Climbing over rough spots

Monday, January 11

P1090055Desert scene near Ogilby Road, Winterhaven, California

The photos in this post were taken yesterday while Reggie and I walked the desert. 

Bridget does not appear in any of the photos because she didn’t want to go on a walk.

There are days when Bridget will walk with us and enjoy herself.  On those occasions we go very slowly and stop often to give her a rest.

P1090043We don’t go far. 

When we’re in campgrounds, I push her in her stroller on the smooth campground loops.  The stroller isn’t an option, however, on the rough surface of the desert.

Subsequently, Reggie and I aren’t exercising the way we should.  I’m struggling to keep my weight under control which is difficult for a person who loves to eat and whose daily exercise is limited.  And there’s health and well-being to consider, too.

This lack of exercise is turning me into a slug.

P1090051-001As for Reggie, he’s much happier, less rambunctious, and more likely to sleep well when his abundant energy is expended during the day.

What to do?

Well, I’m training Bridget to accept the absence of Reggie and me for longer periods of time.  Whenever Bridget indicates she doesn’t want to walk, Reggie and I leave her in the BLT and walk as far as we need to for optimum results for both of us.

P1090057The first time we do this, a few days ago, Reggie and I return to camp and, as we approach the BLT, I hear Bridget’s cries from within.  Gosh, I hate to do this to her!

I try to make up for our absence by creating a joyful reunion with much loving and many hugs, enough to have her tail spinning with happiness.

I encourage Bridget to join us for walks. 

She needs exercise, too.  I can’t force her to walk though.  If she doesn’t want to get out of bed, that’s her choice.

P1090059This morning Reggie and I leave Bridget behind while we go on a long walk.

The brisk air encourages us to power walk.  I can feel my energy level rising and my overall feelings of well-being improving. We walk all the way behind the mound of dark volcanic rock that you’ve seen in photos in the last few posts. Reggie is in his glory!  He loves these long treks!

He’s being true to his nature.

P1090054When we return I hear a few whimpers from Bridget as I unlock the door.  I push aside my automatic response of feeling guilty as I pull open the door.

“I love you, Bridgee Babee!”

Another joyful reunion follows and happiness is restored.

P1090048-001This may sound cruel to you.

Sometimes situations occur in life where there is no perfect solution.  The passing of time usually smooths out the rough spots.  All of us, including our pets, have rough spots to climb over.

I hope Bridget develops an attitude of “Okay, you two take your walk.  I’ll stay here and rest and I’ll see you when you return.”

P1090042As long as we’re on the subject of rough spots . . . .

Several of the readers of this blog are dealing with health problems these days, either their own or those of someone they love.

Recently a reader shared her ongoing confrontation with cancer in a comment she purposely tucked under an old post where it wouldn’t receive much attention.  In our email correspondence that followed she told me she did that because she didn’t want to hijack my blog.

I wrote a reply to reassure her that sharing personal medical challenges is not a hijack.  Rather it opens the door for discussion of benefit to all.

We all face health issues at one time or another.

Anyway . . . .  I am so impressed with this reader’s attitude toward the poor prognosis she’s received and her pro-active response to it that I am posting her comment and an excerpt from one of her emails to me. You can find her words in the comments section.

If you’ve been a follower of this blog, you probably will recognize her name and sweet spirit.



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Juice Press
Ultralight Sleeping Bag
Tree of Life Wall Decor
Elm Creek QuiltsEco Tote
10-Piece Non-Stick Cookware Set (Red)
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190 Responses to Climbing over rough spots

  1. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Am I first???

  2. Jeff Agueda says:

    I just made it down to this area today! Cheers!
    Have a great day Sue!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Jeff. Great to see you here again! It’s a beautiful day…

      • Jeff Agueda says:

        You have no idea how good it feels being here in the warm and dry desert. I have been staying in cold and wet/damp places for the past 2 1/2 months. So much so that I had a mold issue inside parts of my camper. Darn rookie full-timer ha-ha.

  3. rvsueandcrew says:

    This is Ilse’s comment that she placed under the “Flying Against the Wind” post.

    Hi Sue,

    I haven’t read in a while, been busy staying alive. Sometimes I feel like I’m flying against the wind. I have by now a baseball-sized tumor in my left breast. I had lymphoma in 2002 and this is Stage IV metastatic cancer, which with the standard of care (chemo, radiation, surgery) gives me a 2.1% chance of five-year survival. Of course, I’m not going that route. I promised my kids and grandkids at least 103 years:). So I’m doing all the alternatives I already know of and those I am still learning about every day. I took a screen print of your butterfly picture and your thoughts and will put it where I can see it every day.


    We exchanged emails. I asked Ilse if I could also post the following excerpt from one of those emails and she gave me permission to do so.

    “I do not fear cancer, I certainly do not fear a tumor, which is just the outward symptom of a non-functioning immune system.

    So I work on supplying the healthy cells with the best of everything. I live on vegetables, green smoothies, grow lots of broccoli sprouts, eat my home-made sauerkraut and kimchi for all the beneficial bacteria, stay away from sugar, which is the biggest poison of our time, and don’t eat any animal products except for raw honey. I’m full of energy and most of the time in good spirits. Of course, I have my darker moments, but they don’t last very long.

    I know that in the long run this can still kill me. My mother was not yet 62 when she died, and three years ago my youngest sister died in her sleep at 48. I will be 66 this year so already have a few bonus years. I have no intention to die any time soon, but I have no fear of it.” — Ilse

    • Barb from Hoquiam says:

      Oh My Gosh,
      The one time I jumped the gun and I feel like a heel…Ilse, you are a marvel. I didn’t see the post–am missing a lot these days it seems, but am sending out cheers for you for the best that IT can be…
      As for the Grand Dame Bridget, I would imagine that all the wiggle energy that The Regimeter brings — well, a girl needs a bit of down time, you know? 🙂

      Sending y’all goodness. I have been sorta quiet lately… just cuz. Still reading but I miss some I am afraid…

      Hugs from Hoquiam,

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Thanks for the goodness, Barb! 🙂

        • Ilse, I think you are taking exactly the right approach to this! Boost your immune system and who knows, maybe it’ll get rid of that darn cancer. Prayers for success!

          • Jolene/Iowa says:

            Ilse, I will sure be praying for you. Keep the positive thoughts going!

            Sue, I think you are doing the right thing for you and the crew. You are meeting all of your needs. Bridget needing/wanting to not walk as much and you getting the exercise that you and Reggie need.
            Harley gives us the evil eye every time we have to put him in his pet taxi when we leave because we don’t want him getting into things while we are gone. He NEVER messes in the house but after his intestinal obstruction this summer it is just better for him. He can stand up in the pet taxi and he has a thick memory foam mattress that fits right in there.

            Just like Bridget, his needs are met and he is safe.

    • Tara from Pac NW says:

      Sue, thank you so much for reposting this. Ilse, thank you for sharing this. I also admire your attitude.

    • Pookie in SE Texas says:

      you go girl….I believe that attitude will put years on your life….
      I pray 2 or 3 times a day and will include you in my prayers…
      thanks for sharing…

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        Thank you Sue for letting us know of Isle health issues.
        Isle, You have a positive attitude and that is most important. I am a breast cancer survivor myself. I was very fortunate in that they found mine early and I didn’t have chemo nor radiation, but did have a double mastectomy with reconstruction. I will include you in my prayers. Keep up the healthy diet.
        I will always remember you and Sue meeting in the laundromat.

    • Applegirl NY says:

      Ilse, I will add you to my prayer list. You are doing all of the right things. God Bless you and Keep you. Please feel free to share with us when you need to, but we don’t want to add to your burden either. Thoughts and prayers.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, Ilse. **Big Hug**

    • Toni says:

      Ilse, my prayers to you. I have to tell you about my dear friend. She was diagnosed with breast cancer many years ago and went through all the treatments and appeared to be cancer free. Well, the cancer came back and she went through the treatments again. Then she had her breast removed and the cancer went to the other breast (a different type of breast cancer). In the meantime she had some in her spine and her stomach. She had the other breast removed. I’m telling you this because she is stage 4 for quite a few years now and she is doing well. The worry is never gone but a “one day at a time” attitude is good. Take care of yourself and trust yourself when it comes to treatment.

