Saturday, March 30, 2019

De Ja Voo-Doo!

If you read about The Dreadful Event then you know why I have been hiding at home, afraid to go out in public. 

However, yesterday I was forced out of my home in order to visit a doctor. Yuck yuck yuck. I've carefully avoided  doctors and medical facilities since the horrible hospital ordeal that still gives me frightening nightmares. I pray those will go away and stay away forever. 

Also the mountain of chemicals forced into my body at the hospital have really played havoc on my recovery as my body detoxes from all that. 

I am on one prescription and it was running out. I thought I could learn to live without it, but my body thought otherwise. So I had to find a new doctor and convince him to renew my one prescription. Docs want me on a big long list of drugs and I have many valid reasons why I prefer to be a minimalist. I have discovered... many docs simply refuse to deal with people like me. With so many medical practices being run by big corporations that dictate to the doctors to push pricey drugs and endless tests so they can earn kickbacks and maximize profits, it seems the patient's real concerns are totally ignored. 

Patient health care. 

It seems to no longer be about the patient or health or care.  It's all about maximizing profits. Sure there are some good doctors out there, and if you have one, hold onto him/her for dear life.

Even on this visit, the lady interviewing me asked me four times about me only having ONE prescription drug. She seriously wanted me to be on more drugs and found it very hard to believe I was only on one. Over and over I said "I prefer as few drugs as possible!"

Through a miracle, I survived the doctor visit but it took it's toll on me. For some strange reason doctors and nurses refuse to believe I have normal blood pressure. So they checked it several times shaking their heads in disbelief. "It's normal." It's unclear to me why they want me to have high blood pressure, what's wrong with being normal?

I am weird in so many ways, it's nice to be normal about SOMETHING. 

I have not had high blood pressure in over 40 years. At that time, it was discovered that a drug I had been prescribed was in fact causing my high blood pressure, so the doctor removed me from that drug and said, well, now it should return to normal and it did and has stayed that way for 40 plus years. 40 years ago... I had a doctor that genuinely cared about me so she was upset when my blood pressure shot up and did some research to find out DUH... it was the prescription. She didn't try to put me on a ton of other drugs, she said I am concerned your blood pressure has shot up high and we are going to get to the bottom of this. Oh I wish I had her for a doctor now. She wanted her patients to get well and stay well with as few drugs as possible. 

But I digress...

On the way home I decided to throw caution to the wind and step inside the scratch and dent store to see if their $1.00 a loaf Pepperidge Farm breads had arrived. 

That's the place where the dreadful event occurred last time I dared to go out in public.

There was a different cashier there and the owner who I had shocked on my previous visit, was in his office. So I thought I could shop in anonymity. 

Ha ha ha!

What was I thinking?

I grabbed a few items and yes the assorted breads were in stock (they go quickly and many times the store is out!)

 I pulled up to the new cashier and she went off duty and the OWNER appeared in her place. I am sure he remembered me and the dreadful event because first he greeted me warmly then did a double-take. I probably turned 42 shades of red.  

I could see the recognition in his face.

He was having a rough time with the register. Maybe he was nervous fearing I would once again sneeze at both ends and part with a fart louder and longer than the passing train. De ja voo-doo!

Like I did before... during the dreadful event.

Meanwhile the usual cashier breezed in the door announcing she was back from lunch.  She came over to help the owner at the register, giving him instructions how to straighten out the mess. Finally I spoke up and said in all seriousness to the owner who looked embarrassed that he had messed up the register,  "Sir! I am going to notify the owner that you need more training on the register!"

Well it was an ice breaker. 

He roared with laughter. That fear on his face of "Oh-my-gosh that's the lady that emptied out my store weeks ago with her two mile long deafening fart and sneeze..." suddenly vanished. Of course I knew he was the owner. I was just trying to shake things up since we were both standing there equally embarrassed.

The friendly cashier explained to me "You know,  he IS the owner!" 

Now I was laughing and racing for the door before my body could do anything new to embarrass me. 

Life is goof. 

