Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesday in Florida

 I spent 2 glorious months camping by the canal at Zachary Taylor RV Park in Okeechobee, Florida.

The picture above is looking south and the one below is looking north.

I was able to afford this fabulous view because in the summer, rates are half price. However, their delightful campground seriously lacks shade. I had planned to take a more economical "inland" site, but none came with any shade at all.

Being a tree hugger, I need plants, trees and shade whenever possible.



The day I snapped these pictures, the canal is like a mirror because the locks to Lake Okeechobee were closed due to low water levels in the Lake. While many boaters do traverse the canals without going to the lake, on this day as you can see, the water was just beautifully flat calm.

However, the storms came, and came and came drenching us day after day after day, mostly in the afternoons, evenings and nights. Now the locks are open again.

It was fabulous fun!

Now I am busy repairing a looooooooooong list of boo-boos. More on that later.

It's another gorgeous day on planet earth and I am here to witness the miracle of life.

Thank you to all my fans, readers and earthly angels. You rock my world.




Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Life as a Cartoon

I am going to have internet at my camp soon.

Drove my little old RV to a new park in Florida, well it's an old park, but it's new to me. Of course *sigh* several things broke *sigh*  along the way *sigh*.

I wish I were a cartoonist. I would draw my wheel estate bouncing down the road with parts flying off in different directions.

Life is an adventure. One just never knows what to expect.

Today, I woke up alive so that's a really good start towards giggling and dealing with the latest chaos.

First I have so many earthly angels to thank, including YOU!

THANK YOU!




Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday Madness

I wrote this last Friday to post today on Monday because I expect Tuesday to be the earliest for me to have internet access.

Confused?

Me too!

A tree branch came crashing down and  tore a new hole in my awning last week. The sound it made frightened the dog and I, we thought aliens had landed on our roof. I need to tape it up, but it's hard to reach. I need one of my arms to grow a few feet in a hurry and the other one to extend 10 feet around the awning so I can press on one side while sticking tape on the other.

The fridge repairman never came back to complete his repairs. Very frustrating. He and his partner just seem to enjoy making up fairy tales. How do you run a business that way?

An angel is loaning me their electric cooler soon, so I am excited and humbled by their generosity. I had the same unit on my sailboat years ago when I lived aboard it in far flung ports while working. Matter of fact by the time you get to read this I may already have it up and running. Something will be cold around here! I shall make them lunch or dinner or both.

I eat at home 99.9% of the time, so having a fridge is indeed fun.

OK let me go see if I can post this for Monday on Friday.

Thank you for stopping by!

Life is goof. 







Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Sunday!

To all the Fathers, happy Father's day!




Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturdaze

Today is $5 day at Dollar General, get $5 off $25 purchase with a coupon from their website (or last week's cash register receipt will have the coupon printed on it.)

I am probably on the road today moving to the boonies. I hope to stop by a Dollar General to get $25 of food and only pay $20. I like that kind of bargain.

Friday I wrote this up in advance for Saturday posting. If you're reading this and it's Saturday, then I did it right.





Friday, June 16, 2017

Alive and Moving

Weather has been super stormy the past few days. Internet is knocked out often or so slow the pages refuse to load.

My email provider decided to change their programs and I'm having a devil of a time with that chaos. The cell phone is taking voice mail messages. Occasionally I am able to make outgoing calls or receive incoming calls.

It's time for me to move, so everything is getting packed away wet. I live mostly outdoors because my motorhome is tiny. It's a big soggy mess but life is like that living on the edge.

Ut oh, let me try to post this. The winds just picked up again. We had over 600 lightning strikes with this storm so far today. I wasn't counting, someone else did.

Could be a few days before I get internet back. I am moving soon to a rural area that may not have it. I forgot to check.

THANK YOU for stopping by today.

I am the luckiest person in the whole wide world! I woke up alive, I have food, I have a roof over my head and I have wonderful angels looking out for this fool. Some are heavenly, some are earthly. You touch my soul, you rock my spirit. Bless you one and all.

It's been a wonderful life. Today is a beautiful exsquisite gift.

Later folks!



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Quick Quack

Ducks woke me up at the quack of dawn.



Later one duck was running in circles for hours.

Perhaps he had quacked up.


These ducks are recovering addicts.

They used to be quackheads.


"Quick quick!  Quick, quick!  Quick, quick!"

Aw, the poor wittle ducky has the hiccups.



An anonymous reader sent me a little yellow duck.

He was so cute.

I put him in the shower with me.

I seriously needed to wash and condition my hair.

I closed my eyes to get my hair good and wet.

Reaching out blindly for the shampoo bottle, I couldn't find it.

I opened my eyes.

The shampoo was gone.

Matter of fact, so was the conditioner, soap, wash cloth, bath towel, shower curtain, floor mat and my new duck.

That's when I realized my anonymous benefactor had sent me a robber duck!

What the duck was that all about?




Speaking of being careful while bathing...

This hot duck is made for safety. 

If the bath water is too hot for baby or pet or you, the word "HOT" will appear in white letters. When the water has cooled, the "HOT" will disappear.





Sunday, June 11, 2017

House Cars

Tin Can Tourists

I used to think the name meant Airstream travel trailers. Growing up around upstate South Carolina we used to visit the mountains in the upstate to cool off in the summers. There was an RV park built on semi-flat former farm land next to an icy cold mountain river that allowed only Airstream trailers to camp there.



From a vista over 1000 feet above the park, we could see the Airstreams all lined up in their camp with the sunshine brightly bouncing off their rounded aluminum exteriors. My father would say "It looks like a row of tin cans!"

Over the years, hearing about Tin Can Tourists I assumed (wrongly) that it was an Airstream only club. See where assumptions get me into trouble? Tsk tsk tsk...

Recently I read about the history of the Tin Can Tourists, the nation's first camping club which organized in 1919 in Florida.

Reality; The group was known for the soldered tin can on their radiator caps.

