Living by whim

Whenever I announce what I’m going to do, I rarely do it.

You have no idea what it took to get this photo!

You have no idea what it took to get this photo!

I should know better by now than to tell you, dear reader, that the crew and I will move to a new camp. In my last post that’s what I did, and, of course, we didn’t.  Move camp, that is.  There was nothing to stop us.  Calm, beautiful day, clear skies.  The only reason we didn’t move is I didn’t feel like it.  Oh, I can always move tomorrow.  I think I’ll go read my book. 

There was a time I lived according to plan.  Now I live according to whim.

The next day comes and the wind is back!  And, as you know, I avoid towing in wind.  There’s not a lot of wind, just enough to make me want to stay inside by the warm glow of my laptop with Bridget and Spike snuggled up with me.

There’s also another big reason.  I recently applied to become a member of the Amazon Associates Program and this morning I receive an email from Amazon telling me this blog has been accepted!

What does this mean?

Spike and Bridget in the driver's seat.

Spike and Bridget in the driver’s seat.

Maybe I can “monetize!”  Several readers suggested I try . . . .

If I can figure out how to set it up, my blog will have an Amazon search box and maybe an ad or links that will direct readers to products I recommend.  Any purchases made through clicking to Amazon via my blog will earn me a little money to add to my budget.

I give you fair warning . . . .

If you see weird things popping up on this blog,  that’s me trying to do something that involves a tiny bit of technical skill, a big stretch for RVSue!

Our present camp on American Girl Mine Road is the best place for us right now.

Here's one method to get all of us in a photo.

Here’s one method to get all of us in a photo.  Notice how the little imps refuse to look at the camera.

This place grows on ya.’

The nighttime lows are higher than the surrounding area, and my Wilson antenna makes my air card so happy that it puts up five steady bars of connection.

I need to learn this Amazon stuff, and to streamline the RVing Resources page.

I also get several television channels and some are in English!  I haven’t watched much TV the past year.  I do appreciate it during these long, winter nights.

So the urge to move has passed, now that I realize this location can’t be beat for this time of year.

I’m glad I stocked up on groceries, water, and propane.  The laundry pile is growing to massive proportions, but for now, I’m okay to stay at camp.

I can make news out of the smallest things . . . .

Well . . . I sit on the sunny side of the BLT, soaking up the warmth that radiates off the fiberglass, reading my book, and watching the crew.  Something happens that I’ve never experienced in my entire life. That’s a pretty darn long time.  An orange, brown, and white butterfly flutters over and sits on my shoulder!  I study him for a while as he walks around a few inches from my nose, and then I go back to my book.

I cook up a big pot of sausage and rice.

It’s winter and I want to eat!  (The Dukan Diet is for spring.)   My concoction of chicken-flavored rice, chopped red pepper, Mexican seasoning, English peas, and leftover, chopped chicken sausage comes out pretty tasty.  Bridget and Spike like it, too.  Looks like hell though.  Oh, well.



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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91 Responses to Living by whim

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Well, the food and parking space sound fine!! No matter what either LOOKS like. I think all of us want to kind of just hibernate indoors back here too…CHILLY weather does that!

  2. Barb Brady says:

    Sue, your butterfly moment reminded me of a tome I’ve tried to live by. It goes something like this: “Searching for happiness is like chasing the elusive butterfly. Only when you’re content to sit quietly does it come and land on your shoulder.” Isn’t it wonderful that you’ve finally been able to “sit quietly” and let happiness come to you. Your blog is the highlight of my day. Hoping to become a snowbird next year and cross paths with you someday.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I remember hearing something similar directed at women looking for Mr. Right . . . When you stop looking, you find him!

      Many years ago I had a baby starling who used to ride around on my shoulder. He had fallen out of the nest, and I couldn’t put him back. I guess he imprinted me as his mother. He used to make washing dishes more fun!

      • Barb Brady says:

        Ha Ha, love the starling story. We have so many similarities. I once had a baby chick that got pushed out of the nest. He was moments away from death when I found him. Gave him mouth-to-beak rescuitation and stuck in my bra to warm up. Although I didn’t bring him into the house, he used to like to sit on my shoulder when I was outside.

