A&A Life Updates | What Does The Rest of 2021 Bring?
End of Week #109
Moochdocking, Stone Lake WI
Miles traveled since last week's post = 0
Total miles traveled to date = 15,766 with trailer
Happy last day of June! Can you believe it is already going on the 4th of July?! Some people say the summer is already half over by the time the 4th rolls around, and you know what - it sure feels like it's flying by lately. Before we know it we will be on the road again this fall, and we sure still have a lot of plans for the rest of the year!
Keep reading to hear all of our latest life updates!
A&A Life Updates | What Does The Rest of 2021 Bring?
Summer in Northern Wisconsin
I think it's safe to say that we have been having a great time in Stone Lake, Wisconsin already this summer! The time has been flying by, but it's already been memorable and impactful. It really won't be much longer than 2 more months from now and we will already be packing up and getting ready to say 'see you later' again. We have already spent so much time with family and friends, and have a lot more gatherings to look forward to yet. I am excited to welcome in another birthday up here in just a few weeks, and to enjoy a few more days on the pontoon. It really does stink that Adam and I have different work schedules and that he has to work on Saturdays and Sundays, but we are doing our best to make the best of it. There are times I get to partake in the activities that might be going on and he can't, but on the days he is off we are seeking out adventures that are flexible enough with my part time online work schedule too.
The good news is that we still have a lot of adventures planned, both for in Stone Lake when Adam is off during the week, as well as around northern Minnesota and Minnesota. We hope to make a trip out to the Apostle Islands in July or August, as well as a possible trip to the North Shore in Minnesota. We are heading to my dad and step mom's seasonal campground in Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota next week. We are planning to attend the Minnesota State Fair in August with friends, and probably a handful of other trips to "the Cities" as well. The summer will go quickly, but not without all the fun and adventure we can possibly squeeze into it. It also helps that my mom and Dick come up a lot on Thursdays or even earlier, and it allows for more fun activities on Adams days off - as he is typically off on Thursdays and Fridays each week.
Our favorite things to do 'Up North' include pontoon boat rides, bar hopping on the pontoon or along any of the lakes up here, bonfires, middle of nowhere house parties, downtown Hayward, the Chippewa Flowage, four wheeling, and fishing!
Minnesota Sugar Beet Harvest in the Fall
We are still on track for the Sugar Beet Harvest workamping experience this fall, with just a few changes! Recently, we came across an opportunity for a driver position in southern Minnesota, that would make just as much money as the both of us doing entry level beet sampler positions combined. It would be a solo opportunity, for just Adam, and we applied him for it and got it! Since we don't yet know an end date for my temporary online position in HR with Affinity Plus, we decided that for now at least - it is the best idea to switch to this position and just have Adam plan on working the Beet Harvest. It is also nice that this position would not be so far north and also allow us to stop in Lake Elmo, MN for a week prior to arriving to the Harvest. The campground in Lake Elmo is very close to where we used to live in Woodbury for 8 years, and it would allow us time to eat at some of our favorite restaurants and to spend more time with family and friends without having to travel all the way from Stone Lake, WI.
The family farm that is hiring Adam will also allow us to arrive early - the Harvest doesn't technically start until September 27th, but we will be arriving on September 15th. They told us that they will have some other odds and ends jobs for Adam to do to get a little more work in! So with that all being said, we have our official (tentative) date to leave Wisconsin - Wednesday September 8th. That allows Adam to work at the Chit-Chat bar up here through the last holiday weekend of the summer, and gives us one full week in Lake Elmo, before heading to southern Minnesota.
It will be hard to say an exact end date for the end of the Harvest, as it's completion is based on weather (if the weather is too hot or too cold, or if it rains or snows you have to take the day off), but they typically estimate about 3 weeks. It is my goal that we will be done by mid October, and can start making the journey south...
Florida for the Winter
You best believe that we absolutely will be spending another winter in Florida! I can't even begin to tell you how excited about it I am already. Following along in the sense of good news and "workamping job promotions", we also have exciting news to share about our Christmas tree lot this year. We have been "promoted" to a new lot - one of the top grossing lots! It is just a few miles from where our previous lot was, and we will have the opportunity to offer our lot helpers the chance to move lots with us too. Never did we think that if we were to switch lots this year that we would be given the one we are, and we are quite thrilled about it. We know we want to continue our relationship with Hart-T-Trees, working for years to come at their retail lots AND on their farm, so this is a very exciting next step for us.
At this point, I've also recruited 2 couples to join the HTTF family, and they will both be working lots this year as well. One of the couples just so happens to be our good friends we met workamping in Gualala, California last summer, and we are beyond excited to see them again!
