Sunday, July 29, 2018

Pause For The Cause

 There was a massive lightning strike here that lit up the world and made me think the end had arrived. 

I had company at the time, a friend spending a week with me and another who had dropped by just before the storm hit. He sat down at my dining table, so I unplugged my closed laptop and moved it out of the way to another spot while we chatted over coffee. My other friend was out in my shed using the tools, tinkering around with something.

 My little dog oscillates from high energy circus dog to scared little baby who begs me to hold him to my chest until his bad feelings pass then when he is fine again, he leaps out of my arms, romping around all happy again, beating up his toys, tossing them around and doing silly things to make me laugh. 

He suddenly stopped playing and scampered over to me, begging me to hold him. He looked deeply worried and this has happened before.  I was sitting down again at the dining table, so I held him next to my chest when a few seconds later the world LIT UP so bright I was sure I had moved from earth to the heavens. 

Even now, I am still confused about whether I am on earth or not. 

I was sitting down, but the lightening strike jolted me completely out of my chair still clutching my dog. There was a bit of confusion for a few moments with more lightening strikes that seemed subtle compared to the mega one that had just lit up the world with such blinding light. My friend having coffee sat there with a crazed grin on his face. We had a few seconds of chat then I stumbled for the door with dread wondering what had happened to my friend in the shed. Suddenly my RV door flew open and he appeared with these huge saucer eyes in a bit of shock as he was wildly confused and talking excitedly. 

The three of us discussed the lightening while I ran around frantically unplugging anything electrical. My dog had leaped out of my arms but was now planted firmly on my friend's lap. A monumental headache hit me. It's extremely rare for me to ever get a headache. I put an ice pack on my forehead and sat back down holding it. We laughed and giggled, continuing to talk about THE lightning strike,  it was so surreal. 

The next morning I woke up with tremendous pains and great difficulty walking. How strange. A new old problem or related to the lightening?

The day after that my techno life crashed in the strangest ways and I haven't been able to sort it out. My technology is old. Very old. I used an old flip phone, my phone is not smart. I use an old laptop with Windows 7 (used to be I had Windows XP which actually worked better than Windows 7)


If you are trying to reach me, my cell phone is not working. I went to use my Skype phone to call my cell phone company. Skype has ceased working. At some point I went online to check my email and there is a huge problem with the AOL gold email program that won't let me crack the code. Aol was swallowed up by Verizon and the AOL email programs I have been using since the start of time (har har har) just vanished into thin air along with all my email files.

Seriously? 

When Skype was gobbled up by microsoft, they made a monumental mess of a simple program and now they have updated it in such a way that it no longer works yet I have prepaid service with them for the next year. grrrrr!

I was using Skype 20 years ago overseas when Americans refused to use it because it was free and anything free wasn't trustworthy. Skype was owned overseas and worked nearly flawlessly. Well now that an American company bought it, they complicated it in ridiculous ways and did away with the simplicity we used to contact friends around the world without paying $4-6 a minute which was the long distance rate when I lived in the Caribbean.

Windows updated and the computer went on walk about to parts unknown in the cyber world.  As is typical with many windows updates, they try to disable my old USEFUL programs so that I can't use them anymore perhaps because it would way too efficient if I did use them and efficiency is seemingly not allowed anymore.

It seems the programs and services I use have updated themselves into oblivion.

Theprogrammers motto for the day must be "If it works, break it!"

So to make a long story longer...

I have a more serious problem than technology woes. So that's why it may take me a few days (or weeks) to sort things out so that I have communications again. 

I borrowed wifi to post this message. 

Some of these companies have merged and purged and yet when I check 5 different companies all crashed my accounts on the same day and several are in no way connected to each other or this computer. 

The first company I called had an estimated wait time of  2 hours and 10 minutes to get help. The net one, the phone company refused to acknowledge a problem existed yet when I went out to walk the dog, I ran into people that had also lost their cell phone service while others with the same company, had service.   I gave up trying to reach the various gurus to get things working again. Clearly they had a problemm they weren't acknowledging.


It was a monumental hassle to go "borrow" phone or internet, so I just decided my techno and communication life would just be on indefinite hold.

There is a more urgent matter going on about my health and ability to walk without extreme pain. 

Add to that I do have a hyper active dog who needs lots of exercise and attention.

So it's a real goofy world here right now.










Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Home Sweat Home (Yes Sweat!)

Home Sweet Home or Home Sweat Home?

Dumpster diving, hand-me-downs, gifts and angels. That is my little side yard garden. The yellow house is my neighbor. I am in an RV park that has RV's, campers, 5th wheels, travel trailers, motorhomes, park models, and mobile homes.  Some lots are owned, some are leased, some are rentals. No two lots are alike in size or looks.

My lot is narrow, but  it is very long, kind of pie shaped with the small end at the street. A nearly invisible dog fence (portable) surrounds part of the lot. I bought that in bits and pieces on sale. I also found some that were damaged with reduced pricing. I fixed it up to work more or less right. The rules here don't allow permanent fencing, so I skirted around that with a portable foldable dog fence.

Sweat equity.

S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g a teensy efficient budget for  tiny home living


I ate an avocado then dangled the pit with toothpicks in a cup of water. I changed the water daily. Weeks later I was about to toss it out when it suddenly sprouted roots. I planted it in a pot, now I have an avocado tree about 3 feet high, still in the pot. I have to get permission from the park to plant a tree. There really isn't room on my lot for anymore trees, so I will probably donate it to a public area in the park.

Some of the plants were hand-me-downs from departing campers, others were pots I salvaged after the freeze last winter. I trimmed off all the dead stuff and amazingly, many sprouted plants, weeds, flowers, weeds. Their loss, my gain.

When my neighbor died, so did his plants and pots. His relatives gave them all to me. Basically a bunch of pots with dead plants. Well lo and behold, I trimmed down all the dead stuff, fed them some plant food, watered the empty pots and prayed for a miracle. Amazingly all his pots grew something including a huge azalea bush and another one sprouted some kind of lily plant that might bloom soon.

I forget the names of all this stuff, my brain is on under-load.

A few plants were gifts from angels. WOW, thank you!

The umbrella and chair are from past dumpster diving. The chair from over a year ago and the umbrella has been traversing with me several years. It doesn't crank up right and lists funny, but it provides shade and a rain buffer.
 The hammock is great fun. Mostly I swing in it like a seat rather than lay in it. I like swinging.
Makes me feel like a child.

The first 60 years of childhood are the hardest.
 I salvaged some lattice work to make a front underpinning for this old 5th wheel trailer.

The picnic table was in a box un-assembled in the shed. I covered it with old fashioned oilcloth in a festive polka dot print. The plant stands I found at thrift stores for cheap and a few were donated.

The  areca palm is a gift. Amazingly, it's not real but it is made to withstand the UV rays of outdoor use. If you want to decorate outdoors with artificial plants,visit Museum Trees. I am utterly amazed at how lifelike it looks.

It was too big for my tiny home inside. I tried to place it different areas inside, but had to move it outside. It fools many people into looking real! Twice I've been told it was time to repot it so it wouldn't get root bound. Too funny!
 Can you tell which plant is artificial?

 I have some serious shade from the oak trees.

My driveway is  very long and huge. I don't own a car yet, but I still have my awesome red bicycle! Matter of fact, I just came back from a short ride to the dump and the overgrown dog park.

I say yet... doubtful I will be able to get a car anytime soon. It's so hard to find a trusty rusty cheap heap but one just never knows.

 This old 5th wheel has been an ongoing project, but it's home sweat home. I chose to park it as far in back as possible to enjoy the view of the farm behind me and more privacy from the neighbors on my two sides.

I say SWEAT home because I've had to put oodles of sweat equity into this 1992 fifth wheel trailer. An old friend has helped me cobble things together. It's slowly a work in progress. My old little motorhome had loads of adaptive aids installed over the years and now I work to make this old trailer easier for me to get around day to day.

The body is weak but the spirit is strong! I push myself hard each day, because TODAY is a GIFT. I want to waste it wisely! I have no doctors helping me out, but that just frees up loads of time to do m own thing and pray for a miracle.

Nothing happens in a hurry.

But it might!

 A goofy little place, but it's a safe haven for me while I pray for a miracle. I am super duper uber grateful that I am not living in a box under a bridge

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!


Friday, July 20, 2018

98 and 98

 It was 98 degrees yesterday. I have to be real careful. For a few days I was outside most of the day helping my friend who is fixing my RV door. The heat just kept getting to me in spite of the outside fan (electric wind) and copious amounts of water. I found myself super tired and lightheaded. Then I remembered to drink coconut water and that helped me a good bit. I also use my garden hose to spray my face while outside and that feels great.

