Thursday, April 28, 2011

Verizon 4G LTE

WELCOME  to two new Followers:  Jorge and Evielynne Adventures on the Road and Doyle and Terri Johnson.  They both have very interesting blogs, which I'm following, but have to play catch up with some past entries.  Thank you both for following along with me and Katie.  Hopefully we will be full-timers in about a month.  Yeaaaaaah!  : )

I ordered a Verizon hotspot and it arrived yesterday.  I talked to a few Verizon techs on the phone, and the takeaway for me was that eventually 4G speeds will be everywhere, and the new Samsung 4G just came out through Verizon, so I ordered it.  I'll need something on the road, and I've read in some of your blogs about the MiFi.  That's basically what I ordered.  I'm not sure that was the right choice, since I don't get 4G here in San Marcos. It's by zip code, and although some of San Diego gets it, I don't. I don't know if my new zip code at Santee Lakes will have it.  The park does have WiFi, but I was told it's not very fast or reliable.  I need my Internet!  I don't want super slow speeds, and hopefully this will help.

I got it all hooked up when I got home from work, but I couldn't get on the Internet with it.  All bars were showing and it said "connected" but no Internet.  I ended up calling Verizon three times.  It's funny how different a call can be with different techs.  I finally got a woman who told me they were having problems with all the new 4G units, nationwide, the 4G Network was down.  

I have 14 days to test it out.  I had unplugged my router and cable unit, so I got online through a local wireless network that's unprotected, and will check the MiFi unit later today to see how it's going.

I have a potential tenant coming over after work to look at the condo.  He's a single father with a son in junior high, and another that's 17, and in high school.  I was kind of hoping for a little old lady like me, but if he wants the condo and checks out, it's his!  Keep your fingers crossed.

I got this in an e-mail today and couldn't resist passing it on for you "Old Guys."  (Sorry if you've already see it, it's new to me.)

The banker saw his old friend Tom, an eighty year old rancher, in town. Tom had lost his wife a year or so before and rumor had it that he was marrying a 'mail order' bride.

Being a good friend, the banker asked Tom if the rumor was true. Tom assured him that it was.

The banker then asked Tom the age of his new bride to be. Tom proudly said, 'She'll be twenty-one in November.'

Now the banker, being the wise man that he was, could see that the physical appetite of a young woman could not be satisfied by an eighty-year-old man.

Wanting his old friend's remaining years to be happy the banker tactfully suggested that Tom should consider getting a hired hand to help him out on the ranch, knowing nature would take its own course.

Tom thought this was a good idea and said he would look for one that afternoon.

About four months later, the banker ran into Tom in town again. 'How's the new wife?' asked the banker. Tom proudly said, 'Good - she's pregnant.'

The banker, happy that his sage advice had worked out, continued, 'And how's the hired hand?'  Without hesitating, Tom said, 'She's pregnant too.'

Don't ever underestimate Old Guys.

From me and Katie, have a nice Thursday, everyone! : )

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Strange...The Palms is not a 2006

I talked to Forest River today - I wanted to know some things about my Sunseeker, so I called and talked to Mike Burns who is in the Sunseeker Warranty Department.  I gave him my VIN # and he told me my unit is a 2007, not a 2006. I'm not sure exactly how that works, but he said they start in the spring making the units for the following year. He said mine was made in November of 2006, as a 2007 model.  Maybe that's why I can't find anything on line for a 2006 2200.

I have the registration and some information from the previous owner.  It was stuck in the envelope with all the warranty info and product instructions.  (I'm going to call him and see if I can find out the history of The Palms.)  His registration says the date is August 2006, but maybe that was when the Ford was built.  Then at the end of the year the "house" was added and it was sold as a 2007.

I haven't gotten my registration yet, I imagine that might tell me something.

I'm having a giant artichoke for dinner - dipped in Best Foods mayonnaise.  I love that mayonnaise! I'll dip almost anything in it, vegetables, sliced apples, bananas, there's so much you can do with mayonnaise.  Slather it on salmon filets and bake.  Yum.  I'm trying to limit myself now, though.  I know it isn't healthy, but with an artichoke, there's nothing else for me. : )

 I Love Artichokes!

I think I blogged about this before - when I was in high school, I'd get my allowance and walk down the hill to the grocery store, buy an artichoke, walk back up the hill, boil it and eat it hot.  It was my favorite food for years.

From Me and My Dog, Katie - have a nice Tuesday evening, everyone! : )

P.S.   The artichoke was DELICIOUS!  And now I'm going to do some sorting and packing.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Short post today - I'm taking it easy this morning, and will start soon preparing my chips and dip and turkey stuffing to bring to Tom and Trish's house.  There will be a bit of a crowd, so I think I'll leave Katie home this time.  That will be easier for all of the humans, but Katie will miss a good time running around the house and yard.  She LOVES going to Tom's house, because there is so much room for her to roam and run and kids to play with. Plus, with three kids, there are crumbs to get under the kitchen counter where the stools are.  She is always nose to the ground in that area. : )  Their house is always spotless, but under the stools is still a good hunting ground for Katie.

I also changed out my photo - I just love the old one.  It was taken at my parent's 60th Anniversary party, and I don't usually get photos of myself.  When I try, they are always awful, and deleted. Since I'm usually the only one taking pictures at family gatherings, I don't get pictures of me. The kids are usually the ones I'm trying to get good photos of.

