RV Maintenance Tip #2 – Air Conditioning Vents and Filters

If you think you can just buy an RV or camper and just go on your way, we hate to tell you that you’re wrong.  These manufactured boxes on wheels need continuous maintenance to last you a long time.  We have this arrangement that Dan would take care of all exterior maintenance and I would take care of interior the best we could.

Continue reading “RV Maintenance Tip #2 – Air Conditioning Vents and Filters”

My Old Kentucky Home – Liberty Crew Revisits Their Homeport

Most who have been following our journey know our story from the beginning; where our road to freedom started…the Bluegrass State; Kentucky.  We truly loved our home and our hometown.  It was our Mayberry.  We forged amazing friendships and community presence that was really difficult to watch get smaller in our rear view mirrors back in 2014 when we pulled out.  However, we made a promise to our friends that we’d come back to visit.

After a tumultuous March and April this year (2017) of losing Dan’s Dad enroute to San Antonio and dealing with medical care at U.S. Army Fort Sam Houston, we were eager to get back on the road to recovery by going back to our old Kentucky home to see some familiar faces.  

Once we hauled out of Texas, we stopped for a few days near Little Rock, Arkansas for a little rejuvenating reprieve to gather our thoughts and get some much needed rest.  We then excitedly high-tailed it to Taylorsville, Kentucky or known-to-us as ‘Tatersville’, a term of endearment, when we lived there.  

When we arrived in our former hometown, we could literally feel everything negative leave our souls; familiar faces, American flags and banners lining the streets, smelling Dave’s coffee and warm fresh made pastries outside the Tea Cup on Main and driving by Spencer County High School at graduation time.  You see, Taylorsville is the epitome of ‘small town America’; which is why we bought into this little piece of rural hometown-heaven back in 2007 when we PCS’d from Maine to Kentucky for Dan’s last Coast Guard tour of duty.  Taylorsville is like that warm flannel shirt that we felt so comfortable in.  

By the way, just a little notoriety of our little hometown is it’s also country music singer, JD Shelburne‘s hometown as well.  Here in this video (I surely hope he doesn’t mind me sharing it!) is his rendition and love for the same town we endeared…called Hometown’ which was filmed in tiny Taylorsville.

Upon arriving, we made contact with our friends to reconnect. Our calendar filled up quickly with Kentucky Derby parties with Suzanne and Van, Kim and Jim, Roger and Debby, pool time with Cindy and Don, lunches and dinners with friends, taking Krissie and Kandi to see Dr. Shelley at Elk Creek Animal Hospital for their immunizations and well-kitty checkups, catching up on some maintenance and small repairs on Liberty, and Dan driving home to see his Mom in Pennsylvania for a few days to help her ready her home for Spring.  It was just what the doctor ordered.

Suzanne and I grabbing in a selfie at her and Van’s Kentucky Derby Party
Watching the Kentucky Derby winners at Derby Party

One of my best friends, Kim and I took in a few lunches

Between getting together with friends and other commitments, we still made time to go exploring and visit places we’ve somehow missed during our seven years of living there.  

One of our favorite things to do while in Kentucky is touring the Bourbon Distilleries on the Bourbon Trail.  This time around, we’ve toured Woodford Reserve near Lexington, Kentucky.  If any of you are familiar with the locale of this particular distillery, you’d understand our quest for wanting to go there.  The drive is absolutely amazing; seeing all the beautifully manicured thoroughbred horse farms and ranches with black fences lining the roadway in the spring when everything is in bloom.


We also stopped in Frankfort (Kentucky State Capitol) for a bite to eat and walk old Main Street.  

We parked on the street and walked across the Kentucky River Bridge aka The Singing Bridge’.  We noticed something quite peculiar we’ve never seen before.

There were several padlocks on the chain link fencing.  Some had initials with dates on them and others had lovers names inscribed.  We took some photos because we found it odd.  We enjoy seeing odd things.

Oh, and about those locks, we learned that padlocks or ‘love locks’ are locked on the bridges by sweethearts symbolizing their unbreakable love for each other; throwing the keys down in the river below.  As shown above, they inscribe their initials and date for memoir.  However, this proliferation has massed across the nation and even internationally.  Some municipalities though, consider them vandalism or litter while others embrace them as a tourist attraction.  On this bridge, there weren’t very many.

It wasn’t a long walk to Main Street; we couldn’t help noticing that Frankfort has really cleaned up and revitalized this section of town.  There were cafes and small stores that lined the street in the old early 20th century buildings and newer modern structures.  

As with most any city or town, Frankfort bestowed banners of their notoriety and infamy.  Each banner on the street depicted a Frankfort, Kentucky person of notoriety.  There was Johnny Depp (Actor), General Blanton (Bourbon Distiller) and quite an array of others. 

We walked the old state house grounds which was impeccably manicured.  We read some historical markers while enjoying the warm sunshine stroll in the park.

Old former Kentucky State House


Looking at our watches and feeling parched and hungry, we found a ‘country-hip’ little cafe/bakery that totally took us by surprise.  We went in to just get a canoli or two but then we noticed they served lunch as well.  So, we ordered a couple Paninis and enjoyed our little window table looking out onto the street as we ate.  After we finished, we chatted with the owner and told her we adored her bakery.  You can read more about our wonderful dining experience at B’s Bakery in a prior blog.

