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Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Some thoughts about traveling solo, and other wonderings

It’s not been a very exciting time around here since the Blogger-Fest in Quartzsite last Saturday.  Between working three days in the VC, and the cloudy/rainy weather I’ve just been taking care of necessary chores.  That leaves me plenty of time for my mind to wander. 

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              Loggerhead Shrike.  All pics tonight are birds around the refuge on Sunday and Monday.

A week ago or so, Bayfield Al wrote the following in one of his posts: “I sometimes wonder about fellow RV’ers traveling solo.  They have by choice decided to travel on their own & I often wonder what their true thoughts are & how they really feel about that.”

That’s been playing on my mind ever since.  I had hoped to chat with Al about that at the Blogger-Fest, but there just wasn’t time, and there were so many people to get acquainted with.  So, I’ll just say a few words about it tonight.

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                       Male Anna’s hummingbird getting duded up for the ladies.  Winking smile

I, of course, can only speak for this solo traveler.  Rather than ‘having by choice’ chosen to travel alone, I’d say I travel solo because I have no choice.  If I want to travel, I have to do it alone.  I don’t have a partner willing to accompany me.  I think there’s a difference there.

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                   “What do you think, ladies?  Am I not stunningly handsome and irresistible?”

That does not mean that I wouldn’t enjoy having someone to share the joys, excitement, and trials and tribulations of living on the road.  It just hasn’t worked out that way.  I’d still rather struggle on my own than sit in an apartment somewhere drying up and withering away.  Do I feel lonely?  Not very often.  I could go on in greater detail, but I think you get the drift.

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The brittle bush are beginning to bloom.  I’d rather see these bees on the blooms than on my orange halves or hummingbird feeders.

As for ‘other wonderings’, I’ve got two tonight.  First of all, I have an indoor/outdoor piece of carpet on my patio that I have so Emma doesn’t always have to lie on the cement.  This is the dessert with low humidity, right?  We’ve had some rain, but nothing like what is found in other parts of the country.  So why does my carpet smell mildewed?  What’s up with that?

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                    A noisy little Verdin enjoying my orange halves stuck on the mesquite tree.

Secondly concerns a dilemma with Emma.  I decided to splurge on new bowls for her inside.  One is for water, and the other is for food.  I’ve always had a small plastic combo feeding/watering dish, but it got broken.  I went with two small stainless steel bowls with rubber on the bottom that won’t slide around when traveling.  Well, she’ll readily drink water out of one of them, but won’t eat any food put in the other.  If I hold the food bowl in my hand, she’ll daintily eat out of it.  I don’t want to do that forever.  She gets a little good night snack of milk bone type things when I go to bed, and since I bought the new bowls those snacks are still in there every morning.  Any suggestions?

Well this post has gone on long enough.  The forecast is for more rain the next two days.  Ugh!  I suppose it will be beautiful for the days I have to go back to work.  One last thought on traveling solo.  Do you suppose someone could invent a mail-order husband company??  Open-mouthed smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

52 comments:

  1. Does she have tags on her collar that bang against the metal bowl? We had a dog once that was afraid of the noise it made.

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  2. I have the metal bowls too but without the antiskid. One of my dogs eats heartily out of them , but the other one is afraid of them. She will eat but it takes twice as long as it did with the plastic bowl, and she will give in to the other dog without a whimper. Maybe they don't like the sound of teeth hitting the metal or the smell of the metal.

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  3. Wrecks always had a place mat to eat on because he was such a messy eater. When we took the carpet up, I threw the place mat away. That really threw him off. Puppies are such creatures of habit. First off, try switching the bowls...maybe the food bowl has an odor she doesn't like. If she drinks water from it then you will know that's not the case. Second, Dover is always skipping meals so maybe if a Emma skips a couple, she will be hungry enough to eat. And third, try adding some chicken broth, canned pumpkin, or milk to her food and then slowly wean her off. Good luck Judy...

    I would definitely downsize and travel solo if anything ever happened to Joe...providing my health was still good of course.

    Love the verdins!

