Monday, February 23, 2015

Friendships and Condensation

"I guess it's true what is said about "leavings", that you never really know how much someone has become a part of who you are until they leave you."  - Karl and Judi

Two lovely and kind and interesting people whom I met through my work at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary as volunteer coordinator wrote these very expressive words to me when they heard I was retiring from the sanctuary.  Their message made me cry, as they touched on the exact sentiment I feel toward all of the people I am leaving.

I have been super lucky to have met so many amazing people here on Cape Cod, through work, the Cape Cod Bird Club and Festival, the Dennis Conservation Commission.  Many have meant a lot to me and I do experience mixed emotions when I think about the impression each has made on my life.  And although I leave many friends behind, having them in my life makes them a part of who I am.

I am a pretty sentimental person, and I wear my emotions on my sleeve.  So, in this next several weeks, before we depart Cape Cod, I suspect I will be going through a few boxes of Kleenex!

Close-up of HyperVent FabricOn another note...prepping for the Odyssey...we have been receiving many UPS boxes...still!  Most of it is smallish stuff since that's basically all we can fit!  But, we got a big roll of Hypervent in a 5' tall box the other day.  I learned about Hypervent on the Camp-Inn forum from another full-timer, Jenn.  This is a marine product of stiff curly threads of spun polymer woven into a large, open, 3/4" thick configuration that is bonded to a breathable white fabric layer. Stiff yet flexible, the texture of HyperVent is not felt through the thinnest of mattresses, so they say!  It promotes airflow and lifts the mattress off a possible damp floor.

It eliminates condensation, water, mildew, and other moisture problems on boats and ships.  Since the teardrop cabin can be prone to condensation, this was recommended by Jenn to go under our mattress.  It makes sense to us, so we will cut it to size and give it a try!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Night/Tuesday Morning

It's 1:00am and I can't sleep.  It seems I can't quiet my mind.  All I think about, all Michael thinks about, is the full-time camping that lies ahead of us.  I lay in bed trying to sleep only to find I am making to-do lists in my head, envisioning travels across the USA, wondering how we are going to be rid of every little (and big) thing by the time we leave the Cape (in one month!!)...and so on.

It is a combination of feelings and emotions.  Truly there is excitement...and stress!  I am sitting here looking as the big USA map on our living room wall, practically drooling over what travels are ahead of us.  Then I look at my work table and see files and papers, each requiring some sort of action.  The Amazon boxes we have emptied only to be filled with things to ship to my sisters are scattered about.  Three bags of dishes I am giving to a friend.  Odd pieces of furniture yet to go out to the buyers.

Following other RVing blogs by full-timers and part-timers shows us we aren't feeling anything unexpected.  It is a huge life-style change.  We get that.  And, we are embracing it.  We will do well as we love camping and a teardrop is luxury compared to tent camping which we've done all of our years together.  But worries creep up about safety, unexpected (and expected) expenses, staying healthy.  But, for me, the excitement creeps back in again and I feel confident about it all.

And, I reassure myself that we are actually getting the significant things done, even with a hiccup now and then...which keeps things interesting!  And then I just remembered something I needed to do by Sunday and didn't.  So my head spins once more!

My to-do list for later today has another "to do" on it. 

It will all work out!   :-)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Making a Home

Cape Cod is having another blizzard and all I can do is imagine a winter in a place with sun and warm temperatures!  Ooooh la la!  I know next winter we won't be dealing with all of this snow!

We got photos of our completed teardrop -- it passed owner-inspection, is paid for and is OURS!!  Pick-up date is April 1st!!

Our new home!

The Galley (with cooler, table that attaches to side of teardrop)

Interior - foot of the bed and storage cubbies

Head of the bed and more cubbies

"Excited" is only one word to describe how we goes beyond that to an appreciation of the outdoor lifestyle we will enjoy.  "Outdoors"  -- it is a strong emotion.  A sense of freedom.  The many, many opportunities to see our beautiful country.  Meeting new friends.  It is an appreciation and emotion that is hard to describe!

Well, we have ordered many essentials for our trip this past week and it is making the Odyssey seem even more real!  Laundry is a big consideration so we purchased our washer and dryer:

Wonderwash:  a hand-cranked washing machine that is so cool.  

Best Drying Rack:  check out this drying rack found at,

We love the design and that it packs so small!  Space is a definite consideration in the car!

And other purchases:

Renogy solar panels, 100 watt, that can charge our camper battery.

Solo Campfire Stove: a biomass gasification stove, a super-efficient low emission stove that burns twigs, etc.  We also bought a Trangia alcohol stove that can work in conjunction with the Solo stove (alcohol stove is National Park friendly).

Solo stove

Trangia Alcohol Stove

This gives you an idea of the fun stuff we'll get to play with!  Toys are us!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Tick tock...

All of a sudden the time is shrinking, from now until take-off!  The luxury of being able to say "we still have four months to get (fill in the blank) done" is a thing of the past.  Now it is about one month and we can feel this new type of pressure.

We are probably in better shape than we think, but we are far from objective right now.  We sorted through a huge pile of stuff last weekend and have boiled our potential "take with us" items into about 9 bins.  Now we need to go through these 9 bins and whittle some more.

And, for everything we discard, it feels like we are buying something to fill the empty space.  Michael and I have a new best friend in  We are now placing an order for trailer-related products...the hitch thingy and ball, locks, a tire boot, chocks, etc. etc.  This, to me, is the non-glamorous stuff, but stuff we need nonetheless.

We sent in our registration form to Escapees to sign up for their mail-forwarding service only to learn that we filled out the postal service form 1583 incorrectly.  This time we will carefully read the directions.

We've gotten several insurance quotes for the trailer and car, so we'll make a decision this weekend...I hope.

We made our landlord aware we are not renewing our lease, only to learn they are remodeling the current 1980's kitchen to one with granite counter tops and new cabinets.  Of course.

Today, a co-worker and friend asked "how do you manage to have every little thing gone by the time you are ready to leave the Cape?".  Excellent question and one we continually ask ourselves.  Our other new friend is our garbage dumpster and we stealthily sneak to it with a zillion garbage bags under cover of night.  But when do we give up the bed?  The lamps?  The towels?  How do you choreograph that?!  We're working on it.

This weekend we will have another co-worker and friend come to see our home as a possible rental for her and her boyfriend.  I have told her repeatedly that this is a GREAT place and well worth their time to check it out.  We'll send Emily off with some plants and dishes because no one leaves here empty-handed!

The other morning Michael and I were interviewed for a local magazine called Prime Time about our plans (geared for the over 50 crowd).  When Judy was getting ready to leave, Michael offered her an orchid which she happily took.  Anybody is a prospect for one or more of our possessions!

Most of my waking hours are spent planning, worrying, organizing, stressing.  What have we forgotten to do?  We have a to-do list, but for every one thing we cross off, two things are added.  This is that challenge of getting it all done before we shove off.  In his own fit of panic, Michael went into high speed mode the other day, and cleaned the stove, 'fridge, and kitchen cabinets,  and found enough stuff to toss to fill up eight more trash bags.  Where does all of this come from??  I can't believe how much we're getting rid off one way or the other.  'Stuff' multiplies like rabbits!

This week - health insurance for me.  And maybe filing our taxes for last year.

So for now, with a mid-March departure date looming ahead of us, we spend every waking hour thinking only of our teardrop future!  A big US big map hangs in our living room with post-it notes all over it showing our upcoming route to Wisconsin (to pick up the camper) and onward to Texas (to establish our domicile and to bird, of course!), Arizona, California and the Pacific Northwest.

On this upbeat note, I am off to get some sleep before the sun comes up!