B’s Bakery on Main Street in Frankfort, Kentucky

After our quiet lunch at B’s, we made our way back to our home on wheels that was parked in Taylorsville.

It seemed that time slipped by so fast and before we could catch our breaths, it was Mother’s Day already.  Since we weren’t around family, we decided to just enjoy the beautiful day riding the farm roads and have lunch down at Taylorsville Lake Marina.  The weather was outstanding as you can see.

Another weekend, we took part in a local fundraiser ‘A Ruff Day at the Fairgrounds’ to help finance a new Spencer County Animal Shelter.   There was an awesome K-9 display and demonstration from the local Taylorsville Police Department, Spencer County Sheriff and local neighboring towns.   

We even made a donation of a cat play tunnel for their silent auction.  Hey, we helped make them $30 as well as supported their fundraising efforts by enjoying their food vending, shopping at their yard sale and window shopping at various local craft vendor tents.  Later that day, we stood and listened to the local band which Kandi and Krissie’s Veterinarian, Doc Shelley sang and played various instruments with the local Judge Angus Band.  It truly felt like we were home again.

In our last weeks, we were reminded of that our nomadic lifestyle must resume.  We met up with other RV friends who popped into town for some much needed RV repairs, Tim and Emily from OwnLessDoMore and More Than a Wheelin’ Bryce and Camille whom we met this past January at Quartzsite, Arizona.
More than a Wheelin’ Bryce and Camille
 Finally, one last must-do before hitching up Liberty and rolling down the road was something we’ve wanted to do before leaving Kentucky in 2014.  We drove to the next town over to this big outdoor chalkboard in Bloomfield, Kentucky to write our ‘Before I die…’ wishes… 

…we wrote a few that spoke to our nomadic souls; find inner peace, RV to Alaska, hike the Grand Canyon and most importantly, see our first grandchild due in November.  It seemed so fitting to make this our final chapter before leaving Kentucky this round.  It made us feel complete after returning to our homeport.

Sisterhood of the Traveling RV Cats…

“Time spent with cats is never wasted” – Sigmund Freud
“We are better looking than dogs…and smarter, aren’t we?”
Typically, when you think of full-time RV’ers, you visualize
an older couple with a pint-sized dog or two (or three) or perhaps, a younger
couple or family with a larger dog.  Dogs
have always been popular companions amongst RVers and Campers.  At any hour of the day, you’d see all different
breeds being walked by their owners at campgrounds and rv parks.  However recently, felines have been making
their presence known by storm and have become quite the traveling companions. 

“Whoa!  Look at that funny looking bird!”

It’s quite common to see cats slumbering or bird
watching (and squirrels…and even cows!) in the windows of RVs; ours included. 
Sometimes you can spot a cat owners’ RV by bird feeders placed near
(we call that ‘cat tv’)

Why is that? 

“Kandi, look!  Our very own bunkhouse!”

We can’t speak for any other cat owners but for us, we were
already owned by our two sturdy, fluffy, Maine Coon cats; Krissie, our Tortie
who is now 8 years old and our Calico, Kandi who is 6, way before making the
decision of becoming full-time RV travelers. 
We would never in a million years think of rehoming our felines.  In fact, when we started shopping for our RV,
our biggest concern was our fuzzyheaded nomads’ comforts and safety.  We must have went into dozens of recreational
vehicles with those requirements in mind and most of them, we’d walk in and
quickly walk out simply because they just weren’t going to accommodate our
girls.  I know that sounds funny.  I mean, they’re ‘just cats’, right?  

NOPE!  Not even!  
You see, cats are creatures of independence.  While dog owners constant concern is not
leaving them too long because they must be let out to pee and walk, we cat
owners just make certain they have clean litter boxes, full food dishes, fresh
drinking water, windows to watch the birds (squirrels
and even cows too!)
and a place in the sun for them to nap the day away. So
for us, it is no different than living in a sticks and bricks (house) and going
out for day trips or even an overnighter. 
 Cats are pretty low maintenance
and make awesome RV companions.

So, it’s been two years since throwing off our Landmark’s stern
lines to trek across America, our furry, little bug catchers have settled quite
nicely into our nomadic lifestyle.  They’ve
each found their own favorite places to nap, know exactly when and where their
snackies are (but they can’t get them on
their own because they don’t have thumbs)
and where their potty is.  We thought transitioning from a 3200 square
foot home might be a challenge for them however, they proved quite the
opposite.  Cats seemingly prefer small
places and ours love to be in the same room as we are anyways, so this was a
double bonus.

“Daddy’s girl”

So, how about meeting our furry nomads…

Krissie blessed us with her presence (yes, that’s what I said!) eight years ago shortly after Captain
Dan was involved in a deer/motorcycle collision and was recovering.  He wasn’t a ‘cat person’ but soon, that little mouthy fuzzyhead charmed his heart.  Now, they are inseparable.  Dubbed our ‘Sheldon Cooper of Cats’, Krissie never misses a beat with studying new things in Liberty.  
Krissie has to have everything ‘just perfect’.   In fact, she has the sparkly rhinestone crown to prove ‘her highness’ dangling from her pink collar. (pssst, they’re not real diamonds but don’t tell her that!)

