Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'd rather be camping

People have stickers and magnets stating "I'd rather be fishing!" or "shopping", depending on the person's hobby. Mine would definitely say "I'd rather be camping in a VW Bus!" Because pretty much every second of every day I think that. Except when I am gardening and baking bread. Those things would be too difficult in a Bus!

A little side note on dreams and life~
My dream goal is to own a bunch of land, a place where my friends can come and build their own house on it. I want to grow an abundance of food, as well as have an extensive wild garden (which will grow whatever grows wild where I buy my land.) Hopefully my friends will want to do the same thing (I have been selecting and asking friends to come some day considering much of them has the same dream as I). Then during the year at times I can go off in my Bus and travel to those I miss while living out on the farm. Knowing that my farm is still cared for by my friends who live there, I can travel for a few months without worrying for the chickens and carrots. Sounds like a dream, but to me that's what life is. A waking dream. I want to take advantage and reach my goals today; not sit back and hope that when I die there is something else, something better. I want to live life like THIS is the best and I better make it the BEST EVER! :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Visit from Carole & Dexter

Last week we got a visit from Carole Brown and her beautiful bus Dexter~ the Yes We Can Campervan. Carole is driving across the US (the second time) to raise awareness of the auto-immune disease, Myasthenia Gravis (MG). MG is a neuromuscular disorder, which involves the muscles and the nerves that control them, causing weakness of the voluntary muscles. Those living with MG may suffer from facial paralysis, fatigue, difficulty chewing, swallowing or climbing stairs; etc. Although the disease has been known for over half a century many are living undiagnosed with this illness today. has more information on MG and a link to other auto-immune diseases that affect more than 23.5 million Americans today.

Click here for The YesWeCan CamperVan on:
VW 4 Causes

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cheating on Lenny & Haunted Charleston

Last weekend I "cheated" on Lenny~ I drove another bus!! We left poor Lenny parked this week while we were busy visiting family and friends around South Carolina. Over the weekend we went to Charleston where I got to drive Sprout, who belongs to our friend Jim. No one has gotten to drive Sprout while Jim has owned him, so I felt very lucky that my friend had a bit too much to drink. I noticed a big difference in the shifting, Lenny has so much play! Otherwise it was pretty much the same but I had a good feeling puttering through Charleston in Sprout.

A word on Charleston~
We stayed in Rockville, a stone's throw from the ocean where annually a ship battalion lights fireworks to celebrate July 4th. The rest of the year most of the homes are empty, leaving visitors to wonder how old these seemingly historic houses are; and the old wise trees, dripping with Spanish moss, that seem to know more than the people living here. At night we pondered on the history of the place; knowing Charleston was the largest slave port of America, a dark picture began to emerge. We ignored the shadows creeping in night and walked to the water's edge, before a cold gust sent us back to our temporary residence and our campfire. Ignoring the weird feelings we spent the rest of the night goofing off and gave it no more thought.
I have a hard time believing in what I cannot see with my eyes and touch with my hands, but some feelings are hard to ignore. Especially when all of us felt the same thing but talked about it much later. Needless to say, I got a FREE haunted tour of Charleston.

Side note~ I took these photos on a very sunny 75 degree afternoon, and they still turned out so eery!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgivings Misgivings

Last weekend we enjoyed the Coastal Carolina "Thanksgivings Misgivings" in Awendaw SC. We enjoyed the company of good friends, beautiful buses and delicious food and drink. Saturday I had fried turkey for the first time, and I have to say, I didn't taste the difference! I guess my Mum is just that great of a cook! :)
On the way, just after 15 miles of woods, Lenny started to shutter and cut off as we coasted into a fast food lot. We thought, fuel pump/filter?? We had him towed to the event location, arriving after dark, and hoped to have him fixed up and on the road by Sunday. My dad brought me a fuel pump and filter from the parts store on his way to the event saturday. The filter was wrong, and the pump was different but workable, so after Trey worked 2 hours on intalling the pump, the Bus still won't start up right. We are thinking the filter may be clogged, but can't tell until we get a new one on it. So we had Lenny towed back to Aiken from Charleston utilizing both Trey and my AAA accounts (100 free miles each). So this thanksgiving we are thankful for AAA!
Backing Lenny into the spot

Visit from a cute guest!
Lenny & Sprout

LinkCarole working on her Yes We Can Campervan on their trip across the US to bring awareness for MG~ Myasthenia Gravis
Lenny and Wanderlust


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lenny's trip to an organic farm in N.C.

