Monday, March 30, 2020

The Biggest Find EV_AH

I'm from Boston and still have the accent. LOL

So, my day!  Took my ride around the park and gas station and planned a list for Roger to go to the grocery store. Our friend Lois called and said she over heard someone say that Family Dollar was getting a shipment and would be open around 1 P.M.  So, Roger said...that was the plan.

As you know people started hoarding paper goods and wait..everything they could grab. Living in an RV fulltime, we can't store alot and frankly, we would not hoard.  We are down to one roll of toilet paper then , YES, Roger sent me this picture!!



I've been giddy all afternoon. And they are perfect for our system. BONUS!!

The next big thing was Amazon delivering a couple of things I ordered.

I wanted to try the copper knee sleeve. Right now, even though I measured it as it said, it's a bit tight but feels good.  I'll see how it goes and let you know in a few days.  My knee has been doing ok but I notice sometimes at night its a bit swollen.  I feel like it has a bit more protection with it on.

Oh, and the Benefiber? Somehow the M&M's just don't give me enough and with the stress right now I figured it wouldn't hurt.



It was a challenge painting a digitized photo as a painting. But..it's done and my client is happy. Getting Fed EX to come get it so I can ship it off.  Now on to the next couple. Thankful and Grateful.


So that's it for today. Waiting for Roger to come home so I can start the wiping down of everything that comes in including him.  As all of you, that's our new normal.

Just finished wiping groceries and sadly, people grabbed more than one package of toilet paper. 

But on a positive note before I post this, I started baking again after 5-6 years of our full timing. My daughter sends me her recipes she gets on Skinny Taste.  I've made muffins and doing that today, just waited on the eggs and tomorrow I'm going to make simple bagels without yeast.  (you so know what I'll be blogging about tomorrow and if they are fantastic I'll post the recipe)

So, have a great rest of the day and please stay safe.

Warmly,
Sheila


Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Quiet...

When we are in New Hampshire for the summer we are in the woods and it's so so quiet. It's peaceful and I'm at home.

Today, here at our park in Florida, I went out for my daily bike ride around the park and up around the gas station.


We are about an hours drive to Orlando International Airport so we are in the flight path from the planes coming off the ocean and could track others going over us heading North or South with Flight Tracker.  The sky was just one contrail after another and when they'd come in over the ocean, just about over us, they would slow as they headed for the airport. You actually heard the engines lower and it almost sounds like they stalled then powered up again.  The quiet. No planes have come in over the Atlantic in the last couple of weeks and the one or two contrails that we did see went to four or five as people flew from New York to south of us.  It's now back to maybe two, but to Orlando. 

No one is out here. It has been crazy hot, close to 94, 95, which is early and people do stay in.  But there's a quiet I can't explain.  The noise from I 95 has lowered, less cars. It's Sunday so not so many truckers but we will probably hear them more this evening and through the night. I sleep with my window open so I can hear the sound. (City girl and it puts me to sleep. Except when one blows a tire. lol)

Not sure when we are leaving so thankful we're here and safe.  We workcamp in N.H. so praying all will be well and Roger says we can make it in 5 days rather than our usual 2 days here and maybe 3 there way of travel.  As Roger says a lot these days, "were living the dream"..but, as I say back to him smiling..."We are". 

Sitting outside last night with a lovely breeze we actually had company!




Roger throws corn onto the round for the birds and this guy came over but didn't see us sitting there. Then he did! 


I've been working of this painting for a couple of weeks now. The reference photo is digitized to look like a painting. The client asked for the portrait to be similar.  It has been a challenge but the client is pleased. A bit more to do on it then off it goes.


The Original Reference Photo Below



Well that's it for today. 

Stay safe and know I'm thinking of all of you.

Warmly,
Sheila





Saturday, March 28, 2020

How Life Has Changed...For All Of Us

When we packed up to leave our campground in New Hampshire this past October, as I was locking my cute little studio, I got a premonition that something was going to happen that may stop us from coming back next season.  I've got them throughout my life so I'm not surprised and I tend to rationalize them. I put it in the back of my mind as I just didn't want to leave my little studio. (and that may very well be the case).  Now, enter Covid-19. The feeling is still with me but it just may be I'm picking up the universal anxiety. (and missing my cute little studio, my family there and the park)

Our son has type 1 Diabetes so he is off limits, our daughter in NH along with our Granddaughters and a Grandson in the Navy. A lot of texting. I noticed the other day my hand was hurting, lol, but it could also be my playing mindless games on my phone.  On Thursday mornings, myself and two other women meet , 6' apart and have coffee together, just to feel "normal".  Roger has been working at Jackson Hewitt doing taxes. He's loving it but as you know the tax date has been extended so his hours are getting less and even though in Brevard County here in Florida, the numbers are still relatively low, we are considered....seniors.(73) (we are but I refuse "elderly".LOL ) Soon he' ll be home 24/7 and maybe then the "feeling" will stop.

