Friday, December 29, 2017

End Of The Year Travel Blog

Wow is all we can say to this. We did it. Started our journey from Florida...

Traveled the east coast to NH...

Then all the way across to California.

Here's a list of places we stayed. We were pleased with each one we stopped at and stayed a night or two and one place 3 nights for small repairs and crazed wind.

Swamp Fox RV Park, Florence, S.C.   Small and homey. 

Americamps RV Resort, Viginia  , A bit pricey but breakfast every morning. Really well kept campground.

Western Village Rv Park, Carlisle, PA.  Stayed here twice. Going north then coming back south. They have Hershey ice cream in their store. (Points of interest you now) Nice park.

Wellington Camping Park, Lee, N.H.  Love, love this park. Will be back there this coming summer. Lola's field!!

Five Star Fire, Hartford, Ct.  One week of repairs. I highly recommend them if you ever need work done.

Melton Hill Dam Campground, TN  This is where we met up with our friends. The campground is on levels and really quite beautiful.

Delta Ridge RV Park, Arkansas This one is a blur in my mind so it must have been one night. It was getting to the "where are we ?" stage of our trip which continued.

Park Ridge Campground, Van Buren ,Arkasas  It rained during the night here. Not water but pecans. Beware of parking under pecan trees. Who knew.?

Hargus RV Park Clinton, OK  My notes said, "Nice park, simple and right on the original RT 66"

Mountain Road RV Park, Tucumcari, NM  Another one night blur. Nice park though.

Rt 66 RV Park, Edgewood, N.M.  It's where Lola yanked me over when she saw Snoop, Betty and Bob's dog. When our friends Diane and Paul got there the owner was still talking about the event. Nothing like being remembered. I was fine by the way.

OK RV Park, Holbrook, Ok  Stayed two nights.  Oh oh, I'm out of sync. 

Canyon Motel and Rv Park, Williams, AZ  Stayed three nights. Grand Canyon visit then crazy high winds. Nice park,

Blake Ranch and Rv Park, Kingman, AZ  Our last park before arriving at Black Meadow Landing. Blake Ranch is really nice. Dog area for the kids to run in and large sites. 

And now....totals. 

CiCi Blue traveled approximately 3,373 miles. Her fuel from Florida to New Hampshire then to California was total of 1,746.01   We would go to Flying J or Pilot for our fuel and with their card, we get a discount and we pay online. I think the most we paid was 305.91 for 106.256 gallons. That was in Newburgh, NY. That was also the most we put in.  We like stopping way before and try to find the best price at the Pilot in a state. 

Repairs in Florida and then in Connecticut were necessary and both companies let us stay with our rig and found discounts on parts where ever they could.  Florida was a new computer brain, an alternator ,battery wires and yearly maintenance. Connecticut was the Turbo and entire exhaust system, fuel filter and remaking the extension on a tail pipe. California, a new board in our inverter.  Things that had been left when she was traded in 3-4 years ago and of course, things that needed to be fixed in our huge rolling home. 

CiCiBlue loved rolling along and sometimes actually accelerated faster than the truckers on those steep upward hills. We start her up every month to get her juices flowing so she remembers that she's a diesel. Come the end of March will will start our journey across the country then head north to N.H. for the summer. We now can say we did it!! Crossed the country in our RV. Got the stickers to prove it! Roger did say we haven't been to Louisiana or Mississippi so that may be in the works. 

Thankfully it's warmer today than it has been so life is good. Our family and friends up north are in a crazed cold so I'm thinking of them. Stay warm.

Until tomorrow...or next year, thank you for following and shopping on Amazon through my blog site. As you see, every bit helps keep CiCiBlue happy. 


Living the Artists Dream is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Day Before Pot Luck At Black Meadow Landing

Today the people in Row A, Row B and Row Z (out on the point) were invited to have a group Christmas dinner. The tables were placed out behind the rig across from us and tables were placed out for the food and the yankee swap gifts. Everyone started gathering around 12.45P.M., a prayer was said then the line formed.

