Friday, October 21, 2016

Not Like Christopher Columbus

Wednesday, 10-5-16

2.30 p.m.
I am not adventurous. Not like Columbus, not like Sir Edmond Hillary, I'm not the adventurous type at all. I used to think I was, but that was before I had to risk everything just to leave the house. That was when "adventures" were relatively safe. Now, there are vastly more risks. One of the main differences between then and now was that I could pick a "prepackaged adventure: a horse pack trip into the Eagle Caps, a white water rafting trip or canoe trip, sailing the Inland Passage or climbing Mt. Hood.. Nothing really "life threatening." Now, so many minuscule things threaten my health and even my life that I feel like the risk is much greater. I can't even find a safe destination. I do like a solid destination. A known place to land. Days like today where I launch myself from the minimal safety of my house into the unknown tie my stomach in knots. 

I'd made plans. I can't stay in my usual spots during hunting season. Since I had to be out, I arranged to look at several properties. I asked if I could camp for a couple of nights at each of them. I contacted the county parks to see if I could stay there after deer season was over. 

I thought I was going to have several places to stay where I would be relatively safe. Yesterday, about half of them fell through. One of the properties I was going to look at, another buyer had expressed interest. The realtor then veto'd my stay. Another place where I thought I'd arranged a stay, I'd misunderstood the person. It was the county parks. They were still booked with campers until they closed the 1st of November. The reservation manager said I'd have to talk to Greg (the Parks Director). I sent him a text message asking to stay next to the golf shack. No response. That one fell through also. I set out this morning with only a few of the nights I needed nailed down. Too many unknowns for me. 

When I climbed in here this morning the place was a total shambles. Not long after I'd got back (around the first of July) I'd gotten all the RV laundry washed and hauled back out. I didn't get it put away. It was too hot in here. The outside air was still to heavy with pesticides. I couldn't open the windows. So I left it. Here it is, October and the outside air is still toxic. I hadn't been able to get out yet to put everything away. Since no one near me was spraying, I didn't leave, but just spent the summer hunkered down in the house and focused on searching for property on the internet, dealing with symptoms and spending some time with my grandsons. Well, my daughters boys anyway. Then I got the spray call last week. Mr. Smart gave me plenty of notice. Last night my husband hauled everything out that I had staged by the back door. He put away as much of it as he knew where it went. Unfortunately, there was still  a ton of crap piled everywhere for me to deal with. He went to do his own list of chores, then he got ready and left for work. He'd unpluged us just before he drove out. Rosie had breakfast, while I stowed gear. 

It took me 2 1/2 hrs to drive to Baker. I did get a texted answer along the way from Greg, "yes." That relieved my mind. I pulled into the Shell station in Baker. This is the one I'd pre-arranged to let me pay over the phone. The manager came out and told me that they would no longer take my credit card over the phone. She said since I'd "called my father, and he'd come down with cash last time..." She let the sentence hang expectantly. I was amazed. That was on a one time only, emergency basis because her system was down! I looked at her with an expression full of incredulity. I said, "He's 80, and is recovering from knee surgery!" The real truth is he was massively septic and they removed and sterilized the plastic parts from his previous knee replacement, via surgery. He'd been so ill he had to do daily antibiotic IVs for 5 weeks and is still doing them. He was just now able to get around with a walker. But, I kept my retort succinct. I've learned you lose people if you make your replies too long. She just shrugged and looked at me like I'd just have to do it anyway. I smiled cheerfully. That time I'd been in pretty bad shape and couldn't think of anything else. This time, I was in much better shape. I said, "I think I'll try something else. Have a nice day." I drove off, leaving her standing there in astonishment. I'd be darned if she was getting anymore of my business. I pulled into the next large parking lot I came to and called my Baker realtor, Marty Lien. I told her my problem with fuel and we figured out which station that she knew the manager so we could wrangle accommodations from them.  We'd stop at on our way back through to the second property. 

