CDBaby Player

You can listen to some of my songs here:

Friday, November 18, 2011

It pays to investigate.

Last night I spent a lovely evening visiting my daughter, with my motorhome parked in her driveway. When I went out to my motorhome to go to bed, it had gotten quite chilly so I turned on the furnace.


In the past, lack of ignition has been fixed by various actions:
  • Turning it off and trying again in five minutes.
  • Pushing a reset button on the furnace.
  • Removing the defective thermostat and connecting the wires.
  • Replacing the thermocouple.
  • Replacing the circuit board.

The first 3 of these I can do myself with no problem, so I set about troubleshooting. It was cold out, so I decided to skip the reset button and go directly to investigating the thermostat. With the cover off, I operated the lever and found the problem.

During the day, a moth had crawled up into the thermostat and was blocking the contacts. I guess moth corpses don't conduct current very well!

I removed the moth, slid the levers, listened to the satisfying sound of propane ignition, replaced the cover, and went on with my life. Grateful for solutions I can handle.

The moral of the story: before you call a repairman, check out what you can check out yourself.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Freezer Space!

I just freed up my motor home freezer for ice and ice cream, which is about what it has room for.
I love ice cream - and besides the ice cream maker's bowls there's usually a tub of commercial ice cream because Turkey Hill has it in for me. I also love vegetables, fruits, and having some meat stashed away. All that in a motor home freezer has been a challenge. Until now.

How did I do it, you ask?

I discovered a company that produces high quality natural freeze-dried foods! I tried their green beans first - and was seriously impressed. Freeze-dried food retains the shape, texture and nutrition of the fresh food, removing only the water. When I added hot water to the beans, they became green beans. Ready to eat, right then, in my opinion, although other people might like them cooked more than I cook them. (I'm kind of into fresh, minimally cooked. If you like them cooked to death, go ahead - I'm sure they'll come out just the way you like them.)

Not only were they delicious - the remaining beans in the package will be good to eat for a long time. Just store airtight, dark and dry. They will not get freezer burned. They will not thaw out when my freezer decides to be less than efficient in the heat of the summer. They will not become science experiments in the back of my fridge.

So I looked into the company and decided to become an Independent Shelf Reliance Consultant so I could share this discovery with others.

My kit arrived last night, and I spent the evening checking the shipment and studying the materials and all those things a new Consultant needs to do.

But this morning, I get to play with the food! I already know that the veggies and fruits will be yummy, so I started with some things I was skeptical about. Like Whole Eggs. I'm picky about eggs. In the name of product knowledge, I fixed breakfast.

I am impressed. I reconstituted enough egg powder for 2 eggs and made scrambled eggs. Next time I'll make up more eggs! They were quite yummy!

I had figured they'd be good for baking - but that they are good all by themselves as scrambled eggs was a very pleasant surprise.

Another thing about THRIVE foods is that most of them are available in 3 sizes: #10 cans (gallon), Pantry Cans (5.5" high, 4" diameter), and Mylar Pouch. (a pouch of green beans contains 7 servings). The Pantry Cans are excellent for those of us who live in RVs and have limited storage space. The pouches are great for camping.

If you should decide you would also like to free up your freezer for Ice Cream, please make sure that you see Jane Cassidy's Store in the upper right of the website before you place an order with Shelf Reliance. That way I get credit and you get the best pricing.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

I got interviewed.

National RV Parks interviewed me - you can read it here:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Life Proceeds...

as my friend Sue says. With ups and downs...
As it was still ugly hot when I left NC, I left the Callicat at her summer home with Aunt Phylis. They love her there too, but I miss her. Lady Elizabeth Callicat
I spent the past month or so doing store sets in the Lynchburg area, which meant I could spend weekends - and even a couple of weeks - at the Izaak Walton campground which I've previously posted lots about. One store was so close to the campground that if it hadn't been a night set and long hours, I could have ridden back and forth on my motorscooter. As it was, I used the Escaper for a sports car. It felt like one, after driving the Holiday Rambler. And it needed the exercise.
It also needed a new battery, as did the scooter.

I got some much needed cleaning and sorting done in my storage, hauled a bunch of stuff to Goodwill, and have a few things that are worth my effort to find new homes for posted in my Facebook pictures. I have people that want some of this stuff - the trick is to figure out how to get things to people.
Izaak Walton LakeThe 2 weeks that I was actually able to stay parked at the Lake and drive the Escaper to work were great: a swim in the lake does wonders for your attitude after a long night at work.

