Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Count Down Restarted

We are back on! Jamie came up last night and fastened the ground wire to the chassis and low and behold..the stairs worked. They are a bit wonky again today, maybe the wire loosened, but I don't care. We are back onto the count down. Roger's on the phone now with Cummins South in Orlando getting an appointment for our work to be done.  They told him that they have a campground there and they will hook us up since it may take a few days to get everything done. I'm excited!

So it started that we took all three kids to the vets for their shots! That's Dr. Mike and his assistant Liz. We have been going to Dr. Mike since we had Sophie and Fergus and Sammy was a pup. He got me through Sammy's emergency surgery after eating a corn cob, (They aren't digestible) , then through Fergus brain tumor and finally Sophie's Melanoma in her gums. Bless him, he's seen me laying on the office floor cuddling Fergus, crying with Sam and sobbing with Sophie. Best Vet ever!!

Next thing on my to do list, wash and wax the coach! 

The system I use is WashWax All

You spray the cleaner on one side of the holder then with the opposite side you dry. As you can see the sides are clean and shiny! And you can also see we have our wheel covers off!! Getting serious.

Where to put stuff???

When I came in Ozzie came right up and told me I did a great job!! It's already massively hot here in Florida. It seems to get hotter earlier every year. I must say the humidity is great for ones skin but from all the moisture pouring from every pore, one looks like hell!

And the rain has started! I can hear thunder in the distance so I am going to do what our Sammy is doing right now! Take a nap! We started about 9:30 A.M. and stopped a bit ago. Washed wheel covers, checked stairs, washed and waxed the back of the coach, stored more things and did laundry. I need to paint but for right now that comfy mattress is calling me and Sam can join me!

So have a great night and I'll see you tomorrow with more of the count down.
And yes, I am feeling sadness. Leaving friends, family,,but thankfully with internet they are not far away.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

EIGHT Plus 4 ?

Oh noooo. I keep saying two steps forward or is it that one step forward two steps back. More like two steps back today.

Wow, Sheila, you say..that's huge! Not the size but getting it connected. One of the owners stopped behind us in her truck to watch, and yes, giggle as we proceeded. Not ever having a hitch or two dolly we seemed all thumbs but got it connected. Then to connect wires and make sure lights and brakes work. I was at the drivers end stepping on the brake. Nada! Back to square one. So also when you turn the engine on your steps, yes THOSE steps, are supposed to retract. Nada! We looked at the repair from the last time the rv guys were here and it didn't hold. Called the rv repair guys!

One of our neighbors came over and helped Roger figure out the wiring issue and we finally got all signals and brake lights to work so now onto hooking up the tow dolly brakes. I went back to my post in the drivers seat and stepped on the brake. Roger was to turn a piece in the controls until it turned green then we would be good. Nada! Called the repair guys and added on this issue onto the list. The instructions for the brake hookup call for the ground wire to be in a certain place on the connector so we are thinking this may be our issue. Tomorrow is another day to think about it, do research and call the manufacturer,  When we got the dolly the owner is the one who brought it and assured us that he is always available for phone calls.

The bad acting stairs. Lola is checking them out with me. 

How am I feeling about this?  Just part of the adventure. It's actually taken off some of the stress by giving us a few more days to get things done. Our arrival in NH is for June 15 so we have time.  Our new blast off date is now Monday, June 5. This week we finish things so we can get over to Cummins next week. 

Waiting right now for a crazy storm to blow through so I'll end and say, see you tomorrow!!!

Have a great night!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


So what did today bring? I got a text from my daughter about 7:30 A.M. . I heard the ding of the phone so woke up and read it and answered! Just a good morning so then went back to sleep til 8:30 and Lola barked wanting to go out. My day started!

I rode my bike up to Stuckeys' for a bottle of water and gummy bears and met our Sandhill Cranes on the move.

The baby was peeping away and running towards his Mum as I rode by.  Then while I was checking out at the register the next photo is what I saw. Dad!!

The family gets fed there at night and Dad was pecking at the window letting everyone know that they were there early and wanted their treats! The manager went out after finishing my purchases and they followed her to the side of the building and had their food.

And then what did I do...

Oh ya, bingo with the ladies! I had gone with them last summer a few times until the smoke just became unbearable but since we are leaving I thought it would be fun to go with them again. It was, but they won and I didn't. I did however get a request while I was playing for a commission so I take that as a win for sure.

UPS dropped off the beginnings of our RV Loot!! We also got our sewer hose but I'll spare you on that visual. I am excited about our new battery charger. Ah, the simple pleasures...but oh so important if our batteries decide to go south. 

Tomorrow I need to decide what I can finish before we roll and what I need to leave out so I can finish up. Art supplies need to find a home. (And a note reminding me where everything is!!) 😳


So dinner is ready so I'll say goodnight and see you tomorrow.
Hug your loved ones tonight and say a prayer for the children and families in Manchester, U.K. Insane and heartbreaking.