THANK YOU for stopping by today. 
I woke up alive and it's a great start! 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Sailing Vessel Sea Rose

This was my home for many happy years, on a boat afloat in a far flung port.

I rebuilt this old boat from a hurricane Hugo salvage in the Virgin Islands. I renamed her Sea Rose to give her good luck.

It took years of very hard work, a mountain of mail order how-to-books and numerous parts gathered from dozens of ports. Some arrived by mail. Others were collected along the way. Some came 1400 miles on  the grocery boat. The 42 foot mast traveled 3000 miles by truck  then another 1200 miles on a Windjammer ship named Amazing Grace. I had to travel mast-less by motor to a different country just to rendezvous with the ship to collect my mast.

I worked on yachts as professional crew when I wasn't home rebuilding my boat. Some times I was gone for weeks or months traveling far and wide leaving my little boat, a work in progress bobbing in the harbor while neighbors and friends kept watch for my return.

No one thought a girl could do it alone.

But I didn't care what they thought.

I did it anyways!

The crazy girl that could and did.

Fun facts...

I sailed her with a compass. No electronics.

A salvaged solar panel provided power for lights, fan, water pump and marine radio.

I caught rain water and used that to fill my tanks so I could shower, make coffee and wash dishes.

The wind in my sails. The sea as my home.

Those were some mighty fine times.

Where thou art, that is home. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Another blessed day in paradise.

I woke up alive. 

It's March, it's spring, it's exciting!

Incredibly it's 58 effing degrees as I write this from Florida.

For some strange reason I am counting down the daze to my big six ut-oh birthday in April. Yippee! 

I am blessed and oh so lucky to have this day on planet earth.

My goofy dog is both a joy and a pain in the tush (sometimes!)

Though we are both flailing and failing at times, he still reverts to his puppy-hood playfulness insisting on playing and "exercising" his toys. He still makes me laugh and laughing is a very GOOD thing.

He piled up his toys this way, it was not through human intervention. I managed to snap a few pics and they are all blurry except this one where he briefly slowed down to hold and nurse his bedraggled teddy bear.

He still loves to eat eat eat, his favorite being Newman's Organic dry dog food which his pet parent likes too (not because I find it tasty) but because it makes things at the other end come out nice and neat. 

Life is goof.

Thank you for thinking of me and plopping by today. 

May you find joy and laughter and happiness each and every day. 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Spring Has Sprung

For the first time in nearly 40 years, the spring equinox will occur on the same day as March's Full Worm Moon. The last time that these two events landed on the same date was on March 20, 1981, though they did come close again in March 2000, separated by a span of only four hours.

My azalea bush is on the dividing line between the lots. I've been giving this one coffee grounds and egg shells. After it blooms I hope to shape it up better and feed it Miracle Grow plant food. 

 I woke up alive and it's a great start to a gorgeous day.

Thank you for plopping by today.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Dreadful Event

Going out in public since coming out of the hospital is rare and problematic.

My body doesn't belong to me anymore. It does embarrassing things when I least expect it. Staying home is safer.

Much safer.

Recently I was suffering from cabin fever and I thought I could weather a very short trip to a heavily discounted grocery store. A friend had offered to drive me since I don't have a vehicle yet. It was a beautiful day. I was dressed up and excited to go out and try to do something normal.


Ha ha ha!

What was I thinking?

In this little town where I am long-term camping in my forever home, an odd little store opened up that I nicknamed the "scratch and dent". The food is very cheap because it's odd lots of past dated food or dented cans or bruised produce or some sort of bargains they've managed to buy up from pricey trendy corporate grocery stores that remove any less than perfect foods from their inventory. Items like this are often sold off to bargain stores.

The inventory is erratic and changes often. What you see one day may be totally different a few days later. The owner is an oversized friendly jolly man and his cashier is always welcoming, smiling and cheerful. The two of them make it a delight to shop there.

I had a three items in my cart, when I began perusing their freezers. I found a frozen 99 cent organic dinner that sells for over $6 in other stores. I quickly opened the freezer, grabbed two boxes and closed the door.

