Friday, September 22, 2017

Splash's Skeeter Spray

Greetings Peeps.  In a perfect world, I would be writing this Story to you from Andrew Jackson State Park in South Carolina.  But life has been far from perfect since early Sunday morning.  My buddy Roger, Aunt Becky's husband, passed away that morning.  It was sudden, it was unexpected, and it was heart-breaking.  Roger used to stand out on the back steps and I would see him off and on all day and night.  I will miss him for sure and remember him forever.  

Momma Sharon cancelled the first two portions of our camping trip to Andrew Jackson State Park and Dreher Island State Park.  We will go next April when the weather is warming up again.  We are still going to Jordan Lake State Rec Area weekend after next for the Jordan Lake Jaunt that we are co-hosting with Miss Jennifer.  Plus Mom and her camping buddies have talked Aunt Becky and Sophie into going along with us.  That will be good for all of us!

Now I gotta tell you about this skeeter spray that I mentioned up in the title of my Story.  There are a few things you need to know, so let me set the stage.  #1 - Aunt Becky is a mosquito magnet.  #2 - the bug spray that she uses makes Momma Sharon choke when she breathes it.  #3 - they are always on the look-out for a product with natural ingredients so they aren't pouring chemicals on their bodies.  #4 - Uncle Rob makes a bug spray that they like to use.  #5 - Mom likes to look for recipes for stuff like this.

OK, that gives you the backstory.  A month or so ago, Momma Sharon saw a recipe for a mosquito spray on Facebook with some interesting ingredients:  stale beer, cheap blue mouthwash, and epsom salts.  Last week she bought the ingredients and today, she made her first batch of Splash's Skeeter Spray.

She opened up the beer and let it sit around for three days, measured out the epsom salt, opened up the mouthwash and poured it all in a big red bucket.  After stirring and stirring to get the salt dissolved, she poured it into a re-purposed spray bottle, wrapped some lime green duct tape on it, and scrawled on "SPLASH'S SKEETER SPRAY".  The yellow beer mixed with the blue mouthwash and our skeeter spray turned green . . . LOL!!

Aunt Becky is going to be our guinea pig next week!  We're gonna spray that stuff all around her to keep the bugs at bay.  I sure do hope it works!!  And if it doesn't, well, Momma Sharon didn't sink a lot of money into this experiment.

Mom and Aunt Becky are taking a little road trip to Virginia tomorrow to talk to the folks at a particular campground about hosting our VA DOG next June.  I'll probably get to tell you all about it in an upcoming Story.  Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Remembering Roger"

Saturday, September 9, 2017

A Surprise Visit

I had a surprise visit from Momma Sharon today!  Wendy, Gracie, and Murphy wanted to go see Aunt Becky, so Mom took the opportunity to take care of a little Splash-business while here.  We've got some hurricane-related weather coming through on Monday and even though the biggest portion of the storm will be to our west, she wanted to put my stabilizers down and close up my windows nice and tight.

She's been looking off and on for over a year for a footstool to put in between my benches and she found one at Target yesterday.  It has storage inside of it, a cushiony top on it, and is velvety black.  I predict she will be putting our coffee tray, that Miss Rebecca gave us, on top of it.  I can just imagine all the uses for it, but I think we will only use it when it's just the two of us.  At night, it can sit up on the bench out of the way.

During the summer when heat builds up inside of me, my vintage felt pennants have a tendency to fall of the walls.  She decided a couple dabs of glue were needed to shore up the sticking power on the pennant side of the Velcro.  That was a quick fix.

Did I ever tell you about the clothesline that we got from Mr. Geo at the Blue Ridge Rally?  He used the template Mom had posted in the T@B Files on Facebook to make several sets and sell them at the rally. I've been trying to get Momma Sharon to make me a pair for years! She decided that it was easier to let Mr. Geo do the work and buy one of his sets . . . LOL.

He showed us how to install them on my grab handles.  All we needed was some clothesline and Mom found that at the ACE Hardware in Townsend.  Threading it through the four holes was easy-peasy.  We got to use it at the Asheville KOA while on the post-BRR caravan.

I knew as soon as I saw them, that the gray color Mr. Geo had painted them would soon be changed. A can of blue spray paint took care of the make-over.  Mom brought them down today, along with some small felt pads, to finish the transformation.  I think she is going to sand the blue paint off the inside of curves because it's leaving blue paint on my handles, and I don't much like that.  The felt pads worked perfectly on the hot spots that were touching my trim.

We are already looking forward to our next camping trip a week from Thursday and I'm happy that Mom got a few little chores taken care of ahead of time.  I'll be telling you a Story or two about that camping trip in the next week or so.  Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Surprise Visits"

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Branching Out

Hi everyone!  I snitched the computer this afternoon while Momma Sharon was hard at work on a new endeavor.  My Story for you today is about her being brave and branching out.  This Story has its beginnings at the recent MD DOG.

