From my friend Bob's blog.....
Ive been busy and ive been sick÷well, actually I have asthma. my asthma can be brought on by excertion/excersize, food alergies, cold air temps or mold n mildew. ive been helping a dear friend clean up thier stored stuff that had been thier life in a 31ft motorhome. shortly after their live in and elderly mother passed, the troublesome motorhome died as well. it has been nearly three years that my friend has kept the old life in storage. it was time to dig out and bring her inportant things back to life. we have been handling the project in stages. some items were stored at friends homes, some at a storage facility and some in a utility trailer.
we began this project by going after the utility trailer which was stored a couple hours away. i recall my exhusband and I having a travel trailer at one time. i dont, however, recall if I ever drove with it...so, i pulled up my proverbial bootstraps and off we went into utility trailer towing history lol. we found the trailer with flat tires. the lights worked fine, but the hitch and ball didnt click like i thought it should have....off we went to find a gas station with an air pump. now with full tires i can pick up speed. stop at a red light, then a jolt and shudder...i turn and ask the friend if they thought the car behind us hit the trailer. light changes and we pull forward maybe 100 feet and the crash n scraping and....i stopped as i saw the trailer coming toward the back of the van ... whoa... well, safely stopped - im a pretty good driver! the trailer came off. the safery chains did thier job and my rear door mounted tire kept the back of the van from damage. now how do you suppose we got a loaded trailer back off the ground an correctly attached to the van? we thought about jacking it up and then called a tow truck for help...tow truck drivers can be so nice. he did need to unbend one handle and got us all hooked up. and this time the tongue and ball clicked! of course i drove slowly after that - what an adventure!
most of the friends things were gone through the other day. it was a long hard day of dump and sort. the kind you might see on a reality show. then the tougher decision making and emotional work my friend endured to get her life more manageble. she did a fantastic job! though there will be more to do to finish up, she has a good head start.
and then my asthma took over my lungs and life and ive been in bed a couple days. probably from breathing the mold, mildew and dust while doing the big sort.
As adventures go this past week and weekend rate up there as one of the best. Perhaps a little mild kind of adventure as adventures go.
In my travels, I meet a lot of people and make a lot of friends. Now that I am Road-Tripping the USA, I visit friends along the way. A friend that I made in Arizona this past fall, invited me to visit his 'life' for a few days. After leaving Beaver Lake Dam, Arkansas we met up outside of Saint Louis, in Pontoon Beach, Illinois. I got to see inside of his trucks semi cab and even watched WWE Wrestling in a truckers lounge. We met up again a couple days later in his tiny hometown to participate in their annual Summer Fest.
While traveling from Pontoon Beach through Illinois, my tablet kept beeping weather warnings. After spending almost two months in Arkansas with threats of Severe Thunderstorms and Tornados, I have a healthy respect for weather alert beeps. I also have a bit of leftover trauma from mountain top hail and lightening storms that I hiked through while on the Appalachian Trail. Most of the warnings in Illinois were flood warnings and I drove past some very high rivers. Then I saw the wall of rain ahead of me and coming closer, as the drops began to fall, I reached to turn on the windshield wipers and oh my gosh nothing happened....I mean nothing, Momentarily my heart beat stopped, then the downpour hit with full force as motorcycles pulled off and trucks wizzed past. I pulled under a overpass and decided it was best to just sit out the rain. I checked everything I could think of and came up empty. So about half an hour later I carefully pulled by onto the highway amidst drizzels and made my way to the first gas station where there was this really strange black cloud swirling really fast....I ducked into a parking lot and went inside the building. Sfter the storm passed, I made my way to the local Wallyworld and spent the night. The next day I got directions to a repair shop.Luckly and oddly, the motor that lives just above my gas pedal (I never would have looked there) had come loose. Back on the road and on to...
Loogootee, Indiana is truely small town USA! This is a place where the parade has more participants than it does spectators. Where proud 80+ year old men show off their prize tractors from the 1940's and 1950's. Little red haired freckled 3 year old boys just say hello and show off their new shoes to a lady they've never seen before. Where the mussel cars line up with the model t and 1960 chevy trucks . The menonite and amish famillies mill around at same time as young teens in short shorts and cowboy boots. The 2 block long food and vendor stands busy with neighborly visits, lots of lemonaide and fried everything even candy bars.
Ice cream socials, crafty women and youngsters keeping thier hands busy with knitting and crocheting scarves, making cute doorstops out of dressed up bricks. Creating light weight 'cast iron' decorations out of cardboard. Jennifer can't stop taking pictures so she found a way to make these kewl magnets. People here do what they love - Theresa organizes, Deno makes footlong corn dogs and funnel cakes and helped to make this year, especially memorable by getting carnival rides for the first time. Complete with raffles for a 50" flat screened TV and a motorcycle run held by the local VFW to support a local program for disabled vets. Other raffles were set up to help raise money for the community pool fund, to raise money for a women's shelter, another raffle for a Vera Bradley bag (that I won!) And a handmade scarf.
