Friday, June 29, 2012

113 Fahrenheit

Dolly Parton continues to crack me up with her words of wisdom:

    During a news conference for the opening of the Dixie Stampede in Orlando, Dolly Parton acknowledged that her look may come off as cartoonish to some people. But she said she hopes people see past the surface. "I hope people see the brain underneath the wig and the heart beneath the boobs."  

Nice yard, lovely patio and the silly dog wants to play on the asphalt driveway which is sloped, matter of fact, it goes downhill sharply, which is why he loses so many golf and tennis balls. I am standing downhill somewhat, taking this picture. His 100 foot tether runs down the patio and out to the grassy yard on the right. I relocated all his toys to the lawn.  That maddening dog carried each toy, one by one, back over to the driveway.

The patio is an illusion, it's actually about 30 by 30 feet square. The leaning awning attached to the the motorhome, is actually behind the gazebo in front, but this picture angle makes it look side by side.

That tiny green rug on the patio is 9 by 12 feet and behind it is the 8 ton 8 foot picnic table covered in the old awning fabric. Waste not want not. I always wanted a jumbo tablecloth for the picnic table, the old awning material provided just that too.

Once again I dragged Harley out of his cozy little bed at bright-thirty this morning for a walk. We are playing outside until the heat gets to us. I am washing part of the exterior of the motorhome every day.

It doesn't seem to look any better.

Sadly, the prior owners took no pride in maintaining the outside of the RV. So I have inherited a mess. I can clean it up somewhat.

If you stand 30 feet or more away, it looks beautiful.

I need to do roof work, but I am frankly too scared to go up there by myself here in the middle of nowhere. If anything went wrong, it could be a very long wait before anyone noticed.  I would prefer if someone was around to call 911 in case I fall off.  Between my bad arm and busted legs, scampering around the RV roof is not my first choice for a fun time.

Forecasters claim we will have temperatures over 100F (38C) today. Right now it is barely 70F (21C). Ah, but it's only 7:20am.

While out hiking, we found 3 golf balls. Two were clearly Harley's that he lost down the big hill from where we camp uphill. The third one was on a road outside the park. It had been marked with a green marker.  Harley was thrilled to gain a ball. Sometimes he loses them down the hill and into the lake which is probably 300 or more yards from us. We do have a nice view of the lake, but it is down the hill.  It's sad when the lake claims a toy. Harley cries like a baby. If only I could get him to STOP throwing his toys down the hill.


I guess we don't have to worry about flooding up here. I hope the weather forecasters are wrong about our area, in the past, our local weather was different than what they forecast. Between the expansive lake and the foothills of the mountains, it's understandable that our weather pattern would be different, plus we have lots of trees and forest around here. I sure wouldn't want to be in a city today with 100F plus temperatures forecast.

Just for good measure, I've closed up the wheel estate, then started the air conditioning even though I am outside. Once we are forced inside due to the heat, I want it cooled off already. Motorhomes take a long time to cool off once they get too hot. Also I have 13 windows, 10 of them large.

Lots of windows was one of my main criterias when I was shopping, even though it means a bit less storage and well it does make it a tad harder to cool down or heat up. But I love the views!  

I am typically parked in nature, and I want to see our big beautiful world out my dusty dirty dog pawed windows that I am trying to clean. Well mostly dog droodle, as when Harley barks at the window, I think some of his droodle gets on the window, then the dust sticks to it and well the pet parent gets to clean it up.

Incredibly my ice trays have wore out. The plastic keeps finding new places to break. I was emptying out the ice trays when one just finally snapped into pieces. Dang it!

Cheap ice trays just don't seem to last very long. I only use two, then I have a plastic shoe box I keep in the freezer. I dump out the trays once or twice a day into the shoebox, then refill the trays with filtered water. That way if I have company, we have plenty of ice for drinks. Usually I always have iced tea and coffee around. I don't buy any bottled or canned drinks at all except some 100% juice, mostly apple, becauce of the health properties for my special get-well diet.

Speaking of engines and motorhomes...

I truly look forward to my transmission repair so I can go places. I have been in one spot for two months now, with only 3 very short uneventful trips to the grocery store and Ford dealer. How many people could stay in one spot with no car for 8 weeks and only go out 3 times?

At least I get to walk the park every day.  It's not a big park though. But I like the situation here. Just that it's loads of solitude, which is both fantastic and a little tiring (and lonely)  at times.

At 11:15am the heat was 107F with only 54% humidity. Harley and I packed up our toys, then moved from the outdoor patio to the inside RV. We had been running the AC on full blast to make sure the wheel estate would be nice and cool in spite of the 13 windows.

Now it's 12:11pm and it's 113F degrees here (outdoors). I think part of the reason it reads so hot, is that the black tar from the parking lot beneath us, wafts right on up here (heat rises).

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Peace and Groom

A deer stops by our camp to stare at us. We stared back at him. Then I snapped his picture, but something wasn't set right, so it caught him less than perfect.


Harley and I have made peace with the grooming brush. He isn't sure he likes flea sprays and pawfumes, but he's willing to tolerate them, preferably when I spray the brush rather than him. Mostly we rely on the monthly flea killer, but if he dares to scratch... heaven help him. He sees his pet parent frantically race for the flea spray, spritzing him, me, the furniture, the rugs. I am paranoid about fleas. One is TOO MANY because they multiply worse than my RV repair list. One female flea can have 600 babies PER MONTH. So there is some justification in my extreme flea paranoia.

I really don't need these chemicals,in my condition,  even if they are safe for pets and humans, but I detest fleas, so we are happily flea free.

At first Harley thought the grooming brush was not his friend. So I make sure he is relaxed and comfortable. He likes this because I pet him, rub his belly, stroke his fur gently with a light massage.

Spoiled? You bet!

Next I show him the brush so he knows what's coming next. I start out very delicately with the soft brush side, then work up to the stiff metal bristle side. I clean the brush afterwards.

Sometimes he is so relaxed, I end up just grooming one side, letting him drift off into la-la land. Other times, I move him around, to groom all areas. He now looks so cool when he is being brushed. He has that "This is heavenly" look on his goofy face.

Still... no matter how much I bathe and groom him, most folks say "He's so ugly, he's cute!"

When Harley was still new,  I presented him to a long term friend of mine, who was familiar with all my past dogs, which were all large. So when I showed him little Harley, he laughed "What? Is that a toy? I thought you were getting a real dog."

Today a sickly looking coyote came scampering through our campsite. We were out on the patio. At 6am I dragged poor little Harley out of his bed to go for a walk before the heat set in. Then we settled on the patio. He was on a long tether playing golf. I kept hearing Big Foot tiptoe  in the woods, so I went to investigate. But it wasn't Big Foot. It was a coyote chasing a rabbit.

Later the coyote was back again, racing around the forest, then he popped out of the thick woods, ran through the lawn when Harley set up a commotion, chasing him out of here again. If he thought Harley was going to be brunch, he gave up the fight pretty easily. He looked like he was missing a few meals. His tail was very long and thin, not thick and bushy. His ribs were showing. His tail  had a bright white tip, as if he had dipped it in paint by mistake. His body was gray and mottled.

