Friday, February 28, 2014

Something Slithered Out Of The Fridge

Ut oh...

Something is slithering out of my refrigerator!

This is a motorhome refrigerator, it is built-in above a big drawer. Manufacturers like to put the refrigerator up off the floor because it is so short, they don't want you to notice how small it really is.

The drawer and veneered wood above it are water damaged from the previous owners. The fridge used to leak instead of drain out the back like it was designed to. I repaired that problem awhile back. Matter of fact, it's been repaired several times, before a kind repairman showed me last winter, the exact cure. Since then it has not leaked a drop.

But I digress...

It doesn't pay to get up at 2am to go visit the broom closet. In case you are wondering... I keep a toilet in my broom closet, that I wished to utilize at this unlikely hour.

When I saw this thing dangling out of my refrigerator door, it surely woke me up!

The overhead heat pump fan was running, which was blowing the snakey like thing around as if it was indeed slithering out of the door alive in the darkened motorhome.

Instead of a throne, now I needed clean undies. Ooops! I guess you could say the thought of a snake inside my wheel estate startled me something awful.

The next morning at a proper hour, I determined the snake was really the magnet that belonged inside rubber casing that runs around the door.  For a few days I kept manually stuffing it back in place, but it came out often enough, looking all snakey when it wiggled, kind of mocking me.

Tearing threw my cabinets, I located some gel like glue that promised to adhere vertically if one smiled politely and used clamps to hold it in place for an hour or two.

After practicing where the magnet belonged inside the rubber gasket without glue, I finally took a deep breath, slathered on the glue, stuck the magnet back inside the split rubber casing (what was left of it anyhow) then quickly popped on two spring clamps to hold it all in place. I shut down the refrigerator, since the door was ajar. I wanted the clamps to hold it firmly in place until it had married back to the door.

The rubber casing had inexplicably slit open at the bottom, when the magnet glue finally gave way, the magnet slithered out.

An "Ah ha" moment...

I don't need this foolishness, but that's life in a little old motorhome.

For fun I took a 2nd picture, it shows how the clamps are holding up the repair job, with Harley's pile of toys in the back corner. He put them there. He is always relocating his toys. He took a liking to my foot rug by the bed and piled his toys up one by one while he lay on the rug fighting and playing with them. When he grew tired of that, he simply abandoned them there.

The only problem now is, the refrigerator door blocks the entire aisle to the motorhome.

I took out the bottom shelf on the door, which is why the Ceres papaya juice and Irish Cream are sitting in the floor.

The day was starting to warm up, so I loaded up the doggy on the bicycle and off we went to see the world while the refrigerator glue cured.

It's always something... killing half my day, but I am sure this will improve the performance of my fridge.

Also, it won't be able to frighten me at 2am when I need to visit the broom closet.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


4 years, 140 square feet, 1 human, 1 dog.

Living and recuperating. Rambling and roving.

Could you do it?

I did it!

Life is goof.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sailing Away

I don't know when I will ever stop being homesick for the islands.

But just the same I love my little old mini motorhome and crazy dog, but I secretly miss my sailboat and life at sea. Those were some mighty fine years!

These are good years too.

Today was wonderful.

I woke up alive and the world was beautiful.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cold Excuses For A Broken Refrigerator


It's much easier to make up excuses than to get the work done but it's one sure fire way to lose your reputation too. 

It took nearly 6 weeks of pure torture to finally get the prepaid motorhome repairman to FINALLY finish fixing my refrigerator! For most of us, a refrigerator is real important. Luckily I had mine limping along working erratically either freezing the produce or melting the ice trays. I shifted my menu to include living out of cans and boxes as much as possible. I had to turn my fridge on and off, to try to keep it an even temperature, but even this was not working out so well. 

The control panel on the fridge was shot, so it worked randomly varying between not-at-all and freezing everything. 

The mobile RV repairman came in early January to diagnose the problem and order the part. He insisted I prepay for the part in cash, saying that it was too costly for him to take credit cards. I should have seen it coming... excuse number one...

He wrote up the bill with labor that included the final installation and the cost of the part. I prepaid for the part and some but not all of the labor. This due to the fact that neither of us had correct change. I should have seen this as excuse number two...

A business that doesn't take credit cards nor has change available.

But he promised the part would arrive in 1-3 days. From interviewing him over the phone before he arrived, and again in person, for some fool reason, I felt confident he would get the job done. 

He made an appointment to come back in 4 days to install the part that he predicted would be here by then. 

4 days come and go, no repairman, no phone calls. Day 5, I began calling him. By day 7 he actually returned my calls. He claimed that the wicked snowstorm in Indiana had trapped my part up there and it had not arrived yet in Florida. 

I believed him and there was an awful winter storm. He made another appointment to come repair the fridge. 

Now I became a hostage to my motorhome, because he would promise "I will be there between 1pm and 6pm on such and such date."