After we complete the 2021 Christmas tree season, the plan remains much the same to last winter - to stay in Florida hopefully until about the end of March. We already know of more family/friends coming down to the gulf side in March again and definitely want to spend time with them. Adam and I area also really looking forward to hanging out with my great aunt and uncle on the gulf side for as long as we can again! Last winter was such a blast in Florida, I don't know how we can even top it, but I sure want to try.
We are hoping to head west in 2022 after we would leave Florida, hopefully spending some time in Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, and then back to Minnesota for another year of the Sugar Beet Harvest. Obviously this is too far out to say for sure, and plans we make ALWAYS change - but this is what we have our eyes on, for now.
Bengal Cat updates
All in all, my two little Bengal babies have been doing well - loving the fat that we have been sitting still for so long now. However, there are of course, a few things causing me concern, AGAIN. It is extremely unfortunate, but Roscoe's cough has returned. The same cough that started in Florida last December, and went on all the way until March. In March we gave him an antibiotic to see what it would do after his lung x-rays came back inconclusive of anything, and then BAM - mid May and it returned out of nowhere. He went over 2 months without any cough that I know of, at all, and then all the sudden just started up again a month ago. It is still sporadic, about every 3-5 days or so, but sometimes now when he coughs he coughs several times in one day and that is definitely concerning for me.
It is a bit tougher to coordinate a vet appointment in Hayward, as we only have the one vehicle and it will have to be when neither of us are working - but I plan to get him in within the next few weeks for another check up. It's exhausting when I have already taken him to 3 vets across the east side of the country, but I have to know what I can do to help him. I also would still like to have his lipoma removed off of his shoulder. It doesn't appear to have grown much at all in the past 4 months, so that is good news, but I know it is something that would make me feel a whole lot better if it was gone!
I will also be setting up a vet appointment for miss Rahja this summer, as she appears to have something going on with her mouth or her teeth. Randomly sometimes when she eats she freaks out and paws at her mouth and acts like she is trying to get something out of her mouth that is stuck. I know that this can be a sign of a tooth problem and tooth pain while eating, so I want to be sure she is not having any of the similar tooth resorption problems that Roscoe dealt with the past 2 years.
Sometimes it feels like it's never-ending with these two crazy cats! I love them to death, and would do anything for them to make sure they live the best lives they can. While we are at the vet this summer we will also renew both of their prescriptions for gabapentin to get them ready to travel again this fall and winter.
2 year Engagement Anniversary
Today also just so happens to be our 2 year engagement anniversary! Two years ago at our 'See You Later' Party in Stillwater, MN, Adam surprise popped the question in front of our family and friends. Since then, I've gotten questions over time about when we are going to tie the knot or if we are going to elope, or in general - what our plans are. Well, I'm here to tell you that we still do not have any plans, and we are completely okay with that!
I would hope it goes without being said, but nothing in our relationship will change just by having a piece of paper from the government. There are a lot of reasons I have no desire to even get legally married at all, however I do still like the idea of a small wedding as a sign, symbol and declaration to one another. Ultimately though, having this official title again does not dictate our love, our relationship or change the fact that we have spent 11 years together, with the last 2 of which we have been living fulltime in a travel trailer together.
When I dream about us eventually getting married, I've been contemplating the idea of eloping a lot more. I think it could be really awesome to get married somewhere on the road - specifically on a beach or in the mountains, and not have to worry about all the stress and drama tied to planning a "regular" wedding. It would also save a lot of money, as getting married is not something I can justify spending your life savings on. Part of me also wanted to figure something out for while we were in Wisconsin, to just do something small - but that was before I knew we were going to be here THIS summer, as I'm not sure there is enough time to even plan something small that quickly.
Either way, and regardless how we do go about it, it will be on our terms, and in our own way - just like everything else we do!
I've gotten all my blog post ideas planned for the summer, now I just have to put them in an order that will work best. :) I am making progress though... and I plan to be "on time" next week to get back on schedule too, woohoo!
I have recently become affiliated with Amazon, through the set up of my own storefront page. Here I am able to list and link all of the items I have purchased through Amazon and would recommend for various needs. I have lists set up for fulltime RVing, camping in general, traveling with cats, health and wellness, and even curly hair! Plus, as an added bonus, I will make a small commission on any items purchased through my link.
If you want to check out more of my storefront page, here is the link: Spark Fire Swan's Amazon
I will continue to add items as time goes on, as we are always finding something new on there that becomes quite useful to our lifestyle or for our feline friends. As a rule of thumb, I only ever link things we have actually purchased, kept, and use on a frequent basis!