A Day In The Life

A few weeks ago we received a question on our facebook page about our daily life. The comment came from a soon to be full-timing couple who are contemplating how daily life will be as they embark on their new lifestyle. The exact question was “Would you paint for us a word picture of your average day, please?” The first word that came to mind was boring, because despite what you see here on the blog, most days around here are fairly ordinary. But then I started thinking about what we do on daily basis, and decided that for those living in a traditional house and commuting everyday to a traditional job, it might be kind of interesting to see what we do on a normal day. Of course, no two days are the same, but I think this is pretty typical representation of how an average weekday goes for us. Before I start the day, I should first mention where we are. This week we are boondocking in the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. It’s totally gorgeous, peaceful, and wild out here. Later this week I’ll share some more about this magical place.

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Our home for the week

Tuesday, February 25
Right from the start the day begins in a less than typical way. I usually wake up fairly early and go for walk first thing. Since Tim is a night person and I’m a morning person, this is my alone time when I enjoy nature and greet the day. Except for some reason this morning I wake up late. When I open my eyes and look at the clock it says 7:30! Whoops, not sure why that happened. So I skip my walk and move right into breakfast mode. Tim is still in bed. He usually doesn’t get up until 8ish. This morning we are having yogurt with fruit and granola. Since we are out of granola, and I was too lazy to make a batch the night before, the first thing I do is whip some up. I’ve turned this into a super simple procedure by dumping all the ingredients on a baking sheet, mixing them up, and then throwing the tray into the oven for 10-15. In the meantime I dish out some yogurt and slice up some strawberries. By the time Tim drags himself out of bed and gets ready for day, breakfast is the table. Neither of us drink coffee, but I do enjoy an occasional cup of tea, and this morning I have a nice cup of Tazo Flowering Honeybush with my breakfast.

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Breakfast time – yes we eat breakfast in front of our computers

After breakfast I put away the clean dishes from last night and wash the dishes from breakfast. Next I make the bed and pick up any stray clothes left on the floor the night before. Small messes look really big in our tiny home, so I find myself picking up a lot.

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Dishes washed
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Bed made – ready for the day

In the meantime Tim has moved from breakfast to work, without even leaving the couch. Since we only have one table in the Airstream that means our dining room table also doubles as Tim’s office. This can be a little annoying if I want to use the table for some sort of project during the day, but is also super convenient because it means that Tim has zero commuting time to get to work. And that means more time for sleeping in the morning :)

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Tim at Work
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Windy day hair

I decide to go for a little walk after breakfast since I missed out before breakfast. It’s fairly overcast today, but the temperature is almost 70-degrees so I have no complaints. As you can see by my crazy hair, it’s also pretty windy this morning. I walk down the road to a sad looking pond which I assume is for the cattle that roam around here, and then turn around. It’s not a long walk, but since we’re planning on a bike ride later in the afternoon I am happy with it.

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Out for a walk

As I return home I can see our long rainbow windsock flying proud in the distance.

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Our house off in the distance

When I get back Tim is still in his corner working. I jump back on my computer and spend about an hour working on a blog related project that I am excited to share with you soon.

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Still working…
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Working on a blog related project

I want to call my mom before lunch and I try to sit outside, but for some reason my phone signal is kind of crappy from there. Instead I sit in the truck where the signal is strong and talk to her for awhile.

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Outside seating

Lunch time! Today we have leftover grilled potatoes and bun-less turkey burgers topped with a tomato slice and a spoonful of guacamole. On the side we have some carrot sticks and a few chips to finish up the guacamole.

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Lunch Time

After lunch Tim goes back to work and I move into my “bedroom office” for a bit. I usually spend a few hours in the afternoon back there. It’s easier than sharing the table with Tim, and it gives us a chance to both have our own space. I should probably mention that Tim is a web developer which basically means he writes computer code all day. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around how much concentration this must take, so I do my best not to bother him during work hours.

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Back to work
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Bedroom Office

This week I have a really cool view out the back bedroom window.

