Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Bittersweet Parting

Goodbye Ohio. It has been a very good summer but I'm off tomorrow to New Mexico for a few weeks then to meet up with some women in a solo rving group I belong to. There are a lot of women who do this just like me. I will then head to Quartzsite AZ to join folks in another group for Thanksgiving dinner. cheap rv living  This is bittersweet, leaving I mean. I will miss some people but my wonderlust has returned.

There are so many things I haven't seen or experienced. This will be the longest time I have driven alone. I will take it slow and easy though and stay at roadside rests along the way til I get to my first destination, Truth Or Consequences NM.  It will take several days. I keep it around 50 mph so staying off the interstates is a must. Never been to T or C but hear it's great. It looks like it has a nice art scene going on and that's exciting. I haven't been involved in any galleries for a few years and I miss it.  Truth Or Consequences

 I have been spending the past week with my kids. I have 2 and they live in the area. Sorry but here comes a me and my grandson picture. This is Cade, my son's baby.

A few days ago my daughter and I took the dogs out to the covered bridge area in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It was cloudy and a little misty but wonderful. We hiked about 7 miles. Lots of sticks were thrown for the dogs. All three love to swim. I was sitting with daughter Dakota on a creek bank and told her, looks like we are going to get rained on. I pulled my hood up against the big rain drops hitting me. Dakota started laughing and I turned around, it was one of the dogs wagging a water soaked tail in my direction.

This was the culprit, Duke, a lab/boxer mix.

This is Emma, Duke's sister

Me and my Ivy

I'm a dog, a happy dog! Dakota and her hubby backpack with their dogs. The dogs also carry backpacks.

Emma and Ivy

As I said, this is my last day in the area. I will be hitting the road soon and will have lots of new experiences to share with you all. Thanks for following me and commenting. I have the camper ready to hook up in the morning and head west.

One last picture, this is of my friend Janet and I. We went to a vintage car show in September. She won best in show with her Fiat. Janet does a lot of the mechanical work herself. I won best vintage camper. Actually it was the only vintage camper but we had a good time anyway. I'm not lookin' for love but I'll tell you, if you are a woman and have a vintage car and showing it, you will draw men like a magnet.  Just a little tip if you want a love life. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

How important are your things when you die?

I have so many people interested in this  life I've chosen to lead. Many are older women like me and women that are just plain tired of their lives or being a caretaker of their house and other people. This is not an easy thing to do. 

It may start out as a little thought, "Gee wouldn't it be fun to just give it all up, get rid of everything and sell my house and buy a camper and travel? Then after a few years you start obsessing and wondering what freedom might feel like. You think you spend to much time mowing the lawn and the effin' grass grows so fast and the neighbor who has a husband to do the yard work smiles at you and sweetly asks what kind of weeds are growing in my grass.

You suddenly have an epiphany when your pampered neighbor who's holding her age better than you because she doesn't have to do everything herself also innocently asks you where your recycle container is.  You think, that you don't want to do it all anymore and you are too tired to separate your effing' trash just to please your neighbor.

You finally put two and two together and know that you are supporting a house you don't need anymore now that the kids are grown. You think, my God, I'm a slave to this house and the power company and everyone else just so I have a place to keep my things. 

 All of a sudden you start to think about your things and you start to consider what your kids will do with your things if you die. Then you realize your treasures are just things your kids will set out at a big estate sale and sell them for a few bucks each and little grubby kids that come with their moms to the sale will be putting their hands all over your nice furniture and then one of your kids says, "Yeah, a dollar will work for those old dog statues"  and you are rolling over in your grave again screaming those are antique Staffordshire Spaniels, I raised you better than this!

 It won't matter though because you will be in a "better place" and never did travel and write your romance novel or sit and watch the sunrise on a beach or the sunset in a desert in New Mexico because you were to busy being a responsible adult and you didn't take care of yourself or experience life because it was to hard to get rid of everything and you like your things and it's a scary world out there and a woman should never travel alone because that's what everyone says.

I will save how to get started doing this for another post. I will say it's a lot more psychological than physical and it's not easy. To me though, it saved my life and soul. I don't know how long I will travel like this, as it stands now, I have lots more things to do and see and experience.

I have a little video I made of where I am now. I'm real easy to please and I enjoy simple things, even cows with flies, so please, enjoy my  video and cow picture. After you see the video you will see that the pictures with this post aren't  random. The video is below.

The camera is not my friend, hasn't been since the 90's. I'm really good looking and not butt ugly as the video portrays me. I'm really beautiful for my age and must admit to being a legend in my own mind.

