interest. She indicated that since our initial visit, a couple of spots would be coming open in October, one of which she thought would be nice for us.  I put down a deposit to hold the spot. Now we have a place to land.

This means that we can head straight to Texas and I can begin looking for work as a medical transcriptionist; this eliminates that awkward month in limbo. We can establish care with local doctors and I can handle health insurance research/enrollment without the added craziness of traveling while doing so.

Alrighty then!

Office area 08262015

My wee cozy office nook in our RV

Dave removed our dining table this week and brought over the desk, filing cabinet and chair. This arrangement is comfortable and functional for now, although I will still be tweaking it a bit once we are landed in Texas. I like having a side window for natural lighting; there is an LED 12-volt light above my laptop. The filing cabinet, wee desk and chair are freebies from our work site. Score! I am no longer in the office building at night during my shift, but here now. I was somewhat concerned about keeping Dave awake (he sleeps from 10 PM until 2 AM), but he runs the A/C fan in the bedroom and is actually sleeping quite well. He says he doesn’t hear a thing with that overhead fan running. I am really enjoying my cozy work nook.


Right now I’m thinking we’ll head south on I95 when we roll out of here on October 1. We can hook up with I10 in Florida and head west to Texas. Neither of us have been in Florida, so at least we can say we spent a night there, eh? I might plan a couple of nights in Florida so Dave can add another “cycled in” state to his list. I have not traveled that southern route of I10 since I was a kid and this would a first time for Dave. It adds another day of travel, but we both agree we would like to see something different instead of retracing our previous routes across Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Been there, done that. More than once this year, actually. I can wait a loooong time before I travel I20 again, thank you very much.

This is indeed the “end of an era” for us and a change in our lifestyle. We are, however, adapting and planning with a hopeful outlook.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Changes Coming

Our gig here is a temporary one, and we’ll be rolling out the gate October 1.  We have been working with the security company since 2010, really the entire 5.5 years we have been full-timers. We like everything about the work – the people, the work itself and the income. In view of my body’s “new normal” following my surgeries in 2012, we are thankful for the nature of the work, the conditions, lack of stress, everything about these assignments. We would like nothing better than to have another following this one; however, we are realists and will be pleasantly surprised if that develops. Whatever happens, we are grateful for the time we have had with this company and its owner.

Back in July my Little Voice whispered, “Medical transcription.”  I was a home-based MT for several years with a bit of time before that in the 1980s in-house at a hospital, was good at it and made a decent living when I was on my own. I continued in the profession after Dave and I married in 2006, up until the time we relocated from Minnesota back to Texas.  When I first had the dream of becoming a solo full-timer back in 2003, I planned to take that job with me on the road. Dave and I talked about my getting back into it. It will give us a source of income that will allow us to be independent and one that we can take with us when the time comes that we want to hang up the keys and come off the road. (We talk about returning to northern Minnesota at some point in the future, but not living in our RV.) Even if we happen to get another security gig, I can do the MT work part-time, as I am currently with my virtual assistant job. I reactivated my professional organization membership and am making my way through an acute care (hospital dictation) self-paced online course through the continuing education branch of that organization to refresh my skills. I always enjoyed being an MT. I find it fascinating. It’s fun! I’m quite pleased that the “lingo” is returning easier than anticipated. Apparently MT work imprints repressed memories. Teehee!

Workstation 08112015

Ergonomics are essential in MT work. Dave added on a keyboard shelf to my wee workstation. The black ergonomic keyboard sits on the shelf; it’s just off in the photo to show the extension. My new work area will go in the rig where our dining table currently sits. Maybe that will happen this week?

I can do the job, but the trick will be finding the desired opportunity. I have been away from the profession for a few years and its nature has changed somewhat; however, I have solid experience in acute care (which is a higher level of technical expertise). I also performed QA and mentored new MTs in my final position. These are all factors in my favor.

