Thursday, July 21, 2016

To Orb Or Not To Orb

To orb or not to orb.

There is a good deal of controversy over orbs and their origin. I will go into that another day, but it's a subject I am fascinated with and have studied at great length.

Yesterday was a wild and crazy day. It started out with phone calls from both the USA and an exotic port with fabulously good news from treasured friends. Later we (doggy and I) had a sudden horrific storm with damages to my rig and the campground facilities including a heavy iron corral fence that toppled over like it was toothpicks. I was all alone out here too. Not another camper nor ranger nor anybody around anywhere. A big tree branch crashed then bounced off my roof but so far, no leaks. My canine companion was pretty upset.

I was beginning to think I was losing my fearlessness too.  Maybe I am just plain tired.

I have a few things to clean up, repair and curse but no time to whine about it now.

I'm suffering from lack of sleep trying to get so much done in rapid order the last few days and I don't always move so fast, what with trying to be mindful not to break anymore bones. (Safety first!)

After the damaging storm yesterday, I was just so grateful to wake up alive, stumble outside and discover the sun was going to come up after all. Somehow that is a personal affirmation to me, that all is well.

Standing outside super sleepy but grinning like a fool at the sunrise when it occurred to me to grab the camera because it looked like a smiley face to me (I have wild imagination!) I so needed that smiley face.

I wanted to snap a picture to remind me how wonderful life truly is.

Later when I downloaded the pics to my computer, there is an orb in the first picture but not the second.
So I checked the time on the pictures, the one above is 6:59am and the second one below also shows 6:59am.

Unfortunately the camera doesn't record seconds.  But suffice it to say they were taken less than a minute apart.

Life is goof.

For Stopping By

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Getting Up

I am a little confused today.

Some days no matter how hard you try to get up, something just doesn't go right.

Or left.

When I get it figured out, I will be back.

Or up.

For Stopping By

Monday, July 18, 2016

That Stinks!

So this bear, fox, duck, skunk, deer and horse went into a bar.

They ordered up drinks and said while camping at H. Cooper Black Memorial Field and Trial Recreation Area in Society Hill, South Carolina they saw a MERMAID.

And I saw them too!

At the camp. (True!)

Not the bar. (Also true...)

Which later the bartender said the skunk and the deer didn't pay their tabs. The skunk said he had no cents and the deer said she had no bucks. But the bartender said he scammed the duck by putting it all on his bill.

Skunks are nocturnal hunters. However a youngster turned up at my campsite poking around yesterday afternoon. He showed no rabid signs at all, something to look for when a critter is out and about at a weird time.

He was tiny and very cute. Of course all baby creatures are adorable. He was about the size of a very young small squirrel. He sniffed around, checking out the foliage around the camp. My doggy was barking up a storm from inside the RV. I was trying to calm him down while setting my camera up  to open the window to snap a picture.

All I captured was a blur.

I aimed the zoom wrong.

The skunk asked if he could borrow my phone to call his mom cause his cell phone was out of odor.

Finally the little skunk scampered off into the woods presumably to rejoin mom and the other kits in their daytime slumber. But before he left, he turned around and told me a joke. He was so bad at telling it and messed up the punch line that I said "Skunk, your delivery stinks!"

Most skunks are pretty smart.

After all they have a lot of scents.

Skunks are normally nocturnal hunters unless the mother was unsuccessful in finding enough food for herself and her kits. So I kind of expected mom to turn up looking for her errant baby. However he appeared well fed, had a sleek coat and a bushy tail. I think he was just being adventurous sneaking off to see the world while mom and the other kits were snoozing.

H. Cooper Black Memorial Field and Trial Recreation Area in Society Hill, South Carolina

Do you know how you stop a skunk from smelling?

Put cotton in his nostrils!

You've heard of flying squirrels. But did you hear about the flying skunks?

They're called smellicopters

Do you know how many skunks does it take to make a big stink?

A phew!

I heard later the little adventurous skunk went downtown and walked into the town's court room. When people screamed it scared the little fellow and he stunk up the place causing people to gasp and run.

The bailiff yelled  "Odor in the court! Odor in the court!"