We headed for the first property. The one where I couldn't stay. I loved it. The property anyway. The house was cute but would have to be demolished. It had been vacant for 3 years. The pipes had frozen under it, and burst. The resulting frost heave had made the floors as undulating as a fallowing sea. There were definite signs of dry rot on the sill plates and no foundation clearances for termite prevention. With the water damage, there was undoubtedly a termite problem as well. Someone had the foundation vent covers off. I saw a very large rodent race across the yard heading to the opening. It was out of the corner of my eye, so I can't tell you if it was a large squirrel or a large brown rat. I told Marty that unless they dropped the price considerably, since the house would have to be demolished, I wasn't interested. We returned to town, and went to Humbles' gas. Since the manager knew Marty, he accommodated me. He even washed my windshield! Then we came out to this property. I'm going to be camping here for 5 days. I think its a very advantageous idea for the seller. The property is already growing on me. When I first got here it appeared barren, lonely, foreboding. The sky was stormy grey. There aren't many trees. Its mostly sagebrush with a few rock outcroppings. 

Since I've been here a while, I've started to notice the spectacular views. The stony ground would provide plenty of building material for my earth sheltered buildings. 

6:30 p.m.
Rosie and I went out for a very long walk. I think we were out for two hours. It occassionally rained or spit ice on us. We walked back down the steep drive to the hairpin turn and looked over the edge to locate that end of the southern boundary fence. Then we hiked back up the hill. When we were on top we hiked back to the middle of the southern boundary fence. I wanted to see where it crossed the ridge. When we reached it, we turned and hiked along the fence to the west until the hill broke over. I wanted to look back along the fence to the road. Then we turned around and hiked back along the hill to the east. We hiked far enough over that side of the ridge that we could see the bottom of the ravine and the fence marching away across the next rise. Finally we hiked along the side hill, angling back to the RV. I haven't got that much exercise all year! The air is so wonderfully clean! I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if it did make me sweaty and tired.
  


I spent some time resting, then made the bed. It was the last chore I needed to do, to have everything put back together. My son called. I always love to hear from my kids. After our chat I started layering on warm clothes. The sun has set and its quite cold. There is no power here, I'm boondocking and running the generator. 


Thursday, 10/6/16
5:22 p.m.
It was pretty cold last night. It wasn't until this morning that I figured out that my electric heater wasn't working. It worked a little through most of the night then quit in the pre-dawn hours. I switched it out for the new one Ron brought me earlier this year. 

Rosie and I started our hike at about 7:30 a.m. Its another cold, grey, rainy day. I picked the northern fence for todays destination and hiked to it. It was nearly half a mile away.  Once we circled around the rock outcropping, it leveled out to a broad flat ridge top. We hike north through the sage brush until we reached the fence. When we reached the fence we turned south and followed the fence through the sage and rabbit brush until the ground sloped too sharply for me to negotiate. It dropped away steeply into a ravine. I scanned the ridge on the far side of the ravine and could see that the eastern fence line followed along the top, first on one side, then the other. We turned and headed back along the break toward the center of the property. Eventually, I worked my way down to the ravine floor. There's a dry creek bed in the bottom.  It probably carries runoff in the spring. I found several large holes dug in the creek bed. I'm guessing they were to retain water for livestock. When we reached the area that I judged to be near the center of the property I began working my way back up to the top. It was stiff climbing. I had to find a nice sized rock to sit down on. I was drenched in sweat and out of breath. I sat there for about 15 minutes, looking about me at the barren lonely landscape. I don't think I could enjoy living here. I hate climbing hills, and most of the property has steep slopes. There aren't enough trees. If there are no other alternatives, maybe. But it just seems too sad, too forlorn. However, its got a lot of good points too. Its removed from roads. Its square, and set up so I could build my home in the middle. It has permits to build two homes. So I could build a guest house, too. It already has power and phone to the center, as well as a developed driveway. 

There are no close neighbors. Rosie had sat down beside me, snuggled up. She reached up and licked my face. I don't know if she sensed my mood, or was just getting a little salt. After we climbed further up the slope we found a round trough with a pipe feeding into it. I was surprised, as the realtor said that there wasn't a well. I looked around carefully. Above the trough, 25' up the hillside, there was a deep hole with a pipe sticking out of it. Curiouser and curiouser. We went on climbing. With another 15 minutes of hiking we made it back to the RV. 

I rested for the remainder of the morning. I remembered to call my daughter-in-law and wish her happy birthday. I even called the landowner and thanked him for letting us stay here. I asked most of my questions. I found out that the big hole above the trough was a spring. It used to fill the trough, and had been surrounded by a culvert.  The culvert was destroyed in the fire they had last year. The property owner told me about most of the neighbors. I did a little spinning. Rosie and I went out again in the afternoon. We wandered about looking at possible building sights. I didn't feel especially inspired. I did spot a forest fire and called it in. I was not the first. It was out by Hunnington. They had it put out in under an hour. The day ended as cold and grey as it had begun.


