Friday, November 30, 2018

Christmas Gifts

Shopping for others can be daunting. A gift card isn't very personal. But most folks eat food and many are known to prepare their own food so why not consider a whimsical apron?

For the man...

Available at amazon

Spread some cheer this holiday season with this festive apron. 

Dance while you cook in this party apron.

Fantasy apron for those of us with less than perfect bodies.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Living Room for $14

My 5th wheel RV came with a woefully underfurnished living area. The prior owners had stripped it for the owner's hospice room.

I was left with one piece of furniture;  a jumbo leather couch that has two hidden recliner chairs at either end. They are super comfy and recline to several positions including flat for sleeping.

From my old motorhome, I had moved over some mirrors, my hats, hooks, baskets and eclectic art work.  When one of my neighbor's passed away, her caretaker gave me a small square delightful oil painting and double basket I was fond of. I had one small mermaid throw pillow.

A year later, I have completed my living area. My total cash spent comes to $14.

$4 Two big throw pillows (Thrift shop)
$10 Rattan Swivel Rocking Chair (Thrift shop)
$23 Amazon Warehouse Discounted Chair Cushion (Free, using amazon points)
$55 Hourglass Table  (Free, using amazon points)
$0 Round Table (Free for the asking, neighbor was throwing out)
$34 Table top 30 inch (Free, using amazon points)
$18 Mosaic Table Cover (Free using amazon points)

Total Cash Cost $14

The large round dining table I was given, originally came with a drop leaf table top that proved to be too big for my intended use as a side table and sometimes desk. From Amazon I was able to order a smaller 30" round table top. The oak drop leaf table top was removed. It is now used outdoors on top of an old small camping table as a base. Rather than refinish the new table top, I chose to install a vinyl faux mosaic cover. Everyone that sees the table remarks on the beauty and no one realizes it's not real until inspecting it closely.

While the windows came with huge overpowering window valances, I removed them all, preferring the extra  natural light their removal afforded.

The hourglass table is very handy as a TV tray for dining alone. It's easily moved around to where ever it it handiest. The tiny night light  lamp sitting on it came with the original RV equipment when it was new.

A load of patience, several visits to assorted thrift shops and finally I can say "my living area seems complete, cozy and comfortable."

The amazon points used to pay for the orders were earned by using my amazon credit card to pay for utilities, RV park owner dues, food, insurance and supplies.

The rest required an outlay of $14 in cash.

I am pleased with the end result.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Comfy, Cool and Clean

I've been patiently dealing with the refrigerator situation. What fun!

The old one has finally been uninstalled and hauled away.

Angels are helping me get a new one all sorted out. THANK YOU!

Luckily I have a borrowed dorm type fridge about 2-3 cubic feet. I've been spoiled to have temporary access to refrigeration.

The refrigerator is on order and due to arrive sometime between next week and the week after around December 5th. Maybe it has to be shipped from overseas?

Anyhow, I will be glad to have it around when it arrives.

For good measure my bathtub faucet broke. Like it was jealous. Might as well have some plumbing problems thrown into the mix.

Never a dull moment! 

On a funny note, I had dinner for 5 friends during this chaos and it worked out marvelously except I forgot that sunset comes so early!

I had planned to feed my friends al fresco since the weather was lovely. I can seat 6 guests outdoors at a round table my neighbor gave me when she moved. Indoors is a little more tricky as both my indoor tables are small. I would have to put 2-3 at each table rather than have us all at one table.

When we sat down outside, it became dark rather early even though dinner was for 5pm. I forgot that the days are getting shorter and it was dark pretty soon. I had forgotten to work out lighting.


I grabbed some flashlights and strung them from the umbrella shading the table. It was embarrassing, but everyone was laughing about the situation. We had a mountain of food and loads of fun gossiping and giggling. Two men, three women, all of us single RV-ers.

Weather was perfect, not hot, not cold. Now I read the weather report and we are going down to 34 effing degrees tomorrow night!  WOW! This is Florida. But in a few days we will bounce back to 80F degrees. PHEW!

I've been looking for some fat comfy pillows for my sofa. I have a regulation throw pillow with a mermaid on it. But recently while at a thrift store I found these big fluffy pillows that suit my colors and lifestyle. This sofa has two hidden recliners that are super comfortable.

