Category Archives: The Adventures

Our adventures in travel nursing

Happy place

We have been camping in Texas this past week getting ready for a family reunion. I was mowing the yard around the cabin and I realized that I’m happy living on a boat but I would be just as happy living on a ranch. I guess that means I’m happy.

   
 Being happy with what you have is a great feeling. I haven’t been able to do any sewing but I do have some English paper piecing I can work on if I want.

Oskar dog loves it out here too. He’s been chasing cows and socializing with everyone and getting lots of treats hobbling around on his three legs. He just wasn’t thrilled with the blue bonnet photo shoot. But when in Texas in the spring one must get photos in the blue bonnets.

  
We even have an antique pedestal tub and a real toilet in the bathroom. This is going to be a fancy rustic hunting cabin and I can’t wait to spend some more time out here.

   

Hot dogs for dinner

We have been having hot dogs for dinner a lot more recently and it has been great! We have been living in Islamorada for the last five weeks. Living in the keys is so much more conducive to getting outside and being active than other cities we have lived in. This area is just so beautiful! Our marina is full of friendly people and we have been brushing up on our corn hole skills in the evenings.

  
Down here Lance gets off work at 3pm so there is still enough daylight left for us to get out and explore. I have come to the realization that experiences are so much more important than having a well rounded dinner every night. That picture up above looking down in to the water…no filter, the water is that gorgeous shade of blue/green. The sunset photo below…no filter, just beautiful sunsets as we cruised back in to the marina.

  
One day last week he wanted to go fishing when he got home from work. I didn’t have any meat thawed out or figured out what I was going to fix yet so I decided to join him. The weather was beautiful and the water was beautiful and the fish were biting. We caught tons of Mutton Snapper and Yellow Tail Snapper. Almost a fish with every cast. Then we had a couple of manatees come say hello everyone when we were tying up the fishing boat. I really do heart manatees after seeing them up close as often as we do down here.

  
It is 100% fine that I didn’t have dinner figured out that night. Know why? We caught our dinner and took it to Ocean View for the “you catch it, we cook it” special. It is the first time I’ve ever caught my own dinner. It is also the first time I really enjoyed a fish dinner (fried of course)! 

  
One of the things that living down here has made me realize is that these experiences and these memories that we are making are better than a fancy dinner every night. They are better than adulting 24/7. So take some time to just enjoy your environment and have hot dogs for dinner. Not every meal has to be square. And read more! I’m happy that I’m able to sit on the back of the boat and enjoy a good book.

I don’t do resolutions…

This time of year people are always asking “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” I can honestly say that I have never made a New Year’s resolution. What I have done though is set goals.

Just because the calendar year changes doesn’t mean you have to make any major life changes. I think people should always try to be better and do better, not just the first few weeks of January.

Last January I decided that I wanted to get in shape so I started running…slowly and short distances at first but now I can run 4 miles and I’m in better shape than when I was in college. The Couch to 5K app is a great way to ease in to a running routine. Then I added a Jillian Michaels kickboxing DVD that I could do at home. And I even have enough room on the boat to continue doing that workout also.

Another goal for this year is to get better at this whole blog thing. That was a goal for last year too and I did better than I had the year before but there is plenty of room for improvement. And I think I’ve figured out how I’m going to stay motivated for that one!

Goal 1: post at least once a week

Goal 2: sew at least one new bag a month from one of the awesome bag books that I have but haven’t had time to do yet. Have you seen Julie and Julia? We watched that movie again last night and that gave me this idea to help keep me motivated. I managed to squeak out a new wallet for myself just before the new year and I am loving it! This is the Necessary Clutch Wallet by Emmaline Patterns.

   
   
Goal 3: have more fun. We are spending the next three months in the Florida Keys. Our welcoming committee was about 10 dolphins swimming alongside the boat at sunset after we crossed under the U.S. 1 bridge.

Goal 4: make more quilts! I love quilts and want to make more of them. I’ve already finished one quilt top for the year so I’d say that goal is off to a pretty good start.

