Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cold Weather? Time to Deep Fry Gluten Free!

Zuccini on the way to becoming deep fried goodness!
Full Timing is all about the Food.

Really, it is. We take eating seriously! The one thing we refuse to compromise on is settling for substandard food.

You can't eat out every night and trust me, restaurant food gets old after a while.

Also, we Full Timers generally have a few health concerns that keep us from feeding at the collective trough,(read "Buffet"), on a regular basis.

So we all cook a little. We like to think we eat pretty healthy these days, but every once in a while we just have to run off the deep end and get out the grease for some good old fashioned home cookin'.

I also just found the electric fry pan of my dreams at a Flea Market lately, so I've gone a bit overboard recreating those recipes that I haven't made in a couple decades.

Would have liked to had a picture of the Zuccini, but it's already gone!
We had just come back from the County Line Produce Stand up by Palatka, Florida and we had some great vadalia onions and some awesome fresh zuccinin.

Nothing like eating smart, but we had to go one step better and bread and deep fry it all!
I had just picked up a box of Hodgson's Mills Chicken and Vegetable breading, (Which is Gluten Free by the way), and we just had ourselves a time frying up and gorging on deep fried goodies.

Now if you think it was unhealthy, think again, our oil is zero trans fat, at least that's what it says on the label, so it's safe to drink by the gallon, right? OK, maybe not.

But we couldn't resist doing this anyway and are delighted with the results! Who says you have to give up real food to be gluten free?

Sunrise to Sunset Daytrips - Matanza Beach

Sunrise over the ocean
We woke up at 4:30am for a day trip to St. Augustine this particular morning, from Georgetown.

We drove out to the Matanza Beach area to watch the sunrise and spend the day just enjoying the surf and miles of endless and unpopulated beach.

It was chilly and windy, but we didn't mind, it assured us of the solitude we sought.

Note: The beach parking lots are closed until 8:00am, we had to park in the parking lot driveway and leave a note on our door saying we would be back to move the truck and pay the $3.00 day fee after the sunrise, which was OK since we didn't get ticketed...

The history behind the name of this beach area seems innocuous enough, but roughly translates into the Spanish word for "Slaughter". It seems a hapless group of French Huguenot settlers landed here and settled at what is now known as Jacksonville.

On the Beach Looking North
Norman navigator Jean Ribault René Goulaine de Laudonnière, landed at the site on the May River (now the St. Johns River) in February 1562

Ribault's second-in-command on the 1562 expedition, led a contingent of around 200 new settlers back to Florida, where they founded Fort Caroline (or Fort de la Caroline) atop St. Johns Bluff on June 22, 1564.

In June 1565, Ribault had been released from English custody, and Coligny sent him back to Florida. In late August, Ribault arrived at Fort Caroline with a large fleet and hundreds of soldiers and settlers and took command of the settlement.

However, the recently appointed Spanish Governor of Florida, Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, had simultaneously been dispatched from Spain with orders to remove the French outpost, and arrived within days of Ribault's landing. After a brief skirmish between Ribault's ships and Menéndez's ships, the latter retreated 35 miles south, where they established the settlement of St. Augustine.

Ribault pursued the Spanish with several of his ships and most of his troops, but he was surprised at sea by a violent storm lasting several days. Menéndez marched his forces overland, launching a surprise dawn attack on the Fort Caroline garrison which contained 200 to 250 people. The only survivors were about 50 women and children who were taken prisoner and a few defenders, including Laudonnière, who managed to escape; the rest were massacred.

The seaweed covered beaches and rolling surf
As for Ribault's fleet, all of the ships either sank or ran aground South of St. Augustine during the storm, and many of the Frenchmen onboard were lost at sea. Ribault and his marooned sailors were located by Menéndez and his troops and summoned to surrender. 

Apparently believing that his men would be well treated, Ribault capitulated. Menéndez then executed Ribault and several hundred Huguenots (French Protestants) as heretics at what is now known as the Matanzas Inlet. The atrocity shocked Europeans even in that bloody era of religious strife. This massacre put an end to France's attempts at colonization of the southeastern Atlantic coast of North America.

They were the first people to come to North America seeking freedom. The Huguenots were Protestants fleeing persecution by Catholics in their homeland.

"Had the French not sailed into that hurricane, Jacksonville would be America's oldest city. Jacksonville is America's first coast, the first place people came seeking freedom.