Our friend Miss Fran, walked over to our site one afternoon with something she wanted to show Mom.  It was a magazine called "Willow & Sage."  Mom had never seen or heard of this magazine and when she saw that it was about making bath products, soap included, she got down right excited!

Miss Fran said to keep it and take time to look at it.  Well, my Camper Mom didn't just look at it, she POURED over it, looking at all the photos, and reading all the recipes.  It didn't take her very long to pull out a notepad and pencil and start copying recipes.  Not only did she snitch some great-looking soap recipes, she was intrigued by some room sprays.

Now Aunt Becky and Miss Wendy don't sleep very well, so when a recipe called "Calming Sleep Spray" was spotted, it was right then and there that Mom knew she wanted to branch out and try something new.  The ingredients couldn't be simpler:  Witch Hazel, lavender essential oil, and distilled water.  The only thing needed were some small plastic spray bottles to store the magic potion.

After consulting Uncle Rob, Mom ordered two dozen 2-oz. plastic spray bottles from a company (Midwest Bottles) that he uses for his Beach Doggie products.  That box arrived today!

Mom had to snip the sprayer dip tube to fit, but that was no biggie. We are ready to make the recipe, fill the bottles, and let Bec and Wendy be our guinea pigs.  I told you that Mom was working on something this afternoon and that was coming up with a cool name for this new spray and designing the label for it.  We are going to call it "Night Owl Mist" and here's the label we will print for it.

Our "branching out" plans are to sell these along with our soap at campouts and to friends.  Stay tuned for how that pans out.  Thanks for stopping by to hear my Story and until Mom starts production, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Night Owl Mist"

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September Project

Howdy everyone!  I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend.  Mom and I don't normally camp over the big holiday weekends, so we were home taking it easy.  That's one of the perks to being in that retired category.  We can pick and choose our days and weeks to avoid the crazies on the road and the crowds in the campgrounds.

We have an eleven-day trip coming up in a couple of weeks.  Miss Murphy, Momma Sharon, and I will be heading out on a state park trip.  We will be camping in two SC campgrounds and one in NC.  I'll share all the details with you in another Story.  That's because I want to tell you about a little project we have cooked up.  And "cooked" is the key word here.

Early in our camping career, Mom bought a neat camping and cooking kitchen at REI.  It packs up in its own little case, but when it's out and unfolded, it's quite impressive.  We haven't used it in several years and I told her it would be neat if we could take it out, dust it off, and use it in our Clam at the Maryland DOG.  And that's just what we did!

It's the perfect height for prepping food, mixing up a meal for Murphy, and keeping plates and utensils handy.  It has a nice shelf for stuff like canned foods and Murphy's bowl.  There's room underneath to slide in our storage bins too.  But there is one portion of it that needs some attention.  Do you see the toaster oven?  It's perched on two spacer bars and there's a lot of wasted space there.  Plus, that little oven has fallen off before!

A trip to Lowes last week resulted in the perfect solution.  Mom picked out a nice piece of 1/2-inch oak plywood and had it cut to fit that lower section.  We needed something that wouldn't warp and was a good weight.  She sanded all the edges smooth and then did a test run in the driveway.  Nice fit!!

I told her that we just couldn't leave it plain . . . it needed to be jazzed up.  "Paint?", she asked.  "Nope, I have another idea", said I.  We have just about run out of room for camping stickers and decals.  My door is full, the Yeti is close to being full, and now they are showing up on the ice maker for goodness sakes.  "Put them on the table", I suggested.  VOILA!!

We did a test run on a piece of the left over wood to make sure the stickers would stick and then Mom sprayed it with shellac to add a protective coat.  We've got room to put more from our remaining 2017 trips and probably next year's outings too.  We will stick them on and shoot them with shellac as we collect them.  Mom was so excited with the project, she put the board on wrong and snapped the photo from the wrong side.  Silly Sharon!

So that's our little September Project that I wanted to tell you about. Now if I can get her to make those curtains for my windows that she's been talking about for a couple years, I will be good to go for my State Parks trip.  Stay tuned and until I have something to report and another Story to tell, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Camping Projects"

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Scary Things In The Road

Hey everyone!  Splash here safe and sound in my T@Bport after a super fun trip to Maryland and the Dutch Oven Gathering with Mom, Murphy the Camper Dog, and Aunty Becky.  My Story for you today is a serious one and scary on top of that!

We made the decision to drive all the way home from Cunningham Falls State Park on Sunday and not spend the night anywhere.  Jill the GPS told us it would be a 6-hour trip, but we all knew better than that. Even though we took the interstate back to NC, we would have to add a couple of hours to the trip to account for driving 62 mph max, making comfort stops, gas stops, lunch stops, and Murphy stops.  

We were cruising right along just north of Christiansburg, VA when all of a sudden, a huge piece of rubber started tumbling from the far left lane, across the center lane, and into the right-hand lane where we were.  Becky was driving and saw it coming, but couldn't do anything to avoid hitting it.  Traffic was on our left and a median full of debris was on our right.  She did the only thing she could do, straddle it and drive over it!

