Mobile Mansion for Sale

Perfect for snowbirds or a life on the road.

Back in 2010, I bought a 2010 Montana Mountaineer 5th wheel RV. I chose it after looking at well over 100 RVs of all sizes. At the time, I thought it was a “Perfect” RV.

Mountaineer 324RLQ Floor planHere’s the floor plan for my mobile mansion.

And it was. At the time, anyway. I bought an RV large enough for two people and a mid-sized dog to live comfortably for 4 to 6 months out of the year. It would need plenty of space, a comfortable dining area, a cozy queen sized bed, and a dedicated office area where I could spread out while working on books. And the kitchen would have to have enough space to prepare meals for two.

You see, the man I was married to had promised that he’d join me on the road in the summer months when he turned 55 in 2011. Buying the RV was just one of the preparations I made for him to leave the latest in a series of dead-end jobs, join me in Washington during the summer months, and chase his own dreams back in Arizona in the winter.

But although I trusted that man to keep his promises, he didn’t. Maybe he never intended to. Instead, he came up with another plan — one that didn’t include me. The divorce proceedings began in the summer of 2012.

Desk
Do you know how many books I wrote at this desk? And yes, that’s an HDTV — one of two in the RV.

In a way, it’s a good thing I bought what I came to call the “mobile mansion.” It gave me a very comfortable place to live in the months between when I left my Arizona home and when my new home in Washington was ready to be occupied.

Unfortunately, however, it’s a lot more RV than I want or need for the winter travel I’d like to make part of my rebooted life. Yes, it’s spacious and comfortable and it’s easily towed behind my 1-ton Ford diesel truck. But it’s a pain to park and it doesn’t fit into many of the tight spaces I’d like to go. It’s perfect for a snowbird — someone who wants to go south for the winter (or north for the summer) and just park in one or two places for the season. But to travel? To move every few days? Not practical.

So I want to downsize. I’d like to replace the mobile mansion with a bumper-pull trailer that’s under 20 feet in length and has no slides. Something light that I can pull with a 1/2- or 3/4-ton truck. Something that’s easy to park, even in tight spots. Something for a life on the go.

That’s why the mobile mansion is for sale. I’ve got it listed on RV Trader and on Craig’s List, as well as in a few local places. If you’ve been thinking of joining the ranks of snowbirds — or breaking free from your nine-to-five grind to start a life of adventure on the road (in comfort) — this might be the perfect solution for you.

This Can Be Yours!
This whole rig can be yours for just $42K!

The asking price? $32,900 for the RV — pay the asking price and I’ll deliver it within 500 miles of 98828 at no extra charge. You can get a NADA Guide RV value and specifications here; just keep in mind that the value doesn’t include the solar setup.

If you want the truck with it, the price is $42,000 firm for the whole rig. You can buy them as a starter kit and hit the road before the first snow falls!

Amazon Reward Points Scam

Come on folks — don’t fall for this!

I’ve been getting so many of these in email lately that I figured everyone else must be, too. It’s a scam. Don’t click any of the links. Throw it away.

Amazon Reward Points Scam

If Amazon.com was writing to you, they would use your name, not your email address. There is no Amazon.com Loyalty Department. When you point to one of the links, it displays a URL that is not on Amazon.com.

If all that fails, look at it logically: are they promising “reward points” or a “$50 Amazon Gift Card”? A real promotion would be clear. Don’t let the placement of a few Amazon logos fool you.

Know What You’re Eating

Read the ingredients.

Chobani Yogurt
This is my favorite yogurt these days. Just wish it wasn’t so damn expensive since I eat so much of it.

I was looking for yogurt in the supermarket the other day. I’ve been drinking a lot of smoothies lately and I wanted an inexpensive alternative to the Chobani greek yogurt I usually buy. Although I usually make my yogurt, I’ve been so busy with work around my home and cherry season chores that I figured I’d make things easy on myself and just buy a quart or two. I figured that if I could find an inexpensive brand, it wouldn’t be worth the trouble of making it myself anymore. At $5+/quart, the Chobani gets costly quickly when you go through a few quarts a week.

So I was in the dairy section of the supermarket, checking out brands I’d never really looked at before. I didn’t need Greek yogurt for my smoothies, but I did need it to be plain, fat-free yogurt — and nothing else.

Yogurt, in case you’re wondering, is milk with active yogurt cultures added. It involves heating the milk, cooling the milk partway, adding the cultures, and holding the temperature until curds form. One more step — draining off a good portion of the liquid whey — is what turns regular yogurt into thick Greek yogurt.

I looked at labels and was absolutely shocked by the additives I found in some. While it’s common for Greek yogurt makers to fake Greek yogurt by adding thickeners, I didn’t expect yogurt makers to add unnecessary ingredients to regular yogurt. Yet there they were in the ingredients list. Pectin was especially popular — nearly every yogurt contained it.

Organic Yogurt Ingredients
Good thing that locust bean gum is organic.

The ingredient list in one organic yogurt was so offensive that I took a picture of it.

Remember, yogurt = milk + active yogurt cultures. It doesn’t need pectin, corn starch, locust bean gum, or added vitamins.

