Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Eve And What A Week

It's been a week hasn't it since I last posted. Bring Lawyers,Guns and Money is all I can think of in my head. Haha.

Let's see, Christmas was actually fun for us. A huge dinner with about 40 people in the hall with ham, potatoes, a zillion  cheesy potato casseroles, and other yummy things.

The day started with Santa, (Tom) dropping gifts off out at the picnic table for the kids. One bone each, wrapped lovingly and a huge box of dog cookies. We don't give our kids raw hide bones but today they got them, with watchful eyes as they gnawed forever. They were thrilled!!! Such a kind thing to do.

Dinner started at 1 pm.

Sandy and Randy. We bonded quickly. They have an Open Range 5th wheel which is what we were going to buy before we got CiCi Blue. (And they are fun people)

Roger saying Cheers!!!

After dinner I moderated a Yankee Swap, or known in the south, A Santa Steal.  The gifts were to be $10.00 and those who brought one got a ticket. I called one number about 10 times until Roger yelled to look at my ticket. Duh. The laughter was constant as the stealing started and it was so much fun. 

Now the lawyers, guns and money time. Yes, the person, me, who wanted solitude has been appointed activities director for a time. I also deliver flyers on my bike. A mix up with New Years Eve dinner and after party became confused and two people had their feeling hurt. As a result, the woman's husband was furious with me and my partner in crime, Cheryl. He refused to speak or acknowledge either of us. The owner told him it was her oversight but alas. After I apologized a zillion times to keep peace I decided, forget it. 

Next, The owners went on a three day vacation and left Cheryl in charge with me as back up. hahahaha. The owners were only gone for two hours when an older gentleman drove into the wrong site, backed up and trying to get out, backed into a huge rig damaging the awning on the slide out.  The gentleman said he never hit the rig and didn't want to discuss it. Backup was needed. Down I went and looked at the damage as we tried to reason with the gentleman. The police were called but since it's private property there is nothing they can do. Short story, it was resolved and home I went. 

One hour later, Cheryl called me again. A puppy had been left, what we thought then, for a month in a hot trailer and was dying. We had a crowd for this one. It looked like skin and bones and so so tiny.  We got his name, but no phone number. Called the police again, called animal service and tried to break into the trailer. One woman got a fishing pole and lowered a bag of water into the trailer for the baby. We told the owner of the park and she said we couldn't break in, she would be sued. Plan B. I went to the office to try again to find the phone number and the owner called and told me his correct name. We found the number and she called him. She immediately called me back and said that someone told him people were trying to break into his trailer. She said, " Get away from there". We were at that point wiping fingerprints off 5the windows. Hahaha. Cheryl and I stayed as the police woman arrived the same time the trailer owner arrived.  The officer spoke to the guy. He had saved the puppy the night before from a man who was just letting the litter die. He had to go to work and thought the pup would be ok. I went to him, he's about 22 maybe? and asked him if we could care for the puppy during the days he works? He was delighted. So Cheryl and I do every two hours, cuddling and making sure the baby is ok. It's a Cur, and Glen has another Cur at home that will be a perfect Mum for the baby as soon as she is wormed. 

It all ended fine, no arrests for breaking and trying to enter and no suing of the campground. And...the man who was ignoring me is waving and smiling again. 

What did I learn this week....that even though RV-ing is a freedom, some people still think they should have what they had in their stiks and briks . In fighting and gossip still happen. An old, old class A came in this morning and you can see the people are poor. He needed help getting hooked up with some things and I asked a few men that worked on their rigs. Their response was for the man to read his manual. Two other guys I'm friends with went right over to help just get him hooked up to the services. Simple. Kind. Another thing I found was even though I want to go run and hide, in some small way I made a difference this week. 

It's 2 o'clock and time for my run to the puppy, so let me wish you all a very prosperous and Happy New Year. Spread your kindness and smile to others. You just never know whose day you will make better.

Love you all,



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

So Close To Santa Coming

I can't show you the painting til after Christmas, but this is how it looked before it went into the box.  I had to put push pins all around the edge of the canvas so it wouldn't touch the foam core as it was still tacky. You can see the disaster of the coach from me working and pitching things everywhere to get this done.  Hopefully it should arrive at it's destination today or tomorrow.

Today I drove down to Melbourne to my old studio to meet a friend to give her a painting of her love.

