Sunday, January 29, 2017

Dumpster Diving

Dumpster Diving

What's this mess?

Shown below is the corner of my bedroom area. It's kind of messy because everything in the cabinet has been dumped out.

That's because holes are being drilled into the side of the cabinet to hold up my latest dumpster diving "find".

I guess technically you call it a magazine holder, but it's useful to hold anything that will fit there.

Especially handy for tiny home living!

Here it is installed.

Cost is zero.

Another's man garbage is someone else's treasure. Not that it's a treasure, but I like it when I find useful stuff dumpster diving.

Anything to get by on an efficient budget.

Fun stuff!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

I'm Here!

Pause for the cause.

I've been burning the candle at both ends trying to get things cobbled back together. My body is just plumb wore out. Failing and ailing, I need to rest up and put some of that energy towards healing.

My little old motorhome is more or less patched up now. I have running water! Now on to the next serious problems... or maybe not.

Every day is such a wonderful gift.

I just want to jump up with the sunrise and cram all I can into each day!

This is a VERY sharp rock about the size of a pencil tip.

I've been wearing these same  Croc shoes for over 4 years. Lately I would be walking around when suddenly I would be stabbed in my instep with a sharp needle type pain.


Time and again I would take my shoes off to inspect it for a needle or pin. It never revealed a thing. In frustration I threatened to throw my shoes out. Then what would I wear?

My dear sweet friend grabbed my shoe after getting permission to take a knife to it. He dug around with the tip of a Swiss Army knife aided by a big  lighted magnifying glass. Suddenly he said  "AH HA!" and handed me this super sharp piece of rock. The top end (Shown in the picture above) is needle sharp like a miniature scalpel for surgery!

It was buried inside the sole of my shoe, there was no evidence that it was hiding in there other than a teeny tiny sliver in the rubber that just looked like normal wear and tear.


I didn't know if something was wrong with my shoe, my foot or my silly head! The pain was excruciating  causing me to muffle a scream every time that scalpel sliced my sole.

Thanks to my friend, my shoes were spared a one way dive into the dumpster.

Life is goof!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

$10 Food Coupon

Somebody said my dog looked scruffy.

I think he's kind of cute.

This picture was taken after I bathed him in the kitchen sink, then put him out to air dry in the sunshine. His blue towel is in the background. I just lay it out for him and he towels himself dry then sits in the sunshine with the wind blowing through his fur. I don't own a hair dryer, nor a fur dryer, so wind it is for my hair and his fur.

In case you are wondering, he really does have two ears, but he keeps one hidden away. When I take him for a ride on my bicycle I have to huff and puff and go over 7 miles per hour to get his second ear to stand up!

When I slow down, his ear slowly descends into oblivion hiding in his wild fur. Recently a friend helped me give him a fur trim with scissors from the shoulders down. I wouldn't dare touch his face or silly little head. I hated to cut any of his wild fur, but he was getting too many dreadlocks and that just wasn't a good look for him.

Harley begged to drive the rig that night and I let him, since I don't drive after dark anyhow. He LOVES to dive! It also gave me a chance to photograph his new fur-do after a couple of amateurs trimmed him up. He hates scissors, but we distracted him with a warm bath massage while snipping away. I had previously been conditioning him to the scissor sound. I was making lots of scissor noises around him without trimming him at all. He got to where the sound seemed kind of normal and he quit freaking out about it.

When he sees me preparing for his bath, he runs to sit in the far corner of my bed looking a tad apprehensive. But once I gently pick hum up and begin a nice warm bath for him, he is very calm about it all. I give him a gentle massage while lathering him up.

Snip. Snip. He didn't seem to mind. Only once he looked in alarm and we quickly hid the scissors. I resumed the gentle massage then my friend snipped away some more. We left his tail as is and didn't trim anything above the shoulders.

Yeah, I guess he is a bit scruffy. But he's my fur baby and I wuv him.

Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

That Dirty Word

Exercise... that 8 letter ugly word.

What was I thinking?

I decided to take a free aerobics class.

I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, groaned, moaned and perspired for an hour until I was out of breath.

Finally I had my leotards on.

By then the exercise class was over.

Somehow this sign seems redundant.

Too man NO signs mucking up nature.

no trespassing we;re tired of hiding the bodies

My funny favorite...

warning no stupid people beyond this point, funny signs

Monday, January 23, 2017

Peace and Water (Part Two)

OK, yesterday I promised you part two...  Oops day before yesterday. We had a massive storm to deal with first.

This area was hit with wild wacky weather that required me to spend a ton of time reorganizing and taking measures to have the least amount of damage. I had so much scattered outside because this motorhome is shrinking. After 7 years, I have a smidgen of cabin fever! So whenever possible, I like to live outdoors to give the illusion of more room.

The last few weeks, I have been consumed with trying to get running water restored to the inside of my motorhome. It's all about 95% done now and I am jumping up and down with EXCITEMENT because I have RUNNING water again. Hot and cold INSIDE my motorhome and nothing is leaking inside anymore.

This is cause for celebration! Running water! WOW! I am so excited and happy!

I still have some soft flooring from the water damage, but that's life and maybe next year... ha ha ha... in my dreams! That will be dealt with. Maybe not. I try to keep my motorhome patched up and working but it's old and I am slower and weaker than I prefer, so all things take time.


It's maddening!

