Tuesday, April 8

It’s not often that the Best Little Trailer is parked next to a free water supply.  I ask Rusty if I may fill up my water jugs and, of course, he says, “Sure, go ahead.”

In an effort to conserve water, I haven’t done dishes in a long time.

The dishpan is piled high, along with a stack of dirty pots and pans.  I set up my little table outside and heat up a pot of water to boiling.  It’s another sunny day in Chino Valley.  I pour the boiling water over the dishes, add some cool water, and sit outside washing and drying dishes with Bridget and Spike lying at my feet.

Rusty tinkers with his trains.

1-DSC03525Several times throughout the day the crew and I sit on Rusty’s porch where it’s cool, while he fiddles around with track, trains, switches, rocks, and dirt.

1-DSC03530He changes the configuration of the track to fit some new ideas.  All the while, Rusty talks almost non-stop, happy to have company.

1-DSC03527I ask if I may use his shower.

“Yes, go ahead!  My house is your house.”   What a treat to take a shower in his clean and tidy bathroom.  The water is hot and feels wonderful!

1-DSC03509Gee, I fill the water jugs, take a shower . . . might as well go for three!


Speed control



Sound system hidden in the tender

“Rusty, the set of curtains over my bed are dirty along the hem where Bridget and Spike rub up against them.  I don’t want to put the curtains in a washing machine because they’re white and they might come out dingy.  May I use the hose?”

I take down the curtain rod and attach it to the fence. 

Rusty has a super garden hose, 100 feet, the kind that lasts forever and never kinks.  He tells me he bought it with an Amazon gift card that one of my readers sent him for a housewarming gift.

Here’s that gift in action!

1-DSC03539I wet the curtains, rub dish soap along the hem, and rinse them with the water nozzle set at high pressure.  In very little time they’re dry, clean and white as brand new.

Stop a minute.

Do you realize you just read about me filling water jugs, washing dishes, taking a shower, and washing curtains?  Gosh, this is great stuff . . .

And there’s more!

1-DSC03510A few minutes ago I get up from typing this blog post to shut the screen door and the outside door for the evening.  When I close the screen door it doesn’t seem to latch correctly.  I soon realize we’re locked inside!

It’s dark out and Rusty has gone inside his trailer for the evening and is watching television.

“Rusty!”  I call out.  “RUSTY!”   Gosh, I can’t wait until morning.  Spike will need to go outside in the night.  What if we had a fire or something? (I don’t know what would ignite it.  Dog gas emissions maybe?)

“RUSSS-TEEE!!!”   Oh, darnit . . . He’s never going to hear me over the noise of the television. 

Hmm . . . What do I have that will make a lot of noise.

Got it!  The air horn!

I point it at Rusty’s trailer and give it a rip.  Whoa, this thing is loud!  I wait a few seconds and give another blast.

“I’m coming!  I’m coming!”

Rusty rushes over and I tell him the problem. 

He switches on the outside light and manages to get the door open.  He puts some WD-40 where it catches.  “It’s out of alignment.  Tomorrow I’ll file that down for you so it won’t stick,” he promises.

“Thanks so much, Rusty.  I’m glad I had the horn.  Now go back inside.  You’re missing your show.”

1-DSC03518The lesson in all this?  

Keep an air horn handy.  You never know when you might need to blast someone away from the tv.



They remember to go to Amazon from my blog.


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175 Responses to “Toot-toot!”

  1. Tina says:

    Choo Choo!!! Thanks for the update on Rusty.


  2. Wow! This is the earliest I’ve been a poster (as opposed to a poster child)!

  3. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts., VA says:

    Ha! Loved this one Sue. You are making yourself right at home with Rustys hospitality. Turn arounds are great! Loved the lazy day getting things done. Rusty’s train hobby is fascinating to me, Like very much, brings back so many memories, the whistle the coal cars, I even remember the steam engines. Wow just love em.A great day was had by all. I know Rusty enjoy’s your visit and is glad to give back. He’s a good soul. Take Care Sue and Crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I find the train fascinating, too. It’s very relaxing to watch it chugging along the track, going through the tunnel, coming out the other side, round it goes… The whistle is very realistic.

  4. Jane says:

    Well, Sue, the friend who gave you the air horn is going to be pleased that it served an important purpose. It got you out of a bind. I’m glad you had it, too.
    Rusty’s train is wonderful. The setup is so neat! How fun to see it. I’m glad he’s in a position to help you out, too.
    Enjoy your visit.
    Illinois Jane

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jane,

      I should email her to let her know. That air horn was the perfect solution to our predicament.

  5. mockturtle says:

    I find that, when the sun is strong, I can heat water by setting a bucket of it outside for a while. Gets plenty hot for dish washing and saves a little propane.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s good to know. I’ve been meaning to paint a container with matte black paint for the same purpose. This is a project I intended to do about two years ago.

      If I have plenty of propane, I like to pour boiling water over the dishes and flatware.

      • Chris B says:

        Many moons ago when I was in Girl Scouts, we would paint old Clorox bottles black, fill them with water and set them in the sun or a hot car. They have lids so you can store a couple in the car without spilling and they were free! You can also use the handle to tie them to a tree and it was almost like running hot water. Add a bar of soap in an old stocking tied to the handle and you were set!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh, hee-hee, I can see you in your green Scout uniform with pins and badges, being prepared and all that … 🙂

    • Love this idea–thank you! It’s going in my RV book for future reference!

  6. Don in Okla. says:

    Gosh!! Locked out one day and locked in the next!! What a deal!!