One can almost see the Spanish Fleet on the horizon
It was so odd to spend the day in a place that at one time was filled with so much violence and death, but it seems the ocean has swept clean the scars of the events and time has healed the windswept beaches of her sorrow.

Although, it almost seemed as I sat staring out over the waves that I could see the Spanish fleet at anchor and the long boats pulling for shore, the hapless Huguenot's apprehensively awaiting their arrival and wondering at their eventual fate, first marooned by Storm then left to be slaughtered by Menéndez's fleet.

Sometimes I could hear voices in the breeze calling to one another and the smell of shoreline campfires lit. It was an odd sensation and one worth experiencing in an area that is now a protected natural beach area and the refuge of the wealthy beach home owners in their Spanish revival homes facing the sea.

Sometimes the best way to study history is to go to the places where it was made and immersing yourself in the feeling that seems to pervade these areas.

Although the day was bright, crisp and cheerful, one felt compelled to take a moment of silence for the people who bravely tried to settle this region and payed for it with their very lives.

One also couldn't help but think of the tens of thousands of Timucuan Peoples who inhabited these regions for thousands of years only to perish in a twinkling from the diseases and brutal treatment of their captors.
Sunset over the Intercoastal

By all means, enjoy yourself, get out your pail and shovel and build a castle, pick seashells to your hearts content, but never forget what has gone before and give a moment to reflect on how things can change in 450 short years.

It certainly gives one pause to think, and I think one should consider such things when wandering the beaches of Florida, so much history has gone before that our present occupation is just a blink of an eye in comparison.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

She Sells Sea Shells

We have been to St. Augustine beach quite a bit this year, enjoying the surf and collecting sea shells.

We are collecting them for a few reasons, one of them being we are trying to put together a presentation of Native Pre contact living and we need certain shells for utility and adornment.

Natives used shells for everything, and they were traded as far North as Canada.

The other reason we collect sea shells is that we are both Beach Bums from way back. I grew up on the shores of Lake Superior and Doyle grew up on the Little Cedar River, so we have an extensive back round in filling our pockets with treasure.

We were agate pickers mostly, which are scarce and hard to find for the most part, so imagine our joy when we discovered that one of the few benefits from Hurricane Irene was that it is a bountiful year for picking shells!

We probably overdid it, but we do have projects and shells do pack down nicely and weigh less than most times one collects on the road. the entire lot of shells above fit easily into one plastic tote.

Every shell was sorted, cleaned in Muratic acid, oiled with almond oil, and then packed according to type and future use. I guess I take my organization a bit too far, but it makes it easier for when it's time to pull them out and use them.

Here is one of Doyles first projects, this is a recreation of an ornament, (Gorget), from a mound site in Alabama.

He used stone age tools to create it and I must say, it's very nice.

I plan on gifting many of my finds as well as putting together a complete set to dishes and utility tools for my re enacting.

I especially like strange and odd finds, shells that have worn away and pieces of shell oddities.

Doyle likes them perfect, so lets just say I have way many more shells than he does!

My favorites are conch or whelk shells that have worn away to become what I call "roses". Just the center spiral remains and the tip worn off to create what looks like a flower.

I am not alone in my fondness for these nature made sculptures, ancient cultures not only used these for tools, they were a coveted and favorite ornament.

We did find some beautiful perfect type specimens. but I find myself hovering nearer to the shells that show both time and wear.

I like to image the original occupant of this ocean mobile house, sliding across the floor of the sea, seeking love and adventure while gorging on shellfish. Such a unique creature of antiquity, the first true Full Time RVer!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Catching Up...with Full Time Friends, we have arrived in our Wintering Grounds!

Well, here we are in Georgetown, Florida again for another wonderful Winter, this is the first year we are at Scrufty's at Christmas time and it's been a real treat to be somewhere where Folks really "put on the dog" when it comes to the decorating and such..we woke up to a towering inflatable Santa at the entrance and all sorts of cute animated puffery all about the lot.

Of course this means I have to do my own part, so I decided my theme is "Recycle Christmas" and I'm trying all sorts of new projects that involve reusing throw away items and trying to make it classy at the same time. Why? I don't know....probably because Doyle and I are amazed that even to cook a few simple meals in a day we can fill an entire wastebasket with needless I made some Christmas lights from water bottles, (see previous post for goofy video I made), and am making some Faux metal jewelry from So Be bottles just because I can.