This one was taken last year, so it's pretty current, and looks more like me.  It's not super clear, but it's so small you can't tell. The new me!

I hope everyone has a delicious Easter meal today, whether you're eating with family, friends or alone.  This might be my last Easter Dinner with family for a while, so I'm going to enjoy it! Next year I hope I'll be in a campground "on the road."

From Me and My Dog, have a Happy Easter, everyone! : )

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Packing up The Palms, the Famous Musser Onion Dip

Happy Easter tomorrow, everyone!
Katie and I were up early this morning, stopped by the grocery store to get things for tomorrow - Easter Dinner at my son, Tom's.  I always make dressing if we are having a turkey, and we are, in addition to an Easter Ham, so I'm bringing my turkey dressing and chips and dip.  We have what we call "the Famous Musser Onion Dip."  My dad, Frank Musser, didn't cook, but he did make this onion dip. Who knows why?  But he did, and now I make it, and when I'm gone, I'll bet both my kids will make it, too. People just love it, and it's so easy to make.  I'll put the recipe at the end of this post.

Then we went to the storage lot and picked up The Palms.  I just love her!  I parked her in the driveway and I started going through stuff for things I'd would want to bring with us, and not sell in the Estate Sale.  The other night I went through both bathrooms and got everything except what I need everyday now, and packed them in boxes.  This morning I went through my craft/sewing room.  I was able to fit quite a lot of it in The Palms.

I am leaving my sewing machine, all my materials, threads, quilting books, magazines and patterns, all my quilting rulers.  I have a large soft sided carrying case that I used to use to bring my quilts to class with all the materials.  I've spent a fortune on all this quilting stuff, and I hope I get something back for it all.  I am going to keep my sewing machine tote, though. It will be good if I need to walk to a store to do some shopping. It's quite roomy and has wheels and a zippered cover.  It stores nicely under the dinette table.

I am also leaving all my craft stamps.  I have tons of them, and lots of different inks and papers, from when I was into my card making with stamps.

Most of the craft things fit into the outside storage compartments.  I'm using two of the three compartments for this stuff, and the third will be for tools, hoses, stuff  like that.

I just couldn't leave all my books, though, and did bring some. I put them on an upper shelf over the couch along with my condo paperwork, homeowner rules and regs, and I think I'll use that top shelf for recent tax papers, everything I need to keep. It will be out of the way, but available if needed. That shelf will be my "filing cabinet."

My daughter Kristy and her husband Matt gave me a set of Coral dinnerware to use in the RV, and it's in the cupboard, along with paper plates and bowls and paper coffee cups with lids.  Plastic knives/forks/spoons are in the drawers. I'll bring some my daily silverware with me, too.

In a recent comment, a Follower said she uses Snapware that she got at Costco.  When I saw it at Costco, I thought they were great storage containers, so I bought a set, too, and it fits nicely on the shelf above the plates and bowls and cups. There is a lot of it, but it stacks well.

The hardest part was deciding which area of The Palms would be used for storing which things, and then all of a sudden it made sense, and then I started putting things away.  I got some rubberized type cupboard lining material so things wouldn't slip when I'm driving, and a wire thing that I put in the kitchen cupboard that doubled my shelves.

The funniest thing is that when I took the toaster/oven out of the box and put in in the corner of the kitchen counter, it looks EXACTLY like the fake one on the photo in my last blog.  Exactly.  So funny.  : )  I wasn't sure it would fit that well, but it did.  I don't like much on my counters, and will only have that and my new little Keurig coffee maker.  And maybe a plant.

This is just like playing house - so fun! : )

Then around 6:30 the sun was starting to go down, and we brought her back to the storage lot.   I got a lot done.  Next weekend I have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and then the Estate Sale ladies are coming on Monday to start pricing and staging everything that's left.  So next weekend will be a busy one for me.

Once everything is gone, I'll still live in the condo.  Camping out inside until it's leased.  Hopefully soon.  I got a large FOR RENT sign at Home Depot today. It's mounted on a frame that you can anchor in the lawn, so I'll probably put it up tomorrow.  No calls yet for potential tenants.  I might have it listed a bit high, but will wait a week or two, then lower the rent if I don't have anyone insterested.

Here's the recipe for the  Famous Musser Onion Dip.  We don't have measurements, you just add to taste.

1 package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
about 1/4 cup Best Foods Mayonnaise
grated onion to taste - I usually put in a couple of tablespoons
5 or 6 shakes of Worchestire Sauce
a little bit of milk to make it smooth, not too much
salt and pepper to taste

Stir it all up, or blend it, and it's done.

It can taste different each time depending on how much of each ingredient you use, but no matter what you do, it will taste great.

From Me and My dog, have a nice Easter Sunday, everyone! : )

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kitchen stuff

I was looking at the photos of my Followers, and noticed one that I didn't remember seeing before.  I looked at each one and found two Followers who are recent, and I haven't acknowledged them.  Joe Baker and kenp, I don't know how you stayed under my radar, but I'm sorry I missed you when you started following.  I don't see a blog for either of you, but I hope you enjoy following along with me and Katie - we should be living in The Palms soon, and I'm glad you're along for the ride! : )

My toaster/oven arrived today!  It is so cute!  I think it will fit very nicely on my kitchen counter.