  7. Joan says:

    I just had to giggle my way through this post, it was full of adventure of life!
    So happy you got your dishes washed in hot water, curtains cleaned with the sprayer, a hot shower for yourself but …..Awww poor Rusty and Timber having to think they were hearing voices only to find out it was you blowing your horn!! Heee Heee
    Enjoy your time with these two guardian angels of yours!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Joan,

      I would’ve been awfully frustrated if I didn’t have that air horn. It’s maddening to holler for someone and they don’t hear you. That horn lifted Rusty right up off the couch and to my rescue! Glad you enjoyed the post. I really didn’t have much to work with until the screen door stuck . . .

  8. AZ Jim says:

    There’s never been a woman yet that needed an air horn to get my attention. I’m old and harmless but attentive. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I believe you, Jim. My only regret is that I didn’t discover air horns about 40 years ago.

  9. AJ says:

    I need an air horn….
    Who knew they could be so useful?
    Great story.

  10. Rob says:

    An air horn! hahahaha!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rob,

      I’m thinking of lots of uses for an air horn…. Getting a teenager out of bed on a school day morning…. Answering a nosy neighbor’s question… Greeting solicitors at the door… Interrupting a family conversation headed for an argument (Remember to bring to Thanksgiving dinner)…

      No home should be without one! 🙂

      • Don’t forget telemarketers! I like the idea of using an air horn to get a teenager out of bed, having one of those still in our house.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Or use the air horn to say no . . . . “Um, Dad, can I borrow the car to go to the beach for Spring Break?” BLAAAAASSSTTT!!!

  11. Timber n' Rusty says:

    Timber n’ I thought we heard voices and muted NCIS and listened . nope we’re hearing things, must be Dixie the dog Mom talking. un muted NCIS ,,,,,BAPP!!! Timber and I Jump and we we’re on the sofa, ,,,,,BAPP!!! ,,,,What th’ hell is that, is some one saying hi to Sue and the Crew on a no visit us plan, we are visiting rusty and Timber and it’s dark out!!! I go out side and see Sue standing just in her door way and like Paul Harvey says, “And Now you know the rest of the Story”. ,,,,,,,LOL,LOL ,,,,,8~O

    • Regina Lee says:

      Timber and Rusty, thank you for inviting RVsue and her crew to your place. Sues’s account of her door sticking and the air horn had me lol. Have Sue check to make sure the trailer is not in a bind and causing the door to stick. Glad you were able to save the Sue’s day.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Rusty discovered that the gap between the screen door and the frame (at the hinges) was greater at the top than at the bottom.
        Using a board pressed against the hinges and a mallet, he was able to push the middle and top hinges so that the gap is now even, top to bottom.

        The door opens and shuts smoothly now.

    • Timber n' Rusty says:

      WoW, look at all the folks that got in before us, Timber ,,,,,,,,,,, I type slow and how ,,,,;~D

  12. Nancy Klune says:

    It’s a very good thing that your door stuck at Rusty’s house. If you had been in a remote location with no one around it might have been a looooong wait. I guess you have a excape window though now that I think about it, but still………….

  13. Nancy Klune says:

    Another thought. What gauge is Rusty’s train? Brand?

  14. Ladybug says:

    Wow, a hose that stands on its own! What’ll they think of next??

    And Sue, I coulda swore you have a phone! LOL

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I do have a phone. I confess it wasn’t charged and it ran out of service two days ago and I didn’t have Rusty’s phone number handy. Rather than go through all that, two quick blasts got results. (I sometimes leave out details in my stories… Don’t want to slow down the action!)

  15. george, in n.c. says:

    Hi Sue’

    How about your phone? Doe’s Rusty have one?

  16. Becky says:

    Oh Sue!! You gave me a good laugh to start my day. 🙂 I am at work and my colleagues thought I had lost it when I started giggling and couldn’t stop. An air horn…. LOL

    Thank you!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Becky,

      Gosh, I love my air horn! I never go to football games so I hadn’t ever heard one up close. What power at the push of a button! I want to use it on every person who says something stupid to me. LOL!

  17. Don’t get too comfortable! You will get spoiled with all these modern conveniences:) Haha!

    It is so nice to read how well Rusty and Timber are getting along. I love that he is developing a train display. Men and their trains!

    Your locked door really freaked me out. Glad you had that horn. Luckily it happened where there was help. I assume one of your windows is an emergency exit!?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, there’s an emergency exit and I do have a phone (ran out of service, need to refill it, not charged).

      I say, if you have a problem, find a solution and make it a dramatic one!

  18. riley in nc says:

    In summers long ago i would put buckets of water and gallon jugs out in the sun for 3/4 hours then use it to wash my big dogs out in the warm sunshine.
    Much better than trying to get them in the bathtub or using cold water from garden hose.
    They actually liked it.

  19. Beverly says:

    Thanks for the update on Rusty and Timber. His train setup is great. What a past time. Thank you for the laugh of the day as well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Beverly. I was typing up the post, all the while thinking… good heavens this is a whole lot of nothing — washing dishes, taking a shower, etc. Then, as if to provide something to blog about, the door won’t open and we’re trapped!

  20. Cinandjules says:

    What a wonderful time had by all!

    Rusty’s train set is awesome.

  21. Alan Rabe says:

    What a hoot. Looks like a great time was had by all.
    From previous post. Package is going to his House via FedEx.
    The area of the forest you are talking about is along I17 and I40, major visibility. The western half of the forest has probably never seen a ranger. It is about as isolated as you can get in that part of AZ.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Alan,

      I hope you’re right about Coconino. After I wrote that reply to your previous comment I thought I probably was generalizing too much.

