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.  

~ ~ ~

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.

rvsue

LET’S SHOP AMAZON!

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

~ ~ ~

FLASHBACK!

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

THANK YOU FOR VISITING MY BLOG!

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 Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Shop Amazon Gold Box – New Deals. Everyday

~ ~ ~

This entry was posted in At home in Arizona and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Chock full of memories; a hitching situation

  1. Ah ha, Robin B beat me, but maybe in the top 3? Now to go back and really read! 😉

  2. Janet Parker Doublier says:

    Dear Sue
    So good to read these thoughts. For some reason, they had been gone. And now you’re back. May you always be you and willing to share.

    Sincerely Janet

  3. Haha, okay, I’m back now that I’ve really read. I just want to say what a wonderful job I think you’ve done with the blog, merging your years of travels with your now [current, who knows what’s to come] life enjoying settling in to your house. Sometimes when a blogger’s life “changes” it really changes the blog — to be expected, of course! — but you’ve found a way to blend the two in a way that I, at least, really continue to find interesting to read. Yes, travels may certainly still come, but no need to force it — enjoy what you enjoy, and if that’s the house right now, then enjoy the house. I think from the comments I’m not the only one who’s enjoying seeing your wonderful thrift shop finds and seeing you turn it into a cozy home.

  4. Joe in TN says:

    Hi, Sue,
    I sincerely hope the quest for new vistas is merely in pause mode. Once you have the house squared away, I’m certain that the call of the road less traveled will return. Until then, enjoy your new digs and know that we are enjoying them as well.

  5. Elaine Magliacane says:

    You and the crew could take a little trip, for a couple of days (not the weekend so you avoid the crowds)… it’s a shame not to use your darling Casita… at least once in a while.

  6. Ha! I’ve got a bunch of animals…and most of my pictures come out like that, too!!

  7. P.S. When the weather starts to get really hot…you might want to go.

    At least that’s when I start to think about leaving this state…whew! Too hot for me…

  8. Haha the song ‘the old gray mare..’ popped into my head reading your blog. Too funny. You’re not as old as I am but the rang in my head. Love your back yard. My potted flowers are blooming & the desert rose tree is budding out.

    It’s been chilly the last couple of days. Still wearing layered clothing. By this time last year it was hot. Glad the heat is delayed. Good weather for mid week camping so you don’t run into crowds.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Well, Sue, in my life the times I did not listen to my “inner thinking”…usually lived to regret it…if you are not inclined to go anyplace, then for now, staying put must be best!! Wishing you all the best, either way…and with such a great yard, the boys always have lots of freedom…no doubt they are even happier there…well, not being tied up and all…

  10. Linda Rose, Molly and Midgy in Carmichael, CA says:

    “The call to new vistas has faded” boy can I relate! I’m kind of sad that I feel that way. Maybe it will return. Are you missing your wandering days even a little? I thought the fence looked great! Looking forward to hearing about your latest thrift store finds.

  11. Columbus Calvin says:

    The current header picture is gorgeous.

    It’s good to know you retain the skills you need to continue your travels. I hadn’t considered the potential for the hitch settling like that.

    I didn’t expect to see that much green in your yard in southern Arizona. It looks great, and the boys are surely enjoying it. You’re having a real spring there. Enjoying the “cooling of the air when the sun dips beyond the fence in the evening” is a month or more ahead of us here, but at least temperatures in the teens seem to be behind us.

  12. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    The dish towel? Wait until he grabs your underwear….😳 What a stinker! The blurry photo made me laugh!
    Just like riding a bike….and when the “call” happens…you’ll be ready! Until then do whatever your heart feels like doing.

  13. Libby Nester - WV says:

    I am happy you found your very own “perfect camp”. A place with a view and a yard for the boys, just what you needed. Now enjoy and make more memories with the boys.

  14. Libby Nester - WV says:

    Besides, I think you got your money’s worth out of the Cassita and your trusty tow vehicle. Now is the time to enjoy that awesome yard and to allow the boys to roam freely in their fenced yard.

