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Sunday, December 13, 2020

Shop Up & Soon to be headed "West"!!

Well, There is now a shop here! These a just a few pics of the going up process!

It was a 2 man crew, and it was amazing how fast they were able to put up the building!  

It was a two day process...which took 2.5 days due to rain! 

But we had a building by the evening of the third day! And it looks great!  And to add to the "excitement" of getting the shop up and being closer to opening there was also another big day!
 It was my granddaughter Julia's 10th birthday!! 

That was the excitement for the past few weeks!  I'm still doing the last minute things needed on Lily to be ready to hit the road in about 7-10 days. I'll be headed to Texas, Arizona and points West! Will probably be on the road for 3-5 months.
So hang in there with us....
We'll be looking for old friends and out of the way places to visit!!
Hope to c'ya out there soon!
Ray & Abbie
🐸       🐢 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Time to Catch Up

Guess it is about time to catch you up on the past month 🐸! And it was a busy month.

Got quite a bit done on Lily. Interior is basically done. Have a "tarp awning" that stays on pretty well even in fairly high wind. Have gotten rid of more of the "things" I have been carrying around and so now have a bit more storage room in Lily. 

Made a 54 hour 35 minute run to Round Rock, Texas and moved Mother back out to Alabama. 1700+ miles AND moving was a rather interesting weekend! But the move was accomplished!

I've been kind of under the weather...fighting sinuses! And a couple of other issues...but seem to be on the mend & feeling better each day.

Don't know if you have noticed, but people seem to be panic buying....AGAIN!!  Bah-humbug! I had been trying to get some butane for my little stove...WallyWorld has put a 2 item limit on them and everywhere else has been out! But I found a supplier online...and I'm setup now for several months!  🐸 

 Abbie got her last "spa day" for the winter! We'll do a travel trim right before we hit the road in a few weeks. So we now have a great groomer here, will be looking while on the road before too many months. 🐸

That pretty well gets us "current"! Just finishing up things on Lily and preparing to get on the a few weeks!

Take care, stay healthy & C'ya out on the road soon!

Frog & Abbie
🐸       🐢


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

An Interesting Month.- Basically!

 It ended up being a rather interesting month! It did not go the way that I had intended for it to go! Even to include my first "test run" with Lily!

I'm on the Natchez Trace again, a year has passed since I was here. On my way back to Alabama from Texas. Had to make a unscheduled run due to a death in the family. 

Cary helped (rather he did...heheh) replace my water pump on Lily. "We" also replaced both the high pressure hoses from the power steering pump to the Hydro-boost and from Hydro-boost to the gear box.  It ended up that the first hose was not the leaker! But...both hoses looked like they were original hoses. So there are now NO leaks from Lily! No wet spots when she is parked. Such a good feeling!

It is amazing the pictures you end up with when you are not paying attention to how you are holding your phone!! 😏

Had an uneventful trip out to Texas. Except for the fact that I was driving into what seemed like a 20-30mph headwind. BUT...Lily still managed to do over 15mpg (except for one refill). It is so nice to get decent mileage. Right now she is averaging a bit over 16 overall on the road. So my mileage has almost doubled since getting Lily. It makes the gas budget go sooo much further, and allows me to do a few more things on my travels!

Spent one night at the "WallyWorld RV Park" in Vidalia, LA. Had no idea that LA had a Vidalia! But it had been raining for a while when I stopped for the night. And I think everyone pretty well knows that I detest driving in the rain! But as you can tell, the next day was absolutely gorgeous!

I made a bunch of stops on the Trace from Natchez to Jackson, MS. First time I have driven that 90 miles. Several were very interesting. And as pretty as the drive is, once you cover the first 20 looks very much the same the rest of the way. Except that there are a lot of trees down due to the storms that have passed through. Many are the huge old growth trees! Such a shame. πŸ˜” I was told that the straight line winds were pretty vicious!

 This is my view last night and today. I might be here a couple of more days. Just very peaceful, not too much Trace traffic (except during "rush hour") Currently watching little fish jumping all over right off the bank right in front of my spot. 

Considering driving the complete 444 miles of the Trace up to Nashville. But that decision will be when I see how mileage and monies do next few days.

Hope this finds everyone doing well. And I hope to see you out here on the road & in the woods one day soon!

And remember....

Don't worry about tomorrow,

When tomorrow gets here it's Today,

Today is Yesterday,


Tomorrow is still out there!!!









Friday, October 2, 2020

Getting Lily Closer


Lily is getting closer & closer to being road ready!  

 Just got the "kitchen" completed. All groceries for 7-14 days fit in the bottom of the counter, the fridge or 2 overhead cabinets.

The water pump is working great...and my "sink" idea (the little bucket) also works the way that I had hoped!




I have finally gotten the "toilet bench" finished...almost!  The cover for the cushion is temporary until I find some upholstery fabric that I like for it. But it fits perfect in the space and is the right height for working here at the secretary.