It's about half the size of my current toaster oven.  It's taller than I thought it would be, but of course it has to be tall enough for the toast to fit vertically. It has a pretty small footprint, though.  I'm not going to use it yet, but it will be in the first load I bring to The Palms.  One nice surprise is that it has a baking pan.  Like a miniature cookie sheet - so cute!  Andy Baird commented that I should get a silicone baking sheet, cut it, and use it on top to cover the toaster slots when I'm baking.  That will make the oven work better. I have one on order - thanks Andy! - I wanted a black one to match the appliances. I'm going to cut it in half, use half on top when I need it, and the other half I'll set the toaster/oven on so it won't slide. I can also use it on the "baking pan."

This is what my kitchen will look like:

 I added graphics of my new coffee maker, toaster/oven,
and fake plates, cupcake and flowers. 

Question:  See the stickers on the stove hood?  There are three "caution" stickers right there, and I wanted to remove them.  I was told I should leave them so I'd remember what they say - the "caution" stuff.  What have you done with this kind of thing?  I'm thinking I'll take a close-up photo and paste them inside a nearby cupboard.  I think keeping them there is like leaving the tag on your hat - like Minnie Pearl.  What do you think?

I saw this on line - see the wall attachments? Even if just for my knives and a flower pot, I think I'm going to look into them. I don't know if they will work in my kitchen, but I sure like the way they look, and they would be space savers and keep things handy.

I'll at least hang a magnetic strip on the wall behind the stove for my knives.

After all this kitchen talk, I'm going to see what I've got for dinner.

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

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Verification words, going through boxes

Tuesday night, as I was commenting on blogs, I dutifully typed in the verification words requested - here are two of them:  impoup on Kim's blog and horni on The eBay/RV Life.  One right after the other.  Now, come on!  Why  not, imsweet and contnted?

Do you every get funny words or words that sound funny?  I've had a few really good ones!  I usually add them to my comment if I think of it in time.

So I started last night going through boxes, drawers, etc.  I have to organize things somewhat - I guess I'm just too OCD to let someone into my home and invade my privacy too much.  Besides, I need to make sure I don't leave anything that's boxed up that I might want to keep.

I've had Word Processing/Resume businesses for many years and I've kept every invoice and all the documentation for each.  I have taxes going back to the 80's. I have all the docs for every car and home I've bought. I'm finally going to purge it all. I don't think there's any reason at this point to keep any of it.   My last active business closed the last part of the 90's, so I won't be needing anything for tax audits anymore.

I found my two fishing reels, my darts, it's going to be fun to see what else I find.  I've been here for 6+ years, and some of these boxes were put on shelves and I've never opened them.

I am filling boxes that I'll start bringing to The Palms this weekend.  I've gotten a couple of storage things to use.  The bunk where I'll be sleeping is long, and there's lots of room I don't need at the foot of the bed, so I plan to put my printer up there.  I think the plug will reach to an outlet in the nearest cupboard, and it will be handy, but out of the way up there.  I also bought two picnic baskets at Walmart the other night.  $12 each, and large enough to keep office supplies or craft things in - they looked nice sitting next to each other and will fit well there, I think.

I have good storage in The Palms, but a lot of it is high, ceiling high, and I can't reach up that far.  I guess the thing to do is put stuff up in those cupboards that I won't use often.  RV living must be easier for taller people.  Oh, but I do have an EZ Reacher.

 EZ Reacher - this will really come in handy!

I used to work for the company that manufactures and sells the original EZ Reachers, they are here in San Marcos, and I have one.  I forgot about it, I never use it here because I don't need it, but it will really come in handy in The Palms. I'm going to make sure to stow it somewhere handy in the rig this weekend.

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My sleepover with the Vacaville Grandkids

This only took me a week... but I had so many photos and just didn't have the energy to go through them all.  Then I realized I only have a few of the sleepover in The Palms, the rest were mostly T-Ball photos.  I'll post those another time.  So here we are, short and sweet:

Katie's always the first one in bed

 Hurry up! I'm falling asleep!

 Sweet Lauren, sound asleep (faking for the camera!)

 And sweet Andrew, also sound asleep (and faking for the camera!)
The both have their sleeping bags, two extra blankets, pillow pals and "blankies" and Lauren's pink bunny.  All snuggly, and they slept really well both nights. 

 They are on the couch that pulls out into a bed. Such good fakers!
 This was breakfast the next morning.

We had dinner the night before with Mom, too.  The kids had McDonald's and Mom (my daughter, Kristy) and I had KFC. We had plenty of room at the table.

The kids slept with me and Katie both Friday and Saturday nights.  On Sunday they had to sleep in their own beds, because I was packed and ready to go, and just took off without going back into the house and waking anyone up. I left Monday morning at 5:30 a.m. to come home.

A successful trip, and I feel fortunate that my first two weekends in The Palms were spent with my grandkids, first in San Diego, then in Vacaville. 

BTW, I decided to keep the Keene print, the Yosemite photo, and my Guide chalk drawing.  I am going to see if the Guide will fit in The Palms.  I will miss him, for sure, so thanks to everyone for suggesting I try to bring him. 

Also, I was starting to go through boxes this evening, and I found the Keene booklet from my teenage years that has many of their prints and lots of text.  I didn't go through it tonight, but I did put it in the box of the photos that I'm storing upstairs at work.  I found yearbooks, and wierd high school poems I wrote, things like that, that I'm keeping, too. 