Please, make me happy and leave a comment and join my blog

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Boondocking and Keeping Dogs Safe

Today I want to talk about how one can live in such a small space as I do, have 3 dogs and appear to be happy. Well, I am happy in 12 foot by 7 foot of space. I have windows all around me that let the sounds of the night in. No not traffic sounds or the sounds of neighbors. I hear bugs and night birds and the wind sometimes and maybe small animals like coons or possoms. Daytime I may be lucky enough to be awakened by a bird singing or like yesterday, a little wren looking in at me off my bicycle which is still on the rack behind the camper. Usually I'm awakened by the dogs who have to go out to pee. 

I travel with a couple of dogs. I welcome anyone to check out my housekeeping skills. My camper does not stink of dog and it is kept clean.I have a few products that help me out, such as foam dog shampoos and febreeze. When possible my dogs get bathes and I wash the bedding every time I go to a laundry mat. Now and again one of the dogs will roll in something, then you will hear all kinds of cuss words pouring forth from my lips.  Between time, hanging sheets or blankets in the sun does wonders. The hardest time to keep the place clean is when I'm living  in humid or rainy areas. 

This post today isn't about collars with name tags or shots for pets. It's about day to day living in wilderness areas with pets.

On keeping my dogs safe, yes this is always a concern. I often am in the middle of no where. That means more likely hood of coyotes or sometimes bigger predators or poisonous snakes.  With my 2 small dogs there is the possibility of an attack from the sky. I worry more about large owls and coyotes at night. If someone has to get up to go out at night, I have to throw on a robe and slippers, grab the combo flashlight stungun, make noise to warn what may be looking for an easy meal of warm soft dog and go out and closely listen to whats going on around me. I am not a brave person at night so I will usually hold my big can of pepper spray when I go out too. I try to park away from brush piles and heavy brushy areas when possible to make it easier to have a buffer zone. So far the worst that has happened is I get attacked by skeeters or noseeums but I always accompany the little ones outside as well as the big dog at night. I suppose dawn and dusk are the times bigger predators come out and I am always aware at those times too.

 No, I didn't say this life is perfect but there is always a way to do it if the time is right in your life. I will admit it would be easier to travel with no dog or just one but I have a dependency on my dogs and enjoy their company and I like to have something to take care of. I also have an early warning defense team to set up an alarm if my perimeter has been breached by by man,  armadillo or snuffling opossum.

These pictures are from a location in Ohio I have been staying at for some time. They only predators that can hurt a dog here are coyotes and raptors.

 Ivy in the first picture just woke up, went out and came back in to watch the cows in the pasture beside my encampment.

Below 2 pictures I thought were so cool. I was still laying in my bed and took the morning sun coming up.  The sheer curtain was tied to the side and just looked pretty to me.

That Queen Ann's Lace teasel and other thistles and wild flowers.
 If there are bugs and mosquitoes the screen door gets closed and the sheer curtain gets dropped. The curtain is good to shield the sun a little too.

  The pond Ivy likes to cool off in.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ohio AEP Lands and Wayne National Forest

Nothing beats free camping, other than free camping with hot showers. I didn't get that lucky here, no showers to be had but I still love this life of freedom. Ohio AEP Lands, you need to register but its easy and the sites are wonderful. Wayne National Forest  is absolutely beautiful, I was fortunate enough to stay on private land though so I can't report if it's easy to find boondocking there or not.  I will be heading back to the area next week and hope to have a report by then.

Ivy in the front, Cricket in the camper door. 

Giant butterflies and flowers that dwarfed my rig, honestly they were Jurassic park size.

If you enlarge this picture of the bumble bee, you will see it is covered with pollen. Did you know bee pollen is good for you if you eat it? I don't know how they collect it off the bees though. I licked this bee and wound up getting stung so I defiantly won't do that again. Who knew?

If you haven't signed up for my blog, will you? I promise it won't send you crap in your inbox, at least I don't think it will. If it does I will change settings. If you sign up, it will make it easier to find out when I update.

I have been happily increasing my greeting card line. Nothing beats sitting outside under my umbrella next to my little camper and creating paintings. Life is very good. Before I took up this lifestyle, I was always so stressed and had no time to paint. My soul was lacking until I took up a simple life, got rid of things I didn't need and hit the road. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Why not be kind?

It is a cold cruel world out here. Nothing new, it always has been a cold cruel world. There are so many opportunities to be kind and I would rather use the chance to make my little small difference. Heck, I can be mean and nasty too often myself. I'm not just talking about individuals like you and me. I'm talking about towns like Amelia Island. While I was using their beach parking lot to camp on, I had locals talk to me and even the police inquire how I was doing. 

