2015 – Done and Dusted

This past year was one of changes and traveling, some good times and some challenges.  It was a very unsettled year for us; seems like we just couldn’t find the “spot” for us, sort of like Goldilocks looking for the right bed.  Some of our decisions were better than others.  We logged a lot of miles; well, for us, at any rate.  We faced some challenges and had some good times along the way.   

Georgia Rest Area 06282015

I took a multitude of these types of shots at various rest stops during 2015.  Wish I had the patience to go back and tally up the miles we traveled during the year.

Darlington SC 07012015

We started the year doing security work in Darlington, SC.  This was a tough gig.  Night shift did not agree with Dave; he was getting 1-2 hours of sleep every 24-36 hours.  Cycling was dangerous with him being run off the roads, chased by extremely aggressive stray/wild dogs and coming off the bike (crashes) three times.  We had no way to properly empty our tanks and experienced our first ant infestation in 5 years of full-timing (and numerous years of camping before that). The tree over us was unkempt; a storm brought down large branches which barely missed our rig.  We were also experiencing frequent fluctuations in power to our rig, with our “big black box” shutting us down due to low voltage.  This was definitely not a good thing.

Vicksburg MS Visitor Center 03172015

We received an offer to manage a park in Texas, so in March we headed that way.  We took our time and did a bit of sightseeing.  Here we are in Vicksburg, MS.  We stayed at Ameristar RV Park and would recommend it.

KOA Mt Pleasant TX 05022015

While the job itself would have been okay, the circumstances were not.  We resigned our management position but stayed on as workampers for a while.  If we had remained as managers, more than likely we would still be there attempting to run the place by ourselves with extremely limited resources.  Not a good scenario.  We learned a lot from this experience, though.

We stayed at numerous RV parks in 2015 in our trekking around the eastern third of the country.  I haven’t included photos from all of them, just some of the memorable and well-liked ones.

Shady Pines RV Park Texarkana TX 06082015

We really like Shady Pines RV Park in Texarkana, TX.  This was our second stay here, this one in June.

Camping World Anniston AL 06242015

Another second stay at Camping World in Anniston, AL during June.  Skies were threatening and we were treated to an extraordinary light show courtesy of Momma Nature, but it never rained.  I like this photo.

Prairie Creek COE Beaver Lake AR 06132015

We gave a try at being gate attendants at a COE park in Arkansas in June.  A brief try.  The site looks nice, but had many issues, including an uphill sewer connection and a dirt hill right next to our rig which became a mud river during rains.  A quiet park?  Hardly.  A young girl was killed on the lake the day before we arrived.  Weekends were nonstop traffic, to the point of parking being full in all areas.  Law enforcement screaming through the gate with lights flashing at all hours.  People coming up to our rig (when we weren’t on duty) with questions, etc.  It was also a 6-day work week and turns out one had to go the bank and post office on one’s day off.  This was not a good decision and not as described.

Country Boys RV Park Madison GA 06272015

A repeat visit to Country Boys RV Park in Madison, GA in June.  Certainly adequate for 1-2 nights.

We agreed to return to South Carolina and the security gig as the relief team for 3 months.  While we had questioned our decision to leave there earlier in the year, the return visit served as affirmation of that decision. 

Office area 08262015

While in SC the second time, we removed our dining table and chairs (which we rarely used) and turned the area into a workspace/office for me. 

We were there from July 1st until October 1st, at which point we were headed back to Texas.  Changes in our health insurance predicated this move.  I was still working part-time as a virtual assistant, and we were hopeful Dave could pick up some work once we arrived in Bryan, Texas.

Barnyard RV Park Lexington SC 10012015

We planned a 2-night stay at the Barnyard RV Park in Lexington, SC following our security gig.  We thought this would allow us to resume normal sleep patters and chill a bit before hitting the road to Texas.  The stay stretched into 5 nights due to massive rainfall and areal flooding.  We were grateful the park did not flood.  It wasn’t very relaxing, however, as we were in emergency preparedness mode the entire time.  Management was totally accommodating and helpful as we (and a couple of other neighbors) kept extending our stay day-by-day due to weather.

