Thursday, October 10, 2019

Camping experience.

Hi all..... just a quick post, since I've been remiss with posting and in pretty much of a fog and funk since my sister's death, and then my husband's cousin's death.

My hubby and I did actually go camping once this summer. It was shortly after my husband's cousin's death and we had already made the reservations and paid, so decided to go.  We had gotten the very last tent site when I called, that was available for the 3 nights my sister and husband were going. It was also right across the road from their site! I think it was fate that we were able to get that spot. You see... we have a new "toy" and wanted to try it out and figured this might be the last time this summer we could do that.

Here's our new old toy.  It's a 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 Mark III Van and we found it just by accident. After we got rid of our 5th wheel trailer, we didn't plan to really get anything else, although we had thought how nice a van would be for some short travels, but really weren't going to pursue it!  I saw it for sale on the side of the road, checked it out, it was in very good condition and low miles, and hubby loved it, and voila! we bought it with money we had earmarked for some kitchen remodels! Oh well.... we had to make a choice and decided having a little fun was more important than a kitchen remodel.

Since the van kind of just "fell into our laps", here we go again... hopefully with something we can actually use!  (And we HAVE used it, alot already).

And it worked out just fine.... except for one thing........ THE BED is way too small for two people. I mean.. we knew it was small(ish) but thought we could make it work.. but NO... it did not work! It was the back bench seat that folded down into a bed. The first night camping was so miserable. I didn't get ANY sleep! Hubby did of course, as he was the one hogging the blankets or throwing them all onto me when he was too hot.. or kicking my face with his feet (see.. we/I thought sleeping head to toe in that narrow bed would work better, but no.... not... nadda.)

So we need to put in a new bed that we/someone can build. I think we could do it as I've checked YouTube and there are some very simple ways to build a bed, but we both are so unhandy and lazy when it comes to building things. Sigh......... wish we were both more handy. I have even bought us a jig saw, sander and an electric screwdriver... and we already have a circular saw.... so how hard can it be???? (may never get done if it's left to us!)

But we did, in spite of the bed, have a nice time camping, and it was very good for my soul to get up in the mountains and by the lake and just breathe the fresh air, and renourish myself. Such beauty and peace there.

Nice big campsite with power, so we could use our CPAP machines!

Crane Prairie Lake and Resort.... south of Sisters, Oregon. Gorgeous views!

This is the view from our campsite through the trees. You can just barely see the mountains in the distance. It was wonderful!

2nd morning. I slept in the Van alone so I could lay diagonally across the bed. My hubby slept in my sister's and her husband's RV as there was a queen bed they weren't using. I had  MUCH better sleep!

See how misty this photo looks? It's not my camera, it was COLD the 2nd morning, probably down in the 20's! Bur.r.r.r..r

This cute little chipmunk visited us when we set up on the table. The campground was FULL of chipmunks everywhere. What a home for them, as food and snacks galore! This one managed to get into our cookie bag and drag a whole cookie off to his/her hidey hole.

We spent most of our time walking around, back and forth to the store (or the restrooms that were kind of far away!) and walking a few lake paths...... and EATING of course! That's the best part right? No campfires allowed so we didn't get to have our traditional s'mores.

I did alot of relaxing and sitting by the lake in the sunshine.

My sister went kayaking. I was going to try it, but after almost no sleep the first night, I just didn't have the "want to" or energy to do it. It's still on my bucket list!
I'm very glad we did go camping as it was a nice get-away from the reality of life's recent tragedies. We had been hoping to go camping with my sister long before this, but never have had a trailer to use or camper, etc. With just having bought the Van, it was perfect timing and I'm so glad we took advantage of it. Was a very memorable weekend.


Through my grieving and sadness, my yard has been a pure joy for me. I haven't kept my flowers as nice as I usually do, but the lushness for awhile, and my little fountain, have been such a delight for me. Our grass is finally coming in better, and my raspberries and lilacs bushed out so wonderfully.

This is my favorite sitting area.
Here's the progress of our little patch of lawn. This photo was taken in August, and it looks much thicker now.

And thanks to my wonderful blogging friend, Marilyn, of Mountain Top Spice, I am privileged to enjoy one of her beautiful "plate flowers" that she makes  using vintage dishes. You can see it there in my little garden area, on the green post. She was so sweet to mail it to me a few months ago, and I just recently was able to install it in my garden.. and I love it so much! 

Thank you so much Marilyn! If you haven't visited her blog, please do so. She is a wonderful photographer, and her gardens and whimsical delights are such a joy. She lives in northern Idaho, and I hope one day to be able to visit her in person.

I've been finding much solace in crafting and creating lately, and have been pretty much glued to my craft room. And that's another story and another post............

Reflect upon your present blessings,
of which every man has many;
Not on your past misfortune,
of which all men have some.
~Charles Dickens~



  1. What a tranquil place to camp. I'm sure it nourished your soul. Hopefully you can find someone to build you a new bed for future trips. xo Laura

    1. Yes Laura, it was a wonderful place to be at that time. It felt SO GOOD to be up in the mountains, feel close and personal with one of the Three Sisters mountains there, and listen to the lake water lapping at the shores... I hated to leave! Marilyn

  2. Marilyn, I love this post!
    I'm delighted that you bought the van . . . believe, seeing life from our side we know how important it is to get out and have fun together. We were always waiting for retirement and well, you know our story. Building a bed would be easy it's just a matter of a 2X4 frame with a plywood platform to put a mattress on. We purchased an RV queen mattress on Amazon that we love (for our 5th wheel). RV mattresses are about 5 or 6 inches shorter. If you want the link let me know. It comes in a box and after 2 days of being open, you can not believe it ever came in a box, LOL. it would probably fit your van better than a regular one.
    Steve's up from his nap . . . got to go.
    Happy camping sweet friend.