Still - store sets are exhausting and I haven't had any real time off (moving in doesn't count) since theMy camp at Spring OVPR Spring OVPR, last March. I was truly exhausted when we got done with last weeks set, even though it was perhaps the easiest (for me personally) total tear down I've done. So when the options for work this week were Georgia or Philadelphia, I took the week off instead.
I am SO glad I did. Never mind the R&R factor - I wouldn't have made it to work anyway.

I left the Lake Sunday afternoon to drive up to my home driveway, 70 miles north. Heard a noise, pulled over, identified the problem,It's easy to know what the trouble is when you see the drive shaft on the ground. called road service. (It's really easy to identify the problem when your drive shaft is dragging on the ground!)
The State Trooper who arrived during the phone call said since I was in the road, I had to be towed within a half hour and Road Service couldn't accomplish that so they let him call from his list. So I had to pay for the tow and submit it for reimbursement.
Tow truck came at last, and towed me to a safe location - level, too - and Road Service was to send a mobile mechanic in the morning. (It occurred to me that it was good Callicat's in NC - she HATES tow truck rides with a feline passion!)
Except it took them until noon to find one. This isn't a very populous area. That mechanic called and told me that although Road Service would cover part of his coming out, he was far enough that the rest would be quite pricey and I would be better off calling someone local if I could.
Sheesh - it's NOON now. I fortunately have in my Palm the name of every mechanic that's ever been recommended to me as good and one was 20 miles away. I called and said mechanic was actually just a few miles away, picking something up, and could come right over and look at it. Smart mechanic removes part to compare and make sure the replacement part is correct. He did, he fixed it, all better now.

This shouldn't have happened. 800 miles ago, when I broke down in NC, the tow truck driver advised me to make sure the mechanics checked my U joint. So I had them check it. When I had a vibration noise going down the road, they checked it again. I SAW the mechanic check it. Perhaps he only checked visually and it looked fine, but the bolts were loose - loose bolts is what both this tow truck driver and this mechanic said caused the failure. So the unidentified vibration that "wasn't the U-Joint" is now fixed. Imagine that.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Today's Yard July 23. 2011

RV with awning out & table & chairs ready

I stay in the parking lots at work, and stop over places in transit, but I really feel at home when my awning is out and my furniture is set up under it. I got to do this this weekend, visiting my friends Phylis & Jim. I'm here for the weekend and don't have to go anywhere in the rig. Phylis cooked me a birthday breakfast, eggs and biscuits and sausage gravy - yum - then later on Younger Daughter, Son-in-Law, Grandson, came and kidnapped me. We went out for sushi lunch and took the Grandson to see Cars 2. Or maybe he was an excuse for us to see it - there was lots of stuff in it that was in there for the grownups and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

It is still hot as blazes, so the Callicat is still staying here with Aunt Phylis. She's become friends with Phylis' cat and is quite happy with the arrangement.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Repairs and Divine Intervention

Onion: a bulb with many layers and when you peel them, it brings tears to your eyes. Lately, the Holiday Rambler has been like an onion, with layers of "issues". What I have done since the last post is deal with vehicle repairs. I have been blessed with Logistical Assistance from the Powers That Be. While I am significantly poorer, life is otherwise good.

I was en route to work 2 weeks ago when I heard a horrible noise and my power steering was no longer power steering. I smelled a hot/burning fluid smell and promptly pulled over to the side of the highway. The burning smell lessened, so instead of grabbing the Callicat and running like mad, I went out and looked under the rig - where I saw fluid dripping down. There IS a reason I renew my road service annually. This year it has paid for itself.

Being Sunday evening, it took them a bit of time to find help but they sent me a mechanic in hopes that it would be fixable on site. No such luck: power steering fluid had leaked and caught fire and melted wires and sensors. And gone out on its own! TG! We contacted Road Service and then I waited for the tow truck.

Waiting for a tow truck is much more pleasant in a motor home than in any other sort of vehicle - I was, after all, at home. I had dinner, read, petted the cat... and finally the tow truck arrived.

A P-30 chassis has an Automatic Parking Brake, which must be released before towing. It wouldn't release. That was because it uses the power steering system to function and when there's no fluid, the brake stays on. (The P-30 used this system instead of a parking pawl (see post from several years ago) because it's such a heavy vehicle.) The tow truck drivers therefore disconnected the drive shaft and towed us away.