    • Pauline in Mississippi says:

      Ilse, you are a very brave and courageous lady. You are an inspiration. No one knows what you are going through. Some may have had similar diagnosis but no one has been in YOUR shoes. Every journey is different and you need to do what you are doing…facing it and living with it the way YOU need to. I will be praying for you.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Thank you Sue, and Ilse, for sharing this situation in your life, Ilse…because your solution may well work…or at least give you the best possible days you have. I think you are so wise!! The choices we might make for any disease treatment in my opinion, should have something to do with our age and where we are in life. I prayed hard I would live to raise my youngest and she is already 32…so that prayer was answered…things continue to go less well than I wish…but I am trying also to strengthen my immune system the best I can and not seeking to take more meds, etc. We are looking into juicing and getting more veggies down that way (hubby esp. does not like veggies). I wish you all the best…I am sure your family wants you to live, at such a young age yet (I lost my darling grandma at almost age 92 but in my opinion, she was taken far too soon!!) I enjoy what you write here too. I hope you will keep us posted here on how you are doing. Blessings and prayers for your recovery, Elizabeth in WA

    • Page says:

      Ilse, you are taking the right steps to reboot your immune system. And keeping a positive attitude is a great benefit to your health. I wish you strength and love to get through this challenging time.


    • Kay Dattilio says:

      Ilse, it takes a strong, powerful, amazing woman that can talk about their cancer and their future. You sound like that woman! You are taking the right approach in your diet plus medical treatments. Prayers for you every morning and please let us know how you are doing!

      Kay from KC!

    • LN(NM) says:

      Ilse, you have my prayers and we know they work!!! My mother was diagnosed with metastatic BC and she was given 3-6 months … she was already vegetarian for many years, doing all sorts of alternative health things, but with the diagnosis she really opened up the holistic/alternative cures approach and tried just about everything out there. This action netted her (and all of us) 3 more years of life. It can be done and although I don’t know you personally, I’m willing to bet you’ll have many more years a head! Again, prayers and God bless you every minute of the day!

    • Shawna says:

      Ilse — God bless your sweet spirit. I dare say, you are doing all the right things food wise. Staying away from sugar and animal products is the best thing you can do for your body. I love your beautiful, peaceful outlook. Hugs to you, and many prayers.

    • susan vlastelica says:

      Hi Ilse – Your positive attitude will take you a very long way! Keep on truckin’ and stay positive. Sometimes it is hard I know, but you can do it! Look at all the love you are accumulating! susan

    • mockturtle says:

      Ilse, you will definitely be in my prayers and my heart and soul go out to you! Love and God bless you!

  4. eliza says:

    Today, I was thinking about you before this post appeared. I was wondering how you keep in touch (or if?) with cultural affairs and goings on, and if you feel enough contact with your family and friends. I don’t think I will full-time, or if I do that it would be for years, but I do want to be travelling for several months out of the year and am thinking about how that might affect my relationships with family and friends.

    And then I read this post – obviously the blog connects you to many people, and some of those people have developed connections to each other. Ilse, I am sending you my very best thoughts for healing – and it sounds like you are doing everything you can to help your body fight the disease. Thank you Sue and Ilse for sharing….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, eliza. As for how full-timing will affect relationships… There’s no reason for it to create a negative effect. Full-timing (or extended travel) may actually lead to an improvement!

  5. rvsueandcrew says:

    I turn the blog over to you, blogorinos. I encourage you to share your thoughts, experiences, reactions, and, of course, your support to fellow blogorinos who are dealing with health issues. Also, any comments on healthful eating?

    • Rhonda says:

      Hi Sue and IIse

      Ilse, thank you so much for sharing. I really believe that a community of caring individuals can really make a difference. You are so strong and positive that it’s a model for others who have no where near the issues that you have had.

      Sue, I really commend you for stepping up your exercise regimen! I think that Bridget will become accustomed to your extended walks. If not, I think she is in a safe and warm place, but just misses you! Joyful reunions will erase her misery in a moment!

      As far as healthy eating goes, I don’t know what your habits are, but I have found that if I moderate my carbs, I can eat a lot more without gaining weight. I don’t know why, because I eat almonds by the fistful and have half an avocado every day. I try to eat three fruits every day as well as several cups of vegetables. Funny: if I don’t wash the apple and actually set it out where I can’t miss seeing it, I won’t go to the trouble of taking one out of the refrigerator. I know I tend to like eating fruits and vegetables more than many, so I may find these habits more satisfying than some. I also try to serve myself a modest portion, and then make myself wait for 15 minutes before going back for more, until my “full” feeling kicks in. This for me is very difficult. If I’m still not full after the fifteen minutes, it means that I can eat a bit more, but I almost always am full. (But it doesn’t make it any easier to wait out the fifteen minutes the next time!) I hope I don’t sound preachy–if so I really apologize. As we all get older it is harder and harder to keep in shape and keep our weight down. Bummer isn’t it?!

      Keep up the good work and keep us posted!

    • Toni says:

      On healthy eating, there is a book called “The Science of Skinny”. The woman who wrote it was a chemist turned nutritionist and she lost 100 pounds by eliminating toxic foods. I thought she was fascinating. She talks about all the stuff in processed/packaged foods.

      Also, my niece just started a website She is a nutritional consultant and posts recipes and tips on her website. She is also an avid advocate in the removal of toxic foods.

  6. Lynn Brooks says:

    Dear Sue,
    As a 2-time cancer survivor my thoughts, prayers & POSITIVE KARMA are being sent to your other fan!!!
    Lynn B. (Baltimore,MD)

  7. Chris(MN) says:

    This was a wake-up call for me. I have been meaning to have a mammogram done for ages and keep putting it off. Right after I read this post, I called and made an appointment. Ilse, I wish you the best of luck with your battle!

  8. Dawn says:

    Ilise, your words are both courageous and encouraging. Thank you so much for sharing. Sending you lots of positive energy. Your attitude is amazing and I understand that’s half the battle. Virtual hugs your way, and look forward to more posts on your progress. I’ll be rooting for you…

  9. Jeff in AZ says:

    I am only posting my “nutritional info” blog address because you asked about healthy eating.

    It sounds to me like she’s eating (mostly) in line with what I’ve learned … essentially, that cancer thrives on sugar. And what most people fail to connect … carbohydrates ARE sugar from your body’s perspective. But, we do need fat … so low carb high fat is best.

    I am eating LCHF more consistently these days to hopefully ward off Alzheimer’s (I recently found out I carry the Apoe4 gene). For me, I need to consume more mono/poly fats and less saturated fats. But if you don’t have the Apoe4 gene … saturated fats are good for you.

    Low carb is definitely the way to go for optimal mental and physical health.

  10. Patricia in Colorado says:

    Hi Sue and Ilse too! My sister Mary is currently fighting esophageal cancer. Five years ago she lost her left lung. This one is harder as her eating habits have really changed. She is a big lover of steak by nature, but she hasn’t been able to eat one for months now. We find if we bake a sweet potato and put butter on it, goes down good, also macaroni and cheese. Nowadays we are splitting an avocado , slicing a gala apple into thin pieces and a banana are all foods that go down easy. Good thoughts ahead for you Ilse! Patti in Colo

  11. Karen LeMoinel says:

    I just had a mammogram recently. Report states no evidence of cancer. But because I have small dense breasts was advised to have an ultrasound. My PA won’t give me the necessary referral. So am looking to find someone who will. Have had an ultrasound a few years back. Just aggregated.

  12. It really is hard on the “kids” when they’re used to being with us 24/7. Roxie is the same as Bridget when I have to leave her for anytime at all, and the guilt trip is awful! But…she’s soooo happy when I return! Just got back from your dentist in Los Algodones, $740 worth of completely unexpected dental work. But thank goodness my bridge fell apart while I was near Yuma; could have been a whole lot worse. I am leaving Fortuna Pond tomorrow and headed to Anza-Borrego. I’m really going this time!

  13. Renee Galligher says:

    I hadn’t seen Ilse’s comments till today. Thank you, Sue for posting it again so that we can see it. Ilse, you are a very courageous and strong person. If I were in your situation, I’m not sure I could be as brave. My daughter in law was diagnosed with Stage 2 Ductal HER2 breast cancer a week after she gave birth to their third child. This was September of 2014. Since then she has undergone two lumpectomies, chemotherapy, radiation, Herceptin infusions and several months ago she finally had her port removed. She takes medicine daily and will for 10 years. She had long thick black hair and it is slowly growing back, just as full as before. Through all this, she and my son loved and cared for their three little children – 6, 5, and a year old now. We all pitched in and helped with the kids as needed, even taking their place at school functions. This last December, my daughter in law, was able to go to the school Winter carnival, when last December she couldn’t. She is cancer free, but still worries, but hides that well. Her mother has pancreatic cancer, but miraculously is in remission. We pray it will last. Thank you, Ilse for sharing.

