Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Picked up Dakota Parts and Tub for Class B.

It has warmed up again, tank top and shorts weather. But as I had to go to the next town south to the Dodge dealership, I wore a little summer dress. Not my normal attire !
Jay wanted to go with me, as he really needed a haircut. He didn't need to be on his own, anyway, as his mother was driven back to Houston for more procedures on her liver cancer. She will be in hospital for the night, so her little dog, Mae Mae, (previously my late husband's dog), is here with me.

Jay and went into our little town first to pick up some parts for the Dakota at O'Reilly's, on our way to the Dodge house. All these parts were to make BOTH wipers work, as only one was operational. As I said before, no wonder the PO, who works at a car dealer, got it inspected for me, as it would never have passed around here ! We got most of the parts at the two places, and decided to hit a few thrift shops while we were there. Jay bought a couple of shirts, and I bought a new roll of "chrome" molding for one of the vehicles. He got his hair cut while I wandered around Michael's, a craft store next door. We had a bite to eat at a Mexican place, came back and dropped off the parts at the mechanics, and I took Jay home.

The RV store called and said that the bathtub had come in, so as Jay didn't want to be on his own, worrying about his mother, he rode along. This time we going north to another little town. The RV store there, called Convenience RV, has a lovely campground, and it always seems to have plenty of RVs dotted among the trees. They even have a stocked fish pond, and a full service repair facility. We picked up the tub, and some new locks for the generator and battery compartment for the B.

Before we set out we had decided to go farther north right into that town and eat at a very nice restaurant there, that we have been going to occasionally for over 10 years. It had changed owners, and they didn't have the item that we wanted on their menu anymore, so we left.

We drove back to our town, and tried out a new Chinese restaurant that had just opened. It didn't have a really Chinesy atmosphere and their prices are too high for this little town. The Shrimp Egg Fu Yung was good, but the egg rolls tasted like they came out of a box from Sam's Warehouse. But it did make a change, as we only have 6 Mexican restaurants and one Pizza Shack in town. There is MacDonald's, Jack In The Box, Taco Bell and Popeye's up on the freeway for the travelers who will eat fried fast food.

This is the professional photographer's picture of my two foster babies, Boots and Minkie, that is now on our local SPCA's business cards. Maybe that will find them some good homes.

So I ate out twice in one day.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

R.I.P Rambo. Just a tweak to shelf.

It started out a bit warmer today. I found out that it went down to 46 deg. yesterday morning, no wonder it felt chilly.
Jay went to a hospital in Houston with his mother for her MRI. She had been diagnosed with cancer on her liver, and has had one surgery already. Tomorrow she gets admitted and will spend the night there. Jay got bored hanging around the hospital most of today, and he gets antsy, as he is hyperactive, so a neighbor is going tomorrow. I am sure one of her daughters will be there, too.

I looked at the pictures of the toaster oven shelf in the Class B, and I decided that it didn't look right. It is pictures that are going to attract a prospective buyer. Sometimes things look fine in real life, but pictures can bring out the whole total aspect, and it looks different. So while Ray was putting the last coat of poly on the entertainment center, I had him do something to that toaster oven shelf. I will take pictures when it is finished.

I hope that the Class B's new tub will be in soon, as Jay will be here tomorrow, I think ! But Jim called and wants me to go to Conroe to the Dodge dealership, and run parts for the truck at 9.00 am. Sometime in the afternoon 2 of Mindi's poodles are getting dropped off for me to groom. They are going to spend the night, too, that is to give me time to groom them, while doing all the other things that I do. Mindi will be flying, she is a stewardess, and she would rather that those two little ones, her favorites, were here. After over 8 years of taking care of them, she knows that they will be safe with me.

Kenya, my SPCA boss called this afternoon. There aren't any foster moms who have space for the kittens, right now. She has had that pretty picture, taken by the professional photographer, printed on some business cards, so maybe they will get adopted soon. So I have locked up one kitten, Minkie, in a big cage tonight, and I will find out which one is my "Q-Tip Bandit", who is knocking everything off the grooming room shelves at night.
Kenya also told me that old, deaf, blind 17+ year old Rambo who I fostered for a while, died peacefully in his sleep. It was confirmed that his little old heart just gave out. When they have to go, that way is the best. I hate it when they are sick and linger, and the vets give them all kinds of pills and shots.

Word got around that I was selling off a lot of my grooming equipment, so my hydraulic grooming table, and 4 of the vet-like kennel cages are already spoken for. That is OK, I have two more grooming tables, but not like that $529 hydraulic one, and more kennel cages. I groomed without those 5 items for years, and I will do it again. That sure will make some room in my grooming room !! Now maybe I can part with about 5 different size pet carriers, too. Then there is still the big German Shepherd cage, a medium size cage, and a puppy pen to sell. Those fold up and are in the closet in the grooming room, so they don't take up floor space except when they are being used.

A man came and bought two exterior doors, then I listed some TopsyTurvy Upside Down Tomato Planters on eBay. So things are leaving this overcrowded place.

So all in all, a good day.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hooked up Outside Cable/Phone Outlet on B.

I started out the day with tank top and shorts, but as soon as I opened the patio door to let Bobcat out on the screen porch to see the sunrise, I knew that wasn't going to be enough, it was chilly. So I donned a t-shirt and cardigan.
I picked up Jay, and we started work on the outside cable/phone access on the Class B. We drilled a hole through the thick fiberglass top for the wires to go through to the inside box. By then it was still chilly so I went back in and put on jeans and socks. We mounted the outside cover, and made this very sophisticated prop to hold the little door open, with half a clothes pin. Then it was time to go inside and add the box, and fiddle with all the little wires to make contact to the inside cover plate. This is all inside the storage part of the new entertainment center we built where the bed used to be. Then came the moment of truth. We strung coax from the house's outside RV hookup, and phone wire from the workshop phone, and tried it all out. The TV and the phone worked, so it is all ready to be hooked up at campgrounds. One more job "jobbed". By that time it had warmed up enough to just wear a t-shirt and shorts.