Then when we went for our next walk, we saw more deer. We had a staring contest. The deer won. He out-stared me.

When we returned,  Harley alerted me to a big spider heading for our front door.

That looks like the one that bit me last year. Good grief. He has a brother.

Well, the engine is mostly all fixed now. Changed the oil, topped up the tires, checked the fluids, repaired two annoying things. They fixed my big mirrors so they will stop flopping around like Dumbo the Elephant. I think Big Foot messed them up. When I fly down the highway, they flip flop so that I can see anything but what I want to see. This is rather dangerous. The other annoying problem was ever since I bought the RV, the right hand armrest has been broken. Now I can rest both elbows while driving.  That will surely come in handy on longer trips. No wonder I never liked driving more than 50 miles a day, what with the rear view mirrors flapping around and not being able to rest my arms when steering for a long time or on a highway.

But now there is the transmission seal and the gas hose leak. I go back next week, when they will have the big lift available.  My wheel estate is 10.5 feet high.

Almost as tall as Big Foot.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


One beautiful thing about the internet is having access to tons of research. Of course some of it is not accurate, as any idiot can post anything on the internet, including this fool. So one has to carefully sift objectively, searching for information that might be accurate.

For those of you suffering from either tranismission woes or insomnia, I found a great article on automatic transmissions:

A Short Course on Automatic Transmissions 
by Charles Ofria
It certainly helped me to understand what and where the whatchamacallit attaches to the thingamajig.


I am having a hard time typing because I cleaned my laptop computer with Endust for Electronics Multi-Surface Electronics Anti-Static Cleaner

I think my keyboard needed all that dust to work right.

I keep spelling things wrongs, even after cleaning it.

However, the screen looks wonderful and absolutely nothing has stuck to it. Typically it attracts lots of dirt and debris. My pictures look so bright!


Mugly 2012 World's Ugliest Dog by dear miss mermaid
2012 World's Ugliest Dog 

Once again, Harley, my little freak of nature,  is extremely jealous because he doesn't understand money and gas tanks.  Last year I told him we would attend and enter  the World's Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma, California. But that didn't come to pass.


Maybe next year Harley...

I can keep telling him that, since he has no concept of time. I locked him inside the motorhome while I was going grocery shopping. I had walked 10 seconds away, when I realized I had forgotten my list. I went back to the RV, opened the door and there was Harley. He was leaping up and down, giving me kisses, showering me with love, extremely excited to have me back.

Um, I had been gone all of 15-20 seconds.

I don't think dogs understand time at all.

World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is an annual contest held in Petaluma, California, U.S., as part of the Sonoma-Marin Fair, to decide which of the dogs entered in the contest is the ugliest. Along with the title of “The World’s Ugliest Dog,” the winner’s owner receives a check for USD $1,000 and a year's supply of dog biscuits, and both dog and owner receive significant publicity for winning the contest, appearing on talk shows and in newspapers around the world.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Engine Repairs Sort Of

Harley photo by Dear Miss Mermaid copyright

From  Harley's camp chair, his tether leads him across the patio, driveway and onto the lawn.  We can play ball!  Since they mowed the lawn, Harley is now much taller than the grass and weeds that used to dwarf him as if he was in his own little enchanted jungle.

So guess who pesters me every waking minute to play ball!

But today we had to load up and leave the lake for town. We went to the Ford dealer where they fixed most everything except the two critical things I went in to have repaired.

My wheel estate doesn't fit on their lifts, so they do my work in their parking lot.  The two critical things require a lift, so now it's plan B. One is the gasoline fill hose leaks gasoline when I am pumping in new petrol. Not fun. It doesn't leak much, buy hey, I want my money's worth when I buy gas.

I don't whine or fuss about the gas or the mileage I get. Since I have zero control over the whims of the gas pump prices, I just go with the flow. Whatever gas is selling for, I adjust my budget and mileage.  I love adventure and it can be 3000 miles away or 30. I just hate paying for gas that I leave on the pavement of the gas station due to my leak.

The other problem is the output shaft seal needs replacing which is part of the transmission.

They did manage to fix two minor annoying things, which thrilled me. One being the driver's seat has arm rests that fold down like a captain's chair. One has been broken since I bought the motorhome. It's the right side one. I am right handed. They passed their magic wand over it, so now it works. Next time I am forced on the interstate or on a long drive, it will be nice to rest both elbows on the arm rests while steering down the highways and biways.

The other irritating repair was the confounded rear view mirrors. They flop around with the winds, including the wind from passing vehicles. Since they are manual, it's a pain all around when I am traveling alone, which is 90% of the time. Sure Harley is with me, but he can't adjust the mirrors back to where they belong. So the mechanic passed his magic wand over those.  Now they stay put. At least that  huge safety issue is now repaired.

I am dead tired!  More later..

Monday, June 25, 2012

Recycle Whimsy

harleys dog bed photo by Dear Miss Mermaid copyright

In January 2010 I bought a very inexpensive folding camp chair for my wheel estate. I had great fun with it, at least 340 out of 365 days a year reading, relaxing, entertaining in a myriad of camps. Numerous friends have sat in it and it's traveled to 17 states and numerous campgrounds that I shall count one day but not today.  Because it's an outdoor chair, it's taken a beaten from the elements. Harley dog never liked to sit in it, he seemed scared of the curved seating.

As of May 2012, the textiles had reached their limit. It was considered no longer safe for adult human use.  You may recall that at Easter a friend of mind fell through one of my chairs  that had apparently dry rotted. Luckily she's not the suing type. Besides she knows me well enough to realize my insurance is so minimal, she's likely to get a release contract printed on a tiny wrapped bandaid.

I like to think I am green, kind to the planet, recycling paraphernalia over and over long before it hits the landfill.  Harley decided to jump into the recycling act, so he reclaimed the chair before it could go elsewhere.

Funny, because he never had any interest in the chair until now.

harleys dog bed photo by Dear Miss Mermaid copyright

harleys dog bed photo by Dear Miss Mermaid copyright

Harley is going to explain the features of his new lanai dog house.

Um, well, I guess he summed that up for you with his favorite word.

Mine... Mine.. and Mine...

Silly dog!

I shall present  you
The Anatomy of 
Harley's Chair

harleys dog bed photo by Dear Miss Mermaid copyright

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Electrocuting Stuff

how to defrost an RV freezer or refrigerator  by dear miss mermaid copyright by

How to get electrocuted.

How to defrost an RV freezer super fast.

Shown is my over-frosted Dometic freezer in my little old wheel estate.  I have moved the ice bucket and other items to the refrigerator. On the bottom I have laid out an orange Sham Wow towel to soak up the water.

