Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Over the Hills and Through the Woods To Adventures We Go

I am so thankful for this big beautiful world and my lucky chance to catch a glimpse of such gorgeous natural beauty.  Take me home, country roads.  Paris Mountain, South Carolina.

Growing things fascinate the puppy dog. He is rooting around the grass in the RV park, rooting out stuff. Maybe he has taken up weeding. He definitely loves bugs and flutter-flies.

He starts barking at the neighbors, I dash out to shush him down. Then we play ball. Baseball, football, tennis and golf.

I am wore out. He is just warming up. Harley weighs five pounds, but has a stubborn streak to him. I think it's a little dog thing, to have really BIG attitude. He thinks of himself as a big dog anyhow. He loves to play with other dogs, no matter what their size! But he hasn't quite figured out how far his security range is, when it comes to barking at others. I am trying to teach him to be a nice well behaved QUIET doggy. Ha, ha, ha. So I play ball with him. He is lightning fast at running, a good sprinter.

We practice his 360's, but he wouldn't do a backflip.

He needed loads of exercise. We had a long day in the motorhome.

My copilot can't drive, doesn't do maps, nor make drinks or change the music.
However, he is an expert at sleeping on the job.

Over the hills and through the woods to adventure we go. He was good traveler. I forgot to check the log, but I think we did about 230-ish miles today.It wasn't as harrowing as my last long trips. OK laugh. 230 miles isn't a long trip, but I am driving by myself with a puppy. I am recuperating and he has a tiny bladder. So we made a few stops.

Beautiful flowers on a hill against a backdrop of  lush, forest in North Carolina.

Today I pick out a spot that is nice and level for the motorhome. Harley was thrilled there was room to put out nearly a 100 foot tether, tied to a table and the motorhome, about 50 feet apart. This gives him room to run in all directions while we play ball. He needed some good running exercise after his stint as co-pilot. About 8 miles before the RV Park, he alerted me to the fact that he needed to go outside and water something quick. Poor thing, he had endure a few more miles of me sweet talking, while I frantically looked for a spot to pull over.

Finally, whew, we found place to pull well off the road, that had some overgrown grass. Harley promptly watered it. Then we went on a very short walk, then back to the motorhome. Since we were stopped anyhow, I used my on-board rest room as well. In some places, like state parks, this is referred to as a "Comfort Station". It used to be bathrooms, then rest rooms but now it's a Comfort Station in some places.

Harley invites Bo-Bo to ride with him.  Bo-Bo still has errant pine needles stuck to him, cause Harley took him on a hike through the woods. This is after I removed half the forest, that was attached to Bo-Bo's green fur. Harley, doesn't mind that Bo-Bo is a mess, too big for his bed. Harley holds Bo-Bo tightly, since he can't seem to fit him in the seat belt either.  It's a shame that neither Harley nor Bo-Bo can take a turn driving.

So now, that we were both drained, so to speak, we carried on to the park, which was maybe only 15-20 minutes away.

The last two nights, I had a nice driveway invitation. My friend had a roomy graveled T-shaped driveway. I was able to park level without boards, on my second try of parking. We had fun visiting. I loved this self-contained idea of the motorhome, though my kind amigo plugged me into 110. I travel with a heavy duty 110 cord and an adapter for my 30amp cord.

After years of living on boats afloat with solar and 12 volt systems, I practically have all my 110 and 12 volt needs memorized, so I don't trip a breaker, when I am on this electrical arrangement.

It was really hot and humid, so I suffered with air-conditioning.

Whoa!  Is this peach on steroids or what? 
But tonight, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, it is oh so pleasantly cool. I have all the windows in the motorhome open. Fresh mountain breezes pass through.

As we near the mega peach on steroids,  it's really Gaffney's Water Tower in South Carolina. Andie McDowell grew up in Gaffney. I first saw this peachy phenonmenon several decades ago. At one point, a new artist was commissioned to repaint the peach. He painted it flesh colored. From certain angles, it looked like a big butt!  Finally Gaffney commissioned another artist, who this time rendered a beautiful lifelike peach.

I look around the sparsely populated park. I feel sorry for the folks closed up tight in their fancy travel trailers, and big rig diesel pushers. I love the fresh air and am thrilled to be away from the air conditioning.

