Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I pick her up on Friday, and a couple of questions for you

WELCOME to two new Followers:  PMichelleTaylor and CJsKidsClub.com!  Thanks for following Me and My Dog.  You don't list blog sites, so I'll just say welcome, and I hope you enjoy following along with me and Katie as we venture into Full-Timing!

I have an appointment to pick up the Sunseeker on Friday at 9:30 for the walk through.  Just to let you know, I had some comments concerning making sure the tires are good (by the numbers on the tires), the generator and other things working well, etc.  I talked to my Service Adviser yesterday and he said they put the new tires on when they did the first detail/check of the coach.  So they literally ARE brand new.  I asked him if they would make sure she was tuned up, had an oil change, etc., and he said everything is done before they put her on the lot for sale.  Everything on her, mechanical and otherwise, is examined and it has to be at least 80% or it's replaced.   I'm assuming that's why they put on new tires.  So that made me feel better.  They seem really service oriented.  Hopefully I'll feel that way down the road, but so far, so good.  In fact, I've been very impressed.  : )

I decided on Progressive for the insurance, mainly because the response was much quicker than the other carriers and the first year's quote was lower.  So that's done.

This is a short post because I have a couple of questions for you guys, and I'm not getting much from the forums I've checked.

I would like to get an extended warranty - the gal I talked to at the dealer is going to see what she can do to get me something less expensive, but I decided to get some quotes on my own. I've got one from Good Sam so far and it's much less than the dealer's.

I'd appreciate any comments about who you have, recommend, would NOT recommend, etc.  There are lots of sites when I Google Extended RV Warranty, and I'd like just three more quotes.  I'm not sure if the companies listed in my Google search are reputable.

One thing that bothered me with the Good Sam quote was that the last page is a disclaimer from Good Sam in large type that the insurer is not licenced by the State of California. These companies are called "Nonadmitted" or "Surplus Lines" insurers.   Any opinions about this?

I've submitted my application for a storage facility that is 1.5 miles from my house, that will be nice and close.  

I'll keep you updated as things progress. Should have more info tomorrow.

From me and Katie, have a great Tuesday, everyone! : )

Sunday, March 27, 2011

RV Insurance

Welcome to our new Follower, DoreenP!  Hi Doreen, thanks for following along with Me and My Dog, Katie.  You didn't list a blog, but let me know if you start one.

I followed lots of RV blogs before I started mine, so I'm thinking some of my recent followers who aren't showing blogs might be thinking about it, or planning to RV in the future.

I'm still working on my insurance for the RV.  So far Progressive seems the best, AARP/Hartford is very close to them, so they are still in the running.  I've heard about Miller Insurance in Oregon, and Roxanne from The Good Luck Duck mentioned them, too, so I sent in an on-line request for quote, and we'll see what comes back.  Maybe working with an agent instead of directly with the companies will bring in a lower quote.

I keep looking at my photos of the RV, she actually looks better in person, which is more than I can say for most of the RV's I went to see after going through on-line photos. I don't know why, but the dirt and wear and chips didn't show in the photos, and  I was disappointed when I went to see them, but that was probably part of the grand plan.  If I loved them, I wasn't ready to buy, anyway, and it would have been really hard to walk away if they were clean and nice and smelled good.  Or at least didn't smell bad. : (

I wish I could keep her here at home, but I need to find a storage facility, which is my next task.  I'll probably store her for two months, hopefully somewhere nearby so I can visit. : )  And I want to start storing things inside her, so my condo will be ready for the estate sale.

No photos today.   But I saw this joke and I thought it was funny:

A young man in Tennessee came running into the gas station and said to a stranger, "Mister, somebody just stole your RV from the gas pump!"
The RVer replied, "Did you see who it was?"
The young man answered, "I couldn't tell, but I got the license number."


