Monday, October 31, 2016


I woke up alive and it's a beautiful day.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hurricane Madness

Who goes out during a hurricane to steal knives and bongs?

Woman arrested for stealing knives and bongs from Myrtle Beach store during hurricane Matthew

I burst out laughing at the headline. Many folks drink and smoke heavily during a hurricane, smoking both weed and/or tobacco.

Perhaps she needed a knife to chop up her ganja to fit in the bong. Since knives and bongs can both come in a plethora of sizes and styles,  why not sample a variety of each?

Even in her mugshot she looks perturbed like "Dude, you seriously wrecked my high."

Curious minds want to know...

Was she drunk during this ill-fated choice of  thievery?

Is there a wacky tobaccy dealer who is also perturbed because she robbed him first?

Bong: Typically smaller than a hookah, a bong is a water pipe generally used for smoking herbs and tobacco. Origin is from the Thai word Buang. In the Far East and many African countries, bongs have been used for centuries.

Thank You for stumbling by today. :)
Here's a twist on survival gear:
Sharp knife, Bottle opener, Spring-action scissors,  Key ring attachment,  Phillips Screwdriver, Flat Head Screwdriver and it all on a removable sleeve that holds a Bic Lighter.

Available at Amazon

Friday, October 28, 2016

Fishing Hole

Andrew Jackson State Park, South Carolina

Small twisty roads to the campground.

Campsite  grades varied from slight to moderate to holy cow, how many boards do I need to prop up this wheel estate? The refrigerator will dies a slow death over time if it is running while parked  on slopes and angles.

I already had a fridge scare this summer and ended up with a solar extraction fan that seems to help it some.

I envy folks with automatic levelers. My boards are super sturdy and heavy.  When I bought my board and had the guy at Lowes or Home Depot, I forget which,  saw it up, he was amused that I took a lot of time to pick a "pretty" board.

He's used to men coming in and just throwing a load of lumber on the truck and calling it a done deal.

It was very new and very heavy like fresh from the forest Hopefully it will dry out one of these years and not be so ridiculously heavy.

Shopping Amazon 
With This Link
Helps Us Run From Hurricanes
Thank You For Stopping By Today!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

East Hurricane

From the mailbag...

Dear Miss Mermaid,

If a hurricane comes to Utah, they tell it where to go.

Life is goof.

Shopping Amazon 
With This Link
Helps Us Run From Hurricanes
Thank You For Stopping By Today!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Dog, A Bike and a Sewer Hose

Oh the thrills of camping...

The dump station.

For you non-Rvers, going to the dump station is where we empty out our black tank (toilet stuff) and the gray tank (used washing water).

I parked the RV then got out and hooked up the sewer hose. Harley dog came out of the RV dragging his short leash walking over to the sewer hose. I said "Sit, stay."

Leaving Harley, I went  inside the RV to round up the garbage since the dumpster was close by. It took a few minutes while I fetched the bathroom garbage and combined it with the kitchen garbage, tying up the bag and so on.

When I came back out of the wheel estate, Harley was sitting by the gurgling sewer hose, enthusiastically wagging his tail and staring at the folks that had pulled up behind us in their camper.

As I carried the garbage past their RV to head for the dumpster,  I said over my shoulder "Harley rinse the sewer hose before you put it away."

Coming back from the dumpster the man in the waiting RV said "How'd you train your dog to dump the tanks?"

I said "Well, he learned from watching me do it all the time and he works for treats."

They laughed.

His wife said. "Isn't that the same doggy I've seen riding a bicycle?"

Funny how no one sees me riding the bicycle, it's always the goofy dog in the my front basket they notice. 

"Why yes it is." I answered.

Her husband now genuinely serious said "What? That little mutt can ride a bicycle too?"

"Oh yes he loves it!" I replied as I opened the door to climb into  the driver's seat of my rig.

I heard the man say to his wife "I wonder where she found a bicycle small enough for him to pedal?"

Harley finished storing the sewer hose and was ready to leave. I handed him his treat.

His bark's worse than his bike!

Speaking of dogs riding bikes...

Perfect gift for the person who has everything. Bet they don't have these!

Available at Amazon.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Everything's Better in Metter!


Not sure how traveling and moving manages to wear me out, but it does.  This was a wild and crazy trip too as I did a few goofy things unintentionally. More on that later.

At the time I moved from the Caribbean in late 2009, I had spent half my life there.

The weather did not have 40F degree mood swings in 24 hours!

Now that I am residing around parts of America, I still have a lot of trouble coping with that, probably because I prefer fresh air and being outside or if inside, all the windows open. I guess if I lived hermetically sealed, with perfect indoor climate controlled comfort, I wouldn't have this problem.

But I live with a strange spirit that draws me outdoors or if indoors, I want all the shades up and lots of natural light pouring into my life.

I get cold easy. You can take the girl out of the islands, but you can't get the island out of the girl or something crazy like that. I am tired, so I am going to sign up soon.

It's not as bad as when I first came back to America and 65F degrees could send my teeth chattering while I found a mountain of clothes and a heavy blanket to hide under under out of extreme cold, but still...

84F today and going down to 44F tonight.

From running around foot nude by day to bundling up under the covers with an electric mattress warmer by night. When my old mattress warmer broke, I spent several nights curled up in a tight ball under layers of covers trying to stay warm. I bought a replacement, I just couldn't get used to the cold.