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The pictures I'm not taking with me

One thing I will miss is a few of my pictures on the walls of the condo.  I haven't hung much here, but there are a few that are favorites.  I am going to sell them, but I took photos of them and will have them in my digital photo frame, so I will be able to see them all every day.  These are the photos:

This is a Keene, I loved their paintings, both husband and wife, when I was a teenager, and had some prints. I don't know what happened to them.  When my mother-in-law died, my kids were able to choose a few things, and my daughter, Kristy, brought this back for me.  It brought back such memories. And Kristy didn't know I used to love them.

This is my all-time favorite - and I might actually save it.  When I first lived in Placerville, CA, my girlfriends and I went to a Psychic Faire in Folsom.  There was a woman there who said she could see people's "Guides" and she would sit you down, concentrate, and draw them in chalk.

I don't know if I really believe in Guides (I kind of do - like Guardian Angels, I guess), or if she could see them if they were real. When I sat down, she said I had four Guides, if I remember right.  She said one was stronger than the others, and that's who she would draw.  She asked what color I wanted, and I said pink.  She looked at me for a minute, and said, "He is a young Native Indian man, I don't know if pink would be a good color."  Then she said, no, it will be fine, and she started to draw.  The photo above is my Guide.  Everywhere I've lived since then, I've put him on a wall facing into a room and I've always felt like he is protecting me.   

 I just like this one.  It's big, and hangs over the largest work table in my sewing/craft room.

I've had this little guy for a while.  It' a small picture and I've always found a good place for him.  When I first saw it, I thought, Okay, that's the plan.  A little cozy house with a hammock, by a river, with a cold drink nearby. All it needs is a fishing pole and that's where I want to live.  And I''m coming pretty darn close!!!

I've always loved "house" pictures, and I really liked this one. It's always been in my living room area so I could see it every day.
Long story.  But I won't bore you. This is a signed photo that was a gift from a man I used to know - a photographer who won a Pulitzer Prize for International Journalism.  His photos were fantastic. At the time I knew him, he was a photographer for the Sacramento Bee and he gave me two signed photos, this is my favorite. It's from Yosemite in December, the mountain is reflected in Merced River, with small rocks covered with snow projecting over the surface of the water.

My son told me on Sunday that if I wanted to store some boxes up in the mezzanine at work he wouldn't mind.  Since I have that option, I just may save a few things - including the two favorites above.  But even so, I won't have them with me in The Palms, so they will be in the rotation on my digital frame and I will be able to see them every day.

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

Monday, April 18, 2011

Estate Sale scheduled, and "Condo For Lease"

On Sunday I had two appointments with Estate Sale companies, one at 11:00 and one between 3 and 4.

The first appointment was with two women, Jasmine and Tonna, who own Pro Estate Liquidators.  I immediately liked them, and they explained what they would do for me, how they do it, what it would cost, etc.  Their presentation answered all my questions before I asked them.  Tonna is an Accredited International Appraiser and has been doing this kind of work for years, and I just got a really good vibe from them.  I signed up for the first weekend in May.  They will be here with their crew on May 2, Monday, to start pricing things.  That's three weeks from today.  The sale will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning of that week.

When they left I called the other company and cancelled our appointment.

When I originally talked to the first man a few weeks ago who was running an Estate Sale, he said I'd need to move out of the house, and be totally gone when the sale commenced.  These women said I could still be living here.  They would just tag anything large I wanted to keep, and they would put a wide tape or something across the cupboards containing food, and if I had a cupboard with things I was taking, they would do the same with that one, too. I could put all small things in one place, with a "Not for Sale" sign.  That sounds good to me. I'm hoping to have everything in The Palms before then, but just in case, it's nice to have that option available.

If the sale is the first weekend of May, and the house is empty after that, I will still have three weeks until it's rented.  I won't have to clean. The ladies will vacuum and clean the counters, and all I'll have to do is continue watering any plants that are left on the patio and clean the bathrooms and kitchen - whatever they don't clean.  At that point, I won't have a vacuum, assuming it sells.  Maybe that's why these companies vacuum carpets when the sales are over.

I could continue living here - because if it isn't leased at that point, I'd have to drive up to show it and I'd rather sleep in a sleeping bag here for a couple of weeks.   Or I could have a showing at one time for everyone. That's what the Real Estate Agent said they do when leasing property they manage.  One day, get everyone in at the same time, anyone interested can sign up, pay a fee for the reports that would be ordered, it's shown only once.  (Assuming they get a good group, and do rent it to someone that came that day.)  He said when people arrive and see other interested people there, some are more motivated to commit.  We'll see.  I'm thinking out loud, or I should say in print. Sometimes I go on and on (even more than ends up in the post).  I find I can think this way and figure out things, or decide things.  Then I go back and delete all the "thinking" stuff.

Of course, it might get leased early, too - wouldn't that be nice! : )

Now that the Estate Sale is planned, I needed to get the Craig's List ad posted.  I already had my ad ready, and the photos I wanted to use, so I uploaded them all to Craig's List and it started this evening.   We'll see what happens!  The ad says it's available as of June 1.  If I'm lucky enough to have it rented on June 1 or before, I'll be happily sitting in The Palms in the RV park on that date.

