Part 15 ~ The Holidays in the Bus

Holidays

Holidays

The Holidays are meant to be spent with family.

Circumstances didn’t allow us to be close to my kids, and spending the holidays with Zach’s family meant a lot to him!

So we left Oklahoma and made the trek to Arkansas! It was about 300 miles, our one day drive maximum!!


Decorating for the Holidays !

Once we settled in to our campsite, I realized I had purged ALL of my Christmas decorations in Georgia and I was completely regretting not keeping more than I did.

All I kept was my snow globe Snowman 🙂

I was pretty lost without a Christmas Tree! I really wanted this Christmas to be special since it was our first in the bus 🎅 Zach doesn’t have nearly as much Christmas Spirit as I do, but I’m working on him 🙂

This is an accurate comparison ~ I’m more Buddy the Elf and Zach is more Grinch 😂

But in all his grinchiness ~ he went out and found me a “tree”

And I simply loved it 🎄❤🎄

      🎄  

Very Charlie Brown

The cats had a blast with the bells I made into ornaments! To be expected!😼

I did a TON of baking right before Christmas and plan to share those recipes in my next post!

Christmas Day came and we headed to spend time with Zach’s family! We had a fantastic lunch, followed by games and dessert!

The guys also played a game called, how many people does it take to lower a TV 🙂

In their defense, it was much easier to do without the added stress of holding the TV up !

Work smarter, not harder?? Right!?!


Zach got me the cutest waffle maker for Christmas! Strict rules applied ~ only one small gift for me to unwrap! And I had been talking about waffles so much that he figured I needed one!

And he was completely right!

But honestly, what would we do with a huge one? We would never finish even one! So this is the absolute perfect size for us!

Check it out here!

It’s Tiny!

What to try first?

We made “pancake” waffles first in it, mainly because I had dry ingredients for pancakes already made! All I needed to do was add the egg, milk and oil. But how much ? I went with what I normally do for pancakes and the results were FLUFFFFFFFY ! But yummy! Like a crispy waffle edged pancake, maybe?

Delicious with lots of maple syrup!😋


Holidays .. wrapped up!

We spent the rest of the year working inside the bus! We had catio work to do, a door to figure out in the newly created pass through, and a multitude of other small projects! Lots of work going on around the bus!

During that time, I finally got my upgrade from the scooter that we had sold in Oklahoma!

My new e-bike! I love it! I liked the scooter, but being able to sit down is definitely going to allow me to ride longer! 

Hiccups for the Holidays !

First, We planned to leave on Monday the 2nd, but we decided to make the investment in Starlink Satelitte service! So we placed our order, then waited! We were told by some people the wait was months, but after our order was placed, it was more like 2-4 weeks!

But 2-4 weeks delay 🙁 Oh man!

Fortunately, our order was shipped and delivered on the 2nd!! But we had already booked some additional days in our campsite, so we planned to set up the starlink and use it while we were waiting to head out!

More delays for the Holidays !

Which was supposed to be the 9th, but all of a sudden, our little tiny car had other plans! More specifically, needing a new CV Axle 🙁

So we booked a few more days at the campground we were at and made the best of it!

On the positive side, We got to spend more time with Zach’s family before we made our way east to see my family!


We had to order the part needed for the car, and the day after the part came in, it was set to rain all day! So further delays are a good reason why we allow ourselves enough time to get anywhere! This was now a 4 day delay, not including the delay from the previous week when we were awaiting our Starlink setup!

Ultimately our safety is most important! We are driving our home around, along with our pets! So we plan our driving days around a lot of factors!

New date we set to leave was the 12th! 

Did we make it out on the 12th??

Until Next Time …


Missed a few parts of the story?? Catch up here!!

Parts 1-10Part 11 Part 12 Part 13 Part 14 


Love the hats we wear? Zach makes them! Check out his work here

Hashbrown Casserole Situation

The Hashbrown Casserole Situation

Somewhere along our travels, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel.  For breakfast.  And all Zach could talk about was getting the Hashbrown casserole. Didn’t care what else was on there, that is what he wanted! Ultimately creating the Hashbrown Casserole Situation 😁
 
The restaurant wasn’t overly busy, about normal for Cracker Barrel.
 
