Camping in the Rain

Mikkey — one worn out camper. (The black cord is my tablet charger.)

When I made our reservations for White Tail Ridge, the long range weather forecast predicted a mix of cloudy and partly cloudy days with one thunderstormy day.

What we actually got were several thunderstorms, lots of drizzle, and one partly cloudy day — our last camping day!

We took both the Casita and the van. Having the extra room kept us from getting grumpy when we were cooped up during thunderstorms. We didn’t get a waterfront site this time, but the shade was nice during the rare sunny periods.

We would have left early except that I was certain I would find mushrooms after all that rain. My payoff? One log with fatally poisonous mushrooms in the button stage!

I believe these are baby deadly galerina mushrooms.

The days were hot and steamy. One day (between rains) the real-feel temperature got up to 103. I had very reluctantly bought a portable air conditioner for my tiny van. Reluctantly, because it takes up a huge amount of room!

Note the big honking portable air conditioner. It looked fine to me when the real feel temperature outside was 103, and it was deliciously cool inside the van.

After the trip I decided it was definitely worth giving up that 14 x 18 inches! It was not the style I wanted, but it was the only one I could find to fit in the 23 inches between the table top and ceiling. The cab of my micro van is too small to put a unit in the front of the van.

I made a temporary holder for the exhaust hose in the passenger window, and ran the drain line out of the power cord hole in the floor. It worked beautifully! So I’ll make a permanent version for my next trip.

There were holes in the ground all over the place where trees once were — hidden beneath the fallen leaves and undergrowth. I stepped in a couple of them.

The nicest thing about the trip was a group of 7 families, all relatives and neighbors from a fairly local small town. The guys fished (not very successfully) but every single person was warm, welcoming and friendly. Even the teenagers were courteous and friendly to us. People like that go a long way toward restoring faith that there really are a lot of good people around, despite what you hear on the news!

The only trumpet flower I saw had been knocked down by the rain.

We ate sandwiches and take-out mostly. Here, for posterity, is proof that I actually cooked for hubby — once!

Braised pork chops with Brussels sprouts cooked in the pan sauce. Yum!!!

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Celebrating Jesus' Resurrection and his soon return

Not Again!

I had to cancel my reservations for this weekend.

My van’s remote keys are working intermittently, my clock display disappears at times, and my right brake light got dimmer and dimmer, then went out yesterday. So I am thinking it is probably electrical problems.

I do have a warranty that should cover the repairs, but it breaks my heart to have to cancel another camping trip.

The Best Laid Plans…


Today I had planned to leave for 3 days camping at Whitetail Ridge. I hadn’t felt well for a few days, but I was determined to go no matter what. Yesterday I got hit by waves of nausea on and off all day — but I was still dead set on going.

This morning I felt even worse. The prospect of spending 3 days sick on a cot in a microvan forced a decision to postpone the trip.

So I’ll just share some random photos with you until I can take you along on a new camping trip. Very soon, I hope!

tiny camper sink and water supply

Another van photo. This shows a close-up of my fresh and grey water supply, sink stand, along with a folding dishpan/tote sandwiched between the stand and the refrigerator.

portable solar panel stored in a small camper van

This is the 120 watt portable solar panel stowed behind the passenger seat.


One of my winter sanity savers. An Aerogarden lettuce patch! This picture was taken a while back when the plants were small. I’ve since harvested it several times. What fun to pick a couple of lettuce leaves for a sandwich in my own kitchen!


My dear friend and neighbor is always bringing me thoughtful little gifts. Lately she has been bringing me heavenly smelling miniature spring bulb flowers.

For Love of Mikkey


We are head over heels in love with little Mikkey.

Chihuahuas are not supposed to be like this.  He is almost 90% paper trained.  He gets all of his #1’s on the paper and most of the #2’s.  I had read that this breed was notoriously difficult to pottie train.  Not Mikkey.

And he was SO easy to teach not to bite.  He will mouth fingers, but no more biting!

I took him to the vet Tuesday.  He loved everyone and didn’t bark once.  He did pee when the receptionist picked him up, though.  Otherwise it was just wriggly, wagging tail greetings to everyone.  He did let out a shriek when the vet stuck him with a needle, but was friends with her again as soon as she petted him.

The only time he barks is when he is playing with his toys.  He barks, butt high in the air and head low in his play stance.   Ron stomped at him in fun yesterday and Mikkey barked 3 times at him.  Ron has agreed not to play with him that way again.  We don’t want any aggression or fear to develop.


He is a quiet little dog!  And so loving!  He is the world’s most wonderful lap dog — my dream come true doggie.

I still look at Sunny’s photos and love him so dearly.  And I realized that the reason I feel like Mikkey is an extension of Sunny is because it is the same love.

He is too fast to get pictures of him in motion.  He runs like lightning.  There is no way we can beat him to the door — or anything else.  He really is Mikkey Motor!

But when he snuggles, wow.  I feel such love and absolute trust in his warm, furry little body limp in my lap while he naps.  My heart just basks in his love.

We definitely got the right dog!

It’s pretty obvious we aren’t going to be able to fulltime anytime soon.  There are just too many medical tests and stuff.  I did find out that the reason I have gained 25 pounds in 2 years is due to Hashimoto’s thyroid disease (an autoimmune condition), as well as some of my meds making me prone to weight gain.  But the thyroid condition is very common and easily controlled with thyroid hormones.

The weight gain is trickier.  I look at myself in the mirror and hardly recognize myself.  It looks like I have no choice but to go back on an ultra low carb diet.  Those of you that I’ve met in person would be shocked at how I look now.

