Thursday, December 26, 2019

Christmas Newsletter 57th Edition...

Whew, its been a busy year for us!  A major change from traveling the country as fulltime RVers for 25 years to living in a cottage in the Texas Hill Country.  Our home is no longer one that moves! My annual Christmas newsletter shares a bit of our 2019 adventure.
Hope to be blogging more this year and sharing our journeyin’ adventures. 

Merry Christmas and the best to you in 2020.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Thomas Times...56th edition

This year I used the half-fold card format for our annual Thomas Times letter.  Not sure if I prefer it over the full page I do most years but its ok for a change.  As usual I missed getting it out in time for Christmas because, well because, I couldn’t get motivated to write!  When I did it went pretty quickly!  Yeah!

Front and back page of the half-fold card

Inside pages of the half-fold card

As the card states “We wish you good health, love, blessings and joy!” 
Also a wonderful 2019 to my Blogger friends!

P.S. Very frustrated writing this little post!  I have always written my posts with Open Live Writer but couldn't get it to post to BlogSpot this time!  So wrote it in Blogger!  Wonder what happened?

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Fulltime RVing…it can get harrowing

Although our Plan A usually gets changed to Plan B and even Plan C (“our plans are like jello” is one of our mottos) we have a pretty routine fulltime life….this harrowing experience was an exception!

2014-06-25 21.34.59 dulee

Our travel plans took an unexpected turn when Dulee, our 12 year old rescue Bichon Frise, suddenly had a health issue in his spine.  A local Jackson, MS veterinarian X-rayed him and referred us to the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine which is located 2+ hours away. With the possibility of spine surgery we decided to move from Jackson to Belaire RV Park in Starkville for two weeks of observation and treatment. 

We had a lovely grassy site but it rained, a LOT, during the entire two weeks in Starkville! The night before we were due to leave, neither of us slept very well, worrying about the probability of a troublesome muddy exit.

Our fears were not unfounded!  When GET backed the truck up to the 5th wheel we could see that the ground was VERY VERY mucky.  He pulled forward about five feet and then the wheels started spinning…oh no!  Putting the truck into four-wheel drive did absolutely nothing!  Big ruts in the mud!  Let’s try a shovel, nope; boards in front of the tires, nope. 


GET called Chris, the park owner who also happens to have a garbage business.  “Can you help?”  “Sure, I’ll be there in about an hour” and he was. With his garbage container hooked up and both his truck and our GMC in four-wheel drive…NOTHING!  The ruts in the mud only got deeper!20181113_111617mud tire track

This called for greater measures! (our 17,500lb 5th wheel plus the approximate 7,000lb truck makes for a pretty heavy load)  Chris unloaded the garbage dumpster and hooked his hydraulic cable line onto the tow hook on our truck. 



Little by little there was movement and finally success!   Oh my, it is scary to see your home and all  of your belongings shimmying, shaking and listing to the side as it struggles through thick mud! 

Both the truck and the 5th wheel were heavily splattered with mud.  Wish I had thought to get pictures but by that time our shoes were soaked and we were cold!

However, we were out of the mud and back on the road.  Next stop Natchez!

Fulltime RV life on the road can be harrowing!! Never a dull moment.

P.S. A few days later our equipment is all clean…no sign of the mucky mud!

P.P.S. Dulee responded to medication and didn’t require surgery!


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Fulltime RVing…another home improvement

I’ve shared the home improvements we’ve made so far in our Landmark Fifth Wheel:  all of the twelve window valances have been recovered, seven in the living area and five upstairs, new blue sofa, and headboard and bench are recovered.


We were anxious to get on with painting the kitchen island.  Before, it was nice but too dark and too too brown!


BUT we were more than a little hesitant about embarking on it.

      • What if we mess it up? 
      • What if the paint peels? 
      • What if we choose the wrong color?
      • What if…? What if…? 

I did a lot of research about paint, primer coats, methods, top coats etc. leading into the project and before heading out for supplies.  Boy, did we luck out at Home Depot!  The paint department guy, wish I knew his name, was wonderful.  Most likely looking very confused, we were standing in front of the paint we had determined might be right for our project when he said “No, not that one, this is much better. You don’t need a primer or top coat.  Use these sandpaper blocks.  Buy this very good brush.”  He was wonderful!  We left the store, pretty confident, and all set to go.