The owner suddenly appeared to point out his discounted T-Bone steaks and Ribeyes in the freezer. He opened the door to show them off better. I stood there clutching the shopping cart, grinning like a fool just being polite while he did his sales pitch.

These kind folks had no idea I had been recently stuck in a dreadful ICU at hospital and that a little trip to their store was a big event for me in an attempt to briefly alleviate cabin fever.

The super cold air from the open freezer hit me hard.

That's when it happened.


My body decided to do something ridiculous with virtually NO warning at all. I barely had time cover my mouth while my body let out a big thunderous super sonic loud sneeze that rattled the windows of the storefront.


That's not all.

I simultaneously sneezed at the OTHER end too.
And it was LOUD.
Two-mile train length LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG and LOUD.


I sneezed at BOTH ends.

The exaggerated deafening hurricane strength fart and sneeze was of such magnitude that the owner's eyeglasses went askew as he was blown away crumpling at the end of the aisle with a look of complete shock on his confused face.

The store went silent. EVERYBODY had heard this thunderous deafening ruckus.

I turned 14 shades of red while frantically looking for a welcoming hole to swallow me whole so I could just HIDE for the rest of my days.

Finally I managed to squeak out "Excuse me" but it was drowned out by new pandemonium as shoppers abandoned their carts and fought their way out the exit door as if Armageddon was upon us.

That store is very small, but I swear it was a mile and an hour of sheer torture as I pushed my cart of five items which felt like a half ton up to the cashier. Of course no one was waiting in line.  I felt like I owed it to the owner to at least profit from the few items in my cart before vanishing into oblivion.

Back in the vehicle, my cheerful friend said "Where to next?" Cowering in the floorboard I whispered "Please, just take me home."

Maybe next year I will think about venturing out in public again. Certainly not this year. 

For now, I'm ordering food to be delivered from Amazon. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019


 The above picture was taken in December 2017, when I went to look at the 1992 fifth wheel that I ended up buying and  weeks later relocating to my current RV lot a bout 60 miles away. In this pic at the RV park where I bought the rig it came with a custom wooden deck. I didn't realize the rig was parked on a slope and the wooden deck was hiding this. So one sees a gentle tiny step from the grass to the deck, then only 2 steps into the fifth wheel. That's my dog Harley who was outside inspecting things. The second step shown in the picture was only about an inch or two above the wooden deck. It was super EASY for me to go in and out of the fifth wheel.

This is a close up of the steps. I thought I only had 2 steps to enter/exit the fifth wheel.  I couldn't move the wooden deck to my RV lot, so I gave it away, ironically to the guy that built it. He was going to disassemble it and relocate it to his mother-in-law's RV lot. 

I met him by chance, he was being a good Samaritan. On the day of the move, which was weeks later due to a mountain of problems, three of us were struggling outside with the fifth wheel. At that point part of the decking had been removed and the steps folded away. We were attempting to pick up the deck and move it another foot because the fifth wheel was on such a tiny tight lot, that we needed the extra room for the RV tires to clear and make a hard turn onto the narrow street.

A young sturdy strong man in a pickup truck, slammed on brakes and jumped out to help us. He worked with us for nearly two hours as we struggled with logistics of freeing the fifth wheel and moving the deck and disassembling even more of it. . He had power tools with him and we had  some hand tools with us. He disassembled some more of the deck in quick order. After the fifth wheel was starting to move, I thanked him profusely and pulled out some cash to pay him, by now he was dirty and covered in sweat.  

The young man  refused payment and said he was just glad to help us out. Then he asked when and how we were going to move the deck. I told him I was forced to abandon it and I was sad about that since it was such a lovely deck. He said he had built that deck just a few months earlier for the man that was living in the fifth wheel (who was now living in a hospice).  So I asked him if he wanted the deck and he was super ecstatic that I would give this to him! 

He said his mother-in-law lived in this park and he was on his way to check on her when he saw us struggling and stopped to help us out.  He said she could surely use this deck and he could disassemble it some more and move it to her place and reassemble it for her. 

