Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's Christmas Time In The City

Going to New York City with friends, seeing the store window decorations and fighting a mob of people, will get you in the holiday spirit and drive any negative thoughts out of your head.

Yesterday, a group of us from work braved the rain and went to Manhattan.  Of course we got separated but the best portion of the group stayed with me LOL.  After breakfast, we piled in cars and headed to the train that would take us to Penn Station.   The guys gave me 5 minutes to get ready.  Of course, I could not find my gloves, had to get money from the ATM,.......

I know we are adults but one guy had an app called IBeer that makes you look like you are drinking a glass of beer with your IPhone and he was passing it around for all of us to take a drink to brace us for the city.

I had told everyone that my main goal was to see the tree in Rockefeller Center and go to FAO Schwartz which some had not heard of.  When we got to the store, I felt like a kid again.   I could not walk on the $250,000 piano because the line was too long.  We did not get to see Santa at Macy's for the same reason.

The store window decorations were as amazing as what I remembered which helped me forget I was wet and cold.  I dressed in layers so I was better off than most of the group.

NYC Store windows

sights on the street

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

It is Crazy Here

I want to start by saying why I put the word verification back on my comment page.  I got 30 or more spam comments a day and it became too much.  I know that my friends and potential friends do not like the verification but I had no choice.  Even without your comments, I know you are there.

This is a quick note to let you know what is going on here in NY.  There are so many claims that the company has hired Lots of independent adjusters and moved staff claim reps from other assignments around the country.  Hotels are at a premium so unless you work for a company like I do that has the resources and manpower to obtain hotel rooms,  you are in trouble.

Confession Time....I admitted something to myself today. I have always been good at defusing angry people or helping undecided people make decisions.  My first real job while in college was with Dreyfus Mutual funds.  I started on the floor and got moved to new product development after my graduation from college. Our phone calls were randomly monitored, one day  I was asked if I did not mind having my conversations taped for training purposes.  I did not think that I was very good but if they wanted to do it...  I was also asked to be part of the recruitment team.  The reason I was given was that I had a way of taking what people were really passionate about even though it had nothing to do with the product and making them believe so much in me that I could sell them the Brooklyn Bridge.  It sounded crazy but I was getting paid and promoted quickly.

When I started working at my current job, I guess the ability followed me and I use it on  angry insureds.  We are constantly reinspected on this job, on my last assignment when I came into the feedback session it was full of manager's, I was told they had no finding but   the group wanted to know  what I do to deny a claim because the insured's spent more time wanting to talk about me than  the denial and no one was angry, disappointed but not angry.  I told them the best I could what I did  since I do not know but  that it takes me longer to deny a claim than to pay one.  I have to get the insured to believe in me and once  that is done the denial is easy.

Two things happened today  that recalled all this.  ....

My first appointment was with a lady that told me her best friend had died that morning and she had been told the night before that her husband of 60 years only had a few days to live.   When I had initially talked to her she was angry because she knew she had all this damage to her roof and damage inside but  she would not get a new roof.   I did my inspection while she cried on the phone to someone.  There was no damage to her roof and she had minor damage inside.  I do not ever remember doing it but I found myself consoling her and getting her to talk about what a wonderful life she had with her husband, putting my arms around her to let her cry and somehow maneuvering the conversation where I wanted it.  I told her that she needed to go to her daughter's when I left because she should not be alone and even threw in how worried I would be about her all day. When I left she thanked me  for looking at her roof and interior.  Did I feel anything the entire time....NO. I just said and did what I had to do to get the results I wanted.   That sounds so cold but I realized that I felt nothing.

I left that appointment for one I dreaded because on the phone he was angry that he had been told he had no coverage for his trees, and he had to get his electronics looked at by a professional.  I got out of the car and he started.  I find that I am very quiet during these situation and something in me starts looking for something I can latch on so I can take control.  During his tantrum  he mentioned how old he would be in January ...that was all the opening I needed, my birthday was in January and we were the same age.  It helped that as it turned out we were born the same day.   Needless to say, my appointment that should have been 45 minutes tops took three hours.  I had a difficult time trying to stir the conversation back and paying him for what I could.  I looked at trophies, picture albums (he was a handsome man in his youth), had his special coffee brew, got invited to dinner, talked about religion, the philosophy of life, our children and the list kept growing.    He tried every thing he could to keep me there.  The denial was made through all this but he acted as if he did not care.