Then, there’s our dear sweet Kandi… 

“Geeze, that’s an ugly dog going by”

We named her Kandi because she has by far, the sweetest
disposition of a cat.  A few months after
recovering from the loss of another cat we had, we decided Krissie needed a
companion to help with her loss and to keep her company while we were both at
work.  We adopted Kandi at our Veterinarian’s
office, Elk Creek Animal Hospital in Fisherville, Kentucky in late 2010; they had recently been handed a family of feral barn
kittens without their mother to be adopted.  Now, six years later,
Kandi is still sweet as can be.  She’s a ‘bigger’
girl; weighing in at almost 15 pounds of Maine Coon cuteness.  She loves company; especially men and is quite
the little comedian.  She uses her extra fluff
and big Puss in Boots eyes to get anything she wants.  Kandi is our special girl though; she was
diagnosed with Feline Hyperesthesia as a kitten.  We manage her condition and seizures through
the use of Young Living Essential Oils in her very own diffuser. 

“It’s not mine!”
Prior to leaving Kentucky for good, we discussed with their
Vet, Dr. Shelley, of implications or issues that may arise. 
They were both given their immunizations, copies of their medical
records and business card if we should need his assistance down the road.  Krissie was already micro-chipped through the Kentucky Humane Society.  Kandi, on the other
hand, needed hers before leaving.  So, as
you see, we brought two adult cats into this RV lifestyle who have adapted
quite well as Dr. Shelley from Elk Creek Animal Hospital had assured us. 

So, fast forward…

We are extremely careful with opening and closing doors with
our resident mousers, no matter where we are. 
Cats are notorious for being escape artists and campgrounds seemingly
are the places where cats end up as strays. 
In fact, there have been a couple times we’ve helped locate other RVer’s
cats who escaped from their homes on wheels. 
(Luckily, we’ve found them all).   
“Krissie, we aren’t in Colorado anymore.
That’s not the grass you think it is!”
If we do take them outside, they are either in their
harnesses or in this cool fully screened ‘cat tent’ I bought on Amazon.  

If they are outside, we are always with them
as sometimes, dogs are let off their leashes or wildlife may be in the area.

“The mountains are calling and I must GO!”
“Krissie, IN the box you dummy!”

So, the looming question amongst cat owners who are
prospective RVers is ‘where to put the litter box?’  When shopping for our RV, that was probably
the most important concern.  

In our
Landmark 5th wheel (and our former Heartland Cyclone toyhauler), we
put it in the shower on a rug.  It’s not
a big deal to us to move it when we use the shower; just a matter of
temporarily relocating it to the bedroom or water closet (our Landmark is the
Ashland model with split bath) until we are finished.  Further, because living in such a small
space, their ‘poop is scooped’ once or twice a day.  We’ve had several guests come for happy hour
or coffee complimenting us on ‘not being able to tell we have cats’ (ie. odor
and hair).  We vacuum once or twice a
day…which takes a whopping 5 minutes to do our whole coach!
Our other concern is moving day(s).  The first thing we do is an hour before hitching
up, we put their Young Living “Peace and Calming” Essential Oil blend in their
diffuser.  Within just a few minutes,
they are either sleeping or relaxing quietly ‘in their zen’ while watching me
secure things for travel.  It safely and
naturally relieves them of their anxieties. 
Once everything is put away and Dan is all set outside, we put the girls
in the bathroom and close the door.  It
is ONLY THEN, we can pull in the slides. 
Sadly, we have heard horrible stories of pets getting crushed in the
slides so we take absolutely no chances. 
Once all the slides are pulled in, we then transfer them from the
bathroom to the bedroom where they travel comfortably on the bed with the door
closed.  Our girls do not tolerate long
rides in their small transport kennels and certainly, we’d prefer not to dope
them up on narcotics each time we travel which can be detrimental to their
health anyway because of frequency.  Besides, have you ever
tried giving cat’s pills…often?

“What are YOU looking at?”

By the time we arrive at our new destination, they have awakened
from their comfortable naps and bounce out of the bedroom after we’ve opened
the living area slides.  The first place
they go is to the screen door so they can smell the new outside air, check out
their new home away from home, count the birds and grimace at passerby dogs on
their walks.  We return their food and
water bowls to their usual place and they’re happy campers again.  They are quite adaptive and have done
exceedingly well with their new role as our crewmembers.

“But, where did the mountains go?!”
Since beginning our journey, we have met with hundreds of
other RV cats and their owners.  We all are
intrigued at how each accommodates their feline kids.    We tend
to gravitate towards each other; always willing to look after each other’s
kitties while the others fly out or leave for an extensive time period.  Cat people love cats; no matter who’s cats
they are.   Our cats are great
conversation starters because well…

…Dogs have owners and cats have staff!
“Again, we’re better looking than dogs…and smarter, aren’t we?”