Friday, 10/7/16
7:57 a.m.
It was another cold night. It was very windy so the RV lost heat faster than the previous night. During one of the 'turning on the generator and heater' events I knocked over a half full cup in the dark. It ran over the table and spilled onto the dinette seat and floor. It took me a while to clean everything up, and get back to sleep. I guess its a laundry day. 

I'm waiting for the sun to make an appearance over the mountains. The sky is light. The sun is just too low. I took Rosie out first thing. It was warmer outside than in the RV. 

11:42 a.m.
We've returned from this morning's hike. We went down the driveway to the gate. The drive is so steep that in winters with snow I won't want to take a vehicle up and down it. I wanted to see if there was a place I could build a garage next to the gate, or on a level spot,  to park my car in the winter. I'd use an electric UTV, with chains, to go up and down the hill. There was. So after poking around a bit, we retraced our steps up the hill. I had to stop 4 times and rest on the way up. I don't do very well on climbing steep slopes. Luckily there were large boulders that made good "benches." Rosie is certainly loving the exercise. Now to that laundry!

6:35 p.m.
It was much warmer this late afternoon. Yesterday at this time it was 42°. Today the RV interior is holding at 66°. I spent the afternoon resting, spinning and taking Rosie out for short potty breaks. I had to run the generator more to keep the freezer cold, than anything else. I took a few minutes and wrote out some essential oil recipes for the landowner. He'd mentioned some problems and I suggested what I use for those things. I also wrote out my natural weed spray, since it came up, too. I'll have Ron give them to him when he comes.

During our evening walk I finally found that property corner pin I've been looking for. It is the corner between the two lots to the north.


I spoke to a friend who lives nearby. She may come up to visit tomorrow. Ron called for my supply list. Then, while out with the dog, another friend called to ask me a question about treatment for her horse's injury. I couldn't answer her specific question but I gave her what I did know. 

Since I'm getting up so much in the night, I'll probably go to bed here pretty soon.

Saturday, 10/8/16

9:30 a.m.
It was a warmer night. The wind stopped blowing so the RV didn't lose heat as quickly. Rosie and I went out around 6:30 a.m. But we could hear vehicles. Its the second weekend of deer season. We're mostly staying in, so we don't take chances. We did actually hear coyotes on the other side of the ridge past the eastern fence line. Did I mention that there are a lot of salad plate sized holes on this property? I figure they are dens. Most likely coyote. I've seen scat, too. Probably coyote. There are a number of black holes in the rock outcroppings. Some would make good coyote dens, one would make a good cougar den. I did not investigate. I'll have Ron check them out when he comes tomorrow. Well, the larger hole, anyway. 

12:14 p.m.
I've had a busy morning. I hiked up the rock outcropping. Then around the back side of it to look for the opposite corner pin to the one I'd found last night. I finally located it. It was several hundred feet north, and the same east of where I thought it would be. Then Rosie and I hiked back out to the northern boundary fence and along it to the west until the slope broke away into the draw. We hiked back to the south along that. It was 70°F by the time we got back to the truck. I sweated hard again. I don't mind the sweating except its flushing toxins, which reek, and thats causing chemical burns and open sores. "Sucks to be me."

On the hike back I notice a lot of smoke and some orange flame south of us. The US Forest Service is doing some controlled burning. I checked. 

When I got back to the RV I decided to wash the pitted out clothes I was wearing and wash off the toxic sweat. It feels good to be clean again, though it uses so much water. I've treated all the raw flesh with a healing balm. I long for the days when I don't get exposed to toxins, so they don't get in, and I don't have to exude them, and have my skin burned. Off from the inside. 🙄 

After getting all cleaned up I had my yogurt and vitamins. And now I'm sitting down to rest. I think I've lost 10 lbs. When I get away from the endocrine system disruptors (pesticides and petroleum solvents), the lymphoma drains away. That reeks and burns too. 

7:03 p.m.
I had a very nice visit with my friend from Baker. We'd never met face to face. I got to know her because my mother-in-law kept telling me to call her. She's the daughter of one of my mother-in-law's oldest friends. She has environmental illness problems, too. So we accommodated each other. We met outside under some shady trees. I stayed up wind. We chatted up a storm. When it started to get cold I came in and she headed back down the hill. I've been resting and working on more "no-clink" jar covers. Finally Ron called. Justin got his deer. Ron missed his. 



