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One of the things that I like about vandwelling and the new life I have chosen is also one of the things that can be so frustrating……the flexibility and the way things seem to change from day to day.

I would love to tell you that I am on my way to Omaha…..but who knows what tomorrow will bring??  My plans have changed a minimum of 4 times in the past week.  I have finally left ….. I am on the road…..and I am headed to Omaha……let’s just keep our fingers crossed that things don’t change mid trip!!

Omaha At Dusk

The new plan is to head to Omaha where I have a lot of friends and relatives and hang out there for 5-6 weeks.  While I’m there I’m going to look for some temp work to help get the coffers filled up some.  I’m still working on Today’s Gal Friday and another project but things are not going as quickly as I would like sooooo…….hi ho, hi ho it’s off to work I go!!

I left this afternoon but didn’t get real far.  I took the splint off my leg and it’s doing pretty good but I don’t want to push it.  So I got kind of a late start and then had several stops to make on the way.

Right now I am in Waynesboro, VA.  I am sitting outside the Buffalo Wild Wings using their internet and it is pouring rain.  That probably doesn’t sound so great but I am just loving it!  I’m comfy cozy and the sound of the rain on the roof is so relaxing.  I really do just love being in this van.

It was still daylight when I got to Waynesboro and the fog around the top of the mountains was really cool….I kept trying to find someplace where I could get a picture but no such luck.  Then just as I was looking for the exit (of course) I ran into a bank of fog and could not see 2 feet in front of me…..it was really crazy…..I was getting a little nervous I wasn’t sure what to do if I couldn’t see but right before I panicked I saw the exit and the fog lifted enough for me to get to the Walmart.

Not my picture but very similar to what I saw in Waynesboro, VA

I used my lunchbox stove to cook some pot pies while I was driving here and they turned out perfect…..the only problem I had was that they were too salty so probably won’t do that again.  But the stove worked out perfect!  It won’t work so great in every situation but if I’m driving for a few hours it’s so easy to just pop something in there and let it cook while I’m driving!  I love it!!

Pot Pies For Dinner

Happy Mother’s Day!!

So I’ve been off of my leg for 3 days now……AND I have been bored to absolute tears!!!  I have watched movies, read books, worked online, watched Youtube, played on Facebook, read my email ad nauseum, read and replied to yahoo group forums, surfed TV…….I cannot take it anymore!!!

Tomorrow come hell or high water I am outta here!!!

I’m going to take the splint off and hope like hell that my leg feels better.  And then yes….I’m going to at least wear my tennis shoes and try not to exercise it too much….try to be gentle with it!

TRY

Today is Mother’s Day….not sure my kids have any concept of that or not?  Curious to see if I hear from them or not.  It’s funny because I always reminded them of Father’s Day for my X but I don’t think the same courtesy was ever returned.  And funnier still is that I get Happy Mother’s Day texts and FB comments from people who really don’t owe me a Happy Mother’s Day…..but it’s nice just the same.  My mom is off on her vandwelling adventure….so we said our Happy Mother’s Day’s to each other before she left.  It’s a pretty low key Mother’s Day this year.

I had planned on taking a video of my van for the blog this week but of course with the bum leg I haven’t been able to do that……so stay tuned, as soon as I’m able I’m going to do that.

Laid Up

Leg Splint….Have to keep off of leg for 3 days 😦

Well I guess I must have worked a little tooooo hard at the yardsale this weekend.  I spent 4 hours at the ER last night making sure that I didn’t have blood clots (which thankfully I did not!!)…..turns out I have tendonitis in my right leg.

I’ve had problems with my legs for a long time.  They would ache and ache and ache for seemingly no reason.  I would walk around the house doing different NONstrenuous activities and after about 20 min they would start to ache like I had been hiking for hours.  Finally I went to the Dr and it was discovered that I was low in Vitamin D.  So for the past few years I have been taking a Vit D supplement…..most days (I suck at remembering to take medications).  And for the most part this seemed to fix things.

And the shoes……I know I shouldn’t wear flip flops or high heels or shoes that have little to no support……but I’m just not ready for sensible shoes damnit!  I don’t like tennis shoes….they make me feel clunky and frumpy.  And sensible shoes that are actually cute and stylish cost a freakin’ mint!  But I guess my hospital bill is going to cost me more than some sensible shoes will  😦

Ughhh…..Clunky = Frumpy!!!