      The word among vagabonds is that the rangers of Coconino and Prescott national forests are not as welcoming as the rangers of other forests. Kaibab NF is getting that way also, in the areas of the forest near expensive properties.

      A surprise package is such fun! I haven’t a guess what you sent . . .

      • Alan Rabe says:

        Yeah, so many cities and popular areas are now surrounded by the forest that rangers get a lot of complaints by the “citizens”. So look to the areas that are far away from these areas. They popular areas get all the rangers attention and they can’t get to the more isolated areas that much. I know you don’t take suggestions all that much but look for West Clear Creek on your map. The eastern most part at its start is a Y. I know the southern branch has boondock camping. WCC is possibly the best keep secret in all of AZ as there are no campsites with amenities any where near it, so not all that many people go there. If you follow the creek from the “Y” you will be amazed at the sites, there are springs, a hidden canyon that if there is a little rain will sport a water fall. It is in the top 5 of my favorite places anywhere.

        • Alan Rabe says:

          Forgot. WCC ends at the Verde valley and goes east from there. The west end is used to much. The center is the best, all canyon walls and creek, but very difficult to get to. The east section is beautiful, trees and springs, and snake grass everywhere.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          The package arrived! Rusty and I ran out when the FedEx truck pulled up.

          Hubs super-size peanuts! Virginia’s finest . . . What a great gift! We sat outside eating them. How did you know I crave salt? Thanks, Alan.

          • Cinandjules says:

            Sound like two little kids at Christmas! Enjoy

            • rvsueandcrew says:


            • Alan Rabe says:

              Glad you all like them. Been here in VA for 40+ years and they are the absolute best peanuts I have ever had, and I have had just about every gourmet brand there is. Suffolk used to be the home of Planters and the area is prime peanut country. My first Abby cat used to devour them.

            • Timber n' Rusty says:

              Thanks Alan, I needed them Peanuts, my VA Doctor Roth said eat nuts if you can, eh no teeth, so I suck on them till they get soft to chew, MMMMM good, Thanks again, oh, Timber likes em Too ,,,,lol ,,,:~)

          • Alan Rabe says:

            Save the cans, they are air tight and great for storing things like cookies and such.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Oh yeah, Rusty and I already talked about how handy the cans are. (I think he wants mine, too.) 🙂

            • Timber n' Rusty says:

              Remember, I’ve have another empty one in here somewhere;~)

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Sometimes I take suggestions. You suggested Palm Canyon at Kofa. True, we didn’t go there right away because I needed to do things in Yuma, but we did camp there.

          To go to West Clear Creek, would you take 260 southeast of Camp Verde, go past Black Mountain and then turn north on a spur road? Or would you go further to Calloway Butte and enter at the west end of the Wilderness.

          This part of Arizona usually has a mid-April snowstorm. It’s getting too warm in the lower elevations. I might as well accept the fact that we will live a few days with snow, especially at 5,000-6,000 ft. which is what I think West Clear Creek is.

          • Alan Rabe says:

            Take 260 east till it hits 87. Take it NE to Clover spring. Search the area north of clover creek. It and toms creek run together and become West Clear Creek. All kinds of forest roads going into the forest. Ages ago I followed one as it crossed Toms or Clover creek, there were several campers there. Most of the roads go to the edge of WCC but there is no path into the canyon except from the north side. FR 81 off of 209 will take you to 81E which goes to an old tramway that used to be there when the area was mined. Nothing was ever discovered, the only thing left was the cable for the tramway into the canyon and a trail to the bottom. When I was last there 25 years ago 81E was fine until the last bit when it required a high clearance vehicle and there was no place for a trailer. But who knows now. Anyway check out your map book and take a look.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I asked Rusty about it. We looked at the map together. I don’t know what time of year you were there. He’s concerned about mud if it rains… worried I’ll get stuck. When were you there?

            • Alan Rabe says:

              Many times, spring and summer, but also in winter. Winter was best. The lack off humidity meant the cold didn’t go to the bones so to speak. The drainage is good due to the many creeks. Once the snow melts and before the monsoons should be a great time

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Did some research… No motor vehicles in the WCC Wilderness. The “fairly easy” hike to the creek on the west end is 6 mi. (no can do). On the east end, 81 and 81e, park for “very steep” trail. I see 616 near Clover Creek, might be okay as long as not within wilderness boundary.

              The canyon looks spectacular but not accessible by vehicle. Found camping places described as “very popular.” You know how I react to that!

  22. Miss Leslie says:

    And the Award for Highest Maintenance Houseguest goes to…. LOL

  23. vada wetzel says:

    Well shoot ,Sue!Trying to be frugal this week..Have some no spend days that I have read about on the frugal blogs.Now I HAVE to have an airhorn!Who knows when it could save the day…Tell Rusty that my husband wants to know if he can come play trains with him. Only thing is we live in Tx. love your blog and Rusty sounds like a really cool friend.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Vada and husband!

