Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Answers, Part I

A big thank you to everyone that takes time to make a comment. I do read them every day. Most questions I answer in future posts then sometimes I fall behind. So here are some of your questions and my answers.  I plan to answer more questions in a forthcoming Part II. 


Mermaids are Timeless living many, many, many years due to frequent hibernating throughout the centuries.
Dear Miss Mermaid by the Sea, circa 1684

I don't know about the rude part. I usually am dumbfounded, and then think of all the things I should have said later on, when I am stewing on it. Anyway, if you leave, make sure they see you driving out, wave and smile as big as you can. Like you're having the time of your life and they are the dum dums. Heh heh heh. Anyway, I haven't seen your picture on the blog and am curious. Is there a reason you don't reveal your famous self? I am just curious to know if you're my age, early 50's. onRunning Afoul

I photograph terribly. I'm timeless and ageless. (Don't I wish!)  Age and illness can sometimes do cruel things. I have so many battle scars it might frighten the camera! Now I am going to pull off my socks to finish counting my age. I've run out of fingers 4 or 5 times now and lost count. (Mermaids grow temporary legs when not at the seashore.)

I truly have seen lots of stuff in my day, but never ever have I seen a dawg like Harley.... I've asked before but didn't get a response... What... I say what... kind of puppy is Harley.. wire haired terrier? I'm with Cyn... glad you checked in. Cyn? Roxanne? y'all know what this puppy dog is? A breed all his own.. HAHaaaa... so cute on Puppy Posts

I adopted him from a classified ad posted on on May 25, 2010.  He was born Christmas Day 2009.  I was told he was a Poohuahua, half poodle and half chihuahua. Someone was advertising they had to get rid of him and wanted a loving home. He was free and my adopt-a-pet budget was tiny, so that was a good fit. I needed a dog that could be comfy in my little old wheel estate and hopefully be my best friend. 

Calling on the phone, I found out the pup had been "voted out of the family" because the father had determined that the family had too many dogs. A male teenager was extremely attached to Harley.  There was no picture of him on the classified ad. Over the phone, I agreed to take the five  month old puppy, sight unseen!  

I drove about an hour to their house. It was busy with a crowd of relatives coming and going. The teenager brought the puppy to the door, handing him over to me. When I asked if he had a harness or leash or toys, the teen looked at me like I was crazy and said "No.  He has none of that!"  When I got back to my camping spot at my friend's house, they poked great fun at us, saying "Could you have picked out an uglier dog?"

On many walks, the strangers we meet, often ask "What is THAT?" while pointing at Harley who often dances around like a flea who can't make up his mind where to land. The next most popular comment is "He sure is a happy dog!"  He is a very friendly, outgoing doggy, wanting to flirt and make friends with most every one he encounters, especially children. I have a dream of having him volunteer to visit children's hospitals spreading cheer. He needs more training, maturity and a certificate. But one day... we will get there. 

When I got Harley, he was so ugly, he was cute and I fell in love with him. He was severely malnourished. A few days later the teenager called to check on him. He told me that they had been feeding him Corn Chips and Doritos. I changed his name for security reasons and did not tell the former owners the new name. I was happy to give the teen updates whenever he called. He  later admitted that Harley had been to a vet once who yelled at them because he was so malnourished and far too weak for his shots. 

Indeed, the first week, Harley had the energy of a sleepy turtle. I thought I had a made a serious mistake!  But day after day, I coaxed him to eat healthy puppy chow. One day he woke up full of boundless energy!  He has been running nonstop ever since. 

Teaching him to walk on a leash was hilarious. He would fall over and play dead whenever I put his harness and leash on him. I ended up carrying him in my arms on our numerous puppy piddle training walks. It was either carry him or drag him, and I refused to drag the pathetic little waif. I would set him down to water a bush every 50 feet or so. He would do so, then cry loudly like a baby until I picked him up again, refusing to try walking the leash. Indeed he was scared of everything it seemed.

One day he was peeing when he saw a squirrel. He ran over to check it out. It was the first time he ever walked on a leash!  I was ecstatic. After that he loved walking on a leash, flitting from side to side, back to back as if I had put a butterfly on a string. 