Sunday, 10/9/16

7:21 a.m.
Ron, with his dad and our son-in-law Justin, are stopping by to deliver 1/2 n 1/2 and a few other supplies this morning. They'll only stop briefly, then go on up the draw to public land to hunt. They'll stop by again after the hunt to check out the property. 

9:43 a.m.
My father-in-law told me the holes in the ground, that I thought were from coyotes were from badgers! They find a ground squirrel hole then dig in after them. Its what they eat. My husband told me the cave I thought might belong to a cougar was most likely a bobcat hole, if it was inhabited. Cougars sleep and eat in trees! They can drag a full grown, dead deer up into a pine tree. Well, I'm learning all kinds of things! Later when they come back bye,  we'll check out the "cave." I talked politics with justin. 😆😮 Our country is in serious trouble! I did point out the boundary fences and a corner pin.  

7:33 p.m. 
The cave was not inhabited. Ron did say there were plenty of rabbits, and it would be just the kind of place a bobcat would like. They did not stay long, our daughter wanted to get on the road home at the boys nap time. Ron dropped off the recipes in the owner's mailbox on the way bye. They were for non-toxic alternatives. He has non-hodgkin's lymphoma. I talked some more with the owner by phone. He was very gracious and told me that until it sells I am welcome to come back if I need a place to stay. This property has enough of my criteria that I'm putting it on the list of possibles. Its the only one on the list at this time. 

I spent the rest of the afternoon crocheting more jar sleeves. I hung out some more laundry. And treated a blister I got from all that hiking. I groomed Rosie too. She'd collected a bunch of begger's lice and other pokey seeds in her fur. She also needed her nails done. That about wraps it up. Guess I'll check the freezer and head for bed.


Tomorrow I'll call an RV park near La Grande and see if most of the hunters are gone. If they are I'll go over there and shower, dump grey, take on fresh and plug in for a night. 


Tuesday, 10/11/16

4:33 p.m.
Sorry I skipped yesterday. I was busy dealing with traveling, dodging other campers at the RV park to get my water chores done and Rosie and I got a gasoline fume exposure when we got filled up. We both got sick. Rosie spent the whole night vomiting and having diarrhea. Thats always fun when you can't get out without putting on your toxic clothes. 

So today we met with the realtor, Roger Hutson, in the Elgin area. Best realtor I've met so far. He drove all over the Elgin area for me, checking out access to properties. We drove our separate vehicles up to this piece of property and hiked around it for several hours. He's going to be back tomorrow with the gate and cabin keys, and the listing agent. She has more information. After spending several hours with me he drove off, down the mountain. 

Rosie and I are camped on the side of the road, at the top of a mountain, above the Minam drainage. We're in the timber. The piece of property is beautiful. It is exactly what I'm looking for, as far as topography and flora.


It is supposed to get down to 25° F tonight. Sounds cold! I have no idea how cold it got last spring at Coal Miners campground. I hope we'll be warm enough. The sun is already starting to go down. 

Rosie's just starting to feel better. She ate a few kibbles and some yogurt. 


Wednesday 10/12/16

7:00 a.m.
I've been up since 5:30 a.m. running the heater. With it running full blast it was in the 40°s. I made coffee at 6:30 a.m. which brought the temperature up to 50°. The sky lightened at that time but the sun wasn't over the horizon, so it remains chilly. I stuck my hand on a window and into the cab, just now. I've gotten the temp in here up to the outside temp. This thing can be an ice box! I did get out Rosie's blanket last night. She stayed curled up under it and on her pillow on the floor all night, so I guess she was warm enough. If she gets cold I let her sleep with me. She didn't ask, and every time I checked her she was warm. 

Looks like Rosie's heat bleed is coming to a close. I'll have to keep an extra careful eye out for males now until she finishes the cycle. 

I called the heater manufacturer and ordered a replacement part (east coast).

9:59 a.m.
Roger is on his way up. He says 30 minutes. Rosie and I just got back in from a ramble to where a fence crosses the road on the south. It might be the south fence line, and back to the known north fence line. I did look over the hillside to the east, and in the clearer spots it isn't as steep as I thought. There's also a bench not too far down the hill. An old access road leads down from the top to that bench. I checked out the dilapidated cabin that sits just off the north fence line. The door is wide open and lots of forest material is piled everywhere. Most likely pack rats. I did see some rat like tracks in the mud on the road. 
Time to put my hiking boots on. 

