Sunday, October 7, 2018




Today my heart is heavy.... the man I called husband for 26 yrs, the father of my son, passed away last night after an long battle with Alzheimer's.  He will be missed and fondly remembered in my heart forever. 


RIP my love, I keep you in my heart as I knew you... 
 say hello to our sweet friends, DixieBell and Sundance. 
















PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

One more trip around the Sun....

Not much warm n fuzzy going on right now in my corner of the woods...I'm about to turn the golden corner as another birthday waxes and wanes, so I'm laying fairly low, still dealing with some of the storm damage, trying to get my ceiling dried out so I can repaint it...


                                                  the ugly

I haven't touched it last couple of days to see how it's going I've got fans on it 24/7.  Not looking forward to it since matching the paint even tho it's just a ceiling flat paint, will be hard, so that will probably mean painting the entire ceiling! NOT what I wanted on my plate as this moment. 

Lot's of change sweeping through my life and the lives of everyone I love...it's been and continues to be a hard summer even tho it has finally ended.
I don't do well with change...emotionally I'm low, energy level is low too.  I think I'd like to sail away.  But for now a drive down to Sandhills NWR will have to do!  We finally had our first summer picnic and it is officially Fall! LoL. 

  
Mom enjoyed herself

We drove around by car and I riding shotgun with Jimmy in the backseat so I didn't see many birds we heard pine warbler, saw blue jays and red bellied woodpeckers, and lots of brown headed nuthatches up in the trees around the picnic shelter.   Mainly we enjoyed the changing landscape it  kinda goes along with the current flow of life...things they are a changin'.


The lake levels were very high thanks to the recent storm I don't think this boardwalk is gonna make it.  


This is also one of our favorite lakes there are many in the refuge, this is Mays Lake.  We agree we really need to get into a kayak and paddle this lake, it has a lot of shoreline and little coves in the back.  Unexplored places entice. 


It was the perfect spot to reflect, on times gone by, time that is, and what will be...



Recall those lines in the old movie Terminator..."the future is not set, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves," I believe that. 

I found this turtle who met his demise here in this peaceful place, his shell remained to show he had been here...is that how life is? We come, we try, we go, and leave an empty shell? Maybe!  SO strange how mankind spends more time trying to "save the soul", and we don't even know if we have one, meanwhile what is right in front of us our Earthly Experience, we ponder so much of it away and only the tattered shell remains...hmmm?


Jimmy said "aw what the heck, may as well just take a little swim."  


So he did!   He loves the water...



Then just shake it off and on to the next big thing!


FALL finally! 

PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Hurricanes and others things...

Today we are watching the weather report as Hurricane Florence is barreling toward the Carolina's coast.  We will feel it on Thursday and Friday and then the rains into the weekend....my state will be spared the brunt of the storm but it is looking like it's going to hit the same area where we vacationed after Hurricane Matthew destroyed many of the homes on Ocean Isle beach...in 2016.  


I doubt that any of these homes were saved if they were they will surely go this time as it looks like the eye of Florence is very nearly gonna pass just to the north of them..



...remember my room was the blue room...That was such a great trip with my sisters and my mom. 


This summer we went no where it's been quite depressing...a lot of life stuff just got in the way and that is how things happen some time.  The weather has been so nasty this summer with heat and humidity I did no van traveling, and no camping boohoo! I did however find a YouTuber to take me on virtual trips...she does a Vlog, and I have been enjoying her posts of her summer trip to Alaska...if you don't already know about Carolyn's Rv Life, you should check it out.  I've been enjoying her Vlogs! She and I have a lot in common,,,,from our Politics, to being Vegan, and loving to travel, in fact her early childhood sounds a lot like mine too...She has lived in a big city San Francisco, and now she lives in a 24ft RV....so check her out...Hopefully that will be me out there traveling again soon! It's a good channel.  I hope to make a new video or blog soon,  I have been in such a BLAH mood all summer...so hopefully soon the weather and my mood will change! 


If you recall I made a story board of my trip to Alaska, always vowed to go back since we had a fast trip of just over a week...watching her Alaska post brings back some memories, so I figured I'd rerun this one from way back...my videos of our trip are the old school kind I did put it on a DVD but until I can figure out hot to get that into my computer it remains on a shelf! I may try to use my Fire Pad to make a video of a video? That would probably be awful quality..lol





SO anyway I took the highlights and drew it out...it was a lot of fun to do this..and Alaska was awesome..the bits I can see in her vlogs is the Wilderness looks the same but the towns, and areas around Denali have grown a LOT! Better get there again soon or it won't be anything like it used to be.  I want to drive there next time like she is doing.  Hope your summer is wrapping up well and your fall comes in living colors!


