Saturday, November 30, 2013

Posting 43 Days of "Blog Love": Day 12 ~ "Technomadia" ~

When you first arrive at the Technomadia blog you find a box to the right that says "Start Here."   How accommodating!  Especially for people like me who are 'not-so-techie'! ;)   From there you arrive at a video done by Cherie Ve Ard and Chris Dunphy -- Technomads! (What's a "Technomad" you ask?  Guess you'll have to check out their site and watch the [short] video, huh?)

We have become acquainted with Cherie and Chris over the past year or two via Facebook.  I will admit to 'picking on' Cherie on a fairly regular basis, to be directed to info to assist in our 'techie' type issues and decisions.  (She puts up with me oh. so. well!  <<grin>> )

Photo from Techomadia

Ironically one of the reasons that we decided to share some 'blog love' with Cherie and Chris tonight is that I was thinking about them -- due to our internet being SO. VERY. Fussy tonight!  Such is the life of a nomad.  The second reason is that I just LOVE that they fulltime in a bus... and not just any bus, but a 1961 - 4106 GMC Highway Coach.  We have had a love of buses for many years (specifically highway coaches) and continually consider a coach for our own nomadic travels.  For now, though, we are enjoying a smaller footprint -- much like what Chris and Cherie started with... (but we'll let them tell you about that.)

As you visit Technomadia blog/website you'll find an assortment of buttons on the top bar providing a selection of lists and topics. They include not only information about themselves as you find in most blogs, (such as past adventures... including Burning Man - Camp Nomadia...)  but you'll find a host of downloadable resources in addition to a few books that they have written. Chris and Cherie also include links to archives of podcasts that they've done, as well a list of other helpful nomad-related sites.

Photo from Techomadia

Trust me, I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of what they have included in their website... like their recent lighthouse caretaking experience for example... So do take some time to check out Technomadia yourself, and share some blog love with Chris and Cherie.  Tell them the Nomadic Jesters sent ya!

Until tomorrow...  Enjoy the journey!


Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday - A Black Mark on Humanity

 Now for a brief intermission from "43 days of Blog Love" -- sort of...

Black Friday has a  very special place in my heart and it saddens me to what it has become. Many years back I saw my "wife to be" for the first time on this most infamous of shopping days. I worked security in a retail store. This store had the highest arrest record for theft in the area. We averaged over three hundred shoplifting arrests a year.

That year there were some incidents of someone coming into area stores in a wheelchair, loading up with goods, then trying to sneak out with them in their lap. When confronted the person got up and ran away, leaving the chair and products, so we were watching for the same M.O. at our store.

Anyway, this girl comes into the store in a wheelchair and my partner and I instantly key in on her. She is cute and I watch her awhile but quickly come to the conclusion that she is not our suspect. (She is too cute. Actually she is there to shop and not doing any of the many things that shoplifters do and the chair she is in is worth more than my car.)  Later, ironically, we meet, date and get married we discuss Black Friday and that I remember seeing her.  She found it funny because it was the ONLY Black Friday that she had ever shopped.  That is why it has a special place in my heart. It was the first time that I saw the love of my life.

So now I sit here on this beautiful morning enjoying my cup of coffee with my grandson and son playing Legos on the Xbox. I am perusing FB and seeing videos of Black Friday. Quite entertaining for a moment until I start thinking about the avarice that I am witnessing. People are breaking barriers and doors to get in. They are pushing over people that are in front of them and trampling over others to quickly grab whatever they can. Fights, brawls and even riots break out.

Some of the videos are from Black Fridays past, some are from late last night and this morning. Luckily I never saw humanity in this state personally. I am ashamed. I am embarrassed. I am full of pity. Then on one of the videos I hear a customer say "This happened because YOU don't have enough security." Wait a minute... A "shopper" is blaming the store for her behavior?

If the greed of the shopper to get a "deal" (which we know is not all that great if you do research) was not there, then people getting hurt and even killed in the name of  Jesus' Birthday would not make "Black Friday" a black mark on humanity. To show the love you have for another what are you willing to do? The question that I have is what would that loved one say about your actions?

Now I think that what the retail industry has done to the beginning, middle and end of the Holiday shopping season is bad. They are reacting to the demands of the shoppers. The shoppers are reacting to the actions of the stores. Greed of the shopper feeds the greed of the merchant, and the greed of the merchant feeds the greed of the shopper.. What came first, the avarice or the avarice?

I am willing to bet that for whatever religion or belief system that you follow, the behavior of most on Black Friday is not only not condoned but forbidden. Practice what you would teach your children. Behave in a way that someone you look up to would approve of. I choose to Behave.

Don't stand around saying "There are too many people here. They should stay home so I can get my shopping done." Refuse to shop on the worst shopping day of the year.