We spent last weekend visiting best friends on an organic farm in Efland, NC. The farm's main focus has been grass fed beef, pork, free range chickens and eggs. Recently my friends have started a multi season garden, and are also building a greenhouse to have more produce and herbs. We got to learn a lot about organic farming methods and eat delicious meats and greens.
Instead of pesticides they use very fertile soil, sometimes spray soap/water mixture... and that's about it. They use electric wire that they can move around to allow the animals to graze in different areas, allowing the rest to grow back more fertile than before.

Great Pyrenees dogs guard the chickens, goats and pigs

Mule guards the cattle

Goat's view

Chickens move around the field to fertilize the earth

Pig & the Billy goat

Baby chicks in their insulated home
It was these friends that motivated me towards living a farm life 2 years ago; after visiting them on the dairy farm they lived and worked on. I hope the next area we move to will have more organic farms I could intern on, because that kind of hard work is the only kind that really makes sense to me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A common Sight... and my new Etsy shop

This is a common sight when updating my blog...
Lobster will do anything for attention! Today I cleaned up Lenny and got him ready for a trip to North Carolina this weekend. We will be going to Charlotte, then to visit friends who live on a farm in Efland.
I also finally created an Etsy shop to sell my art & crafts~ check out Tha Blue Room, to do your Christmas shopping and support Lenny's travels. I have been thinking of doing a new paint job soon, as there is more rust cropping up.
Thanks for reading, I know its been a little boring as of late, as far as Lenny goes. I've been sticking around the house becoming a master bread maker. Stick around, Lenny has a lot more travel in his future.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sink/Stove Lid Re-vamp

Originally I painted my sink/stove lid yellow~ along with the rest of my interior. Bad choice! This is the spot where we mix drinks, set out food to munch on, etc. Its the prime place for spills but also a center piece when we have guests in the bus. I've been toying around painting different things on it, but last weekend in Charleston a fellow Moonie's hand painted table gave me inspiration.
I've been wanting to do an entire scene the way I have been doing my collages, and this was the perfect chance for me to test my color matching skills.
I decided to "paint" a portrait of my happy place

Closeup of the mountains~

Ask you can see, it isn't quite finished. It still needs to be trimmed and glued down, and resin coated. But I just couldn't resist posting about it in the meantime. I will post photos of it finished & installed once I get around to it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Charleston camping brings new friends

Last weekend we were invited to a small group camp out in Charleston. The original spot they chose fell through, so another "Moonie" (a member of the Full Moon Bus Club) said "what the heck, lets do it at my house!" His beautiful home is on a few acres near the marsh; at high tide some went kayaking and canoeing. I just enjoyed the beautiful 80 degree weather, the cloudless blue sky and the company of new friends.

Bell driving Jasmin in Snoopy's Adventurewagen~ Wanderlust

For those of you readers who do not own a VW and/or have never been to such an event, you can expect it to go something like this:
You drive up, knowing one person or none, hands waving and faces smiling at you. You choose a site and park. At least one person will walk up to you saying hello my name is... and asking if you need any help setting up. Since all we have to do is pop the top, pull out the cooler and chairs to set up, it is an easy job. Most others have awnings, fold out tables, and other gear to set up before they're reading to relax and hang out. If you brought a bunch of food, you can usually forget it. Because others make so much delicious food, I usually end up with leftovers. In the morning some may come around offering you mimosas or bloody mary; or in the afternoon a beer or margarita. At the end of the day you have a whole set of new friends, which leaves you trying to remember everybody's names, plus everyone's dog's names.

Sarah Rose- "You're not a real man if you won't get your toenails painted."
A familiar sight when owning a V-dubb: The Push Start
FYI: You definitely do not need 5 men to push start a Bus! I have push started my bus with one other man's help on flat pavement. Grass does make it trickier though, and downhill is easiest.