  3. I have been wonderring how that making money while blogging works. Like you , I am technically chalenged. I have actually bought a book on the subject but have not got to far into it yet. Anyways, it sounds like a great idea. If you have a lot of blog followers , why not throw on an ad or two. Some bloggers have lots of them. It doesnt bother me. Have a great New Year Sue and puppies !!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Happy New Year to you, too, Susan. I’ll give Amazon a try and report any earnings on my financial pages. It’ll be fun. I really don’t expect to make much.

  4. Karin from Prescott says:

    I love that you decided to stay put. I have a really hard time just relaxing and staying put. I always feel that I have to be on the move. It’s good to hear that you are relaxing – I can learn a lot from you!. I also have a hard time following a schedule. Laundry? I’m wondering if you can solve that problem by changing your clothes once a week – whether you need to or not – and maybe doing your undies in the sink. I doubt Spike would mind if you left them in the bathroom to dry. Cheers!

  5. That top photo is a nice one Sue !!

  6. EmilyO from KS says:

    Whew, glad to read you use the word “whim”. That is such a better word then – schedule/plan. Really like the picture of the 3 of you at the van door, looks relaxed; but you do have a mischievous type look on your face that is cute. Happy New Year kiddo and Crew.

  7. fossildreamer says:

    RV’s life Set in jello, or on a whim I go with whim

      • Timber n' me says:

        You know Sue, I’ve been settin with in 5 clicks of th’ same spot since October, sometimes a Whim comes up,( to many dirt bikes ), n
        i move over there, then i move back, ya know what i mean, Anyhoot,,,,,,,,, that’s neet ya got th’ crew ta stay with ya in your photo’s,,,,,,,,Are you goin’ to have add’s on your site, like campin gear n’ such, like pop ups, ,,,,,oh well i like this no pop up site, it gives me a break from all th’ other sites that destract ya from reading, gess i’ll get use to it.

  8. Pat says:

    Nice pics, I would stay put too. Sounds like a great place to ring in the new year. When a butterfly lands on you it means you are going to get a new dress that color….that is what my Mom always told me.

  9. Rita says:

    Great idea about Amazon plan….why not make some money w/products you’ve ordered advertised…I’d love to see them too & maybe even buy a few. They black, orange, white butterfly you saw might be a Monarch butterfly….they migrate through the area all the way up the Colorado river. Once coming back from CA Disney Land w/kids, we ran into a mass migrating Monarchs…so many were hit my cars/trucks they made the highway slick like ice. It was so sad to see so many killed. I felt there should have been a sign for traffic to slow and maybe not many would have perished. You’ll also see black birds, hummingbirds and even ducks migrating back north in western Arizona. I see them from my house going south and north (the birds I mean…the Monarchs I never see except for the one time). I usually put hummingbird feed out in February/March.

  10. Rita says:

    P/S the sausage & rice sounds so good my mouth is watering LOL. If Spike misses this water soaks…put out a pan of water…I bet he’ll soak in it. I see dogs soaking in the water dish sometime so I put out a baby pool for mine dogs who are both terriers (white w/brown spots)…but not sure if they are mix cuz they were adopted.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I used to put out a kiddie pool for the dogs I fostered. What a riot!

      It’s a little cool and breezy for Spike to be getting wet outside. I don’t doubt he’d jump right in. I’ll never forget how he soaked in the Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry last spring. That water was ice cold.

  11. Bee says:

    I average about $800 per month on a mailing list of 1200 people in an affiliate program. I think if you requested things you know and use and even better have reviewed, it would drive sales. Some will find this more of a bother then they think it is worth and yes, initially it does take time to learn the programs. You have managed to learn how to blog, I have no doubt that you will have this whipped in no time as well.

  12. Laurie from Oregon says:

    Hi Sue,
    First off I want to wish you a Happy New Year! My New Year couldn’t be better because I just signed the papers on my house and it is Sold. Now all I have to do is decide on an Rv and I’m off to wander the lands. Oh, I’m so excited it is finally happening. I’ll be one of those single older and bolder women seeing the West from my own lil’ Rv. To Yuma and beyond! Oh yeah, good idea about Amazon. I’m going to get some benchmark maps so let me know when you have them up and I will order from your site.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Laurie,

      Congratulations on the sale of your house! I know how wonderful that feels, especially when it’s one less thing to hold you back from the road. I’m very happy for you.