  14. Pookie in SE Texas says:

    poor baby……..ha……that bridget is a stinker……
    you need to get her one of those back packs that go on your chest…
    Ive seen some folks carry their babies there and that would be
    perfect for Bridget but no telling what it will do for you Sue on
    a long walk……

  15. Pam and Maya says:

    Hi Sue and Ilse,
    Ilse, thank you for inspiring me! You have a wonderful attitude towards life, I will send happy thoughts and positive energy to you.
    Sue, I don’t think you are being cruel to Bridget, she is just learning a new routine which will keep everyone healthier and happier! Hugs to all!

  16. Pamelab in Houston says:

    Hi, Sue and crew –
    Regarding Ilse’s information – from all I have read, she is right about SUGAR being the main POISON we deal with in our diets. Sugar sets up an acid reaction in the body and bacteria loves the acid. They don’t live in alkaline. Sugar is so addictive, so it is tough to stop, but after a bit our tastes change and we don’t crave it.
    I have had a family member go through the chemo and radiation and also have read that sugar is a toxin to the brain to people with ADHD and ADD.
    Organic foods, greens, and all the foods that Ilse is taking are important to boost the immune system.

  17. weather says:

    During my early teens I began researching health , primarily because my father was suffering with the symptoms of kidney disease. I’d known there was a common thread running through several things that had touched my extended family. Many had been affected in varying degrees in their minds, bodies and emotions with issues/diseases or abnormal sensitivity to heart, cancer, weight, diabetes, alcohol, plant allergies-a pretty ordinary gamut among large families then. I looked particularly for what might be in common with the ones having succumbed to their conditions at an early age. The extended group had owned vineyards in France and large farms in North America and I began to suspect mold and yeast in various forms as culprits. Many have done far more extensive research, among the best I’ve seen is Doug Kaufman ,his answer to the common thread was fungus. Know The Cause. com is his website. His Phase One Diet is worth using or at least looking at , you needn’t purchase anything to get a copy of it , he offers a printable version on the site.I’d add grape seed extract and oregano oil to it.

    Ilse, may your strength, wisdom and health continue to grow and improve, sending prayers and a hug, weather

    Sue, I hope Bridget adjusts the way you want her to. I’m glad you and Reggie are getting your long walks. I remember one camp you had where three loops brought you home, it would be nice if more were like that so you could check in and leave between . I’m sure you’ll keep finding ways to keep your sweet little family happy, you always do.

    • weather says:

      Bridget’s tail spinning with happiness, you feeling your well-being improving, Reggie in his glory- I love those pictures of the joy in the journey that so outweigh the rough spots and make the climb worth it. has a photo of a little guy called Gene S.
      One look at him might bring a smile for a moment to all on here struggling. My friends and I visited him today, they’ll bring him home Saturday! You and all the blogorinos are in my heart and prayers.

  18. Diann in MT says:

    Hello, Sue and God bless you, dear Ilse. What a beautiful name, by the way.

    I have to leave my Brittany by herself all the time, in the house, especially when it’s cold outside. She’s beyond herself when I return.

    Pretty soon Bridget will become accustomed to your leaving her. Really, Sue, it hurts you more than her. She’s probably snoozing while you’re gone. Keep in shape during these winter months, friend. Reggie is a wonderful walking machine. Remember that people all around the country are paying high dollar to walk a treadmill in a crowded gym these days! LOL

  19. BeckyIO says:

    I finally made it out to the desert to try boondocking Sue. This is only my third day so it’s early to give a full review, but I’m enjoying myself so far. 🙂 Thanks for all you’ve shared over the years about this lifestyle.

  20. Diann in MT says:

    Hi, again. I rarely double post, but got this*bright*idea. Take Bridget on a Bridget-sized walk. Then, you and Reg go for your power walks. The Brig will sleep while you’re gone. For whatever it’s worth, Sue.

  21. DesertGinger says:

    Thanks for posting Ilse’s story Sue. Your attitude is admirable Ilse. I’m still struggling to sort out an eating plan, which is impacted by my stomach problems. Spent the morning vomiting…just starting to feel ok again and now I’m getting hungry but afraid to eat. Eating makes me sick it seems.

    I think many more veggies is good idea. Unfortunately I rarely feel like cooking, or even preparing, food. Even making salad seems like too much work right now. Thank god for microwave…nuking frozen veggies is about all I’ve got in me.

    It continues to be chilly here so I am camped in front of my heater, keeping warm. Tabby is due literally any minute, so we may have babies any day now. She had someone in to help her with housecleaning today, which was really nice. Things look much better now.

    I think maybe I will put on a pot of beans. Not much work for an awesome result, if you like beans like I do.

    Hope everyone is doing great.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Note: “here” is California coast. Correct me if I’m wrong, Ginger. Hope tomorrow is a better day for you.

    • Applegirl NY says:

      Desert Ginger, Do you have a church family or a support group that could help you along by dropping off a light meal? I wish I was close by you, I would do that. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to others.

      • DesertGinger says:

        Nice thought Applegirl, but no. And I’m staying with Tabby who is 9months pregnant with twin boys who are both over 8 lbs. She can barely walk. But we’re hanging in there. And yes, we are in Irvine, just south of LA

        • D.G. I am in Huntington Beach, not too far that I cannot help if you need anything urgently. I will monitor the blog until the babies come and then if you need a drive by with food let me know. I would do that for a fellow blogorino.

      • gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

        What about Meals on Wheels?

  22. Sandy says:

    Thanks for mentioning this issue with Bridget. I am in the last stages of going full-time where I am preparing to sell my house. I took my dog (Amy) with me for a week-long road trip only to find that she was Ok in the car, but really just wanted me to drive her back home. She loves her yard and her routine more than I thought.

    I am on the fence whether I should do this or not, now. She is older (10) and I don’t want to cause her stress. Then, I think about the fact that I can be with her more and she can explore more. I hope that this makes up for the loss of the familiar for her.

    Thanks, Sue.

  23. wildflower in prescott says:

    Our furbabies sure know how to tug at our hearts. Of course you are not being cruel to Bridget. I leave my two Chihuahuas at home alone especially during hot/warm weather. I put them on my bed and they are always still there when I get home, then we have a great big group hug.

    Does Bridget still cry when you leave her in the PTV while you shop? You haven’t mentioned it lately.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, Bridget makes a fuss when I leave her in the PTV to shop. Sometimes, as I’m about to step on the mat for the automatic door, I hear Reggie joining in. I admit the sound makes me laugh. He has this high-pitched, birdlike bark that he uses for occasions such as that. I feel like saying to him, “Is that the best you can do?” I refuse to feel guilty about the two of them making a scene every time I shop! They know I’m coming back!

  24. Applegirl NY says:

    The beautiful thing about critters, is that the minute they see you, all is forgotten. Bridget will be fine. It would be worse for you and Reggie to stay put all the time, or to force her to go and perhaps wear her out. She knows you love her, and my guess is that she doesn’t start missing you until she hears you two coming closer to the BLT. My dogs are quiet when I’m not home and they howl and whine like crazy when they hear my car pull down the drive. They make me laugh!

  25. Fuji-maru says:

    Dear RVSue,
    Yes, I do know some of readers of your blog are faced with health or other problems.
    Sometimes I was moved to tears. This time, too.

  26. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Miss Bridget will get used to your new routine in short order, I am glad that you are doing what is right for all of you. No exercise for Reggie would cause major problems, and I know you feel better when you are able to to walk off your lunch, and explore. Hang in there…things wil get better soon.

    Sending you and the Crew hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

  27. Instead of a stroller that you push, how about a wagon that you pull? That would be a lot easier to handle on a soft or rocky surface? There are some small wagons that might work. Judy

  28. SecondLife says:


    Thank you for posting Ilse’s story. You are a courageous lady, Ilse. As for Bridget’s lack of energy, I don’t know if this experience will help Bridget or not, but here it is: I have a couple small dogs that I love dearly. I’ve always tried to buy the best food for them. However, one dog was very inactive for a time. One day, after an annual checkup our vet advised us that that she has elevated liver enzyme problem, hence, her unusual lack of energy. She was put on a strict prescription diet, however, she won’t eat the prescription diet. So, here how I’ve resolved the issue. Since we eat a lot of vegetables, I took a variety of vegetables and I blanched them real quick then I put the vegetables into the food processor to grind them up. Next, I boiled some chicken breasts, grind the chicken breasts in the grinder, too. I mixed the blanched vegetables and the chicken together, add a couple teaspoons of olive oil (very optional). I usually make enough for one week. Next, I purchased very high quality, low calorie kibble. So, her diet consists of kibble + grinded up blanched vegetables and chicken breast. Within a couple months, the inactive dog has lost weight and liver enzymes became normal again. She is a little more active now. I’d walk her several short walks instead of a long walk. Won’t you know, dogs have their own personalities. When she doesn’t want to walk, she won’t. Now, I am not a vet nor an expert in animal care. If you do decide to try this diet, please watch your dog very carefully for any adverse reaction and stop immediately. The last thing I want to hear is I’ve harmed a fur baby.