Montgomery South RV Park 10122015

Landed for a week at Montgomery South RV Park, we sort of began catching up on some R&R.  Dave really enjoyed the cycling here; however, the park was infested with loose dogs and, just because of that, we would not return.  Otherwise, it was a fine park in the process of expansion during our stay.

Ever closer to Texas, we stayed a few nights in Beaumont at Gulf Coast RV Resort.  Looks like I didn’t get photos . . . hmmm.  Dave enjoyed the cycling and I enjoyed really relaxing, catching up laundry, etc.  Our friend Rachelle, whom we had not seen since 2010 prior to our embarking on this lifestyle, came to spend a day with us.  So good to see her again, and we really appreciated her making the trip.

Traders Village Houston TX 10182015

From Beaumont, our next stop was Traders Village on the northwest side of Houston.  It was okay, but nothing spectacular.  I couldn’t believe Highway 290 was still under construction.  No, wait, I can believe that, actually.  It was pretty darn warm when we arrived and shortly after landing . . . it was a really warm day . . and . . we had no power to the rig.  Turns out a mobile tech working on the RV next door was terrific and got us powered up again.  Remember that low voltage issue in SC?  He suspected that’s what fried the . . . um . . . I forget what it was but it had to do with the gen set.  Since we don’t have an onboard gen, he just bypassed it and disabled that.  He showed it to us and, yes, it was fried.  Another affirmation that leaving SC was a good decision.

The next day, we headed to Bryan, Texas and what we anticipated as our home for the long term.  I had checked reviews, talked at length with the manager and made a month’s reservation at Primrose Lane RV Park in Bryan.  We didn’t have much selection, as it was football season in Aggieland and nary an RV space to be had.

Primrose Lane Bryan TX 10192015

Primrose Lane long-term site.  Mud pit. Bad “neighborhood.”  Worst place we have ever stayed.  Our front landing gear were sinking.  We asked for more gravel, correction, gravel on the site but it never materialized and we realized after a while that it just wouldn’t.  Standing water all the time around our rig.  Electric shore connection so low to the ground we had to unplug so it wouldn’t short out.  Residents letting dogs run loose and dog “deposits” all over the grounds, including sidewalks.  Ugh.

Good news is that during our time there, Dave secured a seasonal position at Walmart.   I still had my virtual assistant client and had landed a medical editor job.

We had been looking at other RV parks and ended up being third on the waiting list for Aggieland RV Park.  With our November rent almost due at Primrose and not wanting to be there any longer, the owner/manager at Aggieland found a spot for us.  We moved here the early afternoon of November 17, following horrendous storms which got us out of bed around 3:30 that morning.

Aggieland RV Park Site 43 12132015

Concrete streets!  Concrete site!  No mud!  Tidy neighbors!  Decent laundry facilities!  Great owner/manager!  Yay us!

Aggieland RV Park 11182015

The site on our door side is only for short-term and is not used often.  We have an open grassy area on the other side.  Lovely.

We experienced a split (and leaking) gray holding tank in November and it’s been a saga getting the correct tank ordered, etc.; however, we have an appointment next week for installation at an RV dealer less than 10 miles down the road.  I sure will be glad to have my own shower again, but am grateful for the facilities here during this time.

My medical transcription skills are still excellent after all these years away from the profession; however, I found medical editing to be very stressful with a good deal of “extras” one has to do for which one is not paid.  I dreaded each work day, which was totally opposite to my experience with traditional MT work; I used to love my work as an MT; however, the profession has deteriorated and really is not a profession where skills are paramount these days.  The MT company owner called after I resigned wondering why I did, stating “You’re such an MT!”  Perhaps that’s part of it . . . I’m a purist.  Today’s environment just is not a good fit at this time. 

