Archives for the month of: October, 2012

Still, the McDonald steak bagel thing is the search that brings most people to this blog. Yeesh.

Anyhoo, there are some that I just don’t get. Some make more sense. Here are a few:

1) no
When you look up “no” you get… me? Am I that negative?

2) i drive over toes
Excuse me? I have never, EVER driven over toes, to my knowledge. If I have, whomever it was should have screamed louder.

3) what happened with your fingers
Well, I really set myself up for that one.

4) real people living in a van down by the river
Yes! This person gets what this blog is truly about.

5) “i love macadamia nuts”
In quotes, even. I do, but have I said this in the blog? I suppose I have.

6) french gymnast springs a leak
Err. Um. I’m pretty sure this one is. Wow. I don’t even know.

7) signs do not use
Signs do not use what?! I’m held in suspense!

8) dorito fingers

9) happy anniversary baby
Thanks, sugar.

10) chocolate covered beef jerky
Yeah. I did that. No, I don’t recommend.

11) todder tots of sonic
Err. Etymology lesson: “Potato” -> “tater” Hence: TATER tots. A guy with whom I went on one date in high school did purposefully order tater *vulgar reference to female area*s just to irritate the Sonic staff. I’ll bet he’s one who’d search the web for “dorito fingers,” too.

12) how to make tye die fondant
Yea! Hope it helped!

13) soiled plate conveyor
Oooh… I’d like to see one of those in action, too! It’d take me right back to my one semester I spent in a dorm and had to eat at the campus cafeteria.

14) wordpress cherryberry sherman
Seriously? Are we still nursing that old grudge? By the way: Is Orange Leaf just Cherryberry somewhere else and with a slightly different color scheme?

15) “i love mountain dew”
SO. DO. I!

16) oklahom suga art
I’m surprised that “t” made it.

17) tmobile energy drink
Is that a thing?

18) living down by the river in a van laura
Hi, whomever you are. I have my suspicions. See former entry picture caption. *wink*

19) garden hose, water
Two great tastes that taste great together!

20) worst cats who ever lived

21) beans drying
How? I don’t… unless it was cacao beans.

22) pretty rectangles
I prefer the rhombus, but to each his own.

23) what is the white sleeve on my garden hose?
Did you ever find out? Maybe it’s just fancy?

24) renting a place and you thought the utilities were included
We stand together, my friend.

25) ikea run – down below
Umm… yikes? I… what?

There are also several searches for Wonka’s golden ticket. I hope, if one of them is hidden on my site, that I find it first. No offense to the readers, of course, but in case you hadn’t noticed, I could use a vacation! I’m living in a VAN down by the RIVER*!

*it’s really an air field


Fall! Huzzah! It needs an enthusiastic tag line akin to “spring has sprung!” Because when the temperatures taper off and I can stand to experience fresh air, I feel like a bird set free from a stifling cage. I can only imagine it’s not unlike astronauts who have been in a tiny capsule for weeks on end and who finally get to emerge. I’m sure they feel like it’s just HUGE out there. Outside.

Now, I realize that there are those who love and mourn the passing of summer. It seems that there are more of those here, slightly south and probably slightly more moderately-temperatured than where we were before. These people miss the (borrowing from a friend’s friend’s comment on Facebook) “sun tans (being pale sucks), frozen drinks by the lake, beers while floating the river, summer colors and fruity scents at Bath and Body Works.” 1) This is beautifully put. 2) It’s just wrong! I’m typically a tolerant person, but… WRONG. If you like summer, we can’t be friends and I hate you.

Kidding, of course. It takes all kinds. But I will be a killjoy and say that the only “healthy tan” is a spray tan, and that’s likely overstating it. It’s at least health-neutral (assuming you don’t inhale as the spray passes your face). Also, I LOVE the musky, earthy or cooking-inspired┬áBath and Body Works fall scents.

Not where I live, and not my RV. Trying to ward off potential stalkers. But you get the idea. Fall is awesome. Just maybe not *this* awesome in *this* part of Texas.

Fall means opening the windows, which means a lot of traffic noise since we live right off of a highway, but it also means airing out the stale cat litter odor (I do keep the bathroom vent open pretty much all of the time, for the record) and breathing air that came from God instead of our flat, recirculated breath. It’s being able to ride a bike without needing a deodorizing hose-down half way through. Fall is enjoying the walk to the laundromat instead of wishing each step for death. Fall is Halloween and Daphne’s birthday and Thanksgiving and people being generally more gracious than usual. It means better hair days, as humidity hides its soupy face for a while. Fall means that everyone everywhere has pumpkin-flavored everything, and probably cinnamon stuff, too, and likely gingerbread. I’d get tired of these things eventually, were they featured year-round. As it is, I LOVE this stuff. Oh, and Indian Mix. But only Brach’s. You people should not be buying any other brand; you might as well just chew on wax.

In short, I adore fall.