Well, who'd a thunk it?

I never would have guessed that!

Anyone was (and is) able to join the club.

These creative campers shown in the pics below were referred to as "House Cars".

 Amazingly many of the features on these House Cars can be found in modern campers, caravans, motorhomes and other assorted recreation and residential vehicles.


The storage compartments on this rig look so similar to those on my current wheel estate.

More pictures and information  about the Tin Can Tourists can be found here.

Sometimes I wish I could blast myself back in time to a simpler era where upgrades and updates meant soldering a tin can on your radiator cap.

Well I'd love to hang around here all day, but I have to get my own House Car in order.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank you to all the amazing angels who make my life brighter.
I woke up alive and life is goof.
Thank you to my gentle readers for cruising by today.
Be safe.
Be well.
Smile and laugh (it's free, it's simple, it's fun and it feels terrific.)





Friday, June 09, 2017

Call Me Crazy

Every morning I go outside to gaze at this huge bush on this tiny RV lot. Beautiful morning glories began blooming a few weeks ago. They are virginal white with exquisite features.

They give me hope.

Their beauty is mesmerizing.

Humbled to be in their delicate presence I thank mother nature for her bountiful surprises.

Isn't it marvelous to wake up alive? 

At night when I sit outside, the brilliant white flowers seemingly glow in the dark of night.

Yesterday  morning, the guys doing maintenance in the RV park suddenly appeared on my lot with a small chain saw and a big machete to chop down all the beautiful flowering morning glories.

"These have to go" the machete guy said. The other guy fired up his chain saw.

I begged them  "Please, please, please, please, please  don't chop down the morning glories. I love them so much!"

The machete guy stared at me, then motioned to the chain saw guy who turned off his noisy equipment. I repeated myself. "Please, please, please, please, please don't chop down the morning glories. I love them so much!"

"We're supposed to chop them down, but, um hmm..." he shrugged his shoulders "I guess, well, I guess we can leave them a while longer."

As they walked away I heard the chain saw guy say "That lady must be crazy."

Life is goof.


Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Emergency



EMERGENCY

My little monkey otherwise known as Harley dog required a trip to an emergency vet.

After hours.

Why can't he do these ridiculous things during normal vet hours?

I've tried to teach him how to tell time with a canine clock.

Harley insists he only knows two times. Now and forever. When he wants to play or eat or sleep or pee or poop it's NOW time. When I leave him alone it's FOREVER time. When I come back, it's NOW time.



I have a big folder I keep in a pocket by my steering wheel in the motorhome labeled "Harley Vet Records". He has seen vets in multiple places because we travel so much. His favorite vet is in Travelers Rest, South Carolina at All About Pets.

The last time we were in that area, I planned to take him there. However, life took some really strange turns. I was picking up ashes of someone near and dear so I could deliver them to the various places they wanted to go on their final trip. That was a tearful soulful journey in itself  but the transmission in the RV blew, I shattered my wrist requiring multiple resets and then emergency surgery. Next the newish overhead AC went out during a 100 degree heat wave.

At one point during that chaotic time, Harley found himself camping all alone inside my RV with the generator running while parked illegally near the hospital. Fortuitously the AC didn't fail or I would have found a shriveled up hot dog instead of a pet. The next day, while parked at a cramped RV park the AC broke.
In a weird turn of blessed events, the AC was repaired under warranty but I still had to pay a pricey service call fee but hey, it was 100 degrees and I was in extreme pain. Why complain now? I made it out alive!

My friend had moved aboard to help take care of the utter chaos and somehow in all the madness, we just never got Harley to his favorite vet for a checkup.

Now Harley had done the unthinkable and needed emergency help in Okeechobee, Florida. Several phone calls later, we ended up at the Okeechobee Veterinary Hospital. Those folks were outstanding!

If truth be told my little monkey had help with his predicament. But it wasn't me. I know better. Back in 2010 I had to rush Harley to a vet in Orlando, because he appeared to be choking. I had tried everything to help him and he was just getting worse. I burst into a vet's office declaring "My puppy can't breath!"

They assured me he could breathe but he was heaving and choking on something. They rushed him off and came back with a little twig. It had jammed inside his mouth. I had looked all in his mouth and I couldn't find it. That was back in puppy days when he let me poke around his mouth. He wasn't even a year old and already getting into trouble.

These days, nobody is poking around his mouth not even me. Sheesh. He is so picky now.

So after that fateful trip in 2010 to the Orlando vet, and the huge bill for bursting into their office in the middle of the day declaring an emergency, I made a mental note "No more sticks or twigs to play with!"

At that time, I didn't even know he was playing with sticks and twigs. We were camping at a friend's house with a fenced in yard. Afterwards,  I bought the poor little thing toys. Heaven help me! He fell in love with toys, toys, toys. Whenever he would try to play with sticks or twigs I would scold him, snatch away the stick or twig and grab a toy. Here, play with that. Leave the sticks alone!

As a puppy he used to try to find my wooden clothes pins and take then apart for chewing. I would fuss at him and hide them. Even now, I keep the clothes pins in a big plastic jar with a tight fitting lid. I just wanted him to forget all about wood as a play thing. Especially small sticks and twigs.

Speed forward to now. Vroom!

I didn't realize my visiting friend was playing with a tiny stick, with my doggy. He was wiggling the little stick and Harley would grab it and run around with it. My friend was grabbing it back and then wiggling it some more and Harley would grab it then scamper around playing keep-away. I came outside again where these two were supposed to be behaving themselves when suddenly Harley began acting strangely. He would bend his head down to the ground until the top of his head was on the ground and he would tumble literally head over heels. Harley was making strange faces and looking kind of distressed.

While this was all quite amusing, my friend said "Um I think he may have a stick or a twig stuck in his mouth!"

"A twig? A stick? We don't play with sticks and twigs. Back in 2010 he got a stick stuck in his throat or teeth and I couldn't find it anywhere. He had to go to a vet and get it removed."

