Sunday Meditation

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Matthew 6:33 NKJV

My Friday Fave is reMarkable!

Y’all, I love my reMarkable 2 tablet.

reMarkable 2

So many things about it are perfect for me. It’s lightweight. It’s easy to read in most light conditions. It’s file system makes sense. It’s versatile. It saves space.

You get the idea.

I first looked at this tablet based on the recommendation of my friend Kaye. She has the prior version and loves it.

Since we live and roam full time in our 24’ travel trailer I thought reMarkable could be a good solution to my paper notebook habit. I love to journal and have used composition notebooks for years as my journals. But with limited space I needed a new option.

I love to journal longhand and really didn’t want to journal in my phone’s notes or in Word. I love the feel of physically writing. Something about it feeds my creativity.

In the three months I’ve had my reMarkable 2 I have grown to value the options it gives me for writing whether it’s journaling, brainstorming, draft writing, or even planning.

And bonus-it’s lefty friendly! Yay!

Tell Me If You’ve Used This

Happy Monday!!

It’s a new week with new opportunities and new challenges. Hope it’s a great week for you.

So, we’re working on changing some things in our camper to make it even better for us. More on that in a couple of weeks.

Today, I’m asking for your help. Have any of you used this product? If so, I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments. If we end up purchasing it, we would use it for a freezer only.

If you have experience with a similar product but different brand, I’d love to know what you think?

Winter Storm February 2021

You know the Boy Scout motto?

Well, we were not great Boy Scouts.

We were most definitely not prepared.

We moved from our campsite near Knoxville, Tennessee to a campground in southern Middle Tennessee on February 12. We knew a winter storm barreled toward the south central part of the country, but after checking multiple weather apps it looked like it was going to perhaps just skim the edge of where we scheduled to camp for three weeks.

We were wrong.

Very, very wrong.

We arrived the afternoon of February 12. We headed into the nearest town on Saturday morning February 13 to buy groceries. We got up Sunday morning planning to go get propane, but the roads were covered with black ice. We tried to get out of the campground, but slid all over the place.

We turned around and came back to the camper.

According to the weather apps we use we were going to get up to 0.2″ of ice followed by up to 8″ of snow over the next several days. Temps that just a few days before were predicted to fall into the high teens were now predicted into the single digits.

Great.

The storm hit.

The temps fell.

Our water froze.

But we have much for which to give thanks.

On Tuesday, February 16 people came around to make sure everyone had propane. We were able to get both our tanks filled. With temps in the single digits at night we were burning through propane even though we set our heat at 55 degrees for a couple of days and did not use our stove except for coffee.

Even though our water froze in our camper, the spigot outside did not. We were able to tote water from outside to run through our Berkey water purification system to drink. We could also use the toted water to flush our toilet.

Until the black tank got full.

And frozen.

Thankfully we have a Thetford Porta Potti. That came in super handy. In fact, we like it so much we may remove our RV toilet and use the Porta Potti until we can get a composting toilet installed later this year.

We did not lose electricity. That in itself is amazing! We were able to run our small space heater on low to augment the propane furnace.

Finally, on Sunday, February 21 we were able to get out. We drove to Lawrenceburg for groceries and propane. I can’t describe how great it felt to get out and drive somewhere.

We learned a couple of lessons during that week. Probably more than a couple, but I’ll get to those in another post. I’m only going to mention a couple here.

First, God’s provision is no joke. Were we comfortable? No, not always. Were we concerned about our frozen water? Of course. But we had enough heat, enough water, enough food, solid electricity. We had everything we needed. There were many who lost power, ran out of propane, food throughout the country.

Second, neither of us is a fan of cold weather camping. I knew this about myself already. But that frozen week brought home just how much I dislike temps below 40 degrees. I’m all about chasing mild weather. And, that’s our plan going forward.

I made some other personal observations, but that will also be another post.

We’re just beyond grateful to be on the other side of the winter storm of February 2021.

Real RV Life

I’ll be the first to admit there is nothing now, never has been, and likely never will be anything about my life that is Pinterest ready. LOL

Y’all, real full time RV life is messy, dirty, cluttered, and often organization in progress at all times. Yes, it’s amazing and I’m so grateful we’re living it. But don’t believe the staged photos. Nope, don’t do it!