My 98 year old neighbor died yesterday. She lived across the street from me. She told me once that she gets a real kick out of seeing Harley  go by on his bicycle.  (Well it's my bicycle, but he rides up front in the basket.) Lately she has been reluctantly carted off to the hospital a few times,  but in under 24 hours she was demanding to come back home so she can be with her cat. She said the hospitals just weren't any help to her as if they had no idea what to do with her at that age and she did not want to stay there. She wanted to be home. Her lot is on a curvy corner. Out her windows she could see the dog walkers, bicyclists, golf carts and cars go by her windows.

She has a helper that comes over about 4-5 days a week. Every holiday she has her helper decorating her yard and house plus tending to flowers in her garden. House being a tiny park model RV on a corner lot with trees, grass and flowers. Yesterday her helper arrived to find the door locked. Usually she is already up and dressed by the time the helper arrives. She unlocks the door for her but this morning the aid found the door was locked. She used her own key to enter the residence. She found her employer had passed away.

We all thought she would make it to 100+. She was sharp as a tack, never losing any of her mental faculties. However she refused to wear her hearing aid, so it was a tad maddening to always have to talk so LOUD. She was fiercely independent, like so many in this park.

God rest her soul.

It's dark thirty as I write this, but I found a pic of my little garden area and it shows her brown house across the street from me.

My new neighborhood keeps changing. I bought a tiny lot here last year because my condition has changed and I needed a home port to dock my rig.  Through a bizarre twist of events, I sold my little old 1995 motorhome and bought a 1992 fifth wheel trailer about 60 miles away. A transporter moved it to my lot, I did not own a pickup truck and fifth wheel hitch to do it myself.

The yellow house on the right (also an RV park model)  was occupied by my close friend Calvin, who passed away 5 months ago. A new owner took over his place within weeks of his death. I was surprised at how quickly that unfolded. Ironically, the final trip in my motorhome (before it was sold) was the day I drove it up to the nearby hospice to tell Calvin it was a beautiful day for him to come home to sit on his front porch. I told him he didn't belong in hospice. In the past, we had so many fabulous conversations loaded with laughter on his front porch. My voice was hoarse, but I held his hand and leaned over talking close to his ear so he could hear me. Early the next morning he was gone.

A close friend drove the dog and I to Calvin's funeral and then to the National Cemetery. My dog waited quietly in the van. Then when Calvin's casket arrived, he let out this long loud pitiful howling wail that silenced the murmuring in the crowd. It was the eeriest sound I have ever heard that tiny creature make. He was saying goodbye to his friend Calvin.

To the left (not shown in pic) was an abandoned RV trailer. Recently it was hauled off and the lot put up for sale. I invited a lady I knew to buy it because I thought she would make a great neighbor. Well she managed to buy it and is very happy there.

Losing both my neighbors in such a short time, has been a bit startling.



Thursday, July 19, 2018

Old Dog, New Trick

Old dog, new trick!

Harley dog defies explanation.

Doesn't come when he is called. Matter of fact, he is very cat-like when someone calls his name. He might come, he might not, he might treat you like staff "Take a message, maybe I will get back to you, maybe not."

But there IS a tiny brain at work.



I have an old wicker rattan stool in my RV kitchen that I found at a thrift store last year. I was using it in my shed that came with this lot, even though it seemed so elegant. It was super comfy to sit on with a big woven round bottom for my big round bottom.  It's a handmade stool that is incredibly sturdy, comfortable and functional. It needed a minor repair to one of the legs, but it sits perfectly level with absolutely no wobble at all.

My shed has a work bench and I do various projects there trying to cobble things back together or repairing dumpster diving finds.

When I bought this old fifth wheel trailer (1992 model bought December 2017) I moved the rattan wicker stool from the shed to the kitchen. One day recently Harley was underfoot so I picked him up and gently set him on the stool. He immediately sat down to clean his crotch. (I will spare you by NOT posting that picture).

Eventually he jumped off the stool and went to play with his toys.

Not only do I sit on the stool, I sometimes use it as a kitchen island to set things on. At some point I had tossed a red towel on it.

