Monday, January 31, 2011

E is for Enjoying Everyday

Honey, I think I hear the Welcome Wagon people greeting us!
It's good to be at Winterset RV Park.  Everybody has been so friendly and helpful, I just know we'll enjoy our month here.

We always remember the big things that happen in our life, but it's the little everyday things that really make an impact.  Sometimes we forget to appreciate the awe in a sunset but can remember when the other half forgets to put the cap on the toothpaste...again.

Living in a canned ham really brings both the simples pleasures and irritations to the forefront. It's like having a magnifying glass on them.  I've never really paid a lot of attention to my everyday routine, but living very simply has brought it to light.
  
Living closely together is like performing an elaborate dance and requires each  partner to know his and her steps.  The day goes something like this:

Rise from bed and rub head from whacking it on the ceiling. Use the shoilet, make up the beds and transfer items from bench to bed.  Fix She Devil her breakfast and give the first shot of insulin. Then he gets up and follows the same routine and we have breakfast and do dishes.

Breakfast is usually a bowl of dry cheerios for me and a can of coke zero. Not on the cereal, just as a beverage.  He prefers milk on his cereal, as does She Devil.

Activities during the day are dependent on the weather and involve either hiking, photographing, reading Kindle or working on computer stuff.  If we have internet connections I check in on Facebook to play scrabble with friends, see what’s happening and post my blog.  One of my goals on this trip is to clean up the computer, going through it and deleting crap, organizing folders and that kind of boring stuff, but it hasn't happened yet.

I've been working my way through a couple of books on Photoshop Elements to improve those skills and hope to post some funny phots that I want to create.

Okay, this has nothing to do with today's topic, but she's so excited she wants it in right NOW. She Devil has a new admirer named Bill from Waupun and she actually blushed when reading the comments to her blog a couple of days ago.  He's a big guy, weighing in at 22 pounds and she's VERY intrigued and hopes he writes to her again and perhaps send a photo. Oh, she just explained that it does fit the E theme as he might be her "everything".

The day progresses with lunch (or not), more lazy activities and then supper followed by some cribbage.  So far I'm still up one game over Left Brain.  Now that we're in Palmetto we're scouting out all the wonderful hiking trails and photo ops to be had and food to indulge in.

Well, I'm going to sign off now and go let the park office know we're here.  They were closed on Sunday and the sign said to just find your lot and set up and come in the next day.  This is when we realized it's actually Jan 31 today and we're not scheduled to be here until February 1st.  Oops.  Not to mention we were here last night on Jan 30th.  It's so hard to keep track of the calendar when you're enjoying all the everyday things.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

D is for Doughnut

Showing the softer side of  She Devil.  If she knew this was going out on the net, she'd kill me...
so no cracks about the stuffed animals, okay?
We felt so fortunate to find another place to eat that offered WI-FI until we tried to log on.  The server didn’t know which one it was or anything about it.  Now we know why.  We finally managed to get to the correct source and the WI-FI was being provided by their competitor across the street, the Hole In One Doughnut.  That felt pretty cheesy, so we kept our loyalty with McDonalds until we left.

We made the move today (Sunday) to Winterset RV Park.  Office is closed so we just set up on the lot they mentioned to us and will check in tomorrow morning.  

After hearing so many nasty comments about how hard it is to put up the cabana I had Left Brain time us.  Without hurrying it took us less than 20 minutes from start to finish. He needed to run to Wal Mart for a 50 amp connector since we didn't have that, but otherwise we're settled in.  People have been stopping by to introduce themselves and say hi.  We're finding that many people are fascinated with the R-Pod unit and find it unique and want to see it.

We love having our internet at our fingertips again!  Every time we'd go to McDonald's Left Brain would get upset with me jumping up and standing next to the table.  "Why are you doing that" he'd hiss.  I reminded him that I follow orders well and it was asking very politely to "please stand by".  I have learned that I can go without newspapers, radio and television but I simply must have access to the net.