It seems odd that a serious Historian Librarian type would be playing with plastic Christmas fluff when her whole life's work is recreating pre-contact native clothing, but it's been fun to get my head out of the research and goof off a bit.

It's also hard to take things seriously when there is an inflated Santa in an inflated outhouse just outside my window and he keeps getting up and peeking out, (yes, he is animated!). So I'm just going with the flow, for now.

We've been on a dead run for weeks now, we spent a month in Alabama, "Land of Enchantment" and we are firm believers! we spent most of our time at museums and old primitive historical mound sites documenting various aspects of pre-contact life. The area we were in is just North of Montgomery, (Actually Wetumpka), and we really felt the magic of the area, it was the sight of a major meteor hit way before humans walked the earth and it is geologically fascinating!

Well enough about that dry history stuff, if your not into it, I gather it's like watching paint dry... on to the Big Event, shortly after arriving here in Florida we went to the St. Augustine Flea Market, which is super cool if you like lots of vintage stuff and I found something I had been missing for 30 years....MY ELECTRIC FRYING PAN!

I am actually convinced this is the very frying pan I made the mistake of getting rid of back in the 1980's, a decision I have always regretted.

The gal sold it to me for a whopping $5.00, I almost ran out of the building and fled the area, thinking she'd reconsider and be after me.

I learned how to cook in one of these, my previous experiences being limited to wood stoves, fires and balky electric stoves, so this was the first kitchen utensil I actually embraced and became proficient at.

So I just had to make fried chicken, (Gluten Free, of course), with fresh green snap beans fried in the drippings after the chicken was done.

A meal fit for royalty and cooked to perfection!

We also have become THE premiere Beach Bums, running to the Beach at St. Augustine every chance we get, picking shells, wandering the dunes, holding hands and all that silly stuff you do when you realize you have just escaped another cold Winter in the North by inches....
So I do apologize for not posting more often, I'm sure there are plenty of Folks out there worrying as when we don't keep in touch they assume we are having health, or other problems, but it seems we are doing great and with it has come a burst of energy to get out there and live! 

Which we are doing to the best of our ability, although I will admit, even after working and keeping a regular schedule of eating right, exercising and daily long walks, the days at the beach almost killed us, requiring us to take a couple days off to eat Advil and whine a bit!

Hope you are all doing well and I hope to get back to some regular posts and picture taking, I think I'm going to invest in a new camera next week, my old 5 mega pixel Sony pocket camera is just barely limping along, (even the painting is worn off and you have to have a good memory to get the right settings), It does all sorts of unexplainable odd things that tell me it's time to put "Old Faithful" to rest.

I know I must have taken near ten thousand pictures with's hard to say good bye to something that has worked so well and now all the new ones require a college course just to turn them on, (did I say that? The old computer techie crying about new technology? I am getting old!).

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Craft-Make a Christmas Ornament Light From a Used Water Bottle!

It's that time of year when I like to do a little Christmas project, This one is great because you use something we all have laying around, (a used water bottle), and requires just a little time and is created using items we already have around the house!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Best Of Custom "So Ugly It's Cool" Campers lll

This Camper makes a statement, it says, "Help Me"

It even has a back porch, ultimate award in class and accessibility
As if you haven't had enough, I keep finding these gems and just have to share them.

It's an unhealthy compunction I cannot resist, and I know you enjoy it as much as I do, there is something in us that ADMIRES the spirit that drove these Folks to do it their own way, sometimes without regard for gravity of sense.

God Bless 'Em and long may they keep building and dreaming their individual right to travel and freedom.
Is This Photoshopped? And if not, Where Can I Get One!

The Aussies enter their own Classic Homemade

This Begs the Question, "Why?"

Hangin with the Chickens at Whittington Campground, Ewing, Illinois

There is something sinister about these RV Park Savy Marauders

Have you any Chicken Feed?
We plopped down in Ewing, Illinois at one of our favorite migration RV Parks, Whittington Woods Campground and just decided to stay for a few days.

I was looking like rain for a couple days and we don't like to travel in wet weather so we settled in and enjoyed ourselves for a few days with the Good Folks at Whittington.

It's a policy of ours to not tear down the road in wet weather, not because our Fiver leaks, (but it is a consideration that at 60 MPH it just might), it has more to do with stopping distances on wet pavement and the silly compact cars that slam on the brakes in front of us on a regular basis.

We both drove Big Rigs at one time and know from experience that the basic rule that it takes three times the length of space to brake on wet pavement is an understatement. It's more like Five lengths in all reality. So we just stay off the roads during the wet weather if we can.

