I Named Her ‘Gypsy’, Prowler Reno, Pt. 3

gypsy clipart

Isn’t the above picture sweet?  I collect camper porn now on pinterest.com.  It’s a thing.

Also, a couple years ago, I bought THESE pajamas which I named my “Happy Camper Pajamas”…(You should remember this pattern…it may become very important in the reno.  Just sayin’).

happy camper pajamas

And this is what I actually look like when I put them on…

happy camper pajamas2

But I digress…

As promised, I took the “before” pics today.  If you missed the first two installments of my series on renovating my vintage 1976 Prowler RV camper, then you can see them here and here.

The man I bought the trailer from had wanted to gut the trailer and renovate it himself.  He only owned it about a month, he said, and only worked on it one or two times.  All he did was begin the demo process before he decided that he didn’t have the time to do the renovation himself and decided to sell it.

Now, it is yet to be seen if I am crazy or just a little unwell myself.  It probably depends on who you ask…

Anyway, the previous owner did a good job of saving everything for the trailer.  The stove, the refrigerator, the heater, etc. reportedly all work.  We haven’t tested this ourselves yet, but I’m going to believe it for now.  He saved the hubcaps and all the pieces he took out.

There is even the original cushions…wouldn’t want to miss out on that beautiful pattern!!

Why was the color of bodily fluids a popular color scheme in 1976?  Makes me wonder…



 Why was the color of bodily fluids a popular color scheme in 1976?  Makes me wonder…

Anyway, if you look closely (to what may look like rubble  to the naked eye), you may see a stove/oven, hubcaps, a dining table and lots of other stuff that will be taken out and saved for later.


The stove/oven and exhaust fan is a burgundy color…and it looks like it has never been used on the inside!  Score!


Double sink and hubcaps and lots of other odds and ends have been saved and can be reused!

But then again…a lot will go.  All the paneling and non-wood wood cabinets and walls will go.  We will take it down to the studs and the outer metal skim and start from there.


The bathroom will be completely taken out.  Neither sweet hubby nor I want to learn the steps to “empty the black water”.  (That is a camping term for those in the know.  For those not in the know, black water = poo and pee water).

We are both life-long-learners, but there are things we are willing to go our whole lives without knowing, and black water emptying seems to be one we can both heartily agree on.


This is our bedroom.  This is where the previous owner already started to gut the camper and he even gave us all the chip board that he had already purchased!  (standing in left of picture).  If you look closely, you can see that there are some rotten boards down there that need to be replaced. All the windows work and none are broken!  That’s a win!


And here is the kitchen area.  We will use this as a template to build our own…probably.

But my sweet hubby said I can’t start on it until he makes a pad for it in the backyard where it will be parked during the reno.  And he has to do that before the neighbors report us.  If you’ve ever seen Breaking Bad, you know what I’m worried about…



And she followed me home! Prowler Reno, pt. 2


it followd


On Sunday, my sweet hubby and I made the trip to go pick up my trailer!  If you missed part 1 of my new series where I explain WHY IN THE WORLD I bought a vintage trailer, you can read that here.

This is my excited face when I realized she was actually FOLLOWING ME HOME!!  She wanted to be mine just as much as I wanted her!  Woot!

(Insert my sweet hubby’s unexcited face here.  But I’ll just leave that up to your imagination, cause he really is a long suffering man who doesn’t need his unexcited face splashed all over the Interwebs!)

First I need to disclose that both my sweet hubby and myself are complete novices in the hitching and unhitching a trailer concept.  Seems like it should be straightforward, but no. And unhitching the trailer is even harder than hitching it, BTW!  It’s actually faster to take the entire hitch off of the truck, it turns out.  Just so you know for next time.

But the REALLY hard part is directing the driver of the truck as to how to back the trailer up into your driveway!!  As in YOUR OWN driveway and NOT the neighbor’s yard. Who knew that when you wanted the back of the trailer to go right you have to turn the wheels of the truck left??

Anyway, after some minor setbacks and a trip from Maryland, through Pennsylvania, and back to Delaware, she is here.

And you know that feeling of when you buy furniture from a furniture store and you think that the furniture is going to be a great fit while you’re in the store, but then when you get it home IT SEEMS SO BIG!!!  Well, that is how I feel about the trailer now that it is sitting a little crookedly in my driveway.  Same trailer as before, I just have to stand a little closer to take the picture if I want to stand in my own yard.

I’m losing daylight and also battery power in my phone, so I will take BEFORE pictures of the inside of the trailer tomorrow…stay tuned.


What Is She Up To Now?…in which I reno my 1976 Prowler, pt. 1

The most important thing to know at the outset of this project is that I’m 50 and this is my goal for the rest of my life…

what is she up to

I’m not positive that I’ll ever wear clothing resembling this, but I don’t want to rule it out…just sayin’.

