Monday, December 30, 2013


I am trying to be optimistic and make it to the new year. Woo hoo! My new year resolutions are a pretty tall order this year.

Wake up alive.
Spread smiles.
Be kinder, nicer, gentler.
Laugh more, cry less.

Sounds like a difficult plan!

I haven't been able to take doggy to the bark park lately. The last few days, I can barely make it to the dump and back with him. But if we don't carry our little bag of garbage out daily, then it will get to be too heavy or too big. I pray this is just a temporary hiccup. The pain has gotten to me, and I just can't get much of anything done at all. 

I keep smiling and counting, chanting and meditating, praying and wishing. 

All sorts of people around me are having a really rough time and I wish only the best for them, to get well, to smile, to be happy. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Eye of the Beholder

Sunset on the Space Coast of Florida is reflected in the small lake behind my campsite.

Home is where we park it. I look so small next to the big rig. There is a smokey aura behind my motorhome. I have no idea what that is all about. Maybe it's fairy dust.

It's so hard to catch a good picture of my ridiculous doggy. I think I caught him in mid jump because both his ears are up.

I have a growing collection of mushroom photos. This one is rather unique. Nature replicating life. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Have Your Elf A Merry Christmas

Christmas isn't about the nicest tree or what's under it. It's about who's around it.

What makes December so special?

It's the only month with a D.

There's a new band named "Spice Rack" who came out with a Christmas album called "Season's Greetings".

A couple of twins named Hall became professional wrestlers who could be bribed to lose. That's how they became known as Deck The Halls.

The Gingerbread man was tired and chilly, so I covered him with a cookie sheet.

I told Harley Dog not to eat the Christmas decorations lest he get tinsel-itis.

At the wild animal Christmas parade, they were singing Jungle Bells.

A bunch of turkeys beseeched the heavens to be spared this Christmas.

Some say it was Fowl Pray.

Employees from the Nuclear Power Plant went caroling while singing "Ho, ho, ho who wouldn't glow..."

At the grocery store, I saw Mother Superior donate a handful of pennies into the Salvation Army kettle. Now that was a bunch of Nun cents.

When Sir Lancelot was stabbed they sang "Oh Holey Knight".

If you rent a Santa Claus suit you have to pay for steam cleaning. It's called a Sauna Claus.

When bald Uncle Joe got a comb for Christmas he said "I will treasure this and never part with it!"

Santa Claus was so fat he got stuck in the chimney. He was terrified because he had Claustrophobia.

The eleven elves rallied around Santa to hire one more and make them an even dozen. So finally Santa advertised for a twelf.

During the Christmas party a bunch of ducks got drunk and sang carols. I guess that's what you call Christmas Quackers.

Santa Claus wanted a motorcycle for Christmas so the elves built him a Holly Davidson.

One elf could only run backwards so they named him Fle.

There was an elf shortage so skunks were hired for Santa's marketing department. They came up with "Jingle Smells All The Way" but they were fired because their jingle stunk.

What do you call a camel that never leaves your side?

O Camel Ye Faithful.

After the beaver chopped down the Christmas tree, he said "It was nice gnawing you!"

The worst Christmas gift is a broken drum. You just can't beat it.

The thief who stole an Advent Calendar got 25 days.

The mice got drunk and angry while making their Christmas Cards and mailed out Cross Mouse Cards.

A Peeping Tom was spying in the window at the baker. When she opened up the window, he fell into the mixer and became a Minced Spy.

They say Santa Claus speaks Polish because he is a North Pole.

The snowman got an icicle to ride for Christmas.

An elf won the lottery and became welfy.

What do Christmas trees and klutzy knitters have in common? They both drop their needles.

Jolly Kris Kringle ate with the troops on Christmas Day. This made a Merry Kris Mess.

December 24th is celebrated because Adam got confused and said "It's Christmas, Eve."

Santa Claus visited The Virgin and had a Mary Christmas.

The President has a secret button in his shoe that when pushed can start a war. It's called his Missile Toe.

Santa likes to go down the chimney because it soots hims.

To become an elf, you must first study the elfabet. It only has 25 letters because there is no L.

Santa Claus loves to garden in the summer when he is on Santa Pause so he can hoe, hoe, hoe.

One of Santa's elfs ran off to be a rhythmic singer. He calls himself a Wrapper.

A special elf makes toy guitars while singing "Blue Christmas". He is called Elfis.

This will sleigh you, Rudolf decided to try a comedy routine in his off season.

Last summer an elf vacationed in the Caribbean and got a sunburn. This made him snappy and crass so they called him Rude-Elf the Red Nose.

One of the reindeer lost his tail, so he went shopping at a retail store for a new one.

This may surprise you.

Scrooge loves the reindeer because every buck is dear to him.

Santa Claus tripped and fell backwards into the roaring fireplace. That's why we also call him Krisp Kringle.

Which reindeer keeps the sleigh clean?

Comet of course.

Caribbean folklore tells about a special fat cat who delivers toys at the beach. They call him Sandy Claws.

The reindeer have a beautiful Christmas tree decorated with hornaments.

Santa Claus really lives with Aunt Artica.

When Frosty the Snowman was caught stealing water the policeman yelled "Freeze!"

We lost an elf when he pushed his bed into the fireplace so he could sleep like a log.