Christmas dinner desert style. I wouldn't have missed it for the world!! Lots of meeting people, lots of laughing, lots of conversation. There's even a couple here that at one time raised and showed Newfies!! They want to meet Lola since they have never seen a brown and white one. They raised and showed blacks, one of the AKC approved along with brown and then Landseer. (lola needs a good grooming before she meets previous award winning breeders. (Oh yes, deer in headlights)  At one point, Lola, who raised our curtain in the bedroom, saw another dog and let out her signature bark. The people looked at me and said, "There she is!!". No mistaking that voice!!

Tonight, up on the hill where the gold course is, the people are showing their light decorations and serving hot chocolate and cookies. We will go up with Bob and Betty on their golf cart with Paul and Diane hoofing it behind us. It should be fun!

So, there it is. Giving the kids dinner then I am going to stretch out on the bed to get my second wind for the evening event.

Happy Christmas Eve. I hope Santa brings you your every wish.


The Day Before Christmas 2017

Wow, what a year! Next week I'll do the recap but for today I'll just blab for a bit. A lot of people have gone home for Christmas here at the campground, far beyond the gate. They live in California or Nevada so it's relatively close for them. They left their rigs and drove their vehicles. Dale, one of our neighbors who actually has a Country Coach, is hosting a small dinner for those of us remaining.  I'll post pics a bit later.  It will be out behind the rigs next to us. Curtains drawn today so we don't have peeking eyes from our rig looking at us.

Lola In The Field Calendar  After two days of crazed computering, my eyes were falling out, I got the calendar finished. I have not worked with this company before so I'm hoping the quality is perfect. I started one on Zazzle but I would have to buy them then do the resell.

The cover and the month of January. 

So, my plan is to take a couple of days off form my work. I will have to get up at 2:00 A.M. when I wake up thinking of all I need to finish or start and read that last sentence. Couple of days off. Did you know my brushes whisper in my ear late at night, calling me, taunting.?  They tell me things that would be fun (imp brushes) then I hear the things that I need to finish. (angel brushes). It will be a long couple of days. 

I have been reading more about being an associate and earning .01 (lol) from your blog. (Eyes twirling) If you think about it just please pop into Amazon to shop via my blog. Some people dedicate their lives to doing this and it takes a lot of ones time. All I need is to have shopping links whispering in my ear at 2:00 A.M.. 

On that note though, :-) , let me show you what I give Sammy, our 12 year old Lab. He actually went from a blah guy to one having energy. Ok, for a bit, he is 12, but it's noticeable! 

Not bad for 12 . He keeps on going.

Doggie Dalies

I really do swear by them and just keep reordering.


Well it's 12:30 P.M. here at Black Meadow Landing and dinner is at 1:00. Time to get ready. Sweaters, sweatshirt and maybe my hat! I still haven't adjusted to the chilly weather. 66 degrees out. (deer in headlight eyes)

I'll post pics from our first desert dinner a bit later...


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Away At Summer Camp?

At least that's what it feels like right now. People here all seem to have permanent homes, to which a lot have traveled home to for Christmas. This is our home and most of our friends and family have no clue what our address is. Thank goodness for Skype.

I bike down to the store to see if anything came for us like a little kid at summer camp. So many packages. One was for me, a top I ordered as a gift to myself from Amazon. Too big, too short, arms look like they are for a child and hated the material so disappointed, I road back down to the store to have it sent back.I know..sad.  As I was getting to leave, (after buying ice cream to dull the sadness, lol) I saw , in the middle of all the huge packages...a small box with our name on it!!!

It's from my sister and I have no idea what it is and it doesn't matter. I rode home with a box!!

Two fabric ornaments!! One with little trailers on it and the other with the presidential seal. Love them!!

It's been a busy day of setting up my Steemit blog and trying to upload photos to that, then retaking photos of my Lola in the field images for my calendar. Then became friends with a man on FB that received the painting of his late dog from a friend who commissioned it. 


