Tales From the RV Park: Zombie Rat 8, Kernut 0

The zombie rat is winning.

Life in an RV includes unwanted critters, more so than with a regular home. It’s a fact of RV life… you’re often in or near beautiful, undeveloped areas, the kind of undeveloped areas where most wild critters live. I’m about ten minutes or less from civilization, but still in a fairly undeveloped area. It’s lovely and peaceful and full of everything from deer to mice, and a few mosquitoes.

I began hearing things “go bump in the night” a few weeks ago: a bump on the underside of the RV, a bump in the front. I wondered what critter had enough body mass to make a thud that reverberated through the chassis. And then Pye started sitting in the well of the driver’s seat, where your feet go, staring at the wall that separates the peddles from the engine.

She began sitting there all night long. I began searching for evidence of what she heard.

I found rodent feet print all over the engine, some evidence of chewed insulation and wire covering. (Rat 1, Kernut 0)

I got out the mothballs, covered the area with them. I was unable to get the round mothballs to stay put in the vertical engine, and the rat seemed undeterred by the mothballs in its path. (Rat 2, Kernut 0)

I graduated to a metal snap trap, and set it with cheese… But, wait! There’s more…

Lightning Crashes – An RV AC unit dies

(Cue “Lightning Crashes” by Live, from the album “Throwing Copper”. A great song, one of my favs.)

(This is just a short post to let you all know I’m still around. I will be posting about Florida shortly)

The above referenced song title and lyrics were the first thing I thought of as reality set in: Thunder and lightning storm. Lightning crashes directly overhead. Power flickers, TV screen freezes. The smell of burnt plastic, and of electrically charged air (a rather unique smell).

The backup batteries and converter did their jobs so well, quickly bringing the TV back on, it took a few minutes for me to realize I was no longer running on shore (hookup/city) power. But then I noticed some little things weren’t on: the fridge had flipped from electric to gas, the socket where my phone was (no longer) charging, the Christmas lights in the living room, the microwave clock… That’s serious. When the microwave is out, I am NOT a happy camper glamper.

When the rain slowed down, I switched to generator power and began checking my favorite things: TVs – check; microwave – check; fridge – check; toaster oven – check; water heater – check; oven – check; furnace – check; AC unit – …..  AC unit – ……… AC unit – …………..


Lightning crashes, an RV AC unit dies.

The blower works, But, wait! There’s more…

Elk Neck State Park in Maryland; the Giant Peach in South Carolina

Maryland’s Elk Neck State Point and Turkey Point Lighthouse

Shortly before I left Pennsylvania, I took a day trip to Elk Neck State Park in Maryland to meet some fellow campers. It’s on a long peninsula, across Chesapeake Bay from Havre De Grace, home of the world’s largest duck decoy museum. The campground at Elk Neck State Park is heavily wooded, the sites a tad rustic.

The beach a short drive from the campground.

The beach a short drive from the Elk Neck State Park campground.

At the end of the peninsula is the historic Turkey Point Light, built in 1833. Although only a 35-foot tower, the 100-foot height of the bluffs on which the lighthouse stands makes it the third highest lighthouse off the water in the bay.
But, wait! There’s more…

Happy Friday 5: Amish Jokes, and Pennsylvania Countryside

On today, Black Friday, I am not shopping. I need groceries at the moment, but I’d rather not brave the hordes of frenzied consumers after they’ve spent a sleepless night in a lawn chair in front of some big box store because they are hell-bent on saving a few bucks on the latest/bigger/faster/shinier piece of equipment.

As a subtle protest to consumerism and our conditioned “need” to have the latest/bigger/faster/shinier piece of whatever, today’s post is mostly brought to you by the Amish, people who make a practice of avoiding such pursuits.

This made me laugh when I first saw it: a barn for the Amish buggies – at Walmart!! Yes, the Walmarts in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, are different that all the other Walmarts I’ve visited across the country.

Amish buggy barn at Walmart in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.

Amish buggy barn at Walmart in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.


A couple Amish Jokes:


Two fellers were in desperate need of cash, but admittedly were a bit cowardly.
So the one suggested they break into the Amish market.
The logic being that since the Amish were non-resistant, even if they were caught, no harm could befall them.
Thus they carried out their plot.
However, just as they were breaking into the cash register, the owner turned on the lights and confronted them, a shotgun pointed directly at them.
Calmly, the Amish man said, “Boys, I would never do thee any harm, yet you are standing where I am about to shoot.”