      I’m happy to see you here and I’m glad you love my blog. Best wishes as you live frugally. You can skip the air horn and learn to yell really loud. 🙂

  24. weather says:

    Perspective stands out to me as the word to describe what today’s post illustrates.
    In yesterday’s photos the train’s cars appeared suitably sized for the hands of a toddler,now we see that they’re comparatively enormous!
    Water,when available in abundance,and friends,when in close proximity,can make
    things so convenient.More limited supplies and miles between us just make parts of our life different,making us use alternative methods and schedules.
    To keep everything handy at all times people will limit themselves to one location,
    job.home or lifestyle as years pass by in warm familiarity.
    Foregoing ease in exchange for new vistas,freedoms and experiences other people
    remove limitation to spend years amidst what they’ve never seen before.
    The choices,if made knowing what satisfies you,are a luxury and a gift.
    Either situation,however,if accepted as what we have because we perceive it is unchangeable,is less than what is available to us.
    Imagination and a willingness to overcome our fears makes either a possibility.
    Your blog engages me because you demonstrate so much of what I strive to offer
    people-a reason and the courage to reach for whatever each one longs for on the horizon they look to

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      One of the many functions of my crew is to provide a reference regarding size in my photos. A redwood tree looks like any ol’ tree in a photo until Bridget sits in front of it. You reminded me of a photo I took in Zion National Park. At first glance it looked like a picture of a rock wall, nothing particularly grand about it. On closer inspection one could see tiny people in the bottom corner and then, wow!, what a massive rock!

      Regarding your thoughts on the choices we make. . . Our society has elevated comforts and luxuries to where people spend their entire adult lives slaving and striving for them. The irony is that the more comfortable one is, the less one is able to appreciate comfort.

      • Oddly enough, Sue, I find I feel more comfortable when I am out with the RV sitting outside reading or even cooking than I am amongst the “comforts” of home. Per haps that is because my stress level (real and imagined) drops significantly whenever I can take the trailer out of town for a few days.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Aha! Nothing odd about that, Walt. . . You’ve found where real “comfort” is!

          • weather says:

            You’re quite precisely right Sue.comfort; defined in a modern dictionary-a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint
            The Latin derivation only meant to strengthen.
            Leaving everything’s constraints to see nature we gain unimpaired awareness of Life,we can feel it…

            The sense of something producing physical ease, as part of the definition, didn’t arise until the 17th century.
            The ancient paths to knowledge remain truest

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I’m guessing “comfort” comes from two Latin words…. commundum ( easy convenience)…. and fortitudo (courage, not afraid).

              And that, ladies and gentleman, is most of the very little I have to offer after 4 years of Latin study!

            • weather says:

              4 yrs. of Latin-wow!Do you remember loving words before making that choice,Meaning,was the fascination enhanced or begun by those studies?
              French was my first language,some sounds and words so resonate with me…
              I know the transition to English played a part in all of that.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              French is your first language… I’ve learned a little more about you.

              At my high school the choice of language study was French or Latin. Students were given a taste of both languages in a short course in junior high. The French teacher used a teaching method where she refused to tell us the meaning of a french word. It all had to be learned through her usage. I hated it. If she told me the meaning of vocabulary, I’d know it! Drove me crazy!

              By default I signed up for Latin. Absolutely loved it. Singing out the conjugations, reading Latin poetry, Cicero, Caesar . . . I’ve lost most of it except for a small vocabulary, a few Latin phrases, and having a better understanding of English words and their derivation. Yes, Latin added to my love of words (At an early age I wanted to be a writer.).

      • DesertGinger says:

        I have just downsized from a 2300 sq ft home with three garages and a big yard to a 400 sq ft trailer with a carport. Couldn’t be happier! Am using my carport as my living and dining room right now while we work on my house (painting, laying new floor). Once I am set up here I plan to start traveling and exploring from here. In the beginning mostly day trips or visiting friends and family in CA. My goals were about simplifying, living frugally, and becoming ‘greener’. I want to do this to be more appreciative of each moment, and not buried in activities. I also want to explore the world more, not just rush up and down the same path each day struggling to make money.

        However I just discovered my little dog has hurt her eye…don’t know how. Guess we will be making a vet trip soon and spending money!

        By the way, love Rusty’s train!

  25. Jean/Southaven, MS says:

    Loved you post. Full of the everyday things of life that makes the world go round. So proud for Rusty and Timber. I love trains too. My son had trains when he was growing up. There is a hobby train organization here in the Memphis area. They get together and share and build stuff together. they also have portable train set ups that they take to the schools and share with the kids.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jean,

      Trains are a wonderful hobby. There are many “sub-hobbies” that go along with it. . . crafting the buildings, furniture, people, animals, etc. according to the correct scale… researching what one would see in a certain time period (Rusty’s is going to be turn-of-the-19th-to 20th century.) . . . finding the tiny plants to represent trees in the lay-out.. . looking at everyday materials and applying them creatively to give the illusion of something else. . .

      Rusty plans to make ladders, stairs, and fences out of toothpicks and craft sticks. He’s already made a miniature coffee pot that sits on the woodstove in one of the train’s cars. I took a photo of it, but it didn’t come out well. And then there’s the electrical/mechanical part of it . . .

      Rusty also plans to have a spur line go to a mine in operation with miners and tools and the loading of the cars . . . It’s an imaginative and limitless hobby!

      • Timber n' Rusty says:

        And it, the hobby keeps him busy, besides all home stuff and my stuff he does. I like watching too, now that we have a home and no more roamin’ ,,,,,,,Timber

  26. RVA Denise says:

    Hi Sue,

    Sounds like you had a productive and eventful day! Note to self….add an airhorn to the toolbox of the future TT!

    Rusty’s train layout is very cool. My Dad and ex-husband were into model trains, HO and N scale respectively. It was always fun helping to pick out new buildings or cars for the set. It is great that G scale can remain outside to enjoy all year. Have fun, Rusty!

    I love when Bridget, Spike and Timber post their two-cents!

    Sue, what has been your favorite location in your travels so far? My favorite spot (so far) is the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. So awe inspiring and beautiful! I was overcome with emotion, brought to happy tears…thanking God for such a wonderful gift.

