Well, my more literary minded readers should be happy again with this episode, because it was another fairly photo-less week. Through no skill of my own, I did manage to capture an amazing sunset over Big Bear Lake as we were coming home last night. I would like to credit everything to the Moto X phone, which is so dang good, it can make pretty good pictures somehow look *amazing*!
We had a great day off yesterday, hanging out with our co-workers and friends, Bob and Julia. They are also full-timers from Ohio, and have been at this RV thing for about 4 years. We went over to pick their brain about a few topics. I thought we might hang out an hour or two; we ended up sitting outside for more than 6 hours, talking and talking. (And we polished off 2 bottles of wine over the course of the day!)
Julia is a champion record-keeper. They traveled up the 395 highway (the one we’re taking to our next job), and she had detailed records of all the places they went, where they ate, what they did, and even which campgrounds they checked out as possible workplaces. She added even more ideas for our itinerary, which is now chock full of potential excitement.
(Note to my sisters: you might want to skip the next couple paragraphs!)
We also got advice about visiting Mexico for inexpensive medical care. There are lots of border towns that function primarily as centers for medical tourism for US customers. It’s easy to park just inside the US side of the border, walk across, and then visit dentists, optometrists, doctors, and more. Most clinics in Mexico don’t deal with insurance, and require cash only. Prices are astonishingly cheap. We’re talking $25 for a dental cleaning and x-rays, or $35 for an eye exam and contact lens fitting. Many snowbirds wait until they’re able to visit one of these areas and then have major work done. Bob and Julia talked about friends who had major dental work done down south, and saved *thousands* of dollars on procedures.
It’s also possible to visit pharmacies and pick up medication without a prescription. You’re allowed to bring anything but narcotics back across the border. Bob and Julia recommended investing in basic antibiotics like amoxicillin, penicillin, and z-packs, because they are usually only a few dollars each. That way, if you need them at some point, you’re ready to go. Otherwise, we would have to visit an Urgent Care, spend $100 on the visit, and then $20-$30 on the antibiotics. (Don’t get me started on the current state of health care that we were able to afford–our plan is for emergencies only outside of Ohio, and anything else is not covered.)
Yes, there are some issues to be concerned about. (And these are the points my sisters worry about.) There are great doctors and lousy, sham operations. We will go to the dentist and optometrist that Bob and Julia have been seeing for 4 years, and to whom they have directed many satisfied friends. We will only go to the tourist areas, and not off the beaten track to unknown, and unsafe, parts of town. We’ll go in the early morning, and be sure to be out of town well before dark. And if some dude named “El Cerdo” asks us to carry across this teeny little package to his family on the other side, we will politely decline. And run like hell.
More than anything, I am terrified that we will not be able to find the delightful ice cream cart man, who sells adorable little cups of homemade vanilla. *That* would be a tragedy! 🙂
As of a few days ago, we thought we would be finished with this job around September 15, but today we were asked if we could stay through the end of September. We agreed. This might mean less time between jobs, but maybe not. Bob and Julia worked for Amazon several times, and they know lots of folks in the business. It seems that this year is slower than those previous, and “Camperforce” employees aren’t being called in as early as in prior years. (In other words, if you want us to have a job, you can help by ordering all your holiday goods right now!) So, we might not start at Amazon until the beginning of November….might as well keep working a bit longer.
I am pleased to announce my discovery of a wonderful new (to me) foodstuff: dates! I saw these ugly little globes at the farm market and thought they looked like some sort of melty grape going bad. The farmer offered me a taste, and I decided to be brave. Holy moly! Sweet as honey and completely addictive–I am hooked! They come in fresh (crunchy), smooshy, and halfway inbetween. All levels of ripeness are edible, with different sweetnesses and texture. We got a pint of inbetween, to get the best of all worlds. They are in season for the next couple months, and you better believe that I will be getting more!
I don’t often ask questions here, but I have a few things on my mind that I just can’t decide on my own. First, I’m debating whether to go way short with my hair…like a buzzed head. I loved having such short hair, but I felt it didn’t look professional. After a few months in a new line of work, I realize that it would be just fine for me to sport a shaved head. It’s so easy to maintain ( I have clippers to do it myself), and requires so much less water ( important while we’re off the grid in the desert this winter.) Downsides: for some reason, strangers think I’m a dude when I have short hair, and I will have to wear a hat in cold weather. Thoughts?
Second: what brands of jeans do yall like that are affordable? I only have one pair, which has been fine since we work in uniforms now. But, once at Amazon, I need to attire myself, and I freaking hate shopping. I want details–not just “Target”, but what brands to check out there, for instance.
Thanks for the input!