    • DesertGinger says:

      If she has elevated liver enzymes you should be going light on protein. My dog has liver shunt. She was born with it. She eats Hills LD (for liver disease). Any liver problems means lighten up on protein as the liver has to work harder to process protein.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Thanks, Ginger. At this point Bridget’s daily joy at mealtimes overrides my desire to have her with me as long as possible.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, SecondLife for explaining what has worked for your dog. Bridget has had a sedate nature all her life. Now she is old and, yes, overweight (although not as overweight as photos suggest because she has a large, benign tumor on her chest and others elsewhere). What you explain is not practical in our living situation, and even so . . . I’m not making dietary changes for Bridget at this point in her life. We went through that a few years ago which is documented in this blog.

      However, the information may be something helpful for a reader or readers with their dog.

      Please everyone… Do not pick up on this as the start of a new thread on special diets for Bridget. We’re not going there.

      • Cat Lady in Central, La. says:

        Damn straight…I hate diets and I’ve got the body to prove it, lol. You go, Bridget.

        Cat Lady

  29. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Sue, I think most dogs adjust given a bit of time…and I imagine Bridget will too…once they figure out you are not gone too long and always come back…she should be ok…maybe giving her a little treat as you leave and when you return might help her think of this time as a treat will be coming. (Amazing what dogs will do for food…heh!) I would give her a bite of meat or some protein she likes….as she tends to be fluffy like some of the rest of us…ha!!

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      I used to do that when (at one point in time, but I fixed that with a new job) I had a job to which I couldn’t bring my dog. He didn’t have any anxiety about me leaving (Mr. Happy Go-Lucky), but I knew the day could be long and boring. So each morning as I headed out, I gave him a chewy type treat (a carrot as he loved those). As I walked out the door, I always said the same thing, and he’d be half listening to me and half getting down to business chewing on the carrot. “Yeah, yeah, Mom, see you later. Now about this carrot… Mmmmm… chew, chew.”

  30. Mel from North Texas says:

    So sorry to hear about Ilse, her spirti is very touching.. thank you for sharing..
    Regarding dear Bridget… giving her the rest -while she might complain – is a very compassionate, yet difficult decision…RVSUE – you know the signs – please enjoy & love her every day …I said something similiar to you about 2 weeks before Spike passed on to puppy heaven and now I have to say it once again from personal experience… We still have our little Kori but she lost her best friend Peanut last Sunday suddenly, we found and rescued our cat Peanut in Carson City NV 4 yrs ago…over the last year she developed lung cancer- we never knew, no signs…within one week she stopped eating, XRay revealed a huge tumor in lung and then she was gone… Kori, my husband Gary & I are just so sad & missing her so much….Lesson learned, value and appreciate every day for the gift of that day & those you share it never know what will happen tomorrow.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m sorry your Peanut has passed on. Don’t feel guilty about not detecting the lung cancer sooner. This could very well have been the best exit for your kitty.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      I am so sorry for your loss, Mel.

  31. EmilyO in NM says:

    Ilse, I am sending to you a couple of my angel friends who have helped me so much with my treatments and kept my attitude positive. Though you have a great handle on that positive attitude, there are those moments as you said and they will also help glide you thru them. Have an old Yiddish proverb for you: “What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” And this is what keeps us going.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:


      How nice of you to share your proven-to-work angel friends 🙂

      I read the proverb over a few times and it made sense … mostly. But something stuck in my brain as ?? I’m wondering: Is it supposed to be “What SOUP is to the body, laughter is to the soul”? Not that there is anything wrong with soap, but thinking of the many references to chicken soup, and a culture that doesn’t seem to invoke soap especially often…?

  32. Lee J in Northern California says:

    I was so moved by your post today, you are an amazingly compassionate lady. You care deeply for those that touch you, and it is an inspiration.
    Isle you are so strong! I believe you are on the right path, eating clean, keeping your immune system charged up. Good diet can fix so many things and bad diet can cause so many problems. I changed my diet to clean eating almost two years ago after having uterine cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes…I am no longer diabetic, my bp is great and no more cancer…had surgery for that…. Anyway I think you are certainly on the right path…
    I have my own tale of woe today. I am leaving tomorrow for Carson City to join my sister from Astoria. Her son that was just 36 was found dead this morning, passed away in his sleep. No sign of foul autopsy will,hopefully, shed some light on the cause.
    He was a beautiful young man, in good shape, worked, was a single parent to his two very young daughters. Our family is…dear blogorinos, remember..none of us have any guarantee of a long life, live each day with joy and hug your loved ones, never fail to say I love you when you have the chance.

  33. Rhonda says:

    Hi Sue, Just wondering if Bridget is too heavy to put in a backpack worn backwards. Our cat was blind but loved to be outdoors. I used a thin nylon regular back pack worn backwards on my chest for her. She loved it and I could look down at her face turning to feel the breeze in her face. That way I could take her when I walked our dog. She enjoyed it so much. Sadly they have both passed over the “rainbow bridge’. We miss them both so much.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Rhonda… Bridget is too heavy for that.

      • Renee Galligher says:

        Maybe one of those jogger strollers so it can go over rough terrain with ease and you could add jogging to your exercise routine. 🙂 Just kidding, I brisk walk since jogging can cause joint issues.

  34. JazzLoverWMa says:

    Keep on doing what you are doing with Bridget and Reggie. She knows how to push your buttons after all this time knowing that you will feel guilty. I bet she knows when to start to whimper when she hears you and Reg getting close to the door. You and Reggie need exercise. When Bridget feels like it she will join you and her whimpering will diminish over time when she chooses to stay put. She loves it when you come back and make a fuss over her and everyone gets pretty much what they need. You seem to always figure the best course of action for you and the pups and it sounds like you have done it again. Stay Well and enjoy the warmth.


  35. chas anderson says:

    People like Ilse are inspiring to me.I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and was very depressed.I talked to other people in situations like Ilse and saw that positive action and attitude are as important as any medical action.

    I know a guy who was given one year to live.He changed his diet and took up long distance bike riding.Fifteen years later he is 70 and riding 30 miles a day.

    Also, inspired by my my beloved pooch Juice who lost half of her jaw to cancer and is happy every day.

    I am a little embarrassed at how depressed I got after I see how heroic others are.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Depression isn’t something to be embarrassed about. A health crisis causes one to grieve, I think, to grieve for the carefree days of good health. Depression is part of the process of coming to terms with the situation.

  36. Utah Bonnie says:

    Sue, I sure understand the challenges of having dogs with different energy levels and needs. Everyone adjusts and life goes on. It sounds like Bridget has days when she just doesn’t feel well and needs to stay put but good but a brisk walk is sometimes the best remedy for you and the energizer bunny. I’ve had a couple of dogs that were happier in a small crate when left alone but that might not work for your situation.

    My heart goes out to all of those facing serious health issues and I admire all your dedication and courage to live the best life possible. Yesterday I found out that my 38 year old niece was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to her bones but she is determined to fight with everything she has to stay with her 3 children as long as possible. Heartbreaking.

    • Dawn in NC says:

      I’m very sorry to hear that Utah Bonnie.