Now my friend was a wee bit upset, like oh my gosh, what have I done? Don't dogs and sticks go together? Can't you get it out?

We had a bit of joking. "I leave you two alone for three minutes... and you both get into trouble..."

Years back, same friend was visiting when my earring became hung up in Harley's dog sweater cause he was trying to kiss me.  I was playing keep away, moving my head from side to side giggling while Harley (standing in my lap) tried even harder to kiss me, when UT OH, an earring snagged his doggy sweater. In those days he was so cold all the time he wore sweaters when it was the least bit chilly. There we were, tangled up. My ear and his sweater. Same friend visiting who manged to untangle us without chopping my ear off said "Leave you 2 alone for 3 minutes and you get into trouble..."

I reached for Harley to try to open his mouth, but Harley stood up, bared his teeth growling and snappy. Then he repeated the head over heels rolling rightly in a ball. Honestly it was so cute. Oh man I so wanted to get a camera, it was a cool looking feat. I snatched him up to look in his mouth and he snapped and growled like an injured dog.

I have a muzzle for emergencies, but since this injury was in his mouth, what to muzzle?

My friend and I tried leather gloves to see if  maybe we could open his mouth while maintaining our 10 fingers.

Harley said "Oh no you don't!" and put on a seemingly vicious display that was a tad bit frightening.

Then he would chew funny, moving his mouth strangely, then roll over on top of his head again. His usual happy tail was folded up against his belly. We had picked up a skinny little phone book for the Lake Okeechobee area. I found that and thumbed through the yellow pages.

I tried to call a vet, it was almost 7pm and got a recording that didn't explain anything about who to call for an emergency. Some vets will tell you on their voice mail where the emergency vet is located or if someone is on call for evening emergencies.

I wasn't having any luck, but it dawned on me I had leftover mac and cheese in the fridge.

By now Harley was highly agitated and becoming more disagreeable by the second. He was snarling and snapping alternately stretching his jaw funny, rolling around, moaning and groaning. My poor baby!

I sweet talked him in a soothing voice while proffering mac and cheese. Amazingly he ate the little tidbits of mac and cheese without snapping my fingers off. I was hoping to dislodge the stick and he would spit it out on his own.

I even smeared some peanut butter on the mac and cheese and fed him more. He loved this food game eating quite a bit. At least now instead of a snarling fearful dog, I had a trusting calm one, but still I could tell he wasn't going to let me poke around his mouth.

Food and the act of me feeding him treats served to calm him down immensely. Meanwhile my friend had taken over making phone calls astonishingly finding a vet who was due to go home but would wait on our arrival to see Harley.

What luck! It was now going on 8pm.

We took off in their vehicle, got lost which set us back 10 minutes or more, but then we got on the right track and found the vet at the Okeechobee Veterinary Hospital.

By now Harley was overstuffed with food and napping in my lap peacefully. At the vet's place, I woke him to walk inside. He thought he was at someone's home to visit, so inside he was wagging his tail, smelling their dog foods for sale in the lobby thinking this is great fun!

When the staff came to check on him, he was  sitting next to me on a bench looking cool as a cucumber. They were flummoxed and said "I thought you said he was in severe distress."

I mumbled, "Well, he was but then I stuffed him full of mac and cheese with peanut butter to calm him down."

The assistant picked him up for a look-see in his mouth when Harley growled, snarled, bared his teeth and became nasty in a nanosecond.

They carted him off, came back and said "Yes, he has a stick stuck in his jaw. We are going to have to gas him some to get him to go under long enough for us to retrieve it."

"Um, I hate to bring this up, but he hates having his nails clipped, any chance you could clip them while he is gassed up?" Amazingly, the staff didn't think this imprudent.  Apparently a lot of canines hate having their nails messed with. I was embarrassed to ask.

We waited awhile and then they brought me my fur baby, wrapped in a blankie, crying and shaking, very woozy from his anesthetic. I held him tightly and said sweet things to him. He was still flying high as a kite but he managed to plant some some sloppy kisses on me. When my friend leaned over him to say he was sorry about the stick, Harley managed to lean out from my grasp and shakily proffer up a doggy kiss. This staff was oohing and awing. I have to admit, it was kind of cute.

They were terrific! The Doc got the stick out and told us we were correct to bring Harley in right away when we couldn't do it ourselves. It was jammed in there causing him a great deal of pain. Small wonder he was snarling mad about it. It could have caused a huge infection.

Phew so lucky. Angels looking out for us everywhere.

Recently the vet had treated a very sick horse only to find out he too had a stick jammed in his jaw that had been there long enough to do a bit of damage and create a massive infection. It had been there so long, the horse's tongue had rubbed part of the stick down to almost half it's diameter. Poor horsey!



My little monkey was off his game for the rest of the night, but by morning, he was feeling like his old mischievous self again.

Mega thanks to the wonderful staff at the Okeechobee Veterinary Hospital.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today's bargain find! Just in time for father's day or for anyone who can use 10% off on their projects. 
Lowe's Gift Card $150 on sale for $135 (10% off!) 
Hurry before supplies run out. 
Sold by a reputable company; Paypal Digital Gifts on Ebay


Monday, June 05, 2017

Hard Work




Getting your ducks in a row is easier said than done.

Harley had an emergency trip to a vet at night. He is going to be fine, poor baby. More on that later.

My fridge has been on the fritz. Again. *Sigh*

Had it repaired and paid a princely sum for that but it still isn't working right. So what did they do?

Getting the repair comapny to call me back is turning out to be quite the exhausting chore. 

I will post more here later when I get my ducks in a row. Tee hee hee. 

Never a dull moment! Life is goof. 

I have to move again soon. I am still finalizing that change. Have to move? That sounds weird. Usually I am so excited to be going to a new camp. I am just aggravated with this refrigerator and the repair company. Tiny home living has its moments. 