She misses this baby as I miss my Sophie. I met Peg a few years ago and really never got a chance to chat. We'd meet at art shows or Gallery openings that we were both in but you just never get that chance. Today we may have chatted for about 15-20 minutes and in that time I found a kindred soul. Someone who grabs life and lives instead of sitting and watching it go by. (love you Peg) So, needless to say I'm looking forward to connecting with her again after the Holidays. 

So, what do you give someone for Christmas when you live in a 40' RV. I bought Roger a 50' collapsible hose, as seen on TV. And yes, I gave it to him already and he was thrilled. Easy to store and long enough to wash CiCi Blue.  What did he get me?? A bell for my bicycle. I was thrilled about that too. Put it right on and rode around the campground ringing it!! Hopefully someone doesn't take it in the middle of the night because of excessive dinging. hahaha.

Thursday we are having a dinner at the rec hall with everyone then returning and having a turkey dinner with all the fixings in the coach. Tablecloth and all. We plan on making it a special day. 

I've been helping plan events for the coming months and so far have about 7 people signed up for my acrylic painting class. So much for being a hermit. Hahaha.

 And so from us all, we wish you a safe and Merry Christmas!! 

We'll be back after the Day with fun pictures of all 80 of our closest Strangers and our Christmas dinner!!! (Actually they are all really sweet)


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Taking A Small Break

I've been working on an 18" x 24" oil for someone for a Christmas gift. I've been tying myself to the easel and I need to get it finished by tomorrow. There is always something that seems to be off and it's driving me nuts. Can we say a group PRESSURE!! haha..but then I always work well under the pressure and just know I will succeed in getting this finished and looking good!

So Roger came home from errands and his massage and said we should take the kids to the park. And we did. A nice respite.

Probably the first time I sat down today. They didn't want me to not be doing something with my hands.

When we first got Lola, Sammy was not a fan. Just recently they started playing together and what we are seeing is Sammy teaching Lola some rules. He also taught Ozzie when we got him as a pup. Biting and nipping is not a nice thing when playing. Lola likes grabbing necks and pulling. Sammy gets her on her back, Lola goes down in submission, and Sammy mouths her neck.  He is her "mother" for a bit. 

This is Lola asking Sam to play. If he doesn't respond right away she leaps on his back as I yell, Lola NO. I just imagine her weight on him but he is pretty agile for almost 10 so it's all good.

As you can see, Lola is a goof. She tucks her head and rolls then lays flat. They do this over and over as Sammy keeps his alpha position with her. 

I have a new battery in my jeep and it works!!! Now to contact to find out if they can deliver a chassis battery to us and hopefully put it in.  With me painting everyday I have let a few things go in the coach. Oiling the wood to keep it in good condition is one thing on my list. I see areas that are drying and need attention.  We bought a dehumidifier for CiCi Blue and so far I'm happy. The condensation on windows has stopped. If you see it there I wonder what's in the walls.? I go around touching them to make sure they are dry.

I was looking for a pair a jeans in the cubby over our bed and felt my clothes wet. Feeling at the top of the area I collected drops on my hand and then went into a panic. The cabinets are all lined with rug material and it was dry. Country Coach did this baby up right.  Roger said it was probably condensation so I pulled everything out and placed a small container of  DampRid and voila', it's fine. We also have DampRid in our bathroom. They really work fantastic. Something you would never think of as a newbie. Always learning.

Well, dinner awaits. (Roger is the cook) So have a great evening and see you tomorrow!!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Who Knew..Door To Door Service

Roger's hair has been getting long. I love it long but it's at that scraggly stage where every hair is rebelling. Wendy's Mum, Lori, was a beautician. I asked her the other day if she still trimmed hair and today her husband delivered her via golf cart to our rig.

She did a fantastic job and rescheduled for two weeks with him. What a sweety!!!! Roger gave her a tin of his homemade Loraballs. All natural, no sugar. We got the recipe from a post on Wheeling it

Short post tonight...steaks are on the grill and I'm ready..

Have a great night, Warmly,

Monday, December 15, 2014

The One You Needed To Meet

These are Sand Hill Cranes. They are brown and grey colored but I took this through our tinted windows.  Always in pairs, mated for life, they walk around the campground getting their food. If I had gone out, the male I'm sure, would have stood tall and silent then would start "honking" at me to back away. It's amazing how loud they are. They walked up and down then over to the dock on the lake. I watched from my comfy chair in the rig and then...they both flew. 