So this weekend at the yardsale I spent most of Wednesday and Thursday lugging things up the stairs from the basement and from the garage.  Then Friday from 6am to 4pm standing and lugging things around and then Saturday from 7am to 4pm standing around and then lugging stuff to Goodwill.  ALL IN MY FLIP FLOPS!  They were my comfortable ones though 😀

Sooooo cute!!!

I know, I know, I know……bad, bad, bad!  I’m vain and lazy what can I tell you?

Needless to say by the end of the weekend I could barely walk.  But by Monday I was feeling fine.  Tuesday….little bit of pain in my right leg….nothing too serious, didn’t really pay much attention to it.  Wednesday….no worries.  But Wednesday night I was walking down a flight of steps and all of a sudden I had this horrendous ripping feeling in my calf.  It hurt like hell all night….I couldn’t flex my foot without hanging from the chandeliers, I couldn’t put any weight on it…..not good.  Thursday surprisingly it started feeling really pretty ok…..I was really surprised!  I just assumed it was a pulled muscle and I treated it as so….ice, elevation etc.

But then people started in with the worrying……maybe I had a blood clot?  I was a nurse once upon a time….I know all about calf pain and blood clots…..so the seed was planted.  And then I started to wonder…..if I have a pulled muscle or a torn tendon…..WHY does it feel so much better???  Maybe I did have a clot and it moved on…..Ahhhhh crap I don’t want to die in my sleep of a freaking stroke.  So off to the ER I went.  Annoyed the entire way cuz I just knew that I was going to end up with some astronomical bill just to be told that I had a pulled muscle and to stay off of it.

4 hours later……no blood clots and a diagnosis of tendonitis.  I’m pretty sure these crutches alone are gonna cost me $300 at the least 😦  So color me annoyed to the nth degree.  BUT I am glad it wasn’t something more serious.

And I guess I am getting old because I need sensible shoes and I just wrote an entire post on my health issues……..ahhhhh crud!!!

Sensible Shoes……Yuck!!!

God is Laughing

I love the saying by Woody Allen “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans”.  And boy is he laughing at me this week!!!

My plans were to leave tomorrow for Nashville but I’ve had a slight bump in the road.

Sunday morning, about 2:30 a.m., after my wonderful Saturday night date I had to make a mad dash from the van to my mom’s house for the bathroom.  I spent the rest of Sunday laid up on the couch within easy access of the bathroom.  Today I’m not feeling so great yet.

Then on top of that….the friend that I was going to visit in Nashville is now coming here to Virginia for the weekend…..sigh……

So now I will wait till next Monday to leave for my trip.

It is probably for the best honestly.  I need to spend some undistracted time working on making some money.  I have come across several “work from home”, virtual type jobs that I’m really interested in looking into and I have finally gotten my website to the point where I can start advertising and listing it on Virtual Assistant Sites.

One of my favorite, favorite websites is a site called The Rat Race Rebellion.  I have known about this site for a very long time and it’s been recommended to me several times by people I trust.  It is a site that researches work at home, virtual, telecommute job listings for scams and then lists the ones that are reliable.  Lately I signed up for the daily email that sends out new job listings and have come across several listings that I am interested in.  I thought I would pass them along for any of you who might also be interested in these types of openings……

www.wegolook.com – this is a site that sends out “lookers” to check out items that a consumer might want to buy on line.  For example if you wanted to buy a car on eBay that is in a different state from you and you were not able to look at it in person you could have this company send out a “looker” to check it out for you, take pictures and generally make sure it is not a scam.

www.cloudcrowd.com  – this company will take projects from companies and break them down into smaller tasks and then farm them out to people who work from home.

www.leapforceathome.com – with Leapforce you can sign up to become an “agent”.  The information on what you actually do is pretty vague so I’m not real sure about this company but from what I gather “agents” do analytical research online to see how companies are ranking on the internet.  You do have to take an exam and apparently if you fail it…..you don’t get to retake it.

www.getsetservices.com – this is not really a work from home position but it is one that I’m interested in because the openings are all over the states and you can travel to them, complete the job and then move on.  Get Set Services is a merchandising company who provides set ups for brand new stores.  For example…..if there is a brand new WalMart opening in Texas, I can apply for the position, travel to Texas help merchandise (put new products on the shelves and racks) the new store and then move on to the next store in a new state…..if I want to.