I haven't seen any sheep or goats around here at all. I mentioned this to the park ranger. He said that is because the sheep and goats usually go to the Baaaaaahamas this time of year.

I was telling the ranger about being at the beach last May and swimming with the orcas. They were playing such beautiful music.

The ranger looked puzzled and asked me where did the orcas learn to play music?

I said in the "Orca-stra!"

I sure hope when I go back to Florida this winter they have caught that thieving crook-odile that steals small pets!

Today the ranger got the cow out. He was munching up all the tall grass.

That explains why they named him The Lawn Moo-er.

After awhile a government truck drove up and delivered a bull to the middle of the dirt road that has become all rutted from the rains. The bull laid down and went to sleep. The government truck drove away.

The ranger came by, looked at the sleeping bull said there  must have been a  mixup with the purchase order when he requisitioned a bulldozer for the dirt road.

I was trying to watch a movie with my dog during the rain storm but Harley dog kept stopping and starting  the movie. Finally I said "What are you doing?"

He said he was playing with the paws button.

Life is goof. Have fun.

Life is long, death is short. Think about that next you're unhappy over petty matters.

I hope you enjoying groaning or giggling today!

For Stopping By

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Big Bang Last Night

My fearless puppy can turn into a shaking wimp when thunderstorms and lightning come calling. Having been hit by lightning 3 times myself, I am a bit nervous around it too. Yesterday afternoon we had such hard rains it looked like I was parked under a waterfall.

Last night a very noisy thunderstorm produced a big loud ferocious BANG that plunged us into darkness robbing us of electricity. I thought the puppy and I were going to hit the roof we both jumped so high!

My RV has old fashioned simple wiring for the generator. I have to remove the RV plug from the camp utility post, then plug into the side of the built-in generator.

I slept with the power off for a few hours but then woke up around 2am, cranky and stinky sticky from the humidity. Flashlight in hand, I went out to change the electric plug and fire up the generator. The generator can be started outside or inside once it is primed.

I drifted back to sleep with the purr of the AC going.

Which by the way... I saw a baby skunk wondering around yesterday afternoon before the storm. I tried to snap pics but wasn't quick enough. He was cute as can be. I expected his mom to be out looking for him. After awhile he tired of sniffing around our camp then scampered off into the wooded long leaf pines. Last night as I wondered around in the dark I was praying "Lord don't let me startle a skunk!" It was DARK out there what with no lights on anywhere and the moon in hiding.

This morning I gave the generator a break then went outside to drink coffee. When the ranger came on duty I mentioned we lost power. This was news to him. The ranger that lives here also maintains another home where his wife stays. He had gone there. I had no idea who supplied power here to make a call, and of course with their wifi turned off, no way to find out on the internet. My wifi is no-contract, pay as you go, but still it costs $40 to start a new month, so I left it turned off. It ran out of time a few weeks ago and since I have wifi here, no need to spend it there too.

By mid morning, the heat was cranking up as was the humidity. I thought about going shopping, since I was running the generator anyhow, but really didn't feel like it. So I restarted the generator to move back inside.

How to know when power finally comes on? Well the utility post has a separate 110 outlet for a regulation appliances or electric cord. I plugged my outdoor electric wind into that. Periodically I would check to see if the fan was running.

Finally around 2pm the power was restored, so it was only about a 16 hour power outage.

Pat myself on the back for being anal about keeping my gas tank topped up for just such emergencies. What's the use of having a generator if you have no gas for it? Ditto for the water tank. I generally keep it topped up too. Some RVers claim I am short changing my gas mileage by keeping water and gas topped up due to the weight, but for me it's just peace of mind... and comfort.

Those same RVers are grumpy as all get out when the power or water goes off and they don't have backups to deal with it. I feel very lucky for planning ahead.

There are times the water goes off in campsites because of repairs or in this case the pressure severely went down, so maybe we are on well water which requires a pump. Also, sometimes I arrive at camp dead tired, by having a tank load of water, there is no urgency to dragging out the hoses and filters and fittings to get set up right away.