Also understand that most campers are not designed with full time RV life in mind. Most are designed for a week or two vacation a couple of times a year. Or a hunting weekend. Or a tailgate weekend. You get what I’m saying.

So we’ve discovered the sofas in our camper are some of the most uncomfortable furniture we’ve ever encountered. Of course, you can’t know that in the 30 minutes you spend walking through campers at the dealership.

Today we’re removing the jackknife sofa in the slide out of our camper. We had hoped to put a small table and a couple of chairs in that space, but the slide out in our small camper is over the wheel well. This means the slide out does not go all the way to the floor of the camper. Therefore we won’t be able to use the space for a table. That’s okay. We can still use the space for our little plastic dorm room cabinets and Daniel’s ukuleles and Jade’s bed. Much better use of the space than this horrible sofa.

The offensive sofa.

Praying very hard this works as planned. All I know is that I cannot spend one more day trying to work sitting on this thing.

Five Things We’ve Learned in our First Five Months of Full Time RV Life

This list makes it sound like we don’t love our camper and RV life. That’s not the case. We love our camper and our truck. It’s true we’ll love RV life more when it’s safe to travel again. But we are so grateful to be living our dream. 

However, it is true that you don’t know what you don’t know. Even after two years of research and lots of soul searching what we thought at the outset would work great for us turns out to maybe not be the best choices.

With that, here are five things we’ve learning from our first five months of full time RV life that we want to do differently.

  1. Our space is just a bit too small. Yes, we could get rid of more stuff. But honestly at some point minimalism transitions to austere which is not us. Our travel trailer is 24’4”. After living in her for five months, we agree that we would like to transition to a Class C motorhome in the neighborhood of 30’. It’s not that we want more stuff. We don’t. Truly. The clutter of having to stack things, leave things out on the counter that I would love to put away, having to shuffle things every time I get something out of the cabinet gets frustrating. 
  2. A dedicated bedroom with a door is a must. We chose a Murphy bed layout because we thought it made sense to not waste space on a room that is only used to sleep. We talked about having to go to bed and get up in the morning at the same time with the Murphy bed layout. We talked about the possible weirdness of our bed being in our living room. But after living in the space for five months we realize a dedicated bedroom is not a waste of space. Daniel sometimes likes to stay up later than I do. Right now he can’t really because our bed folds out into the living space. I must have some quiet time in the morning. I like to get up a little earlier than he does. With our current situation, that doesn’t work well at all. If this were a two week vacation, it would be fine. But living with our entire everything in one big room is not the best choice for us.
  3. Our next RV will be a motorhome. Not a huge one. We want a Class C around 30ish feet. We want to tow a small car. Don’t get me wrong. We love and are beyond grateful for our travel trailer and truck. Sometimes (most of the time) a small car is much more efficient than a big super duty truck once you’re at the campground and just driving around or going to the grocery. In a motorhome the dogs would be more comfortable on moving days instead of being cramped up in the backseat of the truck. 
  4. We need a dinette/desk/table. We need somewhere to work and to eat. We currently have nice folding trays to eat and to use as computer stations. It works. It’s not great. Our current set up is not even close to ergonomic. In all honesty, I’m not sure you could have a truly ergonomic workstation in a small RV. However, it can be much better than what we’re doing now. 
  5. Cleaning a smaller space is not necessarily easier. Yes, we have two medium-large dogs. Yes, they both shed. I really thought it would be easier to sweep and dust on the daily. Nope. It’s not. It does take less time, but there are all kinds of cracks and nooks and little tiny spaces hair can get into. And there’s no place for the dogs to go while I try to sweep up. I’m not sure how to make this better. We do need some type of very small vacuuming system. Although, I’m not sure where we would store it. 

Even with these five things we’d like to change, we wouldn’t change the choice to take a chance on full time RV life. We still think it’s the best way to live for us. I’m sure in five months I’ll have five more things I’ve learned. Every day brings something new, for sure. 

Sunday Morning Meditation

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Romans 12:2, about transforming my life by renewing my mind, by adjusting my reality based on what I know about God rather than living stagnant based on how I feel. The verses in the image below give me a direction for study for how to put this into practice. My vision is the same, but I’m learning that it’s God inspired. I’m learning that God has already provided the tools, weapons, resources I need to walk in the vision He’s given.