I realized as I was going to the office that I am snake oil salesman on stage.  I will say anything to get the results I want.  I do not feel anything,  I just do it.  No, it does not work every time but 9 times out of 10 it does.  I seem to do the same thing in a way with people I call friend. I am not really myself, I am what they want me to be.  The real me wants to just go somewhere and hide.  Don't let anyone get to close to hurt me in  word or deed .  If I laugh a lot, then no one bothers to look inside.  Was what I did today fair to these people?  I left them believing in someone that was not real.   I am true to my children, maybe because I know they will accept me with all my faults and never judge me, they just love me unconditionally.

As you can see, I am down on me today. I was really upset after I realized  what I have become. I am pretty sure what caused it but I am not sure when it took over my life.  I am hoping that once I retire and I meet  new people, I can start to trust and be myself what ever myself is. I am looking forward to meeting the real Louise. Recently, I told an RVer that I wanted to buy a copy of the children's book his wife had written for a Christmas present.  I learned that he shipped it before my check arrived. I sent  him a note thanking him for trusting me,  he wrote  is a good thing.

Back to not sleeping....I hate taking sleep aides but I can not function on a couple hours sleep every night.

On a happy note,179 days ,15 hours, 48 minutes, 23 seconds until.......................

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Visiting my old stomping ground

I am working claims as a result of Hurricane Sandy on Long Island. Yesterday was my first day off. The Plan was to visit my hometown, Babylon, and the collage I graduated from, C W Post. I have not been back for over 25 years so I knew things would be different.

I did make it to Babylon eventually, however it was such a trip getting there. To get around efficiently on Long Island, you take the parkways which is for cars only. Because the company put a ladder rack that I do not use, on my caravan, I can not use the parkways. I am now considered commercial. The GPS wants to take you the best way so I have been using my iPad to map my route and wait until the GPS catches up. It took me forever to get to my street. The street has not changed much, the person that has my childhood home has taken down the fence, put some ugly siding on it and to top it off, painted it a pale yellow.

The high school is twice the size and the athletic field goes to the park now. I always thought that I would take my wedding pictures at the park as a teenager dreaming of my knight. The park looked so sad and is so small. I was happy to see that one place was still there, painted a bright red, but still there, The Dairy Barn. You drive through either side of the building, an attendant would come out and take your order for dairy products and bread. I was so excited when I got my drivers license and I could go pick up the milk and eggs, etc. Of course, I had an incentive, the most handsome boy in the world. He never said anything to me but...what is your order and your change is....that did not matter,
I headed to the college that I attended but I saw a movie theatre and stopped to see what time the new James Bond movie started, I was told in five minutes so I brought my ticket and truly enjoyed it. You could tell that the people at this matinee were James Bond fans which enhanced the experience.

Afterwards, I started off again for the college but once I got to the two lane road leading there, I had to turn around because traffic was stopped. I was at a good place to go back so I decided to join the line of cars turning around and will visit the campus next week. I had passed Milleridge Village when i got on the road, it was on my list to visit. I wanted to see if the bakery with the delicious cinnamon loaves was still there. I walked in the bakery and did not see any, as I was about to ask if they still sell them, I saw a few behind the counter. I ordered two, one for me and one for a co-worker. By the time I got back to the hotel and had a slice, I decided that since he did not know about the bread, I would keep both loaves.

Next Sunday, I will search out other places that I hope are still there and try foods that I have not had in years, like a hard roll.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My First Rally

No, I do not have an RV yet but I just got back from the R V Women Pre-Thanksgiving rally.    At the suggestion of the rally host, I booked three nights at the Garden Spot Hotel that was in walking distance of the    Old Mill Stream Campground  were the event was being held.   Several women that had put their motorhomes/travel trailers/fifth wheels in storage was staying at the hotel as well as the Motel 8.   We were told that the event started  a few years back by two ladies that did not have any Thanksgiving plans.  The first Rally was attended by  twelve ladies,  this event was the largest to date with 70 women participating.  They even had a waiting list  for campground space.

I arrived on Thursday and went out to dinner with all the early participates to Dienner's Country Restaurant.  I would say about 25 women were there.  Food was good but the companionship was outstanding and  because of that, I would have paid more than the  $10.25 price.

