Tag Archives: RV Life

The week between

Even when we work several project months in a row, we always have at least one week off between assignments. For the week between our July and August projects, we headed to northern NY for a week with our good buddies Joe & Kim.
We arrived on Saturday and settled into their sweet RV site right next to the house.
It was a perfectly lovely week! Catching up with good friends is always a blessing, and this week was no exception! But I do have abit of a confession. While I was taking advantage of the extra space their home provide and managed to piece together the memory quilt from the SOWER 40th Anniversary Rally,
Gary was taking advantage of a paved RV site and was searching out and repairing a persistent leak in our radiator.
Pretty sure I got the better end of the deal!
(The good news in this is that the T-Shirt went straight to the trash!)
As I said in my post yesterday, we’ve met the most amazing people in our travels. Joe & Kim are a beautiful example of close friends that we never would’ve met if we hadn’t been on this crazy RV adventure! What a blessing they are to us!
Thanks, friends, for a wonderful week of respite.
With just a little engine grease thrown in!

New Things

It’s always fun to get new things, isn’t it? Here are a couple of new things that have happened recently in my world.
My Kitchen Renovation
Now let’s be real, there’s not much to my kitchen. It’s about 6 feet long, and in that 6 feet is a double sink and my range top.
As you can see, when I’m actually cooking (a rare lemon meringue pie in this case), my kitchen can get quickly overwhelmed.
But that pie was great!
As you can see once I uncover my range, I have exactly 6.5 inches of usable counter space between my sink and range. It’s been a problem from the get-go.
Several years ago I started using a stand-alone single burner induction cooktop which, while limiting in how much I could cook, did more than double my prep counter space.

Also – I have not used my propane oven in about 17 years. It was hard to light (like groveling on the floor hard) and since my microwave is also a convection oven – it just never got used. Except for storage! We’d talked about making a change, and finally this spring we took the plunge.
While I was in Vermont, Gary got busy with the ‘demolition’.
The die was cast – there was no turning back!
We purchased a two-burner induction cooktop and installed it front-to-back instead of the traditional side-to-side position. It was about gaining counter space, right?
And then my guy built two spacious drawers.
Added a bit of trim – and Voila – my kitchen reno!
A full 16.75 inches of counter space. And big deep drawers. So.much.new.storage.
And that, my friends, is how you do a kitchen reno in an RV. Or at least, it’s the way we do it!
(It was fun rehashing that meringue pie episode – you can check it  here – When the world gives you lemons)
Jewelry organization
If you know me, you know I don’t wear much jewelry. I hardly remember to change earrings from my standard little blue balls to something to match my Sunday outfit. However, that does not seem to stop me from buying jewelry. Especially earrings. They’re small (don’t take up much room in our tiny house), and surely I’ll remember to wear THIS pair of cute earrings. But although they are small, they also lived in a jumbled mess in a small container. Even finding a matching set was sometimes a struggle. Counter space in the bathroom was also at a premium, and there wasn’t much wall space to speak of either. I used a lovely woven fabric small wall hanging for some of my more dangly earrings
But I was still on the hunt for my plethora (for me anyway) of posts and smaller earrings. Pinterest had lots of ideas, but it wasn’t until I came across this option that I actually found a solution!
It’s kinda on Gary’s side of the room (that’s his clothes cupboard to the right), but he graciously gave me permission to hang it there.
It’s so fun to see exactly what I have, it’s a good reminder to change out those blue balls for something more interesting, AND – now I see there is room for more!
Repurposed towel rings house my collection of necklaces.
Now I just have to remember to wear them!

New Do
UntitledWhen I decided to ‘go short’ with my hair about six years ago, I knew I was committing to having someone different cut my hair every 6-8 weeks. Generally, when I get asked, “What are we doing today?” I just reply – “this haircut, about 8 weeks ago.” I’ve had some good cuts, some ‘eh’ cuts, and some “Well, it will grow, right?” cuts. This past week I was well overdue for a haircut, and while I think she did a good job, she also did a very short version of “this cut, 8 weeks ago”.
Let’s just say I’m good till well after the holidays! =)

Know what else is new? Our Lord’s mercies! They are new every morning, and for that, I am eternally grateful!

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Just when you thought…

…life was nice and settled, along comes a little curve ball! We returned from our lovely two weeks at the cabin to find this when we opened the door.
I’m not sure if you can see it, but there are tiny white ‘things’ sprinkled on the floor and on our shoe rack. They were not there when we left.  Hmmm. I couldn’t tell right away just what that debris was but eventually realized that one of the louvers on an A/C duct had been chewed off.
Uh-Oh. Something was partying in the house while we were away! It had been a long travel day, so we cleaned up the mess, taped over the louver,  brought in the refrigerator stuff, and pretty much went to bed. The next day we did a little more investigating (checked the roof, etc) to see if we could figure out where something could’ve gotten in (knowing full well that small rodents (we’re thinking mouse or chipmunk) don’t need much space to gain entry.) But all seemed secure (ha!), we didn’t hear any other activity, and while we couldn’t figure out for the life of us the reason the louver was all chewed up, we settled back and chose to believe that all was well (except for the need to replace that one vent!).
Ha, again! Today turned into a scorcher so we turned on the AC at lunch time. As soon as the fan came on we were in the midst a snow shower of Styrofoam! Looks like our guest(s) had been around for a little longer than we thought. Thankfully not all of the vents were open, so the snowing was limited, but when we took down all the vent covers (all 12 of them) there was plenty of Styrofoam in each one.
And all those vents? Once we dumped out the snow,
Was I supposed to be cleaning those on a regular basis? Well, regardless of my previous cleaning history, they are now ALL cleaned and reinstalled. Before they were put back (I almost typed ‘before we put them back’ but you know who really did the putting back, right?)I tried to get some photos of the interior of the ductwork – not so very successfully as you can see.
Is that a hole back there?
Gary ‘Great Stuff’ed areas that he could get to that wouldn’t hamper the air flow, tried to fill some outside spots that looked like they might be points of entry, and started up the A/C. He hadn’t put the vents back on yet, so there was still a bit of snow, but cooling was happening!! Yea!!!
Of course, there is no guarantee that the entry OR the visitor problem has been solved, but I do think we’ll sleep a little easier tonight. But trust me – if I hear one little nibble sound, that man of mine is getting getting awakened pretty darn quick!