My Callicat HATES tow truck rides. The lights freak her out.

Advice to drivers: when you talk to your Road Service, make sure they tell you to where you will be towed. Apparently, something was lost in the relay and when we arrived at where the driver had been told to take me, I realized it was not the right place. I called Road Service again and got the correct address and off we went again.

They reattached the drive shaft and left me in a level spot in the parking lot of the Fleet Service company, about midnight. I slept.

In the morning, I drove into a service bay and let me say that I NEVER want to drive that thing again without power steering. If you've been reading this blog from the beginning, you know that I bought my last rig up in NJ and drove it back to Virginia without power steering. That was nothing compared to a 32-foot class A without power steering.

Here's the Divine Intervention part (besides the part about the fire going out and not burning my house up): The following week my team was scheduled to work near Savannah GA - where I know no one! But I wasn't there when this happened, I was in NC - 15 miles from a good friend who came to collect me and put me up while my rig was in the shop and is still cat-sitting my Callicat - and not horribly far from my Son-in-Law who just got a new position, telecommutes, and was able and willing to lend me his car. I only missed one day of work.

When the work week was over, I picked up the motor home, paid for the repairs (ouch, that was one expensive leaky hose!) and drove it back to my friends' house. My original plan was to drive my SIL's car to the kids' house, visit with them (my other daughter was also visiting), and get a ride back. The more I thought about it, I realized that while I had his car was a good time to check out the "something loose and hitting" noise I'd had for a little while, which seemed to be getting worse. I spent the weekend with the kids anyway and kept the car another week. My company, understanding that I didn't trust the newly repaired rig to go to Savannah, found me an assignment in the area where I already was, Tuesday through Friday due to the Fourth. After work Tuesday I did the vehicle shuffle with my friend so that both vehicles were at the shop and I could leave from there for work Wednesday morning.

At the shop, they were busy and did not get to my rig on Wednesday, my project was overstaffed and my work was cancelled for Thursday and Friday, and I returned to the shop Wednesday night, being there when they opened Thursday. This was financially painful but otherwise more of that Divine Intervention stuff. I really needed to be with the rig more than I needed to be at work, it turned out. I took the mechanic for a ride, as it's much easier to say "that noise, there" than to try to describe it in a note. Yes, it was something loose and hitting. A front brake. Oh, joy.

That afternoon, I left with new front brakes, got almost to my friends' house, turned around and went back to the shop. It still isn't right.

Turns out the rotors were warped and not playing nicely with the new, thicker, not-worn-out pads. Welcome to the Hotel California Garage. ("You can check out any time you like but you can never leave.") As they had the previous week, they let me plug into the electricity and I spent another night.

I have, in the past, encountered garages where you can't stay with your vehicle. Fortunately, at those times I was able to drive away and find a more motor home friendly garage. I am always relieved when the folks at the shop are able and willing to accomodate the fact that the vehicle they're working on is also my HOME.

Friday, the wheels came off again, the rotors went off to be turned if possible - it wasn't - new rotors were ordered and arrived and were the wrong part and a second pair were fetched and installed and we test drove and everything was working ok and I wrote yet another check and called to arrange the weekend.

Here's more of that Divine Intervention stuff. My older daughter, who had originally planned to go back to Virginia on Wednesday, had stayed through Friday. And had been delayed in her planned Friday a.m. departure. And was just loading her car when I called. She would be driving past the shop on her way home so I could take the motor home to the kids', ride with her as far as the shop, and bring my SIL's car back without anyone having to make an extra shuffle run.
(45 miles one way, not a quickie run!) The kids were all going out to dinner before she'd be leaving, and as it worked out I could just make it by the time they were meeting for dinner. Woohoo! So dinner with my family, a no-imposition ride back for the other vehicle, and all the vehicles where they were supposed to be.

I'd love to say everything is fixed, but I still have a brake light that comes on when I'm in gear... It's a side-effect of the towing or PS pump replacement - happened the other time too - but we don't know how to make it go away. The brake itself is not on, just the light. And I found out my headlights don't play nice with my signal lights, so I am only able to drive in daylight until I get THAT figured out. (It's not the relay.) Have I mentioned I'm tired of doing repairs? Nevertheless, I am very grateful to be neither a crispy critter nor stranded in some unfamiliar area without resources. Now maybe I can get on with the business of finding interesting stuff and reporting on motor home life. Please?