The next morning, started with breakfast in the club house of the campground.  The event started at 1pm,  ladies and their rigs came in all during the day.  My daughter arrived right after breakfast so she was there for the start.  An announcement was made that we were new and that we would like to see some of the ladies rigs and talk to them about their R V's.  It really was fun going from R V to RV and talking to them  about all the accessories they had and why, seeing the motorhomes actually lived in and how happy everyone was.  I was please when the chapter RV tech, Tonie, wanted to know what RV I was considering, when  I told her she said that she  had been to the plant and  has spent time there,  she thought that I had made a good choice and would buy one if she was in the market.  We also talked about what items I should have them put on while building and then took us into and outside her motorhome showing us what she had added and why.  To say that I was lost from the beginning would be an understatement but I took lots of notes.    She will be in the area taking some motorhome repair classes and would be happy to stop by Nexus to check on my motorhome for me.

Lunch was on your own so most people went shopping,   My daughter and I spent time accepting invitations and visiting ladies in their motorhomes. They were so generous in their explanations that I became overwhelmed.    One lady pulled up by herself driving a 42  ft diesel pusher Winnebago Tour.  Some campers saw that she was having problems backing into a very awkwardly laided out space and ran over to help her.  We almost fell out when this women that I am not sure was 5 ft  got out.  She told us later that she never thought she would have anything like this, she always drove a small class C but she met a rich man a few years ago while at one of the R V Women rallies at the campground we were in, married him  and now  she finally got her dream.  Anyone that wanted a tour that had not seen it previously was invited in.  She said they wanted something that entertained 8, dined 4, and slept 2.

Everyone was to bring a snack for Friday night, my daughter brought  both apple cheddar  and double cirtus scones.  They were a hit.   Several women came over and said that  if there were any leftovers, would she bring  them back for breakfast.  I did get one that night and one the next morning but that was it.  They were delicious.

Tonie, the group RV tech, gave a talk on winterizing and a little bit about batteries and the Atwood quick recovery hot water heater. as well as what RV items had recalls.  She also said that she was available until Tuesday to assist anyone that needed assistance with their RV winterizing or repairs.

 On Saturday, there was breakfast with everyone and  a group went to the Wolf  Sanctuary, some went shopping but TeAntae and I  checked out more R V's and found a great salad restaurant  called SaladWorks, that evening was the Thanksgiving dinner.  There was also a hotdogs by campfire at one of the sites.  You were to BYOC (bring your own chair).  We opted out only because I was sooo cold.

Several ladies brought plates and tableware from their motorhomes for my daughter and I.  They said that we should not have turkey on a paper plate.   There was wine and other beverages as well. i.e., spiced mull cider with rum (lots).

A couple of the ladies made centerpieces that were given away  by drawing names.

There was so so so much food with none going to waste.  This is a sample of the dessert beverage table
The ladies lined up .....

and then we chowed down.
Afterwards was games.  I never sign up for things that I do not know anything about but unfortunately I did this time.    My daughter had to go home  because she had to work early Sunday but I was stuck.  I had never heard of a Minute to Win It which was on NBC hosted by Guy Fieri.  I was told I did not need to know trivia or any special skill set.  The write up said that it was to help digest the food.  What they did not tell me of how humiliated I would be.  The first game was stacking 5 dice on a tongue depressors and holding them there for 3 seconds without them falling. 
 I was one of the winners of that and then it went downhill.

The next was stacking three paper cups with a playing  card in between.  We had to pull the card out making the paper cup fall down on top of the next.  I only got one.

The next challange was moving a cookie from your forehead to your mouth without dropping it.  They said that if your cookie hit the floor and broke you were out.  I concentrated on the cookie hitting the floor. You had to really distort your face to get that cookie down the side of your face, I am ugly enough and did not need that as well.  Anyone that had won at least one game went on to the next round.  Unfortunately, I had to participate in another game.

They  set up three paper cups, we were to blow up a balloon and let out the air to blow the paper cups down the table.  I did poorly with that one as well, I was only successful with one cup.  I really think I had a defective balloon.   It finally got down to 6 that had won four of the games and one that had won all of them.  One more game  was played to declare the overall winner,   prizes were given out to all that had made it that far.     By this time I was exhausted from laughing and went back to the hotel.  My daughter called her voice was a whisper  from laughing so hard those two days, I am not much better.

On Sunday morning, there was the farewell breakfast, and a group picture,  most of the ladies was staying on a few days, I needed to head home.  The new officers were introduced, the campground gave away  campground space rentals for a week,  names were drawn for those. 