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  4. I would really try and find some food dishes like she used to have if you can' t find any ...I would go back to plastic Emma is not the first dog I have heard of that does not like metal bowls...for the food...that's my opinion good luck

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  6. Scooter drinks water out of a metal bowl but won't eat out of it. Have no idea why and I gave up arguing with her. When she was crated last month, she refused to drink water out of the bowls that clip to the crate. Kept trying to bury it with her blanket. Now Skitz will eat out of anything as long as there's food involved. Who knows what goes through those brains of theirs. I've often wondered what I would do if I didn't have Jim. I think I would get a Class B like a Roadtrek (a cheaper used one). I know I don't have the strength anymore to do any hitching up so that would rule out both the fifth wheel and the travel trailer and I do not want a big motorhome. I like little.

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  7. I have no opinion on the food bowls, but do have an opinion on the mail order husband! I think that company would do well, because there are more women than men. The photos are great!

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  8. Judy, I feel he same way you do. Would love to have someone to travel with but refuse to stay put because of it. It can be a little scarry or lonely at times but not enough to keep me off the road.

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  9. awwww. . .a wandering mind. . .now that could be a dangerous thing. . .LOL!

    I admire your grit to travel, explore, volunteer, and anything else that strikes your fancy. . .you have an amazing way of making it work. . .keep it up for as long as possible. . .as you said, beats sitting in an apartment withering away. . .living life to the fullest is always the best way!

    All the pics are great, as always. . .

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  10. My two girls eat and drink out of metal bowls! You could just keep the metal bowl for water and get another type for eating. Beautiful photos!!

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  11. Interesting post - I, too, would much rather have a traveling companion, but for now, I am alone. Luckily I don't get lonely so being alone is a second best situation, but not a bad situation for me. I would guess most solo travelers, both men and women, would rather have a companion to travel with. But I'd much rather be a solo traveler than be with someone I didn't care about and have a lot in common with, ya know?

    The carpet? I don't know, but if it smells like mildew I'd toss it. Mildew is mold - right? - and when I had mold in my condo I had respiratory issues until we found the mold and called experts in. Then my issues went away. Since Emma is laying on the carpet, probably with her nose close to the carpet, I wouldn't want her breathing those spores in. Maybe just some good drying out time in the sunshine would take care of it? I'd do some research on-line I think.

    On the bowl thing... Katie has two metal bowls, the kind with the rubber on the bottom, but probably the smallest size. She is not a big eater or drinker, and I wonder if that's why. Tomorrow I'm going to switch out her bowls and see what happens.

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  12. Some people crave traveling solo, others travel solo because they are solo....maybe there are some people who are not solo but wish to be..:), Thanks for sharing your experience and what a great wealth of experience that is! Aren't we all just a Box of Chocolates?

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  13. I'm with ya, kid. I'd rather be Out and About enjoying this wonderful country and all its splendors, and even enduring trials and tribulations (as in, I need to fill this puppy up with gas ... can I get in and out of this danged gas station?) in the process than sitting still someplace, as you say, withering away. There is a big difference between traveling alone by choice or simply not having someone to accompany you. Emma, who won't eat out of her new dish, might not count in this equation! Where else, or how else, would you be seeing the birds you so stunningly photograph if not to travel in your RV? Take a bus? I don't think so! Your loyal readership would certainly miss those pictures!

    I will add that if you've truly lost your marbles, you'd opt for one of those mail-order husbands!! Keep Emma instead! Hope to see you soon.

    ps: Your hummingbirds pics are wunnerful!

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  14. I never thought about what kind of bowl I fed Lady from - she would eat or drink from anything I set down for her. When I think about it, Lady was a real joy to travel with most of the time. I doubt I'd ever find a man to travel with. I'm really getting tired of traveling alone, but not being alone at other times. It's just nice to share the wonderful sights of our beautiful country with another perso.

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  15. I too took quite a pause when I read Al's post about suddenly being alone.... As you might know, my wife passed suddenly about 18 months ago.... Its been a real big transition for me... To be alone all the time... We were married for 45 years... I do better with it now, but without Biscuit the dog, I'm not sure what I would have done... And somehow travelling in the motorhome accentuates this all alone feeling... Perhaps its being alone and in a totally strange place that piles on the feelings... Complex subject...

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  17. Having originally planned to go solo (when I was solo) years ago but finally getting around to it after remarrying, I would still be out here if I were on my own again. Guess the wanderlust is in my blood, thanks to my Dad. Having been an "only" growing up, I've always been fine with my own company and never lonely. Doesn't mean I don't enjoy being with others, just not lonely by myself. That being said, I sure enjoy hubby's company on our adventures.