I woke up alive, I have a place to live and now I have running water! Hot and cold! I can shower, I can wash dishes, I can bathe the stinky little dog. I can flush the toilet without first having to go fetch a bucket of water. Sometimes there isn't time to go fetch the water first... if you get my drift.

Luckily my old buddy showed up to lend a hand and that has been serendipitous indeed. We both hail from former lives spent in far flung ports, tiny remote backward islands and living on old sailboats at anchor (not marinas). In other words we're used to doing something with nothing and happily making do. Thinking outside the box. Get things done in often unconventional ways. We've worked together on projects before. Sometimes we make it worse, but mostly we make it much better.

Believe me I would rather just hire someone to come do it all, but that wasn't an option at this point and time.

Think outside the box!

The leaky hot water tank was repaired with JB underwater weld. That was after the first repair with quick setting Marine-tex strangely failed. What? Our work was less than perfect?

I was avoiding replacing the hot water tank because it's installed in an area that would require extensive work (read that as heavy labor cost!) to remove and replace. That was well beyond our capabilities and tools. They stuffed it in a tight compartment among all the electrical wiring for the entire rig plus copper and plastic plumbing. If an RV repairman spent 10-20 hours at $80-$110 per hour, the cost could quickly escalate!

To complicate matters, my propane only hot water tank has a 400 watt electric kit added. We put that in when I started workamping years ago so I could have hot water 24/7 on electric. The kit was only about $60 at the time, cost hasn't changed much since then, but for 5 years the electric has worked flawlessly. So why even have a propane hot water heater at all?

Camco 11673 Hot Water Hybrid Heat Kit - 6 Gallon
This kit for converting a propane hot water tank to optional electricity is sold at Amazon. 

Well, it's handy at times. Last summer I camped with friends using reduced electricity, in that case I can turn off my electric hot water and anything else I don't need so my electric consumption is reduced to the minimal. If you are a non-Rv-er (or new to RVing)  reading this, it sounds complicated. But imagine if you were running your entire home off your neighbor's extension cord to a regular outlet. You would have to substantially reduce your electric usage to do this.

Before that I had to cycle the hot water on and off, to conserve propane. I have to drive the entire rig to top up my built-in propane tank. There just isn't room to add a spare removable propane tank. Even so, I don't have a car, so changing out a hefty propane tank with a bicycle isn't really an option. At that time I didn't even have a bicycle. The nearest propane fill was 12 miles one way from my workamping so adding the electric kit saved me both gasoline and propane. .

Buying a hot water tank that is already set up for electric and propane is 1000 watts or more for just the electric side, rather than the 400 efficient watts the kit come with. My RV can't handle that because it's 30amp and not 50amp. So I would have to contemplate unwiring and rewiring the kit from the old propane water heater to a new propane one. More work, more problems. Good grief.

I am living on a shrinking tiny efficient budget. Very efficient. Squeaky efficient. But that's just the way things are for now, so no use fussing, just wake up and deal with it. Be happy!

Then the city water connection which first was leaky, then broke completely. Horrors! I went through three different parts. First one was wrong part (after taking apart motorhome and seeing it would not work). Second part arrived by mail order damaged so badly it couldn't be cobbled into use. Third part arrived (at more cost, but same part) and while it's flimsy compared to the old original part, I've since discovered they don't manufacture the old sturdy original part anymore.

This is an alarming problem widespread in the RV industry. The RV manufacturers (and RV part manufacturers) are seemingly of the notion of a throw-away society. Why fix it when you can just buy another new RV and toss out the old RV?

Salesman and RV manufacturers don't want us to repair our used rigs, they want us to buy new rigs.

When we tried to install the new city water connection, it was a different part, so we had to adjust for that. It was also in a no man's land inside the wall, underneath a hard to reach corner cabinet in the galley. It was connected to hard plastic plumbing.

The old part wouldn't come off easily. Once it finally came off, we realized we had the wrong part. That began the second, third and fourth lengthy delay of no running water that kept snowballing into longer delays. When the third part finally arrived, it was impossible to install without even more modifications.

By then we had cut out an access hole, framed it up with pieces from my wooden yard stick with glue and screws, so that once it was all repaired, the access hole could be covered again. The plumbing was nearly impossible to reach and install the new part, even with the new access hole, so thinking like a sailor. I suggested we hack saw the hard plastic plumbing in the middle, buy flexible tubing and stainless steel hose clamps, then cobble it all back together again.

Amazingly, this turned out to work beautifully. Ironically a $10 coupon for Ace Hardware was floating around the RV, and we were able to get the parts at Ace hardware using the coupon. How delightful!

OK, the rest is in pics just to entertain you...

In this picture below, you are looking inside the cabinet in the corner of my RV kitchen.

RV plumbing repair

In this picture, you are looking at the same cabinet, with the access plate (in the above picture) removed so you can see what we were up against in trying to fit this mess in. Where it says City water inlet, is where it connects through the outside wall of the motorhome.

As you can see, electrical wiring supplying the motorhome, plumbing from copper and plastic is going in several directions, plus the furnace, are all crammed in there.

By hack-sawing the gray plastic plumbing, we could then attach the new water inlet to a section of the plastic plumbing, shove that in the outside hole, then connect it back up to the other side of the hard plastic plumbing with flexible tubing and hose clamps.

It worked! Which to add to the workload, the new city water inlet, was smaller than the old one. So some marine-tex filler had to be added to that round hole (through the outside wall) to make it fit right. Good grief.