Entertainment came in many forms, 2 young girls (16 &17) made up the Sad Sam Blues Jam...wow! Look them up online. And Terry Lee, an English Harry Conick Jr kind of act complete with local swing dancers - what fun to watch. Wish I could dance like that. I can't recall listening to so much oldies music in a very long time. Oh yeah and the fire department set up a fire safety program and gave out some really nice fire exstinguishers and fire alarms as door prices. The parade was so old school and the little miss princesses and current as well as past years queens made up a large part of the parade on saturday, riding on the convertables from the car show.
Between washing my van and doing laundry this morning and enjoying helping out a little at the Route 50 Cruisers car show, my friend and I decided to have lunch at the local chinese restaurant. The China Wok is a very clean buffet style chinese restaurant. I needed to order a specially prepared lunch because of my food allergies. But, perhaps the funniest entertainment we had was being waited on by a slim young waitress wearing a lot of eye make-up and streaky blonde hair....omgosh she was so funny but I will save that review for my Trip Advisor restaurant reviews.
I seem to have made a couple friends, people are just very friendly in this town. I enjoyed myself tremendously. There were these two young boys, perhaps around 5 years old that were so cute trying to play air guitar and act like head bangers. I wish I had gotten a picture of that. We played and laughed with them. I sure hope that their Mother gets video of them before they get too old. That will be a good tease as they get older.
The festival wound up with a performance by the Linda Smith Band. Linda has so much energy and is a wonderfully possitive and playful performer. She often came off the stage to dance with children and walk through the crowd. Just a lovely and fun ending to yet another good day spent here. The Mayor was pleasant and available and gave an update to the towns goal of upgrading their swimming pool. The town has some major fund raising and grant writing to accomplish this goal. The festival ended with a bang - literally! As the first fireworks display jumped most in the crowd.
Sundays in Loogootee are quiet church and family days. The festival will be a memory to be shared at dinner tables tomorrow as I say my final 'farewells' and head East on Route 64.
If you are in the area in July, I hear that they have a local Catfish Festival which I can only imagine will be a great time.
Hi all. I have made a few blogging decisions. Aren't you all just so exited to hear that? So first off, I set a new goal and I am going to send out new blog posts on Wednesdays and on Sundays for the next two months! And secondly I am cleaning up my internet presence and on next Monday I will be deleting my Facebook account! I am on all things Google and that includes Google+ .
I am excited to give myself a schedule and my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 Mother's Day present from my son is so very helpful, this morning, I got myself a Verbatim bluetooth keyboard to go with it. Omgosh it is so much easier than the old typing on the teeny tiny Huawei Android cellphone.
One of my Full-time RVer buddies sent an email yesterday with some requests for blog posts....a wonderful idea! Thanks Dianne. So I would love to hear what my other readers and friends want to hear....please comment or send me an email. This could be a fun way to inspire me to write more.
My Facebook decision - well, I have been annoyed with Facebook since practically the beginning. Along with daily reminders of who doesn't like or include me in thier lives, postings from people I hardly know that I can't get rid of, and now drive by commercials labeled 'suggestions' grrrr. A family member 'friend' requested some privacy from all thier Facebook 'friends' and the software on my tablet wouldn't let me comply....so I'm done. Done done done, like that Thanksgiving turkey. If you know me personally and want to keep in touch, please email me and we can keep up that way or on Google+. Otherwise, please follow my blog. There are many ways to do that using Apps that are like the old Google reader, RSS feeds, or sign up to follow me through Blogger or email.
Please be patient as I work to improve my blog pages over the next few weeks.
In most everyone's life there is the excitement and anxiousness of a moving day...in the life of Fulltime RVers and Nomadic types there are many more. My campground volunteer friends Dee and Walter had yet another moving day experience yesterday - thier park, Beaver Dam Site near Eureka Springs, Arkansas is beautiful. You can even camp on a lake here. And they say the trout fishing is amazing!
Maybe its 5 times recently that I've woken up with some lyrics to a song stuck in my head or in my dreaming memory. Each time its the same song and it starts on the same phrase - "...tell me why I, never seem to make you happy though God (heaven) knows I try.... make up to brake up thats aaall we do. First you love me then you hate me thats a game for fools..." I lay in bed waking up and knowing that this is about a past relationship (and borders on some other peoples relationships that I've seen recently.) I tend to be a long-term relationship person, even with major issues I try to keep improving myself and my relationships. I don't give up easily - which, perhaps has annoyed former partners or maybe even family members that may have been unable to say that they didn't want to be with me and end it all quick and clean? Of course some people feel more alive with drama beating down thier door, I've been too close to that a few times.
