Monday, April 22, 2019

Update From Lake Harmony, Georgia

We rolled out of Crystal Lake RV Park this past Saturday one day later than planned due to a crazy storm coming across. Onto 95 North for a 3 1/2 drive which ended up being about 4 1/2, 5 hour drive.  Easter weekend and everyone was out driving. Jacksonville, Florida was a sheer nightmare with multiple accidents and just insane traffic.

But, before we left....

The first art show I've participated in in years. Wasn't sure if the long flowy thing looked like a robe but it covered those "sins".



The work in the show was amazing and I never thought I'd get a prize of any sort.  

The names were called starting from Honorable Mention towards Second place and I clapped excitedly for the winners. When the First Place winner in Oils and Acrylics was announced  I wasn't sure I heard the name correctly.  My artists friends were there, Roger and my son Jamie and wife Pam had just arrived.  Jamie was texting my daughter, who was texting me..I was teary.. and understood the Universe was sending me on my new journey in art.


Still in shock, my name was called once again for a special award.  And yes, Roger heard the story over and over for days. Ok, a week and a half!!! 


Back to reality! A friend emailed and asked if I could do a quick portrait for her daughters birthday. The fur became a challenge being so many variations of brown.  My friend sent me a video of her 11 year old daughter opening the gift and it was better than any monetary payment I could receive. She actually hugged the painting!!



Ok, back to travels! Well, almost. Our toilet died. It's an electric toilet and for the past month "we" had to ratchet it open and closed to flush.  Friends had one stored after switching theirs out for a pedal flush so sold the electric model to us. Voila'!! And just how many people do you know that show you photos of their hopper!!


One of the casualties of having dogs is one of them has long fingernails. (Note to self, buy clipper)
Ozzie loves to sit and lay up on the front dashboard and in his crazed oh my god there's dogs and people walking by moments, he has torn the plastic. I bought a cheap rug and cut it, as you see, first on the wrong side, to fit somewhat. Velcroed it down and again, voila'. Yes, he also broke our vent cover which I found a replacement on ebay.


Traveling positions. Lola by me.  She only gets up if we slow down or stop. God forbid she misses a chance to speak!!


Then our boys. Ozzie to the left and Sammy sound asleep on Lola's bed. Brought out for travel. 
Sammy, almost 14, always surprises us. He can be slow and "old" but when we start to travel he becomes pretty quick and young again. He just loves traveling!!



We made it. I unhooked the car at the entrance then Roger followed the greeter to our site and she aided him in backing into the site. It's just off the road but our door faces the lake so we don't see anyone. Oh you know I'm loving this!!



 We sat outside last night with a glass of wine to watch the sunset. I'm taking reference photos!!!



CiCiBlue in all her glory. 




Just a few more from this mornings coffee hour. They call them "Snake Birds". Anhenga. 




Roger placed our rockers out by the water. 


In spite of her missing awnings, her scratches, (Beware of flying debris when the lawn guy comes around) her little bulge from water damage, CiCiBlue still looks regal.  I'm making new front  curtains for her this week. and I tell her when I sell more artwork we'll get her a new couch and comfy chairs for Me! People like trading in and up to newer models. Our thought? We have actually put our life savings into getting her running along with friends help, Bless you, and there's no way we'd part with her. (There's a reason people part and trade up ).  CiCi is strong and true and this year learned the correct way to reseal seams so that's on my summer to-do list.  


Ok, a small headache from high pollen count today so I'll close and write more another day. There's an art class here in the park tomorrow. I just may find out more and join up.

Thanks for following along on our journey. Hope you are enjoying yours too.

Warmly,
Sheila


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Count Down Starts Again and A Silly Mistake

Yes, the countdown starts again for us to get ready to head north to New Hampshire. This year we are doubly excited since we will be working with 5 other couples at the park that we stay at.
Where Lola's field is!  Wellington Camping Park is heaven. This will be our third year being there, our first working.  We leave Florida on April 19 and head for our next stop in Townsend Georgia. Our plan is to stay a week in a site right on the lake.  I'll be taking you all with us once again and hopefully you will see my plein air attempts!!

So last evening my 6s iphone decided to die. My reference photos are in there, my phone numbers, reminders and what nots. Phone...DEAD. Roger has had an iphone for 8 years and that thing has died many times and as we found out even had it's battery explode. It was time.

Off to AT&T and as we walked through the door I said, "My phone is dead" and I went to show him and suddenly it flew out of my hand and across the floor.  If you know me you will know I laugh at anything, and there I was laughing hysterically. The poor man.  But...the phone came alive.  Short story, we left with two new phones that make me feel like I'm holding a book to my ear if I answer it. 

