Friday, August 28, 2015

Should We Stay or Should We go

First let me show you my new toy!!  Roger and I both got one! A 12 speed folding bike from Camping World, and, on a sale!!! They were 120.00 exch and we dove in!

I was able to switch my basket to the handle bars and put on my bell. Love it. So, what does it feel like at first to ride a smaller wheeled and framed bike? I wasn't sure if I was on a unicycle or was a bear on a bike in a circus.  I am on it everyday so I'm finally getting accustomed to it. It will fold up and fit under the coach in the basement and we will be able to ride together when we go on vacation next week.  My old bike, I did love it, I payed forward to the girl next door to us. She was over the moon.

Today Roger and I took everything we would not need on vacation and made room for our inflatable boat, our chairs, lots of water, can goods and odds and ends. Since we are leaving our car here at the park we put everything in there. A lot of things I will never need or use so can get rid of them when we get home.

So, Erika. At first we thought we would get 65 MPH wind here in Central Florida as it went up along our coast. What do we do? Where do we go? I read every blog I could find on RV's and hurricanes and Tropical storms.  "Put your rear into the wind".. Not sure if Hurricanes know one direction to come in at.  "Don't get hit broadside". "Pull in your slides...leave them out."  "Make sure you stay away from that section of Florida". Ah, we live here. Ok, we could drive north and have it follow us, or west and still be in it. Or drive north, west and head towards the Gulf and find it went in that direction.  Category 1. If it were a 2 or above we would have already left!  So, we decided to stay. I looked around to see what trees could hit us but our spot seems secure.  Thinking we made a good descision as of 5 P.M. since they said the storm may fizzle or stay as a tropical storm and go up on the west coast. 40mph winds and rain for us, maybe. On a regular rainy afternoon we get gusts of 40 MPH so we are ready. dog food, check, cookies, check, wine, check. We are ready!!! Keep your fingers crossed it stays as it is. I'll keep you posted!

Last minute I remembered it had been "National Dog Day" and took this quickie as a commemoration.

When our lights had gone out, by mistake, Roger bought lamps. Now what do we do with them??

They make it so homey!!! 

And finally the commission I needed done and out before my clients wife's birthday. Happy to say, accomplished!!!!

She loved it!!! Years ago I had painted her previous dogs and her husband thought it would be nice to have their new ones done too. I am honored!! I go, hopefully not in a blowing away sense.!!!

Chat again soon, honest!!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

WooHoo They Are Home

A huge welcome home!!! I have to say it was so much fun "running" an RV park. People were great that came in, except for the one no pay, but he comes in all the time so Wendy knows him.  This last week started getting a little nerve wracking because callers wanted to be here in January, February and March and we are pretty full and booked.  Wendy knows how to juggle so it's a relief to have her home.

So, brushes are getting ready to fly. I am starting a new comic book about Lola and The Boys. This time I wanted it to have larger illustrations and more vibrant color. So, I went on line shopping. (shhhh) What did I get???

Tombow pens! I used them ages ago for some illustration work I was doing and knew how vibrant they can be. A brush on one end and point on the other. You may also use them with a watercolor technique.

Sketching out ideas.

I'm using the whole 11" x 16" page for some of the artwork. 

Tombow pens also come with a clear pen that you may use to blend colors together.  As you see I'm still in my planning and experimenting phase. I'm excited to begin. I need to wait til our September vacation in Georgia to start since I have paintings to finish for clients. Working at the park has me a little backwards. I'll be focusing for the next few days and getting things finished.

Then on September 18, we celebrated Ozzie's 4th birthday. I got bones for 3, and those were grabbed right away. The orange toy with the ribbon ends went right to Lola. Sammy chose the double ball toy and we bring that to the park so he can play.  Frosty Paws were searched for at the store but not there so I bought small vanilla hoodsies.  We all celebrated.!!!

Poor Sammy is still scratching. So bad that he refuses to go into the dog park . Now I know for sure what it is. There are two ferrell cats in the park.  Next week I will be taking Ozzie down to see our vet and getting flea spray for our coach and spray for the park.  Giving Sam a flea bath tomorrow and I am spraying him with the soothing spray.  At night he gets a Benedryl so he can have a good nights snooze.  They all had their Sentinel and I see Ozzie and Lola not scratching as much but poor Sam is definitely allergies to these nasty things. 

So, there you have it. I can take off my Park Ranger hat for the time being and get to painting.
What did I learn? That 99% of the people I have spoken to on the phone or met here as they came in are terrific. Matter of fact, a couple came in the other day and we bonded over our R.V's and we plan on staying in touch.  Connie, Allan's wife, taught me how to do more than 3 items in my washer/dryer. I am thrilled!!! They just got a,new to them, 42 ' rig and learning about that one after having a much smaller RV. Allan saw our pool noodle on our windshield wipers. It's cut to fit so the wiper is off the glass. Loved the idea. I saw it on one other person during the winter. So fun exchanging ideas. Small things but huge when you are traveling and living in an RV.

