The Night before Thanksgiving

“Everett, where’s my phone?”

“Dunno.  Want me to call it?”

Tyler Dog gave us that “they’re acting weird again” look as Everett and I sat motionless at the kitchen table with our heads cocked, waiting to hear a ringtone.

We’d gotten a call from friends saying they were on their way over to visit.  Much to the dog’s amusement we instituted a rush of “cleaning up”.  A 400 sq. foot RV doesn’t provide much visiting room at the best of times, and late on a rainy afternoon before Thanksgiving is NOT the best of times.  We gathered dog toys off the floor and stashed them under the end tables.  We pulled the “dog hair prevention blanket” off the couch and stashed it in its traveling cupboard.  We put away all the dry dishes from the rack and put the sink cover over all the dirty ones in the sink.  We stuffed countertop clutter into cabinets, piled the day-to-day stuff from the kitchen table/computer desk into a basket and hucked it in a closet.  We ran a quick check around the livingroom/diningroom/kitchen/entryway (it’s an RV, remember?) and tossed all the assorted trash that had accumulated into the garbage bin in its own little closet under the sink counter.  I picked up my purse to stow it in the bedroom closet . . . and realized my cell phone was NOT in its little pocket.  I had just taken our friends’ call on that phone, it MUST be nearby.  So, yes, I did want Everett to call it.  And yes, we did hear the ringtone . . . quietly and as if from far away.  And yes, after several minutes of triangulation and secondary calls to keep it ringing, we did find the phone.  Deep in the garbage bin, under the morning’s coffee grounds, thankful to have been rescued.

Among so many other blessings, we are thankful to have friends who want to visit us, for family who invited us for Thanksgiving dinner at THEIR house, and for an RV big enough to live in, but small enough to not lose anything I’ve misplaced for long.

How we'd like friends to think we live

How we’d like friends to think we live

How it usually IS - I can't even fix red eye on the dog!

How it usually IS – I can’t even fix red eye on the dog!


Do you smell POO?

When I went to our “closet” the other day, I got a whiff that distressed my nose.  First, let me define “closet” as used by RV manufacturers.  Just inside our front (and only) exterior door, is a shallow (6 inch deep) compartment with controls for our sliders, power awning, fantastic fan ventilation system, A/C, propane furnace, water heater, etc. at the top.  There are 2 coat hooks on the back wall below the controls, the bottom (which is at roughly hip height) serves as a shelf, and there’s a door that closes to keep it all out of view.  We use this closet to store our jackets, dog walking supplies (leash, collar, tennis balls, poo bags, water bottles, flashlight, etc.), and all those things that in a sticks-and-bricks house would be left in a pile on the kitchen counter near the door.  One never knows what one will find in the closet.

Being one who never quite trusts her own nose, I called Everett over to analyze the situation;  “Do you smell poo?”

“Oh crap,” he shouted (I don’t believe it was intentional word play, but it could have been), “Have we got a leak in the sewer system?!?!?!”  Everett, as I’m sure you recall, is one of those people who always leaps first to the most catastrophic explanation for any oddity.  I blame his mother for having frequently sung him to sleep with the lovely lullaby “When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.”

Many hours later, not having found any sewage leaks, and after having removed every last item from the closet and piling them on the picnic table outside, we could no longer smell the odor.  Ah ha!  Something that had been in the closet must be the culprit.  We went through everything, sniffing each item carefully.  The tube of tennis balls didn’t smell good (have you ever sniffed new tennis balls? ick), and the dog’s wet-foot towel went into the laundry, but these were not the odor we sought.  One by one, we eliminated items and put them back in the closet.  Finally we came to Everett’s dog-walking jacket.  The good one he’d gotten at the outlet store.  The one he thinks makes him look like he’s back in high school wearing a barracuda with the little stand-up collar.  The one with a poo bag in the pocket FULL OF DOG POO!  Now, how does a grown man who thinks he’s looking cool manage to put a bag of poo into his pocket instead of the trash while he’s out walking his fluffy little cocker spaniel – and completely forget that he’s done so?  I’ll leave that to your imagination as mine is simply not up to the task.

