Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue Moon Tonight

Blue Moon Tonight.

Gone howling in the forest.

Back later. 

Once in a blue moon... 

Won't be another one until July 31, 2015. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Reckless Driving Penalty

I am really just a down to earth person...

Just not on this planet...

Recently I was highly insulted when I applied for a workamping position that I was absolutely perfect for.  Then they refused to consider me until I submitted pictures of me and my motorhome. They told me they weren't making the decision for 10 days. Well, I sent back my pictures. Moments later I received a reply that the position was filled.

I have no idea what the latest and greatest is on discrimination, but it was the first time I was asked to submit pictures. It will probably be my last too.

It's a little scary applying for workamping.  I am nervous about putting all my personal information "out there" until I know exactly who I am dealing with. These so called workampng websites that want me to list my entire resume on their website give me the willies. I foolishly did that a few years ago with a certain company.  I have never heard a thing back from them at all. But lawdy mercy is the junk email really starting to annoy me. Now I can't seem to get my info OFF their website.

It used to be AOL was right on top of junky emails and keeping them out of my in box. Not sure what has happened but it seems I am getting junk emails in 3 different languages now besides English and AOL is having a hard time sorting it all for me.

I am trying to catch up on all my emails and notify AOL of the junky emails. It's maddening!  I am oh so frustrated I am missing something important, because I am sifting through the junk trying to find the real emails.

I am always curious about how other folks drive their RV's. I sure do like the shiny red color of this motorhome. However, the driver is reported to have driven into a  building in Carson, California.  The driver was then shot and killed by a deputy.

Wouldn't a ticket for reckless driving have been sufficient?

I don't see the building he drove into either. Maybe I am blind too? Was he shot before he wrecked his RV?  We all  know how hard it is to drive when you're dead.

This is the only info I can find on this story so far:

Well, this has sobered me up! Not that I was drunk... guess that came out wrong. I like to think I drive very carefully but never thought about getting shot and killed for reckless driving in America.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I just know there is a skinny person inside, but I keep her quiet  with chocolate. 

Out of sheer loneliness I joined a dating site. No takers yet. I guess men don't want a traveling lady in a little old motorhome with a monkey dog. For leisure activities I put the truth.  While thousands say they like to take moonlight walks on the beach, I have camped at the beach many times and never seen this happening with singles or couples. So where are all these folks on the moonlight beaches?

Is this just Hollow Woody fluff?

So I put down the truth.

I like to walk on the beach and poke at dead things with a stick. 

The sad thing is that thousands of men are on the dating site who simply want women to ride on the back of their motorcycle on the weekends. Well, i would like to ride on the front too.  So I wrote a few and said I would ride with them if we could switch places and they ride on the back half the time.

I might as well have asked for the Hope Diamond.

No takers. Not one.

However, I did get a few incoherent replies possibly suggesting I might be insane.

For me, riding on the back of a motorcycle is fun for the first 45 minutes, after that it's tedious, holding onto the rib cage of the driver, staring at the back of his head or helmet, or straining to see around his head, in such a way I get a crook in my neck. It seems the guys who want women to ride on their bikes, never have a king/queen seat which enables the usually shorter female to have a view.

After all, we want bugs in our teeth too!

And what about those sissy bars, so the person in back  can ride in comfort. Have those gone out of style?  I surely hope not. Should I inquire if they have a side-car for the doggy?  He is going to need  Doggles  too.

You know what they say about women my age looking for a man that is warm, caring, kind, sensitive and well groomed...

He already has a boyfriend.

So I've withdrawn from the dating site. Maybe Harley dog would like to try his luck.
He wants to list himself on a doggy dating database:

Slim and trim. Likes to go out. Enjoys cuddling, dancing, traveling and camping. Favorite pastimes include hiking, walking, running,  golfing.  Let's go smell the flowers together and take turns watering them. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Parts Flying

While I was drinking tea, a back tooth broke off and fell out.   The window shade over the door did the exact same thing.

Is this sort of thing contagious?  

I guess the motorhome and I are getting on with our years. 

The window shade is only 18 years old.  It's a nice heavy cloth type shade with a strip of brass trim on the bottom edge. I can't decide whether to repair it or replace it. So far, that's been a lovely excuse to do nothing about it at all.

Nobody around here to peek in my windows anyhow. But at some point soon, I will be back in campgrounds where privacy is desirable after dark. Especially if you have neighbors twenty or thirty feet away. I have stayed in campgrounds where the neighbor was barely 8 feet away from my window.

Maybe it is because I live alone that I prefer to pull all the shades down after dark so from the outside you can't tell how many humans are inside. My little dog does have his big-dog bark he reserves for late night usage if someone is coming too close. 

Before I had the dog, someone frightened me in a campground one night. It was a privately owned RV park,  but for some reason the owners assigned me a spot far away from everyone else. To this day, I still wonder about that.   Incredibly, in the middle of the night, someone was knocking at my door.  It did unnerve me. So in a loud voice I said "Honey get the gun while I check the door!"  I heard running foot steps.  Of course I had no intention of opening the shades or the door. 

Speaking of late night visitors...

This happened two winters ago. I was camping for about 8 weeks in a park that had many long term residents, several who were heavy drinkers that frequented a bar in walking distance. My RV faced a grassy lot close to the slender road leading to the long term resident RV's.

It was cold and late at night. I was sitting up in bed, eating popcorn out of big bowl and watching a movie on my little laptop. There are always unpopped kernels of corn at the bottom of the bowl. I have a habit of tossing these out the window for the birds or chickens to eat. I say this because in the Caribbean I had an apartment where the landlord kept free range chickens in my yard. They would squawk and race over to devour the corn kernels. 

That same landlord also kept miniature ponies, monkeys, dogs, cats, parrots and cockatoos in addition to the roaming chickens and occasional goat. 

But back to the RV park...

When I finished my popcorn, I opened up the window next to my bed, slid open the screen, then tried to toss the kernels of corn out of the bottom of the bowl by flicking the bowl with my wrist. 

Well, I lost control of the bowl. It bounced merrily across the small grassy lot in the dark of the night.  I closed the window, screen and shade feeling very foolish. My bed was warm, cozy and comfy.  It was 38F degrees outside. I didn't fancy getting dressed, putting on socks and boots to go fetch the bowl at that odd hour, so I left it out there until morning. Who steals a big old dirty bowl in the middle of the night?

Around noonish the next day, a very hung over man appeared at my door apologizing through stale alcohol laden breath,  for the noise he had made the night before. He was very sincere with his apology, which thoroughly puzzled me as I explained to him, I had not heard a thing and had no complaints. 

He said "Oh, well I thought you  threw that bowl at me because I was walking home from the bar making too much noise!  I carefully tiptoed the rest of the way home, afraid of disturbing anybody else and getting hit with a fry pan next!"


Our late night park visitor that I chased off the other night with my long, loud, blaring horn has not found reason to return.  

Yesterday,  the sun was out and my laundry was piled up. I washed until I ran out of clothes line and clothes pins. I used hangers for some of the clothes, hanging them on the line.  I guess I got such a late start, that nothing was dry by bedtime save for a token  few lightweight items.