Besides, we were just having too much fun relaxing at one of our favorite rest stops. What can I say about a place that has "Wild Life"? Between the crazy black squirrels and the insidious sneaky chickens lurking outside the door, we just can't get enough of the place.

We also needed to pick up an new tire, when you travel on the Illinois Interstate, bring plenty of spare tires. The pavement on the solid white line side is riddles with potholes the side of basketballs that just appear out of now where, we are sure this contributed to the short life of this brand new tire, as the shoulders are littered with shreds of tires in profusion, along with lots of black braking stripes from Big Rigs hauling over to the side in a hurry.

Yes, it the tire well molding got trashed too, but at least this trailer is designed to protect the underbelly, so little damage was done and we'll just order up a new molding when we get to Florida.

We don't get too upset about flat tires, our old trailer went through them like they were donuts at Dunkin's, (we were a bit overweight in the old rig), so Doyle had changing a flat down to a fifteen minute job, we don't even bother with the full road side assistance we have, would take longer to make the call than getting it changed and on the way again. We always make sure we pull off in a safe area and such, but it's part and parcel of living on the road and you just have to expect to go through the rubber if you tear around the country on bad interstates like we do.

Every get the feeling you are being watched, well, you are!
We don't have to set up for an Event until the 30th, so we have a little time to slow down and enjoy the scenery on our trip, this RV Park is very quiet and there are lots of other Full Timers here to visit with as we lay about.

The picture on the right was taken at one of the excellent rest stops in Illinois, we were just about to get back in the truck when we got the feeling we were being observed, and sure enough, we were being sized up by a resident attack cat in the motor coach next to us!

Glad to know we are not the only ones being owned and manipulated by a feline nomad, we like to think it's our idea to travel the country, but I think the real situation is we are under the mind control of our two cats who want to see the world.

Sleeping or cleverly invoking mind control techniques?

Seemingly innocent sleep, yet subliminally plotting our next move...
Evidence? Why is it we will munch crackers and live on chips if we are low on food but if the litter or the cat food is getting low, we will make a special trip to the store at all ungodly hours. Proof positive of being possessed by Felines.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Annual Migration Galesburg Illinois to Montgomery Alabama

We are on our way again, after a wonderful stop in Colona, Illinois for a Heartfelt reunion at Fort Obie with all our friends who stood by us in our hour of need when Doyle had his surgery last year this week.

Words cannot describe how we feel about these Good Folks and all the other people who grace our little corner of the world of reenacting.

We live a special life, full of adventure and danger at the same time. You never know what's on the road ahead of you, or what is coming up from behind. It takes a special set of steely nerves and a bit of prayer to keep us rolling in the direction of our dreams.

Between Owatonna, MN and Galesburg, Ill we had a tire on the trailer separate, which is especially irritating since we carefully inspected our tires that morning, as well as the capable staff at Noble RV. doing a thorough inspection themselves that very day. There was no reason for this tire to unwrap other than it was defective. I will be getting a hold of the maker and complaining LOUDLY.

It caused minor damage to the wheel well, not enough to really complain about. Will post the pictures and such when we are stopped again, SOMEONE forgot to grab her camera when she climbed in the truck, so I can't even get some shots of the Illinois country side as we roll along.....and the pictures of the damage are still on it.

Sure feels good to be rolling along again, I was up at 5:00am this morning I was so excited to get moving South, almost put the slides in before Doyle woke up. Usually I'm the one sleeping in, Doyle usually makes coffee and then wakes me up, but I just couldn't sleep knowing the trail lay ahead of us, and I wanted to get to Montgomery, Al as quick as possible so we have some time to visit with some friends and do a little historical rambling about.

I don't know if you realize it, I am typing along while Doyle drives, I have my cell phone tethered so I can hook up to the internet as we roll, Cell reception is actually super good on the main roads and Interstate since the emergency people need all the towers to keep in contact since radio communications were never that reliable for them.

There is something really cool about riding along surfing the net, if Doyle needs to get directions, or spots something that interests him, I can just Google it up and get him the info he needs. Mostly I just read everyone else's blogs and answer my emails.