Camco 40042 TastePURE KDF Water Filter - 4 pack

Camco 40042 TastePURE KDF Water Filter - 4 pack

In my case I have a water regulator that prevents overzealous camp water from accidentally busting up my hoses if their pressure shoots up  too high. I also have a water filter plus I have a short utility hose, about 4 feet long to attach to the spigot at the campground. From there I add the regulator, then the filter then the hose(s) then I connect the entire lot to the side of my rig. I use quick-connectors for most of my hookups so this goes rather quickly.

Camco 40055 Brass Water Pressure Regulator - Lead Free
Camco 40055 Brass Water Pressure Regulator - Lead Free
This also works with a garden hose in sticks and bricks houses. 

Now I have the munchies. Time for lunch!  I napped off and on today. When I am sick I just need lots of water and rest to beat it. Harley seems to enjoy the extra nap time. I often lay on my side hugging a pillow due to an old shoulder injury and he likes to plop down on my rib cage or hugging pillow or a combo of both. I feel like his human couch.

Dramm 22729 Heavy-Duty Quick Disconnect Brass
Dramm 22729 Heavy-Duty Quick Disconnect Brass

Now that the power is back on, the water pressure shot up to normal, it was down to a trickle, so I had my 12 volt water pump turned on which was bringing the water pressure up to normal but also draining my on board tank.

Beside my prefilter I use on the outside water hose, I have a fantastic indoor water purifier that requires no water pressure and no electricity. The filters are cleanable and last years! They take nasty water and turn it into sweet water. Magic! The incredible filters remove bleach and a super long list of contaminants. This will filter lake and river water but not salty water.
Berkey BT2X2-BB Travel Stainless Steel Water Filtration System with 2 Black Filter Elements
Berkey BT2X2-BB Travel Stainless Steel Water Filtration System with 2 Black Filter Elements
I was able to install my Berkey inside a cabinet underneath my RV sink. Ironically the cabinet sits about 10 inches above the floor due to the heater venting. I am able to fill the top of the Berkey purifier with a retractable sink faucet, then drain the purified water out of the bottom reservoir into water carafes. I love this system! I have very tasty water for drinking and cooking. Awesome! Every RV and home should have this system. I am so sick and tired of looking at the mountains of wasteful water bottles crazy wasteful humanity tosses out every day.

Luckily my refrigerator works off propane or electric, so the food stays cold without interruption. The fridge has an automatic switch to do this for me.  My water heater also works on either source but I have to manually flip it to one or the other or both. A few months ago, I bought an electric hot plate to compliment my propane stove. That is handy if the propane runs out. Mostly I use it for outdoor cooking on a hot day. But it does sit nicely on top of the propane stove if I want to use it indoors. It's a cheap one I picked up at Dollar General, but I seemed to have gotten my money out of it. At the beach last May, I used it almost every day to cook outdoors including a few special meals of a wok full of steamy fresh off the boat shrimps. YUM.
Professional Single Burner Electric Counter Top Stove - Buffet Range Coil Plate Hi Power Energy Efficient Cuisine Cooking Appliance with Drip Tray

Life is goof! We woke up alive and all is wonderful.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


Last Sunday I went shopping. I passed up the $1.99 per gallon gas. Then at the next town it dropped to $1.85 so I filled up. Turns out I needed a half tank or exactly 27.5 gallons. Amazing, since I do have a 55 gallon tank.

The next town had gas for $1.79 of course I was already full by then.

Oh well! I guess I should have checked but I forget these things. I don't have a smart phone so I have to check on laptop in advance. Some areas are updated often, some are not, so it's still a hit and miss to use the site for gas purchases.

When I returned to the campsite, my neighbor was taking one final ride before he packed up and left.
H. Cooper Black Jr Memorial Field Trial and Recreation Area


I seem to be the only camper taking advantage of the half priced special here in Society Hill, South Carolina. I checked the reservations and apparently one campsite is rented this weekend besides mine. Ironically, they chose the other loop. So we will both have plenty of solitude. Can't even see the other loop from here.

The dog and I have enjoyed potluck meals and interesting conversation. He barks when Sasquatch goes by and I howl at the moon.