Jim, the mechanic, had been messing about in a salvage yard this morning, and found a pretty chrome Dodge bumper with little rams on it, and a Class III receiver hitch for the Dakota. Also a whole, like new, air cleaner housing with a new air filter in it, and the big breather tube on it. It is all shiny black with "Magnum" written on it. He also got a cover for the under hood fuses, and new armrests for inside the doors, they are even the right color ! The old arm rests looked OK, but they are also what you hang on to, to close the doors and they had lost a lot of their oomph, and felt floppity. I know why the PO had got it inspected for me, it would never have passed the way he had that Edelbrock air cleaner hooked up. Even if he didn't want it legal, I do.

At 2.00 pm I took the truck down to Jim's, and he brought me back in his golf-cart. My "golf cart" is my little Puddle Jumper, but it is street legal, and it had to make one more trip into town to get a new serpentine belt for the truck. The old one was sort of OK, but it was going to have to be replaced sooner or later, and I would rather not have it break and leave me on the side of the road. A stitch in time..... Ray and I had cleaned up the terminals on the battery, but Jim also had me buy new cable ends, and wanted it to do it right, as some of the cable needed to be cut back. He knows I have a horror of breaking down on these country roads because of past experiences. My late husband wouldn't put ends on battery cables, he always replaced the whole cable. Each person has their own way of doing things.

Altogether a good day.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Got more trim in B. Notice to SPCA.

Shorts and tank top again today. But it was overcast and felt like it was going to rain, but it never did.

I picked up Jay, and we put the little narrow ledge shelves back on both sides of the Class B, and then the trim under them. Then cut and fitted more of the original burgundy velour trim too. It looks kind of bleak without the drapes up, but it will look better later. Just takes time and $ !!
I looked up the price of the curtain tape with the carriers that gets sewn on the drapes to match the drapery tracks that were in there. $138 for 50' !! The sun had rotted the old tape, but not the carriers. I think I will figure out a way to use them, without the tape.

We also installed a new light under the cabinet, as the old florescent one quit working, it was the ballast. I can send the florescent light back to the factory, and they will fix it for $18.50 + shipping, but who knows how long that will take.

The kittens are getting to be too much for me. Bending down to take care of their boxes, inside and on the porch, and the stuff that they knock over is getting to my poor old back. They have started getting up on the tall cabinet in the grooming room, and knocking down all my supplies. They particarly like to dump the Q-Tips all over the floor. They have plenty of toys but I suppose Co-ets and Q-Tips are more interesting. Then they knock over my plants on the porch, too. More bending to clean that up.

I have had plenty of chances to take in other strays, and I am just not up to it. It is heartbreaking to wonder how some of my babies are, like "Dumpy", the little hurt, near dead kitten I rescued from a hot, wet dumpster. Her forever home never has let us know how she is, even though they said they would. See Dumpy above.

I asked my SPCA boss if there was another fostermom available to take care of these two, until they get adopted. Bobcat is getting older, and she needs all my attention, when I am not working. I lost lots of the hours of the last days with my dying little doggie, as I was taking care of someone else's 9 dogs that had got loose. He would look at me, and his eyes would say "Mom, I hurt and I need you, why are you spending so much time with those other doggies, don't you love me anymore ?" I need to turn my grooming room back into a spare bedroom so that my youngest grandaughter can come and stay here when she wants to. So I have my grooming equipment up for sale.

A decision making day.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

More done on the Toaster Oven Shelf.

It wasn't so hot today, so the cats could stay on the screen porch most of the day, but it was still tank top and shorts weather.

Jay wanted to work, so I went down there to pick him up. He didn't look like he had been drinking, so we started putting the shelf for the toaster oven together. That toaster oven has spacers on the back, so that it is not against the wall, and we put a metal barrier above it. Then we had to put the narrow shelf back on the ledge next to it. Bottom right of picture:
It used to go all along there where the oven is, but if we had left it there, it would have made the toaster shelf too high. But we had taken out some of the area in front of it, when we cut the bed out in the front, now it had to run all the way to the front to the new entertainment center. So it had to be cut, and the trim put back on it. That covers the track where a lot of the electrical wires go back and forth, so we had to be careful we didn't go near them when we screwed the narrow shelf back on. The area where we had cut off the bed showed some wires under the ledge, so we used some of the original velour covered plywood, and covered that up like it belonged there. I plugged the rig in to make sure that all the systems were working.
Hoorah, they were.

Ray will finish the staining, and finishing next time he is here, so it will look a lot better then.

Jay had to go home to wait for the cable guy again, as that was postponed yesterday.

So that was it for today.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Insurance, T.T.L & That's before you buy any gas !

Yesterday, Jay had left a message on my machine that he was bored with not working, was not drinking, would I pick him up this morning ? So when he called again, I said that I would. And I did, and he was ready. But what he didn't know was that I was going to the next town to get the truck title in my name and the tags. Jay likes to ride along anyway, as I can't leave him to work on anything without supervision. I did give Ray some little jobs to do while I was gone.

We had to go in the Puddle Jumper as it is very obvious that the new truck windshield has just an inspection sticker, and not the one for the tags, too. First, I stopped at my insurance company, where they had the insurance binder waiting for me, as I had called them before I picked up the truck yesterday. Just a little pain in my right hand writing the check. Then on to the county office and that all went without a hitch, except for another little pain in my right hand, writing that check !