We made some great friends and we are looking forward to the campout in Charleston next month~ "thanksgivings misgivings", where Moonies set up tables and put their favorite dishes out for people to eat, like a huge potluck! If you knew me well, you'd know that I LOVE potlucks and tried to host them regularly when I lived in the mountains. There is just something magical about getting together with great people and eating great food and having a great time.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Police Brutality Vs Peace

This is a ten minute long video taken from MSNBC on the NYPD's attack on peaceful protesters at "Occupy WallStreet" The powerful words spoken by Lawrence O'donnell bring tears to my eyes.

I know this doesn't seem to have much to do with my Westy~ but it has to do with you and me every day of our lives. This also includes our vehicles and whatever life choices we make. I have been fortunate up to this point not having a run-in with the "law" but they're eyes glisten and glaze over with dreams of brutality as I peacefully putter by. This post is not to assume that all police officers are bad people, just a majority of them. Thanks for facebook my friends share, almost daily, videos of police brutality and they continue to get away with it. Here are some of my favorite quotes from O'Donnell during his clip (just in case you don't have time to watch it, but you really should because its important.)

"this weekend a few trouble makers turned a peaceful protest against wall street greed into a violence burst of chaos, the troublemakers were carrying pepper spray and guns, and wearing badges."
"Police were grabbing people for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON, crushing them on the pavement and arresting them."
"We will post this video on our blog and you won't find ANYONE doing ANYTHING that is legal grounds for arrest."
"Cops know they can always get away with it.. no mayor, no police chief will call them on what they think of as a little too tough"
"This is an AMERICAN policework that we are watching... Everyday in American police cross the line and abuse citizens, EVERDAY in America police get away with it."
"Everything the police done this weekend to these protesters they have already done to someone else with no video cameras rolling"
"They know just how much latitude their dept gives them on abusing citizens, they do it because they know they can...because they can get away with it."
"NONE of them will be charged..."
"The dept has already said the officers acted appropriately, cased closed."

Now let's have a BBQ!

also as a sidenote~

A Wall Street Hedge Fund Manager made $5 BILLION DOLLARS last year

That's about $480 MILLION DOLLARS per month

That's about $120 MILLION DOLLARS per week

That's about $24 MILLION DOLLARS per day

That's about $3 MILLION DOLLARS per hour

And yet his Federal Income Tax Rate is 15%

Is it any wonder there is a protest
(taken from the comments, I would like to see references on these figures...)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fire On the Mountain

Fire on the Mountain was a great time~ Not sure how many Buses showed up but I would say somewhere around 30 arrived by Saturday, with some other campers without Buses but with a love for them. I arrived Wednesday evening after getting semi-lost a few times. Rabun/Talutha falls is north-west from Aiken so we traveled up some back roads in SC over to GA, but we got turned around because Google gave me strange directions- the way back we just followed the map and took an easier route. The area of SC & GA we went through apparently does not believe in putting a NORTH, WEST, EAST, OR SOUTH direct on their state routes. It will just say 59<---> So a few times we had to turn around and ask someone "um, which way am I pointing?" Next time I will bring a compass!
I got rid of most of my Pindo Palm Jelly~ just have 4 jars left and sold all of my Yetis. I did not sell my art, as I was hardly ever at my site and I am not a good sales person. But there was a lot of interest in them and I don't know if I missed anyone coming back to get one. If anyone is interested they are for sale and I am thinking of starting an Etsy shop soon... I do like having them adorn my walls though~ as I love them! :) I am going to work on more collages this week, just need to find motivation other than VWs!
3 Buses camped in this site~ go to place for fireside guitar & drum circle at night

Waterfall we hiked to everyday~ my happy place is in the woods :)
Lookat these hippies! ;) Since Trey couldn't go, my friend Cam did

Here are photos of my friend Snoopy's Bus that just got painted, he and his adorable Springer Spaniels shared a campsite with us. Snoopy is also the owner of the orange 21 window Bus I've taken pictures of at High Country. PaintedBus is the username or handle of the artist who does these awesome murals on V-dubbs. Im not sure what his name is, just seen is album on Flickr. He was down here in SC doing Snoopy's paint job a few weeks ago on a VW bus painting trip. Imagine that! Traveling and painting VW buses and getting to meet and hang out with awesome VW owners~ a dream come true!

