Monday, March 31, 2008

More Ent.Center. Hunting a WetVac. Rainbow Bridge.

Still great weather, not too hot and not cold.
Jay and I worked on the entertain-ment center today, and you will be able to see what we were trying to do when we get it all together. This is the padded stand where the TV/VCR will be. The top shelf is for a DVD, and there is a board across the back of it, so that stuff can't fall behind the TV. The board that goes across the front of the DVD shelf can't be put in yet, as it holds the TV in place, too. It will be screwed, and the wooden buttons put over the screws. So that the TV/VCR can be taken out easily. We will hook up the coax cable and 12 v. connections before we put the TV in there, and we have a slot for them to come out on the left side where the 110v. and 12v. outlets are inside the cabinet. The coax cable will go through on the right, though the wall, to the outside coax connection. There is already a 12v. outlet and coax connection, but it is over the sink, and I wouldn't want to have a TV cluttering up the already small kitchen.

Ray polyed these oak parts in the B, and a few finishing touches on the Little Van, and then Jay and I went to Conroe.

We went to all the thrift shops that were open on Mondays, as he was looking for a little Wet/Dry Vac. He wanted one so small that it would be easy to take up a ladder, as he had some ceiling cleaning to do at the Cleveland job tomorrow.

As he didn't find one like he wanted, even at Lowes, we wound up at WallyWorld and got one there. The really little ones, one gallon, are really handy to have in an RV, as they will suck your space bags full of extra pillows, clothing, blankets, down to nothing, and you can get the accessories to use it for cleaning the floor, etc, too. IF, rather, WHEN you get a water leak they are invaluable.

"Tom Gray" is gone. The poor sick stray has disappeared,
and we know that he has gone to Rainbow Bridge.

It was a tiring day.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Arch's Flood. TV Space in Class B.

Tank top and shorts weather again.

Whatever AOL's Live Help told me to do, worked.

Something to do with compressed graphics.

So here are some of the pictures of Arch's (gcbr) recent flood.

The first one is of The Lady and Toad moved to higher ground.

The second picture is of his RVport. The third is a nearby road.

Jay and I worked for about four hours on the entertainment center, getting the sides and back of the TV enclosure part measured and cut. The angles, again, are very complex, because of the shape of the roof. These parts need to be polyurathaned before they are installed. I had the camera
out there, but I didn't take any pictures, as our progress
doesn't really show.

We had to come back and work in the workshop every time a downpour went by.

Mostly a sunny and warm, humid day.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Showing the TransStar. Chat Pictures

It has been warmer, and maybe it is going to stay that way.
This is a picture of Phyllis' patio at her place in the Foothills, Yuma, AZ.
Jay and Ray and I were working today. Yesterday, somehow something had got tracked all over my carpet, I had sprayed it with stain remover. So first thing Jay got out the carpet shampooer. I needed to clean my computer area while we had the shampooer going, so I unplugged everything and moved it all, including the adjacent filing cabinets. I hoped that I could get it all hooked back up right, and as you can see, I did. Wonders never cease !

Ray washed the Class B, as I wanted it clean when the lady came to look at the TransStar.

I keep the TransStar packed down, and ready to roll, so I quickly got some extra stuff out of it, like the blanket with tigers on it, that I keep on the couch to keep it clean, etc. I drove it into the RVport last night and plugged it in. As I was going to turn on the fridge, the RVport is more level than the other hook up on the other side of the house. I had the AC on, when I knew she was on her way, and she loved the rig. I unplugged it and showed her that the 4KW Onan would run the AC, too. She drove it around for a while, and liked the way it drives, (who wouldn't), but I knew that she was really looking for a van-width Class B, and this is wider with duals. She was worried about the width, as she has a very narrow driveway. I showed her the Class B that we are working on, and she really liked it. Especially as it has generator, solar panels, and power locks and windows. So I think that she be back in touch about it. As soon as we get the entertainment center finished in it, I will send her some pictures. She does acting at the Renaissance Festival at Plantersville, TX, (Oct, Nov) and needs somewhere to change into her costumes. Her husband has cancer, and she wants a small RV to take him fishing.

