This morning I awaken happy….and then wonder why?

Is it because we are planning our “trip of all trips”?  Is it because spring is really coming?  Is it because we are healthy enough to enjoy exercising?  Not sure what the answer is but I will take these happy feelings anytime they want to show.

We are simultaneously working on the house, yard and Casita.  Doing some clearing of surplus kitchen wares, chucking out the unused items.  How did we ever manage to collect so much stuff?  When traveling, the Casita kitchen drawer has 6 spoons, 4 forks and miscellaneous knives.  Not paring (pun) that far down but attempting to drastically reduce unnecessary items.

Our yard is alternately a source of joy and a crushing burden.  Twelve years have been spent playing in the dirt…digging, planting, weeding.  Now, due to our traveling, guilty feelings over plant mistreatment are emerging.

Spending the afternoon trimming bushes and pulling weeds reignited my plant passion.  Underneath a layer of leaves, sticks and vines were tiny shasta daisys, black-eyed susans and larkspur.  My once prized day lilies were smothered in weeds, their nametags bent and crushed into the ground. 

Dear plants…I promise to take care of you for the next 8 weeks.  Then you are on your own again!

Yesterday involved a trip to Lowes looking for unnamed items  needed for the Casita.  They were unnamed because we saw several things at the rally and did not know what to call them.  Every time a clerk would say “May I help you?”, we would start describing a product, they would scratch their head, lead us to an aisle, leaving us looking.

Trying to figure how to easily cover our Casita windows to block out light.  We still have our blinds and not interested in making another set of curtains….been there, done that and got the T-shirt when we had the 13 footer!

Remembering someone discussing Reflectix and not paying attention ‘cause of having no intentions of being anywhere cold.  Found it a Lowe’s and guess we’ll try it to darken the windows.

Another project will be converting our solar panels to a more user friendly arrangement.  While in Arizona last year we purchased an inexpensive Harbour Freight 45 watt solar kit.  Rather than getting rid of it and buying something new (and more expensive), the goal is to find a way to store and set up it up easily.  Thought about putting hinges on two of the three panels.  Does anyone know the results of putting screws in the sides of solar panels?

Can’t quit this post without showing some pictures.  Took a walk down memory lane when I found these old pictures from 2010 to 2012. 

They will need to bloom without us this year!




DSC_1631DSC_3758Lady in Red Hydrangea

Mary's Gold

TN Sensation

Asiatic lilyChorus Line


Spring Snow: Ten Good Things!



I’m sitting at the kitchen table watching the snow flakes meander through the back yard.  I can’t believe my eyes but, outside, the bitter howling wind tells me it’s real though it’s been spring for a week.

Surely Mother Nature had something positive in mind when she refused to admit Spring!  Can I think of anything good about this?

  1. Lovely to look at, snow contrasting with new green grass.
  2. My fuzzy new winter coat will get to be worn.
  3. This dose of winter will make us appreciate the warmth when it comes…if it comes!
  4. Can’t wash the Casita!
  5. Lots of time to prepare the taxes as there is no desire to go outside.
  6. Can look forward to a tasty meal of Wendy’s chili tonight….chili is better when it’s cold outside.
  7. The cold will help kill the bugs…..(heard this all my life and hope it’s true).
  8. Reminds me why I am glad to be a southerner.  Can’t fathom 14 inches…(better you than me, Carla!)
  9. Lesson learned!  If you are somewhere warm, stay there until April!
  10. And, the best thing, it will be gone soon!

Desperately clutching at straws here!

One more wintry day before the temperature starts climbing toward the 60’s.


Last Monday night, while still at Miller’s Ferry, a huge storm hit us with lightening, rain, wind and hail.  The new antenna was lowered and we hunkered down, watching the hail pile up outside and weathering our first storm in a long time. 

A few days later we are heading to the fiberglass egg rally at Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville, AL. 



This is a great place for a rally!  The park had electric, water and sewer hookups, an enclosed pavilion with a fireplace and was located on a lake.  Sounds like a great egg gathering!

But it was 26 degrees Thursday morning and we wimped out, leaving after 24 hours of fighting the brutal wind.  I was ready to be home, out of the cold. 


Florence, Alabama friends’ egg.

No plans to travel for a few weeks…it’s time to work around the house and yard…..when we can!



Five Fast Days! The 2013 GE&H


Can’t believe that it’s over!  I’m talking about our first trip to the Green Eggs and Ham rally that’s held at Miller’s Ferry in Camden, AL.  This is a fiberglass egg celebration with a St Patty’s Day theme.

On arrival last Tuesday we are disappointed to have reserved a campsite so far from the central hub of activity.  The letdown did not last long as a bitter cold wind is blowing across the lake forcing those with the prime lakefront sites to huddle down in their campers.  Meanwhile we are basking in the warm morning sun, the wind blocked by the thick foliage.   Our site is on an inlet, far from the river, and it’s situated so we can slip our kayaks into the stream.


This is our view from back window.  Alligators were reported to live here but none are sighted.



It appears that we are all alone…..and we are!

Peaceful, quiet, spending our time watching the egrets and turtles.  But this is not why we drove 275 miles!  We came to socialize!

On Friday, with the temps rising into the 70’s, we found ourselves moving to a river front site, closer to friends, but still private.



We are feeling like we’re in a brand new campground…with morning sun and afternoon shade.

This is the unopened pot from the chili dump, my first night of overeating.


If there is a complaint about the rally, it is that the food is too good and too abundant!  The first night started with chili, progressed to gumbo and ended with an unbelievable pot luck.


Eating and socializing pavilion.


Morning tech talk led by Ray.