Yardsale

The yardsale this weekend was great…..backbreaking (or in my case leg breaking)…..but really worth it!  I made $80 over my goal amount…..wooooo hooooo!  Now I can eat for another week or two!!!  And it felt great to take an entire vanload of stuff to Goodwill……another couple pounds off my back!

When the yardsale money was finally counted up I decided that there was entirely too much money to be left sitting around and I should probably go and spend some of it so that I could get back to my comfort level 😛  So I took myself on a date!!!  Yep all by myself!  AND I LOVED IT!!!

I got myself all dolled up……lord that felt great after two days of dirt, sweat and grime (it was 90 degrees and miserable during the yardsale)!!!  Then I went and had dinner and saw a movie!  I thought I might feel a little strange sitting by myself on a Saturday night but I guess I’m growing up (I don’t want to say getting old) cuz I really just didn’t care!!!  I didn’t feel uncomfortable and I had an awesome time.  I didn’t feel like I had to entertain someone else, I didn’t feel like I had to participate in a conversation when I just felt like being quiet and I did what I wanted when I wanted!

This really makes me feel a lot better about vandwelling because one of my main concerns was how was I going to socialize and would I be lonely and what if I never went and did anything because I didn’t want to be by myself.  I’m starting to think that will not be the case at all.  I’m starting to find that I like doing stuff by myself…..with others is fun too……but I like spending time with me (Hey I’m a pretty cool person, I already knew that)!!!

Now that the yardsale is done I am gearing up to get back on the road.  I am headed out to Nashville and then to Omaha!  I cannot wait!  The last trip was fun but it was a test run and I was dying most of the time from allergies and then spent a major portion of the time in my girlfriend’s driveway.  Staying in her driveway was great and I loved spending time with her but I felt a little like I was cheating LOL!  This feels like it will be the first REAL vandwelling trip and I am more than ready for it!

 

Gypsy Jezebel

I have noticed in the Vandwelling community that everyone has a name for their “dwelling”…..kinda like a boat.  So in the spirit of vandwellers everywhere I have decided to name my new abode Gypsy Jezebel.  Gypsy of course is kinda self explanatory and well Jezebel came from a very fun night where a group of us all decided we needed to have stripper names with the first letter of our real name…..ergo Jena/Jezebel!!  And besides I’ve just always kinda liked that name and it seemed to suit the color green.  Of course I could have named it Kermit and I did think about it……but Jezebel suits me better!!

Today I spent the day cleaning out the basement and garage at my mom’s house.  I had been storing some stuff there….waiting for warm weather so that I could have a yardsale.  I’m hoping to make some decent money because I will be back on the road come Tuesday.

Tooooooo Much Stuff!!!!!

Every Summer I have a “Make Me an Offer” yardsale – I don’t price anything I just ask for a reasonable offer and I take it.  It works out pretty well because people will offer me way more that I would have actually priced it for and if every once in awhile they low ball me I just figure it all evens out in the end.  I get more high offers than low offers.  And plus…..I really, really hate pricing everything!

Tuesday I am leaving for Nashville.  I have some friends I’m going to visit in the area and then I’m going to head to Omaha, NE where I have even more friends.  My family all hales from Nebraska and I have lived there a few times myself…..most recently from 2003 to 2008.  I haven’t been back in a few years and I’m so, so excited to get back out there.  My sister still has stuff there in storage so she will be flying out to get it and then we will drive back to Maryland together.  It should be a fun 6 weeks!

 

On The Road Again!!

This post was actually written while on the road but not completed.  I had to go over it and finish it up before I could finally post it.  I am back home with my sister in St. Michaels for the time being and so finally had some time to finalize this post.  It’s a long one….so grab yourself a drink and settle in.  On my next trip I promise to break it down to more of a daily run down rather than the entire trip in one post!!……..

Well my friends I apologize – I have been chastised by more than one of you for not writing – but it has been a rough road the past few weeks.  Yes I am on the road – but it has been a huge learning curve for me and on top of that I have had the worst time with allergies.