You have to understand that many of my friends are organic food snobs. In their minds, if it’s not organic, it’s not healthy. These are the people who buy organic produce, sometimes paying three to ten times the price of non-organic produce. They think organic means no chemicals. (Certain chemicals are allowed in organic food production.) They think organic means healthier. (No scientifically conducted test has shown a difference in nutritional value between organic and non-organic food.) They think that the industrial farming methods that make it possible to feed millions of people cost effectively are unsafe or even evil. When faced with a choice between an organic yogurt and the Chobani I usually buy, they’d pick the organic, likely without even reading the label beyond the word “organic.” That word, which the manufacturer has paid a premium to the FDA to use, is shorthand, in their minds, for “healthy.”

Chobani Yogurt Label
It might not be certified “organic,” but at least it’s yogurt — and only yogurt.

I looked at every label for every non-fat and low-fat plain yogurt in the supermarket. In the end, I bought the Chobani. It was the only one that didn’t include additives that aren’t a part of real yogurt. I also bought a half gallon of skim milk and will be making two quarts of yogurt today, using the Chobani as a starter, for next week.

Those of you who are blindly buying products because the label proclaims they’re organic might be putting all kinds of weird ingredients into your bodies. You can keep them. I’ll stick with a product that contains exactly what it should — and only that.

Organic vs. Non-Organic Yogurt

Why I Buy So Much on Amazon

It’s all about quick and easy shopping.

I buy a lot of the things I need for my home and garden on Amazon.com. It’s gotten to the point that the UPS truck is at my place several times a week to drop off packages.

For a while, I felt kind of guilty about that. After all, the Wenatchee area where I live, has plenty of shopping opportunities. I should be supporting the economy by shopping locally.

Trouble is, the things I need aren’t always easy to find. Or they might take several stops to track down. Or — worse yet — I may simply forget to look for something I need while I’m out and remember a day or two later when I actually need it.

Hose Fitting
I went nuts looking for this $3.25 item in stores around town. Found it in five minutes on Amazon.

Here’s an example. I needed an irrigation fitting that would enable me to connect my automatic chicken waterer to my garden irrigation system. The idea is that when the timer starts up the irrigation system twice a day (for 10 minutes each time), it would pressurize the waterer’s water feed and top off the chicken’s water trough, which is shared by my barn cats. The irrigation hose already runs right past the waterer. Why run another hose across the garden entrance? One fitting and 10 minutes of effort and I don’t have to worry about water for my chickens or cats for the rest of the summer.

One fitting. You think I’d be able to track it down on one of my many visits to Home Depot or Lowes, right?

Wrong. Try as I might, I couldn’t find what I needed. In any of the four stores I tried.

Then I sat down at my computer and, in less than five minutes had found and ordered exactly what I needed. It would be at my doorstep in two days without any more driving or searching or frustration.

Do you know how many stores I visited, looking for a microwave that would fit on my kitchen’s microwave shelf without looking like it belonged in a dorm room? Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, Save-Mart (the local appliance store), and even Walmart. Basically, every store that sold microwaves. But again, a few minutes on Amazon and I’d narrowed down the search to the ones that fit and matched my other appliances. Then it was just a matter of picking the one I like best. A few days later, it was on my doorstep.

I bought the wrong vacuum cleaner bags for my old ShopVac three times (and returned them three times) before I did an Amazon search, found what I needed, and ordered them. I didn’t even bother trying to find the vacuum cleaner bags for my household vacuum; I just ordered them on Amazon.

I needed ghee — a clarified butter used in Indian cooking. Local supermarkets didn’t have it. Amazon did.

New battery for my Roomba? Where could I possibly find that locally? Found it on Amazon in minutes.

Want to help support this site?

Use this link when you shop at Amazon.com. A tiny percentage of your purchase will be sent to me as a referral fee. It won’t cost you anything extra and you’ll still get the great product selection and service you expect from Amazon.

And I think this is the reason online shopping poses such a threat to brick and mortar stores. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s affordable, and it often comes with free shipping — including return shipping if you decide you don’t like it.

It’s Friday and the UPS guy has been at my home four times (so far) this week. I’m expecting him today with that irrigation fitting. Yesterday, I apologized to him for so many trips down the two miles of gravel road to get to my home. He said he didn’t mind. When I jokingly suggested that it was people like me keeping him employed, he laughed along with me and agreed.

And I’m just happy to be able to save time shopping so I can get more important things done.

Online Store Launched

I’m now selling a few hand-made odds and ends online.

Just a quick note to let folks know that I’ve decided to start selling a few of my hand-made items online using Square.

Ornament
Here’s one of my recent ornaments. Sorry, but this one isn’t available for sale — I included it with a Christmas gift to an extremely supportive family member.

If you go to http://mkt.com/AnEclecticMind, you’ll find whatever items I’ve had time to photograph and put online. So far, that’s most likely to be a handful of fused glass ornaments that I’ve been making with my kiln out of recycled wine and sake bottles. Because each piece is hand-made and, thus, different, I need to photograph each one so they’ll be listed as quickly as I can photograph them. I’m just hoping Square doesn’t display items that are out of stock.

I’m still sitting on the fence about listing my honey, mostly because shipping it will be a bit of a chore and I really don’t have that much to sell this year.

Anyway, this is mostly for the folks who have been complementing me on my glass work. They’re telling me they want to buy these things so here’s where they can do it.