Siss, Boom, Bang

Before I began this trip, I thought life on the road would be peaceful. Ha Ha. Have you ever ridden long-distance in an RV? It sounds like this: CLANG, BANG, SNAP, CLANGETY, CLANG, BANG BOOM. Only louder.

I live in Atlanta so I have a high tolerance for road work, but dang, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma have problems of their own. By the time we limp into our campsites each night, I have a splitting headache. I think JD does too, but I can’t really hear him.

Our RV is taking a beating in more ways than one.

First of all, BC ate the interior.

Evidently, he was hungry because he also ate doughnuts off the table, our garbage and the screen. I sighed and kept on trucking. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed.

My cabinets have also taken a beating and my counter-tops have peeled in places. Our curtain rods have bent and warped, and everything is dirty. When JD pointed out the latest scuff mark, I just sighed and kept on trucking. It’s nothing that can’t be redone.

In addition to things getting banged up, we’ve lost a few things. So far we’ve managed to leave a gas cap behind, leave the bathroom vent open so that the plastic cover could go free somewhere between Reno and Las Vegas, and lose the part of the stinky slinky that actually allows you to dump said stinky. Can you HEAR ME SIGHING? LET’S KEEP TRUCKING. IT’S NOTHING THAT CAN’T BE REBOUGHT.

The outside has probably taken as much or more of a beating but since it looked so bad to begin with, it’s hard to tell. We did manage to pick up a bumper sticker. We’ve seen literally hundreds. Did we get a cool one of Yellowstone or maybe the Grand Canyon? Uh, no. JD picked up one from a restaurant in Whidbey Island.

I guess, in reality, it goes perfectly with the RV.

Not to say that we’re not having fun.

We are seeing lots of great things, like this meteor crater. I think it says a lot about us that not one of us jumped.


Highs and Lows of Travel

We have been on the road for two weeks now and I think we’ve got this thing down. We can hook up our power, water and stinky slinky in a quick minute. Also, we can unhook quickly. More about that below.

A definite high of the trip was our visit to Whidbey Island where we got to hang with Mantamy and her hubby.

See that bridge behind us? They made me walk across it! I also walked across fields and through woods and I’m not gonna lie, I could have fallen off several cliffs. That is just the way of it when you’re friends with Mantamy. You learn to go with the flow. And to make sure your life insurance is current.

Leaving was a low, but after four days of us and one stopped up toilet, they seemed okay with the idea.

Our next stop was Mantanomah Falls.

It was another HIGH. Even though it was dark and rainy by the time we made it there, we were thrilled to see it. My time with Mantamy must have rubbed off on me because I stood on that tiny bridge and didn’t think about how we could fall to our deaths once.

What followed was a definite low. I found a campsite at a park just three miles away but when we got there it was CLOSED. As in, the whole road was barricaded. I found another site, this time an RV park, but it was full. Third time’s the charm, so I found a park about 17 miles away. It was a dark and rainy, corkscrew drive for 17 miles, only to find the park FULL. JD was super happy, as you can imagine. After we drove 17 miles back to the main road, I found yet another park just 6 miles down the road and lo, a space was open. Let the record show that I TOLD my husband to check-in with the campsite monitor and he decided he’d wait for morning. That’s why we were awakened at 7:30 and kicked out. Apparently, not only were we not supposed to just pull in and hook up, but we also had expired tags. Yes, we had driven across the US illegally. Sigh. Well, you can’t think of everything, amiright, Kittens? At least we learned to unhook everything in under four minutes, also known as how long it would take the police to arrive.

After that LOW, we were ready for some highs. Luckily, we were driving down the Oregon coast and it is beautiful.

It put us in a much better mood. We drove down US 101 enjoying the scenery, and then took the Avenue of the Giants and marveled at the large sequoias.

Tonight, we’re just past Sacremento, enjoying a nice dinner of chips, while our neighbor watches a football game on his outdoor RV television, (show-offs).  We may get kicked out before sunrise, but this trip has taught us to savor the highs while they last. And I mean that in the general sense, not the California dispensary way.


For Such A Time as These Amenities

One thing traveling has taught me is that the Lord really knew what he was doing when he had me be born in this time. I kept staring out the window at the scenery as we drove across South Dakota and trying to imagine doing it by covered wagon, or living in a log cabin without central heat and air, or being a pioneer woman canning food for the winter. Nope. I would have eaten my own toes by November. I was meant for the easy life.

I got the same feeling when we toured Mt. Rushmore.

Can you imagine something like this happening today? We’d have congressional hearings for a decade just to decide which President got to be in front.

The museum said that 400 workers helped create the memorial and that they worked 14 years and had to walk up 700 steps to get to the top. I got tired walking to the gift shop.

After our history lesson, we decided to visit another iconic place – Devil’s Tower.

You may remember the movie? It was too scary for me to watch, but I remember the mashed potato scene.