We went to a thrift shop that is near the county office, and I bought an embroidered sailboat, the label says "Made exclusively by Lilo.G", to hang in the B, to go with the nautical decor in there. It will fit nicely on the wall over the back doors, and I have a metal decorator coat rack thingy to go over it, so the space won't be wasted. Also I got a baby 4-cup Mr. Coffee for one of the RVs. Then on to Krogers as we both needed a few things. Jay's mother had the cable guy coming to fix their cable, so I took Jay and his groceries home.

Ray and I got the sticker on the windshield and new license plates on the truck. A new thing, you get new plates when you transfer a vehicle here now. I guess you don't want to be stopped for the PO's outstanding tickets !! I had to find my special license plate holders that say "Spay and Neuter your Pet, Save A Life", that I had on my Volvo and Jeep, now the truck.
We also put a new washer in the kitchen faucet in the B, as I noticed it leaked a bit when I was on the trip. Ray had polyed the shelf parts for the toaster oven in the B, and maybe we can get some of that installed tomorrow.

The truck is now legal, so I had to celebrate by driving it to the RV store north of here to order and pay for the tub, for the B. It wasn't hot enough to run the AC, but I knew it was there if I needed it.

A lady emailed that she was coming to buy a big rug that I have advertised on ConroeYardSales, and she did, so that is one more big item gone out of the storeroom. Her husband is from Wales, so we had a good chat.

Now it is a rainy day.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Grooming. Bath Tub. Picked up the Truck.

I started out the day by grooming a little dog that had so many burrs in her coat that she was a matted mess. Sweet skinny little 8 lb. young dog, called Buttercup. Shi Tzu, or Llasa Apso mix. But she had never been groomed before, and it took a little while to convince her that the clippers weren't going to hurt her. I felt sorry for the little thing, as she is kept outside.

Ray finished the wallpaper in the HiLo while I was grooming.

While we were hanging the new nylon shower curtain around the tub of the Class B, the drain area just disintregrated. I don't know what the previous owner had been putting in that tub, as I have never seen that happen before, even on old RVs. Now I have to order a tub, so I got all my RV parts catalogs out to find out who has the right size and price. But they don't sell the new ones with that offset for the faucet, so we will have to mount the faucet on the wall.
When I took the B on the trip to New Braunfels I used the CG shower as I didn't have the shower curtain up yet, so I didn't know about the drain area being weak. Just shows you, you have to try out all the systems on a used RV. New ones even more so, as quality control isn't what it used to be.

Then it was time to pick up the truck. The previous owner had taken it to get it inspected and a new windshield put in it. He works for a car dealer so he can get windshields cheaper. We had to wait until Ray's niece got out of school, and take her with us, and by the time we got there the truck guy said that the truck was still at the inspection station, and they closed at 4.00 pm. It was outside the inspection station, and his wife had another key for it. His mother hadn't signed the title yet either. So we all had to come back home, and met him at Kroger's at 7.15 that night. As I drove it home, I could feel the difference between the 5.2 liter motor and the 1.6 liter in my little Puddle Jumper !! But it cruises along at 1000 RPM less than the Puddle Jumper, as it has overdrive. We will see how much gas it uses !

So it was a" You win some, and you lose some" day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Finally bought a truck

I didn't bother going to pick up Jay again today. Let him stew in his own juice.
I spent the morning still looking on Craigslist, etc. for a replacement for the Puddle Jumper. I will still use it around the subdivision, but I needed something for going into town.

I did think about getting the Astrovan, or the Jeep Cherokee, but if I haul lumber, and dryers and stuff like that in it, it would soon get torn up. I knew that I really needed to get another baby truck. So far I have only had 3 Rangers, and a Mitsubishi. Time for something different. I have had several full size trucks, when I was younger, but now I need a step ladder to get up in the back, or a stool to stand on to get stuff in or out of the bed, so they don't work for me.

Ray and I finished the wallpapering the HiLo, so now we can put the cellular blinds up.
The Class B is at the mechanics getting the cruise control fixed, I like everything to work, even if it is for sale. So we couldn't work on that today.

Then I found another Dodge Dakota, just listed today. This one has a title, and it is pearl white. So I went to see it. I drove the Chevy full size van that I took in on trade for that Class C that I had. It has 'For Sale" signs on it, so I was hoping that someone would fall in love with it, but mainly because it has AC !! It is getting hot and muggy around here.

I drove the Dodge up to 65 mph, it handled well, everything worked, including the AC, and it fit me. The blue cloth seats are like new. I checked all the fluids to see what color they were. Looked all over and under it. The owner had it for about 6 years, but needed something bigger now that his family had grown. I had orginally said that I wanted a 6 cyl., but this is a 318 V8, and as I tow small travel trailers, that will be better for me. Better to have more truck than you think you need, when towing travel trailers. Not many folks want a little truck with a V8, so that was a bargaining point. He is going to get it inspected for me, and there is a dent that his step father will pull out tonight, and I pick it up tomorrow. Then I will take it over to U-Haul and get a Class III receiver hitch put on it. I already have a brake controller that I am not using. I might make it to one of the local HiLo rallies after all !

I am so glad to have the car shopping over.

So a satisfying day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Went to look at another little RV

I didn't even going to bother going to pick Jay up, and let him get bored hanging around his house. He is hyperactive and likes to be doing something, so he won't like that. I knew that it would take a few days for him to get over that last "drunk up" !