My French friend refers to going barefoot as foot nude.

Life is goof.

Currently I have taken refuge at a private camp near Twin City which is near Metter Georgia.

Their town logo is "Everything's Better in Metter!"

Not to be outdone, Twin City's logo is "Twice as friendly, Twice as nice!"

Saturday, October 22, 2016

On The Road Again

On the road again...

Post hurricane Matthew has sent me scrambling to find camp sites. It's been a busy year for me. January found me in Florida then spring I was in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Summer sent me to Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Michigan. Fall brought me back through Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina then South Carolina. Now I am off to Georgia if all goes well. Florida is the next step for winter *fingers crossed*.

For 8 glorious days, I have been riding my bicycle up and down hills. Daily Harley and I ride out to this unused picnic peninsula on Lake Greenwood in South Carolina. Harley has loved being off leash running wild and free. He ran right out of the picture!

Harley was messing about the lake's edge where the rip rap rocks are piled up to protect the peninsula. He tangled up his "dragging leash". I made him pose for a picture before I untangled him, hence the pleading look on his face.

I let him drag his short leash around so he complies with the park rules that doggies must be leashed.

One day a couple and their grown kids visiting from Chicago were at a picnic table. I took Harley far away riding on the bicycle before I let him loose. I was hoping he didn't see the people.

He ran around playing for about 20 minutes then suddenly took off full speed ahead to insert himself at their picnic.

Good grief. I was speed walking and calling him, but he was busy hoover hounding underneath their table checking for crumbs. Luckily they were laughing at his silly antics, as he begged for mercy as if I was going to punish him. He knew he was being bad, but he also couldn't contain his gleeful attitude at breaking the rules. Once again. *SIGH*.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Heat and Humor

Zoning Improvement Plan.

You have one and use multiple ones throughout your life. You carry it around in your wallet. As a child, I was taught in school how important this newfangled zoning improvement plan was and that we should strive to memorize ours and refer to it often.

I am camping in Ninety Six, South Carolina. Nine glorious days. I so needed a rest. Thanks to hurricane Matthew, six weeks of my prepaid reservations were cancelled because the parks I had reserved are now closed. One is so damaged, it's not scheduled to reopen until 2017. As a result I've had to scramble around looking for camps to go to. Mostly I've had to move every few days. I had just finished a lengthy trip to and from Michigan where I was moving every few days plus breaking down and detouring for repairs.

Just for fun.

Oh well. My RV is from 1994. Small wonder things break no matter how well I strive to take good care of it. I just wish my budget had not suffered so many emergencies. I am rethinking my winter reservations to try to find something more economical.

Somebody in the early sixties in the US Post office had a sense of humor. The zip code for Ninety Six, South Carolina is 29666.

By the way, Zoning Improvement Plan is what we now refer to as a ZIP code.

October 20th, 2016,  our weather was so hot here it broke the 1899 record high for this date.


Life is goof.

Ninety Six has a colorful history dating back to early colonial times when a settlement began at the 96th milepost from Keowee Indian village on a trail used by traders with the Indians. A small store run by Robert Goudy supplied traders with such items as rum, sugar, gunpowder, is on record as existing as early as 1730. Most likely, Ninety Six received its name when Indian maiden Issaqueena (Cateechee), rode her horse ninety six miles from Keowee, the capital of the Cherokee nation to the outpost to warn of impending war by the Indian natives.

Lake Greenwoood Reservoir where I am camping on the shores is the confluence of 3 rivers held back by a hydroelectric dam built around 1930. This state park like many in South Carolina was developed and built by the wonderful CCC.

Mystery pears.

I have no idea who left me a sack of pears on my doorstep while I was out walking the dog when camping recently at Andrew Jackson State Park near Lancaster, South Carolina. While they are heavily spotted, once peeled, they are near perfect and quite delicious. Every day I gently poke them to peel the ripest one next.

I still wonder how they ended up on my doorstep.

Last year I bought this wonderful gadget that slices apples and pears into 16 thin slices. Perfect for eating as well as recipes such as pies and salad. The blades are super sharp.
Prepworks by Progressive Thin Apple Slicer and Corer Click here for info
Prepworks by Progressive Thin Apple Slicer and Corer
Click here for info

Last winter friends who managed to pop by unannounced at my winter camp site while I was gone bike riding, left me a sack of lemons they grew that were so big they resembled oranges. But at least I knew who gave them to me so I could thank them.

To whoever gave me the pears, THANK YOU, they are delicious!

Last Sunday, I had surprise company. They showed up with a sack of charcoal plus steaks and ribs for the grill. They brought their big goofy Labrador who Harley has known for a few years but had not seen in 2 years or so. Funny how doggies never forget.

A few days later, another friend drove 60 miles to visit, bringing his dog plus another one he was dog sitting. Harley was thrilled to have even more canines come for a visit.

Too funny!

However, Harley dog entertains his company outside. He will not allow another dog inside his rolling dog house. Except years ago he had a cute little girlfriend. We took the RV out on a day trip and he was actually delighted to have her along for the ride. Yet he's never allowed another pooch to cross his doorway.