12:53 p.m.
Roger left around noon. Marlene had left quite a bit earlier. She was only here for 20 min.. I did see inside the cabin. Only one is a cabin. The other is storage. The cabin was o.k.. Its pretty tiny and minimally equipped. Roger and I walked back to the south boundary. I paced it off, roughly. I forgot that Roger was recovering from a knee injury. I wish he'd said something. 😟 

When I called Ron after Roger left he informed me that the rainstorms that were coming had high wind warnings of 50-60 mph for the next several days. I could tell he wanted me off the ridge. So it looks like I'll be leaving in the morning.


3:57 p.m.
Rosie and I went out for another walk. I wanted to look at the western fence of the top of the ridge section and see where the inside corner really was. We walked quite a ways down that fence and found where another fence bisected it. It had a gate in it. I believed that is the inside corner. We continued southward along that fence. It was in need of major repairs. 


We were walking back t'ward the main gate to skirt around the cross fencing, when I saw a small silver pickup coming along the road. They turned in at the main gate. A man, a woman and a pale yellow lab got out. It was the owner and her brother. She and I had a nice chat while her brother and the lab went down to the pond. She confirmed I'd found the inside fence corner. She wants to sell to move closer to her kids. 

After they left we went back over (Rosie goes under) the gate and walked the westward fence. We jumped something large out of the thicket on the other side of the fence. I did not see it. It was large, dark and thundered away. I'm thinking a bull, maybe. The fence had a few places where it was down. Most of it was almost falling down. All fences will need at least 2 more strands of wire to keep the sheep in. We circled around back by the ravine and came out at the cabin. Then we hiked back up the hill to the main gate and returned to the RV to rest. 

5:10 p.m.
I groomed all the seeds and burs out of Rosie. She had cockleburs between her toes pretty bad. The neighbor drove by while I was working on her. His name was on his truck. Since Rosie was such a good girl, she got extra raw burger for her dinner. I rounded off the afternoon with sweeping the floors, shaking out the rugs and turning the seat covers. 


Friday, 10/14/16

4:53 a.m.
Weird dreams! The kind were you live the same time frame over and over. 

I just turned on the generator and heat again.   We are now at OHV. When I spoke to Ron Wednesday and he'd told me he wanted me off the ridge and back here where there were people and equipment in case I had any problems. He was also hoping that there'd be enough cancellations, due to the weather, that I could hook up to power. There weren't. 

I left Thompson ridge yesterday about 8:30 a.m. It was spittng rain and snow mixed. There was 6 miles of gravel road that I had to traverse at 10 miles per hour. By the time I got to the bottom it was raining outright. I'd called ahead to the two local gas stations to see which one would accommodate me. The big name one was run by some younger woman. She wouldn't. The only other station in town was a small "mom & pop" station, O & M. Orrin, one of the owners, said he would. Wipers slapping across the windshield we threaded our way down the serpentine Wallowa highway into tiny Elgin to find him. It wasn't hard. His station was right there as you get into town. I hadn't noticed him on the way out. It was a service station out of time. It was probably built 50 years ago. Orrin, himself, was the epitome of the type casted "mom & pop gas station owner." Baked brown, small, wiry, in his 70s, besmirched with automobile grease. My kind of people. I'd promised him I'd show him my ID, which he acknowledged with a quick sharp glance. He was a kind hearted man, though wary of strangers. He had the guy pumping his own gas ahead of me move his truck just as soon as he was done pumping and then go in to pay so I could get my RV next to the pump quicker. I'd have waited, not a problem.  We got it done and I set out for my next leg of the journey. 