Ray couldn't work today, so I went to look at an RV for sale outside of Conroe. I had toyed with the idea of this one for a while, and I had been reluctant to look at it, as they have a very bad reputation if they still have the Renault 2.2 in them. It is just under powered. It is a little Winnebago LeSharo, nice and low down for me to get into, which is what I am looking for. They are usually converted to a GM 3800 2nd. Generation, or to 3.3 Chyrslers, and then they are great. He said that it had a Volvo in it, so I went to see if he knew what he was talking about. He didn't, it had the original Renault. I took a picture of a Renault 2.2 with me.
The ceiling was in bad shape, and really needed some work. The Kohler genny was missing it's carburettor. The roof AC and fridge worked, the blinds and upholstery were like new, but won't be for long with the ceiling in that condition. He started it up, but it didn't have a muffler, so I couldn't tell how the engine sounded ! The tranny seemed reluctant to move it, that might have been that it had been sitting in the same spot for so long that the wheels had sunk in the ground. The dash AC didn't work. The dash was all cracked, and parts missing. Even the wooden cup holder on the console was coming apart from sitting in the sun. The Michelin tires were way outdated, and cracked. I passed on it, even though he offered it to me at a lower price, just to get it out of his yard. I am tired of working on the RVs that other people won't fix, I want to go RVing. Now when I am getting paid to do it, that is different. I know when one is too far gone to make it worth the work.

He also had a lovely Nissan ext. cab truck, with AC, and buttons, for sale, but when I looked it up, he was asking twice what it is worth, so I passed on that, too.

A disappointing day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Nearly another lost day of work.

When I went to pick up Jay, he was still hung over from the night before, when will he quit ?
All that talk about how great he feels when he is not drinking, yesterday, and then he goes and does it again. I won't have anything to him to do when he is like that, as he can't think straight and makes mistakes. He doesn't realize how that beer has addled his brain, I can see the difference over the 13 years that I have known him. It is costing him $3,000 to get his driver's license back !! And he still drinks. Doesn't make sense to me.

Ray and I started doing the wallpaper in the vintage 1968 HiLo travel trailer, while we had all the wallpapering stuff out, from papering the Class B. The walls are a dark, depressing brown, and this paper lightens it up, and matches all the other accents in the trailer. The interior, appliances and upholstery are like new. I have bought lovely matching cellular blinds for the big front and back windows, and matching fabric for the side windows. We needed to do this now, before it gets too hot, as the AC isn't installed yet.

I was going to buy the Jeep, today, but took one last look in Craigslist, and I found an Astro van that was better equipped, but they were putting a new compressor in it, and it hadn't come in yet.

Nearly another lost day.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday, Didn't get much done

When I picked up Jay he spent some time fiddling with his mother's old water heater that is here, trying to get the old element out, as his mother's new water heater is on the blink, again. Then Jay and I worked for a little while on stuff that needed doing around here, while Ray put up some wallpaper in the B. Now the toaster oven shelf can go up.

Lazy day.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Just more running around, truck shopping.

Jay and I had got the point where the wallpaper need to up, before we could go any further, in the Class B. He was trying to get his mother's dryer working, and so he didn't work here today. I took my electrical testing tools down there , and it was getting 220v., so it must be the element this time. His neighbor took the dryer back to the repair place.

I spent a lot of time on Craigslist, and Conroe Yard Sales, looking for a replacement for the Puddle Jumper. I want something that is a little higher up, but not too high, 6 cyl., 4 liter, with AC and buttons for the windows etc, that will haul stuff, and tow my little HiLo travel trailer. I go armed with used vehicle appraisals on any thing that I am going to look at. Theirs are the most realistic. But it doesn't have RVs, NADA has that, and they aren't accurate.

It was Adoption Day, so I had taken the kittens to Petco, and got them comfy, before I went vehicle looking, but one had had an accident in the carrier, so I had to go home and get a clean carrier, fresh blankie, and clean litter box. Joys of foster motherhood.

I looked at a light gold Jeep Cherokee, the small one, 2 x 4, and it was in very nice condition, but needed solar film on the windows, and a hitch added, and he was already asking too much for it. But just the babysitter was there to show it to me, so I couldn't do any haggling.

On the way there, I looked at a Dodge Dakota, ext. cab, with AC and buttons, but they can't find the title, and I would have to wait for the duplicate title to come back. It had a tonneau cover, vent visors, and bug shield, and low miles. I don't know why they advertised it, if it's not ready to go. It did need a paint job, but I really wanted white anyway, and it would be a work truck, so a cheap paint job would be alright. Dark cars get so hot here in TX, when you park them at store, even with the windshield sun shade up. I often thought about putting a solar fan in the roof of my black Volvo.

When I went to pick up the kittens, there was a family cuddling and appraising them, but they didn't fill out an application. Minkie always purrs when she get any attention, so I think that she will get adopted first. Boots is aloof until she gets to know someone, and if Minkie goes first, she will be very upset, without her.

Not a very productive day.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dryers and Compressor.

After we worked on it the other day, the dryer in the guest house dried one load of clothes, and then quit again. We had replaced breakers, and even loaded it up in the Puddle Jumper, for the second time, and taken it to the repair place, where they could find nothing wrong with it, again.
Today was the day that Jay, Ray and I had arranged to investigate.
Now I am the member of The Lady Gopher's Union, so it is always my job to go back and forth to the breaker box to turn on or off the power, back and forth to the workshop to get different tools or parts. We checked at the outside breaker box, then the inside one and they both had 240v. We finally determined that one side of the 120v., that make the 240v. was dead, at the outlet. More testing and probing again, then took the outlet apart, but that one wire was deader than a doornail. So we took the whole wall panel and insulation board down looking for the cause. Never did find it, so we just ran new wire to the outlet, and figured that some critter, mouse, ants, or something had chewed on the old one. That got the dryer working. Great !

Now we just have to find out why Jay's mother's dryer quit after coming out of the repair shop with a new belt and bangs. Now it doesn't heat. Maybe we have a "dryer bandit" mouse around here. He had better leave mine alone, it has had to dry everyone else's clothes.

