Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Simply nice not to be

This I watch from the ridge his rig seems to be sinking or mighty close to it.

The other picture is everything I own as I straighten up to have pictures taken of Vantucket and the Scamp!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Simply more decisions?

Really I am not fickle!
Really I Simply roll with life's punches!
Really I Simply keep it simple. ..

So when there is a new van repair sound I really Simply go get more information as soon as possible. ...

Ozzie and I are enjoying a breakfast burrito of eggs cheese and potatoes with black coffee at Trip Advior's Carmen's Kitchen. While our dirty laundry spins away at Soap n Suds next door and all this just steps from Larry's front end and tire shop....where Vantucket awaits her turn in a bay for diagnosis of the strange shake and sound that developed a couple days ago.

It's Simply a pleasant adventure that is allowing me to wonder about what next adventures I would prefer...
Like peppered with less tinkering of the kind I am uncomfortable with.  And more sprinkled with an afternoon's chillin with a glass of organic wine while watching the sunset after a days hiking and exploring some kewl place I've never seen before. ..

Where will we be next?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Simply Stuff or Minimalist tendencies

We all know what that is.  We have it or had it or think we need it or hate that it owns us or get more or give it away or sell it or walk away from it....garages are filled with it so are kids rooms and storage lockers and facilities or the trunk of our cars ...
What is all this stuff how does it get where it does and how do we process our relationship with all that stuff!
Personally I have a love hate relationship with stuff. I'm an artist and a traveler. I see beauty all around in and including stuff. a feather or seashell or blanket

Stuff can make life enjoyable. Sometimes minimal stuff is an unknown creative freedom!

Many people who have tried letting go of stuff and have taken a minamalist approach for a while agree with me that less can be so much more. Check out The Minimaists.

At my age, I have learned to watch for my own life patterns. I seem to have more stuff when I am feeling poorly than I feel that I need when I am very happy and feeling well. Perhaps my patterns have something to do with a sense of security.  Many people mention thier favorite comfort foods or blanket when they are ill.Why not feel the need for wrapping ourselves up in pleasant stuff when we are hurting. ..I imagine how easy it is to continue trying to cacoon ourselves in some kind of safety that reminds us of more pleasant times. I have heard many similar stories from horders and former horders while helping to clear some of their thoughts and spaces.

I gravitate towards kitchen stuff. ..kewl stoves, enamel and granite ware, tea pot and cups, even plates and glasses.  Cobalt blue glass being a familiar favorite that reminded me of the color of the ocean near my Southern Maine childhood home. I also gravitate towards home stuff., pretty trinkets from the older times, silver hair brushes...hand made baskets and carvings....and homes. I love houses and the tinier the better! I have learned to look at pictures and mostly enjoy things like art pieces right where they are.  That way I don't need to care for them on a daily basis. I can remember them anytime I want to.

And I am human. I know who would have known I periodically get a stuck feeling that begins my thought process doing a rewind to assess recent decisions based on where I find myself today. Sometimes that path has me in minimalist mode as I find that perhaps my stuff is beginning to own me instead of the other way around!

I have been working on the idea of how to let go with love for many years. Practice is generally a good thing. I think that I have become pretty good at letting go and allowing the energy of life to continue to flow. There are times and things that sort of speak to you now and again. .so I practice paying attention to the things that work well for me over time.  Many things just seem to pass through life without stopping long. Other things may just become a quiet part of who you have become. 

I'm again shaving off the not so important stuff so that I can spend my time and what money I do have being clear and happy and a pot that made a few good meals doesn't feel like it needs to be here with me any longer and a visitor to camp sees it and their eyes light with the enjoyable experience of meeting a new friend who is a great fit! Of course the pot lives in a new home! How could we deny the happy cooking couple!  Corny perhaps although I have this experience a lot. Its wonderful.

And FYI the seashells are staying!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Simply Saturdays Early Morning Ramblings

My being sick and hospitalized recently ....
I have to grow my own food.
I don't see how I can travel so much and do that - especially on my budget.
I have the knowledge
I can
I don't really want to do it alone
I need goats or sheep milk ferments like kefir and cheese, wild fish or game, poultry and real eggs - maybe quail. Homemade mead, ale or wines. Low fiber veggies and herbs, squash and pumpkins from the ground.....I don't think that I want to raise the larger animals I've been around that and it may be out of my league.
If necessary I am willing to sell my van and Scamp because I don't have a life when I am sick. ..I can't see other options for now because its hard to find these homegrown foods when traveling....geez a farmer's market tomato can cost $4 each. And its illegal to sell raw milk!
At least in Costa Rica every town had a farmer who would sell you something.