His owners do so much for the homeless where they live. Seeing videos and updates on what he has been able to collect and give left me in tears. That is what it's about isn't it! 

I have a book for you today...

I started reading it a few days ago. As you may know I have osteoarthritis in my right hip joint. It doesn't hurt but it tightens my psoas muscle so that I limp. The surgeon wanted to do surgery and total replacement right off and I declined. He gave me pain medication that I didn't need, I take a Tylenol or Turmeric curcumin for inflammation. It works. Then this book came into my email. The power our brain has over our bodies that are pure energy. Why not? 

So I push myself to walk straight up and tell my brain to process that thought. How's it working for you Sheila? First thing in the morning with Lola.. great..after sitting for hours, a little slower. I'm a work in progress!! I'll keep you posted. It is interesting!


Well almost 3:30 P.M. and time to take the kids out for their afternoon stroll. The Santa Ana winds are coming in tonight and all day tomorrow so I'll be working away again. Hmm, don't I do that anyway everyday?? Hey, taking Christmas off!! :-)

Have a great night everyone. Stay warm, stay safe. Be happy and content with what you are fortunate to have even if it's small. 

See you tomorrow.

Monday, December 18, 2017

My Word For 2018

Since words have strength in our lives, and I never do well on resolutions for a whole year, I chose the word "powerful". Webster defines it as an adjective meaning "having great strength and power or a strong effect on someone or something". My plan is to take the word inward, having the strength and power within to accomplish everything I set my mind to. In that frame, today I drove solo out over the winding, twisty mountain rode to Parker. I passed the gate and whispered.."Powerful" and off I drove.

Just beyond the gate! I was ready and off I went. 

The Fed ex truck passed me going like the wind. or so I thought, but the man in front of me was stepping on his brakes at every turn. First time out maybe. 

The side of one of the mountains that makes me feel we landed on Mars. They are a red volcanic stone and there are holes everywhere. Who lives in them? (So not going to peek, and I don't care in my word is "powerful". Not doing it.)

So I made it to Parker, Arizona in 45 minutes and shipped a painting for a Christmas gift. My next stop was back down to 95 and stop at Walmart. I was picking up milk, wine, butter and bagels but had to get some stuff I needed. Undies, slippers, because the floors are cold first thing in the morning and the dogs better not eat them, and a new pair of long, fuzzy on the inside, black leggings. Oh, a Starbucks bottle Cappachino and some blueberry bread to have on my ride home.

Onto 95 north takes me to my cutoff to the Parker Dam so it was a straight run. I turned on Hair Nation on Sirius and drove. Cruising along the Scorpions came on singing "Winds of Change" and I thought, oh yes, there is a change going on. (Powerful) Finishing work on time, starting those ideas you have rolling around your head at 2:00 A.M. (Powerful) 

"Take me to the magic of the moment on a glory night 
where the children of tomorrow share their dreams with you and me" Scorpions

I love driving, freedom and powerful. 

By the time I got to Black Meadow Road Ozzie Osburn came on. I thought I'm sure someone would love driving this listening to other types of music but now I'm hearing " Just a shot in the darrrk!"

One of my goals is to do one more watercolor of Lola in the Field and do a calendar. Yes, a little late but it's 12 months and I'm hoping to accomplish this by the end of the week. (along with a zillion other projects...Powerful) 

Roger has been reading about cyber currency. He traded currency when we lived in a sticks and bricks and now has an interest in this new world, and he'd like me to know too. (powerful..I'm whispering , it's such a strange happening yet exciting.) I just applied to a cyber currency blog site and waiting to see if I get in. They host all kinds of blogs, I thought it would just be on bitcoin or such, but they have a whole art section. (Powerful and never too old)

Just about back to the campground. The quicker I get my commissioned work finished the faster I can get out here and paint the 13 million year old mountains. Powerful also means that I am falling in love with this desert land. Not sure when we would return but we never say never, so I'll soak in every sight I see, every noise I hear and even enjoy every dust storm that comes with the Santa Ana winds. (Heard they are coming back tomorrow...) 