Next on today's list was getting to Sears, a few towns away, to get a compressor that Jay wanted, as it was on sale starting today. His mother was out of town, so I was the one to take him. He still hasn't taken his driving test, or got his truck fixed. We drove down to the mall and got the compressor, and then walked around Sears looking at other items that were on sale, and then in the mall looking for something decent to eat. Jay had told me he was going to take me to The Olive Garden for driving him all the way to Sears, but that didn't happen. Finally settled on taco salad, and an egg roll each, and then drove back, as I had two little doggie boarders to let out.

I should have worn my pedometer today.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Unloaded TransStar. Started on B's Toaster Oven Shelf.

Nice day to be working outside. Jay and I unloaded the TransStar and put the lumber away where it belonged, put my tools away, and loaded the Puddle Jumper with Jay's tools and his ladder. That took all morning.

After lunch we started back to work on the Class B. We had taken the side shelves off, right where the van part meets the fiberglass top, to build in the entertainment center, so it was time to put them back. The left side had to be modified somewhat, as we were adding a toaster oven across from the kitchen area. We had already installed an outlet on the side of the cabinet next to where it would be. We measured, cut, fit, then re-cut, re-fit and got the shelf for the toaster oven ready to install. That part of the wall isn't wallpapered yet, so we have to wait on installing that.

When I was on the trip with the B, I was really glad that we had installed another outlet on the side of the couch/bed, next to the bathroom. It was for a cube heater, and I sure did use one on that cold night in the Hill Country. Otherwise the closest outlet would have been on the right side in the kitchen, and the cord would have been loose, ready to trip over on the aisle floor. Not very good design there, I thought.

Then we called it a day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

TranStar and I went to Work Today

A nice T-shirt day, and just as well. Today is the final day of the Cleveland job, and all the tools and ladders had to be brought back. Old faithful TransStar B+ to the rescue. It has to work for it's keep too. I don't think that most MH's have to work, but the TransStar likes to get involved, and driven. The genny has powered the compressor for the nail gun or other things, many times, when the power wasn't on, at a job site. See the pictures, there is even paneling and sheets of plywood in there. I know that I have to have an RV with a door on the back. It was great to drive it, as it handles so differently from the Class B that I drove to to the Hill Country. Maybe because I am used to it.

I got 'volunteered' to vacuum the whole carpeted area that had been a church. Then I swept all the back rooms that are linoleum. The guys had painted the awful hot pink ceiling, and it was white now. The other offices in that strip center are all going to be re-carpeted, and so I didn't have to do them. I did the jobs that the guys hadn't had time to do; sort out the stuff that stayed, the stuff that went to the dumpster, the stuff that got loaded to come back. They had things scattered all over that huge "church" area, so I had to do that before I could even begin to vacuum.
Jay put up the last of the ceiling panels that Ray had painted, and the light plastic that goes under the florescent lights in the drop ceiling. It was just "punch out list" stuff. I put all the numerous cover plates on the switches and outlets. Ray just kept on painting different places that needed a second or third coat. Jay and I had to go to the one office that has been rented out, and fix a wobbly toilet, a water leak, the P-trap under the vanity, and install a mirror over it. Just really busy doing nit-pickin' things.

Back to work here tomorrow, maybe we will get some more done to the Class B. It needs to be finished, adopted, and go to it's new home. Just like the two foster kittens that I have here.

Thank you for your condolences for my brother, and mother's passing.
I lost both in two short weeks.
This is what my half-brother, Nigel, said about my other half-brother, Stuart.
"""The doctor had a meeting with us all to explain what the situation is.
The infection he got affected one of his heart valves, this has caused small growths to form on the heart, they are now falling off and going into his blood stream. They are surprised that he has lasted the day out, but say they expect him to go within the next 24 hours. At anytime his heart could disintegrate and if that happens, death would be immediate. So we are now awaiting THAT call. Don't know whether we will get over there before the inevitable happens, but we will give a good try."""
Have you ever heard of such a situation ?

Very tiring day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Day, Rude Person and More Sad News.

It was still chilly last night, even though it warmed up around noon.
Did you get your tax return mailed by today ?
I am still looking for a vehicle to replace my poor old Puddle Jumper.
I was supposed to meet a guy in Conroe, about a Toyota SUV for sale.
On the way there, there was a slow chase of some sort on the northbound side of the I-45.
Just like the OJ Simpson one, I wonder what that was all about ?
I got there early, and the silly sod didn't even show up.
When I tried calling him, I just got his voice mail.
Just in case he had a really good reason for being late, I waited for about an hour and a half.
How rude can some people be ? He could have called my cell if he wasn't coming.

Then I got an email from England that my brother Stuart is dying. He is 11 years younger than I. An infection went to his heart and compromised a heart valve. Whatever next ?

Another frustrating, and sad day.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Finally, went on an RV trip, but not in my B+.

I sent the last few days since the 9th. doing more mundane stuff like picking up the neighbor's dryer from the repair place. Also getting the Class B packed down ready for the trip to the San Antonio area. This would be the first trip I had made without my trusty old B+ in 12 years, and even then I had only made one trip in it in the last 7 years, since my DH died. That was to go to Galveston to see my dying granddaughter in ICU, after she got hit by the DDD (dam drunk driver), and the last trip my little doggie would make, as he was slated to be put to sleep, (as he had inoperable spleen cancer), upon my return. Those are the memories that I see every time I walk in to my B+. And this was going to be my first RV trip alone, for 20 + years.

I left here at 9.30 on Saturday, and traveled on some little country roads. I had never driven the Class B before, and it felt very different from my B+ with duals. It handled pretty well, as the wind was blowing, some times in hard gusts. I saw some beautiful scenery, but I couldn't look at it too well while driving or I would have gone over the side of the road. I could see where Austin Stone comes from. There is this beige rock and greenery all over the Hill Country, and I went up and down so many hills, some quite steep, that I could hear the $3.39 gallon gas slurping out the tailpipe.