However, when I recline, I often need a pillow for my head so that I can stare at the TV or out the window rather than at the ceiling. Sometimes when I am sitting and not reclining, I like a fat pillow to use as an arm rest.

I sniffed these pillows figuring I would have to take them to a jumbo washer at the laundromat to clean them but surprisingly they smelled freshly laundered. What luck!

All that for $2.00

Yes. That pacifier belongs to my doggy. The little table lamp is original equipment that came with the RV when it was new in 1992.

Rhonda has worked tirelessly for  nearly a year now vacuuming the white carpet daily. She is a huge help in my daily cleaning schedule. She has also located lost keys and spare change. Recently she tried to swallow my socks, but immediately stopped working with a one word complaint. "ERROR!"

Life is goof!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving

 Dark Friday...

Yesterday I said my prayers giving a long long list of THANKS for waking up alive, for having a tiny home, for having food, for having a dog, and best of all for having both earthly and heavenly angels in my life.

Thank you. 

At 1pm, I enjoyed an intimate dinner with 60 other people of which I knew about 20 of them. My plate overfloweth with a tiny spoonful of just about every single dish on the buffet. Each of the 60 patrons had brought a dish to share. It was an awesome display of delectable treats. I only took about 1 or 2 ounces of turkey just so I would have room to sample everything else.

At 4pm we reconvened to share desserts.

By 6pm I was on my couch which has builtin recliners,  watching an awful movie about Thanksgiving aptly named "Awkward Thanksgiving". I can not recommend this movie. I thought it was dreadful and I did doze off in the middle of it because it failed to capture my attention. My friend informed me when I woke up, that the dog seemed to enjoy it.

Today is bad Friday, but consumers call it Black Friday. There is also a move underfoot called "International Buy Nothing Day"as a day for society to examine the issue of overconsumption.

Some suggest that non-shoppers spend the day organizing their home and regifting or throwing out excess.

The easiest way to get your home under control is to take a ton of pictures of the interior and exterior living spaces in your home. Then study them. This will more than likely be a huge eye opener.

If your home doesn't look like the pictures from Better Homes and Gardens, then maybe you want to rethink your lifestyle.

Home should be a place of peace. A private sanctuary where one feels loved and comforted.  Furnishings should be appealing and welcoming.

I am blessed in that recently I seem to have completed furnishing my tiny home. I feel very spoiled, cozy and comfortable. The only thins left to do is the windows and a little decorating. I have a gallery wall that is unfinished. I have hung little bits of art. It may take another year or so to complete. I imagine it will be a transitioning wall of random memories. Time will tell.

Live the life you imagine!

By being super patient, I have slowly rounded up furnishings from thrift shops and yard sales. These bi fluffy pillows set me back $2. They had been freshly laundered. The colors work well with the rest of the RV.

Life is goof.

Shop Amazon. Sometimes we earn little commissions which we can then spend on dog food and supplies. THANK YOU!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

No ghosts or goblins and trick-or-treats,
No candy or flowers for your sweets.
No gifts to buy or presents to give,
Just be THANKFUL for the life that you live.

I am so grateful I woke up alive!


Shop early Black Friday deals at Amazon

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Angles and Fridges

Angels to the rescue!

I feel so blessed.

Several super angels are helping me get situated with a refrigerator soon.

If all goes well, I should have one by the first of December.

I am so excited!

Life is GOOD.

Here is a picture after the old refrigerator reluctantly came out. 

Below is the temporary dorm style fridge I am lucky enough to have on temporary loan. 

Below is my old beloved fridge on the left hand side.

I have copy and pasted a picture of the new one that will show up in the next week or two or so.

Anytime you shop Amazon it helps us a little bit! THANK YOU!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Hard Water Easy Solution

I am more or less stationary for awhile.

Last year I bought a 5th wheel with washer, dishwasher, full bath etc. I eat at home so my kitchen sink is very busy.

Now I live in a semi-hard water area with a deep well. Rig was bought from an area with even harder water.

I've looked at the hassle of salt water softener and also studied hard water conditioning which is a different technique.

After weeks of research, I decided to go with a Georgia company and install an electronic descaler water conditioner.


Installing it was simple enough. I was lucky in that my basement provided a nearby 110 outlet which is critical since the unit  needs power. The first few weeks not much happened except it seemed like I detected a sulfur odor when I returned from an outing such as dog walking.