The black box dangling above is a 200 watt Lasko Ceramic Heater (available at Amazon).  That thing is worth its weight in gold because in the winter it can warm up your feet or hands or bathroom. It puts heat exactly where you want it without tripping breakers. Most ceramic heaters are 1500 watt, and can trip breakers if you have too much plugged in on the same circuit. This one was designed not to be an energy hog and to put heat where you need it. The long cord makes it handy, plus it has an on/off switch. I actually own two, one is "installed" in my RV bathroom.  My RV bathroom has a soap dish I never use, because I use a bottle of liquid hand soap. I used a bungee cord to attach the little heater to the soap dish, it works fabulously and keeps the heater up off the counter top, which can sometimes get wet.

During the spring and fall, I often leave the heater on in the bathroom of the motorhome, even though the main heater or furnace is off. This is so if I get up at 2 or 3am from my ultra warm bed to use the bathroom, it is nice and toasty in there.

I am one of those folks that just don't like an icy cold toilet seat to wake me up when I am sleepwalking.

One day when it was chilly, I had company visiting who eventually borrowed my bathroom. After a very long while, I worried if they had died in there or what. So I finally asked at the bathroom door "Are you OK?"

Their reply was "Yes!  I'm just sitting here enjoying the heater!"

The little heater is  also fabulous for defrosting the freezer. I have used two bungee cords to dangle it from a cabinet handle above. All that ice was gone in under 30 minutes and the freezer was easy to finish drying with a microfiber towel that left it spotless.

On a funny note... whenever I look up something on Amazon and I spell it wrong, Amazon suggests chocolate!  This is probably because I am always drooling over the dark chocolate section (look but don't touch!) so Amazon's computers have decided to suggest chocolate to me, whenever I spell something wrong. At least they give me a good belly laugh!

ship shape RV cords by dear miss mermaid copyright by
Ship shape!  Having the maintenance guys show up to do the mini-lawn where I am workamping, made me neaten up my umbilical cords. Oops!  Looking at this picture reminds me I have to hook the sewer hose back up. I am sure looking forward to that chore... about as much as dropping a hammer on my toe.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Never Made It After All That

Campground at Long Point Park in Florida  copyright by Dear Miss Mermaid
We stayed here for a week on our way to Georgia.


Current Location: Gumlog, Georgia

For some fool reason I decided to go grocery shopping this morning. Well, it seemed like a great idea at the time. The fridge is almost empty. I am merely cooling air, two eggs and some condiments at this point. But first I had an inspiration  to do some work around the wheel estate.  Ha ha ha. What on earth was I thinking?

Well first, I got this bright idea to defrost the freezer. Good grief...what's wrong with me?

It had frosted up in the freezer to the point that the fins in the separate refrigerator section were frosting up too. This is never good. If the fins in the refrigerator are allowed to frost and freeze up in the refrigerator section, you are putting your food and the life of your refrigerator at risk. If you've seen the Dometic RV (2 door, 8 cubic foot) refrigerator prices that start at $999  and up, then you might understand why I want to take very good care of my refrigerator. 

A labor of love because defrosting the freezer is  as much fun as slapping your thumb with a hammer. 

Most RV's and motorhomes do not have frost-free refrigerators. This has to do with it working efficiently on propane. Frostfree requires a lot of electricity. Most RV refrigerators are made to operate on 110 electric or propane. Some even work on 12volt. Having the propane option is very nice indeed but means it won't be frost free, because then you will simultaneously need 110 electricity and propane to operate the refrigerator, and that defeats the purpose of having one that can run on propane only (with some 12volt thrown in to light the tiny burner automatically.)

Propane means my refrigerator stays icy cold while I drive. I have a built-in generator, but I prefer not to use it except when needed or once a month whichever come first. It's important to run the generator every month to keep it happy and  lubricated. I knew this from living on boats afloat and in far flung islands.

In the heat of the summer, my generator gets a workout anytime I go somewhere that Harley has to stay locked in the wheel estate, such as the grocery store where they are not fond of puppy dogs perusing the aisles. I have to keep his dog house (my little old motorhome) air conditioned while I shop.  I can accidentally lose track of time, days, weeks. I once skipped a whole year somehow.

Just in case I go through another of my time-warps, I surely don't want to  come back out to the blazing hot parking lot to find a fried puppy dog for dinner (no thanks!)

Back to today..... by the time I got most of the chores done, I was suddenly just pooped out.  The thought of going grocery shopping was becoming a distant memory. I drank a pint of water. Then I noticed my outdoor thermometer read 103F and the indoor one  89F despite my air conditioning but it was set to cool the minimum, I so wanted to crank it up to full blast.

I drank two more cups of water. I was using a 200 watt mini-heater to defrost the freezer. Fortuitously, the freezer thaws completely in about 30 minutes, but still that is a half hour of a 200 watt heater blowing around the freezer area and the wheel estate. I didn't want the AC on high fighting with it, because I wanted the defrosting to be over in a hurry.

So I  climbed up on my step stool to remove the awkward overhead air conditioning filters, which I took outside to wash. My medical equipment makes a mess of the filters, so I have to clean them often. This meant the AC was off with temperatures climbing.  I replaced the filters, turned the AC on high, then turned the heater off.  Mopping up the freezer, I was happy that it was clean, shiny and dry. Luckily none of my ice had thawed while sitting in the refrigerator section. Like most RV's I have separate doors for the freezer and refrigerator. This makes defrosting a breeze. Well sort of. In this case, a hot breeze!

By now, I was pouring out sweat, plus consuming more liquids. I decided to take a break. Too pooped to go shopping.  Whatever I needed or wanted was no longer essential.   I turned the AC up on high, but it is taking a long time to finally climb down to 81, now 80, hopefully it will keep dropping.

I rested all of 10 minutes when the lake park maintenance crew showed up with lawn mowers, weed-whackers and leaf blowers. This is one reason I love my current workamping situation, someone else does the yard work.

Back outside. I guess I had become very comfortable outdoors, as there was a lot to organize and do. I had to get my laundry off the line so it wouldn't slap the worker in his face while mowing. It was time for me to clear the overgrown grassy section of dog toys plus remove Harley's 100 foot tether. I had just put it up too, because Haley has broken his old long tether multiple times, escaping to the road.

He has zero moving-vehicle sense, so it frightens me when he breaks a tether, in this case repeatedly. I think it was just dry rotted from being used in the sunshine all winter in Florida, so into the garbage it went. I found some extra clothesline in my toy box, so I strung that up for him. I hooked his bungee cord, leash and then him to his new and improved tether. We played ball, which allowed him to run about 75 feet each direction.

Now I needed to clean up his toys before the lawn mower ate them,  take down his new tether(um, didn't I just put this up an hour ago?)

In other words, I should do a preclean so the wonderful maintenance guys could cut the overgrown lawn at my campsite. While I was at it, I tidied up the water hoses, the electrical cord and disconnected the sewer hoses so they could be moved out of the way.

Weed-whackers can and do knock a hole in a sewer hose, something I wanted to avoid. But unhooking a sewer hose in 100F degree heat, sent me reeling from the stench. Heat makes sewer smell much worse. Just like cold cabbage sitting on the counter has no odor. Put it in a boiling pot of water, now you have distinct cabbage smell. Well, sewer on a hot day is much like that, but only if you unhook the hoses. Yucky poo!

