Friday, April 1, 2022

Winter in Florida

 Mike, Abby and I spent the winter in Florida from November to March.


We arrived at cousin Ryan’s home in Crestview on November 20th and stayed with them Thanksgiving week.  From there we made our way to West Palm Beach area for most of the winter.  My parents live in Delray Beach just south of West Palm.  We decided to put the camper in storage for a few months and live with them, this way we could spend more time with them plus God gave us discernment on what was going to happen this winter when we reserved our storage spot a few months prior.


So on Sunday, December 5th we put the camper in storage and on December 7th my Dad was admitted into the hospital because his defibrillator was malfunctioning.  They fixed that by changing his defibrillator to a pacemaker and did ablation on his heart.  He came home on December 10th.


On December 16th while scanning Indeed, I came across a job posting that read as if my former employer posted my previous job description; so I decided to submit my resume for the position.  The next day I received a request for an interview.  Had the interview the following Monday and was offered the job the next day.  I work for an IT company out of NJ as the IT Administrative Assistant.  My job is full-time with benefits and a 100% remote.  My supervisor calls me her Christmas gift, little does she know that the job is my gift from God.  God’s blessing comes in His timing.


On Christmas eve, Mike got a call from his step-dad, Jerry, that Mike’s mom, Mary broke her hip and had to have emergency surgery on Christmas day.  Jerry, himself healing from some health issues, asked Mike to come to help them, not only around the house, so they can heal, but help bring Mary’s spirits up as well.  This was the discernment from God - to put our camper in storage and for us to stay with my parents.  So Mike flew to Montana, January 6th while Abby and I stayed with my parents in Florida.  He was there for almost 5 weeks.  He flew back to Florida on February 8th.


While Mike was in Montana I stayed busy with my new job, plus still doing work for our business, Devine Web Design and being the newsletter editor and social media creator for Christian Motorcyclist Association (CMA) Montana.  While staying with my parents, I met new friends in the condo complex, we played cards and bocce ball twice a week.  Also visiting with Uncle Tom is always a lot of fun and a ton of laughs.





Mike and I took a Motorcycle Training Class while in Florida, to get our license endorsements.  For Mike this was easy, since he rode dirt bikes as a kid and knew the fundamentals of riding.  Me not so much, we all know how I did on the quad at roads and trails.  If not check out that blog post…  https://www.enjoyingourdevinelife.com/2021/09/roads-trails.html. Mike got a 100% on the written exam and riding exam.  I got an 88% on the written but failed the riding.  I need practice as this was my first time riding a motorcycle, but I am happy with my progress.  I know how to ride a bike with my feet on the pegs and didn’t dump the bike.  I can turn it, speed up and brake without freaking out but need more practice to build up my confidence.  Overall I had fun and plan to practice this summer and get my endorsement next year.





Before Mike went to Montana we found a church in Boca so Mom and I would go every Sunday while he was away.  Mom even got baptized the Sunday we left their condo and moved back into our camper, February 27th.


After getting settled in the camper again, we decided to move up to Orlando for a couple weeks before moving up north and west to Crestview to visit cousin Ryan and his family for a week before our trek west to Montana for the summer.





While in Orlando, Mike decided to treat me to my 50th birthday present in advance.  We went flying (indoor skydiving).  On my birthday we will be miles from nowhere, so why not extend my birthday into a month + celebration.  Originally we wanted to go to Alaska but with the COVID thing that put a wrench in our plans.  Flying was a lot of fun, I highly recommend it.  Worth it!





With my new job our traveling has changed. We slowed it down; travel on weekends to work during the week.  Also, you will notice that we are not on social media as much and our blog post will be maybe once every few months.  Life is busy and we will do our best to keep you posted.  Remember to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get noticed when we update our blog.


As always God bless and keep you.  Safe travels and enjoy your life.


Monday, December 20, 2021

2021 Year in Review

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


As tradition, this is our annual year in review newsletter.


Since we have been full-time RVing, we spend winters in Florida visiting my Mom and Dad.  While in Florida this year we met YouTubers Wayward Waggs, Dustin and Leslie at the Peace River Thousand Trails Campground.  Mike and I also went to the Tampa RV show.  Our friends, Keith, Susan and their son, Mark came down for a week and we stayed in Vero Beach.  Vero Beach is less than an hour away from Cape Canaveral, so we visited Kennedy Space Center.  We witnessed another nighttime rocket launch from Cocoa Beach.





Due to Covid, we decided to not visit New York this year, so from Florida we headed west and visited friends in Texas, Arizona and California.  Mike, Abby and I hung out in Las Vegas for three weeks waiting for a break in the weather to head north to Montana.  While in Las Vegas we met YouTubers, Switch It Up, Todd and Sheila.