So I left my clothes out overnight, hoping the deer didn't run past and snag my laundry for antler decorations.   

This morning I looked out the window when the sun came up and there is some of my laundry, dragging in the infamous Georgia red mud. It rained overnight making the clothes on my hangers too heavy, so they dragged their hems in the  red mud. 

Good grief. 

Do I look like I need all this aggravation today?  Broken tooth, busted window shade, muddy clothes...

I forgot to do anything about the clothes.  I think the coffee haze clouded my mind. 

The sun came out in full force, so by 11am, the hanging clothes were 10 inches above the mud, all nice and dry. So if you see someone walking around the park with a bright orange hem on her clothes...  that might be me. 

Especially if I am carrying a tiny dog. 

Yesterday the puppy dog and I were both pretty sick.   Still I tried to take him for a walk. But every few feet, he would just sit down or lay down. I picked him up and he just collapsed in my arms like his unstuffed raggedy teddy bear  toy that he won't let me toss out with the garbage.  Believe me, I have tried and I end up with a whimpering crying puppy keeping vigil on the garbage. 

We went for a short walk with me carrying his limp body. I kept setting him down at suggested areas he might like to water or fertilize. He would just lay down and close his eyes. Poor wittle thing!  We both seem to have caught a bug that is making us feel very unwell.

I cradled him back in my arms as we came back home, turned on the air-conditioning and went back to bed. I so hate doing that on a beautiful day but I felt awful. He felt awful. About an hour or so  later,  I got up to start on the small mountain of laundry while puppy continued to lay on my favorite pillow looking oh so pathetic. Between little loads of laundry, I got out his brush and groomed him. He seemed to enjoy this a lot. Might as well look good, even if you're sickly. 

By nightfall he was tentatively eating his food, drinking water and becoming playful again. I was thrilled to have my little buddy back. I am starting to feel perkier too, although nobody has gotten my brush out and groomed me.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Armed and Alarmed

I must be a mermaid... I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living. 

Anais Nin 1903-1977 (Click for info on 
Anais Nin )

An alert reader sent me that quote and I love it!

It's been a whirlwind of travel in the RV over hill and dale to go to the funeral.    It took me 5 hours to drive there, I stayed 2 nights and spent 7 hours driving back even though the trip back was much shorter since my starting point was  north of where I normally workamp. 

I left in such a state of shock and hurry, that *ahem* I forgot to alert the powers to be that I was going to be missing in action.  But all was well, when I returned.  

workamping with Dear Miss mermaid in Georgia

Although our idiot driver that sometimes sneaks into the park at 1am to do donuts or drifting or whatever you call it when you try to burn off your tires and wreck your car while doing stunts it was not designed for, showed up last night around 1:30am waking up the dog and I.

He was in the parking lot below my workamping spot, making a tremendous noise, stinking up the air with burning rubber and gunning his engine loudly as he tried repeatedly to roll his car over, or drift or squeal in circles. I decided on a brand new tactic to get rid of him.

And it worked!

This time I got up, went forward without turning on any lights, then laid down on my RV horn  which is rather loud.  I held the horn down for what seemed like a good solid 5 minutes in the darkened cab.  I was impressed with how loud it was!  The reckless driver immediately stopped his shenanigans, but I continued the horn blaring. 

His stopped car was hiding in the darkest area of the parking lot, but I was determined to hold the horn nonstop as if he had set off some sort of alarm.   He sedately drove up the street on the other side of the woods from me, exiting the area. I kept the horn going at least another full two minutes. I was hoping he would leave the area completely and go home.  Country folks around here keep all sorts of guns in their homes and assuming he is from around here, he probably knows this. So hopefully he took himself far away before someone else took notice of him being out on the streets at this odd hour.  

It never looks good when you are the only one leaving the scene of an alarm at the wee hours of the morning. By now dogs were barking and howling along. Well it worked, I guess he fled the park and the area. Once I turned the horn off, the dogs stopped howling and there was nothing to be heard but the cicada chorus. Now that I was wide awake, I stayed up puttering around, washing dishes, making coffee.  He didn't dare come back. I hope I've seen the last of him. He has been a real pest the past few weeks. 

Maybe the horn blowing was a tad excessive, but I've been scratching my head on how to get rid of this reckless maniac.  I think all my frustration, grief and exhaustion just got the best of me and I took it out on him with my big loud horn. 

What fun!  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 23, 2012

Pardon the hiccup here.

I had to go bury someone near and dear to me.

Between traveling, funeral and grief, the days fly by.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Easy Suds

Carpe Diem.

I didn't get to write yesterday because I have been in a clean, organize, purge routine.  This is rare for me to have so much energy beyond everything else I juggle, so I have to seize the moment.

tioga montara by
Home Sweet Home

When I worked on luxury yachts, we were always keeping things organized and shipshape. Then  when I lived on my thirty-foot sailboat, I had a blast, but continued with the shipshape organized life.

But in the my 28 foot wheel estate, I seem to have a harder time keeping things shipshape. I've come to the conclusion that the boat had twice the storage (it did!).

Just the same, I like to keep my RV all organized with my personal junk stored away, because I have no car. I drive the motorhome when I need to, for errands or shopping or visiting. It's always nice to be able to go somewhere without breaking anything or having stuff fall or tumble around.

Less is best, but more can be fun...

28 foot tioga montara by fleetwood motorhome circa 1994 by
My little old wheel estate has a layout I still love. 

The only big difference being on the sailboat I didn't haul around chairs, rug, table, gazebo for a campground set up yet I was carrying spare sails and oodles of spare parts as I refitted the boat over the course of several years.  But, the sailboat designers didn't waste one square inch when it came to storage areas.

RV manufacturers on the other hand, waste tons of space by not putting storage areas and leaving empty gaps but you can't use them for storage because there are wires, plumbing and systems with tons of open space surrounding them. Like under my dinette booth there is a mess of wires and plumbing including the 12 volt water pump for the tank and the hot water heater.  All of this is  surrounded by several cubic feet of air.

On a sailboat they would have run all that utilitarian stuff nice and neat building a locker there for storage that wouldn't have interfered with the wires, plumbing, water pump and hot water tank. The way the RV manufacturer built this, they ran the systems, all over the place with no thought to adding a cabinet or drawer or locker around the on board system accouterments.  Sure I have cabinets and drawers, but like the dinette, they missed the boat on not building a cabinet or drawer that fit in the empty air around the plumbing and electric.

The easiest way to organize and rearrange in my mini-motorhome is to get rid of the detritus.  Sometimes I think I in-house recycle old broken things a little too long.  At some point, it just belongs in the garbage. Most of my kitchen and household type items have come from used charity shops. However, many wonderful angels have given me new gifts or better used stuff. So out with the old, in with the new and nearly new.

My RV galley came with a pile of used kitchen equipment when I bought the RV, then I bought more (used)  as I needed it.  Now I realize I need to purge the stuff I don't use or use so rarely  I wonder why I allow it to take up room.

Like one day shortly after I bought my RV, I found a box full of chef knives at a used store for $2. I guess they found it impractical to sell the knives individually, so they put them all in a big plastic shoe box, taped it shut and marked it for $2. I end up using 4 of the knives on a regular basis, but the other dozen needs to be re-gifted or re-donated.