There were a few homeless, some living in their cars (I'm not talking about homeless by choice, like I am). A few had all their belongings on old bikes. The people I met kept themselves and their areas under the pagodas  as tidy as possible and they left for other areas during the day.  The hot clean showers the island provided the opportunity to bathe if you wished. I frequently saw locals talking to the few homeless. The camping areas had million dollar properties on both sides.  I guess I'm bringing this up because other places I have been with obviously rich people were often not nice. 

I stayed for a few days at a time before moving and was not harassed. The first morning there, I woke up to see an old bike and belongings under the pagoda/shelter next to where I was parked. I thought the sleeping bag was empty but after a while the man sleeping got up and sorted through his meager belongings.  I just finished perking a pot of coffee and offered him a cup. He accepted and asked if I had any creamer.  He used up most of it and walked away to sit back down without uttering another word. 

The following morning a young guy stopped in for coffee with creamer. He was waiting to call a bar about getting a job and was very happy I loaned him my phone to place the call. I had seen his little tent set up in the sand dunes.  He had just cleaned up at the shower house and was ready to walk the 6 miles for a coveted job interview.  I have a feeling he got the job as a cook, he was a sweet young man that made some bad choices regarding friends but was struggling to make something of himself.

All that we have can be taken from any one of us at any time. I need choose to be kind more often than I am.  

 These are a few paintings I have done to go into my greeting card line. I love being out like this, I have the time and the peace to create.

Sea birds at the beach.

Icheetucknee Springs Florida

I stayed for a week at Icheetucknee Springs Campground .  My boyfriend back home found it for me online.  I had left Cedar Key and ran into a bad rainstorm.  I was already tired and didn't know how much longer I would be able to see with darkness coming within an hour. My eyesight doesn't focus well at night, especially in the rain. Jim hopped on the internet and found me a campground between Cedar Key and Amelia Island, where I was headed to. I put my rig onto the berm and programmed the address into the Garmin.

I pulled down the long driveway of the campground just as it was getting dark. I was met out in the rain and followed a fellow in a golf cart.  He led me into a perfect spot. I didn't need electric since I am just fine with my solar power and battery and my rig is tiny so I was given a 10.00 spot. They had a lot of those tent spots I found out, they like to accommodate bike travelers and families on a budget.

Each site was wonderful and private.

The following morning the sun came out and I was able to see just how beautiful this place is. One of the fellows that worked at the camp drove by and talked to me about my little camper Serenity. I told him, yes, I did the artwork.  A while later the two lovely ladies that managed the place rode by and stopped to talk. They loved the dogs, I forgot to mention that the place is very pet friendly. They asked how long I was staying and I explained I was running low on money and would be leaving. Well, to make a long story short, I traded doing something I love to do, painting, for free camping. I was of course in my glory, getting to paint to my hearts desire.  This fence panel is outside the lodge and game room.

Amelia Island Florida Late May 2015

Anyone up for camping on the edge of sand dunes overlooking a beach and the Atlantic Ocean?  Even better a place with hot showers and a decent restroom? What could get better? How about a few miles from south Georgia into Florida and a free 24 hour stay.  I thought that would get your attention.

We (the dogs and I) stayed here in Feb. this year and then again in late April.  There are two places like this that I found, within 5 miles of each other. There may be more.  The Amelia Island people and police are very nice, even to travelers and homeless.  I appreciate the Island folk being generous with their beautiful resources. I have been to to many uppity better than the lesser beings such as the homeless or ones such as myself, without a big expensive RV or state of the art travel trailer. 

Looking out my camper door, that's Ivy chewing on a rawhide bone.

 The sand dunes and boardwalk over the dunes.

 The Atlantic Ocean.

Lucky and Cricket

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Chasing flowers tour begins Feb. 14th 2015

It's been a long time my friends and now its time to start posting my adventures again.

I started out Valentines day with business to do east of Ohio, my plan was to beat the weather by 24 hours then head south. As often happens with plans, mother nature threw a fit and traveled faster than I could bringing with her below zero temps and winds and snow. I was lucky to find a place that took me and my 3 dogs. Thank-you Days Inn in Somerset, or was it Breezewood Pa? I
was stranded for 3 days and nights before I could head south due to the cold and snow.

Oh, a very important thank-you Jesus moment to tell you about. I was on the turnpike and it was getting incredibly dark with blackening clouds, I could feel the winds picking up and just a little snow was showing what was to come. A voice came to me as well as a feeling of dread. I listened to the voice say "Get off at the next exit". Sure enough an exit came up, I pulled my little rig into an abandoned gas station just as a whiteout occurred.  I grabbed the dogs and climbed into my camper. It was rocking and shaking and then tornado sirens went off. I handled it well and busted out crying. Took me a while to pull up my big girl panties and get it together though.