Monday, June 29, 2015

Angels, Birthdays and Bathrooms

Several angels went out of their way to make my birthday wonderful with surprise gifts in April. These were gifts that I could spend any which way I chose. At first I did nothing. 

I wanted to study my options and waste it wisely...

So of course, I ended up using my birthday money to fix up my little old motorhome and buy a few things it needed. 

Thank you my dear sweet wonderful angels!

One of things that was repaired, replaced, upgraded was the broken shower door. My motorhome has a split bathroom. That means the hallway runs through the middle of the bathroom. On one side is the shower stall with a door, on the other side is a broom closet, where I keep the toilet and sink. 

The toilet/sink area has a door that keeps it private. When that door is opened, it clicks into place blocking the hallway while converting the bathroom to a full sized bath that spans the width of the motorhome. There is another accordion door (not shown) that also crosses the hallway, to block the bathroom off from the bedroom area.

My shower door came from Amazon. It was designed to fit regular houses or motorhomes. It comes in a tall shower stall size or a shorter tub size. The width can be easily customized. My shower is a non standard size, so being able to shorten the top and bottom frame of the shower door was of course necessary and fairly easy. The door is vinyl and fits so well that nary a drop spills out of the shower. It's a huge improvement over the old grody cantankerous broken door. 

Also, because my motorhome is small, the shower stall when not in use as a shower, doubles as a closet hiding things like the pile of dirty laundry or in other cases, laundry that is air drying after being washed in my compact washing machine. 

tioga montara motorhome class c

 My bathroom door has builtin towel holders. I love this method! Matter of fact, one thing lead to another and I decided to repurpose my old rags as rags. Oops I mean my old towels as rags. These are my new towels. I bought bath sheets, hand towels and plain white fluffy wash cloths. I really have no need for a regular sized towel. I sometimes shower outside in my alternative shower stall, weather and campground dependent. In that case it's super nice to have a jumbo towel sheet to wrap up neck to knee. These towels are huge and super soft, I feel oh so spoiled. 

I use the top towel rack to hold my hair accouterments and a whimsical mermaid that was given to me a few birthdays back. Harley's silly picture was stuck up there one day, and well, it's just always been there I guess. 

Inside above the sink is a handpainted mermaid given to me in the islands and some other decor plus a wooden fish box that has traveled with me a few decades. Hidden velcro keeps it in place. The basket of hair brushes and lint roller is kept in place with a hook. An angel from a Christmas card a few years back keeps watch over all. 
tioga motorhome class c montara

I am so lucky my motorhome came with a window in the bathroom. I used static cling window film to make it look like stained glass. The sunshine lights this up brilliantly while affording privacy without shades or curtains. Static cling window film is cut to size with scissors and sold here

Besides hanging up my broom, I also hang some hats in the broom closet. The round mirror was bought on sale awhile back. It used to be in my bedroom, but I hung up a folding shelf table, so the mirror had to move. I like it in the broom closet, makes the sunshine from the overhead opening hatch bounce around the tiny room. 

My extra hand towels are furled up in the basket on the wall. I am always finding ways to use baskets as extra storage. 

Below is my outdoor shower. The motorhome has an outside cabinet with hot and cold water plus a handheld shower. The camouflaged stall is a popup contraption with optional windows and a zippered door. The windows have a little rollup curtain inside, if one wishes to shower with a view. The shower stall folds up to a tiny circle about an inch thick and two feet diameter. It slips into a bag like a jumbo pizza. 

I have had this shower stall for years. At the time I bought it (click here) I wanted the plain green one, but the camouflaged one was heavily discounted, so I went with that for economy. I use it mostly in the spring, summer and fall in campgrounds. It's rather handy and a bit roomier than my inside shower. 

I guess you could say I have a  motorhome with a bath and a path...

I've included links on most of the products mentioned. In some browsers they are underlined, in others they are not. I am confused why this happens, but such is life. 

camping outdoor shower

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Provisioning Camp With A Bicycle

Sunday already, wow!

I've been  busy trying to heal my leg while patching and repairing this old motorhome. 

Yesterday I had a $5 coupon for Dollar General, so I put on the leg brace, told the doggy to stay home quietly then rode my bicycle to the store. 

There are no bike lanes from here to there and one scary big busy road. but I made it there and back. I wanted to shop for a cookout. I have an old friend coming to visit. I haven't seen them in over 5 years! This will be fun fun fun. 

On the way back from the store, I detoured to go to the twice-weekly Farmers Market for produce. It felt terrific to do all this on my little red bicycle. Of course, if truth be known, I used the electric assist some to help speed me through the intersections. If you are hesitant to get back on a bicycle, get this electric assist kit. It pops on in minutes and gives one the confidence to go anywhere on bicycle, even up hills. For more info click here. 