Then there is movies, books and music. Most of that has come to me by way of used gifts. I've seen the movies, it's time to re-gift them and let someone else see them so I can have the cabinet back. Ditto for books, the reference ones I don't want to part with, but the fun ones I already read and need to pass them onwards. Music I can copy to my computer and play on the speakers, so I can re-gift that too. Suddenly I have a big bag of stuff to donate.

I went through my clothes and bagged up anything I haven't worn in the last year. Like a bulky sweater I don't care for, a shirt I hate, a shirt I love but it's so threadbare I wonder WHY I am keeping it around? Last time I wore it, I was ashamed to be seen in it. It really needs to hit the garbage, as donating it would be an insult.   I guess it's slightly sentimental, that shirt has traveled with me 25 years through numerous islands and countries.   Isn't that amazing?  It took this long to finally be unpresentable. Two old shirts are in great shape but they don't fit right, so I was tossing them in the donate bag when I realized they were the perfect colors to cover my throw pillows and match the other RV decor. Oops... now things are being re-purposed in-house.

So I told myself "Self, you need to sew up the new pillow covers soon or donate these shirts."  Sewing up items requires a lot of room, best done outdoors. First I have to iron it, dig out the box of sewing accouterments that has the scissors, thread, Velcro, buttons, needles and so on, next measure and cut the pattern, pin it together, dig out  the tiny sewing machine to sew it up, and so on. When I bought the RV, I found a tiny sewing machine for $14 that is about the size of a kid's lunch box. That little sewing machine does amazing work!  I've repaired or altered favorite clothes, made curtains, made back pillows for the bed (recycling the old bedspread) and equipment bags. I plan to keep the little sewing machine, it's rather useful.

My office takes up storage space but I need that to make a living or rather a subsistence.  I exist on old technology (my computer is steam driven) which I don't mind at all. But I found old cell phones and all their cords, why am I keeping this stuff?  I kept changing to cheaper cell plans and each one required you to get their phone, it's maddening that you can't use the same phone over and over when you switch companies or plans. So into the donate bag. I am not sure if the charities have any use for them either, but I surely don't.

So now my spare bunk in the guest loft is covered with a big box, and two shopping bags for donation. I am going on a mini-trip soon, so I will get to donate it all and reclaim the bunk.  The big outside garbage can provided by the park is now half full of crap that isn't useful to me or anybody. I think due to my years of living on boats or islands in far flung ports where shopping could be impossible for common items, I have a tendency to want to repair, fix or make do with every item. I forget I am in America, land of plenty (land of excess?)  where bargains can be had at special discount stores and used charity shops.

Sometimes when I need an RV repair part, I just mail-order it with Amazon Prime (free 2 day shipping).  This has saved me a bundle in gas, but the  boxes and bubble wrap I end up keeping awhile in case I have to return it, but then there comes a point when all that needs to go in the rubbish can. I check the boxes for manuals or instructions, then toss the rest.

Paperwork is a nightmare!  America is obsessed with mountains and mountains of paperwork. If I spend $2 on an RV part, it comes with a receipt that is 8 by 11 inches. Go to the store and buy 3 items and it comes with a register tape over a foot long. It's maddening. I photographed tons of paperwork that I "might" need at some point, then shredded by hand the papers I had photographed and tossed all that out. Still, there is a mountain of papers to go through, some of it I need to keep for legal reasons or all the RV related manuals and instruction sheets.

The problem with all this organizing, purging, re-gifting is that I keep finding dirt.  So I end up washing out a drawer or a cabinet.  Where does all this dirt come from?  I think it blows inside when I am not looking, as whenever the weather is agreeable, all my windows are wide open.

Now who put paw prints all over the windows?  I have no idea, but the paw prints look awfully close in size to one little monkey dog...  Then there is the dog juice. I don't know what else to call it. But I clean my windows then puppy dog races up to a window to bark at somebody sneaking into the park in the middle of the night. I guess while he is at the window barking, to alert me, bits of juice must fly from his mouth and stick to the windows.  Ugh.  This is not apparent for several days or weeks. It's only after super fine dust blows on the window, that the paw prints and dog juice suddenly become visible.

Just like hand prints. You can use clean hands to open the kitchen drawers every day, but if you don't wash the drawer faces down then your finger prints seem to suddenly show up one day. So I wash and scrub.


Now that I am dead tired, I must say, the place looks great.  No not really. It looks lived in!  Where did I go wrong... oh right... I live here with a puppy who isn't at all picky about housework.   I live, work, play, recuperate here nearly 24/7 with few breaks. No wonder it looks lived in.

I even did some more outside washing. I never seem to get the entire RV washed on the outside. So many windows to slow me down, then there is the step stool and ladder work and so on. I tire out very easily, so I have to pace myself. I still have very good days and some rotten bad days. My health is a roller coaster ride of highs and lows, but I am meditating on that, having a lot more good days.

Awhile back I decided the only way to clean up the outside of my RV is to work on a section at a time over the course of weeks or months.  Eventually I get it all clean, more or less, but at that point, it seems like it's time to start over again. I'd like to wax the whole rig, but first I have to get it super clean.

The prior owners didn't take good care of the outside of my RV, so I've had to deal with dirt, chalking, mold, scratches and dings. While I love having so many windows, keeping them all clean is easier said than done. Especially living with hard water half the year that seems to spot up everything. Grrrrrrrr...

For now I am in the land of soft water and easy suds.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pride in South Carolina State Parks

I love South Carolina state parks. Matter of fact, I was born in South Carolina. Maybe I am slightly biased. Awhile back I met a lady who had just completed her dream of camping or visiting every South Carolina state park. I was envious. She was young too.

South Carolina state park  camping rates are some of the best deals around. Their state parks are surprisingly well managed. (I say surprisingly because much of the government often has a way of screwing things up royally.)

Many SC state parks have original stone structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the darkest days of the great depression. Young men were housed in barracks or tents, fed, paid and sent out to work on public lands. Part of their salary was sent home to their parents before they ever saw it.

Most all South Carolina state parks are open year round  due to lack of brutal winters. Sure it gets cold and can even freeze once in awhile, but not for long. Snow is so rare in South Carolina that generally when it does snow, schools and businesses close, so  it's a free holiday and most everyone stays  home to play in the snow. Let the state get a one inch layer and the whole neighborhood seems to sprout snow men even if it takes the entire front yard to amass enough snow to build one.

During the depression,  the CCC created a whopping 16 state parks in South Carolina that preserve some of the state’s most exquisite areas.

Though the work of the CCC was more than 70 years ago, their important legacy is still visible and many old structures have been restored for continued use. The park planners of the 1930s suffered from a unique idealistic vision, wanting to create opportunities for all people, rich or poor, to get closer to nature.

They believed that outdoor recreation could help cure many of society’s ills, and that nature could inspire, educate and even give meaning to life.

Nearly 80 years later, this is still oh so true. Turn off the TV, put away the electronic gadgetry, get off the couch and go see nature up close and personal.