Long and short . . . I picked up a second virtual assistant client which also may be a long-term relationship.  I resigned the ME gig and, upon doing so, felt a great sense of relief.  I now have two clients and really enjoy the work and my interactions with them.  The resulting pay is much better, and I am utilizing my brain and skills.  Yay me!  Minimal stress, maximum rewards.  I’m good with that.

Dave’s seasonal job is turning into a permanent position.  He’s working hard, but it’s certainly not as rigorous as pipefitting on ships or in the mines of Minnesota.  He enjoys his interactions with coworkers and most of the time even the job itself.  Yay him!

Dave works 2-11 PM Thursday through Monday.  I go to work when he leaves a bit after 1 PM.  We both take Tuesday and Wednesday off to run errands and do whatever.  This schedule seems to be a nice fit for us.  We’re both sleeping very well here, and that’s a good thing.

I know Walmart gets a bad rep, but so far Dave and others are treated decently at this store.  He worked overtime around Thanksgiving, but management had a huge dinner spread for the team.  There was a gift discount card during that time, freebie holiday decorations, more food and treats for them at work (and to bring home), etc.  There are other “small” things that have been positive so far, too, such as opening up a check-out lane for Dave when he was purchasing some items on his dinner break.

Dave was a pipefitter with the Royal Navy in Scotland.  He remarked once that he’s gone from working on nuclear submarines, where the lives of sailors literally were in his hands and relied upon his skills.  Now he’s working at Walmart.  But you know what?  At this point in our lives it’s not about our jobs or building careers.  It’s just about having work which pays what few bills we have, putting food on the table and living a comfortable life. 

It’s about our life together, not about our jobs.

We had a delightful impromptu visit this week from two dear long-time friends who live about 60 miles away near Bellville.  Had not seen them since 2010, so it really did my heart good to get some hugs and spend time with them.  Talking on the phone is great, but it’s just not the same as being together.  We hope to get out their way before long, as I used to do occasionally when I lived in Brenham.

Yes, 2015 had its challenges.  Just to end the year with a bang, my bridge failed the other night, so I’ll need to find a dentist after we see how insurance is going to shake out in the coming weeks.  Oh yeah, it’s been a whiz-bang year, alright.

Radar Bryan TX 10242015

This was an all too often recurring theme in 2015.  We believe we experienced more days in rain/severe weather than not.

We made some decisions which seemed questionable at the time, but we learned from those experiences.  We traveled, saw some sights and had some good times.  The end result is that we have landed well back here in Texas with jobs and a comfortable, pleasant environment for our RV home.  (Yeah, well, check with me in July/August when it’s 2275 F outside!  At least the pool is nearby and electricity is included in our rate here.) 

I am grateful for those experiences and for all the miles we traveled in safety and comfort with no breakdowns or accidents and, even in severe weather, we were never in immediate danger.  We try to be careful and alert, but we have also been very fortunate and watched over, I’m sure. 

If all continues favorably with work, our plans are to remain here for the foreseeable future.  We’ll see what 2016 brings, but I’d be good with just “being” right here.

Hope your holiday season has been safe and joyous.  Happy New Year!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

  

 

 

 

Enough.

This is what Wundermap looked like for us last night.

Storms and Front 12122015

Turned out to be a pretty wild night and early morning.  That system of storms moved through yesterday, taking all day and into the night to do so.  At 4 AM this morning, I was awakened by the first gust of the front on the left coming in.  Whew.  Glad that’s all done.  The rig was shaking and shuddering with some of the heavy wind gusts associated with both storms.  There were tornado touchdowns in Lindale and Willis, Texas.  Apparently the one in Willis flipped some RVs.

Aggieland RV Park After Storms 12132015

View from our patio this morning. Neighbor next door pulled out today, as did some others.