This might have been coincidental but this park does rely on a deep well for water and it might have been the conditioner kicking in.

A few weeks go by and the shower water starts feeling really rough! Like I am being spit at with sandy water. I soaked the shower head and other sink aerators in vinegar overnight to remove hard water build up. The sandy sensation didn't last long, but apparently this  descaler conditioner loosens up hard water deposits from the plumbing and moves them out.

Another few weeks go by and the sandy water went away and was replaced with super soft silky feeling water. I can feel and see the difference in my long hair. The washing machine is also making suds, not a lot but certainly more than before. I don't use softener with my clothes though I used to use vinegar in a downy ball auto releaser. However now, there is no need for that and I continue to dry my clothes without a softener sheet.

I was vigorously cleaning everything that had hard water stains. Now it's a breeze to keep things clean and hard water free. I wash my sink areas and then dry with a microfiber cloth. My sink and faucets look shiny new again. My volume of water has improved because the plumbing on this 25 year old rig is not clogged up with hard water deposits anymore.

I am THRILLED with my choice and find the price I paid of $149.99 to be entirely reasonable, given my fabulous results. If you are fed up with hard water problems, give this a try.

There are many systems on the market but I chose this Georgia company that specialized in water treatments.

iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner

I also use an instant hot pot to make French press coffee. Normally this needs descaling often but since I put in this conditioner, it doesn't seem to need descaling anymore.

Honestly, I don't know why I waited so long to do this. The benefits are SO worth it!

I have long hair and what a difference with both my skin and my hair. The bath water feels different. I am a happy camper!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Thrifty Nifty

The dog got a new chair from the thrift store for $10.

It came with the world's ugliest uncomfortably thin cushion.

I found the above cushion half priced at Amazon in their used warehouse deals.  

Lucky me! The color was perfect for my RV.

The chair swivels and rocks. It's timeless design is ultra comfortable.

One day the dog is going to let me actually sit in it.

Roomba to the Rescue

Last year when I bought this old 5th wheel it came with lots of white sculptured carpet. There was lots of intermittent work and repairs going on. It seemed no one would wipe their nasty shoes before traipsing inside!

The rig came with a huge upright heavy vac that I could barely more from level to level. No one did the vacuuming and the carpets suffered. Then I took some combined Christmas gift money and ordered the gadget of my dreams... a roomba vacuum cleaner!

I named her Rhonda and put her to work. Matter of fact, I make her vacuum all levels every day. I'm a slave driver that way.

What a lifesaver. She is my favorite tool and I pamper her endlessly. It took the dog some time to make peace with Rhonda. Boy is he ever diligent to check the floor for snacks and crumbs before she sucks it away.

At some point I let Stanley Steemer bring life back to the carpets after the workman had tried their best to destroy them.

Any time I accidentally skip a day without Rhonda I feel terrible guilt. Sometimes I turn her loose in the living area when I go to bed. Mostly I run her in the main area while I am dog walking. Then when I come back, I move her from level to level.

My 5th wheel is on 4 levels, so I have to move her around. My housekeeping is now Rhonda friendly. I've tamed electric cords and I toss the dog toys back in their box before Rhonda drags them around. Poor teddy bear was being helplessly dragged around by his ear one day before I rescued him.

This has transformed my life. My carpets looks beautiful. Home smells clean. I was able to sell that huge hunk of vac that I did not like that gave me back aches.

I still own a tiny handheld vac leftover from motorhome days. I've rarely used it now. Rhonda can get aggressive and I've learned to check her dustbin before tossing it. She has sucked up keys, pills, spare change and errant screws.

I have to give her a haircut once a month as my long hair tends to wrap around her roller brushes.

I chose roomba by iRobot over the rest because they supply all the parts needed to give her a makeover if she wears anything out. She also scoots across the parquet floor in the kitchen and the throw rug at the entrance. I try to shake the throw rug often but Rhonda sucks out the ground end dirt.

In all the homes I have lived in, this is my first time with wall to wall carpet and this rig came with white.

Yesterday a neighbor stopped in and she said WOW, your carpet is gorgeous, you must slave away to keep it that way.  I said "Yeah, it's so hard to push that little start button..."

So if you are looking for the perfect gift for someone this Christmas, get them a roomba!