Thank you for reading my rant. I look forward to reading your perspective on 'Black Friday'; please do share in the Comments below.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programing:

A recap of our "Blog Love" to this point (we're at 10 so far...)
Day 1:    Family on Bikes
Day 2:    Boyinks4Adventure
Day 3:    The Edventure Project
Day 4:    The Scholl Bus
Day 5:    Sun Dragon Adventures
Day 6:    A Kilt and A Camera
Day 7:    Gluten Free Cooking School
Day 8:    Adventure Us 2
Day 9:    Family Trek
Day 10:  1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure

We shall continue with more "Blog Love" posts tomorrow...

Until then... Enjoy the journey...


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Posting 43 Days of "Blog Love": Day 10 ~ "1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure" ~

So many shared sentiments... Where to begin?? Rich and I have a list of our friends who blog (yes, you guessed it... far more than the "43" days of "Blog Love" will accommodate!)  As we scanned our list earlier today I took time to look through a few recent posts from our friends.  What caught my attention?  "Confessions of a Scrooge" by blogging friend of  "1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure" Talon Windwalker.

Picture courtesy of

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States which is also the official segue to the "Christmas Season" -- with all it's 'glory' and shopping mayhem!  Ugh!! The consumerism in the United States abhors me; apparently Talon and I have parallel perspectives on that topic, sharing some of the same reasons and some different. You see I grew up with parents who seemed to enjoy the holiday in all it's 'traditions' of Santa.  But somehow, I could never wrap my brain around the whole concept.

Believe me it was not for my dad's lack of trying.  I mean, each and every year until I was about ten my dad would manage to finagle a visit from 'our guy in red' -- who always showed up bearing  small gifts and candy canes.  Then on Christmas morning we awoke to the presence of stockings overflowing and a 'special' gift adorned with only a big red bow, and a tag signed 'From: Santa' -- How could a kid not get warm fuzzy feelings from that?

In the earliest years I didn't suspect a thing.  However by the time I was seven I realized that Santa smelled of whiskey and cigars... The last "Santa" visit that I recall, I noticed that his accent had changed (to that of someone from "New Yawk" ... we were in California.)  And he smelled of Brandy, sans the cigars.  I, very candidly, suggested that he wasn't Santa but 'the plumber' in disguise!  My dad and "Santa" shook their heads in unison and denied my claim, all the while trying to squelch their smirks.  However, the jolly guy in red never visited on the eve of Christmas again.

It was kind of a shame, as it was fun, but truthfully even way back then the giving of gifts seemed to have its superficial moments.   I typically took great pride in taking my time to choose special, heart felt, gifts for those close to me. Most often I saved money for months that I earned via babysitting and doing yard work with my brother (oh and a few dollars earned selling mistletoe, some years...) to buy materials to make gifts as I believed that they were much more meaningful.

With that in mind I guess it's no wonder that it bothered me when I received gifts that seemed like they had just been a last minute 'grab n go' so as to have the impression of a gift.  To give the illusion that the person truly thought enough of me to 'get' me something.  To me Christmas has never been about the gifts, those material things I mean... It's been about giving a bit of yourself; that means so much more!

Many times gifts were from 'found' items... one year I recall my brother and I collecting lids from pretty much any jar type container that we could find, then painting and otherwise decorating them which included cutting 'themed' pictures from magazines to glue to the interior.  Tie a ribbon through a hole in the top made with an ice pick and "Voila!" A Christmas tree or wall ornament!

Even as a child I remember many years, that I lovingly made coupon books -- decorated to fit the personality of the recipient -- to give to family and friends.  They were good for such things as babysitting, dog walking, mowing and raking lawns, home baked cookies, back rubs, hugs n kisses... you get the idea.  Aren't those the important things?  The things that you can't by at your local department store?  I share Talon's sentiment:  the holidays are not worth going into debt for.  No way!  No how! (Not to say I haven't been 'sucked in' to that mentality a time or two in my life, but that's another post...)

Over the years Christmas (which also is the same week as my birthday) has held much sadness and strife for me in my life due to loss and alcoholism of others around me, in my younger years.  Thus 'getting into the spirit' is really a stretch for me.  Which has caused me some distress, being a mom.  After all, we're supposed to 'do it up' and all... Right?  It just feels so artificial.

Thankfully I have children who understand that I give them 'gifts' that they want/need all year long and waiting for a particular day on the calendar to roll around is just not 'my thing'... And they seem to be okay with that.  But it goes beyond that, right?  "What about celebrating the birth of Christ?  After all I know that you're a believer"  I can hear you say from afar.  Yes, I am a believer... but...

