Sunday, August 31, 2014

Moving On

The porthole on my motorhome reminds me of my years at sea.
I am so surprised it's not faded out.

I find the strangest things while picking up litter along the lake shore.
This was covered in mud.
Seems like a Buddha with 4 arms and an elephant head.
If anyone knows anything about this, I am curious indeed.

Soon we say goodbye to our park and lake.
I've packed up the spare chairs already.
I figure that means I will have company soon and can unpack them again!
Harley dog is acting so sad to see me start to sort out the patio.
It's that time of year when old worn out stuff needs to head for the garbage bin.
This green patio rug looks terrific in this picture, but one inch pieces of woven plastic
are breaking off of it at an alarming rate.
I sweep up thousands of bits of plastic every few days as it sheds.
It's days are numbered, but it will probably travel with me a while longer.
It was a treasured gift from 2010.
It's been outdoors nearly every day for over 4 years in dozens of campgrounds, mostly camping on dirt, mud, sand, leaves, grass, gravel and conrete.
Amazing it has held up so well, so long.
I think the rough finished concrete here has hastened it's life, causing the woven plastic to break off (that and sunshine!).
Yet the picture makes it look outstanding.
Funny how that happens.
Below is the other patio mat in brown.
Two years ago I was in a campground when folks left with a used trailer and came back hours later with a new trailer. We were chatting about their new purchase, which they happily gave me a tour to show off. I was a tad envious. A brand new travel trailer, what fun!

They said their old patio mat looked shabby next to their new rig, so the next day they came home with a new identical one.

I offered to take their old rug to the dump for them, but of course I took it home. Now I had 2 patio mats, which pretty much covered the area under my awning. I felt spoiled rotten. What fun!

I actually managed to get two years of service out of their discarded patio mat but now it's falling apart and parts of it have loose weaving that make it a hazard for tripping over.

Yesterday it went to the dump.
The formatting on this post has me baffled, please excuse the mess. Life is goof.

Earth's Biggest Selection

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Klutz and The Monkey

Here's what happens when a klutz tries to photograph a monkey...

Every time I would get him to look at me, and snap the picture, he would immediately start compulsively grooming or look the other way or both.

A study in blurry motion...

A few more goofy shots of me trying to catch a cutesy picture.

In the heat of the day, after running him ragged playing Frisbee and fetch and walking and hiking and workamping he settled on his favorite perch for a photo, but the sun is so super bright in the background. 
Good grief.

Life is goof.

Earth's Biggest Selection

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Over WHAT Hill?

I try not to multi-task too much and just focus on the job at hand, but... the best laid plans go astray.

A friend recently reminded me that I needed to slow down and stop stressing. I had aged. They had aged. They moved slower and things were better now. I should move slower and things would be better.


Now I have a big lump on my silly head, stars in my eyes and I suspect I was teleported back to another century.

Living in a little old RV comes with some old fashioned lifestyle techniques that isn't common to many Americans. Dishes washed by hand, laundry hang dried, freezer and refrigerator manually defrosted, food cooked from scratch, living out of small water tank, dumping sewer (what fun!). It all sounds so simple but takes time and effort.

I turned off the refrigerator/freezer. My RV fridge is a small Dometic 2 door arrangement, the freezer on top, the refrigerator on the bottom. I emptied the freezer, transferring the shoebox of ice to the top shelf of the refrigerator. The two items in the freezer, I piled on top of the ice, then closed the refrigerator door.

I opened the freezer door which doesn't quite open 180 degrees like the newfangled models do, so mine sticks out in the tiny hallway. I laid out microfiber towels in the bottom of the freezer to catch the dripping water.

Next I planned to take Harley dog for a walk while simultaneously doing my volunteer workamping chores around the lake park. Oops, that's multi-tasking. But it works out fine.

Most times.

Next I found myself locked outside the RV without the dog leash. Harley was jumping for joy on his tether, waiting for an equipment change so we could ramble around the park. However, I had forgotten to gulp down a bunch of water. Rather than carry water, I try to tank up before the walk, so I don't dehydrate in the summer heat. I am already carrying dog leash, keys, trash bucket, litter picker-upper tool, brochure bag, park literature, parking fee notices, note pad, cell phone, camera, pen, prescription glasses and I forget what else. I manage to carry all this because my clothes don't have pockets, which is a bit maddening at times.