Now, I can get the new filters put in. The old ones are a mess and on their last breath. They were washable and reusable, but I suspect they are the original ones. Now wait a minute, how did fresh mountain breezes translate to work?

I realize the motorhome needs a good cleaning. Again.

Now I am cleaning up for two, what with the puppy. We get a little too comfy and cozy, sometimes the housework slides cause we are playing ball or driving or I am writing.

Harley has wore himself out finally. He is snoozing on the pillows, next to me while I sit on the settee writing.


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Monday, June 28, 2010

MEN, Beware of this Scam

A male friend of mine sent me this SERIOUS WARNING about a Scam going around that targets older men. Please be careful out there!

Women often receive warnings about protecting themselves at the mall

and in dark parking lots, etc.

This is the first warning I have seen for men.

I wanted to pass it on in case you haven't heard about it.

A 'heads up' for those men who may be regular Lowe's, Home Depot,

Costco, or even Wal-Mart customers.

This one caught me totally by surprise.
Over the last month I became a victim of a clever scam while out shopping.

Simply going out to get supplies has turned out to be quite traumatic.

Don't be naive enough to think it couldn't happen to you or your friends.

Here's how the scam works:

Two nice-looking, college-aged girls will come over to your car or

truck as you are packing your shopping into your vehicle.

They both start wiping your windshield with a rag and Windex, with

their breasts almost falling out of their skimpy T-shirts. (It's

impossible not to look). When you thank them and offer them a tip,

they say 'No' but instead ask for a ride to McDonalds.

You agree and they climb into the vehicle.

On the way, they start undressing.

Then one of them starts crawling all over you, while the other one

steals your wallet.

I had my wallet stolen March 4th, 9th, 10th,

twice on the 15th, 17th, 20th, 24th, & 29th.

Also Apr. 1st & 4th, twice on the 8th, 16th, 23rd, 26th & 28th,

three times last Monday and very likely again this upcoming weekend.

So tell your friends to be careful.

What a horrible way to take advantage of us older men.

Warn your friends to be vigilant.

Wal-Mart has wallets on sale for $2.99 each.

I found even cheaper ones for $.99 at the dollar store and bought them

out in three of their stores.

Also, you never will get to eat at McDonalds.

I've already lost 11 pounds just running back and forth from Lowe's,

to Home Depot, to Costco, Etc.
So please, send this on to all the older men that you know and warn

them to be on the lookout for this scam.

(The best times are just before lunch and around 4:30 in the afternoon.)


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The Brain Gets Tired

     The brain gets old and tired. Soon as I master a computer program, windows updates and makes the program obsolete. Then I'm supposed to buy a new program and relearn all over again. It's super frustrating.
     Luckily, I have a 5 pound puppy that wastes a ton of my time. I didn't plan it that way. Training takes up a lot of time. Training him to respond in certain ways to certain words.