Although my training was going well from the company’s standpoint, I decided to resign from the medical editing job for a variety of reasons.  I found editing to be cumbersome and disjointed and, for the life of me, I simply could not see it being a profitable means of making any sort of decent income even when I would get up to speed.  There were several other factors playing into this which I won’t get into here, so let’s just say it wasn’t for me.  I think I am just too much of a medical transcription purist.  It is sad to see that professional being reduced in both skills required and compensation.  When you dread going to work, it’s obviously not a good match.  I had navigation of the platform conquered and my skills as a medical transcriptionist were absolutely spot on and never in question.  It’s the editing, the way it is done and the “face”of that job today.  It’s just not for me.

If I want to venture back into that arena again in the future, I’ll seek out a smaller company which still does straight transcription, true medical transcription.  Those jobs are few and far between, but there are still some out there at this point.  For now, I’m done with it.

I will say that I cannot recommend anyone putting in the time, effort and expense to go through training for medical editing and to think of it as a viable way to make a living.  A least not without too much time spent with job-related activities that are not compensated (and therefore it will be a struggle to realize a viable income) and to live with a good deal of stress.

Okay.  That’s my viewpoint.

I agonized over the decision for days, perhaps even a couple of weeks.  I picked up a second virtual assistant client last weekend, and that cemented my decision. 

Enough.

I now have two VA clients and am hopeful these will be long-term relationships.  I resigned the MT job and next day devoted myself entirely to my VA clients. 

I actually had fun!  I felt like a weight had been lifted off me.  I was thinking, being a bit creative, learning new platforms and being intellectually stimulated while enjoying myself.  I was productive and energized.  I also made some $$.  I felt like I had a brain again.

It’s been a busy week in that regard, changing gears and setting up some systems (Dropbox, etc.) for work, organizing my email inboxes, phone call meetings, etc.  It’s been work, but I am enjoying it.  I enjoy the interaction with my clients and colleagues.

Perhaps – and hopefully – I have found my niche for this stage of my life.

Dave continues to enjoy his job, and we continue to await word on whether or not he’ll be kept on.  It is a seasonal position, but it would be great if they had a spot for him on a permanent basis.  We’re in a nice groove with the routine and schedule.

Two techs from the RV dealer came out a couple of days ago, dropped the rig’s underbelly and determined the type/brand of gray tank that needs to be ordered.  Seeing as it has to be shipped from Indiana and the holidays are pretty much here, we’re doubtful it will be installed before Christmas.

Now that we’re in a decent environment, we are doing a few things that need attention.  One of those was removal of pine sap spots from our truck which we acquired in May.  Rubbing alcohol and cotton makeup pads did the trick!  Dave did a superb job and our truck looks great again.  So glad that nastiness came off with no ill effects on the truck’s paint.  We are close to the water hookup here, so Dave got a 6-foot hose and some insulation in preparation for heat tracing it now that colder weather will be imminent.  The longer hose is great to have a spare for washing the rig, dog, patio, whatever.

Since I’m caught up on work pretty much today, I may go ahead and put out a few decorations inside.  Or not.  We’ll see.  Hate to put up decorations and then have to take them down if we get the rig into the shop before Christmas.  I’ll see if I can put up some things in such a way that they could remain in place if we boogie down the road to the shop.  We might as well add a bit of holiday cheer and festiveness to our home, eh?

Hope you’ve had a great weekend.  Thanks for stopping by, and stay safe out there!

Two Weeks and a Day

Wow.  We have been here at Aggieland RV Park 2 weeks and a day as of today.  It sure seems like a lot longer to both of us.  That’s not a bad thing, really, it’s just that we have been busy.  The days seem to fly by and run together.  Dave has Tuesdays and Wednesdays off, so our days get a bit blurred; our “weekend” starts Monday night. 

Let’s see.  He survived Black Friday, although it sure was crazy, especially Thanksgiving evening and Friday, and he did work some overtime.  Crazy.  He’s getting a firsthand glimpse of the retail world during the holiday season.  Yes, he worked Thanksgiving, and so did I.  This was the first time in decades that I did not prepare a typical Thanksgiving dinner.  Oh well.  I did cook bridies while he was off that week, so we had a nice meal.  He is settling in quite nicely with his job, even enjoying it now, and we hope – but not expect by any means – that he will be kept on after the holiday season. 