I was healthier in CR because I bought raw milk and fresh eggs from my neighbors. I grew culantro and spinach, learned to cook green bananas yucca and yampi that are free or cheap wild foods. Every Fri the fish man would come buy with wild caught fish and I could buy just soup bones for a dollar. I peeled rice grown by friends and dried beans faithfully.'s sometimes daily work and becomes your life/lifestyle

I'm in an early morning rambling mood. Because I have been struggling with this for so long.
Maybe there are other ways?
I was born in the wrong century lol.

And then....interestingly enough WheelingIt publishes a blog post about eating well on the road. They even included a couple websites like and that I had tried to use years ago before it caught on and worked well. .which it does now.

And omgosh I had an epiphany moment of remembering that once upon a time I actually did travel from farm to farm or spring to spring for natural water.....and I even showed others how to do that. ..and during that time I was living simple, traveling often and enjoying more of my days and myself....

Stew on that!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Simply Disability post travel details

Wow what a morning!  I remember now why I procrastinate making some phone calls. Duh!

A couple of cups of coffee and about 5 hours later someone actually knew what I was talking about!  Incredible I know.

You see I completely forgot which agency to call to be sure that my Medicare Part B was reinstated. When I traveled in Costa Rica it was best for me to opt out or sign out of any Medicare programs that cost me money. When I live in the US I am low enough income to have my state of residency help me to pay for these extra niceties that can only be used in the United States. When I returned two years ago I was traveling and until I was in AZ last spring I had not taken care of that detail. ..because the process is a pain and often even the people who process what I need don't understand the process. I started the process with people in AZ but I never heard anything more about it.  While in the hospital last week I was concerned about what happened because it could affect how much help I get to pay for the bills. At 12:30pm I finally connected with AZs SSI-MOA office and after the operator transferred me to a live person....omgosh she knew terms like QMB and Medicare Part B and I lived outside the United States and I thought I applied. ...she looked it up and yup I applied in April and my file was opened and looked over twice with no notes and no she approved it and sent it on its way. ...only how many months later. No meimporta!

So IF you are on Medicare or low income programs and you travel outside the United States do what you can to keep some state residency until you absolutely have to let it go.  And bookmark this page so you can remember who to call to get it all straight again.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Simply our New Neighbors

First a little update - Caballo State Park is having a 4x4 Club Rally this weekend. Last night they got a little roudy right about 10 pm :(  I have lived in places like Rae Curre' Costa Rica or Dominical or Pavones where you can not escape the weekend or festival sounds and basically live with it for days or weeks or you just leave before the party starts and hope all your stuff is the way you left it.  I didn't feel like a repeat.

As I also knew that Al was leaving this morning on a new adventure and I would be on my own again, well with my buddy Ozzie!  I decided to move up to Elephant Butte State Park.  This location is closer to town and to my doctors appointment this week.

Last night as a welcome home from the hospital and fairwell we are going different directions - Al cooked us a lovely steak dinner complete with fiesta mashed potatoes and steamed broccolli with holandaise sauce. It was enjoyable sharing the process and chit chatting. It is also wonderful to have such dear friends.

Our campground hosts after learning that I had been hospitalized brought homemade banana bread which became our desert and a treat for Ozzie - how sweet!

We hugged goodbye this morning and drove off in different directions.  Ozzie whining a little as we were driving, he's going to miss Al. Both Al and Ozzie came to be with me on the same day 1 1/2 months ago.

Oh a funny thing happened while I was gone in the hospital.  My van sitting of course got rather dirty but I returned to find my rear view mirror on the floor!  Lol until this mornings drive I didn't realize how much I used my mirror! So we have a few things to do to keep us busy while here - the mirror, mail, laundry, washing the van and my doctors appointment.

We have a beautiful location here. Overlooking the lake and the weekend boaters and jet ski-ers. These people have a lovely place to camp and play. ..look at those campers on the sandbar what a great location. I am content, this time, having a view from the ridge and being close to a water faucet as well as the bathrooms. Our site is still pretty private, peaceful and calm. The location of our fire pit is calling me to have a small fire tonight :)

You might be able to see our neighbor the hawk in one picture he's just been sitting in the same space for quite a while.

Simply a health update

But....I guess my body is so much cleaner after the colonoscopy that it is tolerating foods I have not eaten in years.That is both good and scarey because honestly what will happen in a few days?  The doctor said not to worry. ..I'm trying not to.

I feel pretty good although I have a sour stomach and metallic taste in my mouth that I can't seem to get rid of. ?? I will tell the doctor on Wednesday.

I put a pot of kosher chicken boullion and rice on the fire to cook this morning. We will see how that goes...I do like cooking over a real fire.