      How nice of you to plan on using my site for an Amazon purchase!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Laurie… I don’t know how to place ads yet, but I do know links. You can purchase the Benchmark atlases by clicking on the link I inserted into the June 7, 2012 blog entry. Go to that page.

  13. earthdancerimages says:

    Good Luck with the Amazon thing. Chuck and I were talking about doing the same thing and have just kept putting it off. Sounds like a good deal for you for sure! Glad your weather is good, ours never got above 45 degrees today, but the sky was the most amazing clear deep blue all day! Love the family photo! Your chicken and rice sounds good, I am baking macaroni for supper. Keep on living on a whim! Plans can go awry, whim is always right on! 🙂 Geri

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Nice to hear from you, Geri. Hmm… macaroni is good for a wintry day. Thanks for the good luck wish for “the Amazon thing.” We’ll see how it goes . . .

  14. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Absolutely love the pictures…….finally you are in them! RVSue aka desert woman striking the pose! 🙂

    How neat…that the butterfly landed on you.

    Your readers always learn something from you…the solar panels, where to boondock, a weath of information, how to get better reception etc. If you can make extra money…go for it!

    Your schedule is your schedule…..the type of lifestyle you are currently enjoying means you’ll do it if you feel like it! Laundry is sometimes a chore especially if you have to sit in a laundromat. As long as you have underwear you’re set….you can always hang them outside! heh heh. How about a retractable plastic closeline inside your bathroom.

    Sausage and rice sounds like comfy warm food. No pictures?

    Stay warm………

  15. Pauline says:

    I love the pictures!!!!! The first one is great and should be your profile picture on the new Amazon blog thingy. I don’t know how that works but I am sure you will be a hit!!!! Mississippi is cold and rainy right now but everyone is doing fine. All of us send our love and a wish for a Very Happy and Blessed New Year.

  16. Mick says:

    RvSue & Crew, INC. Congrats on your business venture. I know you will sell a lot of Wilson antennas. Hope you don’t go totally corporate on us. LOL

  17. geogypsy2u says:

    Nice photo of the three of you. I can imagine that wasn’t easy to pull off.

    I have an Amazon add on my wordpress site. Put their HTML code in a text widget. Made a whooping $25 this year. Good luck.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Gaelyn!

      I’ve tried several times to put up an Amazon ad by inserting the HTML code in a text widget. The widget never appears, just a link. Very frustrating! I’ll go to your site to see if it’s an .org or .com or whatever. Maybe that’s the difference.

  18. cathieok says:

    Whims are good! The amazon click box is a good thing. Mi have used it on several different sites.

  19. Jean &Skip says:

    Love the picture of you and the crew. That whole area off Ogilbe Rd, is a good place to stay, we like it there too. Good luck with Amazon!

  20. SandiNature says:

    RVSue and crew,

    It’s funny that you mention the Amazon affiliate program. I was surprised that your blog didn’t have any ads. I’m sure there’s a way to get around the WordPress limitation. I’m sure one of your readers can offer some insight. Good luck with it.

    Anxiously awaiting any word about Buddy.
    Happy New Year!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Sandi,

      I guess you missed the report several weeks ago about Buddy. He was adopted by the military personnel of Ft. Irwin (Barstow) who camped there one weekend.

      Happy New Year to you, too!

  21. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    I knew it wouldn’t be long until Madison Ave started taking over the only real freedom we Americans still had…the web. Now it has come to this…oh dear…oh well, if anyone can make it fun rv sue can. I wish you success even though it grates on me. Can rv sue succeed in this enterprise and still follow the path of heart? Lets continue to follow her blog and see. I hope no head line banners proclaim…” Will success spoil RV Sue “…..extra…extra…read all about it…” Desert Lady throws her hat in the ring for Senator of Arizona “…read all about it…

  22. Bill says:

    Boy Sue, you’re looking ‘sassy’. Forget advertising the Wilson Antennas, get your own line of ‘hats!’ I think you could look up Clint Eastwood for a little advice!