Last Christmas a bunch of chess nerds were in the hotel lobby bragging about their games. Well that's Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.

The elves grew an organic garden over the summer to sell produce in the Elf Store.

Mexican sheep came caroling last night singing "Fleece Navidad".

Some elves say their jobs are really bad. They claim they do all the work and some guy in a suit gets all the credit.

There is no smoking allowed at the North Pole because it's bad for the elf.

Do you know the difference between a Snowman and a Snowlady?  Only one has snow balls.

An elderly man said Christmas was very confusing. As a child he believed in Santa Claus. He grew up and didn't believe in Santa Claus. Next he had kids and dressed up as Santa Claus. Now he's in the old folks' home looking like Santa Claus.

There was a kid on our block who didn't believe in Santa. We call him a rebel without a Claus.

A man from the United States went over Niagara falls in a beer keg while singing Christmas Carols. He washed up on the Canadian side. They said that's A Merry Can.

Somebody crossed a Snowman with a Vampire and got Frostbit.

If you cross a thug with a gift-wrapper you end up with Ribbon Hood.

The real reason Santa Claus is so jolly is because he knows where all the naughty girls are.

Santa Jaws delivers Christmas gifts to mermaids of the sea.

And what do you call a cheery Brit who calls you on Christmas Eve?


Monday, December 23, 2013

Move Along Small Rig You Don't Matter

My little doggy is so spoiled. Most days we walk all the way to the dog park and back. One day when I was looking pale and shaky, a lady offered us a ride in her car back to the campground. Normally I would turn down such frivolity, but I was wishing I hadn't walked to the dog park at all, because I felt so weak when I arrived. Funny how an angel suddenly appeared to save me. Harley was thrilled to ride with her and her canine too. They got along fine. We were super grateful for the ride.

Luckily, since then, I've been fine and able to walk there and back. Harley would like for me to roller skate so he can race there pulling me along. I just don't think that would be cost effective, as I can just imagine going through numerous bandages per day.

I think if Harley escapes again, he will run for the dog park.  He surely knows the way by now. He doesn't understand why I vary the route. He tries to drag me along his preferred route, it's so funny. I must admit, he is getting me to walk faster and faster. Whew! It's not easy either, but I keep pushing away.

Some days we were riding the bicycle, but then we've had such strong winds, I didn't feel up to it. It takes a lot of pedal power to go upwind. Apparently I am not too good at this.

I dream about getting an electric front wheel for my bicycle. Then I could have some motor assist when I feel the need. The battery is rechargeable, the motor near silent. I could probably bike to the grocery store then, with the confidence to get back home. But it's all just a dream for now.

On another note...

I try to get along with with folks in the campground. But once again, owners of a "big rig" are trying to force me out of my spot. They want my pre-reserved camping site and suggested I move to a tiny spot that I don't care for. The problem is I don't want to move. I made this reservation last year for this spot. I like it and want to keep it. When I do need to drive my rig for groceries, it's easy for me to get in and out.

This campground does have numerous camp sites in all different sizes. But they charge us campers all the same, whether we are in a big rig or a tiny economical one, the monthly rent is the exact same.

My thinking is, if their rig is too big, then they should plan ahead, reserve and prepay for the spot they want. I think it's unfair to just show up one day and announce they want my spot and therefore I should be willing to jump up and move to account for their lack of preplanning. They fit into the spot they are in now, they just like mine better and expect me to jump up and move for them. Personally I find this incredulous and pushy.

How many folks would be willing to give up their reserved spot simply because someone else decided they wanted it too? I've been shoved into the tiny spots before, but this year I planned ahead.

Incredibly, this is not the first time this has happened to me. I would not dream of picking out someone else's reservation and then insisting they move to accommodate me. But these folks went so far as to ask the ranger to move me around. The ranger says he can't make me move, all he can do is ask if I want to.

Why me? I don't need this extra stress. To make matters worse the entire subject is part of the idle campground gossip and frankly, I am sick of it. Folks are divided. Most think I should stay put others think I should move (they are friends with the folks who want my spot.) I'm just trying to be a happy camper.

If the campground were giving me a special small rig rate, I would be happy to move, but I pay the exact same rent as the big rigs, so I do not feel like being treated like a second class citizen because I live in a compact RV. I've had problems like this before, small rig, same rate, tiny spot. But I planned ahead, made a reservation and prepaid the required deposit for this spot so I wouldn't be shoved into the tiniest one at the last minute.

My first 3 winters in Florida I was mostly workamping and then taking pot luck on my other camp sites, which meant I often ended up in the least desirable spots. But finally last year I scraped up enough funds to make an advance reservation for this winter. I couldn't find workamping this winter that was suitable for me. I can no longer do any of the heavy labor workamping assignments. Finding those without heavy labor in winter, in Florida for a solo camper proved impossible this winter. I still look, in case something pops up.

The truth being, my health is erratic, I'm in a great deal of pain some days without benefit of pain relievers. I try to do mind over matter, but some days the pain is stronger than my mind I guess.

Someone has already nabbed my current spot for next winter. That's OK. I got a list of sites available for my preferred dates next year. Harley was thrilled we walked the campground 4 or 5 times, hemming and hawing over the various spots still available, until we found one that smiled at us. It gives us something to look forward to I suppose, that we will be alive and well enough next year to be here. (Fingers crossed!)