As this is the 5th Saturday of the month, there was no Adoption Day today, but Kenya still had Boots, so I met her in town, and now Boots is enjoying herself on my screen porch with her kitty friend, Minkie.

This is a picture of Speedhitch, and Mrs. Speed, with the Twin Towers.
The other picture is one Phyllis sent me years ago.

So that was another day.

Washed TransStar. Then Bad, But Expected News.

Jay wasn't working yesterday, but Ray was. I had someone coming to look at my old faithful TransStar, on Saturday, and as May hadn't shown up to wash it, Ray did it. Unless they are kept in the RVport, RVs get dirty from the trees around here and it has been outside some, so it was grubby. The pressure washer, and Ray did a good job on it.

I was grooming MaeMae, and doing other little jobs, and was in and out, and up and down steps. Whenever I do that, and/or grooming, it makes my back hurt, so after lunch I laid down.

I was woken up by the phone. It was my brother, Nigel, in England. My 93 year old mother had died. She had been fine and lucid, in a very great nursing home, but 2 weeks ago she got some kind of lung infection, and her heart gave out. You wonder why I didn't mention it on the chat, last mother and I were never close. I didn't want a lot of OOHHs and AAHHs. I do not know what it is like to be raised by parents. She left me and my father when I was 4 years old, and I spent very little time with her after that. She made me call her Auntie Joan, when I did visit her, as she didn't want people to know that she had a child as old as I was. Her two sons were born when I was 11 and 12 years old, and I was from another marriage. My father was away in the RAF in WWII, and so a series of folks raised me, but mostly my grandmother and grandfather. It was very rare for a child to be put in the father's custody in the 40's. My brother and I had a long chat, it was so good to hear his voice, and accent again, and it was a shame that it was this news that made him call. We usually email each other, isn't the computer grand ? So now my mother, father, step-father and mother in law are all gone. My grandfather used to say that life was like a theatre, and gradually all the people in the seats in front of you leave.

A sad, but expected day.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Damon, TX. Population 535 ! NetNanny.

I have been trying to get to Damon to see a little motor home that is for sale down there. I am still trying to find one that I like better than the one I have, or is in as good a shape as mine. Yesterday I decided to make the trip. The owner wasn't going to be home until about 5.00pm, but she had left the keys in it, for me to drive it, and try it out. That's a small TX town for you!
My daughter, grandson, and two of my great grandsons live not too far from there, so I wanted to make a day of it, and visit them, too. I am still not comfy driving the Little Van, and I put poor old Puddle Jumper through her paces once again, and clocked about another 300 miles on the poor old thing. ( Now nearly 193,000 miles on her).
The last time I had been to my daughter's new house was over two years ago for "The Celebration of Susan's Life", (my granddaughter who got killed by a drunk driver), and I wasn't really concentrating then, so had to stop in downtown West Colombia, near her old house, and call for directions. My SIL, and daughter rolled up in different vehicles, and I was escorted to their house. It was good to see them again.
I didn't see my two great grandsons, Susan's boys, as they live with their Dad and other Grandma, and were busy. When my grandson, Tony arrived home from school, we had a good reunion, and then my daughter drove me to Damon, TX. When the RV lady was giving directions to my daughter on the phone she said we had to turn at some biker place. My SIL has a big super Suzuki motor cycle, and so of course my daughter knew right where it was.
The RV was in pretty good shape for it's age, and had been taken care of, but it didn't have the storage that mine has, and I thought I might need that, if I ever manage to be a "sunbird", and get away from the heat in the summer. I might have to resort to towing a Cargo trailer, which wouldn't be a bad idea, as I plan on hitting some flea markets, anyway !!