UPDATE: according to our news Florence is now headed right for the coast of SC and they have the track coming right over my area so we are preparing for the worst! Already there has been a rush on bread and other staples...I plan to gas up in the morning, and get cash at the bank...having been through HUGO and without power for 11 days I know what to expect...just hope the trees around us hold up!

The latest from our tv news









PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Present but not accounted for...

I'm not posting much! Guess you noticed...anyway you're not missing out on my life, cause it's currently on a different track.  Not to worry it's not forever I keep telling myself.  However I am reading your posts and trying to keep up.  

Weather report: Blistering HOT and completely MUGGY 24/7 Three solid months straight!

 I have not posted a new Bird photo to my Flickr Albums since the 14th of July! That is a record for me I do think...my interest has been elsewhere this summer, so I pulled these from my archives..to illustrate my point.  

Northern Cardinal

Birds are in the Yard:

Ruby Throated Hummers, 




Great Crested Flycatchers, Northern Cardinals, Carolina Chickadees, Carolina Wren, Brown Headed Nuthatch, House Finch, Yellow Billed Cuckoo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Pine Warbler, Yellow Rump Warblers, Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Phoebe's, Summer Tanagers,...

Summer Tanager

And always resent the Tufted Titmouse

from the Spring...

and soon my fall arrivals will be moving in and I'm sure to see some Black and White, Yellow Throated, and Yellow Warblers, along with Northern Parula, Hermit Thrush... no telling what else may pop into the yard on their way to someplace else!


black n white warbler

Phoebe's are good to keep wasp and other flying insects out of the yard..

Eastern Phoebe

Deer: have had a large herd showing up in the pasture 8 at one time including 2 young bucks, and 2 fawns, now losing the spots and the rest does.   It's a real treat to see them come in to graze...the young bucks did a little sparing with each other...sometimes they jump the fence and graze in the yard.

 





under the leaning martin house

This youngster was on the wrong side of the fence...


And the Golden Rod is blooming! A sure sign fall is around the corner..




Labor Day the official end of Summer! Thank Goodness...


Got one more project completed..here's a video of my effort...I really have to get better at this video thing, I cut myself off in mid-sentence, I get my reflection too much..and some pretty poor editing...no Oscar forthcoming!
It was 100 degrees when I did this! 






Sound of the pileated woodpecker in the background at 0.51 seconds kinda fun to hear it.  Along with other high piercing insect sounds!

PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Clever people!

Lately I've been wrapped up in personal things...but I wanted to share some amazing ideas I've come across and thought these people are sooooo creative and clever, everyone needs to see this....check it out!


         

I thought that one was the best use of space I've seen!  So you don't need tons of space to get out there!  It is not in English but you will see it really doesn't matter, so well thought out!



..and if you still think you need a 60 ft Mothership to go camping...WRONG check out this fantastic idea!

            



When I see how ingenious people are it makes me feel good inside! And here's one more...it's not an American idea it's a world class idea!





SOOOO clever!


PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

More How to Videos?

Well why not?
It's been raining daily and unbearable hot so I'm trying to stay busy doing small projects and using my old desktop to create these how to videos!   I whipped up a little intro Using Windows Movie Maker, and found some royalty free music, so I'm learning!  I really should name my effort "rough cutz"  I've been revving up my You Tube Skilz! I now have 18 subscribers, I'm no Bob Wells, I do projects out of necessity so may as well share the info, someone may stumble over these and it could be useful.  The problem is I need a video editor that works with MPG4, my Panasonic makes MPG4 clips...while My Kodak makes AVI and that works well with Windows Movie Maker but lately it won't stay on... the online editor I used hammered the quality of the video.  Hopefully I can figure something out on that, if I was more organized to make the entire video in one clip..but that's hard it's like TAKE ONE, now TWO, now THREE...etc.

Casey somewhere in TX


I had to do some reworking of my bug screens.  Mainly because the plastic magnet holders I originally used kept falling apart and losing the magnets. While on the road I repaired a couple using duct tape and it worked so well I figured wt heck, I'd just do all of them that same way! It's not glamorous and nothing about my life is so it fits right in.  Meanwhile here's the 2 clips I made on van screening needs.  I had to combine 4 clips to get this video together. You Tube discontinued the ability to combine clips I suppose that happened when Google bought them?