One lady had just got her first RV, she was called up front and one of the other  ladies pulled out a large wide mouthed plastic coffee container that had a handle  to present to her but first proceeded to demonstrate how to use it if she was desperate, had no hookup and her black water tank was full.  I wish I had pulled out my camera for that one.  After every thing calmed down,  the host asked if anyone would be willing to host some get togethers next year, lots of hands went up and they will get back to her when they locate campgrounds.  They also like to meet and have lunch throughout the year,  plans were made to meet in Thurmont, MD, for lunch in February.    Here is a list of rallys that have already been scheduled:

I went ahead and reserved my campground space for the Theme weekend rally because  I was told that most of the ladies that attend that one reserved their space last year, and the event keeps growing so space  will be limited.  I will have a new R V and will be officially retired on June 1.  What a way to celebrate.  I hope I do not embarrass myself backing in....well that is a bridge I will cross when I get there.

I had wanted to show you the results of my Nuno felting class and what I have made since but they are in the car.  Next post.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

What A Week

I know that I should have been working on the downsizing but this was such a great week that I do not regret not doing it.

Last Saturday, my daughter TeAntae and I, went to the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival in Berryville, VA.   Great show but it is spread out so there was more walking than I really wanted. In the last barn, we found Elizabeth of Wolle's Color Changing Yarn.  She does not have much on her site because she is doing shows but as soon as she finishes SAFF at the end of the month, she will start updating the site.  I just love this cotton fiber.  I picked up  three skeins of course. 

This is what I got from Elizabeth between the Berryville fiber fair  last weekend and the Montpelier, VA fiber fair this weekend.  I got one other ball but one of the ladies from the knitting group had asked me to pick up something pretty for her in purples so I am sending that on.  The ball closer to the top is really shades of brown but photographed  looking like the same as the one below. 

During the week, I went to the Original Sewing Expo in Chantilly, VA on Thursday and Friday.  Next year the show will be moved to Fredericksburg, VA, in the fall and they are adding another one in March to be held at the Baltimore Convention Center.

 I met up with a friend but we did not get to spend much time together because of our classes.  This year I did not take all sewing classes because of my move next year and I wanted more surface design classes to make things for the RV.  On Thursday, I started the day with Sew to Look Slim: Knits, Slinky and Stetch Woven.  I think I took this class last year, at least it felt like it.  The idea of the class was that a garment made from a pattern fitted just for you can make you appear 10 to 20 pounds slimmer, and fabrics with give makes sewing and fitting easier still.  We were to learn how to choose patterns and adjust for the stretch factor.  

My next class was a surface design class,   Paintstiks Inspiration.  I was to learn  a variety of techniques using Shiva® Artist’s Paintstiks® for layers of color, design, and texture on fabrics. We created a series of samples discovered the wonderful luminescence these “altered fabrics”  would give to our projects.  This is some of what we did in class, learning how to use the paint stik and doing rubbings on textured plates and stencils.

I brought some stencils and the Paint Stik package she had put together.  I can see me using this a lot.

Today, I took what I learned from this class and the one I took the next day and did my first project.  I make or buy things plain mostly because I like to decorate them.  This is what I have done on one of my jersey nightgowns using a design I found on the internet of my zodiac , tracing it on freezer paper, and cutting out the pieces to use as a mask.

To make this washable, you have to heat set the image.

The last class I did on Thursday was  Seams Make the Difference.  We created a workbook of seams and finishes including Hong Kong, flat felled, French and the instructor's  own take on Hong Kong seams.  This was a fun class and I really enjoyed working on the Baby Lock new Sofia 2 sewing/embroidery machine.  I am considering getting it for the RV and selling the other two straight sewing machines.  

I had taken a class with the instructor, Barb McCallaham, last year.  After class we started talking because she remembered me and I found out that her and her husband full time in an RV traveling to shows.  She said that they never stay in a campground.  This time they parked at the hotel next door to the Expo Center at night and drive the RV to the show the next morning.  I guess that is what I will be doing  next year.