The recent rains poured so hard I had to prop up my RV to get water off the roof so it wouldn't slide down inside through the roof antenna thingy. Torrential rains just dumped inches down in hours. This Okeechobee area is so starved for water that it's flooding one moment and dry the next. 

Alligators. My neighbors see the alligators I keep missing. I see all the water fowl they keep missing. I hear an alligator bellow now and then, I go looking for him/her. I keep my doggy far from the canal's edge. He is never left alone outside. 

Yesterday the monkey charged on his tether to warn someone to stay away from his lot when he broke free. Suddenly he was in the road, wagging his tail at the doggy and human he had charged at. Bad boy for charging and breaking the tether hardware. Good boy for being nice to the human and doggy he charged at. 

When it's all said I done, I just have to slap a smile on my goofy face and BE GRATEFUL. 

I woke up alive. In these trying times so many have helped me out when I am sure they have plenty of their own challenges to face. I am humbled. I am indebted. 

Thank you to all the WONDERFUL AWESOME ANGELS who touch my life. You make it brighter, easier, and awesome. I don't thank you enough. Shame on me. 

THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Speaking of being grateful...

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing 
by Marie Kondo 




This young lady has turned organizing inside out and come up with methods that truly work. She is a celebrity in Japan and now her methods have gone worldwide.

So what's different about her methods? Well, you may have to read the book to find out but one major theory of hers is vastly different from the old style organization is sparking joy.

Touch each item with your hand. Does it spark joy? Are you in love with it? Does it bring happiness? If not then thank the item for its past service, toss it out for donation or garbage. Move along to the next.

Some quotes from Marie Kondo:

I had a slight hope the phrase 'spark joy' might become popular, as it was the keyword that I wanted to put forward in the first place.

Have gratitude for the things you're discarding. By giving gratitude, you're giving closure to the relationship with that object, and by doing so, it becomes a lot easier to let go.

To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose. And if you no longer need them, then that is neither wasteful nor shameful. Can you truthfully say that you treasure something buried so deeply in a cupboard or drawer that you have forgotten its existence?

The process of facing and selecting our possessions can be quite painful. It forces us to confront our imperfections and inadequacies and the foolish choices we made in the past.

Click here for more info on her book and methods.








Friday, June 02, 2017

Canal Locks Closed Til Further Notice

Looking north

Looking south

I am going to miss this place!

No boats because canal locks are closed going into Lake Okeechobee due to ridiculously low water levels in the lake.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

It Only Takes One

Above normal hurricane season?

Gert wrote the article below.
He owns StormCarib.com where Dear Miss Mermaid volunteered as a Caribbean Weather Correspondent from 1994 to 2010 and then some...

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center issued its hurricane forecast for the season. They say that it is most likely to be an above-normal season. However, when I look at their plots (see the media release) I don't see it that way.

It shows that there is only a 45% chance of an above-normal season but a 55% chance of a near-normal or below-normal season. They also predict that there is a 70% chance of 11 to 17 named storms, of which 5-9 could become a hurricane and 2-4 a major hurricane. Since 12, 6, 3, resp. is normal, that would indeed indicate an above normal season. A bit confusing...

It will depend if (and how strong) an El Nino will be forming. El Nino conditions means below normal seasons. Also, NOAA indicates above average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic, while the people at Colorado State noted below average in April. Currently it is actually a bit above normal (see for example here). In any case, like we always say, we will have to be prepared regardless, it only takes one! -Gert

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gert is so right, it only takes one hurricane to catch you unprepared and your life can suddenly be a train wreck. 

In the days I went through hurricanes (and other disasters) we didn't have ready made kits available such as this one:

ack includes sufficient lifesaving supplies and more for family of four. Also includes: 4 survival blankets, 4 ponchos, first aid kit (107 pieces), leather work gloves, 4 goggles, 4 Noish N-95 dust masks, multifunctional tool with pliers, 12-hour emergency snap lights, emergency whistle, emergency communication plan, duct tape - 10 yards, and bio hazard bags. Be prepared for anything with Ready America's 3-day Deluxe Emergency Kit. Unique to the kit are an Emergency Power Station, 10 yards of duct tape and multifunction pocket tool with pliers.
Be prepared for at least the first 72 hours after a disaster, Ready America has developed this 4-Person Deluxe Emergency Kit. Survival experts have included all the life-saving supplies that a family of four would need for those critical 3 days, in one convenient grab-and-go backpack.

The 4-Person Deluxe Emergency Kit includes food, water, Duct Tape, a Multi-Function Pocket Tool, and a 4-function, hand-crank Emergency Power Station. The Power Station produces either 30 minutes of bright light, 2 minutes of talk time on a cell phone, or 15 minutes of radio from one minute of cranking.


So get cranking! Keep one in your home, office, or car. Click here for more details and pricing.

This kit seems to have it all except the quintessential Caribbean hurricane supply; RUM!



Monday, May 29, 2017




Morning company. I was so lucky to capture this! 

I am staying at a discounted RV park. Sites are super tight, but the canal birds are fantastic indeed. 

Today's Quote:

I'm a professional photographer of 17 years; when I eventually grow up I want to be an astronaut - but until then capturing life on this planet is keeping me pretty damn busy. Life is so intense, beautiful and heart-wrenching that to live without some means of recording it would be unimaginable. Thank goodness for cameras ... and ketchup!

Peter Creighton
Author of

How To Take Great Photographs On Any Camera





Saturday, May 27, 2017

Gotcha!


Almost every morning this bird drops by for a visit. By the time I flail around, find my camera, steady my hand, turn it on, get it in focus and click the shutter, she flies away. I end up with a picture of an invisible bird.

Try, try and try again.

The bird and I have played this hilarious game every morning for a few weeks now. She sits there and stares at me, I try to photograph her and she flies away a nanosecond before the shutter clicks open.

Try, try and try again.

Today, I managed to actually sneak up on the bird and snap several pictures with my camera.



