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" 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Silencing The Squeak

Greetings y'all.  Momma Sharon is working her way through our to-do checklist for next week.  One of the packages that arrived this week was for me and it addresses a long-standing issue . . . my squeaky corner steadies, better known as stabilizers.  When she and Aunt Becky crank them up and down, they squeak so loud it could wake the dead.  No lie!!

Mr. Jay is a camping buddy of ours that lives way over in Illinois.  He's a T@B Guru and when he recommends a product for me and my friends, our folks take notice.  So when he mentioned a fix for getting the best performance out of our stabilizers, Mom took notes and ordered a big can from Amazon.  It's called Fluid Film and it's amazing!!

It's also going on the threads of my BAL (leveler) to protect and lubricate them.  Mom will put it in my bucket to have it with us at all times if an extra squirt is needed.  Thanks Mr. Jay for helping us silence the squeak!!

I'll be back tomorrow with another Getting-Ready Story and until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & No More Squeaks"

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Splashy Shoes For Mom

Evenin' everyone!  Preparations continue this week for our big outing to Maryland on Sunday.  There have been some packages delivered to the front door lately . . . needed things for me, provisions for Miss Murphy, and fun stuff for Momma Sharon!

Today there was a delivery from a shoe company called DAWGS.  I love the name, don't you? Obviously that package contained something special for Mom.  We saw the coolest shoes online in a Facebook advertisement featuring 60% off.  My Camper Mom has funky feet after years of teaching, playing sports, and two surgeries.  Normally she would never, ever order shoes online,  but she took a chance with these babies.  Check them out and you'll see why they were impossible to resist.

Look for these awesome sandals called "Loudmouth Zs" coming to a campground near you!!  (P.S., they are a perfect fit).  Drop back by tomorrow and I'll show you what packages arrived for me.  Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Splashy DAWGS"

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Getting Ready For Maryland

Howdy friends and campers!  I'm back for a little mid-week Story as Mom and I get ready for our annual trip up to Cunningham Falls State Park and the MD DOG.  I told her that the storage area under my sink needed some attention.  It's kinda jumbled under there with a variety of paper plates and plastic plates and utensils.

When we were camping with Mr. Rob in The Holler last month, he had a nifty holder for plates, napkins, and utensils that he carried out to the table each night at supper.  I wish Mom had taken a photo of it to show you, but we were surprised to find out that it came out of their old dishwasher . . . LOL.  It was the perfect size and shape to hold picnic supplies.

So I convinced Mom to get me one!  She found one on Amazon that she thought I would like and it arrived day before yesterday.

We pulled out the paper plates, napkins, and plasticware to "try it on for size."

The paper plates were a snug fit, but everything else fits nicely.

When we put our original-square-splashy-plastic-plates from 2007 in the back compartment, they were a perfect fit.  Do they make square paper plates?  Hmmmm, guess we will have to look next time we hit the grocery store.

Okie dokie, that's it for today's Story.  Stay tuned for more as we get close and closer to our departure day, one week from Sunday.  Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & A New Picnic Caddy"

Monday, July 24, 2017

Patches, Pins, & Stickers, Oh My

Monday greetings!  I hope everyone had a fun weekend.  Mine was hot, but totally relaxing here in my T@Bport.

I was thinking about my week in The Holler with Momma Sharon and it occurred to me that one thing that ALWAYS happens when we camp, didn't happen this time around.  We always come home with a new sticker or two and you can bet money on that happening if Uncle Rob is around.  Would you believe that there was zero shopping last week!!  Because Murphy the Camping Dog was along, it kinda altered Mom's outings and that totally explains the lack of new stickers.

BUT . . . there was a little package from California waiting on us when we got home and that DID contain stickers.  Mom had ordered a patch, a pin, and a sticker from our T@Bbin' artist buddy, Sara, before we left.  

Sara has designed a whole line of T@B-related fabric that she sells through Spoonflower and she recently added the patch, pin, and sticker to her Etsy store.  The patch and pin will go on Mom's CDO chef's apron and we found the perfect place for the sticker . . . on the Yeti!

If you are a member of the T@B Family, take a minute or two and visit Sara's hella-cool creations. You just might find something you cannot live without.

Until I have another little Story to tell, stay cool and always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Patches, Pins, & Stickers"

Friday, July 21, 2017

Toot Toot

Ha ha, bet you weren't expecting me back so soon.  We were up and out of The Holler pretty early this morning.  The temperature was 68° when we rolled out of a campground that was still asleep.  We took the long way home along the Parkway to catch Hwy 421 down the mountain.  Sure it adds some time to our trip, but we don't mind. Murphy was asleep, Yacht Rock was on Sirius, and we were in a groove.

So I bet you are curious about the title of my Story and the clipart. Momma Sharon and I thought it would be cool to toot Uncle Rob's horn just a bit.  He came to our rescue each evening so I could write a Bedtime Story for you.  Remember I told you that Mom left a critical piece of techie equipment at home?  Well she ordered a spare so we will have it with us at all times and it was waiting on us when we got back.

I am going to let you in on a little secret.  My Camper Mom left this same cable home LAST summer too.  She didn't get too upset this time around because she thought Aunt Becky could bring it on Monday when she came up with our church group for lunch.  Nope, that would have been too easy . . . she couldn't find it!

So toot toot!  Thanks Rob for coming to Mom's rescue once again.  This is a good time for me to give you a link to the Stories that he and Miss Anne write . . .