I was clueless about what was happening until I saw this piece of rubber that was probably 4 x 8 feet coming at me from underneath Splish.  It hit me in my front right corner and on my handle and it hurt!  Plus it made a horrible noise that scared us all to death!

I was pretty sure I was OK, but Mom took the first exit so she could get out and check me over to make sure nothing was damaged.

She checked my tire, my stabilizer, my propane tank, my trim, and my jockey wheel . . . all were fine. Whew!  But I had suffered a bad case of road rash where that rubber sheet hit me full force.  I had some big black skid marks on my handle and down my front.

It certainly could have been a lot worse and I gotta tell you, I was scared!  Momma Sharon said it would all be OK and when we got home, she would have me looking good as new in no time flat.  Today she came down to my T@Bport with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, clean towels, and a foot stool to sit on to give me some personal attention and TLC.

She was extra gentle with me and scrubbed away at all those nasty black marks.  Aunt Becky gave her some scratch remover and polisher to use too.  It took about an hour to get me back to my splashy self. How do you think I look?

My Camper Mom did a really good job . . .  that's because she loves me so much.  And even though I was really, really scared, I'm all better now. Mom is going to come back down to the T@Bport and give the rest of me a good scrub and polish to match my super clean spot . . . LOL.

Thanks so much for stopping by for my Story today.  Maybe I'll get to write a few more for you between now and late September when we hit the road for a Carolina's State Parks trip.  Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, and Scary Things In The Road"

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Time To Pack

Howdeeee!  It's a steamy hot day here in the Carolinas, but we have work to do!  Mom has been working off and on all day getting things packed and ready to roll tomorrow.  She tries her best to pack Splish efficiently and with each trip we take together, I notice that we get closer and closer to perfection!  

This morning she got all of Miss Murphy's meds refilled and made a trip to the grocery store.  Once back home, she packed our vintage picnic tin with staples, double-checked our list of foods to go in the Yeti in the morning, boxed up 20 bars of soap, and made sure all the techno stuff is in the bag.

Next, our CDO bucket needed attention.  Mom knew there was stuff in it that wasn't necessary and needed to be taken out.  Weber starter cubes needed to be re-filled, a new lid-lifter had to be fitted in, and then the big bucket could take its proper place in Splish's truck bed.

After a short break to cool off, it was time to pull out The Clam, camping mats, Mr. Weber, her favorite chair and foot stool, REI kitchen, Luggable Loo, and ice maker.  Man oh man camping with me, Murphy, and Aunt Becky for a week requires a lot of stuff!!

What's left to do today?  Murphy gets a bath, clothes get packed, food for everyone gets packed, and then we make an ice run for the Yeti. But in the middle of all that, we gotta watch the Panther's pre-season game at three o'clock.  

Thanks for coming 'round today for a Packing Tale.  I will be turning the blogging duties back to Momma Sharon tomorrow and she will be sending you Postcards all week from Maryland.  Y'all have a good week, don't look directly at that sun on Monday, and until I'm back with another Story, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Packing"

Friday, August 18, 2017

Murphy's Camping Cot

Happy Friday everyone.  Thanks for coming 'round for another Story Time.  On Wednesday, I told you about Mom's new camping sandals. Yesterday I shared something that came in the mail for me.  Today a package arrived for Miss Murphy!

Miss Murphy used to be pretty finicky when it came to where she would lie down in a campground.  Once upon a time you would never catch her sprawled out in grass or on gravel.  In her old age, she will plop down just about anywhere when she's tired and needs a nap.  

Her favorite place to crash when we go camping is on Mom's foot stool. It's too tall for her to jump on and off, but the biggest issue is that she spreads out and doesn't leave any room for Mom's big feet!

Several of Murphy's camping friends have cots that they lounge around on, so she told Momma Sharon it was time for her very own.  A shopping trip to PetSmart and PetCo left us empty-handed.  As soon as we got online on Amazon, we had lots to choose from.  After checking out the reviews, Mom chose a small, light-weight one from from Spot & Bella.

We don't know who Spot and Bella are, but they've got to be happy campers when they have their very own brand of camping cot!

It went together in no time flat once out of the box.  Miss Murphy is going to be able to hop right on and off of it since it's only 6 inches from the ground.  It's made of a black and brown mesh that is breathable and that will keep her cool.  The mesh has some give to it, so it will be comfortable.  Mom will probably put her fleece bed on top of it to give it even more softness.

Gracie hopped on top of it first and then Murphy checked it out.  They gave it the Schnauzer Seal of Approval.

Mom has already put the cot into Splish along with the fleece bed.  The Murph is good to go and that checks something else off our list.  Today we'll finalize our menu, choices for three potluck meals, and shopping list.  Tomorrow we'll do grocery shopping, get Murphy's meds re-filled, fill the Yeti with ice, and get Splish all packed. 

I'm not sure if Momma Sharon will let me have the computer again tomorrow, so I can't tell you if there's another Story for you read.  Until we find out for sure, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Keeping Murphy Comfy"