All of a sudden it seems very doable. Keep your fingers crossed!

Since I don't have any pictures today, here's a photo from tomorrow's post:

I just love him, isn't he beautiful?

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

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lots happening now : )

Things are finally starting to happen. Yesterday afternoon around 5 o'clock, after doing nothing since the doctor visit on Tuesday  morning, I finally got some energy and realized I was feeling better.  I got Katie in the car and we drove to Walmart.  I was looking for two things for The Palms. I actually started at Target, then one Walmart, and they sent me to another Walmart, where there were OUT of the item listed as in stock.  I was still really too tired to do all this driving around.  But I did also get a loaf  of Walmart's Roasted Garlic bread - to die for!  Toast it up with a little butter, yum!

Anyway, I was able to get a new, small one-cup Keurig coffee maker. I got it home, cleaned it off, ran through one cycle with just water, then made a cup of the BEST coffee.  Yup, this little guy brewed coffee just as rich as the big Keurigs. And it will fit MUCH better on the kitchen counter in The Palms. Here it is:

The other thing I wanted was a small toaster/oven. I saw this one recommended on a forum, did a search, and supposedly they have them in one of my Walmarts, but nada.  So I just ordered it on-line.  Here it is:

Hamilton Beach Toastation 2-in-1 2-Slice Toaster & Oven

Isn't it great?  Small enough to keep out on my kitchen counter.

I also got this table on Tuesday when I stopped at Camping World for the repair kit for my losing fight with the tree branches:

I've been using it in my living room, and I really like it.  I don't have a coffee table in the RV, so this should work out fine.

This afternoon my son, Tom and grandson, Gavin met me at the storage lot. Tom wanted to see the damage and assess what should be done.  The cargo door was bent and actually opened up, he said it would probably be easier to just order the door. He'll get some metal edging that goes along the bottom of the rig wall, paint it and attach it where mine is bent.  Then he can sand out the scrape on the fiberglass wall, repaint it, and I'm back in business.  I hope I can order the small piece of decal, but if not, we'll take it to our sign maker and he can cut an exact piece and Tom will paint it to match and apply it to the new door.

It sounds easy when Tom explains what he'll do, but it is a lot of steps.

He also took the patch kit and fixed the little tear at the edge of the roof over the driver's door.  You know, I could have very easily done it, but there is something about having an expert do things for you.  I would have cut out a little piece and applied it.  Tom cut out a piece about an inch all the way around larger than I would have. From the ground, it looks like a strip that goes across the roof to the other side.  You can't even tell it's patched.  So, now I am all secured as far as rain and leaks.  Before they got there, I climbed up the rear ladder and crawled across the roof carefully to see what's up there, and what kind of shape its in.  It looked really good.  Everything looked well caulked, no rips or tears (except mine).  I was pleased.

And finally...the Moon over Walmart last evening.  It was beautiful.

My estate sales is scheduled!  More about that tomorrow.

From Me and Katie, have a nice Sunday evening, everyone! : )

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Under the weather, taking it easy today

WELCOME to our new follower, Deborah. She and her husband Phil are new full-timers along with their dog and cat.  It will be fun following along with you, Deborah, I'll definitely be learning from your experiences as you travel through your first few months on the road.  Thanks for following along with Me and Katie, too!

I've been sick since a week ago Saturday, and finally gave in.  I left work yesterday morning and went to Kaiser to see my doctor.  I have a virus (it's going around), but she did give me an antibiotic, which surprised me.  My son's doctor did the same thing, so I'm sure they know what they're doing.  I'm staying home and resting today, too, so along with my Friday off and weekend, I'll have five days to recuperate and hopefully feel better by Monday.

I don't remember if I mentioned it, but when I first got my Sunseeker I drove to Walmart to pick up a couple of things. Thinking I'd park under a tree to keep the RV cool for Katie, I drove into a parking space, as I would do in my car. Unfortunately the RV is a little taller than my car - DUH!  I brushed a small tree with the top of the rig, backed out and parked somewhere else.

Later my son, Tom, and I noticed a small tear in the rubber covering on the edge of the roof.  When I was in the RV park in Vacaville emptying my black and grey tanks, Bob, the Workamper who was helping me, noticed the tear.  He said it would be a real problem if it rained, causing a leak right into the upper bunk.  I'm glad he said that.

On my way home from the doctor's office yesterday I went past a Camping World and stopped in to get a fix-it kit for the tear. Luckily we've had sunshine since I got back and sun is forecasted into the weekend.  As soon as I feel better, I'll go down to the storage lot and climb up on the RV and take care of the repair.  Tom asked me to let him know when I'm going - he wants to come, too, and look at the damage to the cargo door and side wall area.

This is an Amaryllis bulb I have in a pot outside that blooms like this every year.  It's so big and pretty!

Nothing else much going on today, except I love sitting on my couch and looking out my patio door and seeing flowers.  Here are some from my patio and right outside my fence:

The Blackberries are coming!

I'm going to enjoy having all my condo and patio photos to remember when I'm out on the road.  I know there will be lots of beautiful scenery all around me then, but I do love my surroundings here in Lake San Marcos.

I have some photos of  my grand kids from my weekend visit.  I'll post those next time.  I also promised Andrew I'd send him some photos I took of his T-ball game, so I need to get going on those, too.

