Monday, October 08, 2012

Pigs and An Angel

This past weekend, a bunch of campers posted political signs all over their campsites close to the camp road. It seemed like an odd place to stick up "Vote for me" signs out here with nature.There were so many in abundance,  I felt like I was driving to the polls.  I am truly amazed.  I expected a politician to come campaigning around  next.

I thought people packed their cars with camping gear like tents, sleeping bags, charcoal, food... but political signs?

"Honey, don't forget to pack the cooler  and for gosh sakes don't FORGET to bring the political signs!  You know how ROUGH it can get  camping all weekend, when you leave those political signs at home!"

You just never know.  I must be an alien.

An angel came to my rescue. He   read where I had been too pooped to set up camp, so he drove  over 100 miles one way to come help.

What an angel!  WOW!

I got up at 5am, and did most of my workamping in between gulping down copious amounts of coffee and water. I had just returned from the garbage run when Harley suddenly went nuts. I knew then my angel must be nearby. Sure enough, a few minutes later he drove up.

Now Harley dog had not seen him in over a year, yet before we even saw his car, he was shaking his body from head to tail, wiggling in delight, alerting me that something wonderful was about to happen.

My friend had an amazing amount of energy. In short order he had my patio looking  like home again. He also helped me fix the broken dish drawer. Just that morning POOF, I opened the drawer for a coffee mug and the drawer broke. Good grief. I don't need this nonsense.  That drawer seems to have a a different problem every 10 months or so.

He sussed out the latest  problem and  fixed it with a wedge of wood. It's kind of hard to explain, but actually he fixed it with a clothes pin for the piece of wood we needed.

camping with dear miss mermaid
My site is starting to look like home.

The picture doesn't do the patio justice, but there is the folding table,the patio mat,  four chairs, a side table (made from a broken chair), the picnic table covered with a table cloth (former awning material) and the old gazebo set up in back.

The old gazebo was being regifted to a friend of mine, they were going to put it up permanently in their garden, but they never came to get it. That was 700 miles ago, so it rode down here with me. The blue umbrella was meant to more or less replace the shade the gazebo provided.

Shade?  Who needs shade?  We are on day 8 of rainy overcast weather.

I say old gazebo, because it is falling apart beyond repair, but with a half mile of duct tape, up it went and my angel did 99% of the work. I will get to enjoy the gazebo these final three months, then after that, it won't be traveling with me anymore.  It's impossible to refold it now that it is fortified with duct tape at every busted joint.

Sadly,  Coleman missed the mark on this item. The frame is metal and plastic. The metal works fine, but the plastic fittings are just too flimsy, so every time the gazebo is set up or put away, plastic fittings break and pop, flying off in jagged pieces. Last summer, a jagged piece ripped into my face, leaving me looking like the loser in a bar fight.

The gazebo roof, which is fabric, is just way too flimsy. In under a year, it was ripped, torn, split,  and just plain old rotten.  This gazebo should have lasted years. Indeed Coleman built a sturdy canvas bag for it, but the materials used to build the gazebo itself are not worthy of such a wonderful heavy bag. It seriously makes no sense.

Coleman does sell replacement fabric for the roof, but with the frame being so cantankerous, it's turned out to be a thorn in my side and back too!

Every time the gazebo goes up, it needs loads of repairs to make it functional.            Last summer it was held together with macrame. Then when it's put away again, it falls apart and breaks in new places. So this is it's final UP.  When I leave here, the next set of workampers can enjoy it as is, or it can go to the dumpster. Right now, with the miles of duct tape piecing the frame back together, it's impossible to refold the gazebo frame again. Coleman needs to rethink this design altogether. Well actually the design is a marvel of engineering, but the final materials used to execute it are a dismal disaster.

Speaking of dumpster diving...

Oh, um we weren't on to that yet...

The doggy and I were hauling off the campground garbage today and there in the dumpster was a patio mat. So I retrieved it and put it under the gazebo. Together, they look great.

Oh so where do pigs fit in this tale?

I was going to cook for my friend but he offered to take me out to eat and well, that is such an uber luxury, I couldn't resist. It was too hot to take the doggy with us, so he had to stay home in the RV. Boy did he ever give us the saddest look of hurt as we shut the door and locked it.

His little face was just heartbreakingly sad. How do dogs do that?

We ended up at an Asian buffet, The New Century Buffet in Saint Augustine.  Considering we were just driving around randomly picking out a restaurant, we seriously lucked out.

When I saw the sign for "Century Buffet" I said "You know, when the Asian's give their restaurant a funny American name, the food is usually awesome."  I know that is a strange way to pick a restaurant.

But seriously, we went inside and they had this incredible buffet laid out of mostly Chinese foods with some strange American recipes thrown in for good measure.  There was also a sushi bar, oh my gosh, was that ever delicious. I was able to eat a big hit of wasabi. I don't recommend this to novices at all. Start with a teeny tiny pinch of wasabi, about the size of a pinhead. You really have to go into training to be able to eat a glob of wasabi. But for me, it's heaven's medicine, as wasabi does have many good health benefits I crave.

When I worked as a charter yacht  chef, Sushi was on the menu once a week as an appetizer. So I got in plenty of training dining on wasabi. Then when I used to sail with a friend of mine, we would often make sushi for lunch. If we didn't have fresh fish we just used a can of tuna. I know that sounds funny, but hey it was delicious.

So back to the buffet, we made serious pigs of ourselves. I felt like oinking by the time we left. The food was exceptionally good, freshly made from scratch.

When we left, there was a storm like you wouldn't believe. Thunder, lightning, torrential rains. By the time we got back to the campground, it had stopped again.

I opened the door to one very exuberant puppy who was full of love, joy, excitement and kisses. Of course our angel had brought him treats and a much coveted tennis ball. Funny how we left one sad little puppy and came back to one bouncing off the walls, full of good cheer.

You're home!  You're here!  Yippie!

We could all take lessons from a dog.  Put enthusiasm into everything!

Today, I worked every calorie of that Asian buffet back off again doing my workamping chores. I am pooped, exhausted, wore out tired.  I ache and hurt in places I didn't know existed.

I keep smiling and grinning, figuring I can focus on that and not on the pain. (But I am still secretly very grumpy!)

Silly me thought campers took their garbage with them or put it in the dumpsters. Apparently many just fling it around the site or pile it up in the firepit.  Folks, I got news for you... Budweiser cans don't burn and neither do a zillion water caps nor plastic forks.  I am trying my best to get this campground cleaned up with just nature in abundance. I never thought the very folks that come out here to enjoy the beauty would also trash it too.

At least they packed up the political signs. Thank goodness for small favors.


  1. Great friend to come and help that way:) I have seen bunches of bumper stickers, but not actual political signs in a campground. I would find that annoying even if it was for someone I supported!

  2. Political signs = firewood! Angels are
    wonderful:-) trash sickens me. It's rude of them to poison nature.

  3. What a kind friend! Lucky you! And lucky Harley to have such good Spidey sense.

  4. Almost made a U-Turn with all those Romney/Ryan signs at that campsight :) But I looked to the left and saw my little Monkey buddy going bananas at the end of your site. Thanks for calling me an "angel"; most think I am from the other direction. Great seeing you again and hope everything works out with this workamping gig!

    The Troutman


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