I lied about "no photos."  I just saw this and thought I would add it.  It's a little late for San Diego Aztecs, but here's the latest Cardiff Kook outfit:

From Me and My Dog, Katie, have a great Sunday, everyone!  : )

Your posts about food

WELCOME to our new follower, Tesjae!   I appreciate you following along, and hope you enjoy reading about my adventures with my dog, Katie, as we are just starting on the dream.  Let me know if you have a blog, so I can read your posts, too! : )

I never realized how often RVers blog about food, and how much I enjoyed seeing the delicious looking photos.  I'm trying to lose some weight, and have lost 10 pounds so far on the Medifast plan.  I'd like to lose 7 or 8 more.  Good thing, too, since my new RV  is so tiny.  Otherwise I wouldn't fit in the shower!

I don't know the dimensions, but it's tiny!

That'll keep me in check. But your photos look so good I can almost smell them, especially the fresh baked cinnamon rolls!

Today I spent some time checking out RV insurance companies and applying for quotes.  I should have them all tomorrow, and will pick the one that looks best.  Probably Progressive or AARP/Hartford.  Does anyone have an opinion on those two companies, or a suggestion for another company to check out?

I did e-mail the Finance Manager at La Mesa RV today to let her know I was only going to purchase the GAP insurance, not the extended warranty or tire/rim plan.  After talking to my daughter and my ex-husband, it seems like it wouldn't be cost effective for me.   The total cost over the 15 year loan, to which they would be added, was more than $8,000.  I read what the policy covered, and there were so many things I don't have, it didn't make sense to purchase a warranty that included coverage for the large, expensive things that aren't a part of my RV.  I just don't have many extra options.  And the tires are brand new.   Instead I'll put money every month into my RV Emergency Fund, and if something needs repair or replacement, I should have the money to take care of it.

Thank you for all you comments - I DO agree that an extended warranty is a good idea, especially for the larger, expensive RVs, and hopefully I'll never regret letting this one go. And I also appreciate all your good wishes and congrats on my new RV.  It's so nice to feel that I'm not doing this alone.

It's been a tiring couple of days and it's late, so that's all for now.

From Me and My Dog, have a great Sunday, everyone! : )

Friday, March 25, 2011

Okay, now we're cooking! I have NEWS!

You're not going to believe this, but I bought my RV today!  I was mainly thinking I'd like a Winnebago because I know the name and know they are reliable.  I love those Minnie Winnies.  But so far, I haven't seen the right one for me.

Forest River isn't a manufacturer I know anything about, but the funny thing is, I have always dreamed of retiring in a small cabin in the forest by a river.  With enough room between the trees to get enough sun through.  And that's exactly what I bought!

It's a 2006 Forest River Sunseeker. 

It's 22 feet long, kitchen in the rear, nice bathroom, upper bunk bed, large couch, and dinette that seats four. No slides.  It's newer and cleaner than what I expected to buy, and has exactly the layout I've wanted from the beginning.

It has 8,000 miles on it, 8 hours on the Onan generator, 2 house batteries, two-door Dometic fridge. It's in perfect condition - I could have moved in today.   A little age related wear on the outside decals - just fading I think - but not too much. 

It has a TV, some sort of special antenna box attached to the TV - it's in an adjacent cupboard - so I won't need a "dish," Serius radio ready, tow package, and an after market tow system that's attached under the steering wheel.  It's for going downhill when you're towing something, which I probably won't, but you never know.  I might decide to get a toad someday.  The salesman said it's a $4,000 item - it's a "Premier"?  Nice if I ever need it. 

The RV also has a switch for "arctic" so that if it's cold, the tanks are kept warm.  Since I'd love to camp in the snow, I think, that would be good.

It has an outside electrical outlet, hot/cold outdoor shower, I forget everything now.  Almost NO outside storage, just three very small compartments. One will be for my tool box, I don't know what I'll put in the others.  But the storage on the inside is much more than I was expecting to have. I think I'll be okay there.  My bike and lawnchairs/table will have to be on the back of the rig. 