So, have a great night. Storms are rolling in so we are expecting rain. Love hearing it pound down on the roof. 



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Day #7 And A Great Experience In A Week

Where to begin. I am enjoying the position of "Camp Ranger", but then again, it is summer season. Not that busy. The thing that keeps coming to me as I do my job, is how I do it.  I want to do the very best garnishing from all my other "jobs". The other side to this "excellence" thing in me is that it's actually an avoidance from doing what I'm meant to do. Paint. Ah, that white canvas.

Today is the park was "Pretty The Park" up day. Roger and I made it up so we would get things accomplished that we were asked to do. It's hot, triple digits in the heat index, but if we put it off it won't get done. This morning I went to the office to check on phone calls and Roger went to drill a sign back on the pole. Nothing big but it points to the direction of the numbered sites. #1 thing done on our list. Then I rode my bike to the dog park and trimmed bushes.

It was hot but a small breeze helped. Then this afternoon, Roger and I went to trim the back area bushes where a banana spider and her baby have a web. I believe they will jump on you if they feel threatened, so we kept reassuring them we wouldn't hurt them. Haha

Not sure it if you can see her but she's a bit orange and yellow and dangling upper left.  We cut her web on three sides and she started spinning right away. I'm sure when we o down later with the kids she'll have set up house once more!

Ok, now we will go backwards to Saturday. I came back from the office around noon and started to take the dogs out for a quickie. All of a sudden the lights and a/c shut off.  Panic. Roger grabbed the leads and I went to the office to check. Lights were fine. It was us.  We grabbed the
Country Coach bible and started going through trying to find why everything was out. Outlets worked and our microwave was fine, so what was the answer. I called two repair places but no one answered or returned our calls and it was Sunday the next day so it was going to be a long weekend.

Roger tested the coach breaker panel and one did not respond so off he went to get a new breaker. Trying to get it back in was insane but thankfully, Rick, our mobile RV repair guy is coming back up to fix our stairs and blow out our a/c units.  The breaker was fine but still no a/c.  Off again to the store to get tower air conditioners. Then the night started. Lots of water, both us and the dogs, but oh my word, so much was lost. It was cooler outside but there are mosquitos so that wasn't an option for sleeping. The dogs and I slept in the living room. For some reason they are always with me. Roger had the bedroom. So very hot. Sunday I know we had lost weight. Our friend Lou sent me a message saying why don't I ask our friend Jeanette if her husband Mike would be able to help.  They have a 38' Monaco so maybe they might be able to help. We spent Sunday on the rec ball to keep cool but nothing seems to help at this point. (no husbands or dogs were crabbed at during this time).

They were traveling but were going to pass us in about 10 minutes so they stopped by. About 10 minutes later, off they went and we had a/c and lights! In the showrooms sales people hit a button on the side as you walk into an RV so you can see and have a/c. Oh cute butt or Lola's hit the button as we were going out of the coach. Insane!!! Thankfully no repair people called us or came up. $$$ for switching a button back on. Haha. We'll, now we know!

Yes I was a little frazzled!

Before I get to my ATV people I will tell you a fun thing that happened during the week. My artist friend Lou came up to spend the day with me. She and I both watch this British comedy, "Miranda", starring Miranda Hart. She is an embodiment of both of us so we laugh hysterically. One of the episodes Miranda had a great tea pot, so, we copied it! 

I call it "Lou Lou" .

Now onto the weekend. Saturday we had three ATV people coming in. They arrived at 3: 30 P.M. just as they said they would. The guys were terrific,paying right away and one even offered to let Roger and I sleep in his rig overnight as they would be out riding all night. So sweet. We are right up the road from 5a . A large expanse of land that is used for dirt bike riding and mudding. This past weekend was some sort of rally and 100's were showing up to play.

After they were settled I rode down on my bike to check the mail and a new trailer was coming in. I stopped them and asked if they were part of the group. No, he said, and can we take the front spot. Sure. I told him Wendy was on vacation and I was in charge, continuing to ask how long he was staying and when he'd be leaving the next day. Mid day he answered.  Sunday I rode past him a few times and mentioned I'd be in the office for him. At 9 P.M. that evening he was still out riding. They must be staying over! May I also mention my phone number was on the office door plus my site number. 

The next morning they were gone! They do come here often so I will remember. I felt crummy that I missed a payment on my watch then went to think, "wow..he so dissed me." Did he think since Wendy was not here he didn't need to pay? That he would pay next time in? That I wasn't worthy of him coming to the office to pay for his stay that he extended to a two day stay? I will remember him. he comes with his girlfriend and a Boxer that he leaves in the air conditioned trailer for hours on end. 

Shaking it off. I finished a painting that I am proud of for a friend/client. Also, a couple came in today to stay two days so that was good.  Wendy will be back next week so the RV park journey continues!! 

But doing this is what makes me the happiest!!!!

