Friday, May 12, 2017

We Have Buttons!

Heyeee campers and friends!  I know it's Blue Ridge Rally time when two things happen.  

#1 - I get a bath.  My Mom scrubs every inch of me, she hits every nook and cranny, she checks around my window seals for spiders, dusts every flat surface inside of me, and gets me looking fabulous since I'm the host T@B for this shindig.

#2 - Momma Sharon takes care of her final chore . . . making ID Buttons.  Those buttons are famous and collectible and just plain cute. How can you go wrong when our California T@Bbin' buddy and artist, Sara, is involved.  I could tell that Mom was tired and distracted because she boogered up four of them.  

Now 4 out of 100+ doesn't seem too bad to me, but she's a perfectionist when it comes to these little badges.  On top of that, she found one set of duplicates and then messed up 3 of the 4 she re-did because she forgot to put the little Newbie star on them.

Well I'm here to report that they are finished, have been checked and re-checked to make sure everyone has one, and they are now packed away for the trip.

Mom printed 11 sheets of buttons, then cut them out
Miss Kathryn's button is assembled
Checked, double-checked, & packed
Even the Big Meadow crew gets a Blue Ridge button
The most special ones are the 10 For 10 ones . . . these 8 Blue Ridgers haven't missed one single Blue Ridge Rally!!

Now that Splish is packed and the final item has been checked off our list, it's time for a little R&R so Mom can catch her breath before the Blue Ridgers start rolling into Big Meadow Family Campground on Sunday.

This will be my last Story for a couple of weeks.  Momma Sharon will take over the blogging duties during the rally and caravan and we both invite you to pick up your Postcard every day to see why "we have so much fun it should be illegal."  Until I'm back with more Tales, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Blue Ridge Buttons"

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Knock, Knock

Betcha think I have a knock, knock joke for you.  Nope.  That was the sound we heard at the front door this morning.  The UPS man usually doesn't knock, but he did today.  Maybe it was because it was drizzling outside and he didn't want my package to get wet.  Or maybe he knew that we were anxiously awaiting its arrival.

I am excited beyond words at what showed up on our doorstep this morning . . . it's a CAMPING CART!  Sorry to yell, but dad-gum-it, we are gonna love having this at the Blue Ridge Rally next week.  Except for the Made in China part, this is going to be one cool camping accessory! It's blue to coordinate with me, it folds compactly to fit in Splish's truck bed, and Momma Sharon has already thought of half a dozen ways to use it at Big Meadow.

Timber Ridge Camping Wagon
A cover holds everything in place
Velcro straps keep it tightly folded

My Uncle Rob has a cart that he takes when they go to the beach and Pod told me that they haul all kinds of stuff back and forth.  Miss Crystal has a cart too and Daisy told me it was Packer green and yellow.  So this idea of a camping cart is nothing new.  And you know how my Camper Mom will snitch a good idea in a heartbeat!

Unfolded and ready for a test drive

Murphy was out on the deck with Mom, supervising everything, so it is only fitting that she got to test it out.  I have my doubts that she would actually sit still long enough to be strolled around the campground. She had her 6th-month check-up with her doctor this morning, so Mom has been snapping photos of her today to celebrate great test results.

That's our camping pup who will be with us at the Blue Ridge Rally
Murphy giving it a paws up

The wheels on the cart are heavy duty and will roll well over Big Meadow's gravel.  The construction is sturdy, there's a rigid bottom that folds up and stores in a side pocket, and it has a handle for pulling it around when loading and unloading in Splish.

Welcome to our camping family little cart!

Knock, knock.  Who's there?  RU.  RU who?  Are you as excited about the Blue Ridge Rally as I am? With that silly joke and my Camping Cart Story, I will see ya later.  Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Camping Carts"

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

BRR Sneak Preview

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Momma Sharon and I are 12 days away from our Blue Ridge Rally.  While I am daydreaming about all the fun, Mom is actually working hard to check items off her to-do list so that fun happens.  If you are familiar with our rallies, you know that we like to put together little welcome bags full of goodies.  That's what this Tuesday is all about.

I'm not going to show you the final products, but I will give you a sneak preview of a few of the happies that every Blue Ridger will get upon arrival.