We finally get to order, and Zach goes and orders his dang casserole 😂
 
Only to find out they ran out of potatoes!
Hashbrown Casserole Situation
OUT OF POTATOES?!?!?  How is that possible, send someone to WalMart 😄
 
He ended up with something else, which he said was good, but I know he didn’t enjoy it quite as much as he would have that hashbrown casserole.
 
So, cue up google search. And I found a recipe for a copycat version of theirs!
 
But it seemed bland. 😐For our taste anyway! So I showed Zach, and told him I would just put something together that he would like.
This is what I came up with!
 
Print

Hash Brown Casserole

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 36 oz Frozen shoestring hashbrown potatoes
  • 10.5 oz Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 cup cooked bacon chopped
  • 2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter softened

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl, then transfer to baking dish.
  • Bake for 35 minutes.
  • Serve with over easy eggs on top.

Notes

Super simple to throw together the morning of!
 
It was delicious! And froze very well for future breakfasts on the road! We just thawed it out and pan fried it! Crisped right up again!
 
I’m always in for make ahead meals for our travel days! Specifically breakfast since we aren’t moving until Zach has had breakfast 🙂
 
I have some ideas for future make ahead breakfast meals, but I’m always open to suggestions! I don’t want to just keep re-inventing the breakfast casserole  😆

I’ve also been checking out this site ~ Top Secret Recipes ~ because why not! And I found the recipe for Chicken Wonton Tacos from Applebees. That was the one thing I ordered when I went there! And it’s been years! So that’s now on the menu! Click the banner below to check out the recipes!

 


I love that we have the flexibility to freeze meals! That wasn’t really an option until recently! One of our gifts from my parents was a 3.0 cu ft upright freezer! So I can make larger portions and pop it in there for a quick meal!

 


Part 14 ~ The Mad Max Catio ~ Phase 2

The Mad Max Catio

So while we were in Arkansas, we had a good amount of down time! And access to a truck 🙂 The Mad Max Catio Build needed to continue, full speed! We needed a cabinet for the back deck to act as a storage space for my gardening stuff, and a litter box!

But it’s clean, and sealed so the odor doesn’t get through too much!  And the litter box is on the bottom! So they aren’t sending it sailing down levels of the cabinet 😹

So here is the clean slate we started with! We had intended to paint that board to make it look nice, but now that is completely unnecessary! Woohoo for taking a project OFF the list!

We had some help from Family on the building of the cabinet, which was nice! Made that project go super fast, and they helped lift it into place!

I know how cold it was out there, so I truly appreciate them heading out to help Zach! He spent a LOT less time outside than if he had tried it solo!


And this pic is just for proof that there are actually men who read the instructions😄


The Litter Box

Now I jokingly call the cabinet The Litter Box, but it does in fact house that situation!  The bottom drawer is the litter box! Which they will be able to access from the inside at all times!

This is without the doors and shelves in!  But the drawer is in place and will serve as the litter box! With an actual litter box in it, of course 🙂

All pretty with the doors ON! And that is how it will remain unless we need something out of it! The cats will have access to go in it from the interior of the bus, and also be able to get out of it to get on the catio!


In order for us to have storage on the back deck for our bigger items (a table, a pop up awning, etc), Zach had to pull the cabinet forward a few feet and then raise it to the roof to secure it. This gives us space underneath for the tables, and space also behind the cabinet for the awning and a ladder. Storing things in front of the cabinet is not an option!

Storage Behind
Flush to roof
4.5″ of Space

I am also benefiting from this cabinet! I’m officially out of random totes and buckets and in milk crates neatly(ish) stacked inside the cabinet!

The bottom drawer they can have 100% ! I absolutely do not need to share their bathroom 😀


Chop Chop

Next came cutting the holes in the shelves so that the cats can jump down thru the top to get to the litter box in the drawer!

The shelves were done in an alternating pattern to allow a place for the cats to drop before the next level  😳  I don’t think them dropping 3 levels at once would go over very well with any of them!