     I read somewhere that a smart dog can master 100 words. I know my cats knew about 100 words. I think TUNA was their favorite word. Just say TUNA and all three would make a fast run to your feet. They could be a half mile away, playing in the woods, out of breath, and covered with bits of dirt and leaves, they would run like mad to show up for TUNA.  If the TUNA wasn't produced in less than 10 seconds, then copious amounts of meowing and pleading would assault my ears until I laid out the TUNA for the kitties. 
     They also responded well  to "breakfast", "lunch time" and "dinner time".  Apparently anything to do with food, was easy for them to learn. 
     My puppy has learned "NO!".  He freezes in motion and looks contrite or hurt or embarrassed or ashamed. 
     He knows "Bo-Bo" is his favorite toy, a long skinny thing that is stuffed, plastered with  a silly dog grin and tiny paws, like a weenie dog. He understands anything to do with "ball" such as tennis ball, baseball, football. golf ball, soccer ball. He loves to play ball.  
     He has NOT mastered anything like "quiet" or "it's OK" when I want him to stop barking. 
     He is iffy on "stay".  He thinks that means to stay and then craftily sneak out or sneak away, when I am not looking.
     Friends came to pick me up for lunch. We left Harley the puppy, all alone in the motorhome for a few hours. I had left the air-conditioning on, put his lunch and water out, plus he had plenty of toys. All the window shades were up, so he had plenty to watch go by in the campground. 
     My friends laughed, when I firmly said "STAY!" before shutting the door and locking him inside. I explained I was trying to teach him the word "stay".
     During lunch we discussed doggy revenge, and whether or not he would destroy the motorhome while we were gone. I explained I had left him plenty of toys, water, food, all the shades up, the air on. He should be fine. But still we all wondered if the upholstery would be shredded, the garbage scattered and so on. 
     We returned and a 3rd friend arrived. Four people in my tiny motorhome!  That was a first. How I wish I had the two foot slide for the living area. Luckily, the motorhome looked fine. My bed had half his toys on it, and the other half were scattered under the chairs, and in the hallway.  Harley was overly excited to see us all and was jumping like mad, making a real pest of himself. So I picked up a toy and threw it to the other end of the motorhome. 
     Harley, thought it was Show Time and he was the star. He showed off every little trick he knew to woo his way into everyone's heart. He chased his Bo-Bo down the hallway. He has two Bo-Bo's a medium and a large. The large one is bigger than him!  But he picked it up in his mouth and took a flying leap up onto my bed in the rear of the camper. This had everyone laughing. 
     He uses my bed as his playpen, because the windows are right by the bed, and  he can look out and fuss at the squirrels. He likes to bark and I am trying to train him that ONE BARK is enough to get my attention.
     When he tangles up on his doggy run, I hear this one yelp that sounds like a toddler yelling "help!"
     He knows that one yelp help will get me to dash out and untangle him. But sometimes he wants to bark at the other campers and the other dogs going by and I do not like this one bit. So we are training, training, training. 
Harley and his Bo-Bo get ready for a road trip in his car seat
He is harnessed and hooked to his leash, which is tied to the arm rest. 
This keeps him from running about and getting under my brake pedal!  Also, it keeps him in place, should I have to jam slam the brakes.  
His puppy bed is lashed in with the seat belt, so if he get rambunctious, the bed won't fall off the seat. 
He has learned he is tied in.  
Mostly he takes a big deep sigh, curls up and goes to sleep for the ride.  Once in awhile when he wakes up and looks outside his window, he barks at the racing scenery and I shush hum back up, so mostly he doesn't look out the windows, until we stop. 

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Dog Campers

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The Architectural
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Baby Gets A Bath

We drive around looking at the campsites that are open. Finally Harley makes a decision on our second go-around. He picks one with a big yard to play in.

Of course.

He isn't the least bit concerned that it is not level and I will have to put boards under the tires to level us up so the refrigerator will work correctly.

He wants the site with the nice big puppy play area. Perfect for a puppy dog who owns lots of balls to play with.  He has tennis balls, golf balls, baseballs, soccer balls and footballs.

Athlete in training.

camping with a dog, rving with a puppy
Harley picks out a campsite.

We pull in and I park where I think it is level. But it is not. So I haul the seasoned lumber out of the basement, arrange two sets of two boards under the right double tires in back. I put three under the right front tire. I wish I had enough to put three under the back tires, but I am short of boards. I lost some in Orlando. 

Like my mind. The head injury. A few boards short of a...

Several split and the ones that didn't were being consumed by bugs. I made a trip to Lowe's and bought a 12 foot 2x10, treated board. The nice attendant sawed it up into 5 boards. Four are 30 inches, and one is 24 inches. I have two leftover that came with the motorhome that are not being dined on by bugs.

In Orlando, I was parked on grass in a lovely garden, but I needed some boards to level up nicely. I guess over the weeks I stayed, the bugs found them rather tasty.

I planned to get a large garbage bag to throw the split ones in for dumping somewhere. The bug infested ones, I was considering putting them in a large garbage bag, fumigating with bug killer, sealing the mess up and throwing it in the basement of the motorhome. But I have craftily hidden my large garbage bags from myself. So I went to my friends' house to get a few of their bags. Nobody was home, but I used my key to go inside with Harley. He wanted to play with their two dogs who were lazing about in the air-conditioning.