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Bedroom window view

I spend a little more time working on my blog project from the morning and then I move into planning mode. We’re not the kind of travelers who make lots of definite plans and reservations, but we’re also not the kind who totally wing it either. We like to have at least some sense of our route and where we will stop along the way for the next few months. That way if we are going somewhere and think we might need a reservation (this comes into play around holidays and during school vacation) then we can reserve a spot. To keep track of everything we have a shared Google map with our tentative plans for the next 3-4 months. Sometimes we have two or three places listed for one week and make the final decision as we get closer. Right now we plan to spend most of March in Arizona, and then move into New Mexico from April-June. Tim needs to be in Albuquerque to fly out for a work conference the third week of April, so I want to plan our route from here to there. Using a combination of websites in conjunction with Google maps I think I figure out a good route with stops at several state parks along the way. I also plan out a tentative route after Albuquerque which brings us back down to the southeast part of NM, and then back north by the end of June, putting us in the perfect position to move into Colorado the first week of July.

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Planning…

Phew, all that planning makes me hungry. Good thing it’s time for a little afternoon snack. Today we have some rice crackers with peanut butter and baby oranges.

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Snack time
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Tim with his snack and another position shift

While I munch on my snack I spend anther hour planning. This time researching things to do while we are in Bisbee next week. Judging by the huge number of websites I bookmark we will not have a problem filling the week with all sorts of cool stuff. Tim works for a while longer and then calls it quits for the day. For the first time he goes outside to enjoy the day. The sky has darkened even more by this time and the wind has really picked up. Perfect for kite flying.

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Kite flying

While Tim’s outside with his kite I do some dinner prep. Since we usually go for a hike or bike ride in the afternoon when Tim’s done with work, I try to complete a little dinner preparation in the afternoon so that when we get back it’s easy to finish up. Tonight we are having an Eggplant & Zucchini Pizza and I need to make both sauce and dough. I always make my own sauce because, for one it’s easy, and two, it’s much tastier and healthier than anything I could buy in the store. I don’t ever use a recipe or any measurements for my sauce. Basically I just throw the ingredients in a pot and simmer for about 20 minutes. My sauce “recipe” goes something like this. Sauté some onion and garlic in olive oil, add a can of crushed tomatoes, a squirt of tomato paste, a drop or two of honey, a shot of balsamic vinegar, a generous amount of Italian seasoning, some salt and pepper, and simmer on low for 15-20. A little more effort than opening a jar, but totally worth it in my opinion. Next I whip up a batch of simple dough, something else I don’t use a recipe for, and place it in a bowl covered with a cloth to rise.

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Dinner prep

With that done we head off on our bike ride. Today we ride across the street and follow an old dirt road through the meadow. At one point we come upon a group of cows who stare at us for awhile before heading in the opposite direction.

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It’s a stand off

After only about a mile the road ends, so we turn around and ride back to the main road and then follow it up and down a few hills, past a pond, and a field of really tall grass before retracing our route back to the Airstream. The ride ends up clocking in at 5.5 miles. Not too bad, but I think next time we’ll seek out a longer route.

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Clouds over the Santa Rita Mountains

By the time we get back it’s a little past 5:30 and we can see the clouds beginning to break up in the distance. I take a picture and think that it’s probably going to be a nice sunset. Sure enough about an hour later I look outside and see that the sky is on fire! Of course I run outside to capture the moment.

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A spectacular end to the day

While the sky was busy doing its thing, I was busy finishing up dinner. The dough had risen nicely and I stretched it out on the pan and popped it in the over for a little pre-baking before I add the toppings. I like this method because it ensures a truly crispy crust. Last week in Tucson we went to this amazing pizza restaurant called Scordatos where we ate a delicious pizza topped with incredibly thinly sliced zucchini and eggplant with a pesto & tomato base. This was my dinner inspiration for the night. Except I was going to forgo the pesto in favor of a bunch of fresh basil on top. Even without a mandoline I managed to get the veggies sliced super thin. I took the partially cooked dough out of the oven and slathered on a thin layer of sauce, cheese, lots of veggies and some fresh basil. It came out perfect! I was worried that the large amount of watery vegetables, combined with the fact that I had layered them on top of each other, would lead to a soggy mess. Not the case at all. In fact, the super thin slices crisped up perfectly. I have a feeling this will turn into a repeat dinner.

