Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gator Tales

Back in 2007 there were rumors of an alligator in Lake Hartwell. Eventually one was supposedly killed and the rumors stopped.

Now the lake has different predators. For weeks we've had Monday-Friday visits from two ladies and "their" fifteen kids.

Day after day, they show up at the picnic and swim park where I volunteer workamp. It seems they are here by 10am and gone by 4pm. While they are here the two ladies sit in the shade of a picnic table and scream at the kids which are running wild. The kids scream a lot too. It's hard to tell if they are having fun or if their arm was just chopped off. Someone is always crying. One of the women is usually yelling at the crying kid too. It's pretty chaotic.

The ladies hand out snacks, drinks and sandwiches, which the kids eat everywhere, dropping the litter where ever they happen to be, on the bech, on the grass, at the playground, even in the swim area. They borrow all the free loaner life jackets to toss in the lake like toys though a few actually do wear them. Anything to prevent drownings is a huge plus.

All seem to be under 7 years old with some still in diapers but waddling around. Once gone, around 4pm, the group leaves behind our free loaner life jackets scattered far and wide, some floating in the lake, others in the mud or on the grass or at the beach area. The park is left littered with juice boxes, straws, snacks, wrappers, sandwich bags, diapers, handy wipes, water bottles, bottle tops and so on. I guess the two adults in charge of the children haven't the foggiest idea what all those strategically placed big trash barrels are for. Sometimes they drive off leaving used diapers on the ground right at the picnic table area. YUCKY POO!

So I started going down there around 3pm tidying up the rest of the park and watching this nightmare scene, debating about talking to them about their mess. At the picnic area where the two ladies are lounging, one with her feet propped up on their cooler, I see there is garbage all over the table, and strewn about the ground in every direction. No attempt has been made to reign it all in. The rest of the park where the kids are running, playing, screaming, laughing is covered in assorted garbage. I had this place spotless only a few hours ago. *Sigh*

I smile and say something silly like "Beautiful day!" About 3:30-ish one lady starts loading up the kids into the two mini-vans. I suspect they are running a summer daycare program and they've decided it's much easier to trash the park than to trash their home(s). They only appear Monday through Friday, spend the day here, trash the park, then leave. It seems like they would have to be non-stop pregnant with twins to produce this many children. Probably just a daycare scheme.

Once the kids are loaded up, the lady yells at the other woman to "Come on! Let's go! Kids are loaded up!"

But I guess me staring, smiling and walking about with my litter picker and my "Volunteer" tag on is making the other one a tad guilty. She actually cleans up about 80% of their garbage at the picnic table, while the other lady is yelling "Just leave the garbage! Let's go or we'll be late!"

Did I hear that right?  "Just LEAVE the garbage?"

Day after day I've seen the havoc they wreak on the park. Maybe the sun is getting to me. We provide plenty of garbage cans which maintenance empties daily. But they don't have time to chase down all the errant garbage, so I do this to help them out.

Next day, same scene. Huge mess at the picnic, playground and beach area, same two women, kids screaming, women screeching back at them, food scraps, snacks, wrappers, straws, juice boxes, bottles, assorted trash and even a few used diapers on the ground in the bushes. The park is a disaster again. The pristine garbage cans stand there unused.

Should I remind them that there is a fine for littering? Probably get laughed right out of the park too... Should I politely ask them to use the provided garbage cans? I was pondering various options about approaching this crazy problem including just saying nothing. I am just a volunteer, no use getting shot over a dirty diaper.

I guess you wonder why I am so wimpy, but in these days and times, a lot of folks are toting around concealed weapons. The permits in this state for same are ridiculously easy. This area is known for having a high rate of gun ownership. Sometimes you can see their weapon or see the bulge as some are not concealed very well. Sometimes you see folks overdressed on a hot day. It's sweltering but they are wearing a bulky jacket or a big heavy "lumpy" shirt. These are telltale signs they might be carrying a weapon, whether legal or not. I have NO idea what their mental state might be and if they are trigger happy.

While I am puttering around tidying up the park, thinking I should just keep my thoughts to myself, the cell phone rings. It has erratic reception. I am never sure if a call is dropped or if I am getting a hang-up phone call. Some folks who call wrong numbers forget to say a thing, they just hang up.

So when I answered the phone it was dead on the other end. But I was feeling feisty... so I speak into the phone loudly. I am pretty sure I was in earshot of the two women.

I guess my evil twin surfaced... Bad twin!

I spoke into the dead phone:
"What? An alligator? *pause* In the lake? *pause* You gotta be kidding me! *pause* Um, no, *giggle* haven't seen any gators around here! *pause* But I will keep an eye out and call you if I see one! *pause* OK, thanks for letting me know. Bye!"

After that "pretend call" I speed walk back up to my motorhome. carrying my litter picker, bucket and of course the doggy is with me on a leash. Behind me the women are snatching up children, loading up their vans. They drove at break neck speed out of the park.

I went back to the area to clean up their monumental mess. *Sigh*

Funny how they left two hours early. Oh well, their business not mine.

Well... um...

That was over two weeks ago. The park is much easier to keep clean now. Haven't seen a loaded diaper in weeks. Plenty of other people are using the park now, most of them are quite tidy, though some still have issues but for me keeping it clean again has been a breeze. I haven't seen the mini vans with two women and fifteen kids either.