Amazon has them in all price ranges.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wake up and feel awesome!

Well, my fridge gave me a face full of amonia. Propane refrigerators do that when they die. Mine has been pronounced dead. The funeral will be in a few days.

Extracting the fridge from the builtin cabinet is going to take some good solid work. Ugh!

First off is safely tapping off the propane connection.

Oh boy.

Yesterday I was able to borrow a car to do the owner a few favors and then use it to run my own errands. I feel so very lucky!

I bought the doodad to cap off the propane thingy at the hardware store. They are so helpful!

Now it's time to watch university of Youtube for a serious education in propane safety.

I can't just turn off the propane for good because I cook with that. Also it powers my furnace. My electric fireplace is awesome but it's more for maintaining the warmth. When it's super cold, I have to use the furnace for 20 minutes to bring the RV up to a living temperature. Then I can shut it down and just use the fireplace to maintain that temp.

The fireplace has an anemic fan. I guess that's why it takes forever to warm up the place but it does a great job of maintaining the comfort once the room is up to a living temperature.

I need to rapidly find a new income. I was working off and on and making some piddly money but that job is no longer available.

So far there is no use buying another fridge until I get this one fully uninstalled.

I did locate 2 different fridges that will probably fit in the cabinet. I just want the old one out first to verify the sizing.

Today I am trying to wake up and do housekeeping. I want to be super duper grateful for all that is right. Taking care of everything is paramount and being thankful that I have it is important. 

I am so LUCKY to have a roof over my silly head. So I will not and can not whine about lack of a fridge.

I've found a lot of stuff dumpster diving and repurposing as well as scavenging and sometimes just asking and resulted in hand me downs.

Recently I acquired a TV because my neighbor  doors down decided to buy a new one. I offered to haul off the old one for him. Much to my surprise, he brought it over and gave it to me! WOW!

Life is goof!

Shop Amazon, with any of my link. Any commission I earn will go towards my refrigerator. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Too Many Emergencies

For the past year I've chased around fixing up my body and also repairing this old fifth wheel.

I feel very fortunate to be alive and smiling!

Yesterday out of the clear blue my refrigerator decided to just POOF up and die.

How sad!

I've been through troubleshooting and still nothing. Read manual from side to side and tried everything. Even went on RV forum to try for solutions there.

My favorite RV repairman got himself in a spot of trouble and he may not be in business anymore.

Meanwhile I moved my food to the community fridge which is about 10 minute walk. Hoping no one steals it but if they do c'est la vie.

I have a borrowed cooler fridge but it is not coming on. Directions say if it is not cooling to turn it upside down for 2 hours then try again. I am on the second upside down for 2 hours trial.

Measuring my fridge cut out for possible electric only refrigerator replacement. Looks like only thing that will fit is  4 cubic foot fridge and mine is 6 cubic foot. So I might be downsizing. 

There is one more troubleshooting to try but I need help from fearless soul.

My emergency fund is just completely drained. I've had way too many emergencies this year.

So I must come up with plan B.

I love my little old RV home, I was so excited to have it about finished more or less. Just some plumbing problems that are semi urgent that I keep putting off until funding appears. Now the dadgum fridge.

No symptoms. It went from working perfectly to not working at all. Won't even come on for electric or propane!

Just playing dead.

Well, I need to go get dressed. I heard a rumor about a small fridge I might be able to buy used and keep in my shed until I figure out plan C.

Life is goof.

I am doing newfangled treatments that have eased my pain and brought me some happiness so that is wonderful thing!

Years ago I lived in an old house and the refrigerator died. It was winter so I was keeping a few things cold in a box on the back porch. I had company who wanted coffee with milk. I opened the back door to fetch the milk much to their amusement.

Later that day they called me to see if I had a friend with a pickup truck. They had gone out and bought a brand new refrigerator for themselves and were gifting their old one to me.

I used their fridge for 7 more years. It was still in the house when I sold it.

People are awesome.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Beautiful Day on Planet Earth

I woke up alive and it feels great!

Got up at 3am and did some puttering and sputtering. Finally went back for a little snooze. 

It seems I am becoming the scavenger queen. 

Folks get bored and upgrade their stuff and I offer to haul off their old castoffs. In essence I get to replace my old junk with better junk and they get to feel good that old things are cluttering up their space.