Keeping Warm

An Amish woman and her daughter were riding in an open buggy one cold, blustery January day.
The daughter said to the mother, “My hands are freezing cold.”
The mother replied, “Put your hands between your legs. The body heat will warm them up.”
So the daughter did, and her hands warmed up.
The next day, the daughter was riding in the buggy with her boyfriend.
The boyfriend said, “My hands are freezing cold.”
The daughter said, “Put them between my legs, they’ll warm up.” But, wait! There’s more…

Happy Friday 5 – National Aquarium at Baltimore Harbor

This post, the last from Bluz’s Tour of Baltimore, is a calming slideshow of the National Aquarium at Baltimore Harbor. Since it’s Friday, and since there are at least five pleasing photos, I’m including this in the Happy Friday 5 series. Yeah, I know it’s a bit of a stretch. Hey, it’s Friday.

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Despite what it might seem by the few photos displayed here, the beautiful, modern building is huge. There is a wide variety of fish and critters to see – bring walking shoes. Learn more about the aquarium here.

This post is short. Now you have time to go out and do something fun! Enjoy your weekend!

Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse in Baltimore

I’m still in the Florida panhandle, but catching up on some earlier sightseeing adventures. There is a lot to see here in the Florida panhandle, but I haven’t yet seen anything other than the sunsets, and a few sunrises before the time change. However, I did get to meet the famous memory expert and motivational speaker Bob Kittell. It was an amazing experience – as fantastic as are his memory tips, his motivational stories about his life are inspirational and moving. He’s one of the better motivational speakers I’ve heard. If you get the chance, go see him.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue the long-overdue chronicling of my visit with BluzDude at Darwinfish and his tour of Baltimore Harbor. The first post about our meeting and the tour of Baltimore Harbor can be found by clicking here.

Today’s post is about my favorite site in the tour of Baltimore Harbor: the Seven-foot Knoll Lighthouse. I LOVE lighthouses – and a little, squat, red lighthouse is a bit of double awesomeness. The lighthouse was constructed in 1856, marking the entrance to the Patabsco River and Baltimore Harbor.

The Seven-foot Knoll Lighthouse in Baltimore Harbor.

The Seven-foot Knoll Lighthouse in Baltimore Harbor.

They must be counting the seven feet from the floor, up. Or, I’m really much shorter than I thought. I look oddly short and squat next to the lighthouse… It must have a “short and squat” force field.

Here’s the other side… But, wait! There’s more…

The Buckeye State

Hi, remember me? I used to blog here. I’ve been busy in the Sunshine State (Florida) park hosting and working a short temp job. The temp job is over for now, so I’m back here to dazzle you all with my wit and stunning photography. Or not. Other than the lovely sunsets, I haven’t done any sightseeing in the Florida panhandle, so…

I thought I should at least catch up on some older sightseeing pictures. Hence, today’s post is brought to you by Ohio, the Buckeye State. I was there earlier this year while on my way to Pennsylvania. Interestingly, Ohio got it’s nickname from the buckeye trees – but it all started with ‘the feverish presidential campaign of 1840’…

Ohio, the “Buckeye State”, received its nickname because of the many buckeye trees that once covered its hills and plains.
But that’s only partly the reason. We have to go back to the feverish presidential campaign of 1840 for the rest of it.
William Henry Harrison, a Virginia-born Ohioan and military hero, was a candidate for the White House, but his opponents commented that he was better suited to sit in a log cabin and drink hard cider.
Some of Harrison’s leading supporters, who were experts in promotional know-how, decided to turn into a positive reference what was supposed to be a negative one.
They dubbed him “the log cabin candidate,” and chose as his campaign emblem a log cabin made of buckeye timbers, with a long string of buckeyes decorating its walls. Furthermore, in parades, his backers walked with buckeye canes and rolled whisky barrels.
The campaign gimmicks were successful. “Old Tippecanoe,” as Harrison was often called, beat President Martin Van Buren in the latter’s bid for re-election, and thereafter the buckeye was closely associated with the state of Ohio. (from http://www.50states.com/bio/nickname4.htm)

There wasn’t much to see or do in the region of Ohio where I was for about ten days. What little I did experience hasn’t made me long to go back. However, I did see a few interesting things.

A covered bridge near Fletcher, Ohio….

Covered Bridge near Fletcher, Ohio

Covered Bridge near Fletcher, Ohio


A collection of chocolate molds….  But, wait! There’s more…

Happy Friday 5 – Don’t Bring Sand to the Beach

Happy Friday, All!