Second foolish event of the day. With the larger screen I figured I could go into my blog and do some "stuff". One area said, fill this in if you want your blog to show up on Google. Ok, says I.  I start to write in "livingthe artistsdream"  . Then I took a closer look and what I was reading was Living the Rapist Dream. Sweet Mother..NOOOOOO.  It took 30 minutes for me to find out how to change it but if you come across it at any place, it's artists dream.

Our winter...quiet..which I liked this year.  I concentrated on my art and selling strategies to keep us going. CiCiBlue has more issues, nothing that will stop us, but her refrigerator is starting to act up once again. I pulled the handle of our washer/dryer as I went to clean inside, then our toilet, electric, decided to die. Friends replaced there electric toilet with a peddle model so they are selling there's to us. The awnings? Insurance only gave us enough to fix the over the door awning, which we never used but looked nice. We made a decision to have our large patio motor replaced and the seams on our slideouts recaulked. 

So tomorrow I am bringing my three new art pieces to be in my first art show in years, I'm really excited to have them be out there. I'm being pro active so come back often as I will be posting new work more often. Much more. LOL


Cold Wax and Oil 
Under The Desert Moon

Cold Wax and Oil
Living The Rv Repair Blues


Secrets
Watercolor and Gouache

 In Progress
Watercolor and Gouache

A new series....
Because they make me laugh!!

I'm happy to say my watercolor Burro/Donkey series has been going great. I'm finding 72 is'nt so bad after all....It's the new 62 isn't it?? (Please tell my aches that though...)

Ok, so dinner is ready. I'll close but I'll be back more often. Half of CiCiBlue has been waxed, (by me) and I have the other side to get to.  The positive side? It should get me into better shape.  Next on the list is throwing out stuff I haven't used in a year. Just clutter.  I'll get to it.

Thanks for following..get ready to travel and see new art work and crazy views. I still shudder at the though of going over high bridges....with the new phone those photos should be spectacular..LOL

Warmly,
Sheila

Thursday, January 31, 2019

A New Year And A New Start

I started the year feeling hopeful.  This will sound strange but years that my age ended with a 2 were always exciting even though some had a bit of sadness added in.  I was 52 when my parents passed 6 days apart, but I had moved to Florida and started a new life.

This year I turn 72. To my younger friends, that sounds damn old but to me?, I don't notice it unless I pass a mirror. 😬 Anyway, my goal this year is to start a new series and be daring.  Monet did his waterlily series in his 70's so it's not over and I am expecting great things. Retire?  I don't think I know any artists that have retired, lord, I'd be miserable to live with if I wasn't painting or doing some sort of artwork. It's what I wanted to be when I grew up...still doing that, so it's not over yet.


I bought a box of 10" x 10" cradled boards and thought, hmm, time to get out there and do plein air, until one day a friend on Facebook showed a piece she did using cold wax with her oil paint.  I'm a fanatic about finding out the what's and why's and how to's so off I went to Google. I was finding you tube videos on how to begin but everyone seemed to be doing abstract with this medium.  People like it, artists create it but I will tell you honestly, I have no clue. My goal? Learn how to use the wax combined with the oil paint and go back to before my dog technique and do my own thing.

Painted Desert above is my first painting with cold wax.  It's mixed with the paint you put out on your palette, wear gloves because holy cow it's everywhere.  After putting on a good healthy cover of color and scraping it over the board to show my darks and lights I started constructing the scene. Oh..thick brush strokes and textured.


Living The Dream RV Repair Blues  18" x 18' on cradled board.

And the series begins. I used myself as a figure before in my art, cathartic at the time, but now this piece would be just a part of the Painting Across America Series.  The background down I used one of my paint sticks to draw in the figure, keeping lines and adding them to various places. Like my watercolors I feel lines are the bones of the work and add interest to a piece.  

It will be fun to see how this all goes. Abstraction? Who knows where it will lead. Dogs? Oh of course they will be included in the cold wax process and I already have one painted in my head.

Redoing my web site and adding older work to Etsy.  I'm not sure but it may be the same sheilawedegisart on etsy.  Haha. Easier for me to remember.


RV stuff...We actually received a check from the insurance company about our awnings however the only thing it covers is a motor for our large patio awning and having our slideouts re siliconed on the seams until we win the lottery.  It's all good.

Lola had her Spa Day!!!   