My doctor mentioned diet pills, but I declined.  Everyone I know who has ever taken them loses weight fast, then it rebounds worse than ever when they go off them.  But at least I’m willing to discuss it now.

But none of that matters when I’m snuggled up with my Mikkey.  🙂

Oh, the cataract operation on my left eye is scheduled for September 9.  I’ll be so glad to get that done.  Being able to see perfectly out of one eye and half blind in the other is annoying and causes headaches.



We Got a Cuddler

Mickey on my lap

Mikkey on my lap

Mikkey is the sweetest little cuddler you can imagine.  We are thrilled with our new baby (most of the time).

Mikkey on lapp2He bites.  I read that with a chihuahua you must train them not to bite when they are small or they can be aggressive when they become adults.  I bought him scads of bones and toys of all kinds and thought I was starting to make a little progress tonight, so I told Mikkey, “You are such a good little boy!”  He promptly bit my nose. Hard!

Also, he knew what pee pads were for, even though he only used them for #1.  But we picked up some cheaper ones that don’t contain the attractant scent that lets them know that’s where to go.  So now I have pads all over the floor, and he chooses to avoid them and use a more appealing (to him) open space.  I know I should keep him confined in his pen until he understands that he is to go on the pad.  But we do so love to see him race around.  Sometimes we call him Mikkey Motor.  The flame collar suits him.  🙂

So I’ll pick up some of the right pads tomorrow, scrub the floor with OdoBan, and see if we can start over.

His just-cleaned house before all the toys are piled back into it -- and all over the living room floor!

His just-cleaned house before all the toys are piled back into it — and all over the living room floor!

I don’t know how such an incredibly loving, submissive (he rolls over for us to scratch his belly or pick him up) can be so aggressive with the biting.

But I’m watching a lot of chihuahua videos and reading everything I can on how to train them, so I’m sure it will work.  Eventually!

I had the cataract surgery on my right eye and it is truly a miracle.  I discovered I have been seeing the world through an olive-greenish yellow filter.  Colors are stunning now.

I go inThursday to schedule the left eye.


I am having to postpone the eyelid surgery until next spring.  We had so much going on with the two trips to Florida, then there were other tests and procedures to schedule, so it just didn’t work out.

Camping seems like a far off, much longed for mirage at this point.  But I am still hoping we can make it down to Florida in November for the winter.




News from Sheba!

Sheba's new owner sent me this picture taken today.  Look at her face!  I am teary with joy at what a perfect home she has now!

Sheba’s new owner sent me this picture taken today. Look at her face! I am teary with joy at what a perfect home she has now!

We’re Home

We just got home a couple of hours ago.

Thankfully there was no sign of mice, no broken pipes, and nothing missing. It looked like we had just been gone a few days.

And the projects look a lot less daunting than I had built them up in my mind.

Sunny is ecstatic to be home.

Ron has gone to buy new batteries for the smoke detectors with instructions to bring home taco salads.

And we are so excited about our new goals of fulltiming and eventually buying a small home base in Florida.

Life is still good. 🙂

Home Tomorrow

Commitment and persistence.

Commitment and persistence.

I am trying to face going home tomorrow “with the grace of a woman, and not the grief of a child.”

Once we leave here tomorrow morning, we will be plunged into a maelstrom of tasks, chores, medical appointments, etc. and probably won’t even have time to think for a few days.

Then the real work starts.

I had planned to redo the bathrooms a year or so ago. My normal procedure is to research how to do projects, watch Youtube videos to learn techniques, then plunge in over my head and eventually end up with a decent job done.

That doesn’t work anymore. I learned I simply don’t have the physical strength to do carpentry and remodeling anymore.

So those projects remain undone. And if we are to sell the place, the kitchen counters also need to be redone.

So my job for the foreseeable future will be scheduling handymen to do the work as I can afford each project. I can’t afford to hire professionals. Hopefully I can find some gifted, reliable handymen.

But back to dreams of fulltiming…

Tinycamper laundry.  :)

Tinycamper laundry. 🙂

It has been rainy here, but yesterday we got a break in the weather long enough to do a little laundry with my Wonder Wash and spin dryer.

That was pure fun to me… and the wash smelled so fresh after drying in the sun and breeze.

But the real world calls, and we will answer tomorrow.

Just Pictures

It’s foggy and overcast this morning. But I have a good enough signal to upload photos, so I’ll post some from yesterday.

I love the COE's safety signs.

I love the COE’s safety signs.

tmp_1367-alligator alley-1694633834

The alligators were getting out of hand the last time we camped here. One man told us that when he brought his boat into this canal after dark, the red, glowing eyes of the alligatos along this bank looked like Christmas lights.

This is the area where the young alligator chased baby Sheba.  it used to have all kinds of vegetation in the water and on the banks.  I'm sure that's why they've mowed the bank and trimmed the aquatic plants back.

This is the area where the young alligator chased baby Sheba. It used to have all kinds of vegetation in the water and on the banks. I’m sure that’s why they’ve mowed the bank and trimmed the aquatic plants back.

There are dug up areas along the road.  It's not bad enough to be feral hogs, so I think it's armadillos.  Here they were probably going for the young bull thistle's turnip tasting roots.

There are dug up areas along the road. It’s not bad enough to be feral hogs, so I think it’s armadillos. Here they were probably going for the young bull thistle’s turnip tasting roots.

Gorgeous little flowers.

Gorgeous little flowers.

Young 2nd year bull thistle beginning to send up celery tasting flower stalk.

Young 2nd year bull thistle beginning to send up celery tasting flower stalk.

This fallen pine tip looked like a still life to me.

This fallen pine tip looked like a still life to me.

Former lake denizens

Former lake denizens

Critter tracks

Critter tracks

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