    • bess, OR says:

      hi Bonnie, i am going to send loving-healing energy to your niece over the air waves. i feel for your whole family in a deep way. i wanted to put it out there to suggest your niece be genetically tested for the BRACA 1 and 2 genes because of the following:

      9 years ago, our niece had breast cancer at age 28, and was genetically tested to find any defective genes (this is a gene that doesn’t “cause cancer”, it is an anti-tumor gene that when defective causes tumors to develop) and she had BRACA1. she had both breasts & ovaries removed, chemo & radiation, and reconstruction of her breasts.

      our niece’s cancer prompted everyone on Barry’s paternal side of the family to be tested, including both boys and girls. Barry and his brother have it, but men are at only a 15% chance for testicular and breast cancer developing. our family was “lucky” in that only 2 other females had it. our daughter has the gene and also one other female cousin, age 39, who has started on her surgeries and will be finished this year.

      our daughter, age 35, just spent this past year doing preventative BARCA1 operations (like Angelina Jolie) to avoid breast and ovarian and fallopian cancers. she had 3 surgeries over 9 months and now she is finished with the recoveries and is back to normal after reconstruction. she now has the same odds of getting cancer as the general population.

      not everyone with the mutant gene elects to have these surgeries, but her odds of getting breast cancer were 85% and 65% for ovarian cancer by the age of 40. this gene doesn’t have anything to do with pregnancy or breastfeeding causing cancer as some people fear.

      my daughter’s attitude over the nine years was wonderful and her courage and bravery was remarkable. these surgeries are very hard but as she says, way better than chemo. she also was willing to do whatever the doctor’s told her to do. she is part of a research study at Oregon Hospital State University in Portland and has a team of nutritionist, oncologist, gynocologist, & plastic surgeon working with her into the future.

      if your niece is close to a big research hospital, you might want to see if they have a study group too.

      this is a long winded rap. i had to educate myself so that i could be a support to my daughter and nieces, and i hope that all this research leads to a way to cure all these terrible cancers. hang in there and feel the love sent your way.

      • Utah Bonnie says:

        Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts and messages. Thanks for the info on the gene testing Bess. I will ask if they have looked into that. She is in Salt Lake City with Huntsman Cancer Institute (thanks Kerry). She is being treated with radiation but the docs say it’s untreatable at this stage which is confusing. She is one fierce mother and I know she will fight with every ounce she has to be there for her children.

    • Krystina ~ Sutton, Vermont says:

      So sorry to hear this about your niece Utah Bonnie.

    • Kerry On (UT) says:

      Utah Bonnie, I’m so sorry to hear that! My best friend was diagnosed at 40 with stage 3B, she fought hard, and is still with us, 8 years later. If your niece is also in Utah, the Huntsman Cancer Institute will likely do the genetic testing for free because of her age. My friend found that she and two of her sisters, and her two daughters also carry the gene. Genetic testing isn’t something to fear, but something to offer knowledge and power. With this knowledge, my friend’s oldest daughter is now able to have a preventative mastectomy to reduce her chances of contracting breast cancer by 80%. I wish the best for your niece, and I will keep your family in my prayers.

      • Utah Bonnie says:

        Thanks for the kind thoughts and input Kerry. She is in SLC so Huntsman is an option. With the fact that it has penetrated her bones so much her prognosis isn’t good but she isn’t going without a fight and she has a lot of support from family.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m sorry your niece received that diagnosis, Bonnie.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      You and your family are in my prayers, Bonnie.

  37. Bill & Ann C AZ says:

    Your first picture is amazing.

    When we returned home from doing laundry today, Julie was serenading the area around our trailer. Silly girl. Brigitte and Julie must come from the same tribe.

    Take care Ilse. So many people are overcoming cancer these days.

  38. Bridget is so resilient to change, and she’s safer in the BLT. A healthy you is the best thing for she and Reggie, no matter the whining and guilty heart 🙂 These sunny winter days in the desert are wonderful for getting out and about – think we’ll head out to the hills ourselves today!

  39. Wow Blogorinos, looks like we all have some mountains to climb…Somehow I think that Ilse is probably a really good mountain climber! There are plenty of angels to go around, everybody grab one and hold on! Love and health to you all.

    • Cheryl O. (WA state) says:

      I agree Shirlene. Blogorinos are the positive community I enjoy reading and commenting on Sue’s blog. Take care all!

  40. AZ Jim says:

    Hi Missy,
    I am reading and riding along, just can’t get the energy to post. Lazy I reckon. I love your first pic and it’s my latest pic saved and it’s my desktop.

  41. kgdan from Wapato, WA says:

    Hi, Sue.
    I showed Gil the picture where you are filling your water tank with a wide mouth funnel. He’d sure like to have one of those. Where can we get one?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi… I got that at an auto supply store. Don’t remember which one — NAPA, O’Reilly’s, AutoZone… They all should have them.

      • bess, OR says:

        i also wanted to know how to get the funnel so, thanks Sue, for helping us all be more efficient with the right tools!

      • Lois (AZ) says:

        Funnels…I found one at the local $ store…resembles the one Sue has! I always look for bargains!

  42. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    You know….as long as Bridgee babee is happy and healthy…she’s fine! She knows the “lets go for a walk” drill and chooses not to go! I think her whimpering is she is excited you two are back! AND miraculously found your way back without her! Hah!

    No need to feel guilty!

    I totally admire Ilse’s approach to her medical situation. Best wishes with your healthy diet approach to boost your immune system.

    I am a firm believer of “Living your dash” how one does that, is an individual choice!

    Have a great evening!

  43. Ilse says:

    Hi There Everybody,
    A blogger with a big heart attracts readers with the same! What a wonderful bunch of people you are. Thank you so much for all the encouraging comments. It means a whole lot to me. In the future when I feel like giving up, I will come back here and read!
    I have learned a lot about modern diseases in general and cancer in particular in the last decade, and as alternative medicine and nutrition are my favorite subjects that I feel passionate about, it would be easy for me to get on my soapbox here and start preaching. I certainly won’t do that. As I told Sue, I don’t want to hijack her blog. I do want to say one thing, though, because most everybody is terrified about a cancer diagnosis and pretty much can’t think and will just do whatever the doctor says. One of the most important things I have learned is that cancer starts with one cell. Our cells are incredibly tiny. By the time a tumor can be detected, it contains a billion cells. It normally takes ten years for a tumor to grow from one to one billion cells. That means we have time to step back and research a while and think things through, so we can do what’s best for our bodies. No doctor has EVER healed a person. Only the body can heal itself. So should any of you ever get such a diagnosis, or if one of your loved ones or friends does, take the time and do some research and talk to several healthcare professionals. Don’t let fear paralyze you.
    Thanks again for all your well wishes. You are a caring bunch of people!

    • Velda in Roseville CA says:

      Sending hugs Ilse! You know we are,in the trenches of the fight as well. And we have learned a lot too. First time through radiation, did what doctors said, and he got a very sore throat and mouth. Doctors best solution was a mixture of local anesthetic, Maalox, and a anti fungal drug! This time, having done my research he began Tumeric tea in advance and each time the doctor saw him she asked how bad his mouth was and he said its ok and she kept looking and seemed puzzled why her radiation was not tearing up his mouth. I kept telling her Tumeric! You definately gotta watch out for yourself these days as the Drs are so busy treating the epidemic of cancer the only things they hear are from drug companies. Will keep praying for you. Do look up Paul Staments and Turkey Tail when you have time. Listen to him on TedMed talks about how he helped his Mom.

      • Ilse says:

        Thank you Velda. I listened to Paul Stamets’ TED talk and many others, especially the one where he talks about his mother’s cancer and Turkey Tail. I have several of his books. I take Turkey Tail, Cordyceps, Reishi, My Community, along with some Chinese Herbs I get from my acupuncturists/herbalist. I also have Chaga Mushroom, which needs to be made into a tea. Turmeric is amazing! Don’t know, if any of these do anything against the cancer, but the point is to strengthen the immune system so it can heal the body. I’m feeling great and have good energy, so all these things along with all the other things I do (including coffee enemas) must be doing something. One of the best resources for researching our medical problems is
        I wish you success with your loved one’s healing process!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Ilse, Velda, and weather …. I hope you don’t mind if I ask you (and any other readers who want to contribute to the discussion) the following question.

          In your opinion, based on your research and experience, what are the most important modifications one can implement to improve the typical American diet? I’ve been reading articles at the sources mentioned in this discussion. Very enlightening! However, all that information isn’t something one can process and absorb in a day. (I’ll continue reading. Thank you!) I think it would be beneficial for readers to know a few simple steps they can take to improve their diets. . . what to add, what to avoid . . .

          This discussion inspires me to revamp my diet. Where to start? Your thoughts… anyone?

          • My own personal opinion, reduce sodium and sugars in your diet…no canned, no processed or frozen foods…always check labels for sodium and sugar content. Less than 2500 mg of sodium per day should make a lot of improvement in everyone. Works for me and my kidney disease.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Yes! That’s a great start!