Sadly his girlfriend took off traveling in opposite directions so we have not seen her in years.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Inspiration To Get Up And Do It

Do not wait; the time will never be 'just right.'
Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.
George Herbert

Whatever you are, be a good one.
Abraham Lincoln

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.

You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Watching The Crazy Parade

I am the only solo camper in a campground overflowing with people.

Finally I found refuge in a gorgeous state park on a shimmering lake surrounded by mature trees with a campground on a hill affording most all spots to have a lake view with some reserving  lake front property 10-12 months ago in order to be close to the water's edge. I was lucky to get a spot at all. For 9 glorious nights.

Hurricane Matthew accidentally sent me into refugee mode when the parks where I had 6 weeks of reservations were cancelled due to indefinite closures. I've had to scramble and move around every day or so looking for camping.

Now I am a solo camper in a park full of families, couples and groups. It can be lonely in a strange way. However the people watching is fascinating. Small children on push scooters, big children on skateboards. Kids, dogs, babies are in full force seemingly outnumbering the adult humans three to one.

A tandem bicycle goes by with parents pedaling and a happy baby strapped on the back. A golf cart with 3 overstuffed adults and two tiny lap dogs silently glides by. Teen girls with a suitcase of shower items head for the restrooms.

Watching the crazy parade go by.

I've noticed that some campers tend to wear their flannel pajamas all day long. A rather interesting fashion note. I don't really have nay pajamas to wear except for a flannel night shirt with masculine plaids interspersed with hot pink ribbon trim. It looks more like a curiously detailed plaid dress than a night shirt. Shopping the end of season bargain rack, I end up with interesting stuff like this. I use it like a housecoat on cool mornings. It had never occurred to me to wear it out and about or all day long.

One of the curious pastimes is to ride around in electric golf carts doing the same camp road loops over and over. Lap dogs are prevalent on the golf carts. If one slows down near our site, Harley hops aboard. He thinks it's the public pooch bus.

Kids, dogs, babies are in full force seemingly outnumbering the adult humans.  Boats, pickup trucks, trailers, campers and tents are liberally scattered on every spot available.

Skateboarders practice their luck on the hilly roads recently repaved making them pleasantly smooth. Small children furiously pedal by on two wheels while larger children ride noisily by with training wheels.

As a small child, I wanted training wheels and my father was real insistent that I not have them. One Saturday morning over breakfast I put forth my best fight for training wheels. But my father was tight with money and he thought they were a foolish waste. My mother said "Well you go out and teach her to ride a bike then!"

This put me over the moon! I was in the carport, pushing my bike out to the street, anxiously waiting on my hapless father who was not amused with this sudden change in events. My mother was busy cooking and cleaning, it was Saturday, a day when traditionally my father did absolutely nothing.

My father was not athletic. He jogged up and down our home street holding my bicycle upright yelling at me to pedal faster. He was heaving and breathing, often making loud raspberry noises while he tried to catch his breath. He kept letting go and I would fall off and bleed as the skin split. But we just kept going. He wasn't about to stop just because I was accumulating bloody scrapes and cuts. I wanted to ride that bike and my poor father didn't want to face my mother's wrath if I didn't learn.

I think we even stopped for lunch then went back at it again.

Finally I was riding without his aid  and suddenly he was nowhere to be seen. I practiced riding until my muscles just couldn't move anymore. I went inside supremely happy but tired, with dried blood all over my arms and legs. My mom stopped what she was doing to clean up the blood patching me back together again with about two dozen band aids.

At Sunday school the next morning, the teacher looked at my numerous bandaids and asked me what happened. I gleefully told her "I learned to ride a bicycle!"

When I see kids with training wheels, I think of lazy parents. I am probably going to get some hate mail on this... but my father was right. Training wheels were a waste of money... if he could teach me to ride in one day.

Recently in Ohio, a group of parents with tiny 4 and 5 year-olds, came to camp with assorted miniature bicycles. All the children were taught to ride without training wheels. Once one kid figured it out, it seems the others were anxious to catch on too.  It was amazing to see these tiny tots fly by on their tiny little bikes. Eventually some parents were having trouble reigning in the kids as they used their new found freedom to fly around all over the campground at record speeds. I was impressed at the parents' ingenuity in teaching the youngsters all at once.

Monkey see. Monkey do.

Camp fires burning, grills warming, aromatic foods water the taste buds. Bicycles in all sizes with all manner of riders going uphill, downhill, around hill.

This is my first visit to Lake Greenwood with my new bicycle. My last bike didn't go downhill very nicely. It was frightening!

My new, well not really new anymore, but a year old, anyhow my one year old Day 6 flies downhill in supreme comfort. The low center of gravity makes it comfy. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

No one at this camp has seen a Day 6 bicycle from the way I saw folks rubber necking as I whizzed by. I did the big long hilly loop 5 times much to Harley's delight. Then we went to the other side of the park where the picnic area is. Sadly no one seems to go out for picnics anymore. This gave me a chance to let Harley race around dragging his leash. He was thrilled to sniff and piddle about.

Back at the camp, we settle outdoors to watch the crazy parade go by again. A canine tripod hops down the road minus a rear leg. Two spots down, a man in a rugged wheel chair tends to his campfire while chatting with friends.

Hopeful fishermen keep vigil by the shore. The boat ramp is a symphony of carefully orchestrated boat launches and retrievals.