Was it something I said?

Bad evil twin! Bad! Bad! Bad!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Soundmaker

Lost in music.

I will try anything to get well and stay well including the powerful influence of music. From dancing to meditating, it's wonderfully healing to have music back in my life.

Normally I dislike TV and rarely ever watch it, but I do have a few thousand movies and shows on a hard drive someone gave me. I can watch these on the TV or the computer. Mostly I do this late at night before sleeping or if I am stuck in bed sick but not sleeping. I set the TV to turn itself off after 20-60 minutes depending on how long I think I might last before dozing off. Sometimes it takes me over a week to watch one movie, because I see it in 10-15 minute increments.

Last night I was bouncing off the walls until late in the night trying to do so many different things. As I was about to tear the bed apart to climb inside it, I turned on the TV for lighting. I know that sounds weird, but it's the easiest light to reach. I was debating about starting a movie.

Ironically the David Letterman show lit up my tiny bedroom with the start of this awesome guitar duo "Rodrigo y Gabriela" performing "The Soundmaker".

20 fingers
12 strings
2 artists

My jaw dropped down. My ears perked up into high alert (even the dog stopped cleaning his crotch to pay attention). I stopped fussing with the bed to sit down to watch these two battle it out with only two guitars. It was an amazing show of incredulous talent that left me scrambling for pen and paper to write their names down.

I've never heard such passionate fiery music resonate from one duo with only two acoustic guitars.

A little research this morning turned up that their live performance I was fortunate enough to see was their song "The Soundmaker" from their album "9 Dead Alive" which is available for purchase as a CD or a download, either the whole album or just one song from Amazon. 

There is just nobody to compare them to. Listen for yourself if you want to tune in to something truly extraordinaire. Pure raw talent that duplicates no one.

Monday, July 28, 2014


I'm not as think as you confused I am.

View from my campsite at sunset.

Please...take my advice (I'm not using it).

Trust in God (but tie up your camel).

Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life.

Dear Santa Claus,
Thank you for the lovely gift last Christmas, but when I told you I wanted an iPad I should have clarified that...

Desserts spelled backwards is stressed, so that's a mnemonic way to remember to take it easy.

Keep throwing those stumbling blocks at me. I will build a solid foundation with them!

Nobody really cares if you're miserable, so you might as well be happy.

Even if I can't make a brand new start, I can work on a brand new end.

Life is goof.

Earth's Biggest Selection
(including a T-Rex shirt!)


Just a fan-tabulous day all around.

Sunny and fab-tastic!

I decided to do things I didn't want to do. That was hard work and I didn't finish. So tomorrow, part two of things I don't want to do. Yucky poo!

It's more fun to putter and sputter than to do the nasty chores. One of my nasty chores is paperwork. It's piled up everywhere and it's overwhelming. I used to be such a wizard at organizing and dealing with paperwork, now it just mystifies my addled brain and tortures me. Accounting I am a wizard at (my first career) so I am able to post that in a heartbeat. The key to living on minimal funding is keeping up with every little penny (but it's still a chore!)

But today I plowed through a big pile of paperwork in between all the other chores. WHEW. More tomorrow...

Now for some fun stuff...

I went from air conditioning to the steamy outdoors
to do my workamping chores.
The camera was fuzzy and caught this photo of Harley Dog
seemingly blending in with the scenery. It's rare that I can get
him to stay still for a photo. *Sigh*

By the time I was ready to walk on water,
the camera had thawed out.
The lake is not at full pond, so a new shoreline is slowly emerging.
It's some kind of iron oxide that gives us that red clay which is
stunning against the white sands.

I am so super lucky and very grateful for another gorgeous day in paradise. Every day is just full of wonder. I wonder where I am, I wander where I wonder.

Earth's Biggest Selection

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Holidaze Hospice

Another beautiful day in paradise. I forced myself to get up early to stumble out on the patio sitting and rocking staring at the lake meditating for inner peace and outer health. It is well worth the effort, though sometimes I hesitate in bed, but I say to myself "Self you have this golden opportunity RIGHT NOW to go enjoy the tranquil morning in near perfect weather before the heat and humidity roll in. It's a special gift don't waste it. Tomorrow may never happen but today is here and it's for the living! Get up! Go forth!"

I guess Harley Dog somehow got the 24 hour bug, but he is fine now. He didn't like it that I chased him to the other end of the tiny motorhome while I disassembled the bed for rebuilding. 

First off it's built into the rear of the motorhome and enclosed on 2 full sides and about a third on the 2 remaining sides, so making it up with all fresh linens is a real chore. Just getting the pillows off the bed and finding somewhere to store them temporarily is a feat in itself.

Add to that I am a pillow-holic. Harley seems to have become one too. I have 3 jumbo sofa pillows so I can relax fully upright in bed like a sofa or a lounge chair. My bed has windows surrounding 3 sides, so it's all rather cheerful when I am stuck there recuperating. Then I have 4 feather sleep and cuddle pillows plus Harley has a bed pillow that isn't feather, but he keeps begging for same. *Sigh*. He sleeps on it or under it, depending on his body temperature. Sometimes he tries to steal my feather pillows. So right now between the two of us, we have 8 pillows on the bed and we manage to use them all. 

It's my padded cell (and I love it!)