Do you smell POO?

Do you smell POO?


Summer Vaca, Back in the Day

Happy 4th of July folks!  Rising to the “Remember the Time – Summer Vacation Back in the Day” theme challenge (see Emily and Ashley’s link below), I’ve decided to finally explain the origin of my relationship with frogs.  As you’ve seen from previous posts, I DO NOT LIKE frogs.  They haunt my travels and have an almost supernatural tendency to die in my presence.

As I recall, I was roughly 11 or 12 years old the summer our family went camping in Vermont.  We packed 2 parents and 5 kids into the converted little school bus, and drove for hours and hours and hours.  We arrived at a primitive campsite in the woods (probably a State Park) and set up tents  – only parents were allowed to sleep in the bus.  When I say “primitive” campsite, I’m talking primitive in the old school way – this would have been 1969 or ’70.  There were a couple of outhouses, but no bath house, no sinks, no mirrors.  Pop explained that we DID have running water – the stream briskly flowing behind the camper.  So after spending a relatively uncomfortable night sleeping in the tent and having suffered through a camp breakfast (with apologies to Mom who was doing her best on an antiquated gas stove wedged into the short bus behind the driver’s seat), I groggily went to the stream to brush my teeth.  Pop had shown us how to use the “running water” for this chore and to spit downstream (more apologies to the environmentalists – it was a different era, okay?).  I knelt in the rocky sand at the edge of the stream, more focused on my sore knees than anything else.  I dipped my toothbrush into the water as it rushed over upstream rocks, pooling into a small depression in front of me.  My action apparently disturbed the quiet waters at the bottom of the pool . . . and a large, dead, bullfrog popped to the surface – just AFTER I’d put the wet toothbrush into my mouth.  What was a bullfrog doing in a mountain stream?  Who knew?  Who cared? All I knew was that in my mouth was something that had touched a bloated dead carcass!  The screams of a pre-teen female in total hysteria echoed throughout the woods for more than a few minutes.  To this day, I have no memory of what happened after this incident – that camping trip was OVER in my mind and it was many, many years before I went camping again!

Zebra Garden

Photo Bomb

Just a bit of back story on today’s post.  It happened more than a month ago while we were in Charleston, SC.  I haven’t posted it before ’cause it’s not a story I’m proud of.  But Everett’s been itching to tell you himself.  So … today’s post is from the mouth of Everett.  Be warned.

It was a very nice sunny day and we were taking a pleasant bike ride through the Johns Island County Park, which has miles of paved bike paths along the salt marshes and through the woods.  Earlier in our ride, we’d gone past a small troop of girl scouts and their leaders who had spent the night in the park campground.  They were all about 10 or 12 years old, cute as buttons, and excited to be enjoying their first outdoor adventures.  As we came around a corner on the path later in the day, there they were again – posed on a park bench for a group photo.  Ethel, affected by the fresh air and thinking she was 20 knowing all the hip internet lingo, got it into her head to “photo bomb” the girls.  That’s when you jump uninvited into someone’s picture as a surprise and it apparently is all the rage amongst young folk (though I’ve got no idea why).  So off she rides, ready to plunge into the group photo with arms spread wide and a goofy grin on her face – forgetting that she’s never been too successful at balancing the bike even WITH both hands and her full attention.  I knew it was going to be a disaster, but one I couldn’t stop.  And it was.  Ethel went flying ass over teakettle onto the pavement, the bike flipped up and landed on her, the girl scouts froze in shock with eyes wide, and their leaders rushed to the rescue, as I stood shaking my head.  End results:  Girl scouts are probably emotionally scarred for life, but will never forget their trip to the park; Ethel is bruised from head to toe with skinned knees and palms, but luckily didn’t break anything this time; I had to repair the bike and get us back on the road. Worst of it was that the darned girl scout leaders never even took the photo.