We made it to Montana for Easter and my birthday, early April and stayed there until November 1st.  While in Montana, Mike and I got baptised at Abundant Life Fellowship Church in Butte, MT.  We became Christian Motorcyclist Association (CMA) Members.  Yes you can become a member and not have a motorcycle.  Well we don’t have one yet as there is alot of logistics… we would need a new rig.. A toy hauler 5th wheel and a new truck to tow it.  We visited family in Butte, Lewistown, Helena and Great Falls.   While visiting Aunt Betty we went to a rodeo at the Lewistown fair.  That was my first rodeo… ha ha ha.  We attended the Montana CMA State Rally and the CMA Roads and Trails.  Mike did some modifications to the RV, like changing our valances, put a friction hinge on the door, painted trim and a wall.





Mike and I started a business, Devine Web Design LLC (www.devineweb.net) and created the website for the Abundant Life Fellowship Church (www.theuptownchurch.net) and manage their social media (Facebook and Instagram) accounts for them.  We also became the monthly e-newsletter editor and social media managers for CMA Montana State.


As in life, not everything is good news as Abby had an issue with vertigo early this year and that was a scary and costly vet visit.  She also had a UTI early this summer.  But we are blessed to still have her with us as she is 14 and half now but you would not guess as she is still very active just alittle more grey, like the rest of us.  I fell off a quad during Roads and Trails because of my cockiness.  Just some scrapes and bruises.  Nothing major, thank God.  Mike’s Grandma Bea and his step-mom, Yvonne passed away this spring.  We miss them so.  Our parents still have their health issues but hanging in there and we are so grateful to God for that, as that is the reason for our RV life.  We also had to replace all the rims on the truck as we had seven of eight lugs shear off while driving.  It cost us money, but it could have been alot worse.  For more on the lug issue check out our blog post… https://www.enjoyingourdevinelife.com/2021/08/our-worst-travel-day.html 





This fall again due to Covid we decided not to visit New York, we left Montana and headed south to Arizona to visit friends, then east to Texas and Arkansas to visit more friends.  While in Arkansas we decided to visit CMA headquarters in Hatfield.  Hatfield feels like home or maybe I say that because of all the signs and greetings that say “Welcome Home”.  From there we headed to Mississippi then home to Crestview Florida, where we stayed with Mike’s cousin Ryan and his family for Thanksgiving week.  Then home to Delray Beach Florida to spend Christmas and winter with my parents.


Mike, Abby and I want to wish you a blessed Christmas and New Year.  Let there be healing, prosperity, blessing, favor, peace and joy for you and your family in 2022.


God bless and keep you,

Melissa, Mike and Abby

Devine


Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Our trip from Montana to Florida

 After six months in Montana, Mike and I trekked our way to Florida this November.



We left Montana on November 1st, our first destination for the night was a Cabela’s store in Idaho Falls.  Then the following day we traveled south of Salt Lake UT to a Harvest Host for the night.  On the third day we traveled to Lake Powell and Lone Rock for the night.  That was more than we had planned for.  This is a national park but we decided not to get the pass as we were not planning to visit a national park, so that cost us $30 to get into the park plus $14 to stay the night with no connections.  The water level was very low so the pictures were not that great.  After our Lone Rock stay we traveled through Page Arizona and visited Horseshoe Bend on our way to our four day destination of Mesa Arizona to visit our friends, Victoria and Keith.


After Mesa, we trekked northeast to stay overnight at a Cracker Barrel in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  At a truck stop, Mike noticed a sign at the pump limiting the number of gallons per fuel up.  Next was Texas for a few days before visiting Christian Motorcyclist Association in Hatfield, Arkansa.  We met up with our friends, Rob and Marie, and Tammy and Alan outside of Hot Springs Arkansa for a few days and made new friends, Tina and Charlie.  After Arkansas we stayed in Mississippi for a few days before making it to Florida.  We visited Mike’s cousin, Ryan, and his family for Thanksgiving week, then off to Delray Beach, Florida for the winter (until March).


Year in review will be posted next week.  Enjoy the Christmas season with your family and friends in good health, protection while traveling and many blessings from the Lord.


Remember to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.


#EnjoyingOurDevineLife #EODevineLife #DevineLife #RVLife #RVFulltime #NomadicLife #RVNomad

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Products We WOULD NOT buy again:

 Here is a list of 5 products we WOULD NOT purchase again and why.



#1 - SureCall cell booster kit


Well like so many we had a misconception of what this actually does.  We thought the $486 system would have increased Internet speed so we could work from the road, but it does not.  We found out that all it does is help strengthen the cell signal for long range.  We used it once in the two plus years we have it to get one bar on our cell when boondocking.  We have a Pepwave system ($1,000) to increase Internet speed.