After having a supper of leftovers we both tried out the shoilet...one at a time....there's barely room for one in there.  It went much better than I anticipated and we were both happy to find out it's just fine.  It also does a nice job of cleaning the bathroom at the same time - just hose the whole room down.  It is important to remember to remove the toilet paper prior to showering. 

Long sleep the Queen...she's tired.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

C is for Cat


Remember, I know where you sleep.

Yeah, yeah...hail to the queen.  I say “to hail WITH the queen”.  I mean, I’m trying to be as good natured as a cat can be, but this is getting ridiculous.

Let’s start with the kitty litter issue.  Yes, it’s big and oversized….but I’m a big boned girl and need the space.  And having to crawl through a hole in the wall to enter it?  Puleeze!  It’s dark in there, there’s no light (even though I have submitted all the necessary forms to the landlords) so I have to sniff and feel my way around.   Does that sound good to YOU?

Does this fur make me look fat?  I'm fluffy...that's all!
And Left Brain with his “we need more exercise” crap.  Speak for yourself big boy….I’m fine with my size.  I mean, do I LOOK like I need to loose weight?

The best part about the whole deal is getting tuna twice a day.  It used to just be at happy hour, but they feel it’s a nice diversion for me as they stick the needle into me with the insulin.  Like I don’t know THAT’S happening.  But….it’s two servings of my favorite food so I play along.

I'm not sleeping, I'm just resting my eyes
and keeping my paws on the mouse.
Then there’s the jokes about my sleeping all the time...that’s getting old.  I am a senior feline after all.  I’m 13 human years and lord knows how many cat years that equates to.  Plus they don’t realize that at night while they sleep I’m busy on the computer going to the sites they think are locked.  I can only type so fast since I don’t have thumbs and my paws are thick and clumsy on a keyboard.  If I had thumbs I’d be able to open my own tuna cans and I’m probably stick out a thumb and hitchhike my way outta here.

They feel so guilty for leaving me “all alone” when they run into town and go on their hikes.  I like to let them wallow in that, it pays big dividends.  Mostly, inside I’m screaming...geeez!  Go take a hike!  We don’t get many channels here and I’m bummed out from not having seen Animal Planet for weeks now.  I’ll never catch up on Meer Cat Manor.

And they think THEY'RE in charge!  HA!
I'd like to put a meow out to Jane, Patty and Dr Havlik and everyone at Sand Lake VCA.  I sure miss you guys and can't wait until I visit your clinic again.  Yeah, right!

Oh.  I hear the car.  I gotta sign off now and pretend I’m sleeping.

She Devil Rules!  Those two are fools!

Friday, January 28, 2011

B is for Big Al

No, this is NOT Left Brain
One never knows what to expect in this park.  Left Brain and I were ready to head into town...yeah, McDonalds again, and as I pulled back the flap to the cabana there stood a Seminole Indian in full regalia.  He was walking through the campground to invite people to the re-enactment that afternoon, at 1:30 SST.  That stands for Seminole Standard Time.  Those who are familiar with the Native American culture knows there is an Indian time, similar to my Jewish time.

On the way to town Left Brain was my driving for some “drive by shootings” on my part.  There’s so many odd things to photograph down here that half the time I’m hanging out the window snapping away.

There was some concern that red shouldered hawk I photographed earlier was fake since it wasn’t moving.  It was found that he (sadly) was nearsighted and didn’t have “eyes like a hawk”.  So Left Brain and I purchased a lovely pair of glasses for him and he’s back to hunting with the others.  It feels so good to help others!

We took our hike again along the water now that we are becoming familiar with where “Big Al” hangs out.  Other hikers have told us that if you rent a canoe you can find several of them, they float along side the canoes.  No thank you.  It’s creepy enough being on the shore wondering if I could outrun one….or at least outrun Left Brain.

Some or my followers have asked to hear what Left Brain’s opinions are on our trip.  Well, let me tell you (since I always speak for him).  He loves doing all the driving and dirty jobs and grilling our food.  The filet mignon tonight was divine, as were the hash browns served with them. He adores the Queen and only wishes to please her.  At least I’m pretty sure that’s what he’d say. 