My grandson had been taken to a church meeting, and my daughter said that I could use his computer. It has NetNanny on it, and she was trying to extend the hours that the computer can be used, and get the 'chat block' off it. Well, it didn't work, and as she was busy watching some favorite show on TV, I just gave up on it.
Everyone seemed concerned about me driving back through Houston, in my 20 year old car, (that has more spent on it on maintenance, than what it is worth, except to me), and it would be dark, so I stayed the night. I slept in the spare bedroom that my other granddaughter, Kim, and her son use when they come to visit. I didn't know until the next morning, that Susan's urn is in there. It is comfy, but I am like all Rvers, I would rather be in my own surroundings, so I didn't sleep well. I have never slept in my daughter's house before, I have always visited in my RV, as I have Bobcat, and my SIL is allergic to cats.

I left there at 6.15 am, when my daughter was leaving to go to work, and I still got caught up in the Houston traffic, and didn't get home until 9.00 am.
I picked up Jay, and we spent 3 hours detailing the Little Van.
Definitely a nap day !

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Some Scenes in New Mexico. Dirty Digits

Another sunny day, that starts out chilly, and cloudy,
and has one shedding clothes as it warms up.

I tried to upload friend Arch's (gcbr) pictures of
his flood, but Blogger wouldn't accept them as
they are not jpg or something.
So here are some of New Mexico

The kittens have really been messing
with my plants on the screen porch.
They knocked down an airplane
(spider) plant and broke the pot,
so I had to repot it.
Then I found some plants that
were getting root bound, so I repotted
Some of my aloe vera on the porch had had
bunches of babies so I repotted them too.
Of course I got potting soil under my
fingernails, and all over the porch floor.
Good thing that I have a sink out there.

So this was my dirty digits day.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Master Cylinder. Trying to make pictures stay where I put them !

Started out really chilly, but warmed up to lovely sunshine.

When I drove the Little Van to Conroe, I didn't like the way the brakes felt, so I had Jim, the mechanic check it out. He ordered a new master cylinder, and I just got back from picking it up.

Then I thought that I would try some of the pointers on Blogger
to try to put captions on picures, with these pictures of different
parts of TX. Gee, these pictures a slippery buggers,
they just won't stay put !

The first one is Pedernales Falls State Park.

The second is Fern Cave, Caprock Canyons State Park.

The third is near The Lighthouse, Palo Duro State Park.

The fourth El Capitan, Gualaloupe Mtns.

The fifth is The Lighthouse, Palo Duro State Park

This one you have seen before, the famous Chisos Window
looking to Mexico, in Big Bend National Park.

It has taken me ages to get these pictures to all line up right,
and if they mess up when I hit the "publish" button, they
are going to stay messed up.

My computer needs a nap, it has had it for today.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Water heater. Shampooed Van Seats and Carpet.

Lovely day, and got some work done. A neighbor's electric water heater was so clogged up with calcium that it hardly held any hot water. They just hadn't drained it every now and then to let all the limey stuff out. So her neighbor hired a "plumber" to install a new one. They did a terrible job, and there was a little hissing leak that flooded her bathroom. On top of that, they had turned the power on before letting any water into the water heater, and shorted out the new element ! They had got their money, and still no hot water. So it was Jay and I to the rescue.

We fixed the little water leak. Lowe's wasn't going to be open until 10.00 am, as it is a holiday, so Jay and I installed the rest of the oak in the Little Van. Once we got back from Conroe with the element, I took my water heater wrench down there, and we installed it. Now she has lots of hot water, but they had installed it with clear plastic pipe, so that will have to changed. "Plumbers" , my eye !!

This is Bobcat's carriage that zips open on each end, see mesh flaps down, and here is a picture of her looking out of her window, which also zips down.

Then Jay and I vacuumed and shampooed all the seats and carpet in the Little Van, and all the floor mats. I am official spot remover, and crawling around on my hands and knees with a spray bottle of diluted Super Clean and a scrub brush, doesn't do my old back much good.