If I take 99 pictures of him, one comes out cute. Most are blurs of puppy fur, as he seems to be always in motion.  

The grey heron picture is beautiful, you should be proud since it looks like something you would see in National Geographic. Why are all of the campgrounds so full? Is it the retirees living down there for the winter or what? I am sorry you still are feeling so bad. You sounded like you were on the mend for awhile there. I hope it makes you feel better that I read your blog daily and am envious of your RV lifestyle. I also visit Amazon through your website with hopes that every little bit helps! on Missed Mardi Gras

Thank you one and all for reading my blog!  It's now available on Kindle too. 

Florida has been very busy this winter. Last year's brutal winter sent crowd's of part time RV snowbirds scurrying down here in hopes of warmer weather. Many sew up a park reservation for months, rather than travel around.  Some weeks there are so many events going on around Florida, that campgrounds fill to capacity quickly. Many Floridian residents love to camp on weekends too. So in the winter months, finding camping spots without advance reservations can be chaotic so that is why I turn up in strange places at times or move from site to site, because I didn't pre-plan.  I have to go south for the winter too because my little old motorhome doesn't do well at all when temps drop below 45-50F degrees. My insulation was designed for temperate weather. For health reasons, I need to avoid brutal cold weather. The winter of 2009/2010 I spent in my motor home in upstate  South Carolina. Incredibly I ended up with pictures of all the snowfalls we endured that year. Very strange winter indeed. I thought I would never thaw out, I was so cold all the time. I guess mermaids need fair weather too. 

Thank you so much for using my Amazon links for shopping. Those little commissions keep adding up and I appreciate your thoughtfulness wholeheartedly.  You are keeping that crazy little dog, Dear Miss Mermaid and this old wheel estate, well fed.  Bless you!  You make my heart sing. 

Are the cows just walking around like that? What does Harley do, when he sees them? on Random Little Secrets

Yes, the cows are just walking around like that when they aren't riding in their Cowdillacs or Moocedes. Harley yeilds and gives them right away. 

I love the picture of the cow crossing the road. I'm going to let my dog, Lady, buy me a sleeping bag if I ever get my REI dividend! I hate to give her my credit card, though. on Random Little Secrets
Oh look, Amazon carries this cute camping set for pets, it includes a tent, sleeping bag and a camping hat for the pet. Maybe your dog  will buy this and share the sleeping bag with you. I like the optimistic design that includes a zipper on the sleeping bag. (Can a pet be taught to zip himself in?)

Hi, You know those electric sockets that have the red reset button on them? Usually they are located in the bathroom. If you have any of those, push on them. When they trip, they affect more than one socket. Even with all the chaos, sounds like you are in good spirits. PS I bought your book on Kindle last week! on Gremlins

Ah, I wondered about that little red button. I thought it was the call button for the stewardess.  Thanks VERY MUCH for buying my book on Kindle!

The gas tank leak sounds like it could be serious. Never good to have leaking fuel. If it only does it while filling, it may be in the fill line. You can probably just patch that. If you have not already, check the ground fault sockets, maybe one of them has popped. Hope you are not emotionally attached to your computer:( Not to place blame,but Harley does look a bit guilty:) on Gremlins

I was told I could climb under the gas tank with a cigarette lighter and find that gas leak in a hurry.   I don't like to crawl under there, I might get stuck. Something might drip on me.  

I did find the ground fault switch, it's the stewardess call button in the bathroom.  Apparently, I don't have a stewardess.  No wonder nobody shows up when I push it. 

Emotionally attached to a computer?  Not exactly, it doesn't smile, hug, laugh (or even  vibrate.)  If my blog vanishes, you can assume my computer died. (And once I scream, holler, cry and utter unprintable words, I'll be over it...)

Oh those gremlins can just get lost!!! My first car was actually a Gremlin ;-) Really. Hope you find your cord. That sucks. otherwise, it might be a trip to BigLots to see if they have them in stock. Or Radio Shack, but BL is more fun. I'll put a link for your book up on my FB page. on Gremlins

THANK YOU, for mentioning me on Facebook. I am glad you understand the mysteries of the techno social  world. 