Simply missing our neighbors today

What a lovely weekend we had! Both Ozzie and I are missing our neighbors this morning. We had such a wonderful time with the Henry's and family from Texas!

Good food and drink lots of story sharing and even some adventures like spending most of Saturday out on the lake in their boat...yup Ozzie too! What a trooper he is.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Simply my ER details. ..I'm feeling better!

I don't have to tell you that being sick sucks!
But thanks to Al and the folks at Sierra Vista Hospital in TorC, NM I am feeling better. Now I'm not finished yet and will still be working out details to become healthier. I'm eating solid food something I had not done since Friday.

Al drove me to the emergency room - I had to check in in stages as I was running for the bathroom. Then the process began. I explained my concern about Crones Disease along with relating my current symptoms of severe cramping (think labor pains) diarrhea and vomiting. The ER was busy and full so they gave me the xtra cot tucked into a corner - and I got great care. First they did blood tests and shortly after IVs to deal with my dehydration and some medication to ease the pain and nausea. Later the ER Dr informed me of my fever and high white blood cells count. They administered antibiotics to which I quickly had a possible allergic reaction. Kinda scarey having my throat close up and all but quick reactions seemed to solve the problem.  Then we decided to do a CatScan.

I was pretty tired and weak by the time I was taken down for the CatScan. It went well. I returned to the ER and waited for the results.  The ER Dr informed me that they were going to keep me overnight. That I showed Diverticulitis, Colitis and Thickness of the colon wall....a consult with another doctor was planned and they moved me up to a room.

In the room I had a quick meeting with the new doctor who ordered a colonoscopy. Like tomorrow (well today) so my night was spend drinking a gallon of solution to clear my colon - eww yuk pwe nasty and then running to the toilet.  This morning I had the colonoscopy done and shortly after learned that although my colon is clean and looks good I do have diverticulitis and I have a tear (sorry I don't recall the technical term) and a couple of ulcers.  The doctor also said that I could eat anything I wanted to.  And that they took a biopsy and we will talk more later.

Al came to visit and brought me a hamburger.  Then I was brought a lunch of chicken soup jello applesauce and iced tea.  At 5 they brought dinner - omgosh it was good.

I'm discussing more of my health and food issues with the doctors here because I have gotten more answers and constructive help here....I will keep you all posted on that.

So I'm awake have energy am stuffed and wrote a blog post!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Simply -- ill again?

I have felt pretty good for a while until yesterday. is easier to be under the weather when you have space and emotional support.  So I'm hanging close to the facilities listening to my digestive tract gurgle and napping a lot.  I did call my doctor and we are working on my health insurance and appointments to see if I can get into Dr Weil's Integrative Health Clinic in Tucson. Because of two family members medical history and the research I continue, I am thinking that I may have Crones Disease.  The CCFA says that people who have Crones often can't eat what would be considered normally healthy foods and that each person reacts differently.  I thought that I was doing a good thing buying pumpkin seeds as a snack. I enjoyed the crunch and snackability. Likely it was too much fiber. 90% of the time I prepare my own food and often it is bland. I had been wanting flavors and added some mild spice to a couple meals and felt the telltale twinge telling me to be careful. Boiled soft white rice or simple boiled potatoes can get boring although they keep me out of the hospital. Greens, which I know generally heal humans can upset my digestive system and keep me sick in bed and running for bathrooms for a long time. Carrots are soothing although I need to steam them at least.

It's nice to have my travel buddy Al nearby. It calms my scary thoughts about being sick and alone as well as allowing me to sleep a little more deeply knowing that both he and Mr Ozzie 'have my back'. Speaking of Ozzie how great to have him with me. He spent the day cuddled up with me and occasionally sniffing my face or licking my cheek as if to be sure I am alright.  Al had gone into town shopping after changing the plans for traveling so I can get better and go along. And Ozzie had to go visit with him when he returned.

Earlier I took a picture of Ozzie in his new bed.  And of our nice campsite.
I'm hearing rumbles of thunder in the distance. ..

Please do stop by at Als blog and see the beautiful pictures he posted yesterday.  (BTW he secretly wishes people would comment more. Shhh)

Simply a Burro

For those of you who like my Scamp here's a similar one from CL.

1982 Burro 13' Travel Trailer

Friday, October 10, 2014

Simply good advice

10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Fulltime RVing…

I agree with many of the points - pay attention to the weather and use it as your moving guide for more enjoyment.  Begin without loading up learn what you need on the road because you will do just that and seriously do you really want to be driving around looking for donation bins in parking lots or selling stuff on Craig's List or paying for a storage locker? Think about that. Learn your travel style do you want and need a club - they are great if you do. Learn from people who already live this lifestyle!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Simply who's that cutie

It's simply Ozzie chilling at home in the Scamp!

