When a door closes, a window opens 2/23/22

Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.

Leo Tolstoy

We have been readjusting to changes that will help us make more dreams come true in the future. All in all, progress has been happening on multiple fronts and we are so excited to share it with you!

Due to the weather and lack of passengers, nearly half of Jeff’s balloon flights are getting canceled recently. With the warmer weather on the horizon, Phoenix is heading into its “slow season” meaning the balloon companies will schedule only one shift each day instead of two. Needing to invest in a large generator to power our air conditioner as well as purchase other supplies for projects, we had to figure out additional income. I have been actively applying to a variety of jobs since we moved here, but none had more than given me a preliminary interview. Finally I got an email about a job I don’tΒ even remember applying for (there were so many!). We set up a phone interview and, during that, scheduled an in-person meet outside of a Starbucks about 15 minutes away. It went great! I got the job! I have been working for AnR Cleaning for almost two weeks now and I’m really enjoying it! The days are flexible, so Jeff has been working two days a week for Josh (the glass artist) and I work three days for Brian cleaning, then Jeff works balloons over the weekend. AnR is a small company (I’m one of two employees!) that cleans upscale homes throughout Phoenix. I’ve learned so much already about turning “lived in” to “immaculate” and making it feel like the residents come home to a 5-star hotel. It’s a whole new level of “clean” that I’m really enjoying being a part of. Additionally, cleaning with Brian (the owner) and Kim is a lot of fun and the three of us do a great job quickly making homes look fabulous together! It pays cash each week, so it’s the perfect off-grid gig, too!

We have had to go back to finding a balance between working and parenting back and forth again. It’s been over a year since Jeff and I both held jobs outside of the house, but thankfully this time it’s not full-time jobs for either of us. While one of us is at work, the other keeps Braydon occupied and schooled, makes food and washes dishes, and checks things off the “Bus Upgrades” list. Some of these things are shown below!

Jeff added a window to our front door πŸšͺ using one of the glass panels from the original bus door (DOT-approved safety glass). The window not only makes the door look more like a front door but now we can see out the right side of the bus while driving – woohoo!
Over the front wheelwell we added a box/seat for storage and more comfortable traveling.
It has a small footrest that gives us extra storage for longer tools that don’t fit in the toolbox.
And it’s really comfortable to boot!
We added a 110-volt electrical outlet to the footrest near the door to make plugging in power tools and charging the electric scooter more convenient as well as allow us to run electronics outside if need be.
We are also prepping the floor for the POR15 and bedliner. We used the rest of our plywood to reinforce the steps. Anyone who has been in our bus probably remembers the creaky-ness of them. There are no more creaks! We also added a handle to the outside of the bus so pretty soon it will be much easier to get in and out of.

In the back bedroom area we are trying to build another (better) bookshelf at the foot of our bed and redesign the one at the head of the bed. The bookshelf at the head of the bed, while cute, doesn’t hold the items while we drive, so is rather inconvenient when traveling a lot. We went to The Home Depot to get some more plywood and realized that it is $50-70 a sheet again! We will hold off on that project for now in hopes that prices come back down soon.

I finished gluing, sanding, and oiling the extra piece of live-edge walnut countertop.
I love it! It looks so good and adds so much extra workspace on top of the washer/dryer combo next to the stove! It also keeps the machine from shaking quite as much when the wash cycle does its final, high-speed spin. πŸ˜‰

Quick update on Sue Ellen: she’s doing well and starting to look round.We are about halfway to kitten-time! We’ve been doing research about the whole process and Braydon can hardly wait to see how many kittens Sue has!

If you haven’t yet, why don’t you get yourself a sticker so you can represent the Ealy Travels wherever you go? We would love to mail one out to you! Mail from here has been taking over 10 days to get to the East Coast, but we will mail it ASAP!

Thanks for stopping by to read our updates and see what’s new with the bus! Sneak peak into next week’s episode: An ice storm 🧊 in the desert 🏜?!?!

4 thoughts on “When a door closes, a window opens 2/23/22

  1. Love the seat/toolbox/electrical outlet addition… great job, Jeff..! And excellent looking countertop, Sar..!! We won’t recognize the bus next time we see it….
    Nice gig, cleaning for “the rich and famous”…😊…! Keep your eye out, they throw out nicer things than we buy…LOL..!!
    And, not to be too heavy here, but let me say, my hat’s off to your collective resilience. I’m too much of a ‘fair weather fellow’ to have weathered/bested the storms/situations(?) you have thus far encountered on your trip..!
    But you are showing to have persevered,
    and the good days are more the better for the effort..!!


    1. The bus will be fully finished hopefully!
      Thanks, it’s been an adventure for sure! There’s always going to be tough waves when you paddle upstream. Just keep the end in mind and it makes you persevere.
      And yes, I’ll let you know if I find any great “discards”! πŸ˜‰


  2. didn’t realize there was a “balloon” season..lol… so glad he has the glass gig and you got a cleaning job for a great company! the projects look great!! love the front door, bench and counter top! πŸ‘πŸ» you guys are rocking it! can’t wait to see the finished steps! Ralph says POR15 is great!
    wood prices are crazy! maybe you can fine pallets, they seem to be used for lots of projects.. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ
    but I gotta ask if his name is Brian, what does AnR stand for? lol
    great job on the work/parenting idea, you really have it together!!
    hope you get a/c before summer comes!
    can’t believe she’s going to have kittens! you can sell them to the neighbors..lol
    hope the weather didn’t get too cold out there!!
    love the sticker πŸ˜‰
    can’t wait for more updates! you guys are so busy, love the pics!
    take care! πŸ’•πŸ€—πŸ’•


    1. Forgot to answer this question. Sorry!
      I convinced him to name it after my favorite Aunt, so it stands for “AJ and Ralph”. πŸ˜‰
      Just kidding! Brian bought the company from a team whose names started with “A” and “R”. For now, I told him it stands for “Awesome and Radiant Cleaning, LLC”. He liked that, so we are sticking with it lol!


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