I know most folks reading this have cell phones that take outstanding pictures and your phone is often right there with you. I am a tad envious, but I forget to carry my phone around. It doesn't really do much but occasionally ring with a live caller. Sometimes I get a text and I usually reply back with yes, no or call. It takes me about 5 minutes to figure out how to text one word, so I don't find it very efficient.


My budget is such I have an old flip phone that takes teeny tiny pictures smaller than a postage stamp. I have NO idea why they included this ridiculous feature on my phone. Below is the size of the phone picture after enlarging it.



I have figured out how to disguise myself to sneak up on wildlife and take pictures.

dear miss mermaid self protrait



Today's supa dupa bargain.
For only  $64.99 you get not one, but TWO zero gravity chairs delivered free to your door.
Comes in light blue, navy blue, brown, black, burgundy and heather gray.

Click here for Best Choice Products Zero Gravity Chairs Case Of (2)

Hurry before supplies run out and prices change.

Best Choice Products Zero Gravity Chairs Case Of (2)

Best Choice Products Zero Gravity Chairs Case Of (2)

Friday, May 26, 2017

They Missed Me!

I sure showed them. They missed me after all!

Tomorrow is $5 coupon day at Dollar General. Spend $25, get $5 off. If you need food and general household supplies, enjoy this 20%  break. In my opinion it's one of the best deals around. Dollar General are small stores cram packed with useful goodies. Typically the cashier line is swift moving, fast in, fast out.

Even in my RV, I can usually find parking on the side of their buiding where they get truck deliveries. I can go back there, turn around and park heading out again  in spots most folks don't want because they are too far from the door. It seems everyone wants up front parking, heaven forbid they should walk. Save that for the air conditioned gym!

Sometimes I am in bicycling distance. It's an old funny joke to me and the dog. Many Dollar General stores are out in the country where there is no other shopping. Typically I will pass one on my way to a far flung campground. This is super handy because you can pick up whatever you need in food and supplies. They even carry camping supplies.

When I am lost and see a Dollar General, I say "Well the campground must be nearby cause there is a Dollar General in the middle of nowhere!" And usually we find it. The campground that is.

Sometimes I have 2 coupons, one digital one and one paper one. in that case, I can give one away if someone wants to go shopping with me and save themselves $5.

Well, a few months ago, Dollar General stopped offering these $5 coupons. I used to think, they are going to miss me so badly! yes, there prices are good otherwise, cheaper than Walmart and certainly a lot less hassle getting in and out in a hurry. But still, I always waited until $5 day to go to Dollar General, trying to be super friendly to my shrinking budget.

So in a nutshell, I have darkened their door in quite awhile since they stopped the $5 coupons.

Well *ahem* I guess they do miss me! Recently they started up the $5 coupons again. See?  A little boycotting goes a long way...

(Yeah, little old me, here to save the world!)

Sometimes you get the coupon at the bottom of the receipt, like last week I used a $5 coupon and the receipt had another one for 2 weeks later. Otherwise you techno spiffy folks can go to their website with your phone and get the coupons.

At checkout, you enter your phone number and your coupons kick in.

Of course, Amazon, my favorite mail order site also has coupons! Click here to see their coupons you can use online for ordering the things you need or want.

froggy gone camping
 I don't know how or why a lucky froggy seems to be living with me all the time. It's always a different frog too. How does that work? I heard a thwap thwack thwap thwack and there outside, stuck to my window was a lucky froggy again.

That green thing is a pool noodle that I cut up to place on my ladder in back of the motorhome. I had a chair riding back there and didn't want it banging the ladder.
frog with dear miss mermaid
Life is goof!





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ship Happens


My attempt at artsy fartsy.

I love mirrored images on lakes.

I used to upload and sell many pictures, photos and artwork on variousproducts at
http://www.cafepress.com/dearmissmermaid

I still have products for sale there, but I haven't marketed them in a long time and the company changed their generous commissions to not-so-generous so  my checks dwindled down to next to nothing, but I could change that by with a ton of hard work.

I need to update the pages and add new stuff. Easier said than done! They've changed their system all over again, so I have to relearn and restart. Add that to my list of things to do in a busy crazy world.

Organized people are just too lazy to look for things...

Here is one my favorites, it's available on many products besides the hat.


Click here to see details. 




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Lake Okeechobee

Another grand day.
Woke up alive on the right side of the grass.
No matter how bad things get, being grateful and smiling doesn't make it any worse.
Might even make it better.
Life is goof.
Laugh about it!


Lake Okeechobee Waterproof Chart

Sunset over Taylor Creek, Okeechobee, Florida

Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail is also known as LOST

Lake Okeechobee is unique in many ways including  the 143 mile Herbet Hoover Dike is an earthen dam that surrounds it. 

Lake Okeechobee Waterproof Chart


Well, that's today's trivia for ya. 

Thank you for the awesome comments and for stopping by here today. You rock my world. 


Sunday, May 21, 2017

My Little Monkey








Thanks for stopping by today.

When you Shop Amazon with this link, it helps feed the little monkey. Thanks!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Froggy Gone Camping

Another stowaway!



Frogs like to find me and stow away with me for the ride. This has happened for years. I have started collecting pictures of froggy whenever he/she turns up. Now I just need to tag and find them all. But here are a few for starters.

Sometimes by the time I go grab the camera, froggy is hiding again. I find froggy inside and outside.

TO make matters a bit more complex is that someone near and dear to me who is now deceased, had a froggy collection. Every time I see a forggy traveling with me, I think of her and wonder if she had come back as a froggy to ride around with me. She always had a yin for travel but never got to go near the places she wanted to. She was taken from earth way too soon and that is just how it goes sometimes.

She explained (before her death) that she never was interested in collecting frogs. Her froggy collection was a big accident. She really wasn't the collecting type at all. But she was a gracious lady, very generous in her community and the type to never ever want to offend or hurt a friend, even when they gave her a porcelain frog. I should say she just wasn't the bric-a-brac type.