    LOOKING GOOD! K has a hat filled with Ballon pins from the ABQ Ballon feasta…but she doesn’t. have the bumper sticker that says ‘just found the hat! (OH, Clint smokes those little stoogies…naw, keep to the subject on ‘hats’! cheers Bill (happy New Year..don’t know what’s going to be new for the next FOUR YEARS)

  23. Homeofmyown says:

    Happy New Year, I love reading your blog everyday. I am sorting my stuff getting ready to pack my RV, as soon as I find one to buy. I did a contract job for the Feds. and I’m waiting for the the check to arrive, which should be any day. When that happens I want to be ready to go. I’m hoping for Feb. 1st. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for showing me my dream is doable.

  24. Just wanted to send you a note to say ‘hello’, Sue. I came across your blog several days ago and started reading your posts from the very beginning. I’m up to the middle of June 2012, and am loving each and every entry that you have made. Can’t wait to get caught up to where you are feeling that I’m in a time warp! Have you seen the film ‘The Lake House’? Kinda like that.. I’ve been trying to hold off on posting but can’t hold back any longer. I absolutely love your blogging style because it reads like a wonderful story that unfolds almost daily. I admire your way with words and your self-deprecating style. I am hopeful that you will keep this blog up for many years to come. I retired from my government career over 2 years ago. My wife of 39 years (Sheila) and I bought our first trailer, a 23′ Jayco, and am absolutely loving our experiences with it, wether dry camping in the mountains of SW Washington or in a state park on the Oregon coast. We have decided to follow your path in our own way! We are going to moving from our home here in town and leasing it out for extra income. We will be turning our cabin in the Washington Cascades into our homebase, spending some of our summer months there. Otherwise we will be mostly boondocking and spending a few days here and there in state parks while visiting cherished friends and family. We have a 12 year old Silky Terrier named Buddy that will be our companion, and we can’t wait to get started! Thanks again for who you are and what you are doing for us, your dedicated readers. We’ve also started our blog about our adventures (recent and future)..what an effort, a real work in about newbies! Anyway, kudos to you and your sweet crew. We’ll be looking forward to reading all of your future posts, and will be pleased to add comments when inspired to.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Sheila, Bruce and Buddy!

      Welcome to my blog and to the adventures that await you!

      Thank you for the compliments and for joining us. Please don’t hesitate to comment in the future. The comments really do make my blog more interesting, as I’m sure you’ve already discovered.

      You have an excellent plan and you live in an area surrounded by wonderful camping locations. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be amazed how rich life can be ‘on the road.’ I wish you many happy adventures in the new year and beyond.

  25. Barb says:

    Hey there Sue! Good luck with finding a solution to the Amazon deal! Something tells me, if there is a way, you WILL find it! Great photos!!!!
    I am so glad you don’t drive in the wind!
    Happy New Year!!!

  26. Ed says:

    Jack says:
    December 27, 2012 at 10:33 AM
    Suggest you drop off at Wellton, east of Yuma, south to the canal then look left. There should be Rvs in the distance. All state property, no limit and might be fewer people. There is a dump n’ water at the chevron, seven bucks. Good luck if you go. Forgot to mention most important.. No charge for parking and its fun walking along the canal.
    rvsueandcrew says:
    December 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM
    Thank you, Jack, for the suggestion and information!

    I didn’t want my comment on this post of yesterday and the day before to get totally lost so I have copied what was said. Jack is mostly correct but Arizona ‘state land’ is not the same as BLM land. Arizona Trust Land is land managed by the State Land Department
    Trust Land is not public land. It does require a Permit, that is the bad news; the good news is that it cost $15 per year. There is Arizona Trust Land scattered all over the state so it may be something for you to look into. Some of that land is in the foothills south of I-8 and east of Yuma, a more scenic camping spot than near Wellton, IMO.