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  18. I think a lot about this subject for obvious reasons. I know I will be alone and am pretty sure I am not up to a 35' motorhome. But I love Winnona. What do you do about repairs?? I want to continue on the road but I don't think it would be good with just anyone. I sure don't have the answer. Some have joined the WINS.

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  19. I agree with you with regard to traveling solo. It's not my choice but it sure beats the other options.

    I switched Stumpy to stainless steel bowls in order to be able to sterilize them frequently. She was not amused. If she doesn't want to eat, on any given day, I pick up her food and try again at the next scheduled feeding. Just like we humans, missing a meal or three isn't going to do any harm. When she's hungry she'll eat.

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    1. I think Cyndi has the answer. You can coddle Emma but I would try what Cyndi does.

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  20. Whats your mailing adress? :))

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  21. you can try and put some foil or plastic wrap in the bowl to see if it makes a difference. maybe there is a smell in the bowl she doesnt like. also do a good wash of the metal before you use it again in case there is a oil on the stainless or something. we have a cat that does the same thing, she wont drink out of a nice porcelain bowl, but give her a plastic cup she will drink right out of it.

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  22. I have one of those large dishes that I use for the cats water. I put asmaller glass bowl inside the large dish and that keeps the water off the floor if they should spill it. It looks better than the ugly plastic one I used before. Maybe you could put a glass bowl inside it and she'd be happy and you wouldn't have to go back to the plastic bowls. Whatever makes her highness happy though! :)

    I appreciate the fact that I have a wonderful traveling partner and can't imagine doing it without him. I hope I never have to find out.

    What about getting together with some other solo travelers and going to the same places? You would have others to caravan with when on the road, so if anyone had a break down, there would be some assistance. You could help each other with any chores, you'd have company at the campsites to sightsee, and you'd all have your own rigs so that you'd still have the privacy when you wanted it! Sounds like a great idea to me and I'll bet there are others that would like traveling companions.

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  23. I've said I wouldn't travel alone, but I'd travel... just not with the set-up we have now. You seem very comfortable with your rig and tow vehicle and that's what's important. I don't know about that mail-order companion idea... I've seen how bad the US Postal System can screw up deliveries ;-)

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  24. The Anna’s hummingbird is stunning indeed!

    Can't help with a mail-order husband but we watched on TV a new app for the phone called Virtual Boyfriend. Craziest thing.

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  25. I echo your comments about solo travel. I read about and see couples traveling and all that they do and think it would be so nice to have a partner to travel with (or even stay home with right now) but it hasn't happened. When you read about them MANY have been together for many many years as well. Hard to find those matches in today's world. You have Emma and she is a great buddy and if you are meant to travel solo it is fabulous that you do!!!! As for Emma's bowl, give it some time and this may sound harsh but she'll eventually get hungry and eat out of it most likely. Don't make a big deal over it. I'm sure it doesn't smell like food as her old plastic one did.

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  26. Good post Judy--don't have a clue about the bowls--Emmi wasn't fond of the new water dish she is currently using, the weather station fell off the shelf on the way this year breaking her old bowl, but she is now used to it.

    I think I would find it hard to travel in a RV solo--for one thing I would have to have lots more money so I could afford to pay someone to fix all the stuff the cowboy fixes when it breaks!

    And as for mail order husbands, I think I vote with Sharon from the Odd Essay, the USPS can sure screw up at times!

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  27. You've summed up perfectly why most of us solo travelers travel solo (it's not by choice, but beats the alternatives!). Whenever I can, I enjoy convoying with other RVers. Often they've been fellow solos, but I've been having a great time this winter convoying with an RVing couple too. So often it seems couples think they must only socialize with other couples-- such a box to force yourself into!

    Millie has a cool little "Travel Bed" ( http://amzn.to/1Dnhdp9 ) that she really enjoys napping on when outside. It has a moisture resistant backing, rolls up into a stuff sack, and is machine washable. It's almost 5 years old and still going strong!

    As for the metal bowls-- not sure. I was just about to buy a set for Millie as her plastic bowls are really ready to be tossed. Collar tags clanking on the bowl might be one issue. Another might be her seeing her own reflection? Wonder if you tried removing her collar and turning a light off near her bowl if that would help?