Since doggy stayed home, I had the front basket plus the two rear baskets for cargo. It held a surprising amount of groceries. I looked very industrious. 

Life is goof!

Fruit salad in progress with carrots, almonds, raisins, pineapple, apple. The salad dressing is made from apple cider vinegar, olive oil, mustard, maple syrup and sea salt. The trick is to let the salad soak for a day before consuming. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

RVing Without A Car

Whenever someone tells me I "need" a car, I try to come up with cute answers. 

There is no place like home... so I take mine with me... everywhere!

Kinston North Carolina

The funny thing is, I bought an old beat up car after I came to America in 2009 so I could drive it around to shop for a motorhome. As a result, many RV salesmen IGNORED me because they foolishly judged me by my beat up old car. Some made up excuses not to even show me their motorhomes, refusing to unlock them for inspection. How am I going to choose a motorhome when no one will show me one? I figured everyone was so wealthy, they didn't need a commission from the sale. 

One day someone clued me in . They said "No one is going to take you seriously in that beat up old car."

How strange. A person judged by their car. 

I had just spent nearly 25 years living around the Caribbean islands. Beat up old cars and jeeps were the norm. No one judged me by my car or lack of. I didn't even own a car for many years, because hitchhiking was easy and safe and/or buses and taxis were affordable and readily available. Yet I was viewed as successful in my career and endeavors. The car or lack of, wasn't even factored in. Different culture I guess. 

Of course I had no idea my move to America would be so earth shattering for my health and psych. Somehow I survived though I had some super close calls! Financially things were quickly derailed as I chased around with the medical community. Finally I got away from them. I didn't want my final days to be spent with a social life consisting only of cold handed (and often cold-hearted) medical personnel. 

I bought the motorhome against the advice of many. I also sold my car, again, against the advice of many. My monthly budget had rapidly shrunk so bye-bye car. I don't regret this decision.

Think about it... 

I am guessing that most of you reading this own one car (maybe more!). Now add up everything you have spent on that car in the past 5 years. Cost, payments, interest, insurance, taxes, gases, repairs, parking, tickets, supplies and so on. 

I bet it's staggering. 

If you had that chunk of change suddenly land in your lap, you could probably afford to go rambling around in a little old motorhome. 

Life is goof!

Have the world of shopping... delivered to your camp site.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How To Fix A Motorhome (and Other Insomnia Cures)

How to fix, repair and maintain a motorhome.

First choose a method:

Solution A:
Let the dealer fix it. Sit back. Prop up feet. Hand over wallet. Hand over credit cards. Take out another mortgage. Take up a new hobby (you'll be too broke to travel anywhere.)

Solution B:
Buy an old used motorhome. Fix it up yourself. Learn a new colorful language that makes the  neighbors a half mile away blush. Liberally pour blood, sweat and tears into projects. Spend your spare moments nursing wounds while chasing down esoteric parts. Acquire new tools for every repair tackled. Open up wallet, empty it out (buying more tools). Sit back, prop up injuries. Read manuals and how-not-to books.

Solution C
Have a friend do it all for you. (Note: You may need to constantly acquire new friends.)

The old entry rug was slipping around. I bought a new one for safety's sake. My doggy thinks it's a new yoga mat.

Not sure WHAT this is, but every time I set up camp, there IT is.

Camping with music.
My traveling friend is a retired musician.
It occurred to me recently that I've only heard him perform in 3 different countries and countless Caribbean islands.
Life is goof.

Today's RV Cleaning Tip:

I am a lazy person who loves a clean home. Cleaning and organizing is supreme Feng Shui. So while I dislike the chore, the end result is very satisfying and uniquely calming on the inner psyche. (More about Feng Shui, click here.)

I've found a super easy way to clean the 14 windows in my motorhome both inside and out. This effectively removes all doggy juice and cobwebs. It seems when my pooch barks inside near a window, spittle flies out from his tiny mouth... hence the doggy juice. I am trying to keep him quiet (to keep the windows clean!)

For sparkling windows, you basically need to start with at least two Zwipes. One wet one for cleaning and a dry one (you guessed it!) for drying.

Here we go! Four easy steps. Well, not easy, but relatively painless for those of us less enthused about cleaning.

First you need a stack of Zwipes Microfiber cleaning cloths (Amazon has the good ones cheap.) I love these cleaning cloths because they seriously trap dirt, can be used wet or dry and they are reusable hundreds (maybe thousands) of times. Note: Wash these in a group by themselves in the washing machine, do not use softener or bleach, do not use in dryer, just hang dry. They will be clean, ready for the next (nasty) project.

Second, fill a large bowl or small bucket with about a cup of plain white vinegar and a teeny tiny drop of dish soap (I use Dawn blue). The soap helps make the cleaning go smoother, like a lubricant.

Third, soak a clean Zwipe in the vinegar cleaning solution, but squeeze out nearly dry.

