Opened up my trailer door Spot of light across the floor Moth from ever far away Saw it and flew straight my way All this happened in a blink Knew it's headed to my sink It flew in as I went out To my business went about Half hour later I returned Sure enough my fears confirmed If there is a drop of water Moth will find the way to slaughter Basin full up to the brink There it floated in the drink
Linda’s plate was full of food
To her Mom it all looked good
Little did her parent know
All those green beans had to go
What to do, there was no pooch
No furry friend who liked to mooch
Steak and salad with tomatoes
Great big pile of mashed potatoes
But the bane of that great feast
How to slay the veggie beast
Thinking fast she ate the rest
Put her magic to the test
Laid utensils side by side
Under which the beans she’d hide
Lined them up all in a row
Till not one of each did show
Said “I’m done”, picked up her plate
To the sink she made her break
But with Mother on patrol
Into sight one bean did role
Cross-hairs of a pointed finger
Turned around, she didn’t linger
Brought her plate back to the table
Linda ate her vegetables
From a poetry blog I have https://wordchef.press/
She was finally on her way to the truck doctor – but they were closed.
Bridgette is my husband’s other woman.
I’m not even jealous because she’s a part of our family. She’s heavier than me but stronger and she’s willing to take the garbage out. Unfortunately she’s been sitting in one spot for over a year now.
You might say she’s lazy but Bridgette is our 1986 Ford F-250 pickup truck and my husband is very sentimental about her. She might need a new engine. We’ll see.
My husband acquired her in a moving-out deal and she pulled us and our trailer from our old to our new home and throughout our three-month journey in-between in 2017. Bridgette The Truck
To me she has a personality – she reminds me of a horse.
That summer, she threw a shoe (got a flat), leaving us to camp on the side of the road for three days while the tire store put seven hundred dollars into matching replacements and a rim . She lost her brights right after we pulled onto the freeway in torrential rain on our final journey over the mountains and across the state to our new home. I had to drive the whole night with the low-beams on.
Her driver’s side window wouldn’t roll up that night and we had to pull out the door panel in order to manually push the glass up so I wouldn’t freeze for the drive.
We were told by her owner that she had a hole in her front gas tank and to not fill it up too much or it would leak. Her defrost was broken, and her four-wheel drive mechanism busted the first winter we lived here leaving us to walk and/or push her through the slightest of slippery conditions.
But we love her. Especially my husband.
That’s why we’re contemplating putting so much cash into replacing the engine. We had the other repairs done last year before catastrophe hit and we limped her home for the wait.
Our driveway recently dried up enough for someone to come and get her so we called the repair shop a couple of days ago and made arrangements for an inspection. This morning we called the tow company.
When he arrived, I told the driver I was writing about it so he took the time to describe how a vehicle is secured as he hooked her up. He backed up and slid brackets under the tires before hoisting the rear end up then wrapped two chains around both axels to keep the truck from “jumping” out on the bumps.
Bridgette has a manual four-wheel drive lock so he disengaged it from the drive train so as not to drag her to town. He wrapped the driver’s seatbelt around the steering wheel at the top and locked it into place to keep the wheels facing forward. He stuck red lights onto Bridgette’s hood that complimented her running lights quite nicely.
The driver asked us if they were expected in town, we said “yes”, and off he went with our beloved beast.
Then we called and found out the shop was closed. What if there was no place to park the truck? What about the keys?
We freaked out and jumped into our car and sped after Bridgette.
Down the hill we went and sure enough, we could see the white speck that is Bridgette about a mile ahead of us on the straightaway towards town. Trying not to speed, we caught up to her at a railroad crossing a couple of blocks away from her destination.
The driver was positioning Bridgette in a vacant spot behind the shop by the time we’d parked and I hurried over to explain but there was a key drop-box and it really wasn’t a big deal after all. I thanked him for putting up with my incessant talking and picture taking and we left her to wait for her turn on the lift.
What we do depends on the estimated grand total – repair or not?
I’m willing to have another woman around as long as she sleeps outside.
A poem about conquest.