Happy #1 will use one of Sara's fantastic designs that Mom tweaked a bit . . . 

Happy #2 will use Sara's official 2017 BRR logo . . . 

Happy #3 is compliments of Blue Ridgers Dave & Sheila . . . 

Happy #4 involved a reconnaissance trip to Lowes this morning to gather some paint chip samples . . . 

So that's my sneak preview and it's all I'm going to tell you!  Momma Sharon, The Campmeister, will be in her Studio all afternoon working away.  12 days and counting and until I have another Tale to tell you, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & BRR Happies"

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Two Weeks From Today

Howdy Campers!  Two weeks from today there will be a tiny convoy out on the road making its way to Townsend, TN.  Splish, me, and Jake (Aunt Becky's CRV) will be headed to the 10th Anniversary of our Blue Ridge Rally.  Man oh man is this going to be an incredible BRR!!

We will be gathering at Big Meadow Family Campground, home of the 2013 and 2015 Blue Ridge Rally.  For our 10th annual gathering, we needed a place that could handle a boatload of T@Bs, T@DAs, T@Gs, and SOBs (some other brands), a campground in the mountains near lots of great places to explore, and a place that treats us special like family . . . Big Meadow fits the bill.

112 Blue Ridgers, in 68 trailers, coming from 24 different states will converge on Big Meadow starting two weeks from today and throughout the week of May 14-21.  It will be a banner year on so many levels.  There will be a small special group of friends who haven't missed one single rally . . . they are 10 for 10.  There are Newbies who will be joining us for the very first time and there are friends that come back year after year to my little do-dah.

My Camper Mom has been working on the the rally for 10 months and she has all kinds of fun stuff planned . . . a trail ride in Cades Cove, Bingo Night with Becky, a movie that tells the history of camping in the USA, a quilt show, a Dutch oven cooking workshop, coffee in the mornings and happy hour in the afternoons, evening campfires, 2 potluck meals, a Woodstock party, a catered BBQ supper, and a special project for the kids of Townsend Elementary School.  This is one party that T@Bbers don't want to miss!

There are still things to be done and checked off our lists in the next two weeks, but me and Mom will be ready to welcome all our Blue Ridge Peeps for "so much fun it ought to be illegal."

We will have Postcards and Stories for you every single day and we hope that you will join in our fun as a Remote Camper.  Thanks for stopping by today to see what all the excitement is about and until I'm back again, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & The Blue Ridge Rally"

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Something Big In The Driveway

Hey everyone!  I'm back with a little Story about something big parked in our driveway.

Now before you jump to all kinds of conclusions, I will tell you straight up that I have not been replaced!  Mom and Miss Wendy have friends from NY camping in our driveway for three days.  Miss Jane (Wendy's college roommate),  Miss MJ, and their pups Kaya and Sunny have spent the last three days visiting in their Four Winds trailer.  That big white box got plugged into the Coffee Cup's 30 amp outlet and the 6th Street Campground was open for business!

Suppers on the deck,  a touristy trip to Boone and Blowing Rock, walks around the neighborhood, and lots of visiting time filled Monday through Wednesday.  Mom did some Dutch oven cooking, Baby Gracie hopped up on the patio table and got in the wine, Miss Wendy showed off her coloring pages, and when hugs were exchanged this morning, everyone agreed that they shouldn't wait so long for the next reunion.

Momma Sharon and Aunt Wendy made sure that they got headed off in the right direction when they left this morning.  

Now you might be asking yourself if my Camper Mom got any notions of trading me in for something bigger.  The answer to that would be a resounding "NO!".

I am three weeks away from heading off to my 10th Blue Ridge Rally. Momma Sharon is in her full-on countdown mode, so things are going to start getting really crazy around here.  I probably will have several Stories to share as we get closer and closer to Saturday, May 13th. Until then, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Driveway Camping" 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Unexpected Happies From The Heart

Happy Easter everyone!  I haven't had a Story to share with you until today.  Momma Sharon and I cancelled our South Carolina State Parks trip last weekend because we just didn't think Miss Murphy was up for it.  The ladies in the office of both Andrew Jackson State Park and Dreher Island State Park were so gracious and helpful and allowed us to transfer both reservations to a week in September.