Sounds simple.
Unlock door.
Climb 3 steps inside.
Drink water.
Find dog leash.
Step outside.
Lock door.
Leash up a jumping bean of an excited dog.
Head out on foot and paw.

While we were gone, the freezer would defrost. When we came back, I could mop it out, turn it on and call it a done deal. Whee!

Somehow I managed to spill water all over the floor.
Such a klutz some days.
(Most days!)
How can a glass of water spilled on the floor resemble three gallons?

I threw the dish towel on the mess, which did little to soak up the water, then bolted four or five steps for my bed in the rear of the tiny wheel estate where there was sun dried laundry waiting to be folded including microfiber rags. (These things do magic, quickly soaking up water and dirt, while mopping the floor.) I was mine over and over so I always have a few clean ones ready. It saves me a bundle on paper towel costs, being that I live in a motorhome where the utilities are included in the rent or workamping.

I turned around to take five steps back to the kitchen, tossing my clean microfiber rags on the floor with the intention of rapidly mopping with my foot. Old injuries make it hard and very painful for me to climb down on the floor, so I've become quite proficient at mopping with one or both feet. Actually when I was in physical therapy years back learning to walk again without canes, cranes and walkers, this was one of the suggested home exercises, learning to do things with my feet.

There just isn't room for a mop in my motorhome, so I let the microfiber rags do the work. Then I can wash them in my compact washing machine to use over and over again. The microfiber rags are like a magnet attracting dirt and water.

But I came zipping down the hallway, in a big hurry and THWACK.

I saw STARS.

I saw BLACK.

I saw clouds.

I saw the inside of my brain.

The pain was excruciating, I was flailing for the phone thinking I should call someone to come rescue my doggy before I passed right out. Or worse.


Someone turned out the lights.

Dang bang it, I was SURE it was daylight last I checked.

But the angels swooped in from somewhere refusing to let me fly away with them. They made me stay firmly planted on planet earth.

Well, we never went on the walk. I never reached anyone on the phone until much later. By then I was babbling like a fool, probably incoherent, but at least I was alive and my confused doggy was with me, alive too. I had dripping ice running down my face. I was trying to deaden the pain. I didn't want to call an ambulance because I wasn't sure they would even come without advance payment. Doctors are fussy these days about up front payment for everything. If I even coaxed an ambulance out here, they might drag me away without my doggy and I would be so super stressed worrying about his welfare, well, I just didn't want that.

I dislike hospitals, especially emergency rooms where you are pretty much ignored while they wait to see if you will just hurry up and die before they have to attend to you. Well, I guess you can tell, I have had very bad experiences with emergency rooms. I've landed in emergency rooms a few times, and it was never good.

Well, I take that back, I might have had very good service back in the 70's in an emergency room in a very small town that saved my silly life. It seems everyone was so nice to me. I don't remember arriving there or what they did. My mother rushed to the emergency room but she was an hour or more away plus it had taken an hour or so before someone called her. She told me later that when she arrived, my face was covered in blood, but I was yabbering at the doctors trying to fix me up "Don't let the blood get on my clothes, I have to go to work! Hurry up. I can't be late!" She said the doctors said I had been muttering that over and over for hours.

I know a few days later, someone took me to see my car and it was destroyed including the steering wheel I broke with my face. I had on a seat belt, but the car was so old, it didn't have a shoulder harness, just a lap belt. Thank goodness I had that on, it prevented me from going through the windshield.

It also proved a theory that many folks had said to my face before that accident "You are HARD HEADED!"

Back to the future...

On this day, whatever day that was recently, I apparently slammed full speed ahead into the sharp corner of the freezer door, while looking down at the spilled water on the floor I was going to mop up.

I have a lump the size of a football on my head beyond the hair line, so I can't really see it unless I shave my head, and that sounds too painful. Brushing my hair is pure torture, so I am looking a tad frazzled, like I stuck my head in an electric socket.

Awhile back I saw a refillable old fashioned ice bag for injuries on sale for $1 and I didn't buy it. Not like ME to ever have any accidents. Better save that $1 for something important...

