Tuesday, June 30, 2015

7 Ideas to Relax and Rejuvenate

Our RV Journey – Summer Trip – Day 57

The storm and its aftermath really took a lot out of me. I didn’t realize it at first. I pushed through until the weekend, then I felt exhausted – physically and mentally drained.  I spent some time unwinding, reading and relaxing over the weekend. Finally feeling like myself again on Sunday night, I was eager to return to our normal routines today.

Here are some ideas to relax and rejuvenate especially after the storm:
1.       Read – your favorite book, a new book or head to the library and see what’s new
2.      Stay in PJs (I felt guilty for this one – WHY? I don’t know.)
3.      Get some extra sleep – go to bed early, sleep in or take a nap during the day
4.      Pamper yourself - get a pedicure or massage
5.      Order take out – from your favorite take out place
6.      Make some soup – a comfort food for me!
7.      Watch a movie – pick a favorite movie or rent a new one

~ Happy Camper

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Power Trucks are Here….the Power Trucks are Here…Hip, Hip, Hooray!!

Our RV Journey – Summer Trip – Day 55

Day 5 with no power.

Generators and chainsaws have become familiar sounds to us by now.

A cavalry of power trucks arrived this morning! They pulled in about 10 am. There were 
about 7-8 trucks! This group came from Ohio to assist the local electric company.

It was an all day endeavor. Around 4 pm, the power was back on.  

~ Happy Camper

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Kindness of Strangers

Our RV Journey – Summer Trip – Day 54

We are still without power after the storm. This makes day 4. We have a lot of kind, friendly neighbors here in our campground. Everyone has come together as we try to figure things out together as a community. We are lucky to have such a great group of camping neighbors.  
My daughter’s birthday was Thursday, a day and a half after the storm. We had planned a birthday party at the campground as there is a pool, splash zone and lake here with diving boards, rope swings - all kinds of fun stuff. However due to the storm damage and loss of power, the swim club (lake and pool) have been closed. We looked for a quick, alternate venue the day before the birthday & party.

Luckily we found an indoor water park that was willing to work with us. They were extremely generous when they learned of our situation (change of party location due to loss of power after the storm).  They were very kind, accommodating and generous. All of our guests enjoyed the place and had a blast. I felt especially blessed to be surrounded by our family and blessed by the kindness of strangers who embraced our family.  

It taught the kids several lessons on coping with change, coping with things out of your control, being creative and willing to consider another location and brainstorming options as well as the power of kindness.

~ Happy Camper

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Aftermath of the Storm

Our RV Journey – Summer Trip – Day 52

Well, our area was hit pretty bad by the storm. Our water has returned however we are still without power two days later. We are hearing estimates of it being restored on Saturday or Sunday.

We had really enjoyed our gazebo. We were eating outside under it for almost every meal daily. It had the netting all around it to keep the bugs out. While we are sad to lose it, it is difficult to imagine replacing it. Turns out the winds were 70 mph the night of the storm, the night the gazebo blew away and landed, mangled, in a tree. I’m sure it’s doubtful that we’ll reach 70 mph winds again anytime soon. However, do I want to worry about that again? I’m having a little difficulty here working through enjoyment vs. practicality.

Mostly I’m just grateful. These types of experiences really teach you to not take things for granted and to be thankful for the smallest things.

How did the storm affect you? Count your blessings tonight.

~ Happy Camper

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Stormy Night

Our RV Journey – Summer Trip – Day 50

I can’t believe the last post was the RV Prayer. We had bad storms tonight and boy, did we need the RV Prayer! Things we love about our campground are all the trees that offer so much shade and the farms and fields next to us. A terrible storm struck tonight and the things we love worked against us. Heavy winds lifted our gazebo and wrapped it around a tree. The storm and all of the lightning struck down so many branches and trees. We are lucky we are all unhurt and the camper survived. We have never had a storm like that and had the camper out. The kids and I left to seek shelter, but my hubby, the captain of his RV, wanted to stay and ride out the storm. Do you know he called me shortly after the storm hit to come get him? After branches were falling all around him and gazebo finally blew away, he decided he had enough. It was like an obstacle course traveling back 2 miles to get him. I was reminded of scenes from Jurassic Park, which we recently watched again. Scenes of driving in the pouring rain around branches and off road to get to my destination. I couldn’t actually get to the camper by car. I had to park on higher ground and run on foot over a few rows. I was glad to see my hubby and the camper were intact. We sought safety for a while. Then returned to clean up what we could. The power is out and there is no water, however we are sleeping safely in our camper beds tonight.

Hope you are all dry and safe. Sweet dreams.

~ Happy Camper

Saturday, June 20, 2015

RV Prayer - A Sweet Prayer for Traveling on the Open Road

Our RV Journey – Summer Trip – Day 47

I thought you might enjoy this RV Prayer. I do not know who wrote it. If anyone comes across the author, please let me know. I’d like to give he or she credit for it.

