Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gin & Tonic

May 31 - Jun 13, 2013 (2 weeks) - Diamond Lake RV Park, Diamond Lake, OR
I could stay here for a long time if only there was a grocery store nearby.

I've been reading Suzi's blog, Beluga's Excellent Adventure. She is currently in Eugene, OR where we are heading next. She's been posting about all the great restaurants they've been too. I think we'll be eating out a lot in Eugene.

While walking the dogs yesterday chilly morning (31°!), I passed the Boyinks 5th wheel.  Hmmm, are they following us in a roundabout way? I saw them visiting when we were in Dead Horse Ranch and here they are in OR in the same park. I'm so glad Scott recently bought a mini baseball club for protection. Yes, I'm kidding about needing protection. But Scott did pick up a fish basher (that's what it was called), that he keeps by the bed. It gives him some sense of being able to protect us.

Back to the Boyinks. The reason I noticed they are here is because they have a vinyl sign on the back of their RV with their name and blog address. I also have vinyl signs on our RV and truck. I think it not only encourages people to check out our blog, but also makes it easier to spot fellow bloggers. I would really encourage fellow bloggers to get a sign made and display it. It really makes it easier for folks to approach you.
We also have this same sign on our rear window of the truck.
This morning around 9:30, we hear Knock, Knock,Knock. Huh? Uh oh! Are we going to be told to not keep our dog out on the tether? Devin has been really good tied outside. I have been awake for 2 hours, but I'm still in my English Setter Flannel jammies. I open the door and lo and behold, it's Mike & Crissa Boyink! I came out so we could talk a while. No shame wearing jammies outside while in an RV park in the morning. Conversation was pretty easy and they are really nice folk. I'm so glad they stopped by. I can add another RV blogger I've met. Very cool!

Tomorrow (Friday), we head North 140 miles to Eugene where I expect a Gin & Tonic waiting for us at happy hour at the Big Beluga! 

Suz, I know you've been following my blog, so you KNOW, my pantry is low. So I will have to "suffer" and opt to have lemon in my gin & tonic instead of lime. I can supply the tonic and Tanqueray if needed.
While looking for a gin & tonic photo, I came across this version of Gin & Tonic. First, I'll have to try some Hendrick's Gin.  Then make this recipe.
Gin, Tonic, Cucumber, Rosemary
And here's an even better idea, since I love cucumber and dill!

We are considering setting our RV up with solar panels. Scott has been on the internet for two days researching. He found a blogger, Handy Bob's Solar, who has been boondocking with solar for 10 years. I've been wanting them for a while, but never thought Scott would consider them. He won't stay in Walmart parking lots, truck stop parking lots, or even at Harvest Hosts wineries and farms, so why would he boondock without the safety of being in an RV park? Well, he probably wouldn't boondock alone. He is thinking of all the nice quiet, spacious campgrounds we miss out on because there are no hook ups.
All around Diamond Lake RV Park are even more beautiful and almost empty campgrounds. Sites are large enough for big rigs, but no hook ups.  So now Scott has the itch for solar energy. Yeah!
I've avoided reading blogs of RV'rs who boondock all the time, since I never thought we would. Now I will have to review them again. I'll also have to review past Wheeling It blog posts. I skipped over their reviews of boondocking sites. Some sounded sooooooo wonderful, but I never thought we would be able to hang out there.
What REALLY got me the itch was when we walked through City of Rocks RV Park in New Mexico. Some really cool sites even our 35' Fifth Wheel could fit into. With the rocks around as a natural awning, this would be wonderful place to boondock! City of Rocks does have a decent W&E area, but it is a typical couple of rows of sites along side each other. 
We saw an RV with those portable suitcase type solar panels. I thought maybe we could at least do that...Scott agreed...until...he started researching. If we're going solar, we should go all the way. This RV is our HOME, not just a vacation home. So we want to be as comfortable as possible, even when boondocking. We want to be able to use all of the RV, not just certain areas powered by portable solar panels. So now our plan is to solar energize the whole rig! Or, maybe not. Now Scott is thinking of going simple with the suitcase solars again.
We're heading to Eugene tomorrow where there is a company, AM Solar nearby that comes highly recommended for all things RV solar.
Because we are now seriously thinking, two or three solar panels on the roof, we will also need more batteries, an inverter, etc. The batteries and inverter are the REAL expense. Before committing to this I had to ask Scott if he planned on RV'ing for at least a couple of more years. He said yes! Good! We're both still thinking along the same lines. I don't want to spend all this money to just settle in a house in a year. I think Scott doesn't want to settle in a house because we may never travel again. Once we get a house, I will start fostering dogs again, maybe more than one at a time. I will probably foster little critters also, like guinea pigs or rabbits also. That will make it difficult to travel.
Feel free to comment or email me (njnomore at gmail dot com) with suggestions, tips, or resources about solar purchasing, installing, living.

Since that wasn't a real mod that we've done, here are just a few photos of some of the little things we'd modified to make our RV more efficient.
3M Command strips and museum/earthquake putty are an RV'rs friend!

Dog figurines never come off the molding on the slide. They stay put with museum putty. Photos stay put with 3M Command strips.
Our dogs that have passed are held up  with 3M strips. All the dog memorabilia stays there by quilting straight needles stuck into the fabric. We never take any of these down.

Kitchen utensils take up way too much room in what little drawer space we have. Picked up this sliding hook thingy at the Dollar store.

More kitchen gadgets are hung up with cup hooks.

 No space wasted. The pipes under the kitchen sink hold our colander which is light, but bulky.