So what do I do to stop the crazy from getting in my head?


"Never Gets Old"
Cold wax and oil

I was doing this one for a show here in April but of course that has been canceled. The positive is I can see a few places I may want to darken areas so nit a bad thing to hold off til the Fall.


No name for this one but I splurged and bought a great set of watercolors, Schmincke.  this is on a 12' x 12"  140lb watercolor paper from my rodeo references. I'm loving how the watercolors just flow..positive?...I ordered more watercolor paper to paint more.


This is in progress. I was doing this for the show also . Cold wax and oil. Positive on this is I really get to look at it, relax and have fun.  This is a friends Croft in the Highlands that I absolutely fell n love with. Talk about DNA memory.  This is one of her photos and thankfully has let me use it. 


Then I celebrated a birthday. Roger had to work so the dogs and me went crazy!! Yes, they slept!!



Strawberry airborne. Hey...I know how to party!!!


My daughter sent me a recipe on blueberry ricotta muffins. Actually they were chocolate chip
but I added in blueberries with them. Positive? I haven't baked in years. lol Healthy and fun.


Commissions still need to be done. Working now on two more.

The campground we stay in is behind this BP station. It's also a Stuckeys and were right off of I 95. It's usually packed with cars coming off for fuel along with truckers. This was taken in the middle of the week right around noon. The positive? People are really staying home and I get to ride my bike around without worrying about getting hit by someone not looking. 


And....the huge positive...we get to sit outside our rig, by a small lake, watch the gator and watch a launch from Cape Kennedy.  This is the AtlasV.


I pray you are all safe and your families as well. That's what's important. We are happy right now staying in place with people we have known since we started this journey. We feel safe. We are looking forward to heading North as long as it's safe to do so but for now it's day to day and praying we really don't run out of toilet paper. LOL LOL . Roger was able to buy kleenex. LOL  We couldn't have even if we wanted too, no extra room. Positive? we know how to do this..after living behind a locked fence for weeks in Orlando trying to get our coach fixed and having no sewer....ya, you get the picture.  and yeah....Roger's making breakfast! 

love you all and pray you all stay healthy and well. oh, and find laughter in the insanity. 

Warmly,
Sheila









Friday, March 20, 2020

How Life Has Changed

Well, it's almost been a year since I last checked in with you all and I bet now you think I'm going to chat about the virus crossing the world.  Not today because that's not what changed our world this past year. As you may have remembered our Sammy got us across country and back then this past summer we could see it would be his last.


Near the end of our season in New Hampshire he stopped jumping up on our bed and stayed on his bed at the foot of ours. He was still able to climb in and out of the rig but when we got to Florida mid October we had to do a boost so he would get up the stairs.  His amazing zest for life was such a life lesson for me with my wonky hip and in November, a torn meniscus in my good knee. (That's a story in itself. lol )  He wanted to go out so we hobbled together and enjoyed our time. On one of our walks I heard his rear legs toenails scrapping on the road, he was starting to knuckle. Our Chocolate Lab ,Fergus, knuckled when he had brain cancer so we knew like was changing for Sam. He kept on going even on the days we thought, oh this is it. He'd rally, wag his tail and want to go out for that walk. On some days it was 4 or 5, but he was our boy and we knew we'd miss him.


I told our go to Vet Mike that I'd pray at night that he'd go quickly so I wouldn't have to make that call but every morning he was up wagging his tail, wolfing down his food and wanting to explore. And I was thankful.


Our daughter and oldest granddaughter came to Florida, January 22 and Roger and I went to see them at our sons house. Returning home I found Sammy laying on the floor and only able to lift one side.  A small stroke? I don't know but I knew the next day it would be the end. So many nights I slept on the couch beside him because being in a tight area scared him so that last night that's where I was, stroking his back to let him know I was with him.

14 years and 4 months shy of being 15.

Sammy lived his life vigorously. Swimming in our pool non stop even when we weren't in it.  Fast doing agility but unable to be away from me in a crate so we stopped. A catcher of birds, a lover of life and truly loved to travel with us in the coach. 

We have heard his toe nails on the floor and his actual bark . The puppy he loved and raised, Ozzie, is lost without him so he has taken over his spot in the living area. He's finally stopped moaning, yes, dogs mourn. Lola, who Sammy lost patience with because her playing was body slamming and poor Sam would be in pain.  She learned quickly Sammy was off limits.


So on May 10 we will lift a glass to his memory. 
A great life lived!!!






And, omg, I miss him terribly.

Warmly,
Sheila




Saturday, July 20, 2019

Time Whizzing By....

Wow, slow it down...that time! Before we know it we will be preparing to leave for the south and you'll say, what in the world did you do?