Maybe I should name my wheel estate "Holidaze Hospice" because that's pretty much what it is. I pretend I am on holiday, but I am really in a daze and recuperating which is a fancy term for attempting to stay comfy til the end. But I am going to get well and plow a new path. 

I can feel a miracle on the horizon and that makes me super happy.

Life is goof. 

A huge thanks to anyone that
through any of my link.
Bless you!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rock and Throw

No more silent rock and roll...


Oh so wonderful.

I lived in silence for years, now I have music and it is heavenly. While I still enjoy a good bit of silence in this noisy world, I have rediscovered the powerful influence of music.

Harley dog is thoroughly entertained watching me dance on the patio while he fetches the thrown Frisbee. Once he returns it I briefly stop long enough to toss it again, then I dance some more until he returns. Life is goof.

I discovered a newfangled way to get music on a budget. Join the library! Then go online, if you're lucky, you're library might subscribe to Freegal and allow you to download a set number of songs per week at no carge. In my case the library allows me to download 5 songs per week. Music can also be streamed through an internet connection. You can listen to all or part of the song before downloading it.

Freegal® is a free music service from your library. All you need is your library card number and some libraries utilize a PIN. Freegal offers access to about 7 million songs, including Sony Music’s catalog of legendary artists. In total the collection is comprised of music from over 28,000 labels with music that originates in over 80 countries. There is no software to download, and there are no digital rights management (DRM) restrictions. Access to Freegal is limited to patrons of subscribing libraries.


I miss playing piano. I never could get the hang of an electronic keyboard. A piano just allows so much feeling and emotion, that an electronic keyboard can never produce.

Rumor is that Willie Nelson has a grand piano in his RV. Just a rumor, I haven't seen it myself, but if it's true... Lucky dude!

A huge mega thanks to all my readers, fans and angels
that use any of my Amazon links
Thank you!


Thursday, July 24, 2014


I need to be an octopus! So much to do and so little hands. Harley dog is fine again, eating and not hurling it up. We went for a long walk around the receding lake shore this evening. He had fun sniffing and digging, poking and exploring while I tidied up with my litter picker. What a lucky dog.

Behind the fan is a cold air return for the furnace, I had to remove
to get to the leaky plumbing. The fan is drying out the wet flooring under there.
My RV is a wreck as I tackle silly projects.

Even after the rains, I found more water... some sort of plumbing in an impossible place to reach wasn't connected right. Felt like I was remodeling the kitchen just to get to it.  After removing a panel, I saw water and electricity! Yikes, I don't think those mix too well, so I unplugged the RV until I was through playing around with the plumbing. I wrapped the pipe in Eternabond and that fixed the leak. Then I brought the outside patio fan inside to blow dry the soggy wet under cabinet area otherwise known as no man's land!
Can be used on plumbing emergencies too.

That might explain why my 12volt clip-on fans blew their fuses the other day. I tried to use them when it was raining inside and they refused to work. Maybe the 12 volt converter didn't like sitting in water. It is installed under the settee near the floor where the plumbing leak was. I have two little clip-on 12 volt fans. I use them in the spring and fall when I park and leave doggy inside the RV while I fetch food from a grocery store. I open the windows, then turn on the 12volt fans so he has plenty of air circulation. In the heat of summer, I have to use the generator and AC to keep him cool, but rest of the year, open windows and a fan work fine.

12 volt fans can be super useful for cars, RV's, boondocking and solar powered situations. I had several installed on my boat, over every bunk and in the galley too.

I also use the fans to speed dry wet laundry hanging inside, and of course I use them for air circulation when needed. They clamp onto anything, from the table to the window valances. Luckily my RV came with 12 volt outlets in the bedroom and living area plus one up front with the dash. They also help in the summer to speed cool the RV, turn on the AC and both extra little clip-on fans and it cools down in a hurry.

After years of sleeping on boats with the hatch above my bunk delivering Caribbean trade winds across my face all night, I find it hard to sleep without a fan, so I often use one of the clip on fans over my RV bed anytime I can have open windows and the wind isn't blowing. Also, it helps cool the bedroom quicker in the summer. I like to air out the RV every morning whenever possible. Then eventually I close it back up for heating or cooling.

Probably also from my decades in the tropics, where I lived with fresh air 24/7. I don't like being cooped up too long without fresh wholesome air. Airing out the motorhome so often slighly adds to the housekeeping, but products in the home sometimes emit residual gasses and chemicals. Ever smelled new carpet that stunk up a place? Anyhow, fresh air is always a good thing for chasing out any fumes that might be lingering, removing dog and human odors as well as exchanging carbon-dioxide for oxygen.

Still no roof repairs. But soon come... I hope.

I'd love to put my wheel estate on a barge and relocate to this lush island in the lake.
If I go MIA... check the island, maybe I found a way to move there.

Shop Amazon

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Poor Baby

I took Harley dog on a walk this morning up the street to our mailbox that is nearly a half mile away. We were able to finish cleaning up the garbage in the ditches on the road, so it looks lovely again. I only carry the one bucket for garbage, so once it's full, I have to stop cleaning until I get back to the park to empty the garbage. Many days there is more than a bucketful, other days we get lucky and get to lengthen our walk way past the mailbox. Either way we come home with the mail and a bucket of garbage.