So that was my Easter Sunday.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bobcat's Carriage. Line of Red Rocks.

Started out cold, and then got really lovely today. First thing, I looked at a station wagon that is for sale, but it just wasn't right for me.
After lunch, I went to get a "baby carriage" for Bobcat. I had been in touch with the owner about it for some time, and finally had the time to drive out there. Bobcat broke her arm about 10 years ago, and when the vet x-rayed her, it was found that she also has a BB shot in her shoulder. That might be why she found me in the first place, someone was mean to her. She always walks with a limp, especially in cold weather. If, and when, I ever get back to RVing I like to walk around places, and Bobcat is getting slow on her harness and leash. Now she can ride in her carriage, that can be used as a backpack without the handle and wheels.

Geology, and how the terrains are made has always fascinated me. I had taped that whole series "Making of a Continent" when it was on Discovery Channel, but lost them in the flood. When I was looking through some of the National and State Parks, I saw that the red rocks are very widespread all in a line down the USA. That must have been some upheaval many, many years ago. There are all the beautiful ones in UT that Howard of shows us while they are camphosting at Moab. Then there are the ones in CO, (Balanced Rock, Colorado Springs) NV, (Mead Rd) AZ, (Grand Canyon), NM (Chaco) and all the way to the Rio Grande in Big Bend Park in TX. (Chisos Window) Then I found out that there are more in Serbia and Costa Rica. I have seen some of these while traveling, but I would like to see more. Do they have red rocks on the other, east, side of the Mississippi ? I have only been as far east as Natchez.

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Where Did All These People Come From?

Jay and Ray weren't here today. Ray went to help Shay with the other pressure washing job, as she had another cleaning job to do at the same RV Park. So that left me to my own devices... or vices.

I tried to get caught up on some of the "First of The Month" jobs. Note, I am three weeks behind! I started the two genny's that are here. I cleaned and renewed the filters in the two air cleaners that are in the house. I vacuumed the ceiling fans. I left airing up all the tires on the vehicles for when one of the guys are here. The 1-ton B+ has to have the wheel covers removed, by taking off two of the lug nuts, to get to the inside dual, and I didn't have time, or inclination, to do that. The valve stem extenders were a nuisance, so I took them off. I checked the oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, radiators on the three vehicles that are here. I didn't check the tranny's, as I would have had to start them up, and I didn't have my fanny pack on with the ignition keys. I just keep door keys hanging on the rack in the workshop.

This morning I bathed the two foster kitties again, with some medicated shampoo. Some thoughtless person had brought a dog with ringworm into Petco while we were having Adoption Day. A grown cat or dog, in good health, won't be affected. But kittens and puppies can. We had checked the kittens under a black light, and they didn't have any of the spores, but we have given them medicated baths every two weeks, just to be safe. It has a 45 day incubation period, which is now over.

One of my kittens, above, is going to meet some prospective adoptive parents on Saturday. They are going to choose between her and another "Tuxedo" kitten. So I drove her into Conroe today to meet Kenya, my SPCA boss, so that she could take the kitten there, tomorrow.
I left about 3.00 pm. I live 2 miles from the freeway, and southbound I-45 was like a parking lot. So I cut across at Willis, and tried to go south to Conroe on Hiway 75. That wasn't any good either, as most of the other locals had the same thought. Where were all these people going ? Where did they all come from ? I know it is Easter, and Spring Break, but we don't usually see it that bad, even for Thanksgiving, when everybody is going to Grandma's house ! I didn't get there until nearly 4.00 pm. A 10 mile drive took nearly an hour. Thank goodness my kitties are used to traveling. It was just a little bit better getting home.

That's about it for today.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chat Friend's Pictures.

