A couple of years ago I was at Enchanted Gardens in Richmond and I fell in love with the fairy gardens they had on display. Of course, they had a complete room full of fairy garden accessories to get my creative juices flowing and it did. It was Spring and I was in the yard a lot, so working on my “adult doll hose” seemed to be a natural. My first large item I purchased was a travel trailer birdhouse and, from that one purchase, my Fairy RV Park was developed. My kids and grandkids thought I was a little crazy, but they watched me having fun with this project. I would find myself trimming plants or rearranging the fairy garden late at night on the patio and realized it had a way of relaxing me.
We still visit Enchanted Gardens for a fun afternoon of inspiration and I believe our last visit inspired my 18 year old granddaughter to create her own garden designs. On Sunday she brought me a couple of new items for my gardens and I could tell she had the “bug.” She helped me build another small table top garden and it was a great opportunity for me to teach her a few of my helpful hints. Here are a few tips to help you create your own miniature garden world.
Find a container big enough for your ideas but not so big you cannot move it around.
Design your garden around one featured structure…a birdhouse, cottage house or whatever excites you.
Buy some small plants – Keep in mind the location (sun or shade) and the water requirements. Also make sure you remember that plants grow and you want to create a fairy garden not a fairy lost in the forest.
Gather some supplies (many you may find around the house). Small rocks, broken flower pot, Styrofoam packing peanuts, sand, glass marbles to create a water feature look…let your imagination run wild.
Fill the bottom of your container with Styrofoam (this helps drainage and keeps the weight of the container manageable)
Before you plant, lay out your design. It’s fun to use broken flower pots to create an elevated area giving a tiered effect.
Just start planting. Remember change is part of our lives and part of the fairy garden world. If you don’t like where the house is, move it.
If you are trying to create the look of a river or stream, I would suggest you take foil, crumple it and lay it out on top of your soil to create the shape of your water feature. Then put the blue marbles on top of the foil and it gives a reflective water look. A friend of mine has also used blue aquarium stones to create a water feature.
Once you have your design in place, water each plant lightly. Do not over-water. I use a spray bottle to spritz my plants in between waterings.
One more helpful hint – most of the fairy garden accessories are metal or ceramic. To keep them looking good and their color bright, I spray each one with clear Krylon spray before I add them to the garden.
If I can do this, anyone can. Creating my granddaughter’s Moose Lodge resort with her was so much fun. She took pictures and has shared it with all of her friends. This is one of those perfect memory making opportunities.
The very first RV. Many of you may already know how the Recreational Vehicle came into existence, for those that don’t:
It appears the first motor touring vehicles were handmade out of necessity from existing vehicles, like the Model T and such. As the early pioneers traveled west, they tweaked their cars to fit their specific needs. Back then these vehicles were pretty unreliable and the country’s roads were barely developed, so it made travel very treacherous. So, you ‘could’ say it was Henry Ford and his consumers… (source: http://answers.yahoo.com)
For those of you who have an hour and want a great history lesson on the history of the RV, watch the video below. It give a very detailed history of America, Travel and the origination of the first RVs
The RV has a lush history in the United States and their popularity is only increasing. Even during some economic time, the RV industry has seemed to weather the down times and come out with just a few bumps and bruises. We see new RVers daily here at PPL Motorhomes and it makes me so happy to see new generations and younger families and couples stepping into the RV lifestyle. I think people are starting to catch on to the fact that RVing and getting outdoor and communing with nature and fellow RVers is one of the most enjoyable experiences ever. The best part is that you can go anywhere you want, anytime you want without leaving the comforts of your own home.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters-Shelli Kallie/Flickr Creative Commons
Veteran’s Day should be celebrated everyday. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Coming from a military family and having a son in the Air Force and a grandson in Jr ROTC, I understand the sacrifices military men, women and their families make during long deployments. Those sacrifices are even more significant during times of conflict. Because of the tremendous responsibilities and hardships that are voluntarily endured by our men and women in uniform, I feel it is my daily duty to educate folks and write a few heartfelt words of “Thanks”.