On Friday, I started the day with the class Perfect Fit Tee.  The class was to create that perfect tee shirt that would  be comfortable, easy to make and, of course, great looking!  We were to learn how to draft our pattern and gather professional tips for fitting and construction.  The instructor measured each of us and adjusted the pattern to fit.  In my case, my tee shirts are too big in the front at the stomach area because I have to have the boob fit.  I am not very large but I guess I am just enough that it makes the stomach area too large in ready made shirts.  She adjusted the pattern so that now the tee shirt will hang straight, my front piece will be cut smaller than the back at the bottom.

After that class I took another paint stik class but with a different instructor.  The class was called Paintstiks for Your Art Quilts.  I like taking the same class with different instructors because I always learn something new.  This instructor explained how to use freezer paper to create designs and to buy cheap regular paint brushes and cut them off to make your stencil brushes since you need many to keep the colors not getting muddy by using a different brush for each color.  She also likes to use her sewing machine to outline her design and then painting inside. This is the project we did, I have not finished shading.

That evening, I took my last class for the show.  I had made plans for Saturday and did not take any classes.  I decided to try silk screening.  I was shocked when I got to class and found that I would not be using a screen like you normally see.  This class was called Silk Screening for your Home.  We used silk screen like stencils that we taped to the upholstery silk fabric to be made into a pillow or wall hanging later.  I really loved this class until I got home and found out the cost of the screens.  I won't be adding this to my long length of crafts I do.  This is  my final piece.I used freezer paper for the jar, cut out the center so that I could stamp the dragon, shaded around this and then ironed the freezer paper back over the dragon and pull off the jar.  I used the same stamp but just kept turning it.  I put the jar back on so that I could stencil the tree.  The tree was suppose to be green but the person before me had not cleaned the stencil before putting back in the pile so it came out a red green.  I like it now but was upset when I did it.

On Saturday, My daughter and I went to the Waterford Fair, in Waterford, VA.  We just love this fair and try to go every year we can.  If you like crafts, wine tasting, re-enactments, enterainment, craft demonstrations  and food, you will love this fair.  There is also house tours everyday. I can home with wine and a cup from my favorite potter.

On Monday, I went to the artist group meeting that I love called Assemblage.  I was introduced to them by one of the ladies from the knitting group.  These ladies are true artist and such inspiration.  One of the ladies, Peggy,  had brought her friend that is a knitter and photographer and lives full time on a boat.  Peggy and her husband are getting there house ready to sell but  will be moving on their boat in November and going to Florida to meet the other lady.  I have to email her so that I can get in touch with the mailing service they use that specializes in full time RV and Full time boaters and will help you establish your address and get your license, and tags.  Don't forget I am going to be a Florida residence.

Now I am coming down from the excitement.  Back on call and hoping that I am left alone for a little while longer.  

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sans Souci

Sans Souci is a French term meaning "without care", in other terms, "no worries".  I was cleaning out a drawer in the filing cabinet and ran across the pile of RV books that I had purchased when I was dreaming years ago and this rub on that I had purchased to put in my dream  RV.  Now it is going into the real RV box, it will finally be used.  The RV books were published around 1995.  I am going to glance through them but they would be very out of date.

Here is the first load of books that I am taking to the used book store to sell.  When I start on my craft books and cookbooks, there will be a lot more.  My daughter is trying to figure out the best way to get rid of the knitting, weaving, embroidery, etc books and magazines.  I will need help with getting rid of them.  Most of my Troupe L'oeil  and floorcloth books are not in this group.  Don't have the strength just yet, it has taken me years to collect them.

I know how much weight is a problem in an RV.  In all my years of driving all over the country and living in hotels, I know what is important to me.  I would rather have my crafts than food or clothes.  I will have my RV weighted after it is packed but if I have to get rid of anything it will be clothes and shoes  which I won't be bringing much of anyway.  I am leaving all my precious  craft books and sewing patterns, fabric and yarn  behind, that is roughing it to me.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


9/11/12 I just filled 2 tall kitchen garbage bags full of sewing patterns to take the the Rescue Mission, I turned around and found that I had saved just as many.   I will put those aside to look again later.   I did not get rid of hardly any of my purse patterns..   This will not do......

9/12/12  Won't have time to do any purging for the rest of the week but I did go down to basic cable.  I was thinking, I use Slingbox to watch my home TV when I am on the road working using my IPad or on my laptop, my son has lots of channels, why not hook my Slingbox up to his TV  cable box in his family room.  They hardly ever use the TV in that room, so I won't have any fears of someone changing the channel.  I watch so little TV but I like the idea that if I want to watch PBS, BBC, Smithsonian Channel, etc., I can.  I mentioned it to him and he thought it was a good idea.  He suggested that I change my mailing address to his address and he will contact me if there is anything important and forward it on.  Right now, because I get so little mail (all my bills come on line or I have them automatically paid) he comes up from VA every other week to clean out the mailbox.

