Friday, August 31, 2007

Thank Heavens for the Hoe . . . . .

And tomorrow is the day. It’s been a hectic last 10 days getting ready. Saw the cardiologist last Friday morning and he reported my “flutters” are very common - I am just having premature contractions in the atrial and ventricle. Nothing special to do and said go have a good time.

Sarah from Dodge City, came up Saturday morning just to get out of town for awhile. She brought me one of those wind-up flashlights and also brought several things from Sherry, my other friend in Dodge City. Sherry sent up a wind-up combination radio and flashlight and a French Press coffee maker for those days when not plugged into electricity. I can just heat up water on my stove, which reminds me I should pre-grind some coffee beans as the first few mornings I won’t have electricity.

Monday morning I took the truck in to have the tires rotated and have belts, cables etc., checked over. Meanwhile, I was finishing up my last week’s work schedule of 6 days in a row of a 2-11p.m. shift.

Wednesday I just puttered as I was pretty tired. I worked on a grocery list of things I needed and things to leave Juno, did some packing of the trailer and mostly rearranged some things. I didn’t need as many dishes as I had so that left me more room for organizing.

Packed items for chilly nights, including a blanket (that I made no less) to match my color theme! I bought a small ceramic heater to use (when there is electricity), otherwise I will use the heater installed in the trailer.

Thursday was grocery shopping and errand running in Hays. I did some yard work out front and took some pictures of the flowers out front to remind me of what I am leaving behind. Think the worst job I had to do was get all my financial stuff taken care off - bills, reconcile statements and stuff like that. Yuk.

Today, pack the truck and trailer, check all the working stuff on the trailer again and make some Rice Krispie treats to take along! I’ll leave some for Juno. The day getting Eggcarto ready did not go well. At 10:30 a.m. I realized I had an hour or so to wash the outside off before I hit the “no outside watering” rule from 12 noon to 7 p.m. So hurried over there, got the hose out, hooked up my new fancy brush with extended handle, turned on the water and nothing but a shower from the hose end. I am suppose to be able to regulate the flow of water by turning the thing at the end. It wouldn’t open, so took the fancy new brush off and wet down a portion, scrubbed with the brush, rinsed, repeat, repeat.

When I took the spare tire off, the fiberglass had become terribly stained by the dirt that had collected behind the tire. Didn’t have anything on hand to see if it would come off. Decided to carry the spare in the back of the truck. Then as I was cleaning off the top driver side front, I hit the black water vent cap and it came off. Needs replacing anyway as the plastic (or whatever) is pretty brittle - just knew there was a reason why I decided to visit Camping World in Colorado Springs! So it is stuck back on temporarily. I checked the vent cap for the gray water tank and it’s okay for now.

I also wanted to see what was the matter with the microwave in the trailer as I have never been able to get it to do anything while it is hooked up to shore power. The finger pads on the control panel just wouldn’t work. While I was trying to get it out of its extremely tight spot, I pulled the control panel off breaking the little catches that held it on and pulling a couple of wires loose. Now it really doesn’t work. It got stuck on something on the bottom and since I didn’t have a whole lot of room to work with, I decided to take off the cabinet door above it. That was easy and then it made it a whole lot easier to get the microwave out; opps, now the upper shelf is falling down. Since Jim (my ex) was there, we emptied the cabinet and pulled out the microwave.

I thought I cut some boards long enough to fit underneath the shelf to hold it up but they are about 1/2 to 3/4 inch too short, had to jury rig something up so I could reattached the cabinet door and will use the vacant space for more storage. The microwave is sitting in my bedroom and will worry about it later after I come home.

I almost forgot to do my laundry. I do keep extra clothing on board the trailer, but just the idea of dirty clothes sitting for 4-6 weeks in my closet didn’t sound good! Eventually, I would have asked Juno to wash the clothes - probably after she complained of this “smell’ coming out of my closet!