Tools needed: 2 sheer curtain panels, 6 heavy duty bar magnets, 12 light duty disc or bar magnets,  2 in wide duct tape, (you can tear or cut the duct tape into pieces) 




The cabin window screens are a no sew project so even if you don't have a sewing machine, or sewing skills you can make these screens. I fiddled up some illustrations using my PSP to illustrate how I did it...I've had these about 3 yrs and I decided to remove the plastic magnet holders and use the duct tape on these so this is a remake....and here is how I did it, and these are simply for utility if you want yours to look great then you can finish the edges better than I did.  I have been using these screens for about 3 yrs They work perfectly.  In this video I totally forgot to attach my intro..like I said Rough Cutz! 

Tools:
Screening, scissors, 2" wide duct tape, tape measure, and 3 magnets for each door, 
this should only take 1/2 an hour or less to do 2 screens!  I saw some people paid up to $20 each for professionally made screen..why do that when you can Do it Yourself??



             


Once I get to traveling again I hope to make more videos on location! I do see people are interested in locations and I'm sorry now I didn't do many location videos...I probably won't get back to many of the places I've already been!  Something to look forward to and give me hope!!  Stay cool if you can!





PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Small Projects!


A couple of days I was sewing all day!  It's way too hot to enjoy anything outside that doesn't have to be done.  I put into action my plan to do over the sleeping quarters in my van.  Just so happened my mom had one of those memory foams she wanted rid of so I am going to try it out, if I like it I'll just keep it.   It was not quite long enough because I folded it in half to make it thicker it's 3 inch so folded over it's a 6 inch If I decide to keep it I will cut it in half so it will lay flatter... I will add some stuffing to the top and bottom about 6 inches each end, and my pillows cover over that area anyways will make it even softer. SO soft at the head and foot and firm in the middle sounds good.  I used some of the material I designed if you recall from several years back; so USE what you have is the theme here.  My short success in fabric designing came in handy as I was able to retain all the yardage of the sample materials. I hope the foam will be comfy, I know it will save time, no pumping...and the cover is cotton, (the citrus one) so it should be comfortable and easy to brush dog hair off of! That's important in my case. 


I can toss my sleeping bag on and it won't be sliding around or I can lay right on the cotton cover during warm weather.  The whole ensemble is colorful and bright and has my signature horsey theme! The 2 horsey covers fit king sized pillows. 


The wedge shaped bolster is nice to prop against to read, use the laptop, do mapping, or preparing a blog post...so I covered it in the rusty/red microfiber. I also had that piece of patch work tie-dyed cotton, I made a cover for the pillow I bring along.  Makes life on the road more comfortable...
I will include photos when I get these into the van right now I'm using the seat as seating so it's in the upright position.  I will put it in the van when I prepare for a trip till then its residing on the guest bed!


The Privacy Curtain:


This privacy curtain I picked up at Goodwill a couple yrs ago.  It's just a regular window panel with grommets at the top made of a fawn colored microfiber we used to call this ultra-suede.  It is sort of wrinkled because I usually have it stuffed in an overhead bin in the van. I'm not really concerned with that, as long as it provides the privacy I want. I don't know, can you iron microfiber?  It was always too long and not wide enough so I just hung it up sideways to make it work.  And it did work, but I finally cut the bottom off and undid the side hems. 





I took that piece from the bottom and cut it in half and added a piece to each side of the panel...then I found at a Walmart some of those snap in grommets in brown for $5.  So I finished up the top by adding 2 more grommets on each end.  
I put it up using a bungee cord.  No bumping my head on a rod.   I think I've got it up a little too high but I can adjust it in like half a second...or completely remove it when I'm not traveling.  Finally my privacy curtain can slide into place easy peasy.

House Projects:


I had these 3 big 24 x 24 pillow inserts hanging out in my storage closet waiting for me to decide what to do with them!  So I used some of the brown fabric from my Chi Chi line here in the guest room, 


and 2 more in my room just for those days when I need something soft to prop against...I rarely linger in bed, but who knows Im getting older by the minute.  



One more project I've wanted to get my desktop PC to turn on, it refused to come on about 2 yrs ago so I just put it away, now it's time to get real about repairing or getting rid of it...I made a video you may have one that won't start so here is what I did!




The old Power Supply will go to the recycling center to be recycled...that is one way to combat the problem of consumption, recycle everything you can! 
I take my plastics to the recycle center, my aluminum and tin cans, and electronics to the scrap yard where it gets recycled and cardboard and paper products go to the recycle center too.  Plastic bags can be recycled at 2 grocery stores in our area, and I compost food scraps... BUT our state stopped recycling glass!! SO sad!

On the PC I found my old Yahoo 360 blog posts at least the ones I was able to copy before Yahoo closed their blogging platform down...it's been interesting to read through those I hope to be able to add a tab at the top of this blog, if I can remember how to do it.  