My daughter assures me that no one was ever going to say, “What a sweet old lady,” about me anyway, so I’m in the clear there.

Anyway, so this is what I’m up to now…

On Facebook Marketplace I saw THIS…

original ad

(Except, she wasn’t sold yet, I took this picture after…)

And I knew I HAD TO HAVE IT!!

Now, in addition to wanting to be known for being a little eccentric, I also have ALWAYS WANTED TO RENOVATE A CAMPER!!

 wanted to renovate a camper.
I LOVE CAMPING!!!  My parents used to take us camping in a pop-up trailer every summer.  We traveled all the way from Ohio to California one epic summer  That was the summer I went down a water slide for the first time, we drove THROUGH a tree, and we discovered that my little brother and my mom should definitely NOT be allowed to be in canoe together!

Camping always meant playing UNO and making homemade doughnuts and riding bikes and hiking nature trails until we were pock marked with massive mosquito bites and lost track of the day of the week.  It is some of the best memories of my childhood and times I always wanted to recreate with my own kids in my own camper.

I also have an entire page on my Pinterest.com page entitled “Happy Camper Ideas” whereas I have saved all of the pics of campers that have made me wistful and made me laugh…and the ones that made me say, “I can do that!”

So, I arranged with the seller (and with my hubby) to go see on it on a Thursday afternoon.


And that’s how she became mine.

Stay tuned and follow along.  I’m going to take you through the renovation step by step, and we will find out together whether I am a little bit crazy or a little bit unwell!!


7 Fool-Proof Steps for Not Quitting New Year’s Resolutions

I look forward to New Years because the wonderfully deluded feeling of hopefulness and expectation I get this time of year.


Maybe I get oiled up on too much sleep.  Or maybe I get drunk on Baby Jesus and pine forest candle smoke and high levels of sugar.  You know, all that Peace on Earth and Joy to the World stuff can really clog your sense of reality, especially when you haven’t been to work in a couple weeks.

Every year it’s the same story.  I get all aspiration-crazed and then I go off and make some incredibly lofty, noble, BIG New Year’s Resolution.  And I really, really believe it this year…

Until about January 5…

So, of course, I did it again this year.

For the first few days of my New Year’s Resolution, I bask in the delight of how majestic it will be when I have achieved my goal.

What I will look like when I lose 50 pounds…or

What will I do with all of the money when I’m out of debt…or

How I will feel crossing the finish line of the marathon…

From January 1-4, I do all of that “visualization” stuff and make magazine collages and read a lot of blogs.  I do an Image search of Google for inspirational quotes.  I start a new Pinterest page to store those quotes.  I buy a couple of books off of Amazon.com and then sign up for a couple of online courses.  I get all set to succeed in the coming year.

Then on January 5, the last day before I have to go back to work, it’s time to actually BEGIN.  And that is where I fall apart.

I commence a major melt-down of overwhelming panic.  I think about the enormity of exactly what I have asked myself to accomplish and I…well…I bolt.  I rationalize that my vision wasn’t really attainable anyway.  I begin to make excuses, or distract myself, or become interested in something else.  And then I have another year much the same as I had the year before. I’m afraid that my life will be characterized by this quote…

Quote by Francis Chan

Quote by Francis Chan

So, this year, I am proposing a new strategy.  Let 2015 be known as the Year of Not Deserting My Dreams!!

I have come up with 7 Fool-Proof Steps for Not Quitting My New Year’s Resolutions.

This year, my cra-cra resolution is to get 5,000 subscribers to my blog.  I have 68.  This means I only have 4.932 to go.  No problem.

Pardon me while I hold a paper bag over my mouth and breathe deeply…

Suddenly, my head starts to swim.  I don’t know where to start!  There are a ton of blogs and books with their “10 Gagillion Simple Steps to Getting Blog Traffic,” but with a flood of options, which one is the most important and which one is a scam?

I should’ve chosen bungee jumping as my New Year’s Resolution!    At least with that one, the first step is crystal clear…and just about as likely to happen!  What am I thinking?

Step 1:   Cry

Yes, cry.  This should take about 30 minutes.  Do not allow yourself more than 30 minutes because it then it turns into wallowing and whining…and nobody can help you after you’ve crossed over into the line into despair.  Despair isn’t helpful to anyone.

Crying works wonders because it gets all of the irrational emotions out of the way so your head is clear to THINK!  If you are not a crier, like me, then maybe you need to go to the batting cages or take a walk or talk it out with your best friend or brainstorm in your journal.  Whatever it is, make a place for your bizarre anxieties or the horrific consequences you are imagining.  No matter what you do, though, do NOT stay at step one.  Set a timer if you have to.  Have some peppy music set up on iTunes or have your cry in the car on the way to a Comic-Con.  Those weird costumes should shake anyone out of the blues!