Although I’m still in training on my MT job, I am making good strides.  It’s not the medical terminology/knowledge part, it’s becoming familiar with and implementing the specs, the software requirements, etc.  Things have changed re: formatting, punctuation, etc., since I was an MT 8 years ago, and the specs of the company/accounts are quite different from the “old school” way I was taught and used back when I worked before.  I am still not enamored with voice recognition and being a medical editor; I really still prefer straight transcription.  Well, I’m giving it a whirl, and it is getting better.

My virtual assistant job is percolating along nicely, and I am picking up some additional responsibilities.  I really am enjoying it!  Honestly, if I had a couple of long-term VA clients with ample work, I would seriously consider ditching medical transcription/editing.

I believe I mentioned my work laptop crashed and burned.  Yep, turns out it needed a new hard drive.  It had been in the shop but is home now, and this evening I have it set up to be put back into service.  I’m composing this post on it.  There is still some additional tweaking to be done – getting things back on it – but at least it’s usable again.  I sure missed my larger screen!

Our gray tank is being ordered, being delayed by some issues pinpointing with Keystone exactly what type of tank is needed.  Hopefully we will be having the replacement work done in the next couple of weeks.  They might be able to do it on-site . . . that sure would be nice, although they are only about 10 miles down the road.  We are thankful the facilities are nice here, so it’s a short stroll down to the showers near the front of the park each evening.  Each is a suite unto itself, so one has privacy when showering.  Nice.

Our allergies are finally getting under control.  Yay!  I was able to actually sleep prone in bed last night for the first time in a couple of weeks.  My recliner is comfy, I slept well in it, and I can watch TV from there if I want, but Maggie sure appreciated me being back in bed.  Me, too, I tell ya.  Dave was suffering equally, with the added frustration of plugged ears.  We both are much better with regards to our noses, and his hearing is much improved.

We are even having evening meals together twice a week, the 2 days Dave is off.  I had taken some Mexican lasagna out of the freezer the other day, so that was last night’s dinner accompanied by a green salad.  Tonight was baked fish, wild rice, and sweet corn. The rest of the week, we’re on our own, obviously because of work schedules.

Mr. Sun finally made an appearance today after being AWOL for 4-5 days.  We have had definitely chilly weather – highs in the 40s and 50s – with miserable, drizzly, nonstop rain.  Ugh.  Sure was nice to see sunshine today.  I made a run to a self-serve car wash and washed off a lot of mud from the truck.  It could stand detailing, but at least it looks presentable again now.

Last week I went over to Suddenlink (the park’s ISP) and purchased a modem and then to Walmart for a wireless router.  We now have a direct “pipeline” into the Internet service here at the park, and it is a secure connection via our own router.  Pretty darn speedy, too.  Yay!  We’re wireless and secure in the rig!  Woot!  This is wonderful, as my iPhone is getting a well-deserved rest after serving as a hot spot for a couple of months.   (Note:  The park WiFi is actually quite good, but not secure.  Getting one’s own modem and router is suggested by the park owner/manager if one wants a direct connection and secure network within one’s rig.  If I wasn’t working online from home or we were just here short-term, we would not have done this.  It is groovy, though, eh?)

We have had issues . . . gray tank, computer crashing, Internet and cable going out for 24 hours, miserable rain, allergies, yada, yada, yada, (yes, all in 2 weeks and 1 day) but we truly are liking it here and thankful that we are both working and have landed in a nice environment for our home.

Have I mentioned I really, really appreciate stepping out onto concrete and not mud?

Thanks for stopping by!

24-Hour Rollercoaster

Yesterday until early evening we were pretty darn blissful.  We have been feeling so relieved and grateful to be in this park. 