I have a few good ones of Lauren, too, one with an AWFUL face she made.  I forget what they called it - but she looks like a ghoul.  It's pretty funny.  I want to send her some photos of herself, too.

AND the photos of them sleeping and eating in the RV!   It's always fun getting things in the mail from grandparents.

That's about all for today.  I tire so easily with this virus, I'm going rest for a while.

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

Monday, April 11, 2011

We made it home!

We made it home.  I decided to take the Grapevine (Highway 5), as the Internet site for California freeways didn't show any problems.  We left at 5:30 am and arrived home at 2:30 pm.  That's 9 hours, about 1.5 hours more than driving my car to/from Vacaville.  It was again a really nice drive. 

Katie did really well the whole trip, but right now she's sleeping in the bedroom, not something she usually does when I'm home.  She's beat!  I'm sure I'll sleep well tonight, too.  

My son, Tom, called me on the way home this morning as he was driving to work.  I told him about the crunch on the side.  He was very non-plussed about it.  The refinishing business he owns, one office in San Jose, CA and one in San Diego, CA has 30+ trucks - little Ford Rangers - that all the technicians drive.  Tom also has an auto body shop where he makes any repairs the trucks need, among other things. He said there's nothing they can't fix, and not to worry about it.  They will do a good job on it.  So in addition to fixing any fiberglass issues, he thinks they will be able to fix the storage door, too, so I won't have to order a new one.  That is such a relief!

Thank you all for your stories of your own "crunches."  Virtually everyone I've told who owns an RV had their own story, some minor, some not so minor. It's nice to know I'm not the only one - I felt like such an idiot!  I could see everyone's head turned to the RV when I heard the crunch, but I acted like it was nothing, very cool.  (But, of course, I couldn't wait to drive down the street and stop to see what I had done.)

Don't worry about me driving so many hours.  I visit my daughter twice a year and can easily drive 8 hours without stopping except for gas.  After that, though, I start getting antsy.  And remember, I'm not yet a retired full-timer.  I am still just a weekend RVer on a schedule.  But next January all that will change, and I will be able to drive 100 to 200 miles at a time, maybe less.  I do not plan to drive 8+ hours at a time then, that's for sure! 

Here she is, waiting until the next trip

With all her friends at the RV storage lot

When I was unpacking, my mailman was here delivering my mail, and two books I ordered were here. Woodall's RV Owner's Handbook, just in time, and Woodalls North American Campground Directory.  JUST IN TIME.  When I publish this post I'm going to find a place close by where I can camp for a couple of days - not next weekend, but the one after that.  I've been having overnights with grandchildren and now I want to go off on my own and really use it.  Cook dinners, put out the awning, sleep in late.  That sounds so good!

Oh, also, I figured my miles per gallon.  8.3 mpg   Not too good, I was hoping for 10.  At first I got 12 mpg, but I was dividing the numbers wrong.  That made the 8.3 look even worse!  This trip cost me about $600 for gas - that seems really a lot but I have the receipts.  I started out with 3/4 tank and ended up with a little less than that, I figured about $25 less.  I have receipts for $575.  Add the $25 and that's around $600.   WOW.   I had full tanks on the way up, less so on the way back.  I'll have to watch that next time and see if my mileage improves. 

And look at this.  This is what I paid per gallon:

$4.16 (San Diego), $4.62, $4.30, $4.0 (Vacaville), and $4.50, all rounded up.  The highway gas stations are really gouging travelers.

Next time I'll post some photos of my grand kids, I got some good ones of Andrew at his Little League T-ball game. 

So that's it for our first trip.  The next one will be more relaxing.

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

Saturday, April 9, 2011

We Made It, but OUCH!

Well, good news and bad news.  First the good news.

We took off around 5:30 Thursday evening.  Went up the 5, then headed over to 101 and took that until the 680/580, etc. on to Vacaville.

 Katie all set in her bed in the passenger seat

It was a fabulous trip - I LOVE the way she rides.  Very easy, actually more comfortable than my car for a long trip.  We stopped at the first rest stop to re-adjust some things, then took off again.  The next rest stop was a potty stop for me and Katie.  So nice to have my own bathroom!

The plan was to drive until I was tired, then stop and sleep until I was ready to go again.  The third stop was a couple of towns south of San Luis Obispo. I saw a Walmart from the freeway and pulled onto the off ramp and drove into their parking lot.  It was around midnight, and unfortunately they were closed. There weren't any RVs there, so I wasn't sure if I could park there, but there was a "Park and Ride" lot adjoining Walmart's lot, so I pulled in there.  I went back into the RV and there was the dreaded knock on the door.
A very nice security guard said there is no parking at all in that town, nor in the next two up the road, but said the Madonna turnoff  had a K-Mart lot where he always saw RVs parked.

Well, I had been up since 5 am that morning, and it was now midnight, I had a sore throat and had lost my voice, and I was a bit tired.  But having the window open and talking to him revived me somewhat, and I didn't have a choice, so we got back on the road.  We took the Madonna turnoff, but I couldn't find the K-Mart, so we got back on the freeway again.

About an hour later there was another rest stop, and we pulled off there.  It was now 1:00 am. Besides being "under the weather" I was really tired by then.  I think the Adrenalin was keeping me going, but it was starting to fade.  This rest stop was very well lit, clean, about half full of cars and a couple of RVs who were obviously stopped to sleep, so it was perfect.