So, I'm home, cup of coffee in hand, dogs snoozing, and Roger studying on the internet. It's been a great day so far. So everyone, have a great rest of your day, be safe and warm.

See you tomorrow,


PS,  yes I know the words to the head banger music and sing right along. Not well, but sing at the top of my voice. If you see me on the road just beep and wave...then have a great laugh. Huge hugs!!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Busy Bee Me

Roger's cousin created a small book for a relative's baby and asked if I could do the illustrations. That was my job today. Instead of a few I did 10 in all with watercolor added and now pen and ink to bring them out a bit more. It won't be on the best seller list and I'm not going for the award for best illustration but I always want it to be my best. So, bending over my table all day has my back hurting and my psoas muscle tight, but soon I'll be lounging and watching a video with Roger and the kids!

Still in progress. The little girl will be the only one with color and of course the dogs, but the adults will just be one color. Not enough time to do it professionally so Roger is using Publisher.

I also retook a photo of the watercolor I posted yesterday. The rig has tinted glass so I always get a strange tint to photos so today I went outside. Cloudy but bright so it was perfect.

Now I'm pleased.

My friend Lou sent me two notebook journals today. One blue and one red. The one I had for keeping our travel record got wet and wonky so I was thrilled to get a new one. They came wrapped in fun paper, then wrapped in bag paper. The post office was going to charge so much more so she placed it all in a priority bag and off it came. Each day I ride my bike up to the store near the marina in hopes something may have come for me. Some sort of a surprise. That little girl is still in here and today she was so thrilled. I rode my bike home then proceeded, with absolute glee, to tear off each layer of paper to find my books. It made my day. (The cell phone bill from AT&T just doesn't do it)

And here's today's amazing buy. Sheila? Poop bags?? Oh yes. With three big dogs we need bags, often, and ones that don't break and are easy to tie off then carry to the trash. We had been getting them at the dollar store and more than not, I was touching the said poop way to often. Then we bought them at the grocery or at Tractor supply. A 12 pack went quickly. Then, (ok this will sound like a commercial) a friend told us about buying 1000 bags on Amazon. This comes with the holder but after you can just purchase the box of 1000. Large enough for a mans hand, strong enough for Lola!! 

50 rolls in each box with 20 bags per roll and they are a pretty blue to go with any outfit. I say that because I usually have them dangling out of my back pocket, shirt pocket, or ,yes, my bra. (flash back to the bone issue, Lola and no bags)


Ok, finishing my glass of wine, heading towards the bedroom to watch a movie. Tomorrow will be a Santa Ana day again so along with watching football I'll be working.

Have a great night, stay warm and I'll see you tomorrow.


Friday, December 15, 2017

All Quiet On The Western Front

One of my favorite books but it's how it is today outside at the campground.  Sunny and calm, until late Saturday night and all day Sunday. Those winds are returning with a cold front added on for fun. You know all those cracks and creaks you hear when you move sometimes, well the cold here are finding their way into mine and I ache. Who was it that said getting older isn't for sissy's?

Yesterday the winds were strong so I worked in watercolor rather than oils. I was afraid the sand and dirt would just jump on the canvas with the wet paint as it does on everything else in the rig. I don't know how it comes in but it does to everyone.  I did sign my name to this but I may darken the water and add more splashing effects.  8" x 8" watercolor and gouache on 300lb paper. 

Now for my blurb about the cook top we have been using in the RV for three years now.


There are other brands out there but we use the Nu Wave. It has temperature control and comes with a 10' frying pan. You do need aluminum cookware for the induction tops for them to work but, wow, we use this for everything from boiling water to soups, frying and also with our pressure cooker.  It's small and portable so we have taken it to pot luck dinners to keep our clam chowder hot. (Super Bowl) It also stores easily for travel. With this and our microwave/convection unit we have it covered with no added heat in the coach from a stove. Actually we have never used our stove, not once.

