Staying Connected

How do you stay connected while on the go?

I sure don’t know everything about technology – mostly enough to get into trouble.  I originally hoped this blog would also be a learning tool for us as well as a vehicle to share with our followers. We would love to receive contributions from fellow travelers! Participation and brain storming are great tools, but how do we make it happen?

I believe the most difficult question is: What is the best way to stay connected on the road? The answer keeps changing with the times.  Technology and the digital world evolve way faster than we do! More and more people are buying RV’s and working remotely, but how? What equipment is being used?  What services?

I have researched this subject TO DEATH.  I found some great information…until learning the article was written in 2014. So here’s what I want to know:

What do you use for Internet service? Cell service?  WIFI? TV reception? Do you use power boosters? Tell me how you work on the road.  What is the best setup?

 

 

 

 

Uh…yeah…The Instant Pot

So…I couldn’t wait to get my new Instant Pot. I figured it would be a great replacement for the old crock pot, rice cooker, steamer and a pressure cooker I was never inclined to buy. Actually, the thought of using one was terrifying.  You see…my grandmother and her sister-in-law blew up tamales all over the kitchen once.  So my grandma never made them again and died with her tamale recipe. This could never happen to me if I never used a pressure cooker. End of story.

The above story probably happened over 50 years ago.  Surely technology and safety have both come a long way since then. The fact that the Instant Pot had pressure cooking as an option was not a deal breaker either way.  I have always made good use out of a crock pot – even made an outstanding lasagna in one more than once.  The rice cooker I had to let go had seen better days as well.  I might walk through some fear if by some slim chance I learned how to use the scary feature on this new gadget.

So I dove in.  Sink or swim my grandpa used to say. Why not see what all the hype is about and why don’t we do it on Saint Patrick’s Day with a corned beef?  A corned beef that was supposed to take an hour cooking time and 20 minutes of a “natural release”. I had to look up what that meant as well as “quick release”…and “venting” and…it goes on and on.  I think my initial issue was the seal around the lid.  Now it’s getting late and Mimi’s Cafe was having a corned beef special that night.  Off we went like starving animals in search of a quick meal.

We came back home and let the new kitchen appliance slow cook all night instead. Meat was good – cabbage…not so much.  I’m not giving up, but now I’m a bit obsessed in getting it right!  By the way, there are some great You Tube videos on how to properly set up an Instant Pot.  WAY BETTER than the instruction manual. So I’m going back to the drawing board and You Tube for more information.  Then I’ll come back here when I know something!

That’s my story – that’s my plan – and I’m sticking to it!

 

 

 

 

“Home”


What does home mean? Is it where you sleep? Eat? Keep your clothes? Store your stuff? All of these have applied to my various homes. I grew up in a brand new, small, three bedroom, two bath home with an attached garage.  My first home away from home was a two bedroom, single-wide mobile home. There’s something familiar about that! Since this first sign of independence, paying my own bills and playing grown up, I have lived in apartments, condos and have owned a few homes.

Life has taken on many different forms including the places I have previously called home. Ideas of where I would finally settle have also changed.  Most of my adult life was spent within a ten mile radius of where I grew up. Leaving the area was something I had not considered until I was 38 years old. My husband and I made a huge choice and life changing decision to move 100 miles away and buy a house in a strange town. This moment was when I learned big change, although scary, could be a good thing. We were happy, successful and financially stable…for about 20 years.

Sometime in the midst of adulthood, getting our daughter raised, changing career fields a couple of times and life happening, we were making other plans.  We dreamed of retirement…someday. The thought of being old enough to enjoy the thought of not working always seemed so far in the future and untouchable. It seemed easy to dream about something that was so far away. Surely money would be less of an issue by then. We could sell our house, liquidate, buy an RV to travel and live in for the rest of our lives, and live off…wait. Live off what? Our 401K’s? Will Social Security still be available? What will healthcare be like in the future?

Then more of “life” happened.  The market tanked. Our house decreased in value. My husband lost his job and got sick temporarily. We lost our house and moved into a small apartment, closer to both of our jobs, saving around $800 in gas money.  The meaning of home had changed yet again.  Phase I of downsizing began!  Less furniture, less collectibles, less clothes…less everything.  I never expected to feel so free letting go of stuff. We were still happy…as happy as The Bickersons could be.  We are still working on that!

We have learned STUFF does not make a home. In fact, getting rid of STUFF makes a happier home – for us anyway. Enter Phase II of the downsizing. The hard part is letting go of things I’ve had all of my life. The purging is so much easier once the claw marks have made their way down them. Letting go is really not that bad, although truthfully, our daughter is now the owner of our most treasured things; i.e. an oak entertainment center made especially for us by my father-in-law.

I love our new home.  It represents everything we have worked hard for, our new life together, a dream of travel, but most of all, freedom from anything tying us down.  Our new address will be whatever we make it – geographically, physically and emotionally.

The bottom line:  We can always go back to sticks and bricks if it’s not for us after all. For now…we’ve made our bed and we’ll be lying in it until it no longer serves us!