Additionally, Zach put in a step in one section because it’s a little taller than the others! When we were in test mode, there was a lot of noise when they were transitioning there! As a result, the step was born!

Zach making it flush to the roof makes it easier to get to from inside! No PVC tubing necessary to connect the cabinet to the roof! Obviously a win with our big kitties!

The Mad Max Catio
Interior Entry
Cabinet Entry
Interior Location of Entry

Scabbers take on the Mad Max Catio

And our cat, Scabbers, hilariously coming through the cabinet into the bus for the first time! Took him a little over 3 minutes to pop his head up! The second time we put him in the litter box drawer, it took him about 3.6 seconds to get inside the bus 😂


The Litter Box Drawer!

Super simple, all I need to do is pull open the drawer to clean the litter box! If it had been a shelf, the entire litter box would need to come out daily to scoop! No thanks! This way is much easier!

The cats have plenty of room to drop in and not land in the litter box! I can also store extra right next to the litter box! We may put some carpeting down in the drawer to help with tracking, but haven’t decided that yet! Maybe a temporary one to test!


At this time, we have more plans for the catio, like places for them to play and hang out! Specifically things to occupy their curiosity 😼

But for now, we wanted to get some big things done! Most of the rest of the build can be done while traveling!


A little sneak peak ….

 

This is our kitties way of getting from the living area to the shop area when we have the pocket door closed! See how they get there, and where it leads in our next post!

Missed a few parts of the story?? Catch up here!!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 9.5 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12 Part 13 

Love the hats we wear? Zach makes them! Check out his work here

Happy Birthday Freebies!

Happy Birthday!

Zach and I both celebrate our Happy Birthday in August! Yep, we’re both Virgos!

If you are celebrating a Birthday this month, we wish you the happiest of days!

🎉🎈🎂

We love the month of August! We get lots and lots of free stuff that month! From free food to great discounts, we are always happy to get Birthday emails!

Without a doubt, my favorite was Krispy Kreme! Something about warm, fresh donuts! Free Donuts! A WHOLE DOZEN! We ended up sharing with friends, because everyone needs a warm, melt in your mouth donut 😍

I’ve compiled a HUGE list of free things you can get during your Birthday month! I have successfully signed up for all of these free birthday items!

↘Want to sign up for over 250 Birthday Freebies?↙

Happy Birthday!
Click Here!

 


Sign up now Birthday Freebies for Next Year!

Most companies require sign up at minimum the month before your Birthday! So if you didn’t sign up, it’s never too late! Signing up for all of them at one time can be overwhelming, so I suggest looking through the list and finding those places you already frequent and start there! You can always go back and sign up for a few extra!


Part 13 (OoOoh ) ~ Heading Back East ?!

Heading Back East?!

After deciding that heading west wasn’t going to work this winter, we were heading back east. Sort of… we just really didn’t know! We knew we needed to take a minute and just pause.


By the end of phase 1 of the catio project, we had decided we would just head east after Christmas.

That meant we needed somewhere for us to be for Christmas! And for me that meant with family! So back to the Alma/Fort Smith Arkansas area we go! For a Christmas Gathering with Zach’s Family! 😊

Ready To Go!!

After finishing the No Escape Plan, we were ready to go! Unfortunately, we were stuck, literally, stuck in the ground!

While we waited for help, we spent a few afternoons exploring Lawton one last time to check out all the murals they had!  There are something like 60, and we wanted to see if we could find all of them!

Check it out here and see if we found all of them!

After a few days of a few different vehicles trying to yank us out with no luck, a backhoe showed up and pulled us out with ease!

Heading Back East

We were in some serious ruts, so when we got out, we parked on more level land, that was a lot more hard packed!

Finally Heading Back East?

After all that, we still had a few packages we were waiting on! So no, we were not quite heading east just yet!

In the meantime, Zach suggested we check out Medicine Park!

Woohoo! I could get pictures of the birdhouses!! I was so super excited to get a second chance, since I blew it the first time!  And I didn’t see the first time around that there is a small aquarium! The Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center!


Big Huge Chairs!