  27. Cari in Texas says:

    I love the word and concept of ‘whim’ and I think your using it to guide your life now is awesome! One of my work contracts was cancelled so I will have more time this year to live without a schedule or commitments. Good luck with the Amazon thing – I appreciate all your advice on things to get for the RV lifestyle and will be happy to help make you a little money later on down the road.

    Your butterfly story reminds me of what happened to me many years ago. I had gotten laid off from a job and went to a cabin in a state park to just relax and unplug for awhile. One morning I was sitting on the front porch when a hummingbird flew up and hovered at my front door. I had never seen one that close, and I took it as a sign that I was doing the right thing in not immediately starting to look for a new job.

    p.s. Love the family photos!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Cari! You’ve received a priceless gift… free time! I hope you take good advantage of it.

      Hummingbirds are such fun to have around. I’ve seen them fly up to the red plastic on the rear lights of the PTV, to one of my red dishpans, and even to my shirt when wearing red or orange.

  28. katydid says:

    Hi Sue,
    My name is katydid and I will be one of your newest followers. I want to thank you for what has been a lovely Christmas gift – finding your blog! I have spent the past week and a half reading your blog entries from the very beginning to the present.

    You have given me hope that my dream of becoming full time RVer can be possible. I want to thank you Sue, for being a great teacher and inspiration. (Oh, and I really love the antics of crew too!)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome, welcome, welcome, katydid!

      One of the greatest compliments I receive is when someone goes back to the beginning of my blog and reads up to the present. Thanks for joining us.

      I hope we hear from you often as you envision a new way to live, as you plan for it, and as you live it. Feel free to ask questions. The decisions you make in the planning stage will shape your experiences as a full-time RVer. I love helping that process in any way I can.

      Happy New Year!

  29. Susan in Dallas says:

    Happy New Year, well almost! Looks like the crew were trying to hide from all their admirers. If you told them to not look at the camera they probably would. I read several travel blogs and the canine travelers are a very unique bunch.

  30. longdog2 says:

    I’ve seen your blog for sale on Amazon for a monthly fee so I guess ads are the next step. Seems like they work well for some and not so well for others. I know a few people have had problems with “inappropriate” advertisements but I think that occurs more when you sign up with an advertising company. Good luck, I know some extra income always helps.

  31. Jan swan, quartz site snowbird says:

    The butterfly is someone from heaven letting you know they love you

  32. Chuck says:

    The first photo looks like it should be titled, ” Indiana Sue”………Great pics as always and thanks for going to the hassle of taking them….espescially you and the crew!!!!

  33. DeAnne from TN says:

    We have a very gentle snow going on right now, but it is not sticking, and it is very pretty. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and the blessings to keep pursuing our dreams.

  34. Ed says:

    Sue, a follow up on my previous postings regarding my Thermal Cooker. I never pay much attention to the time that I leave things cooking in it but I did today just to see about the temperature issue that was brought up. I let my batch of chili sit cooking on the counter for 8 hours after bringing it to a boil for 10 minutes. At the end of those 8 hours the inner pot, the one with the chili in it, was still too hot to put my hand on it.
    A 250W Crock Pot would have used about 18 amp hrs over that same 8 hours. That is not much if your plugged into shore power but solar power is precious stuff, akin to water, when your boondocking. How much propane did I use to bring the pot to a boil for 10 minutes, I don’t know but it could not have been much. I use around 2 gallons a month for cooking and heating.
    The other argument was about their price. Yes, relatively expensive but if treated with any kind of reasonable care they should last as long as you or I do.
    Happy New Year!

    • DeAnne says:

      Thanks for the info that you have been sharing about the thermal cooker. I’ve been doing some research since you first mentioned it and it seems to work really well. I don’t know that I would be brave enough to cook chicken, but it’s a great option.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s helpful to hear your personal experience with the cooker, Ed. I need to take another look at this thing. I do believe chicken would be fine after a ten-minute boil and hot-to-the-touch simmering.

      On a side note… You do an excellent job conserving propane. I don’t know why my usage is so much higher. I suspect it’s one or both of these things… The refrigerator and my tendency to keep the flame high when cooking. I have extended my propane supply somewhat by always parking with the fridge in the shade. When I was a brand new newbie I parked with the fridge in the AZ sun… dumb, but I learned.