Speaking of that, I'd better close this one out and get some pictures processed that a good friend took at Obie of our Native American Clothing Fashion Show, Thanks Cindy for thinking to bring your camera and getting some nice pictures, it was such a wonderful thing to have a thousand years of Native dress represented in one small log cabin!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Two Dinosaurs Meet Another at Chicago Field History Museum

Obligatory Skyline photos through the windshield
Having never been to the Windy City, we were more than apprehensive about driving our one ton dually there, having been scared straight by so many horror stories told us by others, especially when we were driving right into the heart of the city to the shore of Lake Michigan to the Chicago Field History Museum.

We charted a course and plunged right into morning traffic on I-55 to Lakeshore Drive and were pleasantly surprised to find it no more intimidating than Minneapolis/St. Paul or even Orlando, Florida.

We had an appointment with the Staff at the museum to view a 150 year old dress I had been studying for the past ten years. 

Had a nice visit with "Sue"
I must say I was pleasantly surprised at our reception,
 we were treated very well and were given the "Keys to the City" after our inspection was completed.

Don't let anyone tell you "City Folk" are cold and rude, we had the greatest time and everyone was exceptionally polite and helpful to us "Back Woods Types".

Examining the Garment in Question
If you ever have time to visit the museum, by all means, do so! They have an incredible exhibit of Pre Contact Early American Art and Culture. We almost regret not having a couple days or more to see everything!
Many surprise finds...

Doyle is amazed at the level of care the garment is given
I think the best part of it was not only being granted access to the item we needed more information on, but the level of care and consideration the items they have in their collection are given.

No expense has been spared in keeping these items in the condition they were collected at, as well as some really incredible restorations done on precious items that have seen better days.

The garment I was studying was in such good shape, it was hard to tell how old it was, it looked as if it had been sewn the day before we got there!

I now have the information I need and many days will be spent going over the pictures and film of the day, I have many patterns and diagrams to chart out before forget details that are still fresh in my mind now.

At any rate, our visit to Chicago was a pleasant one and we look forward to going back next year and learning more!

Friday, September 30, 2011

It's Time to Start the Great Annual Migration South by Going North!

Amish in the Morning Mist

Our Southward journey has just begun, we left our lot at Prairie du Chien, WI this morning just as the sun was coming up and headed North.

Yes, I said North. Our Southern journey will really begin at Owatonna, MN, we are going in for our annual inspection and fix up at Noble RV before we take the big turn South.

The Bluffs at La Crescent, Minnesota
Our appointment if at 10:00 this morning, but we had a late start, we were going to leave yesterday but high winds and rain kept us lying in wait, no sense in taking chances if you don't have to.
We headed to La Crosse and noted the trees beginning to change, a lovely thing to see, but it just tells us we better get to going before some snow slaps us in the butt!

We still hae an Event to go in Colona, Illinois before we head to Montgomery, Alabama for and Event we do there.

It always feels so good to get everything packed up and get rolling again, we have had our share of challenges this past 12 months, but we  have put that behind us and charge bravely into our future, confident the worst is behind us!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Facing the Unamed Fears of Living On The Road

This started out as a reply to fellow Road Warriors who are facing some pretty scary fears of the weather on the road, in answering and supporting them I realized I had been facing this same challenge myself, almost to the point of wanting to set down roots in some RV park somewhere and never moving again. Here is my reply and some follow up thoughts on this...
Being Full Timers, I know well what you are experiencing, we cancelled our Events in Texas and Oklahoma last Spring because I had an unnamed dread of being hurt in the weather.

Turned out the weather was fine and I felt pretty dumb, but two years before we were nearly hit by a tornado in Oklahoma had had fist sized hail demolish our truck glass and dent our truck and fiver, it make me a bit skittish about that part of the country during the storm season...Here is the video I made during the storm.

I also have had a dread of an accident on the road, to the point of almost having panic attacks, it has gone on for nearly a year now, so I am starting to deal with it and spend a lot of time deep breathing and assuring myself it will all be OK.

I think it has much to do with our lifestyle, we are at the mercy of the elements and bad weather a bit more than "Sticks and bricks" folks, maybe not so much more so, but it seems we are more vulnerable because we have no sturdy shelter to resort to in many cases while we are mobile.

We are also more likely to be in a accident then other folks, we make a big target and we spend more hours on the road than the average commuter.

Trying to get a hold of our fears is the largest challenge we face, I don't want to resort to the false sense of security a regular home brings, so it's mind over matter and just keep rolling....

I do understand what you are experiencing though, just want to let you know you are not alone.