Check out Mobile Internet Resource Center video called mimo vs boosters: Do cellular boosters provide the best signal and data performance.


#2 - LevelMate Pro (not the pro plus)


So we got the LevelMate Pro device and app to save us time at setup, but from day one it never really worked.  Took time to connect to our phone app and sometimes would not connect.  Called LevelMate to troubleshoot the issue, they indicated that the receiver might be out of range, so we moved it not once but twice.  Finally moved it to the basement near the water system and still not worth the hassle.  LevelMate Pro cost us $140.  We purchased the bubble levels that stick to the outside of the rig for less than $11 and use them all the time.  I noticed that a YouTube channel is promoting using a level when setting up, not the levelmate pro; as they were before.


#3 - RV Trip Wizard


Mike wanted this to give it a try.  Me; I was happy with all the free apps to help plan our trip and map our routes.  So we paid $49 for a year and well… we will not renew.  Most campgrounds have dirt or gravel roads, so if you have the setting set to not route you on those roads it takes you out of the way and we found we double checked it and trusted Google maps more than RV Trip Wizard.  So paying $49 for a year of service and double checking against a FREE app everytime does not make sense to us.  Next month I will have an article on the free apps we use to plan out trips.


#4 - automatic transfer switch


Well after 1 ½ years our GoPower automatic transfer switch stopped working.  So what was automatic, now became manual due to a relay control board failure and because there is a parts shortage.  The automatic transfer switch cost us $150.  We had to purchase a manual switch anyway and that cost $26.  So you see where I am going with this?  


#5 - KOA membership


The KOA campgrounds are nice but pricey.  We really don’t have anything against KOA campgrounds, we just don’t seem to go to them.  These parks are great for families. 

The amenities are nice, people are friendly and the parks are clean and well maintained.  The main reason we cancelled our $39 membership is because of the price of the parks, they just don’t fit our budget.  Overnight stays cost between $40 to $100 per night, depending on where and when you stay and you do save 10% with your membership.  But for us it's not worth it.


Do you disagree?  What products did you purchase and now wished you hadn’t?  Let us know in the comments below.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

RV Decorating Mods - Summer 2021

This summer we did four decorating mods in our RV.  All these are budget friendly that anyone can do.


#1 - Valances





We changed the valances and I outline how to do this in the blog post link below.  The curtain panels we used from Walmart were about $11 for 2 panels, enough for all the windows in the RV.
https://www.enjoyingourdevinelife.com/2021/05/changing-our-window-valances.html


#2 - Painting the slide trim on all three slides


Mike painted the trim on each slide (three) black.  It looks like a dry brush and it looks so much better.  We had the black paint so no cost, just time to do this mod.







#3 - Painted the bedroom wall blue 


Mike painted one wall in the bedroom blue to add a bit more color.  We used the same blue paint  from the kitchen / entry walls; so no cost, just time to do this mod.



#4 - Dining chair seat covers


We re-covered our dining area chairs.  I picked a blue pleather to make them easy to clean and keep with the blue color scheme.  Purchased the pleather from Amazon for about $10.





Not happy with the chairs but will do for now. Plan to replace them with a brown pleather storage ottoman for more storage. Like we have on the side of the loveseat.



What do you think?

Thank you and God bless.


Sunday, September 26, 2021

2nd Nomadic Anniversary

 


Wow!  Two years already!  Where does the time go?


I hope you watch the video recap I posted on Facebook yesterday.  If not, here it is…





The main reasons we decided to full-time RV in our 40s/50s…

  1. To visit our parents and family in Montana, Florida, New York and Ohio.  Mike’s Mom has cancer and my Dad has COPD with heart issues, so that was our final nudge.  Mike and I spend winters in Florida with my parents and summer in Montana with his Mom and step-dad.  In between we visit my brother and his family, Mike’s aunts and cousins, and friends we have made along our journey.

  2. Life is too short and you don’t know how long you have in this life, so make the most of it.  I lost a friend, Tommy, to cancer when he was 40.  Mike’s Dad, Ray, passed away at 67.  So you don’t know how long you have.  Also we wanted to RV and have adventures, while we are still young and healthy. Money and things are just that “things” and money can always be made.


In two years we visited so many places and met some amazing friends.  We look forward to what the future has in store for us.


Thank you and God bless. 


Saturday, September 18, 2021

Roads & Trails

I know it has been awhile since our last post, but when you are stationary for a long time (6 months in Butte MT) not much goes on to report.  Last week Mike and I participated in Roads & Trails in Whitehall MT, sponsored by Christian Motorcyclist Association (CMA) of Montana State and WE HAD A BLAST!!!!!!!!!!