    Hope you all have a wonderful day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      It’s very hard for me to chose only a few favorites because I have been at many lovely camps and they are very different camps.

      I loved Badger Mountain, UT, in June. The San Rafael Reef was lovely with it’s light tan boulders and white flowers. Dirty Devil River, perched above a river canyon, with red rock in the back of us and yellow hoodoos in front, was a dramatic setting. I liked Eagle Lake near Susanville, CA, camped on the lake, watched the gulls and pelicans as well as Spike soaking, the Tieton River camp — eating my meals at the river’s edge while the water rushed by… Alabama Hills, next to cottonwoods with leaves of gold… Glass Creek Road camp near Mammoth Lakes, with deer and tall pines and glassy creek… The mossy, lush green of Hamma Hamma campground… Mora Mora near Rialto Beach… the mountaintop near Beaver, UT where we had a reservoir all to ourselves… Brooks Lake where we saw black bear, grizzlies, moose, and galloping horses… Delmoe Lake in MT …

      I could go on and on. Each camp has a special quality of its own. . .

      • RVA Denise says:


        Your response made me smile – I THOUGHT you might have a hard time picking a favorite or two! Yes, you and the Crew have been to some lovely places! Denise

        • Dawn in MI says:

          RVSue’s answer made me smile too…I could picture them all and that made my morning.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            There are times I sit in my camp chair or lie in bed and the memories of places we’ve been flood over me. I think writing about and photographing our camps and experiences makes them more vivid in memory.

            • weather says:

              Hobbies that completely wipe out a consciousness of time are the best
              Writing about and photographing our
              camps and experiences make them more vivid
              What you describe in these phrases
              is a focused state ,
              uninfluenced by past or future,
              seeing the beauty of life
              visible only as we step away
              from exclusive attachment to the ordinary.
              At a young age you wanted to become a writer…you have.
              You hope this book never ends…it won’t.
              We’re part of an eternal journey

            • Gayle says:

              Good point. You don’t have to publish a book, you already ARE a writer.

  27. Deb from NJ says:

    Well like I have said in the past…..never a dull moment in the life of Sue and the Crew! That is just crazy that you actually had to use a bull horn…lol. Reminds me of the antics of Lucy and Ethel. (In a fun way)

    I am in awe of Rusty’s trains. There is a lot of hard work in that set up. Great job, Rusty! Wish I could hear that whistle. Growing up we lived right next to the railroad tracks. Thanks for sharing Rusty.

    Everyone ……have a great day!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deb,

      Yeah, trapped with an air horn is a classic situation for Lucy! Desi not hearing, watching television . . . 🙂

      Rusty has put a lot of time and effort into his train lay-out, and I bet he’s enjoyed every minute of it!

  28. Barb George says:

    HA! That is what I need to get my hubs away from the TV!!! Laughing and on my way to the BEACH on a SUNNY DAY!
    Hugs from Hoquiam!
    PS tell Rusty and Timber HI!

  29. WTX CAL says:

    I just found your blog about a week ago. As I’m a dog lover, Rusty & Timbers story struck home. I also used to live in Longmont for awhile. Sue, what your ideas state about keeping things simple make so much more sense now than earlier in life. Keep up the good work!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, WTX CAL,

      Welcome to my blog! I’m happy you found me and the crew and all my wonderful followers.

      It’s a relief to know you don’t have to collect more and bigger and better things. I enjoy beautiful things, finely crafted items. . . At one time I would’ve wanted to take them home. Now I can appreciate these things without having a desire to own them. Freedom from want! Or more accurately, freedom from wanting!

      Hope to hear from you again . . .

      • Dominick Bundy says:

        Hi, Sue and crew, I really like your phrase. “freedom from want” to appreciate things without the desire to own them. I don’t post very often, Just wanted to let you know I still following your blog everyday.God bless you and the crew. And stay safe.. Dominick , Rochester, NY.

  30. Diann in MT says:

    The Social Studies teacher across the hall from me used an air horn every time a kid fell asleep when he /she was assigned written classroom work. Woke the entire school up! He was the football coach and could get away with most things.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Certain rules apply everywhere. The Coach As Classroom Teacher Rule: Do whatever you want. No one will complain, and if they do, no one will do anything about it.

  31. Ladybug says:

    My first introduction to air horns was during the state income tax demonstrations in Tennessee; we were ‘circling the wagons’ as it were at the state legislature. People who were driving around the block were honking horns (I wore mine out) and people on the ground had the airhorns. Reports were that the legislators couldn’t hear each other talking in the meetings!

    (They didn’t pass a state income tax, either!)

    • Miss Leslie says:

      I liked hearing about this. It took me back to the late sixties and the seventies when we had the mindset that if we believed something was wrong we could DO something about it.

    • Barbara says:

      Thanks for participating in the horn honking revolt to stop the income tax. I hated to think we would end up like the other states. Start taxing and then end up bankrupt like so many of them. Not to mention less take-home pay.

  32. Dixie says:

    Oh Sue,What a delightful story. I’m so trilled for Rusty! Love his Train hobby. How wonderful both of you could get together along with the crew and Timber. I’ve always believed what one puts forth in GOOD–returns Two-fold!! What a great full circle this makes. Laughed So hard about the airhorn!! My Hubby had to ask what I was reading! Hugs to the Pups!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Always nice to hear someone got a laugh from one of my posts. One thing about an air horn… They are awfully difficult to ignore!