Back to lyrics and dreams - after my divorce, I was in a 17 year on again off again relationship with a man I loved very much. I guess he didn't feel the same, but hey Lesa is an okay person, he may have thought, so why change anything.
In my few years of life, I have learned a bit about myself. Like I give people a lot of rope to hang themselves with...I mean, I'm not a fighter, I was taught not to be at a rather young age. So if you want to fight or argue, I listen carefully and wait to see whats going to happen, because actions always speak lowder than words. If I get angry I usually get teary eyed first and its a long time before I explode. I am a double cancerian too and I am very emotional. I don't lie well, I'm no good at keeping secrets and I like to live genuinely (authentic, transparent, open)... I don't see any reason to lie, cheat, manipulate... if someone asks me a question, I answer it and generally don't wonder "why" they asked it.
Anyway. I trusted this man to protect me and care for and about me for years, even after he proved time and again that he had a weak charecter. He was and probably still is a dreamer, though less of a 'get er done' kinda guy. Super talented, amazingly creative, a good story teller and patient instructor (well not so much with my mathmatic 'handicap' - not really a hanicap I just don't 'get' math). I loved him. My heart was broken. I was depressed, I gained weight, I cried all the time, I was devistated and had physical chest pains for a long time. I learned to not trust my own judgement as I learned the truth about his other life and women, the humiliation of all our friends knowing except me... More lyrics - "I wondered what was wrong with me..." Cheating. I don't understand. If you want to be with someone new, just end the thing you've got going. Wouldn't it be easier, simpler to not have to lie or hide stuff.... I just don't get it. Anyway, now, if I think of it, I feel sad another death of a dream.
Of course I moved. And moved on. Changed cities, states even. Distanced myself from that life, those friends and aquaintences...those daily remminders of not being smart enough to know or sexy enough to keep his interest or good enough to be wanted. Time and distance helped. And then, one day you wake up with song lyrics stuck in your head....
and rain drops rolling down the window
So I think its about time for me to comment on food and health. Any of you who really know me, know I prefer natural, rustic, handmade, even wild..in most things, including health and food.
For 4 years of my life I was a raw vegan, I was a vegetarian for nearly 8 years.
I also have health issues that affect my choices. My asthma, for example, is exasperated by excersize, cold temperatures, food allergies and evironmental allergies and sensitivities.
I studied and dabbled in natural hygene. herbal cures, tribal & native medicine and other alterative cures. I especially like medicine plants that are wild and foraged. And yes Ive dabbled with foraging as well.
And, yes, I love to prepare food - especially for others to enjoy. My favorite preparation methods are using minimal ingredients and simple preparation....often the best food is the way it comes straight from nature. Then add some loving thoughts and handle with caring hands and whala!
Food is a social mixer too, I have learned a lot about other people as well as cultures through my interest in thier favorite foods and preparation methods. And where would event planning and parties be without snacks and food.
I am a rather creative person as well and preparing daily meals is an opportunity to be artistic as well.
Now given all that background...people often ask me to teach them what I know.
I'm often reorganizing my thoughts on the subject because of whats going on with me personally.
Im allergic to dry beans: pintos, garbanzos, black beans, lentils...all of them; also, cranberries; and corn syrup, and soy - all kinds, yup soysauce too, and that stuff on lables called "natural flavor", and purfume, which means laundry soaps, candles, propane and kerosene, tobacco (sorry smokers) and even marajuana - i dont like or do drugs anyway and thats just some of the list!
I love Raw, Wild n unprocessed foods. I prefer them. My life has been saved by Indigenous snake and crocodile oils, rice water from a Japanese recipe, foraged herbal leaf baths and beef broth from a neighbors farm.
I like the ideas of Storm & Jingee, Daniel Vitalis, Anistasia of Russia, among others....
I am looking forward to making my own clay pots and learning more about cooking with them, foraging for more wild foods, and finding a way to preserve some for a stormy day...
and as today was both cold and stormy, I took myself out for a hot bowl of green chilis at El Rancho on Beeline Hwy in Payson, AZ. Not bad for only $6.45. I hope to visit and review more redtraunts - especially raw food ones.
Its incredible how I can spend days hanging around a nice little town like Payson, AZ putzing with errands and steath camping at Casinos, Walmarts and Home Depots. Then a 'camp buddy' suggests a retreat a few miles south because of cold, windy stormy weather and low and behold..... its wow incredibly beautiful and warmer and only 10 miles from town.....
Yesterday, in the morning our buddy EMT-Sarah said her "see ya laters" and headed north toward home. The rest of us caravaned comfortably to our new south of Payson location around Rye, AZ.
