Nick Russell

Dec 222014
 

Congratulations to Jimmy Cullipher, this week’s winner of the our drawing for an audiobook of Crazy Days in Big Lake! We had 137 entries in this week’s drawing. Stay tuned, a new drawing starts soon.

Except for a quick trip to the dumpster, yesterday was another writing day for me. I did another 3,249 words by the time I knocked off about 11 p.m. That’s something over 11,000 words in the last 3 days! Imagine what I could do if I was more than a two-finger typist! I was thinking about hiring me one of those cute little stenographers to take dictation, but Miss Terry said I couldn’t afford two motorhomes, one for me and one for her.

While I was doing that, Terry was busy finishing the setup a new project on her loom, and I think this is going be one of the prettiest ones yet. The colors are beautiful and the pattern is outstanding. I wish I had her talent. (I’m trying to make up for that cute little stenographer comment above.)

Sometime around 4:30 or 5 PM it started to rain so we decided to pull in our big patio awning, and just in time. Not fifteen minutes later it began to rain cats and dogs, along with thunder and lightning. Fortunately it was a fast-moving storm and was out of the area before too long. We continued to get periods of rain and sprinkles on and off during the night.

A lot of RVers leave their awnings out all the time, and if you stake it down well you’ll probably be okay. But we’ve seen a few times when heavy rains or wind played havoc on awnings. We always believe better safe than sorry and put ours up when weather threatens. I know a lot of folks who have automatic awnings with wind sensors that are supposed to close the awning if the wind gets above a certain level. They almost always work just like they are supposed to. Almost always.

Good news for people who are thinking about finding work as gate guards at drilling sites around the country. I talked to my buddy Greg White last night and he confirmed that he and Jan will be doing their seminar on gate guarding at the Escapade in Tucson in March, called “Gate Guarding for Fun? And Profit.” The seminar covers everything from how to get started to how to survive on the gate, the do’s and don’ts, and what to expect. Greg presented it at several of our Gypsy Journal rallies and it was always very popular, with standing room only.

Are you planning to be at Escapade? If not, you really should be. It’s always a lot of fun, the chance to meet new people and renew acquaintances with RVing friends, lots of seminars, and you may even when a door prize! I hope we see you there.

And before that, we will be at the Tampa RV SuperShow in January, along with John and Kathy Huggins from Living the RV Dream, and my buddy Al Hesselbart, retired historian for the RV Museum in Elkhart Indiana, who will have a display of vintage RVs set up on the grounds. This is the biggest RV show you’ll find anywhere in the country. The folks in Hershey, Pennsylvania like to claim they have the biggest RV show around, but I’ve been to both, and Hershey can’t hold a candle to Tampa. We will be wandering around the show grounds and through the vendor areas, checking out all the goodies, drooling over the new rigs, and visiting with lots of people. We look forward to seeing you there.

If you’ve never been to an RV show before, be sure to check out John and Kathy’s guide called How to Survive an RV Show…and Make it a Great Experience. It’s a great introduction to RV shows for newbies, telling you what to expect, how to get the most of the show experience, and what not to do.

Thought For The Day – He who angers you controls you!

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Dec 212014
 

No I wasn’t at Disney World, but I had the words to that old song running through my head yesterday. While we were having lunch with Don and Sharon Del Rosario the other day, we had a conversation about the small world encounters we all have from time to time. You know the ones I’m talking about, where you sit down in a restaurant and the couple next to you used to be your next door neighbors ten years ago. Or you’re talking to the guy fixing your car in some garage and discover that you went to the same high school.

RVers, especially fulltimers, have these kind of things happen all the time. We pull into a campsite and recognize the folks in the coach next to us because we all shared a table at some campground potluck dinner two years ago, or we met them at an RV rally on the other side of the country. It happens all the time.

So I really wasn’t surprised when we were returning from a walk yesterday and our neighbors came out of their Newmar motorhome to say hello. It was Gary and Cheryl Greene, who we met way back when we were teaching at Life on Wheels. The last time we saw them was at one of our Gypsy Journal rallies in Arizona several years ago. Since then they have been enjoying the fulltime RV lifestyle, including workamping in Alaska for five years or so. And now Gary is the new manager here at the Orlando Thousand Trails preserve! How cool is that? We had a nice visit, and we’re looking forward to seeing them again while we’re here.