That day would come and go, no repairman, no phone call from him either. I would make numerous calls to his voice mail, trying to track him down. 

Eventually he claimed the part had finally arrived, but he was backed up silly with more work. I was miffed because I had prepaid him, and felt like I should be towards the top of his work list.

More appointments, more no-shows, more phone calls, more excuses. At one point he had the flu, another day somebody died, another day he claimed he was here and I was not, which was not true at all. I was here in bed with a horrid fever but all my window shades were up. My dog puts out a serious alarm whenever someone comes around and no way I could sleep through that. 

Another day he claimed I wasn't answering my phone. That's funny, everyone else was able to call me or leave voice mail, but my phone recorded no voice mails from him nor any listings of his number calling mine. 

I was tired of being a hostage to my motorhome, waiting for a repairman that wasn't coming, when I needed to be out walking the dog or had opportunities to do other things. I began leaving notes on my motorhome door, in case he really did come by, I posted my phone number on the note, with things like "Walking dog, Call 555-xxxx" leaving my correct phone number and so on. 

I hated leaving notes like that, it's like telling a thief  "It's OK to break in now, I'm not here and neither is the dog."  

Luckily, campgrounds are notoriously safe but I try not to do stupid things either that might attract trouble. I don't have much of anything worth stealing, but then again, I would rather not be a victim. Like many people, I've had my share of opportunistic thieves cross my path over the decades.

If you are an RV owner, then you probably know about the numerous fires that faulty refrigerators have caused. Many were recalled because of this, but best I could tell, mine was not part of any past recalls. Just the same, a malfunctioning absorption type refrigerator uses propane or electric to heat up to cool down. It's complicated to explain, but RV refrigerators are different from household fridges. Too much heat due to malfunctioning, can lead to fires. 

Because my fridge was clearly out of whack,  I tried to remember to shut it off at night, so I wouldn't wake up to a fire. 

Fires scare me. 

The first year I owned this motorhome, the fire department came to my rescue, but it turned out the smoke and burning was actually a stuck brake caliper. (I was driving when I saw smoke and smelled burning. I pulled over to call the fire department, even when I cancelled the call, they came anyhow.) 

Other Fiery Adventures I'd rather forget: 

In 1976 on leap year day in February, my home burned to the ground and nothing was salvaged. It still haunts me to this day because my pets perished with it.

About ten years later, in the 80's I owned two homes, one I lived in and one I planned to renovate. I was engaged to be married but a few weeks before the wedding, I called the whole thing off claiming I "changed my mind". In reality, I found out the wonderful man I had been engaged to had a very deep dark sinister side to him that he had carefully hidden during our lengthy courtship. I told him I had cold feet, was cancelling the wedding, cancelling the engagement and breaking things off permanently. I didn't tell him about the awful things I had learned about his past. His handicapped mother and two of his three sons lived with him and came as a package deal, so I had tons of heart strings to deal with all around. I was trying to be delicate in not mentioning to anybody the true reasons I had broke it off. 

Astonishingly a few days later,  his sinister side erupted when he burned down my second home and was charged with arson before he could burn down the one I was occupying. Evidence in my basement suggested he had made a failed attempt already.

In the 90's, a yacht I was working aboard at sea caught fire in the middle of the night but luckily we all survived. 

So you might just assume  *ahem* I've had enough adventures with fires, to last me a lifetime. 

Back to the repairman...

Thirty-eight excuses later, I was still being super polite to him on the phone, if and when I could actually talk to him "live" as mostly I was leaving nice messages on his voice mail. I didn't want to irritate him, I just wanted my refrigerator repaired! I wanted to shop for groceries. At the time my refrigerator broke, I had just shopped. I tried to salvage things, but stuff kept going off, forcing me to throw out food, something I hate doing, but when the leftover spaghetti sauce is gurgling and burping in the fridge, you know it's gone bad. Having white cheese turn green is no fun either or discovering plain yogurt has turned blue.

We had a cold snap that enabled me to store some food outside, but the raccoons saw this as a prime opportunity to come have a party. 

At the time I had a lovely neighbor in the campground who kept inviting me to go do things with her, but I sounded like a broken record "I'm waiting on the repairman..."

He continued to give me vague appointments of things like "2-6pm on Tuesday" or "1pm to 5pm on Thursday" and then not showing up nor calling. It would take days to get him to return my calls. He had the flu twice, his mother-in-law died three times, my part was here, but a few days later it was stuck in a snowstorm somewhere else... 

I was seriously considering going to the police to file a report of "theft by deception". THAT would surely put a halt to any repairs at all, while he bailed himself back out of jail and so on. So I really hated to do that, but I was beginning to think I was a victim. I offered to drive my motorhome anywhere to come meet him, but he claimed he was "on his way to see me". 

Devious ideas entered my tiny brain. Heck, I would just rent a plain white van, order up some $10 business cards, advertise for free on Criagslist, then open up my own mobile repair shop. If I saw 50 RV's per week, collected cash from all 50 for "parts on order", after a month's time, I could easily have enough money to go tour 49 states for the next year or two. 