I understand Big Lots, Gremlins and Radio Shack, but FaceBook, I just don't understand at all.  Time and time again I read that if DearMissMermaid.Com goes viral on Facebook or Twitter, the books will pay off handsomely. So far that hasn't happened but I am hopeful to figure out such exotic mysteries one  day. 

A friend bought me a folding shovel last year. I mentioned I wanted to find an army surplus store, so he stopped on his way home and bought me one :-) I used to have a telescoping garden tool and  loved it too when I had my house and flower beds. That came from the General Dollar store. I love Big Lots though! on Sandals, Shovels and Hovels

I remember my father had a cool shovel leftover from the Army.  It folded up and came with a nice canvas case. Harley's new shovel has been getting quite the workout, as I cover up the holes he keeps enthusiastically digging. 

I love this post...too, funny! I want to shovel linens! on Sandals, Shovels and Hovels

Maybe this will start a new trend, shoveling linens on aisle four...

Hope you took your Dundee knife with you:) on Weird Wednesday

Amazingly, Amazon sells Dundee knives too. I have a frightening knife, one of many I bought in a $2 box full of knives at Goodwill. It appears to not only skin a crocodile but open up cold beer too. Pictures coming soon. 

Ah yes, ye olde reset button! It sure can make one short tempered for a short while though huh? Now you have me thinking about the nair commercial "Who wears short shorts We wear short shorts They're such short shorts We like short shorts Who wears short shorts We wear short shorts." on Short Story

I want some of what you're smokin' in your short shorts!  ;)

I think I would rather walk on your trail than on the streets where I live. It looks like a great place to walk and think. on Weird Wednesday

I love walking in nature, it is far safer than the streets. I was almost hit twice while coming out of the grocery store with my buggy.  I was foolishly crossing in the crosswalk, when a car suddenly tried to mow me down. It was frightening!  I scampered out of the way,  to narrowly miss getting hit. Then incredibly, a guy on the phone, driving from the other direction, tried to turn me into just a greasy spot in the middle of the crosswalk. When I made it back to the wheel estate, I hugged my puppy, grateful I had survived the asphalt jungle and managed to hunt down food for us too in spite of my narrow miss with becoming road kill. 

How about: The blog today was nothing short of fantastic! Thanks for the laugh. onShort Story

*BLUSH*  Thank you for the short comment on short stuff in the short story.

That actually sounds cool! bright pink shorts with black boots. Isn't that what celebrities wear? on Snake Stomping Boots

Thank to your comment, I now often wear my boots with the hot pink shorts, just to keep everyone wondering if I am a celebrity...

I'm with you! This is a part of RVing, we can leave if things look scary and I'd be thinking on the same terms as you. Hurricanes are the reason I have mine and well, now it's the reason I live in mine...but I have the comfort of knowing that I can leave if needed, taking my little house on wheels and my pets along with me to safe grounds. on Running Afoul

Those daggum hurricanes, make one want to chronically prepare for calamity. Many folks don't get that about me.  After surviving more than my fair share of disasters, I am mostly ready for the next fiasco, which I fervently hope, never happens. But I am more or less prepared for whatever slaps me in my silly face next...  My life has sure been a wild roller coaster ride, lived in slow motion the past two years.  I wonder what on earth is around the corner next for me. I plan one thing but another happens. Funny how that works. 

I see a possible Land Shark story in your future. on Rut Roh

Many land shark stories coming out in the next book... also some sea tales of  life afloat. 

Stayed tuned for Part II, when I answer more questions and thank you for  your wonderful comments made throughout this blog. Thank you for reading my books, blogs and articles. 

You are my ANGELS!  THANK YOU! THANK YOU!  And that ridiculous dog named Harley thanks you too. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Puppy Posts

Dear Miss Mermaid is recuperating. I have to drive her to the doctor again today, since our friend had to leave early. But what the heck, I love to drive!

Not only have I learned to drive, but I can also use the right turn signal. That left one is a little tricky though. But hey, I can just do right turns to get every where can't I? 