We did not see any aliens, although people in RV parks might be confused for some, present company INCLUDED. We opted to stay at a KOA at the base of the tower and it was perfect.

Except for the rain and the fog and the other camper, we had a great view!

Tomorrow, more from the road. And by road, I mean another campground with heat, electricity, water, laundry services, and hot showers.


Day Three – What We’ve Learned So Far

We are adjusting to life on the road in a big way. I’ve already learned how to wash dishes in cold water, how to sleep in a full-size bed with a full-size man and dog, and how to use the toilet in a bathroom the size of a broom closet while swaying back and forth down the interstate. We will be pros by the time we get back.

JD has learned that stealing WIFI is not as easy as it looks.


He also found out that our RV gets between 6 and 10 miles per gallon which, according to him, is not a lot. Teen Tyre and I explained that it’s all about the SMILES per gallon. He took that about as well as you probably imagine.

Teen Tyre has learned that her parents know very little about RV life. Or about anything actually, and seems to find that HYSTERICAL.


Teen Tyre is at her best when traveling. Maybe it has something to do with A) If she gets an attitude we can leave her a verrry long way from home, and B) She gets to lay around and not do schoolwork – a teenager’s dream!

BC has learned that he LOVES camping, but he HATES the drive between campgrounds. Perhaps it’s because the whole RV sounds like it’s coming apart as we drive, but he will stand at the front between the bucket seats for HOURS and just stare back into the RV.

Tomorrow we head further into the great wild. Who knows what we’ll learn?? Maybe even something useful like how to turn on our heater so Teen Tyre can stop sleeping in a hat and two pairs of socks.


RV Rescue Unit

Yesterday’s blowout put us a day behind and cost us a bunch of money in tires, but it wasn’t a total waste – we saved a life!

The day before we left, a stray kitten wandered onto our property. We gave it a can of salmon, which everyone knows is how you get rid of a cat, and went to bed. Surprisingly, it was still there the next day. We tried to catch the kitten, but it refused to hang out this us, so we bid it adieu. I was worried that it would starve while we were gone or get eaten by a coyote, but what could we do??

Once the blowout sent us back home, Teen Tyre and I knew that we’d been given a second chance. While she befriended the cat with more food and cat toys, I went and bought a kitty carrier.


On the one hand, we betrayed its trust by snatching it and shoving it into a cage. On the other hand, it is now set for life.

JD LOVES cats and he was thrilled with the idea of driving with one for several hours, but what could we do??  Since my mom has never met a stray that she wouldn’t take in and our trip was going right by her house, it was only natural that we would show up, shove it out the door, and keep on trucking.

By the time we got the tires, the kitten and my mom squared away, we were too tired to drive far. We decided to test our RV skills for the first time at Percy Priest Lake. Also, to test our marriage.

By the time we got to the campground, it was pitch black and raining, and we needed to back into the site. Guess who got to stand out in the rain to help make sure we didn’t hit a tree or the next door camper? I’m sure they enjoyed hearing JD yell, “I can’t see you in the mirror!” and me politely tell him, “I CAN”T SEE YOU OR YOUR MIRROR.”

All’s well that ends well and we somehow managed to set up without killing anyone or each other.

I’m going to call day two of the Most Epic Road Trip EVAH a success. At least for us. I’m not sure how the kitten, my mom, or the other campers at Percy Priest Lake feel, but what can we do??

Road Life

And so it begins. You know my friend, Mantamy? She’s the one that convinced a non-flyer/non-traveler to go to India, and almost got me eaten by a shark. At this point, I’m not sure why I even let her speak in my presence, but a few months ago she said,

You know what you should do? You should rent an RV and drive out to see us – in Seattle!

I just laughed. Do you know how expensive it would be to RENT an RV? Instead, we BOUGHT an RV.


This is Millie Falcon. It’s short for Millenium Falcon, which is what JD and Teen Tyre say is a really, top-notch famous spaceship. Since this is obviously a top-of-the-line RV, it fit.

The interior came standard in Pink Velour, but we decided to upgrade her a bit. We had the interior painted and then recovered every surface that we could find.



Once that was done, we were ready to pack her and hit the road. By pack her, I mean go to WalMart and Target 172 times and buy everything they stock because it’s like having a second fricking house except there’s no closets or storage. If you’re looking for bins in the Atlanta area, you’re out of luck.

Finally, it was time to get underway. YAY!

We made it ten minutes before having a blowout.

After searching for a while we finally found a WalMart that could put the spare on for us, then we headed back home to regroup. Tomorrow, we’re heading out on the road for the MOST EPIC ROAD TRIP EVAH, part two, this time with four brand new tires.

Teen Tyre is finding the whole adventure super fun as you can probably tell.



Freeda Tyre, 2000-2017


Freeda “Freed Her” Tyre, a life-long resident of Acworth, died Friday, the 3rd of March, in the arms of her two-legged parents.