When we got home again, Harley just collapsed on the patio, looking oh so sad. I washed his outside water bowl placing fresh purified water in it. He didn't touch it. I thought that was very peculiar. He usually gulps down a bowl full when we get back. I tried to play Frisbee with him and he wasn't interested.

Instead he walked over to the RV door looking sad. I opened up the door, then picked him up to cuddle him. He just rested his head on my chest like he was exhausted.

All day he moped around inside and outside with that pathetic face. Mid afternoon we laid down for a nap. I tried to console him, he definitely was off his game. I rubbed his belly, I brushed his fur, I got a toy to play with him and he wasn't interested in anything but looking so sad.  Finally I gave up and had just dozed off when *SPLAT*.

I jumped up out of bed a bit confused, it wasn't raining but *ahem* Harley had thrown up on my clothes and the bed. He walked to the front door where he leaned on it cowering in shame.

Poor baby.

Poor me.

I gently took him outside then came back in to change my clothes, wash up the bed and go back to check on him. He just wanted to be held and cuddled looking oh so miserable.

It was one sad afternoon. But eventually I took him on another walk around the park while we did our park patrol duties and he seemed a tad more lively.

By nightfall, whatever was bothering him, seems to be gone now. He's eaten half his daily food and drank more water. He is sitting by me as I type looking like he is going to be just fine.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Do It Yourself With All the Wrong Stuff

In an attempt to mitigate rain damage inside the RV I tried to think up something ANYTHING that could possible help.

So in the pouring down rain, I rigged up this hilarious ensemble in a feeble attempt to slow the rain down that was pouring inside my wheel estate.

It looks easier said than done. It took me nearly two hours to rig this mess up. I started at 7am and finished about 9am. Of course there was some head scratching along the way and a temporary abandonment. But during that time I felt so deflated, I decided I shall not be defeated!

So back in the rains, I plunked away some more. Mostly the umbrella kept trying to fall down and I was trying not to damage it further. When I obtained the umbrella last winter, it was already heavily damaged, but I had my old destroyed umbrella to cobble parts from. It was really out of laziness, that I had not hauled off the old umbrella parts when umbrella number two entered my life. Such luck!

Two broken things combined into one more or less "refurbished" item.

That is one heavy 9 foot umbrella. I had to move it around fully opened, which is not easy.  Besides it still jams opening and closing requiring a delicate hand, lots of patience and sheer will. It wasn't tall enough to touch the ground, which makes it even more "top heavy". The final result is attached to an umbrella holder, which is attached to a board sitting on top of a director's chair frame, which is sitting on top of 6 leveling boards with three on each side.

Not shown is the 6 foot step ladder that aided me in assembling this rig. But a 6 foot step ladder isn't enough to reach an 11 foot roof. All the wrong parts...

The umbrella itself is actually a dumpster deal cobbled together with old parts from an old storm damaged umbrella. Yepper, that's me always trying to make something out of nothing. (My modest budget causes temporary fits of random inventiveness!)

When all was said and done both me and my clothes were soaked to the bone and the dog was thoroughly amused.

It still rained inside but not near as much. I could open up my window and grab the umbrella post in case a heavy wind came along and tried to blow my contraption away. As a bonus, I could enjoy fresh air through the open window without the rains pouring in, since the umbrella was diverting much of the water.

Life is goof.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Qwacking Up

I used to have a super simple movie maker program one could use for making a fast snappy slide show with captions. Well that program has vanished into thin air, being replaced by something called Windows Essentials.

So what I used to do in a few fast minutes, now takes hours. I am unclear about this kind of upgrade. Not sure why a super simple fast program was replaced with a cumbersome slow one.

I fought with the program and the captions and finally just kind of gave up after a few hours and deleted the captions because I couldn't seem to make them appear in a sensible manner. The more I tried to edit, the worse it became.

If you are subscribing to this by email, then you might have to go to the blog link to actually see the slideshow.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Oopsy Doodle

Back soon.

I hope.

A bit of unbelievable chaos has just consumed every spare ounce of time and energy.

I'm very sick.
The wheel estate is sick.
It's pouring down rain outside.
It's pouring down rain inside. YES INSIDE!
Something has gone bad wrong with the AC unit that was installed last October and it's peeing rain and water inside all over the place. It's also pouring down rain inside and outside.

An interconnecting cabinet full of water, wet stuff dumped out everywhere and this is a very small RV, so the dog and I can barely move around all this wet drippy stuff. Rain running across the ceiling dripping all over floor and upholstery, roof AC pouring out water all over floor. Every dry towel pressed into service and no way to dry them all back out again until the rain stops. I don't even know where the closest laundry is, not that I can get there anyhow, at this point.

I feel like an amputated octopus.

I guess it's funny, a mermaid with TOO MUCH WATER!

That's the tip of the iceberg here...

There's another major problem that is so complicated that I am having trouble understanding it, but my email, internet, phone and bank were all shut down in a matter of hours over some mumbo jumbo I am still sorting out. Everyone I try to call (using the park phone since mine stopped working) is keeping me on hold for hours, being so mysterious saying corporate speak like "failed security" and "suspicious activity" and I am clueless and can't get them to cough up an explanation. I was just trying to paying my internet bill when all hell broke loose in ten different directions on the techno front.

Oh and I had to wait for the mail to deliver my phone cord, because I broke the cord to the park's corded phone! Good grief.

So... I am one exhausted mermaid and my poor doggy is confused and slightly neglected.