In the interim, I could remove somebody's refrigerator part, claiming it needed replacing, then install it in my fridge, and I would be on my way. 

Hey, this was starting to sound quite good. 

I began to wonder if my repairman had moved to Alaska or somewhere on the funds from me and others who stupidly prepaid for parts on order. 

Next I started calling him early every morning, still getting voice mail each time. One morning I said "I suppose I am getting voice mail because you are driving to my motorhome right this minute and can't answer the phone..."

Strangely, he appeared about an hour later, sitting in his truck outside staring off into space. I went outside, all smiles, opened his door for him, and invited him over to my motorhome.

He began a long boring litany of exotic excuses while I tried my best to drag him to the refrigerator. I heard about his flat tires, his emergency room visits, his flu, his dead mother-in-law (he forgot she died last month too!) and on and on, I just wanted him to shut up and open his tool box. So many things I wanted to say to him about how to run a business. 

I have some grumpy old men to thank for teaching me early on, that when it comes to business, you do as you promise and you don't use real or imaginary excuses to do otherwise. Their diligent tutorship  enabled me to be successfully self-employed for over 30 years. Now if I could just get this battered old body to straighten up and fly right... oh wait... is that an excuse???

I had a silly smile on my face while gritting my teeth something awful as I pushed and shoved the reluctant repairman closer to my cantankerous fridge. I just wanted him to finish the job and depart my life FOREVER. 

An hour later, he had the refrigerator part installed, but he made a big mess, leaving loose screws and unattached wires scattered around the innards of the fridge workings, which I pointed out and asked him about. He reluctantly collected these up with a big sigh, then threw them outside in the grass. Sheesh. Take off points for neatness.

Before I could stop him, he wadded up the paperwork into a tiny compact ball. I wanted those papers, because I am a fool that way, I like having manuals and instructions and proof of purchase and so on. After he left, I carefully unwadded the tight ball of papers, then stored them under my settee cushion to eventually flatten back out again. Is that his filing system? Tightly wadded up balls of paper?

I kept his business card, after writing across it "DO NOT CALL".  

Some people should not be in business at all. I suspect his business will fail soon enough. I just hope and pray my refrigerator holds up, it seems to be working OK now. FINALLY. 

Oh and guess what, he forgot to ask for the money I still owed him per the original invoice. Whether through sloppy oversight or sheer embarrassment, I have no idea. I guess bookkeeping isn't on his priority list either. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Stealth Egret

This great egret was hanging around the lake. Harley Dog was on a leash with me and started to charge and bark, but I stopped walking saying  "shhh" in a real low voice. Harley looked at me,  stopped and sat down real quiet like.

Honest to goodness, that dog has a brain in use now and then. I was able to capture this picture.

Harley says "I can put on my stealthy face!"

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Freeware to Fix Your Computer

Having had my share of computer problems recently, most of mine were program and website update related and my unwillingness to learn new stuff right this daggum minute because some nervous wreck of a programmer decided we all had to upgrade to their new system come hell or high water... But I digress...

Anyhow, I decided to put together my list of FREE programs I use to try to keep my computer in tip top shape. Notice I said free. Look for freeware when you go to these download links. Many of these links will give you the option to download a trial version, but read carefully and select the freeware version.

I am on an efficient budget which is a polite way to say I live on an amazingly small amount of funds due to my chronic medical mess. This has made me work harder at finding freebies to keep my used and refurbished equipment moving along. If you own the latest and greatest, this may not help you. I've been using old technology for awhile because the savings are substantial.

But if you are having problems with your computer, you might start off with the freebies before you fork over money for a fix. Years ago, a couple of trusted programmers told me that there was really no need to ever buy software again. That if you dig deep enough, you can find what you want to do in a freeware version. Amazingly, they must have been right, because I have a stack of amazing programs I utilize that I obtained through freeware.

That being said... some freeware comes with a stack of spyware or advertisements, that make using the product cumbersome. These programs I have listed below, have served me well, without spyware or advertisements.

Backup all your info before you start fixing your computer. Also create a restore point, in case you don't like the changes you made. Then start off with these free programs and see if you can't get your computer up to speed again.

Some erratic computer problems could be a virus or malware. Here is a free virus and boogie scan, do the full scan, it may take a few hours, but sometimes malware or a virus is hiding in your machine doing awful things:

Read carefully that you are getting the freebie and not a trial offer, I have used the freebie both on quick scans and full scans, (full is slow) but worth the peace of mind. The quick scan is quick... but nice to do the full scan now and then if your computer is acting funny (and if  you don't find that comical.) I usually do the full scan at night while I sleep.

I use this program weekly or more often depending on what I am up to. It clears out a lot of junk and gets things moving along faster again. It also has a registry cleaner with the freebie.