Aggieland RV Park 11182015

Our site at Aggieland RV Park in Bryan, TX

Dave was off, so we spent the day pretty much settling in here; he even managed a bit of a bike ride in the afternoon.  He cleaned off the mud and organized our storage bin, spare propane tanks and his fixed-gear bike.  They “reside” at the front of our rig in a tidy fashion, and they are clean once again!  With our work week commencing again today, we went to H.E.B. for a few items and I did laundry, vacuumed and tidied up the inside.

We had a nice stroll around the park in the early evening, feeling relaxed, grateful and settled.  We like our site and the park in general.

Then . . . my work laptop crashed.  Long story short, I was up until 5 AM this morning being extremely disappointed in the remote diagnosis/repair service by Geek Squad.  I have had very good service with resolution of issues in the past via telephone assistance (actually speaking with a tech who walked me through things) and dropping off machines at the location in Best Buy.  The first tech disappeared/disconnected after about 1.5 hours.  I hooked up with another tech, whose last action was performed a little over an hour into the session.  Five hours later, I terminated the session.

Both service notes I received today indicated there was something wrong with the Internet at my end.  I am simply not buying that, as I periodically checked my connection, and it was up and running just fine with no blips or hiccups on my end.  If there had been a connectivity issue, they should have contacted me; my phone number was in the records and I indicated I would be available.

So.  First chance I get I’ll drop it off.  In the meantime, much of today has been spent in a sleep-deprived and stressed state getting my personal laptop set up for work both as a virtual assistant and as a medical transcriptionist.  This laptop has a smaller screen with corresponding smaller fonts, and I am finding it much more of an effort to see what’s on the screen.  sigh

And . . . along about mid morning, I noticed a puddle of water under our rig.  Our bathroom gray tank had split and was leaking.  It will have to be replaced and, in the meantime, we will be showering in the facilities here.  Thank goodness they are nice.  I contacted a dealership/repair facility less than 5 miles down the road.  A mobile tech is supposed to come out tomorrow to check it out, do measurements, etc.  They will order the necessary tank and parts.  Once they have everything, we will roll the rig over to have the replacement performed.

The good news is, things could be worse.  No one died today.  That’s always a bonus.  These issues are worrisome and stressful but, in the big scheme of our life, they are bumps in the road.  Having them occur back-to-back like that just freaked me out a bit.  I’m really not complaining, but 2015 has been a tough one for us.  We carry on, though . . .

Today marks 1 month of being here in Bryan.  I think we have done very well to have both landed jobs and moved to a nicer park which is looking good as a long-term spot.

Thanks for stopping by!

Moving Day!

We both awoke around 3:30 this morning due to the crazy wind, rain, thunder, and lightning.  Around 4 AM, we gave in and got up.  Wow.  Seems like that storm just went on and on and on . . .  I had a nice Canadian bacon sandwich for breakfast at an extremely early hour for me, probably around 6 AM.  The rain would slack off for a while and then boom!  Away we would go again with very heavy downpours and really gusty winds. 

Needless to say, our site at Primrose Lane RV Park was an absolute mess, a total mud pit.  We watched some TV, I made a bit of a start on the inside prep for travel, and we dozed a bit in our recliners.  Finally . . . finally a bit after noon, the rain slacked off and then stopped, so we could finally begin getting ready to boogie out of that dump. 

Hitched up and ready go roll, I put the truck in 4-wheel drive.  Moved a couple of feet and the back tires started spinning.  Nudged her back a bit and then forward and we were free!  Free at last!  Tires on pavement, switched the truck back into 2-wheel drive, and . . . nothing.  It stayed in 4×4.  The tow/haul light wouldn’t come on, either.

Ruh roh.

Okay.  No panic here.  Truck into neutral, got it into 2-wheel drive, and the tow/haul light was shining nicely. 

Whew.  That was exciting!

The short 10-minute (if that) trip to Aggieland RV Park was uneventful.  I managed to run the rig through a few puddles to try and get some of the mud off the tires.  Got a bit off, but we (the rig and us) were a bit of a mess when we arrived at Aggieland.

Mud from Primrose Lane RV Park 11172015

Mud spatters on our rig from the truck tires

Dave did a great job of cleaning off that mess above, as well as washing away the mud we tracked onto our lovely concrete site. 