Driving in the mountains has been challenging for me personally for a number of reasons. One being after my nervous breakdown that resulted in my becoming disabled, I have experienced hypersensitivity. it often shows up in unexpected areas of my life when i do something both stressfull and physically challenging. For example, I dont recall being afraid of heights, yet while hiking on the Appalacian Trail not too long ago, I went to take a step down one morning and I was frozen and petrified of that next step. Mind you I had been hiking for days, perhaps weeks....and now im afraid of a step? weird. Well now I also recently returned from living in Costa Rica for quite a while, I havent driven much because the public buses are inexpensive and my last car was a Toyota MRII that I owned in NYC....so now Im driving a van in the mountains in Arizona. The van kind of pushes you down hill and picks up speed incredibly fast. Yup then a panic attack kicks in, im hyperventilating and geez.... the first time I experienced this was on the drive from Arkansas to Arizona. I secretly hoped that Id never drive near a mountain again. Well, Payson is in the mountains. I learned that my van has cruise control - its old enough that the letters were warn off, and someone at RTR was kind enough to show me how to use this kind. And on aother trip EMT-Sarah taught me how to shift an automatic (okay hanging my head in embarrasement) Im generally an East Coast girl....I drive standard, stick shift vehicles just fine...I always wondered why automatics had 'gears' when nobody uses them... so im learning to shift an automatic. And guess what? It actually helps. I am not as panicky going down hill, I am slow and I use my flashers for safety. Please dont laugh too loudly when you wizz past me, okay.
As we arrived near our destination yesterday, I was patting myself on the back for safely and more easily shifting my way down the inclines from Payson, when the amazing view of snow capped mountains and wild flowers starting to bloom appeared. We chose our individual campsites and then went for a walk.....oh my gosh...I was spreading my arms and thanking the blossoms for being there to great me, thanking the Great One for creating the beauty and the day, thanking the bugs......the clouds....the camp buddy who thought to share this place.... WE are so lucky! Those of us who can slow down, perhaps travel, those of us who choose to live closer to the earth and the all that is all we are so blessed and lucky to have our daily experiences. Its absolutely incredible what challenging my risk of fear (driving in the mountains, or living in a van, chosing to be diferent) AND a few short miles can bring!
Enjoy you journey!
My friend MA loves quotes, she shared this 'MA's Quote of the Day'
"and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music" Nietiche.....
Dance to your drummer!
Live your tempo! (thanks JZ)
enjoy the warmpth of this day - its finally short sleeve tempurature in the desert.
I really didnt expect either Arkansas or the desert of Arizona to be so crazy cold! brrr... about froze my smartwool socks off a few nites. I have been so very grateful for all the help and advice of fellow full-timers to get me through this. Dee n Walter in Arkansas gifted me reflectix n helped fit it to the windows. A stranger left a mighty warm sleeping bag outside the van at Toad Suck COE Park. Peace Lutheran Church too me under thier wings and blessed me a few nights at a campground, a lovely lunch and some warm blankets. Pastor Ben from Central Church in AR brought me Thanksgiving dinner and firewood and also helped me with nites at a campground so I could plug in an electric heater. After arriving in the AZ desert, Bob Wells and his tribe of Cheapgreenrvliving full-timers were a wealth of knowledge and assistance. Charlene (swankiewheels) especially befriended me and not only helped me stay warm with her xmas gifted blanket, she and I worked together to build my bed and storage bench. One evening, after nearly leaving the tribe because of the bitter cold and wind, she and Cheri showed me how to cacoon my sleeping space for more warmpth....I cant thank them enough. Bob and Brian loaned me a Buddy heater which was wonderfully warm, although I was reminded, after using it a few times, of my allergies and athsma, so I decided to try other ways of staying warm. Here are a few simple things that seem to help:
smartwool (any wool really) socks and wear them to bed!
winter hat and gloves or mittens wear them to bed also.
use an old fashioned hot water bottle n warm up your bed before getting in then hug it while you sleep
before bed, drink hot chocolate with cayenne pepper in it while you chat with friends around a campfire...and speaking of campfires, if your athsma is too active to deal with wood smoke, make an alcohol fire by placing a roll of toilet paper inside an empty medium size coffee can, fill it with rubbing alcohol and let it sit so the tp soaks up the alcohol and then acts as a wick....its a pretty clean burn outdoors.
I am still experimenting with heaters and fuel. My new Kandle Heeter is cute and cozy tho a little small - I got better heat out of it last nite using an unsented candle in an empty tin can....I will keep you posted on this as I practice with it more.
So I pass the help along as other newbies arrive to visit or join the tribe. Making coffee or hot chocolate and encouraging others to share the safety or warmpth of my tiny abode, or at the least its respite from the wind.