Celebrating the birth of Christ is not a 'once a year' event.  It's a daily thing for me... and besides that the jury is still out as to when Christ was born.  Add to that all of what Talon said in "Confessions of a Scrooge" (you did read it, right?) it's really a holiday with a 'mish-mash' of "roots" so-to-speak... I mean really --- I have LOTS of friends who are not Christ followers who celebrate Christmas.

Picture courtesy of

Hello?? Are you paying attention?  I do believe that it's great that Christians want to take this time to celebrate the birth of Christ and my Jewish family and friends celebrate Chanukah/Hanukkah (and this year "Thanksgivukkah" -- one of those 'blue moon' type events) and still others celebrate Winter Solstice, etc. etc. etc.  But "It's ALL Good!!!"  Sharing the love and peace of the season should happen 365 days a year -- not just for one day a year -- and that one day should not be preceded by 30 days (give or take) of shopping mayhem.  Just sayin'...

Still all these years I've muddled through the "holiday season" (yes there's that 'phrase' that so many Christians seem to take offense to...) trying to 'be in the spirit' but it's been more of a 'fake it til ya make it' sorta thing for me.  Well thank you Talon, I think I finally "Made it!!"  I LOVE your "Chrismakah" idea. Even though I'm not Jewish I do find the holiday beautiful -- and as I reflected earlier appreciate much about the vantage point of this season as viewed by others.

So... this year, we'll make it our own.  I am excited about really giving that some thought and starting some new traditions.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!   You're an awesome guy.  Who knew that years ago, when we started following the plans for yours and Tigger's launch into a nomadic lifestyle that we would connect so well over the miles... You, sir, are on the list of Facebook friends who we definitely look forward to spending some time with!  Thank you for sharing  your travels, reflections and traditions with us!  MUCH appreciated!

Picture courtesy of

For those of you who would like to learn more about Talon and Tigger, do read About them on their blog.  Look for links to other blogs and writings by Talon in that section as well. As you peruse 1 Dad, 1 Kid,  1 Crazy Adventure you'll also find out more about what types of resources fund their nomadic lifestyle.  Of course to keep up with the latest do follow them on their Facebook Page.

Please leave comments for us (below) and share about your favorite memories, traditions or "survival tips" for the season.  Do take a few moments to read and share some "Blog Love" with Talon and Tigger!  Tell them that the Nomadic Jesters sent ya!

Until tomorrow...  Enjoy the journey...


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Posting 43 Days of "Blog Love": Day 9 ~ "Family Trek" ~

"Travel is a state of mind" ...  So says our friends Clark and Monica, aka "Family Trek."  They not only share, but live this simple, yet very powerful message  --  A message that we find especially valuable at this time of year when so many people are traveling near and far, spending time with family and friends.  Such simple words that serve as a reminder that no matter where you are, no matter what you're doing, it's a matter of taking time to be present in each day and "get out of your routine..."

Over the past week and a day we've shared blogs by friends from around the world who 'travel' by various means.  At this point we thought it appropriate to share some words and stories from another family who has traveled both in the US and abroad.  We have been following Clark and Monica for a couple of years now.  They too are on the list of whom we've become friends with via Facebook, and look forward to meeting up with, 'live and in person,' very soon ... (hopefully next year!)   Until then we take time often to enjoy some of their great posts on their Family Trek blog ... We could suggest a few great ones but there are SO MANY!

Matter of fact... earlier this year "Family Trek" did a series called "California Extravaganza" that shared not only posts from Clark and Monica but many friends contributed articles as well.  We were ecstatic when Clark asked if we would contribute something about Humboldt.  We were quick to accept (or rather I was quick to volunteer my hubby...)   You can read his contribution to the Extravaganza here:  "1001 Words About Humboldt County, California"!  Oh so fun!  We hope that you'll enjoy reading it as much as he enjoyed writing it!

I have to say, for me, I love the fact that Clark and Monica always seem to share topics that we can relate to... from day to day experiences to reflections on holidays -- such as this one (from a couple of years ago) about Thanksgiving and their "Thankful List" --  most appropriate for this month, don't you think? [Do take time to read their Thanksgiving post... and share it... I think it's something that we can all benefit from.]

I'd be willing to bet that I know one thing that will be on Clark's "Thankful List" this year... Living in Lake Tahoe and being so close to snow skiing!  Anyone who knows Clark, KNOWS that he LOVES snow skiing!!  Matter of fact he has involved a great team of contributing writers to create "Tahoe Ski Bum" a multi-faceted resource for those who love to ski the greater Tahoe area of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

When you visit Tahoe Ski Bum you'll find a forum and many other valued resources along with a great blog with helpful tips and perspectives from several area skiers.  Be sure to "Like" Tahoe Ski Bum on Facebook to keep up with the latest posts and happenings on the local mountains!  When you see Clark on the mountain (I'm just sure you will eventually...) be sure to wave "Hi" from us! as he flies by!!