Back at home, I sent out the link to the January-February issue of the Gypsy Journal to our digital subscribers. And as seems to happen every time, I got four or five that bounced because either the recipient’s e-mail box was full, or their e-mail address was no longer valid. If you’re a digital subscriber and didn’t get the link, that’s probably why. Please send me your current e-mail address.

I got a late start and didn’t start working on my new book until after 4 p.m., but I still managed to crank out 3,127 words by the time I knocked off. I did stop long enough to go outside and see the golf cart parade go by. Every year a lot of folks here decorate their golf carts for Christmas and drive through the park wishing everybody Merry Christmas. Here is Santa and Mrs. Claus. I have no idea where Rudolf and the rest of the reindeer were hanging out, but I’m glad I don’t have to pick up after them!

Golf cart Santa

Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Crazy Days in Big Lake, the third book in my Big Lake mystery series. Here’s a five star review for the book that I recently received from Sue Blumenfeld, “I really tried hard to pay attention to the details so I wouldn’t be surprised in the end. Once again, Nick Russell had me fooled with a surprise ending. This series is very easy to read and even easier to get addicted to.” To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.

Crazy Days test final

Thought For The Day – To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence. – Mark Twain

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RV Fuel Prices

 Posted by at 12:30 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 202014
 

I don’t think any of us are sorry to see fuel prices getting lower and lower these days. Gasoline here in the Orlando area is averaging about $2.45 a gallon and we saw diesel for $3.11 the other day. I wouldn’t complain a bit if they stabilized right where they are for the next decade or two.

A while back I was looking at some notes from our first year on the road, back in 1999, when we saw gas prices go up from 99¢ a gallon to $1.07 and wondered how long we could enjoy our new fulltime lifestyle if they continued to climb like that. In my mind back then, at $1.25 a gallon we’d have to do some serious thinking about our future as fulltime RVers. Yeah, those were the good old days for sure. Since then we’ve paid almost $5 a gallon a time or two. Those were the not so good days.

Yesterday Jim McManus sent me this gas tax map from an Exxon-Mobile blog last February, showing combined local, state and federal tax rates in each state. As you can see, where you purchase fuel can have a big impact on the cost. That’s why websites like Gas Buddy and Diesel Boss are so important to RVers. Sometimes waiting until you cross a state border to refuel can save you $20 or more on a tank full.

For example, according to this map, the difference in taxes between Florida and Alabama is about 15¢ a gallon. Guess where we’ll be filling up when we leave here in late January?

Gas tax map

Yesterday was a good writing day. Except for a couple of potty breaks and dinner, I pretty much never left my desk, and by the end of the day I had done 5,302 words in my next Big Lake mystery.

While I was busy with all of that, Miss Terry was busy planning her next weaving project. She had a bunch of patterns laid out on her desk and cones of yarn on the bed. I’m not sure what this one’s going to be, but I know that whatever it is, it’s going to be beautiful. They always are.

Have you entered our latest Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Crazy Days in Big Lake, the third book in my Big Lake mystery series. Here’s a five star review the book just received from Sue Blumenfeld, “I really tried hard to pay attention to the details so I wouldn’t be surprised in the end. Once again, Nick Russell had me fooled with a surprise ending. This series is very easy to read and even easier to get addicted to.” To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Crazy Days test final

Thought For The Day – Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.

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I Broke My Own Rule

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 192014
 

Yesterday afternoon I broke my own self-imposed rule not to enter a big box store between Thanksgiving and the middle of January. To me, nothing spoils the Christmas spirit like fighting for a parking space so I can go into a store and fight a crowd of people to find stuff I really don’t need, and then stand in line to spend money. Yes, I am a Grinch, I know.

But yesterday I broke that rule because we were out of ice cream. In the universal game of rock/paper/scissors, ice cream trumps all of that nonsense. So I ventured into the WalMart in Clermont and I have to say that overall, it wasn’t bad at all. Maybe because all of the real people were at work, or maybe I’m just mellowing out in my old age… nah, I’m pretty sure that’s not it.

