Chock full of memories; a hitching situation

Thursday, March 21, at home in Arizona

A busy day for me.  After hitting the thrift stores and grocery stores, I work on projects around the house.  Two rose bushes have their beds weeded.  I work rose food into the soil around the drip line.  Then I empty out big bags of cedar chip mulch.

Roger digs holes in the mulch.  Several times I chase his butt out of the rose beds until he realizes I’m not kidding.

Which reminds me . . . 

Remember Roger stealing my slipper?  Unwisely I let him enjoy his little, teasing game, playing along in mock anger.  Since his first theft he has run off with one of my shoes, one of my socks, and one of my gardening gloves.  That’s not all.

He even pulled a dishtowel off the oven handle and ran outside with it.  (All items were recovered.)

Back to my busy day . . . 

I pay bills online.  I mow the front yard and part of the back yard, only the part where yellow flowers have gone to seed.

I hang a couple pictures from the thrift store (more on that in a future post).

I work on the interior of the Best Little Trailer, cleaning and setting it up for camping, even though I still don’t know if we’re going camping or not.

I love our home.

At dusk most days Reggie and Roger go crazy playing. There’s something about the cooling of the air when the sun dips beyond the fence that energizes the boys and brings out their crazy.

They run around the yard, attack each other, and roll in the flowers.  Their moves are so fast that I have to move fast, too, in order to catch them in the frame.

Photos come out like this:

By the way, the stain on the fence doesn’t look terrible in real life the way it does in these photos. There was very little light when I took the photos.  Later, in editing, I lightened the photos so you could see the crew.  That process bleached the stain, making it look uneven and washed out.

Eventually the boys wear each other out and are happy to come inside for supper, followed by bed.  

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Friday, March 22

More than once on this blog I’ve pointed out the importance of having confidence when hitching or unhitching.  Backing up one’s tow vehicle in order to line up the hitch ball with the coupler can seem like an impossible task for newbies with very little confidence in their ability.

This morning I go out back to hitch up.

After all these months as a house-dweller, after all these months never hitching up the BLT, I feel somewhat like a newbie.  My confidence level has fallen.

Will I be able to hitch up?

Have I lost what I learned from repeated practice over 7+ years moving from camp to camp, unhitching and hitching at each one?

I put Reggie and Roger in the house for safety, return to the Perfect Tow Vehicle, and begin backing, using the driver’s side mirror as my guide.  I jump out to check and . . .

“Perfect!  Ha!  The ol’ gal still has it!”

“What’s with the concrete blocks?” you ask (if you’re paying attention).

Let me explain.

The Best Little Trailer sat in the backyard for several months, her tongue jack resting in the cone, otherwise known as a “jack stand,” shown at that Amazon link.  Repeated rains over the summer, followed by more rain and snow in the winter, caused the cone to sink into the ground.

I discover the cone has sunk about three inches!  Now we have a situation.  If I crank up the tongue with the cone three inches lower than when I unhitched, the coupler won’t be high enough for the PTV’s hitch ball to slide under.

I’ve encountered this situation before.

The first time it took some head scratching.  Now I know what to do.  (Nothing like experience!)

With the jack extended up as far as it will go, I lay down two concrete blocks, one on top of the other, right under the coupler. (Blocks of wood will do.) Then I crank down the tongue of the BLT until the coupler rests on the blocks.

You with me?

With the blocks bearing the weight of the BLT, I crank the jack up and remove the cone (after digging it out).

In this pic the BLT is on left; PTV on right.  Base of cone buried.  (Ooh, look at all the chipped paint and rust!)

Next I place a thick block of wood over the hole where the cone was.  On top of the wood, I place the cone, in line with the coupler jack above it.

Normalcy is restored!

Once I’ve cranked down the jack into the cone, I reverse the crank and bring up the tongue/coupler of the BLT.  As I hoped, the block of wood raised the cone enough so that the coupler, when fully cranked up, is slightly higher than the hitch ball.

I remove the blocks and back up the PTV.  

Hitch completed in three moves!  I guess it’s like riding a bike.  Once you learn, it sticks with you.

With the BLT hitched, I remove her chocks.

I pause for a moment, chock in hand.  Pulling chocks is the last task of hitching up.  Once the chocks are removed, I can slide behind the wheel of the Perfect Tow Vehicle and the crew and I head down the road in search of a new camp.

How many times have I done this?  How many times have I felt the last, wistful moments of a great camp followed by the first, eager moments as my crew and I set off for our next camp?

It’s true —

The call to find new vistas has faded.  Maybe it will return.  Right now the house cries out for my attention like a needy newborn, while the Best Little Trailer and Perfect Tow Vehicle wait patiently with chipped paint and rust spots that remind me how far we’ve gone together.



As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. — Sue

Chris B in San Diego recommends:

Blackstone Table Top Griddle

Chris is having fun with her new griddle:

“I finally did it! On your recommendation, Sue, I purchased a 17″ Blackstone griddle and boy do I love it. There’s something about having plenty of space to cook on and no worry about having to clean up the mess on the stove afterwards . . . .

“I made chicken fajitas that were delicious! I found a great, simple recipe where I didn’t have to purchase any spices in particular, just stuff I have in the house. Onions, green pepper, yellow pepper and orange pepper and a package of mushrooms along with the marinated chicken. MMMMmmmm!

“I also whipped up a mexican dipping sauce that a local restaurant makes. It’s so simple and soooooo good. Recipe? 1/2 cup mexican cream, 1/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1 clove mashed garlic, salt to taste. I’m not sure if that’s the exact recipe, but it sure tastes like the stuff in Lola’s in Long Beach. They serve it with tortilla chips. I pour it on everything mexican when I eat at home. So simple and so tasty!

“The last meal was cheeseburgers with grilled mushrooms and onions. Delicious!

“So, I do love the griddle . . .That’s my plug for the Blackstone Griddle. If you camp, you’ve got to get one of these. It runs on a regular Coleman brand propane or you can buy an adapter and use a larger tank.” — Chris

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Living small and loving it!” — Boulder Lake, Wyoming, boondock — August 2014


RVSue and her canine crew is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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Posted in At home in Arizona | Tagged , , | 32 Comments