  
^^^^^ proof that I’ve got goal four started already with s finished jelly roll race quilt top! This one is for me…but Oskar thinks it is for him

So Happy New Year everyone! Don’t make resolutions that are unrealistic. Just set smaller goals for yourself that are more manageable then celebrate when you accomplish them.

Life on a boat…the first two months.

Moving on to a boat was actually much easier than I expected. The first three weeks I was on the boat alone while my husband was out of town and that allowed me time to get all of my fabric organized. I’ve discovered that it is like living in a tiny house with a few exceptions. Luckily we are docked at a marina so that makes the transition easier. Here is a list of things that I do differently now since moving on to the boat.

   

  1. I enjoy the view…every. single. day. What’s not to enjoy when you get to see sunsets over the bridge like in the photo.
  2. I dirty as few dishes as possible because I have to wash them by hand.
  3. I make much smaller portions now because we have a smaller oven and a tiny fridge. Luckily we do have a small freezer so that helps me buy more than a couple of days worth of groceries at a time.
  4. I climb steps…so many steps. Five steps to get on to the boat. Five steps to get inside the boat. Five steps to get in to the aft cabin. One step to get in to the bathroom. Three steps to go down in to the kitchen. One step to go down in to the front cabin where I keep the fabric.
  5. I have to monitor the level in the water tank. It’s no fun to run out of water when you have shampoo in your hair. Trust me on that one. Always check the water level before taking a shower.
  6. I take Oskar to the dog park every day. It is right next to the marina and he loves walking over there.
  7. I’ve learned that I can do the kickboxing dvd on the boat. Jump squats just aren’t as high because my hands hit the ceiling. Oskar has learned that when I put his dog bed up on the couch, he needs to hop up there for his after breakfast nap so that he is out of the way.
  8. I upped the DVD plan for Netflix because I still haven’t figured out the best internet option for us and the rabbit ears only pick up three channels. One of them is in Spanish and the other two are only Paternity Court and Judge Brown and Steve Wilkos type shows. I also watch Hoodwinked a lot. I wish I had my dvd’s that are in storage back in TN.
  9. I watch more old Disney movies. The boat had a dvd/vhs combo on it so I put that one in the aft cabin and loaded up on Disney VHS tapes for $0.35 and $0.69 at Goodwill and $0.50 at the Humane Society Thrift Store.

   

   
Oskar has adjusted well to being a boat dog. He has gotten used to being picked up to go up and down the stairs. He loves that we go to the dog park so often and he loves sleeping smack dab in the middle of the bed because there is no room for a dog bed in the aft cabin. Yes he is spoiled but we’ve had three more years with him than the doctors said we would so we are thankful for every day we get with him and try to make his life as awesome as possible. He also loves that he can keep watch over what is happening on the kitchen counter. 

  

Decluttering the non-essentials

I dropped my sewing machine off for a tune-up yesterday. I’ve never been without it so I’m feeling a little lost. Ok, not really lost, but I do miss it.

This is the perfect time to start decluttering the non-essentials in preparation of moving day…moving to the boat day that is. Which is happening in two days!!!! 

Over the past year we have been living with less since we move every 13 weeks. To be honest, I haven’t really missed anything that we have in that storage unit waiting for us to settle down. It is now time to go down to even less. 

When you learn to live with less, it makes life simpler. I’ll go through my clothes and downsize there again. I’m already down to about a fourth of what I used to have in the closet. You know what’s awesome? A closet containing clothes that you actually wear instead of one full of things that you don’t. I have four pairs of shoes. FOUR, because it isn’t really necessary to have 20 pairs of shoes (like I did before we started this traveling)

I’ll go through all of the beauty products and get rid of the items I don’t use on a weekly basis (think little hotel bottles of lotion, bars of soap, perfume I haven’t worn in years…). The little hotel soaps and bottles of lotion are going to my nieces who think it is really neat to have little bars of soap.