I have to go now, climb over this big wet mess and rest awhile.

Back soon!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Party of Nuts

The yellow sign in the background near the lakeshore warns "DEAD END". Sturdy posts are mounted in the ground so that folks don't ignore the sign and try to drive into the lake anyhow.

But just in case they plow trough the safety posts and ignore the sign, they can reach out their car window and grab an orange drive-by life jacket on their way to or through the lake.

Safety first!

By the way, we're serious. Don't park here. Sign says so. There's a very good reason too.

A tree overloaded with squirrels might fall on you.

I had to call maintenance to come out to remove the tree top from the road. A rather large tree had toppled over with just the tipmost part landing in the road.

I was hoping they wouldn't ask. Please, please, please don't ask me.

But when two maintenance guys drove out to look at the task, they just had to ask me; "How could a healthy big tree just fall right over on a windless day with no recent rains? I mean if the ground was saturated, it might loosen up the roots. But this is strange. What on earth happened here?"

Yepper, they just HAD to ask me what happened.

The crew of two patiently stood there waiting for me to explain about the mishap. The older fellow was chewing on a toothpick, the younger guy was just grinning while sort of rocking back and forth in his work boots.

I took a deep breath then explained:

"I wish those wild teen squirrels would calm down. It's summer and rather than stash their nuts they are going nuts!

You are correct. No rain, no winds, yet a towering healthy tree decided to topple right over with about a 100 or more squirrels in it. I think it was their surreptitious party. Summer is here and we have lots of adolescent and teenage squirrels at play. Someone's parents went on vacation so the teen squirrels that promised to take good care of the "tree house" while their parents were away, instead had a party for their friends.

As word spread, the party became bigger and bigger and bigger as more teen squirrels raced over to frolic and run wild. Soon there were about 100 squirrels racing up the tree. And well... too many squirrels and the "tree house" collapsed under their weight bringing the whole tree down. The squirrels ran off in 42 directions, just leaving the lone teen squirrel all alone to face his parents.

His parents were SO mad when they came home too. Now they're out looking for a new tree to move into and junior is grounded from having anymore parties.

And THAT is how the tree fell."

The older fellow dropped his jaw and his toothpick fell out of his mouth, onto the ground. The younger one was wide eyed with his mouth opened in amazement. They both just stared at me when I finished. You would have thought I said something wild like an elephant just swam by.

Finally they looked at each other with surprised incredulity, then turned to look at the tree, then look back at me. The older one cleared his throat then said "Hmm, yeah, um, we figured it was something like that..."


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Putter and Sputter

When I feel rough, rather than feel completely useless, I just start puttering and sputtering. Doing things by rote. Mindlessly sweeping or washing dishes or cleaning. Then I rest and smile. All day long I try to smile and pretend I feel terrific. Can I brainwash my brain?

This morning doggy and I dutifully went outside to enjoy the great outdoors before the heat and humidity rolls in. We managed to walk around the lake park cleaning up. Not a soul was around but garbage had appeared overnight thanks to the hooligans that are incapable of utilizing our numerous trash cans for their rubbish.

"Let's go somewhere beautiful and trash it!"

It's a mindset I will never understand.

It was windy and rainy last night, so the winds probably scattered the errant garbage even further. I couldn't even get to it all this morning but I made a serious dent in the mess. I hope I am leaving my anonymous mark on mother nature, that I respected her enough to clean up after thoughtless punks.

I wish we could get more volunteers willing to clean up our planet. I dream of fanciful things, like if every man, woman and child spent 10 minutes a day picking up anonymous litter, we could have nature pristine again and show pride in our work and play areas.  Blah blah blah... I might as well be speaking Klingon (language of the aliens on Star Trek).

Ha! We can all come up with excuses why we can't spend 10 minutes a day doing anonymous good deeds. Even charities are resorting to bribery. I was invited to a charitable event that is throwing a big party with the net proceeds going to their charity. It's not enough for folks to want to donate, they need a party in return for their good deeds. It's kind of funny in a way.

The cashier at the store the other day probably through I was deranged, but frankly I don't care. It seems every where I went "the computer" was blamed for the various errors I kept catching. Good grief. Life shouldn't be quite this complicated!

I've noticed it quite trendy now for nearly all stores to ask for a charitable donation at the conclusion of each transaction. I always say "No thanks!"

It's not because I am such a uncharitable person, but I don't trust their accounting.

I had trusted the store to charge me the correct prices, but at my very first stop, I realized I had been overcharged $4.00 before leaving the parking lot. Because I drive a motorhome, I have to park far away from the entrance, certainly not their fault, but it was a hot humid day. I hiked back to the store, dripping in sweat. I patiently waited in line, mopping my brow. Finally I reached the cashier to explain the overcharge. Another 10 minutes of the clerk banging around with the computer, then the manager had to be called. For 5 more minutes she fussed and fretted with the computer then suddenly demanded my name, address and signature to get the $4.00 error straightened out. Huh? I didn't make this error! My only sin was shopping in their store and catching their mistake. I hope they don't hunt me down because of this grave sin. They know where to find me now...

When I went shopping last week for basic monthly provisioning of the wheel estate, I stopped at 8 places (gas, food, health, repair parts, etc.) and had errors in the amount charged me at 6 of those places. In each case, I caught the booboo, the clerks did not. In each case, it was a huge ordeal to get their mistake straightened out again.