Merry passengers and pets pile into pontoon party boats with overloaded coolers and picnic baskets to cruise the flat lake waters.

Me? I am just oh so grateful to be able to stay put for a spell.

Life is goof.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Taking Refuge

Coming full circle...

I am back in Lake Greenwood. It's a lovely place with fabulous vibes.

However, a revisit is with bittersweet memories.

Awhile back I traveled to Greenwood to see two close friends, both of them talented professional musicians. One I dated for years and the other one, nicknamed Wag, I used to share a lovely home with before he married somebody else.

I could tell something didn't seem right with him. He looked old and gaunt rather than full of life yet his music was spot on. I was glad to see him but worried it would be my last time.

Then last time I was here at the lake, my brother came down to visit me twice. On his 2nd visit, after he left, I cried inconsolably.

I had this sinking feeling I would not see him again. It was a horrifying thought. We stayed in touch by phone.

Most unfortunately he passed away before I could see him again.

Then my musician friend...
A few months later, discovering he had cancer, the pain overwhelmed him. He decided to exit this world to escape the indignities of pain and medical torture. He told me 30 years ago he would do this if push came to shove. His best friend notified me of his passing and the circumstances.

So it's with joy that I knew these two fabulous souls and with sadness I mourn their passing.

Rest in peace. I think of you every day as I gaze at the lake pondering your life on earth and beyond.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Crummy Life

Flying J is notorious for being RV friendly. Typically they are open 24/7 with a separate areas for the commercial trucks, cars and RVs. Many have extra long parking spots specifically for RV's. Most all have a generous store which carries useful items for the traveler.

Their food selection has expanded considerably to include many healthy foods, like bananas, salads, peeled boiled eggs, fresh chopped fruit cups and real juices. In addition they also have hot foods ready to go fresh from their kitchen.

Recently while buying gas at Flying J, I made the mistake of touring their store. I ended up with fruit cups, bananas, peeled hard boiled eggs and then on a whim I couldn't resist the aromatic sausage biscuits.

After walking Harley around the Flying J grassy areas,  I decided to get back on the road and eat later.

Ten minutes later, all I could think about was the sausage biscuit, which was sitting dangerously close by in a bag. I was on the interstate which wasn't that busy so I figured I could carefully consume a biscuit while driving.

I am living proof that their sausage biscuits are top notch apparently made with real homemade biscuits. Even Harley insisted on sampling some and he found it exceeded his expectations.

Afterwards, I got a giggle at my sweater!

Biscuit crumbs were not only stuck in the steering wheel between the memory foam cover and the wheel but up and down my turquoise sweater.

My gosh, I am a fright!

Mama always said; "Brush after every meal!" I think she meant teeth, not clothes, but in this case... I need to brush my clothes.

It's hard to tell in the picture, but to my right, that brown blur is Harley hoover-hounding the floor for errant crumbs. He wanted to climb right up my sweater and clean me up, but since I was driving, I wouldn't allow it.

After this picture, I tried to brush the crumbs over towards Harley and he dutifully sucked them up for me. What a great puppy dog!

We lead such a crumb-be life...

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Giddy Yup

Wide awake.

Not feeling so hot, caught somebody's cold. *SNIFFLE COUGH COUGH*

Fiery hot, then icy cold.

Oh joy.

Yesterday doggy and I walked out the garbage again. It's all uphill but less than a mile. If we don't walk it out everyday, then it becomes too much. Not sure how we make so much garbage, but I think most products are over-packaged.

We found a nature trail that wasn't being used except by nature, so I accidentally *ahem* dropped Harley's dog leash. He raced up and down the trail taking side tours then racing back to me in his enthusiasm at his brief freedom to run like the wind.

We came to a long section that was a man-made boardwalk covered lightly in fall leaves. Harley loved the sound of his paws galloping up and down the wooden walk, so he raced back and forth with that goofy grin on his face letting his paws rat-a-tat-tat on the wood. He did indeed sound like a race horse galloping along.

I was playing the treat game with him, trying to teach (once again for the sixteenth thousandth time) to come when called. I would call, he would come, I would dish out a treat. He would pause long enough to eat it, then dash away again.

When I spied two women way down the trail, I called him to come, so I could leash him back up but he ignored me completely to go run be with his new friends.

They saw him dragging his leash, so they picked it up and walked him back to me.

He still expected a treat.

Good grief.

They were laughing at him. If anything, he makes people laugh! He is so goofy with this wild enthusiasm in everything he does.

We can all learn a lot from a 6 pound dog.

Energy plus enthusiasm in simple goofy pursuits equals laughter.

When we came home, there was a grocery bag, just like the ones we use for garbage, sitting at my door.

Now I was confused.

Did we forget the garbage?


Was I becoming that forgetful?

I was pretty sure we had carried the bag with us. Did someone else want us to carry out their garbage too?

I peeked inside. It was pears.

No note. No idea.

Just a sack of pears.

Mystery pears peering back at us.

Life is goof.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Man With A Knife Comes After Us

In most instances I would not be too happy to have a big strange man rapidly approaching me while opening up his knife. It was so sharp I could see the sunshine bouncing off the razor sharp edge.

A few minutes later, I ended up thanking him profusely as did my doggy by dancing, twirling, back flipping and jumping for joy.