Recently I heard a guy talking about he bought an entertainment center that was so big it dwarfed his TV. He was thinking of a larger TV, so I said "Would you like me to haul that old TV out of your way?"

Yesterday my doggy gate bell rang. I have a cordless ding dong bell on my doggy gate, so folks can ring me to let me know I have company. They can open the gate and walk to the door, but my doggy sees the open gate as an opportunity to race around the park, so most just ring the bell and save us all the exercise of chasing errant doggy.

I walked outside and there was the guy standing their with his old TV and a big grin!  He had installed his new bigger TV and gave me his old one which is miles bigger than mine. It was only 4 years old.


I feel so spoiled!

I also go to thrift stores when I can looking for things I need or want. Many times I leave empty handed. But on the other hand, sometimes a shopping angel steers me in the right direction. 

For $10 I found a gorgeous rattan chair with a pitifully wrong ugly thin cushion. 

At first I put my old green chair cushion in it which improved it mightily. Then I found the correct cushion on Amazon in their warehouse used deals which is basically their returned merchandise that they resell at lower prices. 

The chair rocks and swivels, something I enjoy immensely. 

On a funny note, when I got home with it (a neighbor loaned me her car since it wouldn't fit on my bicycle) the dog jumped up in it and gleefully made himself at home. He was THRILLED I had seemingly bought him a new chair. 

He is so egotistical. 

That table is one I salvaged and actually made two tables from one. Amazing! Price? Zero! But I did pay for the vinyl table cloth which looks like mosaic tile. I taped the table cloth on the underside to give the illusion. I get so many compliments on it as it looks so real.

My friend encouraged me to get a smart phone by showing me how to dictate texting outloud since my thumbs are way too big for those tiny letters. I asked my neighbor by text if her wifi was going in and out. The message she received was "Is your wife going in or out?"

When I was trying to do something with google and it demanded personal information I complained outloud by texting another friend that was trying to help me. What I was trying to say was "google is so egotistical" and google typed out "Google is eagle testicle".

Lawdy mercy. 

Meanwhile my neighbor texts back that her "wife" is not going out. 

Someone else asked me if "eagle testicle" was how southern ladies cursed?

Good grief. 

I should go back to bed. 

Or nap in my new chair!

Shop Amazon with any of my links. It seriously helps the dog and I buy groceries. 





Tuesday, November 06, 2018

RV Pet BooBoo

Train your dog before your go RVing.

I've seen folks that threw that dog in an RV, drove hundreds of miles to park in a new strange place, then took off leaving the hapless dog alone in a new place in an unfamiliar RV.

This can cause unintended problems.

Here's proof!

Oh you're home again!
I built a doggy door while you were gone!
And since you left all the shades closed on "your" windows, I added my own doggy window!

'Tis the season for online shopping, especially if Amazon is your go-to destination. The mega online retailer announced it will offer free shipping on all holiday orders in time for Christmas, doing away with a minimum purchase price — even if you aren't a Prime member.

The company had previously set a threshold of $25 for orders to qualify for free shipping, but Amazon will waive that requirement according to the company. Hundreds of millions of items will therefore become eligible for free shipping.

Prime members, who are already entitled to free two-day shipping, will also receive a new perk: More than 3 million items will be available for same-day delivery during the holiday season.

SHOP AMAZON with this link, we sometimes earn a commission and that is a huge help to this doggy and his RV and human!

Friday, November 02, 2018

Gotta Laugh

When things don't go right and it all seems wrong, find a way to laugh it up!

Remember the 50's and 60's when campers matched their vehicles?

 Rving can fit all types of budgets and creative minds.

 Just a reminder that cat and dog doors aren't all they are cracked up to be.

It's good to always travel with duck tape.
Just in case.

Cheaper by the dozen.
Or where to stash all those children.

Even if your RV lot is very small, you can work around that and still have a bit more room. 

Oh yes.
Let's get away from it all.
While take it all with us. 

If gas prices seem to high, try hay for horses. 

My Harley dog wants his own camper.
Gotta love the double axle!

Probably not an advertisement that U-Haul approved. 

Now here's a fresh look at an economical toy hauler. 

See ya round the campfire!

Speaking of campfires... forget the mess, get a super simple propane fire pit. 

Thank you for stopping by! Dear Miss Mermaid is recuperating and rambling around.