Friday, September 22, 2017

The Verdict

Well last evening we got the news to have CiCiBlue all wrapped up and ready to go by 8:00 A.M. this morning for her physical. We woke up about 6:45 A.M. to get the kids out for their walk, make our coffee, feed them and get stuff to bring to the waiting room. We actually walked out the door here at 7:57 A.M. We are GOOD!

We entered the waiting room, which by the way had windows, comfy chairs, a coffee machine that made hot chocolate and was large, and Lola settled. CiCiBlue was taken in to be inspected right away, no waiting. Yes, I'm really liking this place already. We have a Cummins engine and a Dynomax chassis, (Country Coach design) and we are now at a Fire engine repair shop that services Freightliner and Cummins. 

Denise is the front desk person this morning and asked if we had other paperwork for work that was done recently on our coach. I walked back through the service bays with Alex our mechanic and crawled into CiCi to find the paperwork and returned to the front. During the day we chatted, me trying to figure how we could get a discount. I even tried the "weary woman with three large dogs?" Denise said, no, sorry, but she loved that I was trying! What I did find out was Freightliner parts are already discounted and I'd be doing ok. Soon after this Alex returned to let me know that while we had our rig over at Cummins having work done, they never changed our air filter. We figured, silly us, that "please change the filters" would have covered all of them. From now on it will be something we will specifically ask for. Alex said it hadn't been changed since 2010. He showed me the old one and yup, it was disgusting. I'm surprised CiCiBlue was running at all. The next thing was on our new alternator, the old belt had been replaced rather than a new one. A new belt was in order. The last thing was tightening a clamp then we could go. 

Then Sammy asked the next question that was on our mind. What about our exhaust system? Will we make it across the country with it being like it is now? 

The service manager simply said, NO. He said we would make it to South Carolina but that's it. Our exhaust has multiple holes and would in fact be dangerous to our engine and us if we decided to travel. After hearing the sound our coach made when it was just idling, we said we would discuss it. Our decision was to cancel our plans for South Carolina and stay and have our coach fixed. 

The parts will be shipped two day air, on us, and the job will be about 11 hours. Wednesday we will go to a hotel for the night then on Thursday come back and collect our girl.(after emptying our pockets of our pennies) Actually it's not as bad as I had originally thought, and don't you get excited when you find that out, even though it's expensive.? Yes, brushes will be flying once again.

Alex brought CiCi back out to her spot and I asked him if he would put blocks under the drivers side wheels so we could put out our slides for the weekend. We are now level! Slides out, kids happy to be home, as well as Roger and I. Even though our plans have changed this weekend we will have free and good Wi-fi, we get Netflix, bingeing tonight, and on Sunday we will be able to watch the Patriot's game. Life is good! 

We get to be surrounded by cool fire trucks. I so feel like a kid!!


I finished! My first watercolor "water and dogs". Really pleased how it came out, so you know there will be more!! 

Lola is looking at her watch so it must be time for their dinner . Time to go.
Have a great night and see you tomorrow.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Wait

So here we sit, slanted, outside the bays at Five Star Fire. Yes, we did try to level but the pitch is so that our bags said, ahhh, no way. Another thing on our list of repairs..air bags. It's not too bad, the list, but we only opened up the passenger side slide. 

They did tell us it may not be until Friday that they "look" at us so we are in that waiting mode. I'm foreseeing a weekend here. At least we have our car so if we need anything we can get it. So as of now, no news. 

Unfortunately, the bedroom slide is on the drivers side so I sleep out on the jackknife couch. The first night was pure hell. The couch is old so I felt every bit of steel in the frame and Ozzie slept on my legs. Needless to say my back is really hurting. We forgot that we had a foam pad in the car that would have helped. Duh. Last night it was on there! Back still hurts but it will get better! As you can see the kids are thrilled with the foam pad. 

