Real Life in a Casita

 

A storm moving in over the lake

A storm moving in over the lake

As our trip is winding down, Ron and I are in agreement that we are happier living in our Casita than we have ever been before in the 23 years that we’ve been married.

We love living on gorgeous lakes, in landscaped flower gardens with peacocks, and in quiet woods. We love the idea of leaving cold winters and hot summers in the rear view mirror. And we love the friendly people we meet in campgrounds.

In sad need of defrosting

In sad need of defrosting

I could be happy fulltiming in the Casita. But Ron feels that we would need a bigger rig.

At least we are beginning to look toward making it happen. First, our place needs a lot of work before we could think of selling it. We are hoping to get most of that done this summer.

And if we change our minds, the house would be nicer for us to live in after the repairs and improvements.

Anyway, it’s something fun to dream about at this point.

I had no idea the refrigerator fins were so iced.  I keep lunch meat in front and never bent down low enough to see this!

I had no idea the refrigerator fins were so iced. I keep lunch meat in front and never bent down low enough to see this!

As far as life in the real world, 4-1/2 months in humid Florida meant that we couldn’t wait until we get home to defrost our freezer. (Ron holding the door open while he tries to decide what he wants probably had something to do with it, too. 🙂 ) It also was a great opportunuty to deep clean the refrigerator.

So I got it cleaned and cooled down. Then we headed to Eufaula to restock.

Good as new -- almost.

Good as new — almost.

I was surprised at how the refrigerator warmed up after putting refrigerated meat in the freezer and lots of fresh veggies in the refrigerator. For a while it got up to 60 degrees. It’s still in the mid 40’s now but should be at 40 soon. So tomorrow I’ll probably get rid of more foods I’m not confident will be safe.

Little Sunny is doing so much better than he was as far as his anxiety attacks. We left him in the truck while we grocery shopped. He was pacing when we got back, but exhibiting none of the hysterical yipping that I was afraid of.

No pretty photos today. It’s been overcast and raining.

Remembering Pearl Harbor, Passport America & Home Remedies

USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii.  At Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona suffered direct-hits from four 800-kg bombs dropped by high-altitude Japanese Kates and the remains of over 1,000 crewmen are still entombed in her hull. Even today, droplets of oil still leak to the surface. http://pearl-harbor.com/

USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii. At Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona suffered direct-hits from four 800-kg bombs dropped by high-altitude Japanese Kates and the remains of over 1,000 crewmen are still entombed in her hull. Even today, droplets of oil still leak to the surface.
http://pearl-harbor.com/

I don’t know why I am in such a pensive state of mind today.  I’m remembering Pearl Harbor on this anniversary of “a date which will live in infamy.”  Usually I see Dec. 7 on the calendar and I may or may not attach any special significance to it.

Years ago I toured the USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu.  The visit was profoundly moving as I stood right over the ship that is the grave for over 1,000 sailors and watched the oil slick that is still slowly seeping from the hull.

War really is hell.  I am glad that I do not have any first-hand knowledge of it.

But with all of the ominous rumblings throughout the world, I sometimes wonder how long I will be able to say that.

Moving right along to happier topics, I have all the clothes packed in the Casita for our upcoming trip.  Now all that remains to be packed are toiletries and food.  I’ll go ahead and get the canned and packaged food packed later today.

After I get that done, I want to give the entire house a deep cleaning since we plan to be gone longer than normal this time.  Our plans are to leave December 15th.

I bought a Passport America membership last night.  That will open up a lot of options for inexpensive camping for us.  I absolutely adore the woodsy, rustic, remote Federal campgrounds we usually stay at.  But sometimes I’d like a break from them and would enjoy staying closer to civilization.

Of course, there are a lot of RV parks in Florida that don’t honor PA — or that don’t honor them in snowbird season.  But there are a surprising number that do.

Also, now that I know I can safely leave both Sunny and Sheba in the trailer for a couple of hours, we’ll have a lot more freedom this trip.

Tinycamper's little apothecary  :)

Tinycamper’s little apothecary 🙂

I wanted to report back to those who are curious about how my home remedies turned out.

The frankincense and myrrh balm does seem to have helped.  My thumb joint  is not as swollen and tender to the touch as it was.  But that could be for any number of reasons.  The flare-up could have run its course and calmed down naturally.  I could have an over-active imagination and it could be the placebo effect because I wanted it to work so badly.  Or it may actually have helped.  In any case, it feels better now than it did last week.  😀

I made it in little 3/8 oz. plastic jars I got from Amazon.  A normal salve base is one part beeswax to 8 parts oil (like olive oil — I used almond).  However, the essential oils are so thin and penetrating that the normal recipe turns out almost liquid.  I tried again with a 1 to 4 ratio and it was still semi liquid after adding the esssential oils.  I’m thinking that maybe straight beeswax with that unusually high proportion of essential oils might work.  In any case, to the salve base in the little jar I added 25 drops (1/4 teaspoon) each of frankincense and myrrh essential oils.

