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It's not Thanksgiving yet. but I am thankful I have kind neighbors. I put out pumpkins by both doors and they are still out there in the same condition after a week (knock on wood). I will be decorating the house for Halloween as it gets closer to the date.

It's nice to have neighbors, respect others property.


This Brooklyn-Based Couple Bought and Restored a Vintage Shasta Camper During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Keva Niver was in college when she began entertaining dreams of renovating a vintage Volkswagen bus—today, however, as a mother of four, she knew she was dreaming too small. So, she and her husband, Rudel Felicein, thought bigger and bought an RV, instead. "Honestly, this was something I talked about, but never really thought would happen," "COVID-19 changed things."

When family trip to Barbados was decidedly canceled in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Keva felt the loss. So, shortly after, as she settled into working from home (Keva's a project manager for a construction company that focuses primarily on renovation and design), she and Rudel began brainstorming safe ways to travel. They craved adventure, but most of all, fresh air. "We're surfers, so we're always seeking outdoor escapes. Camping during COVID just seemed to fit with our lifestyle," she explains. "After being stuck indoors so much getting a camper seemed like and amazing idea."

"When we decided to start looking for a camper," Keva continues, "I had my heart set on something that was from the 60s or 70s." She quickly fell in love with the vintage Shasta for its iconic retro shape and signature wings—and the search began. She scoured Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace until she found what she was looking for: a Shasta with good bones, something with minimal water damage that "we could easily bring back to life." They couldn’t have gotten luckier. Rosa—as they now affectionately and aptly call their pink RV—was ready for pickup just two hours outside Brooklyn. "It was in such good shape," says Keva.

Good bones aside, Rosa needed work, something Keva relished in. "This was absolutely my quarantine project—or as I call it, my sanity project," she shares. "It was so amazing to have something right in my backyard to focus my attention during such trying times. The renovation process was hard work, but so fulfilling." She and Rudel fully gutted the camper in the yard behind their Flatlands, Brooklyn, home, adding new electrical and full plumbing (she's the electrician; he's the plumber). And while some renovation tasks required additional hands, Keva was determined to tackle as much as possible herself. "I wanted to run the wiring and plumbing so that I would have the ability to problem solve any issue while on the road," she explains. "I became a carpenter, plumber, electrician, and overall handy-girl."

But rewiring the RV's innards couldn't compare to the process of making its interior and exterior beautiful, says Keva. "I was beyond excited to get the camper to a point where I could decorate," she explains, noting that the goal was to create a "cozy surf house on wheels." Since the exterior's pink hue was statement-making, she kept the interior more neutral, opting for iterations of black and plenty of earth tones; she added blush back in once she established the base, to connect the inside to the exterior.

And though coronavirus closures made sourcing décor difficult ("A lot of my favorite home stores were not shipping," she explains), she made it work. The RV's textiles were purchased online; curtains and pillows were sourced from Target. "Once IKEA opened, we ordered the kitchen cabinets and some storage items," she explains. She introduced texture via rattan accents—the pendant light was purchased from Urban Outfitters; the jute-lined mirror is from H&M—to make the mobile space feel cozy, like a miniature apartment. Which it is, thanks to a full-size bed (this pulls up and out of the seating area), with lots of storage space underneath. Sheer and linen curtains provide warmth; comfy rugs and macramé wall hangings complete the vibe. A chalkboard door, designed and executed by Keva's 16-year-old daughter, welcomes all who enter.

The tile that appears along the kitchen backsplash and stretches across the majority of the shower is a major talking point. "We get a lot of questions about the shower," says Keva. "The walls are actually vinyl—I had people actually touching it and still think that it is real tile." They decided against ceramic accents for a practical reason: "With all the movement a camper experiences, a comparable tile would not only add too much weight but would most likely crack. We purchased the vinyl on Etsy—it's sheet flooring that we used on the walls." The final result met their overarching goal: to create a peaceful place for their family and, they hope, for others. "We plan to rent Rosa out using RVShare or Outdoorsy in the tristate area," says Keva. "If someone wants to rent the camper, we will drop it off and set it up at their campground." And Rosa is just about ready—Keva and Rudel pulled the camper two-and-a-half hours upstate to visit a friend ("That trip was a great opportunity to work out some of the kinks, like how to secure things while traveling," she notes). The family embarked on a big trip at the end of August, traveling through Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island to camp, hike, and surf. As for where Rosa and company are headed next? "We plan on staying local for a few months and going to Montauk and camping near the Delaware River," says Keva.

Looking to rent or for more pictures, go to Instagram: Boheme_Retreats


You Can Apply for a $1,000 Grant for Your Next Outdoor Adventure — Here's How

The money can be used for guided climbing trips, avalanche awareness classes, and more.

Tincup Whiskey wants everyone to know that adventure, friendship, and a good drink all go hand in hand.

The alcohol company has teamed up with the American Alpine Club (AAC) for the Partner in Adventure grant, which could help climbers go after their next summit.

What is a partner in adventure, you ask? “A partner in adventure is there as you dream up your next ambitious pursuit. They encourage you to push beyond your comfort zone and motivate you to explore the world in ways that are meaningful to you. They galvanize you to take on new challenges, grow your skills, and imagine new adventures, by their side,” the company wrote.

As Forbes reported, the grant, which is open to applicants through the end of October, is available for teams of two for any outdoor skill-building adventure, provided it “leads to a new experience, furthers their outdoor knowledge, or leads them to be safer in the outdoors.”

Partners can apply for grants up to $1,000. The funding can be used for everything from guided climbing trips to learning to boulder to partaking in avalanche awareness classes. Outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels are encouraged to apply.