Roger took this yesterday as I realized that we were here for a bit. Yes, discouraged, but today a bit more hopeful. Watching Hurricane Maria and hearing no one really knows where it will come close to. One path was really close to where we would/will be in North Myrtle Beach. So did the Universe have us slow down? Or was it that horrid bump on 295 N in Virginia that did it. Ha ha. Positive thought is that when it's repaired we can actually have a conversation standing outside next to CiCiBlue and not have to scream. Yes, it's that loud. Funny, I've been telling Roger that when I go nto the bathroom while we are traveling that it's really loud back there. How do people sleep while they travel? I don't remember it ever being that loud before? So, all and all this is a good thing and we never seem to get to where we are going when we are "supposed" to be there. Maybe that's the life of a gypsy. 

I finally got out of my slump and grabbed my watercolor pad and supplies. Easier to use while we are in wait mode. I've had the picture on my phone since we were in Georgia a few years ago and finally decided it may be a fun piece to paint. Lola never went past her waist but this year in the river actually swam. It will be fun to see what she does at the river in California.

Five Star Fire is, I believe the go to place for RV break downs. I have read great reviews about the service and they sell fire engines! What a hoot. My Dad used to bring me to the fire station as a kid and I loved it. So, in their front office I could buy a whole outfit, boots and all. You have to find the fun side of all life's trials and tribulations.

Ok, going to raid the fridge and find something for breakfast. I'll keep you updated when we find out stuff. Have a great day and find the fun things in your life today!!


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Day 1 On The Road

So my plan is to do a blog about the good and bad of RV repair shops across the country. The ins and outs of their tiny rooms. Coffee ? Extra goodies? Windows in their tiny rooms and is there color added there too?

We left Wellington Camping Park, a place I love, about 11:30 A.M. after packing, loading and hobbling. We were all set. CiCi Blue was running perfect, a little loud but still going great. Hurricane Jose was coming closer to the east coast so we did run into some rain but still, she was doing fantastic. 

So, when you get into Connecticut heading towards New York, you run into HILLS! The first group we did great but then the one that seemed to have a but longer grade, CiCi started to slow. Then, really started to go S-l-o-w to the point we weren't sure she'd make it. We were yelling "GO..GO" like she could hear us and we made it to the top. Roger said, "so, what do you want to do?" I replied with, "Pull over and stop. I don't want to end up on a hill and not being able to go further" So we did and called our go to people for breakdowns.

I put out our triangle warning thingys and we sat waiting for our return call letting us know where we could drive to to have her checked out. And voila', here we are at Freightliner. They also deal with Cummins engines so we are confident. The manager went uner really quickly when we arrived and pulled out a broken clamp and said there was a hole in our exhaust. (deer in headlight look here)

So, here we are be continued!!


Drinking wine!!!!!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Getting Ready To Roll

This is our last weekend in NH. For this season! Monday we leave for South Carolina. We will stay there a week then start our journey to California on the Colorado river just down from Lake Havasu.

We are much better prepared this time as far as buttoning up the coach, thankfully, so we are just moseying along here. Today is overcast and I'd like to get some artwork done then tomorrow and Sunday we will stow our gear.

In my outdoor studio! The canvas is 18" x 24" and it's a Newfie in the ocean on a misty morn. I was able to get the basics on now that it's drying I'll start to do glazes. It brings out the color actually while adding the misty effect.

Two 8" x 6" RayMar canvas panels. I can work on these today inside.

My latest "Lola in the Field" piece. Not sure how much I like it. I did add an orange glaze to Lola's head and a deeper purple to the shadow. I call it my "Where's Lola" painting.  Last evening I took a great photo of Lola out on the field with a pink striped sky behind her. That may be my later today piece!

Even though we are in New Hampshire, I went through the pangs of Hurricane Irma with family and friends in Florida. This is what I could do during that time. 9.5" x 9.5" on 300lb paper.

So last Saturday, Roger and I went to Wakefiled, Ma to join in the Walk for ALS. Our daughter Erin's best friend has been living with ALS now for about 4 years. With two young children, Amy has fought hard everyday. I couldn't walk the 3.5 miles but Roger, Erin and our two grandchildren did.

Erin and Kelsey


Praying a cure is found.