Aulogics Defrag works in a speedy manner, far faster than windows defrag and has options to optimize your computer too. I use this daily because I work with a lot of files writing and so on.

Registry Cleaner

Find Junk Files
Another freebie I use at least every week. Clear the clutter. My hard drive is not huge, so I want to mow down the fluff that gets stuck on a hard drive and has no use.

Registry Defrag, this compacts your registry and you have to restart your computer afterwards, so make sure you are ready to do that.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Traveling and Banking

This has proven to be the best bank I can find for vagabonds, travelrs, gypsies, RV-ers, boaters etc. I had to call them today, my wait time was two seconds. Anytime I have called them, someone answers right away, helps me out efficiently and I am on my way again.


In my case, I spazzed out on typing my password getting it wrong more than once, so they blocked access to my account. A quick phone call at 7am and within 3 minutes, I was back online again. I decided I should perhaps mention this bank since many fulltime and parttime travelers read this blog. does not have any physical branches you can walk into. THey are strictly an online bank. But they offer free checking, interest on your balance, free bill paying and free ATM  usage. They have no monthly fees and no minimums.

They accomplish the free ATM usage by allowing the customer to use any ATM for withdrawing cash, paying the fee the machine requires, then once a month all those fees are reimbursed via a deposit to your checking account.

Like most all modern day checking accounts, they allow direct deposits. You can also use a scanner to make a deposit from your desk without even going to the mailbox. You can trasnfer money to and from Ally with other bank accounts.

They have a host of other benefits I am not covering here, but if you want hassle free banking with no service charges and be able to travel the USA finding cash machines, then banking might be the perfect solution for you.

I have been using this bank about 3 years and have only wonderful things to say about them.

In this day and age, it pays to have 2 or more checking accounts, especially if you use debit cards. It's like having a backup in case your computer crashes.

One should be your primary checking account and the other your backup account. Use checks, transfers and debit card on the primary account but set up the backup account to have a debit card you keep at home and not in your wallet. If you believe someone has your debit information on the primary account, you can immediately transfer all remaining funds to the backup account. Now you can switch out your debit card for the backup account.

It's often much faster to transfer your money elsewhere immediately than to try to officially close the bank. Your remaining funds are safe while you work to straighten out the compromise on the primary account.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

From Another World

Today I was trying to tiptoe outside to catch a picture of the ducks on the lake. They were back! But by the time I got dressed, then ran outside with my camera, the ducks were gone. I was sad.

The last time I saw them, about a month ago they had just appeared on the lake. There is even a sign by the lake "Duck Feeding Area". I thought, well I will get dressed, go outside and photograph them. While I was dressing, some park employee came along with his little truck, pulled over and started weedwacking around the lake. Incredible.

Bye bye ducks! That was weeks ago. Every morning I look for the ducks and every morning the lake is empty.

I was a tad angry at that deranged landscaper. Was the park employee a duck hater? The lake didn't even have much in weeds around it to start with. Plenty of areas of the park had big tall weeds he could have whacked away at. But no, he chose the very lake the ducks had just arrived upon.

So when I saw the ducks again today, I hurriedly finished dressing,  put on my shoes, grabbed the camera, tethered the dog, then ran outside to snap their photo.

But they were gone. Not a duck to be found.

I took this photo anyhow, then walked to the lake, saw no ducks, then walked back to make some coffee. Later I downloaded the pics from the camera.

Apparently I caught something else in the shot. Look on the left side of the photo. What is that? An angel? A fairy? A spirit? A ghost? A mermaid? A gremlin?

I have no idea.

But here it is enlarged.

Even stranger, while doing research, I stumbled across this book:


It made me start thinking about all the times I've encountered angels or spirits or ghosts or perhaps somebody from another world. The most astonishing encounter was one day when I did something foolish.

I lived aboard my sailboat which was anchored off Cruz Bay, St John in the Virgin Islands. After weeks of working nonstop on charter yachts, I had finally come home to my little boat for a few days of much needed rest. The next morning I eagerly hopped into my dinghy to take a ride around the point to the beach. The sun was barely up. I had not paid attention to the weather or sea conditions. A very foolish thing to do. The protected harbor I was anchored in was calm.

In those days, Solomon Beach was reachable only by dinghy or an hour long hike through the brush. (At that time the beach was also infamous for being clothing optional since it was difficult to reach.) 

The engine on my dinghy was a tiny one horse affair. It basically pushed one through the water at the speed of a row boat without having to do the rowing. Furthermore, it was an old Avon dinghy that was an inflatable but had a soft robbery bottom. You surely could not stand up in the boat and you had to be very delicate about getting in and out of the dinghy, so that you didn't topple out of it into the drink (the ocean).

I had bought the dinghy from my doctor, who also lived aboard his sailboat in the harbor. He had it packed away for years as a spare, while they cruised around the globe, but now that he and his wife were setting up a practice ashore, he no longer needed it. What he needed was extra cash to help set up his office. (They don't even make dinghies like this anymore.) There was a hard piece of wood with an angled bracket that attached to the back of the little inflatable boat, so you could hang a small engine on it.

