First Time Gate Guarding – Days 50 – 55

Day 50

Today was nice and slow again.  We had 5 guys working overnight back on the pad doing cleanup, but since they rarely came out it was not a big deal.  And we hit day 50, which is a substantial amount of time and I have been trying to think about how long I ever worked without having at least one day off.  I worked two jobs once for a couple of months without a day off until I rearranged things so I had one day from both jobs and I worked a couple of projects that we were busy for about 6 weeks with no days off, but I think that’s it.  It’s been a long time though, that’s for sure, so this feels like the longest I have ever gone without one.

I spent some time reading, more proofreading, and watching a little TV.  Only one interruption during Walking Dead.  I also spent some time researching how to get the recipe book onto Amazon.  I am going through a company called blurb and they can sell the book themselves or help you get it on Amazon. The main advantage of Amazon is larger potential readership, but the downside is higher percentage (15%) taken from every sale.  It’s better than iBooks though, they take 30% of every sale.  Crazy.  Either way, it takes a few weeks to get your book listed, and once it is out there you cannot change it.  You have to unlist it then put up a revision, so proof-reading becomes even more important.  I swear every time I look at it I see something else. Today I noticed I had mis-numbered the steps on a few of the recipes.  Crazy, I’ve looked at it  100 times and never saw that before.  Lee missed it as well.  Anyway, I am working on it a little each night and my goal is to have it uploaded by the time fracking starts.

Day 51

Today was by far the slowest day so far.  Only a handful of trucks, which was nice.  I made meatloaf for dinner, because Lee requested an old favorite…I think he is taking a taste tester break, and then we watched a couple of shows before he went to bed.  I am super happy because the Voice is back on.  I am loving this foursome and it’s such a great feel good show. The only thing of interest was that we talked quite a bit about the new unlimited AT&T plan coming out tomorrow.  Lee and I have been very cautious about changing our grandfathered in plan, but we really think we can make this new one work.  (Right before we hit the road, we were lucky enough to get in on the last day of a promotion that doubled your data, so we got 80GB per month for what they were charging for 40GB. 80GB might sound like a lot of data, but it’s not. We use it for everything we watch, and some months we struggle to stay below 80GB. And the worst part is that overages are billed at a ridiculous $15 per GB. So we’ve been watching what AT&T and Verizon have been doing waiting for things to improve. And we think that time might have finally arrived. – Lee) If there are no fine print problems with the new unlimited data plan, it will save us $185 over what we’re currently paying for 80GB, which is a substantial amount of money on our current budget.  I’m excited because I really thought if we waited long enough something good would come out.  Good for T-Mobile and the Millennials for driving this change.  It was past time the companies responded to market pressure on this issue.

Day 52

Another super slow day and we found out that the folks who are bringing the liner for the pond won’t be here until next Monday or Tuesday.  This gives us many days of quiet to enjoy.  The big news today was we signed up for the new AT&T unlimited plan and it went off without a hitch.  That $185 a month or $2200 a year is a big budget changer, so we are both really excited about it. I also got some feedback on the recipe book from my friend Kelly, which was great, and she said she was trying one of the new recipes which was really exciting. I asked her if she thought the recipes were too simple and she immediately said no.  Kelly is one of the nicest people on the planet, but she also tells the truth, and since there was little hesitation I felt much better.  As she said, some of the recipes in each category are more complicated, but most are simple, which I think is a good thing.  My goal was to show real food, that could be made in an RV and super complicated doesn’t lend itself well to the lifestyle in many cases.  Anyway, I was getting cold feet about the whole thing and Kelly made me feel quite a bit better.

Since I am faced with several days with lots of down time I thought now might be the right time to start chipping away at the book about this journey we have been on.  I have been thinking about it for quite some time, but didn’t really feel like I was ready to start but this morning I woke up and it felt right.  This is definitely going to take some time, but getting started is the important thing.   Oh and I also did this month’s budget tonight and as you have probably already seen we had our best month ever.  That was definitely a plus.

Day 53

Lee only had a couple of trucks this morning.  They brought in some pipe and used it.  We did some housekeeping items and just took the day.  Lee watched movies and I worked on the blog and a little on the book.  I started writing last night and things flowed OK.  Good enough for a first pass at least.

Day 54

Today was a good day for it to be slow because it rained all day.  We only had one car all day and were glad of it because the rain and wind were near constant.  I’ve wanted to have all that in one place for a while so it was good to get that done.  Le is also doing the final edit on the recipe book.  I really needed a fresh set of eyes so he was nice enough to go through it one more time.

Day 55

Well we have put all of this free time to good use.  I finally finished a page I have been working on for a while which summarizes all of our  Last night I spent some time finishing up a page I have been working on for a while that summarized all of our working on the road experiences. If you would like to check out the new page click here.  I also took the opportunity to remove some of the less visited pages and reorder the web site in a way that made more sense to me.

For those who have read from the beginning, you have seen the website evolve over time.  The changes are partly due to what people seem to be interested in and partly because of what I want to write about.  The main goals of the blog have always been to have a place to tell our story and to try to write the blog we wish we could have read.  The pages and their ordering reflects that to some extent.  

We also finished the recipe book and I will be uploading that to Amazon very soon and I have started to write the book about our story.  That has been very interesting as we kept it a secret for many months and I have little in writing to help me put together the timeline of events.  Thankfully, I was able to be open in the RV-Dreams Forum and have been going back and rereading my early posts from 2013.  I still can’t get over how quick everything happened.  Even today as relatively adventuresome as I have become, I can’t see myself jumping into that big of a change that quickly.  If nothing else it really shows me how much this all was meant to be.

Oh and sorry that there is next to nothing to talk about regarding Gate Guarding this week.  There are apparently slow periods though and I needed to show the calm before the fracking storm.  Things should pick up pretty soon.

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11 thoughts on “First Time Gate Guarding – Days 50 – 55

  1. Nice, thanks for adding the page about working on the road. I’m heading over there now to make sure I did not miss anything from your earlier posts. I can imagine it will be one of the go to stops for people researching.

  2. Before you list your cookbook on Amazon, I suggest you ask a few people to do some testing of your recipes to get user feedback. What might seem simple or logical to you, may not be so clear for your user. If I remember correctly, you are aiming this at RVer’s or is your market broader than that. Anyway, just a thought. I hope it sells well!

    • Somehow I skipped reading day 52, as it sounds like you already are having your recipes tested and the recipe book is for RV cooking! I’ll wish you good luck again.

  3. Yay! Excited about both the recipe book AND the RV book!! We went on our camping trip of the season this weekend in the back of our truck (we have a topper and a bed platform/mattress in the back)- it got me dreaming of the time when we will be able to full time, whether that is at retirement or before- can’t wait! Thanks for all your great information!

  4. Very glad to have found you! One thing you might want to check with AT&T is whether roaming data is covered. I found with Sprint, it isn’t. Best of luck with the book/s. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  5. Tracey, Lola and I are going to Colorado for the summer and work camp. We bought a dish but like movies on amazon. I’ve never streamed movies off laptop. If Lee could call me sometime (we at est) and give me a few pointers I would be grateful. If not I understand. Thanks Lola and Rush 252-341-6779

  6. I’m excited about your recipe book – I hate overly complicated recipes which can be difficult to make on the road!

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