  15. Jan NH says:

    Hi Sue,

    Totally understand the pull of getting the house and yard in order so I think going with the flow is a great plan! I love that you are loving your house and yard and it is great to see you having fun putting it together with all your thrift store finds….an adventure in itself!

    When/if the urge hits to find an adventure on the road away from your home (maybe when the summer heat hits) a new adventure may be in order. The cool thing is that now you will have the pull of loving your house to bring you home again. I’m sure you’ll find your new norm. Perhaps you will choose destination trips to see some place you have not visited or some place you decide you want to revisit. Whether that or just deciding to jump in the PTV with the BLT in tow (with the crew of course) to go where your instincts takes you, or deciding just to stay at home, your days are a wonderful adventure to be enjoyed! No need to force anything…you now have the option of the best of both worlds so it is great to just enjoy the beauty of each day….whatever that day may bring.

    As always, enjoying the antics of you your crew.

    Here in NH, we are excited that spring is finally here even though we had snow/rain yesterday. The great thing about snow this time of year, it usually doesn’t stay on the ground very long.

  16. Eileen says:

    The boys are as cute as ever. As for venturing off again, you’ll know if/when the time is right again.

  17. weather says:

    To say that I’m relieved about your not hitting the road right now would understate how I feel. In the last post when you mentioned leaving your current activities the timing of it seemed so wrong…I typed a really long and involved comment about why I hoped you would continue “feathering your nest” at this point on your journey , yet didn’t click the post comment box. Then I just left a short note instead, and walked away hoping your choice would be the right one for you.

    One way to explain why I’m so glad you intend to stay put for now is to compare it to enjoying a conversation about a profound topic that is rife with exciting discoveries. We can be so thoroughly enjoying exploring each new level of a subject that fresh ideas become part of our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual landscape…
    I have found that after interrupting something that wonderful and fulfilling, upon returning to revisit it one cannot recapture the heights of beauty, happiness and satisfaction that was once available there.

    For the first time in your life you have this lovely combination of being able to afford an amazing property, house and improvements to those, without considering if it suits a too tight budget of time, energy and money, or a mate, child, or anyone else’s needs , wants or preferences. What a delightful gift to unwrap at your leisure and whim !!! All the great places to camp are not going to disappear if you don’t rush out to see them soon, Sue. Enjoy the freedom involved with every choice you make now, Lord knows you’ve earned it after all you have given to so many for so long.

  18. Sunwest says:

    Sue, I have lived in Arizona since 1991, and we don’t mulch, due to scorpions. It might look pretty around your roses but that’s where the scorpions like to hide. Just want you to be careful, I’ve been stung once, and ended up in the emergency room due to the pain. And Ive had five children I know about pain.

  19. Dawn in NC says:

    Hi Sue! Roger is really becoming a rascal! I agree with CinandJules, just wait till he starts going after your underwear! My sister’s dog does that. Now she has many sets with teeth holes in them! 😉 I’m glad you’re so enjoying your new house. There are seasons in life for everything. It seems that right now you are in the season of your house 🏡. I’m glad you are still so enjoying it. I recently passed up the chance to buy a raffle ticket for a fully loaded van decked out for camping. It’s my dream to have something like this to travel and explore in. However, now is not the season for me to do that. Financially I just couldn’t afford it right now. So now is not my season for that. I do hope that one day I will have that season.

  20. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    I love your backyard!!! I totally understand the desire to stay there and putter around with plants etc. This is your first Spring in your new home. If you do go camping why not plan just a few day away to re-charge….but from the sounds of it, I don’t think you need much re-charging.

    Sending lots of love and big hugs

  21. Renee (Datil/North Ranch) says:

    You’re the only one who knows what feels “right.” We have slowed down a lot in the past couple years, too. We still enjoy going new & different places, but it seems to be getting more crowded out there. Part of the problem is our size. The bigger the rig is, the more stressful. We’re seriously looking into building a small house, thus freeing us up to downsize the rig. Things change!

  22. rvsueandcrew says:

    GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE!

