Sunday, November 30, 2014

Doodling Around

Random fun!
Daytona Beach gives a tropical welcome to interstate travelers. 

The view from my rocking chair. 

Some evenings the sunsets are incredible!
(Wickham Park, Melbourne, Florida)

Flowers from a secret admirer.
Fun and beautiful!

Harley: "No I did not rip the green tennis ball. Nope. Not me. I'm innocent. Some other doggy must have ripped the fluff off the ball. Wasn't me."
(Look closer at the green tuft on his chin that matches the green tuft ripped from the tennis ball.)

Sunshine! At long last! Beautiful glorious sunshine!

Harley woke up in the guest loft. 

A speedy Brunch for two
Egg frittata with Vidalia onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, cracked pepper and Italian seasoning.
Fresh fruit salad over shredded Romaine lettuce with cinnamon honey yogurt dressing 

Harley's passenger seat has been rotated around to face the living area of the motorhome.
He has his bed on a pillow, stuffed with his blanket and 2 toys he added.
When the armadillo outside caught his attention, he climbed to the headrest for a better view.
And you wonder why his nickname is Monkey...
Life is goof.
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Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Holidays to all!

I have so much to be thankful for, first and foremost, waking up alive! I am also very thankful for this wonderful country, my friends and fans from around the world, the super angels who have helped me in countless ways and one silly dog who has toiled hard to save my life and bring me joy (and exasperation.)

I missed a few days posting, between patching up my leg and this old motorhome, things  became very busy. My kitchen faucet gave up the ghost and died after severe abuse from hard water and my bicycle seized up. Both are now repaired but it explains why I haven't written much lately. 

Thanksgiving was wonderful! Full of surprises. I had new neighbors arrive at the campgroud camping next to me with a crowd of relatives, dogs, children, games and food. They partied late and loud into the night. The next day, they kept popping over with platters of food, apologizing for the noise. First it was two platters of hors d'oeuvres, then about an hour later they delivered turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with gravy, green bean casserole, carrots and cupcakes decorated with M&M's to look like a turkey. 

I had some food already cooking, so when all was said and done, I had to reorganize the fridge to account for the massive leftovers, which are oh so delicious today. 

I finally figured out how to upload the full size of my little blurb mention in Food Network's November magazine, page 39.

Here is the link to the fullsize page:

Life is goof.

Did you know Amazon has Black Friday deals all weekend long? 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Rope Burn

Another great day in paradise. We are camped a mile from a dog park, an off-leash park where Harley can cavort with his mates and run his little legs off as well as do copious amounts of pee-mail. 

Let's drive to the dog park!

At the campsite he has a very long tether with a spacious grassy play area. One day he tangled me up in his tether while running full speed ahead to remind the armadillo that he was encroaching on our space. 

My leg was caught up in the rope causing a severe rope burn that tore ito my skin. 

Bad doggy! 

Harley blames the armadillo. 

I am having to doctor up my leg daily and wear a big bandage while it heals. 

Yucky poo. 


Using this link (above) helps a mermaid and her (BAD!) doggy
And we Thank You oh so much!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Welcome to Florida! Enjoy our cold/rains/clouds/storms and occasional sunshine!

Life is goof. Weather is here. It's all good. 

It's hard for me to get used to the USA custom of starting Christmas after Labor Day in September, but maybe one of these days I will figure it out. 

Last night seemed surreal to drive through the spectacular Christmas Lightfest at Wickham Park in Melbourne. It's not even Thanksgiving yet, but the light show is up and running already. A friend drove Harley around to see the lights, and I of course got to go along for the ride. 

By day the Christmas light props look like random metal grids with darkened lights attached and a myriad of wires running every which way. But at night they come to life in a rainbow of colors with sequenced lights unfolding various scenes both religious and fanciful. 

Harley dog was so confused. It was dark. He could smell the dog park, but the flashing lights bewildered him. Where did all the doggies go?

I didn't try to photograph the light show, maybe another night I will try that. Many of the displays are along the shores of the lakes, leaving mirrored images dancing on the waters. 

It was like a dream of darkness and brilliant colors from leaping porpoises across the road to a welcoming arch to nowhere. At one optional turn young Boy Scouts encouraged us to turn in to queue up for our photo with Santa. Harley dog said he wanted to ask Santa for a sand box as big as the beach at Hunting Island. 