Murphy's anti-seizure meds are working well and she is doing good. Since our next outing isn't until May 14th when we leave for the Blue Ridge Rally, it will give her another month to get stabilized so she can go camping with me and Mom.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a couple of unexpected happies with you.  Mom got a little package in the mail several weeks ago and inside was a necklace with two charms.  There were from Sister #2614, Denise Mahoney, who is the Heartland Wrangler.  We don't know her personally, but she put a much needed smile on my Camper Mom's face.

Yesterday, Mom got a box all the way from New York from our T@Bbin' friend Fran Rorie.  Fran was scheduled to come to our Blue Ridge Rally, but when her family from CA scheduled a visit during that week, she had to cancel her reservation.  We have a special project for this year's anniversary BRR called Blessings in a Backpack.  Every single Blue Ridger is stuffing a backpack that will be donated to the students of Townsend Elementary School when they leave for summer vacation.

Miss Fran sent us a big, heavy box of goodies to use when we stuff extra backpacks to help reach our goal of 142.  What an unexpected happy!  

Without a doubt, camping buddies are the best in the world and Miss Denise's and Miss Fran's happies are the proof!!

Thanks for stopping by on this beautiful Easter Saturday.  Until I compose another little Story for you, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Unexpected Happies From The Heart"

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Another 15 Minutes Of Fame

Greetings my friends!  I'm here to share an article with you that appeared in the most recent issue of Pink Magazine.  When Mom and I were camping down at Camp Lake Jasper with the Sisters, Miss Jennifer (the organizer) arranged for a friend of hers (Elizabeth Millen) to come to the campground on Saturday morning to check out me and my friends and to interview our moms. Pink is a local magazine that features the arts, shopping, and dining in the Low Country.

Miss Jennifer shared a link to that article on Mom's Facebook page and it tickles me to death to share it in turn with you!  While I wasn't mentioned by name, Miss Elizabeth mentioned "T@Bs" in her article and a photo of me was included!  Here's that snapshot of me and Momma Sharon . . . 

And here's a link to the article and you can read Miss Elizabeth's Story called "Turn On The Glamp" HERE.

Thanks for stopping by today and letting me brag a bit.  I'll be back with another Story when we get back from our SC State Park tour. Until then, always remember . . .

"Peace, Love, & A Little Bit Of Fame"

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Murphy Cleared For Camping

Mornin' my friends!  It's been a pretty stressful, on-edge week around here since Monday a week ago.  In the middle of the night, Murphy the Camping Dog fell out of bed having a seizure.  Momma Sharon said it seemed to last forever and she was really, really scared.  Then later that same morning, Miss Murphy had another one.  Within minutes, they were on their way to the animal hospital to see Dr. Furtado.

Dr. Furtado immediately gave her a dose of phenobarbital and did a full panel of bloodwork.  Murphy was so confused and disoriented and Momma Sharon wasn't doing much better herself.  All her bloodwork thankfully came back normal with the one exception of a marker indicating a seizure.  Dr. Furtado figured out her medicine dosage and sent them back home.

Other than being kinda wobbly on her feet and her appetite increasing by 1000% percent, Murphy had a stable week with no more seizures and she actually gained a pound (which she really needed).  Mom took her for a check-up yesterday and Dr. Furtado cleared them both to go camping on Thursday.

Mom will keep Murphy's meds with her at all times and will have the address of the nearest vet, just in case.  I think that camping with me and Uncle Rob and his crew will do them both a world of good.  We are all headed to Andrew Jackson State Park in Lancaster, SC for the weekend.

So keep all three of us in your thoughts and prayers as we head out on Thursday.  Until my next Story, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Camping With Murphy"

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Consolation Prize

Happy Sunday everyone!  It's a gorgeous day here in the NC Foothills as Spring is making herself known in a grand way.

I think Momma Sharon is feeling a bit embarrassed about the April Fools joke she played on me yesterday.  So in an attempt to make up for it, today she told me that she actually did have something for me. A "Spring gift" is what she called it.  

I think it should be called a "Spring cleaning gift" and I'm not so sure how to take this consolation prize of hers.  I know she means well, and I do know she loves me, but . . . . 