I didn't realize that she was getting her summer trim and it's been cold in the mornings. Always a Mum, if I'm cold then they must be too so on goes my sweater. She strutted right along and didn't even glance at me twice as I was rolling with laughter. She just looked oh so cute.  She has a weird growth on her neck so we're off to the vets next week to see about it. Prayers please. Who else would make me laugh so much?

Waiting, hahaha, for the repair guys to install the awning motor.  They will come. Our next project is buying tow new tires for our front wheels. 7 years is the time to purchase regardless of tread. 

And on that note, (a shameless plug) please remember that along with regular payments for purchasing artwork I also do payment installments.  So I better start my day. Three cups of coffee, one with a piece of a chocolate bar dropped in, and my ration of CBD oil to focus, I'm ready.

I'm hoping to post blogs more often, not time for depression to sneak in this year, it knocks but I'm keeping that door closed so far!! Have a great day and thank you for stopping by. I think you will love the new series..don't miss it!!

Warmly,
Sheila

and the gang!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

It Comes Like Little Cat Paws

It's been quite awhile since I last blogged. Dealing with our RV insurance company, having the awning fabric blowing up to be a sail, the cover blowing off on the highway, thankfully not killing anyone, estimates, photos then all to find out the insurance won't cover it.  There's something coming..I can't hear it but I just know.

Finishing up commissions for Christmas kept me going and I have to say I'm amazed that I keep getting better as I age.  The dogs are good, Roger is good, but I still feel like there's something close by.

Oh, there you are..DEPRESSION. It has snuck up on me throughout my life but I'm good at covering it. Smiling, waving, chatting away but this season, not so much and a cold on top of it just isn't helping.  So many people get depressed this time of year , not being with mily, financial reasons, sickness. You don't want people to know, its' such a "weakness" but it's not. It's real and part of your makeup. My heart goes out to others. This time I told one friend who is always supportive and we text regularly. My children texted and facetimed for Christmas and it was glorious and I am grateful , it so helps. I am lucky, I have great friends, some I've never met but have no idea I'm frozen because of those cat paws that came stealing into my life.

So here it is, a blog totally muggled and disjointed.  I guess by saying it now I can put my boots on and start climbing out.  I'm getting to the point that I'm saying "damn the awnings", (short of starting an awning Go-fund me page..JOKING!!!)  I just want our big one to be fixed so it blocks the sun and I can paint outdoors.   The dogs hair will always be drifting through the rig and what would it be like not to have them? Not an option.  Art supplies..yes I've been doing retail therapy the past few days, a good sign, and thinking about what my plan is for 2019. A few more commissions and then I'm on my own so to speak.

Depression also brings with it a bit of agoraphobia so the only time I leave CiCiBlue right now is when the dogs have to go out. I know..therapy? Been there and I know the triggers and actually know what to do. ART! The meds actually curbed the creativity so those are gone and CBD oil has replaced that and helps me focus. Putting the words on a blog is actually sending those cat paws in another direction, I'm not alone and damn those awnings.  The trigger was actually the insurance company saying yes, we will cover it to, well, maybe to, yes we will, to, ah, no.

Thank you for listening. Thank you for being friends.. (Oh Lord, was that just the theme from the Golden Girls?)  5 more days to the new Year and a new beginning of art and adventure.

If you suffer, and one does, from depression, tell one friend. Try and reach out because sure as shootin' I bet that friend also knows what it's like and can reach back and help you climb back up.

I'll be back in the New year so have a wonderful rest of the year and be happy and safe!

Warmly,
Sheila and the Gang

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

It's Been An Adventure

Well we stayed a week in Ct. having our generator cut out, repaired and welded back in. What was Country Coach thinking that year they built her?  She had to be put on "stilts" to raise up the front end so the work could begin, which meant we couldn't stay in CiCiBlue for two nights. So we went to our ol standby, Motel 6. They only allow two dogs per room so we get two rooms. One for Lola and me and one for Roger and the boys. Yes, a little weird since we are all together all day in one room, but policy is policy.


We had to stay in our rig for the weekend then on Monday we had her finished up, stayed overnight, then on Tuesday, that one week mark and leaving them $3,498.50, we headed out on the highway with our generator purring.!  Fixed, one Onan Generator, one new chassis battery, odds and ends wires, and servicing the engine and generator and lubing all things that need to be lubed.  CiCiBlue was ready to roll. 