I have no idea why I love these big chairs the most out of all the HUGE stuff we see, but I do :>


Birdhouses

These are cute little cottages that are available to rent out! Each cottage comfortably sleeps 2 and has its own parking space! And they are in walking distance of all the cute shops in town too!


Rubber Ducky ~ Revisited!

And! I passed by my Rubber Ducky Friend again! It appears he has been given a facelift of sorts! I’m hoping he is in the beginning stages of repair! We are going to see if someone will keep us updated! Who that is, is indeed a mystery!


And finally, we hit the Aquarium! It was cute, had lots and lots of local fish, and facts about them! They had some outdoor exhibits as well, but since it was pretty cold outside, we didn’t stay long at each! And most animals were off in the distance, staying warm😊

Next, we went inside, where we found rows of tanks! Fish, reptiles, spiders, and other little creatures here, there and everywhere! Mid way through our walk, they had some opossums out being held by employees. We stopped by to pet them and got a bit of history on them also!

Most of the exhibits were rescues! Absolutely love rescues ❤

Click Here For More Aquarium Pics!↖


After that ~ all our mail arrived! And not a moment too soon! One of the downsides of travel is waiting on packages!! Absolutely difficult to plan and as a result, it sometimes dictates our travel!

We were only trying to embark before a small snow storm hits Arkansas!  You know, the ❄Arctic Freeze❄

YES! Finally Heading Back East!

Without a doubt, we have had some trials and tribulations in our journey! But despite all that, I wouldn’t trade the lifestyle!

Obviously😊


Until Next Time…

Missed a few parts of the story?? Catch up here!!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 9.5 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12 

Love the hats we wear? Zach makes them! Check out his work here

Part 12 ~ The Mad Max Catio ~ Phase 1

The Mad Max Catio ~ Part 1

We knew we needed to change the back of the bus dramatically to make it not only escape proof but also accessible from the inside! So the Mad Max Catio was born 🙂

We had two obstacles that prevented it from being escape proof!

Since we knew we were stationary until the escape proof part was completed, that’s where Zach started

~ The No Escape Plan ~


First, the back deck! In driving mode, it’s folded up and secured and then in park mode, it can be lowered to make a deck. It worked, until we needed to keep sneaky, slinky cats from going through the openings on the sides. Zach needed to not only create an insert to close the gap from the back deck part to the top, he had to secure the sides as well!

We needed this entire back section to be 100% escape proof!

Deck In Drive Position
Deck in Park Position

Second, the lift! Another area with large gaps for kitties to slip through! Zach had to create a plate to attach to the sides of the lift that created an enclosed side when in the driving position. 

Lift in Driving Position
Lift almost in park position!

Above all, safety is key! So here is how Zach made our kitties safe!

😻

Here’s What He Did

First and foremost, we needed metal! Which would be super easy if we had a truck! But we found a great company in Oklahoma that not only delivered, but the price point was, well, on point! If you need metal in the Indiahoma, Oklahoma area, check these guys out! Click the metal cat trio to check them out!

Mad Max Catio Technical….

Zach built some basic hinges to support the top enclosure section so that it can be opened when we are stationary. The top enclosure is made of angle iron and expanded metal. It closes and then the lower deck folds closed, locking and sealing it up. The expanded metal that is attached to the bottom of the lift is just that, attached. He used inch and a half angle iron to prevent any escape. 

Basic Hinges
Fully closed top section

Random pics of his build time 🙂 ⬇

Now I know that statement above made sense to him, and to others as well! For me, it’s all about the finished product, I trust Zach and his designs!

I also firmly believe that I have the capacity in my brain for a certain amount of knowledge, so if Zach has that knowledge to build a catio, there’s no need for me to also have that knowledge! I know other things, like toilet paper math 😆  and baking science 🎂


Finally,the finished product! At least for phase 1! Being fully enclosed was the main goal, and we wanted to get going to our next destination before we started Phase 2 of the Catio Project!  That is coming soon!! They will be able to go in and out of the bus without getting down on the ground! Of course, that’s if we don’t want them down! We have some alternate means of getting down planned, that can be in use or hidden away!! 

There are a few more things that need tweaking, like holding the insert in the up position when we have the deck down! But it’s an easy fix!