Since I’ve started an alphabet theme (I don't know why, but I seldom understand half of what I do or say), tomorrow is the letter “C” and since She Devil figures C is for Cat, it will be her turn to express how this trip is going.  Please bear in mind that the views of the cat are not necessarily shared or endorsed by the humans.

Hail to the Queen!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A is for Alligators


During our last visit to our favorite McDonalds in Zephyrhills Florida something odd happened.  Left Brain barked at me. Yes, I said barked.  We were both busy on our laptops and all of a sudden there was this barking sound coming from across the table.  The ladies on either side of us glanced our way and smirked, to which I said, “Well!  He’s growled at me a time or two, but he’s never barked before” and then I asked if we had hiked too far that day and if his dogs were barking.  It seems whatever website he was on had some sound effects of a dog barking. I’m just glad She Devil wasn’t there to witness it.  She’d be singing “Who let the dogs out….”


Go Packers!

The hands down winner for the new logo is the one big eyeball.  However, I did have a request from my son, Chief Joseph, for something that demonstrated our pride of the Green Bay Packers going to the Super Bowl.  He was concerned for us, dear boy that he is, that it has been over a week now and he wondered if there was any further damage to the R-Pod or the van. Apparently he’s not worried about US. He also asked if any duct tape was needed to fix anything.  Those who know Left Brain realize that his major tools are a hammer, WD-40 and duct tape. It’s amazing what you can do with just those three items.  Anyway, it appears there are some “vegas-style” wagers as to when it will be used and I am to note dates, and manner of usage in the explanation.  I’ll keep you posted.  Confession: actually I was the first to use some when we first set up, but as soon as HE touches it there will be photos with timestamps.

The one that got away
On our hike yesterday we did manage to see two alligators, maybe three but I still think that was a log and we had gator fever.  I whipped out my Canon Rebel XTI and did the best I could with my hands shaking. Even the image stabilization feature couldn’t help me much. The photo I got was not very good, but you can see that it is just starting to slide into the water.  Now that really makes you start to watch the path closely.  I’ve heard the tale of a photographer walking down the trail and noticed a large dog approaching him.  Until it got closer and he could see it was a massive gator. As I understand it, he wet his pants, the gator slid off the side into the water and he ran back to the car.  Hmm….make note to pick ups some Depends at Publix tomorrow.

Left Brain, I think someone is looking in the window.  Would you go outside and check it out?

She Devil heard of our escapades and just laughed and then went outside and showed us how you take care of them there gators.  I didn’t know she had it in her!  We may have to rename her Bubba She Devil.
No, this isn’t really her, but I found it on YouTube and thought it fit in with today's topic.  Click below to watch the video.




On our way back into the State Park, we noticed this sign.  This is to remind you canoes to be careful with your paddles….you could poke an “I” out.

Long live the Gator Queen


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'm growing gills here, enough rain already!

I'm so exhausted!
Yesterday was a glorious day…. in the morning.  We all went outside because Left Brain decided that She Devil needed to get “some exercise”.  Now, those of you with cats know you can’t make them do anything. Fetching doesn’t work, going for a walk doesn’t work. They pretty much do as they chose and that’s why I love cats, they are so ME.  Anyway, we put She Devil out on her 6 foot lead and she promptly parked herself under a small palm tree on the other side of the canned ham.  I guess she’s looking for a little “away time” from us also. She looked to the left to watch the car go by. She looked to the right to see the man walking his dog.  She looked to the left again to see someone haul their trash to the dumpster.  And on and on and on.  She got quite the workout and needed to take a power nap when she got back in.


palm tree with rare sunshine

Some of you have asked about her bathroom situation and whether her litter box is in the shoilet.  Heavens no!  There wouldn’t be room.  She’s a big cat and requires an oil drip pan (similar in size to a baby bathtub).  Come to think of it, her floor space is larger than ours.  The storage area under the bench seat (the only one with storage) is dedicated to this behemoth litter box. Left Brain cut an opening for her and cleaning it requires moving the cushions, lifting the lid and oh so delicately sitting on the edge bending forward to scoop. She has just enough room for her trash bags, scooper, backup litter and air freshener spray. It’s quite deluxe and I’ve thought about wallpapering it and putting up a mirror for her.  I added a sign that states all cats must wash their paws before returning to their naps, but she was not amused.  To quote a friend describing her bathroom compared to ours, it’s quite a spoil-it.