It gives me inspiration for my next paint job!

Same artist painted this "preacher & teacher"s Pop Top canvas~ But will it Last?!
Saturday night the whole group got together and did a potluck & awards. I got a prize in a drawing for being a new Moonie but unfortunately i was unloading firewood at the event host's site for him! But I got there right at the end and got a "Sven Hole cleaner." Its an inside joke within the group and now I can keep my sven holes clean until I get to give it to someone next year!

Bumble Bee Bus
As you can see, my new camera just doesn't take the quality photos as my Canon did. I may try to get it repaired or atleast traded in for a new Canon~ NEVER take your retractable lens camera to the beach/ get it in sand!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fire On the Mountain Preparation

This week is Fire on the Mountain~ in Lakemont, GA- the NorthEastern part. Its about 3 1/2 hours from me, on the backroads which would make for a nice drive in the Bus. I hope to leave Wednesday so I get in enough time to hike and talk with other bus peoples about my shift troubles. We crawled up under the Bus and the clutch cable is tightened, everything looks good as far as I can see, but I don't really know what I am looking at and the handbook (Bently) isn't much help. Either way it is in great running condition to scoot around, I just need to shift with care. Trey won't be joining me, as he has to work through Friday and we don't want to drive up just for a day and a half, so I am going it alone. This will be the longest I've ever driven in the Bus alone! But I'm not scared, and hopefully I can get a friend to join me. :)

I started making collages from Hancocks Of Paducah fabric catalogs they've sent me after I bought the great mushroom print fabric that adorns my Bus windows. I just love all the fabrics and I am not the greatest sewer (yet) so for now I get to play around with their patterns for free! :) Thanks Hancocks! I hope I can sell these at the festival!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Shifty Gears

Since our last mechanic visit, our gears are still giving us troubles. It is increasingly difficult to get into 2nd from 3rd or 4th. Its very easy to slide into reverse, or grind it. We think part of the problem may be the clutch wearing down. With only a few more months of camping weather left and only 2 camp outs under our belt, I am going to make it my top priority getting Lenny back into a better driving condition. I really wish I never let a stranger put their hands on my Bus, but I am learning from my mistakes.
One month from now is Fire on the Mountain~ a VW Bus camp out in North Eastern Georgia. Another 5 day event~ I plan to bring the Pindo Palm jelly I have been obsessing about this month. What's pindo palm jelly? I explain it a lot in my other blog this month. :) Check It!

Monday, August 1, 2011

High Country Bus Festival: Take 2

This was our second year at High Country Bus Festival, with last year being the first week we had our bus on the road. This year we were a lot more prepared, and the one of the quickest to pack up and go, now that we have so much experience! I recently purchased a waterproof camera for $100 and I definitely got use out of it, tubing on the New River every day. It doesn't take quite as good photos as my other camera, but I am still learning its features.

I am not sure how many Buses attended but on Friday someone I asked was Bus # 134.

We camped in the primitives, and "went to the city" or "to town" to see friends and tube back home to the boonies. Luckily there were golf carts going back and forth so we hitch hiked, and there we shuttles to bring tubers to different drop off points on the river.

First Spot we had until we found one with more shade

Yes, a tubing dog! & "The City" of Buses
Yetis lookin' for a home
The weather was beautiful Wednesday through Saturday evening, when the skies opened up on us. Around 5pm Trey and I began to tube and a rain storm broke, so we waited at the "River Bar". The sun broke through the clouds for about 45 minutes, so we tubed back to the primitives where we camped, and waited out the storm; which lasted until midnight pretty much... But we all made the most of it and hung out under awnings and tents and in buses.

River bar pre-rain storm

Rain, rain go away save it for another day

Most people were happy to be getting back to their homes and daily lives, but Trey and I were sad because in the woods we feel at home, and we miss the mountains. Hopefully we can return soon :)