It is a lovely sunny day, now. But it started out cool, and we, Shay and I, knew it was too cold for Shay to do her pressure washing job on an Open Road fifth wheel, about 9 miles away. Who wants to be soppy wet and cold, too? We had loaded up the ladder, pressure washer, hoses, long handled brushes, buckets and all that stuff, in the back of the Puddle Jumper. Then my cat boarder's Mama called and said that she had got back early, so we waited for her to pick up Emma.
At 11.00 am we took off, and it was nice weather by then, and I dropped Shay and all the stuff off, and I picked her up about 3 hours later. She was supposed to to have done two trailers, but with the late start, she was already beat.

For the RV-Dreams chat folks here are some pictures. The first picture is Phyllis, in red, and her husband, Bob, on her right. Phyllis and Bob have a Dolphin MH with one great big slide. They spend their summers in WA, and winters in Yuma, AZ. That is Russ (rcooper) and his wife, Sandy, in white, they used to have a Bounder. Russ' health stopped them from traveling. They have a little white poodle called Marshmello, and a cat.

The second picture is Arch (gcbr) back when he was a commodore for the Great Cardboard Boat Regatta, and had a beard. You remember, he is the guy with the lovely royal blue/pearl white GMC MH and Toad, and the gorgeous Victorian house, that I put pictures up on March 4th. He shaved off his beard a while back, and I have seen pictures of him without it, at his son's wedding, but I think he looks so distinguished with it !! Looks like he could model in an ad for some nautical product.

That's it for today.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cold, Windy Day. New Potatoes.

Nothing special today, except for a chilly, biting wind. The cats and kittens were all content to stay indoors until the wind died down. Then they were on the screen porch for a while this afternoon, enjoying the sunshine, and getting their Vitamin C.

I spent some time looking for a mid size station wagon, or little truck online, and I was cooking some whole new potatoes, forgot about them, overcooked them, and they were starting to fall apart. So I made some into an oyster stew. I sauteed some celery, onion, and as I had a couple of crookneck squash that I wanted to get out of the way, I peeled and sliced them, and threw them in too. I simmered them in some chicken bouillon, then added milk, Wondra Flour, and some cubed potato. Got my immersion blender going in the pot, and made a bisque, added the oysters, and voila' I had dinner. I don't cook the same as I did when Johnnie was alive.

I had bought a big bag of new potatoes on sale, or I wouldn't be bothering with all these potatoes. I also read somewhere that potatoes are not a carbohydrate that sticks to you like pasta, bread and rice do. I had wanted to make some potato salad, but I am not crazy about potato salad made with smashed potatoes. I like to cube them, after they are cooked, with my little potato 'cuber', above. Just push the cooked potato through, and cut it off with a knife, on the backside, as it comes through. I did remember to look after the hard boiled eggs ! So as I still had more new potatoes I cooked some more, but I never made the pototo salad.

Tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Trailer We Made into a Camper w/ Solar..

Thunderstorms were forecast for today. Jay and his mother went to their appointment, and Ray worked on the sanding and poly-ing of the oak parts for the Little Van, and the Class B.

I picked up a neighbor's poodle to be groomed. First, I had to put Emma, the cat boarder somewhere, as she has had the run of the grooming room as her domain. I put her in a big cage with her box, food and water, and she didn't like that one bit. But when that big white poodle ( no, not as big as Fillmore, the RV-Dreams mascot), came in the grooming room, she knew that I had done it for her own good, and she settled down. She was fascinated watching the dog being groomed, and I wonder if she thought that I was going to do that to her !

These are some before and after pictures of a trailer we worked on in 2006. We set it up with solar panels, as it was going to a place with no electricity. I took the "before" picture of the inside, after we had installed the big water tank up front, and some other improvements. We made two tables that mounted on the wall inside, and there were also two places that they could be mounted on the outside. The tables made the bed, too. The fiberglass benches are 9' long, and had storage below.