We arrived safe and sound at Wellington Camping Park in Lee, NH.  We have come here for the past two years and this year we are actually workcampers.  A beautiful park set in a forest along the Lamprey river.  I took this photo the other day as I was sitting outside the office. The park is full with seasonal campers and I tend the office while Roger cleans the bathrooms and gets the trash.


The other huge bonus was the Wellington family let me have an old shed that was left last year and guess what I did with it?!!!

I have an art studio!!!!!

The mosquitoes are crazed right now so I bought one of those magnetic screens for the door. As Seen On TV.  It velcros all around the door frame and then during the night, falls down.  I have chair tacks so I put those across the top and voila'...it's perfect.




Happy artist!!!

...and her assistant!!!


And look what I've created in my new space!!

Arizona Plains...18" x 12" x 2" cold wax and oil on cradled board.


I've totally fallen in love with cold wax medium.  You'll be seeing so many more pieces.

Our Senior boy Sammy.


He's 14 and has weakness in his rear legs and every time I think, oh this is it, he pops up wagging his tail and is ready to go for his walk or gallop up his dinner. He's not ready yet and doesn't want to miss a thing.  Everyday he teaches me something new, one of which is slow down and enjoy the moment and I do. I push the daily aches and pains away and just enjoy. 


A few of the paintings I did this summer.  I work inside the rig on super hot days and on the days I do watercolor.  The days we work are 6 hour shifts alternating 3 to 4 days, my assistant, Lola, gets panicky that I'm not around so I'm happy to be inside for a bit. 





The story of the washing machine.!! Sweet lord.... So, before we left Florida I grabbed the handle before the blinking light was a steady slow blink. Sigh. I pulled it and stood there with a handle in my hand, not attached to the door.  We were able to rescue the laundry but that was it.  This summer, Roger was able to get a replacement handle and together we actually repaired it and it's back up and running. Believe me I am so gentle with the handle it's like a sacred artifact!

The story of the toilet. Last year it was awning and slide out covers, this season it's appliances.  In Florida our electric toilet died and we bought a similar electric toilet from our friends. It had been in their rig when they bought it and smartly, they pulled it out and put in a foot peddle model.  We installed it before we came north and it made a loud noise similar to our old one just before it passed away. Oh yes, the replacement toilet died. The positive note was it had a handle in the back that if you bent over, rested your head on the back part, you could turn the handle so the disc would open and flush. That's a positive you say?? HAHAHA, yes it actually was. Then that glorious moment came when Roger said.."It's time isn't it". A resounding YES!!! 

Amazon had the same model in electric and foot model. He ordered the foot pedal model, china bowl, easier to clean I think and I feel more like it's "Home" ,to be delivered in a few days. 

UPS dropped it off a the owners home and her son brought it down to us. Thrilled, I called our new, he actually comes, RV repair guy.  Roger went out a few days later to the store, came back in and said Amazon delivered an electric toilet! NOOOOOO!  He called and they said they'd refund us and we noticed they charged us more than it was listed for so bonus on the refund.

Jeff, the new RV guy came and installed our new Throne!!! And yes I'm super cautious about stepping on the paddle extension...Haha...


Toilets, washing machines, work camping and painting...then I get to see my girls!! I was adopted so I never "looked" like anyone in my family. You do have similar habits, expressions and people say, "you look just like your Dad", of which I loved, but my daughter Erin, far right, is the first person I ever connected with biologically.  Then her brother Jamison. Sometimes I feel like I'm a start of a lineage but when I see what my two grandchildren do I wonder what ancient ancestor passed that trait down.  In front of me is Morgan. Artistic, talented with a love of adventure.  Then Kelsey, an amazing dancer with such a passion. I cry every time I see her dance. Where does that talent come from? Proud Mum and Gram!!



So that's it for now. More paintings for show and tell soon . 

With the crazy heat across the country please stay safe and hydrated and remember your pets need this attention also. Lola and I will be in and out quickly today as well as our Sammy. Ozzie seems ok but I'm thinking an in and out for him also.

Until next time, be well and thanks for following along on the adventure of a lifetime.

Warmly, (probably not the perfect word for today,,haha)
Sheila





Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Our Travel Update So Far

We spent longer in Georgia at Lake Harmony RV Park than we anticipated but it was so nice and our friends, Betty and Bob who we traveled out with, were arriving on the 1st of May so we stayed to surprise them.  A week at the park is a bit pricey but if you get the site on the lake so worth it. Extra days ran us about 39.00 a night.


While we were in Georgia I got the front curtains made. 3 84" panels placed sideways and a small hem at the top to put the pins that hold it onto the little circle do dads in the curved rail on top of the window. They are lighter, somewhat black out, massively inexpensive and easier to clean.  And they look nice!


 The last night.


Sammy getting ready to travel. Everyone needs to be in their places.