Out in the yard the heat and the rain has the jalapeno peppers ready to eat!  I did away with my garden patch and now just plant in pots.  


AUGUST the gateway to fall...



PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Back to the Future


Clore Automotive SOLAR ESA1 12V Male to Male Outlet Charger CordThe battery pack arrived fully charged and is suggested to be kept plugged into an outlet at all times...so I did that. It does not overcharge as per the instruction booklet.  I discovered I  need a male to male plug so it can be recharged from my van's power outlet!  I decided to order the plug,  Amazon had the better price. I can't wait to be using this on my future travels.  :o) It's been so hot n humid I haven't done any traveling or birding lately.  So I decided to share  some old memories. This post is a little diversion away from my norm...I know I always enjoy when I read your blogs and you share bits of who you are and to me that makes us human and                                        not just words on a page, as stated in my blog title,
                                     My Life, this post falls under that heading.



When I tried to checkout suddenly "THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING TO BE A PRIME MEMBER" YOUR FREE ONE MONTH TRAIL BEGINS NOW!    O.M.Gawd

I do not want to be a Prime Member, I was ambushed!  It took me 15 minutes to figure out how to cancel that and I hope it actually is cancelled...what a dirty rotten trick!  It happened while I was trying to click the free shipping option.  I have to wonder how many people they have scammed out of money this way?  I used to think Amazon was a good thing...

container ships bringing goods to NY Harbor was an hourly event viewed from my studio. 

So I went back to the item and found one directly from the seller Free Shipping total $6.75!  Amazon's owner Jeff Bezos (his worth is over $90 billion) decided he needs to spend  his excess wealth by "exploring space-force."  Bernie Sanders had a better idea "how about you  give your employees a decent wage, better health care, and other humane necessary benefits."  Message to Bezos...don't let the Ozone Layer hit you in the ass on your way outta here! I hate that I'm adding to his disposable income. 

So most of you have seen these photos before...but since I'm going to talk about my life in NY may as well share some of the very few photos I have from that time.

this old 3 story house on the beach is where my studio was located , Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn.  There was 12 apartments in this building  the Army COE was constantly repairing beach erosion.  Behind that sand was a 16 ft sea wall below ground  and by the time I left NY you needed a 12 ft ladder to get over that wall to the beach below thanks to stronger storms coming to land. 

                (sand recovery vehicle below.) 


 I put up an affiliate link in my last post for the first time in recent history.  When I lived in NY I used to sell books on Amazon and became an affiliate back in 2001.  I averaged about $30 a month profit.  I'd sell a book for 3.50, then the shipping would be about $1.06, it was fair I was charging actual cost using Media Mail then  I started offering free shipping and sell the book for $4.75.  Amazon decided to raise the shipping to $3.00 per book Amazon greed drove my Books By Sondra right out of business.  I was making extra cash for my "Get out of NYC fund."  So I put up the link thinking this could take money from Bezos and put it in my buy a Kayak Fund! (Im dropping my loose change in my piggy bank)
You can choose to be happy with what you have or you can think you're poor.   I chose to love the simple life. One based on need and not greed.   I had lived my first year in the city as a room mate.  I was on 4th st just blocks north of the Towers and after 9/11  I decided I wanted to get out of the city and shed of a room mate. So I got a copy of the Jewish Free Press and began to look for my solo apartment.  Many of the Jewish landlords are Hasidic Jews.  They would not rent to me because I was not kosher, literally and even tho I don't even eat meat...and they do, made no sense to me.  I kept looking. I found this place and I loved it.  The landlord was Jewish but he was not practicing and was a retired FDNY fire chief...so he let me fill out an application.  Stanley and I had our differences but for the most part he was fair. I will never forget how happy I was when he called and told me I could have the apartment!  I had zero furniture and it was unfurnished and I didn't even have a car! I used to walk from buses and trains and used my bike to get around.   When I was on my shift I saw various pieces on the curb..and my friend helped me go back later and we filled up the back of her SUV!  I moved in on Saturday with all my found objects!  Sea Gate is the only gated community in NYC! 



All the humble furniture for my apt was FREE right off the curb! I just cleaned it up and used it. 
the chairs and table all found at different locations, and a Hollywood bed frame, a chair, nightstand, 2 folding beach chairs (for company) and the shells found on the beach became artwork. Friends gave me the microwave, the lamp, and the mattresses set. The only thing I purchased was the hanging lamp, and an air conditioner at a used shop for $40 during my second yr. 

