Library Sale Book Haul | November 2016

It was a gorgeous day in Tallahassee for an outdoor book sale. So of course, I had to go…

library-sale-book-haul-1

The sheer volume of books they had was pretty overwhelming. I could probably have spent about three hours looking, so it was almost a good thing that free parking was only one hour. Sometimes limits can be a good! Or I can at least pretend…

Either way, this turned out to be a fun vlog so feel free to check out what I got!

library-sale-book-haul

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Talking Books on Youtube (Yay for Booktube)

You’ve heard of Youtube, but have you heard of Booktube?

new-to-booktube

Not familiar with the term? I’ve been using the phrase for so long it’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t know about it, but I know it’s still not commonly used. So… let me explain.

It’s really, really simple. Do you ever watch someone on Youtube who has a channel focused on one particular topic, such as fashion, or makeup? Well, how about a channel dedicated to talking about books? See where I’m going? Welcome to the concept that is Booktube!

I’ve wanted to have a dedicated space on Youtube for years to join the book related conversations that happen and finally jumped in the water.

Here is my New to Youtube introduction video! If you want to follow my videos on the channel directly, just head over to https://www.youtube.com/c/sharonrosen and subscribe.

Are you on Booktube? Let me know, I’d love to check out your channel!

Where We Are – And What’s Next for Us

The last few weeks have been a bit rough for us. July 3rd was a milestone, and a turning point – it was one year from when we decided to become Nomads and drastically change our life.  And, on July 3rd this year, we found ourselves questioning everything.

Let me back up. Currently, we are in San Antonio, New Mexico, finally, FINALLY under 5,000 feet in elevation. Let me explain why that is a big deal…

We spent the last 6 weeks in Flagstaff, Arizona, at almost 7,000 feet above sea level. To escape the Arizona heat found at the lower levels, you need to either go north, or go up. We had initially planned to go north, but all of our plans fell through so we decided instead to go UP in elevation.

Well, as it turns out, going up didn’t quite work for us. If you go up in elevation too quickly, you can get Altitude Sickness. Sometimes though, you can simply get Altitude Sickness just because you are susceptible to it. Since we spent over a month in Kingman, Arizona (elevation 3,333′) we definitely did not come up in elevation too fast. But, we both were feeling the effects of the altitude.

Altitude Sickness affects people differently, for us, it mostly means over exhaustion, with a handful of other minor symptoms here and there just to keep things interesting. In addition to constant over exhaustion, I had also been having quite a bit of trouble breathing (a tiny 1/4 mile walk had me huffing and puffing and having to take breaks), and though Summer usually means fewer Gastroparesis symptoms, I have been having a really rough time with GP. This summer is the worst GP-Summer I’ve had in over five years. High altitude affects the oxygen in your blood, which affects circulation, which affects bodily functions such as sleep and of course, digestion. Who knew?

Anyway, the altitude has been a huge factor in us feeling extremely worn out, and pretty awful all around. We considered going lower in elevation, but due to the heat, we were avoiding that maneuverer. However, things finally came to a breaking point where neither one of us could take our symptoms anymore, and we decided the heat is easier to deal with than the elevation (and the health consequences involved).

AND, this led us to question everything about how we are currently living. I mean, everything. The RV Lifestyle, our van (vs. another type of RV), just simply, everything.

Being a Digital Nomad isn’t easy, and not many of our peers talk about the struggles of maintaining a career (or two) on the road, and trying to fit some type of travel. I recently came across this post from Pace Smith and wondered why no one else ever talks about this stuff.

Rather than hide what’s happening, I’m going to be open about it. This isn’t working. There are some aspects of RV Living that we absolutely love, and that has had us flip-flopping our decision back on forth on a daily basis.

We knew traveling while working full-time would be challenging, but you can’t plan for every obstacle. We certainly hadn’t planned to have a career change this year and that has played a very large role in this decision as well. We are both launching new careers. Right now. Traveling with a NEW job role is absolutely, positively, NOT something I would ever recommend. So…

We are planning to transition back to a stationary life. The last few days have been all about – GET THEE TO A LOWER ELEVATION – and then figure things out. Seriously, it’s really hard to think straight when you feel like garbage. This decision has been much harder than the one we made a year ago. Leaving the RV Life means leaving much more behind than a stationary one – even though that seems contradictory.