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  28. I get it...if I ever lost Jerry I would be a solo traveler, not by choice but the alternative of drying up in sticks n bricks is not appealing at all. Many folks comment on not being able to live the lifestyle the way we do it...on such a low budget but again that is not our choice. We would much rather have a steady income as others have but we do not and the alternative of drying up in sticks n bricks is once again NOT appealing at all. We all do what we have to do to come as close as possible to our dreams, not all of us are blessed with 100% of it, some of us have to take a smaller percentage of our dreams and then make the most of that percentage. Then I think...my issue nowadays with too much time on my hands...If I had to choose between the things I already am blessed with...each other, our health and our sense of humors...and to have to trade any of those for the money...well I would choose to stay the way they as we will continue to make the best of our lives with a low income. The alternatives are usually not very appealing to us so we settle in and make the most out of what life is handing out to us, always aiming higher but settling when we have to so not to lose any of the great things we have already been given.

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  29. A great comment response to your solo wonderings but I did notice a thread running through a number of them associating having a partner with sitting at home in one spot. I think the gist of your post was having someone compatible to travel with & share adventures together. Some humorus comments on that mail order issue as well:)) Keep on truckin................

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  30. There are many people that expect to live with someone, but have never lived alone. I think people need to learn to live alone, before finding someone to live with.

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  31. Sometimes you just have to do what makes you happy! Try Match dot com and see if they can match you with a fellow who likes to travel...no one says you have to be married to travel together...who knows you might find another lonely volunteer traveler out there.
    Dogs are creatures of habit...try one of your soup bowls and see what she does..or a plastic container...do a regular Emma bowl test and see what she likes. We are headed below zero tonight...very little snow :)

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  32. Mail order husband? Just make sure in the fine print there is ability to wash and wax your motorhome regularly... :cD

    I know, I know, I still owe you...

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  33. Being lonely and doing it all by myself is one of the reasons for coming 'off the road' It was just too much. It boggled the mind and was all the time worrisome. Wonder what that mail order husband would be like? maybe just a handy man??? BUT maintain 'we' can DO whatever we set our mind to!!

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  34. I don't recall our dogs ever being put off by a change in bowls, but I'm not sure if we ever changed them!

    I think that you're living an amazing life, and you seem satisfied with it. I know couples that get along great and seem to compliment one another, and others that it seems would be happier apart, so I don't think that a partner is a sure-fire key to happiness. I think the important thing is to play the hand that you got dealt and be a positive, productive person. You seem to have that taken care of...

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  35. We've got rain in Tucson for the next two days also. I'm enjoying being inside, puttering.

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  36. Our big dogs drink out of a plastic dish pan. But the little dogs were owned by people who thought it was so cute for them to drink from human mugs while on their laps. Result: they will NOT drink from anything but a coffee or soup mug. Drives me crazy! (Not a far drive...)

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  37. Hope you figure out the dish situation. If she is really uncomfortable with the stainless, I would try ceramic. I know, she'll eat when she's hungry but dogs have feelings and preferences too. There may be some reason she doesn't like the food bowl. Maybe it has a metallic taste as she licks her food. Her tongue doesn't necessarily touch the bowl when she drinks but eating would be a different story. We also have a travel bowl that we use in the car for water. It is plastic and has a lid with a large donut hole in the middle. The dogs can drink from it but the movement of the vehicle does not cause the water to slosh over the edge. It's very convenient and inexpensive.

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  38. I also travel solo. I do miss the sharing when we were two. It's hard to get started going but once I do I'm OK.

    Maybe like someone else said Emma may not like the feel or sound the metal bowl makes. Fred being a guy will eat out of the dirt if I let him. :() Silly little thing

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  39. Hi Judy. I am a birder travelling down from Oregon and I would like to connect with you to go birding and hiking together. I AM currently boon docking in Kofa. I will call the refuge and leave my phone number. I am also traveling with a dog. her name is Jennie. She is a black lab mix and a great traveling companion.

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  40. Grace used to have Metal bowls and she did not like to eat out them at first but she got used to them. We just waited her out and eventually she got hungry enough to eat. Karen's suggestion is a good one put a plastic or paper bowl inside- maybe just until she gets used to it.
    We have a friend like you- wants to travel- has to do it solo- She will go anywhere, anytime. She prefers to caravan with people when she can.