He moved out to the country just to cut it down and tame it
Should have bought a condo and had someone else maintain it
With chainsaws, mowers, chippers, tillers, every shape and size
He’s here to stay he’s clearing the way it’s time to colonize
At six am we hear the roar he’s got the chipper chipping
Another tree he’s on a spree the landscape he is stripping
He has big plans with his bare hands he’ll mold it to his taste
A cul-de-sac and traffic lights not one inch left to waste
I wonder why he chose to live in natures splendid glory
The turkeys, deer, the wolves and cats this was their territory
When we arrived before his time ’twas tranquil and so soothing
Its time to go we like things slow we’re packing up and moving
Turkey Day is on it’s way
My Mom is acting funny
She’s on the phone I heard her groan
While talking to Aunt Bunny
My cousins (there are six in all)
Are coming with Aunt Mazy
She’s bringing green bean salad
I heard Mom say that she’s lazy
For Uncle Fred it’s garlic bread
Enough to feed his four
My Mom’s now pacing, muttering
’bout locking the front door
Plasticwear and folding chairs
Cheap cups, spoons, forks and knives
Mom says no one does their share
The husbands or the wives
Grandma Grandpa on their way
I think it’s time we pray
Clean the couch now Dad’s a grouch
He says his hair’s gone grey
Uncle Ted and Aunty Jill
Are bringing their eight too
They have a dog, spike the eggnog
Tell Mom when she comes-to
Scour the basement and garage
We’ll put all the boys there
We need more room break out the broom
It’s time we said a prayer
God help us all – it’s Uncle Paul
We’ll put him in the attic
No sudden moves speak quietly
He’s prone to being erratic
As for my Mom
Let’s keep her calm
She’s on the verge of tears
Now dinner’s done
This battle’s won
Let’s give her three big cheers
Featured Photo by Ruth Caron on Unsplash
My own photo below as seen from our sliding door.
Nine lives before Christmas and in the RV, two felines were climbing up my Christmas tree
The lights and the baubles I’d hung up with care, strewn wall to wall not a single one spared
Shredded remains of my prized Christmas cactus, total destruction they’ve had lots of practice
They found the pine cones left a trail of debris, nothing was spared in the wake of their spree
Forget wrapping presents dispense with the bows, the effort is useless the gifts they’ll expose
I tried hanging garland, Oh what was I thinking, my light strings are broken they’re no longer blinking
I chased them outside tried to clear out my head, they came back in soaking wet jumped on my bed
What if St. Nick dares to come bearing gifts, they’ll ambush his sleigh from behind the snow drifts
Busting cat Kung Fu they’ll knock him out cold, one tailbone broken a fright to behold
Flat on his back splayed out under the trees, cookies and milk won’t fix his injuries
Journey cut short by two renegade cats, no toys for the children no balls and no bats
Packages strewn from his sleigh to the house, next year he’s packing a catnip stuffed mouse
It’s scary to even think we have ANYTHING in common.
I’m lumping the do’s and don’ts together.
- Neither me nor my husband have steel plates in our heads; yet.
- We both live in trailers.
- We don’t live on a former atomic testing site.
- Our child isn’t in the sex trade to supplement our family income.
- We don’t fry our food on the rocks (although we brewed coffee with a blowtorch once).
- We have a sense of taste in clothing (although more often than not, we’re semi filthy from doing some sort of project or another on the property).
- We don’t have a dog with a sinus infection but our cat slobbers profusely when petted.
- We both quit toting a beer around in a beer holster a long time ago.
- We sweat, but not as profusely as Cousin Eddy.
- We have a sense of social awareness, unlike Cousin Eddy.
- I did ask the tour guide where the damn bathroom was when we visited Hoover Dam.
- Our son hasn’t been kicked in the head by a mule; hopefully won’t ever be.
- We have to empty the shitter on a regular basis, just not into the sewer.
- Our son has a tongue.
- We haven’t had a case of lip fungus in our family within recent memory.
- We don’t have to deal with Mississippi Leg Hound Syndrome.
- Our garden isn’t spitting out 50 pound tomatoes. The deer ate them all.
One of my hobbies.
Try to find a Dorodango ball for sale on the internet. I dare you. Good luck.
Dorodango means mud dumpling in Japanese (I think). It’s literally dirt formed into a ball then dried and polished over a period of time (everyone has their own technique), to become something pretty impressive.
I’ve been trying to successfully make one for about a month now. It takes practice. They tend to crack and the outer shell tends to nick during polishing depending on how you do it.