I expect a lot of questions that we can’t answer quite yet – we’re still figuring things out. We have taken the first step though and that is: finalize our decision. We are definitely doing this. At the moment our plan is to continue to drop in elevation and head East. We have a few places to check out as potential settling spots but we need to see how things are in person.

We have moved a tremendous amount not only in the ten years we’ve been married, but even individually before that. We aren’t looking for a crash pad, we’re looking for a home. Ironically, it was the RV Park where we stayed in Flagstaff that made us realize how much we need an actual HOME.

The people we met and befriended over the last month and a half provided us with the strongest sense of community either one of us has ever experienced. It was a terribly difficult decision to leave the area. However, at the same time, it taught us that we need to find a community anywhere we could possibly even consider living.

It’s taken giving up almost everything to figure out what we need most. Isn’t it crazy how life works sometimes?

If you’re reading this – Bob & Diane, Dee & Jerry, Doug & Rhoda, Dawn & Sherri, Ken & Nancy, Dave & Donna – you all played an important part in us figuring out something very important that may actually help us “settle down” once and for all. Thank you!

Pictures from the Road – New Mexico

Datil New Mexico

Quemado New Mexico

Socorro New Mexico

On the Road - July 2016

I’ll be sharing more pictures from the road as we inch closer to a resting place.

Cheerio!

Grooming a Dog while Living in an RV

One of the challenges we’ve faced while living in an RV – with a dog – is keeping up with Frodo’s massive grooming needs. He’s part poodle, which means, his hair grows by the minute. Which is of course, one of the reasons he’s named after a Hobbit… But anyway, I digress.

Frodo could really use a full haircut every 2 weeks, but we tend to stretch it out to once a month. When we lived in a house, we groomed him while we sat on the floor of our bathroom. It wasn’t comfortable for us, but it worked out well enough. While living in the RV, we groom him in the hallway and vacuum the hair as we go. By the time we are finished (almost 45 minutes later), we both have a lot of body aches and have trouble walking any other way than hunched over. It’s definitely a challenging experience.

Today, we had the pleasure of grooming Frodo while standing up! Meaning, Dave and I were able to stand the whole time! It was… leaps and bounds easier!

Here’s a quick “Before” glance as the grooming was just getting started.

Before

The trimming has already been underway here, but he’s still quite the furry beast.

Before Continued

Almost an hour later, our Puppy is reappearing!

During

What a difference an hour makes!

After

Seriously, what an amazing experience. I wish every RV Park would provide a dog grooming station! It’s a little thing that is actually an enormous thing. Not only does this RV Park have a grooming station, they put thought into how they arranged it. It’s outside, but shaded, off to the side, and gated. Because it’s off to the side, we were not able to see foot traffic of people walking round. It’s really it’s own secluded area, which is GREAT when trying to avoid distractions while grooming. There’s a table, electric outlet for clippers, and a wash basin. I see a real bath in Frodo’s near future!

Special thanks to J&H RV Park for being such an awesome place for dog owners! We really appreciate it!

Current location: Flagstaff, Arizona

Summer Heat Wave – Or Alien Invasion?

Our attempt to escape the summer heat has us currently hanging out in Flagstaff, Arizona. However, the weather lately has been wonky everywhere and this time Arizona isn’t being excluded. Flagstaff is about to hit record high temperatures in a few days.

It’s time to break out the big guns! Reflectix – you’re my hero!

Summer in an RV

Technically, this is something we should have done ages ago, because it helps in the Summer AND Winter – but it’s one of those things that we haven’t had time to do until now.

All the pieces of Reflectix are simply wedged into place so we can easily take them down when we head to get groceries.