In closing today, one thing that we are thankful for is friends... like those who we have shared with you thus far.  I could continue... (those of you who know me know that I seldom lack for words...) but I'll keep this brief so you can spend some time reading Family Trek blog. Oh and perhaps you can visit them on Facebook too!  Please do share some "Blog Love" and tell them that the Nomadic Jesters sent ya!

Until tomorrow... Enjoy the journey...


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Posting 43 Days of "Blog Love": Day 8 ~ "Adventure Us 2"

Internet photo

Oh where to begin??... Once upon a time there was this totally crazy online universe and it was called "Facebook"! ... I had no intention of ever having a Facebook account, but hubby had other ideas... That was ummm... several years ago.  Fast forward to 2013...  "Dear Diary:  I am having such a good time meeting so many friends online, I'm so glad that we live nomadically (is that a word?? ... It is now!  So say I!! )  so we can travel the world by land, sea and air and see them all!! ;) "  Yes, that is my world.  I sometimes start new things with great apprehension, then I get hooked!

Tonight I was running late getting a post done... but logged on to Facebook hoping to 'be inspired!'  As it happened, just moments before I logged on one of my "Facebook Friends" Janet Lee Enders had posted to her Page a request for some more "Likes" on the Page for their blog "Adventure Us 2." So I happily shared her request with a couple of our Nomadic groups.  Then I decided to go read a few posts as I have not kept up recently.  The last post I'd read was when "JL" (as H. Michael refers to her via their blog) had taken her beau, Michael, to PA so she could check a few things off of her "Bucket List!:"

Photo courtesy of "Adventure Us 2"

As I read Michael's reflections of his first time sailing I was reminded of mine:  Yes, it was a beautiful day -- actually a beautiful weekend.  He'd taken me away for a weekend to the bay area of CA, near San Francisco, to stay aboard his parents 33' Sloop.  I couldn't have told you if it was a Sloop, or a Ketch or a... ??? Well, you get it... I just knew that it was large and had sails and I presumed it went leisurely across the water under air-power.  Boy! Did I get an education.

Several years ago I shared about that blissful memory in a Facebook "Note" like this:

"The first Fourth of July (prior to our marriage) that my (now) husband and I celebrated together we took a trip to Vallejo (CA) and spent several days aboard his parents sailboat. The boat was berthed at Mare Island adjacent to, what was then called, Marine World.

I remember noticing the US flag, in all its glory, blowing in the wind from the Mare Island Marina flag pole. "Old Glory" was proudly waving, as well, from numerous boats of all shapes and sizes. The sight was poignant against the crystal blue sky.

That evening we sat on the back of the sailboat and watched the fireworks over the Mare Island estuary... the silhouettes of retired Navy ships just visible while the many colors of fireworks burst high above them. It brought to mind those in my family who have served; especially those in the US Navy. The sight was beyond words, as were my emotions.

As the fireworks exploded above us we enjoyed french bread, grapes and my favorite white wine... with Jimmy Buffett playing in the background... The particular song that still plays over and over in my head from that night is: "The Night I Painted the Sky"... The whole evening was surreal and remains fresh in my memory, though it was nearly eleven years ago.

Internet photo

To this day whenever I hear that song the memories, and tears, come rushing back... Little did I know then, that Fourth of July would be the first of many cherished memories that have been created with the love of my life. :-) Now married ten years... and counting..."

Beautiful memory, huh?  What I didn't share about that weekend was "The Test"!   "The Test" you say?  What "test"?  The test that my then 'fiance' had decided that he had to perform, without my prior knowledge or preparation (or consent...)  While we were sailing the Carquinez Strait, near Crockett, CA; we were picking up some speed.  It got my attention.  I thought "Wow, this is kinda fun!  I didn't know that a sailboat could move like that.  Cool!  (Yes he got the attention of the adrenaline junkie still lurking inside from my younger years...)

Then the boat started leaning... and then leaning a bit more (I have since learned that 'leaning' is referred to as 'heeling') ... and then... ummm... the water was coming up to the rails... and then... the rails were in the water...  Ummm... I grew up on jet boats... and... Flat bottomed jet boats DON'T HEEL!!  And they DON'T have 'rails'!!... If you get a jet boat that far over they flip!!  UGH!!

Internet photo

(Back to sailing...)  I was bracing with my legs against the base of the seating across from me to keep from flat out getting pitched... and THEN we went a bit further!!  The water was up to mid-way of the windows!! I looked at Rich and said, "Ummm... I think that's far enough."  "Won't we tip over?"  He said "No, we've got a 5,000 lb. keel!"  I said "Oh. Great!" ... trying to sound relieved, but truly just wondering how I was going to keep my balance to prevent going into the water head first! ... At the same time trying to remain cool!  After all, only moments before the speed of the boat really WAS a rush!!