            • Velda in Roseville CA says:

              Curious why you don’t like frozen foods unless you mean prepared stuff like pizza or meals? Frozen vegetables and fruits are flash frozen at their peak of quality as opposed to fresh produce you find in produce department which may be older than they look due to time involved in field to store. I agree sugar and salt in processed foods is a good place to start.
              Green tea is a good antioxidant. Mushrooms have verified benefit both in B vitamins and anti cancer quality. Sue I have read your past descriptions of you vegetable sauté meals, and you have the right idea making vegetables a star in meals. I do cringe some over the rotisserie chicken because of the sodium and unknowns they soak the chickens in but it’s not something you do daily. I also wonder if you drink enough plain water after reading how long the 8 to 10 gallon jugs last you and combining that with your dehydration incident back when you first began fulltime. Bread is one of the big contributors to dietary sodium so it’s an area to pay attention to.

            • Hi Velda, in response to your comment, yes I am referring to prepared frozen meals, like weight watchers and lean meals. Handy if you do not have to or want to watch the sodium content..but boy are they just packed with sodium. Also fast food places are ridiculous with sodium…Kentucky Fried Chicken one of my favorites, now off my list because of high sodium count…BUT Tacos from Taco Bell or Del Taco low on sodium. I am limted to one taco, but I eat small anyway. But there is protein and little amounts of lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. Makes for a good quick lunch on the road…I always look up nutritional facts on my cell phone at all the fast food places before I stop to see what is available under 200 mg. Amazing when you read lables.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I’m touched by your concern, Velda. I’ll clear some of that up…

              I drink lots of plain water, in the range of 50-70 ounces a day, plus coffee, occasional juice, and tea, which is probably why I visit my bathroom so much! I don’t drink the water from the 8-10 gallon jugs you refer to. I buy drinking water at the store for myself.

              Yes, the rotisserie chicken has sodium which is one reason I don’t eat the skin which is slathered with it. I noticed the roasted chicken I bought from Smart n Final was labeled hormone-free with none of the “unknowns they soak the chickens in” — I forget the list! Wish all the chickens were that way…

              I agree about bread… I’m trying to cut carbs. I tend to eat too much bread, pasta, potatoes, and rice. As of yesterday, I’ve stopped! Also monitoring my sugar intake to cut that way back.

            • Linda in TX says:

              Have you seen the gadgets that make ‘pasta’ out of vegetables like squash and zucchini? I think Spiralizer is one brand. Then, you can top your faux pasta with tomatoes or tomato sauce, sauteed vegetables, mushrooms, etc. Seems like a great way to reduce carbs, and I’m about to try it!

            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              As to those gizmos that make “noodles” from zucchini…I liked it anyway. Once you add yummy pasta sauce (homemade best) and some parmesan cheese, I don’t see how anyone would not like it.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              And no cooking of pasta!

            • Pookie in SE Texas says:

              Shirlene…..since I do a lot of cooking over a campfire I make a lot of stews and such that has a lot of vegetables in it……….now keeping that in mind cooking for 20-30 folks usually doesnt give me time to use fresh veggies so I have to lean on canned or frozen veggies…….I started out using canned veggies since they are convenient then I read that frozen was way better than canned goods so I use frozen whenever I can… stated not to use frozen and I am just wondering if what if bad with frozen? Im always trying to learn,,,,
              thanks for your input..

            • shirlene says:

              Hi Chuck..frozen vegetables are probably ok..I usually only use frozen fruit..I was mainly speaking of frozen prepared foods like dinners…Anything not fresh check labels for the sodium to stay under 2300 MG per day. And for grins look at sugar count in milk..

          • Kerry On (UT) says:

            I think the most important thing is to eat whole foods, organic if possible, and include ample amounts of leafy greens, and healthy fats (yes I said it…fats). Meats and dairy are best if they’re from pasture-raised, grass-fed animals, and I will only eat fish that’s wild-caught. Avoid anything and everything processed, especially sugars and Franken-foods like GMOs. Of course, budget considerations mean modifications, but these are the things I strive for in my own diet.
            I have friends who are thriving on a Ketogenic diet, which is very high in healthy fats, and extremely low carb. Anecdotal evidence has suggested a Ketogenic diet may also starve cancer cells of the sugars they need to survive. Seeing my Keto friends lose weight and gain energy is enough to make me seriously consider making this next leap.

          • weather says:

            First, I like to add things that help rather than eliminate so that I feel satisfied instead of deprived , as I won’t stick to something that bothers me. So-I added unsweetened cranberry juice to my grocery list, using a tablespoon or so in a 16 oz. glass of water makes a refreshing drink that lowers the toxin level in my body. I added a glass before , during, in between and after meals years ago. (We often mistake body thirst and dehydration for hunger. )I added any protein,meat,fruit, vegetable serving to each meal until I felt content, to have less if any bread. I added omega 3 fish oil to the high dose high quality herbs, minerals and vitamins I’ve taken for years.

            When I crave something , let’s say a bowl of ice cream, I first have cereal in the bowl and if still hungry , eat ice cream. The only things I don’t eat or drink are corn and it’s by products, alcohol and mushrooms . I’m describing a lifestyle not a regimen. The only time I veer much from that is if a problem is trying to develop so I use a natural cure/altered diet or accept traditional medicine if needed and fix whatever if any issue that caused later.

            So you know early in life I was diagnosed with things that folks don’t walk or live through. I am 62, strong and thin by average standards,have no symtoms of any of those conditions, diseases or any other illness. I attribute my health primarily to grace, faith, prayer all else after.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I like your unsweetened cranberry juice practice. Might try that. Kidneys are my weakness, maybe that would be beneficial for them.

              In your many messages here it is apparent that your spirit exudes gratitude for all that is given. The last paragraph of your comment explains why. 🙂

          • Denise - Richmond VA says:

            Hi, Sue,

            Unsweetened, tart cherry juice is supposed to help reduce inflammation. The same with turmeric. Tumeric is used in Indian cooking, but many of their dishes are very high in fat, so it might be better to add the spice to one’s diet on its own.

            I try to cook from scratch, and avoid frozen, convenience meals. Shirlene is right…the salt is off the charts! Think you are being healthy by getting soup or salad at Panera? The salt is over 1000 Milligrams!

            I think going back to basics can only help. Fresh, raw fruits/veggies when possible, try to avoid processed foods, restrict salt and sugar, eat lean meats and fish, and drink plenty of water. If you have a sweet tooth, bake your own cookies. I am fortunate that I enjoy cooking and baking….

            • Elizabeth in WA says:

              I do believe Tumeric is good stuff…but hubby and I began taking it in pill form daily (easier than having to figure it into every day’s meals) and he began getting very bad nosebleeds…checked with our doc who is very much into natural treatments and he said that is a side effect for some. So now we just use it in recipes so much as we can…my favorite being chili as a place to use it. If one has cancer however, seems whatever natural you could do would be worth it…just a caution as to nosebleeds happen with some…

          • Renee Galligher says:

            Eliminate sugars and refined grains. In fact, I’ve eliminated 95% of grains in my diet and same for sugar. I’ve done this for years. Eat an over easy egg every morning with a slice of gluten free toast with real butter, a cup of coffee with cream. My last checkup was perfect, including cholesterol. We eat a Paleo diet in our house, yet enjoy brownies and lemon bars.

      • Bill & Ann, AZ says:

        Research Turmeric Golden Paste. I have been making and using the paste for six months now. It is also beneficial for pets with arthritis, etc. It is not recommended for use by people with kidney stones.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Okay, don’t laugh at this question. I looked at a few sites when I searched for Tumeric Golden Paste. Lots of info, recipes. I can’t find if you EAT the paste or APPLY the paste. Huh?

          • Kerry On (UT) says:

            I hope you don’t mind me jumping in here. Yes, you eat it, using about a teaspoon at a time. You can eat it as is, or mix the paste with milk and honey and gently heat it to make turmeric milk, or mix with hot water and honey and a twist of lemon to make a turmeric tea. Hope that helps!

  44. Speed Gray says:

    Hi Sue:

    This is my first message to you, although I have been addicted to your blog for the past month or so, and have read everything! My wife and I are not full timers but camping traveling, and boondocking is securely in our blood. We are living the life through your blog; thanks for all your effort!

    One question; I always see little Reggie on a leash. Is that because he is young and full of energy and won’t stay put? Hopefully the little fella will loose the leash as he matures and behaves himself!

    Thanks again, Sue.

    Best, Speed Gray (speedhighway), Grand Rapids, MI

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome, Speed Gray! Welcome also to your wife! I’m pleased with your addiction to my blog. 🙂

      Reggie is on a leash because of his vulnerability. He’s small (9 lbs) which makes him attractive to predators. If I could trust him not to wander. to stay close to Bridget and myself at all times, I wouldn’t put him on a leash. Bridget is allowed off-leash whenever our campsite location doesn’t have rules to the contrary. She stays very close to camp at all times.