Recently my Amazon account was hacked. My email was changed. I am having a bit of an issue with Amazon and contact them every two days. Today, after yet one more complaint from me, my email was restored. However, as I started to change my password and have them send the info to my email, I realized that it was going to the faux email. I then went on to my account page to remove the incorrect email, don't you think they would have done that?, and then realized that the offending person changed my password as well. I am now back to "12 to 24 hours someone will contact you" or two business days".  I asked if this has been an ongoing issue of people being hacked and was told no. Then why can't one of your IT guys go into my account and remove the old email and restore my password or at least let me do it?  So, no ordering anything for a bit, at least 12 to 24 hours hours anyway. 

Ok, going to paint so I'll relax. Have a great day and I'll let you know how our prep is going as the day arrives for traveling.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Where Oh Where Is That Leak

It may rain tonight so I borrowed a ladder from the park and this morning attacked the passenger side slide out.

The upper right hand corner had a huge messy build up of silicone so I went up, cut it and pealed it off.  Then, after dropping the silicone gun three times, I finally got a nice clean bead, well, sort of, on that corner and top.  Then went around and checked windows and edges that looked like they needed sealing. After accomplishing that I got the silicone spray and sprayed the awning areas that moved. Weather tightens the gears and they scream as you open and close them if they aren't lubricated. That then concluded my maintenance for the day. After I lugged the ladder back up to Pete, one of the camp hosts, I came back to sit and have another cup of coffee. I'm hoping that I finally, yet once again, found the leak.

Lola and Sammy wanted to take our afternoon walk about 3:30 P.M. so off we went . Roger and Ozzie left early this morning to go to the Kancamagus Highway to take photos so it was just the three of us today. Lola knows "wait" so when Sammy became slow or the leads were getting tangled or I was being dragged a bit too much, that's what she heard and stopped.  We wandered to the apple orchard and on the ground I found this beauty. It's a Red Delicious, small since they just are wild right now and haven't been given any nutrients, but still have their flavor.  I was thrilled that Lola walked over it. It was mine!!!

This afternoon I decided to stay inside with the kids and work on this piece.  Tomorrow I should be able to finish it, putting in the fur and paws, Love how it's coming out!

I started this yesterday and now I plan on working a bit longer tonight to see where it goes. Lola is asking for her dinner, a bit loudly, so I may get that ready and then paint in silence. Ha!

Have a great evening. Thinking, as you are too, of the people of Texas and what they are experiencing.  Prayers.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Yikes, Time Flies And I've Been Busy

It's been crazy busy with friends and family coming to visit, brushes flying and my trip to Boston.  Where do I start?

Yes, I've been busy. Lola has become my Muse and she has kept me busy inspiring me while we walk out on the field by our campground. Each watercolor and gouache is 9" x 6" overall with the image being 8.5" x 5.5". I plan on going back to my spot on Daily Paintworks where I can display them for all to see much easier than the Facebook shop that I went to. It was free and convenient, except no one could find it but me. I'll take good photos of the images tomorrow then get it back up and going.

Along with these pieces I've been doing commission work and the brushes have really been flying. I don't think I have been this prolific in years. Guess I'm happy being "home".

This past Saturday I drove down to Boston with my oldest granddaughter, Morgan, to see our youngest granddaughter performing with the Boston Community Dance Project.  She danced with young adults and teens in a flowing production called Humanize. Oh the talent that was on that stage. Needless to say I was totally blown away.

Our granddaughter Morgan, then the youngest and the amazing dancer, Kelsey and my daughter Erin.

Before the show we ate at a restaurant across from the Boston University Dance Auditorium.

I grew up about 20 minutes west of right here where we were eating and so many memories came flooding in. From the 4th grade I rode the "T" everyday to school. Right through high school and then art school in downtown Boston. I had to get a photo but back then they were big orange cars with one pole that attached to the electric wire overhead. Oh, and brown padded seats that were torn and worn from all their years of duty. (bet you thought I was going to say something about how the horse and buggy picked me up at the corner and got me there..LOL..)