He must have sensed my moment of anxiety and backed off just enough to allow me to regain my balance, but not so much to cut down the speed too far.  ;)  Overall I had a great time and decided that day that I really do love sailing.  It was fun being brought back to those memories this evening -- quite by happenstance. Thank you Michael.

I can really relate to so much of what Michael has shared in his most recent posts ... I grew up around speed boats!  I was water-skiing at a rockin' 65mph by the time I was 15 and wanting to go FASTER!!  Thus my first experience on a sailboat I expected to be a calm, relaxed afternoon sail with this guy that I was dating... (and finally admitted to being in love with and marrying... but we'll save that for another day, back to sailing.)

Photo courtesy of "Adventure Us 2"

Thank you Michael for sharing with us:  "Flying Without A Net," "I'm Not A Sailor" and finally "Enlightenment!"  Wow!! I love your blog you two!! I'm hooked!! We too want to liveaboard, however as hubby says 'you're a bit ahead of us' as we don't foresee living aboard for at least a few more years.  But perhaps by the time we get there you'll be there to help us get accustomed to the lifestyle and sail away with us to visit white sandy beaches ...

So stop on over and share some 'blog love' with "JL" and "H. Michael" ... tell them the Nomadic Jesters sent ya!

Until tomorrow...  Enjoy the journey...

Photo courtesy of "Adventure Us 2"

Monday, November 25, 2013

Posting 43 Days of "Blog Love": Day 7 ~ "Gluten Free Cooking School"

Whether this Thursday you'll be celebrating Thanksgiving, Thanksgivukkah, Hanukkah (Chanukkah), Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication it will most likely include family, friends and food!!  So I decided that I'd be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to share some perspective of food -- more specifically 'gluten free' cooking.

In 2006, my husband found out that he had a wheat allergy as did the writer of our latest object of "Blog Love" -- Mary Frances Pickett. In a time when so many people are giving up gluten by necessity, or by choice, Mary Frances has grown the "Gluten Free Cooking School"  from a "just a blog" to "Oh. So. Much. MORE!!" The blog still exists within a website that has evolved to a most wonderful resource; a 'Cooking School' that is accessible from wherever you have an internet connection.

To most people it is life altering to discover that wheat needs to be eliminated from their diet for reasons such as intolerance, allergy or Celiac Disease.  However at the point that Mary Frances discovered her wheat allergy she had already been 'learning the ropes' of the lifestyle since 1999, as that was when her husband John was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  

In 2007, Mary Frances began sharing what she had learned via her blog.  Did I mention that this was in addition to being mom to two young children, supportive wife to husband John and working as a tax accountant?  Wow! That's one busy Mama!  Matter of fact  <<< inserting extra 'blog love' here>>>  Kaylee Wickline of recently posted this about Mary Frances and family:  Running a Business From an RV:  This Mom Ditched the Cube for the Road Less Traveled.

Mary Frances and I first connected around the time that she and her family were newly launched into their nomadic lifestyle.  Oh... and did I mention... that was around the time that they had just added wee one #3 to the mix?  Yes! She is one busy Mama!

I remember being especially interested in her blog due to hubby's allergy and have since shared it with many people, both friends and acquaintances over the years.   My interest in this helpful website has been recently renewed as I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy about two months ago and my cousin was diagnosed with Celiac this past week.  Wow!  Thank you so much for the resource Mary Frances!!

These days Gluten Free Cooking School and all of it's varied facets, along with being full-time parents to three beautiful children, keep Mary Frances and hubby John quite busy.   I will add that John does have other duties in addition to 'taste tester' as noted on their website ... but in my opinion, that is a VERY important job when it comes to food -- after all, isn't that what's most important?  Flavor??!!  I know that's a priority at our house!

With many opportunities for sharing some great food just around the corner do check out the Recipe Indexit's sure to provide you with some awesome choices for sharing with your family and friends.  Tomorrow will find me finalizing a few of our favorites listed under Appetizers as well as Desserts... Decisions! Decisions!!  (Pssst... You don't have to divulge that it's GF... they'll never notice! :)  )

Please do spend some time at the Gluten Free Cooking School and leave some "Blog Love" via a comment -- Tell them the Nomadic Jesters sent ya!

Until tomorrow...  Enjoy the journey...


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Posting 43 Days of "Blog Love": Day 6 ~ "A Kilt and A Camera " ~

As with many of my contacts nowadays, a lot of people that I "meet" are online. Awhile back I was introduced to Peg Nichols Peter. She is another traveling nomadic person. But what endeared me most was that she is a photographer and has a thing for guys in Kilts (well, at least one guy). She also lived in the same town as I did when we were younger. (I'll forgive her for going to the rival school though.) Carolyn and I started to follow her and communicate because we didn't want to feel like we were stalking her.