Today the skies are gray, the temperatures are barefoot perfect, but sunshine has not made a appearance. Undaunted, plenty of campers have moved in for the weekend. 


Using this link (above) helps a mermaid and her doggy
keep their wheel estate more or less together.And We Thank You oh so much!


Thursday, November 20, 2014


Thursday already?

Between the bitter cold, the stormy weather, patching up my body and RV, time just flies! Today we almost have sunshine again with temps above 60F. YAY!

I was beginning to think I made a wrong turn and wasn't really in Florida, but merely thought I was. The GPS is "stuck" in Richmond Hills, Georgia. It refuses to believe we are anywhere else. Harley dog has been giving me directions while I drive, so it's a wonder we turn up anywhere but dog parks. 

Our new camp site came with a resident armadillo. 
Harley dog has worked hard to relocate him.

Home Sweet Home!
We are thrilled to have grass under our feet and wheels again.
I much prefer good old grass rather than pavement..
A certan puppy dog is fond of grass too.


Using this link (above) helps a mermaid and her doggy
And we Thank You oh so much!


Monday, November 17, 2014

How Not To Be Mary Poppins In The Campground

Good for nothing or good for comedy. Take your pick!

I had my camp site all set up with awning, umbrella, chairs and doggy on a string. I spent the early morning sipping coffee while gently swaying back and forth in my rocking chair in the great outdoors. I was studying the tiny lake, making sure a flock of egrets didn't fly off with it. My feet were bare, my pants were short, the sunshine felt fantastic. I was super tired, but got up because I was alive and the sun was out. Time to rejoice!

Eventually I went inside to fix Harley's breakfast of delicious dog chow. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my umbrella which was bolted to the picnic table, take flight and crash land into my neighbor's Airstream trailer. I apologized profusely while rescuing it. I thought I was about to be Mary Poppins because the big umbrella wouldn't close and it was trying to fly away with me attached to it.

Meanwhile Harley dog had taken cover, hiding beneath the motorhome, looking a wee bit scared.

I fought the winds and the umbrella eventually getting it to close. Not a small feat since the umbrella is a dumpster dive damaged one, that has been cobbled back together for comical use (apparently). The center pole is bent (has been since I got it) but the crank works. When you get to the bend, you just push the umbrella up or down, depending on if you're opening or closing it, then resume cranking. Sounds much easier said, than done.

Well I had it cranked down to the bent section when a 50 mph gust of wind spread it open again trying to rip it out of my hands. Dang! Here I go... flying across the campground!

What a wild morning...

Finally got it under control, completely closed and bolted to the table with a whatchamacallit so next time it took flight, it would take the entire picnic table with it!

Back inside I was washing Harley's water bowl and topping up his food dish when the motorhome rocked from side to side and KER-BANG!

The awning was out, but it was tied down with straps to the picnic table. Never had a locking strap unlock before, but it did and now the awning was billowing above the motorhome threatening to rip right off. The brutal wind was causing my motorhome to shake from side to side!


I ran outside to grab the errant awning strut  but the winds were fighting with me, trying to rip it out of my hands. I needed to re-attach the strut to the side of the motorhome then try to furl the awning up.

But I was lacking a third arm. You know. The kind that is 15 feet long and reaches the other end of the awning.

I flailed around hollering "Help! Please! Help!" It seemed like any second the wind would rip the awning to shreds or take flight and now I would be dangling from my motorhome awning strut, flying away on a wild gust of wind.

I can see the headlines now "Woman Survives RV Flight Across Campground".

My neighbors in the Airstream next to me watched me from their open window, but no one came over to help. I was trying to reach the broken strap and lash the awing down long enough to put the pieces back together and close it up. I tried the "Help! Please! Help!" again but maybe they couldn't hear me over the high winds. Or maybe it was just sheer fun to watch this ridiculous scene unfold.

I saw a man at a different Airstream trailer 2 lots down the other direction and I waved frantically hollering "Please! Can you come help me? Please?" He gave a signal of "Wait" and walked out of view. He couldn't see the awning I was fighting because he was on the other side of my wheel estate about 100 feet away.