Unfortunately some parks now charge an entrance fee, making it harder or impossible  for the poor to enjoy.  Not the idealistic vision the original park planners intended.

A museum dedicated to the legacy of the CCC is located at Lake Greenwood State Park in SC. Additionally, one of the finest examples of CCC craftsmanship in the state park system can be found at the newly restored Table Rock Lodge at Table Rock State Park.  The entrance is located on the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway (highway 11). If you haven't driven that scenic route from end to end, then you are just plainly missing out on life.

When I was growing up, the Table Rock Lodge was a lovely southern style restaurant. We thought it an exquisite treat to go dine there.  Now it is a hall that is rented out for weddings and other events.

Recently when my company departed from Lake Hartwell in Georgia to head up I-85 towards Charlotte, North Carolina and beyond,  I suggested they hop on Highway 11 on the southern end and traverse the entire Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway, which ultimately reconnects to I-85 near the North Carolina border.

It's not a route for speed demons, but it's not heavily traveled either, and the scenery is just incredibly lush.  Special laws prevent commercial enterprises from junking up the highway with large signage so that nature is preserved.

When the highway was being built, my father loaded us up in the van to go see it. Back then, nobody worked on Sundays except the preachers and a token few restaurant workers. When we got to the proposed highway, they had begun clearing the trail to make a dirt foundation for the future highway. Despite the "Under Construction" and "Do Not Enter" signs, my father found a way to drive around the barricades, taking us sightseeing down the bumpy dirt road in a cloud of dust. My father was a  law abiding man, but I do find it curious indeed that he flaunted the law and took us bouncing the old Indian trail.

That was then, this is now.

That night, my friend called to say the route was indeed awesome, that it put him in a proper frame of mind, just soaking up the beauty before being forced back to the interstate hustle of the remainder of his trip.

Another nice touch about South Carolina state parks and campgrounds is that they are dog friendly.  Be sure to bring your leash and poop baggies.

This winter there is a snowbird's special with six of the coastal state park campgrounds offering a 50% discount on 30 day camping from November 25 2012 through February 28, 2013. Click here for complete details. 

Generally gas in South Carolina is cheaper than anywhere else in the country.

For current gas prices, click here:

You can use GasBuddy.Com to plan your trip and gas purchases in advance to make sure you don't get sticker shock at the pumps.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Famous and The Infamous

Dear Miss Mermaid. - This may not be the proper venue, but I just have to know - Is  Hurricanes & Hangovers  for real?!?  Specifically: "The Regulars" - Did that really happen to poor Richard?   What a story!  If so, it's Truth stranger than Fiction.  Too bad it was so tragic, otherwise it would be hilarious!  Must have been tough to figure out whether to laugh or cry, but looks like it was the event that propelled you on to the rest of your life's adventures.  I'm going to have to introduce your book to friends of ours who who "retired" to full time on a sailboat.  I love your non-prejudicial style of writing of alternative lifestyles and lack of acrimony toward the less "flexible" who I'm sure gave you grief at times.  If this is, indeed, largely autobiographical, I'm very impressed with your moxie and independence.  Specially for a "gull".
Anyway, just wanted to say I'm enjoying it and identify with much of it from my much younger days.    Things sure were different in the 70's!  Fun times.  Glad you survived them.  
Signed,G...  (name removed to protect the guilty innocent)

The 70's?  How old do you think I am?  *GASP*

However, in all fairness,  I did first set foot in the Caribbean in 1979 but I continued to work and live in America until 1987.

Indeed, I do get some interesting messages!  Just thought I would publish this one that came in recently by way of a public forum.   I ended up emailing "G"  so as not to spoil the book or story for other readers. :)

But just in case you missed it... the back cover of Hurricanes & Hangovers states "While many stories are based on truth, characters and scenes have been disguised and fictionalized to protect the guilty, the famous and the infamous."

Hurricanes and Hangovers(and Other Tall Tales and Loose Lies from the Coconut Telegraph) by Dear Miss Mermaid

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

No Coffee, No Tan

photo on hunting island by copyright dear miss mermaid

I woke up alive.  Checked the dog for a pulse.  Whee!  What a great day! There was a cup of leftover coffee, so I heated that to drink while I put on a pot. This was around 4 or 5am. I like to be up in time to watch the sun come up, just to make sure I am really really alive.


I was out of coffee. Well I had enough to make about one cup. I was SURE I had another can around here.

While searching for the coffee, I reorganized the entire pantry. It's not very big, it's rather small, but I figured if I couldn't find the coffee, then it was time to dump it all out, then put it all back in nice, neat and orderly.  I had a mountain of rice, so I measured it out into 1 cup sized baggies. While sorting through stuff I came up with some creative ideas for  dishes, so I started cooking those up. This lead to doing a mountain of dishes, both before and after cooking.

Being single and eating at home 24/7 can be tedious. So I like to cook up a pile of stuff, then fill up the refrigerator. That way I have my own version of fast food. Only this way it's super healthy stuff. My fridge is tiny, so filling up my fridge is pretty easy.

Still no coffee.

Well, I am out of fresh salad fixings anyhow. I am down to a sack of Vidalia onions and 2 ears of corn for produce. Which, when I make a salad for myself, I make two and stick the other one in the refrigerator to eat the next meal or next day. Just don't use chopped tomatoes, as they will wilt the salad in a heartbeat. Either use the tiny whole tomatoes (grape or cherry sized) or store the chopped tomatoes separately.

Guess I may have to drag myself to the store after all. It's only a half hour away. Just take down the awning, crank down the antenna, unplug the cords and hoses then drive. Sounds pretty simple I guess. Oh there are 3 breakable things to secure, one being the glass carafe for the empty coffee pot *SIGH*.

I built a velcro strap for that, so I can just strap it to the appliance. Since the coffee maker is built-in (hangs from an upper cabinet) it is secure for travel already. It's 17 years old and still making great coffee. Now the little velcro strap keeps the glass carafe from crashing to the floor. The other 2 breakables being my slim little 10 inch TV that I move around. I just use a jumbo spring clip to secure the tiny TV base to the dining table. I shove the laptop into my dresser drawer with the clothes for padding, this keeps it safe.

And change out  my pants.

Somehow, I managed to spill at least three-quarters of the coffee mug on my  clean while pants. At least I was dressed. But what a shame, to put on clean white capri pants and a clean blue tie-dyed top, only to spill my precious coffee on it. How that happened I am kind of fuzzy on. I was still sleepy, shuffling back to my bed to sit in it, gaze out the windows and enjoy my coffee. But I picked up the cup and I guess the coffee just took a flying leap, landing on my trousers.

Maybe I should just toss the pants out all together. They were bought second-hand, have served me well a few years, but they seem to be getting thread bare. Now one leg is covered in coffee.  Even if I clean that off, the pants do look like they are past their expiration date. Now that I change out of them, I notice there are other faint stains here and there. Well, I am just cleaning out junk all over. I have newer pants, let me put those on and toss these out.

Oh and I don't want to haul garbage to the grocery store, so out the door with that too. Gee wiz, let me straighten up the patio while I am out here half asleep, craving coffee... at least I am dressed.