RV plumbing repair

This entire cabinet is actually accessed through another new door that was installed behind the dining booth to access that corner of the kitchen cabinet. This was done a few years ago, because things would get "lost" in the cabinet and I was always fighting with sticks trying to get things back within reach.

Trying to reach that area through the cabinet under the sink on the other side of the counter top, was impossible unless I grew my arms to be 4 feet long.

This cabinet shown below is hidden by the back cushion of my dining booth. When the entire plumbing mess was put back together, I still have access and use of that area for storing useful things like food for dog and human.

RV plumbing repair

RV plumbing repair
There you have it!

More than you ever wanted to know about RV plumbing.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Severe Weather

Kind of busy here.

Running around like lightning trying to secure everything in the event that nothing happens.

Awning, chairs, table, bicycle, patio rug, it amazing how much of my life is outdoors.

I am going to put this tiny weather radio on my wish list!
It seems to work on electric and then if the power goes down, it uses batteries. 
It's the smallest I can find so far. 
Space is so limited in my wheel estate. 
Finding tiny compact products that work is always a challenge.
America is a wonderful country but many products tend to be built big and bigger.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Peace and Water (Part One)

Peace in the campground seems restored. While the thief or thieves were never officially caught or arrested, rumors are that a certain large group of people living together were evicted from the campground. Since then, there have been no more bicycle thefts or slashed tires. Whether this is coincidence or weird justice, I can feel the peace at night. My dog seems to have nothing to bark at in the wee hours. I am starting to sleep longer than an hour or so at a time. I can feel the peace, it's hard to explain. But it's a different vibe.

plumbing, thieves, wackadoodles, campground, sunset,pond,lake,wickham

Ironically, it's the same group that startled me late one night in early December a few days after my arrival. Some of the group were sneaking around the driver's side of my motorhome after dark which set my dog off barking at the top of his tiny lungs. I shoved open the window to stick my flashlight outside to see what the commotion was and was alarmed to see 4 people outside. They scampered off but stepped right on top of my connected flexible sewer hose, flattening it out.

Luckily the hose didn't break, I was able to sort of unflatten the hose the next day. I will have to replace it at some point. It's on the list now.

*BIG SIGH of frustration.*

It's a heavy duty vinyl type hose that has wiring inside of it coiled like a slinky for storage and gives it some rigidness when uncoiled. I didn't bother to complain nor report this. I just viewed it as a costly annoyance created by idiots taking a strange stupid choice in a night time shortcut.

It seemed to me very strange they were walking out there as my electric cord, water hose, and sewer hose are all laying on the ground there snaking around connecting to the utility area. With so much to trip over and them walking within a foot of my window, it did all seem a really odd choice to be walking around there after dark. There are much easier shortcuts and my utility area is next to a huge growth of wild shrubbery where critters tend to hide but it is too thick for humans to hide in there.

If one had a choice to take an easy lighted shortcut at night or choose one with obstacles in the dark, most folks of average intelligence might choose the easier lighted path. Others wouldn't take a shortcut at all out of respect for the campers and their privacy. But such is life. It's not perfect and idiots do live among us. Gosh, I sound kind of rude saying that. Oh well!

Last year I had snakes and a hard shelled 4 legged creature living over there. I forget what you call those little guys. This year I've seen raccoons and squirrels hiding in there plus YUCK I found a shedded snake skin laying near the utility area. YUCK YUCK YUCK. I do not like snakes one bit! I especially do not like the 2 legged snakes we've had in the campground and I really abhor the slithering ones too. YUCK YUCK YUCK.

See my blog post from 2016 in January that shows a picture of the snakes and the sewer hose. 

Another night in December, some of the same group once again was out beside my rig and the dog was barking like crazy. There is no reason for them to be out there. I lit them up with my spotlight and asked them "Can I help you with something out there?" They ran off without answering.

After that I set up an obstacle course by accident. By then I was intermittently working on my plumbing woes and had moved a folding table to hold tools and other stuff out there to facilitate the repairs. Of course at night, the tools were put away again, but the table stayed. Also I was using a second small table over there by now, a homemade job I have made from an old folding director's chair frame and a heavy board. I was using that area and the tables to wash dishes outside since I no longer had running water inside the rig. I also put a solar motion light over there that would recharge by day and come on at night if there was any movement over there.

A few days later, reports of bicycle thefts and weird vandalism such as slashed tires started happening around the campground. That particular large group had to move their rig, truck and cars around the campground a good bit, we call it the campground shuffle. Whenever they moved, they left a huge amount of garbage on their old site for the next campers to clean up.

You would be surprised how often I see this similar scenario in campgrounds! Let's go out in nature and trash it? It's a theory I fail to understand. When I arrived at my site, it was covered in lots of  little and some large bits of litter I had to clean up. So much of it was stomped into the grassy areas, that it did take a few hours to finally get it all up.  I would say in my years of moving around to various camp grounds, I have had to clean up my site (remove scattered garbage) upon arrival at least 50% of the time. I don't know why it is so hard for some campers and  travelers to reign in their garbage and haul it off to the dumpster.

It's one of life's mysteries I may never understand.

The last few weeks, I have been consumed with trying to get running water restored to the inside of my motorhome. It's all about 95% done now and I am jumping up and down with EXCITEMENT because I have RUNNING water again. Hot and cold INSIDE my motorhome and nothing is leaking inside anymore.

