Archive for September, 2012

Here I Am

{I actually wrote this yesterday, but couldn’t get enough of a connection to post it…….}

Here I am again. I had planned to take the day off, but while signing in to like another blog I read, it dumped me into my dashboard. *sigh* I think it has the most issue with sites that have their own url.

Let’s see……. where were we……………. Yesterday I didn’t make it to town. Hunny now doesn’t want the boots because he doesn’t think we have space. I had gotten a shoe tote for outside, which I reminded him. I’m not sure he’s entirely convinced. I think I’ll hold off on that for a few more days.

It’s going to be a busy weekend. He’s got a closet repair to make, which, in theory, will give us more critical space for the kids’ stuff. And we need to take a look at more permanent storage solutions and see what we can do to additionally utilize the little bit of space we do have left. I may be using the back of my truck for storage, and then just emptying things out when we go shopping in the big town.

And, we need to get things more settled for our little satellite tv thingy. 😀 He needs a gizmo for the widget so we don’t have to drag it across the street to get a good signal. 😆 More on that later. {I had to drive to get it; nearly to Virginia. Had it been a little earlier in the day and a little more time to map it, I would have driven across the border just so we could say we’ve been there. My one sister had taught school in a town in Va that is, according to my parents, about 30 minutes from us.}

Anyhow. Today looks like more laundry, a run, and a trip into the little town to get something for dinner. I am totally not loving the limited food space. I’m thinking of doing a smaller Sam’s run and then just packing smaller portions and freezing the meats for individual smaller meals. It’s a totally different way of thinking, particularly since the oven in RVs is generally wee tiny, which means a likelihood of doing things in smaller batches. I suppose the kids could eat earlier………

{Because life is a soundtrack,} I leave you with Bryan Adams singing {yep, you guessed it :lol:} Here I Am. 😀


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On Deck

A task a day keeps the boredom away…………. or so I’ve heard whispered through the grapevine. 😆  Aren’t you so glad I’m keeping you in the loop? 😀

Yesterday went well, overall. I am learning the nuances of my nav system, and I’ve come to realize that it’s unavoidable to make some wrong turns because of her directions. C’est la vie; que sera, sera, and all that jazz.

We managed to get to Sam’s Club, then on our way to Wal-Mart, we stopped at TJ Max. One of my quests was to find Hunny a Hawaiian shirt. Strange, but true. Apparently management here tries to lighten the atmosphere by having regular Hawaiian Shirt Fridays. The kids think it would be fun to add Cross-Dressing Tuesdays, but I’m pretty sure that would cross the line. 😉

Not to be left out, it was imperative I find him some shirts- which I actually did, I’m glad to say. 😆 So, that’s one thing I can check off the list.

I know I’m unusual, but one of the things I really enjoy doing is checking out local grocery stores to see what is popular in that area. At the local grocery, we saw some kind of speckled meat something and the ingredients, were, um interesting, to say the least.

As far as I can tell, it most resembled head cheese, but it was more processed and way more spiced than what’s in the picture. On the list of ingredients were things like pig tongue, hooves, skin (if I recall) and all other kinds of parts I would never think to eat. I might be inclined to take a picture with phone but that will have to wait until I go back to that store.

So here’s what I learned about our two usual haunts:

    • Sam’s Club is reversed of ours. {This is really no big deal, because the one we used to go to all the time in Texas was reversed, too. It’s just a point of interest.}
      • And, it has snow shovels. I find this intriguing, because this area doesn’t really get snow overall, but apparently, they are prepared. This is good to know, because our snow shovel from Colorado {as in, when we lived there 17 years ago} expired not too long ago, and I had been unable to find a new one.
    • Wal-Mart is different. While the layout is basically the same, there are some differences in the food section.
      • I nearly fainted when I saw the tortillas. Because Spanish-speaking was a requirement {although Hunny doesn’t speak Spanish and apparently, is not the dominant language out here- for example, one of his utility guys is Hungarian} because there is a large segment of the population that is, I was not expecting there to be a whole lot of difference in food selection.

Well gee. I was way off base. Apparently, they don’t eat many large tortillas, and flour tortillas overall are nearly non-existent, unless you have no problem paying $2.50 for 10. Yes, my NMican friends, you are reading that right. What I paid was cheap for the family pack- I’m thinking it was $3 something for a ton {I think there were like 40 in there} and the price wasn’t oppressive.