The biggest challenge for me is going to be deciding what, if any, fabric isn’t going to be able to make this move. I can declutte everywhere else but I always struggle with the fabric. 

  
Wish me luck as I spend the next few days decluttering and mentally preparing for moving day. 

 

 

The adventures are getting more exciting

We have been traveling for just over a year now and this past Saturday we bought a new “house.” And by house I mean boat. It is a safe bet that our travels from here on out will keep us close to the ocean.

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The apartment we are in at the moment has the tiniest kitchen that I have ever used. The oven doesn’t work, nor do the smoke detectors. The silver lining is that our lease is only for three months so we only have to live here for 10 more weeks. The tiny kitchen with a water heater and AC unit in the pantry, tiny stove, a sink the size of one you would expect to find in the bathroom and lack of cabinet space is helping me prepare for my new kitchen. The new kitchen even has a double sink and a working oven.

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I am actually really excited about this new adventure we are embarking on. Yes my sewing area is tiny and I am going to have to downsize the amount of fabric that I travel with but the main salon is an open area with plenty of room for me to set up my table for cutting fabric and my ironing board and then fold them up and put them away at the end of the day.

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First tasks: decide on a name, make new curtains and maybe reupholster the couch.

Stay tuned for updates to the interior!

Here’s to new adventures!

In search of the perfect live aboard

The next adventure in travel nursing for us is going to be finding the perfect live aboard boat. Trying to find monthly rentals, that allows a dog, has room for parking the fishing boat and is affordable during “season” in Southern Florida is proving to be a little challenging.

So today we are driving around the state looking at live aboard boats to see what size would be good for us and how much we can afford (which means we will be buying one that will require a lot of TLC and elbow grease).

One of the benefits of living on a boat is that I won’t have to pack every three months! We’ll just pull in the lines and head off to the next assignment. Hopefully we will be able to find the perfect boat for us in the next three months so that our options on which assignments to take aren’t quite so limited.

This little gem is a boat we found just cruising the canals in Port Charlotte. Always keeping our eyes open for boats that are looking for someone to love them.

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We have palm trees…in our yard!

After an eight week break between assignments, we are now living in Florida! I for one hope that there are no more periods of time that we are “in limbo” because it was too stressful living out of a suitcase at a friend’s house for six of those weeks then moving somewhere else for another week and a half before heading south.

It took us three days to find somewhere to live (in our price range, that would do a three month term and allowed a dog) down here. We got here at the beginning of what the locals call “season”. That time of year when all of the snow birds descend upon the state of Florida.

I think we found the perfect house for us here in Port Charlotte. It is only two miles from the hospital, 0.8 miles from the nearest fabric store and it backs up to a canal and has a dock in the back yard.

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The end of the first assignment

It’s hard to believe that we only have five days left in Colorado. We are headed out for one last camping trip in the mountains tonight.

We’ll be headed back to Nashville for a few weeks before the next assignment. Colorado is beautiful but we are going back south for the winter and may come back next summer. That’s part of the beauty of travel nursing…you are able to move around and stay in a comfortable climate.

Last night’s dishes

Today as I was trying to make sure I had everything packed for my trip I noticed last night’s dishes in the sink that I had been too tired to wash.

One more thing I need to do before leaving the house. That got me thinking. My husband has it easy. When he is going on a trip he just has to remember his clothes and his toothbrush. My morning, not so much. Here’s how the last 30 minutes at home went for me today:

Wash the dishes.
Take the frisbee out of the suitcase.
Take out the trash.
Food and water for the pooch.
Pack everything.
Set out the pooch’s medicine.
Clean out the fridge.
Take the frisbee out of the suitcase.
Check the flight status.
Take the pooch outside.
Double check I’ve got everything I need.
Explain to the pooch that “I’ll be home in a couple of days” as he looks at me with those sad “take me with you” eyes.
Grab the keys.
Kiss the pooch goodbye.
Leave the house.

Then both of my flights were cancelled due to weather in Dallas so I am currently in a van headed to Denver so that I can make it to New Orleans before midnight.
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