Veteran’s Day as we know it today didn’t actually exist until June 1st, 1954. 10 years prior to this date, a WWII veteran Raymond Weeks decided that all veterans of the U.S. armed services needed a day to honor them. He organized a celebration in Birmingham, Alabama and called it “Veterans Day”, it was held Nov. 11 1945 in Birmingham and designed to be a day of thanks that more inclusive to all members of the armed services. November 11th is a significant date because Nov. 11th, 1918 is when the Treaty of Versailles was signed which officially ended World War I. Known as Armistice Day, this is when the Allied nations and Germany actually reached a temporary cease to fighting. It was the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
The “Daily Thank You”
War is Hell and it has unfortunately been a part of humanity since our earliest beginnings. Contrary to many civilian held beliefs, the main reason of a of having a standing army is actually a deterrent to attack and a statement of our country’s dedication to self-preservation. Staying out of conflict is the desire of these men and women who serve. None of them wants to engage with an enemy either foreign, or domestic. Make no mistake though, when duty calls, they were willing to do their jobs without question and without reserve. They stood at the ready, daily. They were prepared to be deployed to anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice, daily. They faced the prospect of leaving their family, daily. And their families faced the prospect of never seeing their soldier, daily. That’s why I say “Thank You” to every veteran I can…daily.
Why is it so important to know the EXACT clearance height of your RV? Certainly there isn’t an overpass that you can’t fit under, right? Well, not if you are visiting Durham, North Carolina. Labeled “The Toughest Bridge Ever”, it stands 11 feet 8 inches off the ground. That’s 1 foot 8 inches taller than a basketball goal. Anyway, this is a 100 year old railroad trestle that has taken many hits from trucks and RVers who not only don’t pay attention to the warning sign, but obviously don’t know the height of their RVs. Check out the NBC News video below for a few of the bridge’s “Greatest Hits”…pun intended.
The crazy thing is that it hasn’t been knocked down yet. That’s one tough bridge.
So, how do you avoid having your RV added to the victims of low bridges and overpasses? Simple, just tape a note card to your dash with the height of your RV written on it. Be sure to remember to measure to the highest point, don’t forget that A/C unit! Chances are, you might not encounter a bridge this low, but you never know, so it’s better to be prepared. The consequences of not knowing the height of your RV could cost you an A/C unit, or even shear off the top of your rig. Boy, wouldn’t that really put a damper on your RV vacation?
One more thing, it’s not just bridges and overpasses that you need to worry about….just ask this guy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiWv_RBu-lw
Let’s just say that if you are ever thinking about putting your RV on consignment, you are going to need to have your roof still intact. However, if you happen to not heed my advice, PPL Motorhomes has a great selection of replacementrooftop A/C units.
Fire prevention in you RV is something that I’ve written about before and take very seriously. I know all of you know that a fire in your RV is never a good thing, but do really know how combustible your RV can be? Aside from a myriad of fuels and accelerates housed within your RV, the walls of your rig are made from wood and acts as tinder. If a fire does break out your RV can be consumed in a matter of minutes.
Let me reiterate, a fire inside your RV is no laughing matter. If there is a fire on board, your best course of action is to get out and call the Fire Department. It sounds like a no-brainer, but you be surprised at how many people believe they can control a fire. There are hundreds of fires each year due to carelessness and accident. One of the easiest ways for your RV to catch fire is during stove operation especially when using grease to cook. A grease fire can turn into a 5 foot exploding column of flame if not extinguished properly. I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before, but if you have a grease fire on your hands NEVER EVER EVER throw water on it because this is what will happen.
All I’m asking is for you to be careful when you are using fire for anything. Grilling, campfires, cooking inside etc. The damage you can cause by carelessness won’t necessarily be confined to just your RV or your campsite. Fire can spread uncontrollable in a matter of moments and consume your RV or the woodlands/park around it.
Always have a couple of fire extinguishers on board your rig and know where they are at. Just another friendly anti-fire reminder form your PPL Motorhomes and RV Nana.
