Saturday, April 30, 2016

Another Brilliant Idea Snitched

Momma Sharon is making me laugh out loud this morning.  She's all grumpy and cranky because she has to get her picture taken at church at ten o'clock for the new directory.  She knows they will want to sell her a package of portraits and I predict she will say something like, "I know what I look like".  LOL!!

Anyhoo.  Let me tell you about another brilliant idea that my Camper Mom snitched!  Several weeks ago on Facebook (the source of all new camping ideas), we saw a post by Michael that grabbed our attention. At Target, he found the perfect carrying case for his ice maker. Ooooooo….just what we need too!  It's made by Igloo and is called the Maxcold 45.

So off to Target she went.  Once home, out came the ice maker.  It's a match made in packing-for-a-camping-trip heaven!

Ice maker + Igloo = a perfect fit and it will sit nicely behind the Yeti, in front of the CDOs in Splish. Another brilliant idea snitched!!

After the dreaded portrait session, it's time to check the next item off our BRR to-do list:  wash, iron, then cut out the Survivor buffs.  14 days and counting until we leave for the biggest rally of the year.  I will probably have some photos of those buffs to share with you tomorrow and tell you a little Story about our Survivor Competition.  Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Another Snitched Idea"

Friday, April 29, 2016

Too Many Awning Choices

My Camper Mom has an addiction…she admits it and all her camping friends know it.  She has an awning addiction.  I'm not going to tell you how many awnings she actually has…it's more than five, but less than ten…tee hee.

Our awning dilemma is simple.  What do we take to the Blue Ridge Rally? There's our favorite portable awning called the Visor.  It goes up in a matter of minutes and looked like the bill of a ball cap. It allows us to keep the window open during rain and it's steady even in wind.

Then there's the Cottonwood with its big footprint.  It takes a bit more time and effort to put up, but Mom and Aunt Becky work as a team on this one.  It attaches to my keder rail and then extends out 10 feet from there!  We found out on Tybee Island during wind gusts of 40 mph, that it's sturdy and very reliable.  With the new sidewall panels and rainfly that Momma Sharon got for her birthday, it gives us great protection from the elements.

And lastly, there's the often overlooked Therma-Rest.  It's pretty hard for one person to put up, but the sloped sides allow good breezes to flow underneath.  That yellow color doesn't really match me, but rather is a nice compliment.  I gotta tell you that we have actually thought about selling it, but just haven't gotten up the nerve yet to make that announcement.  I bet someone coming to the Blue Ridge Rally might be interested …. hmmmmm.

What's your prediction?  I think I know which one will get packed into Splish, but I guess you'll just have to wait on our first Postcard on Saturday, May 14th to see!  Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Too Many Choices"

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Camping Lakeside

I spent last week camping with some of my Trailer Peeps at a little shindig that Momma Sharon and I threw called Carolina Lakeside. Way back on Black Friday, we took advantage of South Carolina State Park's 50% off camping special for selected parks.  We chose two parks with lakes, Lake Hartwell State Park and Croft State Park on Lake Craig and paid a whopping $9.50 per night!

Of the two, Lake Hartwell was my absolute favorite.  Our site, number 46, was mere steps from the water and since it faced west, we witnessed some gorgeous sunsets.  Momma Sharon sat by the lake each morning to eat her breakfast, did her Dutch oven cooking by the lake, and enjoyed evening campfires from the water's edge.

I predict that if Lake Hartwell State Park is offered again on Black Friday, we will be staying up until midnight to make our reservations for 2017!!  

Momma Sharon is in full-on Blue Ridge Rally mode for the next two weeks, so I anticipate getting a little computer time to send you some Stories.  I will throw them up on Facebook and you are invited over to prop your feet up and read for a little bit.  Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Lakeside Camping"

Saturday, April 16, 2016

One More Chore

Happ, happ, happy Saturday everyone!  Momma Sharon and I had one more chore to complete before we are ready to roll tomorrow.  When my new LP box was installed, Mr. Robert put it a bit closer to me than the old one. Consequently, the big white bucket that sat where the LP tank normally would be, was close enough to rub me in the belly.  As we bounced along the road from Lenoir to Newton, it left behind a tell-tale mark, so we knew that needed our immediate attention.

Momma Sharon took the bucket out and with a saw, lopped off two inches from the top.  Dropping the height of the bucket was about 90% successful.  There was still some play and we thought under bumpy conditions, it might continue to rub me.

Solution:  bungie cord and Velcro straps to pull it forward in the frame and a small section of pool noodle added at the back to increase the distance and eliminate the possibility of rubbing all together.  

Mom took the time to neatly wind up my extra power cord, three extension cords, and a handful of bungie cords.  They fit nicely into the bucket once again despite it being shorter.  We will criss-cross two short bungie cords over the top of the bucket to keep things in place as we travel.  One more chore completed!

Splish is all packed, the Yeti is awaiting ice, and we are shooting for a 10:00 am departure to Lake Hartwell State Park in the morning.  We'll have about a 3 hour drive down to the SC/GA state line and you can add a bit more time to that since we'll be stopping to fill up with cheaper gas in SC and grabbing a bite for lunch.