I'm rather surprised at just how much room there actually is in here! In all honesty, what do you do in a camper? Mainly possibly cook, work on blog or IG...and then sleep!

 So there is room to move around, plenty of room to cook, secretary closes up to give more room and the bed is just right!!  LOL!


Yesterday I drove up to Guntersville, AL to the Staples there to get my annual calendar refill for my ARC system. I really like them and the Corporate office usually does not send enough to get thru the season! And...I got the last one on the shelf yesterday!

Afterwards, I drove on to the lake area in Guntersville...and found a great little park on the edge of the lake! It was a gorgeous day, perfect temperature, light breeze...just great! So made lunch and spent a couple of hours just looking at the lake and the birds and the boats!


Today I got the solar controller installed and have my kickout panels hooked up to make sure that it still worked and to see how the aux batts are doing. And so far, all is well in that department! In 3 or 4 weeks I'll have gotten the 195w panel and will have installed it on the roof (if all goes well!).

 The last months check went mainly for the interior of Lily. The next two months will go for "mechanical" is the case whenever you purchase a used vehicle, you end up spending on it to take care of issues the previous owners chose not to mess with or didn't realize were issues! Yup!

 So this is where we are for now! Still in Alabama for the next several weeks while I get Lily totally (hopefully) ready for the road.

 Thanks for sticking with us.The saga of the "tiny, mobile tiny home" continues!


C'ya soon!!


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Incremental Improvements 🐸🐢

Just a quick note to say...HI!!
Lily is slowly getting all the "incremental improvements" that I have planned for her. I will post a few pics in a few days. I hope to have the kitchen operational by Tuesday or Wednesday this coming week! Or at least close!!
I'm working on the "kitchen counter" now, which will have my sink, additional storage & cooking space. 
 Also working on the "toilet storage" .... bench?? It is going to be a dual purpose item...a spot to store the portapot, additional storage and also a bench to relax on and sit at the secretary. Still figuring out how it is going to be built!
Just so you will have an idea of my itinerary, I'll be leaving Alabama on Dec 12th. Staying for a birthday party! I'll be headed for Texas first, 3 stops there, then into New Mexico on the way to Arizona. Have several stops to make in AZ.

From there...I have no idea where I will end up going! It all depends on the COVID thing, weather, fires, snow, etc, etc!!  LOL!

So hang in there with us, we will be on the road again soon!!

Til then, take care, stay well & enjoy where you are!!

C'ya out there soon!

Frog & Abbie

🐸      🐢

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Introducing "Lily"!

My, does have many twists & turns!!

  This is "Lily"!

Which stands for Lilypad! The reason...Europa laid down and died on the Blue Ridge Parkway...poor 'ol girl! A couple things died at the same time, so she is now no more!



So over the course of 6+ years, I've gone from Bertha, 1977 vintage Class C....To Europa, 1993 vintage Class Lily, 1995 vintage Chevy G20 Hightop Van!




Bertha was a learning lesson...not to over load my capabilities!! Europa was  a large step in the direction of being my "tiny home", but it was also a larger house with more room to "store" things! Which meant the ability to gather STUFF!!! Which is not a good thing when you are living the tiny house lifestyle!

I went from 90 sq ft of living space in Bertha to 117 sq ft of living space in Europa. And LOTS of more storage areas in Europa. Which means I accumulated, over the course of 3 years, way much too much stuff!

So I have downsized to 63+ sq ft of living space! And storage that I am building into Lily. All the while..I have learned that what all I "thought" was necessary to live this lifestyle was/is not really necessary. I believe you could say that I am becoming a "minimalist". And I'm beginning to think that I have been a closet minimalist all my life. I've always liked living in small spaces, even my work areas have usually been small spaces.

Lily is a hightop custom van. Or was!!  LOL!  We've removed all the seats except for a driver's seat. And I'm in the process of setting her up as a REALLY tiny mobile tiny home. It is an interesting project.

I found Lily in Calhoun, GA. My daughter & her husband (along with 4 grandkids) drove to Calhoun and picked up Lily. The only issue was Lily kept overheating. So the first day that I had her I had new tires put on her and had her cooling system flushed...and I don't think it had been flushed in a long, long time! A one hour flush took over 2 hours. But it mostly took care of the overheating issue. That is basically the only issue I've had with her. mileage has basically doubled!! That is just AWESOME!!


Can't see it very well, but on the first trip back to Alabama, all the seats were still in Lily. And she had quite a load of my things out of include the secretary desk. So it was an interesting drive! And I found out that the seats in Lily were not very good for sleeping!!


 Before I made the return run to NC to finish emptying my things out of Europa, Cary ( my son-in-law) helped me remove all but one seat & the sofa from Lily. I was actually amazed at the amount of room there is in Lily.






After the run from the Parkway to Alabama, my return run to NC to empty my things out of Europa was a very spartan setup. 

 This run is what started me to really looking at what is "necessary" and what is needed for daily life for me. 

