10 Zen Things

I was reading some of Wandering Spirits early posts and I really liked the “Zen Things” post. So I will share it here.

10 Zen Things

1.  Do one thing at a time
2.  Do it slowly and deliberately
3.  Do it completely
4.  Do less
5.  Put space between things
6.  Develop rituals
7.  Designate time for certain things
8.  Devote time to sitting
9.  Smile and serve others
10.  Make cleaning and cooking time become meditation time.
11.  Think about what is necessary
12.  Live simply

I like it, hope you do too.



Post Eclipse Post

SAMSUNG CSCIts been a great summer. One of the highlights for me was the seeing the TOTAL eclipse. We drove down and stayed at a campground call “Made in the Shade” in Granville Tennessee.

The Casita towed like a dream. The Pathfinder pulled like a champ.

The only travel issue we experienced on the way down was at Cincinnati. There was a 3 car accident that brought us to a stop for an hour. While we waited a Ford F150 that was idling a bit ahead of us caught fire and burned up. After we got by the mess the exit for bridge over the river was down to one lane due to construction. It just looked like another long wait – a mile of cars – I know this because I stayed left and went into town. We got a 2ndary bridge over the river and were back on I 75 pretty quick. Granville TN was nice. They do a Blue Grass radio show at the General store in town on Saturdays. We missed it but it sounded like fun. The folks were very friendly and I enjoyed our time there.

The total eclipse was pretty cool. I have seen a few partial but this was far better. I jokingly said “It was the 2nd best 2-1/2 minutes of my life…..”

She just rolled her eyes.

So August was pretty good. September and October have been good too. We did some local camping and also did a couple road trips to Tobermory CN and to the beer festival in Escanaba MI.

Wash and wax and winterized the Casita,  and now Pip is in storage till next years ramblings


It’s a new year

We are starting the year with some positive moves toward a being the RamblinRoods we hope to be. Right at the end of the year we put a deposit on a 17′ Liberty Deluxe Travel Trailer from Castia in Rice TX. Its a fiberglass “egg” and it has a great reputation. RVSue lives in hers and this is what first brought the Casita to our attention. With luck we will have it by the end of April or beginning of May.
Last week the Subaru was replaced with a 2017 Pathfinder to act as TV for us.

2017 will be 70 years since my Grandfather took his family on the road.

We have 3 accounts of the trip to Mexico in 1937. My Grandmother, Mary D. Rood and her two sons Robert (12) and David (10).

Mary starts with the family already in the Rio Grande Valley and recounts the how and the why of this adventure. Her entries are set up as “Chapters”.  Also, Mary and her sons used the vernacular of her times so please be understanding. I will add more pages as I go along. I expect it will take some time.

Mary Starts:

1937 Diary Entries: Mary

Dedicated with affection, to the family that enjoyed with me the adventures and joys which I have attempted in part to portray in these pages.

After note: Left Michigan on Jan. 11, 1937

Chapter I

South to the Rio Grande

I had moved my chair at least three times, in what seemed an incredibly short space of time, trying to keep in the ever changing shade of the lemon tree.  Its fragrance was all around me and it still seemed unreal that I should really be here, when but a short month before , I had been shoveling coal into an ever hungry furnace and watching the snow pile deeper and deeper in the dooryard.

The warmth and fragrance of the Rio Grande valley lay all about me, and as I sat enjoying it all, I thought of the events that had led up to my being here so unexpectedly.

Back in Michigan – far in the north on that Lake Superior shore, where winters are long and cold, life had been going on uneventfully.  There was my husband’s work and though he had not been feeling well, there was no thought other than keeping on as best we could.  At a time when we were most discouraged, we received our good news.  The college that he had worked for, for almost fourteen years, had granted him a leave of absence of six months to rest and travel.  How wonderful it was and how grateful we were to the Institution, for it was the thing he needed most.

When one is looking ahead, six months seems an unbelievably long time, and we began to plan on what we should do.  There was the house to dispose of, for the time being, and there were three children in our family.  We had to plan our time to include them.  They are not so easily disposed of as pet cats and canaries, even with kind relatives who would gladly take care of them.

No, we wanted them, no matter where we went!  There was Bob – past twelve – who could be a big help and companion on any trip.  Then came David – not quite eleven – red headed, and full of adventure.  Last of all was small Mary Jo, not quite four – whose red copper curls and smiling brown eyes would be missed too much to ever leave behind.  There was event the family dog that the boys would ever think of leaving, if there was any possible way out.  They couldn’t imagine a life without Spot, their wire-haired terrier, who had shared all their adventures almost from the beginning.

We settled the entire problem by joining that great army of people who take their homes with them; by buying a trailer.  It was our “house on wheels” and become our home for six of the most interesting months I have ever lived.  It solved so many of our problems, and in months to come, I was grateful for that house jogging along behind.  It is a happy solution of traveling with children.  When a long day is finished, and small folks are weary, how easy it is to go back into your house and have them well fed and to bed long before it would have been possible any other way.

Our starting point was at “Granddad’s” down in lower Michigan, close to the Indiana line.  It was here that we finally bought and equipped the trailer, while old friends and neighbors looked on with interest and advice.