A Good Samaritan to our rescue!

Sometimes I want to curse the fishermen that leave their garbage strewn around their fishing spot. From cans of corn to wiggly worm containers and the ubiquitous cheap beer cans. Ever wonder what the cheapest beer in that particular zip code is? Do some volunteer litter picking up and you will quickly find out.


I was walking the doggy and we both like water and lakes, so we ended up at the edge of the gorgeous pond in the campground. We have a nice view of it from the camp but being able to walk down to it, seemed like a good idea. There were some sunny spots we were enjoying. Puppy was sniffing around, checking and leaving pee-mail. I was admiring the reflected beauty in the lake (the trees not me!)

My doggy was using his leash to inch me closer to the lake so he could inspect it better. Suddenly he is having fits, dancing around and biting at his legs. Then in his semi-panic he ran up and around me for help and now I too could feel and see the problem.

He was hopelessly tangled in sturdy but invisible fishing line. It had snagged his tiny legs and his quick movements had tightened it around him and his limbs. The more he panicked, the worse it got. In his haste to get my attention and assistance, he managed to tangle it around my ankles so I was cobbled and hobbled in a nano second. In short order, neither of us could move without extreme pain. Poor little pooch let out a cry of despair which alerted the beefy man sitting up the hill.

I was trying to break the stuff and it must have been for 600 pound marlin. I couldn't' break anything. Doggie is dancing up a storm and crying cause his wittle paws hurt from the nearly invisible line cutting off the circulation. He was biting at it but not making any headway either. My feet were going numb as our tangled tango tighten the line like a noose around my ankles.

Luckily a nice older man with a big leather cowboy hat was sitting nearby watching his grown daughter go kayaking. After helping her launch, he had dragged his chair down to the lake to soak up some sun and scenes.

When he saw doggie and I doing  the tangled tango, he jumped up, pulled out a super sharp knife coming to our rescue.

Even he was amazed at how quickly a panicked pup had managed to tie up both up. With a few deft swoops of his knife, he had us freed. He even helped us corral all the errant fishing line into a doggy poop baggie so we could save future generations from this thoughtlessly discarded malady.

We ended up chatting for so long, that his daughter finished kayaking. Turns out they were refugees from the low country of South Carolina which had just been hit by hurricane Matthew. I thought it rather prudent to pack up kayaks while departing a hurricane and possible flood zone. They were laughing about it too. They figured if they came to swollen roads, they could abandon the truck and trailer and just glide away in the kayaks.

Back at my RV I carry a small knife on my mail box key ring for opening letters and packages. Well I removed that and reattached it to my dog walking key chain which has the RV key, the bicycle lock key and now the small Swiss Army knife.

We will be better prepared for our next adventure!

Sunday, October 09, 2016


People are awesome. These camp sites are tiny but beautiful as we have tall trees and a view of a fishing pond. My neighbors didn't have room to park their car on their lot so I volunteered my spot.

I am in a long pull-thru which I am parked at one end, the end most level, but still needed 4 heavy duty boards to try to bring me level enough to run my refrigerator. So there was plenty of room to park their car in front of my rig. Then we were treated to 28 hours of nonstop rains in a full campground.

Two campers had to brave the rains to put multiple tarps over their rigs. So sad. Nothing worse than a leaky RV.

Tonight the rains stopped. My neighbors came over to offer me a huge plate of food. Harley dog escaped out the door at full speed ahead. He ran for the nearest outdoor party to insert himself in the middle. Then he ran inside their trailer to bounce off their furniture testing it for comfort. Harley would love to live with a crowd of folks so he would never be without an audience or playmate for his antics.

I was flailing around slipping on my shoes and grabbing his leash to go fetch him. As I sheepishly began looking for my errant pooch, the party next door said "Oh, he's in our trailer!" A teenage girl came out cuddling him. He was out of breath and oscillating between being super happy with his adventure and that worried look of "Ut oh, I been bad doggy!"

I brought him home. In spite of his bad behavior, scaring me with his escape, I shared some of my mammoth dinner with him. They had sent over shredded barbecue, beans, coleslaw and macaroni and cheese. This was all homemade delicious! Harley was thrilled they sent over a mountain of meat and macaroni because I shared it with him.

As a puppy, Harley was overly picky and it was initially hard to find food to get him to eat and get his malnourished bony body up to weight. Now he is the direct opposite, not picky at all. Loves his wet food, dry food, snacks and people food. Hot spicy food and cheese are clearly his favorites.

About the time we finished our lovely delivered dinner, the power went out. And stayed out. It came back on around 3am, I happened to be up then. I've injured my upper arm and I just can't get comfortable so the pain wakes me up every hour or less. I am packing serious bags under my eyes.

Matter of fact, I was able to book an additional 2 nights stay here, which I may have to extend further though I have to be out of here by Thursday as weekends are sold out.

But so far, we survived hurricane Matthew. PHEW.

This picture is my favorite piece of disaster equipment, which I use daily. It's a Berky water purifier that requires no electricity, no water pressure and no frequent filter changes. The unique but powerful ceramic filters remove a ton of unwanted toxins. They are renewable and last anywhere from 6,000 to 30,000 gallons.