I cleaned up my bedroom so if Juno has company she can use the bed. I stopped at the local library and picked up a couple of books to read by James Patterson.

Tonight I put my Casita Club Directory numbers on the front of Eggcarto so if anyone is coming towards me on the highway and knows about the Club they can look my number up in the Directory and see that it is NomadWoman. Only problem is I started drinking a beer when I started putting up the numbers. The 4 numbers and the “K” for Kansas are pretty straight, but the “S” in “KS” has become my beer “S”.

Got almost everything I bought for the refrigerator put in - and then I got home and saw my jar of ice tea! Opps, a little rearranging to do in the morning.

All that is left to do is load the back of the truck up with my camping gear, have breakfast, say my goodbyes, get gas and then I'll be on the Interstate to Colorado Springs.

Oh ya, the garden hoe. I accidentally discovered how great it is for retrieving things from the front of the bed of the pickup. l don’t have to climb up into the bed to get something up front. It’s also great for shoving things into place.

Good night and sleep tight.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Bed Sheets are in the washer . . . .

and that means it is getting close to departure time. Took Eggcarto to my friendly service repair man and he checked the tires, put a little bit of air in one, and put the new wheel bearing covers on for me. I flushed out the water pipes and put the water heater anode back in. Am here at the house getting some lunch while the sheets wash and dry then take Eggcarto back to his parking spot.

I did practice again backing the trailer up and am not doing too bad at parking it to my right. I have clear tape around my passenger side mirror (backed out of the garage to close to the door frame one night and it serves it purpose right now) and I use that as a guide as to where the rear right yellow clearance light should be in my mirror before I turn the steering wheel the other way. But if I have the opportunity for a pull-thru site, I'll take it!

I work for the next 6 days straight and then I am off until the end of October. I see the cardiologist this coming Friday, a good friend is coming by this Saturday morning to visit before I go to work, truck gets checked out on Monday, then start loading. Daughter Juno is going to have a nice quiet month plus while I am gone. And, she gets to do whatever yard and house work she wants to, for it's her house you see.

I am to be in Moab, Utah sometime Tuesday, Sept 4 where I'll meet up with Kathie, from Ft Worth, and where I have a reservation at an RV park for two nights. Wednesday, I hope to explore the Dead Horse State Park area and go through the Island in the Sky district. Thursday, Kathie and I will head out early morning to Capital Reef National Park where we will meet up with two other folks and start out excursion around southern Utah.

I'll have a short post before I leave . . . . . .

Monday, August 13, 2007

I Welcome you to my Traveling Boudoir. . . .

So what were you expecting? Maxine?

I have been wanting to personalize my living situation in a manner that would make me feel comfortable and welcome. One of the things I have done is to put some personal pictures around and to select themes for design... I love lighthouses and the southwest. Interesting combination? Yup. To accent the various seasons, I made valances to go over my windows - I have summer, fall and winter so far. Haven't found any material that sets off spring yet.

Here they are up close.

Summer w/leaves & Flowers

Fall w/ fall colors, natch

Winter with red and golden cardinals

My friend sitting at the dinette table holding a family picture. My kids picture is on the table beside her.

That's my brother Fran, at Knott's Berry Farm

Southwest pictures on the cabinet doors and lighthouse magnets on my stove hood

I have a new green rug for the floor as I figure that nights might be a bit chilly and that wood floor could feel a bit cold on my bare feet, especially if I have to get up during the night. . . .

The closer it's getting to depart, the more anxious I am getting. Anxious to leave that is. I will be climbing the Rockies and this will be my first experience going up and down those big mountains with a trailer behind me. Big Red ought to handle Eggcarto and the rest of us easily. From Grand Junction, it will be south on the western side of Colorado to a little town of Naturita, then west over to US 191 and north to Moab, Utah. There I will meet up with my Casita friend Kathie and we will head to Capital Reef National Park to meet up with other fellow Casitians touring southern Utah.