  33. Kelly says:

    Love this post Sue ! You made doing everyday chores fun….
    I thought mabe you were going to type that you had to email Rusty to free you & the crew…haha

    Good for Rusty diving into a new life with a positive, thankful and happy attitude.

    So nice to read.

  34. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    Never ceases to amaze me how you can make ordinary task seem so interesting. I love the pictures of Rusty’s trains. What a fun hobby. I know I am not the only one who laughed at your “lock-in” . That air horn would have scared me to death but I am glad you got Rusty’s attention.
    Love you

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      And you know what never ceases to amaze ME? That people find my ordinary tasks interesting to read. It seems like I could pick my butt and it would be “trending” on national news! Haha!

    • Timber n' Rusty says:

      Hi Pauline in Mississippi, Rusty n’ I was on the sofa when that loud horn went off and we jumped ,,,,,,Timber ,,,ps ; go to top, ’bout 6 down and reed rusty’s account of the story ,,,,,,,Timber

  35. mk stuck in NE GA for now says:

    Wonderful post and wonderful photos! You make activities of daily living fun!

    Rusty’s artful train garden reminds me of the Japanese Zen Gardens, they are never done and constantly changing and growing – it’s the journey that counts!

    LOL @ the air horn, had one on my boat and they are a handy little item to have! Glad Rusty will be able to fix the problem, I wonder why your door has gotten out of alignment? Could it be from leaving it open so much without support? I know my pasture gates will do that if I leave them open.

    You certainly are living in the lap of luxury – room with a view – free unlimited fresh water- entertainment- long hot shower – laundry – and a doorman (giggle)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know exactly why the screen door was out of alignment. Like you said, doors do sag over time. Plus this little trailer has been wrenched around and over rocks and heaven knows what else…

  36. Terri From Texas says:

    Good to see your visit has worked out and Rusty and Timber are looking good!
    My husband has been working on his train layout about two years and still isn’t finished with it! It’s kinda cute…
    Change of topic. Aren’t there rules which apply with regard to camping in Natl. Forests and don’t Rangers have to abide by them regarding all campers? Btw, have you noticed are the rangers actual peace officers? Just curious.
    Have a great time with Rusty! Hope the weather stays good. We are camping this weekend before it gets so hot you can fry an egg on the sidewalk.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Terri,

      Yes, the rules are the same for all campers. However, a ranger can make a camper feel unwelcome in many ways… coming by and “reminding” that there’s a 14-day limit, being picky about distance from the road, asking a lot of questions to determine if one is living in their RV. That last part is where major harassment comes in.

      National Forest rules state that one cannot erect a permanent structure in the forest(I’m paraphrasing). This has been interpreted by some forest districts to mean one cannot live fulltime in the National Forests, even if one abides by the 14-day rule and moves far away for another 14 days before returning.

      This is why it’s not a good idea to admit to living full-time in your RV when a ranger comes to your camp.

      Bob Wells of cheaprvliving.com wrote a post about the time he and fellow van dwellers were asked a lot of questions when camped in Prescott NF, yet the folks in the big, expensive rigs were not bothered.

      Are the rangers peace officers? I think it depends upon the attitude of the district and the nature of the individual ranger. Obviously we need people whose job it is to “keep the peace” and to make sure our forest resources aren’t damaged or destroyed.

  37. Cinandjules says:

    Terri from Texas

    National Park Rangers are sworn peace officers at the Federal level of law enforcement. They are the primary police agency and enforce federal, state and park rules.

    Enforcement of any rule is up to the officers discretion unless there is a zero tolerance for a specific rule. Any type of “profiling” would violate the firm, fair, consistent and unbiased …an oath one takes.

    Many retired law enforcement officers are seasonal hires in places such as Yosemite, Yellowstone, Denali etc.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t mean to put down rangers in general. Most I’ve come in contact with are helpful, considerate, fair-minded people.

      The forest service around Prescott, Show Low, and other “prime” areas are under pressure, I guess, and that trickles down to the person on the front lines. Rusty told me that for many years disabled, homeless vets have lived in the forest around Prescott so they can get to the VA hospital for appointments. As everyone knows, homeless people aren’t always shown the respect and “benefit of the doubt” that the rest of us are given.

      You’re right about profiling. Human nature being what it is, a person driving a $400,000 rig is going to be treated differently than someone in a homemade truck camper or van or a little travel trailer.

      • Cinandjules says:

        I didn’t get the impression of that at all!

        Sadly…sometimes it’s the high and mighty ones who don’t care about the repercussions of their actions/behavior….and don’t respect the land or others around them.

  38. Linda Bailey says:

    Hi Sue,
    I got to use an air horn when I lived on a boat and took it out under the bridges in Seattle – what fun.
    I went back to the beginning (glad I did), as it gives me an idea of what to expect on my first outings. I do have a favor….I read a quote by Tioga George in one of your earlier posts, thought “oh I’ll write that down later” and, of course, can’t find it. Maybe it was a dream, since I am spending my evenings with you on your journey.
    I had tears in my eyes when Rusty was re-united with Timber, then laughed at your comment about the damp toilet paper in the foggy areas of the Oregon coast.
    I have seen others suggest this, so I will too. You should publish these blogs! Especially now that I have gone back to the beginning – it really ties it all together.
    Did you ever read the “Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” book?
    Your blog reminds me of that book…..read a while, absorb and think about it, then go back to see what happens next…loved that book.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      Yes, several people suggest I should write a book. I don’t know. I look at those old posts and some of them make me squirm. 🙂 It would be a lot of work to pull it all together into book form and I just want to have fun!