Fourth, clean window and frame with the wet Zwipe, then wipe it dry with a second clean dry Zwipe. If the first wet Zwipe is dirty, then rinse until clean in the sink (cold or warm water) squeeze dry, resoak in cleaning solution, squeeze nearly dry, now clean, clean, clean some more. Tip: Put on sunglasses, because your windows will be so clean you will be blinded by the light!

This method actually cleans 95% of the motorhome both inside and out. The other 5% is that nasty gunk that might require more help. Vinegar removes stains from toilets too. If you have leftover cleaning solution, just use it to swab the toilet bowl (with a toilet brush silly!)

Vinegar doesn't harm the skin (it actually helps soften it.) Vinegar cleans mold, mildew and actually sterilizes. I use this same cleaning solution on my vinyl floors, mirrors, woodwork, chopping boards, sinks, toilet and so on.

I bought one of those Downy ball automatic softener dispensers. I use it in my compact washing machine, but I don't use chemical softeners, I use plain white vinegar in the ball. The laundry is rinsed cleaner and softer with this simple vinegar method.

Well, enough of this foolishness. Time to go play Frisbee with the dog.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sharp Stuffs and Broken Ices

Pictures from  camping in Croatan Forest in North Carolina.

camping in Croatan Forest in North Carolina.

camping in Croatan Forest in North Carolina.

Our stay in Croatan Forest was gorgeous and chaotically delightful.

Maybe we had a little too much fun! I never thought I could have too much fun... but things were wild and whacky.

I mash up da foot, we shorted out the starter battery and a disorganized workamper had us moving from site to site while periodically confusing and losing track of our prepaid fees.

I mash up da foot is lingo I learned in the Caribbean. Translated... da foot is anything from the toe to the hip, and mash up is to mangle or injure or hurt or break or strain. On the other hand if one has a mash and go, that is a car with an automatic transmission.

Before I injured my foot/ankle/leg, I did tour on bicycle, foot and paw the Cedar Point Tideland Trail and the Island Creek Forest Walk.  These are short fun trails suitable for my (lack of) athletic skills.

The starter battery had to be laid to rest and replaced. Apparently it was beyond resuscitation. Every day we try to plow forward with little repairs here and there, but when you least expect it *BANG* a semi-emergency presents itself, like the battery mess. So I grin and bear it. Smiling makes it all seem worthwhile.

Life is goof!

Our camp site had electricity but not water or sewer. We have holding tanks for all three, but several times we fetched fresh water with two collapsible water bags that do double purpose as anchor weights for the awning on a windy day. Two smaller bags are better than one big bag, because it balances the load when carrying it back to the motorhome.

The product features and warnings gave me quite a giggle but I can highly recommend the bags, as good bang for the buck. But keep away from "sharp stuffs". It's a bit annoying they advertise the bag as "disposable" when it's heavy duty and designed for repeated use. "Do not carry it for a long time" is an interesting caution. Perhaps they meant "heavy when full"?

I don't recommend freezing these for "broken ices".

Perhaps I need to rest now in spite of my enthusiasm to cram as much life as I can into each and every day.

Life is long. Death is short.

See you around the forest!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tiny Home, Big World

Happily living in a tiny home in a big world.

The tiny home movement is small but moving along, many in tiny wheel estates (campers and motorhomes) while other tiny homes are fixed on land (sticks and bricks).

Many Americans choose to supersize while myself and others deliberately downsize, living in 100 to 400 square feet.

Cedar Point Campground in the Croatan Forrest in a motorhome RV in North Carolina
5 years fulltiming in a mini motorhome, no car, just foot, paw and bicycle

Doing more with less. 

Lately I've been hobbling around with my quad cane again, but this is short term. The hardest part is staying still long enough to prop up my leg and ice it down. 

I've skipped a few days riding my bicycle. Strangely enough I miss that even though it is still somewhat torturous for me. 

Cedar Point Campground in the Croatan Forrest in a motorhome RV in North Carolina
My bicycling sometimes yields fascinating paths and photo ops.

Cedar Point Campground in the Croatan Forrest in a motorhome RV in North Carolina

When you stop moving and carrying on, they carry you off.

I am trying to do the 360 day challenge... ride my bike everyday for 360 days. Even just a short trip around the campground counts. I already did the 30 day challenge, and it was hard work, but at the end of 30 days I could say I had pedaled on my bicycle, um, 29 days in a row. I was on it every day except the last one... the 30th, the weather was too extreme (pouring buckets of rain coupled with gusty winds). It seems fair enough to say that is a valid exception. Technically, I completed the 29 day challenge. After that I started on the 360 day challenge, now my injury has temporarily interrupted that. But soon I plan to give it a whir, I can use the electric assist to get back home if I am unable to pedal much.

Life is goof. 