Have a great night and chat soon.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Day #2 At The Helm

I set my alarm last night for 8:30 A.M. . I took my shower before bed, watched some shows then took a Benedryl.  The heat rash still wants to attack me at night. (I swear it's the mattress) The alarm went off as alarms do and I made the coffee since Roger took the kids to the park for their morning constitutional.

Off I went since I knew my reservation would come up early to pay and get back on the road.  "How was your night?" ,I asked.  "Fine".  Not exuberant but it was something. He left and I scooted home to have breakfast.

Brief interlude now.

This is my Sammy. The poor guy scratches and  chews his paws. I emailed my vet and he said maybe fleas but I did his comb and white paper trick on Sam's fur and no trace of them. Next I got a spray.Dermal-Smoothe.  Could it be that Sammy's skin is really dry?  I started putting olive oil in his food and today added flax seed oil.  I feel so bad for him so next week I'll take him down to see Dr. Mike. My Sophie had similar symptoms but lost hair but Sammy is sleek and smooth. Sophie had Thyroid issues and was on meds for the rest of her life.  Final thought is Sammy may need a really good bath. He's always been in a pool and this summer is so much hotter than last.  I'll let you know.

Ok, back to the office! A call! A man from Miami wants to come here for 4 nights while his wife is on a cruise.  Sure, come on up and I'll find you a 30 amp site.  "OK" he said and he's arriving tomorrow evening.
My next person was amazing. He stopped outside and knocked on the door. "Hi, how may I help you? Come on in."  He wanted to find out if we had room for him to be here fulltime. He then started to tell me this horrid story of how he was attacked while he was a night supervisor of a storage place. I'm not sure if anyone heard about this event, but it was all over the news.  Young men attacked him, beat him with their gun, stole from his trailer and robbed other units after they put him in the trunk of his car. I already knew the story but my eyes were floating. Such a kind, gentle man. He just wanted a quiet place to stay with other people so he would feel safe.  I reached the owners and the answer was YES! He is so excited and grateful.  This was the high point of my day as you could tell.

One more younger man came in and he is also going to be here full time with his new 5th wheel. I had his look at 2 sites and he chose one. He'll be here on Friday.

Whew!!! Did I get to paint? No. Sliding into a slight panic mode which will light that fire under my you know what and I'll have flying brushes!!!

Have a safe night. See you on Day #3.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Day #1, Stand In Park Manager How Do You Do

Today I went up to the office and took my position at the "desk".  My bike held my tripod for my paint box and over my shoulder I lugged the box, paints and canvas. Ahh! I was ready for the on slot of phone calls and requests.

I had my "Cheat" book ready, water and a board to paint on. Ready for anything. And then...the phone rang! Hello, blah,blah,blah,blah, how can I help you. The man asked if we had room for an overnight stay and I confirmed that we did. I asked if he needed 50 or 30 amp and he said 50.  He told me he had been traveling and will be all day and probably not be here til after we closed. I told him I would see him when he arrived, not to worry.

My first reservation.  Sounds crazy but I was excited! When I take on a task I try and give it my very best so I was looking forward to his appearance.  He arrived at 4:45 P.M. and I drove my bike down and told him to relax and I'd see him in the morning at the office.  My day complete! And..I got to paint!

Meanwhile, Roger had his duties to perform and was out during my small time at lunch. This is Ozzie.

He can't bare Roger being away from him so he's looking longingly out the window. Such a love.

So now a glass of wine, love the kids and catching up on our collective days until dinner. I wonder what tomorrow will bring!! :-)

Have a great evening.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Getting Ready To Take My Shift

Well as you know, Murphy's Law kicked in just as the owners were getting ready to leave.  Wendy stayed since 10 rv's with ATV's and many people came in last night, but the plan was to leave bright and early Sunday morning.  Friday afternoon the pool pump broke then a water pump went soon after.  Monday the pool man will come and fix things up and the hope is that they can leave on Tuesday.  I have my yellow spiral notebook with all sorts of things I need to remember so I think I'm all set. Ha, famous last words. So, tomorrow I start my duties! I'll bring my paints and easel and work in great air conditioning!

So, our steps stopped working. They are pretty rusted and we could see a slight hole until I stepped down with bare feet and felt the stair piece give way. I was fine but now we worry about paws. After calling our extended warranty company, I called Rick, our go to Mobile Rv mechanic.  We are to get an estimate from him after he figures what we need to get it fixed, then submit that to our company.  Rick is coming up on this Friday so we will see.

Roger is looking at the Work Camping site and just saw a job in Sacramento that was a 2 day job doing what we do now. Full hook up plus they pay $800 a month.  Ah, I don't think so. Tempting but my luck we'd have an earthquake, flood and mud slide all at once.  (Sheila, just paint.)

We had a few days of rain which was nice. Scrabble days, reading and a few naps. I focused and got another painting ready to go, so it was good.

This is what Lola and Sammy do when it rains here  They look so good don't they?  Angels. What you don't see is the paper towel roll torn to shreds on the floor and the door under the sink opened so someone could attack the garbage.  Sigh, wouldn't have it any other way.

Have a great evening and wish me luck on keeping the RV park up and running!!