In all fairness, we did battle the mosquitos and bugs at the Fabulous Frolic down in South Carolina at the end of February.  Out of frustration one evening, she accidentally smushed a mosquito on my fabric ceiling.  It left a small blood spot (that she's yet to clean off) that I'm not too crazy about.

In her mind, this Black & Decker portable vacuum is the perfect bug-sucker-upper at night so we can avoid nasty smushes on my ceiling and bug bites on her.  So, er, thanks Mom.

"Peace, Love, & Consolation Prizes"

Saturday, April 1, 2017

A Cruel, Cruel Joke

A conversation with Momma Sharon this morning.

Mom:  Look what I made Splash!

Me:  OMG, a new set of awnings and a placemat for picnicware to match!!

Mom:  Yeppers, isn't that the coolest fabric ever?!

Me:  Absolutely!  It matches me perfectly!!

Mom:  April Fools . . . it's for Dash-T@B and her Momma Mary, not for you.

Me:  That's just plain cruel Mom, just plain cruel.

"Peace, Love, & A Cruel April Fool's Joke

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Steppin' Out

It seems like every single time I go out camping with Momma Sharon, our campsite is a little low on the side that my door is on.  We have this wonderful contraption called a BAL that slides under my tire and allows my Mom to lift me up and level me on that side.  We think it's easier than blocks and it also provides a bit of security for us.  Here's what it looks like . . . 

Lifting me up on that passenger side has its draw back though.  It increases the height of the step to get inside and to come back out. Consequently Aunt Becky kinda lurches out because of her bad knee. I'm always afraid my little grab handle is going to rip right out!  

When Mom and I were camping down at Lake Jasper last month, half of our step stool was sitting on the concrete pad and the other half was sitting on gravel, adding a slope to that already big step. Something needed to be done!  It was time for an upgrade to a new and improved step stool . . . one with adjustable legs.

So the old platform that has served us well for 10 years is retired.  The rubber "shoes" were cracked and being held on by lime green duct tape, match-matchy, but time to go. 

The new Camco step stool is a thing of beauty!  Mom ordered it on Tuesday from Amazon and it was sitting at her front door when she got back from running errands this afternoon.  Looky, looky!

Lightweight, holds up to 1000 pounds, shiny bright
Legs fold in and out for transport, heavy duty aluminum
We are good to go for another 10 years!
Legs adjust to four different heights 
Super duty safety grip on top
Folds nice and flat and will go in my doorway for travel

Most of us older T@Bs always tell the new guys and new gals that their folks should get a sturdy step like this.  All it takes is for them to pitch forward one time and they will be convinced.  They are on sale from time to time on Amazon like my new one was on Tuesday.

Thanks for stopping by today for my Step Stool Story.  Mom gets the laptop back tomorrow so she can continue her special series on the hearth cooking workshop at Old Salem last Saturday.  Until I get that 'puter back, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Steppin' Out

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Campers Only Beyond This Point

Howdy all!  We are back home safely from our NC DOG over at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, but Momma Sharon and I are having a tug-o-war over the laptop.  I told her it was my turn and she told me that she had more Postcards to send.  Ha, ha, ha . . . look who won!!

I've been thinking about a bunch of snapshots I want to share with you in this post-NC DOG Story. There's one little thread that ties them all together . . . they are all about the campers (two-wheeled & two-legged) and what you might see when you hang out with them

This sign greets all who enter the campground
Miss Sue's junkin' score from Saturday
Even though the leaves weren't out yet,
it was a pretty drive through the park to the campground
Who's that stinkin' cute camper in the background??
Miss D'Nise & T@Bventure were just down the road from me
When packing works this well, it needs to be
documented for the next time . . .  LOL
T@Bventure got new seat covers for the season . . . WOWZERS!
Mom found this rubber stamp at 80% off . . . SCORE
Momma Sharon isn't the only one who appreciates old
picnic baskets . . . just pay Miss D'Nise a visit
Miss Suzanne combined a dog show in Greensboro with the NC DOG
Miss Elaine gave Momma Sharon a camping coozie
Another picnic tin for our collection
Ordinary leftovers are far more special when shared
at a picnic table with friends
T@Bbers only beyond this point!

That's my Story and I'm sticking to it.  Until there's another one, always remember . . . 

"Peace, Love, & Camping"