Even though we have a litter box outside for her, she insists on coming in to her the indoor box.  She’s evil but very modest.  I think the squirrel that comes in and wreaks havoc in the cabana might be using it as it appeared he helped himself to a beer and some snacks last night.


a hole in a hole in a tree

I made my usual trip into McDonalds to post the blog and do some shopping and managed to get to and from the car between rain storms. Just as soon as I had hauled in my new treasures the heavens let loose with thunder and lightening and a deluge of rain...again.  I’m wondering if the canned ham floats if necessary.

One of my new buys was an additional piece of memory foam bedding for my bunk and after trying it out I have to say it was a hit, no sore hips this morning.

I also discovered this morning that if you forget to close the vent in the bathroom during a storm it gives a whole new meaning to the term water closet.

Stay dry and stay tuned! 

Long live the soggy Queen.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

hiking and laundry

Morgan & Donna on the
 Hillsborough River
Yesterday we hiked the Florida trail in search of things that start with “A”.  I wanted to find alligators and armadillos but failed to do so.  On the way to the trailhead we met a lovely lady kayaker who inquired as to whether or not I had gotten any good pictures.  Since we had just started I replied “not yet” and we went on our merry way.  The path wound around through the palms and trees and although we looked hard there were only two turtles sunning themselves that counted as wildlife.  And then through the trees dripping with Spanish moss came two women kayaking.  Hmmm.  That’s close enough to wildlife for me, so I snapped away.  I left one of my blog cards on her windshield to ask permission to use the photo in my blog and she called me back and granted the Queen the right to do so.  The photo was lackluster as I was trying to use all manual settings in an experiment to get away from the programmed settings.  I’ve decided to stay with the programmed settings until I can find my instruction manual to learn more.  This is the photo of Morgan and Donna winding their way down the Hillsborough River in the State Park.  All was not lost, however, as I did achieve finding things that started with “A”.  Both our bodies were ACHING from the hiking we are not accustomed to.  Our neighbor then came back to his site next door and told us of the HUGE alligator he had just seen.

Huge burl on this tree
Today is laundry day and I ran the clothes over to the outside washer and dryer by the shower house.  The machines here cost much more than the previous campground so I was forced to solicit strangers for quarters to start the two loads. The bedding I changed that morning would have to wait until later, thank goodness I brought two sets.  Now the clothes were washing but I had no more quarters to dry them.  So, thanks to the suggestion of our neighbors( the Steelers fans), I went to the restaurant/camping supply store close by in the park and begged quarters from them. They are wonderful helpful women and sold me an ample supply.  I took advantage of buying the Florida postcards to send to our two erudite granddaughters for their school project of getting postcards from all 50 states.  By the time I was done with this running around I was able to get them into the dryers (the clothes, not the grandchildren).  This frenzied washing this morning is an attempt to beat the major thunderstorm that is coming in soon.  There’s a great joy in folding clean clothes that you just don’t take time to appreciate in the everyday hustle and bustle back home.  Either that or I was just really getting desperate for some clean underwear.  Added to my shopping list now is a small folding cart to haul clothes in.  It could double as a stroller for She-Devil and she could go around the campground taunting dogs instead of waiting for them to come to her.

Hey, that's my strawberry!
The days have been nice, but very humid.  The canned ham has condensation built up on the walls and windows each morning.  One goes through the day feeling constantly slick and moist—no need for moisturizer here, it would just slide off.  With the verdant green surrounding us and the incessant dampness, this must be what it feels  like to live in a terrarium.

This is the little squirrel that likes to come and steal our food whenever we turn our back.  She-Devil was not amused.

For those of you waiting for a comment from Left Brain, he's still tied up, but it appears the duct tape is getting looser, so perhaps soon.