Then I flubbed up and caused my own $2.20 overcharge which was my fault and no refund forthcoming. I thought I was going to a Murphy gas station but I was at a Marathon station. My mistake. I used a credit card which is OK at Murphy but at Marathon causes a 10 cent per gallon surcharge. Oops! As I left the station, a tad mad at myself for making such a stupid mistake, I saw the Murphy station a block away. Well, that's what I get for believing in my GPS. It said turn and I saw a big M and I turned. But it was the wrong M. Now I felt like a fool. When did shopping become so complicated? I think I could have stayed home and dropped a hammer on my toe and had a lot more fun than the torture of my recent shopping trip.

Computers were supposed to make us more efficient not create more errors and havoc. I've noticed too, if I try to audit the bill while still at the cashier station, they ask me to move along. (Oh now I'm loitering?) But I hate getting home back to my campsite, then discovering when I post my receipts that I was "robbed" and overcharged at various places. It's maddening. I want a simpler life, so I avoid shopping until the list gets super long and the food choices from my pantry have become rather comical like trying to pair up a can of beets with some enchilada sauce to make a fun meal.

Ok, I digress... maybe it's the heat and illness has made me plumb silly.

Finally I got my $4.00 back, but now they spit out the well rehearsed donation appeal again. This time I spoke up and said "No I don't care to donate. I have no idea what your corporation does with these collected donations. You already made a $4.00 error on my $12.00 purchase you charged me $16.00 for  that I had to bring to your attention and it took 2 people 15 minutes just to clear that up. I'm not uncharitable but I have no idea how your company accounts for these donations, if it makes it to the final charity or a CEO bonus or to repave the parking lot. I donate my time and that is priceless!"


Not like me to rant and rave... I tried to be super nice the rest of the day and just grin like an idiot who has discovered a hole in my pocket and something else to play with...  It did noting to abate the errors I kept finding, but I at least felt happy and didn't rant at anyone else who asked me for donations (I was asked at 5 different places!)

Well, today I went around the park, grateful not to be out shopping (even if it means no phone). As the heat and humidity came rolling in, the dog who normally loves nature, was trying to drag me back to the dog house on wheels. Usually he wants to play outside, but today he stood at the door, looking at me like I was nuts, as I puttered around the patio, sweeping up the ten thousand pine needles that fell on the chairs and picnic table. Yep, we had a pine needle storm last night too!

Oh and if you're trying to call me, I accidentally broke the telephone cord to the landline phone. My crappy cell phone works randomly and the computer phone which is normally forwarded to the landline is now unforwarded and back on the computer, but I don't leave it on all day because I am on a super cheap plan. Even when I am not using the internet, it mysteriously eats up my bandwidth, so I turn the internet off whenever I leave the computer for more than one minute.

Life is goof!

So... my communications are a mess right now. I found a "backup" 3 foot cord to use with the landline phone, but that means it sits on a pole in the yard outside the motorhome on the wrong side away from the door and in full sun all day. At least I can run outside and dial 911 if there is a park emergency. I have to hide the phone on the pole, but under a wash tub so the rains don't ruin it, which it rained at 3am, so I am grateful I hid it under a wash tub.

Otherwise I am waiting for UPS to turn up in a day or two or three with a new 50 foot phone cord. I promise, I will try not to snap this one too. It was a stupid accident and well I am such a klutz lately.

I just couldn't face the prospect of driving the motorhome to a store when all I needed or wanted was a phone cord. My volunteer workamping situation is such that they provide the landline phone service, but I have to provide the connecting cord and the telephone. Being out here in the country, there just isn't anywhere to go borrow a cord and my only visitor (maintenance department) didn't have a cord either. Most folks don't drive around with one of those anyhow unless they are headed to be on the show "Let's Make a Deal".

My neighbors which have homes between here and where I walk to my mailbox are all gone as they are vacation homes used erratically and I am not sure I could have worked up my nerve to go ask to borrow a phone cord longer than 3 feet until UPS gets here. Most folks don't seem to even have landlines anymore.

Twice now I've actually heard the phone outside ringing, but by the time I found my shoes, ran out the door, around the motorhome, over to the pole, removed the wash tub and answered the phone, it was too late. The caller was gone. The phone is a cheap one that doesn't tell you who called or take messages.

Life is goofy all around and I am slowly baking into a fruitcake too, but I'd rather be just an innocent mermaid.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Yippie doodle doo!

I am a juggler... who keeps dropping her jugs...

Doggy and I were up at 5am so we could go outside to enjoy the cool morning before the heat of a summer day that promised to be hot and sticky. We were both very sleepy, but it seemed a shame to miss out on such a glorious start.

I sat in the rocking chair swaying back and forth, staring at the lake, cuddling a very sleepy puppy dog while listening to the birds tweet and twitter as morning slowly unfolded. There were no other sounds, just nature. 

Fortified with a cup of coffee, I felt strong enough to tackle a walk. We went around the park marveling at mother nature while doing some tidying up, relocating random litter to garbage bins. We were treated with the site of a great blue heron who would briefly fly above the lake shore, then land to pick around searching for breakfast. She seems to favor this area, I see her every morning for weeks now. 