OK, enough of this typing wiff my wittle paws.  I got to go now. I need to practice blowing the horn. Toot Toot!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blast Off To Space

Atlas Launch from NASA at Cape Kennedy, February 24, 2012 by Dear Miss Mermaid copyright by
Atlas Launch from NASA at Cape Kennedy, February 24, 2012

On the left side is  the Vehicle Assembly Building which is 526 feet tall. Either my camera is slow or that is one fast rocket.  At blast off I snapped this picture but in the time it took me to lift the camera, turn it on, take the photo,  the rocket was already over a half mile in the air.  

Of course I was slightly distracted by a certain little four legged creature who was more interested in playing ball than watching the blast off. 

Harley dog in black tshirt by dear miss mermaid, copyright by

I had to be in Melbourne Florida for medical mess. But the RV parks are packed solid. Well, that's what I get for not planning ahead. There is the NBA All-Star  Weekend in Orlando, the Daytona 500 races, and the Atlas went off a week late, causing many contractors to stay over in the area. Add to that it's President's week when many folks take a Florida vacation and POOF it was hard to find a spot to camp. 

But it pays to be optimistic and flexible. I called many RV parks and campgrounds only to be told they were full for days or weeks coming.  One place I've always wanted to visit, that is nearly always full, I didn't bother to call. Then I thought, what the heck, might as well call them up and listen to them tell me they are full. 

Well, I ended up playing telephone tag with them several times before I got a live person. At that point I said "Hi, I've been playing phone tag with you all day!"  He chuckled. I told him I had a silly question, did he by chance have any availability at all. He said he might have one or two nights for me, he would consult his computer. I said "We are flexible, I don't mind if you have to move me from spot to spot."  He said "Well, in that case, I could give you a week, if you don't mind moving around some."

So I ended up at Manatee Hammock in Titusville, Florida. I still have some medical mess to attend to next week but I'm not too awfully far away. 

The first spot they gave me at Manatee Hammock was close to the highway and a tad noisy, but beggars can't be choosers. They did however give me a weekly discount of 35% so that was super nice. Two days later, they moved me to a spot far away from the highway with a view of the Indian River. 

Am I lucky or what?  
atlast v blasts off the space coast in 2012 by dear miss mermaid copyright by
Atlas V

Saturday February 25 2012

Internet is so slow where I am right now, that I can't post until later.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Missed Mardi Gras

Manatee Hammock on the Indian River
Space Coast , Florida
That is the Cape Kennedy or Cape Canaveral Vehicle Assembly Building in the distance. 

It's hard to believe that while I am shivering at 64F degrees this morning, later today is supposed to be a record breaking weather day with a high of 87F degrees for Titusville, Florida. Tomorrow the high is expected to be 67F degrees.     Very strange weather all around for February. 

I need to answer some questions from gentle readers...

Where are you? Did you make Mardi Gras? on Wordless Wednesday February 23 from Anonymous

No, my driver got us lost again. We made a wrong turn and ended up in Melbourne, Florida. 

Exhausted, we tried to rent an RV spot at Wickham Park, (Melbourne, Florida) but they were full.  So we ended up in the overflow camping area which has no utilities. It's not much of a bargain, but it kept us off the streets. Luckily, I've been slowly prepping the motorhome for this possibility of dry camping. I just wish I had a solar panel again.  For 12 years or so I had a solar panel on my sailboat that I lived aboard. It provided all my electrical needs. 

Anyhow, at the overflow lot, we were fine and survived without the umbilical cords. Temperatures did plummet enough that we needed to run the propane furnace, but the blower runs off 12volt which is attached to the house battery, so puppy and I were able to warm up. I do have a small inverter which enables me to run a few things off 110.  The inverter draws on the 12 volt house battery. 

I am now between Port St John and Titusville, Florida at the only campground within 100 miles that had any vacancy, and only because they had a cancellation.  I didn't go back to the prairie because I am having some serious medical problems, so for now, it's better if I am closer to help. 

Don't worry, be happy.

I will be fine and good as new soon. 

By the way, I am very proud of this Grey Heron picture.  Yes!  I took it with my own little fingers and camera. 
Grey Heron
by Dear Miss Mermaid

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday February 23

Sunrise in Florida on the palmetto prairie.