Long life the Queen

Monday, January 24, 2011

Looking for a new identity

I've been using my image of the little canned ham, but would like to toss out some others to see what reaction they get.  One of the first ideas I had was to tell the grandkids that we lived in an I-Pod and came up with some visuals of that.

 I'm kind of partial to the one big eye myself, but since I wear glasses I thought I'd give it a Harry Potter look.  Since we live in a Forest River R-Pod, it didn't seem such a stretch to add eyes to it for an I-Pod.

Then since one eye looked a big strange, not that I'm worried about realism here, I did try one with two eyes.  So what do you think?  Which one is your favorite?

It's fun to make jokes about how tiny the R-Pod is, but we find that Forest River has done an incredible job of designing these to make use of every one of those cute little inches.  The R-Pod 172 model that we live in is very versatile and we feel the bunk beds have given us a lot more room than having a queen sized bed that someone has to crawl over the other all the time.

As some of you know, I am a full time artist that specializes in making art dolls.  I've brought along one of my favorites, Mystic Rivera, to join me on this trip as she is my signature doll and appears on my website and business cards.  My website is found at http://www.cherylkeeffe.com/.

For those of you who have a GPS...have you ever wondered what she looked like?  That voice that tells you where to turn and is oh so patient with you when you miss that turn?  Well, Mystic is sitting by the GPS to let you know what the person behind the voice looks like.  And to remind you that this person is stuffed with fiberfill, so it's no wonder they're off sometimes.  Our Magellan GPS kept sending me to Out Back Steak House instead the Ace Hardware I was tryign to get to.  I was getting really hungry, so maybe it just had my best interest at heart.

I've also had some questions as to how Left Brain feels about this blog and his part in it.  Let's just say that he can't comment right now...he's all tied up.  I will leave you with that image and perhaps if he becomes loose...I mean, available...he'll give a guest commentary soon.  I'd tell you how She-Devil feels about it, but I signed an agreement not to use that kind of language in this blog.

Viva the Queen Jester!





Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vultures and Hawks and turtles...oh my! Friday and Saturday (Jan 21 & 22)


I hope they're after Left Brain

We started the day with a forced march...oops, I mean hike...and dodged the many puddles along the path.  This has been our third day of rainy nights, but they need the rain here and we really have no complaints about it.  Especially after hearing the temperature back home was 17 below and that International Falls hit a record low of minus 47.  I knew it was miserable when I lived up there but I had no idea to what extreme. I must have looked really tired from the walk because the turkey vultures were gathering up in the trees.



During the night I listened to the sound of raindrops pelting across the shell of our camper and enjoyed the roaring thunder.  Wait a minute.  No, that wasn’t thunder—that was Left Brain!  I must remember never to feed that man beans and radishes in the same meal.

At least the turtles like this rain
I took advantage of the miserable weather to run into Zephyrhills again to check email and post the blog.  While in town I went to Publix for groceries and when I came out it was pouring buckets.  Oh no, now what to do?  Not to worry!  The fine young men that carry out the groceries escort you to your car holding a huge umbrella over your head and make sure you are seated before leaving. I like this store!

On the way home I looked for the hawk we had seen previously and sure enough, there he was, sitting right near the road.  I cautiously reached for my camera and was relieved to see that I still had on my 300mm lens.  I opened the window a crack, took aim and snapped away.  Then I tried turning off the car to eliminate the vibration  and took more photos.  Still no movement.  I slowly got out of the car and snapped more.  Ok, still no movement.  Is this thing real?  I walked up to it taking photos with each step.  I think it would have let me offer it a ride somewhere.  When I left I got in the car, slammed the door and started the motor it didn't even blink.  This has to either be a hawk very used to people or who was so wet and miserable he’d lost the will to live.  Either way I was happy for his portrait.  
After I got home I unpacked the car (in the rain, no nice carry out boys to shelter me from the elements now) and dragged everything in.  We had a lovely spaghetti dinner with Caesar salad and cheesy garlic bread.  Not your expected camper meal, but it sure was tasty.