I finally got to my destination and even in that subdivision there were really steep winding roads in the hills and valleys. I was in strange surroundings and didn't know what was around the next bend in the road, and there were lots of them. So on some of the hills I started out too slow, and made the 351cc in the Class B struggle to get up them, then there would be a really steep descent, and a curve, and I was scared to go down too fast not knowing what was around the corner. I haven't seen roads like that since I was in the Dolomites, in Italy. Not that there is any real comparision, as the Dolomites are a lot taller.

The RV that I went to see was just what I had been looking for. The floor plan was right, with a bed and a dinette. It was just the right height for me to get in and out of, and it wouldn't hurt my knee to drive it, because of the angle my knee would be at. I drove it a bit in those steep windy hills in that subdivision, and then the owner took over, and he knew where he was going and would just romp down on that little Astro 6 cyl. 4.2 motor and away it would go climbing up those steep winding roads, and down the other side. I have wanted one of these older Provan Tigers for years. The first one I ever saw was a toad for a bulgemobile, at Lady Bird Johnson RV Park, now that is having your cake and eating it ! But the one I went to see was ratty. I just don't understand people having something and not taking care of it. It was still full of fishing gear and camping stuff, so that you could hardly see in it. I could have made it really beautiful by throwing time and $ at it, but I have enough to do right here. And he wouldn't come down on the price, as he didn't really want to sell it. His wife did. I think that it was his 'dog house', and sanctuary.

The Class B that I was driving has my knee bent in such a way that it hurts, and wouldn't you know it, the cruise control wasn't working. Not that I could have used it on that terrain, but it would have been handy before I got to the Hill Country, and on the way home. So I left that area between Boerne and Blanco, and went over a lot of different wiggly back roads to Schertz and Stone Creek RV Park where "Debken" of RV-Dreams chat is staying. Debbie and Rod are now fulltimers, finally selling their house in FL after it being on the market for nearly two years.

Stone Creek isn't like some parks that are just cement parking lots sitting in the blazing sun. I dislike those kind of parks intensely, the glare of the sun off the white cement really hurts my eyes. Then there is no shade, so everyone has to congregate in the air conditioned club rooms, not outside their RVs with their BBQs and campfires. It just isn't the same. The people who design those type of RV parks aren't in TX.

At Stone Creek there are trees scattered around, there is grass, and the pads are, of course, crushed rock from the local area. Each site has a picnic table on a slab with a wooden gabled shelter with a shingled roof over it. Cute little wooden shingled bath houses too. I came in after the park office had closed, and chose from a posted list of open sites, one right across from Debbie and Rod. Their son and DIL were visiting, so Debbie and Rod were making a delicious dinner on their BBQs. Debbie was making chicken breasts, marinated in olive oil and seasonings. Rod made lots of veges which I love. Grilled zucchini and asparagus. Yummy. Potatoes cut up and roasted in the oven with fresh rosemary, garlic, and olive oil. Everyone is supposed to have some olive oil every day, so this was my kind of healthy eating. I don't do fried food. It was great to finally meet them.

They have a lovely Everest 5er that has a slide each side of the living room so it feels roomy, and a well laid out kitchen with an L-shaped island, or rather peninsula, as it is connected at one side.
Debbie tried to get my WiFi laptop connected through her WiFi, but it didn't make it. Great folks. We all visited for a while, and then it was time to retire. It is cold in 'them there hills' at night, and I had not expected that. I had remembered to pack a little cube heater, but only one thin little throw. I had intended to pack a blanket, but got sidetracked and packed tools; assorted screwdrivers, hammer, wrenches, socket set, battery charger, and a tiny box of assorted nails and screws instead. I was glad that I had my Makita screw gun with me as the generator door came loose just after I had left my home town. The thing I missed most in the B was closet lights. I have 12v. lights in all the closets and upper cabinets in my B+. The B was comfy, and compact, yet roomy with a lot of storage in a small space. It even has a slide-out pantry. The solar worked fine, as I had the fridge on 12v. a lot of the time. The entertainment center TV worked, once I figured out how to program it. The fancy radio/CD, with remote, worked once I figured it out, too. But the steps going in and out of the side of it let my knee know that a B wasn't for me. Too high up for lil ole me. So I am still on the quest for a lower down small RV.

We all said our goodbye's this morning, and I went on another windy road that cut south to I-10 and came back on the freeway, through Houston, even though it is a longer way round, hunting cheaper gas along the way. I saw it from $3.24 to $3.56 a gallon. Of course I was already past the $3.24 when I saw it.

I liked the RVing, but I didn't like all the driving. I crossed over the Colorado and Guadaloupe Rivers on my travels, so I really felt like I have been somewhere. It would have been better if I could have stayed in that area for a few days and made the trip more worth while.

A tiring couple of days.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Didn't Write, Just Mundane Stuff

The weather is starting to get muggy, and humid. So I guess it will be that way for the next six months. Un-air conditioned Puddle Jumper won't be making many more trips to town.

I have just been doing uninteresting things.

Ray cleaned 2 more air conditioners. Jay had to undo the
trim on one , as it is installed through the dog room wall.
That meant moving the kennel cages to we could get to it.
The other is in a window that is covered by my screen porch,
and can't be seen from the outside, and it drips into the
plant sink on the porch. The drain to that sink goes underground
to my little Red Oak Tree that will hopefully give a lot of shade
to my house. Right now it might shade a lizard. The bird feeder is
set in cement, so that my little "shade" tree doesn't get run over.
It is in a tomato cage too, with ribbons fluttering.

Jay replaced the towel rail in the little bathroom off the grooming room that Emma, the cat boarder, managed to break.