Yet, thinking about it now, the angels were probably leading me to stare at that $1 ice bag, because they knew what kind of fool I am. If only I had paid attention...

At least that is how it feels.
Like a football.
The thing on top of my head.
It's probably the size of a golf ball chopped in half.
My head is shrinking.
My brain fell out.

What happened to that hard head of mine?

Did somebody switch out heads when I wasn't looking?

Recently someone told me on the phone "When you're over the hill, you're head goes soft."

And what hill would THAT be?


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August Mayhem

The calm before the storm

I love my goofy dog who is perched on top of the passenger seat.
While he is not allowed to touch the kitchen counter or any table tops, he certainly makes an effort to claim any and all other areas of our tiny wheel estate.
Harley checks out the receding shore line
Lake Hartwell, South Carolina
Whimsical Painting on a Fifth Wheel
Reminds me of the Caribbean, makes me so homesick.

Swim Beach at  Lake Hartwell

This past week has been a wild roller coaster ride on bumpy bad tracks. I tossed my cookies too. 

Will be back laughing, smiling and writing soon. 

Have a fantabulous day. 

Life is goof.

Earth's Biggest Selection

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Don't Forget to Be Grateful

Cherish the day.

Back to basics.

Humble roots.

I have to remember  over and over and over and over and over and (well you get it, I'm hard headed!) and over again to be thankful and grateful each and every day.

Angels are among us and they they watch over this fool. I've no idea why I am worthy of such good fortune.

Every day may not be good but there is something good in every day. Perhaps sometimes I just have to hunt high and low, far and wide to find that goodness!

Cherish your loved ones. They sometimes leave this world quite unexpectedly.

Peace and Love.

Earth's Biggest Selection

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Zombie Catfish

I've heard of walking catfish and seen a documentary about them. Years back I saw zombies in a grocery store on St Thomas in the Virgin Islands. (But that's another story for another day.)

Now I've seemingly met a zombie catfish.

Mostly, walking catfish navigate the wetlands and canals of southern Florida. Walking catfish can breathe air, allowing it to survive out of water. It can use its spiny front fins to waddle from wetland to wetland.However, they have also been recorded as far west as California and as far north as Massachusetts. (I guess some of those guys were training for the Olympics!)

I was startled to find a catfish in my driveway. This summer I am workcamping on a lot on a hill at Lake Hartwell living in the park where I volunteer. There is no public campground here. There is a big circular gravel driveway. On the inside circle of the driveway is a large grassy area.

I had company visiting (that's their car, I don't own a car) and they were helping me with the annual Lake cleanup. Setting out to walk the dog and pick up litter around the shoreline, I saw something strange laying in the grass circle of the driveway.

I just assumed he was a dead catfish, but later I nicknamed him a zombie catfish.

front view

head to tail, left to right

tail area

tail to head

After my work and walk, I planned to relocate him with the aid of a shovel and a bucket. When I returned from cleaning the lake shore area, I passed by the catfish again. My visiting friend offered to relocate him on my behalf, but I said "Let's wait, let me download the pictures, to make sure they came out clear."

We got busy doing other things (we've been resurfacing the motorhome roof) and forgot to move the catfish. He wasn't smelly at all.

Later in the evening, I noticed the catfish had moved. We ran over to see his new spot, but it was mushrooms I had seen and not the catfish at all. Matter of fact, the catfish was gone.



We never did find him either. Thanks goodness I took the pictures when I did. No one came by, we never left the campsite, because we were busy with the roofing. Then when it got too hot, we went inside to cool in the air conditioning, but my window shades are always up all day long. I love being able to see out every window during daylight hours.

Harley dog can't reach the catfish, even on his 100 foot tether, it doesn't go far enough in that direction. Besides, he was right by my side both outside and inside.

So WHERE did the zombie catfish go? Was he dead or alive? Was he the walking variety?

How could something or somebody come take him away, when we were right here the entire time? Did he get a second wind and just waddle away?

I am still scratching my head over this one.


Harley and the Doctor

Harley almost blends in where ever he goes. I am still amazed at his long fur. He used to be scrawny with so little fur. We have Newman's Organic Dog Food  to thank for his long fluffy fur that popped out a few weeks after he started on their dog food. By then he was about two years old. It's really changed his life.