My thanks to G!, my kids, my friends, the mechanics, for all the assistance.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pig Pickin'

Last weekend the Callicat and I went to a Pig Pickin' hosted by my friends Denise & Thurmond. It was well-attended and a good time was had by all. Thurmond makes some wonderful barbecue, and it was a very very hot day in spite of the pond and the shade. I was not only stuffed, but the heat got to me.

Several of us camped on their land in RVs all weekend. Last year when I was there, the wind came up and put my awning up on my roof. This year the wind came up when we were back at camp, and we all closed our awnings. And the storm went away. Rolling up awnings is good anti-storm medicine?

As I said, it was very hot. I had the a/c running, and was plugged in to a circuit that could handle it - but my 30 - 15 adapter could not. When I broke camp I was surprised to find it had MELTED and melted the end of the extension cord (heavy duty but not heavy-duty enough) with it.

I now have a shiny new pigtail adapter which should not have that problem. Normally my 2 RV cords are enough for where I plug in, but D&T's power is further from the rig. I intend to acquire a couple more super-heavy-duty RV cords before next year's Pickin'.

Washing Dishes in a Small Galley

A few posts ago, I added Counter Space to my RV kitchen. It is not, however, where the sink is. The rig came with a drop-down counter extension next to the sink, but it blocks the door. If it's in use, you can't go in or out. Also, this rig has very small sinks. My old dishpans and dish drain from the Escaper do not fit.

Fortunately, I was able to find these tubs at - I think it was Dollar General - which work very well and stack nicely. I found an absorbent drain mat at WalMart, too. I was originally planning to put it under the dish drain, but then discovered I could simply put the dishes on the mat to drain.

Drain dishes on the drain mat

Then, when I'm done, I replace the sink cover over the left sink.

Cover the left sink

Then I slide the mat, dishes and all, onto that cover. Drop the extension and the door is once again usable.

Slide the drain mat, dishes and all, onto the left sink.

Added bonus: the drain mat goes in the washer when it gets dirty.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Rudd's Creek Corps of Engineers Campground

I couldn't have picked a better site. It was almost level, large, with a west facing yard, overlooking the lake.

Paths led from the campsite down to the lake, where boats were pulled up to the shoreline. My campsite's shoreline had a gentle slope into the water.

After spending much of the day sorting stuff in one of my storage bays for more logical storage,

and being taken for walks by the Callicat, I blew up one of my float rafts and went down for a swim. The water was absolutely perfect in temperature and I floated out to where the inlet opened to the main lake, where the "no wake" buoy is. Remember that kayak I want? I still want it!

Later my neighbor in the next campsite over invited me for a ride in his new-to-him boat. It is a very nice motorboat and we zoomed around the lake for a while. It was a blast. It has been way too long since I've been in a power boat. He'd just got this boat, this was its first time out on the lake for him, and then we discovered that when the gas guage says 1/4 tank - it lies.

Up until that point there had been lots of boats on the lake - but just as we ran out of gas, they all vanished. The sun told me we had half an hour of daylight left. No phones on board. Oh no, not another learning experience! We drifted, watching for boats, and finally saw one way off in the distance which seemed to be coming toward us. Did I mention Kerr Reservoir is a BIG lake? I picked up his red towel and waved it as a distress signal hoping the distant boat would see it.

I don't know if they did or not, because a boat we couldn't see due to the sun in our eyes to the west appeared - much closer - and they did see it. That boat turned out to be the neighbor on the other side, and they towed us back to camp. How's that for serendipity?

Being adopted by a cat will definitely change your life.

Cat using keyboard for pillow
Until the Callicat adopted me, my biggest responsibility was the refrigerator. Make sure either it is level, or turn it off. Cats, on the other hand, you can't turn off. Did I mention I work at supermarkets? And the average supermarket parking lot has no shade. So this week with temperatures in the high nineties, we got to experiment with what would keep the motorhome tolerably cool.