Finally he stopped jumping long enough for me to remove his leash so he could play. I realized my laundry in their dryer was done, so I quickly folded that up.  I emptied out their dishwasher and put everything away. They knew I was leaving today, but all three had appointments elsewhere, so we had bade our good-byes earlier in the morning.

My motorhome was now parked on the street. Somehow between folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher and getting my energetic puppy back on his leash, I forgot all about the garbage bags and the boards, which were still laying in the garden around the corner.

We drove to Walmart.  It was so hot, I turned on the generator so puppy could have air-conditioning while I shopped for our food. A few hundred miles away when I parked at the next campground, well I remembered the boards.

I quickly called my friends, to thank them for their generous hospitality, then I explained my major gaffe with leaving the boards behind. We all thought we would see each other again in a week anyhow, and I could deal with the mess then.

Well, I never made it back to their house, because of the alarms-911-fire trucks, subsequent towing, overnighting at the industrial park, getting repairs and so on. All this happened about 20 miles from their house, and well, I had an appointment a few hundred miles away the next day, so I never made it back.  Now I owed them another apology.

When I called to explain the mess, I forgot all about apologizing about the boards, again. But a few days later, my friends called and told me their gardener had shown up and hauled the boards to the dump. All of them. Well, that was fine by me.

I wasn't floored, Lord, I implored,  we're all bored, I roared,  with these stored hoard of boards. (Try saying THAT three times real fast!)

So that is how I ended up with only 7 boards. Not enough for some of the crooked places I park what with having 6 wheels and sometimes the back 4 need 3 boards each, which would be 12 boards. I will just have to work around this. I think most campgrounds are fairly level, but some are pretty angled, like the campground I am in now.

They paved the campsites here, with no regard to leveling it up first. Well, it's a state run park, and I guess that explains it. However, the state run park I stayed at in Georgia, had very nice level lots. They had used big chunks of wood to terrace the campsites, then leveled the spots and covered them with gravel. That worked really well, I never needed any boards there, and every day for a week, I moved to a different campsite each night.

That is because I had to drive out every day on appointments, and come back to park again at night. They let me choose whatever was open, so I kept choosing a different spot each night. It was fun.  Make more choices in life, quit settling for the same old thing. 

Life is full of choices!  Aren't we lucky!

So today, Harley chose the campsite, because it had a nice big play area for him. He was mighty impatient while I was hauling boards and reversing the motorhome up onto them. He was stuck inside, because I sure didn't want to run him over, but you can't explain these things to a hyper-active puppy.

Finally, I was level. I grabbed him and his leash. I hooked him up to the post next to the water spigot, while I opened up the compartment that hides the electric cord. I got us all plugged into electricity, then flipped the breakers.  Poof!  Magic!  My motorhome is energized now.  Then I found the fresh water hose and the water pressure regulator. I  screwed all that in.

OK, we're level, we're energized and we have the blessed luxury of fresh running water. We were tucked away in the forest, surrounded by nature.  What more could a person want in life?  I felt so spoiled. But for the grace of God, I could be a bag lady. I have a humongous debt hanging over my head for the past medical mess when I was rushed to the emergency room last summer and spent nearly a month recuperating, first in the ICU and then in the ward.  Afterwards, I spent months recuperating and am still struggling.  I pay on these debts every month, and cry about the interest mounting up rapidly, adding to my debts. 

I pray for angels. 

I pray for book sales. 

I pray for another day to be a guest on this lovely planet. 

Thankful. Everyday I thank the powers to be for giving me one more day.  I am SO lucky to be alive.  And I know it. 

The puppy is a medical expense. He keeps me emotionally intact. I got him for free and had I KNOWN how much trouble one little puppy can be, I would have turned and run the other way.  But, alas, I can't run! So me and puppy were thrown together. He needed a home and I needed a walking companion.  It seemed like a fair exchange at the time...  Plus his silly little face had been in my dream, the night before I ever knew a puppy was going to enter my life. 

By now I had one very impatient puppy who was tired of his four foot leash being attached to a pole. I rescued him and we walked around to the front door. Just inside is a basket behind the chair is  the laundry line. I looped the line around the outdoor handle of the motorhome and tied a bowline. Then I slipped a D-ring on the leash, then onto the clothes line. Harley was attached to all this, and he was running around testing to see how far he could go.