6.8 pounds of pure energy! Up from 6.6 pounds he weighed last year.

Harley went to another new veterinarian. Such is the life of a traveling dog, he meets vets everywhere. He is going to be fine and the vet is healing up nicely too...


He has only ever met one vet he likes, and sadly she is far away. I screwed up and found out his rabies shot had expired. Heavens to Betsy! 

He came to me severely malnourished at the age of 5 months. It seems like he will never catch up in the weight department. Now, 4 years and 3 months later, he is still considered underweight, but he seems super healthy. He has incredible energy, ready to run and play plus we do a fair amount of walking. Several times a day we play Frisbee, so he does get loads of exercise.

One day recently on a hot day, he ran over to his outside water bowl lapping up the last little bit. I jumped up to refill his bowl, but he became distracted by visiting company even though I tried to coax him to drink the fresh water. I should have insisted.

I asked my friend if he would work with me on training Harley to come when called. Harley has had a very hard time learning this because he has lived on a tether or leash when outdoors due to our camping lifestyle where dogs are always required to be restrained. He doesn't understand why he should come when called EVERY time. He doesn't understand the danger of fast cars. When he has escaped, he generally runs wild and ignores me! This could cost him his life, so I have been trying to teach him to always come when called. *Sigh*.

How can one little doggy know the name of every toy he owns but can't remember to come right now when called?

I've tried treats and bribery but he is whimsical like a cat. Maybe he will come, maybe not. It occurred to me that maybe he needs to be loose and free of tethers and leashes, to seriously train him to come back when called.

We went for a walk in the woods, away from the dangers of cars and turned him loose to run wild. This is new found freedom for him. He raced through the woods, then came back when called, accepted a treat, then raced off again. He seemed to like this game.

He was bouncing around testing out his speed, then racing back for his treat. I thought great! We're getting somewhere with this. At the end of our hike, we leashed him back up because my friend and I were going to clean up the lake shore. Harley was on a long flexi-leash so he could poke around with us while we collected garbage. The lake level has dropped several feet, exposing a new shoreline. This has also meant that more and more garbage seems to be floating up on the shore from careless boaters who either toss it overboard or let the wind take it away.

Even though I already volunteer as a park host and litter picker, I also signed up to volunteer for the 34th annual Hartwell Lake Cleanup Campaign, Aug. 1 through Sept. 20. The Hartwell Lake Cleanup Campaign coincides with National Public Lands Day, a nationwide observance for volunteering at public lands. The cleanup is also part of Georgia’s statewide “Rivers Alive” program and South Carolina’s statewide “Beach Sweep River Sweep” program. (Lake Hartwell is situated in both states.) My friend who was coming to visit also volunteered for 8 days.

Last year’s campaign won the Rivers Alive Government Partner award, demonstrating the quality of the cooperative effort between the Corps of Engineers, the Lake Hartwell Association, and other volunteers.

It was a very hot day and after awhile Harley simply collapsed in the grass near the shore, refusing to budge anymore.


I suspect it was his lack of water, the excitement at running wild, then the walk in the sun to clean up the shore.

He could have drank the lake water, but chose not to. Perhaps he is spoiled with the purified water we drink from our Berkey water purifier. In my attempts to keep him healthy I wash his water bowl often (he washes his beard in it too!) and I always add the purified water. He has an outside water bowl and an inside water bowl, so he really has no excuse to be thirsty but before our walk, he didn't drink enough water.

We stopped cleaning the shore and carried Harley back to the motorhome. He was oh so grateful for that "free ride". Poor little fellow was plumb tuckered out. Back home I made him stay inside where the air conditioning was running and he drank some water and took it easy the rest of the day.

The next day we went to visit a new vet because I had discovered it was time for his vaccinations. They didn't do walk ins, but it gave me a chance to look over the place while making an appointment to come back another day.

He was thrilled to ride in my friend's car with his head hung out the window, the wind blowing in his long fur. On the first trip to the vet's office, we only saw the waiting room. Harley paraded around on his leash, flirting with the other canines and their owners. He danced, he twirled, he spun in circles. He was such a clown.