For anyone who doesn’t know, 10 tortillas would maybe last us one meal. Just doing breakfast burritos at 2 a piece, that’s still a dozen. I had a moment of “I wish my tortilla press was the large size” because I’d have no issue with making them myself. But, alas, the tortilla press is small and it’s packed {which means it’s great for corn tortillas, but flour not so much}.

Plus, we regularly consume tortillas for lunch and snacks. Humph.

I will have to hunt for other tortilla opportunities.

  • You can get fried okra in the deli.

YES!!! 😆 You’d be so proud of me- I held off the okra, knowing we were doing dinner at Cracker Barrel. So yay. Add that to the list of yummies.

I have no idea how they taste re-heated, but I’m sure we’ll find out because any not eaten on the way home will no doubt be cold by the time we get here.

  • Krispy Kreme doughnuts are sold at Wal-Mart.

While you’re picking your jaw up off the floor so you can begin dancing with glee, I’ll confess this doesn’t actually mean diddle to us.

Nope. We don’t actually like Krispy Kreme doughnuts, I’m sorry to say. Maybe it’s because we didn’t have one locally and therefore only ever had day-old doughnuts, but they were too heavy and there was just something about the taste that was off-putting for us.

Or maybe it’s because we’re strange. Take your pick. 😆

I’m sure there are other differences I’ll write about in the future, but I’m trying not to overwhelm you today. 😆 😀

Sadly, we did end up buying eggs- boring, bland ‘ole white ones. My oldest dd went digging through the cage free and free-range egg cartons looking for green or blue eggs, but was duly disappointed when there were none to be seen. Honestly, we are dreading eating these eggs.

So. What’s on the agenda today?

  • TV- call and acquire it asap
  • A  run if I can drag my bones out of bed
  • Another trip to Sam’s Club for hiking boots for Hunny, who liked the ones I got for the oldest so well that he now wants a pair, since we’re getting soaked in our tennis shoes
  • Probably a trip to Shoe Carnival because dd#1 needs a pair of tennis and Wal-Mart here had absolutely *nothing,* which was outright shocking. I got her a pair of running shoes that she can’t complain about, but until she gets a pair of tennies to beat around in, I am pretty sure the nag button will continue to be pressed.
  • A nap. 😀

Indeed, the adventures never end! 😆

Somehow, and I’m not quite sure why {except it’s probably the spotty internet connection}, I seem to be leaning more toward the bored side of the scale. I’m pretty sure much of this stems from close quarters and the lack of chicken tv. That means I’ll probably be writing more. 😀

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Off We Go

Ugh. Today’s the day.

I have put it off as long as I can, and I am not looking forward to it.

At. All.

Yes, dear friends, today is the day I do the despicable; today I venture into the unknown.

Today is the day I trek into town and find the local Walmart and Sam’s Club {really, don’t laugh- it’s unavoidable}.

Today is the day I officially mourn my lack of ability to get 16+ gallons of milk in one shot.

While I have found the camp store to be a huge help when we run out of bread only to discover some in a tote under the bed, today is the day that I get back to buy more than onsies twosies of bread. So, it’s not all bad.

While Hunny gave me the tour after we located them in the nav system, it’s not quite the same as going out into the wild and fending for yourself. 😀

Wally World is a must because J, my oldest daughter, has decided she would like to try running with me again, so she’ll  I’ll need to buy {her} shoes. The last time we tried this, she decided the shoes were too heavy, so I’m not going to drop serious $$$ on shoes only to have her quit after 2 weeks.

And all this adventure needs to happen this morning, as my parents are here for a quick visit late afternoon. Apparently, my brother’s symphony has a concert that they had planned to come down to, and we’re a few hours away.

So yay me {Not!} I get to go shopping, my favorite activity in the whole wide world. [/sarcasm]

Because life is a soundtrack, I’ll leave you with the song running through my head, as I prepare to battle on the streets of this fine municipality:


In the event you’re feeling like I’m partial, here’s another offering:


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Well ok. Not really. But it sure feels like I am.