As I approached the beach, I realized my folly, a large sea swell was rolling in so rapidly that the waves were huge and crashing on the beach with the sound of thunder. Not at all serene like so many days before when I had come to the beach to rest my weary body from the toils of crewing on charter yachts.

Realizing my mistake, I turned the motor to go back to the safety of the harbor around the point, which was protected from the swells due to the direction they were flowing.

The little engine was no match for the swift current. Suddenly I was being flung ashore in this flexible rubber dinghy, my engine swamped by the waves and it cut off! I was literally going to be shipwrecked right then and there. 

I was trying to frantically use a paddle to get back out to sea, as yet another wave swamped the dinghy which was rapidly filling with water, but due to its unsinkable inflatable design, I was still floating above the water, but I was sitting in water at the same time. You could say I was now in a bit of a panic. Between waves, I yanked with all my might on the little engine cord, willing it to purr back to life, then I had to grab the paddle to try to paddle and steer again, because now the waves were flinging me towards the big rocks at one end of the beach.

It looked like disaster and I debated what to do next. I wanted to save myself, save the dinghy, save the engine, but any second we were all going to be smashed into the pile of rocks. 

Right before my very eyes, a young man appeared. He didn't walk, he didn't swim, he just suddenly appeared on the beach running towards me into the water. He shoved me and my dinghy a hundred feet or so out to the safety of deeper calmer water, then he somehow reached over, yanked on the starter cord and the engine roared to life. The same engine that had cut off when it was overcome with sea water. The entire time, he appeared to be only waist deep in the water.

I had no choice but to head out to sea, yelling "You saved my life! Thank you!" The man scurried back ashore, as if he didn't hear a word I said.  I saw him start to walk out of the water across the beach, he had taken maybe three steps on shore when POOF. He just vanished from man to mist. 

I was in the dinghy, bailing out the water, making a slow retreat while my tiny engine noisily puttered along. I had plenty of time to study every inch of that beach. But it was empty. Not a soul there. 

I had been to that beach many times. It suddenly occurred to me that the waters I was in were way too deep for him to have run out into while remaining only waist deep the entire time unless he was over twelve feet tall, which he appeared to be maybe six feet tall when I first saw him appear on the beach to come to my rescue.

He was super skinny, I could see every bone in his body. His skin was weathered and leathery. Wrapped around his hips was a small piece of very tattered cloth that might have been white at some point but now appeared rather discolored and torn with a knot holding it up on one side. It basically covered just his privates and not much else. The hair on his head was wild and sort of curly, sticking out in all directions with some of it falling well below his shoulders in tangled dreads, it was gray, brown and white. While his emaciated body and hair looked old, his face appeared to be very young. Like a 90 year old man with a 20 year old face.

I've thought about that man a million times over the years, wondering who he was, where he came from and where he went.

Whenever I was at the beach, I would ask people there about the man. The beach attracted mostly a regular crowd of locals, tourists rarely ever went there due to the difficulty in reaching it at the time. I asked all over town, Cruz Bay being a very small place in those days where everyone knew most everyone else. Folks laughed at me and my inquiries, no one fessed up to knowing anybody that fit such a bizarre description. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Got This Terror

Life is wonderful!

Any day I wake up alive, I just know a new adventure is going to unfold. I want to be awake and alive for all things sunshiny. Some days I get too weak too fast, I nap in the sunshine. I feel so guilty for missing out on any daylight, but the nap rejuvenates me into pressing onward.

When are they going to make vacuum cleaners you can ride on?

Well!  Technology continues to amaze me. As soon as I type "When are they going to make vacuum cleaners you can ride on?" this funny screen pooped up (yes pooped not popped!) that reads "We're sorry but we were unable to complete your request."

Well dang it, I am sorry too, so no riding vacuum cleaners today...

I read the screen, then hit the blue close button. Now I have to confirm my navigation!

Good grief.

If I "stay on this page", the poop screen comes back at me, if I click "leave this page"  nothing happens. I know.

I tried both. Back and forth.

After trying 10 or 20 different things to appease the technocrats, I GAVE UP. Smiling and slowly counting did nothing for the machine.

I had to shut down the entire computer, then restart. That took a long time and I lost my train of thought. Well, isn't this just super efficient?

Technology... the word I am beginning to love to hate...

Describe What You Were Doing When You Got This Error...

Are they serious?

Dear Blogger Support or Bogger Help Group,

I can't find either one of ya, so I think it hardly matters WHAT I was doing when I "got this error".  But if you must know, I was sitting at my desk, drinking coffee with a bit of el cheapo Irish Cream, staring out the window while alternately typing with both hands or petting the puppy beside me with one hand, pondering "when are they going to make vacuum cleaners you can ride on?" when I "got this terror."

As soon as I typed "got this terror"...  the blanketty blank screen pooped another techno turd...