The other day the park ranger with 2 other volunteers showed up while I was naked. Oops!  Normally I get dressed as soon as I wake up. But it was mid-morning, the park was empty, I decided to shower. As soon as I was undressed, the phone rang, so I was sitting at my table (indoors, thank goodness) talking on the phone au naturale when suddenly the park ranger races up my driveway with two people she wanted me to meet.

I bolted for the bedroom, closed the door, while frantically looking for clean clothes, as the ones I took off, had already been stuffed down in the dirty laundry basket.

Meanwhile I hear them knocking at my door, wondering how long does it take someone to answer the door to a mini-motorhome?

I felt bad making them wait so long for me to find and don clothes. Either they never saw me naked or pretended they didn't see. Whew!

While I did visit many nude beaches in my younger days of sailing the Caribbean... I surely wouldn't want to be caught naked without my jewelry, hat and  a tan...  Ha ha ha!

I kid you not. At the nude Caribbean beaches I went to, it was fashionable to wear loads of jewelry, a hat and a tan. Oh, those were some fun days.  The freedom of swimming without a clammy bathing suit. Being able to bake dry without tan lines. Traveling with the galactic sarong. I would wear a sarong to the beach, take it off, hang it and my hat in a tree, go swimming, come back, spread out the sarong, lay down, cover my face with the hat, bake dry, then shake out the sand, get dressed and go home to my little old sailboat.

Back then, I knew what all my neighbors looked like naked and they had seen me plenty of times, because just about everyone in the harbor, would hop in their dinghy to go around to the next bay that had a clothing optional beach. The way we saw it, this saved us a mountain of wet swim suits and wet beach towels. Just grab a sarong and head for the beach.  Whee!

You know, I've heard rumors they are going to eventually have us all fly naked and go to the movies in the nude. However, Homeland security is sure some fool will find a way to hide a bomb in their belly button, so the whole program has stalled out for now.

So back to the wheel estate being devoid of coffee...  I walked the dog, then furled the awning, unplugged the umbilical cord so we could go shop. I decided to hit the grocery store that is famous for odd bargains. It was a Wednesday too. There is no set day when they do things but mid week seems to yield more bargains than any other time. It used to be things were marked "Managers Special" and it was usually dented cans, bruised produce, cheese or meats about to be past  dated and so on. I didn't see any foods with the "Managers Special" stickers.

Darn!  That shoots  a big hole in my budget.

Then I noticed the produce department had several items marked "Reduced for Quick Sale", so I lucked into some real bargains on tomatoes, cucumbers, corn and lettuce.  At the dented can bin I found tomato soup and Barbecue Sauce  "Reduced for Quick Sale". I could use either of those in one of my bean pots.  I saw another lady pawing over the bargains, so I raced at breakneck speed to check out the dairy department where I found some "Reduced for Quick Sale" cheese and yogurt. I threw that in my cart as fast as I could. WOW!  I sped over to the checkout, totally out of breath by now.  I wanted to beat that other shopper to the punch.

I was heaving and dripping sweat from jogging around the store, but still had to unload the cart.

The cashier said "Are you OK?  Do you need some water or some help?"

Meanwhile I was frantically dumping my cart contents onto her counter, while wheezing and gasping for air.

"Yes *gasp* I am fine, *gasp*  just that  *wheeze* I  was in a big *gasp*  hurry to get  *wheeze*  here because *gasp* of the *wheeze* "Reduced for Quick Sale" items."

She stared at me like I was speaking Swahili with a Romanian accent.

So I took a deep breath and spoke up again:

"Well? *gasp*  Was I quick enough for the reduced item sale?"

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Funny Stuff

Yesterday under comments:

Gypsy said...I have heard of jobs requiring a picture along with your resume. Wonder if it is age discrimination or what. This wasn't a job with the US Parks or other recreational systems, was it?

My answer:
NO.  Never had a problem dealing with the government on workamping and volunteering as far as them demanding pictures before considering me.

This was a privately owned  RV park that wanted pics. I was crestfallen, because people that think they can judge a workamper based on a picture of them and their rig are sorely mistaken.

It conjures up small minded people who judge a book solely by its cover.

Granted we all want to make great first impressions...  I would have preferred they accept and read my resume and letter of introduction first. Then claim I was one of the chosen few and therefore they wanted to see pics now.

But let's face facts. Neither me nor my RV are going to win the beauty queen contest. Even my bark ranger partner is goofy looking.

How it happened did seem rather odd to me...  I heard about the situation, I sent a letter of enthusiastic inquiry. They wrote back for more info, including insisting that only applications with pictures were being considered.  They also were  claiming a decision would be made at a later date.

I spent a day or so polishing up my resume, had a pic of me made, found a nice one of the RV, then sent the whole mess off. I received an immediate reply that the position was already filled. So much for the "later date"!

It left me with a WEIRD feeling, like nobody paid any attention to my resume at all.

On the other hand...  I happen to know that many people think nothing about sending off ten or twenty or thirty year old pictures of themselves!  So the last laugh may be on the RV park, IF, they picked someone that sent them a very old picture.  Ha ha!


Speaking of  the goofy looking bark ranger...

Bark Ranger by Dear Miss Mermaid

He had company today!  He was so excited he put on a circus show. He acts like he is up for adoption, and wants to suddenly pull out every trick he ever thought he knew.

These are the  exact same tricks he refuses to do on command...

However if an audience appears, he will gleefully do dancing, singing, spinning, crawling, bowing,  ricocheting, flying, twirling, walk on two legs, dance on two legs, perform back flips, ball fetching, toy fetching, three-sixties and endless kisses.  He will parade down the picnic bench like he's on a balance beam, he will show you how he can flop on his belly and crawl like a baby. He will bounce in and out of his camping chair, the one with the quilt, and tug at his quilt with his mouth, as if to say "Here, look at me!  I have a quilt in my chair!"

If you dare to ignore him, then he will start to grab his toys one by one and bring them over to show you. If they squeak, he shows you how, or he shakes them in his mouth, then lets one fly sideways.

After our company left. He let out a big long sigh, sat down and thoroughly ignored me.


Mermaid Suit is Weirdest Beach Fad of the Summer 
(Link removed, no longer works as of July 2019)

Monday, August 13, 2012

You Be The Judge

I really screwed up the post yesterday. If you get my subscription automatically, then you got a mess in the mail.

Me bad.

The internet was flaking out on me. I had corrected everything so it was actually somewhat coherent. But the internet hiccup sent the rough rough draft out instead of the new and improved. I honestly do try to run a spell heckler by before I hit publish.

Rut roh.

This morning when I went to check it, to see if all was well...  I saw the glaring errors.

I have fixed all (most?) of them by now. I am surely red-faced and Harley is dog-faced.

Feel free to send me an email or poke me in the comment section if I have made errors. I do actually go back and fix them, usually quite quickly, if the old laptop and flaky internet are willing.


I was turned down on a workamping gig today. They required a picture of me and my rig along with the resume and usual stuff. I felt odd. I have never had to submit pics before.  I didn't think you could discriminate against slaves.

It made me feel uneasy to submit pics and now I wish I never had.