Tomorrow... part two...

Thanks for stopping by!

for wackadoodles like me trying to 
patch it all together efficiently. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Day is Done

wickham park melbourne fl

Floridian Sunset

Another beautiful day on planet earth. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Keep An Ear Out

Another gorgeous day!

Nothing stolen from my campsite last night, so that is a huge relief. I haven't walked the dog yet, so I don't know how the rest of the RV park fared. I really know only a handful of people here but because folks see me ride my bicycle so often, they tend to stop me when walking the doggy to tell me of the latest thefts or vandalism and to tell me to lock up my bicycle.

ferocious guard dog
Ferocious Guard Dog
"I'll keep an ear out..."

I don't exactly blend into the scenery as neatly as I think. I pedal around on a  red bicycle with a singing kooky dog in the front basket plus dual rear baskets for cargo which might contain garbage or dog toys or groceries. I have long hair blowing in the wind when most folks my age tend to have very short hair. I often wear a hat or headband tied around my forehead to keep my hair from blowing in my face. Some days I braid my hair, other days my hands don't want to cooperate to do that, so I tie on a head band and go. This also catches my sweat and keeps that from dripping into my eyes.

I don't have any sneakers and ride with Croc shoes, a strange choice in bicycle gear, I even ride with flip flops some days, crazy as it sounds but my pedals grip whatever shoe I am wearing, so I haven't had any trouble with my odd selection in footwear.

If it's cold I wear gloves and arm warmers made out of old socks with boots on my feet and sometimes a scarf wrapped around my neck. My doggy wears his little coat and if it's real cold, then I wrap a blanket around him up to his chinny-chin-chin. He loves this but it does look a wee bit strange.

To say the least!

I get cold real easily, so I am sometimes all dressed up for cold when others from the arctic north are riding around on race bikes in shorts and T-shirts staring at me with all my winter gear piled on.

I've been seen wearing a long dress on my bicycle instead of pants because that is what I happened to be wearing when I decided to hop on my bicycle. I don't go real fast or real far, but I sure have fun getting exercise. (At least I tell myself that over over.) That dreaded 8 lettered word! Oh some days I get to going pretty fast and actually pass a few riders. Having the seat back does make it easier to pedal because I can push harder with my legs. Riding with my doggy though, makes it harder to ride a bike, but I enjoy having him with me most of the time. I just wish he didn't sing.

My "Day 6" bicycle is unique in that it has a big comfy seat with a back support plus high handle bars, so that there is no pressure on my hands.  Add to that my goofiness in adding streamers to my handle bars, so I guess I accidentally stand out just a wee bit when I go riding around.

If I were riding in Amsterdam, I would just blend in with the thousands of other bike riders that tend to dress up uniquely and enjoy customizing their bicycles.

Back to the crazy campground...

I forgot to mention that a few days ago, several bicycles had their tires slashed and a motorcycle trailer with 2 motorcycles inside had his 4 tires slashed on the trailer. This was night before last, I forgot to mention it in my last post.

Rampant speculation as to who or why this insanity has attacked this peaceful campground is far and wide. Everyone has their own unique ideas about this mess.

I saw a movie awhile back, can't remember the title, but it was about a bunch of thugs hired to terrorize an apartment building so the residents would move out so that a developer could snatch it up for cheap. This is a county owned park that has a day use park with tons of activities as well as a section for RV's and campers. So I don't think the theory that someone wants to snatch up the property is valid. But it does seems that possibly someone or several someones would prefer the RV's and campers to move out. The restrooms have been vandalized many nights, another bit of insanity.

By day the park is heavily patrolled by police, rangers, sheriff, citizen's patrol (no idea who they are) but I don't see any patrolling at night. Maybe they patrol when I am not looking.

The chaos does have campers talking and thinking about moving but no one has moved out because of this that I know about. Only problem is that this is January in Florida. RV parks and campgrounds are pretty much booked solid for monthly stays with January and February being the busiest months. In other words, finding a park with a monthly rate or one that accepts monthly rentals at this time of year without prepaid reservations is like finding a needle in a haystack.

The priciest parks tend to have some vacancies, if you can afford their ridiculous rates. Some campgrounds in Florida go for over $2,000 a month! You read that right, over two thousand dollars!

The state parks have a 14 day limit. Most state parks below the freeze line have no vacancies as folks tend to book the winter month sites the minute the reservations open up on the internet. If you don't grab a spot in those 30 seconds, you are out of luck.

I have a reservation where I am staying and they have penalties for cancelling it. Whether they would make an exception due to the high crime is probably unlikely, given that the park is governed by a county board of politicians. Government agencies are notoriously non flexible.

It seems all the sites in here are booked up. I don't think anyone has left. When someone pulls out of a site, another camper seems to set up a few hours later.

I honestly don't know if the police or rangers are doing anything about the sudden rise in crime. Others say they are not. It's hard to know what to believe.

Years back when I was first looking to buy a bicycle I was checking thrift shops and pawn shops. The thrift shops seemed to never have bicycles and the pawn stores had plenty but the prices were ridiculously high for something used. I think it's odd that anyone would pawn a bicycle that they owned so I often wondered if I bought a pawn shop bicycle if someone would claim it was stolen and take it away again.

Life is goof.

Sorry about being so long winded, I guess this nightmare is just on my mind waaaaay too much.

