Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Park Your Derriere A Spell

RV folks refer to their car as a TOAD.  I just assumed because their car was being towed... that is how toad came to be the acronym. But I may be wrong. 

Me?  Wrong?

I read that a TOAD is supposed to be short for  "Towed On A Dolly" and those that tow their cars with 4 wheels down are really towing a FROG which is "Four Rolling On Ground".  

Well, I don't tow either. I have no plans for a car in my future. It's part of my "living efficiently" budget to skip car ownership entirely. It may be un-American not to own a car and at least spend 20% of my life driving it, but I am trying to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.  I had thought when I set out in my RV that if I needed  a car, I could occasionally rent one and that overall this would be far cheaper than a TOAD or a FROG behind my wheel estate. 

So far, in 2 years, I've never rented a car once. I learned to drive my beasty in thick traffic, parking in double spots if end to end or three-four spots if parking perpendicular. This translates to more walking, as I typically park at the end of the parking lot where no one else wants to park because they don't want to do all that walking. Hint:  Walking briskly and often, lowers medical costs drastically. 

Sometimes I end up parking in the wrong lot. Like recently, I overshot Fergusons Automotive and Marine parking lot entrance, and ended up in the next block at the Toys R Us parking lot. I couldn't tell if they were closed or just doing very little business, but I parked far away, so as not to be in the way and prayed that no one would chase me off. I figured I could always go in their store and look for puppy stuff. 

Is it wrong to shamelessly use your puppy to gain favors?

Recently I took Harley into two different stores.  One was Tractor Supply. Oh my gosh, that was a dangerous store to go in. They have tons of useful equipment and tools for the RV crowd. They also sell pet supplies. Harley is such an enthusiastic friendly puppy dog, that when we entered the store, three sales clerks dropped what they were doing to come flirt with the puppy with a "By the way, can I help you with something?" as an after thought. 

I wanted to look at hitch mounted cargo carriers. They had three to choose from plus all sorts of towing carriers. But they didn't have the offset hitch mount which would raise my hitch 5 more inches. 

While workamping, I've been piling up the spare change to save up for enlarging my motorhome. 


Actually, I have been saving up to repair/replace the crank out awning on the side of the RV and I've been seriously contemplating a cargo carrier for my  tow hitch. My basement area, (the underneath storage in an RV) is woefully small.  The access doors which are way too small, are very difficult to navigate when something tiny but significant is lost in the bowels. I find myself using all sorts of exotic methods to reach something that has entered the no-man's land of the center of the storage area which is underneath my bed, spans the entire width of the wheel estate but has access doors suitable for a midget with stunted growth who happens to have six-foot arms. Trying to squeeze my body into the teeny tiny access door, is like trying to put toothpaste back into the tube. It ain't happening without a lot of tears and pain.

Perhaps a rear cargo trunk, attached to the tow hitch I never use for towing, could make my RV have the storage space of the contemporary models, without the hassle of buying a newer pricier RV. 

Ditto for repairing the 17 year old side awning that has seen far too many storms in the past two years.

When I had a functioning  awning, it was  like almost doubling the livability of the wheel estate.  The awning provides the roof, the patio mat serves as the flooring or decking.   I have a card table and assorted chairs for furnishings. Suddenly I have room to spread out. While I'm rambling along here, I find it best NOT to own matching chairs. Crazy as this sounds, I travel with 4-5 chairs at a time. I like to meet friends, but if you have no where for them to sit, then they aren't likely to stop by  and visit much. Of course we can visit inside and often do, but my outdoor patio area, when set up, quickly becomes the den, dining and office with far more room than the inside living area.

About the assorted chairs...

Having different types of chairs adds to comfort and use. For instance I have a sturdy directors chair, that is perfect for outdoor office work such as typing on the computer. 

ALPS Mountaineering Directors Chair by dear miss mermaid
Director's Chairs are very comfy, yet angled nicely for sitting up straight to type , write or dine. 

Then I have a camping chair that folds up to about the size of a fat umbrella. It comes with a slender carrying case and shoulder strap. It's very relaxing to sit in it for reading or visiting or limin' by the campfire.    (Limin' is a Caribbean word for lazing about or going out on the town). 

This typical camping chair is also useful for carrying to an event where you need to provide your own chair, because it's very lightweight and you can sling it over your shoulder in its slender bag. 

Next I have the folding adjustable chair that is so comfy, I took a nap in it within an hour of its arrival by UPS. This thing was bought heavily discounted on sale, and boy was I ever lucky. It's a high backed chair that reclines to three different position, perfect for siestas. It even came with a little table underneath the seat, that slides out for holding a drink, ashtray, book, small dog etc. It also has an adjustable pillow type head rest. It folds up for storage, but it's kind of clunky, nothing you would want to hike with for a day by the river in the woods. 

This chair (my favorite!) reclines and is great for napping. The high back is wonderful when I am uber tired and  need the neck and head support.  See complete details and ordering info. 

Next I have the ubiquitous lawn chair; aluminum frame with webbed seating. Very comfy for dining or limin' or typing. It's lightweight, easy to store and soft on the big behind. 

My friend was giving away a shower chair for the handicapped. I took it. Yep, I'm a certified dumpster diver. Your trash is my treasure. 

The main reason I took the handicapped shower chair is that it is perfect for my larger friends, as it holds 350 pounds.  It's great for siting up straight for dining or typing. The legs are adjustable from very low to very high.  It is so super sturdy, especially with its thick  rubber tipped legs.  It doubles as a sturdy step stool for outdoor chores around the RV, like washing the windows or the exterior. It doesn't fold up, but that's OK. It rides in my shower stall when I am traveling. I've even sat in it while showering, but mostly I put it outside after I set up camp. 

I acquired these chairs one at a time,  over the past two years because I patiently wait  for deals, bargains and discounts. I have this revolving wish list with no urgency in mind. I shop for bargains, often finding none at all. But I keep wishing and waiting, saving up the pennies, into dollars. Then one day when I stumble into a never-before-seen bargain on an item that is on my wish list, I hopefully have the cash to close the deal. 

Living and budgeting efficiently takes phenomenal patience, but the end result is well worth it. I now have assorted chairs for creature comforts. 

So stop on by and sit a spell, I'm bound to have something you will find comfortable to park your derriere in. :)


  1. Save the beautiful red chair for me. But hide the ashtray!

  2. I'll bet if you said something funny and I lost bladder control, the shower chair would just drain the problem away. I call that one.

  3. I'd go for the Director's Chair.. I'm not a director of anything, but I often wear a hat with a big brim and it doesn't hit the back like it does those other kind... And the blue one... forget it! It takes me a half hour to wiggle my way up and out of those! We could have used that shower chair once... Bill's foot was in a cast and he had to sort of sit on our shower floor (euphemistically called a small bath tub)and hold his leg out into the hall ... I suppose the shower curtain sort of draped around his .... lap? So.. maybe it's good you have a variety of chairs....

  4. I use a cargo carrier. But in my case, it holds my dogs expens. It also has two plastic storage bins on it that I can put other things in. I don't have much basement storage at all, even yours is huge compared to mine! But one doesn't have to change body shape to get to mine ;-)

  5. Great! Lovely blog; I'm a new follower!
    So nice to meet you!
    Anne ♥♥

  6. Thanks for clearing up that Toad definition. I, too, thought that car you are towing = Toad. I never knew it was an acronym! Well, I just learned something new! :)

    @good luck duck: LOL!! I like the way you think!


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