One of the reasons we ended up making the decision to leave the security of a corporate job and solid "sticks and bricks" home was that we realized that all security is an illusion, and if you think your safe from bad things, think again.

Bad things will find you wherever you are, no matter how well you insulate yourself from reality. Everyone gets sick, everyone has accidents, everyone loses the ones they love and the job they thought would last forever. We all die. There is no getting around it.

Creating and keeping a false sense of security will only set you up for mental disaster when the inevitable happens. Living in a constant state of paranoia and dread also has a life limiting effect. There has to be some sort of balance.

I hate people who quote TV shows and such, preferring to hear platitudes about real life, but there is a wonderful moment in, (of all things), The musical "Oklahoma" when the Spinster Auntie says to the young disappointed Bride on her wedding day, "Sometimes you just have to pull yourself up and say, 'Well, All right then!' to the bad things that happen to you and just get on with things".

She advises the young Lady not to always expect perfection and nice things. She tells her that bad things will happen, regardless of how well you live your life. Sometimes bad things happen to good people for no reason. You just have to put it behind you and just keep going.

Dwelling on the past mistakes and accidents, or foreshadowing the future with dread will not get you going in the direction of your dreams. I know people who lived their entire lives in a "Bubble of Safety and Security" who filed their own dreams away because the path was risky and not assured of easy success.

Imagine their surprise and disappointment when they still had misfortune visit them on a regular basis, that on top of the sure and devastating knowledge that they never achieved the true path of their lives in exchange for a false sense of security! This mindset set them on the path of destruction for sure and for real.

I don't believe in "Destiny" per say as much as I believe that we are all created, (By the Creator or Force of your own personal Choice), with a certain set of talents and goals to be achieved in this "Once Go Round" of life on this planet.

Strangely, that which we must be is the thing we fear to do the most. What? You heard me. If you truly love something you want to protect it close to your heart and don't want it trampled on by the world. Perhaps an illustration of this point is needed.

Charles is a writer. He is a very good writer who has been told he has promise. Promise doesn't pay the bills, so Charles works at a Factory, but writes into the late night, pouring out his soul on paper.

Charles has a wife and Kids so he keeps working and writing on the side, after all, he has to take care of those he loves, which is right and proper. The few articles he publishes are well received, but as yet, there is no financial reward in his work of the heart. As his Kids grow and the bills mount, Charles writes less and his writing lacks spark since he is so tired fulfilling everyone Else's dreams. His writing gets rejected on a regular basis because of this.

Charles stops writing and puts his nose to the grindstone taking care of family business, but a little bit of him dies everyday. Eventually the Kids are grown and the obligations of life are partially lifted from him. But Charles eye has grown dull. Perhaps he has taken up drinking or drugs to soothe his artists heart. His wife no longer takes notice of him. His writings are laying in a trunk in a back room, gathering dust.

All of this is right and proper, the common experience of every man or woman who stumbles into this world and tries to do the right thing. Charles has done what is right by all the world and has in his struggle lost an important piece of himself, perhaps the most important piece, the thing he was truly born to do.

But what now? How does the story end? Does Charles disappear into that dark night or does he stumble across his ancient scratchings and begin anew his writing career with the knowledge he as gained as he struggled to conform to this wretched world?

All of us face this mental challenge at some time in our life, and we must, at some time, take a "fearless moral inventory", (Yes, I am quoting the Twelve Steps of AA), and decide that regardless of what path we have followed in our march towards conformity and world favor that at some point that talented, depressed and sadder-but-wiser person within us must be hearkened to.

As Willy Loman's wife says to her children in "Death of a Salesman" " Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He's not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person."

We all have a Willy Loman inside of us and regardless of what we have sacrificed or achieved in this world for others, there comes a moment when we all must pay attention to ourselves, no matter what the cost, no matter how much we fear to expose ourselves to the possible failure of our dreams. What is the alternative? Do we really have a choice at this point?

The reason we now live on the road as we do is because we took care of business for 50 years. we struggled, paid bills, raised kids and did just about everything we were supposed to do. We also battled depression, drug addiction and failure as most other people do who actually try to live a life less followed.

The day came when we realized that we had become cardboard cut outs of the American Dream. Successful, somewhat wealthy, infinitely sure that we were on the right path. 

Then a small voice that we had silenced for decades began whispering in our ears, seducing us with visions of driving down the road, wind in our hair, being FREE. This voice became louder and more persistent until it had to be addressed.