Cedar Point Campground in the Croatan Forrest in a motorhome RV in North Carolina

Cedar Point Campground in the Croatan Forrest in a motorhome RV in North Carolina

The above photos I took while camping at Cedar Point in the Croatan Forrest in North Carolina. Click here for more information.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Bicycles, Tailbones and Motorhomes

Another beautiful day in paradise.

Every day on planet earth is a miracle to behold. 

 Below is a picture of what my little old wheel estate looks like when traveling  between campgrounds with 2 humans, 1 canine and 2 bicycles. For the time being, we put my bicycle out back on the rear bumper on my homemade bicycle rack, then we put my friend's bicycle inside tied to the table frame on the right (hidden by the seat). This still gives us enough room to walk/wobble through the rig towards the important stuff like the fridge (cold drinks) and bathroom (recycle drinks.)

The two tallish rectangular baskets shown in the above pic, are the pannier baskets I bought from Nantucket Baskets on Amazon (click for details.) 

They have to come off my bicycle while it is riding on my homemade rack on the rear motorhome bumper. The chair the bicycle is leaning against is covered with old T-shirts to prevent any dirt or grease from the bicycle transferring to the chairs.

The pannier baskets hold Harley's beach toy and my electric assist battery.
Sometimes I am close enough to a grocery store to bike there and shop, using the baskets for cargo.

Upon arrival at the next campground, we put my friend's bicycle outside locked to the picnic table so the wheel estate is functional again. 

Below is my newfangled bicycle seat in the pursuit of reducing the pain of my own bicycle riding. 

My tailbone (coccyx) was fractured years ago in the Caribbean islands. At the time I was living up a steep hill in a small apartment building. There were uneven steps to go up and down the hill. I was used to the steps, but one week the island had severe flooding and my neighbor's house was partially destroyed. While repairing their house they redid the communal steps but they were super slippery from some sort of construction mishap. I had to go to work before sunrise. While walking down the outside steps stuck in the side of the steep hill, (not part of the building) I had my legs vanish out from under me while on the slippery stuff and bounced on my tailbone down every one of the concrete steps landing in a pile of injured pride at the bottom. I figured my rear end was so well padded that I couldn't have possibly broke anything. I didn't even know you could break bones back there!

Amazingly I went to work on time as a private chef in an exotic vacation villa perched on the side of a cliff with breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. I stood on my feet for over 12 hours working. Because I never sat down I never noticed I had broken anything. At that point and time in my life, I knew very little about human tail bones or that a well rounded rump like mine could fail to protect. 

Oh well! Live and learn...

Later I found out my tailbone was badly broken. I continued to work each day. I was prepaid under contract. My clients never knew any the wiser. When one runs a one-man business, one has to be the one-man no matter what happens or one's one-man reputation will suffer. I... being the one-man show. I was young and energetic, I had a unique business with a fabulous reputation because I delivered what was promised without excuse. I just kept on working with a big smile on my face. 

Grin and bear it! Don't bring your troubles to work. 

The doc that kept me patched up over those years said "You will seem to heal fine now, but one day when you are older, all these injuries will come back like a vengeance." 

I laughed at him and thought oh I am so lucky! That won't happen to me!

Well, um, I guess I should send him a "YOU WERE RIGHT!" postcard. 

Everyone loves to hear it when they are right. 

That "one day when you are older" arrived... and it was too soon. 

My tailbone just couldn't get comfy on the standard bicycle saddle and I was always in a ton of pain even after short rides. I overcompensated by trying to shift weight and pressure to my crotch and lawdy mercy, I won't bore you with the delicacies of the problems that was causing. (And be grateful I am not sharing this tidbit!)

I did a mountain of daydreaming research via internet and became intrigued with this Hobson Ergonomical Dual Pad Bicycle Saddle. It appeared there would be no pressure on my coccyx or my crotch. 

Ironically before I had saved up enough to buy it from Amazon, Camping World had one at their store in Savannah, Georgia drastically reduced, even cheaper than Amazon. I was so surprised to find a unique bicycle saddle at Camping World. I was buying a part for my motorhome, not even looking for such an exotic item in an unlikely place. It was their only one in stock. I bought it. 

Many miles later at the next campground, I discovered they had sold me a "used" seat because the receipt from the prior purchase of same was stuck inside the box where someone else had bought it from Camping World over a year ago. The saddle was missing a critical custom thumb screw. Had I known that Camping World was selling me previously used merchandise, I would have insisted on opening the box and checking it over carefully. I might have possibly noticed it was missing this crucial part. 

Oh well, I just wanted to ride on my new seat. So in comes Plan B...

All those years living on boats afloat in far flung ports or working on remote islands, I learned how to cobble things back together with all the wrong parts because the right parts will not be in the near or distant future.    

It was too far to travel back to Camping World, I wanted to ride my bicycle with the newfangled seat. My bicycling friend also spend 40 something years living around far flung islands and boats afloat while working, so the two of together can fix something with nothing and keep on going. It might be a bit unconventional, but the end result is a "make it work" moment. 