Go get some cheese, ‘cause I’m bringing the whine. 😆

I’m paying $30 a month PER DEVICE for internet. Right now, we’ve got 3 devices. As soon as my son gets the parts to fix his laptop, it’ll be 4. And that’s not counting my Kindle, which I’m too cheap to pay for, and still too lazy to download to my computer because it’s just going to be a royal pain given the download rate. For crying out loud, I can’t get anything to stream for any length of time.

This is not endearing satellite internet to me even remotely. I have no idea why it’s so crappy, except to say it’s a shared signal at a campground. Seeing as it’s still relatively early, and there are not a lot of people here, one would think it wouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Well, it is. And I am trying not to get really annoyed. If it was free, I wouldn’t be complaining. Even if it was $10 a month, I wouldn’t be so ticked off. But this is enough of a pain in the rear that I’m not keen on even using it, and I’m paying through the nose! *Sigh*

I know I’m picky. I admit it. But there is something to be said for paying for a service and actually getting something for it.

In addition to the nearly non-existent download rate, I am having a royally rotten time of even getting to WordPress. I can’t log in 99% of the time. You may have noticed that I’m not liking and commenting as I usually do. Well, you can totally blame the satellite internet/WP combo for that.

I have literally been running in circles, fighting myself. Seems WP somehow doesn’t recognize me, and it’s always timing out my log-in attempts (because somehow it won’t cache me, either), except it may not be WP; more like it’s the satellite connection timing out. I can do some on my phone, but I’m not loving that, either, because it seems to have a mind of its own much of the time when it comes to words, even when I type the whole thing out. Yes, I could turn off the auto complete, but then I lose the spell check.

There is no clear answer here.

What has been made clear is that this is as good as it’s going to get until the house sells and we’re in the next one.

We went and scoped out the other campgrounds yesterday. The one with free wi-fi and cable is nice, if you like a parking lot. It’s got good buildings, but it’s not geared towards kids. Anyone under 14 is required to be accompanied at all times (including riding bikes, it seems). Not to mention- there is zero shade, no grass, no real playground, and did I mention it’s a parking lot? I have no idea where I would park.

The killer though, was the laundry price. It’s twice what I’m paying, per load. Now, while that may not seem like much, when you have 4 kids and are doing laundry a lot, it starts to add up. Combined with the additional gas because it’s at least 15 minutes further, it really will add up quickly and more or less negate the arm and leg it costs for dismal internet here.

The second place we checked out was in the city we anticipated settling in. Well. Not only are we not going to get set up there because of distance, I am very sure we’re not even going to consider living there, unless we can’t find something here. It’s just too darn far away!

Hunny would be looking at least a 30 minute commute one way, in traffic, which could vary his travel time considerably from day-to-day. It would also completely eliminate the option for him to come home for lunch if he could.

What’s interesting to me is that many people out there live in that town and don’t think a thing of commuting that distance. In fact, one of his managers drives 45 minutes one way and doesn’t think a thing of it. It’s just a mindset I don’t really understand. Maybe it’s a school thing-maybe his kids are in a good school or started out somewhere and he changed jobs. I don’t really know.

What I do know is that I’m only concerned with schools as a point of resale. And I have no intention of being that far away unless I can’t help it.

Hunny is getting rid of his motorcycle, and I completely see why. The roads and highways are busy- so much so that riding won’t be enjoyable in the least, and dangerous, so there’s really no point in hanging onto it.

What’s also interesting to me is that people are not interested in living in the country; particularly in the smaller towns. While on the one hand that’s good for me- less competition for houses out in the country, that also means inventory is really low and really not much to choose from. Did I mention that we’re kind of picky and have specific needs with a house? *sigh*

And yet, despite all these little things, I know this is where we’re supposed to be, and I’m standing on the promise of what’s waiting at the end of this part of the change.

So. If you don’t see me commenting or liking, don’t think I’m gone. Just try to keep in mind I’m fighting with myself and doing what I can with what I’ve got. And that it’s temporary {God willing}.