Meanwhile I walked to a far away tree, maybe 80 feet away and tied the other ed of the clothesline in a bowline knot to the tree. Bowline knots are nice, because no matter how tight they become, you can always set them free.

Harley picked this camping spot, because of the huge puppy play area.  Behind me, is more yard and then the forest. In the mid foreground, is a picnic table, covered with a table cloth and the bench has an old, but clean, rug on it. You can see the clothes line turned puppy run, leading up to me and the camera.  While I shot this photograph, puppy ran circles around my ankles and tied me up. *SIGH*

Puppy tested the doggy run and discovered it covered a huge area. He quickly tangled himself up with the fire pit and cried pathetically, until I untangled him. I rummaged around the motorhome and found his football and two tennis balls. We played football. We played tennis. We found a golf ball in the woods, so we played golf.  I tried to wear him out, so I could go back inside and try to do some work.  Harley found a pine cone to munch on. Something to shred.  I brought him out a bowl of water.  I snuck inside to do some work.

Later, an exhausted puppy came inside, dragging his leash and tether through the open door of the motorhome. I unhooked him, then closed the screen door so he couldn't escape. He collapsed next to me, on a pillow and fell asleep. Not in bed, but on the dining booth. He likes to sit next to me, curled up on a pillow, snoozing.

An hour later, puppy dog wakes up and tries to kiss me. I abhor doggy kisses. I know that sounds weird. Maybe that is why I loved my cats, when I had them, they don't drool and try to kiss you. I love humans that kiss, but not doggies.

So when Harley planted a kiss on me, I could smell that he needed a bath. Boy did he ever need a bath. He stunk. 

Oh boy.

Bathing a puppy.

I had found some super cheap doggy shampoo the other day. It was time to press it into service. I put everything away in the kitchen. I filled the sink a third full with nice warm water. I found the special puppy washcloth. Not that it's special, but it's designated as his wash cloth. I opened the puppy shampoo, soaked up the washcloth, squirted shampoo on it, then set it aside.

I sweet talked my dear little puppy, then gently lowered him into the sink. He immediately stood up on both his hind legs, refusing to stand on all four. So I soaped him up and down, while he stood up. Then I used the kitchen faucet, which coverts to a sprayer, to rinse him off with nice tepid water. After six months of NO hot water, I feel immensely spoiled rotten, to have hot water now. All the while he is still struggling to stand on two hind legs, like he is human and standing up for his shower. I wish I had a friend here to photograph this hilarious site!

Puppy makes me laugh, several times a day.

Laughter is the best medicine.

Maybe that is why I am progressing each day.  The medicine of laughter, is working.

Finally, puppy is all rinsed off. Ut oh. I forgot to put his towel out. Now I am carrying a dripping puppy around while I rummage for his clean towel. My dress gets soaked.  I will need a bath next. 

I find the towel and wrap him up like a baby and hold him. He loves this!  After a minute of cooing and cuddling, I begin the serious work of drying him off again. Harley loves this and lets me do my job, then he leaps from my arms, runs up and down the short motorhome hallway, then leaps on the bed and shakes himself.  All his fur stands out at odd angles. He suddenly looks much bigger. In the short month I have had him, his health has drastically improved. His once super thin fur, is filling in nicely. It used to be dry and dull. Now it is soft and supple.

I've done something right.

It feels terrific.

After he shook his body from nose to tail, two, three, four times, his fur stands out every which way. He looks like a multi-colored rat, that has stuck his paw in an electrical socket and got a frightful shock. I try to capture this ridiculous scene on the camera, but he is moving so fast, all I get is pictures of puppy blur.

Life is GOOD. I am sooooo lucky.

And puppy doesn't stink. 

What more could I possibly want on this wonderful day.


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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Twenty-Four Hours of Heaven off the Grid

I took the back roads to travel 120 miles to meet up with friends.  
Sure the interstate highways appear to be more convenient, but you miss fabulous treats like this one.

I drove off the map again. Heaven on earth. No metropolis, just nature. No Internet, no cell phone, no electricity, no water, no cable, no Wi-Fi.