I drove the TransStar into town, and got it inspected. Also got some extra keys made.
I was talking to the mechanic about the Class B that he is checking out for me. I didn't know that he had pushed the door lock button on the passenger side, when I pushed the driver's door almost latched, and the keys were inside. I don't lock any doors until I have checked that my keys are in my pocket. So that took some wire and patience.
I took the Puddle Jumper into town to get it inspected, poor old thing passed again. And it has to have a full inspection with emission test, too. Then I had to go to a different town to buy tags, as I had left it longer than the 5 days after due date that you can buy them at the grocery store.

Took Jay's mother's dryer over to the repair place, and it needed a belt and "bangs". I thought bangs were on your forehead !!

I went to all four auto parts in this town looking for a momentary rocker switch, and couldn't find one. Went north to an RV Store to buy the switch, and a weatherproof outside coax/phone outlet for the B. I bought the switch, but not the outside box. She said she would order me one, it is $12.89. Later that day she calls me back and says she has a different one coming and it is $27. I don't think so !

I called the RV store way south of Conroe to see if they had the outside coax/phone outlet in stock. As it is in their catalog, I gave them the part number, and a gal said that they had it. Twenty miles later I find out that they didn't have the one I had asked about, or even one like it. The store owner has known me for over 30 years, and he was pretty miffed at this new girl for giving out wrong info. I didn't say anything, I was just too disgusted and drove 20 miles home again. I bought almost the same that I was looking for, at Lowes for $10.66, with tax.

Then we found out that I didn't need a momentary switch after all. The Class B has a solenoid that ties both batteries together automatically. I don't know how I will like that. How will I know which battery is sluggish ? I hope the monitor panel on the wall works. I guess I will have to get used to this new technology on this later model RV.

The mechanic gave the Coachmen B a clean bill of health for the trip to New Braunfels this weekend to see "Debken" of RV-Dreams Chat. So now I just have to pack some essentials in it, and put some gas on lay-away. And find out exactly where she is!

Busy and tiring days.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

More Joys of Ownership, the Cleaning

A bit warmer today, so t-shirt and jeans, no sweater. I put the cats out on the screen porch early, and they ate their breakfast out there, and only just brought them in for their dinner. They had dry food to scrunch on, too.

Jay and I started on the Puddle Jumper first. It is not used to all this work, normally it doesn't leave the subdivision, as I usually have a daily driver for going to town, etc. Poor little old thing got a good vacuuming and bath. Windex-ed the windows, even Armorall-ed the dash.
Then we started scrubbing some other stuff around here that gets dirty, like the big and little trash cans. The outside table and chairs, all that sort of stuff. We get algae forming on things, because of the trees here.

Jay cut the other two legs off his new (to-him) table, and as there was a scratch on the polyurathene, he decided to sand the whole top down. Then I stained it, and we will wait until tomorrow to see if it needs another coat.

Then time to do the "Weed-N-Feed" thing. I don't want any cockle burrs growing in the back yard, where the dogs go. If they get stuck between the pads of their feet, they can cause nasty infected places, if the dog can't get them out. I should have gathered some of the weeds for a dandelion salad !!

I had bought 12 pears in a reduced bag (99c), and contemplated what to do with them. I try to eat a lot of fruit and veges, but I don't often buy pears. I knew that I wanted to cook them. I hunted for some recipes. I wound up peeling them, and pushing them through my apple corer/slicer thingy, and mixing half in a bowl with little icing sugar (confectioner's sugar to you), and lemon juice, baking the pieces in a 400 deg. toaster oven for about 40 minutes. The other half I mixed the same way, but added some cinnamon, and put it all in a pot on the stove until they were tender. The pears came out good, both ways. I am going to make one batch into a trifle tomorrow.

Trifle: Line a dish with lady fingers, or some cake or muffins that are lying around. Make some Jello with a little less water, and pour it over the cake. Add some fruit when you are ready. When that has set, you can even add some custard, instant pudding or Cool Whip on the top, and you have trifle.

So this was a cleaning and pear day.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Joys of Ownership !

It was cold last night and this morning, so I wore jeans , t-shirt and sweater, and didn't take my sweater off until midday, when the sun came out. Yesterday was a shorts and tank top day !

My daughter calls every Saturday morning, and today she said that she is flying to England tomorrow for my mother's funeral. One of my half-brothers is sick with pneumonia in ICU over there, too. I would not have enough time to renew my British Passport and other paperwork, so I knew that I could not go with her. My mother had been so well, that her demise was a surprise, though at 93 years old, not unexpected in the future. My daughter is flying Air Canada, so she will fly from Houston to Toronto and then on to London Heathrow Airport. She will be picked up there, and driven to Lakenheath. That is a long day's trip when you start out in West Columbia, TX.

The dryer repair guy called and said that the dryer was fine, it must be a problem with the electricty. So when the renters said that the water heater had quit too, I went into town and bought a long water heater element, and a 220v. breaker to go on the outside breaker box, and another for the inside box. Those breakers are old, and they do go bad.

When we replaced the element in Jay's mother's water heater, we had bought the short one. It was the right volts, and wattage, it was just that it was shorter. We put the new long one in Jay's mother's water heater, first thing this morning. We were all ready to put the short element in the guest house water heater, as it is a narrow one that HAS to have a short one and I knew the one in it was old. But with the now working ohmmeter we were able to determine that just changing the breakers would fix all the problems. Success, for now !! I know this hard water chews up elements, so now I have a short one already on hand. When you can hear an electric element working, you know it is old.

It is Adoption Day so I put the kittens in their carrier, and we dropped them off at Petco. Then Jay and I went to Lowes to buy some stuff. Then on to pick up the dryer. Next door there was a big sale outside the flea market. Jay bought a table he wanted to use as a coffee table. Now I already have the dryer, and a big box with three different size nailguns in the little Puddle Jumper, see picture. Even putting the table on it's side, the back hatch wouldn't close. We tried taking the legs off, but no go. I carry a measure, so we measured how much it would take to cut off the two legs that were in the way of the hatch closing, borrowed a saw and lopped them off. It will now be at the right height for a coffee table when the other two legs are cut off too. Where there's a will there's a way ! We got all that back here, and got the dryer back where it belongs, and voila ! It worked.