The lift has wings now 🙂

Zach added in metal sides so that when it is in the up position, it lays flush, creating a seal!  Probably my most favorite part 😬


Last but not least, Our littlest guy loves to be in the middle of the action! He was Zach’s right hand kitty! He is polydactyl on his two front paws, but still couldn’t manage to hand Zach the tools he needed!😂

Mad Max Catio
Phil Loves to Help!

Stay tuned for more Mad Max Catio Phases….


Missed a few parts of the story?? Catch up here!!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 9.5 Part 10 Part 11 

Love the hats we wear? Zach makes them! Check out his work here

Part 11 ~ Mad Dash To Arizona

Mad Dash To Arizona

We headed out of Oklahoma! We were planning on meeting friends out in Quartzsite, Arizona so we just put in day after day of travel! Why I thought we needed to make this mad dash to Arizona is a mystery, but I was driven to getting to Arizona!

Maybe I was ready for a good rest. A warm, friend filled zone of rest ..

Since Zach can drive around 150 miles before he needs to pull over for a leg-stretching break, we try and leave early in the morning. Once he has his stretch, then he can drive another 150-ish miles before it’s quit for the day!  No complaints here, I don’t drive the bus!


Our first pitstop was in Odessa, Tx to visit a Jack Rabbit!  The World’s Largest Jackrabbit to be exact! Well….former largest! I’ll have to investigate further where the new reigning big guy is!

Mad Dash to Arizona Click Me for More

But it turns out there are a lot of them in town. Guess it’s true what they say about rabbits?! They multiply! Unfortunately, we didn’t allow much time to explore this town and we were in the bus. So we didn’t get any pics of them 🙁 Maybe next time around!


The next few days were spent driving! That’s it! No fun stuff, no huge things, just straight up driving! We got through the rest of Texas and all of New Mexico in a flash!  Crossed the state line into Arizona, and decided to stop at the nearest Harvest Host location just over the Arizona state line.  We planned to stay there 2 nights and then head out to Quartzsite and beyond!

That’s where things went wrong! Terribly, terribly wrong.

Sad Story Alert

From day one, we let our cats free roam. They go in and out all day and night. It’s always been safe for them. And they don’t go far from the bus.

When we arrived at our stay for the night, Zach walked the dogs, which meant the cats also popped out!

Pebbles, Heddy and Scabbers ~ all out to scout!

The Cat Routine

Heddy almost always comes back at dark, and will venture out again during the night for a little bit before requesting to come back in. Scabbers and Pebbles, they are night cats. Preferring to sleep in the bus all day and then go out and hunt bugs at night. Scabbers will come in and out throughout the night, but Pebbles always stays out all night. It’s her time!

The next morning, Pebbles didn’t join Zach and the pups on their morning walk. Something she ALWAYS did. But had on occasion decided to wait until later in the day to come home. By nightfall, she still hadn’t returned, and now we were very worried! Day 2, Day 3… No Pebbles, and we had no more time at this location! Zach rode around and spoke with the neighbors and showed them her picture and let them know where we stayed. The host also knew we were not able to find her. Since we were not going very far, we knew we could easily come back.

Making it to Quartzsite

Finally, we made it over to meet our friends in the area. I started a purge project to keep myself busy and Zach visited with friends.

Where he learned that our cats were never safe outside, even in the daytime. And either was Louie, our Puggle. Coyotes are bad in that area and they come right into camp.

We were in Quartzsite for about an hour.

Mad Dash to Arizona, Reversed!

And then we were on the road again, heading back to Oklahoma!

Was it tough to leave our friends so quickly, of course! But they understood!

First stop was a Second chance at finding Pebbles. A one overnight chance.

We didn’t find her.

Absolutely lost with her being lost! We cried, and cried, and kept our other two cats inside from the moment we found out they were unsafe.

Apart from parking on the side of the road, which we couldn’t do, we had no choice but to head out again without our feisty girl, Pebbles


Just one pitstop ~ to find a roadrunner! We had seen him on the way out to Arizona, but he was on the opposite side of the highway and not easy to get to! So, we stopped on the return trip! He’s really cool! Made of all recycled material!