H. Cooper Black Jr Memorial Field Trial and Recreation Area
H. Cooper Black Jr Memorial Field Trial and Recreation Area

Someone emailed me wanting a picture of the cowboy boots I bought last Sunday, but I did not buy any. Just went shopping for fun. Oh I found 2 pairs I was delighted with, but no credit cards were injured. I still dream about them. They were oh so comfy and they do help protect against snake bites when hiking. I have worked and reworked the budget and I must wave my magic wand over it next. Never give up hope!

Though, I have thought about the boots long and hard, plus the straw hat I found that I just loved. It was an XL and I have a big head. It was so comfy and cool looking.

Mainly I just bought food, trying to stick to the healthy stuff; beans, veggies, fruits, yogurt, eggs, rice and a wee bit of cheese.  I splurged on 6 ounces of meat just in case I wanted to live dangerously. Blueberries were only 99 cents a pint so I snapped up 4 of them. Whee! Some dark chocolate fell into my basket. The cashier rang it up and hid it in my bag before I could protest.

I didn't want to wreck her day by making her take it back off the bill. Usually they have to call a manager and it holds up the line. People were waiting in back of me. It would have been thoughtless of me to make a scene over a little bit of dark chocolate being tacked on my budget friendly bill.

Harley dog didn't get a thing. Poor baby. His dry and wet food is bought 3-4 months at a time. He has his own cabinet! Friends of his often bring or send  him bags of treats, so he really didn't need anything. However, he does love a bit of my cheese now and then. Spoiled? Heck no, just very well fed. He enjoys variety.

It's almost 9pm and we are sitting outside enjoying the final dusky light. I have the electric wind aimed at me instead of the back of the refrigerator.

This is the time of year when I have to run the little fridge on the highest setting and cool the hot rear of it which is vented on the outside of the RV. I am SUPER grateful to have a refrigerator that works! I lived several years without a working refrigerator in the early 90's while on a sailboat in the Caribbean. It gave me a whole new respect for icy cold food and water.

Life is goof.

For Stopping By

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Guard Dog On Duty


"Harley? You have to stay in the motorhome while I shop for groceries. Sorry but they don't allow little doggies in the grocery store. Their rules, not mine. Stick out your tongue, boo and hiss, but I can't change the rules just because you think you're special."

"Now be a good dog and guard the motorhome! That's your job."

I'm on high alert. Guarding the motorhome while she gets to go hunting for food. 

Broad daylight in a parking lot. 

Not exactly a den of thieves here. 

She has been gone forever!


I think my eyelids are getting heavy

Very heavy. 

Let me check my eyelids for leaks. 

She has been gone FOREVER. 


I *yawn* am guarding *yawn* the motorhome *yawn* while she hunts for food. 

Is she ever coming back?

She's been gone forever!


I think I hear a pillow in back calling my name. 

A dog's work is never done!

For Stopping By

Monday, July 11, 2016

Psychic Boots For Dancing and Prancing

Bowling for storms...

God is upstairs bowling quite noisily having spectacular strikes that send long low incredible rumbles as the pins fall and scatter.

His heavy bowling ball rolls down the alley with a deep loud bass as if his balls are bigger than anyone else on the team.

My fearless dog has turned in a shivering wimp that needs constant reassurance and comforting. I have music playing when suddenly "The Theme From Jaws" comes on the speakers.

How ironic.


What are the odds?

Back in 1995 I was in northern California in Humbolt County on a temporary assignment. I had just been through two back to back damaging hurricanes (Luis and Marilyn) in the Virgin Islands. Business had come to a complete standstill. One of my former sailing students, an older gent with several businesses on the west coast offered me a unique temporary position and a reprieve from storms and hurricanes.

I packed a small carry on bag then flew four thousand miles to a different world. I had no idea how absolutely cold it could get when the Pacific winds rolled in. My Birkenstock sandals were no match. One day my very busy friend took me to lunch then took me to a mall to buy some "warm shoes".

As we entered the mall, I smelled leather. My nose quickly found the western boot shop. Ironically, the first pair of cowboy boots I slipped on fit wonderful. My feet were instantly warm. The boots were beautiful. I tossed my Birtkenstock sandals in the boot box, paid for my purchase  and proudly stalked out of the store with toasty warm feet.

My friend who abhors shopping, was delighted. He said he couldn't believe we were in and out of the mall in under 10 minutes. I told him I didn't want to waste his time for offering to do such a noble act. We had a good laugh.