Picture by Peg Nichols Peter.

I do have to say that she has been an additional inspiration to me. I studied photography years back and actually listened to my instructors instead of my heart and put my camera away. Peg and a few other photographers out there have helped me to rediscover my desire to shoot again. I am still learning about digital and have a ways to go. The next big step is to get a DSLR. 

Anyway, I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah, Peg. Peg has a blog. It is called A Kilt and A Camera. It is about "Travel tales, reviews, photos, interviews and crazy goings on. Because you never know what's going to happen." Well, I guess that about sums it up. I can stop here, but I wont. One of the latest things she did was to swing around on some silk. She took these long silk scarves and tied herself up... to the ceiling...and swung around. And it sounds like Brian was quite the trooper.

Picture from A Kilt and A Camera.

 Uh... that actually looks like fun, though it would be hard for me not to bellow out like Tarzan as I tried to scoop up Jane and "rescue" her from the headhunters. ("Jane" probably wouldn't see it that way though and would probably hit me with whatever was at hand.) I'd actually be more like George of the Jungle, "Watch out for that treeeeee"... SPLAT!!!

I digress again. If you want to see some great pictures and find out what it is like to travel through other countries then go visit Peg on A Kilt and a Camera.

Until tomorrow... Enjoy the journey...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Posting 43 Days of "Blog Love": Day 5 ~ "Sun Dragon Adventures" ~

Awhile back we were driving to California for a job. On the way we stopped to visit some new friends that we hadn't yet met. Apparently there was this mother who was converting a school bus into an RV and she needed help to do the electrical so I got recruited to do it. We got to Salt Lake City, Utah, and went to Danni Carlsen's house. The next day we got to work. I was given an electrical plan drawn on a piece of paper with colored markers.

My first thought was "you got to be kidding," then as I looked closer at what she had I realized that she knew what she wanted but not how to draw it to standard plans. The drawing had different shapes and colors and the locations in a way that all I had to do was to figure out the routes. As I went through the bus I looked at the construction. It was well done with a lot of attention to detail. Danni, with the help of her children, was transforming an old schoolie into a home on wheels called Liahona. I'm sure that Liahona will treat them well.

We hung out and tent camped in their back yard (we didn't have "Gracie" yet) and learned a lot more about healthy living, big families and juicing. After finishing the job and we went on to California having made new friends; some hippies we met in Utah. The last place in the world I would expect to find some!

Danni has the blog Sun Dragon Adventures. It is about them, their bus, their adventures and even their store, Gypsy Essentials, which is a collection of hand made goodies made by the Carlsen family. She also has a blog The Purple Sprout. If you want to know about "adventures in gardening, eating healthy, homeschooling, and  life in general," then this is a great place to go.

She is an amazing person and has a great family. We are proud to call them friends. Go check them out and give some love because you will surely get some from them. 

Until tomorrow... Enjoy the journey...


Friday, November 22, 2013

Posting 43 Days of "Blog Love": Day 4 ~ "The Scholl Bus" ~

. What was never revealed (until now) was that we were there that night. The night went well and was a lot of fun. The Pirate show was great fun for the kids, the Bellagio fountan show was amazing and the Mirage volcano show was HOT (pun intended).

We all know the mantra  "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." However I have done some research and found out the statute of limitations is six months, so I am not legally bound to it any more and my conscience will finally be at rest.

After we took the wives and kids back to the campground Jody and I decided to check out some more of the strip. It worked out well as they were tired and Jody and I both had coffee with dinner and were still going.

We got  a cab and went back downtown.We were dropped off across the street from the Monte Carlo Hotel at a club recommended by the cab driver. As we got out of the cab he said we would love it. He smacked his lips and let out a low groan causing Jody and I to look at each other with a questioning look then a shrug of "whatever."

We decided to go have a beer and discuss RV tips and stories. I saw a big sign that said "Every kind of Beer you could Want!" Well, being a "beer snob" I thought cool, maybe I'll be able to get real beer tonight. We walked in and went to the bar. It was your typical club, flashing lights, thumping music, and lots of bodies. It is true, I will put up with a lot for a real good beer.

"OK guys and girls, Its time for the BEAR OFF!" "Lets get all the Bears up here and see what we got."  I looked at Jody and tried to ask, "What the hell are they talking about?" but he was looking around with a look of horror on his face. I reached out to get his attention when suddenly I was grabbed by the arm and pulled toward the stage. "There gonna love you hunny." said the girl that was attached to the iron fist that was dragging me with it. Before I knew what was happening I was on stage looking at a sea of people.

I looked out and around trying to figure out why I was on the stage when I saw the banner on the wall that said "First Annual BEAR OFF! Find a Bear to cuddle with tonight." Down deep in the recesses of my mind I started to recall "Bear." It came to me and I spun around quickly to see about five other men being "escorted" to the stage, along with Jody.