Another 10 minutes wasted...

I give up. I am too frustrated right now. The techno turds win! Mermaid loses. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Thursday the 13th

Today my email program crashed. Says I have to re-install the software but when I try it refuses. Opened up internet explorer to realize it had updated itself to something different. It's never ending, I am trying to do simple things on the internet but programs are changing so rapidly, I can't keep up.

Maybe this newfangled world is just too complicated for a simple old mermaid.

I seem to be off my game today. I set a mug of tea on the table, a moment later it was inexplicably in the floor. I yelled and cursed then felt really bad about that. It scared the poor little puppy dog. It's not like me to yell and curse but I didn't feel too well when I tumbled out of bed this morning. Shame on me. Puppy got lots of loving out of this.

Then I remembered to calm down with this easy method...
SMILE... Count to 10 slowly...

About a half hour later my breakfast ended up in the floor. On the rug. The entry mat. What a gawdawful mess that made. I said nothing and cleaned it up wordlessly.

SMILE... Count to 20 slowly...

Later in the day, I spilled a half gallon of purified water. Good grief. I cleaned up the floors with microfiber cleaning towels. These work really well in place of a mop... especially since I don't own a mop.

I've washed the floors twice now, first with green tea and next with purified water. Not my idea of a Thursday the 13th.

SMILE... Count to 100 slowly...

Outside, I noticed the high gusty winds we've had flipped over my bicycle. Incredible. It's been gusting over 40 miles and hour around here. I don't think my kickstand for my bike is designed correctly.

SMILE... Count to 1,000 slowly... 

Frustrated beyond belief, the dog and I set out in the c-c-cold and windy weather for the off-leash dog park. We went on foot and paw. It had poured down rain overnight, I had no idea how slushy and mushy the park could get. The grass was like walking on a giant living sponge.

Squish squish squish.

Not a soul at the doggy park. Harley didn't mind, he was sniffing around off-leash entertaining himself with a thorough inspection of everyone else's pea-mail.

That's when the rains came down.

When you least expect it.

Smile... Count to 8,742... 

The local tortoise was out walking too.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

It's A Dog!

It was cold and very windy today. We walked to the off-leash dog park, when we returned, Harley sat down on his favorite perch which is the top of the driver's seat in the little old motorhome.

Since he adopted that spot, I keep a little washable blanket there for him. It was labeled as a car wash towel, but it was super soft like a baby blanket. I think the Chinese got their labels all mixed up.

The package labeled a car wash towel was really a soft baby blanket.

My wash cloths I use in the shower, were labeled as dish cloths, but they are thick and fluffy like a bath wash cloth.

What I bought labeled as a bath wash cloth, was thin linen like lunch napkins.

What I use for a dish cloth, was labeled as a dish towel but tiny, square and thin to dry quickly.

My dish towel was labeled as a stove mitten.

Somebody's needs to straighten out the Chinese labeling system.

Speaking of more funny stuff... this is how Harley looked after a very windy walk from the dog park.

Ever since an angel sent him Newmans Organic Dog Food, his fur has sprouted out in all directions.

People look at him then ask me all the time "What is it?"

"It is my dog!"

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Techno Challenged

Programs and websites changing so fast, I am confused. Computer acting up despite me trying to calm it down. I think we're on info overload. I just wanted to take care of a few things on the internet, not take up a new career of learning all new programs and websites, while dodging in-your-face ads. It's maddening.

My phone is suddenly under attack with a barrage of wrong numbers coming in as well as telemarketers despite me being on the DoNotCall list.

It works  like this;
My cell phone seems to go silent when folks I want to hear from are calling me (read that friends!) therefore they get voice mail and hours later I find out I have voice mail even though the phone was with me and it never rang when they called. It went straight to voice mail. These are my friends who can't seem to connect with me, thanks to my wacky cell phone provider.

But then again, other times the phone is ringing, I answer even though I don't recognize the number, figuring someone I know has changed their number, but no it's people looking for people that I don't know. Lots of them! Lots of wrong numbers! These calls manage to come through! This is something new, it started happening recently and it's stressing me out a bit. How do the wrong numbers get through and my friends can't?

Some are real head scratchers. One person called me demanding to know who I was and I kept asking "Who are you calling?" It was like a standoff of them asking who I was and me asking who are you calling. Over and over and over. Finally I said "If you don't know who or why you are calling this number, then please hang up, delete this number and don't call back."

I've told them that three times now.

Finally I decided to just have some fun with wrong numbers. Maybe I could give these wrong numbers a happy ending...

Today someone called and asked for Matt.


I've had at least a dozen phone calls for Matt, one a day from the exact same person. I keep telling them this is not Matt's phone number. It sounds like it's the same person who refuses to reprogram their phone and remove my number.

Today I said "Matt won the lottery, changed his phone number and moved to Honolulu."

Then I hung up.

An hour later someone called and asked if I was Julia. Good grief, it's my 3rd call for Julia just this week and it's only Tuesday.