We listened. We considered the possibility. We took a risk and cut our ties to the real world. After all, we could always go back to our lesser lives in disgust and despair if it failed, it would always be there waiting for us.

And so, today we find ourselves here, not really knowing if we did the right thing, having experienced both the good and bad of a lifestyle chosen by whim. Did we do the right thing? We may never know. But that still small voice inside us is quiet now, other than to occasionally encourage us to take a day off and go to the beach.

Do your best for your Family and Career, but there will come a point when you must be paid attention to. Listen to that voice. Your real life may be just around the corner.

How do you know if this article is about you? Your still reading it aren't you? Sometimes the truth comes from strange places, Wipe your tears of regret and muster up the courage to start taking reasonable steps towards your dreams, one step at a time, one day at a time.

Even if you fail miserably at what you know you should do, you will have at least tried, and that makes all the difference in this great pageant we call life.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Better Than Facebook, Blog Roll Rules!

What we need to get around these days...
I haven't posted much lately, first my back went out, then we did four Events in a row, then I got this Flu/Grunge/Crud that has been taking everyone down lately. We haven't been sick in more than five years, so this has been a real experience for us, being out in the fresh air constantly usually stems most illnesses, but this one caught us because I was laid up with the bad back....(whine, whine, whine...).

We usually get our truck and trailer maintenance done this time of year, we can't get in early this week because so many Service People are out with the same Crud! What an ordeal it has been!
Camper of the Future..wonder what they tow it with?
One thing after another like this keeps me from posting because I don't want this to become the "Old Whiners Aches and Pains Blog", but it does help me catch up on what everyone else is up to in my Blog Roll, (bottom right of this page).

I have been intensively busy with my new Blog, "Stitching Up History", which I thought was just going to be a place to keep a record of all my web research for myself, but has now turned into a world-wide reference for other historians trying to create accurate Historical Native American Clothing! Who knew anybody cared about this stuff accept me?

The problem being, I didn't get everything I've researched up and running on the site as it was going to be just for me to grab or post stuff to, since it has become so popular, I sorta have to get some basic stuff posted I never intended to, since I had the info elsewhere for my own perusal, but popularity has its costs!

I am excited to have found other "Kindred Spirits" who are on the same quest as I am through Blogging, and that's why today's article is on Blogger being waaaaay better than Facebook!

Especially with the recent changes in format, has anyone else noticed how irritating Facebook has become? With every change they make, it seems that more and more all I am seeing is posts from people who are mentally picking their nose or those darn, "Post this to your Status" posts that make me want to tear my hair out.

Why on earth would I ever be such a moron as to just copy paste someone else's ideas? Don't they realize it turns the entire site into a jumble of multiple postings of the same darn post? And usually most of these posts are STUPID, SAPPY or UNIFORMED, or just Plain WRONG! (Post this to you Status if you agree, 99% of you won't have the intestinal fortitude to it! Ooops, Sorry).

But, my Blog Roll is my First News of choice in the morning, I wake up, check my email, check my Kids on Facebook and then settle back and scan the Blog Roll to see what others of a like mind are up to. It sure is a pleasure after the assault of Facebook!
I see we are facing the same challenges, the weather, sickness and problems with those things not taken care of yet, many are still trying to dispose of their homes and get on the road, some are experiencing break downs and repairs and some are just cruising along enjoying the scenery and making us all want to get those final details wrapped up and on the road again!

As I stated before, we have been down the last two weeks due to sickness and our annual maintenance routine we run through before we head to Colona, Illinois and Montgomery Alabama for an Event we love, then to Georgetown, Florida for the Winter.

It seems like a simple jaunt, but we are ending up complicating everything for ourselves, as long as we are having work done to the trailer we will be in striking distance of an Event we used to do, so we are going to run over and spend an afternoon there catching up on old acquaintances, which will add a hundred miles or so to the road log and eat up a good day.

Then, since we have so much free time, we jaunt over to the Chicago Field History Museum to examine a 200 year old Deer Hide Strap Dress for my research and top it off with an Event in Colona, Illinois the end of the week.

After that we tear down to Wetumpka, Alabama and do another Event, but first we take a day to run over to Atlanta, Georgia to check out an Event and see a good friend from Florida we haven't seen in a year.

Then it's down to Florida to collapse and spend a quiet Thanksgiving, (I think). We just don't know when to stop, but if things get to hairy, we will employ our new philosophy which is "Us First" and cut back on the extra trips to save energy and sanity.