Sewer stench makes cooking cabbage smell like delightful perfume.

By the way, if you cook your cabbage with lavender herb (sold on Amazon) you won't smell a thing!

I gave the maintenance man quite a chuckle when I stumbled backwards with my face all screwed up in a green I-think-I-am-gonna-puke look.

Harley was on his leash, attached  to my wrist, trying to make best freinds with the guy while I was grinning like a happy fool because amazingly SMILING makes offensive odors tolerable.

It really works. Smiling has awesome cures, so smile more often.

The nice man offered to mow the lawn on his industrial riding mower. After he left, the next man came up to week-whack the weeds that couldn't be mowed down.  Thirdly (Oh I am so lucky) he used his leaf blower to clean my patio completely. WOW!

Before he arrived, just in case I could get him to use his blower on my patio,  I had neatened it  up substantially, moving all I could into one big neat pile, so he could blow it off fast. I figured if I made his work easier, he might know how much I appreciated this favor.

A "neat pile of stuff"  on the patio was dominated by an 8 foot, 8 ton  picnic table, five assorted folding camping chairs, one card table, a teeny tiny fan, a larger broken fan, a milk crate full of fire wood, a bag of kindling, a pile of dog toys, a side table made from a broken chair, a crock pot, the laundry basket, a bag of clothes pins, a 50 foot electric cord for lights, barbecue tools, firepit tongs, two planters with wanna-be wild flowers and a hippie chick sculpture a soon-to-be homeless couple bequeathed on me.

Sweeping this rugged concrete just shreds the broom and it's still a wreck afterwards, because this concrete is the super rough kind, like they were planning on paving a steep hill that has flash flooding but changed their mind and paved a patio instead.

By now, I was overheated, overtired, sweating out buckets.  Harley and I fled for the inside of the motorhome.  We turned the AC way down, then sat and stared at each other with our tongues hanging out.

We never made it grocery shopping after all. It's dark thirty now. Oh well!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pause For The Cause

flowers by Dear Miss Mermaid copyright

We're having a heat wave this week with temperatures in the 90's (Fahrenheit) in the afternoons.

Puppy and I are trying to enjoy the outdoors,  then run and hide inside with air conditioning if the heat gets to us.

A few people have mentioned to me several times that I should be running my Air Conditioning on freezing 24/7 since electricity is provided with my workamping. But I try not to waste resources, be it electricity, water, gas, or food.  I want to be kind to mother nature.

I don't quite understand how wasting at someone else's expense, is not wasteful...

I like being outdoors on the patio with my desk and projects set up out here. Of course I have to be constantly mindful of the rains despite my RV awning and leaky gazebo.

A friend and I worked together patching up the gazebo frame and 11 holes in the canopy, trying to press it into use for a few more months or until the next catastrophe.  It provides lots of shade, but needs a few more patches to be more or less dry.  I ran out of patching materials. Coleman sells a replacement hexagon canopy. Patches were cheaper, but labor intensive. Some of the old patches had to be reglued as well.

I might have overdone it, running around trying to do so much with my improved arms, but there is just so much to be done. I seem to move at a snail's pace despite my best efforts.

To beat the heat, I am back on a sunrise puppy walk schedule which a certain little doggy (despite being rather sleepy) thoroughly enjoyed. He loves to sleep late, even when I get up early. But he will get up for a walk, even if he is sleepy.

So this is a pause for the cause while I recuperate and repair.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monkey Dog Sleeps

affenpinscher monkey dog mix by Dear Miss Mermaid

My friend took this cute picture of Harley sleeping in my arms with his signature one-ear up.  That is his long fur curling off his ear. The picture is slightly confusing because his back feet are tucked into my palm with  his tail wrapped around my hand.

Why would anyone think he is spoiled? 

Actually, Harley had become accustomed to our winter ways of going to bed rather early. When spring rolled around, we were on the road on a leisurely trip,  heading up to our summer workamping position. A friend joined us for a week.

We sat outside talking  late into the night. Harley fell asleep snuggled up in my arm.  When I stood up, he was still sound asleep, so my friend snapped the picture as I carried Harley to bed.

Apparently my friend was so smitten with the puppy dog, he cut me out of the photo. 

Recently several readers have brought it my attention that Harley might be part Affenpinscher (Monkey dog). I had never heard of such a breed but had often nicknamed him "Monkey dog" because he exhibits so many monkey ways and he looks goofy to. I had never even heard of an Afffenpinscher.  

I was told he was born Christmas day in 2009, was half poodle and half long haired chihuahua. He seems to resemble neither. He was severely malnourished and very weak. Now I suspect, after copious amounts of reading, that  he is mostly Affenpinscher with some other mix thrown in. He exhibits about 95% of the Afffenpinsher traits in mannerisms and somewhat in looks.  

More on this later. 

In the interim, my health has vastly improved, my arm is functional again so I am super busy catching up on housework around my wheel estate (motorhome). 

What a monumental mess things become in short order when you don't have use of two arms to get daily things done. 

I stumbled across this picture today, it made me laugh so I thought I would share it with you while I try to create some sense of order around my abode. 

Monday, June 18, 2012


Bats.  I can hear them squeaking. They dart by so fast, they are just a blur. I hope they eat all the mosquitoes and gnats.

The other day, well actually a week or more ago,  when my company arrived unexpectedly, so did a ton of gnats. It was funny. When they left, so did the gnats or whatever they were that were bothering us. We kept slathering OFF on our legs and faces.  I even moved a fan outdoors and turned it on full blast.  We bought a mess of food, then fired up the outdoor charcoal grill. It was fun!

Eventually my company left. The gnats left. Very strange.

Later I got to thinking maybe it was the produce from the grocery store since they took me shopping. But I still had produce and no gnats. However, I had chopped up the watermelon, then placed it in ziplock baggies for everyone to carry some of it home since we were too stuffed after the meal we cooked on the grill,  to eat any watermelon.

That night I had my watermelon for dinner. All of it. I couldn't stop eating it until it was all gone. By then I didn't feel like making any dinner, so that was dinner. YUMMY!  I must try that again.

My company was laughing because I kept dropping things, spilling things, knocking things over then cleaning up the various messes. I said "If you wonder what I do all day... well this is it!"

RV fan by dear miss mermaid

Why do things keep breaking?

I have a super long list of things that are broken or in need of repair or both. Mostly things are hitting the garbage pretty fast. I can't afford a replacement fan anytime soon. Oh well!   By the time I leave this workamping assignment, my load will be severely lightened at the rate things are falling apart.

Inexplicably my fan blade just started flying off in pieces, then the fan began dancing across the table.  I guess the breaking of the fan blade made it unbalanced.  I caught it just as it hit the concrete patio. But the fan blade was already broken.

It looks like a shark simply took a bite out of my fan blades. So much for my electric wind!

