Posts Tagged ‘Omaha Nebraska’

I had a really wonderful trip to Omaha to visit all my friends and relatives and to help my sister load up the moving truck with all of her belongings.  Now I’m back in Virginia to help my mom get ready to move.  If I haven’t mentioned it before…..I think my family might just have a little gypsy blood in it somewhere….it’s the only way I can justify all the moving around!

My mom has been renting her house for the past 4 years and it has now been sold….she and all of her housemates (she rents 4 rooms) have to be out by August 1st.  We have A LOT of work to do to get ready.  We have 4.5 weeks left and out of those 4.5 weeks we will be spending a week at the family summer house for our annual family summer vacation in Deltaville, VA.  So yep, count it out…..we actually have 3.5 weeks!!

We are gearing up for another BIG yard sale next weekend and still have a lot of stuff to go through.  Not only my mom’s stuff but everyone else’s stuff…..over the past 4 years not only has my mom rented out 4 rooms but myself, my 2 boys and my sister have all lived here at varying times as well.  Every time someone leaves they leave stuff behind.  The house, especially the kitchen, is a maddening mod podge of STUFF!!  And no one really remembers what belongs to whom!!  To make matters even worse this past week I have been really sick.  So much for being here to help my mom……she’s been waiting on me hand and foot instead since I haven’t been able to get up off the couch!

We had a really great visit with a new “vandwelling” buddy from our vandwelling forum discussion group….Jessie.  He was great.  I really enjoyed talking to him.  He has the same type van as I do and so we had a little show & tell with our vans.  I almost passed out (did I mention I’m sick…….oh and we are having a heat wave) so I didn’t get to play show and tell for too long.  But just long enough to get some really great ideas for my van.  He had a lot more done on his van than I do.

Today I’m feeling a little better…..at least enough to get back on the computer…..so I have been getting a little bit of work done…..some new ideas, some rehashing of ideas, some brainstorming…..a little bit of reorganizing…..you know, my normal life!!

So that is about it….not really much to fill you in on…..no grand adventures this month I’m afraid to say…..family obligations are keeping me grounded for a little bit….but I’m working on the next chapter ….. so stay tuned!!  🙂



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My friends and I often discuss how lazy we are….that we never go and see the historic or tourist locations in our own home town.  I am absolutely the worst about this……as much as I love to travel you would think that I would  be better about that….especially since I have lived in some pretty cool places!  I grew up in Annapolis and never really did the “tourist” thing there…..there are a lot of places in Annapolis that I would like to go back and check out.  Last year I spent 10 months in Alexandria, VA which is on the outskirts of DC……I did nothing!  I was so busy with my “life”.  Now that I am in Omaha I am realizing how many things that I missed when I lived here back in 2003.

Since I am low on funds I have made up a list of FREE things to do in Omaha that I will be exploring FIRST.  Then I will move on to the CHEAP things to do 🙂

The other day I went and visited The Boys Town Museum and the Boys Town Chapel.  Living in Omaha you hear about Boys Town all the time….but for me it was just a matter of seeing the signs all over the place for advertising….I never really knew the significance of the place.  I wasn’t around when the movie came out in 1938.  The museum was a lot nicer than I really expected it to be and the Chapel was gorgeous.  You can easily do the museum in 30 to 45 minutes (depending on how detailed you are on reading every single word).  This would be a great place to bring slightly older children (I had a 7 year old with me and she was mildly interested but bored quickly)….small children will not be real interested.  There is a bus that you can climb into and explore which was really fun for the 7 year old but the rest of it was only mildly interesting to her.

If you have small children there are several splashparks around.  This is a great alternative to crowded public pools.  My friend and I found one in Millard on Seldin Drive and spent a few hours there with his daughter.  I wish these had been around when my children were small.  The smallest child could play without too much danger….certainly no drowning.  There was plenty of grass and open spaces for families to spread out blankets and have picnics and that is just what we did.  There is also a regular playground and porta potties!

Today I am going to go explore the Mormon Trail Center…..yet another thing I never explored when I lived here…..and it’s FREE!!  Saturday I am going to go to the Joslyn Art Museum to see the Egyptian Exhibition.  Saturday mornings from 10 to noon the Joslyn is open to the general public for FREE.

Below I have listed some other free things to do in Omaha…..I will be exploring them over the next few weeks.

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

Heartland of America Park

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Visitor Center

Lewis & Clark Landing

Gerald R. Ford Birth Site & Gardens

Jazz on the Green

Playing with Fire Concert Series

Shakespeare on the Green

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I’ve been in Omaha for about a week now and I’m glad to be here…..but my mettle is being tested and those are the cold hard facts!!

Things have reached a place where I finally have to put up or shut up as they say.  For the past 5 months I have been living off of a very large tax refund, a few gifts, selling my belongings, a yardsale and a few small assignments through Today’s Gal Friday.  But now my training wheels are slowly being removed and it’s time to see if I can ride my big girl bike J  It can be done is what I have said and now I have to prove it!