Even though I bought the smallest purifier they make, I had trouble finding a home for it in my tiny motorhome. Finally I realized it serendipitously fit under the kitchen sink. After using it a few times, I decided it was much easier to deal with if I removed the cabinet door. A black bungee cord holds the purifier in place so when I am driving it doesn't come bouncing out of the cabinet sloshing water around.

I have a retractable kitchen faucet. I use it to pop the lid off the top of the Berkey, fill up the top tank then wait anywhere from 20 minutes to 20 hours, for it to purify while delivering the pure water to the bottom tank. Some camps provide such horrible water, it only purifies one drop every few minutes. Other places the water quality is much better and 20 minutes later I have a tank of awesome water.

I carefully measured from the bottom tap to the floor then bought two water carafes that fit there perfectly for draining the water into for storage. I keep these filled up so I end up with plenty of drinking and cooking water. I also make ice with this water. The taste is incredibly delicious.

The Berkey can filter tap water, river water, lake water or rain water. Anything but salt water. Fabulous for daily use and indispensable for emergency disaster use. Don't let the price shock you, it includes top of line quality stainless steel that will last a lifetime. My original filters are on their 3rd or 4th year. Every few months or after visiting a place with horrible water, I remove the filters, then scrub them clean under running water. This sort of speeds up the purifying again.

Last time I camped at Lake Hartwell, the water there was horrendous. Some days it was mud red, other days s sickening green color. My Berkey struggled at a snail's pace to turn that crap into delicious drinking water. I also use an inline pre-filter from the camp's faucet to my outside RV hookup. This helps the Berkey filters last longer and also prevents me from having bad bath water. At Hartwell I was treated to the worst case of ear infection I have ever had. I suppose it came from the shower, so after that I started using a pre-filter cartridge. It doesn't last long, maybe 4-8 weeks.

If seriously delicious pure water is important to you, get the Berkey Water System.  This is the eco green friendly way to go too. No massive pile of plastic bottles filling up the garbage and landfills and overworked recycling centers.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Eternal Optimism

This picture is a reminder of how I live my life.
Eternal optimism!
Out of cracked tarmac blooms flowers with true gusto.
If anyone told the flowers they couldn't grow there, they surely believed otherwise.
Oh YES I can!

I am at one of the higher spots in the tiny campground. The fishing lake is slowly rising. My site is tight with an inclined paved pad. I had to put thick heavy boards under the rear right tires to level up the fridge.

My nose is a bit down on the right side front. I figure this is OK as it speeds up roof drainage so it can't leak through the cranked up TV antenna. This is sometimes a problem in heavy rains.

My neighbors needed a spot to park an extra car because these sites are tiny. I let them park in front of me. My site is a pull-thru.

There are some tenters set up for camping, but one site seems abandoned with equipment still in place. Another one has the folks living inside their car, which can't be much fun.

Doggy is sitting here cross legged refusing to go out in the cold rains. However, we apparently are hot heavy breathers, because I had to turn the AC on low to equalize the temperature.

It was getting stuffy inside, so I am also running the stove exhaust to force some fresh air around.

I am the LUCKIEST person in the world, because I woke up alive and I am more or less safe.

I am not a TV person, but I caved in, cranked up the antenna then searched for channels. According to the TV weather reports I am in a flash flood zone area. I want to hike out and get a better view of the little fishing lake.

Maybe I will ask Santa Claus to bring me a compact weather radio. This one looks efficient and compact, the Midland HH54VP Portable Emergency Weather Radio with SAME (Black). My RV is seriously space challenged so I have to be super careful about the size of any new or additional equipment I decide on.

In the Caribbean I could never get my hands on a weather radio, so I had forgotten they even exist! For so many of those years I lived afloat with VHF radio that gave us hourly weather plus weather alerts on emergencies.

I was hoping to find a simple wall mountable weather radio, but so far no luck. My table area is severely compromised, already too much stuff on it.

Tiny home living always had so many unique considerations.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Hiding From Hurricane Matthew

Rains didn't come until early morning at daybreak. I got soaking wet partially while unhooking my umbilical cords.

Hurricane Matthew dominates the south eastern United States with his little sister Nicole to the east.

It's a travesty that the National Hurricane Center's website is down again!  Maybe everyone went home to board up and no one is there to run the show.

I moved to Andrew Jackson State Park. I was checking their reservations (and others) hourly throughout the night. Finally a spot opened up through someone's cancellation, so I snapped it up. Only 2 days, but more sites may open up for me to stay longer.

I am tired.

I did go to the store for provisions. Usually I stick to cheap healthy foods I can cook. But I am dead tired. So I got some mostly healthy foods that are easy to prepare such as fresh fruit and sandwich supplies. I already have soups, beans, rice, pasta. Plus I made a mountain of dried beans in Pipestem. In spite of giving some away I think they swell up overnight. The more I eat the more they expand.

In July I was sad to give away my beloved rain proof trench coat. It was stunningly beautiful, actually suitable for male or female but in all fairness the sleeves were too long for me. I gave it to a super lady who had the perfect arms to fit it. She looked terrific in it, recognized the designer label and was thrilled I didn't have room to keep it any longer in my storage starved RV.

Then about a week or so ago, a friend gave me a brand new light weight beautiful rain jacket with hood. It keeps my head and torso super dry. WOW!

I have used it a lot lately because the rains just keep coming. My poor doggy doesn't like to do his duty in the rains and he refuses to do it indoors (thank goodness!)