Have a good weekend everyone.  Stay cool out there and until I have another Story for you, always remember . . .

"Peace, Love, & Thanks Uncle Rob"

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Soulful Repeat

Evenin' friends and neighbors! It's my last night in The Holler and once again my Camper Mom said "have at it" when I asked if I could send you another Bedtime Story.  

Today was a repeat of our soulful Wednesday.  Miss Murphy was up extra early at 4:20 to take care of business and again at 6:30 begging for breakfast.  Instead of everyone going back to sleep, we just laid in bed and listened to the day wake up.  It was a cool 66° inside so I told Mom just to take her time getting herself ready for the day and enjoy the coolness.

She and Murph took a long walk around the lake this morning, saw a whole raft of motorcycles parked at the entrance waiting for one fellow to sprint to the bathroom (LOL), and then strolled down 5th Avenue daydreaming about what it would be like to have a seasonal site here.

Uncle Rob picked them up for a backroading adventure at 11:30.  He had a whole series of roads picked out to explore and a picnic site to boot!  Along the way, they found a funky gem shop that required a quick stop and saw lots of campers parked beside the muddy New River. Lunch was at the 221 access New River State Park picnic shelter.  I've camped there a couple times so I know it was a great spot for lunch.

Our afternoon was spent lazing around except for when we watched Mom pack up the Baby Clam for the trip home tomorrow.  Supper was over at Miss Anne's place and the menu included a taco casserole with all the fixin's, a Mexican salad that I sent over, and an ooey-gooey dessert that Momma Sharon delivered.

Our mountain respite in The Holler comes to an end tomorrow as we head down the mountain for home just in time for some wicked hot temperatures.  Maybe thinking about our fun week here will keep us cool. I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to read the Stories I've written for you this week.  Until I am on the road again or have some fabulous news to share with you, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, and Mountain Renewal"

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Day Good For The Soul

How-deeee from The Holler.  Miss Murphy had a good night and despite making Momma Sharon jump through her morning hoops at 5:30 (bathroom, medicine, & cuddles), 6:30 (bathroom,  breakfast, & cuddles), 8:00 (bathroom & cuddles), they both woke up in good spirits.  

Today has been one of those days that is good for Mom's soul . . . waking up in the mountains with the windows wide open and staying in bed until 9:00 . . . having coffee outside as the morning unfolds . . . cruising on the Blue Ridge Parkway with the windows down . . . "drive-by shootings" with her new camera . . . finding the perfect spot for a picnic lunch . . . driving on gravel roads not knowing where they would lead . . . supper with The Cousins . . . knowing it can happen all over again tomorrow.

Murphy after breakfast deciding what to do next
Wild flowers seen along Sheets Gap Road
Historic Harmon School . . . a 2-room school house built in 1920
View from Sheets Gap Road
Cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway with Rob & Trisha
Picnic lunch by the side of the road
Murphy checking out the picnic area
Wild flowers along the side of the road
Momma Sharon & her pic-a-nicking buddy
Bluff Mtn. Trail near Doughton Park
A field of color
Even the Parkway comfort stations are terrific
"Drive-by shooting" with Mom hanging out the window
Raccoon Holler bottle tree

Murphy catching some afternoon zzzzzzzzzs
Tonight's menu:  lasagna, Caesar salad, garlic bread
Sleep well everyone and until I have another Story to tell, always remember . . .

"Peace, Love, & Days That Are Good For Mom's Soul"

Blackberries right beside our campsite

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Quiet Times In The Holler

Evenin' friends!  We are all sacked out for the evening listening to distant thunder and rain on my roof.  That's life in the mountains in July.  There's a soft light glowing on the counter, the TV isn't turned on, and our sweet Murphy is asleep.  We had a tough night last evening, because Murphy had another seizure.  Although it wasn't as violent or long as others, it still takes our breath away when it happens. Momma Sharon thinks she just got too tired from all the activity yesterday.  So today, we took it real easy.

Mom and Murphy took our jar of Bacon Jam from the Lodge Store in Pigeon Forge over to Miss Anne's to share with the Cousins.  Uncle Rob had baked biscuits and made a sausage and egg casserole.  It was a fine way to start out this Tuesday in The Holler.

Just down the hill from their campsite is a grove of pine trees with paths through it.  Momma Sharon has wanted to walk through those woods every time we camp here, but never has.  Miss Murphy was prancing all around and obviously up for an adventure, so off they went.  There were paths in between the trees, lots of ferns, and even a secret hut that we think some camping kids built.

After a quick trip over to West Jefferson to buy some lights for Miss Anne and some Starbucks for Mom, everyone got back just before storms started rolling in again.  I provide a pretty cozy place to spend an afternoon and naps were in order for all three of us after a bite of lunch.  I always like our quiet times together!  

The menu for this evening was pork tenderloin, baked beans, coleslaw, and garlic bread.  Mom pitched in with the slaw and bread and Chef Rob took care of the beans and pork, cooking them on his fancy GMG pellet cooker.  We eat like kings and queens, don't we?!

After supper, Rob pulled the TV outside and they all watched "Hidden Figures" while Jackson and Murphy slept.

So that's how we spent our Tuesday here.  I got some good quality time with my Camper Mom and my sweet Murphy Girl.  It's time to turn out the light and go to sleep with mountain rumbles.  Thanks for stopping by for another Story from The Holler.  I will have another one for you tomorrow evening and until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Quiet Times In The Holler"