After I moved the fifth wheel to my lot which has a strange concrete pad (see picture below) I discovered I needed all three of the RV's fold out steps to enter/exit the fifth wheel. The bottom step was a foot from the concrete. So OOPS, I now had more steps to get in and out of the rig. Traversing these steps  became problematic for me as time marched forward. I explored numerous ways to rectify this problem and due to weird logistics, it ended up I needed custom steps built. 

At some point I tried to buy some old rough looking semi-abandoned steps that might work for me. But that ran into all kinds of snags. I researched prefabricated steps and couldn't find anything to work that included a sturdy handrail. There were plenty of prefab steps but these were designed for mobile homes and houses, not RV's. RV doors open outwards, not inwards. 
 The folding built in RV steps have been giving me fits for the past year. When I sold the old motorhome (January 2018) and bought this 1992 fifth wheel, I didn't realize I would have more steps to deal with. I bought the fifth wheel when it was parked on a sloping lot with a wooden deck that appeared to be low to the ground. There were only 2 steps to go inside and it was easy on me. When I moved the fifth wheel to my lot and parked it on the concrete, I realized I had more steps to climb to the higher elevation. I thought it wouldn't be a problem.

 It's what I had to use and that was that, but getting up and down them was very problematic at times. The steps were narrow and irregular in height.  Due to another condition I won't discuss right now, but for the past few years I sometimes have tremendous difficulty walking and utilizing steps. Sometimes I need a walker or a cane to get around and getting up and down the steps during those times was extremely difficult and sometimes very dangerous. Due to complicated logistics, I couldn't find pre-built steps to utilize and there isn't room to build a ramp. 

Then when I came home from the hospital recnetly, I could only walk with great assistance utilizing both people and a walker and later a four-legged cane. I needed a load of help from others to get up and into my RV because the existing steps were too small to utilize the walker. Even with my four legged cane, it was a huge problem. The foldingg RV steps just aren't big enough for these types of considerations.

The last black step is a foot off the concrete. The wood step stringers shown on either side are sitting there temporarily to see how the new steps will be so different and much easier to use. Sometime over the past year I had drawn up some rough drawings for simple functional steps with a sturdy handrail.

In the picture above, taken in early February, we had placed the wooden stringers by the old RV steps to see how they would look and work for me. I was ecstatic that finally new steps might be reality. I won't go into the boring logistic details, but a ramp would not fit nor work. Besides if I can't traverse steps, I can't live in this fifth wheel, because inside the fifth wheel are two steps up to the bath and hall area and then another step up into my bedroom. Those are gentle big carpeted steps and I have hand holds so traversing those are OK for me.

Below is another picture showing how the new steps will fit. The old RV steps will be folded up and stored with the fifth wheel as is common for moving and traveling. I don't plan to travel with this fifth wheel. I can't pull it with a bicycle. I have no car or truck. I used to drive my old motorhome when I needed to go somewhere but it was sold. One day I will work out buying a used vehicle to drive. Just no idea when that day will be. Life keeps happening. 

By the way, that outdoor patio mat reminds me of my brain! It's foggy and confused some days while I recuperate. The rug prevents mold and is self draining and super safe. A few months ago, last fall I think, I slipped on nearly invisible mold on the concrete and well that's another story, I think I wrote about it already.

Harley took a liking to the patio mat and outfitted it with his toys. Outside I have a walker on wheels I use when needed.

Harley dog is shown below and even though he is over 9 years old, he still plays like a puppy. He moves his toys inside and outside and play fights with them. He also likes to play fetch and toss and Frisbee and ball and is just a handful of energy at times. He was taking a break and I was laughing about the "mess" he had made playing with his toys.  Why he needs so many to tussle with I don't know, but he doesn't tear up anything of mine like some dogs do, so if he has toys to fight with and occasionally destroy or unstuff his toys, we are both plenty happy. He has toys and I never ever have to worry about him destroying any of my stuff.

 He sometimes pretends to nurse his big teddy bear. When I or someone helping me puts away his toys, he doesn't mind. He knows where to find them and he eventually fetches them one at a time to play with until many are scattered around. 