My list of things to do before leaving keeps getting longer instead of shorter. Ho hum, it will all fall into place and then we'll all be off on a new venture in a few weeks. I'll post again shortly before leaving.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

It's August Already!

Wow, a month since I last posted! Either shows you how busy I have been or haven't been.

Actually I have been busy. Am preparing for my next venture which will take me to southern Utah and northern New Mexico. Am meeting up with some folks, who own Casitas too, at Capital Reef National Park in early September. After spending a few days there, it's off to one of the other many Parks in southern Utah - Bryce, Zion, Escalante....... While the group is touring the north rim of the Grand Canyon I may head over to see Glenn Canyon, Natural Bridges, Monument Valley, Mexican Hat and the Goosenecks of the San Juan River, step on the 4 Corners of the states of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico and then head over to the mountain area of northern New Mexico before heading south to Socorro to surprise my son for his birthday at the end of September!

Some portions of this trip will include "boon docking" - in my case doing without plugging into an electrical receptacle or hooking the white hose to a water faucet for a constant flow of water, i.e. relying on my own tanks and electricity. I will be learning the "basics". I do have a solar panel to recharge the trailer battery and hope to learn more about that source of recharging from others. The contact with the outside world will be limited and that could be fun (or scary).

Some of my projects have included making a "box", for the refrigerator in Eggcarto, from plastic canvas and craft cord. On my first trip I got tired of pulling small items out to get to something in the back of the refrig, so I made a box that I can put small things in. It covers half of the space and the other half will include my large things - milk and juice containers, etc. I just slide the box out and there is everything organized (I hope). I also put a "railing" around the top shelf with left over canvas, as again, when I needed something it was at the back or when I pulled the shelf out, items fell off. So when I pull the shelf out, items will stay on the shelf (again, I hope).

The replacement windows are in the house. Ten windows were installed and it looks so much better - at least no more rattling from the storm windows when the wind blows. That will be nice this winter as that sound always seemed to make it colder. I got single-hung windows and they are the kind you can open from the inside to clean. And, with the rain guttering up that's enough projects for this year $$$$$.

I have bought some material to make "seasonal" valances for the windows in Eggcarto. Ahhh, cute you say but you refer to Eggcarto as a "he". And I finally drained my water heater on the trailer. Ugh, that should have been done when I got home. Eggcarto still needs a bath and I need to finish putting the clips around the blue rope light on the outside. I discovered a hole in the top of my television antenna, made by a hailstone. Right now good ole duck tape is covering it (haven't used it yet anyway).

Otherwise, doing exciting things like trying to keep up with the lawn mowing and weeds. Normally, this time of the year there isn't much to do since it is normally hot and dry and everything slows down; BUT this year like in other places, we have been unseasonably wet and a bit on the cooler side. Oh, and there is housework and work to fill my time.

Just got an email from a fellow soloist Kathie (met her at the Bluebonnet Rally in Bandera TX this year) and looks like she is planning on joining us for the southern Utah tour. We are going to try and meet up ahead of time somewhere and travel together to Capital Reef together.

An old friend from 30 years ago, whom I had lost touch with 10 or so years ago, found me via the Internet - my kids, etc. Sheryle and I are getting caught up and she doesn't live that far away - out in Colorado. So we will be doing that and eventually seeing each other. Hi Sheryle!

Wore a heart monitor for 2 days, nothing serious or to keep me from doing my thing. The cardiologist wants more information about the heart flutters/quivers I get. I did discover a acupressure point to make them stop - haven't told him yet - and the spot does work. The number of flutter episodes has decreased remarkably as well as the strength of them, in fact I hardly feel them now. The point is your eyelids - gently touch the closed eyelids with one finger from each hand. The first time I tried it, the flutters stopped immediately and the few times I have had them, they have again stopped. You might try it if you have the same thing. I'll find out the results later this month.

Until later.........