American Pride, city of Cocoa, Florida

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fat Tuesday

44F degrees last night but no snow.  We couldn't sleep. My companion pointed out he had never been to Mardi Gras. Well, as a matter of fact, neither have I. Sure I've been to New Orleans before, I love that place.  The incredible music, the jumbo gulf shrimp, the Cajun cuisine, those flaming hurricane drinks (yummy!). Before Hurricane Katrina, some of the world's oldest pianos still in use, were in New Orleans. 

As a fellow piano player, I cried out loud years ago, when a woman, her voice cracking, tears streaming down her face, was put on TV showing her flood ravaged home after Katrina.  There stood a ruined old piano. In halting speech, interrupted by tears, she told how she used to play it everyday, and it had been in her family for over 300 years. 

So we were driving late last night when I became very tired.  My eyes were getting heavy. I couldn't stop yawning.  I had the motorhome on cruise control, but oh how I seriously needed a cup of coffee.  There was no where to pull over at all. Very few cars were out on the road. 


I continued to yawn. 

Finally, I had no choice. With the cruise control set on 65mph, my co-pilot took over the driving.  I went back to the kitchen to make coffee.  While the pot was still dripping, I made a quick trip through the bathroom. That's the fun part about traveling in a motorhome, having your own bathroom and kitchen with you all the time. 

Since my companion was doing such a great job of driving, I decided to sit down at the computer to check the weather and map.  Heck, might as well post this too, while I'm sitting here sipping my coffee, enjoying a break from the driving. 

Then I realized, I had no pictures of my co-pilot driving, so I snapped this off quickly.  He really enjoys the steering wheel cover with the memory foam. It's so much easier for him to a get a good grip. For me, it prevents my fingers from seizing up with the infamous arthritis finger curl. For some reason, the memory foam reminds me to relax my grip. 

Well, I am going to post this, then make a snack for me and my buddy. 

Mardi Gras here we come!

Oh, and the picture I promised you is down below....

My copilot steering the wheel estate toward Mardi Gras. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Madness

Super busy and wore out. We had incredible winds that nearly blew me away!

Traveling on Tuesday. Or sailing. 

More later. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cowboys and Crocodiles

Crocs and Cows

We have cowboys with their 10 gallon hats, horses and dogs out rounding up the cattle while hunters prey on small game. One of the swampy lakes I like to photograph because of it's mirror image of the surroundings revealed crocodiles recently. I thought I set my camera correctly (ha ha ha) but all I got was blurry images. No way to tell if it was a crocodile or an alligator. We have both in Florida, so could have been either one. 

Alligators have a rounded snout, crocodiles have a pointy snoot.
The alligator has an overbite with a larger upper jaw, while the crocodile has identical sized upper and lower jaws with teeth that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle (unless they saw an orthodontist). Crocodiles can live in salt water at length where as alligators can not. They protect their species by communal sharing of nests while utilizing a neighborhood nanny. One mother may tend to the hatchlings from many different parents (similar to  modern daycare in America.)

Sorry, no croc pics today. But here's a gorgeous sunset from January 2010 at Long Point Park south of Melbourne, Florida.

Dirt Sucker

Why isn't my little handy dandy antique Singer hand vac  working?  I bought it used at a second hand store for a bargain. It's powerful with the original long heavy duty cord of yesteryear. I vacuumed several of their dusty shelves for them and tidied up the floor. Then I paid for it, after recieving a discount, then brought it home. I should note, the cashier was ringing it up when she said matter-of-factly "Do you qualify for a discount?" while staring intently at her cash register, hand poised to attack the keys should I cough up a reason for a discount. At that point and time, I was having a rough time with my health. I had no idea what type of discounts they offered. So I said "Well, I'm  broke, sick, weak and  tired. Does that count?"  Without any hesitation she announced "Twenty percent!" as she banged that into the register. So my used bargain vac was further discounted.  