9/13/12  Went to the MD RV show with my son, I  was a little disappointed because it was mostly travel trailers and 5th wheels.  There was a 29ft Class A by NewMar the BayStar however, I do not have the nerve to drive a Class A.  I love the big windows and the space however. ... Would you believe that the dealer is located down the road from me.  I never stop in because all they seem to carry is Class A and fifth wheels.   Well Saturday is the big show, I will let you know what interested me when we get back.

9/14/12  I went to the PA RV show and took two seminars.  The first seminar was Tips for Choosing An RV.  Some of the information was to ask the dealer if rig is warranted for fulltime use, dual pane windows are quiet, warmer in winter and cooler in summer.  Consider awnings for windows and AC in bedroom.  Can you move the driver seat with slides closed so you are comfortable when driving.  He had a section in his talk called Try it for Size
1.  lie down in the bed,  2  stand in the shower,  3. sit on the toilet, 4 measure the closets, 5 where the outlets are, 6 exterior storage, 7 pretend you are making a meal.

He also said that if possible buy a used RV a year or 2 older for the same amount you would have spent on the new RV because you would be getting upgrades.

The next seminar I went to was on Full time and Extended RVing.  The first part of the seminar was really what I do now when he talked about your mail, medical, banking, etc.  Since I work on the road, for the last 16 years, I have had to get this worked out. For instance,  banking- I have my paychecks automatically deposited, I use State Farm Bank for depositing other checks by taking a picture of front and back with my phone and when I withdraw money from any bank that charges me, they reimburse me the fee at the end of the month plus they have no fees when I use a ATM that is not theirs.  I have not set foot in a bank for years,  I use a national chain for my medicine since the insurance coverage I have is for one month at a time.

He said that your one year rule should be to check the cabinets, bins, storage areas of your RV and get rid of anything you do not need.  Travel with empty grey/black tanks. Don't take heavy items like tools and sewing machine.  When he said sewing machine, most of the women yelled out.  He said that his wife carries a sewing machine but get a light weight one and make sure you use it.  Well, I guess my sewing/embroidery machine is out.   Emergency Road Service is a must for new and  older RVs.  Get a Motor Carrier road atlas if you like paper or an RV GPS.  Don't drive more than 3 to 4 hours and get off road before 4pm.  Stay away from membership campgrounds until after you have been on the road for at least a year.  However, Passport America is a discount campground service and is cheap.  Use Mi-Fi for internet especially if you do on line banking.

I also obtained information for a recreational vehicle driver education program at Northampton Community College in PA that runs from April 19 to September 23, 2013.  I plan to take the class in either April or May before I actually retire and hit the road June 1.  The cost is $240 a person.  Classroom is 2 1/2 hours and the main topics are: pre-trip vehicle inspection, maintaining space, intersections and turns, blind spots.  The driving portion is  backing skills  1 1/2 hours and the main course is straight line backing, 45 degree backing and parallel parking.  The driving skills portion is 1 1/2 hours and the main things you will be doing is setting up for turns, looking ahead, road signs and maintaining space.

I picked up info on long term sites in the area because if everything goes right, I will need a place from April to June here in MD.

9/16/2012   Back from the PA RV show, I walked for miles looking at all RV's that fit the bill, after doing so I have decided on the Nexus Viper 29V, which is 30'6 ft.
NeXus RV Viper 23 V Floor Plan

The company will customize it and I think that what I need will not affect the price much.   I did put out a call to the ladies on the  Women RV forum as to what they need and what they wish they had.  I think that I want to switch out the sofa for two recliners with a small flip table in between for drinks, etc.   I never sit on the sofa at home but in my favorite chair and the only reason I would have a sofa is for a bed for guest.  Because this is a B+ design, there  is no overhead cab bunk.    I need the dinette because I do not want to have to put up a table everytime I want to sew, set up the loom, work on my polymer projects, etc.   Also there is storage under the seat for my sewing machine and other craft items.   Wish I had the money for the custom paint job but alas.....  I have plenty of storage for everything but my spinning wheel and weaving loom, I asked one of the owners if they could build my bed higher so that the loom would fit (it folds flat), he told me to send him the dimensions, frankly I am to send a wish list and they will let me know what they can and can not  as well as  the price.   Some of the suggestions that I have received so far from the forum are:
central vac, taller toilet with 2" riser, heat strip in the A C, ice maker, outside shower, solar and extra batteries, Onan generator, inverter, electric driver seat, microwave/convection oven, electric awning, regular oven plus the microwave/convection, awnings over all windows, 120v plugs in all rooms plus 12v receptacles for charging electronics.