We put in new radius corner windows on the sides, and made the back door with an opening window for ventilation. Drip caps over all the windows. We added an awning type window on the front, for more cross air, even when it is raining. We put awning rail across the back at the top. All the matching light switches are on the walls, not on the lights. The switches for the water pump and porch light were illuminated when "on". There is a closet in each of the four corners, and we made wooden doors for them, and in the front ones we put big plastic bin/shelves. We put those metal closet shelves all along the sides. It has plenty of storage.

The sink and countertop are one piece fiberglass, and the propane stove is removable and stored in that little drop down, right under the counter on the right. That way it could be used outside, too. We installed a stove vent-a hood with a solar fan, and built a cupboard over the vent-a-hood with a flue pipe for venting through the roof, inside it. We made drawers for under the sink, and a long storage area below the sink and ice box. That is a Coleman ice-box, as there wasn't going to be any electricity. It is covered with the same pattern vinyl as the kitchen backsplash, and inside of the door, and it all matched the cushions and forest green drapes that covered the cream cellular blinds. The floor is cushioned woodgrain vinyl.

We made the storage box on the front for all those things that you don't want inside, like little propane bottles, hoses, muddy boots, etc. That is a solid wood step going across the back, done with spar varnish. All new stop/tail lights. A black accent stripe around the whole trailer, to match the black framed windows and door. It had orginally been a "rain-out shack" at an oilfield in NM, and we made it into a really comfy camper. It is a sturdy, double hulled molded fiberglass trailer, and there is no way that it can have a roof leak.

My youngest son just stopped by, so this is a great day.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Oh Gee, Spring Break & St.Patrick's Day

Tank top weather again. Jay called and said that he had a phone interview, and would call me when I could pick him up. He had to spend about 3 hours on the phone, and so we never did get any work done today.

Here is a picture of the dash and console in the Little Van, all put together after being re-finished.

Tomorrow Jay and his mother have to go somewhere, but Ray should be here, and maybe we can get the rear oak parts of the Little Van done, and the rest of the cabinet for the Class B.

Today is really St. Patricks Day, and it is also Spring Break around here. I took Jay to get his driver's license re-instated, and there were long lines there, and at Wal-Mart. Unusual for a Monday, and I commented on that to the checker at Wal-Mart, and that is when she told me it is Spring Break. Jay didn't get his license, he has to take the tests all over again. I need another licensed driver around here, as there are two more little rigs that need to be picked up, to be worked on. I get tired of going by bus to get them. I live too far from the airport to fly, as these are in TX.
The "Dog About Town" is just for fun, he is supposed to be a canine Sherlock Holmes.

The other picture "God Spilled the Paint", is to celebrate this lovely Spring day.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Starting to Get TV Installed. Bobcats !

A great tank top day, nice weather, I think maybe Spring is really here. I wish it would stay around here longer, as it will be full blown hot before long.

I picked up Jay at 8.30, and we went to work on the Class B entertainment center.

We knew that we had to raise the TV a bit so that the remote could see it's "eye", especially from the couch. It also seemed that it would be better if the TV was turned at an angle, in such a narrow RV. That funny shaped box is what we made for sitting the TV in and on. We covered it with some of the fabric left over from the base of the original bed, to stop chafing and squeaking. As we were putting the TV at an angle, it meant that we had to build an oak panel wall to close the gap between the TV and the front of the cabinet. We made it the depth of the cabinet, so that things in the adjacent cupboard wouldn't get lost behind the TV. This took a bunch of dry fitting, because of the curves up on the roof on the Class B, see above. Now we have it all ready for sanding and finishing.

I came across a picture of a real bobcat, and this is how it compares to my "Bobcat". I hope my Bobbie never looks at me like that !

The poodles were picked up, and a cat named Emma came to be boarded. She was very leery at first, and wouldn't come out of her carrier in the grooming room. She has the whole room to herself. The foster kittens and Bobcat are sunning themselves on the screen porch. I knew the kittens were back when they knocked a plant over on the porch.

Emma found a hiding place in the grooming room, so I guess we will be playing hide-n-seek for the rest of the day.