                                                                                           

My online book sales was the perfect set up since I had access to thousands of used books in the many book stores around the city.  One in particular just off 14th St in Union Square ,The Strand,  had an entire section of books for $1 and they even had a free section.   I bought lots of Self Help, DIY, Natural History, Cook Books,  Coffee Table Books,  Travel Guides...and more.  It was so much fun!   I sold books for about a year. 

The kitchen in my studio I did over using contact paper! The black thing in the middle is the fridge! The map on the bathroom door is  the Appalachian Trail. And the bohemian bead curtain was dropped with the homemade screen on nice days when I had my door open.  


I bought a folding/rolling cart to bring my books home via the subway.  At first I used my backpack but it was too heavy for the trip home.  Riding the subway from Coney Island where I lived to the City (normally on Tuesdays) became part of my routine.  My work schedule was Wednesday - Friday 9 - 9.  As ya'll know I worked in EMS as an EMT and later as a Paramedic.  Most days my shift turned into a 14 hour one and legally they could mandate me  up to 16 hrs!  And sometimes they did that.  My day started with a commute on the Belt Parkway. I got a car about 2 months after moving to Brooklyn, (that is a story for another time) I had sold the Ford Explorer when I lived in the city because parking is a nightmare.  My shift began at 9 am  then home most nights about 11:30 pm, to bed, rinse and repeat Thursday and by Friday night I was a Zombie!  If you have never seen the movie Bringing Out the Dead  (Nicholas Gage 1999) I suggest you see it, so true to form of the life of a medic in a big city.  Many times I took extra shifts on my days off to add to my moving out of NYC and getting out of EMS fund. Time and a half was nice!
COLLECTED SHELL ARTWORK
The Cyclone is the wooden roller coaster at Coney Island, here it is in off season, after Labor Day on a miserable cold Brooklyn day! Winters to me were brutal with the windchill constantly being a factor. 

About once a month I made my book runs as I called it.  I'd fill my cart with $10 worth of books.  I'd  list most  for $4.75 and they sold fast.  I'd wrap books in heavy stock brown paper and drop them at a post office in the city on my work days, I never had to make a special trip to mail my books as there are post offices all over the city. 

This side of the studio was my "bedroom" area, I had all my little girl things out to comfort me in a city that can be hostile without really trying to be. 

The $30 extra a month helped me save money to make that move out of New York City and I never looked back but I have to say I learned more in those 6 years about me than in all the years that I had lived before!  I did miss my book biz when it was gone, and I missed the monthly trips to buy the books, which meant one less subway ticket purchased, one less lunch eaten out, and  less sales for Amazon.  The greed of one only takes away, it does not enhance the lives of many.   


                     My easy chair a curbside find with cushions and pillows I made myself, with a folding
footstool.  Even tho my studio was basement level I had tons of natural light and my own entrance!

I furnished my 20 x 16 Studio with curbside finds and this wicker shelf unit was totally adequate  for an entertainment center....My sis sent me this HUGE TV for Christmas one year.  I nearly died because it was HUGE! I had an old 13" with the knobs from the 70's.  I gave that one to someone else and found a way to put the big one in my unit. I never had Cable, later I did get hooked to an outdoor antenna.  This set stuck out by 6 inches...I removed one shelf put legs on it and attached it to the other shelf making it wider.  I had this DVD /VCR player,and I used that for entertainment. I was one of the very early Netflix customers, and my sis used to tape CSI and she mailed  me a VHS full of CSI episodes monthly.   That was the highlight of my evenings on those days off!  That's my player on the top shelf blue light shining, I still use that one to this day...still have that old stereo and speakers too!  My studio became my haven, a place where the city and the ugly job I had was left at the Gate.

and yet a medical drama..lol 

On days off I walked  this beach.  I could see the Verrazano Bridge over the Narrows leading to Staten Island and New Jersey beyond.  I looked forward to driving over that bridge for the last time heading out of NYC, and finally that did happen!  Notice the lighthouse on the right...yes we had one...this was a typical New England shore side community it just happened to have a New York connection.

after Labor Day I was usually the only person on the beach

Beach combing was my favorite thing to do once the summer crowds no longer made the trip down on the F train to invade our little piece of heaven. Our beach was private but there was a beach club and so many sunbathers would set up on the beach on warm days.  Coney Island proper is open Memorial Day to Labor Day.  The attractions are the boardwalk, the beach, Luna Park with all the Carney attractions, a Minor League Ball Park, (the Brooklyn Cyclones) and the NY Aquarium all just blocks away.  I enjoyed going to ball games and a few visits to the aquarium but  people watching was by far the most prevalent activity.  Living by the beach is the only thing that kept me sane during that era of my life, nature has always been my savior.


So that's a  little look into my giant step back to my future.   


PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.