For now I am spending the week with a very good friend and that has just been lovely….I love staying in my van but nothing beats having someone wait on you, feed you, entertain you…… and a hot tub!!

But after this week I will be on my own with very little moolah left.  Even though my goal is to become completely self sufficient with my online endeavors…..I’m not quite there yet.  So I am having to sift through my ever growing list of ways to make money for alternatives at this point.

The past few days I have spent making the rounds of the temp agencies looking for temporary office work.  This is what I would prefer to do because I know it inside and out…..it is what I’ve done for 25 years….but if nothing comes of it I will move on to plan C!!

I thought that in light of my current situation this would be a good time to start posting some information on ways to make money on the road.  Since this is the #1 question asked by most people when I explain my plans as well as the #1 question asked by most people considering this lifestyle I thought it would be appropriate.  So starting Monday I will introduce Making Money Mondays….I hope you will stop by and check it out….maybe get some ideas for yourself!!

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Not much to report today.  I got a very early start and was on the road by 7 a.m…..I’m not usually up before 8:30.  I stayed at the Walmart in Waynesboro, VA….I couldn’t believe how quiet it was….I never even put my earplugs in!  It was a 24 hour Walmart but I barely saw any cars.

The fog on the mountains was insane this morning…..soooo pretty but a little scary.  Thankfully it didn’t affect my driving.  By about 10:30 a.m. I had to pull over and take a break.  My leg is feeling ok but a couple of times while I was walking I had really bad “twinges”.  So I pulled over to a rest stop and put my leg up for 2 hours and took a nap.

The mountains were incredibly gorgeous but it was very hard to keep my cruise control on and quite a few times I had to practically stand on my brakes going downhill.  Needless to say this was REALLY worrying me since my right leg is the leg I injured.  So now I’m out of the mountains and very, very grateful.  I probably won’t be so grateful when I get sick and tired of looking at cornfields eventually but for now……GRATEFUL!!

I’ve seen lots of things that I would love to stop and explore but it’s not that kind of trip this time unfortunately.  I’m anxious to get to Omaha.  My plan is to sign up with the temp agencies at the end of this week.  While I’m in Omaha (and hopefully working a couple temp assignments) I plan on taking a lot of side trips that I was never able to do while I lived in Omaha.  And just maybe I will do a couple of articles about how awesome Omaha is so that I can set everyone straight about Omaha LOL!!

Now I am in Morehead, KY at the library getting everything charged up.  I was looking forward to getting a couple hours of work done but it is so freaking hot in here I can’t even think straight.  I think as soon as I’m charged up I’m just gonna get back on the road.


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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

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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!


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On The Road

I am now one week away from my first trip in my new van.  Honestly I’m not sure how I feel about it…..or better yet I’m confused about how I feel about it.  I should be off my rocker with excitement but I’m decidedly not.  I’m not….. “not excited”….  about it….I’m just very blasé about it and I don’t know why.  Nerves maybe???

But regardless of my lack of ecstatic joy…..I am generally excited about leaving.  As I’ve mentioned before my mom will be joining me on this trip.  We will not be gone for very long because it has taken us a long time to get ourselves together and now we have to be back in time for my brother’s wedding.  However, I think that will probably work in our favor.  This will be an opportunity to see how things go….a test run so to speak.

I will be picking up the van today, a 2000 Dodge Ram High-top Conversion Van, which I will eventually convert into more of a camper.  But for right now I’m not going to make any conversions to it.  I want to take this little mini trip and see what I truly need while I’m on the trip.  I have purchased the absolute necessities but that is all I will do at this point.  The bench in the back of the van converts into a bed of sorts so I will use that for the time being.  However in the future I will plan on building a more permanent bed that I’m assuming will be exponentially better than the fold down bench!

I’m obviously worried about gas since gas has now almost reached $4/gallon.  It’s not like I didn’t know it was coming…..I did.  But sometimes realizing something and living the reality of it is sooooooo different!  It’s real now and it kinda scares me!  But I’m not going to let it stop me.  I just have to work harder and plan smarter.

This mini trip will not allow enough time for me to look for job opportunities but I think that once I get to Omaha later in the Spring I will attempt to secure some temporary work to fill my coffers again.  I am still working on Today’s Gal Friday and it is going well but not to the point of being able to support myself fully at this point.  So if there is anyone out in Omaha that would like to hire me for anything let me know!!  Obviously you know I can do administrative work but I can also babysit, house sit, pet sit, geriatric sit, paint interiors, clean, organize your house, organize your filing etc. etc.!!  Right now I am helping a lady clean out her house – helping her sort into “keep, Goodwill, and trash” piles so I do have experience with those types of jobs as well!

I have a bad habit of not being able to easily “switch gears” and I think maybe this is where the “blasé” part of my emotions is coming from.  I think I have grown comfortable at my sister’s house and now my feelings are ambivalent about leaving.  But I’m going to push through because this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I know myself well enough to know that 99% of the time when I don’t want to do something (that I previously thought I wanted to do) once I make myself get out there and do it I have a blast…..I just have to push myself out of the malaise phase.

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