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Dinner time: Zucchini, Eggplant Pizza with a salad on the side

After dinner I put away the leftovers (can’t wait for lunch tomorrow) and we watch a little T.V. We’re in the middle of the first season of Orange is the New Black right now. Have you seen this show? I had heard mixed reviews, but we are both really liking it and have to restrain ourselves from not watching more than one episode per night. After T.V. time I go into the bedroom for some reading and Tim stays up working on a personal project (that he will share eventually) for a few hours. I didn’t take any pictures after dinner because it was simply too dark in the Airstream.

So that’s it, one day of our life. Of course, this is not how everyday goes. Sometimes we do errands, or go out to eat, or visit with other people. The weekends tend to be very different from weekdays. But you already know about that because the stuff we do on the weekends is usually what make it into the blog. Then there’s drive days when we pack up, hook up, dump & fill up, drive somewhere and then do it all in reverse. Those days are really in a category of their own and maybe even deserve their very own “Day In The Life” blog post. For the most part though, this is our unglamorous, uncomplicated, simple and satisfying life. And honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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10 Responses to “A Day In The Life”

Comments

  1. Brett+Cheri [HelloFreedom]

    Wow, that was great. Thanks for sharing! So, you watch Netflix via your Mifi Jetpack through your computer which runs on solar power? Is that why you only watch one episode at a time, or because you want to savor the whole series and not do the whole thing in one shot? How much bandwidth does a one hour program eat up if you watch it on your computer in lo-def? Thank you again! We hope to meet you both someday soon. – Brett+Cheri

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Tim says one program takes a few hundred mega bites. And yes that is why we only watch one at a time. We also don’t always watch. Right now we’re at the end of the month and know that we still have some data left so we’re okay. If we really want to watch something and don’t have enough on the mifi then we tether to Tim’s phone which runs on AT&T. But sometimes that not an option either depending on how much we’ve already used.

      Reply
  2. Russ

    It was nice to hear about your day. Since I’m expecting to start full-timing for a spell within the next month or so I’m wondering what it will be like. It will be very different for me than for you, I’m certain.

    I was wondering how/where you get your TV shows and also if you get all your electricity from solar or run a generator at times. Do you have trouble finding good quality groceries so far from the big city?

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Yeah, I think it’s very different for everyone which is part of the reason why I wanted to write this post. As far as TV shows go, we watch some through Netflix, some through the network websites, and some just on over the air channels (we actually get 22 here). It all depends on how much data we have free.

      We have 300 watts of solar and unless it is completely cloudy for many days in row we don’t need to pull out the generator. We like to have it as a back up just in case though.

      I don’t worry about groceries as much as I used to. I’ve learned to plan ahead and stock up when we are near bigger cities. I’ve also gotten really good a packing a ton of food into our small fridge. Also staying in warmer climates has helped because we usually find a good farmer’s market almost anywhere. Even small towns have awesome markets these days.

      Good luck with you new full-time adventure!

      Reply
  3. Gay

    Totally awesome Amanda!
    That picture of your “spot” is absolutely gorgeous…worthy of framing or something!
    Sure enjoyed spending the day with you…..and thanks for the pizza idea with zucchini and eggplant!

    Reply
  4. Randy

    Great post Amanda. Thank you. I have been lurking on your blog for a long time now, but this is my first comment. Serene and I plan to start full-timing in June, and have been planning for well over three years now. I retired in November and Serene is finishing the school year, and can official retire next fall. I have been unloading all the stuff we have been collecting for over 30 years, then the house goes up for sale in April. The house is getting pretty empty so we are getting closer to our dream. While we have been RVing in a truck and fifth wheel for 12 years now, living in it will be a new adventure. We can’t wait. Thanks again for sharing what works for you.

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Thanks for the comment Randy. Sounds like you’re going through the same process we went through (minus the retirement). We took three years to get ready for full-timing, put our house on the market in April and took off in June! Hopefully your house sells in two weeks like ours did and we’ll see you out on the road soon. Good luck on your upcoming new life!

      Reply
  5. Vince

    Living in your Airstream, have you found any problems with scorpions or centipedes getting into the trailer? When I have stayed in Bisbee, for example, I found the occasional scorpion and also a centipede or two in the house. Just wondered if these critters ever get into the Airstream.

    Reply

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