      Thank you for your support of my writing. It’s enough for me to have readers like you clicking regularly to my blog.

      • Linda Bailey says:

        I know I am going to catch up to where I started reading your blog, and I get that same feeling when I know a good book will end.

        Maybe you should have a contest where the readers suggest their top 10….just to narrow down some of them…just a thought. But I totally understand your need to explore, take care of the crew, and not look back.

        Give Rusty a “hey” from your loyal fan.

        • Dawn in MI says:

          Loved Potato Peel Pie book too!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Linda,

          Some bloggers hold contests and award prizes. I don’t do that, one reason being it goes into a fuzzy territory with Amazon… some types of contests are prohibited according to the Operating Agreement.

          I love your involvement with my blog! I hope this good book never ends, too. 🙂

  39. Terri From Texas says:

    Thanks Sue and CinandJules for the info. It was just interesting to hear that campers were profiled like that. One doesn’t really expect that from a park ranger. I would tend to believe that of a cop, however. Now look who is profiling! HA!

    • Cinandjules says:

      Fair and consistent means all or none.

      You can’t judge a book by its cover!

      Our agency had several checks and balances to ensure that no profiling was taking place.

  40. Barbara says:

    So glad you are getting to visit with Rusty and Timber. I am very happy they have a home now. The train set up is fantastic. My uncle had one set up in his basement when I was young. It was a fantastic collection of Lionel trains. My husband would love to have a train set up, but he would want to buy everything, forget the design/build. Being a quilter, the design/build is all the fun.
    Enjoy your visit, tell Rusty I think of he and Timber often.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara,

      You’re right. It looks like much of the satisfaction in garden railroads is in the design and building of the lay-out. What Rusty has created so far has taken a lot of time, effort, and creativity.

      I’m glad I can share our visit with you.

  41. Sounds like Rusty is getting along quite well. That train hobby is a really cool one, I always wanted to do that but never enough to get it started!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It does take a hefty dose of motivation and ambition to start. Rusty set up concrete blocks and then filled in to make a raised lay-out.

  42. DeAnne in TN says:

    Packing List: rubber mallet, needle nose pliers and two air horns (one inside the rv and one in the car.) Thanks for more help in what I’ll need for my rv life!

    • Timber n' Rusty says:

      Two of every thing will take up a lot of room, my pattern is to try get one thing that will do many things, like a hand crank radio with solar charger, warning horn, light,( L.E.D), Weather stations, FM/AM and a phone charger thingy do dad, all in one. CCrain.com has em, Real Goods and many more ,,,LOL ,,,;~D

  43. CheryLyn(Oregon) says:

    Five hours of mowing and not done yet so had to check in to see what I “could” be doing. Had a laugh at your way of making everyday activities funny and fun to read. They all sound good to me! So good to see Rusty and the fun he is having with his hobby. Friends of mine filled their basement with their trains. So absorbing time just zips by.
    Wishing you a good visit.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, no…. FIVE hours of mowing… and not done yet?

      Hobbies that completely wipe out a consciousness of time are the best. I remember my first big vegetable garden (after living in apts. and a house with no room for one). I planned that garden in the winter months, reading, making designs, redoing them, reading about plant varieties, fertilizer, etc… then making the actual garden and maintaining it. On weekends I’d wear myself out on that garden and loved it!

  44. Dawn in MI says:

    Love hearing about every day things like water jugs, showers and curtain washing. And isn’t it lucky that your screen door got stuck like that when you were near Rusty! Could have been when you were out in the dessert by yourself with no one near!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      Yes, it was fortunate it happened here. I probably would’ve been able to bust out if off by myself, and I might have damaged the door doing so.

      It is a marvel to me that people all across the country (and beyond) read about me washing my curtains on a fence. As long as I’m on that topic…. The curtains came out beautifully. All I had to do was walk the curtain rod back inside the BLT and slide it into the drapery hook at both ends. Simple is best!

  45. Dawn in MI says:

    PS: Thanks so much for the update on Rusty and Timber!!!

  46. Lacy says:

    I just read this on another blog so am sharing in hopes that it might help YOU:

    Regarding Amazon purchases using a Wishlist:
    The purchaser must add items to their wishlist by first going thru your blog so that when the purchase is made, you will get the credit.

    I have a long wishlist of things that I have added over a period of time – I know I haven’t added all of the items when I went thru your blog. But I always go thru your blog to get to Amazon and make the purchases (sounds SO confusing!) Unfortunately, I’m now learning that you probably haven’t gotten the credits. I WISH there was a way we, the purchasers, had a way of confirming that you’re getting the credit at the time of purchase! (or is there a way, and I don’t know it???)

    I fear that the way I’ve written this isn’t clear enough. If anyone can better explain this or clear this up, please do! There are lots of blogs that I enjoy reading but only one that I absolutely LOVE – and I want her to get my measly Amazon credits 🙂


    • John K - Mobile, AL says:

      Unfortunately, there is no way to know that I know of. When you click on Sue’s link to go to Amazon, it sets a cookie on your computer that expires in 24 hours. The thing I don’t know is if you went to Amazon from the link and THEN bought everything on your wish list would she then get credit for all that stuff. I have no idea. It would be nice if she did.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I’m under the impression that I would get credit for cart items, but I don’t know for certain. I need someone to put an item on their wish list (do you mean “cart?”) without going to my blog and then some time later go to Amazon via my blog and purchase it. Then if I were told what was purchased, I could check to see if it shows up on my report.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lacy,

      It’s good of you to take the time to write this. The only thing I want to clarify is… The question regarded putting items in a cart, not a wish list (There’s a difference.) I think if items are placed in a cart and then a person comes back the next day, enters Amazon from my blog, and moves the items in the cart to check-out, then I get credit. It’s my understanding that going to Amazon from my blog when you’re ready to make your purchase will give me credit.