Rules? We don’t need no stinking rules!!!

In a blog a couple of days ago I said that one of the best things about the RV lifestyle is the wonderful friends we have made all over the country. Yesterday we had lunch with two of them, Don and Sharon Del Rosario. We love these guys and have known them forever, but it always seems like when we cross paths it’s at an RV rally or there is something else going on, and we seldom have time to just sit and visit for a while. We made up for that yesterday.

Don and Sharon are staying at the Escapees campground in Bushnell and met us at the Green Garden, our favorite Chinese restaurant in the entire state, and I think by the time we were all done eating, it had become one of their favorites, too. Of course, it’s not just about the food. We sat and talked for about three hours, just catching up and sharing our adventures from life on the road.

Don Sharon del Rosario

And what’s Chinese food without a fortune cookie? We all got a good laugh out of Don’s fortune. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one like that before.

Fortune cookie

We really enjoyed our visit with Don and Sharon, and we’re looking forward to seeing them again in a few weeks at the Tampa RV Show, where they will help man a booth for the Escapees RV Club. I hope we see you at the show, too.

Have you entered our latest Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Crazy Days in Big Lake, the third book in my Big Lake mystery series. Here’s a five star review the book just received from Sue Blumenfeld, “I really tried hard to pay attention to the details so I wouldn’t be surprised in the end. Once again, Nick Russell had me fooled with a surprise ending. This series is very easy to read and even easier to get addicted to.” To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Crazy Days test final

We appreciate everybody taking part in our weekly drawings, but please only enter once per contest. Every week I hear from people complaining that their name isn’t showing up in the list of entries, and when I check it’s always the same problem – they entered their name and it didn’t appear immediately, so they entered it again. Sometimes three or four or five times. When that happens the filter I have set up immediately kicks out all of your entries. So I have to go in and manually delete all of those multiple entries. Trust me, if you enter your name just once it will get added to the list. It may not show up instantly, but be patient, it will get there.

Thought For The Day – My cousin had an exorcism but couldn’t afford to pay for it, and they re-possessed her!

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It’s Official

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 182014
 

When I was a teenager a friend told me that I was never a kid, that I was born old. Looking back, he may have been right because many of my friends were adults even back then. (As opposed to now, when so many of my friends seem to be in their second childhood. Smile) Can you be born an old fart? Maybe so.

Whatever the case, it’s official now. I’m a card carrying codger. Yes, I have reached that milestone we all look forward from the first time we get a paycheck and see how much money Uncle Sam took out. It’s payback time, baby! I got my first Social Security deposit yesterday. It’s not much, because I was self-employed for most of my working life, but I’m sure I can figure out something to do with it.

As low as diesel prices are right now, I might even be able to afford to fill my Winnebago’s tank twice. Of course, we’re not going to need fuel again until we start heading west in late January, and if history holds true, fuel prices should shoot back up the day before we leave. It’s my way of stimulating the economy.

Originally, we had planned to stay in Florida until about the first of February before we began our westward trek, but we stirred the Jello all fulltime RVers set their schedules in and pushed things up a week or so. The VA hospital in Tucson has me scheduled for lab work on Friday, February 27th, and my annual checkup is on Tuesday, March 3rd. The Escapees RV Club Escapade starts on the 8th so we’ll have a few days to decompress from the trip and the medical stuff beforehand.

We plan to spend about a month making the trip. In the past our travel mode was to cross the country from Florida to Arizona in a few days, traveling ten or more hours a day, making quick overnight stops, and doing it all again the next morning. But like I said, I’m an old fart now, and we’re slowing down.

And though the most direct route is to get on Interstate 10 and take it all the way to Tucson, a distance of 1975 miles, what fun would that be? Instead, we’ll stop in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to see my son Travis and his pretty wife Geli. From there we may go to Livingston, Texas for a couple of days. My buddies Greg White and Ron Speidel say I can’t have a boat, but Charles Yust has a nice 22-foot Mako sitting in his carport that I want to drool over. Who knows? If I win the lottery someday I may get a boat no matter what Greg and Ron say. Or at least one of those fancy skipper’s hats.