Some spots are lumpy, some are grassy, some are sandy, some are shady, some are on or near a small lake, some aren't, some are large, some are small, some are easier to get in and out of than others.

I so hate planning a year ahead, but if one wants to spend winter in Florida on a set budget, one needs to be well organized.  It's OK to be disorganized with deep pockets. But the reality is that Florida is popular in the winter. I happen to enjoy camping in this particular campground because it does give Harley Dog a chance to visit the off-leash dog park almost daily during our visit. We both enjoy this. In the summer where we workamp, the nearest dog park is over 30 miles away, not something we can just walk to in a half hour.

Ironically, of all the dogs in the campground, Harley is the only camping visitor to the dog park except when my friend visits in her rig with her dog. The rest of the canine folks we meet at the dog park are from the surrounding neighborhoods. I think it's kind of sad, the other dog owners don't bother to use the dog park, but what the heck, to each their own.

Harley spends his life in a tiny RV or on a leash or tether. The freedom of running wild in the dog park is heavenly for his speedy little spindly legs. It also gives him a chance to socialize with other dogs and run with a pack for awhile. A dog being a dog.

Somebody donated several balls to the dog park, including a green tennis ball. Harley loves to play catch, fetch, keep away and toss. He also likes guarding the green ball when he is too winded to play chase and fetch. Twice now, he has tried to sneak the ball home!  I make him leave it at the dog park for the other canines to enjoy too. (But he still thinks it is his!)

Here he is resting at the dog park, while guarding the green tennis ball. If someone walks near him, he slaps his paws on top of the ball!  It's funny and it's embarrassing that my little pup is so spoiled. But I love him anyhow. He brings laughter to me and the other visitors to the dog park.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Never Too Late Is It?

The shortest day of the year.

Winter solstice.

Being a sunshiny person, winter is rough on me, but being able to travel with the weather in my little old wheel estate sure makes it easier.

Back in the dark ages, I was severely depressed. They slapped a label on it "SAD" or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

At that time, I immersed myself in my work and continuing education so I could excel in taxes and accounting. This meant my winters were filled with tons of work and a marginal social life, but it kept me so busy with the carrot-on-a-string that I managed to make it through the depressive winters.

I wasn't fond of long commutes or spending time in my car, so I bought a house as close to my downtown office as possible. This ended up being a 3-5 minute drive to work. In those days, work and home were kept strictly separate. I needed the peace and tranquility of home to rejuvenate my brain for such exhaustive work. Before computers and modern calculators, it was necessary to be superbly detailed in hand writing, math and tax law to make sure each tax return was done perfectly.

Over half my annual income was earned before April 15th (the carrot on a string). Coming home after a long day at the office, I would shed the suit, trading for comfy clothes then build a fire in the living room. Once it was going good, I built another one in my bedroom. My winter evenings were spent relaxing with my pets by one fire or the other.

When April 16th rolled around, we closed the office, refusing to answer our home phones. I would sleep late, then pack my bags. April 17th I would be on a jet to somewhere exotic for a a week or two.

This was my first career, which lasted 14 years. I've been lucky to have pursued several vastly different careers since then. But those were some good old days.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Harley Fun

Home is where we park it... or as Harley Dog would say, Home is where we Bark.

I am celebrating 4 years in my rolling dog house!

Who'd a thunk it?

In 4 years I have put on 22,000 miles.  That's kind of funny considering it's my personal transport too and I've been to about 15 states, give or take. I will look at my log book and figure that out.

Just for grins, I drove it yesterday for the first time since November 15th.  I picked up my mail, grabbed some groceries, looked for bargains.

Traffic was gawd awful but amazingly I kept finding good parking spots for my rig, what luck!

At the mail service where I often take Harley inside to grab my mail, they were backed up silly with people trying to mail out boxes. Harley became the class clown, dancing, twirling, sashaying around the place, making folks laugh and poke fun at him. I said I was there to ship him off in as a gift!

Harley tried to hand out some sloppy kisses and lots of goodwill. It was pretty cold so he was wearing a screaming red sweater which made him even more of a goof ball. Where once there were grumpy people in line, Harley transformed them into happy laughing folks.

Oh what fun it it!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Photos of Wickham Park in Melbourne Florida

wickham park and campground, melbourne, florida
One of the small lakes in Wickham Park. Lake mirrors fascinate me.
wickham park and campground, melbourne, florida
You can tell I like to photograph the lakes even though they are low on water.
This one is so low on water, that the grass has taken over it completely.

wickham park and campground, melbourne, florida
Home is where we park it. My spot looks grand because the neighbors are gone.
wickham park and campground, melbourne, florida
 Sunset has had these brilliant pink hues lately.

wickham park and campground, melbourne, florida
Sailboats in the park, you can see the outline of a sailboat in the right corner that is lit up at night as part of the lightfest in the park.
wickham park and campground, melbourne, florida
Harley loves the fenced in dog park, even when he is all alone in it. This is the small dog side, with the large dogs on the other side of the fence. At this time of day we were alone in the park.
wickham park and campground, melbourne, florida
Harley checks the doggy pool to see if any canines are hiding in there. Mostly he likes to race up on the laps of pet parents slapping kisses on their face and making them giggle. Folks often remark he is the happiest dog, full of energy. When he isn't handing out kisses, he challenges the other dogs to multiple races.
Let your fingers do the driving. Amazon will gift wrap and ship before Christmas.  

