Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Rain, Neighbors, Food and Problem Mats

Thursday & Friday September 24 & 25, 2015              Most Recent Post:
Lewis Mountain Campground                                        Celebrating the Autumnal Equinox – What a Day!
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia




We’ve sure had a lot of rain here this summer and more is predicted.  I’m so glad that it wasn’t raining on the Equinox so I could do that great hike (see link above) and that it hadn’t rained the day before so that such a rocky trail wasn’t any more wet and slippery than it was.

But today it was rain all day long.  I put the herbs out on our bear box to take advantage of the non treated water.  It definitely perked them up.






Not much to do in the rain but cook and eat.  This was today’s lunch, a home made hummus sandwich with spinach and tomato on whole grain flax bread, accompanied by honey crisp apples, mango and pretzels.





We had some visits from our neighbors.  Not sure I’ve ever seen a gray white tailed deer before.



They don’t seem inclined to play ladder ball or be bothered by the rain.






I almost didn’t remember to take this picture of the delicious home made pizza before we gobbled it all up.  Rain of course makes it feel colder inside and out so using the oven to cook the pizza helped keep us nice and toasty.   I do love my gas oven and would never want to replace it with a convection/microwave.  You’d have to have a lot of sunshine to boondock with that.  The pizza has a thin and crispy no oil spelt crust and is cooked on parchment paper so the pizza pan doesn’t have to be oiled either.  Ta Dah – an oil free pizza with tomatoes, onions, garlic, mushrooms, peppers.




In the evening, our neighbors returned in greater numbers.














More rain again today but it did clear up in the late after noon.  This morning we warmed up the coach with some chocolate chip pancakes with a mixed fruit topping of bananas, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries.  We love our griddle that fits over the back two burners of our gas stove top.  No need for electricity in order to have pancakes.






Different Neighbors – one of Winnona’s relatives.  Slightly older than she.




We’re really glad to see these Braves that seem to be in great shape despite their age.





These are the problem mats referred to in the title.  In January of 2014 we went to Beasley Manufacturing in Center Hill Florida to buy some outdoor mats like the ones so highly recommended to us by several friends.  Their experience was that these mats do not blow up, do not kill the grass and will last forever. We told the salesman  of our friends experience and that we wanted the same thing.  He confirmed the virtues of these mats several times.

We bought two of these mats so we could have a narrow or a wide patio, as we chose, that would run the length of Winnona. I really like that about them.

But we have to warn that not all the mats at Beasley behave like we were told.  We have had pretty constant troubles with these blowing up and over in wind and as you can see they definitely kill the grass beneath them.  We had this one out for a week before moving it so that the grass wouldn’t be completely dead and the area in front of Winnona a mud pit.   We took the mats up later today to give the area some sun and dry the mats off in what sun there was.

On the plus side, they do seem to have held up well and show no signs of wear but in our experience, you’ll have mud underneath them if you stay more than a few days.  Getting the mud off the mats is yet another chore. 

Tomorrow is predicted to be a great weather day so I’m off for a road trip to the East.


  1. Love your guests! They are beautiful and yes, please to the meals! They all look yum! xxxooo

  2. Those are the best kind of neighbors!

    I really don't mind rainy days (if there aren't too many in a row) because I like cooking up a storm. Of course, out west, we don't have tons of rainy days, so they are a treat!

  3. What is the benefit of not using any oil in the pizza or to oil the pan?

    Virtual hugs,


  4. I'll bet the coach smelled yummy with all that cooking. I like cooking days when I have the time to cook things that take longer. I have gotten in the habit of using my waffle iron to do lots of other things since I don't have an oven. Brownies, cornbread, muffins. cookies. Since they don't take long to cook it doesn't use much in the way of power. Hummmm maybe I need to make something tonight!!

  5. Those pancakes look delish!! As does the pizza!

  6. Looks like you had fun cooking! I try to get caught up on our blog whenever we have a rainy day, and since we hardly ever have rainy days out West, that's what I'm blaming my tardy blog posts on, haha!

  7. Yea...into every life a little rain must fall... but you made good use of that time cooking and eating those wonderful foods. I love trying to figure out how to make recipes without added oil. The food taste so much fresher and cleaner and the pounds just melt away!! Looks like your neighbors don't add oil to their food either;o))

  8. The rain finally has moved on here. It's been warm and sunny around low 80's which is nice. I can say we've only used our mat once since we bought it 3 years ago. Most of the time we're in a spot where we don't need one, or they aren't allowed. Oh well :(

  9. I have seen gray white tailed deer like that up this way.

  10. Definitely the best neighbors - with all their kids and teenagers too! I have an old round cast iron griddle with a handle that I use for tortillas and pancakes and other yummies that never needs oil. A perfectly seasoned pan is so great for cooking. I find that our convection oven puts off some heat, unlike the microwave, but it does use the power :-( We would sure love some of those rainy days :-))))))

  11. We have the convection/microwave in our MH and it works well, but there are times when we wish we had a propane oven. It was in our MH when we bought it off the lot so we had no choice. Fortunately we most often have FHUs so we make do. If I had to do it over again, I'd buy an RV with the oven and the convection/microwave. It would make cooking a big dinner easier. :c)

  12. What great looking food!!!! Yum...perfect for the rain. Lovely backyard visitors. A good day despite rain. Very nice :)

  13. We have both the propane stove/oven and a convection microwave. So many people have rigs without the propane oven, but I'm like you . . . I wouldn't want to give up mine. I use it more in cooler months and the convection oven during warmer times. The food looked totally yummy!

  14. That gray deer really stands out. Always love the look of your pizzas.

  15. Wouldn't trade my gas oven either, looks like some delicious food coming out of your kitchen.Those look like the best kind of neighbors to have. Miss our herbs...didn't bring them with us.

  16. All that yummy homemade food looks wonderful. Rainy days are nice so we have some time to cook. Too bad you couldn't send some of that rain our way. We need a pipeline to move water about the country!

  17. I'm coming to your place to eat. I'll bring my tent, you just have to feed me.


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