With the changing of the seasons and cooler temperatures, however, comes a climate-control challenge here in the travel trailer (living the dream!). ┬áDuring the summer of 2011, I learned a lesson. I had originally tried leaving the air conditioner set to 90 when we’d leave the house to go to work (the cats can hack it), and then turning it down when we got home at 2ish. After a month or so of this, I realized that: 1) we weren’t saving much money, and 2) in the heat of the day, the air conditioner can’t catch up, and it’s just hot until the sun goes down. So I started setting the thermostat and leaving it, and we were pretty comfortable.

When fall and winter rolled around, I tried the same strategy. I filled up both 7-gallon propane tanks, turned the heater to 68 degrees, and left it alone. Three days later, we were out of propane. That’s right: I’d spent $53 (half of what it takes to cool the RV AND run all other electrical appliances for an entire month during the summer) in three days. Clearly, we had to find a work-around.

Enter this little guy: the Sunbeam personal ceramic heater. I’d asked around (on Facebook, because that’s how we youngsters roll) for advice and had these recommended. They’re adorable, about the size of a toaster, which is perfect for RV living. I bought one for me and one for Daphne.

We handled our need for warmth thusly: Daphne takes her heater to her room at night, closes the door, and lets the room get warm. I do the same in my room. We are able to adjust for our level of comfort only, as there are no temperature settings.

This works very well while we sleep, but then there is one conundrum it presents: the restroom, while significantly warmer than outside, still rests somewhere in the mid-50s or below on the coolest evenings.

What typically happens is this: I’ll wake up at 2 AM and feel the call of nature. Then I’ll convince myself that, if only I can fall back to sleep under my cozy blankets, I can certainly wait until morning. Next, I will awaken at 5 AM and elect (not really, I have little choice at that point) to make a dash for the “outhouse” as though I’m leaving a demilitarized zone to grab a ball my kid threw over the border on accident.

If it is indeed 5 AM or later, I will stop by the thermostat on my way back to bed and turn the heater on to about 60 degrees, just to take the edge off of the living area. Otherwise, if a run for the facilities is not necessary, I will get up in the morning, dash out to turn the heater on, and go back to bed until the heater shuts off.

By then, the common area is workable. Daphne and I both bring our ceramic heaters in and turn them on. One goes on the border between the couch and the u-shaped dinette, and the other across the room on top of the stove. We turn off the central heater and make do with the electric heaters all day. If it’s really cold, we’ll shut off our bedrooms. Typically, by the afternoon, we don’t need heaters at all. This is probably the only benefit of poor insulation: the sun shining on the trailer roof all day eventually warms it right up.

In the trailer, the heater and the stove/oven are the only things that have to run off of propane. The water heater can, but unlike the oven, the pilot for the water heater is an eternal flame and will drain the tanks. The refrigerator can, too, but since we never move around, we don’t use it. I suppose that, in a prolonged power outage, it might be to our advantage. Perhaps. My perishables likely cost a lot less than a couple of gallons of propane.

When it is really cold, we have to be as careful with the two heaters as we do with the air conditioner when it runs full-time: that is, take care not to overwhelm the 30 amp system and lose power.

What about you? Do you have any heating/cooling strategies for your home? The house I owned prior to buying an RV was drafty, so I’d gotten used to wearing gloves and layering pants and shirts. It was good preparation for life-in-a-box.

Happy fall, everybody!

My talented friend Traci gave me the heads-up earlier this week that her husband’s band was going to be playing at Freddie’s Place on South First this weekend.

I was excited initially because they started playing at six (instead of ten, which is when the band I want to hear tomorrow is opening, and this type of late-night set is challenging for a single mom to navigate), and then I looked online at Freddie’s menu and got foodie-excited. No non-job-related meals out this week! We were saving it up for Freddie’s Place!

Daphne and I had already decided what we were going to order, so the menus were a mere formality. We ordered some fries to share while we waited on our hamburgers, and Daphne played on the playground, out of which she will age in less than a month.

What if they want to be sold to gypsies?

The fries were tasty, and are on the appetizers menu that is half price all day Monday and from 4-7 Tuesday through Friday. Memo to me: Meet my sister and her five kids here one Happy Hour, and let them play on the playground while we nosh on cheap appetizers. Uh, except for the oldest. And Daphne, if we wait too long.

Back to business! Daphne ordered the Stuffed Frederonie, which is 1/2 pound of Angus beef stuffed with pepperoni, mozzarella, and pizza sauce. It also came with a generous helping of hamburger veggies, which D gave me to eat as a salad.

I ordered the Fredelvis, which is peanut butter, hamburger, bacon, and bananas served on Texas toast with honey on the side. The waitress was very insistent that I had to cover that sammich in honey. I tried it without, and it was good. But once I put the honey on, it became a miraculous, delightful, transport-me-to-another-plane-of-consciousness mess.

Daphne’s Frederonie with all of the fixin’s.

Lettuce gone, Daphne took a picture of the burger as cheese dribbled down it.

My Fredelvis. Hummina-hummina-hummina.

Being rained on by the honey bear of deliciousness!


The band.

The fully costumed awesome knight on the playground.