In the meantime, if you’re inclined to pray for a solid, quick sale, or if you know of anyone in that area that’s looking, please keep us in mind. We’d appreciate it! 😀

Because life is a soundtrack, this is what came to mind this morning: Fighting With Myself; The Invisible


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I’m Missing ‘Em

{I’ll tell ya- I’m getting sick of writing entire posts and them not saving but a letter each time…….. maybe tomorrow I’ll remember to use something else first so I’m not as frustrated……….}

We’ve done longer stints in the RV than this. Don’t get me wrong- I am not complaining, per say. I know we are blessed beyond measure to have the option of being together during this transition.  In the past, we have even seriously considered full-timing.

I will say, though, that everything is different when you are living compared to being on vacation. It’s hard to look at something as a total adventure when there is no actual end in sight.

There are things I’m starting to miss, though, since we are getting back into the grind of daily living……………

I’m missing my full sized bathroom. Yes, there is the campground bathroom, but it’s not quite the same as having your own full sized bathroom and child-free space since they had their own in the big house.

I’m missing my alone time. Since Hunny is now only home early morning and evening, I’m not even getting much time with him alone, especially since the oldest has decided to start getting up with us at 5:30 am. *sigh*

We used up the last of the real eggs yesterday- I’m really missing my girlies. Actually, all of us girls are missing them and dreaming about them. 😦

The one thing I am really, really missing? If you’ve been reading along, you’ll no doubt remember how much I despise shopping of any kind. {clothes shopping is an absolute hate; followed closely by food shopping.} When I fell in love, I fell hard.

There is something cathartic about buying 16+ gallons of milk and knowing you won’t have to do it again for 2 weeks.

Now, though, I’ve gone in reverse. We can keep a maximum of 3 gallons total in this fridge, which means I have to go to the store every other day just to get milk. I hate that. I’m missing my big fridge, and the extra one in the garage.

While the queen size bed here is good, I am missing my comfy, big, King sized bed. I know. I’m such a spoiled whiner. 🙂

At this point, I am even missing my washing machine and dryer. It’s about $12 to do laundry here, for a few loads (and a buck a load is pretty cheap, but that’s about one load per person), and we’ll have to wash about 2xs a week.

I miss TV, too. When I was researching campgrounds, I was disappointed to find slim pickins’. There are 3 available. One is not the best place for extended stays, but has wi-fi and cable, I think. The second one is new; no trees; all concrete (which we don’t particularly like); is more geared for adults than for kids; has a bit of a cheaper rate and has cable and wi-fi- but it’s something like 45 minutes from the plant. That means no chance of Hunny coming home for lunch if he’s able.

The one we’re at is closer- 9 miles away and is nice. It’s clean, the laundry is cheap; the people are very nice {I’ve got my mail forwarded here, even}. But. It’s higher priced; wi-fi is paid at $30 a month PER DEVICE and there’s no TV. Because our rig has just an antennae and we got it before TV went digital, we don’t have a converter. We’re looking into that.

The decision to land here was based mostly on location. But shoot. The kids are bored out of their minds, especially without wi-fi. We’re going to check out the other options, because this is not going to work long term unless we want to shell out major $$$$ for wi-fi, which, of course, we don’t.  There is no clear answer here.

Initially, we figured we’d use our phones to make hot spots, but apparently, they didn’t actually activate that on our plan like we asked them to. Hunny researched it and it looks like it can really mess up the billing with the plan. So, that is a source of frustration.

But really. I am not complaining. I’m just missing the things that made our daily lives comfy, is all. Even our regular activities, like our weekly bible study are off limits- the closest one here is about an hour away from where we are. If we buy a house in the area we were thinking of, it will be a bit closer, but not much.

Hunny doesn’t want the worry of me on the road right now, until we get more settled and more familiar with the area. I can’t say I blame him, but the one class has a homeschooling class, too, which would be nice for the kids.

That, quite honestly, is a BIG miss for me. I spent 8 years with that group of ladies; including 5 years with same basic group core group of leaders and teachers, and it really feels like I’m missing my ‘tribe.’ The things that normally grounded us all- are gone. Yes, we’ll make new “norms,” but until we sell the house and get moved into the next one, it’s going to be hard not to be reminded of what’s missing, mostly because it’s really difficult to make “normal” out of “limbo.”

I’m making a point of reminding myself daily- ok, it’s really moment to moment :lol:- to keep my eye on the prize. I’m trying really to visualize the end result we know is coming- and remind myself of how good it’s going to be.