Harley walked over, studied the stool, looked at the towel, then amazed me by hopping up on it then curling up to go to sleep. The stool is 28 inches tall! (71 centimeters)

My pooch is known for his high leaps, but  this seemed especially amazing, that he could leap up that high unaided without overshooting the stool, just landing there perfectly, then curling up for a nap. When I moved the stool to my RV kitchen which came with parquet flooring, I glued rubber pads on the feet, to protect my floor when I move the stool here and there.

Harley is a very big dog these days. I had him weighed recently. He has shot up to 7.5 pounds (3.4 kilos).


Harley brings his toy up to keep him company on his new perch. 
I've added a quilted pillow case sham as a stool cover for his comfort along with a piece of bungee cord to hold it in place for him. 

Now it's his new favorite perch! He loves that it gives him an eye level view of what's cooking and what's on the dining table. He is a gourmand but his favorite dish is homemade mac and cheese.



Sunday, July 15, 2018

Bucolic

Another gorgeous day in paradise.


The back of my RV lot faces a small farm.
When I sit indoors at my table typing, this is the view from my rear window.
Recently the owner or somebody who seemed up in years, used some sort of massive bush cutter he dragged behind his tractor to whack down the overgrowth which had reached over two feet and in some cases more than three feet.
He only did a small circular strip every few days until it was more or less completed.

On the lot in back a different man in a golf cart used to race around with a pit bull tied to the cart running beside him. My little creature feature never liked this. He would bark loudly and repeatedly to let me know.

Then I noticed this practice seems to have stopped. I have no idea what happened, but Harley dog and I are pretty happy about that.

One thing about being out in the country in a remote area is hearing gun shots. Not my cup of tea, but when I mention it others say "It's the country and country-folks like to play with their guns." 

Ohhh-Kaaay.

Hmmm.

I must admit, I still run and hide or hit the deck and lay low cowering. I just can't seem to get used to the shooting noise when it starts. Usually it is further away, sometimes closer. Of course the 4th of July brought out lots of noisy activity. But we survived!

Today's comedy or... not...
For some bizarre reason, I found this hilarious.

DANGER



 









Sunday, July 08, 2018

Different Strokes

My friends dropped in.

They are out of this world.




Friday, July 06, 2018

Right or Wrong


Some days I am posting short notes because I cancelled my internet. I am working on plan B or C. So far that seems to be more or less working out. But this old rig needs some serious attention... and so does the RV. 

I've come to the conclusion that most everything works in my new old fifth wheel trailer, just that some of it doesn't work right. 

A mystery involving the dreaded black holding tank has been consuming much of my time. For you landlubbers who aren't RV-ers, that black tank is what holds the toilet sewer.

I live in a rural area, but I can bicycle ride about a mile and be within the bustling town limits which boasts a whopping population of 2,418. 

Crime is so bad that someone broke into the police station and stole their only toilet!
Several cops interviewed said they had nothing to go on...

My neighbor has 3 sons. She said one was a doctor and one was a lawyer. I asked what about the third son? She said "Oh he's a plumber. He put the other two through college!" 

And now if you really need to groan...

A good flush beats a full house every time!





 

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

May the Fourth Be With You

Where ever you are whatever you are doing, may the fourth be with you.


Happy Independence Day!

As for me, I am going to a local potluck picnic that promises to include the all American hot dogs and hamburgers. It's so local, I can pedal my red bicycle  there. Whee!

 

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

RV Palace

Don't let yesterday take up too much of today.

Angels everywhere looking out for me.
I am blessed.

I've been busy getting well.
Meanwhile my new old rig, a 1992 5th wheel trailer, is keeping me entertained in a roundabout way.
Everything seems to work... just doesn't work right.
But it's great to have a humble home. 
300 square feet and it feels like a spacious palace. 

I was in love with my little old 95 motorhome, but I had to sell it. 
My adaptive aids were taking up more room and I was feeling crowded out.

Patience. 
One of these days, I will get this new old rig all together. 
Or not. 




 





 


Sunday, July 01, 2018

Happy First

Blast from the past...

I stumbled across this picture today and it sure brought back a flood of memories!

It's the locations of where I lived 1999-2008 on Tortola in the Caribbean.

Prior to 1999 I lived and worked on boats afloat all over creation.

In December 2009 I moved into a little old motorhome in the USA.

It seems like yesterday.

I miss the ocean.