I thought I gave the Singer  a good home. But itjust  sits there and does nothing.  Then I found out you have to actually plug it in, turn it on, pick it up and move it around while it does the  dirt sucking. Apparently just buying it and setting it out optimistically does not make it work. It's a human interface device. 

I came across that term one day on my laptop. I plugged in something. My screen flashed up "WARNING: Human Interface Device Detected!"  

That needs a warning?

Gee wiz... I thought the laptop was a Human Interface Device. It certainly doesn't turn itself on and type for me. 


I have to wrap my brain around the mountain of files and paperwork.  Next week I have an important appontment. They expect me to be articulate and organized. Ha ha ha!

Who are we kidding?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Stuff Stuffed Stuffing


It started with the guest loft. Things had started to accumulate on the spare bed. There are three windows up there and I enjoy the sunshine that comes through the windows. All that stuff piling up was starting to block my sunshine. Boo hoo. 

One must have priorities. When I started to put away some of the things, I decided for some idiotic reason,  to clean and organize one of the cabinets. But as I sorted out the stuff, I realized some of it should go, some should stay and much of it needed to be organized with other stuff in other cabinets. 

I kept hoping something wild would happen to save me from this chore such as a wild fire that got out of control, chasing me to the beach 50 miles away...  I could spell the prescribed burning, but no signs it was threatening. 

After making a huge mess emptying out the cabinet and sorting it into, keep, donate, move, trash and that ever dangerous MAYBE pile...  I realized I was in over my head.  Why on earth did I start this project?  Now every square inch of my wheel estate was resembling the aftermath of a hurricane. 

I came to America with just clothes and few little sentimental things, mostly mermaid gifts from fans, that I used to decorate my wheel estate. Oh and a big pile of pictures. Boxes of pictures, I am going to stick into albums. One of these days. Already bought some albums too. 

When I bought my little old motorhome, it came with sheets, towels dishes and other odds and ends, but no tools. As time has marched onwards, I have sorted out my likes and dislikes, the useful and the clutter. It came with stuff I had no need for like  the 5 inch black and white TV nor the picture puzzle even though it had a cute kitty in the picture. I made room and  bought bargain priced items I needed, mostly from second hand stores.  One day I scored a shoe box of kitchen knives, about 25 in all, for $2. The entire box!  I kept some and gifted some. Though I have a love for knives, there is a limit to how many I can fit in my mini-motorhome. 

Rarely do you ever find hand tools at a second hand store. Not a screwdriver nor wrench. I did buy a rusty old axe at a yard sale, but the guy made me take an antique hand drill and something I can't identify before he would let me have the axe. 

I eventually had to rectify the tool situation as it became apparent I had to shore up the budget by learning to repair what I could.  It's not a task I like at all, but nonetheless, it does help out financially. 

I had rebuilt my hurricane ravaged sailboat from books, tools and pure dumb luck. I guess I could more or less learn to keep the RV held together with a bit more finesse than the usual chewing gum and a paper clip. 

Over my cab area is the guest loft with a queen sized bunk. I keep it made up for company. I love the sunlight that comes through the windows when the curtains are open by day. Recently I sewed up new curtains for it which I insisted on posting pictures here so all could see.  It was a monumental effort, as I had not sewed in ages. 

But when stuff starts piling up there, it blocks the sunlight, fills up the bed and I think ut-oh, I have too much junk if I can't keep it all put away and the place looking ship shape. I'm an old sailor and any sailor that was aboard my sailboat will tell you, it was very well organized. I even had lists in the back of my log book that told me what exotic things were stored in the hard to reach storage areas. 

That was then, this is now. I've been driving around and living with a jumble of "stuff" that is stashed in cabinets with a half-hearted effort towards organization. 

How do we get attached to "stuff"?  

Opening up my cabinets reminded me that there is "stuff" in there I never use or so rarely use, it's not worth the space it takes up to haul it all around. Last year my toaster met the same fate. I can make toast in a fry pan anyhow.  I so rarely used the toaster, it was always spilling crumbs if I didn't store it in a baggy each time. It looked nearly new, came with the motorhome, but I regifted it to a friend. They loved it, because their toaster was fat and looked old. Mine would look newer,  take up less space on their expansive kitchen counters in their stick and brick house. 