But one day someone gave her a porcelain frog that could sit on the edge of something. She thanked them for the gift and sat him on a window ledge above her kitchen sink. She could look out the window while washing dishes or look at the silly porcelain frog. It should be noted her dining table was adjacent to her kitchen and that is where she most often visited with her friends. They had a clear view of her kitchen and the kitchen window.

She was always feeding her company or offering them icy cold drinks or steamy hot coffee. Yepper, a southern gal transplanted from Connecticut around age 7 she embraced the south and the penchant southerners have to feed and drink anyone that darkens their door. If you visit a southerner and refuse their drink or food you might come close to darn well insulting them!

Friends saw her lonely froggy sitting on the window sill. Over the next few years, people began giving her frog gifts! From coffee mugs to figurines to hand towels. They all came with a froggy.

More frogs beget more frog gifts and suddenly she had this massive froggy collection yet she never spent one penny on one frog.

Well, here's toast to my dear departed loved one "Beware of the crazy frog lady!"

Even though she was an accidentally collector, this frog mug would have made her laugh!







Thursday, May 18, 2017

Hideous


Say YES to trees!

Say MORE to trees!

This looks like something I was told about 40 years ago... if we kept letting the developers destroy all the trees in the name of progress that one day a precious few would be on display behind tall guarded fences.

I thought that was scary stuff then and now... it's still scary stuff!

Speaking of ugly walls... wouldn't a stand of trees or hedges or both look so much nicer than that hideous wall?








Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Swallowed What?

I like to be outside and attempt to get things done before sticky humid heat sets in.

Apparently I am often rewarded with bug protein at this new campground. These suicidal bugs that dive into my coffee or water then mask themselves invisibly until I take a great big gulp.

So that is why I am washing my ancient laptop computer screen and keyboard.

To get the splattered coffee off of it.

Nothing like a bug tickling your throat to cause an unintentional reaction.

Now I am trying to remember to keep drinks covered up when outdoors. As if my tiny brain didn't already have enough to remember.

Camping is so much fun.

Most dogs ride in a vehicle with their head and tongue hanging out the window.

Not my pooch. He looks so stoic on the bicycle or in a car or RV riding with his head out. He keeps his mouth firmly closed.

Long ago, he swallowed a bug the first or second time he tried to stick his head out in the wind while riding. Yanking his head back inside, he coughed and hacked and looked oh so worried and scared.

Since then he keeps his mouth closed when he sticks his head out the window or on the bicycle. Once in a blue moon, I catch a picture of him with his mouth open and tongue hanging out. He looks so cute like he is smiling.

Today he looked at me deeply concerned as I coughed, hacked and splattered coffee because I swallowed a bug unexpectedly.

He had that look in his eye. "Uh huh, been there, done that, got the Tshirt..."

Life is goof.









Monday, May 15, 2017

A Doggy Life

Doggy evidence.


There must be a doggy somewhere. How can one 6 pound dog hog so much? He has taken over the camping chair, outfitted it with his blankie then stuffed not one, not two but three toys in it.

To add insult to injury, he grew tired of his crowded chair and left!

He is the first dog I have ever owned that was toy happy. Oh sure I had a black lab mix once that loved his Frisbee, but other toys didn't inspire him at all.

Harley on the other hand, is over 7 years old, barely six-and-a-half pounds, yet continues to spend a good  half of his day exercising his toys, fighting with his toys, unstuffing his toys, chasing his toys, squeaking his toys, rearranging his toys, tossing his toys, ripping his toys, dragging his toys, shaking his toys, carrying his toys, chewing  his toys. When all is said and done, he often self-soothes with a toy by sucking on it while putting himself to sleep.

Other than that, the dog doesn't do much at all.

Many of his toys come to him for free from fans or friends. Lucky dog! He does wear his toys out with his chronic knack for staying busy busy busy.

Some campgrounds have a give-away place for unwanted items. If there is a stuffed animal there, I usually bring it home for the dog.

Sometimes I get to review products provided for free from Amazon and other vendors, if they send over a dog toy or stuffed animal, then you-know-who gets to test it out.

Recently I was walking the dog at a rest area on the Florida turnpike. Well actually they call their rest areas the service plaza. Anyhow, there on the ground with an amazing amount of scattered garbage was a brand new stuffed squeaky dog toy. Didn't appear to be dirty or have any drool on it or anything. It was as if it had been dropped there brand new 30 seconds earlier.

I looked all around for another dog walker, but not a canine in sight anywhere. It was by the road, so maybe a doggy was holding his new toy out the window when he dropped it. Maybe it was a squeaky human child toy and he tossed it out the window. Who knows?

Harley spotted it and was ecstatic. So now he had another free new toy. Good grief.

Well, if anything, that makes it easy on the budget. Zero spent for the dog toys he craves (and destroys!)

I often study the garbage too, it's amazing the amount of dropped money I occasionally find. My last jackpot was four folded one dollar bills. Usually it's just spare change I find, but sometimes paper money is among the debris.

When I find all this scattered garbage, I just want to get my picker-upper stick and tidy up the place. I don't understand when or why it became fashionable to disburse garbage everywhere while ignoring nearby trash bins. In this case, the service plaza did have some garbage bins, not near enough in convenient spots, but still with a little effort, folks could have put their refuse in the provided cans, not all over the struggling thin piece of landscape in the parking area. Oh well, I should shut up about garbage.I just wish we had a tidier world to live in.

As a workamper I used to litter pick every speck of garbage out of the parks I volunteered in. The rangers in most cases didn't care because they didn't see it. Many rangers don't ever leave their trucks unless forced too. So unless it's a big chunk of garbage they don't see the little bits scattered everywhere that a pedestrian sees. Garbage for some reason just sticks out at me no matter how tiny. Just walking around most any park or campground, I see bottle tops, straws, candy wrappers, cigarette butts, all the tiny garbage folks leave behind. Of course folks often leave bigger garbage too but most camps keep the bigger stuff more or less picked up.