My mouth was open as they went in tandem. Huge wing span, they flew over the water and off into the wooded area. It was quite beautiful to watch!

Today a mobile dog washing van came into the park. All the tiny dogs got baths and trims. Roger and I decided to wash our stinky girl. She had amassed a few mats in her fur that needed to be taken care of and her rear quarters were beyond any smell you wanted in your home. Poor girl. It's an undertaking. We washed her with baking soda and water first to get the stinkies gone then rinse her in  a vinegar and water mixture.  As we worked I trimmed and removed mats. I was soaked. Then after it all we rinse her with clean water. She loved it since it was cold water from the outside hook up. The colder the batter. I was now soaked and cold! oh..and hairy from her fur flying everywhere. The vinegar and water takes all the yellow from her whiteness. She looked gorgeous! More work is needd on her bum mats but that will be another day.

Then, Roger took Ozzie to the mobile dog groomers to get his razor nails trimmed! $10.00. Yahoo. 
he so needed a trim. They would wear down at the house as her ran around our pool but now,'s all grass. 

So, the one you needed to meet! I have been a bit down, holidays that are different, a different place, different everything. The woman here tell me, no reassure me it will get better, just an adjustment. The RV's are coming in fast and furious filling up the spots for the holiday or the winter. A couple moved in diagonally behind us. We have waved and passed each other on our bikes but never really chatted. Today the woman came past our coach and said how much she loved Lola. I went to the road and apologized that she was so "Chatty". (Translate loud) She said oh no Lola was lovely and that she had lost her beloved dog two weeks ago. Then added that 10 years ago on that day she lost her daughter. My eyes filled. She and her husband traveled around every year to someplace different so the pain hopefully will be less.  She was the one I needed to meet today.. My "down days" acclimating to my new lifestyle now seem actually silly. I really do have it all right now. Less stress, 3 healthy,yet noisy, dogs, the RV I actually wanted from day 1 and Roger at my side. Oh and Sophie and Fergus in their small urns beside our beds! We are all here. Our children and grandchildren safe and happy.  Tomorrow I'll see if she wants to ride around the park with me and silently thank her for being there today.

Tomorrow is buy the jeep a new battery day, mail books and finish the painting I need to get shipped. Roger is on the battery/book detail. 

So have a great evening and see you tomorrow!


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday Night And Staying In

The weather has been cold.., and today it just got me huddled in the rig wanting to sleep. Actually, I cleaned so that tomorrow I can work on my paintings.

I was going through photos on my phone and lately we have been using our phones data to get our internet. The Campground internet is sporadic and at least this way we can keep are online business going.  The painting above was done on 6" x 6" copper and placed on a small easel. It has sold but thinking today, how perfect for RV living! See, even feeling crummy I am always thinking of ways of making a living while traveling. hahaha!

I did hear some exciting news. An online facebook friend and artist is coming here to Crystal Lake Park in January! What a hoot that will be. Terri Malloy  She travels with 4 greyhounds in her new travel trailer and works on the road too.

Saturday night here is usually movie night but Roger and I are staying in! We love watching the string of English shows on BBC. A night of laughter, hot chocolate and suspense! (The suspense is a detective show..hahaha.) 

  Sigh, I loved my studio. Just need to get accustomed to having the world as my studio now. Hmm, I think I like the sound of that!!

Ok, heading back to the couch, well after Lola goes out to do what she needs. She's been woofing at me for over a half hour.

Have a great night!!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My New Field Easel Arrived arrived today. Did I take a photo of it? Ah, no. Silly me. Just know I'm excited! Hahaha.

Really lightweight and has fixtures to release and tighten the legs that are like light switches. It's great. I'll take pics tomorrow. I'll have to figure how to weight it if it's windy out but the legs extend far out so it should be quite stable.

So, I finished one commission. Now on to the next three. Earlier I went down to work at the rec hall but it was really chilly inside. The heat doesn't work as yet so I decided to pack things up and come back to CiCi Blue to work.

I.m hoping my client is pleased but I'm sure they will be. The colors are a somewhat bright on here so in your mind tone it down a bit. Photo shop and I are always testing each other. I do tend to use blues in my black Labs but not fluorescent blues. That is what seems to be showing on my screen. sigh.