I don’t know why I couldn’t sleep after the lovely day, but I just couldn’t settle down.  Normally I’d get up out of bed and go read in the other room, but here the other room is only….well, there isn’t any other room.  The dining area is about six feet from the bunks.  I’d also snitch some ice cream from the freezer since I was up, but here there’s no ice cream because the freezer only holds two trays of ice cubes.  So I laid there and planned all the things I was going to do in the morning and couldn’t wait for dawn to break.

Well, I missed dawn completely and got up at noon.  I guess that confirms it...I’ve become my cat. 
Saturday was spent just hanging out in the canned ham and playing cribbage and reading.  It was a pretty lazy day and very enjoyable.  We did for a power walk(aka fast forced march) around the campground for about 45 minutes.  The state patrol car was there watching for speeders and I apologized for going against the “Wrong Way” sign, but he said he’d overlook it this time. When we replied to his question of “where are you’all from?” with Wisconsin, he shivered and said he didn’t know how anyone could live up there in temperatures like that.  I guess that explained why we had our jackets off and he was sitting in a squad car with the heater going.

Supper Saturday night was Chicken stir fry with rice and watermelon chunks for dessert.  If nothing else we eat and sleep good on this trip.

I skipped going into town today to post the blog as Left Brain seemed a bit perturbed that I was going every day to do this, plus it was the Sabbath, so it felt good to chill out.  But on Sunday he’s going to want to go find the football game somewhere, so I’ll get this out then.  Thank G-d for football.  I never thought I'd say THAT.

Long life the Ice Queen....brrrrr.




Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011 More Q&A

the fridge and microwave
Is that fridge really big enough?  No.  But since we have a plug-in electric cooler that we used on the way down, that is the overflow fridge in the cabana room.  That is where we store most of the   beverages that take up space.  The inside fridge is more for food storage and ice cubes.  The freezer is just big enough for two full size ice cube trays and one small zip lock bag of ice.

remember to duck and roll!
How do you get in and out of the bunks?  Very carefully.  For the bottom bunk there are two approaches.  You either sit on the tool bench and go into a tuck position and roll in, or amble in on hands and knees and flip over (my preferred method).  There are reading lights at the head of each bed which is nice so the other person (Left Brain) is not disturbed.  He’s disturbed enough as it is.

How do you use the shoilet?  Again, very carefully.  To avoid bumping on the shower and getting wet we have found it’s safer to step in with the right foot, carefully seat yourself and pull the other foot in (or not).  Exiting is a reverse of this to avoid having to turn around (nearly impossible for portly people).  Flushing is accomplished by reaching back in once you are fully extracted from the shoilet and pulling the lever.  The light switch is outside, so sometimes you find yourself sitting in the dark, but it’s too much work to get out again so you just deal with it.

storage over sink
Is there enough storage for food and kitchen items.  Amazingly, yes.  There are three drawers—one for silverware, one for dishtowels & rags and one for junk.  The overhead cupboard holds the plates. The open cupboard over the sink holds the glasses and some canned items as well as She Devil’s insulin supplies.  The open storage over the fridge has a microwave on a shelf, with food storage supplies (baggies, saran wrap, etc) underneath.  To the side of the microwave are the taller items such as cereal and pancake mix.  On top of the microwave is the bread storage. Left Brain’s coffee maker sits in front as it is lifted out and used on the table for his cup of coffee and then stored.  Paper towels and Kleenex sit in front of the microwave so only a couple of things need to be moved to use it.  Having the cabana up allows for the toaster over to sit out there on a table where it’s dry and safe.

Where do you keep your clothes?  We each have a large plastic tub in the back of the car for our clothes since nothing we wear needs ironing.  There is a handing rod in the shoilet that I’ve added some hangers to in the event we need to hang our evening gowns, but that opportunity hasn’t risen yet.  And Left Brain was so looking forward to wearing his.

That's it for todays Q&A.  My but you people have a lot of questions!  Please feel free to post questions in the comments section and I'll try to answer them.

Long Live the Queen


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday, January 20th, 2011


dining area as it came
Here is a photo of the dinette area as we bought the camper and then photos to show the changes we have made.  Since space is of the essence in a small living environment, it’s crucial to use every inch.