Our main goal is to get through the next two Events and get to Florida, everything else is subject to change if we get tired....except the Museum trip, I have planned this excursion for ten years and, come heck or high water, we will get there to add to my knowledge of what women really wore Before European Influence.

So, if my postings are down recently, you can see what I have been up against! I hope you do as I do and read about other people who want to or are living the Full Time Lifestyle, the blog roll is at the bottom right of the page and makes a refreshing change to the Facebook, and other "Internet Morasses" such as the RV Forums, which seem to have fallen into a state of lethargy lately....

New Camper of the Future!

Since I don't have time to write, I figure I should just pass along some great and amusing sites I have stumbled upon, here is what we will all be living in in the near future, the site I borrowed it from is listed at the end of the article.
Modular Motorhome, portable trailer, Christian Susana
Campervans are great for the wide-open road, but what happens when you reach your destination and want to travel in something a bit less clunky? This variant concept RV comes with a detachable car to let you cruise city streets once you exit the high-speed freeway.

Modular Motorhome, Hybrid Camper Car, futuristic car
This design challenge was tackled by Christian Susana with great attention to detail, from how each portable portion (car and camper form) looks separately to how they appear as whole when plugged back together.
Motorhome car, Christian Susana, future vehicle
The tiny two-seat car part is definitely built for short trips, looking like a cross between a golf cart and a Mini Cooper.
Motorhome, Hybrid Camper Car, Caravan Combo
The larger back-end trailer takes its cues from classic VW-type campers, maximizing space with a lofted sleeping area, flip-down table-and-chairs set as well as compact storage solutions set into any remaining available areas. Curved lines also recall traditional Airstream trailers, which make maximum use of sleek streamlined exterior forms and more spacious-seeming inside spaces.
Modular Motorhome, innovation vehicle
Expansive side windows depart from the classic privacy-oriented caravan style, abstractly referencing tourers in their openness to the outside world. Likewise, a front window long the top lets daring passengers get a sneak peak of what lies ahead … or an unfortunate up-close pavement view if you slide open the back door while someone is driving (safety second!).
Designer: Christian Susana

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Where have I been? It seems like ages since I've had a moment to post!

This time of year we are attending Events back to back, (one every weekend), so I have little time to do anything other than work and sleep!

We are going to be taking our Road Warrior in for its one year check up in two weeks, she needs a few touch ups to keep her going string, nothing to really complain about, not when you have the best RV Dealership in the country backing your rig!
Our Rig parked in the Mound View City Park at Platteville Wisconsin

We were at Noble RV just a month ago with our list of needed work, they were so accommodating, they offered to let us stay on the lot for the week, but I wanted to rest up so we actually stayed at an RV Resort near sure was an experience to be in a Park that even had horses and trail rides! Thankfully we were in a quiet corner, so I did get my rest!

They needed to order parts, so we have made an appointment to go back in a week or so. Will post about repairs as they are dealt with, but again, there was nothing that couldn't be handled by the friendly staff at Noble RV!

I also plan on writing a "Year on the Road" retrospective while we are down for a couple weeks, so stay tuned for what should be an interesting article that I have no idea what it will be about, I write "Off The Cuff", so to speak.

I'm keeping up my reading of other blogs, they are listed down at the bottom right of my page, you should check them out too! There's a wealth of information out there to be accessed!

Well, my time is up and I have to get some sleep. we are hitting the road again at dawn to head out for Hartford Wisconsin for a Historical event there, if your in the neighborhood, drop by and have a Root Beer!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Coon In a Can at Galesburg Illinois Heritage Days

 Doyle and I were just settling in for the night in preparation for setting up our kitchen for Galesburg Heritage days when from outside we heard so much banging and clatter, we flew from our beds to see what was the matter!
Turns out we had company in the form of a very peeved juvenile Raccoon who could not quite get out of the garbage can he had found himself in.
 Doyle carefully set the youngster loose and he quickly took to the trees to get away from his benefactors..(Some gratitude!)
The next night he did the same thing, got himself stuck in a can, but this time he scratched patiently, knowing his rescuers would come to his aid.
The next night topped all when he came to the door and scratched at the door to get in! He must have observed our cat being let in and just thought he'd like to come right in and visit too.

Of course, we shooed him away, but he hung around our trailer all weekend getting trapped in cans and knowing we would let him loose.

I wonder what he's going to do now that we are gone?
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