Mad Dash to Arizona


It took us 5 days to get from Arizona to Oklahoma, just south of Oklahoma City! Five days of non-stop cat crying. Scabbers and Heddy were NOT pleased with the no outside time. But we couldn’t take a chance!

At this time, the catio was born. Zach needed to figure out how to make the back deck still come down to use, as well as the lift. But it needed to be escape proof. He spent some time designing a way to make a cage around the cage. In addition to what is already there! Just needs modification!


When the Mad Dash to Arizona doesn’t work…

This has been the hardest post to write! Our hearts are clearly broken that Pebbles didn’t return to us, not yet anyway! We have not given up hope, and are in contact constantly with the people at the location we were at! I’m thinking she is one of those cats that is trailing us, and will catch up to us soon! Or maybe a sweet little girl found her and fell in love!

The one thing we have learned is that all animals should be microchipped! Slowly working on all animals being chipped in the near future (Louie is already chipped and registered). There’s no blame in any of this, but there are lessons!


 Stay tuned for scenes from our next stop ~ Windy Oklahoma!!


Missed a few parts of the story?? Catch up here!!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 9.5 Part 10

Love the hats we wear? Zach makes them! Check out his work here

Part 10 – Heading West For Winter!

Heading West!

You’ve met the pets, and while we love them, it’s time to move on in our Journey! We decided we were heading west for the winter, via a southwest route! Our first stop along the newly formed route was Stillwater, Oklahoma!

And what did we find?

Autobots….

heading west

We found these 2 gems at local body shops (G&M Body Shop), where they were rebuilt after buying them from someone in Thailand!!

Stillwater was a cute town, but we were just there for a quick stop! It was at this point that we made a final decision on where to winter ~ Arizona !!

Roll Out!

We mapped out our route ~ well Zach mapped it out and I found weird stuff to do along the way! It’s how we roll! And I love that about us, obviously!

So we spent some time visiting friends, and exploring Oklahoma! We spent days geocaching, and riding! Well, mostly Zach went riding ~ I’m off electric toys until we get an e-bike for me! I love riding, I just don’t love standing the whole time!

We also worked on yarn storage! My mom sent Zach ALLLLL of her yarn! Three big boxes of it! So Zach hung a trunk organizer from the ceiling at the foot of our bed! It helped a lot!!

heading west

Zach makes some very unique hats! He has a lot on hand, but also likes to do custom orders! Check out some of his work!

Click on any of the photos to check out our Shop!


We ended up spending some time in the Lawton, Oklahoma area visiting a friend of Zach’s. Lot’s of things to do in and around that area, so we were good to spend a few days relaxing and exploring!

Where to Begin?

We set out with the dogs one morning to check out Mount Scott ~ for trail riding, or EUC riding, we never know!

We found the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, which is where Mount Scott is located, but there is SO much more!

At this time, we planned on driving up to scope out the route for safety… and much to my dismay, the passenger side view was off the side of the mountain. With very little between me and falling off the side

We finally  made it to the top (it was like a 5 minute ride up but felt like a bit longer!) The dogs wanted to go explore the rocks, so we let them take the lead!

It was beautiful up there! Uninhibited views of the mountains and valleys! The weather was perfect, the dogs were well behaved (as always!) and we had a great time exploring the small trails along the top!

The drive back down was much nicer, since my immediate out the window view was of the mountain itself this time!

Click Me for More Mount Scott Pics!

We were only able to make a quick pitstop in Holy Land!  They were not pet friendly, so we did a drive by picture taking moment! Maybe one day we will get back there and not have our pups!


We also found a really cool tower that we hiked up to check out! Secretly Zach is scoping this all out to see if he can get a EUC up it! I’m wise to his game At the same time, I don’t mind him checking things out before he goes

The Jed Johnson Watchtower

Click on any pic to see more!


Rubber Ducky…are you heading west?

Ok, so this guy wasn’t rubber, but he was a ducky! A HUGE Ducky!  Just randomly there on the side of the road while we were scoping out the trails in Medicine Park! 