God bless our traveling home
And guide us where e’re we roam
Help us find the roads we seek
And please don’t let the plumbing leak...
Save us, please from engine trouble
And mechanics who charge us double
As we travel on our way
Bless us with sunshine every day
And while you’re watching over all,
Could you let gas prices fall?
Lead us toward good food and friends
And when at last our journey ends
Grant our rolling home sweet rest
Until the next endurance test.

~ Happy Camper

Friday, June 19, 2015

Lesson Learned: Changes in Cooking with My Crockpot

Our RV Journey – Summer Trip – Day 46

I posted previously how excited I was to bring my crockpot with me on this trip. If you missed the post, you can read about it here. I have been using it weekly to make family dinners, then I use the leftovers for lunches. 
It has certainly come in handy. I have served our family as well as used it to serve meals at larger family gatherings. So it has been working out wonderfully.

However today, I encountered a problem with using the crockpot. Yes, it served its purpose. However it was hot today and the crockpot seemed to increase the heat in the camper! Therefore the air conditioner was running all day!

My hubby made the suggestion of using it outside next time. I have an outdoor table that has access to an electric outlet. I prefer to use the crockpot indoors and I love the aroma it creates in the camper! However, I can’t have the air conditioner running all day. So next time I’ll cook with it outdoors. I will still be able to smell the delicious aroma outside.  

Have you ever encountered an issue with cooking with your crockpot outside? 

Thanks for reading!

~ Happy Camper

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Luxuries I Miss - Our RV Journey - Summer Trip - Day 45

I have most everything I need here in the camper. My basic needs are met and most importantly, I have my family. I have my health, an area I am striving to improve. We have a lot of family closeby that I get to visit with often. 
When I think about luxuries or things I miss about being in our stick house: the washer and dryer are at the top of my list! At home, I would usually do 2 loads of laundry almost every morning. I was easily able to stay on top of the laundry this way. If I missed a day, it was not significant in terms of the laundry pile. It was so easy to just toss them in, move on and get things done and return when the bell rang to move them to the dryer. Ahh, I took the convenience for granted.
Here, not so much! Doing the laundry is a trip. We have to make sure we have change for the laundromat, sort and organize the laundry to see how many loads we have, load it up in the car, make sure to have something to read or do while waiting, then make the trip to the laundromat.
Tools we use:
Rolls of quarters
Several mesh pop up laundry baskets
Laundry detergent

~ Happy Camper 

Monday, June 8, 2015

7 Ideas for a Rainy Day - Our RV Journey - Summer Trip - Day 38

Over the past week, it has been rainy and chilly at times, particularly in the mornings and evenings. To pass the time and keep us warm, we’ve been to the library to replenish our book supply and pick up a few movies. We’ve been spending our down time reading and snuggling up and watching movies.  As for dinner, we went out one night to eat and warm up! Guess what? The restaurant wasn’t much warmer than our camper! So that didn’t work out so well. Thankfully, the food was good. With this weather, it’s definitely time to make my crockpot soup again! 
I can’t believe the difference in temps and the weather we are experiencing. At home, the temperature is in the 90s and the pool has been open for over a month. Here we are still in Spring with day-to-day temp and weather changes!
Things to do on a rainy day in the camper:
1.       Pop some popcorn and watch a movie (download one, rent at Redbox, borrow from the library)
2.       Read a book
3.       Read aloud a book to the family or your spouse
4.       Turn off any lights and listen to an audiobook
5.       Work on a handicraft project
6.       Play cards or a board game
7.       Clean - you can see why is it further down on my list!  =D

If there have been several rainy days and you are tired of being couped up in the camper or being creative, you could get out for the day. 
Here are some ideas :
1.       Go bowling
2.       Go out for a hot meal
3.       Go to the library or bookstore to browse or buy the latest book in a series you enjoy
4.       Go to a museum
5.       Visit family! Especially someone with little ones who could use your help for the day or an older person or someone who lives alone who would enjoy the company. Remember to call ahead! Bring them a treat too; they will be delighted!
6.       Explore an indoor farmers market
7.       Go treasure hunting at a thrift store

~ Happy Camper

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Strawberry Fields - Our RV Journey - Summer Trip - Day 33

Time is passing by so quickly! We’ve been living in our RV for over a month already. We have spent a lot of time with family, which was our primary goal. Our campsite has really come together and we are very pleased with it. We quickly established our routine, which has been a blessing. I’ve had my setback with exercise as I am recovering from bronchitis. I am slowly working my way back; I am eager to return to my regular exercise and my daily walk.

Our campground is located next to a farm and behind an apple orchard. Beautiful surroundings. Our campsite is right next to the farm’s strawberry fields! And it is strawberry picking season. This morning hubby and son literally crossed the little road over to the strawberry patch. They picked 2 quarts of strawberries – red, delicious and melt-in-your-mouth strawberries! What a delightful treat early this morning.

~ Happy Camper