Honestly, it doesn't look like it's ever been used, which I know isn't necessarily a good thing.  8,000 miles isn't much in 5 years.  The tires look new, but I didn't check the numbers on them for age.  I'll check them when I go for my run-through with them and make sure they are good tires.

Other dealers I've visited have said nothing is warrantied, but La Mesa RV has a 30 day warranty, and guarantees everything works when you drive it away.  I'm going to see if I can drive up to visit  my daughter and her family to make sure everything is in working order.

I've never driven an RV, so we went for a test drive in the parking lot, and it was really easy to drive.  I backed up right into a parking space - aced it!  I was surprised how easy it was to drive.  In fact, I was surprised at how easy everything was in this rig.

I also purchased the 4 year warranty package covering the house, truck and tires/rims, and a GAP policy.

I don't get the extended warranty when I buy a car, but thought it would be a good idea since this is also going to be my house.  What is your opinion on that?  It's a 4-year warranty that covers pretty much everything, has a $200 deductible, or $50 if I take it to one of their shops.

I have to go over all the paperwork, I can change my mind about the warranties when I go back to pick it up and have my walk-through, but I'm thinking I'll keep them.

Camping world sent me a card for a free year's membership in Camping World's President's Club and I got some info last week. There were a couple of sales items, one was a back-up monitor, which might be a good idea, since I'll be driving and backing up alone.  It looked like a good price.

Now I've got lots to do.  I need to get insurance for the RV, find her a storage place for a couple of months, have my estate sale, rent my condo, and look around for an RV park where I can stay on a month-to-month basis until the end of the year when I retire. 

One giant step... and isn't she a beauty?

From Me and Katie, have a great weekend, everyone! :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happiness, and Talking Cat

Here's another new app I just found.  It's called Talking Tom (but I changed it's name to Millie).  You talk to it, and it repeats back to you. It's drinks milk, you can hit it's toes and it'll complain, rub it's tummy and it'll purr, etc.  Hit it a bunch of times, and it's a KO.  Free.  I made one for each of my kids' kids, and emailed it to them.  Andrew and Lauren asked Kristy how she did that.  Pretty neat, huh?  (BTW, as you know, I'm not affiliated in any way with the things I post here.)

It's only 40 seconds:

Katie's Friend, Millie

Well, that made me happy. : )

On Oprah today, they were talking about happiness.  One very interesting point was made that I've never heard before.  There are a handful of things that make us happy - liking our work, marrying the right person, having enough money for the essentials, having friends, having enough sex...  but one of the most important things, the expert said, is where you live.

Oh, yeah...I definitely see Happiness here!

I wish they had elaborated on that more, but the show was over right after he said that.  I think this could be why full-timers seem to be so happy, at least the ones who blog seem to be pretty happy on a regular basis.  You pick where you live all the time.  If you love a place, you can stay for a while.  If you don't like it, you move on.  You get to live at the ocean, in the middle of the desert, up in the mountains, at a campground, anything you want.  

I've never heard anyone say that where you live is that important for happiness.  I can see how where you live could make you miserable, though.  So I guess the reverse is also true.  Don't you think?

From Me and My Dog, Katie, have a nice day, everyone! : )

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Amazon Appstore for Android

I  know a bunch of you have new Android phones, and I wanted to tell you about Amazon.com's Appstore, in case you haven't heard about it yet.  I saw a little news blurb about it today and logged on to see what it offered.  It advertises one free app every day for Android phones.  That isn't such a big deal since there are so many free apps anyway, but I found a list of 100 free apps and downloaded a bunch. 

It was very easy - you will be prompted, with your phone handy, to enter your phone number, and then follow the easy directions to install the Amazon installer app.  Then pick your apps!

Here's what I got for free tonight:

Today's advertised freebie is a game:

  I also got:



These are my nine new apps.  I don't know if I will keep them all, but I love Skee-ball and Scrabble, the Wi-Fi app shows the nearest wi-fi places available, whether they are locked or not, you can even pin-point them on a map. 