Friday’s egg parade…(where everyone got a chance to show off their camper.)

DSC_4967 Little Snoozy

Primary occupant of the Little Snoozy


Our Texas friends with their Escape.



Kentucky friends!


The sites are so spacious, some trailers double on a single site.

More of the Texas Casitas.




Sunset from site 21.


Bridge over Alabama River and hubby in kayak.



Our new walmart TV antenna and painter’s pole mast…..works great.  Good Morning America!

Yesterday the masses left and it seemed like a good time to host a dinner party for a few old friends.  Not experienced in camp entertaining, we opted for burgers and dogs.DSC_4970

Hubby tending the charcoal.


Guests arrive!

Lovely evening…note to self…must do more of this!

Today finds us alone again with the last egg pulling out this morning.  And we are dug in for a few days until it’s time to head to another rally in Alabama at Joe Wheeler State Park.

Any one want to join us?


Spring Cleaning and a delivery


I awaken early, feeling excited about the day! 

No, I’m not looking through a window seeing sunshine and desert views, but this is my first day of spring!  Warm enough to  start on the Casita cleaning and the day Amazon has promised to deliver a few toys!

Our tiny home desperately needs a good bath, some wax and a through cleaning inside. 

I start inside with removing all of the cushions, bed covers and  memory foam laying them out in the driveway to soak up the abundant sunshine.  Have I ever aired them (must be a southern term) before?  Nooo!

This is a good time to display the insert that hubby made.



The three sided box is the sun streaming in around the blinds.

We are blessed to be able to sleep together, comfortably, in the small Casita bed.  This insert helps  tremendously as I am the one on the inside, the one that must have some base to be able to crawl over the dead sleeping husband in the middle of the night.

Cleaning the blinds and the spills on the floor were my main objectives, but once started, I realized that there was really a lot that needed attention.  Vacuumed and scrubbed while hubby hung on a ladder washing the top.  Yellow pollen from all the Florida pines was covering the trailer!

Later, while inside taking a break, I heard the distinctive sound of a delivery truck stopping in front of the house.  Excited, I rushed out and met the man in the yard.  (No, we do not often get packages.)


RV Sue, (do I really need to post the link?), has partnered with Amazon and has recommended items for camping and home.  This was our first order….many other items are on the wish list and can wait for later.


The sewer hose is on Sue’s list.

The Sleek is something I ran across in Florida…a couple from Maine had one.  They bought it for their wilderness home with a poor Verizon connection and brought it along for their winter escape. 

Not too sure if this is my answer for better coverage….will not be able to recommend it until we go deeply into the Alabama outback next week. 

Plan to add another antenna if it does not do the job!

Before bedtime, I could not wait.  Tore open the boxes and hooked the Sleek up, suctioning the antenna to the glass deck door.  Although we live in the middle of a city, we are in a hole between two ridges and only get 3 bars of Verizon coverage. 

The phone immediately jumped to 5 bars!


(Please excuse photography!  I need to to work on my indoor night skills!)

Plan on one more day of Casita cleaning, then, Alabama here we come!  Can’t wait to see old friends!


Looking Back--FL Trip


What a difference a week (and 500 miles) makes! 

Last Saturday morning the sun was shining, balmy breezes blowing and I was in a tee shirt and shorts.  Cold, icy and low thirties are greeting this  day….I’m wondering if I will have the fortitude to get out for a hike later?

It’s been a difficult week, weather wise, as we have only seen the sun for a few hours.  Trying not to get down in the dumps, focusing on the next trip and promises of 60 degrees next week.

Spent the week going through two months of mail, paying bills, getting hair cuts and reconnecting with our cats, family and friends.  Thank you, Shonda, for being a great foster mom…both of our babies look great!


Another first!  Movies in the morning! After a doctor’s appointment yesterday, at 10:20 AM, we went to see Silver Linings Playbook.  Great show!  Love this retirement thing…

Now the boring stuff!  As promised, gas and lodging expenses have been tallied.  Food costs are about the same traveling as at home with a little less restaurant dining while camping.

We drive a 2002 Toyota Tacoma, pull a 2002 16' Casita and carry two 12’ kayaks on top of the truck.  The kayaks effect our gas mileage…averaging from 15 to 16 miles per gallon.

Total mileage was 3100 miles and gasoline costs were $672, paying from around $3.50 to $3.97 (once!)  We started in the Florida panhandle and went as far south as Venice.  Subtracting our normal (home) monthly expenditure for gas, $150… the trip gas costs were $372.

Camped for 60 nights with sites ranging from $40 (two nights) at Mexico Beach down to $0 at a friend’s house.  We averaged $29 per night for 6 days at Myakka State Park.  The higher fees were paid so we could spend quality time with old friends….a great return for our investment!

We enjoyed ten nights in the Florida State parks with the price ranging from $22 to $29.  Loved the wildness of the parks but felt crowded in the campgrounds and wished they gave some kind of break for out of state senior citizens….FL senior residents camp for half price. 

Thirty-three nights we paid $12 or less.  Our favorite places were secluded and without hookups, Dorr Lake and the primitive area of Salt Springs, both in the Ocala National Forest.  Total cost for camping was $799.00, averaging $13.32 per night.

Also bought a new battery, $98, and one trip to a RV repair, $95.

What would we do differently?  Spend more time camping without hookups, invest in a new tv antenna, get a cell booster and don’t forget to pack the inverter!

What mods did I enjoy?  Our new clothes line and the high rise kitchen faucet.  Had no idea that both would constantly be used!

We have loved our time in the Casita….wish I could make being at home as much fun as being gone!

Come on Spring!  It’s time to get ready to go again!