A few minutes later he came over and saw the awning and high winds were fighting to take me floating away on a cloud. I smiled and said "I've run out of arms!" He ran around helping me to get the monster under control. Nothing wanted to go together right, but we fussed with it, banged on it and muttered unkind things at it, four hands now instead of two. Eventually we got the frame untangled, put back together, re-attached to the motorhome then furled the whole mess up.


I thanked him over and over and over for coming to the rescue. Such a gallant gentleman.

Disaster averted again!

About an hour later my Airstream neighbor next to me pulled out, then the guy 2 lots down pulled away too.

Maybe they think I'm too dangerous to be around.

Comedy in the campground!

The high winds kept up all day, then the sky turned dark and a storm swirled around us.

I may end up in Oz before it's over with!

On a prettier day with no winds at all, I snapped this photo at Tomoka State Park in Florida.


Using this link ( above) helps a mermaid and her doggy
And we Thank You oh so much!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

RV Fuel Consumption and Other Nonsense

Many non-travelers approach me about my RV. They figure if a girl and her dog can do it, must be easy, right? Typically the first thing out of their mouth is "What's the gas mileage on this thing?"

Then they groan.

Tomoka State Park Florida campground 1994 tioga montara
Home is where we park it or as my dog says,
home is where we bark it!

If you want great gas mileage, buy a bicycle or a tiny efficient car. If you want to travel and take your home with you, well that is going to cost some fuel.

In my case, this past year, I sliced and diced my RV fuel budget but still had the time of my life. I want to soak up nature, not see ribbons of highways day after day, so for me, this was a win-win situation. Sure I would love to go further and farther, and perhaps one day that will happen, but for now, I remain efficient with my budget while I fight to get my health and life back on track.

Recently I finished workamping September 2, 2014 and went on a 10.5 week trip through November 15th,  that included camping in mountains and the seashore plus spots in between on lakes, rivers and the intracoastal waterway too.

My trip isn't over, just that I've arrived at a camp where I plan to spend a month or more in a sunnier warmer climate. Neither I nor my little old wheel estate are built for the cold, so we travel with the weather. This saves on heating costs and clothes plus years ago when I was getting mental therapy in my 20's, I was diagnosed with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

At that time I fortuitously managed to have a career in taxes and accounting. I threw myself into my work, slaving away long hours, arriving early, staying late, to avoid the winter blues by sheer distraction, socking away my earnings so that when spring rolled around, not only was I relieved of the depression, but my work load lightened enabling me to pursue outdoor activities in the glorious sunshine. Typically SAD is treated with light therapy and drugs that have numerous harmful effects, something I wanted to avoid. So instead I became a winter workaholic.

My problem with SAD was made even worse when our office was forced to move due to some crazy downtown development that sought to destroy our beautiful old building. At the time I had a wonderful office on the 8th floor of a 10 story building with a humongous window that had a fabulous view and it opened for fresh air. Ah those were the days! I was able to work with sunshine streaming through my window and to open it up for fresh air at any time.

The next building we moved our office to had no windows in the section we leased and I had an extremely rough time with that, but then we moved upstairs in the same building, this time again, I had an inner office with no windows, but finally we moved to another suite. At long last I had two very narrow floor to ceiling windows. While I was thrilled to have a glimpse of sunshine, those narrow windows may look great on the outside, in the inside it gives one a severe limited view.

Sunshine and windows are important for good emotional, physical and mental health. It's a proven fact, yet more and more buildings, schools, homes and RV's are built with a miniscule of windows. Crazy, eh?

When I relocated to the Caribbean for nearly 23 years, I didn't have SAD anymore. In my case the best treatment for SAD is sunshine and lots of it!

So I digress something awful... nothing new there!

Recently  the rains parted and I moved from a super shady campground to a very sunny one. Amazing how quick my mood changed! I was practically dancing outside in the sunshine today, organizing my outdoor living.

So, back to RV fuel costs... you can save a bundle on fuel by going shorter distances and staying longer when you get there.


Using this link above helps a mermaid and her doggy
And we Thank You oh so much!

Friday, November 14, 2014

New to RVing Advice

From the mailbag:

Dear Miss Mermaid,
   I am thinking about going RVing fulltime on a small budget. What advice can you suggest?


Dear Daydreamer,

Let's see, I am probably the last person you want advice from. But since most folks ignore all advice thrown their way, I will toss in my two cents anyhow.