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  41. I did some Googel-ing and guess what I found? http://mailorderhusbands.net/love/ :-). As for the 'scary' food bowl, it came up with 203.000 results! I guess Emma's not the only one. Love the little Verdin, what a cutey.

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  42. I think living solo is a skill that everyone should have. If I were to live on the road it would be alone as my husband doesn't want any part of that life. At the moment he's down in GA helping my sister remodel and has been for about 10 weeks. I've enjoyed my space and lack of cooking expectations. But it will be nice to have him back to and I recognize I'm lucky to have a handy husband. I know for sure I haven't been lonely during his time away, and part of that is the internet. With the blogs and facebook it's so easy to connect with someone that you're never truly alone unless you want to be. I think you'd like to travel in a caravan sometimes...there'd be people around when you needed them, but you'd still have your separate space when you wanted to retreat.

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  43. Angel has stainless steel bowls in a metal holder with a folded towel below to catch the drips. She eats and drinks out of both of them, however she will take a few pieces of food and put them on the floor and then eat them individually, but not all the time.
    I agree with the thoughts on being solo. I like being alone most of the time, but wouldn't mind having the RIGHT partner. I've tried the online thing, but I think that most men out there don't want to take a chance on someone who isn't staying in one place, even if you are there for 6 months. (That's one of the reasons why I take long term workamping assignments) It would be nice to have an online dating site that caters to RVers only.

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  44. Ari has a metal bowl for her kibble & a plastic bowl for her water--it sounds as if we're fortunate that she doesn't mind the mix. I admire those of you who travel solo--not sure I could do it. Jim & I met on match.com--our paths would never have crossed otherwise. But neither of us were traveling. That would complicate things. I like Susan's idea of having an online dating service for RV'ers. You'd just have to have your radar out for men who just want a cook &...well, you know.

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  45. I believe living on the road is far better than withering away in some apartment somewhere too. That's how my partner feels also so guess thats why its working so well. One day we may have to hole up somewhere but for now grateful to be able to move around. As always love the bird pictures! No good advice for finake dogs as I have one of my own!

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  46. Dogs thrive on routine. You have changed Emma's routine. Since you said she will eat if you hold the bowl suggest you try elevating her food bowl. We use a wrought iron plant stand to elevate our dogs food bowl as dogs prefer there food at a elevated height aids digestion as well. I am not a fan of plastic anything for my fur kids.

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  47. Dogs thrive on routine. You have changed Emma's routine. Since you said she will eat if you hold the bowl suggest you try elevating her food bowl. We use a wrought iron plant stand to elevate our dogs food bowl as dogs prefer there food at a elevated height aids digestion as well. I am not a fan of plastic anything for my fur kids.

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  48. Having been alone for a few years, I get it. The phrase "you got to do what you got to do" comes to mind. Life does not wait for a perfect set of circumstances to arrive. We try not to let Halley push us around, but if she will not eat after a couple of days, I guess we would have to try other bowls.

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  49. Very interesting subject. I've only been RV'ing solo for a little less than a year, but I think the key is that we first choose to travel, being solo is secondary. Yep, it sure would be nice to have someone standing next to you when you see the perfect sunset so you can say ,,,,,,"Wow, would you look at that,,,". It's been more than once that I have caught myself beginning to say it, then realize no one is there. I've gotten to the point now that if I say it, oh well. But I believe, everything happens for a reason, and for whatever reason, I'm traveling solo.

    As for the stainless steel bowl, my guess is there is a shadow-like reflection on the bowl and that is confusing her. She isn't quite sure yet if that reflection is a good thing or not. She is used to that reflection from water, but not food. Just my guess.

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  50. I think they already have that "mail order husband company". It is called Match.com! HA! Plus, as I know from experience traveling with your best friend, housemate, traveling buddy can also be a great way to go. Works wonderfully for me. Remember Froggi Donna?? She met her husband on the road and they are living a great life now together. I think that has happened more than once among these RV bloggers, so if you put it out there, that maybe you are interested, I'll just bet way too many people will show up on your doorstep. You have proven your independence, strength, humor, sense of fun, and self reliance. All great qualities for a travel partner!

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  51. Nice post.Thank you for sharing this in Your blog.

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