Well it has distracted me from my plumbing woes, which I must get back to fixing. All things take time and patience.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Thieves, Rodents, Snakes

The campground here seems under siege by vandals, thieves, rodents and pesky snakes. I found tooth marks on my tiny silicone measuring bowl in the drawer. Probably a mouse taste testing it at some point.

Silicone measuring cup with tiny teeth marks that are not my dog's. 
Besides, the dog doesn't measure things when he cooks, so I know he didn't do it. 
I have 4 of these silicone cups in quarter, third, half and full cup sizes.
I was so disgusted at finding this I spent a good  fifteen minutes sterilizing and washing all the measuring cups. 

We had a cold snap and those little guys can sneak inside through a sliver. I do keep poison in weird places where the dog can't get it, but the mice can. One winter I found a flat dead mouse in my motorhome. He had ripped open the poison which killed him. He was near the hot water heater in an obscure compartment. I never smelled a thing the poison flattened him so fast. He barely got to taste the poison but he made a mess of it ripping it open. I swept up the spilled poison putting it all in a ziplock type baggy for the next rodent to rip open and die. I hate killing things, but the mice and rats need to live anywhere but my place.

Last evening I was riding my bicycle around the campground, with all my lights on since it was dusky. I wanted cars to see me in spite of the 5 mph speed limit, which is pretty often ignored. Thankfully there are not speed bumps in the camp. Speed bumps are a mess too for bicyclists as they are designed to slow cars. If an unwary bicyclist hits one, it can be bad news indeed.

Occasionally I have stayed in parks with speed bumps that left a small section open for bikes to be able to ride through without having to negotiate the speed bump.

Of course at the rate bicycles are being stolen and vandalized in this campground, the number of bicyclists is rapidly shrinking. Though one couple, that lost their new bikes  to thieves, purchased more new ones the next day. They had only ridden their old stolen bikes once. How sad. What is so creepy is that my neighbors near my bedroom window had their bike stolen as did the folks across from me.


I would freak out if anything happened to my beloved bicycle. I keep it locked up, under cover, and with solar motion lights. Any time at night I wake up which is pretty often these days, I immediately check outside to see if my bicycle is still here and if a vandal is lurking in the bushes.

I am armed with assorted things including a big super bright spotlight. Did you know that wasp spray makes a good weapon? It shoots spray 20-30 feet and is rather offensive to humans as well as deadly to wasps.

Dark bags are starting to form under my eyes. I hate to nap during the day and miss out on sunshine. I get super depressed from lack of daylight, something called SAD I was diagnosed with over 30 years ago. It's sad too!

The campground is a MESS these days. Vandals have flattened tires, stolen bikes, wrecked the restrooms. Not sure why the sudden "siege" but I have big dark bags accumulating under my eyes from erratic sleep.

One couple arrived here late at night, checked in, parked on their site, unloaded their bicycles to store under their awning. They didn't lock them. A few hours later, the wife woke up and happened to glance outside to see HORRORS, their bicycles were gone.

I woke up alive, my bicycle and outdoor gear still here. No vandals or thieves struck my site. For this I am super grateful, but I feel sorry for those that have been robbed or vandalized.

At some point last night I came outside. I was sitting under the awning under a bright light when I heard something rustling in the grass behind my motorhome. I shrieked and shot up so fast and so high I thought I would rip out what's left of my semi-tattered awning.

Turned out it was a raccoon. He ran away so fast, I bet he never comes back around here again. I was WIDE awake after that encounter. Kind of funny now, but at the time, I thought it was a 2 legged monster sneaking up on me.

I passed an ugly snake in the road on my bicycle on my way home last evening.. A ranger and a shovel was dealing with it. I wasn't about to stop. I have a strong dislike for snakes. Rumors abound later that it was a copperhead.

I have to go now. I seriously need a nap. I am exhausted from all this excitement.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Full Moon, Thieves and Friday the 13th

I survived the full moon on Thursday. I did the Indian way of trimming my long hair on the full moon. It's still long, even though I whacked off a few inches. I only wanted to trim a tiny bit, to get rid of the inevitable split ends. I meant to do this at winter solstice, but the date escaped me. I was so busy then (like now!) sorting out water wars and plumbing woes.

Since I am not a hair dresser, cutting my own hair is not easy. By the time I got it all nice and neat, it was more than the planned half inch, it was more like 2-3 inches trimmed off. But it looks nice and should keep growing. It falls to my belly button, so it's not really short.

Then Friday the 13th rolled around, survived that too. Phew!

wickham park melbourne florida sunset

But my neighbor had her bicycle stolen. Next to her is another campsite with an adult tricycle for sale for $200. It was stolen too.

Learning this really  creeped me out because this means the thief or thieves were right next to my wheel estate, near my bedroom window at night. Harley had been barking off and on, I would check to see what he was fussing about but I didn't see anyone and I wasn't specifically checking on my neighbor's bicycle either. My neighbor has a dog too, but he is pretty friendly and he was of course locked up inside when their bicycle went missing outside. He's not really a barker either. I've never heard him bark except when the squirrels annoy him and he is outside.

Later the maintenance crew found both bicycles in one of the park's lakes. Not sure which lake, we have several ponds to choose from. Hopefully I will get the rest of the story. I am a tad curious which lake where.