The new bicycle saddle took some getting used to, because it's such a strange seat, each side of it kind of flaps up and down with the thighs, but it relieves all pressure from the crotch and tail bone. I am running out of excuses not ride my bicycle every day... for the sheer torture, oops, I mean fun. if you can call exercising as fun...

Life is goof. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Little Uncalibrated and Other RV Repairs

While my swollen foot/ankle/leg heals, Harley dog has taken over driving. It leaves me feeling a little uncalibrated.

 The past few months my two-legged friend who is traveling with me has helped in completing many of my numerous projects and work-in-progress. My wishful to-do list just kept growing as I searched for the parts needed, researching quality and prices (daydreaming without spending!). Other things I was in the middle of repairing but became interrupted by illness or moving or life or pressing matters. Suddenly a project I had 30% completed was now a year old and still not quite completed.

Here are a few of the projects we did together.

Below is the old ceiling crank for the roof mounted TV antenna. Yeah, I can get cranky too... but we're talking RV TV cranks.  Anyhew... the elevating crank raises and lowers the antenna. The set screw holding the crank to the directional handle became unset because of a hairline crack so I superglued that back together, oddly it held up quite well for years. The directional handle (for rotating the antenna)  had a spring that helps the rotation of the antenna go smoother but one day it sprung instead of sprang, so that went kaput. Eventually the handle broke.

Good grief. It was only 17-18 years old at the time. Sheesh. Stuff always falling apart. I had super glued the handle back on, but it failed again after a year or so. The written instructions had weathered somewhat.
 After checking around for Winegard antenna replacement parts, I discovered Amazon had the best pricing. I had to buy the elevating crank and the directional crank. This time I chose white instead of ivory (got to save those magnificent elephants and their tusks of ivory).

The finished look is really nice and very functional.

Awhile back I wrote about painting the rusty fuel tank fill flange in Navajo White. Well, no good deed goes unpunished. We lost the gas cap recently while buying gas. (I'm not pointing fingers or naming names.) While setting up camp at the next place,  I noticed that the fuel cap was possibly a hundred miles away, give or take. It was cheaper to just cover it with a dog poop bag (new, not used!) and bungee cord to hold it in place. I was dead tired and not about to back track nor shop. It was just another repair to go on the long list. One day we went out to buy provisions. So now I have a new black gas cap to go with the new paint job. (This is how I end up with unintentional cost overruns!) Below is the work-in-progress painting.

The picture below is inside my wheel estate, standing in the hallway. To the right is the walkin closet where I keep a shower stall. The original shower door was fiberglass accordion, but it never really fit properly. The fiberglass  panels were about 8 inches each. They didn't really fit the shower well, so that when they were closed, the panels stuck inside the tiny stall. I often banged my elbow which didn't hurt, but always made a loud clamorous sound like I was busting the door down. The door has jammed quite a few times requiring repairs, then it began splitting up the seams. It had a lovely brassy frame around the door, but the door itself was just slowly falling apart from two decades of use plus bouncing the highways.

For you non-RV-ers, it appears my shower is in the hallway next to the black refrigerator with no privacy, but on the left is a door to the broom closet where I keep a toilet and a sink. That door was ingeniously designed to swing out 90 degrees across the hallway, so that the split bathroom becomes a larger bath area and now the shower area has complete privacy.
 My shower area is called the walkin closet because it houses dirty laundry, the cooler, the long handle grabber and an overhead closet pole used for hanging damp washed clothes on hangers for drying. So it's a walkin closet 23 hours and 55 minutes of the day and a shower for 5 minutes of the day. In that case, I remove the items, shower, then put them back in the shower and now it becomes a walk in closet.

Below the bath door is across the hallway, the brass frame and old shower door are gone, the new one is almost installed. It is a vinyl accordion door with 1 inch panels instead of 8 inch panels, so it fits far more sleeker and that extra 8 inches mean I don't bang my elbow anymore.

 The new shower door is a nice bright addition to a hallway that was gloomy. Amazon had the best price for the vinyl shower door and it was delivered to my campsite for free. I had a choice of Ivory or White, again I chose white (save the ivory tusks!) I am thrilled with the new look. These are available for RV or home use. It came with it's own frame. We had to shorten the width of the frame to make it fit perfectly because my shower is a custom size.

If you are a sticks and bricks person (non RV-er) you are looking at the right side of the vehicle (passenger side) that's a black refrigerator to the left, the shower in the middle, my efficient clothes closet with a mirror and drawers plus a glimpse of my bed in the rear of the coach. You can see a track on the ceiling, that is where another accordion door can be closed, separating the split bath and bedroom.