      Thanks for your support and caring.

      • Starlight says:

        Sue, there are help boards at Amazon where you can search for answers/solutions. I have a suggestion for you… if you can write code into the links of your pages (I’m not sure how wordpress works on this) — you can make the Amazon link open in a new window by adding — target=”_blank” — right before the ending bracket (>). That way a person can look at a product or buy something and then can close out the product page and continue to read the blog… or click another link you have.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Starlight,

          I appreciate the suggestion. Amazon gives me Html code with my code within it. I paste that into my post on the text mode and I’m done. I don’t need anything extra to do as sometimes I make 6 or more links on one blog page.

          The simple solution is this…. A reader clicks one of my links that takes them to Amazon or they click on the search box and go to Amazon. All they have to do when done with Amazon is click on the “back arrow” in the upper lefthand corner of their computer screen and they’ll be back at my blog.

  47. Ilse says:

    Hi Sue,
    I just realized that I have not been getting your posts by email in a while. I wonder how I might have gotten dropped from the system. I am submitting my email address again. RVSueandcrew withdrawal is no fun!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ilse,

      I was thinking of you the other day. Good to see you here. Let me know if you still have trouble with the email notification thingy. Cheers to you and Max!

  48. AZ Jim says:

    I notice several readers having trouble with email notifications. I used to have email notifications also but I decided it was unnecessary. I simple added Sue’s website to my bookmarks. So for a long time now I have just clicked the bookmark whenever I wanted and walla…there it is. There is no need for email notifications. It takes longer to open your email, then go to the site than simply hitting the bookmark and opening the blog. If you try it, you’ll find it easy.

    • AZ Jim says:

      One other quick tip for those who have windows. When you open up the comments and want to find your post or another users post go to the windows “edit” menu, open it and go to “find”. Then at the bottom of the page you’ll see on the left side a box that says “find on page”. Type in the name you are looking for and then hit the down arrow on the box. It will zoom to the name which will be highlighted. If the name appears more than once by clicking the arrow it will show subsequent entries.

  49. Cari in North Texas says:

    I spent last weekend in a tiny cabin in a Texas state park, so I’m just now catching up with you and the crew. How wonderful that you are able to spend time with Rusty and Timber, and we so appreciate your sharing your visit with us! I was following his story of losing Timber with bated breath and sinking heart, and I was so happy when they were reunited. It sounds like they are settling in to their new home quite nicely. I had sent Rusty a gift card when he first moved, and it warms my heart to read how others pitched in too to get his new home set up.

    Spring is finally arriving in North Texas – how can I tell? We had our first tornado warning and actual touching down of one last week, and there is more severe weather forecast for Sunday. The tornadoes were all north of me, but I did meet a family at the state park who could see it from their front porch. Fortunately no one was hurt, mainly minor property damage. Makes me wonder how I would handle a tornado warning from a trailer?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The best way to handle a tornado warning from a trailer is to make sure you are far, far away from the area being warned. 🙂 That’s a silly answer but there’s some advice in it. Try not to camp in tornado-prone areas, especially in tornado season.

      If you must camp in a tornado area, don’t boondock. Camp in a campground where you can go into the concrete/brick shower house should a tornado warning be issued.

      The BLT would quickly become a satellite in a tornado!

  50. It’s amazing how quickly an ‘ordinary’ day becomes extraordinary!

    Sue, we were shopping this morning–great little local shop that sells Keens! I must check your recommendations for the correct ‘model’–there are so many! There was also a floral pair that I could wear to work and well, just about anywhere. Very cute!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      About Keen shoes, boots, and sandals… There are no correct models because they’re all good. The main thing to consider is sizing which is tricky with Keens. If you buy from Amazon, look for the words “sizing info” and there you will get feedback on whether to order your usual size or a size larger. You can learn from customer comments, too.

      These are the two styles that I have . . . .

      KEEN Women’s Venice H2 Sandal

      I normally wear a size 7B. For sandals I ordered my usual size. However for trail shoes I ordered a half-size larger. Both pairs fit beautifully.

      KEEN Women’s Gypsum Waterproof Trail Shoe

      Message to anyone clicking the above links: Keep in mind that the price often varies widely according to the size chosen and the color chosen…

  51. kgdan says:

    Oh, Sue, I chuckle these days thinking about how much you conserve to lead your simple life. We have had some real lessons here on getting by on less. Lots of folks live on sailboats so from them I’ve learned to wash & rinse dishes in cold salt water. If you spend the day in the water be sure to rinse off with tap water or you will have a bed full of sea salt in the morning. That even when we are boondocking in the US, we most likely have more sophisticated sewer systems . Here there are far fewer govt regs so “every man for himselfand surprisingly everyone helps each other on their own . Speed signs are recommendations so if you speed you are taking your own risks. Sure do enjoy new learning.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Kathy and Gil,

      Your love and enjoyment of Mexico is apparent with every comment you make from Baja!

      That tip about dishes in salt water makes sense but who would’ve thought of it. It sounds like you are “living on less and enjoying life more.” I’m happy for you both.

  52. Bill says:

    Love the blog RVSue, its my new favorite. I am planning to take to the open road with my wife Cait and love to hear great success stories like yours.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome, Bill and Cait! Welcome to my blog and to the open road. I’m honored that my blog is your “new favorite.” 🙂

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