    How is it, after all these years, I never tire of reading your comments? 🙂 Thank you for your kind gift to me and to your fellow blogorinos.

    It’s another beautiful, precious day! As I sit here looking past the pretty, crewel curtains to the early light, I’m eager to get outside with Reggie and Roger. Temperatures will be in the 70s under clear sky. I’m happy for my younger neighbors that they have such a perfect Saturday to enjoy.

    Warm wishes for you,
    Sue

  23. Ladybug in Mid-Tenn says:

    I really need to stop speed-reading. I thought Chris was enjoying her new GIRDLE.

    Sue, I remember reading about when you were still working, at your house in Georgia, making preparations to go on the road. And comparing then to now. What do you think caused the difference in attitude? The wanderlust being satiated, the difference in surroundings/neighborhood where you are now, the feeling of contentment?

  24. Suzicruzi says:

    Hi Sue! We have gotten ourselves into Cow Camp North of Nogales just a bit. Beautiful all white cows come and visit all day long. We are on NF land after leaving Bueños Aires. We have no cell signal at all, unless we hike of a dirt road (that goes South all the way to the Border) about 3/4 of a mile. Today we crossed over at Nogales and came away with full bellies, and no “junk”. There is not much to see at this crossing. Maybe Puerto Penasco or Algodones would be more interesting, I don’t know.

    The weather is beautiful, and life is good! I just popped in to say “hi”. Have a good one!

    Suzi

  25. Cynthia in San Clemente says:

    “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?” Sue, I think your current inclination to stay home and off the road is because your new home embodies all the best attributes of well-loved camp and as well as the anticipation of a new camp. You are still learning how the seasons, the weather, the sun moving across your yard, effect the plants that will grow and flourish in your new space. You are still getting to know the creatures who crawl across your dirt and flitter through your trees. You are still nesting inside, making your home cozy and welcoming for you and the boyz. These are the things that make a camp special and make it feel like home. I have often thought about the patriarchs of the Bible – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – they lived most of their lives in tents. We have tents too, sometimes stationary and sometimes on wheels. Every afternoon, as the son drops in the sky and whether we are at home or on the road, I like to ready our tent for the evening. I light candles, start a fire in the fireplace or the fire pit if it’s chilly, pick up clutter that has accumulated during the day, and put some nice music on to start dinner. If it’s Friday or Saturday night, I pour a glass of wine. During the week, it’s hot tea. These little routines fill my heart with gratitude for the tent I’ve been given. I think you are doing much the same thing.

    That Roger is a rascal – you are going to get your exercise retrieving everything he makes off with!

  26. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Love the post Sue. Roger is a little stinker running off with things. He sure does like to play with you. Enjoyed seeing the hitching up process. As you know I was thinking of a Casita at one time, but was terrified of that aspect, due to never having towed anything in my 71 years and my backup skills. Still would like to have the Casita, but think the van is a better solution for me.
    Met a lady the other day with a Roadtrek Agile and she showed me the inside. It was really nice, but think it would be really small for full-timing. I felt a little claustrophobic in it. I told her that I hoped to full-time, she suggested I might want a slightly larger unit, like a 21-22 ft. She said the 24 ft. ones were not to easy to maneuver in small towns and curvy roads. She traded her 24ft. for the smaller Agile.
    Hope you will travel some, but if you choose not to, all is good.

  27. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    It makes me smile to know that you and the boys are happy and content in your home. It is perfectly ok and wonderful to want to stay put. I am tired tonight. My weary eyes read, “Right now the house cries out for my attention like a weedy newborn.” What?! Had to re-read that sentence…ah, that makes more sense!