Turns out my Little Voice was prophetic yet once again, as Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas recently announced it will not offer individual PPO health insurance plans in 2016. Only HMO plans will be available. Since BCBSTX is the only carrier available in our zip code (Livingston / Escapees), we are once again losing good (although significantly inferior to the insurance we had prior to the enactment of the ACA) insurance. Our PPO covers us out of Texas. The HMO will not. BCBSTX currently has an add-on option called Away from Home Care; however, under one HMO network it covers emergencies only for a period of less than 90 days out of Texas and provides no coverage at all under the other HMO network.

Well.  #*()#& <--- insert your favorite expletive deleted. I once worked for a minor league baseball club, so I have several choice ones in case you need suggestions.

I have avoided HMOs my entire life and am now forced into one. Okay. I’m not going down the road of talking about this. I fought the good fight when the ACA was coming with letters, emails and phone conversations with my legislators, all to no avail. The things I predicted with the ACA are coming to pass. At this point, I am simply focusing on survival for us.

Even Warriors get tired.


More information will be available from BCBSTX in October (supposedly), so we’ll know more (hopefully) and can make definitive plans at that time.  Plans set in Jell-O, of course.

Everything is happening in October.

That in itself is a source of stress these days. We roll out of here October 1. We originally planned on landing somewhere in The South (probably GA or AL) for the winter, hopefully with Dave working for our site and my getting into MT work. That idea is history. We won’t know anything about health insurance until October or November. Somewhere in that time frame I need to start applying for MT positions.

Right now the probability is that we will be returning to Texas for the long term. I have been researching the availability of healthcare services in different areas based on current available information, the towns and areas in general and different options regarding long-term RV sites.

Again I say, “So.”

Timing will be the tricky part, and we are still grappling with that. Head straight to Texas? Sit elsewhere for the winter months? Don’t really want to start a new MT job and then have to take a break to travel. Same thing goes for Dave landing a workamping gig. Oh well. I have to trust The Universe that all will work out as it should.

The ideal scenario would be another security assignment in Texas and I could work part-time as an MT, setting us up for the long term and our dream of eventual return to Minnesota.

If that does not develop, what I envision is making a sustainable living as an MT, our home set up in a comfortable park, Dave finding activities to keep him occupied and fulfilled, perhaps even hanging out my virtual “open for business” sign to The Universe and teaching Reiki again, being able to move with the seasons within Texas (i.e., down to the beach for winter) or maybe even a bit into Arkansas where it might be a tad cooler during the heat of the summer months and . . . well, simply comfortably enjoying ourselves.

It has the potential to be a totally groovy existence!

In Other News

We have started playing chess again on the weekends.  Yay us!

The ants are still with us and will be until we leave here. It’s just a fact of life at this location. I have felt better about our intruders after seeing this news article about seed bugs in California. One woman says in the article the only light she has on in her home at night is the television. Yikes!

Dave was run off the road today when he was cycling. Thank goodness he is a very proficient and talented cyclist. He managed to stay upright as he went off the road into a ditch to avoid being struck by a car. A woman out in her yard called over to make sure he was okay.

I’ve been listening to quite a bit of Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Willie Nelson and others on Pandroa lately when I work at night. I remember my parents playing a record of El Paso by Marty Robbins. What I never realized until recently is he has another song about that cowboy’s love Faleena. Crazy. Me? Listening to that? Yeah. Well . . .

If you’ve made it this far, all I can say is I do appreciate you taking the time to read what’s going on. Lots happening, eh?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Bit of a Week

After not seeing ants in our RV’s kitchen area for about 2 weeks, they returned with a vengeance and in greater numbers the early days of this week, parading from above down to our sink area. “They’re looking for water,” you say. That didn’t cut it, as it had just rained. Plenty of water outside! Go away! We’re parked under/beside trees and foliage that is literally teeming with the critters. Well, after one morning of Amityville Horror greeting me first thing, I waged war on the devils armed with Ortho Home Defense. This is the first place we have ever had ants inside during our 5.5 years of full-timing and the first place I have used the Ortho inside the rig. I typically spray a perimeter around the rig when we sit for a few days in one place. So far, so good. No invaders again as of this writing.


You may remember Dave being besieged by roaming dogs while out cycling during our previous stay here. He had been dog-free this time around until yesterday . . .