Okay.  All set up and lookin’ good.  Lookin’ good, that is, until we realized we would not be able to park the truck beside the rig with the bedroom slide deployed.  We have our own parking spot beside our RV, but it’s just too small for our big 1-ton, long-bed diesel F350.

Ruh roh. 

We experimented with backing the truck into the spot and parking it at a slant in front of the RV.

Nuts.

The only thing to do was to hitch up again and move the rig back a bit on the concrete pad.  Once accomplished, we unhitched (again), and found that we can park the truck at a slant in front of the rig, get the truck out of the street, and have the bedroom slide open.  We just have to be careful on opening the truck driver’s door; there’s room to open it enough to get out, but not enough to open it all the way. 

We’re good.  Finally.

We resumed setup in our new space and, when finished, realized it had taken us about 3 hours from landing to setup completion.  That’s a new record for us. 

We have no TV reception tonight because I didn’t make it to the office for a cable box prior to the closing of the office today.  Oh well.  There’s tomorrow.

We are on an end site, so we only have a neighbor on our door side.  The small pool is close by, as are restrooms.  A dumpster isn’t far away, and there’s a street light across the street.  The distance to the laundry room isn’t bad, either.  We have a small patio, and our door lines up nicely with it. 

Although our neighbor is fairly close and I’d rather have a bit more room between us, I am just grateful to have concrete from here to the truck versus mud.  Oh!  The grass here is real.  By “real,” I mean it is well manicured and grass, not scraggly bits of grass here and there in the mud.  There is room nearby to walk Maggie without having to venture off into skeery parts unknown.

Oh happy day!

The forecast is sunshine tomorrow, so I’ll try to get some photos.  Dave has tomorrow off, too, so that gives us a chance to get some groceries, do a bit of laundry, and settle in at our new spot.  Yay!

Thursday will be back to work for both of us.  Dave is on a 2-11 PM shift.  I work my virtual assistant job in the mornings (and whenever) and then tackle medical transcription in the afternoons/evenings. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Ya’ll stay safe out there, okay?

November Mid Point

It has been a busy 2 weeks since my last post.  Here’s what has been happening:

  • Dave is working his evening shifts after completing training last week.  He aced the 12 training modules (all training done via computer) and finished before the “youngsters” there for training.  Maturity rocks!  He has learned there is an entire universe of hair care products for us gals.  Ha!  He will have Tuesday and Wednesday off each week; that’s the schedule for now.
  • My MT training has been going well, and I feel better about it, like I am getting the hang of how this company wants things done, account specs, etc.  Seems I have developed a cold ? allergies ? and have been somewhat under the weather, so my mentor decided it best to postpone my training until next week in order for me to get over this.  Plugged ears are not conducive to hearing at one’s peak performance.  I agree with that, as it gives me time to rest (and I have been taking cat naps off and on, and even conked out totally for one entire day) and turn my attention to some other things I simply had not the time to tackle since our arrival here.  I am looking forward to getting back to the training, though.
  • On the virtual assistant (VA) front, I am having a grand time with this and have been given additional tasks.  Yay!  I am hopeful this will be a long-term relationship.
  • Although yesterday was Friday the 13th, we had a bit of good luck.  We decided to cruise over to the other RV park (where we are on the waiting list) to see if there was going to be an opening any time soon, as our rent here is due next Thursday. Lo and behold . . . yes!  I will check back Monday morning, but right now it looks like we will be moving next week, hopefully Tuesday when Dave is off.  I simply cannot express what a relief that will be.  I really think the amount of dust and dampness here is a major contributor to my allergy issues.  Aside from that, there is no good/safe place to walk Maggie here and . . . well, you’ve heard me talk about this place.  It has served the purpose as a landing spot here, but it sure will look good in the rearview mirror.
  • We have had only a day here and there with (perhaps) sunshine; the rest of the time it has been raining.  The ground has not had a chance to totally dry out; we are still stepping in mud to get to our kitchen dump valve towards the rear of our rig.  Ugh.  When it does dry out a bit, there is dust everywhere outside; this site is more dirt/mud than gravel.  We did have to hitch up and place another Lynx Leveler pad under one of our front landing legs; the bottom one had sunk into the ground.  Lovely.  It was lightly raining when Maggie and I were out just a bit ago, and there is more rain on the way beginning tonight through Tuesday.  Lovely, I say, lovely!  El Nino is supposed to bring us a wet winter, so being in a concrete site is really going to be a good thing.
  • Yesterday afternoon was devoted to getting us signed up for health insurance in 2016.  Not a difficult task, but tedious and time-consuming.  I certainly can see how folks might struggle to do so with little knowledge of how insurance works, all the terms, etc.