We buy homes for our stuff. We buy more stuff to haul around in our cars. Some buy RV's and fill them with stuff. Then there it too much stuff, so we rent storage for our stuff. Going on a trip?  The first thing to come to mind, is "How much stuff can I take with me?"  While we're on vacation, we tend to buy more stuff, then haul it back with our original stuff, sometimes investing in more luggage so we can haul all this stuff back to where we keep all our other stuff. Or most of our stuff. Now we have even more stuff. 

Food Stuff

Organizing my pantry made me realize I probably have enough food to feed the dog and I for 4-6 weeks if we run out of fresh stuff. But a lot of it is deeply discounted bargains I bought. So no more room for food bargains until puppy and I consume some of that stuff. Of course we do cook for friends, so sometimes the food pile is depleted faster. 

But all in all, we could go through a disaster, and probably be fine for a month or more with enough extra to feed some friends. 

Today I went through my heap of towels and sheets. I kept all the good stuff and purged a stack of towels, sheets and pillow cases that I no longer use or need or like or want. I had enough stuff to sleep and bathe a baseball team. It was time to let some that stuff go find a new home. At the same time, I began a BIG bag of clothes to donate, while others were beyond donating, as they were so raggedy they went in the trash bin. Actually my clothes donation ended up rather small, but still every little bit frees up room. 

Another workamper made the mistake of stopping by my RV. I offered him the grab bag. He took all the sheets, pillow cases,  towels and one sweat shirt that doesn't fit me right at all. He declined to take the dresses I was donating, saying he doesn't do drag. 

Now my unwanted stuff is his stuff. And I didn't have to haul it off, he did it for me. Maybe he was impressed by my fancy folding of the sheets and towels. Tee hee hee.  He took the ones with flowers that clash with everything in my RV.  The last owners were color blind. None of the sheets, rugs,  towels or kitchen accouterments coordinated with the decor. Maybe it's just me, but I like to live in harmony. 

Years of working on luxury charter yachts where everything is fancy folded makes it nearly impossible for me to put things like towels, wash cloths, sheets and pillow cases away without fancy folding them first. There is a method to this madness. Not only does it look beautiful, but the fancy folded stuff takes up a lot less room. It stacks up nice and neat. You can actually steal something out of the middle without wrecking the whole stack. 

In the bathroom, which I am very fortunate that my wheel estate came with 4 towel holders built-in to the inside of the door, I also fancy fold my towels there, once they are dry. I like to keep my bath towel there, and a hand towel for my hand washing and drying, plus I go through a small stack of wash cloths weekly because apparently, I am a very dirty person. Or I just get dirty. 

Yep, I'm a fruitcake. No one sees this fancy fold obsessiveness but me. Well, rarely I should say. 

One time I was supremely flattered because a visiting friend was rounding up stuff to go take a shower in the public restrooms at the campground.  My shower stall is very functional, but it's efficient in size, so he wanted the luxury of  the great big showers that typically come with most campgrounds. I have two new big fluffy towels (fancy folded) stashed away just for company. Yeah, I'm a nut!  You can tell I used to be in the hospitality industry. Anyhow, when someone travels with me, I want them to have nearly new fluffy towels for their use. 

He needed a wash cloth too, I directed him to the cabinet where the towels and wash cloths were stashed. I must admit, he commented quite nicely on how beautifully organized the cabinet was. You really can store twice the towels in half the space if you fancy fold them all. 

I put the clothes to be donated in the club house trailer we have out here, with a big note that reads they are donations. I also outfitted the clubhouse with some hand towels for the kitchen that I no longer wanted or needed. I hauled out garbage several times it seems as I found junk to simply throw away. 

Where does it all come from?  This stuff?

Now I have all my "stuff" put away.  With room to spare!  Something must be wrong with this picture.

Oh but then there is the outside basement area which has become total chaos. I shall tackle it another day soon. 


At least for now, I am back to ship shape on the inside and it feels great!  Well I am lighter on my wheels, my neighbor is heavier on his.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fabulous Friday

Harley takes time off from his duties as a bark ranger to play fight with the other dog living in the workamping area. We have 8 workampers, 2 dogs, 1 cat and lots of nearly destroyed doggy toys scattered about. 