I wore those boots everyday for 5 months, then I went home to the Virgin Islands. I was able to repair my sailboat and get back in business.

For fun I would often wear those leather boots with a sarong as a dress to visit beach bars. It always got a great laugh, especially since I loved to dance. Where folks often called me "the sarong lady" or "sarong girl" I was now called "the boot lady" or "the cowgirl". The tropics are a great place to acquire assorted nicknames.

Matter of fact, one time my brother flew down to sail with me. We went to several islands in two different countries. On every island my nickname was something different. He thought this was hilarious. He asked me if anyone knew my real name and I laughed and said "Only customs and immigration!"

It was true enough too. I can still hear his laughter. I miss him. Rest in peace my dear departed sibling.

In those days, sometimes when lounging around the cockpit of my sailboat in a busy Caribbean anchorage, I would slip on the cowboy boots and prop my feet up. People would point and giggle at the crazy lady in a bikini and cowboy boots.

Ah those were the days. I savor those memories of time well wasted. Um, well lived!

I wore those boots up until 2006 when I shattered my leg. After healing none of my shoes fit correctly. I would try to wear the cowboy boots and an hour later I would be in agony. So sad for me. I was oh so fond of those boots. For some strange reason those boots followed me back to America and traveled with me on my motorhome until 2014. Once in awhile I would put them on but I could barely walk a mile in them, the torture was just too much. My right foot is forever different. One day in 2014 I was seriously purging the motorhome and I was camped at a marina that had a nice community room with a table for items you could donate, swap, trade and so on.

I put my boots there (yes, a tear in my eye!) with a note stuck inside of them, that they were circa 1995, had walked the planet in numerous countries and quite a few states and that I hoped they would bring the new owner as much fun and comfort as they brought me all these years.

The next day the boots were gone and it was time for me to shuffle along, so I never got to see who was wearing them. Later someone told me I could have auctioned them on Ebay as "vintage" but live and learn.

Over the years my friend in California occasionally calls me up to see what I am up to next.  Matter of fact, at some point he flew down to the islands for a visit and I greeted him at the open air breezy airport, wearing my boots and a sarong. We still chat by phone even though we are miles apart. Sometimes he asks me if I still wear those cowboy boots.

Speed forward... we had not spoke in a few months. Recently I went grocery shopping and saw a billboard for a western store "Booty Brothers" that advertised leather boots. I went to investigate.

Oh... the wonderful aroma of leather.

The jovial salesman kept pulling boots off the shelf every time I slowed down to study a pair. My mind was wondering back to that cold day in northern California in 1995 when I bought my last pair of boots. Finally I was about to try on the very first pair, when my phone rang.

I said "Excuse me, I am waiting to get a camp reservation." The selected boots were patiently waiting on the floor.

This is the first time I have shopped for cowboy boots since my friend took me shopping in 1995.

I answered the phone.

It was not the campground returning my call.

It was my friend in California. I told him I was in a store full of cowboy boots and was about to try on the first pair. He roared with laughter claiming he had suddenly had an urge to call me. We giggled like children while the salesman stared at me curiously.

Now what are the odds that my friend would call at that very moment?

Perhaps some friendships cross mystical ethereal boundaries for which there is no ready explanation.

Life is goof.

Thanks to digital photography, sentimental items can be captured as a graphic memory.

cowboy boots

Saturday, July 09, 2016

October 2006

Blast from the past...

October 2006

I will have to give you some background so you understand the crazy but true story. I was stuck all alone in my then home, a Caribbean apartment, unable to walk, with a huge heavy cast on my leg and no wheel chair. I had to use an office chair and my good leg to wheel around the apartment. The office chair had a very high back. This sometimes caused problems when I least expected it.

To complicate matters, we had random water service. I never knew if the water was on or off until I tried to use the faucet. This could be real inconvenient if showering when the water ceased to exist. In this case, it was a problem when I had a fire.

Anyhow... here's a blast from the past in October 2006.