A wire shelf is attached above where the pots and pans are, and holds odds & ends
Another dollar store item . This sticks to the inside of the cabinet door. It holds coffee pod packets, spice packets, dry salad dressing packets, etc.

Again, the inside cabinet doors. Silicone collapsible measuring cups and funnel, plus measuring spoons all hung up with hooks. You just have to make sure you space them so they do not hit the shelving and prevent the door from closing.

 Lucite wine glass holder from Camping World installed under cabinet. The black thing between shelf and glasses is a piece of foam which prevents the glasses from moving around during travel.

Rubbermaid storage containers
 Throw out your old tupperware. I don't know about the new tupperware, but my 25 year old tupperware did not stack or pack into cabinets well. Think square/rectangle. Round is a big no-no! I started out with Oxo storage containers (below) and at first thought they were great. But after a year's use, I do not like them. The lids are supposed to be a vacuum seal, but if you pick up the containers by the lid, they pull off. PIA to clean the lids also.  I have since begun converting to Rubbermaid storage containers (above). I LOVE them! They fit nicely near each other, they fit well in my RV cabinets, the lids are easy on easy off, similar to a tupperware lid. They come in a variety of sizes so space is not wasted on the wrong sized container. I purchase mine at Walmart.
Oxo storage containers

Under the storage containers are sliding panels that I installed into the pantry cabinets. They were formally just very deep cabinets. There was no way to reach my arm all the way to the back and try to figure out what was back there.
There are other mods in past posts. Just click on the label in the left column that says "mods".
Finished Treads, fingerless gloves that will keep my hands warm while on the computer.

This was a fairly easy pattern in which I learned a couple of new techniques with this project. I learned how to knit in the round with two circulars. You tube is a great resource for learning knitting techniques. Here's a video for knitting on two circulars. Once I got the hang of it, I like it a lot!  I've knitted in the round with the magic loop method, which is fine, but a little more awkward to do. I don't like knitting in the round with double pointed needles. That just seems too cumbersome. I can see me using this easy two needles in the round method often.  You do need to have two sets of the same sized circular needles though, which I do have. I have a set of Knit Picks Harmony Circulars, a set of Knit Picks Zephyr Acrylic Circulars, and Knitter's Pride Dreamz circulars set. I never knit with straight needles.
With this fingerless pattern, I also learned how to make a thumb gusset, (which is not a finger?). Making the thumb was surprisingly easy. I may have to try to make some real gloves.
Side note: Is a thumb a finger?
What a controversial subject. I've seen some very heated answers. There are a number of ways of thinking.
Not a finger:
1. A thumb is not a finger. It is an opposable digit.
2. A thumb is not a finger because a finger has 3 joint and a thumb has only two.
3. A thumb is not attached to the fingers.
I feel sorry for all those parents that state their newborn is healthy and normal with 10 fingers and 10 toes. I guess that means their child has no thumb? or has 6 digits on each hand?
Yes a finger:
1. 10 fingers=
Two thumbs- very important in holding items. Also the thumbs up sign I use for our deaf dog, Lyla meaning "Good Girl".
Two index fingers, or pointers- Don't you point that finger at me!
Two middle fingers- New Jerseyans need that finger to drive a car!
Two ring fingers- I always kept my left ring finger a "virgin" until my first "pre-engagement"(friendship) ring.
Two little fingers or pinkies-How else could we "pinky swear"?

From Wiki Answers: Why is the little finger called a pinky?
Answer: Derived from a Dutch word 'pink' relating to 'small' and ultimately from a Indo-European word 'Penk e' referring to 'five' the fifth finger
There are many, many resources on the net to learn to knit, or to learn new techniques. Here's just one with a slew of knitting videos-Knit Freedom.
June 14 -24, 2013 Armitage County Park, Eugene, OR
June 25- July 8, 2013 River's End RV Park, Chinook,WA
July 9-17, 2013 Port. Hudson RV Park, Port Townsend, WA
Neah Bay, WA
La Push, WA
Coeur d'Alene, ID
WA, ID, MT, ND, SD, WY, then south for the Winter of 2013/214


  1. Wow, that's an informative blog! So happy to hear you're enjoying Diamond Lake.

    Have you traveled west on Hwy. 138 to see all the waterfalls (some hikes needed, others close to the parking area). See

    Clearwater and Toketee are highly recommended. If you do the Toketee hike, I don't know if dogs are allowed. If they are, be sure to keep them on a leash and don't let them in the seemingly calm soon drops over Toketee Falls. You would not want your dogs to go over the falls!!!

    Hwy 138 is our favorite and it is where we spent many summer weekends camping with the kids. Just spectacular.

    1. Yes, we did the waterfalls a couple of days ago. Haven't downloaded photos to blog yet.
      Dogs were allowed on all the trails. Toketee was beautiful. I just wanted to stay at the overlook all afternoon.

  2. If you do drive around Hwy 138 west, check out Susan Creek BLM Campground:

    On the web site you can check out campsite spur lengths by clicking on that link in the web site above.

    1. Too late to check it out this time. We're leaving for Eugene. Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

  3. I enjoyed reading your tips. I think I will try hanging up more of my things on the cabinet doors. :-)

    1. My measuring cups are now hanging up. LOL I need to hit the dollar store and try and find something like you have for the coffee filters.

      I am wanting to pick up my stand mixer and maybe my sewing machine when we pay a visit home. I just have to find room for them. :::sigh:::

    2. After a year of F/T, we went back to our storage. Gave away some woodworking things and brought my polymer clay supplies into the RV. My sewing machine is under our dining room table.


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