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Posts tagged with: camping

Dealing with even Tinier Living Space

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I need to start out with two important points here:

  1. I am very grateful for my friends generosity of loaning us their RV and camp space for a few months at no cost.  It will be a great learning experience and true adventure.  And give me a rare opportunity to really save up some money since our living expenses will be pretty much nothing other than food.
  2. This is temporary, and really the only reason I have taken them up on the offer is it is the only way we can stay here at least a few more months, and staying here is our first choice.

Now to the reality of the situation, I have to admit that I am dreading our new temporary living space, probably just a tad bit more than I am excited about the idea to really save some money.  I’ve never been a camper, ever.  I in no way shape or form want to sound ungrateful for this opportunity, but I am dreading the logistics of it quite a bit.

We will have access to a 10 person sleeper RV and a mobile home which is used as a office, but will provide a full kitchen and two full bathrooms.  They are parked next to each other and the office is seldom used.  We are going out on Monday to see everything so I can wrap my head around space.  We have already begun packing and hope to start moving things that will not be trashed, sold or taken to a storage unit next week.

So I’ve been working out a plan in my head, please feel free to chime in with ideas:

  1. All the kids will once again be on a summer swim team, so we will be up and out every morning for a couple of hours of swim practice.  Good start for the day.  I will use this time for work. I’ve also though that this might be the ideal time for me to do the wash as I don’t think we have access to laundry facilities.  Luckily, the pool is literally right across from a laundry mat.
  2. I will pack a cooler nightly with food to take with us since most of them won’t eat before practice and will be starving after.  Will include fruit, yogurt, bagels, hard boiled eggs, etc.
  3. From there, we will hit the local library for a couple of hours of school/work time.  Air conditioning, lots of options of things to do (reading, schoolwork, computer time, etc.)  On nice weather days, we could hit up one of the many local parks which equals work time for me and play time for the kids, especially since we can pick up any number of their friends to join us.
  4. Cooler will include lunch options: sandwiches, yogurt, fruit or salad.
  5. Return to the RV for the hottest part of the afternoon for some quiet/down time on electronics, naps or outside time if wanted.  We will have an entire farm to roam with lots of trails, animals and chores to help out with.
  6. Back out at night for sports activities…Gymnast trains at night, Princess will be playing softball as well as working out at a local gym.  On nights when we don’t have to go out, family fun outside with bonfires, grilling and games.

What do you think?  I think it gets us out enough that we won’t feel super cramped in the RV.  The twins are going to be working full time for the most part, History Buff at his current job and Sea Cadet has applied to work as a Jr. Camp Counselor at a local camp which will take him away weeks at a time.  Since History Buff is driving, I imagine we won’t see much of them after swim practice between work and social life, but they are both very responsible and respectful of the guidelines as far as their freedom goes so I don’t mind them having the extra time.

If I can keep eating out to a minimum and paid activities to maybe once a week, this will be a great opportunity to get some savings for moving into a new place and let me move forward on paying off a bit of debt.

I am well aware that this choice, maybe most of my choices aren’t the ‘norm’ but I have to tell you that all of us have fully embraced the minimalist life we have been living. While there are a few things I truly miss, for the most part, I do not mind living with less ‘stuff’ and truly appreciate the amount of time and energy we have to spend on experiences and adventures rather than cleaning and managing our clutter!  And as I’ve been researching living in an RV for a while now, it is amazing how many people do it full time or are just weekend RV’ers.  I don’t think that’s for me, but there are a lot of resources out there on it.

Update: We went out this past Monday to get a feel for the situation…all of us went.  And I have to say, after seeing the true nature of how we will live after a thorough tour of the RV, trailer, layout and access to the farm…EVERYONE is so excited!  The little ones are most excited about all the animals, and the big ones are excited about getting to have all their guy friends out for some ‘guy time’ for lack of a better term.  Acres to roam, bike trails to ride, 3 bathrooms, full size kitchen and dining table, patio and grill….yes, we are all pretty excited now about our ‘glamping’ experience!


Coffee Date #2

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As a reminder, this post style (the coffee date concept) was an idea I borrowed from the Fitnessista (with her knowledge and permission). If you’re into fitness, check out her blog. She offers tons of FREE workout guides, videos, healthy recipes, and more. See my last coffee date post here

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If we were having coffee right now….

  • I’d tell you all about the drama in mine and hubs’ families right now. There’s been a LOT. Hospitalization, rehabilitation (not the drug kind, the physical/health kind), threats of lawsuits, and icky job-related stuff. Nothing that directly impacts me or hubs and (knock on wood) things are going well with us, but these issues have been in the forefront of our minds as we’ve been having LOTS of phone calls home recently to discuss various issues.
  • I’d invite you and the kiddos to the zoo with us! We’ve been making great use of our family pass, going once a week for the past several weeks. The girls’ favorite thing is to see the gibbons swinging around (and they now know the difference between a gibbon, monkey, and gorilla). A close second is seeing the peacocks (since they wander freely the girls always try to chase them), and feeding the giraffes! It’s so fun to talk later all about what we saw and did.

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Intently watching the gibbons!

  • Speaking of doing stuff with the kids, I’d probably try to convince you to go camping with us in April! The town where we live hosts a big family camping night once per year and I really want to go this time. It’s super cheap ($5 for a family of 4), and the town does a big-screen movie in the park, has a huge bonfire, does tent decorating prizes, has a storyteller, offers crafts, and lots more (all for just the $5 admission). Hubs and I used to be big campers pre-babies but haven’t gone a single time since the girls were born. This would be our first family camping experience and I think it sounds like a lot of fun.
  • I’d have to tell you that I didn’t get the job I recently interviewed for. They haven’t sent an official rejection, but I was told the decision would be made the first week of February. Seeing as its now the last week of February…I think its safe to say I didn’t get it. It’s a big bummer, but not the end of the world.
  • Speaking of jobs, I’d tell you about my current employment situation. I’ve hinted at it before, but things went a little downhill with “University B” (the research job) at the end of last year. I got my last paychecks in January and haven’t worked for them since. Things with “University A” (where I teach online) are still going well, though I’ve had some frustrating class experiences. The past 2 semesters in a row I’ve had a class cancelled due to low enrollment. That’s not my employers’ fault, but its super frustrating when I’m expecting “X” number of dollars from 3 classes, but then get downgraded to only 2 classes. Next semester I’m going to insist/beg/plead/whatever it takes to move up to 3 classes (even if it means changing up the classes I usually teach). I really do get paid very well from them (like…. literally twice as much as the local community college pays), but I need a third class to boost my income a little after my loss-of-income from University B.

If we were having coffee right now we’d probably be chasing the kids around the park and trying to keep them from hurting themselves. It’d be a coffee date and playdate rolled into one. I’d thank you for meeting me and hanging out on such a beautiful day (sorry to those of you in cold places….it’s been in the mid-70s in Tucson). We should do this again soon!

If we were having a coffee date, what would you tell me?

PS: What do you think about the stock photo (of the coffee cup)? Trying to decide if I want to start sprinkling in additional photos to my posts. I’m a TERRIBLE photographer, so my own iphone-quality photos have been few and far between. But there are lots of free photos available through various websites that I can use (for free, duh!), but not sure if it would seem cheesy or if you guys like the pics to break up the text? Tell me what you think!


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