It just so happened that I started up Tollgate Pass behind two trucks. The lead semi, surprisingly, never got his speed over 25 mph on the way up. Mostly, it was 20 mph. Tollgate pass is a narrow, winding 2 lane highway. No passing lanes. That added considerably to the length of the trip. I didn't mind that either. The pass was beautifully turned out in fall colors. Dark evergreens woven together with yellow and orange leaves of deciduous bushes and trees. It rained harder, but thankfully no wind. When we crested the summit the trucks roared away. I found a good turn out  and pulled over to let the line of cars behind me pass. I wasn't ready to take that winding wet highway at full speed in my RV. Its actually the first time I've driven it in those kinds of conditions. I wanted to get a feel for how she'd respond without the pressure of a line of drivers pushing me. I took the rest of the highway at 40-45 mph, pulling over to let others pass when they showed up. When we broke out of the timber above Weston we collided with the wind. It was blowing 20-30 mph, and it couldn't make up its mind on the direction. I had quite the fight keeping her on the road as we descended the steep curves. One moment we were fine, the next a gust of wind pushed us sideways a couple of feet, sometimes to the right, sometimes to the left. I wrestled us all the way down the mountain and across the flat, heading south to Pendleton. I had to keep my speed around 50 mph or the scooting sideways was worse. It was actually harder across the flats. The wind gusts were more frequent, pummeling us like a prize fighter. Then when we reached Athena, poof! They were gone. The air was still all the way to Pendleton. When we climbed the hill out of Pendleton the wind resumed but at just 5-10 mph., we sailed along at 60 mph. I stopped for gas again at my favorite station. I'd used less than a 1/4 of a tank, but I wanted to top it off since I'd be on the generator. We travelled on to meet with Ron at his office for supplies. It was 12:39 p.m. 

Unfortunately, just as Ron and I were getting set up to transfer supplies he got a call that the press had arrived. He had to stop and go back to the office for the press conference. Rosie and I waited for him for forty minutes. When he returned I told him I wanted that property. He looked astounded and barked, "Look how long it took you to get here!" I glared back.
     "I'm driving a 30ft RV and I had to go 10 mph over miles of gravel road. Its not going to take you that long." I knew his concern was in the time it would take him, or the kids, to travel the distance. He frowned back. I knew he'd have to think about it. His gruffness is just cover. I've learned to stand up for myself, so my gruffness is just what I've learned is the appropriate response.

I left his work about 1:30 p.m. and continued my journey. The wind wasn't too bad until we came out on the hill tops above Heppner. Then the winds were again in the 20-30 mph range. The canyons were worse. It felt like those highwinds were rolling through, bouncing us around from both sides, worse than before. When we got to the bottom of Hardman hill, on the far side, the winds again dropped to 5-10 mph. They stayed low, all the way up the hill to OHV. I did have a truck and fifth wheel riding my bumper so hard that it wasn't safe for me to pull out. I knew of one pull out, I'd used before, that had enough of a straight stretch before it that I could safely signal and negotiate the pull over. I think the passenger flipped me off as they went by in there shiny new rig. I pulled into OHV a few minutes behind them. The driver was in the office registering. He'd left his rig in the middle of the road, engine running. I maneuvered around them and pulled in next to the cell umbrella to call Ron. I let him know we'd arrived safely. 3:30 p.m. I got out my radio. It still had power! I'd forgotten to charge it last night. I "hallo'd" Greg. No response. I headed out t'ward E9, to top off my water in the pouring rain. I called Kirsti, the reservation manager to see if there were any cancelations. Just one, that didn't help. No electrical hook up for me. 

After taking on water, which didn't go smoothly, I broke a fitting and had to jury rig the system, I headed to my "special spot," out by the golf shack. I wrangled my way into it. The gravel seemed deeper and looser than I remembered. It took me several attempts to back around into position. I turned off the motor and waited for the fumes to blow away. Then I climbed out and placed the leveling blocks in front of the tire. I needed to jack the front passenger side tire up by 3. Wearily I climbed back behind the wheel and inched up on it. I clambered out again and checked my position. A little too far forward. I dragged my exhausted body back behind the wheel. Eased the RV back. Recheck. O' good! Close enough. Then I heaved myself back into the cab, collected all my stuff and hauled it and myself into the coach. Patient Rosie waited on the sofa. I put down the step and took Rosie out to potty. When she finished we climbed back into the coach. Dragging off my damp coat seemed like it needed all my remaining strength. But I still wasn't done. I fired up the generator, for heat and fridge cold. I mixed up Rosies raw burger and yogurt, topped with kibble. I set out the things I'd stowed this morning and tidied up the crap I'd had with me in the cab. I retrieved Rosie's water dish from the bathroom sink and filled it for her. Then I made a bowl of cake batter and warmed it up to "cooked but still liquid" in the microwave. I tossed on a handful of organic chocolate chips, and finally sat down to eat it. 5:30 p.m. I called Ron to let him know which spot I was in, as requested. Then I got out some spinning and just sat resting, and working quietly on that. When I shut off the generator I remembered I had forgotten to open the generator bay door. I let the fumes dissipate, then went out to take care of it. When I returned to the warm coach, I closed all the curtains, put on the window blankets, drug Rosie's bed next to the heater, and hauled my bedding to the couch (in front of the heater). I was beat and ready for bed. 
Just as I settled down under the blankets the storm hit. The rain rattled like it was part ice. It blopped. It pounded. It came down in torrents. The wind ratcheted up to 30 or 40mph. My little RV rocked and bounced like a ship on the seas. Gusts slammed us so hard that we twanged like a wire door stop. I thought a few times we were going to be driven right off the leveling blocks. It went on like that until my wild dreams woke me at 4:30 a.m., and after, as I was busy typing this. I think it started to ease up between 5:15 and 5:30 a.m. I wasn't paying attention. The rain has stopped. The wind has quieted. 6:48 a.m. Its still dark. I'm guessing its because of the dense cloud cover. There are supposed to be 3 storms. One down. Today is supposed to be the worse one. 