The scanner radio - I don't know.  It was kind of heard to decipher the voices when I listened for a minute.  Might come in handy, though.  The Angry Bird games are very popular.  I tried one when I first got my Android phone.  It was fun at first, then I got stumped and couldn't go further and gave up.

The Compass could be really good to have - I also have a "level" app that will come in handy when leveling my RV.  

The Catch Notes and ColorNote Notepad Notes are obviously both note apps, but they look different, and Catch Notes goes with the Compass app, so I'll keep both for now and see which I find more useful.

There you have it - I now have 87 apps.  Sounds like a lot, but I do use a lot of them, and others are there for that JIC - Just In Case - scenario.  If you are interested, google Amazon's Appstore and have fun!

From Me and My Dog, have a great Wednesday, everyone!  : )

Monday, March 21, 2011

Do you carry an "8" in your wallet?

First, a big WELCOME to Teri, our newest Follower.  Thanks for signing on, Teri.  I'm planning to be a full-timer, hopefully I'll purchase a used Class C this summer or fall (sooner if the right one falls into my lap), keep working until December, then hit the road.  I CAN'T WAIT!  I hope you enjoy following the process with me and Katie, my dog, and then the adventures we'll have starting January 2012 or sooner. : )
Quick blog today.  I've been wanting to ask you all if you have heard of carrying an "8" in your wallet.
I heard someone talking about it on the radio one night a few years ago.  He said if you put a piece of paper with the number 8 on it in your wallet, money will come your way.   Listeners were calling in and telling stories about how it worked for them.

I'll believe about anything, so I went to my computer, typed an 8 in a large font, printed it out and cut it into a small square.  I put it in my wallet. 

I have to tell you, I forget it's there, but once in a while I clean out my wallet, take out old receipts and other things to throw away, then I see the eight.  Each time I think about it and what it's there for.

I've never been poor or really wanted for anything I needed, never went to bed hungry. I've never had a lot of money, either.  But it seems like since I have had that 8 in my wallet, my finances have been smoother.  It's not that money has dropped out of the sky or anyone has given me money, but opportunities have come my way to make money, I've had more refunds and rebates, my tax returns have been more than I expected.  Little things here and there.  Sale prices, good deals seemed to come my way.  And my attitude about what I wanted and/or needed changed.  Sounds weird, doesn't it?

I think that most things in life happen because one way or another we make them happen. It might be unconscious or subtle, but we pretty much float our own boats.  And I think having that 8 caused a subtle change in my thinking and spending.  Maybe the sales and deals were because I researched more.  Maybe I was subconsciously looking for more opportunities to make money and was willing to take them.  I've been saving more money than I ever have before, and paying down debt.  And it hasn't been difficult.
Did the 8 make all that happen?  Of course not, I did it.  But did the 8 somehow help me change?  Who knows?   I think maybe it did.

Do any of you have an 8 in your wallets?

From Me and My Dog, Katie, have a great Monday evening, everyone! : )

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hydroponic Peace Plant with Beta Fish

When I was outside yesterday, my neighbor called me over to see what she made.  It was a Hydroponic Peace Plant.  Have you seen those?  I made one years ago, but had forgotten about them.  Hers was beautiful! I wanted one again.

I had a repair man here fixing my washing machine, and as soon as he left I went shopping to get the materials I needed to make one.  I already had the clear vase and rocks, but needed the male Beta fish and a Peace Plant. I had trouble finding a good plant, but finally found a gorgeous one at Home Depot.  I got the fish at WalMart.  They had quite a selection, most had beautiful colors.  The males are the most vibrant, females are more bland in their coloring.

Pretty with a turquoise ribbon 

 Isn't he gorgeous?

This would make a nice gift
I put a blue ribbon around the vase, but it should have a wide, wired ribbon with a big, pretty bow.  It's off to Michael's today.  They have tons of ribbon, and should have a good color that will match my new fish.