Who would steal bicycles then toss them in the pond? Is this the same person(s) that are getting some joy out of vandalizing the campground restrooms at night? It's all kind of stressful to think about. Most campgrounds and RV parks are fairly safe. Many campers have things scattered around outside and they pretty much just stay there.

If you travel with a bicycle, get a heavy duty locking cable and use it. I am so paranoid about my beloved bicycle that even when I have it stowed on the back of my motorhome for travel, I use the heavy cable to lock it to my roof access ladder.

A thief will have to work really hard to steal my bicycle.

However, it's been brought up that Florida does attract many types of folks in the winter. I guess thieves, sociopaths and psychopaths want a snow-less winter too. There is always the illusion too, that when one sees advertisements for sunny Florida and the year round use of the beaches, that one can show up and just flop on the beach all day. Life will be grand.

My bicycle and my visiting friend's bicycle were both locked up and attached to the 8 foot 8 ton picnic table plus both were covered, though a bicycle looks like a bicycle even under cover. Luckily neither were stolen.


Both cables are so heavy that a thief would have to work pretty hard to cut them loose and thieves being notoriously lazy, will look for easier prey or sites that don't have a yappy guard dog and motion lights.

I have solar motion lights on the picnic table too. If anyone walks by at night the lights come on. This way  they can see to steal the bikes or steal the lights.


I am always hoping the motion lights will startle them that they are too close to my site. This campground doesn't have set paths, so folks do tend to wander right through the sites to get from the three loops, A-B-C. It's shorter to cut through the sites than to walk the roads. Usually after dark, most folks have cars, I think everyone here has a car or truck except me. So most are in their cars at night coming and going, not walking around in the dark.

Since the campsites are irregularly sized and it's a park like setting with trees, ponds, open grassy, weedy areas and wild shrubbery, it's just the nature of the beast that folks wander around on the grassy areas rather than the paved roads where they have to compete with cars and pickup trucks.

During the day we see cop cars and citizen's neighborhood patrol trucks riding by. Even the rangers ride by and I believe they ride by at night. But I guess they can't tell if someone is riding a bicycle, whether it's stolen or not.

I am kind of an obsessive maniac about locking my bicycle. It's a treasure to me to be lucky enough to own one and enjoy the torture of riding it almost daily. I need the exercise, so I try to ride it often. But I lock it up the minute I am not sitting on it.

Some days I take Harley to the dog park about a mile and a half or more from here, depending on which route I take. I have to leave my bicycle outside the fence at the park. There is no bicycle rack because most everyone arrives by car or truck. Harley becomes super impatient, singing and hollering in his basket while I take time to lock the bicycle up (attaching it to the fence) before I get him out of his basket.

He is super impatient about wanting to get inside the off leash dog park before it vanishes into thin air.

When we come home again, I lock my bicycle the minute I climb off  the seat. Harley doesn't mind waiting. Matter of fact, sometimes he resists getting out of his basket because he would prefer I ride him around for hours and hours. Silly dog.

Last night, every little noise had me on high alert. I must have checked on my bicycle 50 times over every little noise I heard. Steal my chairs, take the rug or thief the lights, but please don't steal my precious bicycle.

Life is goof.

Thank you for stopping by today!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Bucket Life

Plumbing wars.

Back again.

Living out of a bucket.

But hey, the good news is I have a bucket and access to water to fill it!

I am a lousy plumber, but I come up with great ideas. Sort of. Kind of.

Living on an efficient budget teaches all sorts of humility.

Who would have thought that all those years I spent living in far flung islands would teach me how to live in modern day America out of a bucket?

Life is goof.

My 5 gallon bucket broke ages ago. Too much sunshine.

However, awhile back I bought a one gallon bucket at Dollar Tree for $1. It has been a life saver. One gallon is only 8 pounds instead of 40 pounds which is what a 5 gallon bucket of water weighs.

So I trot back and forth to the water spigot in the campground filling up my one gallon bucket.

The public restrooms here have been repeatedly vandalized at night. Not sure what kind of psychopath is living in the campground that does that. Scary stuff.

But with my trusty bucket of water, I can use it to flush my toilet. Wheee!  I can use it to haul water to fill up the Berkey water purifier, which I use for drinking water. A Berkey requires no electricity or water pressure to purify water, so at least I can make and use drinking and cooking water. Just toss my bucket in the top of the Berkey then wait for it to trickle through the super long lasting filters, and out the bottom, eventually comes pure water that is safe for drinking. Berkey is so powerful, one can toss in river, rain or lake water. Anything except salt water, that is different science to convert to drinking water.

I carry all the dishes outside to the water spigot and wash them there in cold water. Somehow I seem to spill as much water on my shoes and clothes as I use to wash the dishes.

Ain't life grand.

JB Water Weld is MAGIC, it can fix plumbing or oil pans. It withstands heat.
It finally after much trail and error with other products, FIXED my leaking hot water tank. 

One of the many water problems included a split in my 6 gallon hot water heater in the motorhome. I thought it was just a plumbing leak and actually called an RV repairman because I couldn't figure out how to remove the offending leaking part.

Well that guy doesn't return calls or doesn't do plumbing or all of the above. Probably just as well, When I showed the mess to my visiting friend, he discovered it was the tank leaking and not the plumbing.


My water tank is stored in an area with a ton of RV electrical wiring. Replacing it would be very costly both for the tank itself (have to buy the entire unit) plus the installation was way beyond my capabilities for sure. Being that RV repairman charge 80-120 per hour, I could see where this could become a ridiculously expensive repair if they took 10-20 hours to reroute and remove all the wiring and plumbing long enough to remove the tank, replace and hook the entire mess back up again.