Katie and I got comfortable up in the bunk in our sleeping bag with a down blanket over that, and we were out in seconds.  I slept like a log, and woke up - wide awake - at 5:00 am.  So, with only four hours of sleep, we were on the road again. I can't tell you how much fun I was having.  It really sounds awful, but it wasn't!  I turned on the truck heater, and it worked great.  We were toasty in minutes.  I had a big thermos of coffee, and the little bit left was still a little warm, so I finished it off.

We stopped for gas a couple of times.  Before I left home I put around $75 in the tank to top it off.  I stopped twice and put in $100 each time.  I'm not exactly sure how big my tank is, either 45 or 55 gallons I think.  But I figured out I get exactly 100 miles per 1/4 tank, so I can go 400 miles on a full tank.  I haven't figured out my mileage yet, but I will.  I think it's around 10 mpg.

I arrived about 10:40 am.  Just in time to go with Kristy and Lauren to Lauren's gymnastic class, where she was now doing "flips."  That was the big thing, she didn't want to try them before, but now that she can do them, she gets to go to the  next class.  (It's not a real flip, kind of modified.  Using the bars.) I was really glad I got there in time for Lauren's gymnastics class.

We hit a little weather on the trip, but not much, and a little traffic, but not much.  That extra HOUR (supposedly) added on to my usual (taking the 5 over the Grapevine) trip of less than 8 hours, was actually 17 hours!  Take out the four hours we slept in the rest stop, and I was driving for 13 hours.  I have no idea why it took so long. I can usually go 70 to 75 mph on parts of the 5, and I was consistently driving 60, a little 65 mph, so I WAS going slower.  But it took an extra 5 hours.

I'm praying for no snow on the Grapevine on the return trip.  I know it will probably take me 10 hours minimum in the RV because of the reduced speed, and with a couple of stops for fuel I'll be home Monday in the afternoon.  If I leave at 5:00 am on Monday morning, I should be home between 3 and 4.

Katie and I are having a wonderful time. Kristy and Matt and the kids have a new dog, Cody, a little dog that's part Chihuahua like Katie and they are getting along fine.  Both dogs love to run, and this is the first friend Katie has had.   I got to see Lauren's gymnastic class and Andrew had two back-to-back T-Ball games this afternoon, and he did really well. 

Now for the OUCH!:
 Can you see it?


You know,  this is just one of those things that happens.  My son told me I was driving the RV really well, the only thing he could see is I was making circular turns like you do in a car, and I needed to make square turns in an RV - drive forward more, then right turn, no rounded turns.  

I needed gas, so I drove into a gas station that looked kind of small.  I parked by the pump, then got out to fill up, and the nozzle didn't reach the gas intake opening.  I should have known then, and driven to the next gas station that had wider gassing-up lanes.  But I got back in and drove closer to the pump and further forward, which was not comfortable because I was too close to parked cars and wouldn't be able to drive out forward. But I filled up, got back in, and carefully drove forward, turned the wheel, backed up, and did that a few times until I was sure I could clear the parked cars.  Then I turned in a circular motion to drive out and "Crunch."  I backed up, another "Crunch" but I was free. I got out to see what the damage was, and I could clearly drive okay, so I went onto the street and pulled over to see what I had done.  I had just cut the corner too close, because there was a upside-down U shaped barrier at the corner of the gas tank and I hadn't seen it.

I thought to myself, "That's why they say to get out, walk around the RV and see what's possibly in your way."  So, now I can't open the compartment with my batteries in it, but I'll have my son look at it and see what needs to be done. I'll have to order another compartment door, maybe some new decals, and the fiberglass will need repair.
I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I work for my son, he owns the bathtub refinishing company I work for, and we also do fiberglass repair work to fiberglass bathtubs.  I'm thinking maybe one of our technicians can do the repair work and it won't cost me too much.  We'll see.

At least it wasnt' too bad - or I don't think it will be.

Andrew and Lauren have been sleeping in The Palms, too. Katie and me in the upper bunk and the two kids on the pull-out couch.  It's all very comfortable, and I'm finding I have plenty of room with the four of us, and sometimes my daughter Kristy visits us.  The rest of the time, of course, we are in their house, but this has encouraged me that with me and Katie alone, we will have plenty of room.

Tomorrow will be fun. We have lots of things to do, and Kristy and Matt are hosting a dinner tomorrow night.  Then early Monday morning I'll wake up and go home.  Hope fully over the Grapevine.

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

Thursday, April 7, 2011

All packed and ready to go!

I really want to leave tonight!

I felt pretty bad at work, drank two cups of tea with lemon and honey, per my local pharmacist's advice, and still didn't feel well.  I finally called Kaiser to see if they could fit me in today, but they were full. There was one cancellation, but I was too late.  I asked my boss if I could skip lunch and leave early, and that's what I did.

As I was driving home, I thought, why not leave tonight, and pull over somewhere when I get tired?  Katie and I could have a little snack, a little nap, or I could even stop and have a nice breakfast somewhere.  

I drove to the storage lot and got the Palms, filled her tank, and brought her home.  I've got everything loaded and let me tell you... Katie is sticking to me like white on rice.  As I type this she is standing next to me on the couch, wagging her tale, and has a paw on my arm. 