This is one of my favorite salads.
The veggies are marinated at least a day ahead of time, then served over  chopped lettuce.
This salad has artichokes, mushrooms, water chestnuts, black olives, roasted red bell peppers plus garlic slivers, marinated overnight in a balsamic vinaigrette with herbs and spices.
I make a large batch because it easily keeps all week refrigerated.

Harley dog is learning the art of recycling.
In this case, I have combined two of his chewed up toys to make a new toy.
He was ecstatic and hasn't been able to separate the two bones yet. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Harley dog out hiking. He was cold, so he has on a Tshirt, a sweater and a vest.
I took about 10 pics of him, all blurry from puppy play, but this one he paused for a nanosecond, right when I snapped the pic. 

I wish there were more spontaneity around here. Maybe it's a cultural thing in America, that things must be planned far in advance. 

In the Caribbean, it seemed so easy to ask folks to do something right here and now and they would!  There were times when I had friends take off sailing with me on a 1-2-3 night trip with only a 10 minute notice and another 10 to grab a few things and go. But we know blue water sailors are lunatics!

Yesterday, some of the workampers were talking about another potluck dinner.One said she didn't know what she would make for dinner that night. I volunteered that I had just made a vegetable stew in my 3 quart crockpot, there are 8 people total, so let's just have potluck right now, and I'll go fetch it. There is plenty to go around. 

They looked at me like I was crazy, then said "Maybe next Monday we will do a potluck dinner..."  

A whole week away...

Yet, I remember not so long ago, I was living in a duplex in the Caribbean with a jacuzzi in the gazebo with a fabulous view. I had a crockpot of chili cooking inside, but I was outside sitting in the jazcuzzi. Over the next few hours, friends stopped by, unannounced. Several went in the jacuzzi borrowing a bathing suit or a sarong from me. We were just chatting and enjoying the views. My gazebo overlooked the harbor and other islands beyond. The heat in the jacuzzi was just enough to keep from being cold, but not the high heat some folks use. 

Oh how my life has gone upside down since that day! But hey, I am making a comeback. I push and prod my body into getting well, and so far, I haven't died. So that is always handy...

Back in the Caribbean...
I think we got into the bar stock at the house, leftover from a past party.  Someone mentioned they were hungry, and might leave, so I fetched them a bowl of chili and some crackers. Pretty soon everyone was eating chili until we cleaned out the pot and emptied out the crackers. 

It was a fun day, one that started off with no plans at all. My friends that stopped by were not officially invited, nor were they expecting jacuzzi and food or even knew whether I was home or not.  Things just fell into place as the day unfolded. 

Yesterday, I wish the other workampers would have said "Yeah!  Let's eat stew!"  I often cook a lot, so that I have leftovers stashed in the fridge for other meals. Part of my budget routine. I cook at home 99.9% of the time. It was a fresh pot, still cooking and very delicious. It would have made a lovely dinner all around. I was sad my idea was shot down. 

Later that evening, I ate my stew alone. 

It had sweet potatoes, celery, onion, mushrooms, garlic, red, black and white beans cooked in a  a thick base made of beef broth and tomato paste plus secret herbs and spices. Really yummy all around. Matter of fact, I may just have a little bowl now. 
Sweet potatoes in the new crockpot, before I added the other veggies. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Random Little Secrets

There is more than one way to repaint an old camper.
I sometimes get visions of painting something exotic on my wheel estate.

Stay tuned!
Harley dog went on the internet and ordered up a bike and a pup tent.
I let him pose for this picture with his loot, before I made him return it all.
Silly dog!  Who gave him a credit card?

The fire on the prairie at Three Lakes Wildlife (Florida) looks out of control but it was a prescribed burn.
Ironically, it's just the way I captured the thick smoke at sunrise. 

Harley dog and his buddy debate back and forth whether to play tug-of-war with the faux raccoon critter or the soft frisbee.

Yield to the cow crossing. 

Walking with a camera provides lots of opportunity to capture nature's little secrets.