He was in pretty bad shape, and if we had the room, he’d have somehow gone home with us! Just not sure where to put him ON the bus, because he sure isn’t fitting IN the bus! So, we left him there, hopefully someone will rescue him soon

We found some beautiful scenery around Medicine Park! 

And I’m still not sure why I didn’t take pictures of the cute Birdhouse Bungalows! Must mean we have to go back!


We’re Still Heading West … Slowly

But first, we had to head out of Oklahoma and into Texas! What kind of things did we find there?  Stay Tuned!!

Missed a few parts of the story?? Catch up here!!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 9.5

Love the hats we wear? Zach makes them! Check out his work here

Part 9.5 ~ Our Pets ~ The Insanity

Our Pets

I’ve mentioned our pets here and there in the story, but they are a big part of our lives!

We have 2 dogs ~ Louie and Jemma!  And 4 cats ~ Pebbles, Scabbers, Heddy and Phil!

Let’s start with Louie

Also known as ~ Louis, Lou Dog, Ridiculouie, Louis Navidad 

I adopted Louie in May of 2020, from a rescue in Lake Fort Worth, Florida! He is about 4 years old! 


Next comes Jemma

Also known as ~ Jemma Dilemma, Beetlejuice, the Brown Clown

Zach rescued Jemma from a neighbor who had her tied out, about 2 years ago.  (he had permission to take her with him). She is about 3 years old!


Our first kitty, Pebbles … she is the leader of the Cat Pack! 

Also known as ~ The Queen, the boss, or anything of the like 🙂

Zach adopted Pebbles when she was a baby.  He knew her momma, so he has known Pebbles her whole life


And now for Scabbers .. I only mention him first because he was born first, but Heddy is his sister 🙂

Also Known As ~ Scoober Doo, Oreo, Scoob, Scabber Dabber Doo

I owned his Momma, Milky.   So I’ve had Scabbers since birth!

And that brings us to Heddy

Also Known As ~ Hedwig, Muffin, Toupee, Heddylicious

So as with Scabbers, I’ve had Heddy since birth also. 


So our last little guy is SUPER new ~ Phil

Also Known As ~ Tiny Bits, Philodendron, Phil in the blank

We just adopted Phil from a fellow nomad, Bob!  His cat Smokey is Phil’s momma


So now that you’ve met them, let me tell you more about them as a family of pets.

When Zach and I were headed out on this journey, I had to make a tough decision with Milky, my momma cat. 

The Milky Dilemna

First, before I could get her spayed, she got pregnant again. Not a problem really, since I knew we could take care of them and find good homes. The second problem was that there is no way she would have traveled well. I was fearful she would run off and not come back.

What to do…

I knew a woman who absolutely loved Milky, as much as I did! So I reached out to her and told her the situation and she immediately said she would be happy to have Milky come live with her. As much as I love that cat, I knew it was not best to be selfish and to let her live in one location. I cried, a lot. But she gave birth to 5 kittens the day we set out from Florida!  Talk about timing!!

So that means that Louie has known Scabbers and Heddy since they were born

He’s like a big brother to them


Jemma and Louie were best friends from the moment they met! There was never a growl or mean word between them!

Our Pets


The Dynamic of Our Pets

Now comes the real test!  How do the ALL of the animals get along??  Do they fight or play? Amongst the dogs, the cats, or a mix of cats and dogs fighting??

Nope! Contrary to what most think, they all get along fine ~ despite their species and age differences Well, maybe Pebbles gives the little guys a bit of a rough time, but I think she’s just teaching them!  

So here is our crazy mix of pets, clearly having a blast hanging out with each other!

And of course, Our Pets Videos

And now for some rare footage of Scabbers going into Dog Mode (ok, it’s not rare footage, he plays with them all the time, and we video it almost every time!) This cat is ABSOLUTELY safe during this video, in fact, he started the fight 🙂

And Scabbers has been training the new kitten as well!  He is such a great big brother!

And a couple of random videos of our pets being themselves!