I’ve tried and tried to finish one over the past weeks. I threw a few. I wrote a poem about them but deleted it because my son was silent after I read it to him. Maybe I’ll rewrite it from memory.
I finally successfully made one today. I want to sell them. Especially after I discovered I couldn’t find but one on the entire internet for sale. I couldn’t believe it. There’s a vacuum in that market. Maybe Etsy, maybe here.
This last year has been very difficult. Very. We’ve had some really hard times and one of the things that helped me through it was my various art projects. I had to use what we had on hand most of the time and dirt was readily available. This is a fun activity and I highly recommend it but it takes patience. Just hit youtube for some tutorials if you want to give it a try.
Onto a couple off the grid self described hacks.
I came up with an ingenious idea for keeping the hoses and water filter from freezing this winter. The spring and holding pit never freeze even in extended zero degree temps. We learned that last year.
Why not mount the filter under the water line and just keep the hoses in the water also when not in use? Theoretically it makes sense.
We hit some items on the monumental To Do list today also.
We pulled the RV’s water tank out today. Had to pull out a small part of the structure in the RV basement to get it out. We’ll replace it of course.
We put it on a couple of barrels so we could fill it up to see if the bottom really leaked and filled it with water. No leaks on the actual bottom but both inlet/outlet receptacles leak around the edges. I sprayed a coat of Flexseal on it and am letting it sit overnight. Will do again tomorrow then fill again to see if the leak is fixed.
If we can use that tank, we won’t have to wrestle with keeping an exterior water tank from freezing. Crossing fingers. One thing at a time.
We called the manufacturer of the dreaded and cherished gas hot water heater and asked them why the thing isn’t turning off. The water is getting super hot. Not safe. We’re just turning the gas off after about a half hour of heating for the time being.
They said it sounds like a thermostat. 10.00 on Amazon. It’s under warranty but why bother for such a small amount?
Incidentally, Atwood is now Dometic (maker of RV appliances and maybe other things).
One item at a time off of the check list.
But wait, there’s more. There’s always more. We believe the front right hydraulic jack sheer pin sheered. It is a sheer pin after all. The jack won’t move up or down. We’re trying to finish leveling the trailer still. Everything on the bathroom counter roles towards the rear of the trailer. Driving me nuts.
We added 2 more batteries to the solar power system this afternoon. We’re going to try the TV for a little while. I think it’s charging fine after all. Added 4 more 100 watt panels to the system yesterday. It was a challenge to figure out the wiring. It’s still really rough looking mounted on two sheets of plywood. We need to secure the panels better before a windstorm hits.
Now to reap the rewards of siphoning the water from the top of the property from the well we dug, installing a new hot water heater, removing and reinstalling the shower faucet approximately 6 times as a result of the overheated water, and installing a new water pump.
I think I deserve a hot bath.
Hack: You can use one little microfiber rag to dry off your entire body after a shower. Just keep wringing it out as you go. They work great. I’ve had to do it more than once upon realizing no towels were available.
No, not a turkey. I am temporarily out of my own pictures pertaining to RV repair.
I didn’t know how to install a water pump so I went to see the local RV repairman last week. He’s probably been doing this for about 100 years now and doesn’t give a rat’s ass about customer service anymore. When I asked him about the wiring he said in an extremely tired and irritated voice while gesturing violently at the water pump I had in my hand “red is red and black is black”!
Well, I made this picture for him to translate to him what I saw. No, he hasn’t seen it nor will he ever. 🙂
Living as gypsies for the summer between selling our house and moving east.
We sold our house in May 2017. We needed to close before we could make a decision on a new place to live. We didn’t know how much cash we would walk away with after everything was said and done at the old place. I cruised craigslist for a couple of weeks looking for a trailer to live for the summer. Little did I know we would end up living in it for an entire year.
I saw one that caught my eye. It was a 20′ Jayco Lite with 2 canvas fold outs. It seemed sound to me, and had a few amenities we liked so we bought it. My son and I picked it up one evening and slowly pulled it out for it’s long adventure over the mountains to a new home.
I hadn’t pulled a trailer in years. The last time was with a 1962 Shasta hitched to a tiny Ford Escort with nothing but a chain-on hitch. That was a nightmare. It was me and my previous husband with 2 friends in the back seat. At one point the car began violently wavering back and forth along with the trailer behind us. Everyone yelled “pull over, pull over!” at once and I’m at the helm trying to gently coast the contraption slowly over to the side of the road. No sudden turns here.