My brain reeled as I looked about and recalled, Bear-A term used by gay men to describe a husky, large man with a lot of body hair. I flashed back to before we came in. I must have had a dyslexic moment outside and saw Beer when it said Bear. Looking out at the crowd I quickly scanned. It was mostly men with a few females, wait, those were Drag queens! A sign on the back wall said "First gay/alternative nightclub on the world famous Las Vegas Strip." I felt the pit of my stomach hit the floor.

The announcer was talking but I couldn't hear anything as I was confused, lost and a little dizzy as I am basically a shy person and don't do well in front of crowds. "Mmmm, Mmmm ,Mmmm, your a luscious one." I heard as my ears cleared out. I looked over and saw Jody standing with a confused look on his face as I am sure mine looked also. The announcer held out the mic and Jody replied "Uh, thanks?" The announcer  then turned to me. " Oh Mamma, What do we have here?"  He looked at me and scanned down. Slowly.
"Is it true?" he asked me.
I couldn't do anything. I stood there in shock.
Is what true? I thought.
"Shall we find out?" he asked the crowd.
As I was thinking "Find out what?"
The crowd roared.
The announcer walked around behind me and I suddenly realized what he was talking about.

You see, I am a Kilt wearer. And tonight was no exception. Not only that, but I had not shaved my beard in over seven months because I had spent the last nine of them behind the "Redwood Curtain" of Northern California. I was wearing my work boots and had a shirt that serendipitously said "Fuzzy Wuzzy" and had an adorable chubby bear on it.

Suddenly I felt a cold sensation creep up the back of my leg. "It IS True Boys!"

The croud roared so loud I thought the walls would crumble.

He moved on to the next three "Bears" then the vote came. Needless to say I won that night. I got fifteen phone numbers, one hotel key and more "kilt checks" than I care to remember. It took Jody and I an hour and a half to get out of there as he won second place. I Think he got a bunch of digits too but I didn't ask, I didn't want to know.

We grabbed the first cab we found and agreed not to mention it to anyone. But, the other day I saw a picture online of the First, Second and Third place winners of the "First Annual Bear Off." I was also invited to come back and crown next years winner. They offered to fly me out and put me up at the Bellagio.

Jody, I have two tickets and a double room. Glen said he was looking forward to seeing you.

As Paul Harvey used to say, "And now you know the rest of the story."

Ok, This was "Liars Post." None of this was true. We were going to meet with the Scholls when they were in Vegas but alas, we could not sync it up and missed each other. 

The Scholl's do have a great blog that we like to read and look forward to meeting up with them and having that beer. Go to their blog The Scholl Bus and give them some love. Tell them the Nomadic Jesters sent you.

Until next time, enjoy the journey.
"Good day"

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Posting 43 Days of "Blog Love": Day 3 ~ "The Edventure Project" ~

So many traveling friends...  If you haven't been following along already, we are on "Day 3" of 43 days of  sharing some "blog love!"  Thus far you have met the Vogel's, aka "Family on Bikes" who have traveled far and wide (globally included) on bicycles!  Yesterday you met "Boyink4Adventure" who have lived their adventure in a fifth-wheel, over the past two years or so, and visited nearly 40 of the 50 states!

Today I introduce you to the Miller's, who began traveling as The Edventure Project in 2008 and since that time have been traveling around the United States, and the world, via "planes, trains and automobiles!"  (Well actually I know that a really cool van -- aka Mama Bus -- was in that mix, but I'll leave that for you to read about later.)

Photo from Edventure Project

Over the years 'mom' Jennifer and I have connected here and there online, but this is one more family that I definitely look forward to crossing paths with, and spending time 'live and in-person!'.  What drew my attention to Jennifer and family today was a post today on their blog titled "5 Things longterm travel is NOT."

Great post, Jennifer!  I really like that you pointed out that all in all choosing a nomadic, or location independent, lifestyle is just that -- a choice!  It's not better, it's not worse, it's just a choice.  I hope that you all will take time to read Jennifer's latest post and take time to share your thoughts about it with her.  (She's really cool!  Just sayin'!)

Photo from Edventure Project

Speaking of "Cool!"  As I was taking a gander at her blog this morning I took time to read a page titled:  "Who Are The Coolest People You Know?"  Now THAT is a MUST READ Page!  (You can add Jennifer's parents to the list of people I want to meet!)  Oh darn!  I gave away the answer to the question!  Well, at least if you ask Jennifer.  After reading about them I concur:  Yes! Very, VERY Cool Indeed!! 