The fan motor still works, but now it makes a horrific noise and dances every which way until it yanks it's electric cord out. I guess it's time for the garbage. Sheesh.

I love being outdoors, but when the wind dies, I do need that electric breeze. Now I am using my little old 12volt fan to keep cool. Someone gave me a 12volt converter. It plugs into a regular 110 outlet, then I can plug the 12volt fan into that and it works. YAY!  If this fans dies, then... I might just cry.

RoadPro RP-1137 Quick Clip 12V Multi-Mount Oscillating Auto Fan

I have had this RoadPro fan from Amazon for 2 years now. The oscillator broke some time ago. I never got around to fixing that. But the rest of the fan works like a hurricane. I have used it inside and outside for 2 years now. It is very powerful with a nice long cord. Some of the fans being sold in the stores are just horrible.  I had an oscillating table fan last summer. It was a piece of junk. You could watch the blade turning, but it just did not blow any air. It was maddening!  It broke in under 6 months of use. It would cool you down if the temperatures were below 70F.  I fail to understand why anemic fans are on the market. Should I blame the Chinese junk?  The Chinese do make a few really great products.  But so much of their stuff is pure crap. Why is it imported into America?  So we can over stuff our landfills?  I think we should ship all this Chinese garbage back to them. Let them figure out where to dispose of it.

OK, let me climb off my soap box... um well, just a few more rants, then I will be quiet...

When I moved overseas in the mid 80's, America was stuck on "Buy American".  Now twenty something years later, I come back to America. So where is the Made In American stuff?  It seems we're all buying Chinese now. I am clueless how this came about. I don't mind buying the Chinese good stuff, but every time something breaks in short order, I look for the company name,  so I don't buy their crap again. So often there is no company name, just a "Made in China" imprint on the product.

This 12volt RoadPro fan has been a real trooper. It's powerful. I don't know where it was made.  Originally I bought it for the dog.

OK, that sounds hilarious!  But here's why the dog got a fan...

When I shop for groceries, Harley dog has to stay in the motorhome while I shop. If it's deadly hot, then I am forced to turn on the generator so the air conditioner can run, keeping the dog from perishing. However, if it's not super hot, then I often leave all the windows open (they have screens) for him to have plenty of fresh air.

I turn the oven exhaust fan on high, this sucks the hot air out. I  plug in his RoadPro fan inside our wheel estate. This provides plenty of circulating air. While both are noisy (the fans)  at least I know when I come back outside, my dog is aired out and alive.

He has been taught that touching the window or door screens is a huge NO-NO.  Therefore he has no idea he could rip open the screen to come hunt me down. I don't leave the door open, I lock him inside.

But other times,  it's nice that we can be indoors with just the screen door, and he won't escape as he knows he is not allowed to touch the screen.  He is so smart in some areas, but in other ways he exasperates me.

Harley by DearMissMermaid.Com

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Lighthouse Love

Hunting Island Lighthouse in South Carolina photo by Dear Miss Mermaid copyright
Hunting Island Lighthouse
South Carolina

The Hunting Island lighthouse in South Carolina (shown left) is unique in many ways.

One; it is open to the public.

Two; it was built for the possibility of being disassembled, moved, then reassembled.

Three; as of 1970, it's listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Four; it was built to be fireproof.  Oil was  used to light the beacon.

Five; it was built  twice then 14 years later it was dismantled and moved. In 1859 the first one was built but in  1862 the Civil War destroyed it. The second  one was completed in 1875. In 1889 it was moved a mile southeast (inland) due to beach erosion.  It was deactivated in 1933 when it was replaced by a lighted whistle buoy offshore. In 1938, South Carolina State Parks acquired the island from Beaufort County.

Six; the lighthouse at Cape Canaveral in Florida was also built the same way, with the segmented iron plates bolted together and a brick interior lining. It too has been disassembled, moved and reassembled.

All lighthouses have a distinct paint job unique to that lighthouse only, hence you will never see any two in America painted identically.

The Cape Canaveral lighthouse on the east coast of Florida is the only fully functioning lighthouse owned by the United States Air Force. However, they did not take ownership until 1970.  (It is located on Patrick Air Force Base, which was not established at the time the Cape Canaveral lighthouse was originally built.)

At Hunting Island, as a child I climbed the iron spiral staircase inside the lighthouse numerous times.  At each landing is an iron floor the shape of a half pie. As kids we dreamed of having bedrooms on different levels with a view of the ocean out the window. We didn't know that in reality, the lighthouse keeper and his family resided in a separate abode nearby. Matter of fact, so did his two assistants and their families, all sharing one large two-and-a-half story house.

I remember waving at my parents down below from the top most railing at the light of the lighthouse. Today, all children must be accompanied by an adult while climbing the lighthouse and be a minimum of 44 inches tall. I don't recall my parents ever climbing the lighthouse. Perhaps they did one year, and I just don't remember it.

Oh what I would love to be but a child of the lightkeeper at Hunting Island back in the day. I could romp at the beach, go crabbing and pick fresh fruits from the garden. 

During the lighthouse's operation, goods were brought to the island by ship, unloaded at the wharf on Johnsons Creek, then astonishingly, rode upon a 3,000 foot tramway to be stored in out buildings at the lighthouse, including the barrels of lamp oil.  Rain water was collected on the roof of the lighthouse keepers' structure, stored in a cistern, then used for drinking, cooking, bathing and cleaning. The outbuildings also housed an outhouse. The families  grew an organic garden full of produce to feed themselves.

In 1938 when the South Carolina State Parks acquired the island, the corps of engineers moved into the lightkeepeers dwelling.  They were charged with building a bridge to connect the island, along with other improvements.

During a card game late one night, an oil lantern was knocked over, burning the 12 room dwelling to the ground.

It must have been hugely embarrassing to be sent to this gorgeous outpost on the beach, surrounded by water, and managing to literally burn the  house down.

Rumors abound they were gambling, drinking and brawling when the fire broke out. After losing their housing, to such debauchery, I bet that bridge was completed in record time.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Company Cleaning

Company coming, so I am busy cooking and cleaning. My left arm has improved substantially through alternative treatments. The number one treatment being meditation and self-hypnosis with lots of rest and sleep. More on this later.

I was thrilled it had healed enough for me to use it to shower and get clean under both arms. Have you ever tried to wash your armpits when only one arm works?  Ick!

Things are a mess around here, but I cleaned the bathroom and that is all that company really cares about...  that is where they decide if you are truly a slob or not, by the condition of your bathroom.

Other than that, if I can plow a path through the mess, they can live with it.

Luckily the patio is huge and mostly shaded, so we will be out there.

My shade awning is still severely angled for draining all the rains we've had lately. I am hoping my company will help use their two good arms to assist me in getting it back up much higher.

The patio is  larger than it looks. To give you an idea...  that green rug is 9 by 12 feet and looks so small!

In back is the 8 ton 8 foot picnic table with the old awning on it as a table cloth. The gazebo in front has been repaired with patches on the canopy and string to hold the frame back together.  It is more or less attached to a few things.