Simply the downsizing continues

Yesterday Ozzie Al and I traveled a few miles south. It's warmer at night :) and I'm all smiles.

Stuff shifts around inside a travel trailer and the Scamp is no exception. ..especially stuff in cupboards that have no so upon arrival at the new campsite had been a surprise reorganization time. Well while we were still in Mountainair I found a couple big baskets at the Family Dollar store. I also installed some rubber shelf liner on the floor of that cabinet.  I've been reorganizing and messing around with storage and my stuff since I made my first cup of coffee this morning.  It should make traveling easier. ..I hope.

A newbie Vandweller with a 1994 Chevy van stopped by for a visit and got some tips and tricks info from both Al and I.

Ozzie and I have been watching a mole or tiny prarie rodent thing popping in and out of it's hole as well as periodically looking for the woodpecker that we can hear.

We have a nice spot to enjoy for a few days.  Rain is forecasted for tomorrow and we will likely leave before the weekend 4 wheeling events start up here at this state park!


PS - just incase you didn't see the Thanksgiving planning update. ..who besides me likes the idea of going to Joshua Tree!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Simply thinking ahead. ..and I need some help

Sooooo now that life is settling down a lot and I am beginning to have some fun instead of just being in survival and fight for my life mode. (Yes there is some exaggeration in that)

I'm beginning to wonder about the the upcoming holidays!  I'm not too interested in many of them although Big ole Turkey Day - Thanksgiving has been pretty special in my life.

This year I would like to cook Turkey in a Dutch Oven over a fire. I think that I would like to have a glass of wine or a homemade beer. Some gerkin and baby dill pickles and olives, celery sticks, perhaps pickled carrots. Maybe baked potatoes with real butter.  I'm not big on stuffing or gravy but I remember having a mushroom rice pilaf with turkey giblets baked in.....mmmm and the day after's hot turkey sandwhiches on home made bread!  I'm smelling the food already!

And of course I want to share this all with my Framily (friends like family).  Soooooo - I don't have a Dutch Oven. Or even my old blue enamel coffee boiler! I haven't made homemade wine or beer this year. Or pickles or bread (its too early).

And the biggest question of all - where will you all be. ..where can we get together. ..

I'm not stuck on this idea though I have wondered about one of my favorite places - Fortuna Pond in Yuma....lots for everyone to do and really nice weather.

As some Saturday night live character used to say - talk amongst yourselves -and get back to me asap....

Who's wanting to be together. ..where would you like to be. ..who's bringing a Dutch Oven I can borrow. ..or the wine or pickles. ...of course homemade is so much better!

Simply a Fun Day!

Today was simply a fun day.  Al, Ozzie and I drove into Mountainair NM. We had driven through the other day and stopped to wash laundry and noticed a sign about their farmers market.  Ak wanted to get some pictures and I thought it would be fun to pick out some fresh organic locally grown stuff to make a meal out of.  I enjoyed visiting with Janis (Janees) and Cookie as I picked up some purple potatoes,  Jerusalem artichokes and  squash  - I was thinking about making a stew for dinner.

I enjoyed walking Ozzie around town as Al took his photos.  The local people seem very friendly nearly everyone waves hello or stops to chat. I couldn't talk Ozzie into letting me buy him a dog bone at the hardware store.  They had bins of dog bones in different sizes aling with their display of "dead" things - okay it was someone's hobby to do taxidermy. They even have a zebra!  

Ozzie stayed with Al at the bakery - yum and popular - while I walked across the street to the grocery store to buy a couple things to complete our Farmers Market stew.

We drove the long way home to the campground. Then Ozzie and I rested a while before chopping some wood into manageable sizes for my Kelly Kettle's fire pot. Then I leisurely make a lovely stew. Well I thought it was lovely.  When my Scamping neighbor Julie stopped by to visit she offered some local eggs she had picked up and so I pulled out the gluten free flour mixture I have in the cupboard and made us all some biscuits.

This was a great relaxed and fun day for me. ... I don't want all my days to be the same although a few more like this peppered into my daily mix would be good.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Simply Hi

As we are comfortably chilling at Manzano State Park in New Mexico.
Ozzie and I had a grooming and bathing day.

I used my Sea to Summit Pocket Shower, Wal-Mart hikers tarps and Simple Shower. I heated water with my Kelly Kettle and afterwards while we were doing other things I put a pot of rice pilaf on the fire pot.

Today was my first time trimming Ozzie's hair. In spite of his PTSD reaction to having his feet and nails touched - we did very well - I think so.