What is Roads & Trails?  It is a family weekend event, where you can ride motorcycles, dirt bikes, quads (4-wheelers) or dual sport motorcycles on roads or trails.  You meet your trail boss or road captain in the morning, plan your route, discuss safety, pray and then ride.  After your ride, you eat, fellowship and tell stories on each other during a slideshow of pictures and videos everybody takes during the day.


Our friend, Lori, let us borrow her quad 2-up on Friday, so Mike and I took turns driving on the dirt trails of Pipestone, Montana.  This was my first time driving, except for driving Aunt Betty’s 4-wheeler up and down her driveway this summer.  Mike taught me when to put it in low, to keep it level as much as possible and when to put it in 4-wheel drive.  I did great.  Our trail boss, Lois, took us up to Ringing Rocks, through easy trails and as we progressed in our confidence more advanced to the most advanced trails.  We stopped and had lunch with the kid group at Four Corners in Pipestone.  FYI, it looks like there are abundant RV spots for boondockers.  We rode from 10 AM to about 4 PM.


(Friday's ride)


(Us ladies)


Side note: I purchased a motorcycle jacket at the CMA state rally during a silent auction, plus we purchased 1storm helmets from Amazon for about $60 each before the Roads and Trails event.  Oh and I purchased motorcycle gloves for $10 through Amazon, before our weekend of fun riding on the dirt and rocky trails.  


(Mike driving - Nice helmet)





(Me in the white helmet and white motorcycle jacket)


On Saturday, Lori loaned the quad to me and a dirt bike to Mike.  It has been 36 years since Mike rode a dirt bike, so he took my motorcycle jacket since he is most likely to fall and hurt himself.  But he did great!  It was like riding a bike (pun intended).  His trail boss, “G”, took his son Alex, a CMA member from Wyoming Jeff and Mike to Flintstone house (nature formation in the mountains), the old granite quarry where they got the granite for the Butte courthouse stairs and some amazing challenging trails.  Mike only fell and dumped the bike about three times, but didn’t hurt himself because he had my jacket, gloves and a helmet.  Me on the other hand… that’s a different story.


(Flintstone House)

(taking a break)


So Ramona, JaraLee, and I followed our trail boss, Lois, through more advanced and most advanced trails throughout the day and I did great!  I used low gear and 4-wheel mode when needed, kept it level, was so confident that I would stand during the moguls on some of the trails.  I said I did great all until the trail to get us out of the Pipestone park.  Yep, you guessed it.  I tipped the quad and fell.  On the last trail there was a hill and at the top a sharp turn to go down hill and the quad I had was a bit long.  I took the corner but in doing so had to go up the bank to make the turn and was too much of a bank that I tipped the quad.  As it tipped I got scared and grabbed the handle bars but in doing so pushed on the accelerator and it got away from me and down we went (Melissa and the quad).  Thank the Lord I was wearing a helmet as my head hit the ground.  I scraped my elbow real good and bruised a few ribs, my hip and leg.  I should have been wearing my jacket, but Mike and I thought he needed it more as I did so well the day before.  As I hit the ground I rolled as I didn’t know where the quad was landing and didn’t want that heavy sucker landing on my legs or on me period.  


(Me all dirty and hurt)


As I jumped up to get to my feet and assess the situation, I was grateful to be second in our group, so I could stop Ramona and JaraLee behind me.  Lois noticed it was taking us too much time so she reversed course to see what the issue was and JaraLee flagged her down.  That is when we noticed my scraped up elbow.  The Lord sent three dirt bike riders on the same trail that we flagged down to help us right the quad and get us to level ground.  I mustered up the courage to get back on that “horse” and took my time getting off the trail.  I gingerly took my time getting back to base camp as the dirt road that kept guiding the quad off the road and I was a bit shell shocked to say the least.  I was determined not to let fear win and scare me from getting home.  The old Melissa would have said “call Mike to come and get me, I’m not doing this anymore.”  Sat there and pouted. Not the new courageous Melissa, she is determined to do things afraid and fight the fear as I don’t want the devil to win and steal my joy of living a life of adventure.  


What did I learn other than courage?  Well that the Lord was watching over me, as it could have been worse and he sent the three dirt bike gentlemen to help us, but looking back I got cocky in my ability and as I was turning on the steep bank I was thinking stop, reverse and straighten it out before continuing and I should have listened to that inner voice.  I also learned that I want a quad and want to do it again.  We can’t wait for next year’s roads and trails.  


(before the accident)


Mike and I want to thank our friends, Lori and Dan for letting us borrow the quad and dirt bike.  They were so understanding of the new scrapes.  


Remember to do things you are afraid to do… it’s called courage.  Who knows you might have a blast and enjoy your life.  Thank you and God bless. 


#roadsandtrails #roadsandtrailsmt #rnt #rntmt #cma #cmausa #cmamt #christianmotorcyclistassociation #christianmotorcyclistassociationusa