A flash back memory. From left to right, Fergus. Roger's beloved boy who excelled in agility and once during a trial was so focused on Roger, jumped over a hurdle, turned mid air and landed backwards.  Baby Sammy is next. He was Fergus's boy and taught him everything from not chewing on wires to no biting. Then my beloved Sophie. She did agility with me and won ribbons but only did it because we would be together. She actually smiled and made me laugh everyday. There is a lot of her in Lola now and I will say, "Soph, did you have to come back in a huge hairy dog?" Lola gives me a kiss and I smile. Kids!!

I'll be working on this today, correcting, laying down color. I have a smaller face on the next canvas. #Busybeeme

Have a great night all, stay warm and safe and I'll see you tomorrow!


Living The Artists Dream is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

2 sets of the D'Artisan Shoppe brushes have sold..thank you. 

Artist Paint Brushes Christmas Savings! Art Paint Brush Set Professional Artist Brushes for Watercolor Acrylic Gouache Oil Painting. Maestro Series XV 15pc with Carry Case. Best Art Supply Travel Kit

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Amazon Associate, The Burro And Lola

Santa Ana winds are a blowin' again out there today. Little dust devils swirling through the park in front of us and I'm hiding wet paintings so people don't get a bit of that sand. sigh.

Let's start with our lights! Roger strung these last night and I am in love with them. They will have to come down when we bring the slides in but after that they are going right back up. After living in Florida for 18 years, I have forgotten how the cold, (for us now anything under 70 is chilly) gets into your bones and I get depressed. The lights are making me giddy!! They went on right as we got up this morning and will stay on til bed. Looking for solar though. (Thank you Mary Jabens...and be sure to look at her paintings. I'm in love with her light and color!!)

Ok, last night we went out for our walk. It was around 5: 30 P.M., just before it gets dark here, and the burros were in the grassy area having a snack. Lola is fascinated by them and she will look but walk by, at a distance, with me just fine. One of the burros is a dark black/brown and probably a bit younger than the others and just a bit more curious to that large brown and white "burro" that's walking with me. You know that saying about don't stare at a dog straight in his eyes, if you don't know them, well the burro never got that message. She never took her eyes off Lola. (yes she's a female..the male is quite..MALE..if you get my drift)  We started to walk by and as we did  the burro would turn slowly in our direction. Lola started to get a bit anxious. "Let's go.." "Good girl" Then the burro started walking towards..US! With intent!! Roger and the boys were able to go to the other side of her quickly but the burro was still heading towards us and never took her eyes of of Lola.  I'm sure everyone in this huge campground heard my "Sweet Mother" exclamation as I tried to get Lola to come further away but she was now in an attack mode. I've heard her bark like this when a man at an other campground came too fast at us. Protection and I'm sure knowing Lola, a bit of fear. That was a huge dog!! I tried to stay calm for her but all I could think of was wild burro thinking Lola was a huge coyote and kicking her. "Lola COME"...and she did. The burro then turned and went across the other way. On our way back to the rig, Lola looked once as I said, "don't even.." Oh, and "shoo, shoo" does not work with wild burros. They are looking for food and that's probably what she was thinking. Human/food. Unfortunately, people feed them and they become comfortable. They are beautiful and seem so gentle but the "WILD" needs to be remembered. 

I was finally able to put a link on my blog page, oh and yes, a new color scheme, to Amazon. The link has my associate code embedded in it so if you go to Amazon through my blog and purchase something I get a few pennies. So far in my new adventure, one set of brushes were sold. Thank you so much to that buyer!! (Roger just said he was proud of me for figuring out the link..I was so not the computer geek that I have turned into when we first met!! hahaha)

On to breakfast, another cup of coffee then painting! It will be a POWERFUL day for me today. That's my word for 2018! When ever I am feeling discouraged I say it and I turn into Wonder Woman. (Without the twirl..hope it still works!)

Have a great day everyone and thanks for joining us on the adventure!