I also saw on the Nexus website that a lady from RVW, a group I belong to, had just brought a Viper.  I looked her up in the RVW directory and just sent her an email.  Hope she answers, I asked a lot of questions so I hope that I did not scare her off. Another lady from RVW saw that I was going to the PA show to look for my first RV and she was going to search for her first one, she wanted to meet but I did not check my email until this evening, I did send her a note back to contact me and we could get together to talk about what we saw at the show.

Tomorrow I will make another Rescue Mission drop, it still does not look like I have made much progress.  I basically am trying to think of what I take with me in my van when I travel for my job.  I never know how long I will be gone, the last time was 4 months,  so I have to take all I enjoy doing for the precious time I am off.  When I am in my RV, it will be  the same only I won't be going to work.....what  of all my possessions that I do not want to live with out?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Life Changes and New Beginnings

I have an announcement.  Most of you know but this post is for me to scream out loud and for anyone that does not know.

I am retiring June 1 and will be a full time RVer.  My blog will have a little about what state  I am working in, and what I am crafting but it will mostly be about my challenge to downsize all my craft items to what can fit in a small RV, my search for the perfect RV as well as my fears and joys.  I want a record of everything up to and beyond my new beginning so that on a cold winter night after I have been on the road awhile, I can sit back with a glass of wine, read this blog and reflect on all that got me there.

I can't say that I sleep better since I made my decision because my head is filled with too much; however this is the end of a life long dream, I remember when my children were very small, my father went with me to look at small trailers and camper vans because that is what I wanted to do.  My parents never discouraged put everything on the back seat. In fact, just  before my parents died, they went with me to look at fifth wheels and told me that it would happen, I just had to believe.   I know that they will be  with me this weekend when I go with my son on Friday to the MD RV show and my daughter and son-in-law on Saturday to the PA RV show to actually look for not a dream but my home.  I won't be buying one this time but collecting the information on the ones I like so we can do some extensive research.  My daughter wants me to make a list of what things that I must have in the RV like insulated windows and wood floor.  Why a wood floor...because I love wood floors and have never had any, now my new home will have a wood floor among other essentials.

My plans at the moment is to travel 6 months out of the year and stay in an RV park in Florida for 6 months. As a matter of fact, my daughter and I plan on going to Central Florida in the spring to visit some parks so that I can make a reservation for October and November.   During those months it will give me  time to do extensive research on other parks in the area and stay a month or two in them.  I think I will know at the end of the 6 months which one I would like to stay 6 months in the next year.   I did find that there were parks that give very cheap rates if you sign a lease for 6 months, hopefully my son in law and daughter will have moved down  in the next couple of years.

I have joined two women's group, one is very active and consist of full and part time RVers.  The online site has lots of advice that I am drinking in.  The other one is not very active on line but has chapters all over the country.  In fact, in November, I am going to Lancaster, PA for their Thanksgiving rally were I hope to meet and talk to ladies about their life on the road, safety, boondocking (no water, sewer, electric) and whether they use solar panels, cell and internet, etc.  My daughter and I are doing lots of research but how nice it will be to actually talk to people that have conquered this.

I have already had a junk man take the sofa and loveseat, and tomorrow I have bags of clothes that I am taking to the Rescue Mission.  I have lots more clothes and some furniture to take in the coming weeks.    I will give any dress work clothes to the Dress For Success organization.  I just wish that it would be as easy for the tons of yarn, mounds of fabric and other stuff I have.  That is why I decided to tackle the furniture and clothing first.