I don’t know how we got that thing home. We took it on many a camping trip up the local county road to the national forest where we were mistaken repeatedly for meth cookers. One time, we had been in town and were heading back out to camp with our supplies when a bunch of Sheriffs drove by fast. We were used to the routine at that point and I think we may have turned around and gone home until the smoke blew over.
Another time, I was taking a nap in the Shasta with my 6 month old baby and 8 year old son when I heard “I know you’re in there. Come out”. I got up and went outside with my infant in my arms and my son. Robocop was there with a man who seemed really embarrassed for the cop. He stood sheepishly near the squad car. Probably a ride-a-long.
Upon seeing the obvious threat we were, the cop proceeded to reem me a new one for having a BB gun leaning up against a tree stump. Apparently, the barrel was slanting slightly too far towards an adjacent abandoned camp site. Ooooooh. “Breaking the law breaking the law”. He asked for my ID while I kept stealing looks at the poor guy who had accompanied the sheriff as he almost visually winced at the “fail” factor on the cop’s part.
After running my ID and finding no evidence that me and my children were cooking meth, he proceeded to chew me out for having a messy campground.
Well, I didn’t take to kindly to the robo-incident and complained loudly to the sheriff’s department the next day when I went into town. I happened to run into the robotard going the other way while heading back to camp. I waved him down and let him know I’d complained. If looks could kill, I’d be dead. What an asshole. I don’t like authority figures who abuse their positions and scare the crap out of 8 year old children.
The Shasta finally met it’s demise after we began storing it in an unofficial yard where, ironically, meth cookers moved in next to it and trashed it. We hauled it down to an RV reclamation site down south. It was a good little trailer. 😦 I won’t miss the busts though.
Back to new trailer. I was a little nervous hauling a rig for the first time in quite a while so both me and my son kept looking out the back window to make sure it was still behind us. It became a joke, saying “it’s still there”.
Out away from town and into the foothills near our old home we drove. Trailer still behind us. There was a truck stop near the entrance to the county road we followed to get to where we were setting up house. It had showers for only 14.00 a pop, a laundry, and a sort of gift shop setup with everything a trucker might want to ease their travels.
We stopped and “watered” the trailer before we headed out for the last leg of our day’s journey. It was getting dark and we wanted to get this rig out to where we were going to settle for the next couple of weeks before late.
The county just happened to be paving the dirt road out and had these annoying little red cones right smack in the middle of the entire length of the narrow road. I had to maneuver the damned trailer carefully around every single one of those things. We took a couple of them out. By accident, of course.
At one point we came to an already very narrow bridge that had been turned into a one-lane. I slowly rolled up to it, sizing the situation up in my head. It looked like I would have about 5 or 6 inches to spare on each side of the trailer. Some skill would be needed. Or stupidity. What if we got the rig stuck halfway over the bridge? I didn’t want to think about it and rolled forward, my son cheering me on. Gritting my teeth with my fingers breaking the steering wheel, we moved forward at a moderate speed. I figured if we had a little momentum, if we scraped maybe we’d be less likely to get lodged in place. Yes, speed would help us in a jam. Can you imagine if we’d funneled into the far end of the bridge? Oh my God. Better not to think about it.
Somehow we did it. We made it. As I recollect, we opted to pull into a regular campground that first night just to make things easier. Backing up the rig…I’m not so good at that but it happened.
Tucked in for the first night on the road to a new life.
I’m beginning to realize that there is so much to write about, I’m going to have to continue this in another post. Many many many strange and unusual things seem to happen with our family. I’ve been told countless times I should write a book. Again, a blog will do.
Next in “The Beginning”
- Camping neighbors from hell.
- Are you sure that’s the cat?
- The limousine.
- The glass menagerie.
- The bear and the guy in the pickup.
- Teenage drivers.
- Crystal hunting!
- Hopping campgrounds and really grouchy hosts.
- Bartering with the really nice campground hosts.
- Panning for pyrite.
- The rocky beach trail.
- I realized with horror one evening that we were going to be dealing with freezing temperatures and snow with canvas pullouts.