Nothing to plug into but nature.

Just nature. Me plus Harley, the puppy dog, in our little motorhome. Along the way, we picked up two friends, one four-legged and the other, his pet human, an old two-legged mate from a distant past.

As I write this, a tiny humming bird keeps tapping my window as he desperately tries to catch flying bugs. I keep forgetting and leaving the screened door open. The puppy follows me inside and out. The bugs come in. Flying bugs. Crawling bugs. Lightning bugs.

They all come in.

Because I forget.

Harley is not a puppy dog at all. He is half monkey and half goat. He leaps around the motorhome chasing bugs, gnats, mosquitoes, wasps and UFT's. (Unidentified Flying Things).
We go back outside and walk to the river.

I walk.

Harley prances, runs, leaps, dawdles, and sometimes jumps vertically when something spooks him. He loves the woods.

At the river, I sit and gaze, contemplating the sound of nature and nothing else.

Harley runs up to the river's edge and sees his reflection. He thinks it's a new puppy that has come to play with him!

He leaps enthusiastically to greet the puppy. Instead, he makes a belly flop into the cold river.

It was his first swimming lesson. He paddles rather quickly for the shore and hops out. He shakes from nose to tail.

We can see how thin his fur is, how slight his tiny body. He grins and shakes some more, doing a little dance at the same time.

His fur does a part down the middle of his head, neck and back. He shakes some more.

I tie my dress up and get into the cold river, standing in squishy mud, with the healing waters up to my upper thighs. It feels wonderful. I am so blessed.

I try to coax Harley back into the river. He comes to the edge to look for that mysterious puppy again. I grab him and gently put him in the water.

He quickly dog paddles for the shore and does his dancing and shaking routine all over again. Finally he darts off through the woods.

I call him to come back. He doesn't.

I climb out of the river, find my flip-plops and go look for the errant puppy.

It's time to put him on his tether. The road isn't that far away and I am sure cars are not expecting a tiny puppy in their path.

We play fetch and catch with his tennis balls and football. He loves this game. The tether lets him run about 100 feet, so it's great exercise and fun.

When I am not looking, he slips off his harness and takes off hiking alone again. I track him down and put his harness back on. It's the tiniest harness I can find. Still, he can slip it off when I am not looking. I am trying to teach him, this is a very bad thing and how happy he makes me when he wears his harness.

He sort of gets it.

A butterfly catches his attention and he mimics the butterfly, chasing it through the grass, leaves and pine needles.

I set up camp. The dining room. The den. Both outdoors.

The outdoor rug is 9x12 feet, a birthday gift. It feels great under bare feet. The table cloth is from my days in the Caribbean.

It has hung on my wall, as well as graced different sized tables, as I moved around. When coming to America, it seemed so sentimental, it reminded me of a flood of memories, a once-favorite apartment, and good meals with great friends.

I put it on the table in a hurry. Later I notice it has a big red wine stain on it. I think that was from weeks back and it was supposed to make it the washer and did not.

Eventually I change it out, to a cleaner table cloth and place this one in the dirty laundry hamper.

It's so shady, there is no need to put up the awning, until the rain comes. Then we hurriedly crank it out and set it up, to keep the dining room dry.

My friend busies himself with chores around the property. He brought his lawn mower in my motor home. I was expecting his dog, but a lawn mower?

It shatters the peaceful silence. So I busy myself inside the motorhome doing housekeeping. I was way behind on that. So I organized and put things away. The throw rugs need a good shaking out. I have no vacuum cleaner. The dogs track it back up again. I don't care. We're here to relax.

Fortunately, there wasn't much to mow down and the noisy lawn mower is put to rest.

I go back outside with the puppy. We play fetch and catch some more. He tries to engage the other dog in his silly games. She wants to rest and rolls her eyes as the puppy pokes and prods her. Finally she gets up lethargically and plays with the puppy some.

My friend busies himself with a fire of charcoals. In my motorhome kitchen, he splits open summer squash, zucchini and Vidalia onions. He bastes them with Sesame oil, oregano and basil. I find a bowl big enough to soak the corn on the husk in. He pulls out a big rib eye steak, decorates it with cracked pepper, fresh minced garlic and a smidgen of salt and oregano.