First there are two choices in a camping rig, buy used or buy new.

If you want to travel, then buy used. If you don't want to travel, then buy new.

If you buy used, be sure the very next thing you buy is a big bucket. A five gallon bucket works best, but in some cases you will need a much bigger bucket or a smaller bucket, but I mostly get by on a 5 gallon bucket.

If you buy new, then take your rig camping at a nearby park for a week. Now go back to the dealer and camp on their lot for about 18 months. This is how long it will take to get the warranty repairs done and then those repairs corrected. This will save you a bundle in fuel costs.

If you buy used, then start traveling. The difference between buying new and used will cover the cost of your bucket(s) and your fuel costs for years.

Happy Trails,
Dear Miss Mermaid

Dear Miss Mermaid,

   I am thinking about buying used. But what's that bucket for?


Dear Bewildered,

Below is just a token few uses I've had for my bucket in the first year of traveling. You may use your bucket more or less depending on conditions.

If you bought used rather than new, then you should have a bucketful of cash leftover. This will prove very handy. If you are frugal and don't spend much, then you may need to splurge on a 2nd bucket, since the 1st one is full of cash. (I emptied my bucket quickly, so I didn't need a 2nd one.)

When parts fly off your old rig as you traverse the highways, you can stop, go fetch the parts and carry them back to the RV in your bucket. In most cases, you can live without the parts, but it's always handy to pick up the pieces when you can and traffic allows.

When the plumbing breaks, you can fill your bucket with water for washing dishes and bathing your body.

When the fuel gauge proves broken, you can use the bucket to lug fuel back to your rig.

When a tree branch scratches up the side of the RV (possibly through driver error) you can invert the bucket, then stand on top of it to polish out the scratches from the tree branches.

If you forget to tighten up the awing before driving and it flies open and rips while going down the highway, you can pull over, stand on the inverted bucket and finish hacking off the rest of the awning with a dull knife. Once done, you can stuff the ruined awning inside the bucket.

The bucket is great for hauling out the garbage. Much better than plain old garbage bags. That way, you can drop off your garbage then dumpster dive to find useful things (like food and camping gear) then haul it back to your RV in the bucket.

When the roof starts leaking (and they all do eventually) you can use the bucket to catch the leaks inside.

When the black tank that holds your toilet water decides to give way (possibly due to rusty strapping no longer holding it in place) you won't be able to use your toilet anymore, but you can use your trusty old bucket for emergencies, then empty it at the dump station provided at most campgrounds. (Wash bucket between uses in case you need it for something else.)

When the furnace malfunctions, no worries, you can use your bucket to fetch and gather firewood for the camp site.

After you build your fire, invert the bucket and use it as a stool to sit on while poking the fire.

When the refrigerator breaks, just use your bucket as a cooler or to haul ice back to your dead refrigerator.

If you're on the east coast when a family emergency on the west coast requires your presence, you can save a bundle on fuel by packing your belongings in the bucket, then hitchhiking out west and back. If you're having trouble getting rides, and you're tired of standing up,  then dump out your stuff and sit on the overturned bucket.

If you shop at bargain grocery stores, they no longer provide grocery bags. Use your bucket to pack your groceries in then carry back to the RV.

I am sure there are hundreds more uses for your bucket, but I've just listed the ones I used the first year on the road.

Happy Trails,
Dear Miss Mermaid

I take pictures of everywhere my rig spends the night.
Usually I camp on dirt, sand, mud and grass, but
I couldn't resist the thrill of a pull-through paved site.
A Big Wheel RV Park
St Marys, Georgia

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Paws For The Cause

Just taking a break from writing.

My wittle paws were getting tired.


Country Roads

Searching for paradise.

Back soon.

Earth's Biggest Selection, Delivered To Your Door
Using this link helps a mermaid and her doggy
And we Thank You oh so much!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lost and Confused But Alive and Kicking

I am so lost and confused, but meeting awesome people and laughing all the way.

Things are breaking and non-functioning, but I've decided to just give up, let it stay broken and move on with life and staying alive.

Today I have internet and computer phone working, a huge bonus!