Last night it poured down rain at sunset in a thick haze that nearly obscured all visibility.
This morning it has been raining off and on and skies are blue with big thick patches of gray.  Right now the rain is so hard and loud, that it's drowning out all other noises.
I can't find my fire extinguisher. Not sure where it could have run off to. Yesterday I managed to start a fire by accident.
I was rolling around in my office chair, trying to cook  fried eggs to go with some adzuki beans from the crockpot.  I had lit one gas burner, cracked 2 eggs into the frypan and whipped around in my chair to find some red pepper.  When I turned back around, a second gas burner was lit, the one under the foamy egg carton and the whole mess was on fire. I guess the back of my chair had bumped the stove knob, and the flame had jumped over to the leaking second burner.
I turned off the flame, picked up the egg carton, while it was still on fire and wheeled over to the sink and turned the water on.  Alas, we had no water. Boy that foamy stuff sure is stinky!   Meanwhile the fried eggs were getting crispy, so I wheeled back over to shut that flame down, then turned around to the fire in the sink, looking for a towel to smother it with. I spied my towel  way across the room, in the floor, where I had used it to mop of water I had knocked over earlier.  About that time,  one of the raw eggs got hot enough to explode, so now I had a fire and flying egg goo. 
I remembered I had made a nice fresh pitcher of cinnamon tea which was sitting in the fridge, so I wheeled over to the fridge, retrieved the tea and dumped that on the mess. Whew. Breakfast is ready!
I cheated death, once again.  I must have 19 lives, cause I have used up more than 9 already.
This morning, I was contemplating breakfast,when I settled on plain yogurt with Grape Nuts, Cinnamon and a sliced banana, all served raw.  No eggs were injured in the making of this breakfast.
P.S.  If anyone knows how to get gooey egg mess off the ceiling, let me know.

Life is goof.


Friday, July 08, 2016

The rocking chair is next to go. I suppose one of these days I should save up for a weather radio with an alarm. I was about to drift off into my wild animal afternoon nap when I heard quite a commotion outside.

No, it wasn't Santa Claus in July.

It was my rocking chair cartwheeling through the campground. Before I could open the door, my fan which was tied to a table by the door collapsed blocking my door. Table, milk crates and fan can tumbling down.

My fridge is iffy in this heat, but having the fan blow on the backside of the fridge which is vented by my entry door seems to coax it into working. Not much in the fridge. I need to shop one of these days. Mainly at this point, it seems I am keeping condiments nice and cold.

Good grief.

High winds again!

My neighbors lost their canopy and they were outside. But when the winds picked up they jumped inside their truck because it was heavier than their teeny teardrop bedroom trailer. From the truck they couldn't see their canopy get destroyed. Somehow their potted plant of flowers survived. For some strange reason, they gave me their flowers then packed up to go home. I was sad for them, but lucky for me to have the beautiful flowers!

After the storm subsided, I had to shove my door open knocking over the cockeyed fan and table so I could squeeze out the door. Harley dog refused to come out until I had retrieved everything and laid the outside patio mat back down. I don't know how the patio mat managed to sneak out from under my bicycle and crumple up. It is 9 by 12 feet. The mat, not the bicycle.

Life is goof.

I got my rocking chair back. It's beat to pieces but still rocks. Kind of ripped, dented and scratched. Other than that it's fine. It looks like a dumpster find... after a dumpster landed on it.

Like me.

I am beat up, scarred, missing parts, with others failing and yet other than that, nothing much wrong with me.

Lord, it's OK if you can't make me any better. I'm having a grand time just the way I am.

Rent is up Sunday morning and I haven't made any plans. I guess I should think about doing something. Stay or go. Several of the campgrounds under consideration are first come first serve, so I have to drive there and pray something is open. What fun!

Something like that.

It's hot.

Last few times I moved the rig, it was so hot, I had to run the AC and generator, so that isn't very economical, but that's the price of summer fun.

Billions of cars on the roads and it affects our weather in a bad way.

Not sure where everyone is racing around to, but there they go. Vroom!


So lonesome out here.

We've had some campers. Some are chatty, many are not. Sometimes I think it's the single woman syndrome.

Yet time and time again, when I do finally get to chat with someone they seem so astonished I live this gypsy lifestyle solo.

I don't think the monastery would have me anyhow.