If there’s one thing that all of us at PPL Motorhomes know is that putting effort into researching, choosing and buying your first RV takes a lot of work, but many prospective RV owners are not fully aware of the realities of RV ownership. There are many things to keep in mind if you are getting your first (or fifth RV), the biggest being where are you going to store it when you’re not using it?
You initial response might be, “well, I’ll keep it in our driveway at home”. Parking the vehicle at your residence can be an issue for many homeowners is suburbia. If you do not have a liberal amount of driveway space around your home, you may be looking at on-street parking. I’m going to warn you right now, parking your RV on the street will be either illegal, dangerous, annoying to neighbors or all of the above. Also, if your subdivision you likely have deed restrictions and a homeowner’s association that is chomping at the bit to levy fines against all who break the rules. For example, I know a couple who rented a Class C for a trip to Colorado and parked the RV in their driveway for half a day prepping and packing for their trip early the next morning. When they got back 2 weeks later, they had a nasty letter and a fine from their HOA for the half a day that the RV was on their property. Half a day, folks.
So, what is your BEST option? Some owners may wish to house their vehicle indoors to avoid any winter damage typically caused by ice, rain and sun. Consider storage facilities – these can be both indoor and outdoor. They usually provide a level of security such as lock up, video surveillance etc. Some facilities, not only offer storage, but also concierge services, RV Service, wash bays, disposal and much more for a very reasonable price. Many RV owners choose to use this facility during the winter months only, when they have no intention of using their vehicle. Consider also the damage that certain tree types can do to a RV, if parking under trees.
Hopefully this has pointed you in the right direction to start acquiring the knowledge to owning an consignment RV. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us here at PPL Motorhomes!
There are many causes and foundations that I hold dear to my heart and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation is one such organization. It’s no secret that I am absolutely in love with the great state of Texas and it takes a massive amount of mobilization to help provide support to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. That is exactly what this non-profit does. By helping to provide key resources aid the TPWD manage and conserve natural and cultural resources of Texas. Because of member’s donations to the this fantastic foundation, the TPWD is able to provide better hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities for all residents and visitors and not to mention the generations to come. Below you’ll find an excerpt from the foundation’s website that further explains the importance of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF), our nonprofit funding partner, supports enhancing park experiences for Texans all year long. From the spectacular acquisition of Powderhorn Ranch on the coast to providing equipment for introducing families to camping, TPWF treasures the state parks of Texas.
TPWF leverages public funds with private philanthropy to provide quality parks for all. We invite you to consider supporting TPWF’s efforts by becoming a member today.
As a member, you’ll receive exclusive benefits like insider information, invitations to special events and other members-only perks. And, you’ll be supporting Texas State Parks, now and in the future.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation was founded in 1991 and has raised over $100 million since its inception. This non-profit is overseen by 21 trustees, ten full-time and three part-time staff members all working very hard to support the Texas Parks and Wildlife department. The bottom line is that with your membership funds and donations all Texans can continue to enjoy, explore, and “be inspired by the incredible wild things and wild places in Texas”. Show your love for this great state and become a member, or make a donation. The importance of your participation can’t be stressed enough. Join me in keeping Texas beautiful.
I may be showing my age a little bit, but there are some days where all I’d like to do in my RV is have a nice…brisk…sit. And I’m telling you, we have an awesome recliner that suits the bill just beautifully. The Eurochair from Lippert is a great little recliner that doesn’t take up much room in the RV. All it needs, space-wise, is 7″ at the top, and 12″ clearance at the bottom to be opened fully. They’re covered in Alternate Latte upholstery and packed with high density foam, which is dang comfy.
So let’s picture it in our minds OK? It’s one of those sweltering hot July days in TX and we’re at our favorite State Park for the weekend. Luckily we’ve found a spot in the shade and it’s not too crowded. This morning we woke up early and went for a hike down to the water. The park offered a beginner archery class at 11, and then we followed that up with a good lunch. Now what is better than taking a little siesta in our new Eurochair Recliner? Have a little nap through the heat of the day so we’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed when it’s time for thjat sundowner and some star gazing this evening.