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Got My Data Back

So, when you run out of data and you're in a campground with bad reception, you need to use your hot spot. Mine is on my phone. I share data with Roger. Plot thickens here. Roger needed to do work on the computer and oops...there goes all our shared data and I had to wait for the 13th of December to have it restored. Meanwhile, we went to Cricket and Roger got his own data plan for his business. (dancing and balloons here)

So, from Thanksgiving til now...the Santa Ana winds came in in full force. The news channel said they have never had it last so long before. A little over a week, which sadly, spurned some awful fires on the west coast of California and they are still going. Tomorrow we are due for more winds. We are far away and safe and we will be rocking and rolling a bit then dusting everything once again until we scream, but, we are safe. The people on the coast are loosing everything and it's so wide spread. I can't even imagine.

Last Saturday, Bob, Betty, Roger and I piled into his truck and went down towards Parker, Arizona to the Desert Bar  It's a dirt road with rocks and bumps everywhere on the ride out through the desert and you are tossed about and thankful you have a seat belt on. It's only 5 miles out bit takes about 30-45 minutes since the road is winding up and over the mountains and did I mention, skinny, skinny road. The photo above is the ladies room. The walls are heavy steel as well as the door. Built on the side of the mountain and it has an amazing view as you come out of the stalls. 

It was windy and chilly out there so thankfully the bar had a cool fire to warm us up. 

The lone cactus. Did you know it takes them 100 years to develop an arm? 

From the winding,skinny skinny, bumpy road. 

I may crab and moan over having to dust non stop but where else are you going to see the super moon coming up over a mountain. My phone just hasn't done it justice. The "face" was huge and the color bright. Just amazing.

Finished 12" x 12" commission. 
oil on canvas


I recently bought these brushes and this is what I'm using for my art work. Great quality and they don't break the bank. I clean them after use and they have been holding their spring. I'm an Amazon Associate and if you buy through my site I will earn a small commission from the sale. Just figuring it out now how to do it so please hang in there. 

They come in a nice folding case and fit snug into their little spots. 

I follow RVers that do this and as they say, every bit helps when you have a fixed income. It becomes a win-win for both parties. I think it may work too if you shop at Amazon and enter through this blog. Thank you ahead of time. (total newbie here..deer in headlights look )

So what's on my plate. I am still working on commissions and on the Lola in the Field series of watercolors for a small book. I have also started a series of watercolors on 8" x 8" 300 lb paper of the photos of Ayla Murray of Scotland. We met about 4 years ago and spoke of doing a book together and life happened and I haven't been able to jump into it. Now that I'm here I started. I got this far and an artist that I so admire asked about the piece just as it is and purchased it. She loved the simplicity. 

Then, to mail this and an other piece, I DROVE out beyond the gate on the winding, twisty road over the mountains to Parker, Arizona.  I consider myself a good driver and then realized I was in love with the winding, twisty road over the mountains and now looking for any excuse to go!! 

Ah my Sammy Sam. Some days he has a bit of problem getting up on the couch but then on some days I walk like I'm on my last legs. The cold weather gets into you and yikes...when did this all happen? 
He's not feeling to well today so he's on rice and chicken for a few days. The store was out of the regular salmon dinner that they eat and Roger picked up the same brand but fowl. Last night I saw the moon at 2:30 A.M and 3:30 A.M. and again at 4: 30. He's barks and sits by the door which helps and I just fell back into bed fully dressed. I'm a dog Mum. Kaopectate to the rescue and a nap for me!! 

So, I'm back! Roger is happy with his data and new phone with no contracts. I'm happy with my 30 gigs of data and I'm not surrendering them. A couple of years ago AT&T had a great offer and I jumped on it. Nothing like that is offered these days. 

Ok, until tomorrow. Calling a friend now for our weekly "business " meeting then my well deserved nap!! See you tomorrow and show you our Christmas lights that Roger is stringing through CiCiBlue!

Have a great night and so happy to be back..