When we returned a few days later, we were rather prompt, but the vet was running way behind. Again Harley romped around flirting, parading, dancing, spinning, the usual wild antics he does on a regular basis. He found another doggy to play with and they were becoming fast buddies. But when they called us to come back to the exam room, the approaching vet tech scooped him up so fast in her arms, he began shaking like a palm frond in a hurricane. I think if she had given him a chance to flirt with her first, he would have willingly gone into her arms.

When she sat him on the exam table, he was pretty upset. I felt so bad for him. She tried talking to him, petting him and I kept saying soothing things to him, but he still did not like this scene at all. Last year he had to have emergency ear surgery in Toccoa, Georgia and the year before that he got a stick stuck in the roof of his mouth, another rapid trip to an unknown vet in Orlando, Florida. Another time he thought he was going to the vet in Melbourne to be tutored, but it turned out he was neutered. He was so angry and mad for days.

So this time when the new vet came in to check him over, he growled at her! The more she poked and prodded the more he growled. He even offered to take her arm off. She thought it was kind of funny, this feisty little fellow. I was trying to explain that his past vet experiences had not been good. She tried bribing him with treats, and at first he refused, but when she left one sitting in front of him, he decided to take it after all. Then she tried to give him his shots and he shrieked something awful.

By now I was almost in tears.

My poor baby!

When all was said and done, he was caught up on his vaccinations and pronounced to be in good health though the vet said he was under weight. They always say that. *Sigh*

I explained his chaotic history, his very rough start in life, that I agreed over the phone, sight unseen to give him a forever home, then borrowed a car to go fetch this wretched excuse for a puppy who was in such sad shape, so used to starving, that he could barely eat more than a tablespoon of food at a time. His first vet visit was to a doc who was severely pessimistic about his future, saying he wasn't likely to live very long and he hadn't enough meat on his bones to survive his shots, so they weren't even administered at the time. I decided not to return to that particular vet again. Traveling in this old motorhome has meant that Harley has seen different vets hither and yonder.

On this day I watched the vet's eyes widen as I rattled off his daily food intake and that his dry bowl food was always topped up, he could stuff himself silly when the mood struck him, but he chose not to. He also eats wet food and some meat and a little cheese (his favorite!) He does eat a lot for such a little guy, but when I explained how much walking we do, that we play lively games of fetch every day where he races around on a 150 foot tether leaping for his Frisbee or tennis ball or golf ball, she seemed amused. Also I don't give him fatty treats on a regular basis, but save them for training or to calm him down when company arrives and he is twirling, dancing, jumping, racing. He will sit still if he thinks a treat is involved, so that is one way to calm him back down again.

After the vet gave him shots, she tried to give him more treats, but he was having NOTHING to do with her now and didn't want her proffered treats either. She was the new enemy in his book, not to be trusted. So he stuck his nose in the air, with his mouth firmly closed.

On the way home, riding in my friend's car, I cuddled him and talked sweetly to him. The rest of the day, he wanted to be held and pampered. Poor baby.

Oh and the vet's arm is just going to be fine too...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Urgent Repair Busy

I've had company from afar visiting who offered to help with RV repairs, so we've been super busy. I am exhausted in spite of the fact they are doing the majority of the donkey work. However, I do have to keep them bribed with lots of tasty homemade cooking from scratch.

Harley dog is doing his best to provide tons of entertainment for our company.

The weather has been spring like instead of the typical humidity laden oppressive August weather this area typically has, so we've been very fortunate as doing motorhome roof repairs is just no fun, especially in the heat of summer. However, we've had to leave the air conditioning off in order to keep the roof dry and this has not always gone over well with my medical mess.

Eternabond roof seal repair tape has become my constant companion as we've decided to attempt to cover the entire roof with it. My old roof is just paper thin, getting a new one installed is cost prohibitive on my efficient budget. While Eternabond is not exactly cheap, the price per square foot works out to be about 15% of the cost of having a new one-piece rubber roof installed. Since Eternabond comes with UV protection and someting like a 19 year adhere life, this roof will outlast the motorhome. It's also thicker than my old roof.