I have rarely set up camp in a place that didn't need tidying up. Usually someone shows up and removes the bigger pieces of garbage, but the little bits tend to be left behind for the next camper. When I leave a campground or RV park, I make sure my site is spotless with nothing but nature left behind.

At least I hope that is the way I am leaving it! I sure try.








Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day



Mother's Day is this Sunday.

I truly miss my mother each and every day. She is deceased, so sad to say.


The world is so big. But  I am so small.

My mother taught me a wealth of information including how to do numerous useful things. She wanted to make sure I had loads of great experiences when I was young. Best of all, she taught me to have a lifelong love and respect for books.

She was convinced anyone could learn anything from books.

It was because of her, that I was crazy enough to buy a hurricane ravaged sailboat, mailorder a bunch of how-to books, then rebuild it to like-new condition.  She sent me a drill as a "boat warming" present.

I cried when I opened it, because she had also given me a drill when I bought a home, years earlier. When I sold that home, to go sailing, books were shelved, stacked and stored in every room of the house. Even the hallway and bathroom had book shelves. I was a serious book-o-holic.

My friends carted off books on a variety of subjects, still there were books everywhere. Finally I called the prison.  I offered to donate the remaining books if they wouldn't censor them. I figured a lot of people in prison wind of there often for lack of a education. Others do have an education, but find themselves going crazy with few intellectual outlets. Maybe books would help. I still remember many of the books, wishing I had them now to paw through. I did get a really nice letter from the prison, thanking me for the 3,189 books.

A former (accounting) client of mine, had served time in prison for leaving the country with his daughter. He knew his wife was going to spirit her away where he couldn't see her, out of sheer spite in their messy divorce. He knew it would break his heart.  So he moved to another continent, taking his precious child with him. Years later, he ended up in prison over his decision. When he was transferred to a halfway house, I went to see him. I took him luggage  because he had joked about how when you leave prison, they give you a garbage bag to pack your stuff in. He said he had read every book in the library's prison, was starting to read some again twice, when they finally released him.

My last book, Hurricanes and Hangovers, is dedicated in loving memory to  four people, who now rest in peace. My mother is  listed first, for teaching me to read.

How I wish she could be here now. She worked with me on my first book; a cookbook no longer in print, "Fine Fare With Flair".  She was immensely proud of me.  Oh how I miss her so much.

***Above reposted from May 2011

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Another article about my mom:

Miss Marian and The Crippled Children


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!





Saturday, May 13, 2017

Get Up and Go!

What are you waiting for?

Get up and do it now because tomorrow may never happen.

I think I sometimes just try to cram so much life into so little day. My body may not cooperate but my mind races at top speed daydreaming when I can't actually go out and do.

Much of my life was built on daydreaming and hard work. Now  my body balks stubbornly and I just want it to straighten up and fly right. I have things to do, so why doesn't my body just cooperate and let me do?

Envision.

If I can constantly see myself doing the things I want to do, then eventually I am doing them. The biggest caveat is it's hard work no matter what.

One day riding my bicycle seems like the easiest thing in the world. The next day it seems like the toughest thing I ever tried. What is the mystery? How does that happen?

Life is goof.



okeechobee florida zachary taylor


Tiny home living!

When I left my rig recently, I dropped the awning in case the winds perked up. My patio mat reaches all the way to my neighbor's spot. On the other side you can see my other neighbor's car and RV. Lot rents were almost half price for the summer, but they are minimally sized. This was the only one available with some tree shade. The rest are full sun with no trees.

I don't want to imagine life without trees.

Pass the shoe horn!

THANKS for using my Amazon links. It's a huge help for a girl, her dog and their bicycle. 





Friday, May 12, 2017

Rambunctiousness

Thank you for the wonderful comments on the blog and the emails.YOU make me  feel TERRIFIC! And I owe it all to you, my readers and angels and supporters and cheer leaders.

Mind over matter, I meditate the pain away and try to keep my big mouth shut and not be grumpy. It ain't easy... but super glue helps!

The spirit is willing the body is failing or flailing. Life is goof.

I had to bust up camp in Melbourne, Florida and move my wheel estate to Okeechobee. I found a place with HALF price rent since they aren't busy once the snowbirds left. Most places do not discount their rates, so this was a lucky find indeed. Then I had an invitation to go celebrate my close friend's BIG ONE, his 70th birthday.

He used to live in the Florida Keys and wanted to return there for a revisit to celebrate. For some fool reason, I said YES!

For the first time ever since moving into my wittle old wheel estate, I left her all alone for a few days. Actually 11 days! Oh my gosh was that ever HARD on me. She is my only home, my security blanket. I've slept in her every night for over 7 years. The Florida Keys were booked up solid and there wasn't room to take my rig and the prices were crazy high. Well, some of the pricier places, I found out later, had space available but at (you better SIT DOWN) $100-$200 per night for camping. I kid you not.

I've lived in far flung islands so I understand the ridiculous pricing. If you want to visit the Keys, pack double the cash and half the junk.

From my old sailing days when boats were "female" I still think of my rolling rig, the RV, as a "she".

I packed up the dog, my bicycle and a small backpack to go celebrate rather than take my rig, we took their rig, which is even smaller than mine! They already had state park reservations which generally take a year to get. Sheesh. Florida Keys is super popular.

I've sailed through the Florida Keys a few times when I was professional crew on yachts, but it's been awhile. I also bareboated there back in the mid 80's with some friends on a vacation trip. When I was about 3-4-5 years old, I have a vague recollection of my family driving to the Keys and me throwing up all over the old 50-something Chevy and making them mad at me. But I remember the long bridges the near crystal clear waters. They aren't as clear now, but clear enough I actually got in the ocean.