I just wanted to smile, pretend I'm fine, the world was beautiful and all was grand. The spirit is willing but the body is flailing but surely I will find my way. By 9am, I was exhausted, chased back into my lair for a temporary respite. Healing takes time and rest.


I made it through another day! Yippie doodle doo! I have so much to be grateful for!

Oh to be like a whimsical magical mermaid sitting by the moon wishing upon a star.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Super Size Moon

The full moon tonight plus the ones in August and September will all be super sized moons.

Nuts and bolts...

The scientific term for the phenomenon (super moon) is "perigee moon." Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. The Moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side ("perigee") about 50,000 km closer than the other ("apogee").  Full Moons that occur on the perigee side of the Moon's orbit seem super sized and brighter.

This coincidence happens three times in 2014. Amazing!

Long ago and far away, on a tiny island I sailed to hundreds of times...

It was the monthly Full Moon Party at the Bomba Shack, located on a Caribbean Beach.

bomba shack full moon party dates
They don't call it a shack for nothing...

The thump of the band was as fast as a rapid heartbeat. The barefoot crowd on the sandy beach were laughing and dancing, as the bass rhythms pounded through rum soaked bodies. Rasta men with very long knotty dreadlocks carried old cardboard boxes like the type used for a case of canned sodas, but now repurposed to display their bounty from the mountains, the magic 'shrooms.

A hundred yards away, Whito tended an open fire with a big cauldron hung over it, full of 'shrooms and boiling water. At midnight the magic tea would be handed out for free for all who came calling. 

Off duty island police were getting paid to work the party. They ignored the 'shrooms, the acrid odor of burning herbs and the merry drunks stumbling, laughing and dancing. The band cranked up the volume as loud as possible, not having a sound engineer in their repertoire, they simply settled for volume over quality.

Rather than harass the crowd, the police focused on occasionally keeping one lane open down the public road that ran parallel to the beach, splitting the party down the middle. Revelers would spill out into the road, then when a car wanted to pass, the officers could slowly part the crowd while walking ahead of the car. Once the car passed the party, the road would disappear again as the two legged wildlife swelled out over it.

One fool moon, the mighty Bomba thought speed bumps would be handy to prevent any party goers from getting hit by cars. He had his crew shovel sand all day to make four nice neat speed bumps across the road out of sand and water. 

Sure it briefly slowed down cars as they stared at the huge lumps of wet sand spread across  the road then gingerly drove over them and through them. I guess engineering speed bumps is not Bomba's long suit after all. The cars and trucks driving over the nice neat speed bumps eventually flattened them out until the road was completely covered in sand. 

And the band played on...

The Bomba shack by day sits nearly empty because islanders are getting ready to mob the shack and beach soon after the sun sets. At that point it is standing room only with people taking up every square inch of sand, dancing to the band, waiting for the full moon to rise, waiting for the 'shroom tea at midnight. 

Life is goof!


Biker Babe

We all like a real cute biker babe...

What happens when your kid is in lost and found a little too long with a bored clerk...

"I swear he looked just like this when he wandered up here looking lost..."

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rocking and Rambling

I am so glad the weathermen keep getting the predictions all wrong for my area. Company arrived and that's been fun. I've probably talked their ears right off. (Oops!)

For some fool reason I decided to redo the patio and the parking arrangement of my wheel estate. I had forgotten how much work that can be, but it was fun work more or less. I love to spend every moment I can outside enjoying al fresco living.

Thanks to the generosity of an angel, I am now swinging away in a rocking chair again. While I try to settle my addled brain and improve the body, rocking is such a wonderful healthy past time. It eases stress, improves circulation and very often causes spontaneous smiling.

Aaaaaaahhhh... life is goof.

Speed backwards...

Growing up in the 60's my family acquired a rustic cabin in the mountains overlooking a curvaceous river full of rocks. 33 steps made of big singular river rocks were carefully embedded into the earth to reach from the driveway to the tiny cabin above perched on the side of a steep hill.

At the time they bought the place, it came fully furnished with an eclectic assortment of creature comforts including 6 rocking chairs in various sizes and shapes.

Many happy evenings were spent on the screened porch, listening to the raucous sound of the cicadas and the babbling river below while swaying back and forth in rocking chairs.

Speed forward...

I can't believe I lived my life without rocking chairs for well over two decades. Living on boats doesn't afford much room or need for a rocking chair. Even ashore on tiny islands, for some obscene reason, rocking chairs were not available for sale. That is a strange phenomenon I never figured out.

Careening around in my wheel estate, I have often dreamed of rocking chairs, looking for a folding type one that I could use outside, then store away when it was time to drive. For my birthday this year I ended up with the world's greatest folding rocking chair. Barely 5 weeks later, a visitor accidentally managed to break it up while doing something rather silly. That make and model was so wildly popular that I could not find an identical replacement. Amazon had a vendor listed who would only sell a batch of four rockers, not one lone rocker. (Go figure...)

I tried repairing the busted rocker with help from other friends, but the steel frame had been bent and we didn't notice that until much later. After the first repair, it rocked uncertainly for awhile, then our repair fell into disrepair unceremoniously in the blink of an eye.

Time goes on...