It's time for me to turn the blogging duties back to my Camper Mom. That means starting Sunday evening, you can pick up your Postcards again.  I will grab the computer back week after next.  Until then, always remember . . .

"Peace, Love, & Completed Carolina 
Lakeside Chores"

Friday, April 15, 2016

Good Mod

It's Friday and we are gearing up for our big Carolina Lakeside outing on Sunday!

One of our favorite movies is Dances With Wolves.  It's one of those movies that we can join at any time we run across it on TV and watch till the end.  There's a line in the movie that Momma Sharon and I love. It happens when Dunbar and Wind In His Hair trade gifts because of Wind's curiosity to wear Dunbar's soldier jacket.  After making the exchange, Wind says, "Good trade" and it's the perfect explanation of what occurs between the two of them.

Today's story is called Good Mod because it's the perfect solution to storing and securing Mom's Keurig during travel.  Like so many of my mods, she got the idea from someone else.  It involves a pizza delivery bag bought off of eBay for $7.94 that measures a perfect 12x12x12-inches.  The little coffee maker sits down in it just right and when it's zipped up and placed in my bottom cabinet under the sink, it's totally protected during travel.

We would both like to thank Michael Mancuso for the inspiration. Good idea…good mod!  I have one more little Story to tell you tomorrow before we hit the road.  Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love & Good Mods"

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Even More Mods For Yours Truly

Howdy campers!  I worked up another collage of all the coolio upgrades, additions, and mods that I've had over the years.  It's just an itty bitty Story for you today, but I sure do appreciate you dropping by!

I hope to be back here again tomorrow and until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love & Coolio Mods"

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy Anniversary To Us

Way way back on March 8, 2007, Momma Sharon and I met for the very first time.  Then on March 20, I came to live in my forever home with her.  I'm not sure why we've never celebrated that anniversary.  Maybe it's because I've been so dadgum happy being here that I've simply put those days of sitting on Tom Johnson's Camping Center lot out of my mind.

As I recall, my Camper Mom made a beeline straight for me!  She didn't look at any of my brothers and sisters sitting around me or at one of those SOBs (Some Other Brands).   I noticed right off the bat that she had a camera in her hands and she was snapping photos of me by the dozen.

Before she left on that Thursday, her salesman had a check in hand and I had a sign in my window! She told me later that I was her first choice and that my name was SplashT@B because it looked like someone splashed cans of paint all over me.  It was love at first sight!

It took her a couple weeks to get a hitch installed on Pilot I and come back to pick me up.  We spent the night together at the campground there so she could make sure she knew how all my systems worked. We listened to the radio, ate supper together, and had our very first camp out together.  She even backed me into our campsite!  Aunt Becky drove up the next morning to follow us back home to Newton.

We are celebrating our 10th camping season together and with one trip under our belts, we are looking forward to at least five more this year.  So Happy Anniversary last month to me and Momma Sharon!  She always says that money can't buy happiness, but she bought me and that's the next best thing!!

I hope you enjoyed this Story about how WE came to be.  I'll be talking with ya tomorrow and until then, always remember . . .

"Peace, Love, & Happy Anniversary To Us!!"

Monday, April 11, 2016

More Of My Mods

I was kinda hoping for a pretty Monday, but it's blustery, cloudy, and a bit chilly.  No worries though, because Momma Sharon is working on the Blue Ridge Rally and I put together another collage of more  of my mods over the last ten years.  I sometimes forget just how many special things my Camper Mom has done for me.  This one features stuff both inside and out!

Thanks for dropping by today for a quick Story and I'll see ya back here tomorrow!  Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Useful Mods"

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Brrrrrr . . .

Brrrrrrr . . . it's cold around these parts!  All I can say is that Mother Nature better get her rear in gear and get these morning temps back up to where they are supposed to be.  Why?  Because a week from today I'm going camping!   Yep, we are hitting the road for a little shindig that Momma Sharon is throwing called Carolina Lakeside.  Carolina because we are headed back to South Carolina and Lakeside because we're camping beside two lakes in two state parks:  Lake Hartwell SP and Croft SP.

Both of these places are new to us.  Combine that with seeing an old friend from Alabama and meeting a bunch of new friends, we are a tad excited.  Pod will be there and that always makes me happy.

The Campmeister has been hard at work this week on the upcoming Blue Ridge Rally.  If you want to talk about camping excitement, then start talking BRR with her and watch her eyes light up.  She's been putting the finishing touches on Survivor: Battle of the Rows, making sure everyone's name is spelled right on the ID Buttons, making packing lists . . . stuff like that.

There have been a lot of Newbie questions on our Facebook groups about mods, decorating, upgrades, and such.  Mom's artsy-fartsy side erupted when she decided to create some collages showing all the things she's done for me over the years.  Here's one of them . . .