Also, some hornets have decided that the generator cabinet at the front of the RV is a good place to build a home.  Enjoy your evening, little demons, tomorrow you will die.

Mini Reno

Back in 2003 when we purchased Lizzie, our motor home, she came with a TV in the bedroom. I’m sure if I searched through my photo archives I might find an actual photograph of that TV, but since I want to get to bed sometime tonight – here is a picture from the original brochure (that was surprisingly easy to find!) –
We enjoyed that TV for several years, but with the advent of digital TV and the need for a converter (or a new TV) we gradually just stopped using it all together. Eventually, we removed the TV and gained some storage. Ah, new storage space – a treasure indeed in our little 300 sq ft home. Since it was located in my sewing storage corner (and thus belonged to me, right?), I began to slowly but surely fill it up.
And as often is the case (in my world anyway), it soon became quite the collection of stuff. Messy stuff.
Oy. Keeping it tidy was certainly an option (and did happen occasionally), but that big (messy) cavern in the corner really began to bug me and I began to think up ways to cover it, but still have it accessible. A wall hanging, maybe? A curtain? Since it was easiest to just let it be (and avert my eyes if I needed to), it continued ‘as is’ for a good bit.
Meanwhile…..over two years ago I was gifted some original artwork of the cabin done by the talented daughter of one of our project hosts.  Here’s a screenshot excerpt from a blog entry back in January of 2019 –

As much as I loved that painting, there was absolutely nowhere (as in no wall space) to hang it in Lizzie. I tucked it safely away thinking it would have to wait until the ‘next chapter’ of our life when we would perhaps  once again have more walls.
But then…..as I lay in bed one night, eyeing that cavern in the corner, I realized that the opening was not that much bigger than that cabin painting. Maybe, just maybe, we (as in Gary) could figure out some way to incorporate the painting into a panel/door and we could kill two birds with one stone – find a spot for the custom artwork AND disguise a messy storage area.
I can’t tell you it happened overnight (does anything at our age?), but we eventually got a cabinet door  made, Gary stained and sealed it to match the existing cabinets, and after some discussion about types of hinges and which side should it open up, he completed the installation.
I found a simple frame for that lovely cabin painting, and voila! Problem solved!
To say that this girl is one happy camper about this small, but heartwarming, renovation would be quite the understatement!

I sure do love catching a glimpse of The Cabin each night before I turn out the lights!

Aging Gracefully

Many people are surprised when I tell them we are in our seventeenth year of living  (and traveling) in our motorhome. (Trust me, I’m surprised too!) But what really seems to be the biggest surprise is that we are still in the rig that we started out in, our 2003 Beaver Santiam that we affectionately call Lizzie (after my adventurous grandmother!).

Cobourg September 2004

We (Gary) did a lot of research before we bought our home, and we’re very pleased that she has held up so well. We’ve done some renovations (new flooring, removing the sofa and putting in a desk and upgrading to a residential refrigerator back in Oct ’15) and Gary’s been really good about engine maintenance, massive oil changes, etc., etc., etc. She does have a couple of dings and ouchies, but after all, she’s travels many good miles and parked in countless unusual parking spots! But, every now and again, just like in your house, something just plain wears out. Recently we had that happen to the latch on our front door. Did I mention that it’s our only door? It had been sticking for a while, but we were finding that if you stood to the side, held your tongue in just the right way and asked nicely, it would eventually open. So I guess we weren’t drop dead surprised when the day came that it just plain wouldn’t engage with the mechanism and open. Thankfully, the bedroom window is usually not latched (shhhh – don’t tell the riff-raff), so Gary got out the ladder, climbed in through that window (it’s also the egress window so it actually hinges open from the top), and let us in. He then began the deconstruction of the door to try and diagnose the problem.
Oy – so many screws, so many levers!
Sure enough, it needed a whole new handle/latch assembly. And of course, trying to find that for a 17 year old motorhome was no easy task. He eventually found one he thought would work, and got it on order. The trick of course was that while we waited we couldn’t shut the door all the way unless we were inside.  Well, we could close it just fine.  There just was no way to open it.
There may or may not have been a couple of times that the egress window was used during those days…..

I am happy to report that the new latch is in place and once again all is right with the (door) world. Well, except sometimes, since it wasn’t an exact replacement, it doesn’t actually stay closed. But hey, I used to live in a house built in the 1860’s so I can deal with little quirky stuff like that!

She’s a good ol’ girl, our Lizzie is. She’ll be 18 in March, and while I’m not so sure what that equates to in “RV Years”, we think she doing just fine. We try to treat her with respect, and give her lots of praise when we make it safely to each new destination.  And as you can see in the post header, we even upgraded her outside lights to LED!  Lord willing, she’ll see us through several more years of adventures!

Thanks for stopping by,