Heart, thoughts and prayers go to the people of Paris and all of France. 

Ya’ll be safe out there, please?  Be alert.  Be aware of your surroundings. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Whirlwind Days with Good Things Happening!

Yesterday I had a 3-hour training session via phone and Go To Meeting on the transcription platform I will be using in my medical transcription (MT) job. It was good training, but – wow – was my head reeling afterwards! Meant to provide a walk-through of the process, it was certainly not expected for me to remember everything. Everything that was covered in the session is provided in the 29 attachments I received the night before. Manuals on company guidelines, specs for each hospital account, platform and computer setup manuals, etc. Again I say wow!

Taking today off (to gather what wits remain in my head, run a couple errands, get my workstation and “stuff” organized, do some cooking and chill a bit), I’ll enter the mentoring process tomorrow and get to work! Yoinks!

Good things happening? Yes, indeed!

Dave had submitted applications to Lowe’s, Home Depot, Walmart and some other places. This was all done online, which seems to be the trend these days. Monday he received a call from Walmart to schedule an interview the following morning (yesterday). We drove out to that store Monday evening in order to locate it, as it was a different one from where we had shopped last week.

The next morning, in dense fog, he left for his appointment. When he arrived home, he announced that he was offered a full-time position! We talked about it a bit (no real discussion needed), then he called back and accepted the job.

Go, Dave! You rock, sweetheart!

Woot! I am sooo proud of him!

  • This is his first application/employment process he has done on his own in the 10 years he has been in the States. Yes, he did work as a pipefitter in MN back in 2006-2007, but that was through the union local and pretty much a done deal from the get. (That’s not to dim the fact that Dave was an accomplished pipefitter, having entered that profession as an apprentice in his youth back in Scotland. He worked for the Royal Navy aboard nuclear submarines, carriers, and the like. The safety of naval personnel aboard those vessels was literally in his hands. Shoddy work could result in the loss of lives. Yep, he was good.)  The union was a brotherhood. Other than that, we have secured employment and worked together on a team basis. His landing a full-time job would be an accomplishment at any age but, especially at age 63, it is awesome!
  • He laughed, saying he used to work aboard nuclear submarines and now he will be working at Walmart. You know what, though? At our age and with our life priorities, we’re not building careers; the nature of our work is not pivotal in our lives. Our focus is on our life together and enjoying that life. Having a sustainable income that keeps us from dipping into our savings on a monthly basis until pensions become a reality in a few years is all we need.
  • Our work hours will mesh nicely, as he will be working 2 until 11 PM and I will be working 3 until 10 PM once I’m out of the mentoring phase.

I think we’re doing pretty darn well. In two-and-a-half weeks, we have both landed jobs with income that should meet our needs. Next up is moving to the better RV park, which could happen at any time; however, not likely until at least later this month or possibly into December. Still lots to do . . . settle in with our jobs, review health insurance options for 2016 and get us enrolled, schedule doctor visits, get my scan, wash/wax the rig once we have moved (impossible here, as we’re basically in a mud pit), etc.

We’re off to a good start, though, and are very grateful for the good things being manifested in our life.

Thanks for stopping by! Ya’ll be safe out there, okay?