Friday, December 13, 2013

How Romantic

Thanksgiving Day I rode my bicycle through the park with Harley Dog along for the ride.

The park is scattered liberally with picnic tables. I rarely see anyone use them. But on this day, one was occupied.

At a table by the lake, an elderly couple was sitting close together on the same side of the bench, their table laden with homemade food, an open picnic basket sat on the end of the table. I didn't have my angel camera with me, but it struck me as a beautiful romantic moment. I thought they were the luckiest couple in the world.

Taking a picture of the picnic area another day, just wasn't the same.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bah Humbug Be Gone

Bah humbug be gone.

Check out this incredible video. It surely cheered me up!

If you are receiving this by subscription you may have to click this link to watch the video:

Music is "Yule - Amazing Grace" available at Amazon.

The Amazing Grace Christmas House was located in Pleasant Grove, Utah. It was designed and programmed by Richard Holdman. 

The display started in 2006. Eventually traffic became too much of an issue. The show is no longer running. But the worldwide attention Richard Holdman's light show received enabled him to create Holdman Lighting which now installs animated lighting displays around the world.

See more of his fabulous light shows at

Happy Holidaze from Dear Miss Mermaid's humble abode to yours.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Good Score

Dumpster Diving Diva turns up stove parts.

Last week it was cold, wet and rainy. Puppy dog was sitting here cross legged insisting he did not need to go out and do his thing. But I realized it had been raining all day and he was carefully avoiding going out.

I loaded up the garbage, stuck his old rain coat on (he has outgrown it, but I was never going to get him out the door without it) and took him for a walk to the dumpster. Years back I had found a teeny doggy rain coat for one dollar. It fit him then, but now that he is topping the scales at over 6 pounds, it's real tight.

The garbage could have waited, but my crazy canine normally goes wild when I organize the garbage, because it's typically a daily ritual for us to carry out a small bag of garbage. He loves to walk to the campground dumpsters. On a plus note, he often does his doggy doodling in the dumpster area. I can scoop that up and deposit it at the dumpster too. He wasn't thrilled that I bagged up some garbage, but he dutifully stood by the door, waiting on his rain coat to go out.

He hates the wet grass, so I carried him out to the road. (Not spoiled is he?) We carried the garbage to the dumpster and found an old stove. I just can't resist looking over the garbage when I go to the dumpsters. Sure it's stinky as all get out, but it's amazing the useful stuff I occasionally find.

Funny how life changes. A few short years ago, I was making great money and donating to charity. Now I am struggling to get well and shopping at the dumpsters. I don't mind. When times get tough, it's time to get get creative...

In the pouring down rain, I managed to snatch the two burner grates and five knobs. Both were newer than my 20 year old stove. I wasn't even sure they would fit, but the stove looked so similar to mine. I could always return them to the dumpster. I wanted to get the stove top too, because someone that owned my rig before me, scratched up my stove top with a harsh wire brush.

But in the dark of night, with the pouring rain, holding the leash of a miserable semi-wet dog, 2 stove grates and 5 knobs, I just couldn't come up with a spare arm to get the stove top too. It's attached and I couldn't get it loose without setting everything down in the muck. I figured I would go back drop off my find, then return for the stove top.

Back at the RV, I was pleasantly surprised that the newer grates fit my stove and were much heavier and nicer than my old ones. I also noted that I had 4 knobs instead of 5.  Mine doesn't have the piezo lighter knob. I use a long light to manually light my burners. The newer knobs fit my 3 burners knobs but not my oven knob. A real shame too, because my oven knob is losing its temperature markings.

Above is the 20 year old stove grates. The centers are rusty.
Below are the newer stove grates I found dumpster diving.
Not only are they a bit more stylish, they are thicker and appeared to be either much newer or only lightly used. They fit perfectly. 

Before I could get back out the door, the heavens opened up. I was already cold and soaking wet from the first trip. I had towel dried the dog, who was shaking and shivering, so I wrapped him up in his blanket. I foolishly decided to wait until morning to go back. I hung up my wet clothes in the shower, then dove under the bed covers to warm up.

The next morning, I was up before dawn, drinking coffee waiting for the drizzling to stop and the sun to rise. I woke up the doggy who loves to sleep in, but he yawned and reluctantly agreed to walk with me.

The stove was GONE.

I searched high and low and it was just not there.

It dawned on me, I might have competition. Someone else was dumpster diving too!  Sheesh. Times are tough all over I guess.

A maintenance worker drove up in his little golf cart to take care of the recycling bins. I mentioned to him I was there to salvage stove parts but the stove had vanished. He said oh there's a guy in the campground who probably snatched it up.

A moment later, a beat up old pickup truck drove by towing a small open trailer and the maintenance worker said "That's him now!"

I walked as fast as I could, which isn't fast at all, but I tried to chase the truck. Next thing I knew, the truck was passing me the opposite direction, minus its metal trailer. I waved at the guy to try to stop him, but he didn't see me. He was fast!

Well, I toured the campground and found his metal open trailer. I knocked on his RV door, even though I saw him drive past me. Nobody answered the door. I didn't see the stove in the trailer parked outside. Well if he took the stove inside, maybe he would like my old grates and knobs to make it functional again.