When the charcoal is ready, he places the soaked corn on the grill to cook.  The halved veggies are added and eventually the steak.

We dine by candlelight, under a canopy of shade trees. We  feel like royalty.

The doggies are fed bits of steak to supplement their dog food. They love this idea!

Harley has wore himself out. He wobbles around uncertainly. He knows he is tired, but he wants to play, but his eyes are at half-mast and he stumbles and fumbles.

I put his bed outside. He heads for a nap and is asleep in seconds.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sinking the Motorhome

I wake up and the pain is incredible and I will it away. Go away!  I chant and try to convince myself I feel no pain at all. None at all. 

Harley, the puppy dog, is out on a tether, playing with his football. He is learning to be self-entertaining. He is potty trained or house broken now. Thank goodness. I walked him every hour for a few days until he got the hang of THAT. Still, there is so much to teach him. I want a well behaved doggy with great manners, but it takes a ton of time to impart this knowledge to a puppy with short attention span. 

Still, he has made a load of progress. He no longer hates the leash and harness. But he is still so tiny, he can slip out of the harness when he wants to and that I do not like. He has no road sense, he thinks the whole world is ready for an energetic playful puppy. 

He has learned the NO word really well. We are working on COME, STAY, SIT, QUIET, STOP and so on. 

I feed him a variety of healthy foods, and he eats and has tons of energy. His legs grow longer but his body is still tiny. Maybe the former owners really stunted his growth with his past diet of Corn Chips and Doritos.  

Whenever I put away anything that rattles like a junky food bag, he goes nuts. Like I was pulling the Triscuit baggy out of the box, to put a clothes pin on it, to keep the crackers fresh. He went nuts, thinking the bag was something junky for him from his past diet. 

I bought some dog biscuits for training. But he gets full so fast, the training session is rather short. Some days I am busy and we don't get a whole lot of training done. 

Last weekend, I spent 24 hours at a gorgeous river in the mountains. He was playing on the river bank and saw his reflection in the water. He took an enthusiastic leap, to play with the other doggy. He landed in the river. Rather than cry like a baby, he calmly swam to shore then shook himself off and danced around, rather proud of himself. 

Later I got in the river and put him in too. But he swam out and shook off again. His fur is so thin, he looks like a drowned rat. When  he is wet,  you can see his tiny body is even tinier. 

My friend accidentally stepped on him and he shrieked like he was taking his last breath. I had to hold him and console him, then in a few minutes, of being babied,  he was bucking to get out of my arms and run and play. 

I set up a long tether for him, and we played ball.  My friend referred to him as the toddler. He said he was done with toddlers and puppies, his kids were teens now, his dog 8 years old, and he was glad the puppy was my handful and not his handful. 

I let him run free for awhile, but he doesn't come when he is called. He is like a cat; "I'll come when I feel like it."  So back to the tether he went. Or rather I quickly made a tether.  It was huge, so he could run about 100 feet in all directions. I tied a 100 feet of rope between two trees about 30 feet apart, and close to the ground. I  then attached a D-ring and his short leash. This way he can drag the tether back and forth, forming a V-shape with the rope. 
Puppy on his loooooooog tether in the woods. 

Awhile back, my Caribbean sailing buddy joined me for a week of camping. We didn't get to drive anywhere together,we met at a campground we both liked, so we never moved along. I have more or less mastered driving The Beast alone. 

I am still considering names for my motorhome besides The Beast. Enter your suggestion at this link under Comments. I am now notified of all comments posted, so I can post a followup, so if you have left a comment anywhere on the Other Blog, I get notified. 

When I was in the hospital, I didn't have the notification thingy turned on, so I wasn't aware of all the wonderful comments, until one day when I stumbled across them. Now I am better organized. 

Leave it up to two sailors, and they can nearly sink a motorhome. Where is the bilge pump?  Um, where is the bilge?

Motorhomes don't have a bilge. They have a basement. Mine is a small basement. It was built before it was fashionable to have numerous toys. 