The results of the sleeping aromatherapy trials are much the same.  I do think they help me fall asleep.  It could be that I expect them to help, therefore they do. It’s so hard to quantify things like that.  Lavender helped.  Lavender and marjoram helped more, I thought.  Clary sage and marjoram was better.  I finally concocted a recipe of several essential oils that are supposed to promote sleep and I thought that was a lot more effective.

For those who are curious, I ended up with:

10 drops Roman chamomile, 5 drops clary sage, 5 drops bergamot, 5 drops marjoram, 5 drops frankincense, and 2 drops ylang ylang.  I bottled it in a little 1/2 oz. dropper bottle — again from Amazon.

But then last night I couldn’t sleep and nothing helped!  Also I have been breathing so many essential oils lately that they’ve triggered allergic reactions.

So be very skeptical and try at your own risk.  🙂

Autumn Mushrooms, Oddities & Flowers

pink

I’m recovering… enough to enjoy wandering around the yard and the surrounding woods a bit.

fall bloomersI apologize to all whose comments on my last post I didn’t answer.  Instead of trying to play catchup, just know that I appreciate you and will do better from now on.  🙂

We are debating on whether to get the Casita’s furnace fixed this month, or to try to find some inexpensive camping before really cool weather sets in.  With the federal campgrounds closed, I found several Georgia county campgrounds with water and electric that charge under $20 per night.  The state parks are simply too expensive for us as we like to stay for several days at a time.fall bloomers2

Some of the county parks look nice, although it’s hard to find reviews on them.  Others just don’t look that appealing.   And sitting outside on chilly nights breathing campfire smoke might not be the best thing for me right now.

Maybe I’ll just get the furnace fixed and we’ll head to Florida later — IF the national forest campgrounds open up.

Interesting mushroom. Note the reticulated stalk

[This is where I edited out a biting comment on the government shutdown political shenanigans.]  😀

Our yard has mushrooms everywhere!  Some edible, some sickeners.  But after our drought last year, I am happy to see them all.  The variety is astounding.  I am only posting a small sample of the photos I took.

I was unable to get a spore print on this mushroom because it has a white parasitic fungus on the pore surface.  It doesn't seem to bother the little guy who is eating it.

I was unable to get a spore print on this mushroom because it has a white parasitic fungus on the pore surface. It doesn’t seem to bother the little guy who is eating it.

Edible penny-bun type bolete

Edible penny-bun type bolete

And another!

And another!

I removed the pore layer because it was a little past its prime.  The pores were actually olive green but they show up brown in this photo.

I removed the pore layer because it was a little past its prime. The pores were actually olive green but they show up brown in this photo.

I’m not sure what this is. At first I thought it might be wild quinine, but neither the flowers nor leaves are a match. On edit: it might be eupatorium serotinum aka boneset or late thoroughwort.

lichen

lichen

Edible suilli

Edible suilli

Poisonous pokeweed berries

Poisonous pokeweed berries

Such a pretty face

Such a pretty face

Another suillus

Another suillus

Soggy ground

Soggy ground

Goldenrod

Goldenrod

Red russulas (sickeners) growing by Casita tire.  More are growing under the Casita.

Red russulas (sickeners) growing by Casita tire. More are growing under the Casita.

A Little Delay

The air conditioner people couldn’t make it to our house Friday to replace the condenser coil, so they will be here Monday.

That means we’ll be leaving Tuesday instead of tomorrow.

I took advantage of the extra time to treat some small spots of rust on the inside of the stove cover and the vent on the side of the kitchen counter in the Casita.  Still need to touch up the water heater cover, but that will have to wait.

I also didn’t get the kennel for Sheba built underneath my bed, so we’ll have to take the crate with us this time.

We are so antsy to get on the road!

Also, I found all kinds of new, neat places to camp on the way home here.  It shows county, state, city and federal campgrounds… AND I found a cool place I think we’ll stop on the way down run by Georgia Power.  The reviews are good.

I  NEVER knew to look for all of those public campgrounds before I found that site!

Georgia public campgrounds!

Colors of Late Autumn

late fall color

Our back yard November 14

I took this photo of my back yard a few minutes ago.    We did not have brilliant red and gold fall colors here this year.  But the stunning beauty in the infinite variety of rich browns made me gasp.  What a gift!

I am still not well, but am not feeling awful anymore.  Ron is antsy to head south, so we plan to leave tomorrow.  We’ll just drive a little way and hole up at a pretty campsite for a couple of days, then meander on down to Florida.

We will probably camp in campgrounds for a few more days until my symptoms are gone then go to Mom’s house for a few days.  I definitely don’t want to pass these germs on to my family!

My brother in law is going in for surgery Tuesday.  I do so regret that I can’t visit with him before he goes into the hospital.  I may not be able to visit him while he’s there.  I will just have to wait and see how fast I make a full recovery.

 

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