And after a hard day being our pet, Jemma sums it up the best!  Sounds like she is having a good dream


Our pets play a huge role in our lives! We base our stays on where there is safety for them, above all! Our cats like to explore the outdoors, so we need less busy roads, and definitely no predators (there will be times when we can’t guarantee that no predator thing and for that reason, we are building an enclosed catio on the back deck!)

                 

Missed a few parts of the story?? Catch up here!!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 

Love the hats we wear?  Zach makes them!  Check out his work here

Part 9 ~ New Adventures in a New State!


SO… We made it out of Arkansas!  But not too far, we were waiting on some important things in the mail so couldn’t go too far!  But!  We were officially in Oklahoma!! 

I wanted more Garden time, so we found a cute little spot to satisfy by need for pretty things!  The Papilion in Honor Heights Park in Muskogee, Oklahoma!   It was super cute, lots of art sculptures ~ which I LOVE ~ and flowers! 

      

Sad that the Butterfly House wasn’t open when we were there, but timing is everything on those things!!

Click Here to see more pics from The Papilion


We had a bunch of down time, but no major projects in mind, so we just went sightseeing!  We found some cool stuff!

In Tulsa, We found the World’s Largest Bottle of Hair Tonic

Click above to see more of our Hair Tonic Pics!


We took a day trip out to Catoosa, Oklahoma to check out a Big Blue Whale! 

We were not disappointed!  He was huge, and cute, and we could actually go inside and check it out!  Click for More Pics!


After a few days just hanging around the bus, cleaning, cooking, baking, just relaxing… We were ready for more adventure.  Big stuff, factory tour, something!

And what we found next was in Sepulpa, Oklahoma 🙂

Is that regular or diesel ?

The World’s Largest Gas Pump!   Now, we went on a day the museum is closed (we somehow forgot to check that ), so we were only able to see the Pump through the fence!  Bummer!Click the Pump to see our Pics


So, I read somewhere that in Tulsa, was the “Center of the Universe”. WHAT? I could be standing at the center of the universe. The whole dang thing? I’m in ….

Click This Pic For More!

BUT, I’m not sure the people who set it up got the memo, or we weren’t in the right place? Because this was not as spectacular as I had hoped. I can say I was there though, but I’d have to do some more research before I believed that I was standing in the center of THE UNIVERSE!

Echo?? What Echo?

It was also pretty cold that day! And WINDY!! So this was a quick stop! We tried to hear the echo we read about when standing in this spot, but just couldn’t! Maybe the wind??


And on the way home, we hit the mother load of HUGE things… I’m not sure why some towns have an abundance of this weird stuff, but we LOVE it!!! 

This was Meadow Gold District!

Click any of the pics to see what else we found in the District!

We found cute shops in the mix of all the big stuff!  The area is full of small shops, big art, murals and more!


Continuing our BIG things theme for the day ~ check this dude out!  He is The World’s Largest Driller! 

And HE IS HUGE!  I look like an ant on his shoe

He stands SEVENTY-FIVE FEET TALL!   I don’t think we’ve seen anything this high in the sky yet!! 

Click the Driller for more pics!


Done for the day ?  Not quite!  We found The World’s Largest Praying Hands in Tulsa as well!  The patina on the hands was amazing, making them look worn! 

This was simply beautiful, I’m so glad we stopped by! But finally, this was our last stop of the day!


So before, during and after our Big Things Stops, we visited a bunch of nurseries in the Tulsa area. Clearly, we have a bit of a plant obsession! I’ve lost count (I’ll get on that!) but we have a LOT!! 

I’m a big fan of Pothos, and Zach is a big fan of Hoyas!  

But if I’m being completely honest, I am a big fan of ALL plants! 

Here is our bounty from the day !

Hoya Australis


That was definitely a BUSY few days in Tulsa!  When we got home with our nursery plants, I wanted to inspect them a bit further (we’ve had issues), but our dogs weren’t having it!  The big girl (Jemma) got in my lap first, then the little guy (Louie) jumped on Jemma, then to me! 

We enjoyed our time in Tulsa, but it was time to move on! Where to? I don’t even think we knew!

Till Next Time….

Missed a few parts of the story?? Catch up here!!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8

 

Love the hats we wear?  Zach makes them!  Check out his work here

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