Even though I'm going to be gone for four days, I haven't done a good job packing. I know I'll be in Kristy and Matt's house except to sleep, so I brought some snacks and drinks, hung some clothes and stowed the rest in a suitcase.  Katie's food, treats, and toys are packed. And that's about it.

The weather forecast says snow on the Grapevine, so I'm going the coast route - Highway 101.  I've never gone that way before, it's at least an extra hour, but I don't want to chance having a problem with the snow.  It's actually quite cold and windy right now, with high wind advisories for boats, so it's even windy along 101.  I hope the weather doesn't impact our trip. 

I'm not sure if I should get some sleep and start out around 3:00 am, or leave now.  I just checked the California Road Conditions site, and 101 is clear all the way up.  I think I'm going to take off now.

Wish me luck again!

From me and Katie - have a good evening! : )

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The new Motor Home is stored, safe and sound, I've named her...

I have a lot of new Followers to welcome.  I sure do thank you all  for following along with me and Katie, my dog.  Thanks to Gypsy Boho, PatternMart, Sara, Tricia, JoJo, Jessica, and LittleSis9!  Almost all have a blog, just click on their names for the link to take you to their blogs, except Sara and Tricia.  If you two do start (or already have) a blog, let me know.  Things are just getting interesting around here, so you are following along  at the right time! : )  I've already checked out some of your blogs, too, and have enjoyed what I've read so far.


I've decided to name the motor home The Royal Palms.  She has different kinds of palm trees on her upholstery, and I can't think of anything else, and I love the "Royal," kind of like calling a tall person "Shorty." 

I started this post on Sunday, then pooped out and went to bed.  After 15 hours of sleep, I woke up and went to work Monday and I'm still catching up!  Here's that first Sunday part:

I'm so tired after the last few days, but I did it, and I'm home, Katie's home with me, and our new motor home is safely in storage until next Thursday.

I took care of a sick 2-year-old grandson on Wednesday, so was out of commission all day. On Thursday I went to the storage company I chose and handed over all my paperwork and signed the agreement and gave them my check.  I picked out the parking spot I liked, so I was all set.  Got my key card and that was that.

Friday morning I drove to my son Tom's house, and he drove me down the RV dealer, La Mesa RV.  I'd never been to their business, only the RV shows, and I was surprised how big they are.  I definitely should have been looking there instead of driving all over the place looking for used RV lots.  They are a pretty slick operation, and everything went like clockwork.  After the deal was done, we went into their store and bought some things I'd be needing.  La Mesa RV gave me a $50 gift certificate, so that helped a lot.

Then we took off.  I followed Tom for a while on the freeway until he turned off to go to work, and I kept going, I was going home first. I didn't quite know what to with her, since I wasn't keeping her at home, and wasn't using her yet.  I went into the house and looked around for a few things I could keep in the MH for now, towels, plastic tableware, etc.  I just had to put something away in those drawers and cupboards!

Then Katie and I drove her to Walmart to get a few things.  Next we drove to my son's house, and Katie and I had a camp out in my son's driveway with Kennedy and Gavin, his two oldest children. They were so excited!  We went to McDonalds in the car and brought it back to The Royal Palms for our first dinner in the new motor home.  We watched a movie on their portable DVD player, then had popcorn and went to bed.

The next morning we got up and after a quick breakfast drove down to Santee Lakes where I am going to live in The Royal Palms for six months, starting June 1 (assuming my condo is rented). I had planned on which area I wanted  - right by one of the lakes. But luckily I stopped to talk to a man named David in one of the campsites I was interested in, and he said not to reserve in that area.  Winter is great, he said, but summer in that area is full of vacationing weekenders who are constantly coming and going, loud music, he said the kids literally hang from the trees.  He was preparing to move to another area for the summer.  So he looked at my map and marked 4 campsites that would be good.

The kids and I drove past them and picked one out, then went back to the office and reserved it. I was not planning to make the reservation that day, but luckily David said if I didn't reserve it right away, there would be nothing decent left for a long term campsite.  I'm REALLY glad I stopped to talk to David.

We drove back to Tom's and Tom followed me over to the RV storage and I parked The Royal Palms and left her.  It was so sad. : (  But I told my grand kids she has all the other RVs to talk to. 

So... now it's Wednesday at 9:00 pm.  I went by after work today and checked her out again.  I still love her and am really glad I bought her.  I have no regrets, no buyer's remorse.  I like her even more now than when I first saw her.  I guess that's love. : )

Tomorrow after work I'm going to get her and bring her home and load her up for our trip to Vacaville to visit my daughter, Kristy, and her family.  I plan to leave Friday at 3:00 am to get through Los Angeles before the rush hour traffic.  I'm hoping there won't be any snow over the Grapevine.

I have a 15 day 100% warranty, and this trip will be within that 15 days. Then the next 15 days I have a 50/50 warranty on parts and labor, they pay 50% and I pay 50%, so if anything is not working right, I want to find out during the first 15 days.

I'm a little under the weather, have been all week, so I hope the 8 or 9 hour drive won't totally exhaust me.  I know its a long drive, especially for my maiden voyage.  But she is very comfortable to drive, I had no problems at all when I brought her home, and I'm going to take it nice and easy.

I'll let you know when I get home how it went.  And my next post will have pictures.  Wish me luck! 

From Me and Katie, have a good rest of the week, everyone! : )