Oh well. Live and learn.


I wonder if they even read my application, letter of introduction or resume.

Perhaps they just judged me solely on my pictures.

Dear Miss Mermaid Child of the Planet

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day Trip Dreaming

Recently a friend came to visit for a spell. He was super handy, helping me repair all sorts of oddball things around the wheel estate. On a few different days, we set out in the motorhome for a day trip. We could have taken his car, but it's far more fun in the motorhome. We left the car holding guard at the campground while we careened around in the wheel estate.

By day tripping in the motorhome, we were able to take the movable feast and beast with us. One day we drove to  a  special RV dealer.

In Williamston  South Carolina (off I-85) near the South Carolina and Georgia border is Porter's RV Sales. They only carry used RV's. They are not a new dealer.  They don't sell parts. Other than working on the RV's that are up for sale, they don't do servicing. They are family owned and operated, open every day except Sundays.

Residential Vehicles (RV's) come in all sizes, weights, shapes and prices.  We had the thrill to tour numerous high and low end RV's to do some serious daydreaming. We saw Class C's, Class A's, big diesel pushers, small and large Fifth Wheels and travels trailers. The only thing they were lacking were the Class B's which are very small van type campers.

It was oodles of fun to check out the assorted sizes, ages and prices.We looked at $7,000 units and $320,000 palaces on wheels with all sorts of stuff in  between including a unique fifth wheel that not only had the usual RV accouterments but also included  room to haul 3 horses in a movable barn that took up the rear half.

The lovely thing about Porters is that they have all their RV's unlocked, ready to be shown and you don't have a salesman trailing you around making ridiculous comments or asking inane questions.  You can just simply careen from RV to RV looking, drooling, wishing.

Since my last visit there years ago, they've moved their lot and added golf carts to the sales team. In other words, you can borrow one of their golf carts to peruse the expansive inventory which is spread out over several acres. It was hot and humid when we arrived, so we opted for a golf cart, mainly so little Harley dog could go with us.

He loves golf carts!  He was absolutely thrilled when we hopped in one. He sat up tall with that "Look at me!  I'm styling in a golf cart!" attitude. He thought we were at a campground, so he was eagerly looking for other campers and dogs. Needless to say, he was  perplexed that this campground was devoid of both.

At the first RV, I told him to "stay".  He looked so sad, but at least the golf cart had a shady roof, so he could sit in the driver's seat, watching the world go by, while the humans traipsed through nearly all the RV's. We would look at three or four RV's then fetch the dog and golf cart, moving it up to the next section. Harley got the hang of it. His job was to guard the golf cart in the shade, while we visited these unseen humans and dogs.  This in turn saved me from having to run the generator back at my RV just to keep him cool. This lot had no shade at all, he would have cooked inside the RV without AC. This way, he was able to sit in the shade of the golf cart and every 10 minutes or so, we took him for a short ride in the treasured cart, to the next set of RV's.

I figured all in all, it was good training for him to learn to sit quietly and wait on the humans to turn up next. We found out later, that Harley and his golf cart perplexed a family that was also visiting RV's. They didn't realize you could borrow a complimentary golf cart. Later when I ran into them, they said their kids thought the dog was driving the golf cart, because every time they looked, the golf cart had moved and the same dog was just sitting in the driver's seat staring at RV's.

At one fifth wheel, Harley went nuts, whining and straining at his leash, wanting to get out of the golf cart. I thought he had to water the bushes, so I walked him around, but he was dragging me towards the door of the fifth wheel, his tail wagging in wild excitement. Then I realized he thought it was our Brazilian friends we had met while workamping last winter. They often had Harley and I visiting in their fifth wheel.

Today we had come upon one that was nearly identical to theirs and this strange little dog recognized the similarities enough to think that maybe our friends were inside!

I scooped him up in my arms, to take him in with us. He seemed crestfallen that nobody was at home.  I am still amazed that he picked a fifth wheel that was nearly identical to theirs in size and layout. How did he do that?  Is there really something going on inside of his tiny brain?  Sheesh.

I think he has selective learning disorder...

We were into our second hour of touring RV's when the skies clouded over, the heavens opened up, and a ferocious storm dumped buckets of rain. We raced as fast as that golf cart could go, down a muddy bumpy hill that made us wonder if we would tumble out, back to my motorhome.  We ran inside, all three of us soaking wet.  I mean to say we were dripping so badly that I was able to give the floor a good serious mopping.

It needed that anyhow.

My wheel estate was hot and humid inside.  The windows quickly steamed up.  I fired up the generator to run the air-conditioning while fetching towels to dry us off. It seemed silly to drive out in the storm, so I made us lunch. An hour or more later, as I was washing up the dishes, the skies cleared, the rains stopped.  Since we were still parked at the RV lot, we decided to go see more RV's with an enthusiastic doggy in tow. He was thrilled to get back in the golf cart.

It was so much fun to look and see how the different manufacturers had laid out their living areas, bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens. We discussed what we liked and what we thought was ridiculous. One RV had such shoddy workmanship on the cabinetry, I made a mental note to never consider that manufacturer.  We oohed and aahed at the four-door refrigerators, the one piece sink and counter tops (my dream!) and laughed at some of the horrible decors.

I guess everyone has their own idea of good and bad taste, but some of the color choices and fabrics were about as exciting as a freight elevator. Others were done in such deep dark dreary colors it was more like a padded cave.

Years ago, when I first toured this lot in search of my own RV, it gave me a hefty education in a hurry about what to look for in an RV as well as coming up with my short list of "must-haves"  and a long list of "wishful-wants".

For anyone considering a new or used RV, go look at hundreds of RV's so you get a feel for what's available, your likes and dislikes. Some of the layouts were very livable.

Others were thrown together with as much thought as a weekend flea market booth.

We liked the fancy pantries that slid out on wheels, giving you a chance to find the perfect spice or ingredient without digging around.

Years ago what I learned was, besides a good running engine, it seemed to me, the number one consideration was good quality workmanship on the cabinetry. You surely don't want to go bouncing down the roads, with the cabinets regurgitating their contents or falling apart every time you  sneeze.

Oddly enough, this is a more common problem than you would think. I've met several RV-ers who have to tie up all their cabinet doors and drawers before setting out, because to do otherwise would mean finding all their stuff unceremoniously dumped out onto the furniture and floors.

One RV we drooled over, had a big slide-out with a glass roof.  It appeared the former owner had removed the usual rectangle table and replaced it with a heavy round oak dining table on a massive pedestal. The round table amid an otherwise angular area, was a welcome treat.

A few had their bathrooms split up with a small broom closet with a toilet stuck inside but no windows or sink. It seemed a bit too claustrophobic for me. I think I would have to either put a window in there or mirrored all the walls.  Many bedrooms had ornate headboards where  as mine has windows.

One had such a massive kitchen, I could easily go back into catering with room to spare. Another one had French doors with glass panes to enter the bedroom which also had mini blinds on one side of the French doors. I could just imagine the glass rattling and the blinds banging around.

A big diesel coach had this huge bedroom with lovely built-in closets and dressers with oodles of storage plus a massive entertainment center. To the side of the bed was an overstuffed lounge chair.