Little was I to know this was only the tip of the iceberg of my water problems.

Meanwhile the city water connection on the outside of my RV broke off. Only 22 years old and it chose now to break. It has been leaking. I searched high and low for a replacement part. They don't make that style anymore.

I bought the sure thing, according to the salesman at Mobile Home Depot. He told me if it was the wrong part I could bring it back and gave me a list of all their store locations. Later, it was discovered it was the wrong part. Managed to return that at the 11th hour on the last day for return at a different Mobile Home Depot. That manager at that store didn't want to take the part for return, wanted me to drive 140 miles to the Mobile Home Depot in another town where I bought it.

Good grief.

Finally, after tons of smiles and patience and gentle persuasion, he refunded the money and took the wrong part back again. He didn't have a correct part to work for me.

Next I found a part that might work from Amazon. A few days later, it arrived damaged!

I returned it to Amazon for a replacement, but they refunded my money $12.99 because the part had somehow magically increased in cost to $21.99 so they couldn't do an exchange.


Called up Amazon and explained the problem. Through a miracle they refunded the $9 difference so I could buy the replacement part at the new higher price. Something about different vendors being able to sell on Amazon. I still wonder how a part went from 12.99 to 21.99 in less than a week.

Inflation running rampant.

The new part arrived undamaged but it is vastly different from the old part, which they don't even make anymore. The old part was hefty and sturdy, lasted 22 years. The new part is flimsy and looks like I might be darn lucky to get 5 years out of it.

The RV industry is maddening at times! The new part is cheaply made in comparison to the old original part. Very frustrating. VERY.

Installing it is going to take some serious modifications to get it in.

Lawdy mercy!

And ya wonder why my hair is turning gray again.

Meanwhile patched up the hot water tank with quicksetting whatchamacallit, it will come to me, but it didn't work.


Think like a boater. Think like life on an island in the middle of nowhere.

Ah ha!

Got it!

Get JB underwater weld and slap that on the leaking hot water tank. Amazon shipped out the underwater weld and amazingly it was half the cost of what the hardware store 7 miles away wanted when I called them to inquire. Ding ding, maybe I am gaining ground here?

Wait a few more days for the delivery.

This is a picture the  gray JB Water Weld that finally repaired my hot water tank. 
Um... I think, I hope, I pray, I wish so!

There is more to this story... a lot more!


Gotta run, I have a friend here helping me with the water woes, maybe we can cobble this mess together and get me living like royalty again.

With running water.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Wild Big Time

Caught the alligator and the turtle together.
The alligator prefers laying in a semi circle. 
Gossip in the campground is that someone claims they saw the alligator eat the turtle. I hope they were wrong. But the alligator has to eat something, so maybe it was the poor little turtle. 

 Harley is so c-c-c-cold he has refused to let me take his jacket off for 2 days now. 

 But I got his picture anyhow!
What a goofy pet. 

This clock looks BIG, but it's only 2.75 inches (7cm) in diameter. It's waterproof, runs on a AAA battery and thankfully now lives in my broom closet. So far it keeps great time and I am thrilled!

I mean bathroom. 

My motorhome came with a broom closet, where I keep the broom and they stuck a toilet and a teensy sink in there for convenience.

When I bought my wheel estate in 2009 it came with a big 10 inch broken wall clock. It told the time correctly twice a day. The battery was permanently fused inside the backing. There was no way to get it to work. I tossed it out and filled that bit of wall with three brass containers I found at Goodwill. They hold tons of junk, so they are far more useful.

The first new gift I bought my wheel estate was a night light that included a tiny 2 inch clock. I loved that nightlight. It came on automatically at night and it told time 24 hours a day. I stuck it in my broom closet in the electric socket.

For 7 years I had the time 24/7 in my bathroom. The clock ran on a battery but the nightlight ran on electricity. So the clock was always right, even when I unplugged from electricity to drive down the highways and byways getting lost on my way to my next destination. Because the clock was part of the nightlight, it never fell down, the electric plug kept it firmly in place.

About 3 months ago, the little night light clock was smoking one night when I got up. It frightened me! 

Fires are scary indeed. In 1976 I came home to find my remote country home engulfed in flames. Nothing was spared. Not even my beloved pets. The furnace repairman had made a fatal mistake that set my home on fire in my absence. I was wearing a pink sweater on that fateful night. That sweater traveled with me for the next 30 odd years until it finally fell apart. 

Now I travel with 3 fire extinguishers. Just in case. 

I yanked the smoking nightlight out of the socket and it never did catch fire, but it stopped smoking. The clock kept running (sitting on the counter unplugged) for a few more days then it passed away. Nothing could coax it back to life, not even a new battery. Even so, it was hard for me not to be distrustful of it. Why was it smoking that night I woke up?

You can see the little smoke stain at the bottom of the night light clock. I took this picture before I tossed it in the garbage in October. Bye bye clock! Bye bye night light! Bye bye fire hazard!

For three months, my life has been completely out of sorts. For the past 7 years I have relied on the bathroom clock for the time. I know that sounds crazy. But I visit my broom closet often at all hours of the day and night. That little clock always told me the time. 