Mega Blue paint color is chosen from dozens of sample chips and paint is being applied with the “very good” brush. Two coats did the job.


But first, a thorough overall sanding.  Supervisor in charge of sanding is Zodiac.


And the dreaded time-consuming taping off.


One final touch was replacing the brushed nickel knobs in the kitchen area of the rig with these I bought on E-Bay. $26 for 24 knobs!


But, what a great result!  Were we pleased?  OH YES!


A little add-on project.  The carpet on the steps leading “upstairs” was beyond cleaning so GET replaced and painted the new steps the same color as the island. So far the paint is holding up really well to daily traffic wear.


Another project completed!

Happy Thanksgiving

from my home on wheels to yours!



Sunday, October 28, 2018

Autumn Full time RVing…Pumpkin

I’m ready for Fall…have decorated my 5th wheel home for the season:



To comply with the limitations of storage in a small space almost all of my holiday decorating pieces are either small and/or will pack flat for storage. 


All of that pumpkin d├ęcor made me hungry for pie so that was next! About a week ago I made my first pumpkin pie of the year:


We haven’t gotten our fill of pumpkin so this morning I searched the web for a pumpkin muffin recipe and settled on a blog called Lovely Little Kitchen. What a cute name for a blog! My 5th wheel RV little kitchen is my own Lovely Little Kitchen!

I changed the recipe just a little by substituting Canola oil for the coconut oil (didn’t have any coconut oil) and adding about 1/2 cup coconut and chopped nuts.  Maybe because of these additions, baking time in my convection oven was a little longer than called for in the recipe.

pumpkin muffin recipe-1pumpkin muffin recipe-2

The recipe made twelve tall puffy muffins…we’ve already eaten a few! Have saved this recipe!


Happy Autumn Day from Jackson, Mississippi…

where we have the A/C running!

Friday, September 07, 2018

Fulltime RVing…baking goodies doable in a RV?

Unlike the previous five 5th wheels we’ve lived in during our 24 years of full time RVing, our Landmark 5th wheel doesn’t have a conventional oven.  However, It did come equipped with a convection/microwave oven and we bought a Breville toaster oven so I do have baking capabilities.  I really like the toaster oven but it is the mini model that has size limitations.  Fine tuning operation of a convection oven is a bit challenging but it gets easier with each use.

I don’t bake very often for one simple reason:  if I bake it we will eat it and we don’t need to eat more sweets!

A few weeks ago our friends Sandy and Rick treated us to a delicious catfish lunch at their beautiful home. For dessert Sandy served a blueberry galette.  Wow, we were impressed!  I was shocked when she explained how easy it is to make this tasty dessert and decided that maybe, just maybe, even I could manage it!

I had wild blueberries in the freezer and a pasty shell on hand so my first foray was blueberry much like Sandy’s.  Turned out pretty good!


GET loves peaches, me not so much, but I decided to treat him on this second attempt;  a little more difficult but not too bad!

I chose Martha Stewart’s Stone Fruit recipe.  I peeled and sliced about six small peaches.  My slicing technique leaves a little to be desired.  Very few nice uniform slices!DSCN0792DSCN0791

Following recipe instructions I first lined my baking pan (also my pizza pan, pans in a RV have to be multi-functional!) with foil and then topped the foil with non-stick parchment paper.  I didn’t have any parchment paper and considered skipping this step but wanted to follow Martha's recipe.  (And I had noticed that Sandy baked hers on parchment – if she did it it must be important to success!)


The recipe called for lemon juice.  I got creative and included the zest of the lemon.  Cornstarch, sugar and salt rounded out the ingredients.  (Interesting that it called for no spices?)


Sandy said she uses ready made pie crust so I followed suit.  Pillsbury makes such good pie crust that I don’t think there is a good reason to make my own!  I know there are fabulous made-from-scratch pie crusts, in fact my sister-in-law Lee makes one, but for my level of baking Pillsbury does the trick.


I brushed a beaten egg on the crust and it was ready to go into the 375 degree oven.  I think that I should have lowered the convection oven temperature to 350 degrees because the peaches got a little blackened on top!


Looks pretty in the shiny convection oven!DSCN0796

Out of the oven in about an hour, slid onto a polka dot plastic plate, sliced, topped with Blue Bunny vanilla ice cream and served on a paper plate!  GET likes it!


Baking in a RV…yes, very doable with just a few adjustments!