      Reggie, however, is scent-driven. In other words, he follows his nose and once on a scent is oblivious to the distance away from camp he is covering. To compound this problem, his tracking of a scent is a stronger motivator that responding to my call. I’m working with him on that.

      Training Reggie to come when called is difficult because of his breed, but more than that, because of our lifestyle. I don’t have a fenced area in which to train him. I don’t have control over other distractors (like people). He’s in new surroundings where he could easily become lost and also where wild animals live. Every time I let him loose I risk his life. (I’m aware of training-on-tether techniques.)

      Before I receive comments on how to train Reggie… I’m aware of training methods. To answer your question, Speed Gray, yes, he’s on a leash because “he is young and full of energy and won’t stay put.” I, too, am hoping, with training and maturity, it will become okay to let Reggie off-leash.

      Great hearing from you… Boondock like you mean it! Ha!

    • DesertGinger says:

      Speed Gray! Welcome! Yes, Reggie is on a leash because he was not trained to be off leash when Sue got him, and he is a little too rambunctious to be trusted off leash. Sue is working on training him slowly.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Welcome, Speed Gray! 🙂

  45. Terri From Texas says:

    Rv Sue, Hi!

    Here is a comment toward your diet question. I am a firm believer in Weight Watchers. Several years ago I looked in the mirror and said..well, never mind. But, I joined them.
    They advocate 2 dairys a day, some protein, and 3-5 servings of fruit and veggies! Believe me, if you make yourself eat all those servings of fruit and veggies I can guarantee you won’t be hungry! also, make sure you check calories on anything you eat and eat the exact serving size as listed on the box. Fudging gets you in a whole heap of trouble! I lost 30 pounds in less than a year of following their points system. You can find all sorts of folks online who list the points for servings without even joining WW, but you need to know how many points you need for your weight. At the time, I was 47 and weighed 165 at the start. Yikes! I needed 22 points a day until I reached a certain weight and then went to 19 points a day. It really is more than it sounds. I could even eat desserts if I planned for it. I used to eat these Blue Bunny chocolate bars that were 0 points! Oh, and we ate lots of chicken. Only 1 though. And lots of exercise. I never have gained all that weight back, though I did gain some, and I am 55 now. I keep trying!
    Just my 2 cents. And no, I am not a WW salesperson! 🙂
    Keep on keeping on!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations on your weight loss, Terri!

    • Kerry On (UT) says:

      Hi Terri, and congratulations on the weight loss! I have three friends/family who have each lost over 100 lbs on Weight Watchers and kept it off. It’s a good weight-loss program for those who are able to follow it, unfortunately I’m not one of them. Too scatter-brained, I guess. I’m pretty close to where you were when you started, and I’m still looking for the right fit diet for me. I did South Beach a few years ago with great success, but I just can’t seem to re-engage. I’m considering giving Paleo or Keto a try this time. I guess we each have to find what works for us, and stick with it. It’s really the follow-through that’s important.

  46. Terri From Texas says:

    I didn’t mean we ate one chicken. I mean I ate one chocolate bar!

  47. Rhonda says:

    Hi Sue,

    I subscribed to receive updates or replies to this post, but then after a few days I decided to just go back to receiving regular blog posts from you. I unchecked the box (or clicked unsubscribe to future updates to this post–I can’t remember which) but I’m still receiving updates. Any suggestions? Should I unsubscribe from your entire blog, and then re-subscribe? Thanks!
    Rhonda F

    • Rhonda says:

      Whoops–never mind! I found it. I thought if I clicked to unsubscribe, I would be unsubscribing from your entire blog! We can’t have that! I think I’m good! Sorry for the bother.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      To be honest, Rhonda, I really don’t know as I’ve never seen that page where you unsubscribe. Did you scroll to the bottom and click “Save” or some other similar box? Sometimes I think I’ve made a change online and then realize there was some place way at the bottom where I needed to click. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful.

  48. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Lots of wonderful comments on this post. Yet more proof of what an amazing community we have here. So I’ll just post some quick observations of what life lessons my current road has brought me to this point.

    Dog training / diet – Love the bejebers out of them everyday in everyway. Try to appreciate that every moment in the now is a moment that we will look back on and cherish when the road takes a turn and we will not have them with us anymore.

    Human diet / taking care of ourselves. – Love the bejebers out of yourself everyday in everyway. Try to appreciate that every moment in the now is a moment that we will look back on and cherish when the road takes a turn and we are no longer where we are now.

    On a side note: I dare say that this is the only place on the web where I can stop in and find myself filled with funnel lust. I’ll check out autozone on my way to work today.

  49. Phil R says:

    I like your attitude toward Bridget and providing those things that give her pleasure and reduce her pain, physical and psychic. If more of us took that tack with our loved ones the world would be a better place.
    I’ve had to deal with cancer myself. After the initial shock, I had no fear of dying. As it turned out Prostate Cancer is treatable and so far, 3 years later, I am cancer free–subject to annual testing. One is never truly free of prostate cancer. It can come back in 10 or even 25 years. Always hanging over your head.
    The experience changed my life. I wish I could say I am a better person, but the truth is I’ve become more self-centered. I spent my life serving others and now, dammit, it’s time for me! And I eat whatever I want (within limits–I try to keep my weight under control). Cancer changes you in ways you can’t imagine, but the gift it gives you is that you confront your own mortality and deal with it.
    p.s. I’m still a really nice guy 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      My dear man, what a gift your words are! I completely relate to “I spent my life serving others and now, dammit, it’s time for me!” Hooray for you! My life had the same emphasis until one day I had an epiphany. Not brought on by a look at my own mortality, rather more from exhaustion and despair. I remember blurting out, “When in the hell will it be MY turn!” That prepared me for discovering a dream that I now enjoy in its realization.

      I’m very happy you have chased off the cancer demon and I have no doubt you are a nice guy. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your perspective, Phil. You can show up here more often, you know.

  50. SO sorry to hear of the Lady Blogerooos that are having Health Problems with the Big “C”,, I’ve been on a Veggie diet for some time and also drinking Creosote Tea, a plant that grows in our deserts and each time I go to the Doctor, I get the ok,,,, But I also pray for all I meet out and about and on this Blog,, I Trust in my Aba, YHWH, and I don’t ask for much for me, But for the Ones in need, or, of good health or better ,, I ask him to Bless,, not Glorifying Me, but Him, in doing so,,,, ,,,,,,, and when my time comes,,, no one will know, but Him,,,,,,,, Bless you all with better health and the wisdom to keep going,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rusty… Haven’t heard from you in a while. Good to see you here. I see you found another camp…

      • Hi Sue,,, I truly hope Bridget is doing all right and that she just likes staying home. ,,,,,, but we all need to walk a little further each day and up or down a small hill every once in awhile, it’s good for the ticker and to keep our weight down and our bodies loose,,,, setting all day with no movement will shorten ones life for sure,, Moses walked for 40 years and lived to the ripe age of 129 and in the past, I walked 2800 miles a year, for 31 years and hope to see 103 or better, Lord willing,,, So walk a little more each day, eat wisely and get much sleep, 6-8 hours or more and call me in the morning,,,, as the doc says,,, Yep we’re here somewhere ,,, seizure later,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  51. Kitt, NW Wa says:

    Thank you for creating a space where blogorinos can feel safe and supported no matter what their problem or question. You have fostered an amazing group caring people. When I open your website, love and kindness radiate from the screen. My heartfelt thoughts are with each and everyone of you who are dealing with life’s trials, no matter how big or small. We all have rough spots that we climb over – I think it is called life.

    • Hi Kitt,, Welcome to Sue’s Blog,,,,, Yep,,,, Life is Grand and Sometimes while one is walkin’ in the Rose Garden of Life, sometimes they walk into a little pile of Horse Manure,,, But if one watches where and how they walk, they my dear, might miss it all together,,,, It’s like,, if one wants to walk on water,, one must get out of the boat,,,,,, have a greatly blest evening up there in the North West,,,,,,,,,,,, rusty

  52. Lisa Fox Weekley says:

    I have followed Sue and her crew for years and just never comment, till I saw the posting of Ilse MSBC. I wanted to tell her there is hope for years to come. I was diagnosed stage 4 with bone mets December 2013. I have had it spread to brain, liver, lungs, abdomen. I just started my 4th chemo, 3rd time to go bald. But I am still here. Having MSBC means you will always have to stay in treatment, till you run out of treatments, but that can be years away. And I have my own Bridget, Nurse Bridget, my little yorker mix who never leaves my side. Good luck to you.