Every time the rains slack off, I drag him outside and he drags me back inside. I towel him off, fluff up his fur and we wait it out a while longer.


I never buy cookies. But today I wanted cookies so I bought the top of the line Pepperidge Farm Double Dark Chocolate Cookies. I ate two of them and they are DIVINE. Only 8 to a package so I must carefully ration them.

I also accidentally went into a liquor store. I bought a bottle in case there was a bad accident and I needed to sterilize a wound or kill the pain. I stored it with the First Aid Kit for Medicinal purposes.

Life is goof.

At the store, I put all the non refrigerated items in front then put one of those sticks to separate orders in back, then unloaded the refrigerated items. The cashier asked me about this, and I explained I wanted the refrigerated stuff bagged separately.

When I was unloading at the RV, I couldn't find my refrigerated item bags. I was about to panic. Then I realized he did bag my refrigerated items separately. He put ONE in every bag with the dry goods.

Is that the best the grocery store can hire to bag groceries? Someone who has never ever once shopped for food nor understands WHY some fool like me would want the refrigerated items all together?

Life is strange.

Who raises these people?

I am all for bringing back the house parent, whether it's a housewife or househusband. Cut the lavish lifestyle and have an interested adult at home to enhance family life and teach the children.

Okey dokey, enough of my ranting... more weird stuff happened today that just left me scracthing my head in wonder.

I call these run ins with strange folk "generation DUH".

Waiting Out Hurricane Matthew

1am, Friday, October 7, 2016
The National Hurricane center went down!

The National Hurricane Center released an advisory right on time late Thursday as Hurricane Matthew nears the Florida coast. Soon after the 11 p.m. alert, the National Hurricane Center’s website went down.The National Weather Service said in a statement early Friday that there was a technical issue at the WOC. It’s unclear how long the website is going to be down.

All is quiet in Rock Hill, South Carolina on Lake Wylie.

Rumor is rains would hit at 2am.

I have to do the campground shuffle tomorrow. Since my reservations on the coast are canceled, I've been scrambling to find a place to camp inland along with thousands of other evacuees. Also, folks who were headed to Florida and coastal areas of both Georgia and South Carolina in their RV's, some for the entire winter, are suddenly stopped in their tracks searching for alternate reservations.

I heard that Charlotte, North Carolina had already sold out of hotel rooms, a nice boom for their economy.

Going to a hotel with an RV is out of the question since many surcharge heavily for a pet. Besides I am most comfy in my RV, but bricking up at this late date is out of the question as is boarding it up, which would drive me batty anyhow.

I think I am far enough inland to be safe.

Sorta... Shudda... Cudda... Wudda...

Tuesday when I left Pipestem, West Virginia, I was hesitant for some strange reason but couldn't really fathom any bad omens, so I left anyhow. Had I waited one more day, then I would have surely just stayed put and not ventured across West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and into South Carolina.

Oh well.

I am stocked up with water, gas, propane and an eclectic food assortment. I was too tired to grocery shop, but while buying gas at Flying J Truck Stop, I did top up with some fun goodies at their store which does carry a unique assortment of foods. I bought some bananas, a cantaloupe fruit cup, another cup of boiled eggs, some dark chocolate and  sausage biscuits that were super delicious.

Just ask Harley, he helped me eat them.

Another day in paradise. 


Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Governor Cancels My Reservations in S.C.

Ut Oh...

Yesterday I drove a mind boggling record 240 miles from Pipestem, West Virginia to Rock Hill, South Carolina enroute to my reservations which begin Friday 70 miles from the coast (Colleton State Park) then continue on Sunday to a spot about 400 feet from the coast, running through the end of October. I was looking forward to zero gas purchases, daily bike riding and soulful communing on the unspoilt sea shores of Hunting Island State Park.

Late in the afternoon I received a prerecorded message (with several mispronunciations) that the governor of South Carolina was seeking to evacuate 1.1 million people from the coast of South Carolina which included 100 miles inland. Both my reservations had been canceled.

I suppose eventually they will refund my monies, but for now, I am frantically searching for a campground with availability that doesn't include traveling any of the evacuation routes.

Many of the interstates and main highways from the coast have revered traffic so it's all one way. Not sure how this will work when it's time to exit, since exits are built for traffic going the other way. Imagine trying to make a 359 degree turn off the interstate in your RV to accommodate the "backwards" exit ramp.

For what it's worth, I filled up my gas tank twice yesterday so I would arrive with a nearly full tank. Matter of fact, out of 55 gallons, I have 54 gallons left.

The park I am camped in now, had a spot available for me through Thursday night.

Maybe the above forecast is wrong. I searched for a better one.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Notes From Cuba

With hurricane Matthew bearing down on Cuba, one wonders how they will fare and if the subsequent news we might hear resembles anything close to the truth or not.

A note from Cuba:
I live in the central/western(occidental) part of Cuba on the north coast.  Announcements and preparation are well in progress.  'Have to wait and see what happens with hurricane Matthew.  But whatever - it won't be good.  So far it seems it will pass well to the east of us. at least the worst of it. 


Another note, different correspondent:
The Upside...
Community taxis cost only $.60 to cross Havana.