I know that my son is taking my Department 56 collection so I can visit  my little houses and my treadmill.  My daughter will take some of the yarn  my big TV and I will keep the small one for my bedroom when I am in Florida.   I have an expensive handmade kitchen island table that one of them will have to take.   The rest of the furniture will go to the Rescue Mission or the dump. My daughter is going to scan the photos out of the pile of photo books and boxes that  I have, I will probably get an external drive for her to put them on.  I think we will probably get rid of the  paper photos after that.  The goal is to  just keep plugging away until nothing is here.  I would like to get everything done by March and then move into the motorhome.  The problem is this job, I could get called away for months.  This last time was 4 months.

That is all for now.  I hope you are as excited as I am.

Friday, June 15, 2012

My New Toy

I have a new toy.  It is called a   kick spindle.  I purchased  mine from Heavenly Handspinning and is called the Calypso.   I just could not figure out how to use a drop spindle but this is easy and fun.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Zappos, The Woolery, and the Pie Kitchen

I  woke up trying to think of what to do yesterday.  I wondered if The Woolery in Frankfort, KY, was the real spinning/weaving superstore .   I had to check this out since Frankfort is only about 45 minutes from me.

As soon as I walked in the door, I had no doubt that this was the REAL Woolery.  The fiber and spinning wheels are just amazing.  Nancy took me into the shipping area so that I could see the new space, and yes this is an a nice size operation.   It seems that the company has just moved to a larger space.

 As I walked in, I saw a spinning class going on but I did not stick my head in.  

My head would not stop spinning because of all the color and fiber goodness.  I did purchase some fiber and two dvd's.    

Nancy and Nancy R. told me that since I was in Louisville, I had to go to Zappos outlet store.  Nancy got on the internet and got me the address so off I went.    It turned out that Zappos was not far from the hotel I am staying at so this maybe a problem.

The parking lot was full and everyone seemed to have a bag full of shoes.  I found my size, and then I saw why everyone was buying like crazy.  The price is half off the lowest price on the box, however if there is a red sticker it is 60% off and a brown sticker is 70% off.   Yes, I found a pair of shoes I liked for 60% off.  May have to make another trip before I go home.

This morning, I went to My Favorite Muffin and Bagel Cafe  for breakfast and decided to keep driving down the street to see what else could be in the area.  I had no idea that the Homemade Ice Cream Pie Kitchen was not far from the hotel. It was 11am and the sign said they were open so I had to check it out.  

If you see a whole pie and want a slice, they will slice it.  I was good....almost.  I got a slice of no sugar added apple pie, no sugar added cheese cake.....then I had to add a slice of butterscotch meringue pie to the order.   I will try to just eat a little of the butterscotch meringue.  

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lynn's Paradise Cafe

I just had to tell you about this place,  I am working in Louisville, Ky, right now and just had a chance to check out some of the restaurants from the book my daughter, TeAntae, gave me so that I could find good Road Food.

My first stop was Lynn's Paradise Cafe.  the book was correct when it said that this is a whimsical restaurant.  Decor is wild and kitschy, and the gift shop up front sells a panoply of useful kitchy items as well as silly souvenirs.  The book said that breakfast foods was the best and I saw that most people had ordered breakfast even through it was 3pm.  The menu had bourbon-ball french toast (Huge) and banana split pancakes.  I also saw Kentucky country ham and eggs and granny smith apples.  The ham took up most of the plate.  I decided on Bourbon burger with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and fried onion.   My side was green beans with ham seasoning.  The food was delicious but I still think it was a little pricey.

I was eyeing the drink menu but I was stuffed.  They had:

Pegasus Pimms
A light and summery drink filled with various fruits, soaking in Pimms and Sprite. Pitchers or y the Cup
World Famous Bloody Mary
We make our own Bloody Mary mix from scratch, put it in with vodka in a 16-oz. glass, then top it all off with a skewer of delicious pepperconcinis, cherry peppers, black & green olives
Gigantic Mimosa
Bubbling champagne and freshly squeezed orange juice
Mint Julep
Our take on the Kentucky favorite
Bourbon with a taste of refreshing mint over crushed ice, then accompanied by a fresh mint sprig
Raspberry Truffle Martini
The classic truffle combination of white chocolate and raspberry, enhanced with icy Absolut vodka and a sprinkle of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Bourbon Ball Milkshake
A frosty, creamy confection of vanilla ice cream, Woodford Reserve Bourbon, semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts, topped with whipped cream

Would I go back, time I will have breakfast no matter what time a day.

As I said, I was stuffed so dessert was plan is to go tomorrow to another restaurant in the book.
Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen.

Stay tuned