But not before Lola gets a last stroll in the lake. She's afraid to go in deep and I keep her on a long lead but she loves wading.


And we're off!!!


Our next stop is The Barnyard RV Park in Lexington, SC. About 39.00 a night through Good Sam and we just stayed one night. I got my poor plants out of the shower so they could breath. Someone placed the plant on the road before we left the park last September and I've been re rooting and planting ever since. Excited. Leave no plant behind!!!


Our next stop was Ft. Chiswell RV Park in Max Meadows ,Va.  I loved this park last September so we came back. The back pasture was under some sort of construction so the cattle and sheep were out front the first night. This is also a two night stay for us, and we got in and hooked up just before the thunderstorms and rain started.




The next day was a celebration day...

Sammy turns 14!!! 


Ft. Chiswell is $38.00 a night, big pull thru's and quiet.

Then we had to leave!

RAIN, RAIN, RAIN!



A three some odd hour trip took way longer this travel day. There were sections that it just poured. This area wasn't bad but everyone seemed to like to zoom past us. We let them. Traveled slow and made it safe and weary to Shenandoah Valley Campground in Mt. Jackson,  Va.  We were staying one night. Then today were heading to Carlisle, Pa and the Western RV Park. One of my favs. (It has tubs of different flavors of Hersheys ice cream.)

We arrived at Western RV Park and Roger asked if our site would be available for another night and voila'...it was!

This is the way to the Western RV Park.  I have to smile because when we were first starting out on our adventures and total newbies this would have been part of our adventure. We would take the wrong turn and end up driving through a neighborhood that was marked "No commercial or heavy vehicles". I would wave while cringing and hoping the rig wouldn't sink into the road but thankfully we haven't done that in a few years. 


At the end of the lovely neighborhood we see the entrance gate to our stay.


I've changed Sammy's "meds" around and I'm finding he's more alert now during the day. At night I give him his CBD oil and he sleeps soundly but daytime is his Technyflex pills. One in the morning and one in the evening with dinner. If he has any inflammation or pain it will be reduced or taken away. From his excitement on going out for his walks..he's doing great. 

And he's got us to our place for two nights perfectly!!




Our view from our bathroom window. (Why do I suddenly feel like singing an old Beetles tune?? haha)


Well that's it for today.  Tomorrow we head to Matamoras, Pa (though I keep calling it metamorphosis ), for one night then up bright and early the next day to drive to Lee, N.H. It will be a long drive but I get excited being from New England. It's home.  We'll be seeing friends and family and I already have a date with my daughter and granddaughters for Sunday...Mother's Day. What could be better!!

Thanks for coming on our journey with us...I'll be back to painting and working at the campground this year so it will be a fun season! We have experienced deluge rain and so far the resealed seams have held beautifully.  Our other "project" this summer is to paint CiCiBlue's walls. Not the wood but the beige wallpaper that they put in RV's.  Passing thoughts have been, hmm, sometime trade her in? (Shhh, I never said that CiCI) but you take the risk of buying someone else's problems. The Universe knows what we/she needs and I have Faith. 

New cold wax and oils coming and some fun dog/Lab art too. Roger's making eggs and bacon so I am so ending this!!! Love you all!

Warmly,
Sheila









Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Being Fearless

Even when you're feeling totally out of your comfort zone. 

The campground here has been a welcome stop. Our love our neighbors where we stay in Florida but every so often I need an amazing space and SPACE. As you know, this site faces the lake and we feel alone. 

 So this is why I'm out of my comfort zone but I have to say, loving every minute of it.  Watercolor and gouache on 140lb paper that I've not used before.  It was a square format, which I love, so it came home with me.


I wasn't happy with the shadow under the dogs's leg so I needed to wet it and bring the tone down a bit. Also added a pink glaze of color. I like the second version much better. Subtle suits me.


I'm making excuses to do plein air.  Oh it won't dry in time, even though we are here until next Tuesday.  I'm thinking Dear Lord, it's all green out there.  Let's see what the afternoon brings. Sheila, just do it....!


Our friends!



What do we do the rest of the time here? Well, neighbors next to us are from NH so of course we bonded.  Then at 4:00 P.M. it's happy hour and listening to Lola call to me.  Take her out? She doesn't like the heat so she complains and wants to go back in. Oh my word, fussy girl!! Hahaha.




I'm having fun taking photos with the new iphone. Also looking for reference photos!




May you all get a chance to sit and do absolutely nothing today and not feel guilty!! Around 1:00 I'll take Lola for her walk along the lake edge. I'll try and take a video of her bravery!! Shhh, don't let her know I laugh!! She thinks she's really adventurous!!! I just love her to bits!!

Have a great day..more updates soon. Friday it's expected to rain so good day to make new curtains for the front window. 

Warmly,
Sheila