Sure I would love to live this wonderful life with a like minded soul, but it's just me and doggy for now. I loved having my friend travel with me for awhile. It was great fun! When all is said and done, I'm left with fantastic memories.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016


Living like a wild animal.

Up at dawn.

Nap at noon.

Prowl at night.

Life is goof.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

About That Wind

Dumpster diving and cobbling stuff together and sad little girls...

After a particularly windy day at the beach (Huntington State Park in Murrels Inlet, South Carolina)  I noticed the garbage was full of broken beach umbrellas. Recently I bought an umbrella from Dollar General (in part with my $5 coupon) that turned out to be a wee bit short. It's a beach umbrella but when I use it around my camp,  it came to eye ball height. Nobody wants to think about punching their eye out with an umbrella rib but there it was at the perfect height for losing my eyeball.

I was thinking about my mother. God rest her soul. She knew the most unfortunate people, especially children. As a young child one day I whimsically stuck my head out the car window as we drove down the highway. I wanted to feel the wind on my face with my long hair trailing behind me.

However, my mother knew a little girl who lost her head this way and the poor thing had to spend the rest of her life holding up  a Halloween mask where her head should of been cause she had no head at all. So I reluctantly stuck my head back inside the car.

Another time I wanted to hang my arm out the window, feel the rushing air go through my fingers. (Our cars never had air conditioning!)  But my mother told me about a sad little girl she knew who lost her arm this way. Little arms don't just grow back on their own you know. So I pulled my arm back inside the car.

My mother was a smoker. Matches and cigarettes were often laying around. We were warned to never ever touch these. My mother knew a little girl who played with matches and burned the entire family home down. That poor family had to spend the rest of their lives living outside in the rain and snow and heat and cold because they had no home.

So the umbrella kind of made me nervous because I was sure my mother knew a sad little girl who poked her eye out.

So I pawed through the garbage and found a longer umbrella bottom (they typically come in 2 pieces). It was in great shape. Can you believe someone threw out the bottom just because the top was destroyed?

How serendipitous! (For me!)

Is there something wrong with me that I can't walk past a campground dump without at least looking? I could probably be here all day describing all the things I have used or are currently using that *ahem* originated from a dump.

Ironically, last year I salvaged an entire beach umbrella from the exact same state park. I put it back together with a bit of wire and used it for almost a solid year before a stormy day took it away before I could rescue it. At that point, it was hardly worth cobbling together again. I'd had it "free" for a year with just a wire, now it needed serious repairs so one day I returned it to the dump.

Speed forward to this year...

Well, I got back to the rig with my scavenged umbrella part. It fit the cheap DG umbrella beautifully. Now it is much taller and not at eyeball height. My mother would be proud! I won't be losing an eyeball after all.

What luck!

Next I have been cobbling together a homemade bicycle rack. Amazingly I found the rest of the "missing pieces" in someone else's discarded junk.

More later, I have to run. Oops! I mean walk. Don't want to break anything...

Monday, July 04, 2016

Microburst Terror In The Campground

Doggy and I went through another wild storm clinging to each other during winds so high my camper rocked and rolled like a cork on angry seas. Many campers had damages. We were very fortunate to have none.

It appears that the final two roof leaks were finally repaired. It's been an uphill battle to make this baby waterproof but now we have SUCCESS!

It might have been a micro-burst or a tornado nearby. But it was crazy! Several campers lost their awnings. My simple anchoring system held up. When I am alone, no way I can get the awning down fast enough when crazy weather arrives with no warning.

I've been working on a new website blog:

Tiny Home Lifestyle Reviews

So much more to add but it's a start. I randomly add more as time permits. 

When I said I was a bit foggy in the morning, I wasn't kidding. 

This was my view one grand morning recently at sunrise. 

Life is goof. 

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Water Bags and Dog Baths

Making do.

I am always crafting together systems to protect the RV from further damage.

In this case, we've had a lot of windy storms with winds up to 60 miles per hour. I love having my awning up and out, but it doesn't like high winds. Sometimes there is no warning before a microburst hits. Or even worse, if it sneaks up at 3am while the awning is out.

I tried those screw in stakes for tying down the awning. But frankly they require a lot of upper body strength. Their feasibility depends greatly on the soil type. They might go in nicely but never come out again or vice versa.