In the meantime, I need to throw my concept of ‘normal’ and ‘preferred’ out the window, because nothing is normal right now; preferences don’t really matter because accommodation has to be made. There is no point in whining or being unhappy.

Now, if I could just get the kids to go along with that plan, things would be looking up considerably. 😆 In the meantime, I’ll try not to dwell on what I’m missing……………….. 😀

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*sigh* I assume it’s because I’m using a satellite connection that I had this all written out and only a single word got saved. Since I have nothing better to do, apparently, I’ll attempt to reconstruct the entire thing………………

It was late when we pulled into the park. Pitch black, actually. And the security gate was firmly down. While Hunny was getting annoyed because he was tired, I was pretty sure our packet was waiting for us outside the office.

I was really relieved as I spotted it. I gave it to him, telling him the code was in there somewhere. He finally found it, and off we went, in the absolute dark, in a strange park, to find our site.

We finally found it about 20 minutes later, only to discover they had drawn our approach into the site backwards. Now, some people may not care about this. But when we have utilities to connect, {like sewer, for example}, stuff like this pretty important.

He flipped a u-ey and drove all the way back around the park while I stayed put and illuminated the site. Even though we are well prepared to unhitch at night, we decided the night before that having another vehicle gave better light that our massive flashlights and hitch lights.

We ran out of stack-its trying to get level, which we never did. Hunny decided he would find a different level site in the morning.

To say we were exhausted was an understatement. The early part of the day was spent in the torrential rain; the last bit to get out of Jackson took us well over 20 minutes to go 2 miles, due to heavy traffic and construction squeezing it into a single lane.

Let me tell you- if people weren’t so greedy and rude, thinking they could pass everyone in the merging lane only to end up sitting because others won’t let them in- traffic would never get to a stand-still like that, as semis try to force people out of their way. Just sayin’.

We were tired and annoyed by the time we got there only to drive aimlessly in the dark because sites and roads were not clearly marked and THEN to have to turn around because they drove us in backwards- well, we were a bit grumpy.

I don’t recall in recent memory *ever* being so glad to stay put a day. Normally, I want to go and get there and get it over with. But I was so, so glad we had a day off the road to rest.

When we travel, I try to keep us under 500 miles a day towing, and then give rest days if we have some back-to-back long days. The only time we’ll consistently go over is if it’s a straight shot and we know the roads, like to our one spot in Texas (another Yogi). We were really ready for a break after having two days of close to 500 miles. And it didn’t help that we were losing time, either, because even though we were still on Mountain time, the other states weren’t.

One of *the best things* about this whole trip was taking a break that day; in this location.

We had been working the kids hard. And I do mean HARD.

Originally, we had planned on leaving on Monday. Then it got pushed to Tuesday. Sunday night, for example, I had planned a quick re-grout of the kitchen. Turns out, Hunny’s way with the grinder was waaaaay faster than mine; but we blew grout dust all over. He got a good roll on just after 8 pm. This, of course, resulted in a few broken tile. Guess what I was doing at 11 pm? Yep. Sticking tile so I could grout the next day.

At some point, we realized we’d never actually leave if we attempted to get everything done on the list. Fortunately, we had someone coming to help once we were gone, and my in-laws totally stepped in the gap for us. I am pretty sure we’d still be there if they hadn’t been willing to help.

After I sent everyone to bed late that night, it was around 12 am when I realized the hanging work light in the attic was still on. So, I got the oldest out of bed so he could go up and turn it off, since I had no intention of crashing through the attic floor. We were back at it by 7 ish the next morning.

As part of my OCD bedtime ritual, I walk the house and make sure the doors are locked; the windows are all actually shut {I do have kids, after all :lol:} and the freezer in the garage is closed because if it doesn’t close all the way- well, you can imagine what happens.

You can probably also imagine me trying not to cry at 12:30 am the night before we were actually leaving when I saw the puddle of blood on the garage floor. It was too late.

My choice was- leave it or clean it, all the while hoping some my side of beef was salvageable, since it was pretty new. We were not that lucky. We hadn’t packed the meats yet, and while we managed to save some hamburger and some roasts; everything else was pretty much soup.