Then we might stop in the Rockport/Aransas Pass area for a few days. It’s one of our favorite places in the Lone Star State. Out next stop will be my least favorite place in Texas - Mission. But it’s been too long since we’ve seen our dear friends Ron and Brenda Speidel, and my buddy Jim Lewis recently moved there from our old hometown in Arizona. Our final stop in Texas will be the Escapees Lone Star Corral in Hondo to see two other dear friends, Mike and Elaine Loscher. They worked endlessly to help make our Gypsy Journal rallies a success and we’re way overdue for a visit.

Following this route will add almost 700 miles to the trip. But why have wheels under your house if you can’t make them roll now and then?

Tucson trip

Have you entered our latest Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Crazy Days in Big Lake, the third book in my Big Lake mystery series. Here’s a five star review the book just received from Sue Blumenfeld, “I really tried hard to pay attention to the details so I wouldn’t be surprised in the end. Once again, Nick Russell had me fooled with a surprise ending. This series is very easy to read and even easier to get addicted to.” To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Crazy Days test final

Another good read is Chris Ward’s Tube Riders science fiction series, and for a limited time Chris is offering the Trilogy Boxed Set on sale for just 99¢. That’s right, three e-books for under a buck. How can you beat a deal like that? You can’t, so order it today!

Thought For The Day – There is no greater treasure than a good friend!

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Back At It

 Posted by at 12:01 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 172014
 

After a month away from it between being sick, replacing the refrigerator, and then putting the new issue of the Gypsy Journal together, I finally got back to my new book yesterday and managed to knock out close to 2,500 words. Things are moving right along and it feels good to be back in Big Lake!

Yesterday was the first day since we arrived here at the Orlando Thousand Trails preserve that it was warm enough to have the door and windows open for most of the day. Of course, once the sun went down things cooled off in a hurry and it was time to close things back up.

One of the great things about the RV lifestyle is the many people we meet in our travels, and how often we run into them as we wander around the country. The other day we were at Camping Connection, an RV parts store not far from the campground that we have dealt with for years, and ran into Roy and Jean Drummond. We’ve known them for so long I can’t count the years or remember where we first met.

Then yesterday Larry and Linda Merritt stopped by to say hello. We first met them at the Indian Lakes Thousand Trails in Batesville, Indiana last summer when they were parked next to us and had a problem with their water heater. We never worry about being lonely out here on the road, because we always see somebody we know everywhere we go!

It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Crazy Days in Big Lake, the third book in my Big Lake mystery series. Here’s a five star review the book just received from Sue Blumenfeld, “I really tried hard to pay attention to the details so I wouldn’t be surprised in the end. Once again, Nick Russell had me fooled with a surprise ending. This series is very easy to read and even easier to get addicted to.” To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Crazy Days test final

If you’re a science fiction fan, another addicting series is my friend T.R. Harris’ The Human Chronicles Saga. Yesterday T.R. released The Masters of War, the 9th book in the bestselling series. Get a copy today, you’re going to like it.

Thought For The Day – Just get on any major highway, and eventually it will dead-end in a Disney parking area large enough to have its own climate, populated by large nomadic families who have been trying to find their cars since the Carter administration. – Dave Barry

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Dec 162014
 

Did I ever tell you that I’m married to the most beautiful, talented, and wonderful woman in the world? Yes, I’m a very lucky man.

But I’m not the only lucky person around. Look at this beautiful shawl that Miss Terry just finished. This wasn’t as complicated as some of the patterns Terry has created, but she still put over 20 hours into it. A lot of people have asked if she will be selling any of her work, but at this point she’s just making gifts for friends and family. I know several ladies that are going to be getting some beautiful presents. Besides all that beauty and talent, she’s a nice lady, too.

Speaking of nice, can being nice to somebody be rude? I think so, sometimes. Especially when being nice to one person inconveniences a lot of other people.