I finally abandoned the screw type anchors, they were just a lot more trouble than they were worth and they never once saved my awning from damage. I had no money invested in them, they were a used gift from a handyman in another park who collected up odds and ends that other campers left behind. Apparently the screw type anchors get left behind often due to their cantankerousness.

I came up with a super simple solution in the form of adjustable straps and portable potable water bags. Each water bag holds up to 10 liters of water. A liter of water weighs in at 2.2 pounds, so each bag can be filled with water to weigh 22 pounds. 99% of the places I camp come with spigot water. The water bags collapse flat and roll up when not in use taking up an amazingly tiny amount of storage room. Each one has a screw on cap that is larger than the spigot, so filling up is thankfully pretty easy.

Even at a third full, at about 7-8 pounds, seems plenty to hold the awning in place, but fear has often lead me to fill them to the max at 22 pounds. If I decide to put the awning away completely, I just undo the strap and I am ready to roll it up quickly.

Once in a while I camp at a certain Federal park that doesn't offer water at the camp sites. At one, I stayed longer than my planned 3 days, so my water tank became low. I used these bags to transport water back to my rig.

Everything has to do double or triple duty around here to justify the storage space. Because my rig has 14 windows, my storage areas are not grand.

After Harley's recent bath, his only clean harness vest was dark green. He sure blends in with outdoor surroundings. I have hiked with him off leash in the woods. He is hard to spot! Look how silky smooth his fur pretends to be.

Luckily he loves bath time. I have always tried to make it a comfortable fun time for him. I wash him from the neck down with warm water and Dawn dish soap, giving him a gentle massage that he loves.

I wish someone would wash me down with a gentle massage.

After he is squeaky clean from the neck down, I gently wash his head and face being super careful to keep water out of his ears. Now that we are almost done, I coat him with hair conditioner from the neck down. I do not rinse this out. I towel dry his face, put on his harness then let him roll around outside on his towel. Sometimes he roll son the grass too.

He shakes and shakes but only water from his head flies off. The conditioner is so thick, it won't fly off. I use the $1 conditioner from Dollar Tree. Lately I've had the coconut type on hand, so he smells tropical. He does eventually dry. The conditioner leaves his rough wiry fur silky smooth.

He prances around like King for a day.

Rumor is that Dawn dish soap kills fleas if left to soak for a minute or more on a dog. I don't know if this works or not, but we do seem to be perpetually flea free.

However, periodically Dollar Tree gets in flea and tick goop for $1. Generally it comes in 2 sizes, one for small dogs and one for large dogs. When I find this, I usually buy all they have left, typically about a dozen or so. It's hard to find, but you can't beat the price. Usually a day or so after his bath, I treat him with the flea and tick stuff. I guess it works and it's budget friendly, if and when you can find the stuff.

Friday, July 01, 2016

You Qwack Me Up

I was zipping down a busy highway when I managed to snap 2 pictures of geese in the median trying to cross a very busy fast highway. I so wanted to stop and escort them over.

Too many cars.

Not enough nature.

Save the planet from pollution.
Park the car.
Ride a bicycle.

Did you know that a bicycle is the most efficient form of human self propulsion?

Traffic was so thick and fast, I could not stop without causing a calamity. I was in the left lane of a   swift  moving four lane divided highway. I knew I had a left turn coming up. I tend to get over early because sometimes cars seem unfriendly towards an RV trying to change lanes.

I hope the fowl made it across without a foul.

All I could do was pray for angels.

Extreme solitude.

Currently I am camping in nature on 7,000 acres all alone. I am sort of hoping we have weekend campers.

I loaded up the bicycle with the dog, his toys and my wallet. We went to extend our stay a week.

Harley is so lonesome for an audience. He spent an hour yesterday dancing for the ranger and showing him how he plays soccer and volleyball.

The little mutt runs himself ragged until I am forced to take his toys away, plop down his water and refuse to give back the toys until he drains the bowl. In this case, he drained it twice, then begged for toys.

Just now he indicated he wanted to go outside and play. When I opened the door and we were hit with a thick wall of heat, he retreated back inside. Maybe later.

Life is goof.

Thank you for stopping by.