Well, that's it from here in the chilly Foothills.  If you are out in a campground somewhere this morning, I hope you are staying warm! You know I appreciate you dropping in for a Sunday Story and I promise to have another one for you tomorrow.  Until then, stay warm and always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Camping"

Saturday, April 9, 2016

A Little Silliness

Happy Saturday y'all.  Momma Sharon loves to start her morning with a cup of coffee and the internet. She checks her email, looks to see what's happening with her buddies on Facebook, and checks out any new pins on Pinterest.  She almost always finds something neat and often silly.  She will sometimes snitch it and drop it in a folder just in case she needs some ideas for camping or rallies or happies or just to make me laugh.

Here's what she has found lately . . . 

This would also look terrific on a t-shirt or nightshirt

You won't catch us arguing with this!
We hear the mountains calling us OFTEN
Wouldn't this be a hoot at the Blue Ridge Rally?!
I have Camping Peeps looking at snow this morning wondering the same thing!
This is Momma Sharon's message to you this morning

Oh this is exactly what our Folks do during the Happy Dance

See what I mean?  I hope your Saturday includes a little silliness.  I'll see ya back here tomorrow for a Sunday Story and until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, and Silliness"

Friday, April 8, 2016

A Day Of Bright Ideas

Over the course of the last year, Momma Sharon and a bunch of her Blue Ridge Rally Peeps have been on a journey of sorts . . . a cooking and camping journey using camp Dutch ovens.  They started this odyssey as a result of a workshop called "Dutch Oven Cooking 101", led by Chefs Bill, Elaine, and Lois. We are coming up on the first anniversary of that journey!

Anniversary bar to be presented to the Chefs during the upcoming BRR

Mom and the Chefs are forever trading recipes, tips, photos, and stories of their cooking escapades.  They even plan entire camping trips around those cast iron pots!  They participate in a series of monthly challenges to expand their cooking skills and earn patches to sew on their aprons and hats and tote bags.  There's an award that my Camper Mom created called "I Saw The Light" and to earn that, you have to share a tip with the gang.

I Saw The Light award presented to Chefs with great ideas & tips

Since the recent SC DOG, there have been lots of tips flying around and like any good Chef, my Mom has snitched a couple of those ideas and has even come up with one of her own.  

Tip #1 from Chef D'Nise, Chef Rob, & others:  use some sort of windscreen to keep your coals lit in your charcoal chimneys and during actual cooking.  This will keep breezes from causing them to burn too quickly!

Foldable windscreen purchased from Amazon 

Tip #2 from Chef D'Nise: use charcoal lighting cubes to get your fire started in a flash (pun intended)

Weber Lighter Cubes, also from Amazon

Tip #3 from Momma Sharon:  Use wooden shims if your Mr. Werner isn't level.  Slide them under the feet of your cooking platform to keep everything in your Dutch oven on an even keel and not running to one side or the other.

Inexpensive, easy-to-pack-in-your-bucket wooden shims

Mr. Werner is perfectly level

Tip #4 from the Chefs:  use a muffin tin to put samples of the 12 different chili dishes that will be cooked at the Chili Cook-Out during the 2016 BRR…genius!!

12 openings . . . 12 chili samples

I hope you have enjoyed hearing my Story about some bright ideas from our world of camp Dutch oven cooking.  It's the weekend and you need to get out there camping or cooking or BOTH!  Until I write another Tale for you, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Bright Ideas"

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Look! Look!! Look!!!

Hey everyone . . . I am just a little bit excited.  OK, a WHOLE LOT excited! This morning was my appointment at Bumgarner Camping Center to get my junky, broken LP box removed and a brand, spanking new one installed.

I shared a Story with you last week about having to MacGyver my LP box in order to go camping at the SC DOG.  Lots of cinches, straps, and duct tape were needed to keep that old lime green box where it was supposed to be so that it wouldn't go flying off into the road.

It only took Mr. Robert an hour to remove my old box and install the new one.  Since Momma Sharon wasn't allowed in the service area, a tech named Tommy offered to take some photos for her.  Can you believe that?!  Look at the mess down in the bottom of the box . . . yikes!!  The frame was broken on both sides and the screws that should have attached everything to the frame were AWOL!!  Holy moly, how scary is this?

Mr. Robert removed all our red straps, took out the 5-gallon bucket that carries my chocks and power cord, removed the case holding my battery, and then walked that old box to the dumpster.  Before putting everything back in its place, he even gave me a good washing where Momma Sharon has never been able to reach in all these years of giving me a bath.  Oh yeh, that felt good!

And boy howdy, look at me now!!  New Interstate Battery 24 and a new Little Guy, perfectly matched lime green LP box!!  There's a rubber gasket, real screws, black powder-coated frame that's snuggly (and properly) attached to my AL-KO frame, and a locking mechanism that WORKS!

That old LP box served us faithfully for nine camping seasons and the guys at Bumgarner Camping Center said that this one should do the trick for another nine years!!

I have a few more Stories coming up for you in the next few days, but this one is definitely the biggest Story I've had to tell in a long time. Thanks for dropping by and until it's Story Time again, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love & Much Excitement"