This Holiday Rambler is the first RV I've had that has had an onboard generator. In the past, in this sort of heat, I would wet a golf shirt, turn on a fan, and have portable personal air conditioning. Or park and go somewhere interesting with a/c. That doesn't work so well for a cat. (Although, Tuesday when I came out from work and she was hotter than I thought she ought to be, I wet a dish towel and after 3 tries she decided I was right, it really WAS cooler to have that over her.)
I didn't want to run the a/c because one must shut the windows to keep the coolness in, and if it went off, it would become a hot box in there really quickly. But it turned out there was no other way to accomplish acceptable temperatures, so I turned on the genny and the a/c and that worked.

The Callicat, however, was not amused. She HATES the noise of the generator and runs to the opposite end of the rig to be as far from it as possible. Unfortunately, the genny is in a front compartment, and Callicat's litterbox is at the foot of the passenger seat. She let me know in no uncertain terms - if you have cats you understand this - that this was not acceptable to her. Now, when I turn the generator and a/c on, I have to put the litterbox in the back bedroom too.

So far I've been lucky: I've been able (with manager's approval) to open my awning on the job site. I do subscribe to the Parking Etiquette for RVs and before the Callicat, I would never have considered opening my awning in a parking lot. However, her life and health are my responsibility and if that demands some shade to help the a/c cope with the heat, so be it.

Another thing that helps is Reflectix. Basically, bubble wrap with aluminum on both sides. It comes in rolls in the insulation department at Lowe's. Window with reflectix insert I bought a huge roll and have made inserts for all my windows Reflectix cover for motor home windshieldand a cover for the windshield. I put the cover on the outside, partly because it was easier to fit and partly because I had read concerns about trapping heat between the reflectix and the glass. Bungeed in place and held down also by the windshield wipers, it makes a most amazing difference.

$14 at WalMart produced a big box fan which I put in the dinette window. When it's not hot enough to make the a/c an absolute necessity, I can get lots of air flow using this as an exhaust fan. Someday I'll have a Fantastic Fan vent, I'm sure, but it's not in the budget right now.

So that's what I've added this year to my bag of tricks for surviving summer heat. Someday maybe I'll be able to just drive to someplace cool instead.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

How DO these things happen???

I now live in the largest motorhome I ever intend to own. I don't mind storing off-season clothing, favorite books, a reasonable crafts waiting list, or some Rendezvous stuff, but this is ridiculous. So I spent the morning removing stuff. Almost nothing in here is worth the trouble but I don't want to fill the landfill so I'll be doing a yard sale - maybe a yard give . Many days work still in here.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Moving Continues, with Gratitude.

For a while I was worried. Why wouldn't the contents of a 26 foot rig fit in a 32 foot rig with basement storage??? but toward the end it was getting interesting.

The last of the stuff from the Escaper waiting to have places for it found.

In the end it did actually all fit! I even have some empty spaces! And I can walk around without climbing over things.

For the first time since I moved out of my Travel Trailer, I have enough room for hanging special pictures and other items.

Drum Bag hanging under painting of wolves on barn wood.

The wolves on barn wood above my Drum were painted by my friend Linda Staab, who also makes awesome jewelry and sells at the City Market in Roanoke VA.

Music Makes the Spirit Sing

I showed you one of Elder Daughter's counted cross-stitch items last blog. This is another - I started it and cross-stitch isn't my thing. So she finished it for me.

Indians on horseback

This was the first big counted cross-stitch she gave me.

Dream Catcher

Of course a dream catcher hangs over the bed - close, anyway.

Pins hold small hanging items to the padded cornice.

The padded cornice gives me a way to hang some small special items,

Another padded cornice displays my pinback button collection

and another displays my pin-back button collection. No special mottoes here, just buttons meaningful to me personally.

The Callicat has settled in: snoozing on the Guitar's Bed countertop

My traveling partner, the Callicat, is settling in nicely. She particularly likes napping on the Guitar's Bed stretched out next to the keyboard, now that I'm done moving and creating chaos. During the chaos, she liked hiding under/behind the drivers' seat out of the way. Smart cat.

Here's the Extra Special Gratitude part.

Friday I headed in to town to do some errands and get the part installed that will make my water heater ignite. When I came out of Northern Tool, I saw something under the engine of the rig. The something turned out to be the hose for the left front air bag. Not good. The water heater will wait; I tied up the hose and headed for the truck repair facility.

The hose was taken care of in short order, but it turned out I need new front air bags. In the process of working in the pit under my rig, the mechanic noticed a fluid leak which turned out to be from the transmission. It was falling apart! A bolt missing and the rest of them loose. How DO these things happen? You have no idea how glad I am to have air bag trouble and go to the shop and get the bolt situation corrected and not have my transmission drop out going down the road!

So the air bags are ordered, I have an appointment for installation next week, and I am really hoping that gets done early enough for me to get the water heater done too. However it works out, repairs I can schedule are WAY better than disasters on the road.

Monday, May 09, 2011

What a Busy Weekend!

When the work week ended, I returned to the Escaper to continue transferring Stuff. Friday was largely taken up with a few more repairs. The furnace board decided it would be a good time to go out - so although I had heat last weekend, I didn't have it Thursday morning. That and the water heater won't ignite. OK, so the furnace is fixed and the valve for the water heater is ordered.

My friend Susan joined me for lunch, and then my other friend Sue came to spend the weekend.

While I was awaiting her arrival, I heard and investigated some rather persistant meowing. I meowed back and was answered - and eventually found the source - a pretty calico. Who promptly hopped into the Holiday Rambler and made herself at home. Calico Cat making herself at home Sue arrived and we fed the cat hot dogs and tuna, which she devoured like she'd missed a lot of meals. She spent the evening with us, went out sometime during the night, came back in early Saturday morning. She went back out and off into the woods and we didn't see her again all day.

My friend Danny came over to help with alterations. He'd built me a counter for the guitars' bed, which fit in place perfectly.

He brought his saw and cut the ends off my bifold door, which is now Counter Space in the kitchen.

And he made the offending chair go away from my living room. Yay. We also rode over to my storage and picked up the microwave stand before he left.

I hung this picture, too. In the Escaper there was no space to hang it, but it goes quite well in this dinette. counted cross-stitch picture of Native woman dancing with dream catcher This is counted cross stitch (with leather and beads) which Elder Daughter stitched for me some 12 years ago, and it's awesome.

I found out my work schedule had changed and my vacation starts THIS week! Excellent.

Danny called and said he'd passed a small festival on his way home, very close to where we were, that he thought we'd enjoy. So after lunch we went - to New London Day - and found a bunch of our friends from Rendezvous Rendezvous friends playing musicplaying music and doing history things. So yes, we enjoyed it very much.

Sue and I took the Holiday Rambler and her truck to Izaak Walton, where I parked in my usual favorite campsite, and enjoyed dinner and a campfire.

Sunday morning after breakfast, we went back and picked up the Escaper. The cat came back and we checked around for possible owners - nope, she's been hanging around for a week or so, no one's come asking for her - so I've been adopted. We added a PetSmart run to our list of errands. The rest of that list involved contact paper and molding to finish the Guitar's Bed project. Had an awful time finding contact paper. I remember when it was easy to get and there was always a really large selection. Now, there are only a few patterns, and the clerk at WalMart looked at us like we were from Mars. (It's in the kitchen gadget section with shelf paper.)

I parked the Escaper near the HR, we had lunch, Sue went home, I went to work on the rig.

Here's the Guitar's Bed as it originally was:
Guitar on it's own bed

And with the counter Danny built me, I'll be able to stand the guitars and stow a lot of other gear too:

The counter is installed

I used the old "headboard" for padding for the heads of the guitar cases.

The old bed header becomes padding for guitar cases

And with the contact paper and molding applied, it actually looks like furniture:

Looks like oak

It has cat approval.

Cat approves

Project completed.

Guitar bed project complete

The chair is gone, the stand is in place, and I have an office which does not involve the dinette!

And that counter space issue - The bifold door I salvaged when Jon and Tina moved to Florida is now a sliding counter. Ready for use, it opens to provide counter space and access to kitchen Stuff.

Sliding counter on dinette open for use

Ready for travel or dinner, the counter part is folded up out of the way, keeping Stuff from wandering.

Sliding counter closed for meals or travel

It can stay back against the window, or slide forward for convenience when doing serious cooking. I still need to arrange some hardware to make it slide easily, but it's functional now.

Road Service: don't drive your home without it.

Now, just to make life "interesting", I find I have a very flat inner rear tire. The outer tire doesn't like that much. Neither do I. More adventures in Class A ownership. If this were the Escaper, Wal-Mart probably could have fixed it. As it is, I call Good Sam Road Service and hope they can send me someone who fixes tires on location.

That's what they did, and I feel quite lucky: My tire itself is fine. There were dual wheel valve stem extension hoses on the dual wheels, to make it easier to check and fill them. Unfortunately, when these things get old there's a gasket inside that goes away. And then all the air goes away.

The worn out extension hoses are gone, the tire is full, all 7 tires are filled to the same correct psi. Once again, my Road Service plan has paid for itself.

Moving Day

I took my Maiden Voyage in the Harley last week. Yes, I said IN. My Holiday Rambler is a '92, which is right in the middle of the time when Holiday Rambler was owned by Harley Davidson. So I live IN a Harley :) and I just had to get a Harley decal for it.

This is my 5th RV, not counting the van camper. It is my first Class A. Previous incarnations of "home" have been 2 21' Class C's, a 23' Travel Trailer, and a 26' Class C. This is a 32' Class A. It's BIG. Inside, I think it might almost be big enough. Outside, I think it's too big but what can you do? It's been an interesting experience since the beginning.

I bought this rig last summer and there is a long sad story involving mechanics and obsolete parts and what not. To make it a quicker, more interesting read - I finally started moving into it Saturday.

As I write, I have moved the basics of living (kitchen, bath, bedroom, work tools...) and put them away. I'm loving the lack of clutter and hoping I can adjust the interior to absorb the Stuff required to support my music and crafts habits without cluttering it up too much.

Sunday night, off I went to my jobsite and my first night of actually living in the HR.

There are things I like.

I no longer have to sleep with musical instruments in my bed - they have their own.

All the windows open, and the cross ventilation is wonderful.

The generator works. (It's my first-ever built-in generator. NICE to just push a button and have AC power.) Which leads me to: The air conditioner works.

I like the window curtains class A motorhomes have.

And the driver's and passenger's seats swivel and become part of the living room furniture.

My work tools are in basement storage, so I'm not tripping over them in the house.

The fridge (which I initially thought I would not like) is bigger inside (although the freezer is not).

There are things I don't like.

There could be more counter space.
There could BE counter space. (Who am I kidding? It's a motor home.)

The living room chair has got to go.
And will be replaced with my microwave stand from storage, which will become a printer stand.

I'm debating whether the couch stays or gets replaced by something smaller. It's comfy but takes up lots of space. No rush on that.

My Class C motor homes had 40 gallon gas tanks. I don't know how big this one is because Sheetz / Visa would only let me swipe the card for 2 $100 charges at the pump. I'm in shock. And it's still not full.

There is one thing I vehemently don't like. The oven.
As you can see in the picture, the baking area is too small for anything taller than a tv dinner. My roasting pan won't even begin to fit in there. Magic Chef, you usually do better than that. And I miss the electronic ignition on the stove in the Escaper.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Manual Food Processor

Since my travels are dictated by where my work is, Younger Daughter wasn't sure when she'd see me next and gave me my Mothers Day gift early. I love it.

You see, my daughter sells Pampered Chef, and what she gave me is their Manual Food Processor. It's only got 3 pieces: bowl, blade, and top. Food goes in, lid goes on, you push the lever and the blades spin. No electricity required. Works in the motor home. Works in tent camp. Yes it will crush ice! Even my wonderful Magic Bullet To Go balks at ice.

Already it has mashed sweet potatoes, made homemade applesauce, scrambled my eggs... and I only just got it.

Thank you, Jocelyn!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Today's Yard, April 21 2011

The work week being over, I made a beeline for Ebenezer Park. You've seen pics from here before, because it's one of my favorites. Inexpensive, big lake, nice sites. No pool but this is April and I really don't care. Anyway - I figured it would be about half full, this being early in the season and a Thursday. Yeah, right. I got the next to last spot.

After I got hooked up and ate dinner, I took a walk. One of my neighbors has a big Holiday Rambler and a whole lot of 'passengers' in their front window - a bunch of plush Disney characters. The whole gang, looks like.

My other neighbor has something I've not seen before: a stained glass window in their door. Very nice. I've done stained glass, but I don't think I'll do a window - I think I'll call in a promise from Elder Daughter, who does glass etching.

It is nice to be in a calm peaceful campground for a few days and catch up with myself. Last weekend I spent with Younger Daughter and her family - hanging out, visiting, bowling - and I met them again Tuesday night for dinner. All you can eat crab legs at AmberJack in Gastonia NC. Very yummy. They only have the crab leg thing on Tuesday nights, but other nights you can eat other yummy food and still have room for dessert, like my SonInLaw did.