Last night in pouring down rains I had six adults cozied up inside my tiny wheel estate. Astonishingly we managed to have an incredibly tasty pot luck meal that rivaled any high end restaurant within 100 miles. Through the efforts of several talented camping chefs we had pork tenderloin, seafood pasta salad, potato salad, green bean bacon casserole, beans and rice pilaf and as if that wasn't enough to stuff us fully, making the motorhome and our waistlines even snugger, we polished off the meal with Kahluha chocolate cake.

Pot luck. My favorite! What a treat. Life is grand. I am oh so blessed.

While the storm dumped copious amounts of cold rains all around us, we yacked it up until past 1am in the wee hours of the morning.

Yippee doodle doo!

My writing has been very erratic lately. I guess you probably noticed that. I think if I were to be brutally honest, I live in a warped timeline of happy confusion.

The last week I was at Hunting Island, I had pot luck nightly at my place with three other ladies who were traveling solo and staying in the campground. Somehow 4 women managed to provide enough food to feed a small army. We had copious leftovers each evening to carry us through lunches and more potlucks.

I think there is nothing finer than to sit down and leisurely share a meal with fascinating people.

While I love my puppy dog, he is not much on conversation around meal time, so this exotic treat of random potluck meals has been a wonderful diversion.

I am the luckiest person alive!

By the way...

If you are scratching your head trying to come up with gifts for the holidaze, I am pushing my book "Hurricanes and Hangovers" as a wonderful gift suitable for anyone that loves to laugh.

Harley dawg and I thank you; our wonderful readers, fans, angels, friends, framily, subscribers, and all around wonderful human beings that enter our lives bringing us joy and laughter.

Life is goof.


Sunday, November 09, 2014

Found Florida!

September 2, 2014 doggy and I left South Carolina in search of Florida.

I am pleased to announce that on November 8, 2014 we managed to cross the state line "Welcome to Florida!"

Needless to say we are extremely please with our herculean efforts to tackle this adventure and say by golly "WE DID IT!"

The sunshine state gave us a very warm greeting by pouring down icy cold rain.

Ain't life grand!

We have met the most astonishing wonderful people in our wanderings. Even now we seem to be surrounded by earthly angels. This mermaid feels right at home.


Earth's Biggest Selection, Delivered To Your Door
Plan Christmas from your computer
Gift wrapping and deliveries to multiple addresses
Using this link helps a mermaid and her doggy
And we Thank You oh so much!


Friday, November 07, 2014

More Comedy

Life just keeps getting funnier.

I woke up alive and tried to giggle about the sheer joy of another modern day miracle.

This trip should be called The Misadventures of A Girl, an RV and her dog.

Today it was a wardrobe malfunction. The second one I've had in 2 weeks. I guess *ahem* some of these old clothes are way past prime. So this pair of leggings is going in the trash. I really should burn them, especially after embarrassing me the way they did!

Then folks can say "She has smoking hot legs!"

It was a c-c-c-cold day today. I had to venture out for bandages and to take care of Harley dog who was having a dreadlocked matting crisis. I was afraid of being accused of severe doggy neglect but I just couldn't get his tangled fur manageable again. We were both becoming miserable over this situation.

I've always done his bathing and grooming, which *MIGHT* be why he always looks so goofy. (Ditto for me too!)

I almost cried as they carted him off to be spit, polished, brushed, combed and dematted. They removed his harness vest and cozy sweater which upset him when they handed it to me. The look on his face was oh so sad, like I was abandoning him for good. It about tore a hole in my heart. He has never been to a doggy groomer before. But I am at my wits end here. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the craziness all around me lately.

I left to go get some bandages, yogurt, bananas, juice and a pill reminder thingy so I can keep up with all these herbs, supplements and magic potions I am doing to appease the grim ripper. I dropped my pill thingy the other day and Saturday blew it's lid. I tried patching it back together but it still wouldn't close correctly. Swept up the wheel estate and found assorted pills. Didn't realize I had dropped so many since sweeping last time. Maybe there is a hole in the back of my neck. I toss them down my throat and they fly out the back of my head.

Anyhow... right there in the store I notice a breeze on my thighs. Hmm... shouldn't be feeling wind on my legs when I am indoors in long pants, well long thick leggings, that I guess are pretty old by now. I was mortified when I saw thigh skin instead of leg seams.