That afternoon, doggy and I found ourselves casually walking past the man's RV. The old truck was back. I knocked on his door, he came outside, I was all smiles, introduced myself and told him I had salvaged some parts off a stove and was wondering...

Well, he turned out to be really nice but he too was thrilled that when he went dumpster diving, he had found the rest of the stove which he had already sold for scrap metal. He went on to explain to me all the wild things that had happened in his life, that lead up to him dumpster diving as of late. We had a few good laughs, about how funny life gets and the amazing things we find in the dumps.

Life is goof...

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Shopping Challenged

It can be hard to pick out a meaningful gift the other person will love. Or you can buy them something useful. Or funny. Or a gift that combines both.

I once got a brand new hammer from a boyfriend. I asked him "Is this to thwack you on the head?"

In all seriousness, he said "I been wanting to throw out your old hammer, it's beat to pieces, it's dented, the handle is bad. You could hurt yourself. I was worried about you!"

We had numerous jokes over that gift for a long time.

A few days later he spilled red whine on the upholstery. I jumped up and he asked if I was going to get a rag. I said "No, I'm going to get that hammer."

Another time he innocently asked me if I wanted to do something that I did not. I answered "I'd rather drop that shiny new hammer on my toes." It was more fun than saying "Um, no, not really."

He threw my old hammer in the garbage but I salvaged it. I insisted we leave the old hammer near the dumpster, not in it. We left some other stuff there too, and by golly within the hour, someone came along and took that beat up old hammer (but left the other stuff).

One day he told me that his mother always said "Appliances are not a gift." to let his father know he better come up with something nice for her.

I replied "Obviously she forgot to mention hammers!"

We had so many laughs over that hammer. But I must admit, it's been a good hammer.

It works well with the grommet kit he gave me for my birthday...

You can also pick out something funny but useful for the giftee.

Like Slippers...

Does someone you know love that barefoot feeling on grass?

Grass Sandals! Get The Feeling Of Walking Barefoot On Grass. Anywhere. Anytime! Doesn't need mowing, but you have to water the grass from time to time so it doesn't turn brown. Comes in 4 different sizes.


Does somebody you know have unsightly toenail fungus? These slippers will hide that nicely for them. They rarely need a pedicure.


Somebody you know needs help with the housekeeping? These dust bunnies will do lots of dusting around the baseboards and under furniture, without them ever having to bend over.

We all know just how quiet toddlers are around the house. But they won't be silent anymore with these cutesy cow mooing house shoes.
These mooing cow slippers boast a built in speaker that is loud and promises over 1,000 moos. That will surely solve the problem of those oh so soundless toddlers. 


We all know somebody who can be a real bear to deal with. So now you can give them bear claw slippers. Let their feet match their personality. The claws can be trimmed back by climbing trees with them. 

Last but not least...

Is there a mama bear you're having trouble shopping for?  Get her the bear hat with attached mittens! When the mittens aren't in use, it can be wrapped around the neck like a scarf. Even includes a hidden zipper for a cell phone. (No bear wants to be caught without a cell phone.) 

And finally...
If none of this works for your shopping, simply give that hard to buy for person, my book "Hurricanes and Hangovers". Most folks love a good laugh!

Amazon sells all these gifts, they gift wrap and ship it too, without including the price tags or invoice. If all else fails, they sell Gift Cards for numerous places. Let your fingers do the walking and save time, gas, and long lines. 

Friday, December 06, 2013

Wickham Park and Campground in Melbourne, Florida

This is Wickham Park. West is at the top of the map, north is to the right, east is at the bottom and south on the left. The tiny red and white dog in the lower left quadrant represents the off-leash fenced-in dog park area.

Wickham Park and Campground in Melbourne, Florida

Below is the campground, again, the top is facing west.

Wickham Park and Campground in Melbourne, Florida

Below is transportation for Harley Dawg and I. We are struggling to make it past the 2 mile mark. So far we just ride around the park with stops at the dog park. Harley gets pretty excited anytime we are on the bike and whines "giddyup!" as we get closer to the dog park. I try to quiet him down, but he wiggles in his basket super excited and urges me to pedal faster and faster. He likes the wind in his fur.

One day I was kind of dizzy, so I got off the bicycle and began pushing it. He looked at me like I had lost my mind. Finally I felt well enough to pedal him onward.  What a monkey!

Below is our view of the campground out my window by the desk and dining area in the camper. Ironically, we were parked right under those two big oaks last winter for 2 months. Harley still likes to visit this spot to water the trees. When campers are parked there, I try to entice him to water something somewhere else.
Wickham Park and Campground in Melbourne, Florida
Below is our view of Pinehurst Gardens from our patio awning area. Harley thinks all that is his personal domain but his tether doesn't reach that far.
Wickham Park and Campground in Melbourne, Florida
 After we arrived the winds kicked up a few days to 40 miles per hour gusts with steady winds of around 30-35. The tabs that hold my outdoor mat down with tent stakes, rotted off. Our rug blew out to Pinehurst Gardens!

I spent the next dry morning learning to attach grommets. The first one came out kind of sloppy, but then I got the hang of it.