Not sure if you remember the summer fiasco of us waiting to have our awnings repaired? Santa Ana winds out west did a number on them but we had to wait until we were settled for a bit before we had them fixed. And not sure if you remember that the first RV Repair guy came and took measurements and even chatted with our insurance agent. He never returned. Number 2 RV Repair guy. He came and took measurements and actually sealed a seam on our slide out and swore he'd return. "That's awful what that guy did to you, we will fix you right up". He never returned. Before we left NH we were lucky to get a man who rolled up our large awning til we got to Florida and got a new motor. 


While we were traveling, Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle of Florida. Bucket trucks passed us all the time heading down to help. 


We made it to our second stop in Pa. and decided to stay for two nights. It was going to rain so it would be good to stay put. Our next stop would be a short ride to Virginia but, you know, life happens inbetween. 

I started to hear a banging up on my side and I sat down in the stairwell to look up to see CiCi thinking she wanted to turn into a sailboat! The rolled up awning started to unfurl. At one point it was about 2 feet into the air above us as I had visions of us being pulled in a direction we didn't want to go. Thankfully we drove right into a Pilot and stopped in back beside the trucker scales. We went out to look and then looked at each other. We have Coach Net. The AAA of RV's. We pay yearly and for those who say it's pricey, well, it's already paid for itself! 

Their first question is, "are you in a safe area". Then you tell them your issue, ours being we have a sail boat dreamer and we can't get up there to do anything. Within about 30 minutes we had someone to come and save us. Actually, we followed him to their shop so they could figure out what to do. 




Roger kept telling me he was just going to shut CiCi down and head to that building behind him!!! LOL


Who needs a ladder when you have a truck. Zip tied and bun-geed with heavy duty cords. It was going to stay like that until we cut it off.



They did a great job and we left after the cost of $150.  Service call and bungees. Zip ties..free!

Back on the road!!! 

Our next stop was in southern Va. (I think, because you stop and go some many times you forget where you are!)

Fort Chiswell RV Park in Max Meadow. 
if it didn't snow here this could be a place I'd stay!




Our rig was in front of this photo. I was in heaven. Lola was not quite. The steer stopped and just stared at her and she stared right back then barked and lurched. Ah, LOLA..no were not doing that. I was telling the young man at the office/store (That only sold wine and beer and rv supplies, and you say, ya? what's the issue?) and he told me that the herd is run by dogs so when they see one they stop and wait for directions.

We made it to South Carolina and stayed one night so we could drive today to Georgia and be closer to our final destination. Everything was going great and a trucker passed us beeping his horn. We were over far enough so we weren't sure why but then we heard a noise and Roger saw something black fly off the top of the coach. A branch from the tree we were under last night? Probably. That's when we heard flapping from the drivers side of the rig. Again found a rest stop. I am the one who gets out to check dolly ties and tires so I went around to see the awning fabric flapping away. Hmm. Then I notice our awning cover has blown off.  Now what do we do. That awning comes down so Roger and I decided to do that and cut the fabric off ourselves.

The cover itself is a heavy plastic but smashed into our dolly fender and I'm hoping landed on the ground so as to not injure someone behind us. Now we knew why the trucker was blowing his horn.






Naked awning rail. Oh ya, we look really classy. LOL


Getting awning fabric totally off and the metal awning thingy back up and locked? FREE.

I'm frustrated that this all could have been prevented if the RV Repair men could have been responsible to return my calls, many calls and just said we can't do it. We could have looked for someone else. But, as you know, I always look for the positives...I'll be painting more, and yes, raising my prices a bit but having payment plans in place, and CiCiBlue will be getting new awnings all around. It will be a winter of..ACTION!!!

Friday we head down to Florida to be there for the winter season, unless I get wanderlust. It was hard driving by the entrance to Highway 40 west...Hmmm...

Have a great night and thanks for joining in our adventure. 

Warmly,
Sheila and the gang.




Tuesday, October 2, 2018

And We Thought We'd Be Out BY Noon

The alarm went off at 6:45 A.M. this morning and we stumbled towards the dog leads, put them on and took the kids right out so we could feed them and get to the waiting room by 8:00 A.M. The mechanic was right out to get CiCiBlue and bring in her in to get her worked on. 

Our list was lube the chassis, check the wiring in back that goes to the tow dolly, do the yearly service for engine and generator and a connector on one of the batteries was loose.

The mechanic came in with paperwork....servicing the engine went well. HOWEVER, your chassis battery is reading fair, and it's not a high fair but a LOW fair. If you don't do anything it will be dead in months. "MUM", Lola says, "What will we do??"


Then the mechanic returned... the connector wires to the fuel pump in the generator are shot. There is a separate fuel system for the generator apart from the engine. We depend on that generator to keep us up and running if electric goes off or we're traveling in really hot weather and we can have a/c.