Correction- I talked to Ron (8:18 a.m.). The weatherman now says that tomorrow's storm will be the worst. Ron also thought a week from today might work for him to see that property. 


4:31 p.m.
So far today the weather has been milder than last night. We've had 15-25 mph winds with occasional stronger gusts. No more than a sprinkle of rain. There have been plenty of dark grey clouds but they passed by without dropping their load. I spun. I took Rosie out for a short walk. 

I called Roger, my realtor. Sadly, Roger discovered the seller's realtor was not disclosing the whole truth. My favorite property was in a 240 acre zone. It had been an original home site and was supposed to be able to be buildable at 160 acres, IF the family filed the necessary paperwork when 2 measures were passed. The family did not. The present owner is considering getting a lawyer, but its highly unlikely that she'll be successful and will undoubtably want to pass on the cost. The lot is already over priced. I advised Roger to let that one pass. He's currently working on listing a 238 acre piece. Its close enough to 240 that they usually allow it. He'll let me know if it meets my criteria. 

After getting that deflating news, I called Ron and let him know he did not have to schedule time to go see that property. Then, I darned socks. I sure wear holes in them fast. Its just the kind of chore for a very glum day. Kind of homey and comforting. I finished off the afternoon with a bowl of creamy carrot soup, sprinkled with shredded white cheddar.


Saturday, 10/15/16

8:51 a.m.
Its pouring. A thoroughly sodden, cold, drumming downpour. There was barely any breeze through the night, after the handful of fitful gusts as the sun set. Then quiet and mostly still until this morning. I was up several hours in the wee hours with aspiration and coughing it out. Darn those tasty carrot bits! I slept in. When I awoke, it was to a chill, deluged and dripping world. 

It was long past Rosie's potty and feeding time. She was anxious for both. I didn't go out with her. I just ran her out on the long line. I sent out a dry dog and got a hosed off one in return. Of course she waited to shake off until she was back inside. 😐  Its actually fortuitous. She is finally out of her sani-belt (She's quite ecstatic about that). She needed a good bath.

4:53 p.m.
I spoke with my sister Kathy, my friends Peggy and Julia, and my friend Barbara today. Ron called for about 5 minutes. He was picking up the deer from the hanging locker to take to our daughter's to butcher. 

Its continued pouring and cold all day. The cab carpet is wet again. I can't figure out where its coming in. So far the cab over deck doesn't seem wet.

I re-worked some of my older jar covers that were or have become loose. 

Rosie and I are both bored.

7:00 p.m.
We got a short call from Ron and Joey. It was at about 6:30 p.m.. They'd finished the cutting. They were breaking for dinner. Joey told me that they had a big pile of meat for Rosie. He told me to come for dinner at chocat milk house (thats the color of their house). I asked what we were having? "Umm, deer!" 
    "My favorite!" I said. We chatted for a few more minutes and then they had to go eat. 

I returned to my solitary world. The rain has mostly stopped. The wind is occasionally gusty. I even went out this evening with Rosie for some fresh air. Only its not that fresh. I don't know why but now my teeth hurt.The sky is clearing. I ran two dc lights all day because it was so dark, so the house batteries are down. I remembered I have candles, so this last round of generator/heater I lit a couple of candles and turned out the lights. 

Nothing left to do, so we're turning in early.

Sunday, 10/16/16

7:00 a.m.