Here’s a case in point. Yesterday we went to a post office near the Orlando Thousand Trails preserve to mail out a package. We weren’t at all surprised that we had to look for a parking space, and that there was a long line of people once we got inside; after all, it is the holiday season. We weren’t even surprised that there were only two window clerks working the counter. After all, it is the post office.

We stood in line patiently and eventually moved up to where we were within sight of the counter. And then everything came to a screeching halt. A woman at the counter had a big box and got into a prolonged conversation with the clerk. We were too far back in the line to hear all that was being said, but we and everybody around us could plainly see the clerk leave her station and come back with a priority mail box and show it to the customer. And then she went in the back and came out with another box, and then a third one, all of which she assembled and showed to the customer. I might note that all of these boxes were available in the lobby where the rest of us stood waiting in line.

Okay, so we lost some time while all this went on. It was irritating, but life goes on. But then the clerk proceeded to open the woman’s box, go through all of the presents in them with her, and then carefully repack everything into several of the priority mail boxes and address the labels for her. And a couple of times the customer seemed to change her mind, because labels that has just been affixed were peeled off and new labels were filled out and pasted back on, all by the clerk. Meanwhile the line got longer and longer, until it stretched out of the lobby and past all of the post office boxes to the back of the room. Everybody waiting not so patiently while this went on and on.

And it wasn’t like the customer had some handicap that prevented her from repacking her boxes herself. She looked to be a healthy woman in her late 30s or early 40s, she spent some time chatting on her cell phone and walked out to her car under her own power when everything was finally done, which included another discussion about the cost of the postage and the clerk going over her receipt with her in detail.

By the time we finally got to the counter we had waited in line over an hour, and the people who came in after us were still waiting when we left. I’ve been in post offices all over this country and in every one I’ve ever been to, if your package wasn’t ready to go when you got to the counter, they told you to step put of line and come back when it was.

So what do you think? Was it rude to keep maybe 50 people waiting while she repacked a customers boxes, or was it just a nice gesture and I’m a Grinch? Either way, bah humbug!

Thought For The Day – You inspire my inner serial killer.

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That’s 94!

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 152014
 

Much of the last week has been spent getting the new issue of the Gypsy Journal ready to go to press. I finished it yesterday afternoon and then Terry spent several hours proofing it before I uploaded it to our printer’s web server. It always feels good to get another issue behind us.

This is issue 94 of the paper. That’s a lot of travel stories we’ve shared with our readers from border to border and coast to coast. And we have still barely scratched the surface of all there is to see and do in this wonderful country of ours!

People have asked us if we ever plan to retire. Retire from what? If you love what you’re doing it’s not really work. Sure, the process of actually putting every issue together is tedious at times, and the expense of printing and mailing gets higher every year. My idea of a great retirement would be if everybody switched to the digital issue and we didn’t have to mess with printing, stuffing envelopes, and dealing with the post office.

But stop altogether? Not as long as they can wheel me to my desk and I can see the keyboard. And when I get to the point where I can’t do that, I may just hire myself some cute little assistant and dictate everything to her.

One interesting thing I noted when putting this issue together is that since I turned off the Bluetooth receiver on my iMac and replaced the Apple keyboard and track pad with a wireless Logitech keyboard and mouse, my computer did not lock up once while working on the paper and it’s working much faster. This may have been a large part of the problem all along. 

With production out of the way for this issue, we’ll have a few days to goof off while our printer proofs the paper one last time and gets it printed and shipped to us, and once the mailing is all done with we’ll actually have some down time. We’re really looking forward to that. I want to finish my next Big Lake book, and Terry has a bunch of weaving projects she wants to get on the loom. And if it ever warms up again, we really want to get our Sea Eagle kayaks in the water. I may even get a fishing license and see if I can catch dinner one of these days. Don’t worry about us, we never get bored. We can always find plenty to keep us busy.

Congratulations to Sandy Wetzel, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Mountain Angel by Suzie O’Connell. We had 92 entries this time around. Stay tuned, because a new contest starts soon.

Thought For The Day – Lazy is such an ugly word. I prefer the term “selective participation.”