Bike spill 08082015 Darlington SC

A dog came after him. Dave swerved to miss the dog, hit gravel and went down. Dog ran off. Thankfully nothing is broken and his wounds aren’t serious, although he is pretty sore today. (The bike is fine.) A nice couple driving behind him saw the incident and stopped to make sure he was okay. Ten years of cycling in the States with no previous spills or crashes, and he has come off the bike three times during our total of about 6.5 months in South Carolina, twice when we were here previously and now this.


In my early 20s, I was diagnosed with Tietze syndrome, which is a chronic condition of swelling and inflammation of the rib cartilage.  I will have a flare perhaps 2-4 times per year of less than 24 hours. It is excruciatingly painful; during the initial occurrence, every breath felt like a knife was being thrust into my ribs. For several years, I have kept pain pills around just for these times, infrequent as they are.  Several years ago when I did not have meds, the pain was so bad I ended up in an ER. Trying to convince ER docs that I know what the problem is and that I am not having a heart attack is a frustrating and expensive endeavor. Hence, my buddy the pain med.  At any rate, I experienced a flare this week lasting about 48 hours; that was a doozy. Today I have been pain and drug free.  Yay! I’ve been gentle with myself today, recovering a bit, reading, watching TV and just resting.


Back in 2001 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I joined a support group on WebMD. It was a close-knit group; however, over the years many of us strayed from that group and we lost touch. A while back, a few of us found one another on Facebook and we formed a meeting place there. Since that time, many of us have been reunited once again. Sadly, one of our sisters was called home this week, passing last night. She and I had grown closer over the past months. I am grateful for the Light she shone into my life and grateful that her time of suffering was short and is now over. I miss her so very much.


Plans for tomorrow include hitting the laundromat with our mountain of clothes. We found a decent facility a bit more into town, thank goodness. We’ll also go to the Ace Hardware across the street from it, looking for some hardware that will be for making a keyboard extension on my wee little desk/workstation. I’m hoping we can get the dining table out of the rig this week and set up my office area.

Yes, it was a bit of a week. See ya next time!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Another Week Gone

We have had some hot days this week, but have stayed comfortable in our RV with two A/C units cycling on and off and the living room ceiling fan circulating the air.  We accomplished a couple of minor maintenance chores this week.  I cleaned our A/C filters and Dave flushed our hot water heater and changed out the anode rod.

HWH maintenance

The anode wasn’t in really terrible shape, but it was time for a new one.  I ordered two a couple of weeks ago, one to use now and one as a spare.  We’ll be good for a while now.

I’ve been taking Sunday nights off from my virtual assistant job, giving myself one night to blog, chill out while on duty or whatever.  Gives my brain a rest. Tonight it was time to clip Maggie.  She starts off standing up, then sits down and shortly thereafter . . .

Maggie Clip 08022015

She just sort of sinks to the floor in complete relaxation.  This makes it actually easier for me to get at some spots for clipping, especially her front legs.  She does not seem to mind my trimming her front legs when she’s like this; otherwise, she really does not want her front legs and paws to be clipped, inspected or messed with in any shape or form.  She’s easy to slide around so I can get to her from different angles.  Ha!  So we spent about 1.5 hours together getting her trimmed up.  Now she’s passed out on her bed next to my desk here in the office.  She’s cute all the time, but especially so when freshly clipped.  She is such a good-natured pup.  She is also pretty darn silly.

Well, there really is not any earth-shattering news from our wee corner of South Carolina this week.  Dave did encounter a large, majestic owl perched on a fence one night on patrol.  Lucky him!

I had envisioned putting our grill/smoker together and doing some grilling while we are here.  We were also looking forward to and planning to resume our epic chess matches during our time back here.  Ya know what?  It’s too freakin’ hot to be cooking outdoors.  We can’t seem to muster the enthusiasm or mental energy to place chess.  I really think it’s the hot weather; we mentioned earlier this evening that perhaps chess is a cool-weather pastime.

We have just under two months left here and are just enjoying our time here.  Dave is getting in some good runs on the bike and is not being assailed by dogs as he was previously.  Me?  I’m content to be in one spot for a while.

Hope you’ve had a good weekend!

Thanks for stopping by!