    • Wow Lisa, Welcome. That is quite a story and a very possible one for most people. The human spirit does amazing things, I see it every day as I work at a Cancer Prevention and Treatment Center. Everyone just do your best every day in every way and be nice to each other. Come back often Lisa. 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Welcome, Lisa! Glad that you have a little helper to help take care of you…giving you lots of love and comfort! 🙂

  53. Kay Dattilio says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! Well….I didn’t win the Power ball this morning! I didn’t expect too but it was fun to dream for while. I’m currently house sitting for a friend of mine and her 2 little cute ‘spoiled rotten’ miniature dachshunds. I’m not used to small dogs jumping on my lap, lots of sloppy kisses and scooping up the poop! We live on acreage and they have a very small yard. It’s been a bit of a hassle going back and forth to my home, then back here and only doing it until Sunday. I thought about trying to make it a career because it’s hard to find someone you trust with your pets, but with my 2 dogs and 3 cats, it’s not feasible.

    Sue, still love your pictures, your common sense to life and your blog. I also love reading about what other blogarinos are doing in their lives. I wish the best to everyone!

    Kay from KC!

  54. LNnm says:

    Good morning Sue. Hope you find today full of blessings!

  55. Ilse says:

    Hi Sue,
    I just got caught up on reading. You already got lots of diet advice. I like what Michael Pollan says: “Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants”. I would add that we should eat at least half of our food raw, because we need the enzymes contained in the food to aid the digestion of that food. Our pancreas produces digestive enzymes, but in a finite amount. By the time we are seniors, there is probably not much left and it becomes more and more important to get living enzymes from the food. Also remember that digestion starts in our mouth so we should chew our food well. Fermented foods are great for our digestive tracts, that’s why I make my own sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, pickles, etc., all raw of course. Did you know that we have about 10 trillion human cells and harbor ten times as many, that’s 100 trillion, microbial and bacterial cells that are vitally important to our well being. Most of those live in our guts and digest our food for us.
    I know it’s not easy to get fresh food, especially organically grown, when boondocking, but it can be done. Happy eating!

    • Good morn Ilse,,,, I know 2 different Full-Timing Boondockers that grow their own veggies and Herbs while rolling around the great western states,,,,,,,,

      • Marilyn, Dania Beach, FL says:


        How do they manage to do that as far as transporting the plants. Maybe they stay in one place for the growing season. I did see where one can grow a lot of food in a small area.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I just had a funny picture pop into my mind…. A container garden on the roof of the PTV! Haha!

        • One of the folks I met has a Class A with a trailer the same size with all kinds of room for all they do and grow,, it’s amazing how things can be done with the set up they have,, and they have a real small “Toad” that gets them around while everything is setting back at camp,,, + they run on Solar with no generators at all,,,,

      • Ilse says:

        Hi Rusty,
        I really want to live in my Lazy Daze (but can’t as long as I own a house, since I can’t afford both), so I thought a lot about what I would have to do. I grow a lot of sprouts in jars and in sprouting trays in soil. I have built a growing rack with PVC pipe and know I could easily put it up and take it down. I also like to grow kale. It’s easy and would grow well in containers. I was considering towing either a trailer I own or one of my son’s pickups to have room for containers. I know I could find a way. Sue on the other hand does not have too much room to spare. Yuma has a ton of stores that have a good vegetable selection, but most of the time she is not really near a larger town.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Another difficulty with providing fresh vegetables for oneself when living in the style that I do …. Often I come upon produce stands, farmers markets, or abundant grocery store produce sections (that include organic), yet I have to limit my purchases because I don’t have the refrigerator space to keep it.

          Yes, Yuma has a great selection of fresh vegetables… in the field and on the shelves.

          BTW, Ilse, your input into this discussion is excellent. You are improving lives by your example and by sharing what you have learned. Thanks again…

    • Marilyn, Dania Beach, FL says:


      Would you mind sharing how you make the kombucha? It is a new one for me and I am quite interested. Maybe other blogarinos are, too.

      Thanks in advance,

      • Ilse says:

        Hi Marilyn,
        Kombucha is quite simple, but you need a SCOBY, the weird thing that eats/ferments the sugar and grows the beneficial bacteria. You can find one at Amazon.
        To make kombucha, you need caffeinated tea and sugar. I make a gallon at a time. My favorite teas are Stash Pimegranare Raspberry Green Tea and Stash Ginger Peach Green Tea. I boil about 14 cups of water, dissolve 1 cup of sugar in it (it’s the only thing I use sugar for, period! I use organic pure cane sugar from Costco), and add 8 teabags. Leave them in for at least 20 minutes. I normally forget mine and they stay in for hours. When the tea has cooled completely, add the SCOBY and about 2 cups of the previous batch of kombucha. Cover with a piece of fabric held on with a rubber band. I leave mine for a couple of weeks. By that time the sugar is pretty much gone. It is important not to use any metal utensils, those kill the SCOBY.
        There is a free Ebook on the website

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I did a search on Amazon for SCOBY and found this, among others…

          Kombucha Kamp Genuine KOMBUCHA CULTURE (1 Lrg SCOBY + 1 Cup Strong STARTER LIQUID – Makes 1 Gallon)

        • Kerry On (UT) says:

          Hi Ilse! First, you are an amazing woman! I love hearing about all of the health-promoting things that you’re doing, and I’m glad to hear that you’ve been able to keep your energy up.
          I have a question, when you make your Kombucha, do you heat the water in a non-metal pot (if so what kind)? Or do you transfer it to a non-metal container when you add the SCOBY? I love Kombucha, but it’s expensive in the stores, so I’ve been considering making my own, so I don’t have to think of it a special treat. I’ve just been afraid the flavor would be too different from GT’s Kombucha, and I might not like it. Do you ever add any juices or extracts to it for flavoring? I’ve made kefir, so I’m sort of familiar with the process, but kefir only takes a day or two for each batch to process, so I found it hard to keep up with consuming that much of it, and I think I might enjoy the taste of Kombucha a bit more.

          • Ilse says:

            Hi Kerry,
            I use any pot to heat the water. I then pour it into a one gallon glass jar. It’s important that the SCOBY does not ever get touched by metal. I’ve been experimenting with different teas. It won’t work with herbal teas or decaf tea. I like the Stash green teas I mentioned above the best. The Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea makes a kombucha that tastes like a wonderful fruit punch.
            One additional bit of info: once you are the “parent” of a SCOBY (which btw stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast”), you will soon become a grandparent. Yes, those things multiply. Within no time at all you can supply the neighborhood with kombucha or SCOBYs. I make two gallons at a time, that works out to 14 cups a week. That’s all I’m willing to drink. Since I don’t want to become a kombucha supplier to the world, I put the elderly starters on my compost pile.

  56. Ilse says:

    I want to mention my favorite website for the answers to thousands of health questions. It’s Dr. Michael Gregor’s .Go and check it out. He just came out with a book: “How Not To Die”. I love it!

  57. Terri From Texas says:

    Thoughts on Bridget and her distress at being left alone. I wonder if the Thundershirt would help. We gave my in-laws one for their Shiba-inu and they worked with her per the instructions and it works wonderfully! They said they can drape it over her, and she sinks down and goes to sleep! The thunder does not bother her anymore. It took them about 2 weeks to train her with it. It just provides lots of secure feeling, I guess.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I think thundershirts are great!

      For this application — Bridget being left in the PTV, for instance, or when Reggie and I go on walks — it isn’t practical. I’d worry about over-heating plus the PITA of putting it on and taking it off every time. I suppose I could use it to train her and then drape it, like you say.

  58. Dawn from Camano Island says:

    Love the randomness of this post, Sue. Things are getting busy here in Q but we’re leaving Sunday at the height of the hubbub.

    Funny–and true–story. Every time we would go into town from Tyson Wash I would see a woman standing on a side street where there lots of booths. She was waving a sign & doing a good job of it too! Well, observant me noticed over 2+ weeks that she was wearing the same clothes every time I saw her! I told Jim that I sure hoped she was being well-paid. Then one morning as we passed, I noticed she was just standing still–very still. And wearing same clothes. That’s when it hit me. She was a dummy!!! Oh my gosh! I laughed so hard! Now I want to stop & have Jim take a pic of the two smartest dummies in town!!!

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Heh…some sure look real…we got snuckered by one in Everett the other day…had to drive right next to it to see it was a dummy!!

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