"Mummm...I think I'm getting depressed"


The mechanic continued..."The wires in back that attach to your tow dolly are really messed up. I can cut them out and rewire that system for you".  The wires attach to the tow dolly and give us turn signals, running lights and stop lights. Important, so that was a yes too.

"Oh you guys", said Ozzie wearily. "No need to worry, as long as I have food and treats life is good"


So in the morning the chassis battery will arrive along with our connector wires and the work will commence again. Hopefully not too long. Estimated time is just before noon. I went to the car and got 4 blocks of wood that we used in New Hampshire and asked the man who drove CiCI out front for the night to place them under the wheels. Last night it rained and at the angle we were at rain seeped in the bedroom slide.  Tonight we just opened one side since we are in a parking lot and people use it to turn around. Don't want anyone to drive into us.

So here we are. Pouring rain and severe thunderstorms are going through. We made reservations at a campground about 3 hours away in Pennsylvania and we'll stay two nights just to gather ourselves and recoop. It's stressful sitting forever in a room all day. A strangers room.

Sammy says that he's very happy to be home and sleeping in his own space. They are so good and the guys come in and gush over them and they wiggle and wag. If you break down or need work done I so recommend, yet again this year, Five Star Fire, in Hartford, Ct.  They just work on RV"s and fire engines. Cummins, Freightliner, they know their stuff.


Ok, now that the storm, thunder and lightning is right on top of us I guess I'll close. 

Have a great night and see you all tomorrow, hopefully from Pa.!!!

Warmly,
Sheila

Monday, October 1, 2018

Submarine Life..RV Style

I guess I'll start this backwards.  We arrived about an hour ago in Hartford, Connecticut at Five Star Fire. It's the same place we were lucky enough to come to last year about this same time. This year, however, we made the choice to come because of the amazing service they provided




Our list is yearly service and look at the generator that had been shutting off on our way north to New Hampshire, but of course ran beautifully today.  Our tow dolly lights don't work so that's on the list along with a connector on one of the battery cells. Chassis lube and I think that's it. Our jake brake threw on our engine light at one point and just didn't connect but the second time we put it on it was fine. The sand and grit out west has actually solidified in places and turned to "brick". Not really but that's how I'm seeing it. I have also noticed that it attaches itself to silicone and it has dissolved the rubber so I just flake it off. Needless to say I got my trusty gun out and resealed some areas before we left NH. I'm getting good!!

So why are you in a Submarine lifestyle tonight Sheila? When we arrived we came in as we did last year but had to go out back, remove the car and dolly...(I did it all and yes, I'm tired) then turn around yet once more and come in the opposite way. The area we we park at is on a tilt and the tilt just may be too drastic to put out our large slides. We did put out the bedroom slide since it's smaller and it's electric. Our other two is an electric and one hydraulic. We opted to go Sub style for the night. 



The piles you see are from the stuff we put on our bed when we roll. I actually have less and very proud of downsizing yet once again.  I will say I don't know how Roger did this in a real Sub with tons of other guys on a submarine for 6-7 years. Ah youth.  He's actually very comfortable. Me? I'm so tired from getting stuff ready to roll this morning and getting the car on the dolly, did I say in the rain, I'm happy just sitting here at my small table. Roger is making hotdogs and beans, on the road food in case we are out and rolling again tomorrow!


And now back to the leaving of Wellington Camping Park, Lee, NH. This was our second year. We love it. Sites are big, you are in a forest so you're likely to see wild animals, which we did. One day Lola and I were walking back down the path on the side of the field and looked over to see a coyote running down the middle looking at us. Then one day a bear decided to wander in. We saw deer eating way at the end of the field and a family of coyote running along the tree line on the far side of the field. They are probably hanging in the woods saying..OMG, I saw a human and a huge furry animal walking down that far path.  The park is peaceful and quiet and the people are fantastic and the bonus, my daughter and her family live 8 minutes away. 

We love it so much that Roger and I will be working there next summer. We're excited!

On our way to Ct. Rain off and on but not bad.


And now Sammy has Ozzie in training to get us places.


It's an important job you know. Sammy has been doing an amazing job but he said he wanted to give Oz some on the job training!

And now that we are settled, I'm celebrating our perfect arrival, taking Lola out then crawling into bed. Thankfully the tilt in CiCiBlue will have our head up and feet going down so it will be a comfy night.


Have a great night and now that we're on the road I'll be back to give you daily updates.

Warmly,
Sheila