Due to the lack of counter space one of the first modifications we made were to add a sink cover (hereto referred to as “the dishwasher”) to hide the dishes, a stove top cover  to add a level surface and an extension table to the left of the cook area.

Here are some answers to those questions you might have:

magnetic board over stove
Why is there a magnetic board on the wall?  We put up the largest dry erase/magnetic board I could find on the blank wall to hold all the little everyday things.  It’s working great to keep photos of our grandkids, holding the potholders, coupons, receipts and She Devil’s insulin syringes.  I added magnetic strips to the cup for her needles and to the remote control.  The TV/DVD folds up and under the cabinet when not in use, which is often.


bunk bed set up
 Why do you have office supplies at the foot of the bed?  Office Max has the perfect black mesh letter holders that we installed over one window for office supplies and at the foot of my bunk to hold my Kindle and miscellaneous items such as change of underwear, socks, slippers and the like.

She Devil taking a snooze
What are the boxes at the end of the table?  Two collapsible fabric drawers are at the end of the table, one for each of us, to hold our personal items and as a laptop stand when they are not in use.  She Devil has her own smaller container in the corner for her treats, brushes and toys.  She wanted a larger one like us, but we explained that she doesn’t need to be able to actually sleep IN it, just to store her things.  She was  bummed but seems to be over it now.

Why is there a tool chest by the bed one might ask?  Well, let me tell you.  This acts as clothes storage for him and provides a step to the upper bunk.  It then doubles as a bench to sit on to put on ones shoes.  You can’t sit on the lower bunk without fear of concussion.

Why are their yoga mats at the end of each bunk?  Since getting in and out of the bunks requires some yoga moves, it seemed appropriate to use them for daytime storage of shoes and personal items when the table area is being used.  At night we roll up the shoes and whatever into the mats and place them on one of the bench seats or table so She Devil has a bench open for napping.  It’s all about the comfort of the cat.  They keep the bedding clean and provide another valuable surface.

comfy seating for two people...
 and one cat
How can two people possibly fit at that table?  Well, two thinner people would probably have no problem, but we’ve made it work.  Only one person can sit down at a time, they then pull the table as tight to them as possible while the other seats themselves.  I think it is a physical manifestation of the push/pull required in a marriage.  Doing dishes involves one person standing at the sink and handing the dishes to the person seated for drying.  Who ever sits first is able to invoke the right to say “would you hand me _____(fill in the blank)”. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We had rain again last night and I dutifully ran out to put the cooler up on something in case it flooded out there. It’s a good thing the sides were all down since all I grabbed were slippers for my feet.  The neighbors really don’t need to see a pasty white heavyset naked woman rearranging furniture in the wee hours of the morning.

The morning showed that we only had a small puddle by the steps and that was easily swept away.  After a nice outdoors breakfast we cleaned up and Left Brain installed my countertop extension board.  The stove cover board we worked on last night was a perfect fit after adding one felt foot to balance it.  We can’t abide anything unbalanced in this household except us.

I would like to share a lovely poem from one of my many goofy friends.  This one lives in Waupun...not the prison, just the regular population.  At least I think she’s still on the outside, but her husband did recently retire so there may have been a felony assault charge.  I’m not sure.  Anyway...I will post the verse from Isaiah 11:6 as it should be and then as she puts it.  She does offer her apologies to Isaiah.

Honey, do you hear rain?
" The wolf will live  with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling  together;
and a little child will lead them." 

The Jester will live the Left Brain,
The Chick will lie down with the Old Goat,
The Queen and the King in the Hamlet together,
and a little feline will lead them."

She also suggested Left Brain and I wear green leggings to create “green legs and ham”, but I thought it might be fun to bring in the big guy himself as shown in this photo.


 

Tuesday January 18th, 2011

Woke to a beautiful sunny day.  What a difference this makes in ones outlook on life.

Left Brain went out to wax the trailer.  I did my part by staying out of the way and playing scrabble on the computer.  I’d play against She Devil, but I hate getting beat by a cat.  There’s no arguing with a 20 pound cat that bites if you disagree with her.