Amazing I've been rambling around in this old motorhome over 5 years now. It was 15 years old when I bought it, but as time meanders forward, I eventually get some projects completed. I am super blessed my friend was willing to lend a pair of hands to help this go up surprisingly quick.

Speaking of door...

I've often wanted to transform my motorhome sceened door to a plexiglass door. Another day I will explain in detail with pics (if you are interested) how this came about, as it is a custom job we managed to collaborate on without injury. I wanted more sunshine in my motorhome when I am inside by day. I am a sunshiny person who craves a lot of natural light. Mostly I am outside, but yeah, sometimes I need to be inside and the heat or AC might be on and then I have to close the gloomy front door with the tiny window.

Now that the screen door is a full view plexiglass door, I can enjoy loads of natural light while enjoying heat or air conditioning inside.

Below the door, we removed all the rust on the manual step frame, then painted it black. A new carpet was purchased. We put grommets in the carpet.  Springs attach to the grommets, holding the carpet in place underneath the step. To the left of the front door is my whimsical porthole to forever remind me where I used to belong.

This old motorhome is still holding together with a little work here and there coupled with some comfortable upgrades with the bonus of making it a bit more aesthetically appealing.

Phew, time to go ice down the leg and prop it up.

See ya round the countryside.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Ospreys, Fun and Foolishness

I am fascinated with photographing ancient towering trees. When I looked closer at this photograph, I realized way up there hiding up in the lofty tree was an osprey guarding this huge stick nest. 

All this bicycling and dog walking should make one fit enough to climb a tree to photograph a raptor... right?


I managed to get a few great pics in spite of my modest amateur camera.

Speaking of unique sights in small towns...

An athletic male bicyclist on a sleek recumbent bike was seen peddling along country roads while carrying a quad walking cane as curious cargo. Joggers dropped their jaws, car slowed down extra slow. Isn't a walking cane and a bicycle quite the oxymoron in motion?

So what do these two stories have in common?

Not much...

But I am recuperating from a minor accident. The quad walking cane was delivered by bicycle to my campsite so I can hobble around in dignity... a polite term for being mobile enough to hobble to the broom closet where I keep a bathroom stashed. 

The rest of my day/night is spent with my leg propped up or iced down. Dog walking duties have been farmed out while I figure out this temporary lifestyle. 

But I am going to be fine, I just know it. And I didn't really climb a tree... notice I never said I climbed a tree ( read carefully!) but it's a far better story than what really happened. 

Kind of like the shark bite that wrecked my knee or the busted leg from skydiving. Those other times when I used walkers, cranes, canes to get around. 

Assorted quad walking canes (click for more info) are available from Amazon with one and two day shipping options.

I am lucky and very grateful and thankful that my eccentric friend chose to go buy one miles away at a pricey drug store by bicycle. (I say pricey because I noticed that Amazon has the price beat by 20% plus free two-day delivery for Prime Members. 

Any which way you look at it, having an angel fetch and deliver a quad walking cane in an hour by bicycle... PRICELESS!

Life is goof. 



Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Random Rolling Notes

Ah ha!
The sun came up again today. Whee!

We just camped 2 weeks at Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina, not to be confused with Hunting Island State Park. The two are very different but often confused because of similar names and both being near the beach. I managed to walk and wade in the ocean nearly every day. The salt air and sea water are both nurturing and healing.

Below is not my beach camp, but it was unoccupied when I walked by and snapped the photo. The tall dunes protect the beach and inland. This is a rare part of the Grand Strand that is not over developed.

Some days the beach was very busy, especially close to the trails that access the area.

Same beach, further north away from the trails later in the day towards sunset.

On a separate odd note:

Number 13 and Computer Jokers...
I made and paid for a future reservation at a campground for arrival on Friday the 13th for 13 nights. It was "lost" in "the system" otherwise known as cyberworld for 13 days before I could get a confirmation number for my prepaid reservation after making 13 calls of inquiry.

Life is goof...

Monday, June 08, 2015

Rolling Around A Mini Motorhome

Busy taking care of business and it is exhausting. I am so stressed out dealing with some issues that just baffle me. Mostly folks in government or big corporations not doing their job and I the hapless consumer end up on the phone trying to straighten out a mess, I didn't create. But if I don't straighten it out through numerous phone calls and letters, then the "error" will remain not in my favor. Good grief, this is stressful. Grrrrr...

Also doing the campground shuffle due to "computer error". I thought humans ran these newfangled computers, so it seems to me it's "human error" but they blame the computer. *SIGH* And I end up doing the campground shuffle from hither and yonder due to this mysterious error.

Life is goof!

I will be back writing here soon, just wanted to say THANK YOU for stopping by, and THANK YOU for being a wonderful angel in my life.

I woke up alive, the sun came up and I am trying to smile and be super grateful for this gift. But it's hard some days, I just want to grumble and mumble about injustices and pain, pain, pain (I am sick and tired of being sick and tired and the pain, pain, pain...)  but I am trying to shut my big mouth and SMILE.

