Archive for the 'Preparing for Life on the Open Road' Category

Jul 17 2011


Almost there!!

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Since Riley is napping (lazy dawg), I thought I would take a few minutes to catch you up on what is going on.

Talk about coming full circle! We have been working incredibly hard to get back on the road after an extended hiatus that began in 2002. I can’t believe it has been nine years. Nine long, grueling years of frustration, hard work, business wheeling and dealing, deaths, planning, and generally busting our hineys to fulfill that omnipresent, intense desire to live our lives instead of going through the motions. And you know what? We survived….older, wiser, and more determined than ever to live the life of riley.

So here we are. James is still working as a wind turbine technician. Gravy job has never applied more than it does to the position he lucked into. The pay is superb, the work itself relatively easy (well, if you don’t have a fear of heights, and can climb a 300′ vertical ladder with 30 lbs or so on your back, without panicking or needing to break the climb up into short intervals lasting several hours) , the work secure, and the traveling guaranteed. Because it is considered seasonal, he gets a week off every 6 weeks, plus 2-3 months off in the winter (hello, roadtrips)! Our only problem with it is that he doesn’t have health insurance. One year was our rough goal…..one year to see how he liked the job, to determine how secure it would be, and to give him a chance to either get a promotion and raise that would cover our health insurance expenses  (if we could get it), or for him to get a year ‘s worth of experience so that he could score a travelling  job with a larger company that offers health insurance, before I quit my job and hit the road with him. The good news is he is now doing team leading, and just got that raise we were waiting on. But let me tell you…..this past year has downright SUCKED!! I have been an empty shell of a person without my soul mate with me every day.

A couple of major changes at my job royally ticked me off and served as the force propelling us into action. We decided to go ahead and see if we could get health insurance before I give my notice.  I was very concerned that at least myself would be turned down for a pre-existing condition.  Sure enough, the first company rejected us. Devastated doesn’t describe how we both felt. I knew I could carry COBRA on both of us for 18 months; however,  premiums of $1300 a month are  just not feasable. So we applied with another company. Three weeks later, we were accepted with an exclusion rider. Woohooee! In the midst of an ecstatic snoopy dance, we realized that we had to decide whether to gamble with the rider or pay for COBRA on myself only. Since we realize that I am very unlikely to score a better policy at all, it looks like we are paying for the meds out of pocket and gambling until 2014 when the health care law makes rejections, pre-existing exclusion riders, and premium increases for pre-existing conditions illegal. Thank you Mr. President! I just wish the health care overhaul was implemented in its entirety when it was passed….but again with the thank you!!

So our shiny, new health insurance policy will be effective August 1. I am giving my notice this week, with my last day of work being August 5. I will have a week to get everything ready to go, and James will be home with the dawghouse on the 14th. Then we are outta here!! We still haven’t been able to sell our apartments in this crappy real estate market. So I am going to get a crash course in long-distance property management. At least I will have the freedom to travel back to deal with anything catastrophic. We have contractors in place who can handle repairs with a phone call. And James’ sister will handle the remainder of the management, including showing, cleaning, and rent collecting. I am actually looking forward to the distance from the tenants. We do have a potential buyer for our house, but they have to sell their house first. If they don’t buy our house, we will likely finish renovations this winter to get it ready to list next spring.

Now that we are in the last weeks before our dream finally becomes a reality again, I am trying to get organized. The problem is, most everything that remains to be done cannot be completed until the last minute. So I am pacing the floor, twiddling my thumbs, and occasionally swinging from the ceiling fan in anticipation!

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Nov 11 2009


Our new baby has been born!!!

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Our new Heartland Landmark Grand Canyon made its way out of the factory last Friday. We finally received the photos yesterday. Barring some terrible catastrophe, it should be at our dealer by the end of this week, and we are scheduled to take delivery next Friday, 11/20. I can’t wait! Now, we have to come up with a name for our GC…

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