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Change Is A Constant

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 142014
 

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus got it right when he said, “Change is the only constant in life.” And nobody knows that better than RVers. Everywhere we go there are new places to explore, new people to meet, and new foods to discover.

Even chain stores are different from one place to another. For example, some WalMarts have the pharmacy department on the left side of the store, while others have it on the right side. And just to make things interesting, others have it somewhere in the rear of the store! A quick stop for toothpaste can turn into an hour long excursion as you make your way past the Clothing Department, fight your way through Housewares, get lost in Electronics, and detour through Sporting Goods. All that for a stinking tube of Crest!

It can be more of a hassle finding a hairdresser, manicurist, or barber in a strange town. If you don’t know a local to ask for a reference, it’s a crapshoot. You may go in for “a little off the top” and walk out looking like a freshly shorn Marine boot camp recruit.

Some RVers enjoy these quests, while it gets tiresome for others. And it’s not just with people; I’ve known RVers with pets that could not handle the stress of constant changes as they traveled. Imagine being a dog – you go outside and there is your favorite tree and your favorite patch of grass to roll in, and then one day they open the door and there’s a desert or beach out there!

Of course, you could always limit your RV travels to the same places all the time, and then change won’t be such an issue. But what fun is that? Why have wheels under your house if you don’t let them roll?

So what do you think about the constant changes the RV lifestyle presents? Do you embrace them, or do you long for the familiar?

Have you entered this week’s Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Mountain Angel, the first book in my friend Suzie O’Connell’s excellent Northstar Angels romance series. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Mountain Angel

Thought For The Day – Just once I would like to see a TV commercial for a new medicine and hear them say, “Warning, side effects include weight loss, wrinkle reduction, and increased energy.”

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Seat Heat

 Posted by at 12:13 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 132014
 

We were here at the Orlando Thousand Trails preserve a few yeas ago when we bought our Ford Explorer. It came with every option available the year it was built, and driving back to the campground I was playing with all the buttons and gizmos to see what they did.

After I while I realized it was getting warm so I put the vents on, and then the air conditioning, and I was still hot. Especially my back and tush. It was a warm day, but not that warm, and when I complained to Terry she thumbed through the owners manual (who ever reads the manual?) and then pointed to an icon on the dashboard and said, “You have your seat heater on.” Seat heaters? Really? Why in the world would I need a seat heater? I’m a fulltime RVer, I don’t go any place where I would ever use a seat heater.

That was then and this is now, and I’m here to tell you that I love my seat heaters! As it turns out, we have found ourselves in a lot of places where they come in very handy. I was sure glad for them yesterday when we drove to Clermont for dinner at the Green Garden, one of our favorite Chinese restaurants in the whole country. The last couple of nights have been down in the low 40s and that’s about 20 degrees less than I find acceptable. But with one touch of a button, I can feel that welcome heat soaking in as we drive along.

It’s been two years since we ate at Green Garden, a small family run place on the side of a strip mall, and the food was just as good as we remembered it to be. Terry had shrimp with mixed vegetables and I ordered the shrimp fried rice and cleaned my plate. We’ll definitely go back again while we’re here.

As I reported here last week, John and Kathy Huggins interviewed Terry about her Miss Terry’s Kitchen cookbook in their Living The RV Dream podcast, and yesterday they did another podcast talking to me about my book The Frugal RVer and ways to save money as you travel. It was a fun time and I always enjoy talking with John and Kathy and sharing tip and tricks to make the RV lifestyle easier.

I’ll be presenting my Frugal RVer seminar at the Escapes Club’s 55th Escapade RV rally at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson March 8-13. Actually, I’ll be doing five hour-long seminars at Escapade; The Frugal RVer, Highway History & Back Road Mystery, Full-Timing FAQs, The Reluctant RVer, and Welcome to My Arizona. We’ll also have a vendor booth, selling Gypsy Journal subscriptions and our books and RV guides. I hope we see you there.

Have you entered this week’s Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Mountain Angel, the first book in my friend Suzie O’Connell’s excellent Northstar Angels romance series. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Mountain Angel

Thought For The Day – Three out of four of the voices in my head want to sleep. The other one wants to know if penguins have knees.

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