Pray for a miracle. Miracles can and do happen. It's a miracle I woke up alive. Yippee doodle do!

It's a miracle I have food to cook. Yippee doodle do!

Cooking with love... (and bribing with food...)

My friend has been helping me fix this old motorhome so I've been stuffing them with food prepared from my little ole humble kitchen. The plate is small but the omelette is big! On the side is a fresh fruit salad with homemade yogurt dressing. YUMMY!



Saturday, June 06, 2015

Party Confusion

The good old days...

I stumbled across this anecdote I wrote in 2002 about a party in the late 80's or early 90's when I was working in Venezuela on the sailing yacht Caribana. Enjoy!

 I was at a dock party in Venezuela.  The languages being spoken were many and English was not the dominant one. 
       It was a bit chaotic as I tried my rusty Spanish on an Italian who was getting a translation from a Peruvian.  Two Frenchmen were hosting the party and I tried to thank them in French, much to their amusement. 
       The Germans were alternately crunching out Dutch and offering interpretations in English and Russian.
       My Czechoslovakian captain was flirting with a young lady of striking beauty  who arrived. 
       Her beauty became the instant focus of attention and the party kind of quieted down, as we listened to the Czech interview her in English, which was not her native language.
       He asked her what she liked to do in her spare time.  She replied to the hushed crowd,  "My family and I love to go pissing!  Every chance we get, we go out and piss.  I like to piss every day, or every night, though sometimes we don't get to.  But, to me, being able to piss every chance I get,  just makes life worth living. I just got back from pissing, that is why I was late to the party. I think tomorrow, I will go out and piss some more.  I just can't get enough of pissing. If you like, I can bring you fresh piss tomorrow!"
       This was met by quiet astonishment then laughter from the English speaking contingent, then it had to be translated into many other languages so everyone could appreciate her odd activities.
       The poor girl looked aghast and after several attempts, somebody finally got it all translated back to her, and of course she turned beet red while the laughter died down around her.
       Finally, a young Venezuelan, who was still learning the English language, figured it all out and with great glee, he grabbed the hapless beauty,  taking her near the water's edge, he pointed to his head and said "Remember!"
       Then he pointed at the water and said "Piss, IN!"  and then while pointing upwards he yelled "Fish OUT!"
       "You and your  family love to go FISHING!"

Funny, it seems like only yesterday...



Friday, June 05, 2015

On The Road Again

I wish life were more bicycle friendly. This bridge might not hold cars anymore, but perhaps it could have been a fun bike path.

 I take frequent breaks from bike riding. In this case I was on a bike path parallel to the highway.

 Harley just loves wading in the ocean. We are going to miss our seaside camp home as we head further inland.

These old scalawags hoisted their flag on the beach.

Sometimes hooking up a motorhome is messy by design.

Dumpster diving yielded a colorful umbrella with one broken rib. What a lucky find with summer around the corner.

Well, we are off and driving.

See you down the highways and byways. Thank you for stopping by and  making my day complete.



Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Losing the Motorhome

Modern life in America confuses me. This sign was found on a bulletin board in the Sumter Marion National Forest in South Carolina. 

I am confused by this simple sign.

What is the difference between a plain ole "Trail" and a "Run/Walk Trail"?

Are some folks unclear as to the use of a "trail"?

Could it be so easily confused with say... a laundromat?

Gosh darn... All these years  I thought  "trail" was a place to wash and dry clothes, I am so glad it's now been further clarified for me... "Run/Walk Trail".  And to think of all the times I stood at a plain ole "Trail" sign with my pocket full of quarters and a load of laundry wandering and wondering where all the machines were...

About those mystifying numbers.. Could they clarify that please? Is the "Run/Walk Trail" 2.5 or 1.0 miles?

If I run it quickly is it only 1 mile? If I walk slowly is it 2.5 miles?

I am confused!

Speaking of confusion and the United States Post Office...

Today I traveled in my motorhome to a post office in South Carolina. My dog and friend were with me. The parking lot was busy and crowded so I parked my motorhome off to the side of the property about 200 feet from the post office building.

I noticed as I approached the front of the USPO building that on the doors in large letters it said "No dogs allowed  except Seeing Eye Dogs".  My dog was outside in the motorhome, so I didn't think much about it as I walked inside to stand in line to wait my turn. I had a doozy of a reason to be there to start with. A package addressed to me had gone round trip to the campground and back. A notice had been left at the campground for me to either fill out the notice for the redelivery of the package or bring the notice to the post office to pick up the package.

The campground office had lost the notice. Soooooooooo... I broke camp to drive the motorhome to the post office because this package was rather important.

It was a warm humid day, sometimes raining off and on (June in the south). We had been riding around with the driver and passenger windows open in the motorhome when it wasn't raining hard. We were not using the dash air conditioner nor  the generator which runs the big roof mounted air conditioner. Why waste gas and pollute even more if not necessary?