In the end, I decided I needed to clean up then, because I knew I’d have a frozen sheet of blood puddle in the bottom of my freezer, and I’m pretty sure that’s not a date-worthy project. Plus, if melty ice cream was an indication, I really didn’t want to deal with the blood dripping down the sides once it froze.


I probably would have cried if I hadn’t been too exhausted. If I’d had the time, I would have cooked it all up the next few days. But I didn’t, so it got pitched. 😥

To say we all needed a break is really kind of an understatement. To sweeten the deal, a friend lived 20 miles away and brought her kids to play. It was hard to believe that after knowing and working together online for about 10 years that we had never actually met in person. We had a great time!

If you’ve done a lot of travelling, you’ll know that there are always things that happen. Most of that is the beating vehicles (like RVs, for example) take on the road. All in all, we’ve come out ok, with no more bruises than we expected. We’ve got a bunk house closet fix to deal with, and that’s about it.

Hunny had decided he was just going to level us more on the site we were at. He didn’t get very far. Turns out, he boiled his battery out, which meant 18 miles to get a new one. Thank goodness we had planned on taking the day off!

So. Now that I’ve rambled on and on, it’s time to wake up and see some pictures. Yay! 😆

Yogi on the Lake Jellystone Campground Park Resort, Pelahatchie, Mississppi: splash pad, pool, playground, tennis, activity center, putt-putt golf, cabins, rv and tent sites- all of which we basically had to ourselves. one of the best things about homeschooling is once the other kids go back to jail you pretty well have most places to yourself, unless you meet up with other homeschoolers. 😆

Splash Pad

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The End Of The Road

Yep. It’s the end of the road for this part of the adventure.

We rolled in early Sunday evening, and we were all SO glad to get off the road. It seemed like the entire drive that day was a battle. I hadn’t been sleeping well, and I think the exhaustion of the last few weeks caught up with me. While we did see a few accidents, we weren’t involved in any ourselves, so it all ended well.

We had torrential rain day 2, which started in Weatherford, Tx, and continued through Ft. Worth and on through Dallas. I forget where we were, but the first oops we came across was a semi that had hyroplaned; jackknifed into the steel girders in the median and was blowing diesel onto the ground. That happened literally right in front of us, and by the time we inched forward to get around it, there was a single state trooper on site and the ambulance was headed to it from the opposite direction. We saw what we thought was the driver out of the rig, but with the ambulance coming, we weren’t sure. We were really glad to have gotten around it before it exploded, though.

Day 2 was our long day at 489 miles. That meant we pulled into a pitch black campground after 9 pm, which made for some cranky site-finding and leveling because we were driving around in the total darkness for a while just trying to find our site. I’ll write-up on the campground later, because it was *beautiful* and I’m so, SO glad we stopped for a day.

I’ve spent the entire day today sorting out internet and trying to get caught up on stuff. One of the more pressing issues is getting registered for homeschooling, which requires a printer (which I don’t have) and a fax (which I also don’t have). 

The primary reason for this is the 16 year old. I didn’t get him into driver’s ed before we left because there was a decent chance they wouldn’t honor anything, and we’d have to start all over here anyhow. Plus, it’s only been 3 weeks since we accepted the job,  which was not enough time to do anything with anyhow as far as taking the class, etc. In order to get him into driver’s ed here, we have to have him registered for homeschooling. Plus, he wants to get a job soon, but we need to have him on some kind of books here for doing that. *sigh*

So far, we are loving it here. I will say, though- we are hoping the bugs die during the winter, because we are blowing through the anti-itch cream. Hunny starts work tomorrow, and I’m hoping he’ll get his email account all set up and everything so we can get the schooling deal taken care of.

I’ve gotten the mail rearranged so it comes to the campground. In theory. 😀 Our mailman drives by us every day, so I’m going to try to stop him tomorrow and see if he can drop our mail off to our site so we don’t have to clutter up the office.

I had planned to unpack my truck today, but it’s been raining off and on, and I figure it’ll give me something to do tomorrow. I am really itching to get unpacked and get running again. 😀

So. There you have it. 1771+ miles; 8 states and 3 time zones. 2 parents, 4 kids, 2 dogs and a cat- living in the RV until the house sells.

Nah. Nothing going on here!  😆

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