Don’t bring sand to the beach. Especially if the beach is already full of cute, single, southern sand.

Today’s post is bright to you by The South. I love being back in the south! I honestly think I might stay a very long while. Here are five reasons why:

Why I love The South: The people. The southern gentlemen. And there are many single men. People are polite. These are my peeps. I immediately felt welcomed in a way that I’ve only ever experienced with southerners.

Why I love The South: The parties. My first week here and I’ve already been invited to two potlucks with bands, one on the beach. Although I was invited to ride along with a couple men, I am reminded of the phrase: Don’t bring sand to the beach. I will most likely drive my car.

What I’m practicing: Island time. Here in particular, everyone seems to be on Island time. There’s no rush. Appointments are merely suggestions, or rough estimates. People are more relaxed about setting up dates or appointments. Even though it’s been over five years, having lived in the hustle-and-bustle of the San Jose Bay Area for so long, I became accustomed to that rat-race pace of life. Island time is taking some getting used to – but I am fully on board with incorporating this practice!

Why I love The South: The beaches. The sun. The gulf coast. The sunsets. The sunsets are INCREDIBLE! I have to take pictures for you all, and will tonight at the beach party (I think it’s on an island – hard to tell, as they all kind of run together here). Meanwhile, here are some from a lovely lagoon.

But, wait! There’s more…

Happy Friday 5 – Pet the Sweaty Things

Happy Friday 5: Pet the Sweaty Things

First, I want to thank each and every one of you who bought my ebook! It makes my heart flutter every time I get a notification that another person bought it! I love you guys!

Fun Fact: In the first week of October I’ve driven through nine states (five of them “never been to before”) and gone 1,200 miles. By the time you read this I will be in the Florida panhandle for the winter. WOOT! The storm isn’t expected near here at all, so things are good. Everyone is on island time – laid-back and relaxed! Setting a meeting or schedule seems to be a foreign concept. Go to love that!

Create Your Own Visited States Map

Fun Fact #2: I think a “gentleman” in the Georgia Walmart parking lot who kept pulling up to my drivers window to chat me up was looking for a “lady friend” for the night. He didn’t get one. Well, he may have, but it wasn’t me. It was about then I decided that part of Georgia wasn’t a good place to spend the night and drove to Alabama. No one in Alabama hit on me. No sweaty things were petted.

What cracked me up this week: I need to preface this by saying no offense is meant But, wait! There’s more…

Ain’t never been there, they tell me it’s nice.

Life’s been good to me so far. (Click to play the song.)

Like a good snowbird, tomorrow I’m heading to Florida for the winter. Pennsylvania’s turned cold (but I think that started a few months ago).

I’ve been ready to leave for a new place for a while. I’m really looking forward to meeting up with about a dozen friends and framily (friends who are like family), several who live there, and several as they come through the panhandle. With one exception, these are all folks I’ve met on my travels. You’ve got to love that!

But I’m nervous about this trip, more so than usual, and I don’t know why. It will take me about four or five days to get there, maybe six.

I’d love it if you all would send me good, safe travel vibes! However you do it: prayer, metaphysically, sending the love, just good thoughts – it’s all good, and I appreciate it.

To RV or Not To RV, that is the question.

To RV or Not To RV, that is the question.

You all know I wrote a book, right? 

Yeah, you know because you probably saw one of the dozen or so other postings about it.

Thank you to those of you who already purchased a copy! You all rock!

And because my readers rock, I’m offering a 50% discount for you all. The e-guide is only $9.95 to begin with, so you’ll get it for less than $5 with the discount.

How do you get the discount? Subscribe to this blogs posts (enter your name and email in the pop-up window, if you haven’t already) OR comment below and I will add you (you can always unsubscribe later, not that you would want to :).

*Once you do that, I’ll send you the code. Sign up for this blog via the pop-up or by commenting below no later that midnight eastern time, Tuesday 10/4/16 in order to receive the discount.

(After a long day on the road, I’ve realized it’ll take more time for me to email the code to each commenter and new subscriber so I’m just going to post it here for the next few days. Knock yourselves out ,feel free to share the code with friends and stuff. It expires 10/4.)

Here’s the link to the purchase page.  (The discount code is KernutsReadersRock50 – it’s only good until 10/4!) 

Regular readers of this blog might recognize about a third of the content. If you want to see the Table of Contents and first few pages, click here.

All proceeds go toward gas money. Thank you in advance! 🙂

Ok, please wish me safe travels, even if only in your head! I appreciate it!