I guess the stitching down the seams of my pants had rotted or worn out or left the country or something mysterious. (Aliens stole my stitching for their space ship!) On both sides too! So there I am, out in public with my basket of shopping and my britches flapping around my legs, pretty as you please.

Good grief.

Well, I certainly entertained the shoppers! I mean what do you do? Go to school supplies, rip open a stapler package and repair your clothes on aisle 4? Seemed like a plan to me.

So... 268  staples later... an employee in a suit came down the aisle, suggesting in whispered tones that I might be happier outside their store, rather than inside their store stapling up my leggings on aisle 4. His pants seemed a tad long so I offered to hem them up with a clicketty-clack of the stapler I was holding, but he said that really wasn't necessary.

Sheesh... you would think they had never seen a lady staple up her drawers on aisle 4 before.

Reminds me of the time I was climbing off my little old sailboat in a beautiful but casual Caribbean dress on a remote island. My date was taking me out dancing. We lived on separate sailboats and he had come over in his dinghy to pick me up for the ride ashore. This dress had a crazy handkerchief hem that hung down in various pointy ends. Somehow the ladder on the boat snagged my dress and opened up a vertical seam. I scrambled back down below in the boat, grabbed the big roll of duct tape, took off my dress, turned it inside out, then taped up the seam. I put it back on and you couldn't even tell that it was held together with duct tape. My date, upon learning how I had repaired and redressed in under 2 minutes, was laughing himself silly.

But we went out, we danced on the beach to heart throbbing calypso and that dress swirled around beautifully with the hidden duct tape holding the offending seam in place.

When another sailing lady commented on my dress, I told her how I almost didn't get to wear it but duct tape came to the rescue.

Somewhere in my memory box is a great photograph someone took that night and later gave me a copy. It's me in my fun dress, my date and two other friends and we are all laughing ourselves silly. (Probably about the duct taped dress.)

Life is goof.

I decided to hike back to my motorhome, find something else to wear and go fetch my puppy dog. Somehow, in my haste to get my precious cargo back, I simply jumped in the driver's seat and drove to the groomers. I was half way in the shop's door when I realized *GOOF* I hadn't changed my pants, so there I was with staples up and down my thighs holding my leggings together.

But I could see them bringing my bemused puppy up front. He looked so scared and bewildered. Finally he saw me and went nuts. We had to spend a few minutes with sloppy dog kisses (yuck!) and lots of loving and hugging.

He smelled wonderful, his fur was silky and the dreads and mats were history. I told them not to cut or trim his fur, except to remove the dreads and mats if they wouldn't untangle. The groomer said "Oh you want the natural look!"

I like his wild looking fur but I guess they thinned it out some as they groomed him.

Now he seems a half pound lighter and some of his "skirt" in the rear is gone but we're both plenty happy. Now I can stay on top of the bathing and brushing again. I am oh so jealous. I haven't been to the hairdresser in years (my hair keeps getting longer and longer and longer.) I used to tell joke that if I cant afford a hairdresser for me, my dog doesn't need a groomer.

But, sigh... he beat me to it. Life is goofy indeed.

Pictures coming soon (of the doggy do!)

The RV, the dog and I are about  patched up enough to hit the road and continue our southerly migration. Slowly going nowhere with lots of giggles (and a few staples too!)


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Thursday, November 06, 2014

Waylaid in Georgia

The truck wash where we had the wheel estate pressured washed on Tuesday morning is only 30 miles from the Florida border. Doggy and I never made it into Florida despite having plans to rendezvous with friends south of the border on Wednesday.

Sometimes the best laid plans go astray when least expected.

Due to medical complications I decided to find a campground Tuesday with plans to travel on Wednesday. But now it's Thursday and it looks like we are going to be in a holding pattern a few more days.

I am patching up the body and soul while Harley dog is being phenomenally patient.

Soon we have to make a move or suffer stiff financial consequences as I have some reservations that can't be refunded. Well they could, but the powers to be have punitive rules about that and most folks these days don't and won't deviate from rules they perceive as carved in granite.

The RV has some new old problems, some I already paid to have fixed (grrrrrrrrrr!) so that is pretty darn annoying, but nothing I can do about it now. Taking care of me and doggy comes first, the RV third.