Ironically an angel from half way around the world sent me the gift of a rocking chair from the USA Kmart mail-order department. They had a totally different type of folding rocking chair, but it did look positively divine. A week later it arrived in a huge box nearly destroyed due to complete disregard for proper packing. Matter of fact it wasn't packed it all. Imagine a tea cup without packing thrown into a box the size of washing machine then shipped to your door. This flat folding rocker was tossed without so much as one square inch of packing material or cushioning into a box the size of a jumbo refrigerator. You could have fit 6 folded rockers (with no padding or protection) into that huge box and still had room left over for a huge ice chest.

Round and round I went on the phone with Kmart, until finally with great effort they agreed to replace it but only if I drove to Kissimme, Florida and prepaid for the 2nd rocker now while they "held it". I pointed out that was a 14 hour one-way drive from my current location!

Eventually they worked it out for me to exchange it at a store about an hour away from me. I mentioned I would be driving a motorhome to accomplish this, and it was too late in the day to go out and do that,  but frankly they didn't care. It was my only choice as they decided they couldn't be bothered with properly packing up another rocking chair for safe arrival to my current address.

Yeah, I am still scratching my head over that one. What kind of company goes into the mail-order delivery business then refuses to use any sort of packing material so that the final product arrives in one piece?

The heat and humidity set in for a few days, I had to do my volunteer duties during the super busy Independence holidays. I forgot to drink enough fluids and suddenly binga-banga-boom, I was in no shape to drive anywhere or do anything. I was dazzled and confused. Having learned my lesson (it's that time of year) I am now super careful to try to keep pouring down plenty of fluids in this erratic heat wave.

Finally a week later, I felt sturdy enough to break up camp, drive the motorhome and go exchange the damaged rocking chair.

Upon arrival at Kmart the lady behind the customer service desk dashed away just as I was approaching pushing a cart with the mangled rocking chair. About ten minutes later, she reappeared. While trying to process the pre-arranged exchange Kmart's computer began balking at such a tedious mundane task. Try and try again, she couldn't cajole it to spit out the paperwork to effect the exchange nor would she allow me to leave the store with the new replacement chair. Finally 3 employees spent nearly an hour banging away at the cantankerous system which kept emitting horrific screeches. Their computer simply wanted me to pay for both rockers and go away with only one. By now, I had unfolded the new rocking chair and sat down. I was beginning to think Kmart was my new home.

At that point, one of the harried employees demanded to see my driver's license.

Good grief, you need proof of a driver's license to sit in a rocking chair? I hope I don't get an excessive rocking ticket over this!

Finally after about an hour, I was cleared for take-off.

It's a mad mad world out there.

But I am loving this rocking, easing my stress. God bless angels (and I am so sorry the devil has cursed computers...)




Techno Break or Techno Breaking

Back in the dark ages desktop computers were touted as saving the trees, saving paper and making us wildly efficient at our jobs. In my case, at the time I was doing accounting and taxes. I was so elated that my efficiency level shot through the roof with the aid of computers.

What happened in the next few decades? I was overseas working in mostly non-computer situations. Then I moved back to America at the end of 2009. I had no idea the USA had become such an incredibly complicated place to live.

Now computers are used to create work, make people as inefficient as possible and to spit out realms of excessive unnecessary paperwork.

My recent shopping trip for provisions was a near disaster because I am sick and tired of pure strangers asking me intimate questions that I think is none of their business! I just want to make my purchases anonymously.  I don't wish to give out my phone, email and address. I simply hate it that my key chain is ridiculously fat with silly cards that stores require or one pays a huge surcharge on items if this cumbersome tracking card is not used.

The grocery stores that are spread out over a couple of acres just make me want to scream, the healthy foods are ridiculously expensive and take up scant shelf space while the chemical and sugar laden foods are abundant.

What's wrong with feeding our bodies pure wholesome foods?

Products have 2 and 3 different prices, depending on whether or not you have some sort of tracking card to use or a coupon (and yet more paperwork.) Receipts are a foot or two long  even if just buying one item or in some cases taking up regular 8.5 by 11 inch paper, for just one or two purchases.

Several times I caught errors either made by the computer or the cashier and in each case, everything ground to a complete halt until more people could be summoned to straighten out the error. Meanwhile folks behind me in line were shooting imaginary daggers at me and the cashier and the crowd of managers and supervisors spending 10 minutes trying to straighten out a $2 error on my receipt.

This is considered efficient?

I just feel so lost and bewildered.

I don't understand the constant invasion of privacy over trying to make a few simple purchases of food and supplies or that I could write by long hand a whole chapter in my next book on the backs of the mountain of paper these few purchases generated.

No wonder the cost of food is frighteningly expensive. We're paying for all this inefficiency, paying for silly plastic cards to dangle from our key chains, paying for 4 people to correct one small error. Paying for folks to design and generate lengthy receipts begging us to take nonsensical surveys or accumulating some sort of complicated point scheme that promises future discounts or rewards if one can figure out the insane set of rules.

Maybe it's the sudden heat and humidity have just literally gone to my head. I never thought I would dread shopping for simple basic supplies and food, but I do.

I want a techno break, the pure freedom to go buy a sack of onions without having to issue my life's history. Could I be the only one around that thinks technology is breaking down the fabric of our lives?

Oh for the love of air, I just want a simple fun life like my *slightly* spoiled silly dog who for some reason known only to him, is amassing his favorite toys in a chair. This picture was supposed to be a frontal shot of him holding his Frisbee in his mouth, but as I clicked the shutter, he spun around. What a goofball!