Since living in the Virgin islands where the water with clear, it's been hard on me to return to "dark" waters. I visited rivers and lakes in America I used to swim in and now I won't. Too funny! In the 90's I went tubing down a river near the SC and NC border on a vacation from my work in the Caribbean. The waters were not clear. I saw a snake, I think it was a water moccasin. I don't do snakes. I screamed and got out of the river so fast, my friend's swear I walked on water. They had to go chase my inner tube down and bring it back to me.

So funny.

Packing for the Keys...

The dog took MORE than anybody cause he wanted dry food, wet food, his feed bowls, his water bowl, his bicycle basket, his cheap treats, his special treats, his blankie, his toys, his bath towel, his poop bags, his regular dog leash, his flexi-leash, his vet papers to prove he had state law required shots,  his tether, his pillow, a spare harness in case he went swimming  or broke his (and he did!) Well be didn't break his harness (he has done this before due to his chronic rambunctiousness) but he did go ocean swimming and got his harness soaking wet then he ran ashore where he was shivering like a drowned rat. I had to drop what I was doing, giving him a fresh water bath at the people outdoor showers, wrap him up in his towel until he stopped shaking, then put on his spare harness with his dog tags. Oh my gosh. He was one happy pup.

day 6 bicycle
Harley dog wanted to know if his allowance was big enough to get him a new bicycle so he could ride in back in style. 

Most beaches would not allow dogs, and that was super sad. But we found a few out of the way ones where canines were welcome. Even went to the dog park in Key West on a day trip. Oh the crazy things we do for our canine companions. The day we drove to Key West parking was $20 and up. At the dog park, we could park for free. Go figure.

How can one 6 pound dog require so much STUFF for a trip? He took more than I did. But he did get to go sightseeing by bicycle most days and he stuck his little dog nose in the air when we passed doggies walking. Such a brat!

At an outdoor eatery with a bar, I asked if the doggy could sit under the table outdoors and turns out many restaurants do allow this. The dog ordered a "Salty Dog" which is grapefruit and vodka, but I told the waitress NO. Oh my gosh,next she  brought him a water bowl big enough to be his bathtub. We told him it was a Salty Dog so he would shut up. Now the little fellow brags he went bar hopping. Sheesh.

Speaking of nasty snakes I don't care for... Did you know a 2 foot deadly cobra escaped in a suburban neighborhood in mid March in Orlando? That snake has not been found yet. YUCK! I feel so sorry for the neighbors that had no idea that Fish and Wildlife had issued an exotic permit to a homeowner in their neighborhood. Me personally, I would sure like to know if my neighbors are legally being granted permission to keep deadly exotic reptiles in their home. More yuck!

Enough of this, I have to unpack the dog's stuff and clean up my rig. I left in such a hurry, I think ghosties made a mess in my absense.


Thursday, May 11, 2017


Sunset from Lake Hartwell the year I escaped from the hospital to go recuperate with my shattered wrist. Um, I think that was 2014 or 2015?

I had a friend with me helping out, thank goodness, I couldn't drive and was in screaming pain. I was so frustrated with the nightmare of having a surgery followup appointment at 11 but told to show up at 1030 for paperwork and arriving at 10 to be nice then being forced to wait until past 2pm to get any attention. Paperwork? More paperwork?

I was wildly hungry as the clock ticked onwards. That made me even grumpier.

There was no desk to sit down to fill out this mountain of paperwork and I couldn't do it on my lap with the other arm in a hot sweaty black brace up in the air to keep the swelling down. I was trying to stand up at the reception desk and fill it out but they kept telling me to go sit down. I asked for a desk and they looked at me like I had asked for a trip to the moon.

The waiting room stunk something awful, that very old very moldy dirty laundry smell that was nauseating.  A blaring TV was nerve wracking and the chairs were most uncomfortable. Why aren't there beds in a waiting room? We could all just snooze until they got around to seeing us.

The surgeon that eventually saw me 4 hours later knew nothing about my past surgery because he didn't perform it, and he couldn't seem to answer any of my questions about future physical therapy. He couldn't access my records on the computer. It was just a huge waste of time all around. He looked like he wasn't old enough to finish high school. No credentials on the wall to show he had passed anything anywhere, just his word he was a surgeon. He could have been the janitor for all I knew.

I am old fashioned. I like to see the doctor's credentials hung on the wall.

A lady with a volunteer tag did all my vitals. They were billing my insurance company ridiculous amounts and a volunteer was doing most of the work? She spent more time with me than the surgeon did.

Incredulously five hours later because they still couldn't access my computer records they told me to come back for another appointment in two days to start all over again. Appointment for 9, but come at 830 for paperwork and maybe the doc see me by 3pm. By then I had lost all faith in the medical treatment I wasn't getting. Hard to have faith when nobody seems to know a thing.

Anyhow, when we left that nightmare I was frustrated and wildly cranky. On a scale of one to ten, my pain was at a twelve. They gave us directions to a drug store and when we got there, they didn't accept my insurance card, later I found out if we had gone to the grocery store, the pain meds would have been covered by the insurance. Life is complicated! We were from out of town in an RV, my crystal ball just wasn't forthcoming with such critical information.

We had a cramped spot in an RV park that was bordered on one side by a trucking lot, another side by a major highway, a third side had an airport and the 4th  had a train track. It was maybe 10-15 minutes from the hospital and surgeon's office.

With one determined finger in a haze of extreme pain, I managed to punch out on the internet and discover that 60 miles away Lake Hartwell State Park had large water front campsites open for rent, out in nature, I begged my friend to drive us there. He pointed out that if we went, I would be 60 miles from the doctor when my appointment rolled around again. I said, well I am never going back. I've had enough abuse, thank you very much.

I need to heal with nature. Meditate and pray.

I took this picture from my bedroom window in the RV just before drifting off into la-la land.

Funny how one picture brings out a long winded story.

Eventually I found wrist and finger exercises on the internet because I never was able to get the proper paperwork from the surgeon's office to get real therapy. They acted like I was asking them to climb Mount Everest and check for flowers.

Life is goof.