Monday night I had an outside cover on my light above the entry door. Tuesday night noticed it was gone. No idea what happened. I am thinking it took flight down the highway to parts unknown. Someone could have "shopped" for it Monday night at the truck stop, but I kind of doubt that. I think it just flew away on a whim. The pressure wash guys are usually pretty good at returning anything that falls off while they are cleaning. Like the outside thermometer came off while they were washing. One of the washers promptly banged on the driver's window with a sheepish grin and handed me the thermometer. It still works fine. I just need to stick it back to the window.

Awhile back some things vanished from my RV and campsite. I am still scratching my head about that. Campgrounds tend to be 99% safe so no idea if (A) someone "liked" my crummy stuff (B) things blew far far away on a rogue gust of wind or (C) aliens stole it for their spaceship. (I am leaning towards C.)

I try to keep things locked up but I tend to scatter my old stuff around a campsite too (living outdoors) and never had an issue before. Mostly my equipment disappearances I can attribute to my own human error like the water pressure regulator I "donated" to a campground on the Great Lakes. Ditto for my laundry and supplies that were left behind at a workamping gig. Another Y-valve on the water spigot was left behind in a camp and so on. I am getting better now at checking and rechecking when I pack to move.

Harley has sometimes left behind toys and we've never figured out what happened to his big stuffed turtle he loved. One day it was here, next it was gone. Looked everywhere for it. He was so sad. Usually I check around and underneath the RV for his toys since that time in Ohio years back.

Harley was just a young puppy then. I had the RV's entry door wide open. It was a beautiful day. Harley was on a tether rolling around in the grass with his toys. I stepped inside briefly to check on some cooking I was doing, but the door was still wide open so I could monitor my happy puppy. Some kids in the campground came through our lot teasing my puppy and taking all his toys away to play with for themselves. Harley was upset, straining at the end of his short tether crying for his toys. I came running out annoyed and confused, new to camping and unsure what to say to these unruly kids who thought upsetting me and the little puppy was funny. I snatched up my doggy, standing there debating what to say or do about the kids wandering off with all of Harley's toys. Luckily their parents showed up, yelling at them to leave me and the dog alone. The parents made them return the toys, but strangely no one apologized. I guess times are changing and I am the last to know.

Harley and I played with the toys and he was a happy canine again. All seemed better.

The next day I noticed all of Harley's outside toys had vanished. I had no idea what had happened. Harley didn't seem upset with this new development either. I just figured maybe it was time to find a new campground. 

A few days later, I pulled out of the spot to travel. When I stuffed Harley in his travel seat, he was fussy and I had no idea why he was whining looking out the window forlornly. I figured he was upset that we were leaving. Once I finished packing up, I had to make a tight super slow turn to keep from hitting trees and a truck parked in the road with no driver around. (Aliens probably took the driver to their spaceship.) I got out of the RV to double check that the trees weren't moving and that I could clear the abandoned pickup when I saw all of Harley's missing toys.

He had apparently stacked them up in a little pyramid under the wheel estate, right in the center of where the RV had been parked. The campground had such tall overgrown grass I couldn't really see the hidden toys under the RV until I moved. I was laughing so hard as I went to fetch his toys. I guess he had "hid" them from the children and that is why (A) when they went "missing" he wasn't upset because he knew right where they were and (B) I hadn't given him a chance to reclaim his toys, when I stuffed him in his seat to travel. As I walked back to the RV with an armful of toys, he was at the window jumping up and down with his tail doing frantic circles around his rear end. I was treated to lots of sloppy puppy kisses when I opened the door then he sniffed and touched each toy with his nose as if counting them one by one to make sure I got them all.

This doggy always confuses me. He is so super smart in some ways and seemingly goofy in other ways. I call it his selective learning disorder.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

On The Road Again

The storm offshore

Harley Dog and I woke up alive! Yippee doodle doo doo!

We traveled yesterday and traveled today. Didn't get very far. The GPS froze up in Richmond Hills, Georgia and it claims we are still there, but we aren't. Of course I have no GPS to tell us where we are either. My cell phone is erratic and the backup one, that usually works in weird areas, if you give it some money, well it died completely. Good grief. Technology melting down everywhere.