If you haven't seen these, there are a few plants that will thrive in water only, and don't need dirt.  (Although they are in pots with dirt when you buy them.) The fish gets what it needs from the roots of the plant, and the plant gets fertilizer from the fish droppings.   Betas are perfect for this, I don't know if other fish would work, but I know only one Beta should be in the water, because they will kill other fish and other Betas.  They are so beautiful and graceful. 

I think this would make a nice gift, but I would give a smaller one.  Minimal care - occasionally add water, once a day add Beta food.  I think after a while the fish gets all he needs from the roots and you can stop feeding.  That will become apparent if/when he doesn't touch his food.

If you are interested in making one of these, you can use a smaller vase and smaller plant.  If I ever do this again, I'll make a smaller one.   Mine is 38 inches tall, from the bottom of the vase to the top of the tallest flower.  Too tall for my dining room table.  It almost hits the chandelier.  

The only hard part - be prepared for this! - is getting all the dirt off the roots.  It took me forever, and I had to take the plant apart, break intertwining roots, used my kitchen faucet sprayer, pulled little dirt-embedded baby roots off, and finally got tweezers to reach spots my fingers couldn't reach.  What a pain!  A smaller plant would have fewer roots, and they wouldn't be so entwined.

This photo is from the link I found with materials/directions on the web.  I was going to add the link, but now I can't find it.  It had great directions, so if you're interested, you'll have to Google for it yourself.  I'm usually a good researcher, but this one stumped me when trying to find it again.

 Hydroponic Peace Plant with Beta Fish

I've heard during my lifetime how there is nothing new.  When I saw my neighbor's plant, I thought of that.  Once you get to be my age, there is little that's new.  Things just recycle - you enjoy them, you forget about them, then they come back.  Sometimes they are a little different, but you remember them, and they feel familiar.  This one was exactly like the one I made long ago, and it brought back some great memories of people and places.  I guess that's why I immediately wanted to put another one together.

From Me and My Dog, Katie, have a great weekend, everyone! : )

Cody correction: Chiweenie

I have a correction to make about what kind of dog Cody is - Kristy, my daughter, had told me he "has a face like a German Shephard puppy."  I thought she said he was part German Shephard.  Chihuahua/German Shephard mix - well, I'll leave that one alone.

They think he is part Chihuahua and part Dachshund.  This mix is called a "Chiweenie."  That's a new one on me!  I've never heard of it, but I guess with so many Chihuahuas now, we are going to get all kinds of new blends.  Here he is again, with granddaughter, Lauren, in the background--I recognize the shirt. : )


Kristy and the kids, Andrew and Lauren, Skyped me today and I got to see Cody in person - or at least on the screen.  He is so cute.  He IS very calm but can run fast and was playing with the kids, running after his ball -  they were screaming and laughing and running.  Cody plays really well with the kids, and they were very good with him. 

I can't wait to see how he and Katie get along.  Katie plays and runs with people, but I've never seen her play with another dog.  We'll be there a few days over Mother's Day, so Katie and Cody will have a chance to get to know each other.  Katie has never spent time with another animal since I've had her.

I was looking at Kristy's Facebook for a new photo of Cody, but the one above is the only one there, sorry for the repeat.  But I found a few new ones of my granddaughter, Lauren - couldn't resist:

 Lauren at the Park

Isn't that hair just great?!?

That's all for tonight - good grief - it's almost midnight.  Sleep well, everyone, from me and Katie! : )

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My new dog-faced grandson & Happy St. Patrick's Day

We have a new addition to the family!  When my daughter Kristy e-mailed me about a new family addition, I saw the subject line and thought, a Baby???  A new room in the house???  Well, the new addition is a dog.  They have been wanting a dog for a long time.  My granddaughter, Lauren, three, just LOVES Katie.  Andrew, almost 6, likes her okay, but pretty much stays away from Katie.