Summer in an RV 2

Other RV’ers swear by Reflectix and we can already tell a difference in the inside temperature, just a few minutes after having our window coverings in place.  We’ve also lined a few shelf areas to protect items on the shelf from the incoming heat.

Reflectix is a super quick, easy, and cheap way to help add additional insulation to your RV when dealing with unusual high or low temperatures. We used almost an entire roll (48′ x 10′) for our needs and the cost was only $26. You really can’t beat that for the additional comfort it provides.

What – Don’t You Vacuum Your Dog?

When it comes to living in a Tiny House, it’s both super easy to keep it clean, and, it can take only a few minutes to get dirty. Thankfully, Frodo doesn’t mind his role the process. Whether it’s helping to keep our home clean – or get it dirty! He likes that part… but I digress…

Usually when we get back inside after being out, we simply wipe Frodo’s paws with a dry towel, leave our shoes at the door, and we’re good to go. Sometimes we have to use some water on Frodo’s paws if the dry towel isn’t enough. However, the last few days we’ve been at the Flagstaff KOA (in Arizona) which has made things extra challenging from the “traveling with a dog” perspective.

Frodo at the Flagstaff KOA

This park is just… dirty. Yes, it’s a park, but, it’s a very dirty park. It’s mostly dry sand – everywhere. And sand loves to hide in paws and fur.

Since we vacuum Frodo during his haircuts, he’s used to the vacuum and doesn’t mind. It just seemed natural to simply vacuum him off before going back inside. I can’t imagine what our neighbors were thinking…

Current Location: Flagstaff, Arizona – Elevation 6,910 feet.

Just One Reason Why I LOVE My RV

This is just one of the many reasons I love living in a RV. All of these photos were taken less than a mile from where we are currently sleeping.

This photo is from yesterday, taken from my cell phone (Kudos to Samsung! The Note 5 takes amazing photos)!

1 Arizona Landscape

Today, for the first time since we’ve been in Kingman – my real camera came out to play (all the photos below are from my camera).

The scenery we experience while we walk our dog is gorgeous.

2 Arizona Landscape

There was just something about this tree that caught my attention.

3 Arizona Tree

This photo below is similar to the one above from my phone, but this one was taken with my camera. I was comparing… Again, this is just a few steps away from our home on wheels…

4 Arizona Landscape

I wanted the Mesas in the background for this shot, but that didn’t quite happen. Oh well.

5 Sharon and Dave

Another try for a selfie with a cool background. Nope, didn’t work. That’s okay.

6 Another Selfie

Home Sweet Home. And back to my point at the start of this post. No matter how lousy I am feeling, by living in a RV I get to see a little something different – even with just the simple task of walking our dog. Home is always close, and so is adventure, even a mild one if that’s all I’m up for (which sadly, thanks to Gastroparesis, is usually the case). But by living the way we do now, I’m never house-bound, even when I am!

I love our home. It’s the best one we’ve ever had!

7 Home Sweet Home

April Showers in Kingman, Arizona…

This is what we get for trying to avoid too much rain. This is the view from my window today.

April 10 Kingman Arizona

It’s not too bad actually, it’s just that it’s been raining for several days and we have about five more days to go before we get our Arizona sunshine back again.

As a quick catch-up for readers, we left Grover Beach, California early. Though it’s a pretty place in pictures and sounded like a good place to be, it isn’t. Cold, damp wind does not do this body any good. I got sick while we were there and felt awful pretty much the whole time we were there. As soon as we were a few hours away from the coast I began to feel better. Low humidity is awesome. I’ll take dry skin and hair over body aches any day of the week!

Though we’ve been in Kingman, Arizona for a bit, we have not checked out the area or done much but catch up on an overly long list of to-do items, and for me, rest and recuperate. I had a bit of a health crisis recently with my condition (Gastroparesis) and so I’m just focused on healing and resting. We will have time to explore later. In fact, I’m almost grateful for the rain, as it feels like my job is to just relax, read, and watch TV. The only real downside to rain is muddy paws (not mine, Frodo’s).

That’s pretty much it for our update! Time has a way of melting away when you’re not feeling well.