I also started an art group on RVillage an online group for RV ers.  Since we are always on the road or at an RV Park or dry camping it would be nice to have a place to show what we create and where we can purchase it. I'm excited and even have people joining the group!!

Fine Art America, a wonderful on line site where you place your art, painting, photography, has just started making throw pillows with our images on them. I'm so ready to decorate Ci Ci Blue with our work! And some others.

Throw Pillow

Click on the link to check it out. I'm still going through my images to put them on the pillows so not all are done as yet. Funny, I totally forget I have this site. Duh. My Fine Art America site

Time to feed the babies. Lola is making a fuss. Woofing and knocking her head into us for attention. We just came back in from the park so it's not that,...she's hungry! Poor starving girl!

Have a great night!! Stay warm.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sometimes There's Sadness

Roger and I are are fine and the dogs too. However, Roger's cousin Martin, Marty, Wedegis was killed October 31 by a hit and run driver.

Marty had two sisters, Lynn and Shirley. We are close to them as they are Roger's closest family members. They stopped by today on their way home from Miami, where Martin lived, and we got to have a quick lunch with them.

Marty was supposed to be in SC for Thanksgiving and after he didn't show the family started to call him, eventually calling the police to have them do a missing person search. Marty had his sister's name in his wallet but no phone number.  The man driving the vehicle did stop long enough, witnesses say, to get out of his car, look quickly, then leave.  As yet the police have not found him.

I only met Marty a few times but he called me cousin. He led a fun filled life that went from doing photography in NY working at NBC to being a nudist, to just being..alive. He grabbed at life. At 75 he was still going strong.  The one thing that has stuck in my mind is that no one knew he had been killed.

So tonight, I wanted to just say these few words so you would know he was here. He was loved and he loved. (And he thought having Lola, a Newfoundland, in our pack was cool)

God Speed Marty!!!


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Life In The RV Update

Just about seven months now that we have been living in our Ci Ci Blue. As you have read we have had some large and some small repairs as we traveled. So how do I like it?

I love the compactness of the RV believe it or not. I'm finished doing "housework" in about a half hour. The washer/dryer could be a bit larger but it's great for doing a quick load every now and then. Well, not so quick but where are we going? The days fly by. With walking the dogs about three times a day it seems we get up and then it's time to go to bed. (Note to self, get up earlier in the day)

The Holidays! We decided to stay at Crystal Lake RV Park til the end of March. Our spot is perfect, front row looking out to the Lake. At dusk we watch the egrets fly back in for the night, landing in their favorite tree. They switch positions every once in awhile til they get that "perfect" branch.

We had Thanksgiving at the rec hall with as I say, 20 of our closest "strangers". Our son and family came so it was a good day. My friend was rained out from a weeks worth of rain here and it was all mud.  There are a lot of full time people who have been doing this for years. They had their sectional RV trays and some, paper plates. Easier for travel. We had ceramic dishes. That night it hit me how different life had become after 20 years with Roger and the great holiday traditions of white table cloths and candlelight, I sobbed.

During the week a group of woman here and I painted more gourds and I told them my tale of woe. Haha. That's when they shared their own sobbing times after they first started RV'ing full time. "Do what makes you happy" they said. "Bring what you need to make your day special."  So for Christmas, Wendy, the owner said we'd have candles on all the tables and bring what ever you need to make the day special"

Funny, a few people left here for another RV park because it had nice tile in the bathrooms, cost less and a "nice" rec hall. They are jammed in so close you can hear your neighbor clear their throat silently. If you get my drift. What we have here is space between rigs, a rec hall, there is tile in the bathrooms, hahaha, but most of all we have a group of people who truly care.

Roger got these the other day, to hide the yucky rug, but also to cheer me up. We have gold glittery rope to hang along the moulding later today. 

A older couple came in the other day and pulled in beside us, drivers side,in their Fifth wheel. I park my jeep in front of our coach on that side also. He was getting ready to leave and started banging on our door yelling, "Move your car, I can't get around it". I tried but the battery is totally dead. The man turned from somewhat polite to a crazed man in front of me finally going up to the office to complain I was parking on his site. I followed just in time to hear him tell Wendy that, "the Yahoos next to me...) (him) were parked on his site and he couldn't get out. I waved to Wendy and told her yes, I was the Yahoo. 