And I think this is when I really started looking at the possibility that I might not need all that I thought was necessary!





Once back in Alabama, the "reset" of Lily began. After I unloaded all the stuff and other assorted "goodies" retrieved from Europa...the "build" began. And first things first! A BED! Built in about 4 hours by Cary. Very solid, perfect fit and with the foam padding I had bought, it is perfect!





Next in the process was getting the secretary installed and secured down. 




I was really happy with how it fit and the location behind the driver's seat. It leaves me room to move from the front to the back without having to get out of the van.









And as you can life revolves around the secretary. Between my blogging, doing my Instagram posts, journaling, trip planning...just plain old daily life centers here!








Right now I'm in the process of designing and building my "kitchen"! Have most of what I need for the project...but I'm still mulling over just exactly how I'm going to set it up. It will be very compact, but should be big enough to meet my simple cooking needs. Plus I will be doing most of my cooking either outdoors or over a fire! 





One of the things about Lily that really excited me was the fact that she had the two door setup on the side instead of the sliding door!













 I had plans for that door from the minute that I saw it! I remembered that one of my daughters had offered me a "wall desk" she had gotten and never really had a place to use it. So I retrieved it from her and "repurposed" it!!!















After turning the little - whatever it was supposed to be - little storage hole in the door in to a spice rack...I began to work with the "desk". Chopped off 10.5 inches of it, and after putting it together wrong twice, I had my fold up table to be able to put my stove on or make a quick lunch on so I wouldn't have to mess up the insides!!! 






 I keep calling my "improvements" incremental changes! 

There will be changes coming every day for the next few weeks. That is just the way it is working out. But that is also the best way for me to do things so that I don't goof up on what I'm trying to accomplish with Lily.

But one thing I just had to add...





I had to have this spare tire cover!!!!

And as you can see my little "hood frog" has been transferred from Europa to Lily! That little frog has ridden on the front of my house for over 40,000 miles...and has a many more miles to travel!
That brings me pretty well up to date with what has and is going on with me. I'll try my best to not let so much time pass between my posts!
Take care, stay safe & C'ya out here soon!!

The Frog 🐸 ...and Abbie 🐢





Sunday, July 26, 2020

UPDATE - On the Blue Ridge Pkwy

A quick update on my "situation"!!  LOL!

Mechanics got here Saturday about mid-day, and got to work on Europa. And it was a bit worse than I expected. It is the shifter cable, which after an hour had been removed. It has been on the exhaust and the header for too long and gotten WAY too hot! 

I am now waiting on Monday...the cable is apparently a "dealer item" only. So they are checking a few of their contacts to see if they can find one and will get the local Dodge dealer also. Whatever they have to do, just hope to have a working or new cable by the latest Wednesday.

As it is, I'm in a decent spot out of the way to spend the next couple of days...after having spent a few days here already.

But I'm cooler, almost level, in a nice spot and secure. So here I sit in peaceful wonder!!!

As I get thru the next few days, I'll keep you up to date on my progress. I'm hoping that I'll be back on the road in just a few days headed North for the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway and other points.
So stay well, enjoy life, get out and spend time with Nature...and above all...

Stay Safe!!  🐸🐢🐱 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

On the Road...Kinda!!

Got on the road Tuesday, 7/21. Decided to drive all the way to the Blue Ridge Parkway in one day...and did!!  239 miles covered! Things off to a great start

 Made it to Milepost 469.5, southern end of the Parkway! It was a bit warm, but the trip was uneventful. And it got cooler each mile closer to the Parkway!

Spent the first night out at the first overlook on the Parkway. It was grand! Breezy, cool, quiet...the best night ever!!

Day 2 & 3

Started out great! Cool morning, breeze and just  beautiful. Made it about 8 miles, pulled over to take a few pics and that is where I am still!  LOL!  As I was getting into a parking spot, I was suddenly unable to get Europa into drive,reverse...nothing!   


Apparently the shifting cable seized up, bent the end of it, and so here I was! It has taken over 24 hours to find a mechanic to come out to where we are on the Parkway! But he will be here tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully we will be able to pull the cable, lubricate it and get it back into running condition. Because...yesterday I spent over 5 hours on the phone trying to find one & it might just be easier to find chicken teeth!!

 So it is another night of breezes and cool temps & good sleep! The lo last night was 63f, and it supposed to be a couple of degrees cooler tonight!! Just breaks my heart!!


This afternoon I looked out the window and there was a VW camper...or it looked like one!!  I have to say it was one of the most ingenuous mods I think I have ever seen! A 70's model  VW camper that now has a water cooled, rear mounted diesel. The interior & body are VW but that is about it!  We didn't get a chance to talk but as you can tell from the pics this is a work of love!!  He did it himself...makes me feel better about Europa!! And raises my "hope" factor!!

So hang in there with us...we'll be rolling again very soon....say a prayer, think good thoughts...whatever it is you do!