The dawn displays another cold, rainy, wintery day. I feel cheated. Everybody else reports the storms have past. Not here. Bummer. I was hoping for a bit more warmth.

We've been up since 5:30 a.m. And running the generator since 4:00 a.m. The warmest we've gotten it up to was 57°F. That's when Rosie had to go out. I shut the generator down and ran her out on the long line. I'm not going out there. Brrrr. The sun is just now getting out of bed. I was hoping for a relatively warm, sunny day to help dry out the cab. I'm going to have to do something about that today. I'm going to have to pull the cabover cushions and thoroughly check for leaks, too. 😣


Monday, 10/17/16

1:10 p.m.
Cold! I've spent the majority of my time since the last post trying to keep warm. I blotted up as much water yesterday, from the cab floor, as possible. I just finished doing it again today. It rained all night. There wasn't water in the cabover when I checked yesterday.

I texted and asked for fuel this morning. I didn't get a response, so after a few hours I called down to the county parks office to see if they could check that my text went through. I just checked my fuel gauge, I have less than half a tank. It cuts off at a quarter. That leaves me less than a quarter tank for heat. I may have to drive down the mountain and get gas. I'll give them a few more hours, if the fuel truck doesn't show up soon I'll have to bail out and go. 
I've got a few phone calls. Peggy and Ron checking on me. I even got to talked to my Joey-boy again. I've tried spinning but it doesn't work with mittens. Without them my hands get so cold the nail beds turn blue. I'm sure the cold wouldn't be so bad for healthy people, but my blood doesn't carry oxygen very well. I get chilled easily. The temp reads 59°F currently. 

4:38 p.m.
I just returned from fueling up. A few minutes before I was due to head down to Lexington to meet Ron and get fuel Greg radio'd me. He'd received my text, he just had been unable to answer it. So my tank is full again, and I'm running the heater with abandon! I am so hoping for a much warmer night. Rosie was hoping all this shifting around meant it was now time for dinner! Alas poor Rosie! She still has a couple of hours to go. 

Just a note: we have not yet had a marauding chipmunk this visit. 🚫🐿

6:54 p.m.
Fed Rosie, made eggnog, turning in. Its actually 64°F in here! 


Tuesday, 10/18/16

7:15 a.m.
Another chilly morning. Its 54°F in here and I've been running the heater for over 3 hrs. The thought of a long, hot shower tomorrow evening is wavering in my mind like a mirage, spurring me onward. Just one more chilly night on the couch. I'm waiting for my coffee pot to boil. Its cold enough in here that its sluggish. 

8:15 a.m.
Rosie pottied. I got more dog food from the basement bin. Rosie fed. I had my second cup of coffee. I got my a.m. call from Ron. The sun is up and we have blue sky.  Looking forward to warmer temps.🌤 Not that that changes what we do much, just how comfortably we do it. 

6:03 p.m.
Ron has meetings this evening. He won't call till later. I'm already tired and ready for bed. Its like that when I get up and down all night. And when morning comes at 5:00 a.m. Mostly I spun today. My shoulder is sore from it.

It was warmer today, and I ran the generator more. Tired of being cold. 💨🌧😨 I did talk on the phone with a friend today to break up the loneliness. Can barely stand the wait for the shower! Yearning! Yearning!!


Wednesday, 10/19/16

6:59 a.m.

50°F in here and the generator has been running for hours. Ugh! I had a 5:00 a.m. alarm set but a cold snap woke me up before 4:30 a.m. So glad to be going home this afternoon. It appears there's a dense fog outside. I peeked. I'm sitting on the couch under my pile of blankets waiting for my coffee to finish perking. Not much else to say that isn't a repeat of "the Frozen Lament" or that golden oldie, "If Only Freezing My Ass Off Reduced the Size of My Ass."

2:30 p.m.
I've packed up everything. All that remains is to bring in the leveling blocks. It is sunny this afternoon. So even without the heater its 64°F in here. We're going to decommission the RV for the winter when I get home. I hope that we're not being premature... Its a lot of work if we just have to turn around and load it all back up.  

Friday, 10/21/16

I got home Wednesday evening. Its still so toxic down here that I very shortly began to feel sick. Thursday Heideman started harvesting his Bt corn across the road and I got very sick. Like couldn't breath, chest hurt, barely stand up sick. He quit around 5:00 p.m. And it began to rain hard. I started to feel better. Recovering today

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