Another one had a comfy sofa with matching  built-in end tables  with lamps  screwed down to the table tops. One RV had a strange looking dining booth. I sat down and saw why it looked so strange. The booths were measured out and built all wrong. Anyone weighing over 80 pounds would never be able to sit there comfortably.

What were they thinking? You stand at the sink and eat?

In one 45 foot luxury RV,  I finally sat down at the driver's seat to see what it would feel like to drive the rig.  You know, just in case I sold a zillion books tomorrow or found a winning  lottery ticket.

I slipped into the seat then put my hands on the wheel to stare out the windshield and check my rear view mirrors.

Holy cow!

Was I ever in for a shock. It seemed like I might as well be driving an 18 wheeler truck. No wonder people that own these big rigs are forced to tow a car with them too. That makes the overall length around 60 feet or so.

I can't imagine trying to navigate a beast like that in a common parking lot to fetch groceries or supplies. I was thinking of all the fun out of the way places I have taken my little old rig and the beautiful campgrounds in remote places.

I pondered all the times, I make unscheduled stops, because I saw an awe inspiring  vista or something of interest like a dog park or a picnic wayside by a stream or a public park or a beautiful waterfall.

As I sat in the driver's seat imagining the thrill of owning all this luxury, the fun factor just totally evaporated for me. I felt like half the planet would be off limits.  I wouldn't get to go to those funky RV parks that are nothing more than the backyard of an entrepreneurial spirit.

And what about all those whimsical stops I often make.  Or the times I get lost and end up rolling down skinny country roads, soaking up the scenery rather than worrying about where on earth I would find a half acre to turn a 60 foot rig around.   Or the time I got lost on a gravel road, but found this incredible campground far out in the country.

If you read my blog last summer, one day I taught myself how to make a 12 point turn on a steep hill that had  abruptly dead ended.

See This Is A Fine Mess

I got up out of the driver's seat.  By now Porter's would like to close, we had spent nearly the whole day there just sight seeing and day dreaming. Educating ourselves in the world of used RV's.

We turned in the golf cart, then walked  back to my little old motorhome.

I just fell in love with it all over again. The sun coming through the windows made it bright and cheerful. I liked the layout, the decor, the ease of driving it anywhere.

It's simple, it's fun, it's home.

I put away the dry lunch dishes, then drove away.

August 12 2012

Internet, computer, mermaid and puppy are real flaky. Back soon!

Friday, August 10, 2012


Life in the big city can get chaotic or so it seems. I've been super uber busy juggling ideas for the fall and winter. It's nice to take a tiny break from workamping, though the weather has been very stormy.

I've been trying to put together a simple resume.  Sounds easier said than done. My past endeavors are so eclectic. All my work history I was self-employed or working under contract.  Sometimes I was juggling assorted endeavors at once.

Several years when I was living on my sailboat in the Virgin Islands, I was going out on week long charter yachts as chef and crew. Other times I was working in spectacular villas as a private chef for vacationers. In between those two positions, I was catching up accounting for a popular nightclub.  Once my sailboat refit was finished, I was doing specialty charters and/or sailing lessons  for 1-2-3 nights with 1-2-3 passengers. I have never had a steady salary, a direct supervisor or corporate perks. But up until I landed in the hospital in late 2009, I had no trouble at all earning a living. Life just rolled along and I stayed very busy.

Oh to have that boundless energy again!

I keep plodding away at my recuperation, trying to recapture that vitality. It's been slow going, but hey, here I am still alive, slugging away trying to balance convalescence with writing and workamping. Final stages, end stages, those are medical terms I would like to toss out the window.  I think they are designed to cause stress and depression.

Would it kill the medical community to sound a tad upbeat and positive once in awhile? And put those prescription pads away. It seems the doctors now are just government approved drug pushers. With a tiny bit of research many medical problems can be corrected by adjusting the diet.  But shopping in modern grocery stores is maddening. Everything seems so heavily laden with sugars, chemicals and big complicated words that surely don't sound like anything healthy to eat. Ditto for the majority of restaurants. OK, let me climb down off my soapbox and go walk the dog...


If I toss enough things in the air, will a rabbit pop out of my hat?

Mind over matter.

If I tell myself a thousand times that it will get better...  it keeps me occupied.

And it does get better and better and better...  I am so lucky!

Just late yesterday I received some encouraging news about possible workamping in a desired location. I hate to let on much about it, in case I am not their first choice. But I've been playing phone tag with a certain person who indicated they might have something for me and my little bark ranger.

Seek and ye shall find. I've been on a wild scavenger hunt for sure.

Maybe I can pull an endless scarf out of my mouth next.

It's been storming with the motorhome rocking and shaking, the rains coming down like sheets across the windows. Little puppy dog still needs to go out and do his business. He hates the rain, doesn't like getting his tiny feet wet. He wants little dog boots. I keep telling him,  that's not happening anytime soon.

If I let him, he will overspend his allowance. Tsk tsk tsk. Poor little puppy has no concept of money. Probably because he has no pawkets to keep any.

He is miffed that he has outgrown his raincoat.  I still put it on him, but more of his rear end gets wets that when he first got it. When we come back from our rain soaked walk, he is thrilled at the time and attention I give him, rubbing his paws and fur dry before he can romp around his rolling dog house again. He is shivering and shaking, so I put a T-shirt on him. It seems so silly to put a sweater on him in August!  But the T-shirt makes him happy, then he climbs under the pillows to nap.

Life is good. A bit wet, but lovely all around. My life is like these chairs...   pointed in 4 different directions at once!

workamping photo by dear miss mermaid

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Big City

I have briefly left workamping to visit friends in the big city while taking care of business and health.

They suggested I park in their ample yard beside the gravel drive. Per their suggestion, I gently backed up and alternately went forward about 10 times, until I found the perfectly level spot.

Whew!  What luck. Angels watching out for me.

I ran a heavy duty cord to a 110 outlet on the side of their house, with an adapter for my 30amp cord. Years of living on boats taught me to memorize the wattage of most all appliances and gadgets, so I never trip a breaker.

So far so good!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Mind Ogling

Do you require a park which accepts fur-bearing pets?

That was a question I had to answer today on a workamper application.  I've never quite seen it expressed that way before. Matter of fact, I read and reread the question to make sure I understood it correctly.

WHO wrote this application?

So the pet python might not be a problem but otherwise  I "require a park which accepts fur-bearing pets".

Is that the new politically correct term for  our cats and dogs?

Next time I check into a campground, I can see the fur beginning...

Clerk:  Size of your motorhome?
Me:  28 feet
Clerk:  Number of nights?
Me: Three
Clerk:  How many in your party?
Me:  Two. One humanoid and one fur-bearing pet. 

Should fur-bearing pet be shortened to FBP?

Or how about "furbet"?

So WHAT is this?

A fur-bearing pet?

A coat-wearing canine?

A fleece-lined fur-bearing faux-suede pet? 

That reminds me...

Most parks require dogs to be kept on a six-foot leash at all times. Only problem is, some of Harley's leashes are 4 feet long and one is 5 feet long. If they catch me walking him on a leash less than 6 feet long, will we be in trouble?  