    I wonder if Roger’s stealing game may be a learned behavior from his life on the streets. Just envision him sneaking into a gas station and snagging a bag of chips or candy bar, and sneaking out as the next patron opens the door. “Hurry! Gotta hide my treasure!!” Reggie and Roger really hit the jackpot, having you for their Mom! What a wonderful life: full of adventure, lots of love, and rotisserie chicken! They (and you) have it made! 🙂

    This morning, one of my sisters called to see if I was up for a visit today. She and my BIL brought my “little peanuts” with them! It was so nice to catch up, and of course spend some quality time with my great niece and nephew. They are now 16 lbs, flipping over, and teething – no teeth yet. It is hard to believe that they are almost 10 months old! Gracie pup was happy to give them toesie kisses, but not thrilled that the babys were getting all of the attention. She will get some extra loving for being a good girl!

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend, Sue! Sending you, Reggie, and Roger lots of love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! Thank you for sharing your adventure with us! Love the flashback photo! 🙂

  28. Glenda says:

    Awrrrr miss the accounts of your adventures, but am so happy for you to be in one place and enjoying that life. I know you will get back to the wandering life at some point so we can go adventuring with you once again

  29. Geri from the FL panhandle says:

    Good morning Sue! I missed your post yesterday. Spent the day outside in the dirt with plants! I’m not worried about you hitting the road, when that itch comes you will scratch it!Hug the boys!

  30. A Gal and a cat in Fl. says:

    Boy the yard looks great! All those flowers and the last I saw it was all snow! I imagine it isn’t easy with the BLT right there beckoning, especially when you picture scenes like the above and the lure of your new home. It can’t be easy! Maybe when that summer heat kicks in? WOW the boys sure have gained weight. I remember hem when you first got Roger and the way they looked an played. Good life agreeing with them.
    Can’t wait to see what’s next, if you go or stay. Enjoy the beautiful spring wherever.

  31. Suzicruzi says:

    Hi Sue,
    We are tucked away at Las Cienegas now. I wanted to share our last camp so others could maybe benefit. If you head West out of Rio Rico, AZ, toward Ruby, (it was exit 12) and continue about 5 miles, you’ll see FS road 222. There are about 6 large disbursed campsites off decent dirt road, not very far off the highway. We took the very last one. Later, we named our camp; Cow Camp. There were many cows we shared with. ☺️ Two downfalls; zero cell signal, and the sun comes over the ridge a bit later than it would if you were out in the open. Still not too bad in that respect. By 7am this morning, we had sun at our site. Nogales has a UPS customer Care Center for packages, and there’s a Walmart and everything else one could need right there. Back north on the 19, there’s a wonderful attraction; Tumacácori. There are the old Missions there, and a wonderful Historical museum on the grounds. The Senior pass gets you in free, or it is $7. per adult. We enjoyed it very much, and took the short walking tour.

    We stopped at Patagonia Lake State Park to dump, take showers, and take on some water.

    It’s nice here today; calm, warm, clear and lovely. Thanks again for all your helpful blog posts, and camping information! We are finding your information to be spot on! Your recommendations are helpful beyond belief! We have also gotten some great info about camping in remote areas from Becky @ Interstellarorchard. The willingness of some of you to share is really pretty darn sweet, thank you! I don’t blog, but I’m willing to share also, if anyone cares to ask. However, we don’t have near the experience as you or Becky! Remember, we are just getting our feet wet out here.

    Thanks Sue! Catch up later. 😁

  32. AZ Jim says:

    Hi Missy…Still reading daily. I am trying to learn to live without Detta. Cooking meals keeps me alive but…….Pet your kids for me and know I am here but quiet. *HUG*

    • Suzicruzi says:

      Hi Jim,

      I’m not Sue, but I have been thinking of you. I’m glad to hear you are cooking, as I’ve always found it a good distraction, and, or therapeutic. Sort of like gardening and digging in the dirt.

      I hope you continue to do okay, and come to a peaceful place in your heart and soul.

      Suzi

  33. AZ Jim says:

    Thank you Suzi….. At 82 it’s tough to try to start over alone….

    • Elizabeth says:

      We here are all cheering for you, Jim…a very tough road you are on…and you know, LOTS of youtube videos on cooking…I often watch them…sometimes try out new recipes that way…they make it look easy!! Sending you hugs,
      Elizabeth

    • Dawn in NC says:

      Hugs back to you Jim!

Comments are closed.