While Jennifer is busy traveling the world, seeing sites, raising kids, writing blogs... she also does freelance writing.  I enjoyed finding a collection of some of the Articles that Jennifer has written for others, listed on their blog -- with links!  I'm noting it for some additional reading that perhaps many of you may find very valuable. And in case you were wondering about their 'take' on Education as they travel... I think you'll enjoy your own adventure in perusing their selection of resources, pics, blog posts, lists, essays etc.

So, there ya go!!  One more friend with another 'awesome blog'!  I've only scratched the surface on what treasures you'll find when you explore "The Edventure Project." You'll also find intros, and a couple of other blogs, by each family member.  So please do leave us a comment and tell us your thoughts thus far on our "43 Days of Blog Love."  Be sure to leave some "Love" for the Edventure Project and let them know your thoughts on their adventures!  And... be sure to tell them that the "Nomadic Jesters" sent ya!

Until tomorrow...  Enjoy the journey...


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Posting 43 Days of "Blog Love": Day 2 ~ "Boyinks4Adventure"

Two Score Two days left...

Sometime back (I'm thinking over a year to be sure... according to their blog it's been over two... Wow! Time flies!!)  We crossed paths, on a couple of Facebook groups for RVers, with a guy named Mike Boyink.  First off, I am compelled to share that I don't know if that is really his last name or if it's a 'nom de plume'?...

 I mean seriously... I have come to know that Mike is a resourceful guy, (you'll see what I mean when you read "About:  Boyink" on their blog) thus a name like Boyink which sounds like: "Boy, Inc!" would be a great pseudonym, don't you think?   Right up there with clever plays on words as our beloved Samuel Langhorne Clemens adopting "Mark Twain" during his days as a river pilot in the mid 19th century.  

As time passed we came to learn that Mike had a wife and two kids  -- thus bringing creativity to the name, and logo, for their family blog:  Boyinks4Adventure.   (I love their logo!)

You'll notice that the tag line states:  "A family of four on the road for a year" -- Ummm... Yeah!  That was the original plan.  Truth be told, it's been over a year!  I won't give away all of the details (you'll have to read their blog...) but suffice it to say after a year on the road they returned to their hometown, sold their house, downsized there 'schtuff' and hit the road again!

In addition to their blog "Boyinks4Adventure" Mike has created a website to share travel blogs by others.  As subscribers we happily receive it in our "Inbox" each day.  Imagine my glee when not only did I find it in our Inbox this morning but we were included in the "Top Family Travel Blogs"!  Thanks Mike!! So jazzed!!  We hope to keep producing blog posts that you'll enjoy sharing!

When you visit their website "Top Family Travel Blogs" (because I know you will...) do note in the right margin is an Editors note.  That's Mike.  He shares:  "We're a family of 4 who started with a 1-year family road trip and ended up with a new life. No house, few possessions, great views, and awesome experiences."  I find it awesome that he shared that little tidbit, because I can't tell you how many people/families who we have met during our nomadic years who have similar stories.

We've known of many families who have started out for a six month or year trip around the country, or around the world, and then... they became nomadic for life!  So cool! While it's not for everyone, it seems to be a growing lifestyle choice lately. There are numerous experiences that are unique to traveling; matter of fact you'll find a great mix of them on the Boyink's blog -- It's awesome!! 

Thank you Mike and Crissa for sharing your adventures!  It's like taking field trips from your computer!  If I counted correctly the Boyinks have visited nearly 40 states thus far!  You'll find a list of "Travel Posts" in a column to the right of each blog entry you view,  if you care to look for a particular state -- perhaps to plan your own adventure?

Photo courtesy of Boyink Family

I do suggest that you peruse the drop-downs at the top of their blog -- LOTS of good info there too!  (From "Affording it" to "Why" with MUCH in between!)   I must say I especially enjoyed the "About Crissa" (MsBoyink)!  My favorite line in her mini-bio:  "I had been ruined for an ordinary life."   (Guess you'll have to read the rest to see what she was referring to.)  Thanks much Mike and Crissa, Harrison and Storybird, for being adventurous souls who are willing to share a bit of the fun as you ... Enjoy the journey!

One last note:  We have a penchant for unique road signs... while visiting the Boyinks4Adventure blog we found this (can't wait to see it in person and perhaps take a whacky pic or something!)

Photo courtesy of Boyink Family

And now Boyink Family I'll share one of my favorite signs with you (thus far...)   You may have seen some of these 'live-and-in-person' when you were on the North Coast of CA...  I do recall that you visited the Redwoods; we almost crossed paths that time!

I seem to recall in your latest blog post that you mentioned something about Texas being on your route?  Perhaps we'll still be here when you arrive!  ;)

Thanks for reading friends!  We hope that you have enjoyed meeting the Boyink family.  We hope that you will visit their blogs and share some "Blog Love" ... Tell them the Nomadic Jesters sent ya!

Until tomorrow... we hope that you too are 'Enjoying the journey!'...