Well so much for trying to be a tad "green" and mother earth friendly...

When I park the motorhome, it sometimes warms up quickly inside, just like a car does. I keep this in mind if doggy is going to be left alone inside the motorhome on a hot day while I do errands. Sometimes I have to turn on the generator and air conditioning before I leave since the dog is too short to turn this stuff on by himself.  But today since my friend was with me and knew how to turn on the generator and air conditioning if need be, I just hopped out to run inside the post office. I know this all sounds sooooooooo boring, but it's part of the story.

Just so you know more boring stuff...

My plain old cell phone works randomly and rarely, and my friend dislikes phones, so neither of us bother to carry a cell phone around in our pocket. Yeah yeah... I can hear the cell phone fanatics saying "tsk tsk tsk".

I finished up my business inside the post office then strolled outside to see... NO MOTORHOME. Just a big EMPTY space where I had parked it just a few minutes ago.  I scanned the parking lot, which I didn't even recall entering at all because it was chaotic, I checked again at the EMPTY spot where I was pretty sure I  had left my motorhome, but it just wasn't there. I looked around for clues.

I thought to myself "Ut oh... this is the beginning of the end.... It's one thing to misplace the hot pink reading spectacles I so loved (spent a whole dollar for them at Dollar Tree) but *AHEM* it's another thing to misplace the entire motorhome!

I've spent weeks looking around the motorhome for those hot pink reading glasses to no avail. I've just had to accept that they are "lost" and use the gloomy black framed ones.

But today, I just felt like I had left the motorhome right over there. Now I can't find it. Let's see it's 10.5 feet tall, 28 feel long, and about 7 feet wide... you would think that since it's so much larger than a small pair of reading glasses, that it might be easier to spot.

Standing there  outside the post office, holding my keys and my package, I began scratching my head,  I thought maybe I was confused. (Ya think?)

So I decided to go for a "walk" even though there was no sign telling me where to "run/walk". Maybe the walk would clear my head while I thought about where on earth I left that motorhome last... It's embarrassing to misplace something as large as a motorhome!

For a brief moment,  I became concerned about alien abduction. I've heard rumors of folks that just vanished with the aliens. Maybe aliens took my dog, friend and motorhome.

Maybe the aliens wanted a motorhome to take home to their planet as a souvenir and it just happened to be mine.

Dang aliens and their star ships...

How will I explain this to the insurance company? Is alien abduction covered by my policy?

Well it hardly matters now... my cell phone was in the motorhome the aliens took.

Walking... walking... walking... I jangled my keys just in case like in a cartoon, my motorhome would suddenly appear. My friend had the other set of keys but where was he?

I walked down the side  of the property where I thought I left my motorhome, I walked around the parking lot in front of the post office. I walked around the other side of the building where I had no recollection of parking either.

Nope. No motorhome there either. People came and went around me. They all seemed to have cars, and there I was stumbling around aimlessly, scratching my head, jangling my keys. I even looked heavenward a few times, just in case I saw an alien spaceship flying away with my motorhome dangling beneath it.

On my second or third trip around the building, I saw an  open gate around the  back of the building with a "NO PARKING" sign and some sort of sign about postal trucks only beyond this point. It appeared to be a fenced in area leading up to the load/unload docks.

Maybe I could find  a big dumpster back there. I could just go hide behind it and cry. There, I have a plan...

As I walked in back, my bottom lip quivering, my eyes watering up... low and behold THERE hiding where I couldn't see it from outside the gate,  was my motorhome, with my friend sitting in the passenger seat and my goofy dog hanging his head out the open driver's door window.

Was I losing my mind?  I didn't recall parking here at all!

I was just SO relieved I climbed up in the driver's seat all smiles and happiness. I would just pretend like everything was normal and carry on to the next errand. My friend and I looked over the little map we had printed out earlier that showed the various places we wanted to go, we figured out  a plan and soon I was out in traffic.

Finally maybe 5 or 10 minutes later, my friend starts telling me about how he decided to walk the doggy after I went inside the post office. He was at the edge of the lot, walking under the shade trees, when a postal employee came walking out from the open gate, telling him dogs were NOT allowed on federal property. He apologized profusely explaining that he was waiting for me and he headed back to the motorhome with doggy in tow. The employee then told him that the motorhome was parked in the wrong place and ordered my friend to move it to the "No parking, postal trucks only" lot. Wanting to be agreeable, my friend moved the motorhome. He was going to get out to walk around front to the post office building to tell me where the motorhome was, but the employee ordered him to "stay with the motorhome!"

See? I wasn't losing my mind. I wasn't going senile. And best of all, I didn't lose my motorhome, it was just misplaced by the post office.

Imagine that.

Life is goof.