The Way Grandma Used to Do It!

This morning, I met my new neighbors for the first time.  They are a wonderful couple – – white and fluffy with orange features.  They are the cutest ducks you’ll ever see! The gentleman in the RV next to mine raises them.  It saves him money, gives him fresh eggs and also provides a hobby.  My little Lola has been fascinated by them all day.

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These little duckies (both of them are named, “Crackle”) made me think of full time RVing in another light.  We certainly live a simpler life and we’re closer to nature on a regular basis.  I had never even explored the fact, however, that we’re not always as dependent on modern day, “luxuries” as others.  I met my feathery friends and their owner as I was heading outside to fill my water tank after completing laundry duty.  I realized, at that point, that as RVers, we do several things the way our grandparents and great-grandparents did.  While the fulltimer, “next door” was collecting his eggs, I had just finished using my washboard to do the wash.

When I was just a little girl, my Grandma Teamor taught me how to use a washboard.  In fact, between my two grandmas and the one great-grandmother that I was blessed to have until I was 17, I learned many ways of the past.  I have an extremely extensive formal education that cost me an arm and a leg, but the education that has been provided by my parents and other family members is invaluable.  I digressed…

I love the idea of raising foul for eggs, but I still opt to just buy them at the market.  I will not, however, be without my washboard.  I like the fresh smell of the laundry, I get a great upper body and abdominal workout, and each time I’m washing, I think of my family and quietly pay homage to those who used “elbow grease” in all that they did.  I would implore everyone to make it a practice to carry out at least one task “the old fashioned way.”  Although it may require a bit more work, I promise, you will find that somehow your mind is at ease and you’re a bit more emotionally relaxed while you’re doing it.

Here’s to the simple life!

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How to Use a Washboard

1. Fill a bucket with approximately one gallon of water.

2. Wet your washboard and rub your bar of soap against the board to create a lather (I use white Zote – – it’s 99 cents a bar at Walmart and smells very fresh.)

3. Dip your garment in the bucket and then scrub it against the board.

4. Rinse and wring your garment, and hang to dry.

5. Repeat process for each article of clothing and that’s it!

Extra Storage and Kicking Back

One thing I believe all RVers will agree on is that we’re always looking for ways to make the most efficient use of our space.  We may want to add items to our rigs, but we don’t want them to utilize any additional room.  Well, I wanted a small ottoman to put in front of my swivel lounge, but I needed it to be functional, also.  As well, I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg, and of course, I needed it to match my decor.  I searched on Ebay and Etsy, and found several that I liked, but again, I didn’t want to spend a great amount of money.  The cost of the ottomans along with the shipping costs didn’t work for me (It’s amazing, once you start saving money, you want to spend less and less.)

I stopped at Walmart and found a very inexpensive storage ottoman ($16.88.)  I then went across the parking lot to JoAnn Fabric and purchased a remnant piece for $3.30 to cover the top to match my decor.  Now, not only do I have the perfect footstool when lounging in my chair, I have additional storage and because it fits perfectly between my twin beds, there’s no need to find a special place for it when it isn’t in use.  Good stuff, indeed!

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Stovetop Baking

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When I decided to purchase the Rialta, I was sold on every aspect except for the fact that I would have no oven (well, there’s a microwave, but that doesn’t count…) The idea that I would be unable to bake did not settle well by any means. Well, lo and behold, I found a solution. After much suspicion, I purchased an Omnia Oven.  I couldn’t believe that what appeared to be a typical bundt pan would allow me to bake without a convection oven.  I ordered it anyway, and although I was still suspect when I felt how light the box was when it arrived, I immediately made a blueberry quick bread.  Well, my doubt has waned and my skeptical tongue has been silenced!  In a matter of 40 minutes, I was feasting on warm blueberry bread with cinnamon honey butter that I whipped up while my Omnia was working it’s magic.  Granted, it doesn’t produce a well browned top as it would in an oven, but that’s a very small concession when I can still bake cookies and rolls and quiches… oh my!  So, I’ve got buttermilk biscuits on right now, and plan on being in brownie heaven tonight.  This life just keeps getting better and better!

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Nope, Not Disappointing At All!

So, I decided to head back over to the Mall of America RV area to make breakfast and start my day.  As I sat down with a nice hot cup of java, this is what was in front of me! Coffee and a good laugh – – can I ask for anything more?!?

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Just Thought I’d Share

I know I haven’t been very diligent with my postings lately. Transitioning into my new life plus the release of my latest novel and prepping for book signings, etc. has kept me pretty busy.

I had to take a moment, however, to share this magnificent view outside my window this morning. I just wanted to share this peace with you all!

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Upgrades, Maintenance and TP Utopia!

Okay, let me start by stating this… Nowhere in my wildest literary imagination have I ever imagined writing a piece about toilet paper, but since I have stumbled upon an RV TP dream, I must share it!  After spending a sum total of about three months in various hotels while waiting to make the big purchase, I sampled various brands of toiletries, coffees, paper products, etc.  Of course, my little Lola goes with me everywhere, and on one occasion, after wiping her little nose (yes, I treat her like a baby – – don’t judge me! Hahaha!) I dropped the tissue in the toilet and went back to finish her daily grooming.  When I returned  to the restroom, about five minutes later, the tissue had broken into tiny pieces in still water.  Now, for the average home dweller, this means nothing.  To an RVer, however, this is the TP Holy Grail!  You can take a look at the RV TP Test here.  Click the pic for the Amazon listing. 🙂

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I immediately did a search for the brand on Amazon, and there it was – – Georgia Pacific Envision.  The end all be all was that I placed an order for a case of 80 rolls for a grand total of $56.00, that’s 70 cents per roll!  The typical RV and marine TP averages $6.00 for four rolls… need I say more on this topic?  (Angelic voices singing in the background!)

I guess this is as good a time as any to mention another Amazon acquisition of note – – a collapsible tea kettle – – wonderful space saver and works like a charm!

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In other news, I have had a bit of work done on the Rialta in the past couple of weeks, including having a new battery installed, as well as a new sewage valve and a few other minor tweaks.  Tomorrow, I will have some work done on the refrigerator as I’m still having an issue getting it to run on propane.  Turns out, the culprit is a missing vent cover, which I found online for under $40.00.  I also need to have the tail light replaced.  Let’s just say, I’m adjusting to backing up in a near 21′ vehicle – – yada, yada, yada – – the tail light is no longer in one piece.  I was quoted $70-$90 for the part and after another visit to Amazon, I purchased the part and had it overnighted for under $50.00 (Touchdown!)

The last of my current upgrades include having a hardwood floor installed this week and a paint job which will be completed next week.  I’m having it painted a solid white so that stealth boondocking will be a great deal easier with the rig looking more like a work van than a motorhome.  Of course, I will post pics as soon as it’s all done!

Officially Out of the Fast Lane

Officially Out of the Fast Lane

As I was meandering down the highway to my next, “campsite,” I realized a couple of things. First, cars were flying past me in the middle and fast lanes – – I kept a steady pace in the right slow … Continue reading