Harley also has trouble with the old RV steps. Matter of fact, when I mentioned this one day while the guy was working on the new steps, he said THAT little dog has trouble with the steps too? You are kidding me!"

Hardly a moment later, Harley ran up the old steps and managed to slip between them and fall down. I think it's because the height of the RV steps is uneven between each step and they are narrow front to back.

The new steps are almost finished and this is a picture of how they will look with the rubber treads added and before the handrail was built. Shown on the right is an old handrail that I was using on my motorhome then I moved it to this fifth wheel RV. However, as you can see, it's way too short for both the old and the new steps. There wasn't a stud where I needed them installed so the handrail wobbled. I gave it to someone else who is disabled and they installed it on their fifth wheel which is much lower to the ground than mine. It works well for them. Their RV had a stud where they needed them. Magic!

Above the steps are 98% finished. The steps and handrail are sturdy enough for a circus to do elephant tricks! They are a work of art, far nicer and sturdier than I ever dreamed possible. They are built of treated lumber, plus primed and painted. 

Walking up and down them is a dream. Freedom! 

That little leaf blower is in the picture cause the trees seem to rain down non stop leaves which magically end up on the steps and patio.

The handrail is thru-bolted with a coat of fresh primer. It just needs the final painting. The rubber treads are laying in place and need the final  glue (or double stick tape)  will be attached (so they don't blow away in a stiff wind or move around when blowing the leaves and dirt off of them).  The black rubber treads I found at amazon are perfect for added safety and as a bonus easy to keep clean. Both puppy and I love the way they feel on our feet and paws. These are sold for indoor or outdoor use. I was super lucky to find them as I had no idea that such a nifty product existed. 

Fun facts:

The steps had to be built "free standing" and could not be attached to the RV in any way. (Park rules etc.)  

The man  (shown above) did all the carpentry with hand tools including sawing by hand the wood treads, the spindles and the railing. 
The stringers for 4 steps were bought ready made (per previous picture) but everything else had to be sawed. He used glue, screws, bolts, nails and yet none of this shows.
He planed the handrail he designed so it is smooth with rounded edges instead of hard edges.
He sanded it by hand so it is super nice to hold.
The only power tool he used was my cordless drill for the screw and bolt holes. 
The steps are a sturdy work of art that will probably outlast me and the RV.
He is 73 and did this in his spare time.
He had never built a set of steps before.

It's a miracle. 
I am blessed. 

Thank you for stopping by today. I read and enjoy your comments.
If you had insomnia... I might have cured it! 

Life is goof.


Monday, March 11, 2019

Lost in Space

I am alive and it's a beautiful day. Due to circumstances  beyond my control, I am not sure when I will be able to post here again. My old computer is failing, wifi is erratic, my health is a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. The mill-idiots keep changing things faster than I can keep up. That's my new made-up word of a combination of millennium and idiot.


It for those obsessive compulsive young programmer folks who have the motto "if it's not broken, then break it!"

Update, rejuvenate, renovate, create, change, until a program or device no longer works for the common user. The consumer is expected to buy buy buy newer and better to stay on top of it all and still never get a thing done.

I like my old computer, I like my old programs. I know how to use them. I want to do things offline then copy and paste when I do go on the internet. I can't be on internet 24/7, I am only on a few minutes a day. But today's millidiots design phones and computers to be on 24/7 internet and disable my offline programs.

That happened to me again! Windows updated and made my useful offline programs stop working so I spent hours this morning trying to revert the changes so I could try to type offline. Good grief.

This is not efficient and time, every single minute of it, is so special and important to me.

Well, that's enough ranting and raving. Pardon me.

I woke up alive, the sun came up, so I need to shut up, smile and be super grateful for these miracles.

Thank you for stopping by and perhaps one day I will figure out how to stay in touch in this uber-complicated world.

If this gets posted in the next 48 hours, it might just be magic.

Life is goof.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Relapse, collapse, elapse, perhaps...

Perhaps... miracles take a little longer

Dear Miss Mermaid

Suffering is everywhere. Don't ever think it isn't.
So are miracles. Don't ever think they aren't.


Thank you for stopping and plopping by today.