My mom and I finally left….3 days late…..2 Thursdays ago.  If I haven’t mentioned it before, my mom makes beautiful home decorations out of hydrastone and other mediums.  The most popular by far are her angel wall hangings.  The plan was for her to make product before we left and then for her to sell it at stores on our trip.  So between her trying to get her product ready and me trying to get the van registered and tagged….we left a little late.

Just one of my moms beautiful angels!!

Of course about 3 to 4 days before we left the pollen count was at an all time high and my eyes became so agitated that I could barely see…..which in turn then caused a horrific headache.  This did not help with us getting a timely start!  I checked the pollen map to see if there was somewhere else with less pollen that we could travel to but the only state with little to no pollen was Oregon…..so we stuck with our original plans!

We first drove to Charlottesville, VA.  We have both been trying to get to Charlottesville for the past few years and every time we plan a trip it gets cancelled for unforeseen circumstances…..the last time mom ended up in the hospital with chest pains.  The last time I did go to Charlottesville I went with a boyfriend who did not enjoy the same things that I did and so it was a complete waste of time.  I wish I could say that this visit was better but unfortunately I can’t.

To begin with my allergies were so bad that I could not see real well (imagine having a tablespoon of sand in each eye ball) I looked like I had been on a 3 day drinking binge they were so red.  Needless to say this was making me a tad bit cranky (yes that is a major understatement).  Then (here comes the learning curve) driving the van around town was sooooo cumbersome.  I really missed my car at this point.  I can’t parallel park (is there any such thing as a cute little downtown district WITHOUT parallel parking??), I feel like I’m driving an 18 wheeler and I don’t like following my mom or her following me.  Of course some of this complaining had to do with me feeling like crap!!

That first night we parked in the parking lot of a hotel.  It was our first night of “stealth” parking and felt a little strange.  Of course just about the time I was falling asleep there was a domestic disturbance of some type.  Lots of screaming and yelling and carrying on….I thought I might need to call the police at one point but it finally died down.  Then….just as we were settling down again another girl (not sure if she was related to the earlier domestic disturbance or not?) decided that the back of our parked vans was the perfect place to pace back and forth and cry on her phone.  Needless to say, after this evening, I made sure I knew where my ear plugs were!

The 2ndnight we parked at the local Wal-Mart and I for one was much more comfortable.  I don’t think my mom cared for parking at Wal-Mart but I liked it because I knew we were “allowed” to and most likely would not receive a knock on our doors in the middle of the night.  And since other RV’ers were parking there it just generally felt safer.  But I definitely still need the ear plugs!!!

Mountain View

Our next stop was Lynchburg, VA and then Roanoke, VA.  The Roanoke Wal-Mart was a little crazy…..have you ever seen the website “People of Wal-Mart”???  Yeah, it was kinda like that!  We spent two nights at the Roanoke Wal-Mart – the first night we must have parked where some of the employees had also parked so sometime about 11:30 pm or so they came out and turned on their car radios LOUD to some kind of screaming head banging stuff that my kids would have loved.  Thankfully they left fairly quickly…..but I was a little concerned for awhile there!  The second night we got a visit from a cab driver.  I don’t know what was going on…..was it a prank, was he actually supposed to be knocking on the RV’s next to us??  I don’t know but he kept driving around and around our vans, then he honked, he got out of his car and kind of walked around….then he actually knocked on mom’s window.  Eventually he did finally leave but it was the strangest thing…..I mean really…..why would a taxi driver arbitrarily drive up to 2 parked vans like he was there to pick up customers??  I think it was a prank.

Overlooking Roanoke from Mill Mountain

We spent Easter day on Mill Mountain in Roanoke – it was a beautiful day and I did get out and enjoy it some but again the allergies won out and I spent the rest of the day relaxing in the van reading and napping.  It was super windy…..I opened up all the windows on the van and enjoyed the breeze!

Finally we made it to Mount Airey, NC where my friend lives.  Mount Airey, NC is where Andy Griffith grew up and is dubbed “Mayberry USA”.  It is a very cute little town and since the last time I was here was on a Sunday and everything was closed, I was very interested in getting a chance to explore this time.  Franci’s mother-in-law Nancy allowed us to park in her driveway (I wouldn’t park, at first, in Franci’s driveway because the driveway was so long and steep I was scared to drive the van down it!!) for a few nights and that was lovely compared to the Wal-Mart parking lots!