We were just passing through Richmond Hills, stopping by the Dollar Tree for provisions. Everything is $1 or less at the Dollar Tree, so it makes it easy and affordable to load up on provisions, since they carry food and household supplies. I had not shopped for food in 29 days other than splurging on ice cream and eggs at the park store. Some of that spare change we found picking up litter this summer, went for ice cream! The cashier was bemused as I handed her 4 baggies of 25 pennies each plus assorted nickel and dimes. (I hoard all quarters separately for laundry or tolls or parking fees. )

Yepper, I have a unique way of managing funds.

Well, the emergency pantry full of sale and dented goodies, saw us through the rest of the 29 days when the refrigerated goodies ran out plus Harley mail-ordered his dog food to be delivered (lucky dog)  then an angel sent him a bag of organic treats and an oh so fluffy purple blanket that we are fighting over. Harley says it's his, I say it's mine.

So I bribe him with treats and snatch the blanket back. Tee hee hee.

We pulled over at a  truck stop in Brunswick so I could move the bicycle from the homemade back rack to the inside of the motorhome. I was planning to let Blue Beacon about a half mile away,  give the rolling doghouse her semi-annual power wash (a huge bargain for only $28).

I managed to get the bicycle moved inside, but the effort made me so tired, I thought I would take a quick nap. When I woke up, it was dark thirty and we still hadn't washed the RV. Now it was too late to get into a campground. So we spent the night at the truck stop, but it got so c-c-cold it woke me up again. I turned on the computer to watch a movie while I piled on more clothes and blankets. When the the laptop battery died, I plugged in the inverter (which runs off the RV battery) to recharge the laptop. It worked for awhile then the inverter squeaked and died too! Oh my gosh.

So no GPS, no inverter. I decided to run the generator so I could heat the bed, it has a mattress warmer because it's over outside storage area and it makes it cold as an ice cube at time. I watched some of the movie and turned on the electric heat pump to warm the doggy. A few hours later, the carbon monoxide alarm rudely woke us up. I was sleeping fine through all the noise of the truckers and highway but the alarm got me out of bed quickly. Turned off the generator, opened all the windows. This made the alarm happy enough to shut up again. But now we were cold. All our warmth blew out the open windows.

I love the jungle look of Hunting Island, I would love to be a castaway here for about 10 years.

It was nearly daylight, so I drank some of yesterday's coffee, after heating it up on the propane stove,  then headed out to wash the RV. Long line there, so we were having a leisurely time. Harley and I played on the grassy field by the truck wash while we waited.

A dim light bulb came on in my silly head. Bingo! I figured out a way to block the refrigerator vents, so the power washing wouldn't get the wiring wet (for good luck!). I turned off the fridge, opened up the outside vent which exposes the wiring and innards and workings. I used two floppy chopping mats to block off the area. They fit perfectly! Then I put the vent back on. Once they were through power washing, I removed the vent, removed the floppy plastic chopping mats, put the vent back on, then went inside to turn the fridge back on.

For you sticks and bricks folks, an RV fridge typically runs on both electric and propane, depending on what's available. The fridge is built into the motorhome or travel trailer or caravan with an outside access vent that helps keep it cool (as it heats up to cool down.)

About a year ago, when I had the rig power washed, the fridge stopped worked 2 weeks later, and needed a new control board wired in. Whether from power washing or sheer coincidence, I have no idea, but I LOVE my fridge, having lived over 10 years with no refrigeration on a boat at sea, so this time I wasn't taking any chances. Last spring when I had the rig power washed, I asked them to avoid the fridge vents, but they avoided the whole area, so I ended up with a big dirty section where they skipped the vent and four feet left and right, above and below in every direction.

I've tried washing my own RV by hand and three weeks later when I finished, it didn't look any better, but those power wash guys used soap, suds and magic then rinsed her clean again. The pressure wash gizmos they use really get the gunk out. With all that grime gone, we are surely getting better gas mileage. I better hurry up and take pictures while she looks so good.

I just wanted to throw open the doors and ask the guys to power wash the inside too!

Today after all that and a few more provisioning stops for bargains I was having some medical problems. So I mapped out a campground nearby to aim for. Now I am POOPED out tired. But the new place is rather nice, never been here before. Will explain more about it later.

 I have a method to my budget madness, of mapping out the bargain shops in route to my next campground. It saves gas, saves money and we end up plenty happy with all our needs met. Life is goof!

New islands forming!

All pictures are from our stay at  Hunting Island, even though this article is about rambling and rattling down the road.

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