Step 2: Play with the Dog

This step will last in duration and energy depending on the age and breed of the dog, of course.  If you are like me and you have an 11-year-old grumpy Shih Tzu, this step should take you roughly 2 minutes.  Or alternatively, if you also have a deaf and blind 15-year-old Poodle, it will take a little longer because first you will have to get her attention.  Then you will have to go retrieve the ball yourself because the poor little thing will not be able to find it. (However, if you happen to have a 5 month old puppy, this step might involve walking around the block, scooping up poop, and taking a nap…in which case it will take your whole afternoon!)

If you don’t have a dog, then I imagine that a toddler or, possibly even a cat, will do.  (I can’t speak for the cat bit cause I’m not a cat person).  Anyway, be resourceful.

The reason to do this step is to remind yourself to be present in the moment.  THIS moment.  Stop thinking about the obstacles in the way of your dreams, and get back to the present.  Dogs and babies are magical at living in the HERE AND NOW, and we need to learn to emulate them…if only for a few minutes.  Now you are ready for Step 3

Step 3: Go Out for Sushi

You need BRAIN FOOD, and raw fish is an excellent source.  It’s best if you locate a nearby dive that isn’t too crowded, but that serves fresh fare.  Junk food is a definite no-no because it blocks your arteries and makes you lethargic.  Whereby a huge chain or a popular hang-out will just take too long.  This step should take an hour, tops.

Our favorite sushi dive

Our favorite sushi dive

Step 4: Log In

As soon as you get home from the Sushi place, Log In.  I have to Log In to my blog because that is how I engage in the community I am trying to attract and learn from.

When I was panicking about my New Year’s Resolution today, my husband asked, “Have you logged in to your blog today?”  The answer was obvious…”No, I had been too busy panicking!!”

If I want subscribers to my blog, then it follows that I must have something on the blog for subscribers to read!  It doesn’t matter what other step I take for building my blog if there is no content for subscribers to click on!

I think that idea applies to every other area, too.  If you want to accomplish any goal, FIRST, you have to engage.  You must connect with a community of like-minded individuals who want the same thing as you and/or who have the capacity to teach you new skills.  Learning from each other is a beautiful way to grow as an individual as well as grow a business or accomplish a goal. You need to Log In, however…

Step 5: Resist Distractions!!

                Logging in is the first step to fulfilling your dreams…OR a time suck and a total distraction from your goals!!

Distractions come under the facade of social media, or checking emails, or even the 60% off of all Christmas Lay-Away Items that Were Never Claimed Extravaganza of the Century Sale!!

Or the Opportunity of a Lifetime!!

When I logged on today, for example, my first step was to search eBay for vintage RV’s that I might be able to refurbish.  I even went so far as to put one on my “watch” list and get quotes for shipping it from New York State.  I’ve always wanted to refurbish a vintage RV.  NOT!

And how will spending $500 on a partially stripped RV help me reach my blogging goals???  Luckily, someone else bid $601.25 and saved me from myself!!  Or else I’d have had a crazy, fun project in the works rusty vexation sitting in my backyard for next two years!

For the Love of Pete, Lori…Learn to Say NO!!  And move on…

Step 6:Begin                                                                                                

Don’t look at the whole thing.  Don’t analyze the project in order to break it down into bite-size pieces.  Because when you do that…you are looking at the whole thing!  Then you are going to revert back to Step 1: Cry all over again and nobody has time for that!

The goal is just too big!  5,000 subscribers is a huge number!

50 pounds is a lot of weight!

26.2 miles is just over 95 Sear’s Towers!!

But there is one thing you CAN DO TODAY.  You can write your next blog post (as I am doing right now). You can turn on the treadmill and walk.  You can download an app for whatever goal you have in mind and do the first step.

Because, if you think about it…beginning is really the hardest part.  In the physical world, if you want to move an object at rest in any direction, you must first overcome inertia.  It’s the same for me.  I get emotional inertia and resist change…whether big or small.  I don’t like inconvenience.  I don’t like pain.

However, I do find that when I begin, soon the cravings go away.  Soon the runner feels his pleasure.  Soon, the blog gets a few more hits!

And at the end of the day, instead of disparaging yourself for yet another excuse, you can applaud yourself for taking one step toward your dream.

Step 7: Repeat for 364 Days

Okay, you can skip Step 1: Cry and Step 3: Sushi as needed.  You can keep them for emergency situations and weekends.

In 2015, I challenge myself to Not Quit My New Year’s Resolutions on January 5 and to do at least one thing each day that takes me closer to my goal of 5,000 Subscribers to My Blog.

andrew carnegie quote

And I invite you to join me.

I’d love to hear from you.  Please put in the comment section below…

What is your incredibly lofty, noble, BIG New Year’s Resolution?

What small step can you begin TODAY that can make that dream a reality in 2015?