Our Story

Welcome to our site! We are Joanne & Steve. After 20+ years working for a city school department and police department, we sold almost everything, bought an RV, and started living on the road with our three children. Joanne homeschools and works online.
What we have chosen is to live life as unencumbered as we possibly can and to spend time with our family, for our family, and as a family.
This website is a record of our travels. But, we also hope to educate, entertain, and inform others about RVing, roadschooling, and the great places we visit in this country.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ashamed, Shocked, Revolted...

Baring my soul here...well, at least my incredibly gross can opener.

I pride myself on being fairly OCD when it comes to germs and overall cleanliness.  My hands can handle 180˚ dish water.  I love my Lysol wipes and do try to use Green products when I can.  So, I was shocked the day I took a good close look at my manual can opener.

The list of canned goods in our pantry is short; tuna, ravioli, soup, fruit, veggies.  Maybe 4-5 cans of each.   Not a lot of space you see.  Of course, when we were in a house 2 years ago we had many, and probably opened more then than now.  But, I cleaned the opener!  I swear!

I'd rinse it with hot water, and even soak it in hot soapy water quite regularly.   So, yes, I was shocked the day I took a close look...

I immediately set to cleaning.  

That black gunk in there is old food and innumerable bacteria.

Every use leaves a little bit of the food and any bacteria that may be in the food itself...

salmonelle, e-coli, listeria, to name a few.

Left to it's own devices and provided with a dark drawer in which to proliferate, 
the bacteria will happily multiply.

And of course, that means that any time you open any can, you are possibly transferring that bacteria to the food you are eating.  And if you are lucky enough to cut yourself on that just-opened sharp top...guess where that bacteria is now?

(So, that sudden bout with diarrhea
 wasn't just a coincidence.)

So, with old SANITIZED toothbrush (why would you clean something with a toothbrush covered in germs?), baking soda, and anti-bacterial soap, I set to work.

Be careful, by the way.  That disk is sharp.

Not new looking, but definitely clean.

And will remain that way.

So, the next time you have a few minutes, get a little closer to your can opener...electric, too.  

And while you are at it, run a paper towel or bleach wipe under and around your faucet handles...
see what surprises await you.

Links for your bacteria enjoyment:  Don't eat while reading these.


City Pickers Patio Garden Kit

When we lived in a sticks-and-bricks, we had a garden.  It wasn't anything really fancy, but was enclosed by a white fence and had various vegetables planted; some of which grew fairly well.  We in no way consider ourselves gardeners, however.

When we found ourselves staying put in Texas for several months, Steve and I decided to once again try our hand at green-thumbing.  Nothing as ambitious as we had before, mind you.  The soil here is rocky...limestone mostly, and we get very little rain.  What I really wanted was a small herb garden; something else with which I had moderate success.

Our trip to Home Depot back in May had us purchasing these two large, rectangular bins.  Seemed like a good size to plant 6 - 7 types of herbs.  As we rung out at the register, I was a bit shocked to learn I had just paid over $60 for these two plant bins!

But, these were not just two, regular, plain, old plant bins.  
These were the City Pickers Patio Garden Kit!

The secret to this great bin is the water well at the bottom.  You fill it through the tube that protrudes from the soil that is placed on top of the aeration screen.  Your roots are forever able to drink.  Even if you forget to water them regularly, like some people.

3 Parts:  bin, aeration screen, water fill tube (plus a mulch cover and casters, which we didn't use).
Here is our garden:  basil, small leaf basil, oregano, lavender, rosemary, 
banana peppers, and japeño peppers.

Best garden we ever had!

Constant prolific peppers.


We are leaving Texas soon, and decided to give away most of the plants instead of traveling with them.  A bit tall and large for the week-stays we are planning for the next couple of months.  But, we are taking our City Pickers Patio Kits with us as we pack to head to New Mexico.  Probably won't fill them again til we sit for the winter.  Worth the money.  (Or, make your own!)