In back is my string of white Christmas lights attached to a clothes line type arrangement.

Company is here, see ya later!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


It is morning as I start to write this.  The birds are singing. Trees are dripping with leftover rain drops. Last night we had a terrific storm here that knocked out the power for over five hours.

deer at Lake hartwell, poplar springs copyright Dear Miss Mermaid
Finally caught a deer on camera
while patrolling the park at
Hartwell Lake

I no longer felt homesick for the Caribbean.

It reminded me of the near daily power outages we often suffered there. We had so many power failtures in the islands, that I had a tiny Kipor generator that kept my work and office purring.  It was portable, lightweight and super quiet.

Now I am in an RV with a built-in Onan gas generator.

I figured I could live off the house battery for awhile if the power didn't come back on anytime soon. Then  I discovered for the second time recently, that my house battery is discharging rapidly. I noticed when boondocking last month with no electricity, but I apparently forgot to write that down. It had completely slipped my mind until last night.

The battery rapidly drained even though I was using the bare minimum. The wheel estate was a bit steamy, inexplicably warmer indoors than the cooler outdoors, but the rains had forced me to close up all but one window.

It was very dark outside, the color of coal with a thick cloud cover that had obliterated all the star shine. I busied myself with water things, like washing the dishes, washing me, cleaning here and there. The sultry temperature just kept climbing despite my now open windows. The rain had stopped finally.  I plugged in my 12 volt fan to discover the house battery was dead. Dang.  Not supposed to die that quickly when I was only using two LED lights.  Definately something wrong with it.

I tried to lay down with my cranky arm which is slowly gaining use but still horribly painful. Not a breeze anywhere.  I have been seriously doing alternatives to make this arm heal. It's slowly improving. YAY!

Wait, why am I suffering further?  My wheel estate has a generator. Duh!

Only a slight problem. My electric cord, electric panel  and generator system rely on me physically plugging the RV's umbilical cord into the built-in generator. That meant I had to go outside in that thick pitch black darkness where the wild things are roaming and hunting at night.

I said my prayers, then ran outside, unplugged the cord from the utility post, opened up the RV compartment outside, plugged into the generator, then ran back for the safety of the wheel estate before the new rains could soak me to the bone.


I felt like the Queen celebrating her Diamond Jubilee.  The generator roarred to life, then settled on a nice hum. I felt spoiled rotten as I turned on the AC to bring things back to a normal temperature.

deer at Hartwell Lake copyright by
Gotcha again!
Deer  at Hartwell Lake

I tried my luck at doing some housework, I cooled off the RV. I guess the puppy dog and I had really steamed it up during the storming.

Eventually the street lights in the park came on, but dimly. We now had a brown out. I was so glad I had nothing plugged into the utility post, as brown outs can do extensive damage to equipment.

I waited another half hour, until the street lights were brightly glowing. I turned off the generator, then ran outside to plug into the utility post.

Nothing ate me and Big Foot didn't scare me.


Before I could post this, I noticed someone had dug up my flower bed. I planted several flower beds for good luck when I arrived here to workamp. Two flowerbeds are around the camp, two are in rectangular pots. The seeds cost a whole dollar and promised 100 square feet of wild flower blooms throughout the summer. So far, I've managed to raise one-inch  green things, that I hope are growing taller to be flowers one day.

A while back a deer or some beast trampled one of my flower beds. It wasn't my dog, because he couldn't reach it on his tether.  It happened at night while we were indoors sleeping. I had built a fence around the flower bed out of some recycled wooden shish-kebab skewers. The cute little fence is taller than the dog!  The skewers would also help me line up the rock wall, when I got around to it.

But today, when I saw another flowerbed dug up, I was heart broken. I had put some flower seeds in two small rectangular planters.  I decided to right the little plants, salvaging what I could. That is when I found the dog treat buried.


In my flower planter.

Now I have to teach the dog that the planters are MINE.  I did laugh when I found the dog treat. But I said "UT OH!" over and over which made little Harley give me that very guilty sheepish monkey look.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Slam Bam

Have you ever gone out of your way to bend over backwards to help someone out and they stabbed you in the back?

It happened to me recently. Makes me real sad. I also feel like a pure idiot. I thought I was a better judge of people. I guess not.  I tend to think the best of everyone. Sometimes I forget. Evil lurks among us.

That's what you get for being nice. 

Now I get it. No good deed goes unpunished.

Oh well. Humanity ain't perfect. I'll get over it.


I am sure I have done my share of misdeeds (though I won't fess up to them except under extreme torture!) but I generally try to lead a good positive life. We've all probably helped others out that didn't even have sense enough to say "Thank you" in return.

Two words that do so much. 

Have social graces like plain old fashioned manners fallen by the wayside? Lawdy mercy, I surely hope not. But lately I am appalled at the lack of manners I sometimes encounter when I am out and about.

Other times I am hugely embarrassed when I have made a monumental goof.  It's even worse when my apologies are rebuffed.

A while back in March or April,  I bought a discounted gigantic toy box for the aluminum cargo carrier on the rear of my wheel estate. Not that I have any toys, but the dog has toys and the RV has junk it needs. Things like tools, water hoses, bungee cords, spring clamps, spare parts and so on.  The cargo box was supposed to be the near perfect size. It was a great bargain.  After thoroughly checking it over to see why the price was so attractive, I finally stuffed it in a shopping buggy on end. It was very tall and I couldn't really see over it. But I had a friend with me that day and they helped me get to the cashier without calamity.

The toy box.
I'm embarrassed my water hoses are not coiled neatly.
I wouldn't drive down the road with them like this, blocking my rear lights, but
I was in Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Florida at the time playing the
campground shuffle. Their reservations system is such a train wreck that
everyday at noon, half the campground occupants were forced to relocate.
I threw my water hoses on the bracket on the back ladder while
moving to my new spot. 

I carefully made my way through the long line to the cashier, then I was on my way out the door. I was trying to walk fast for exercise. My friend was lost in the store somewhere. I looked around for him debating whether to wait on him in the store or go out to the wheel estate. He knew I was checking out, but there was something he forgot, so he had gone back in search of it.

Well suddenly I hit something. With my buggy. I couldn't see what I hit, because the storage trunk was so tall, standing on end in the buggy. I walked around the shopping cart.

Much to my horror there stood a little old man.  In a neck brace. Wearing an arm sling. He had bandages all over both his arms.  He was carrying a cane. In one hand he held his wallet,  trying to stuff it into his back pocket. He had stopped to do this when BANG I ran into him.

I was stammering apologies left and right, asking him if he was OK.  He just stared at me up and down, then looked at my cart then stared at me, doing that head to toe to head again look. Was he admiring my summer dress or was he sizing me up for a lawsuit?

Repeating  my apologies, I told him I was a pure idiot, asked him if I could help him in any way, and was he OK?