I said "Julia had the winning raffle ticket for an around-the-world cruise. Call back in 8 months when she gets back."

I might have even figured out how to get rid of a certain telemarketer who has called repeatedly to offer to put a free alarm system in my home if I will put his sign in my yard.

My cheery comeback was "This is a satellite phone on a yacht in the Pacific en-route to Tahiti. Your phone bill is going to be enormous if you keep calling us."

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Monday, February 10, 2014

That's How We Roll

That's how we roll...

I've been working on this map of everywhere I camped with Harley Dog in my little old wheel estate the second half of 2013. It's not quite finished, but it's getting there.

Month/Day indicates dates of arrival in 2013. Red numbers are number of nights camped there.

The names are the campgrounds. I forgot to add the states, will do that at some point (tired right now and puppy wants to play too).

But the four camps on the right of the picture are in North Carolina, the middle area below that is South Carolina, then Blythe Island is in Georgia and of course Florida is southerly.

Sunday, February 09, 2014


I woke up alive and life was good. I have so much to be oh so thankful for. Angels on earth have done so much far and wide to help me heal. I am just eternally grateful for these wondrous miracles.

Homesick for the ocean, I added a porthole to my motorhome.

I love the view of Pinehurst Gardens, but when the sun is in my eye, I use spring clamps to tack up an old bedsheet from the awning, to the picnic table. This keeps it bright and cheerful without being blinding. As soon as the sun moves, I can take the shade down or tie it off to the side. 

Part of healing is bed rest, it's cold, I'm sleepy and it's dark thirty.

See ya round the harbor...

Something Is Missing

The problem with amnesia is you don't know what you're missing. 

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Poking Fun With Forks

I fixed the comments section on my blog. It was showing up in such a way you had to hunt for it to make a comment or read other comments. You can post as anonymous, and just finish your post with your own personal nickname if you so choose.

I had to leave the small test to prove you are human, because otherwise the spam robots fill up my comments with things like "I hope am shop best very site for phone and tablet your pocket or ship off half only to day."


Now I have to go finish cooking, but the table is set up.

Oh and can somebody please send me a recipe for wine.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Sleepy Hand and Busy Harbors

I bounced around inside and outside for a few days, doing tons of work around the motorhome, then today woke up in a complete fog, getting next to nothing done.

I was writing for a little while, but for some strange reason my hand has gone completely asleep making it downright hard to concentrate.


Back later.


Angels from afar sent me this picture today. It's a current shot of Sopers Hole in West End, Tortola in the Virgin Islands.

Some days I am terribly homesick for the beloved islands I spent decades messing about on boats afloat and far flung ports. Shown here is a harbor in the Virgin Islands that I first visited in 1980 as a tourist. I was working and living in South Carolina, with zero plans of changing a thing about my life. I had a good solid career, I owned a lovely home, I traveled on vacations with a passport. I was living the dream.

If somebody had looked into my future and told me that I would change careers seven years later living out of a seabag while crewing professionally on luxurious sailboats in the Caribbean, I would have laughed myself silly, telling them to get a new crystal ball, their's was broken. 

But this bay became a frequent stop for clearing customs and immigration for nearly three decades. I came to know just about everybody in and around this harbor. 

Memories and Dreams

Thought For The Day – Die with memories, not dreams.

I saw that somewhere today, so I am sharing it here. I don't really like the "die" part. Memories are fantastic but so are dreams. I dream up stuff and then set about making it happen. That is the hard part. Making it happen. So by the end of the day, I decided I didn't like the thought for the day after all. Dreams are good in my book, because once you push, shoves, slave and slather sweat, dreams end up becoming exquisite memories. 

On a more practical note, I am always dreaming up something to make life easier in a little old motorhome. I must be a frustrated inventor. Sometimes I have a wild hair to do something, but can't quite do it as neatly as I would like. I am lucky that sometimes a certain friend steps in to make sense of my mayhem. They are often amazed at the bizarre things I dream up that actually work out. Sort of...

Four years in this little old motorhome without towing or owning a car. 

That means if I need to go somewhere, I have to drive the RV to get there. I've discovered I travel backwards from most RV-ers who tow a car with them everywhere. They tend to get to the campground, unhook their car, hookup their camping unit, then hop in the car to go provision or sight see. 

I like to pick short driving routes, so that I have time to stop and shop or sight see along the way. When I get to the next campground, I arrive with my provisioning already acquired, then do my exploring on foot and paw, or bicycle. The bicycle has not worked out as well as I had hoped. A year later, I am still struggling to make it a mile or two on flat land. My summers are often spent around hilly areas. I may at some point, get an electric front wheel to pedal assist me or get an electric bicycle already built with a rear electric motor. Dream on... 

One thing I dreamed up in a practical way,  to make life easier, was converting my bedside end table with oak galley railing. Now it's seaworthy. When I go sailing the highways and byways my stuff on the end table doesn't go flying into the floor or scattered across the bed. (Nothing like hitting the brakes while a hair brush sails past your head in a motorhome).