I’m telling you these things are comfy. Is there much better than kicking up your feet at the end of a busy day, maybe with a frosty beverage of your choice in one hand and maybe a fan blowing on you? So check one of these recliners out and have that comfort you deserve. Not only that but you can do the Archie Bunker thing when your grandkids try to sit in your chair! “Get outta my chair kid!” you can mock growl, winking at them as the get up. The benefits of age people. Click right HERE for more information.
How cool would it be to have a real chandelier in your RV? Granted they tend to take up a fair bit of room and you’d probably bump your head on it, or knock it down and cuss it from one end of the RV to the other….but…wouldn’t it be cool to have one just for the added ambiance during a nice sit-down dinner with the hubby?
Well the folks at Heng’s have come up with a light ring called the “RV Chandelier” that mounts around the base of your air vents. You have your choice of either cool white light or warm white light and the option of using a clear bezel or a diffuser. Just imagine you’re sitting down to a romantic dinner…the kids and grandkids are hundreds and hundreds of miles away, you two are at your favorite campsite, you’ve cooked up a special dinner…now wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those vent ring chandeliers with the warm white light and the diffuser to help set the mood?
Another awesome thing about this light rig is that it uses LEDs, so you’re getting good bright light (when you want it) and the fixtures aren’t adding heat to the inside of the RV. The rings are easy to install also, and they operate off of 12V. If it were me I’d buy one for each vent and hook them up to their own independent dimmer switches, that way I’d have full control over how much “ambiance” my RV is soaked in. Wouldn’t be good to have everything so dang ambient that I stubbed my toe or tripped over something you know!
Anyhow, swing by the website and check out these fixtures, they’re super cool. Oh, and we’ve got them on sale until July. You can learn all about them right here. And don’t forget to come by the websote before you hit the road, we’re happy to get you all fixed up!
Sorry if this blog is old news for you long-time RV’rs but there are so many new owners of RV’s out there I thought maybe they would find these tips useful. It’s Full Summer out there people, so today we’re going to discuss different common sense ways to help keep the RV cool during this hot weather.
I once saw an old man holding hands with what I assumed was his granddaughter in a Randall’s parking lot here in Houston, Texas. the little girl was asking him why he parked so far from the store when there were empty spots closer, and the grandfather said, “Because our spot is in the shade.” If you folks are new to Texas, or new to summer RV’ing, you should do your absolute best to park that sucker in the shade every time. Just that slight reduction in direct sunlight can make a huge difference, ESPECIALLY if your RV is painted in darker colors.
This may seem too simple to be true, but if you’re in an exposed parking spot try to park the RV with the awning on the west side. Then run it out and it will block a large chunk of afternoon sun from shining in the windows. While you’re at it, keep the rest of the window shades drawn to keep the sun from being as effective at warming the ambient air inside the RV.
Remember your grandmother’s house before they put in the window unit air conditioners? Or maybe your great-grandmother’s house? Or if you’re too young, perhaps you’ve been to the state capitol up in Austin? You might have noticed lot of the doors in those pre-AC days were built with transoms above them to help the house have good airflow through it. You can do the same in your RV using the vents to prevent a lot of heat from building up inside the RV while you’re out running errands or having that summer fun.
Swing by our website and have a look through our climate control, AC gear, vents, and awnings and we’d be glad to help you get that RV cooler!
I have been with PPL Motor Homes since 1980 and have been fortunate enough to grow up with the company. A native Houstonian, I have been blessed with years of wonderful experiences and memories of RVing with family and friends. With 3 children, 8 grandchildren and a ton of friends who I refer to as my adopted family, I was a Nana long before I became RV Nana. I was blessed to have shared this lifestyle with my late husband, a Cajun from Lafayette, and his spirit will live on in all of us as we continue down the road of life.
My life with PPL has given me so many wonderful chapters, from sharing my RV experiences as RV Nana to working with the Texas Campground Owners Association and holding the position of President of the Texas RV Association from 2011-2013, so it’s easy to see that the RV lifestyle is my style. Watch for me on the road …I’m the one with the RV Nana license plates on my car and RV, and share your RV experiences with me. See you soon!