He just gave me that very odd up and down look again, like I was a statue he was debating whether or not to bid on  at the auction.  He wordlessly shuffled away, with his neck brace, his arm in a sling,  his cane thumping the floor softly.

He never said a word.

I felt 2 inches tall.

I stayed behind looking for my friend.  I am sure my face was beet red. He was probably hiding somewhere so as not to be seen with me.  I started leaving the store at a snail's pace with my overloaded shopping cart,  fervently praying not to have anymore mishaps.

To this day, I still wonder about that little old man. What was he doing out shopping alone in that banged-up condition?  He wasn't carrying a shopping bag. Had he been in a bad wreck?  Or had he been in court?  Was he accident prone or just one of those unlucky folks that did the wrong thing at the wrong time then BAM suffered for his bad luck.

I still wonder about his eerie head to toe look at me and his refusal to speak. Was he deaf? Or mute? Or both?  Did he understand my apology?  My offer to help?

In a comical manner, I think back, that I should have stuffed him in the shopping cart, then wheeled him out to his car.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fire Paws

Not getting much done, pain in my arm is just taking over my life and very little is getting done. It's rather scary, but I try to smile and pretend it doesn't hurt, but it does. 

photo copyright by DearMissMermaid.Com

Harley dog has taken over typing wiff his wittle paws...

Harley builds a fire photo copyright by DearMissMermaid.Com
OK, she's sick, but I am not, so I guess it's my turn to build the fire, since it's chilly.
fire photo copyright by DearMissMermaid.Com
There. Who says a wittle dog can't build a fire wiff his wittle paws?

fire photo copyright by DearMissMermaid.Com
Oh, the fire is getting bigger and bigger and...

fire truck photo copyright by DearMissMermaid.Com
That nice red fire truck came by and asked if I wanted him to pee all over my fire, but I told him "No thanks, Smokey the Bear might get jealous."

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Silent Sunday Mycology

Photos by Dear Miss Mermaid

mushroom mycology by copyright Dear Miss Mermaid

mushroom mycology by copyright Dear Miss Mermaid

mushroom mycology by copyright Dear Miss Mermaid

mushroom mycology by copyright Dear Miss Mermaid

mushroom mycology by copyright Dear Miss Mermaid

mushroom mycology by copyright Dear Miss Mermaid

mushroom mycology by copyright Dear Miss Mermaid

Jack In The Pulpit

Jack-In-The-Pulpit on the South Saluda River in South Carolina by

It's funny how tucked away in the boonies I can so easily become at this workamping assignment. But today, I actually left the park for the 3rd time in 6 weeks.  I wanted to use my $5 coupon at Dollar General today. Also, my produce selection was down to two potatoes and one Vidalia onion, so it was time to stock up on my favorite thing; vegetables!

The wheel estate needed her engine exercised, so it seemed like a good deal all around.

I got all dressed up for town even though it was only going to be a less than half day trip. Normally I would spend the whole day out, shopping then sight seeing at other parks. But my left arm is in a big heap of pain.  I have no idea why. So I've been single-handing between muffled screams of pain when I attempt to do anything useful with the left limb.

Harley dog defiantly sat in his patio chair, ensconced on his quilt, fortified with his toys, trying to ignore the fact, I was getting the RV ready to roll down the road. Finally I had to scoop him up to go with me. Usually he is thrilled to go for a ride, but he is having a love affair with the patio preferring to spend as much time as he can out there. Did he get that from me?

We made it back home again, with lots of bargains and food fit for a human and one gourmand dog. Harley was thrilled that we came back to the same place.

Now it's late at night, but puppy dog and I are outside enjoying the patio.  Yesterday a visiting friend helped move and repair the gazebo. The gazebo is really  a Coleman hexagon canopy. We tied the frame up with twine to fortify the broken pieces, then patched all the holes in the canopy.  Another friend brought by 6 big heavy cinder blocks so I can seriously anchor the gazebo down against the gusty mini storms  that sometimes plague this area on a moment's notice. So now the gazebo is good as new, more or less, ready to suffer through as many more months as I can press it into service.

Coleman Hexagon Canopy with optional screened room by dear miss mermaid
Amazon sells the hexagon canopy as a gazebo shelter on the left (like mine) or with the complete screened in walls on the right as a screened shelter

It's really quite lovely this summer to have both the gazebo and my RV awning for shade. It means I can spend a lot more time outdoors in rain and sunshine with my little fur buddy.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Five Dollar Day

For those of you living "efficiently", Dollar General is offering up their $5 coupon for Saturday June 9th. Spend $25 in their store and get $5 off. They sell food and household items plus have a selection of useful camping and RV  gear.

I have found Dollar General to often be much cheaper than Walmart for my little needs. My wheel estate boasts many Dollar General items.  They generally offer up their $5 coupon monthly or more. Imagine getting $60 per year in FREE goods for your RV lifestyle.  I have bought camping chairs from them for $12 and $13. I used to have their festive plastic plates as my dishes, but I recently tossed the bad ones and gave the usable ones away when I ended up with wonderful Corelle plates gifted by an angel.

I've shopped for  their throw rugs for my RV since I ripped out the wall to wall carpet. My kitchen towels, cloth napkins and microfiber cleaning rags all came from Dollar General. Some of my kitchen and cleaning gear came from there. They have this 4 pack of toilet paper that is sturdy double rolls that is usually selling for $3. My cabinet holds exactly 3 packs (12 rolls.)  My ceramic heater came from Dollar General at a bargain price and has been pressed into service for 3 winters. I've also bought assorted hardware items and some tools from them. Many of my grocery staples are often bought there.  So there you have it, if you are minding your pennies, then take advantage of their $5 coupon. You can print it out from their website.

They also have pet supplies. Harley is fond of their treats and toys.  His special blankie was on sale at Dollar General as a car cleaning cloth but it is oh so super soft I think the Chinese labeled it wrong or cut it wrong. It should be a baby blanket but it's too small, except for my 6 pound fur baby.

Now for the bad news, I don't trust their "coupon printer" because you have to install a separate program to print out the coupons.  They claim there is no spyware attached but I am paranoid. I create a restore point on my computer, download their coupon printer program, print the coupons then uninstall their program, then use the restore point feature on my computer for good measure.  Maybe I am being too fussy, but I find it odd they require this special 3rd party coupon printer.

My bargain rugs that are washable came from Dollar General.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Silly Monkey Dog

I just love how summer keeps it bright and light outdoors until late in the evening. Even though I despise the enforced daylight time savings idea, it's fun to be up late during the daylight. It's making me stay up later, and not get up at 4am much anymore. Not that it was bright at 4am.  Neither was I, but now I am sleeping much later due to staying up late.

This past  winter, the sun was setting so early, it was cold sometimes, even in Florida.  The wild life in the hunting area was hungry at dark-thirty with eyes for a certain doggy, so we often retired to bed at 7pm with a movie, since it was cold, it was dark and we didn't want to be hunted down.

It poured down rain all morning here in Gumlog, Georgia. Tonight it is light outside at 830pm. It's rather cool, so I built an outdoor fire since I still have some firewood left.  The puppy and I get cold easily.