Early on when I bought the motorhome I was robbed by a repairman who promised to fix my roof with a 10 year guarantee. A year later when I had multiple problems with his work, he threatened me and held my motorhome hostage for ransom. It was a big mess all around. I wish I had realized his antics were highly illegal, but I was having a rough time and he was making it much worse.

A leaky roof is what destroys many neglected motorhomes. Sometimes folks store their motorhome in the elements and never check on them. Woe is them when they find out a leaky roof has dripped for 6-12-18 months unabated, ruining the ceiling, walls, cabinets, carpet, furniture and floors.

About Eternabond:
Seal any rip, tear, or open seam in any surface with RoofSeal. RoofSeal is the best solution for leak repair. It is the choice of professional roof repair specialists, on virtually all roof types including EPDM, TPO, Hypalon, most PVC, modified, all metals, even copper and Kynar coated metals, tile, wood, concrete, etc. RoofSeal even works great on land-fill and pond liners. Our specialized backing has proven to be UV stable, even after 19 years in full sunlight. Our MicroSealant has a built in primer which allows RoofSeal to bond with the surface it is installed on. Perfect for re-seaming all roofs, regardless of the material. RoofSeal makes a permanent water-tight seal.

Elongation factor greater than 700% guarantees RoofSeal will flex, expand and contract in all conditions! Can be installed to -20°F (with our EternaPrime). Sag rating of over 250°F.

Installation instructions:

New roof tape in foreground, old roof in background.

Some of the repair tape is 4 inches wide, but we switched to 6 inches width.
It can be cut with scissors, but the scissors need frequent cleaning.

The roof tape came on a 50 foot roll, but you can buy smaller and larger sizes.

Here you can see some before and after.
The roof is being cleaned before the tape is going down.
The shadow is from the TV antenna which cranks down flush with the roof for traveling.

You can clearly see the dirty old roof, to the right is a section cleaned by bleach and beyond it, is a section already taped.

Like most supervisors, Harley sits around in comfort while everyone else does the hard work.

Enjoy competitive pricing.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Will The Wall Fall Down and Other RV Kitchen Misadventures

This is how my RV kitchen looked when I bought it in December 2009. It came with a nice clean boring wall with an empty paper towel holder. Over the years this has become my evolving canvas for functional whimsical decor.

A year or so later, I relocated the paper towels to above the microwave, then added an Amish utensil basket plus two rectangle baskets to hold spices and condiments. Notice the empty counter area behind the stove. Later I added an oak galley rail back there to hold even more spices and condiments between the installed rail and the window frame.
Oak galley rail (click for purchase info)

I really like this functional gadget:
Magnetic strip with 3 hanging hooks
My current wall has become a huge extension of my tiny kitchen.

Another sleepless night had me planting flowers in the tiny motorhome kitchen. I guess I just can't leave well enough alone. These irises were leftover from an outside project that went wrong. Well, not wrong, just that I didn't like the end result so I removed the iris decal. For several months they sat under a dining booth cushion while I contemplated what to do with them next.

At first I went with the full height iris decal. But then I noticed if I continued across the wall, I would just be looking at iris stems and not much in brilliant yellow blooms. Luckily this stuff is repositionable, so I peeled the flowers back off again.

This time I shortened the irises. Ironically I used a small sharp cheese knife to trim around the magnetic strip and the counter next to the stove cooker.

This is the final look with my usual clutter restored to the wall. You may wonder why I have so many pot holders hanging up. I've discovered they serve a dual purpose. Not only do they come in handy for removing hot stuff from the oven, stove, microwave or grill, but they do double duty as sound dampening when driving down the road. The tongs, iron fry pan and metal spatula hanging in front of the potholders can't create a noisy ruckus. Extra pot holders come in handy when I am feeding friends because I can set hot dishes on the outside table which is typically covered in a vinyl tablecloth that can sometimes melt if a pan is hot enough.

The next morning, I was treated to this cheerful new look in the kitchen. I guess a little redecorating hither and yonder, keeps me more or less sane (insane?)  in this tiny motorhome. It's also far cheaper than trading in for a different RV just because one is tired of the same old look. I rarely get to dine out so my galley is in constant use. Because I am trying to avoid sugars and chemicals, I do a load of cooking from scratch. It all takes time but I love my teeny tiny kitchen.

Life is goof.