Wickham Park and Campground in Melbourne, Florida
After the fierce winds, we had incredibly cold weather. Harley refused to go outside until I presented him with his jacket. Santa Claus brought him this for Christmas 2 years ago and he just loves to wear it. When I drug it out to show him, he twirled in circles, then he danced, then he jumped up and down. It was hard to get him to pipe down for 2 seconds while I put it on him but he was mighty thrilled with himself when he got to wear it again.

Wickham Park and Campground in Melbourne, Florida
It's a nice Suede Shearling coat from Amazon. Harley is wearing the XS size. Two years later, it still looks great. It's really Ultrasuede so I am able to tosh it in my compact washing machine with the rest of the laundry.

Wickham Park and Campground in Melbourne, Florida

Now that it's warmed back up again, the winds have died down and a certain little doggy is hoping to go to the dog park. Neither of us need jackets today. Glory be! Life is goof.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

A Dog and His Fool

My name is Harley Dawg! My nickname is Monkey and my real name that nobody except other doggies seems to ever use is Woof.

I am typing today's blog with my little paws. This should be paws-itively fun!

First off, to the super duper wonderful angel that sent my pet parent a box with a camera inside, I want to thank you so very much! Now she can photograph the world and especially me. I know she's been cursing the old camera that she blames me for breaking. Well, it's not really broken, it just works randomly or not at all. Kind of like a dog. Kind of like me!

So many angels have helped us out in so many ways.

Thank you so much and when I meet you, to show my thanks,  I am going to plant big sloppy dog kisses all over your face and make you giggle and laugh!

Yesterday I played another trick on my pet parent. I love being a comedian.

She says she is my "pet parent" but to me she is my "Friendly Ogling Only Love" so I will just shorten that to "FOOL" for the rest of my story.

When FOOL opened the door to take me out for a walk, I simply shot out the door without my leash attached. Wheeeee!

I think you all know what a leash is. It's that string like thing a dog uses to drag his FOOL where ever he wants to go.

Today I left without the leash! I ran circles around the campground, laughing and giggling while FOOL called me and walked real funny to try to catch me. You should see FOOL try to run.  She can't. Watching her walk fast is howl-larious. I ran around some more, just to watch her wobble funny with steam coming out of her ears.

WHEEEEE! I was way too fast for FOOL!

Then I saw a camper I knew from last year. They had just pulled in to pawk their rolling dog house. I forgot about my silly trick on FOOL and ran over to visit with my new old friend. When FOOL came huffing and puffing to get me, I rolled over, showed her my belly and looked so pathetic while she stood there shaking her finger and fussing at me. I bet my friend thinks she beats me the way I acted so scared and contrite. But tee-hee-hee I beat her at this game!

Sometimes just for fun, I like to really scare FOOL. Like at Halloween I played dead at the beach on Hunting Island where we were camping. Below is my picture of me playing dead.

For emphasis, I fell over on my side like the wind just laid me out flat. I didn't move and I pretended not to breathe.

Oh my gosh, FOOL was in tears. She thought I was really dead. She even tried to make a video of me. Said she was going to show the emergency veterinarian. At the mention of the vet, I hurled at both ends to show her I was really alive. I don't like vets, they seem to poke and prod me in the strangest places. Yucky poo! Is that why I am spewing at both ends? She said the dreaded word "veterinarian"?

Here's what happened. I know FOOL is always telling me "Don't drink the ocean." Rules and more rules, I am so sick and tired of rules. But I bet FOOL is just telling me that because it tastes like cheese or steak or something I love. When FOOL stopped to take a picture, I knew she wasn't looking at me, so I drank my fill of the ocean. Wheeeee! It was delicious, a bit too salty, but I liked it anyhow since I was thirsty, so I drank lots and lots.

I was so proud of myself, and FOOL didn't catch me at it either. Wheeeee!

A moment later,  I uncontrollably tossed horrible wet things from both ends of me right there on the beach in front of a bunch of people. Oh yeah. My body had become a live squirting fountain and I was spewing forth like a sideways volcano.

Wheeeee..... I think... but my belly was suddenly hurting something arf-ful.

It was fun to see FOOL's face turn beet red and say sweet things like "Oh you poor baby! What's wrong?" while sputtering apologies to the other beach goers and frantically trying to clean up the big mess I was making.

My FOOL is a clean freak I guess. She is always scooping up my poop and hiding it in little baggies. I am so confused. Fool won't let me poop in the rolling dog house, but when I poop outside, she saves it in a little baggy. Now she was bagging up all the yucky stuff coming out my mouth, nose and rear end. Sheesh...

Anyhow, that's when I decided to flop over on my side in the sand and play dead. It was Halloween and there were spooky things all over the campground including a Scarecrow that scared me so badly, I quit walking anywhere near it.

I lay on the beach perfectly still while FOOL freaked out thinking I had dropped dead. Other beach goers came to look too. I lay paw-fectly still. First FOOL cried while bending down to stroke my fur, then she made a video for the vet, which spurred me into action. Playing dead is no fun if it means a gawd-awful trip to some veterinarian who is going to make my tiny little life miserable.

When I was through spitting and sputtering at both ends, I put on the saddest face I could muster. The fun was over and now I seriously felt arf-ful. I don't like to see FOOL cry. I didn't think I could walk or run or play or anything anymore. I just wanted FOOL to baby me like a tiny weak puppy.