Another application asked me for my last 7 addresses. I have no idea if they meant the last 7 addresses where I lived long enough to get mail or the last 7 campgrounds I stayed the night or what?

Did they realize that 99% of the applicants who apply for workamping positions live in their wheel estate fulltime and therefore move around more often than the general populace?


Then there was the permission for a CBC or a Criminal Background Check. This was for a  unpaid volunteer temporary position for the government.

My thinking is most criminals tend to want to stay far far away from anything to do with any type of government.

Maybe I am wrong.

Maybe there are criminals with spare time on their hands just itching to volunteer their services.

Yes, I have time leftover after my nightly  "Stop and Rob" or "Breaking and Entering"  to volunteer my time working for free...

August 6 2012

The sun is shining today!

The maintenance crew cleaned up the mega mess after the storm. I've been under the weather. Puppy dog and I have been in bed.  I'm ready to climb the walls, but too weak.

We have been out to water some bushes and leave deposits nearby. Poor doggy misses his long walks.

Thanks to a saintly angel, Harley dog has been eating Newman's Own Organics Adult Dog Food Formula that he got in the mail awhile back. It seems to have fluffed up his fur a good bit. Occasionally his left ear is standing up. Not sure if this is temporary or if he plans to actually raise that ear up  for good one day.

His beard is coming back in from the haphazard trim when he stuck his face into a pile of sandspurs months past. I never realized how long it takes for dog fur to grow.

He's been a good little buddy to me, even though we would rather be outdoors. Soon come...  I keep whispering to him.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

After The Storm

Lake Hartwell by Dear Miss Mermaid copyright by http://DearMissMermaid.Com

Last night the storm hit. It was one of the very rare times the dog and I were actually a tad scared. Earlier I had folded up the patio umbrella as that takes 10 seconds. The RV awning takes a bit longer.  I wasn't expecting a storm, just some rain, so I angled it for fast draining.

After the storm hit, the winds kicked up, blowing the awning which shook the motorhome like we were sailing in choppy seas.

Rut roh.

In the wind driven rains, I went outside in the dark to try to put the awning away completely. This
full moon mushroom by Dear Miss Mermaid copyright by http://DearMissMermaid.Com

was impossible, all alone, with the high winds,  but I was able to drop it down super low at a 30 degree angle to the wheel estate with the frame still out to steady it. Had the winds been normal, putting it away alone would have been a simple matter.

I ran back inside, standing on the entry rug, soaking it immediately with my rain sodden clothes. Amazingly, the rocking and rolling stopped inside, the dog quit shaking, but the storm continued to swirl around us. I could hear a big tree breaking up, falling in the woods with a thud that would have even shook up Big Foot. The rat-a-tat-tat on the roof sounded like hail.

But it could have been the squirrels clogging and square dancing up there.

Finally the dog and I climbed in bed with the cell phone, GPS and flashlight. I left his harness on though usually I take it off of him when we are snugly inside for the night. It gives the harness a chance to air out and  Harley can lay on his back for his treasured belly rubs.

I figured if a tornado relocated us, assuming we survived the move, we could use the cell phone to alert someone of our change of address per the GPS. I think by now the storm was making my thinking cloudy, but at the time, it seemed like a grand idea.

Speaking of being lost after a storm...

My bush doctor and his nurse wife on St John in the Virgin Islands, were neighbors and friends of mine. One summer he closed up shop so he and his wife could sail for Venezuela. They anchored in a gorgeous harbor with a fabulous view of life ashore. That night it rained, so they had to close up the hatches and turn on a fan. The next  morning they arose for coffee in the cockpit only to discover they were completely surrounded by ocean with not a speck of land in sight.

This was before GPS was commonly available. They had no idea when they had broke anchor, or how long they had been adrift or where on earth they were. Eventually they got out the charts showing their last known position in the anchorage. They figured up a worse case scenario of assuming their sailboat began drifting 5 minutes after they went to sleep multiplied by the maximum hull speed of the boat at drift.

Toccoa Falls Georgia by Dear Miss Mermaid copyright by http://DearMissMermaid.ComFor you non-sailors, a boat's hull displaces the water. It can only go a certain maximum  speed, no matter what is powering it, be it engine or wind. If the boat is forced into going faster than that, it will sink!

Anyhow, back to drifting from Venezuela. The next problem was a strange ponderosity.  Which

pushed them out to sea, the currents or the wind or a combination or both?  What if they had drifted one way for awhile then the winds, seas and currents had pushed them another way?

Finally they penciled in a huge crescent across the chart, of where they might conceivable be. They fired up the engine and motored for hours, eventually  grateful to see land in sight. They ended up just a few harbors from whence they came. All's well ends well.

Back on land at the park where I am workamping, I woke up at 4am in extreme pain because my bed is pure torture. It's old, the innersprings are shot and it's become the most miserable thing to lay upon. Last year I tried buying a mattress topper to add some comfort. Ha ha ha, what was I thinking?

The comfort lasts about an hour then those dreadful innersprings start settling at odd angles poking me in all the wrong places.

Honest to goodness, I'm beginning to think that 90% of my sleep and pain issues are this tortuous bed. I am going to donate it to a dungeon really soon.

At daybreak, I leashed up a reluctant Harley for a walk through the park. What a shock that was, with busted up tree branches littering my entire patio, driveway and most of the roads and parking lots.

What a shame.

Just yesterday the maintenance crew arrived all abuzz with lawn mower, weed whacker and leaf blower. They mowed the lawn, trimmed all the weeds around the utility posts for the RV, then used their blower to clean my patio.  My little campground for one looking stunningly beautiful. I wish I had taken a picture of how pretty it was. How was I to know a storm would wreck it in under 24 hours?

After the maintenance crew left,  Harley and I came out to play golf. Puppy was thrilled to be able to see his lawn. He is so tiny, that when the grass gets tall, it's like a little jungle for him. He can't even see his toys laying ten feet away. So yesterday with the newly cut lawn,  we played golf until he collapsed with his little rib cage just heaving and a big puppy grin on his goofy face.

He looked wore out, his sides were pumping so hard, that I picked him up in my arms, to come inside, parking him in front of his water bowl. He seemed extremely grateful.

At least we woke up alive!  YAY!  And the storm didn't turn us upside down.  I was super grateful because after the storm, the next morning, I spoke with a friend who said he had a vision of finding me upside down. Yikes!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Bark Ranger Seeks WoofCamping Situation

The heat wave seems to have left us alone for now. I am feeling so much better.  Puppy dog is thrilled because that means we are walking more.

I am in a panic about my fall and winter arrangements. Planning ahead with   an efficient budget is time consuming and frustrating. I need to be further south and of course rents are not a bargain there either, so I am hunting for workamping or the needle in a haystack of an RV park that fits my budget.

Workamping for the winter in Florida is competing against thousands of applicants, many are couples too, which I am not. They won't count Harley's contribution even though he is a very hard worker.

Harley has decided to take matters into his own paws.

Experienced Bark Ranger seeking woofcamping or workamping by Dear Miss Mermaid

For more information see my resume penned by my own paw: