CDBaby Player

You can listen to some of my songs here:

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.