I was suddenly so sorry for everything. Was this my punishment for breaking the newest rule? "Don't drink the ocean!" I'd heard my FOOL say over and over whenever I tried to sneak a taste.

I guess my saddest face trick worked, because FOOL picked me up so very gently in her arms. Ahhhhh. It felt so wonderful to be cuddled and carried. I laid my head against FOOL's chest listening to her funny fast heartbeat. I felt bad for making FOOL cry because now I was paying for it dearly with this horrible belly ache.

Next these howl-lariousl hiccups attacked me. Every time I convulsed, I would hiccup and meow like a weak kitten. Oh my gosh. I bet I am in BIG trouble now with FOOL. She wanted a cute wittle puppy and now she thinks I am a meowing cat who hiccups.

I have no idea how THAT happened. I would try to stifle the hiccups, and silent the meows, but my body kept acting like a jumping frog was stuck in my chest and a kitten hiding in my throat.

FOOL carried me all the way back to our rolling dog house while muttering about the closest emergency vet being an hour away and that I better not die.

At this point, I would rather die than go to the vet, but I am not even sure what dying is, but it's something FOOL said over and over that I better not do. More rules!

FOOL calls the rolling dog house our wheel estate, but it's really just a dog house on tires. Tires that I am not allowed to pee on! FOOL has so many silly rules that I just don't understand. I can't pee on our tires or anybody's tires. What kind of rule is that? Dogs are born to pee on tires. Somebody needs to have a talk with FOOL and explain this to her. A campground is just full of tires, and I am not allowed to pee on any of them. I sometimes see other doggies get away with this and I am oh so jealous.

Now a new rule, "don't die". My brain is tiny, how I am supposed to remember all these doggone rules?

I hate following rules but if I don't then FOOL gets real crazy like yelling at me and shaking her finger. So mostly I obey the rules to avoid FOOL going crazy on me. I like it when FOOL is giggling, so I try to do howl-arious antics.

I can control FOOL like a paw-pet. Like when I want to see her roll her eyes, I just tear up one of my puppy toys. Works every time. She rolls her eyes and sometimes let's out a big puff of air too. It's funny! I love to see her roll her eyes.

I stuck toy stuffing on my face to make FOOL laugh
at me and take my picture.

I can make her giggle. One of my tricks to make her giggle is to rush up on her lap and try to plant big sloppy kisses all over her face while she wiggles around trying to avoid me. If I succeed in slapping a big wet doggy kiss on her cheek, then she giggles and giggles while murmuring something about yucky dog germs. The more she giggles, the more I jump around trying to plant more kisses on her. It's a game I love to play. Wheeeee!

When she wants to get me up out of my comfy warm bed too early to go for a walk in the c-c-cold weather, I can turn this into a belly rub and a sleep-in. Yepper I can control FOOL (but she doesn't know it!) First of all, I am a nice little doggy, I let FOOL sleep in my bed with me, but for some silly reason, she gets up early in the morning. That leaves me the entire bed all to my lonesome.

I might as well share my bed with FOOL. After all it's HUGE with pillows, a big mattress, sheets, a comforter and an afghan. I guess FOOL thought I was going to grow into a much bigger doggy when she got this gigantic bed. So since the dog bed is soooo big, I don't mind sharing it with her.

If I don't want to get up early to go walk, I just roll over on my back, stretch my little legs and yawn. This makes FOOL coo sweet things and gently rub my belly. Oh that feels so good. I close my eyes and go back to sleep. FOOL usually leaves me alone for another hour. Wheeeee!

I love being a puppy and I love controlling my FOOL. But I hate all these doggone rules.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Lightfest in the Park

Hurricane season is officially over. Yay! Maybe I won't get blown away after all. 

Lightfest at Wickham Park in Melbourne, Florida goes on every night until December 31st. Campers get to take the tour for free at night in their RV or car, others pay per car load. It's the most incredible Christmas light show with hundreds of thousands of dazzling bulbs, some appear animated though it's the timing of them turning on and off. It's a winter wonderland of eye candy. It's held in the county park area, not in the campground proper, but campers tend to get in the swing and decorate the campground too.

See the schedule of extra events held some nights and more info on this annual fund raising event for the Boy Scouts.

Last year I missed the show entirely arriving a day late, this year I am trying to train on my bicycle to have enough energy for bike night on December 7th. Then on the 14th is a stroll through the lights night, won't that be a fun walk with the doggy! There is a horse and motorcycle night (separate nights) Maybe if I come up with a pony or a chopper...

Recently on live entertainment nights, I was able to hear the music from my site, since my door and awning area face in the direction of the stage.

For 3 years I've wanted to spend December in this campground, but I was elsewhere workamping.  Two years ago, I had to come here for almost a week for a medical mess. A friend with a car came to camp with me and escort me to/from doctors. Harley Dog was neutered at the same time, so we were both a bit miserable. Pain pills improved our mood when my friend loaded doggy and I into the car to go tour the lightfest.

I took loads of photos in 2011, but most came out really blurry. A token few semi-clear ones are shown below (about 1% of the display).

Next I tried to  make a video, but it came out all messed up except you can hear us laughing hysterically. One of the displays had malfunctioned, making it appear a tad lewd what with the moving lights that blink in sequence showing a man chopping down a Christmas Tree but the errant pattern and missing bulbs made it seem like he was *ahem* entertaining himself instead. The next day they were hastily repairing the display.