“Tincup and the AAC recognize that access to the adventures and the outdoors that many of us enjoy are not as available or welcoming to everyone,” Kenzie Schott, AAC grants administrator, shared with Forbes. “Through this program, Tincup and the AAC hope to take a small step toward making the outdoors a more equitable and welcoming place.”

Applicants must be 21 or older and U.S. residents. Candidates are also required to identify a certified guide, service, or course they’ll work with. “Be prepared to explain why you’ve chosen this objective and how you expect to achieve it. Be as specific as possible,” the application guidelines read. All classes or trips must be taken within a year of the grant award date.

Following the trip or course, applicants must submit a report to the AAC within two months.

“Recipients will act as American Alpine Club ambassadors to the wider climbing community and are expected to champion the mission and values of the Club,” the company explained. “Recipients should do their best to practice environmentally low impact and Leave No Trace ethics, acting as strong mountain stewards.”

Think you’ve got an outdoor dream worth funding? Apply for the grant now through Oct. 28.


That Asteroid Heading Into Earth’s Orbit May Actually Be an Old Rocket From 1966

What was thought to be an asteroid heading into Earth’s orbit next month might be complete garbage. A NASA expert says the object is likely an old rocket from a moon landing attempt back in 1966, according to the Associated Press.

Last month, an object known as asteroid 2020 SO was spotted from a telescope in Maui. It was expected to enter the Earth’s orbit this autumn and continue orbiting until about May 2021, in what is known as a mini moon, according to Smithsonian Magazine. CNN reported that it could come as close as 27,000 miles away.

But from the start, another theory was also out there. “I suspect this newly discovered object 2020 SO to be an old rocket booster because it is following an orbit about the Sun that is extremely similar to Earth's, nearly circular, in the same plane, and only slightly farther away [from] the Sun at its farthest point,” Dr. Paul Chodas, director of NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies, told CNN last month.

Now that it’s getting closer, it will start becoming easier to identify the mass, estimated to be about 26 feet, the AP reports. While both asteroids and old space rockets would appear to be specks moving in the sky, Chodas told the news service that the behavior continues to point toward the hypothesis of it being essentially an oversized tin can. Asteroids, he said, would move by at odd angles, while this one has been remaining in the Earth’s plane.

He also has a theory as to the actual rocket it might be. “I could be wrong on this. I don’t want to appear overly confident,” Chodas told the AP, speculating that it could be the

p crashing into the moon because of a failed thruster, it would make sense that the rocket just kept floating by, as it was intended. “It’s the first time, in my view, that all the pieces fit together with an actual known launch,” he added.

While mistaking asteroids for other objects — and vice versa — is common, other experts seem to agree with Chodas’ theory. Alice Gorman of Australia’s Flinders University told ScienceAlert that the speed also doesn’t line up with an asteroid: “The velocity seems to be a big one. What I'm seeing is that it's just moving too slowly, which reflects its initial velocity. That's essentially a big giveaway.”

But the prospect of it not being an asteroid is actually even more thrilling to Chodas. “I’m pretty jazzed about this,” he told the AP. “It’s been a hobby of mine to find one of these and draw such a link, and I’ve been doing it for decades now.”

Whatever it turns out to be, one thing’s for certain: There shouldn’t be any fear about it propelling into Earth — “at least not this time around,” he said. Chodas’ latest projection is that it will be absorbed into the Earth’s orbit in mid-November and then go back into its own orbit by March.


You Shouldn't Rinse Your Dishes Before You Put Them in the Dishwasher—Here's Why

This is the dirty truth about your dishes.

You know those people—the ones who simply refuse to rinse their dishes before loading the dishwasher. Laziness aside, it’s just plain gross.

Well, it looks like you might want to bite your tongue before chiding them next time. According to the Wall Street Journal, those disgusting jerks might be onto something!

Here’s what the experts say:

Cascade, made by Procter & Gamble, recommends skipping the pre-rinse, except for removing large pieces of food.

Enzymes in most detergents are designed to attach themselves to food particles. Without said food particles, the enzymes have nothing to latch on to.

Rinsing before loading could also be bad for the environment, experts say.

Some Whirlpool machines have a “TargetClean” option. When you select this setting, sensors determine how much soil is attached to your dishes, making handwashing a waste of time and water.

“Don’t hand-wash anything, put everything in the dishwasher,” says Casey Tubman, Whirlpool Corp. general manager for cleaning in North America. “You’ll run more water down the sink hand-washing than you will with a whole load of a dishwasher.”


OIL CHANGE TIME-Today, I went to get my scheduled oil change. Nothing new or different and then they told me they needed to add brake fluid to my car-ok. Well, 2 1/2 hours later, I found out that they had to drain all of the brake fluid out of my car and replace it with new (no extra charge), because the brake fluid was black and that's bad. Living in Las Vegas with our intense heat, causes the brake fluid to boil and when it turns black, it starts to corrode the brake lining system. I learned something new today.


I have now been home a little more than 6 weeks on my 6-month leave from Southwest Airlines and it feels good. I'm still not ready to retire yet, but this break is wonderful. I fill my days with all kinds of activities and I'm getting a lot of reading done (I'm a big reader). I have been able to do my blog now twice a week and it's getting easier. I am now doing a one-minute round-up of Val's Journey1 on Instagram-which means I tell everyone what my day entails in less than 1 minute, now with over 100 views per day. People actually want to know what I'm doing throughout my day. Is this my 15 minutes of fame ? Ha Ha.

Till next time. Val Brown

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