Brushing my hair, or brushing my teeth, getting ready to walk the dog, I relied on that little clock to keep me current. For some strange reason, I can't wear a watch. A watch won't keep the correct time if I wear it. If I leave the watch in a drawer, the time is dead on correct. If I wear the watch, the time goes goofy. 

Years back, in the Caribbean, my friend Phil gave me his beautiful gold watch. He had bought a new one and gave me his old one. It was gorgeous. It kept great time. Except when I wore it. I kept it on my sailboat and used it to tell the time. A few years later, Phil got sick and was rushed to a hospital. He died at 10 after 4. The same day his watch died at 10 after 4 too. I never could get the watch to work again after that. When I was in the hospital in 2009, in the Caribbean, before moving to the USA,  my home in the Caribbean was robbed. The watch was stolen. I haven't owned a watch since then. 

My teeny tiny bathroom nightlight clock was simple to reset when that gawdawful time change rolls around twice a year. It provided me the perfect ambient night light so that I could visit the broom closet in the wee hours without having to turn on the harsh overhead light. 

I would always glance at the little clock. If the time was before 4am, I went back to bed. It was past 4am, I typically got up to wait for the sunrise. For some strange reason, I like to be up before the sunrise. 

Maybe because for most of my life, I relied on the Caribbean sun rise to wake me up. I typically went to work at sunrise so it worked out beautifully. 

I searched high and low for another night light clock and it seems they just don't make those anymore. So sad. 

I stuck a nightlight in the bathroom that has an on/off switch that I found at Dollar Tree  for $1. But I still couldn't find a tiny clock suitable for wall hanging anywhere. 

I tried to live without the bathroom clock, but I just seemed so confused. 

Life is goof. 

Finally I caved in and bought this tiny clock from Amazon. You would be surprised how hard it is to find a tiny clock suitable for wall mounting. Big clocks are everywhere, but finding a tiny one for a tiny home, not so easy. No room on my counter to have a regular clock sit there and besides, it's a motorhome. I have to drive to the grocery store and places. I have already accidentally lost things that fell into my broom closet garbage can and hid in the bottom of the can to be tossed out with the garbage. Ooops! So I try to keep the small counter clear at all times. Just in case. 

Ironically this new clock came with a suction cup and it's waterproof for a shower or bathroom. Pretty nifty. So I guess if my clock falls into the toilet, I can still tell time. Luckily I keep the toilet lid closed when not in use so hopefully this won't happen. 

My walls are too porous to stick it on the wall, so it's stuck on the mirror above the sink for now with the suction cup. I think I might punch a little hole in the suction cup and just mount it on the wall so it's less likely to fall anywhere into the sink or toilet or garbage.

It seems like my life is restored to its former disorder. I know the time now. 

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Arctic Florida

I have on an undershirt, an overshirt, two sweaters, arm warmers, corduroy leggings, a neck scarf, a hat and boots just to walk the dog today in Florida.

And still I was c-c-c-cold!

It was 38 effing degrees when I walked him with winds blowing frigid air. We speed walked to the campground dumpster where he did his doggy business in multiple places then we speed walked back. In spite of his heavy shearling  coat, he was shivering and shaking.

harley in bed
When we got back, he went back to bed hiding under the covers for warmth.

I guess that arctic air mass the meteorologist excitedly promised us has arrived.


I love this mermaid blanket sold at Amazon. What a great idea for keeping your tail warm.

mermaid tail blanket

In the news today "Georgia Snow Tubing Park CLOSED... due to snow". I kid you not.

Life is goof.

Friday, January 06, 2017

What's Cooking

Eggs, Spinach, Bell Peppers, Onions, Hormel Real Bacon Pieces, topped with
Cheddar, Oregano and Basil

Served with Avocado, Blueberries and Dole Mandarin Oranges

I love this gadget!
It sliced this pear into 16 beautiful pieces. 
Great with apples too.
Most slicers are 8 pieces only, but this is 16 ready to eat or bake slices.
The hinged cover protects the super sharp blades as well as
safely pushes the final fruit through the blades.
Very handy for hearty Granny Smith Apples

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Neighborhood Alligator


I finally got a picture of the alligator living at the Wickham Park campground. This was taken from  far away with an old camera. I blew up the picture to show you, that is an alligator. 

It is  not a log.

It is not a turtle.

Other long term campers acted like I was a fruitcake because I kept saying "There's an alligator in that pond." No one had seen him but me. How unfair! I see so much wildlife around us. Maybe because I don't have a car, I can't speed around ignoring creature features, so they tend to stand out to me.

I was labeled a nut job. Seeing things. I was told it was a turtle or a log I saw. NOT an alligator.

How do they know what I saw? I saw an alligator but still folks thought I was nuts.

Of course being that I am about the only one around in the camp that doesn't trot around with a smart phone with a camera, I kept missing photo opportunities of the gator. My word wasn't good enough. I needed proof. Sheesh.

One day I had my camera and there on the far shore of the pond was the alligator.

I got the picture!

While snapping away, I heard something behind me. It was a raccoon racing across the road. So I took his picture too.


Then an egret landed nearby so I took his portrait too.


I came home, downloaded the camera to the laptop, looked at the pictures and yepper what I've been seeing in the pond is an alligator. Not a log. Not a turtle.

pond at Wickham park

Life is goof. (There's an alligator in that pond too!)

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Welcome to 2017

Made it alive to 2017!

I am so excited!

Thank you for stopping by!