The newer motorhomes are much taller with grander space beneath for hauling loads of stuff around.  People love their stuff.  Some folks don't leave home without bringing everything with them. Makes you wonder why they bother to travel, if it all has to go with them, to feel just like home. I say this for the weekend campers who bring a ton of stuff with them just for 2 days of play. 

I live in my motorhome and have my worldly goods with me and still have open storage space left over. Yet, I see folks that arrive for a weekend, and they don't leave home without a thing. Everything!  They bring it ALL with them. They bring more in a weekend than I travel with full time. 

Awhile back, my visiting sailing buddy is rather handy and we knocked out some small projects around the motorhome. It's like a boat, always something to fix, to putter with. Plus I keep trying to streamline my junk into organization that is handy and quick to find or stow. This all takes time, as I needed to live in it for awhile to see what needs to be handy and what doesn't. 

I seem to always be gifting things that are in my way or stuff that I don't like, that came with the motorhome. Somehow, we accidentally threw out a bag full of hundreds of cups. I was going to regift them for a party. But they went out with the garbage by mistake. Oops!

The weather was beautiful, we had EVERY window open in the motorhome. We had the awning opened up, with a table and chairs underneath. We were puttering around doing things when my friend asked if I wanted to ride in his car to the store. He wanted to check out their fresh fish and also he was out of wine. 

We got in the car and were talking away. Somewhere while leaving the campground, we ended up exploring and found another island with hiking trails.

We decided to hike. 
The Centennial Trail continues up a bridge, over the marsh,  designed for wheelchair access.

Just as we neared the end of the  trail, we  ascended to a simple covered deck, built about 30 feet up above the marsh. From there you could look out over the Indian River to one side and the marsh to the other side. 

Suddenly it poured down rain. Buckets of rain. Soaking rains. We stayed under cover until it let up to just a sprinkle. We began hiking back. About halfway back, it poured a soaking cold rain again. Our clothes stuck to us, they were dripping wet. 

We made it back to the car. It was closed up and locked. We got inside and steamed up all the windows, we were so wet and the car was still hot from being parked in the previous sun. 

On the way back to the campground, we stopped at the store. Since we were used to sailing in the Caribbean and being soaked upon with sudden squalls, we drip-dropped and flip-plopped our way through the store to buy fresh fish and wine. A big bottle of red for my fried to drink and a tiny white bottle for cooking the fish with herbs and veggies. 
Big fish, little bottle of wine

We got back to the motorhome and the rain squall had been blowing rain sideways. The motorhome was soaking wet inside. The beds were wet, the sheets, the pillows, the lightweight comforters, all soaked. The laundry basket was under a window and the dirty clothes were soaking wet. The dining cushions were squishy wet. Everything was just soaked. 

The sun was out. We emptied out the motorhome, and scattered things all over the picnic table. The camping lot ext to ours was open, so we used their picnic table too. We hung things all over the awning and dragged the chairs out and draped things all over them. The cushions were removed from the motorhome and laid out in the sun.  The throw rugs that hide the hideous carpet were all thrown outside to dry. Thank goodness the sun had come out, we had a royal mess on our hands. 

We looked like a band of gypsies having a rummage sale. I was sure the park ranger would come by and scold us for making such a mess.

Inside the motorhome, we turned on the only fan, and mopped up water everywhere. 

We joked that only two sailors could manage to nearly sink a motorhome.  

On dry land. 

At least it was fresh water and not salt water. We spent the rest of the day, turning our stuff over, and over, to dry it thoroughly. 

We didn't realize at the time, that the campground had a washer and dryer. We were newbies. Had we known that, we could have just washed and dried the wet dirty clothes. Duh.

Later in the evening, another camper set up nearby and he came over to chat with us. He was telling us about the weekend it poured rain and there was such a long line at the washers and dryers. 

Washers and dryers?

Yes, he told us, and pointed to a building in the far distance on the campground where the washers and dryers were kept. 

Later we went on a hike and toured the building. Yes, there were washers and dryers. But by now, all our stuff was dry anyhow. 

We spent the evening putting the motorhome back together again. It was much cleaner now. 

Two sailors nearly sunk a motorhome. Tsk tsk tsk


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Hurricanes and Hangovers by Dear Miss Mermaid Hurricanes and Hangovers
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