Mom and I spent a lovely day exploring Main Street Mayberry – I think she got a few good leads for her angels and I got to drool over all the stuff that I wanted that I couldn’t afford and don’t have a house to put in anyway.

Me and Andy Griffith - I always wanted a man that was tall, dark and metal!!

The next day mom and I decided to part ways.  I think she was tired of my crabby butt and I can’t say I blame her…..sigh…..!!!  I was still absolutely miserable with allergies and couldn’t really do much for very long…..I think I was really only good for about 2 to 3 hours a day before I just gave up in misery!  However, she said that she felt we were holding each other back from what we wanted to do and that we both wanted to do different things…..and I agreed.  My idea of vandwelling had been going places and staying a while….getting to know the area…..exploring…..until I was ready to go.  The whole going to a new town everyday was a little exhausting for me.  Of course the pollen/allergies did not help matters.  Mom of course had work to do….and it was imperative for her to get to all these towns.  So it was good for us to split up.  And of course she was only going to Asheville, NC which was only about 3 hours away.  So we were still close enough to each other for an emergency.

That first day that we split up I literally spent the ENTIRE day laying in my van reading a book.  It was the most gorgeous day – sunny, breezy!!  I found the perfect spot in the library parking lot where I was in a corner surrounded by trees.  So I could put the shades down on the side and the back of the van where I faced the parking lot and leave the shades open on the front and side of the van facing the trees.  I opened up the windows and let the breeze through and …..heaven!  I could see through the windows to the trees and I felt just like I was up in a tree house!

View Into The Trees

The next day I decided to drive to Blowing Rock, NC.  What a cute little town!  I loved it!  I did have a little trouble in the evening when I got there because when I drove through the local Wal-Mart it didn’t seem like RV’s were allowed to park there.  This was the first night by myself that I was really unsure where to park.  I spent about 2 hours driving around and around trying to decide where to park.  But I’m a little bit of a chicken shit when it comes to parking.  I don’t want to have any knocks on my window at 2am and then have to drive around trying to find a new spot.  If I had gotten a minivan or a cargo van I would have felt better – a minivan looks normal parked just about anywhere and a cargo van can be parked anywhere industrial and look normal.  But a conversion van just doesn’t always look normal parked anywhere.  I had assumed, before I actually got out on the road and looked reality in the eye, that I could just park in a neighborhood – like a guest or something.  And I probably could but it just felt a little “iffy”.  In fact even when I stayed in Nancy’s driveway with her permission her neighbors still called Nancy and asked what was going on.  So I guess it depends on the neighborhood….but I wasn’t finding anything I liked the look of in Blowing Rock.  FINALLY I went back to Wal-Mart and asked the manager……and here is where I learned a very good lesson…….before I spend a lot of time and effort…..just ask FIRST!!!  The manager said “oh sure…just park over here”!!  Sigh………………..

ONE of the few pictures that I took that I actually liked!!

The second part of that lesson involved FINALLY just going up to the pharmacist and explaining to him the trouble with my eyes and allergies and all the OTC medications I had taken and could he PLEASE help me…..don’t you know he walked straight over to the shelf, handed me some eye drops and my poor bloodshot eyes were instantly cured!  All that time AND money wasted…..I should have just asked the pharmacist to begin with!!!

The next day with a good night sleep and my eyes finally cured I had a great day exploring Blowing Rock.  I visited some great shops – scoped out some great ones for my mom – had a ginormous bowl of the best caramel salted ice cream (makes me drool just thinking about it now) – and then headed out to explore the great Blowing Rock itself.  Again it was another incredibly gorgeous day and I got some great shots.  I did some experimenting with my camera.  I would really, really like to learn how to be a real photographer!  As it is right now I just snap, snap away and hope that something turns out!!  I don’t have a very good camera either so that doesn’t help.

After Blowing Rock I headed back to Mt. Airey and did a lot of relaxing and hanging out with my friend Franci until it was time to head back to Virginia.  Her kids are soo cute and fun…..she has a great family.  And although I love her family and her……it was so nice to have the van to escape to!!  I think that is one of the things I’m going to love the most about the van…..having my own space to retreat to.  When I got tired or cranky and needed my space I just got in my van and drove off to my favorite spot in the library parking lot and relaxed….read a book….took a nap….it was great!!

Me Sitting On Top Of The Blowing Rock