Below is Harley in his camp chair outside on a cool evening.

harley in his blanket, bed and camping chair by Dear Miss Mermaid, copyright

His little Tshirt made him shiver. So his pet parent was forced into putting a sweater on him, over his Tshirt. He seemed a little relieved, but was still looking woefully cold.

The pet parent brought out his fur lined little bed, sitting it in a red camper chair for him, near the fire, since he prefers to be with his human pack.

He sat in his sweater with a Tshirt on underneath, in his fur lined bed in his camper chair giving me that "Something is missing..." worried look that only he can perfect to looking so pathetic.

Rolling my eyes,  I dutifully fetched his fluffy blankie. I tossed it over him, but he pulled it around this way and that until he got all wrinkled, cozy and comfy.  I had to snap his picture, since he was being hilariously cute.

I often ponder at what age should I tell him that he is in fact, a dog, AND he is adopted too.  Would that devastate him to find this out? 

Maybe I should just let him live in blissful ignorance. 

Finally I could focus on the fire, which turned out to be roaring. I am hoping the fire and outside lights will discourage wildlife from hunting on my patio this year. I would like to be outdoors in the evenings for a change.

And live to tell about it...

Around midnight, I was ready for bed, but hated to leave the blazing fire all alone. So I did my Smokey The Bear routine of utilizing Harley's shovel to smother the fire.

Yep, the dog had to use his toy allowance to buy a small telescoping shovel one month. This is because he dug up several campgrounds, in search of WHAT I have no idea.

When I showed him his new shovel,  he was extremely unimpressed.

He never learned to use the shovel.  *SIGH*

I had to recover all his holes for him.

He has since lost interest in digging holes.  I had to dig my own flower beds recently.  I tried to coax him into a digging holes for me, but he gave me that quizzical look of "Me? HUH?".  Finally I gave up and  used his shovel because he never plays with it anyhow.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Hartwell Lake Adventures

Lake Hartwell Links and Info for Georgia and South Carolina

Back in the 80's before I left to go sailing/working in the Caribbean, I spent many weekends sailing Hartwell Lake on a 23' sailboat that was outfitted for weekend use with a galley and a head (that's a kitchen and a toilet for you landlubbers). 
Matter of fact, my dog Ivory, a white German Shepherd, saved my life the first night I went sailing. The boat has a shoal keel which made it suitable for shallow water, but hard as heck to sail to weather (upwind). The first  night we (me, my date and my dog) were anchored off an island in the lake. My large dog was ashore sleeping, keeping a watch on the little sailboat. I woke up, hearing my dog scratching on the side of the boat and barking. I got up to pull her aboard the boat. That is when I noticed we had just drifted past the danger signs alerting us to the fact we were approaching the dam! 

We fought with the outboard trying to get it to start, (very cantankerous machine!) we were frantic, that we might be jumping overboard if it didn't start, so we could swim for our life. In the dark of the night, it was hard to tell whether we would sail right over the top of the dam or simply be sucked down 100 feet to where the sluices were open to make hydropower. (The dam is 204 feet tall.)

Neither choice seemed particularly appealing at 3am.

I was scrambling for the life jackets as my friend cursed and yanked on the outboard one final time before we had to seriously consider plan B. It roared to life as we drifted past yet another DANGER sign. We motored back to the island we had been anchored near. We anchored again but this time we waded ashore with lines, to securely tie the boat to the trees. We stayed up for awhile trying to get the color back in our pale white faces.

I'm sure that wild dam adventure  knocked a few damn years off my life.

Lake Hartwell Links and Info for Georgia and South Carolina by

I found this webcam of Hartwell Lake near where I am workamping. June is here, it's summer, and it's time to get outside and get wet!

The WebCam is located near Buoy # T-69 facing NorthWest. The left shoreline is Georgia just north of the Poplar Springs Boat Ramp (near where I volunteer as a workamper). The right shoreline is South Carolina at Chickasaw Point. On most days a mountain (Rabun Bald near Clayton Georgia) can be seen in the far background 33 miles away.

The webcam is courtesy of Mountain Lakes Vacation Rentals.   

Hartwell Lake is 50 years old this year!  Amazing.  Here I am!  Just goes to show you never know where life will take you. I more or less came full circle years later, only now I am not on a sailboat in the lake, but in my wheel estate (RV) by the lake. 

The Anderson Independent recently wrote an excellent article "50 Years Later, Hartwell Dam Stands Out For Engineering Feats". 

Hartwell Lake offers a variety of recreation such as boating, fishing, swimming, sailing, camping (788 campsites), hiking, tracking, biking, and hunting. You can visit or vacation in lake houses and cabins as well as RV's, motor boats and  sailboats. 

More info is at Hartwell Dam and Lake by US Army Corps of Engineers  

Did you know that our lake level is measured by feet above sea level?  For instance the lake is currently at about 652 feet. Some folks thought this was the depth of the lake!  But it's the feet above sea level. Full pond is at 660 feet above sea level. So the lake is down about 8 feet. But there is still plenty of swimming areas including where I am workamping. 

Lake Hartwell Links and Info for Georgia and South Carolina by

Hartwell Lake (middle), Lake Keowee (top), and Lake Richard Russell (bottom) Georgia (left of the water) and South Carolina (right of the water) map satellite poster print

Lake Hartwell Links and Info for Georgia and South Carolina by
Lake Hartwell Area Recreation Guide: Includes Information On Anderson, Athens, Clemson, Greenville, Hartwell, Pendleton & Toccoa

Index of Links about Hartwell Lake

Quick Facts about Hartwell Lake

Lake Hartwell Association

     Boat Rentals
Big Water Marina
Hartwell Light Marina

Big Oaks (GA)
Broyles (SC)
Coneross Park (SC)
Crescent (SC)
Elrod Ferry (GA)
Fair Play (SC)
Lake Hartwell Camping & Cabins
Long Point (GA)
Milltown (GA)
Oconee Point (SC)
Paynes Creek(Hartwell Lake) (GA)
River Forks (SC)
Singing Pines (SC)
Springfield (SC)
Twelve Mile (SC)
Twin Lakes (SC)
Twin Lakes Day Use Area (SC)
Watsadler (GA)
Weldon Island (SC)

     Fishing Charters
Lake Hartwell Fishing Charters

     Fishing Reports
Fishing Reports and Forecasts

Big Water Marina
Hartwell Light Marina
Portman Marina

Current News
Lake Hartwell Recreation and Fishing Guide
GPS Coordinates for Underwater Structures

Lake Sailing School
Scenic Drive

     Recreation Areas
Coneross Park (SC)
Crescent (SC)
Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge
Hartwell Lake
Milltown (GA) Oconee Point (SC)
Paynes Creek(Hartwell Lake) (GA)
Singing Pines (SC)
Springfield (SC)
Twelve Mile (SC)
Twin Lakes (SC)
Twin Lakes Day Use Area (SC)
Watsadler (GA)