The Downside...
The most important skill learned after a week is how to close the door of a smoke-filled 6-rider Soviet-made taxi without the handle falling off.

And now for some bad jokes:

Why doesn't Cuba have an Olympic Swim Team?

All the good swimmers left.

Cubans are thinking of changing their national anthem from "Grow, grow, grow your beard" to "Row, row, row your boat!"

I heard Fidel Castro was rushed to the hospital with an emergency health problem... in the back of a 1955 Dodge Ambulance.

And to my Cuban friends, please forgive me, it's all in fun!


The Nonagenarian

Would you revisit a campground 30 miles off track to see the nonagenarian again?

Well I did.

Actually when I left to drive here, I wasn't feeling well at all. The last campground which was called a "resort" wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I needed to be in bed getting well, but I didn't like the vibes nor the "resort".  So I forced myself to drive away after 2 nights.

Spots were crammed in tight. The resort was in need of some serious TLC. When I arrived, the locked gates wouldn't open, so I had to block them then hike in, but it wasn't far. Then they made me go move the rig again before checking in.

They sent me to a pull-thru that is reserved for 30 feet and up only. My gosh, I could barely squeeze into it. Finding not one but two boards on the lot with big long rusty nails sticking out of them was a fright. My semi-new tires deserve better than this lot.
At least the sign gave me a giggle!

It was so crummy, even the dog didn't like the lot.

He did however get in a  four mile hike to the garbage dumpster. It was uphill going but downhill coming back. I guess this resort was designed for people to drive their garbage rather than hike with it. I was so sick, poor doggy had to wait while I took numerous breaks. A few times I hugged a tree while he sniffed and piddled waiting for me to get my  boost of energy to wobble to the next tree.

When I drove out in the morning, I had to use this cantankerous card to make the gate open and it took about 5 minutes for the gate to finally decide to read and accept the card. Then I had to get out again to deposit the card in a box since I wasn't coming back and the office was closed up tight.

The "resort" had an indoor pool but I didn't get to use it. I don't have a bathing suit, not sure they would appreciate me swimming au naturale.

A few months ago, I found my bathing suit in a ziplock baggy in the cabinet. I was thinking that suit was from circa 2008. I was going to try it on to see how ridiculous I looked, but when I stretched open the bottoms of the tankini, they stayed open! The elastic was shot. Bang. Dead. I didn't bother to replace the swim suit because my trips to the beach are typically in the spring or fall when it's too cold for this wimp to swim. I do wade around in the ocean because I feel the salt water is very healing on my feet and legs. Harley dog will skip and play with the tides and seafoam. It's a fun walk for us both but I use his 20 foot flexi leash so he can have more freedom around the tides.

Back to driving and aiming for the next campground... I picked one I had visited a few weeks ago because I met this most delightful nonagenarian who was living in the park with his RV, his dog and a bird. When I called for a spot I asked for the one next to his again. The manager on the phone sounded a bit amused or bemused that I was coming to visit their oldest transient.

If it weren't for him, there isn't much to draw me back to this particular park.  But there he was, glad to see me and we chatted for awhile before I climbed back in bed to continue recuperating.

Today is Monday, I was planning to travel, but I've decided to wait another day. I need to continue healing. Plus it wouldn't hurt if I managed to organize this mess a bit better. Plus for some fool reason I cooked up a mountain of assorted dried beans yesterday yet I haven't finished with the final recipes.

I think I will divide the beans in half, then make two different recipes. Then I will divide them again and share with the nonagenarian so he has something to heat in his microwave when he feels like it.

non•a•ge•na•ri•an (nŏnˌə-jə-nârˈē-ən, nōˌnə-)►
n. A person 90 years old or between 90 and 100 years old.

US 33 crossing the Ohio River on the Ravenswood Bridge from Ohio to West Virginia

Sunday, October 02, 2016

A Contortionist

Ever wonder why these are called the Blue Ridge Mountains?
I-77 tolls charged me a total of $7.50 to traverse their highway.
I guess you can put a price on beauty.

I met the most interesting fellow with the strangest tale about a faraway place named Oz.

While I was waiting for my odometer to turn over to matching numbers...

Harley was entertaining me with his contortionist tricks.
Suddenly we were on a 6% grade downhill and I had to focus all my attention on driving as it was quite windy. Then there were two cars that got into a road rage mess that I feared would cause me to wreck so I was slowing way down to get ready for whatever these fools might do next when...

I looked down and realized I had MISSED taking a picture of the identical numbers.

I was taking the downhill grade at 57 miles per hour while everyone else just flew past me.

I am proud to be a BIG WIMP.

Arrive alive.

It's more fun that way.


Saturday, October 01, 2016

Oh The Places You'll Go

The first map runs south to north, from January 2016 through July 2016. The black titles are everywhere I camped.
The red numbers are the number of nights.

This map runs south to north.
While camped at H Cooper Black, my friends called to announce their sudden wedding and subsequent reception to be held in Southfield, Michigan.
I received an elegant invitation to the lavish reception as the wedding went off so fast it only had 2 attendees.
I told them I  was on sailor time  but making way to come celebrate.
I departed July 24th from H Cooper Black and arrived at their home September 3rd.
It only took me 41 days to make the trip through South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and finally Michigan.
I was impressed at my incredible speed!

September 21st, I began making my way north to south again.