Eclipse day. I sat outside and listened to a lonely cricket for a bit, then it stopped. The stillness and quiet was really noticeable and I loved it. I wasn't sure how I would experience the moment so I took my Muse and walked to the field.

Yes she needs grooming but this was Lola at the moment of the totality which we only got about 75% of. The light dimmed and I had to get her photo. A woman was driving by and yelled if I'd
 like to see the eclipse and that she had glasses. She jumped out of her car and pointed me to the sun since the glasses were totally black to look through. Amazing. One of the workers here had a cereal box viewer so I also got to peek through that too, but not as great as the glasses. 

Almost time for dinner, the kids are circling me as I write...

Tomorrow is the last day of August and then there is 15 days left.  Tomorrow I am trying to find, yet one more time, where the leak is on our driver side slide out. We now really have to repair the wall but will wait til we get to California. My plan is to remove the old piled on silicone and replace with new. Wish me luck and pray it's not raining. Roger is heading back up to the mountains to get pictures with Ozzie. The last time his camera failed so hopefully it all goes well for him too.

Ok, chat ...tomorrow? If I conquer the slide I'll do a show and tell, but since I'll be on a ladder and may just be a tell!!!

Have a great night...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Where Have I Been?

Finding my other roots. I grew up in Boston but spent my early adulthood in New Hampshire. My daughter and son grew up there and my daughter and her children are still there. (here)

One day I'll do a tour of Dover and Portsmouth and do the show and tell of where we lived but today these are pics at the ocean between Rye and Hampton.  A perfect day, so clear, you can see all the way to the Isle of Shoals. I could even take a photo with my iphone. 

The famous horse ranch. 

We stopped along the way to "smell" the ocean.  Sounds crazy but there really is a different scent to the northern ocean as compared to the Florida ocean. Probably due to the rocks, seaweed and shallow pools of water along the coast. It definitely smelled like home.

Interesting house, Sheila. Well, it is. Crazy bit of info, Farrah Fawcett once spent time at this house and was spotted nude sunbathing on the top porch. Poor woman had no peace.

We drove around for a bit then, of course, stopped for ice cream.  Doesn't everyone? The rest of the week became a bit crazed. My goal was to get more work finished but Lola had other plans for me. The following morning I took her out for her walk and she squatted, and went, but then squatted 7 more times, not producing any urine. As soon as we got back to the coach I called the local vet and got an appointment right away for her. We were away from our favorite vet so I was nervous. The vet here was really kind and gentle to her, (I thought he was just out of high school he looked so young, or I'm getting that old. 😔) He took a clean sample of urine and the next morning I received the paper work. I had no idea what it meant so I started Googling everything and did see she had an elevated white blood count. The vet called and said to keep an eye on her but two days later, the squatting started again. Google won, (I research everything)  so I called back and asked for a prescription for an antibiotic. Having 2 dogs that went through cancer, our Sammy eating a corn cob and having emergency surgery and, oh yes, two children, one gets to realize that Lola needs meds. We are on our second day and she's doing great and I even remembered that if I stick the pill into a glob of peanut butter she gollops it right down.

Today I started a new watercolor. My sister and her husband are on their way here for a visit so I'm not getting into anything too much. Tomorrow back on schedule!

So, yesterday, (yes, Lola had me worried) Roger and I discovered yet another fun ice cream place. The Bloomin Cow in Newmarket. Fresh made ice cream right there in the old mill. I love mills. When I lived in Dover I had a remodeled apartment in the old Sawyers Mill. It was on the river side right by the falls and in the Spring the water rushed so strong down between the buildings, the whole place shook. A friend had a basement apartment and the water was so furious it came up over his window and flooded his place. 

There was an exit bridge way on the bottom floor that you could take to get to the corner store. It was always cold going through that area. There were many people who said it was haunted and I swear I could feel a presence as I ran through. It was inside but I don't think I ever just strolled through that passageway. 

And here she is!! Lola Bear!! Feeling so much better!! 

Have a great night all and see you tomorrow. (lobster, (lobstah) tonight!! Ohhhh fun!!)

Loving being "home"