      Thanks, Ed, for the additional information.

      • Ed says:

        Your suspects for higher propane usage are most likely correct. My refrigerator uses shore power almost 100% of the time and I rarely have my burners up above the mid mark. I have found that I can reheat a serving on the lowest setting in less than 5 minutes.
        I am also very conservative with my hot water heater usage. First, I use the Park
        showers most of the time. Second, If I want hot water for the day I can turn on the heater one time, heat the tank full, shut off the heater and I’m good for the day. Third, I don’t even do that for many days – I do my dishes in cold water most of the time.

  35. Jack says:

    Yumm yummm.. Never thought I would see bridget do a custer pose. Must be spike trying to get her in trouble.

  36. libertatemamo says:

    Livin’ on the edge I see haha…By the way I think you may already have figured this out but you can’t do any Amazon afiliate stuff on wordpress unless you self-host. It’s against their rules. I’ve run up against this issue myself…sorry 😦

    • libertatemamo says:

      I should add it’s darn near impossible to monetize a blog. There are ways to do it, depending on the level of your traffic. For example this:
      Which you can apply for here:

      As for Amazon Affiliate, I should also specify that there is “some” grey area, but it’s really, really murky. If you do a post which is a book review and then link to the book as an Amazon Affiliate that’s allowed, but just putting in links or putting it in your side-bar is not allowed. Veeery grey and murky stuff, and wordpress has the right to suspend your blog if they deem you’re going over the rules. You can read more here:

      Hope that’s helpful!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Thank you, Nina! I’ve been discovering the same via different routes. There are several things I find confusing. 1) What’s the difference between an Associate and an Affiliate? 2) I see WordPress blogs that have an Amazon search box to direct traffic through their account with Amazon and they receive payment for items purchased via that search box.

        I contacted a webhost that would support my WordPress blog in order to make ad placement possible and they said, of course, that they could handle that. However, I don’t know if that’s something WP would approve of, so I’m going to ask WP directly.

        That forum discussion you linked to is confusing enough to make one want to put a pencil in their ear! I’m already thinking that trying to work with Amazon through WordPress is a bad idea. Darn, I really like Amazon and would love to be associated with it. Thanks again.

        • libertatemamo says:

          Amazon Affiliate is the same as Amazon Associate as far as I know. It’s the service that allows you to link to Amazon and get a little kick-back from purchases (either through word links, or in-post links or side-bar search box etc.). As far as I understand the TOS (Terms Of Service) you can’t do any of this kind of stuff on sites unless you’re doing specific product reviews (i.e. you write a blog post about a specific book and link to that book). If you’re seeing wordpress sites with Amazon link-boxes in the side-bar then I’m “thinking” they might be self-hosted sites rather than Or, if they’re not they are running scary close to breaching the TOS and getting their blogs pulled. But it’s darn confusing! I’ve been wanting to do the Amazon thing myself for a while, but realized I needed to self-host to make it happen (and that’s a major change…ugh!). If you find out any different I would love to know!!

  37. D.J. Pruitt says:

    What a magical moment with the visiting butterfly. I’ve never had one light on my shoulder but I did drive through a rainbow where it touched the earth in Northern California. Never did find that pot of gold though. It happened years ago and I can still remember the magical feeling I got.

  38. stan watkins says:

    Just got back from Borrego springs with the family. Stayed by the scorpion one night and the padre the second. That Avery guy was an amazing person. Thought about staying at the state park CG but wanted a longer day of sunshine. We travelled back to San Bernardino via Ranchita and Temecula. 22s is an amazing road and worth a day trip if you ever get back. Culp valley CG is free and pretty at the top if the weather is warm it is 3000 ft higher that B.Springs. Thanks again. Have a great New Year.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      So . . .You took advantage of the Galleta Meadows camping. I hope you’re glad you went to Borrego Springs. I appreciate the tip on S22 and Culp Valley Campground. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  39. Jack says:

    Custer pose… The old civil war generals etc neve looked directly at the camera when pic was taken. Always to the side. Check it out!

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