We drove through a 200 foot tunnel of a zillion moving lights super slow, trying to sing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"  from the Beatles' 1967 biggest selling album of the 60's "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".

I haven't officially toured the lights yet this year but I am surely looking forward to it. The other night a camper and I walked a ways after dark to take a sneak peek at just a few of them.

For Unique Gifts and
A Huge Selection of 

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Wish I Had Said That

"Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation." ~Brian Tracy

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude." ~ Denis Waitley

"Be who you are, say what you feel. Because those who mind, don't matter. And those who matter, don't mind."~Dr Seuss

“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn't a dog.”~Charles M. Schulz

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Angels, Rainbows and Dumps

Thanksgiving was wonderful!

I woke up alive, watched the sun come up just grateful to have another chance as a child of the planet. Lately I've got this goofy grin going on. My way of coping against difficulties. Smile. Count to ten. Be thankful. Repeat often. Big problems become insignificant.

Doesn't that sound grand! Life is all about attitude.

Somewhere over the rainbow by dear miss mermaid
I took this picture in the Virgin Islands where my homeport was located off and on for many years.
It's a treasured favorite.

I didn't have a Thanksgiving dinner this year. Previously I received 2 wonderful invitations, but I turned them down. This is RARE for me to turn down anything involving food! Mama didn't raise me to be a fool. But I was in a ton of pain at the time the invitations were issued and I just wanted to hide like an injured animal. Usually I cook on Thanksgiving and celebrate with others, but I just felt too weak.

But Thanksgiving rolled around, I woke up alive, plastered a smile on my face as if I'd won the lottery for life and was a guest of honor at this exquisite banquet called planet earth.

It was 40F degrees here on the Spacecoast of Florida. I am super uber thankful for the new heat pump and the angels that helped me arrange this. Last night it pumped out much needed HEAT. I feel spoiled rotten to be warm.

The heat pump is suppose to work above 30 or 40F degrees, the manual is real vague about it. Apparently if it gets too cold, it stops working. I kept my dusty old portable ceramic heater as a backup.

But about an hour ago, I cleaned it up and gave it away to someone needy that had access to electricity. Last night they nearly froze to death. Tonight they won't be cold. Tomorrow they hope to go work. I loved their enthusiasm. They thanked me repeatedly as if I'd handed them a check for a million dollars.

A few years back (it seems like yesterday) I nearly froze to death. I had no heat and I was terribly sick. It was an awful hopeless scary feeling of utter despair that can play awful tricks on the mind and body. I woke up alive. I looked for the rainbow.

I had offered up my heater earlier today but they had declined. Whimsically I told them where to find me later. The sun set, temperatures dropped. A timid knock came at my door.

A few short years later, I am able to help someone in a teeny tiny itty bitty way. Pass it along.

Life is goof.

How does fate work? Anybody know?

I am clueless.

Fate has lead me in the strangest ways to be somebody else's cheerleader.

At the dumpsters I've met the most interesting folks.

Just in the past week, five distinct characters at three different dumps crossed my path. I listened to their stories, their tale of woe, how things were, how they are now, their hopes, their dreams, their plans for their future.

Despite being a bit eccentric, they all seemed to have a few things in common, such as zeal and optimism that their woes were just temporary, that surely they were going to find the right path to get where they were going.

They knew the rainbow was there somewhere and they were fervently looking for it.

I surely know the feeling. I could smile, nod, listen.

Little old me in the course of one week, spent hours listening to five different people struggling on the very edge between do or die.

These weren't folks too lazy to work, or standing in line expecting handouts. They are part of a nearly invisible secret sub-culture scurrying around on the fringes of society, looking for ways to help themselves through a very tough time. They hold this unshakable belief that they can get back on their feet and they're doing most anything and everything to try to achieve that against the thousand to one odds thrown at them.

Where others see dark clouds, they see rainbows and possibilities.

I felt humbled to hear their stories. I surely know what it's like to be scared to death but wildly optimistic.

Smile, stop, listen. 
It's amazing what a grinning fool like me can learn.

Recently, the temporary view out my nomadic home was stunningly beautiful. An incredible reminder that my own dark clouds turned into a miraculous rainbow. I try to remind myself over and over, be thankful, be grateful, be useful, go help somebody.

Even funnier, when I went on Amazon today, I noticed somebody had purchased this movie through one of  my links. I've never seen the flick but I love the title.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgivukkah

Happy Thanksgivukkah, who'd a thunk it?

May your turkey be plump and your potato latkes sweet.

I'm in Florida where it is 24 degrees colder now than it was 24 hours ago.

It was so windy today, I felt like I was back at sea, sailing in a stiff breeze, with the gentle slap of water on the hull as we effortlessly glided through the waves.

So I spent the day outside, soaking up the intermittent sunshine and working on minor RV repairs.  I wanted to get good and warm before the near freeze expected tonight. 

It reminded me of many happy days on my old sailboat in the Caribbean, puttering around with the tool box repairing and fixing and dreaming. 

Tinkering and tool boxes, it's a recurring theme throughout my life, I can't seem to shake.

Happy Holidaze
Thank you for rocking my world.