    1. Connie, that's why we went.... we know that we must cherish each day and each experience we are able to have.. so we went anyway, even though our hearts were VERY heavy. It was so refreshing to be up in the mountains (I miss them so much!) and be by water, which I just NEED occastionally.. I need water I was told by a numerologist years ago, and she was so right! Yes, I would love the link for the RV mattress, queen sized. I think our "new" bed will be almost queen sized by the time I'm done with it! I'm reallly excited about the Van... was kind of disappointing about the bed not working, but we'll fix it. I searched and searched YouTube videos for being able to use the back bench seat for a bed, and there just weren't any.... now I know why, it's just too narrow and short for 2 people. Even one person, unless really short, can't sleep the full length of it. Once we take out that seat, I don't know what in the world we are going to do with it! No room in our garage! Hugs to you ...... Marilyn

  3. Oh Marilyn! How GLAD I was to see you out enjoying a wonderful time of camping in your hour of need! Truly it must have been hard to go with all the grief in your heart, but being out in the woods is just a beautiful antidote to heartache! I love your new little camper, it is perfect for the two of you, once you get the bed situation figured out! I really like Connie's idea above, and I can vouch for those RV mattresses as my husband's brother has one, they are really nice. I loved seeing the plate in your garden, so thankful its little mishap in the mail was fixable! Your garden was truly a refreshing beautiful spot for you this summer, you made so much happen in a short time, and especially with all your health concerns too! Just wondering how come summer has to come and go so quickly! Here, it already feels a bit like winter! have had snow here twice already, quite something even for us! But that does mean more time for crafting, which I am looking forward to the many indoor projects I need to get done :)

    Many blessings and hugs to you, so thankful and grateful for your friendship :)

    1. Marilyn.... I SO love the plate in my garden. Should I take it out for the winter? Do you remove all of yours? I suppose it could crack with the cold here. I just love it there and every time I see it, I think of you! It's all looking kind of sad now, as the winter freezes have turned everything brown and crisp.. I have a few little pansies that have survived the cold, and that's about it. I saw on your blog that you HAVE had snow so early! Wow! The first year we lived here, we had a few inches of snow on Oct. 6th I think it was! What a shock that was. It does seem like summer has sped by, more than normal too. Wish we could flip a switch and slow down time a little bit. I'm anxious to see what you'll be up to in your craft room and what SU supplies you got! Hugs... Marilyn

  4. Marilyn, it sounds like you had a wonderful time except for the sleeping arrangements. We had a van camper once but I don't recall having sleeping problems so maybe it was a bit bigger. I wish we had one again. The motorhome is so nice but way too big for us to drive around and we have to tow the car. I remember with our van it was so easy to hook up or unhook whenever we wanted. That camp ground looks beautiful and there is nothing better than the smell of the pines and fresh air. Thanks for your visits, you know I always appreciate them and am so sorry that it is taking me so long to get back to you. I hope we don't have many more disruptions but if it is something that will keep us all safe than I am all for it, but a better plan needs to be put in place. Happy belated anniversary to you and your hubby too. I always say it is not the time put in but the quality..Happy Thursday..xxoJudy

    1. Judy..... yes it was a beautiful spot to be at that time and yes, your Van must have been bigger! We were trying to use the back bench seat, but just too short both ways! I had stuffed blankets over each wheel well, thinking it would extend the length so we could stretch out, but that wasn't enough. If we were younger, we would love a larger travel trailer, but now, the Van seem easiest to maneuver. Don't worry about time frames for commenting or emailing. I always love hearing from you! xoxoxo Marilyn

    2. Hi Marilyn: We have had a few days of power so far and beautiful weather, so hope it sticks around for awhile this time. I do tend to go stark crazy when it goes off. I feel badly that I do as we have a gas stove for cooking, gas for heating and city water so we don't really have to "rough it" except for not having TV. But, silly me, that is what seems to bother me the most! It is what it is and if humor can't help than I think we might be stuck!!..Happy Weekend my friend..xxoJudy

  5. I'm so sorry for your recent losses, Marilyn. So, so hard. I'm glad, though, that you were able to get away to a beautiful spot and just relax and, perhaps, reflect. The trip does seem timely. You look serene there. Your backyard is just looking so amazing. What a transformation from when you first moved in there. Marilyn's handiwork looks perfect there. She's such a sweet and dear woman. God bless you and your hubby. Hugs, Nancy

    1. Nancy..... thank you for the sweet thoughts. Yes that beautiful spot was so timely.. the perfect timing to go and experience nature at its best! I LOVE the mountains and miss them terribly, living here in the driest spot (almost) of Oregon! How does Texas feel after living up in the gorgeous "swiss alps" of Oregon! The area you did live is one of my all time favorites of anywhere. I know.. each area has its own kind of beauty, that's for sure. Hope your weekend is going great! Hugs... Marilyn


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