 My dog-faced grandson, Cody

So, last weekend they were at the pet shelter and saw this little guy, who was perfect for them.  They named him Cody, he's  a four year old rescue dog, part Chihuahua (his body and legs) and German Shepherd (his head and face).  Isn't he cute?  He looks like a puppy.  Kristy said even Andrew loves him, so he must be a winner.  Kristy said he has a really nice nature, and in two days they haven't heard him bark.  They are sooo lucky - that's Katie's only real fault - she's a barker (but getting better).

I'm sure Lauren and Andrew are really enjoying Cody.  I'm driving up to visit them for Mother's Day, so I will get to meet him then. And Katie will meet her new ... nephew?

 These are the BEST Irish Coffees - at the Buena Vista in San Francisco.

Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day, everyone, from me and Katie!  Irish Coffee, anyone?  : )

Monday, March 14, 2011

An early Easter Bunny Katie

A BIG WELCOME to three new followers:

David, who is "off to Mexico" soon.  His is a new blog and tells the tale of getting "Dod" ready for travel.  Here is what Dod looked like when he bought it:  "the cab over section had been pushed in about 6" by a low tree branch; the windshield was cracked; one tire was flat; the battery was dead (really dead); the spark plug wires had been chewed by mice; the carpet was filthy; there was an odor reminiscent of a tom cat..."  This is a man with gumption!  I love it.  Actually it's a really cute looking RV.  Dod is a Dodge missing the ge from the nameplate.  So far I have really enjoyed this blog!

Donna K, who will be traveling with her husband, Russ and two dogs in a beautiful new Lazy Daze named "Therapy."  They've had a large RV carport built in their driveway to house their new RV.  Now they are figuring out where to spend the month of April in the new rig.  Sounds like fun!


Melissa33 - I don't see a blog listed for you, Melissa.  If you have one, or start blogging, let me know and I'll follow along with you, too.

Thanks for becoming followers to you all!

We're a bit early, but here's Katie's new Easter outfit:

Little Katie Bunny

She actually walked around the patio then around the living room with these ears on.  Then...a good shake, and goodbye, ears!  She is such a good sport, as you all know. : )

My grandson, Gavin, came for a visit yesterday.  As usual we were busy all day, played with the Wii, then took a photo shoot walk to the lake.  I gave Gavin my old camera to use, and it was amazing how quickly he got it.  Hold the camera in both hands, look into the view finder, use one finger to adjust the distance, hold still and push down the button.  That's a lot for a six year old to learn and he got it instantly.  These kids have such good hand/eye coordination because of all their electronic games!  So we snapped away on the way to the lake.  He took a photo of some flowers in my walkway, an American flag in a neighbor's front yard, and a self portrait among others.  

 Self Portrait

Katie and Gavin

We fed the ducks,walked over for lunch outside on the patio of the cafe by the lake (outside because Katie was with us).  Gavin got compliments from the waitress for being so well behaved.  Katie, too.  The waitress asked if Katie was friendly, and I said yes, so she bent over and petted her, obviously a dog lover.  She said Saturday a woman was there sitting on the patio for lunch, and she had her Chihuahua with her.  The dog was really "snappy," and tried to bite the waitress.  Then she said, "Actually the woman was pretty snappy, herself!"  Like owner, like dog.  Funny.

 The Mickey Mouse Pancakes - Gavin's lunch

Coming in for a landing...and some bread.

Two ducks and a seagull all going for the bread.

Then we walked home, Gavin found a couple of hiding places in the bushes around my condo, then he played the Wii again while I downloaded the photos he took.  I printed them out after he left and he got them today.

 Gavin in a secluded spot behind the bushes

A good time was had by all.  I was asleep before 7:00, totally knocked out, so was Katie.  And today I was sore from all the exercise.  Katie and I have been waaaaay too sedentary during the winter months.  But still, I don't know why I'm so totally beat after a day with a grandchild.  Maybe because it's constant activity.  And the fact that I'm 60 years older than Gavin.  : )

From Me and My Dog, Katie, have a great Monday evening, everyone!  : )