Short story, after about a half hour of him grumping and growling, Roger taking the dogs to the park to get out of the firing range, hahaha, he left perfectly. Didn't drive into the soft mud to get stuck forever and off he went telling Wendy he'd never come back here.  Now, besides having the Boston accent, Wendy drives by in her golf cart and as she passes I hear.."Ya-hooooooooo".  The man probably just got the rig and was unsure or how to drive it but we did see his wife rolling her eyes and saying, Oh Noo.  I guess we may run into grumpy people out there but there is an easier way of dealing with things. Our friend Larry is going to try and find me a cheap battery since we hope to trade the cars in in january and get something newer and smaller to tow.

Is Mercury back in retrograde??

Still trying to get accustomed to a smaller space for painting. Roger just bought me a metal field easel to work on larger canvas. (I got the two day shipping so I can get it right away. ) 

This was the "in Progress" shot but it's now almost finished. A Christmas commission. It's a 16" x 20" and I'm using my paint box. As you see a slight tilt. Now I'm working on two 18" x 24" so I'm thrilled the new easel will be here Tuesday so I can finish them. (You will see those after the Holiday) 

My son ,Jamie, was concerned that I walk three large dogs. He's 42 and has started to feel pain in his knees so probably figured since I am a few years older, ;-) , I would be getting aches and pains even more. He dropped by the other day and I told him this. Before we had the rv I had trouble walking. From standing painting for all these long years, my right shoulder had frozen and was always in pain and hard to move. My back always hurt and my knees I thought were shot. After the first maybe three months, visits to my wonderful massage therapist, Lola pulling me in different directions, climbing in and out of the RV, Sammy going in the opposite direction thus pulling my right arm back, walking fast with the dogs, I can honestly say I'm in better shape now than I was 8 months ago!! And, I've lost weight!! I ride my bike around the park everyday a few times feeling quite like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Or maybe the Witch!!! Hahaha. 

We realized we have It's AAA for RV's. We can call them next week since we are quite dead here in the park and have them come out and replace our Chassis battery. It's important to run the engine every so often. So many things to remember...!

Ok, that's it for today. Have a great night and if anything exciting happens tomorrow I'll be back!!! See you then.


Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1 ...And A Dead Chassis Battery

I'll start off telling you about the chassis battery. Yesterday our son, Jamie, stopped by to see us before he drove back to Mn. We did the whole "look at this, touch this, sit here" thing with him in the coach. We started the generator and then after that I asked Roger to start up CiCi Blue so Jay could hear the diesel. Nothing! No lights on the dash, no brumm brumm of the engine, nothing. Roger got out his trusty amp and voltage meter and alas, dead chassis battery. Now we are wondering why. It could be because it's old, a 10 year old battery does die or could it be something else. Roger remembered back when we were having slide issues one of the men opening the bay and saying it smelled like something burning or very hot.

Yes, we got out the Bible. I googled everything I could find. Could the battery have boiled and died that way and then why would it boil. The next question is, is there some drain we don't know about and it's draining the battery?  We are so thankful we are here at the Park and it happened here rather than out in the wilderness.  First we will do research then call our mobile repair guy to make sure there's not an underlying condition before we spend zillions for a new battery. From reading it seems to be a common problem.

I did not put this ball there. There is velcro on the front curtain and this is where Ozzie likes to hang. After he jumped off there this morning I turned to see this. Well, I know we have to store our things so maybe Oz feels this is a great place to store his Tennis balls! Soon after I took this picture he jumped back up, took it off and brought it somewhere else.

Sammy lounging!! Another reference for one of my paintings, also the next pic you see.

I love painting large. This may be but first I need to figure out how to do it. Maybe outside!

You keep seeing this one and each time it changes. That's because the season is changing outside and that's where I am painting. Haha. I bought new brushes and having fun working with them. 

I'm using a limited palette of Quinacridone Red,Ultramarine Blue, Ultramarine Violet, Lemon Yellow and Gamblin brand Warm White. Making all the color with just these few tubes of paint brings the painting together in a wonderful way. Roger was busy so I had all three kids out with me and had to deal with woofs and tangles of their metal leads that we attach them too. Then the wind blew up and turned everything over. I'll sneak out early tomorrow and finish it...alone.

Thats it for today. Our friend let us borrow a telescope to look at the stars so Roger is downloading directions and pointers so tonight we can try it out!!! So, have a great evening and see you tomorrow!