Born in 2000, she was originally adopted by a pair of nefarious renters who weren’t worthy of touching her tail. She was freed from her captors in 2001, (hence the name FREEDA), and never looked back. She spent most of her time on the bed barking at those who dared enter her territory, i.e. the driver of that small white truck who brought envelopes every day, or sitting under the table barking at squirrels who are lucky she was behind a window.

She loved visiting her cousins on the mountain in Tennessee, walking the beach in St. Simons, eating popcorn by the handfuls, snuggling between her parents on the bed, and watching the antics of her two-legged sister.

She was sweet-natured, but fiercely protective of her family when the need arose.

She was loved, and she will be missed immensely.

Freeda will be buried with her sister, Gitzo, in the family cemetery on Wednesday, March 8th, in Tennessee.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.

Luke 12:6

Getting On Up There

I had a birthday last week and it wasn’t one of the good ones. 13 is special because you’re now a teen. 16, you get a license. 18 you can vote and officially call yourself an adult. At 21, you can drink. Why do they make all of the good stuff in the early part of your life? At 30, 40, 50, etc. you get nothing. I think at 30 you should get to pay 1% less taxes. At 40, everyone should get one free appetizer with dinner. Getting to fly first class when you hit 50 would really take the sting out of the birthday, amiright Kittens?

Despite the fact that I still have to fly economy, my birthday was pretty good. I sat at home on my couch and worked, watched the US Open, did a bit of writing, then took MoonPie out to eat at O’Charleys. So basically like my regular days with more tennis. JD and Moon gave me a gift card to Ann Taylor Loft and I picked up a few things:



Like this tweed skirt.


And THIS skirt.


And this cute, speckled sweater. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the black, leather Olivia Newton John pants cause I could TOTALLY rock them.

John Travolta and Olivia Newton John


That I have the dance moves for them goes without saying.




The Big Easy












Team Tyre had a quick trip to New Orleans this weekend and it was a blast. JD and I hadn’t been there since our honeymoon 19 years ago.

Our first stop was Acme Oysters which was a favorite on that trip. It was just as delicious as I remembered. And also 4x as expensive. Or maybe it was that we were now feeding THREE.



The trip was perfect timing. It was the 10 year anniversary of Katrina, so we got to include some history in the mix, and Moonpie has signed up for a photography class and there’s no better place to try out a new camera.

I would show you some of her photos but she guards them like she’s the High Museum of Art.


Bourbon Street at 5 o’clock is worse than New York City at midnight. This town parties all day and night. Moon and I got up early (8 a.m.) and walked around the city so she could take some “golden hour” shots. There were bars going strong with folks from the night before.

Our hotel was very nice, but each night, rambunctious party goers decided to hold a pow-wow in front of our door. Some old lady actually called the desk and had them send up security. It was 1:30 in the MORNING for goodness sake.

Things we did – went to Cafe Du Monde, ate shrimp, crawfish, oysters, and every other kind of seafood under the sun, attended a swanky art opening, rode the trolley, went to a very old cemetery, listened to jazz, saw some women of questionable repute, went to a trade show, and ate bread pudding, fried oreos, and everything else you can think of.

Things we didn’t do – show any restraint what-so-ever.




And I mean NO restraint. New Orleans doesn’t call for any, amiright?






Beach Babe

Hi Kittens! I’m fresh off the beach and trust me, I look like it. Twenty years ago that would have meant that my hair was streaked blonde and I was rocking a deep tan. Now I just look sunburnt and worn out. I’d post a picture but I didn’t take any. Plus, I don’t trust you people with my image.

Camping is something I do once a year to remind myself that my parents were saints. Or insane, whichever.

FullSizeRender (3)


Of course, my parents had a huge camper with air conditioning and I had a hot tent with last year’s dirt on the floor.

FullSizeRender (4)


It didn’t seem to faze the kids.

FullSizeRender (5)

If you peer really closely you can see the kids swimming to the dock. Because I’m very responsible, all of them are wearing life jackets. This is just moments before the marina police drove up and told them to get away from the dock. Fascists.

After two days of dragging the kids behind the boat, we piled the kids in the car and drove eight hours to North Carolina. It was worth the long trip. Our friends fed us like kings, then took us via ferry to Shackleford Banks, an island with wild horses and lots of conch shells.



The kids were out of the water for about ten minutes all day. On Sunday we said our goodbyes and made the trip back home. I am still recovering. I’m at the age where sleeping on a blowup bed and driving in a car constitutes hard living.

Speaking of hard living: You know what’s harder than dieting? Dieting while at the lake and vacationing with friends. I ate hamburgers without buns, chicken without bbq sauce, and no s’mores. My 30 days is up tomorrow and if I haven’t lost weight, prepare yourself for the sonic boom of my head exploding.