David issued a proclamation inviting everyone to come to the christening of our new home at a certain day and hour.  We all assembled very solemnly to see just what was to happen.  With chest thrust out, legs far apart, he began a speech worthy of any diplomat.  Flourishing both hands, one of which grasped a bottle of pop, he began: “Ladies and Gentlemen:” and so on to the end until – “I do hereby christen thee – ‘Lady Conestoga.’”  Then defying tradition, he drank the pop with hurried gulps instead of wasting it over the ‘bow,’ for, as he said, “There might be too much broken glass and besides, that was pretty good pop.”

I read this and thought about our little trailer and what Kim and I would christen it. Maybe LC2? Still working on that bit.

I googled “Conestoga travel trailer” and found a link to a museum in Michigan that has one of these trailers. Here is a picture from Matt R. Kyle’s Flicker page;

1937 Covered Wagon "Conestoga" Camping Trailer  (1)

Matt’s comments on his Flicker page:
1937 Covered Wagon “Conestoga” Camping Trailer
An “unpleasant” camping experience in 1929 found Arthur Sherman, of Detroit Michigan determined “to find a better way,” and he soon built a prototype camping trailer. He exhibited his creation at the 1930 Detroit Auto Show. His children dubbed it “the covered wagon” after the prairie wagons of old. Within a year Sherman had established the Covered Wagon Company, and by 1936 he was the nations largest manufacturer of travel trailers.

Mary continues:

By this time we were having so much advice on where to go and what to see that we would have been dizzy carrying out half of them.  However, we listened politely, knowing we would do out own deciding when we were once on our way.  We didn’t want any particular destination (we were running away from routine and worry), so we wanted to wander wherever and whenever the notion struck us – without schedule or rushing to get there. We did know we wanted to get where there was warmth and sunshine and flowers; that was all that mattered.

Jan 11, 1937 entry from Bob and David coming soon.


Dan & Kim

Little Campers

I am talking to a co-worker about buying his used F150 and selling my Outback. The Outback just doesn’t have the power to pull anything and I think we are going to buy a small camper to use over the next 2-3 years.

Kim and I just missed out on a 2014 Casita Liberty in a nearby town. It listed on Thursday and sold Friday night. A couple drove all the way in from Grand Rapids to get it. I think we are going to call the factory and see if there is a local one we can go and see.

We went hiking at the Proud Lake state recreation area and met a couple with a brand new TAG camper trailer. They had only just picked it up from General RV on Friday and this was their shake down camping trip. It was nice inside, about as much room as the tent we camp in.

We are continuing to sell items that aren’t needed (but I still kinda want). The motorcycle is on Craig’s list as of today. I have been riding it less and less the last couple of years and can’t see keeping it. I am still sorry to see it go but I would rather have the funds and the room in my garage.

If you have some format tips on the 3 diary’s it would help me a bunch. Getting the three diary’s to show in a meaningful way is eluding me. Ideally I would like to show 3 columns with the entries running in tandem. Having them on different pages just doesn’t work. I’ll figure it out eventually.

Happy Monday!

Dan & Kim



Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.

~Shakespeare, Measure for Measure


Selling things, things I have collected, things that often defined me. Hunter, Home Brewer, Biker, all the “things” that also seem to anchor me. It’s understandable that it would be difficult I suppose.  Can’t have your cake and eat it to.

Quartered Safe Out ‘ere

“You may talk o’ gin and beer
When you’re quartered safe out ’ere,
An’ you’re sent to penny-fights an’ Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An’ you’ll lick the bloomin’ boots of ’im that’s got it….”
                                                                       Gunga Din ~ R. Kipling:

We have enjoyed a pretty stable life. A safe life. A comfortable home, long term employment, steady friendships, great neighbors,  good health (for the most part anyways) all the things one might hope for.  Time is rushing by. Which do you get the most from, rear echelon duty or front line living? Its time for a little front line living.

Shawshank Redemption: Get busy living or get busy dying.

Thing is; neither Kim nor I have spent any real time in an RV.
How do you leave behind your “safe quarters” for an semi nomadic lifestyle?  
A lifestyle you have zero first hand experience with?

Like many, I have begun by watching the videos and reading the blogs of people who have / are doing it. Getting what I can from “im that’s got it…”

My dad sometimes said that “If you can’t learn from my mistakes, why did I make them?”

We like tent camping, have done a fair bit of it. Kim and I spent our honeymoon camping in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (we were so young). This can’t be that much different – can it?

We will just have to try it.
Our 30th anniversary is July. What better way to celebrate it than RVing?
We have booked an RV in Anchorage Alaska and will spend a couple of weeks seeing Denali and Kenai. Seems like a good plan.
One thing will be different than the real deal is I am going to treat her to the best while we are there. We will have to be so much more frugal when the time comes.

Now to plan the all the stops…. 


Hope to see you out there.

Dan n Kim


Happy Friday

So, GoDaddy customer service is pretty good. They showed me how to get the DNS bits setup properly. Now RamblinRoods can be seen!

WordPress help is spot on as well.
Lots of help with understanding how the whole thing works.

Came in today and saw that we have OUR FIST FOLLOWER! Yeah! Shout-out to Travelswithholliewhite!

I took a moment to read her latest post and enjoyed it – hope you will too

Well, I am still working – so I have to go for now.

Thanks for reading.
Dan n Kim