After the waxing was done we laid our the floor tarp and commenced to setting up the cabana tent attachment.  We’d both  been secretly fearing this task as the posts on the R-Pod Nation website warned how difficult this is. Obviously they’ve never wrestled with EZ Up tents and other camping gear before.  We had this puppy up and staked down in about 15—20 minutes.

Then I set up the deluxe camper kitchen from an earlier  Wal-Mart excursion.  I really thought he’d mock it, but it seemed to impress him.  You just never know.  I set the table up over the wheel for the toaster oven and made a living room with two chairs and a small table.  The cabana has floor space of about 8’ x 10’, so it adds a lot of ROOM to our camping experience.  Not to mention it will keep us dry and comfy.

Modifications were added to a wooden board to situate over the gas stove top for additional countertop space and Left Brain will install the folding extension table tomorrow.  It’s all starting to come together.

He mentioned that he needed to make a run to the Hardware store and I immediately volunteered to do this chore for him. It would have taken him probably 30 minutes max for this.  It took me about three hours or more.  First I decided to call a friend to chat and missed the turn out of the park...twice.  I’m sure the nice couple walking their husky figured I was totally lost, and they were right to a degree.  Left Brain had programmed in the directions to Ace Hardware and I had it really confused by ignoring it over and over again.

I finally got out of the park (I have the same problem with stores in malls, I just keep circling and circling.  I would never make it as a lab rat) and proceeded down the highway. The GPS kept directing me to turn and announced “You have arrived” but I couldn’t see any hardware store. I decided I’d stop somewhere for lunch and check the computer.  My first stop was Applebee’s and this was no easy task.  If you’ve ever driven in Florida the first thing you notice is the lack of frontage roads. Everything just pulls off from the highway.  You can usually see where you want to go, but you can’t always get there.  When they apologized for not having Wi-Fi I said “no problem”...and then I left.  I punched in Panera on the GPS and found it with only minor problems. Yes, back in the land of the internet!  I found the phone number of the hardware store and called them for better directions.  They asked if I was directed to Outback and I said yes and asked if they were nearby. Nope, this just seems to happen with some GPS.  It had me going the opposite direction of what was needed.  Got to the hardware store and found everything needed and returned to base camp.

We enjoyed a lovely afternoon in our cabana and Left Brain went off to take a shower.  We aren’t going to tackle showing in the shoilet yet due to limits on the holding tank.  That adventure will wait until February when we have sewer hookups.  That should be interesting.  We grilled some supper and ate outside.  Now I’m really on vacation!  There’s talk of taking a hike and getting the camera out tomorrow as the weather continues to be nice.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rainy Days and Mondays always make me blue

Snuggled into our cozy little camper beds we listened to the thunderstorm and rain all night long, knowing that we were dry and comfortable for the night.  The sound of the rain on the roof was divine.  Since it continued into the morning and we know we could not put the cabana on we decided to make a Camping World and Wal-Mart run to return the stuff that didn’t work and get others that might.

As Left Brain opened the door to run out to the car he noticed the impressively large puddle in front of our home.  It seems we now have lake front property.  His boots are water proof so that was no problem.  I opted to wade out in my flip flops and wipe my feet off in the car before putting on my shoes.  The forest floor of sandy dirt and pine needles took on another dimension when wet….not nearly as attractive.

We found a McDonalds while out and about and were able to get on to their Wi-Fi and check emails and publish my blog post from the previous day.  That part we agree on.  However, the rest of  our plans for the day were a bit different.

My plan:  Go do some shopping, have a nice lunch at a restaurant and catch a movie.

His plan:  Go get our business done and come back to the camper.

His plan won.  I fixed supper when we got back since we were both starved and supper was over by 4:30.  This must be part of the seniors early bird supper routine.  Left  Brain compromised by doing the dishes.

The rain has stopped and hopefully things will dry out by tomorrow and we can wipe the mud off everything and attempt putting up the cabana.  Then I will have to start the interviews for my cabana boy!