My floating abode, in the past, the sailboat Sea Rose had this decorative but functional railing in teak

Oh and  I can't seem to find my "before" picture, so hopefully you can just imagine the flat table without railings as the before pic. (Me so bad.)

At first I was just going to saw up and glue down two galley rails, but then I began to realize I always have books on the table, so I designed a book shelf to hold books upright against the wall. This freed up more room for the end table to hold a drink, tissues, medical mess, dog toys, telephone, remote control, bed warmer controls, the tiny 200 watt heater and whatever else I am up to at that moment like nail polish and doggy grooming.  Usually the table is pretty cluttered, but I cleaned it up some for the picture. I left the tissue box because it is hiding a luscious pink blob from a nail polish bottle that fell over and spilled while I slept. *SIGH* 

I suppose *ahem* that "somebody" didn't tighten the lid down. (Daggum puppy dog!) Today I cleaned away the detritus, saw the spilled polish then hid it with tissues until I get it removed. Does that count as housework?  Hiding a mess rather than cleaning it up?

The book retainer needed some support in the back, so another rail was incorporated in the rear of the table. That left a little corner nook that holds a couple of paperback books and a flashlight for investigating things that go bump in the night like ghoulies, ghosties and long leggedy beasties.

For the curious, I did coat the galley rail with clear polyurethane. The gap was left for several reasons, being foremost, the curve presented a slight problem. Wiping up spilled cherry juice is easier with the gap (yepper I spilled my juice last week flailing about while sleeping). On cold nights, the controls to the bed warmer can sit there with the cords draping down to the mattress. My friend came along at some point when I had more or less assembled the parts and coughed up the dream but hadn't implemented it yet, so he did a much neater job than I might have. You would be amazed how one little project like this can trash an entire motorhome for a day or two. 

There is a hidden electrical outlet underneath the upper cabinet. In the picture you can barely see a white square. That is a nightlight with a switch, so I can light up the table at night, when I am sitting up in bed dreaming or puppy wrestling or photographing the critter in the rain.

Harley Dawg perched on his pillow on the bed, waiting for the rain to pass.
And, it costs you nothing extra.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Fire and Water Squirts

I'm going to have a lot of explaining to do...

If you get confused, don't worry, I do that too.

It started when I stumbled across this fabulous quote:

Set peace of mind as your highest goal and organize your entire life around it. ~ Brian Tracy 

So I began concentrating on that goal, thinking I should make this my morning, noon, evening and night chant. I do believe in peace of mind, and especially peace in the home. My entire adult life, peace in my home has been my mantra. Maybe I can't do anything about the rest of the world, but I can have peace in my own home. But I had never really considered peace of mind being up there too, though I tend to think in positives and negatives and peace of mind is of course a positive.

A long time ago, an invited house guest who had traveled many many miles to stay with me, yelled and cursed at me in my own home and it put me in shock! Even worse, I forgave them, making up a thousand excuses for their behavior. But sadly, they didn't value the forgiveness nor respect my desire for a peaceful home. I had to finally face reality and send them packing to take their misery elsewhere. Sad but true. Peace restored.

I think of my home as being at complete peace, the place where I feel my best, my happy refuge.

All in all, I am super lucky, my closest friends which are far and few are peaceful loving souls.

Life is good...

Later I stumbled across this nugget of wisdom:

Write down everything that’s weighing you down mentally and then burn it as a form of letting go.

So I began writing and  filled up an entire page. Suddenly, one page wasn't enough. Two pages, three pages, four and more. Five hours later, I had a small notebook full of weight.

It was late, maybe I was tired, maybe I wasn't thinking clearly anymore. Since this campground doesn't allow fires on the ground and not having an outside grill, I figured I could just set my little fire in the sink inside the motorhome. I set the notebook on fire and yepper, that's me with the screaming smoke alarms and the squealing carbon monoxide sniffers at an unholy hour of the evening.

I put the fire out, I shut down the alarms, but now the kitchen is flooded, and the throw rugs are soaking up the water. *SIGH*.

Well, I worked on mental and home peace until the wee hours of the night. I have washed all the throw rugs, hanging them outside to dry. I've mopped up the kitchen, cleaned and dried my vinyl floors until they are squeaky clean.

One slightly nervous dog is dodging my strange fascination with fire, water and sudden housekeeping in the middle of the night.

I hear the wail of firetrucks getting closer and closer... I just hope it's not me that's has to offer up some serious explaining...

Saturday, February 01, 2014

My New Snow Plow Business

I went into business plowing snow. Got a great deal on the snow plow too. I can tow it with my motorhome  then be ready to plow up a storm every time it snows.

Turns out snow is not my thing after all.

Back to St John in the Virgin Islands is where I belong. It's where I bought my last sailboat, barefoot too!

See you round the harbor...