I had been up since 5.30 am, and I had even taken the TranStar into town to get it inspected. It failed because I forgot that one of the four brake light sockets wasn't working, the bulb is fine. I dropped it off at the mechanics, but he didn't have the right socket, so I had picked one of those up, and dropped it off to him. He brought the TranStar back, but I was too tired to go back to the inspection station. My back was hurting, so I really wanted to take a nap before I had to run back into Conroe to pick up the kittens. Just as I dropped off, he comes ringing the door bell, and woke me up to tell me that he wasn't going to do anymore to the Coachmen Class B today !! Once someone wakes me up, I can't go back to sleep, so I was really cursing him under my breath. I groggily did some laundry, and went back into Conroe to pick up the kittens. I didn't even get any lunch.

It has been fix this and fix that, and rush, rush all day.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Entertainment Center is about finished

Yesterday, Jay and I worked on the Entertainment Center where the overhead bed used to be. It is just about finished.

Now we have to take the TV out again, so that the mechanic can install the 12v. outlet, also so that we can install the coax/phone connector on the outside and bring it through the fiberglass top. The mechanic is going to check out the Class B while he has it there. You know, usual stuff, front end, brakes, carburation, and all the things that make it go and stop.

The renters in my guest house told me that the dryer quit. Someone had left my ohmmeter on, and the batteries were dead. We checked that there was power at the outlet, with an ordinary test light that doesn't do anything but have a little light come on. We took the back off at the top of the dryer and ascertained that parts of it weren't getting any juice. We loaded the dryer up in my poor little Puddle Jumper, and I took it to a repair place that I have been using for years.

I bought the laptop I went to see yesterday. His mother had accidentally packed the charger cord when she left for WA the other day, so he knocked $50 off the price, and I am going to a 'hole in the wall' computer guy this morning to see if he has one.

I stopped at Radio Shack to get batteries for the ohmmeter. Also, the little house phone that I carry around on my fanny pack belt in it's own little case, needed a new battery. I have never been able to find another phone that small, so I just keep it going even though the numbers wore off it years ago ! I have an electronic address book that I carry in my purse, and it's batteries were dying. So Radio Shack got a mess of $ from me today. The only laptop chargers they had were universal, and $120.

The 'hole in the wall' computer guy opens his shop at 11.00 am, and I was there waiting. He got a big magnifying glass and read the specs on the back of my Laptop, and eventually found the right charger. He was very particular about it being just right. He finally got the WiFi going, and I will try it out one day. I wished I had the time to park somewhere and play with it, but I had to pick Shay up from her job at 1.00 and so I had to rush back north of Conroe.

I had a lot of things to do today.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Too Frustrated to write yesterday

The guys were working in Cleveland today and as the weather wasn't too hot, so I took off in the Puddle Jumper to look at some things that I was thinking about buying. One was a laptop with WiFi for my RV. The other was a 110v./12v. TV, as we put my new one in the Class B. That meant that I still needed one for my B+, and/or my Hi-Lo travel trailer.

Plan A: I had an appointment with the laptop guy for 8.30 am. in Conroe. I arrived on time, and found out that he had to take his mother to Hobby Airport, the other side of Houston, so I knew he would be gone for a couple of hours.....

Plan B: Meet the TV guy. He said that he would be at Gullo Toyota at 10.00 am. So I went to the only thrift shop that opens at 9.00 am, most of them open at 10.00 around here, and didn't find anything there. I went to Gullo and hung around there for a long time. Finally called him, and he was still on the Beltway in Houston....

Back to Plan A, the Laptop guy was back. I had seen the laptop the day before when I was looking at his motorhome, and he knew that I was coming back to get it. I had since checked around and the price was right. I got there and he couldn't find the cord for it. He hunted all through his little apartment, and all through the MH. No cord. He said he would call me when he found it.

So I left to meet the TV guy, and he still wasn't at Gullo Toyota, I hung around there, and then finally called him. The silly sod was over at the Honda dealership! He came to Gullo, and I got the TV, we plugged it into his truck, and even without an antenna, it worked so I bought it, and went home. It was afternoon by then, and I had had enough.

A very frustrating day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sunny Rain. Classic American Clipper.

It is really warming up around here, and the sun is shining,
even when it is raining. There must be a rainbow somewhere.
Now the trick is to find the pot that is at the end of it !!

I went to look at a fiberglass Class C today. I am a sucker for
fiberglass, especially when the one piece roof comes over the sides like a cap, as there is less tendancy for leaks. Now I think that Class C's are ugly with that bed hanging over the windshield like a bump on a log, but this one was a classic American Clipper, and the price was right. They have their own club, forum and quite a following. This is a picture of an American Clipper Parade. The one I looked at had not been taken care of by it's previous owner. The couple that had it now had only had it a month. Their car broke down in CO on the way from WA to Houston. They had never had an RV before. They had no idea how to start the genny, fridge, AC, etc., and were living in a motel till he could find work. They wanted to sell it to buy a car or truck. But when the dash AC didn't work, and the walls needed attention, and I couldn't start the genny as there was no back battery, and no "momentary" button, I passed on it. It is a shame that someone would let a classic get in that shape. It was just raggedy. I was looking forward to having more space than in a Class B, just in case I got to be a "sunbird".

I did buy another TV though. The new one we put in the Class B was in use in the grooming room, so I bought a 110v. TV at a thrift shop. I already have my coupons from the Feds for a converter box for the RV.

So it wasn't a wasted day.