Sunday, August 26, 2012

National Dog Day

So who knew it? Today is National Dog Day. I wonder if it is to honour dogs or the dog days of summer. I am going to assume it is dogs and, as it is her day, update you about Tara. You can catch up on her long tale of survival here.

We've had another trying time with Tara the last couple of months.

The vet thought she was being over medicated for her epilepsy and adjusted the dosage. He thought that might be what was causing the weakness in her front leg. What a bad idea that was. As the effects of the medication diminished she started to have more seizures and at our lowest point last June she had 16, yes 16, seizures in 2 1/2 days. She was really spaced out and Arch rushed he to the vet where, after a thorough examine, he suggested we put her down. Arch said no, if that is the option to over medicating her, lets increase her medication again and see what happens. So that is what we did and the seizures stopped in a matter of hours. And Tara when back to being her old self. A seizure once a month, sleeping a lot (due to the medication) and limping around visiting customers at Bay Hammocks.

Then a couple of weeks ago a customer told us her dog had a similar problem and a friend suggested she try Velvet Elk Antler. She did so and noticed a real improvement in her dog. I figured that we had nothing to lose at this stage so ordered some to see if it would do any good.

It arrived a week ago and you would not believe the difference it has made. Tara is alert and active all day, goes for walks and each evening walks about 1km down to a little beach near us, goes for a swim and walks home.

Here is our happy new dog. Actually, she is in begging mode here.

And finally,  a smile for today that has nothing to do with National Dog Day but is funny anyway:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Finally, The Awning is Installed

It took Arch a long time to figure out how to do it but, finally, the new awning is in place. I am relieved as I had visions of us driving to the dealership to have the awning installed with it hanging out the passenger window.

First he had to find helpers. As usual, brother-in-law John (in stripped shirt) was the first to volunteer. And Stu from down the road (in the pink shirt), came to help as well. First, some discussion about what had to be done.Then they slid the awning into place on the Adventure Bus.
Then, more discussion:

And the arms go on.

Now it is time to roll the awning up and check that the tension is right.
Oh, oh. Something is not right
I was minding the shop and checking in between customers to take pictures while all this was going on. 
Just after I took this picture I walked by John and very quietly he said "I think we're screwed". Then I passed Arch, who had descended the ladder by then and he whispered "we really #*##*@ this up". I went back to tend the shop and stay out of the way.

When I came back about 10 minutes later Stu was gone and John and Arch were toasting a successful installation with bottles of water.
 Go figure!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


A couple of years ago, when we were holidaying in Nevada and Arizona, I often noticed one or maybe two RVs parked down a dirt road with no visible utilities, etc. way out in the desert. My goodness I thought, how poor these people must be to live that way.

Then one day we were driving to the Valley of Fire in Nevada when we noticed some strange shapes on top of a mesa in the distance. What is it we wondered? Trees all the same height? Very large rocks? We decided to take a look. As we got closer we realized it was people with RVs parked there:
Arch decided to find out what was going on and approached a man working outside his RV and asked why they were there. "Oh" he said "This is Poverty Flats and we are boondocking here while we visit Las Vegas"

They didn't look very poor to me but we had no idea what boondocking was and the man was not very chatty so we left. These are pretty fancy RVs for poor people don't you think?

Their view of the surrounding area was spectacular. And you can see the sun shining on the Valley of Fire in the distance.

We drove on and spent the day enjoying The Valley of Fire. A truly beautiful spot and well worth the visit if you are in the Las Vegas area:
Right click on the pictures for a larger view.

I now know that boondocking generally means camping in remote locations without the electrical, water and other services we have come to expect. That is what the people we saw scattered around the Arizona Desert we doing. Many of them are very well equipped to do this with solar panels, propane refrigerators, etc. They save a lot of money on camp sites and enjoy the independence and freedom boondocking offers. 

I follow the blogs of several people who boondock on occasion including The Bayfield Bunch from Bayfield, Ontario, RV Sue and Nina and Paul at Wheeling It. They all seem to enjoy it a lot. 

There is also a website that RVers can join where people can book boondocking sites on other RVers property and in exchange offer space on their property to boondockers. We thought that would be a great way to meet other RVers and learn a bit from their experience so I joined the site and we offered a space at Bay Hammocks. So far three boondockers stayed with us and their advice and tips have been most helpful. 

Will we boondock? I am not sure. Maybe not this year but we may be forced into it when we have the RV painted and at Woodstock, NB before we cross the border into the US. All the campgrounds in that area are closed in October so we may end up at WalMart. 

Something to make you smile:

Thursday, August 16, 2012


The outing today for the Adventure Bus with car on dolly attached was a bit of a production to start but a great success:

Arch made some makeshift ramps to get the car to the dolly ramps. The car has a very low under carriage so getting the ramps placed just right and loading the car was very tricky.
It doesn't look like much to be hauling a car but we cannot tow the car with all 4 wheels down and a trailer was too big for Arch and I to manipulate, so this is it.

Once on, the car is held in place with these yellow straps. Sure hope they are good and strong.

It wasn't long before the straps were securely in place and all was ready to go.

Our grand nephew. 9 year old Jonah,(also John's grandson) was also along for the ride. So all three plus Tara (our dog) hopped in, buckled up and off they went.

All went very well. Towing the car actually made the Adventure Bus much more stable to drive. The lights are now hooked up (they go on the dolly) and the whole thing is very easy for Arch and I to manage. This was a very big step because, if it did not work, we would have to buy a vehicle that we could tow and we did not want to do that. It is a dream to buy a new jeep before we go to Arizona and points west next year, but we want to be sure we like the lifestyle before we invest too much money in it.

Next step is to have the awning installed and the front of the motorhome painted. We are not even sure how we are going to get the awning to the business to have it installed, It is 16 feet long. And, if it takes more than one day to paint the front, where are we going to sleep. If it was just us, no problem. But we also have Princess and Tara. Challenges for another day.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Big Day

Well, tomorrow is a big day. The dolly to pull Arch's car has arrived and Arch and brother-in-law, John are going to hook the dolly to the Adventure Bus, load on the car and head out for a test drive. The ultimate goal is to arrive at Canadian Tire to have the lights installed. I am not sure what on - not my department.

It is also a test of our ability to prepare the Adventure Bus to move. After living here for two month we are pretty spread out with stuff that will fly around and/or break when we drive. I spent most of today reorganizing closets and cupboards, figuring out ways to secure things, etc. Once more I did a lot of de-stuffing. About the tenth time I moved something out of the way, I got rid of it. Even a bottle of champagne, left over from last New Year's Eve, has moved to the refrigerator at Bay Hammocks. I did not throw that out. Those of you who live in houses will not believe how little stuff you really need.

So now Arch, John and Tara are set to go. Princess and I will stay behind to mind the store.

We also got the licence plates for the Adventure Bus this week. Up until now we got a temporary permit whenever we wanted to move it. The licence is expensive here in Nova Scotia - $500. So we wanted to time it so the renewal comes in August when our other expenses are fairly low. When Arch got to the Motor Vehicle Department the person serving him insisted that we only needed a camper permit costing $120. Arch thought that was a great deal, got his plates and off he went. Then he started thinking - what if we had an accident and we had the wrong licence? That would make our insurance invalid. Not a good situation. So back he went. Much discussion. Several supervisors consulted. New $500 licence issued. They did not want to refund the $130. Huh?? More supervisors. More discussion. Finally the money was refunded and Arch was on his way. Arch is not good at dealing with red tape so you can just imagine how happy he was when he got home.

I will let you know how tomorrow goes.