Monday, May 22, 2017

OMG..10 Days To Blast Off

The days are flying by and we still have so much more to do. Roger has a list and I have one too. I did get to storage and got a lot of things out, thrown away or stored below. (just a few things) Roger has been collecting bottles and throwing them out or getting them ready for sale. I tried to get a groomer to trim Lola but to no avail. One wanted two days and keep her in a tiny crate all day. That was a no. The mobile groomer that was over 200.00 was out too but then I found one closer that was under 100.00. I was thrilled. They called after being late and the gentleman was in the hospital with chest pains. 😟 I took it as a sign and ordered grooming scissors and plan on trimming her myself until we get to NH.

Yes, dusty and dirty but fixed. There had been a hole in our stair and Roger painted it with rust stuff, (it turns rust into a polymer like substance preventing it from rusting again) then used a bondo product that put a resin into the hole. He places an aluminum plate below to hold the resin and when it hardened put a new mat over. Voila'. Good as new!

My storage area is almost empty, one more trip and happily our bays are rearranged and ready. 10 days. So, how am I feeling about leaving? excited, nervous...leaving a known equation to something unknown. I have always had this thought though since I was young that if I got to the end of my life and didn't do what I wanted..traveling and seeing everything I've dreamed of. So far it's been Scotland twice, pretty much all the islands in the Caribbean, Amsterdam..ok, it was the airport, but I saw it. Flew over Ireland and got to see it pretty well, then years ago drove across country and back in two weeks. 😵 Now I'm ready to slow it down and actually SEE America!

Not sure if I showed you this but before our friends Diane and Paul left, Diane sewed our awning.  She was afraid if I got up there and stretched my neck like that I'd never move again. Bless her! The wind grabbed it one day and the rubber cord that was there popped out of it's "holder" and she and Paul were able to get it back in place. All is well.

The baby Sandhill Crane is growing quickly. This was taken about two weeks ago and already he's loosing his orange tint and turning the gray brown coloring.

SpaceX ! We have lived in Florida since 1999 and have been privileged to step outside our door at our sticks and bricks and watch all the shuttle launches and now being here, the Spacex and Air Force rockets go. Roger had been a programmer working along side the Air Force with their rocket program so it's always been a treat to see them fly. But then everyone who lives in the Space Coast feels the same. This launch may be our last for awhile.

Then in my spare time... I'm finishing up on my commissions and gathering new work to start when we get to New Hampshire. This is an 8" x 8" watercolor on 300lb paper. I purchased a new bottle of Maskit.  Maskit is a fluid that you brush on the areas you want to keep free of the color you are adding. So for the pillow I put it on all the leaves and along the edge of the dogs face then I could add as many washes that I needed to get the look I desired. Rubbing it with your finger removes it quickly after all is said and done and this particular Maskit, or Frisket, just pealed off in one strip. Then I painted the leaves.

Roger just made a huge order, (I think it gave him a headache, haha) and it will all be here before we travel over to Cummins.  A new sewer hose. The one we have now has a leak and we don't want to be like Robin Williams in the movie RV.  Our Tire monitor hook up and a air compressor for our tires. I have become somewhat of a fanatic about safety, which isn't a bad thing, so it was the tire monitor before we roll and Roger added the air compressor.  Fair enough. I'd hate to have a low tire pressure in the middle of no where. It was a joint "yea" on the sewer hose. 

Then a fun thing that I received as a gift and still need to learn how to use them.

84 beautiful colors!! 

My artist friend Suzanne didn't use them so gave them to me.  So excited to start.

Plein air working with the crayons and my water paint brushes. These could be a lot of fun!! 

Ok, stuff to do today so I'll sign off. Have a great day and I'll be back tomorrow. I'm feeling like we are now on the launch pad out at the Space Center and the count down has begun. Feeling the rumbling, the excitement and the nausea. 😰 (haha) It's all good!


P.S. Something fun. We went to dinner at our sons the other evening and he started doing karaoke.
That's me laughing hysterically in the background but so amazed. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

OMG..Day #21

Where is the time flying to? People leaving, new people coming in. I don't know the new people and other than a wave I probably wont really get to know them. It's all good!

So what have I been doing? You really didn't want to see a sweaty Sheila and hearing me groan and grunt trying to get down and under the slide out to get to the basement. I emptied one and put in the chairs and the other I moved boxes around and placed photos that I couldn't quite get rid of as yet.

So much neater than before and I'll be able to haul the chaises out easily. 

View from the door at our bottom stair. Roger placed a metal plate under the stair to be a support for bondo. That's what he's doing now. We bought new treads for the stairs after this is finished and now no dogs or humans will rip their feet on departing or entering. Yeah Roger!!

Our friends Amanda and Smitty met us the other day for lunch at 
Norwood's Eatery and Treehouse Bar in 
New Smyrna Beach.

It really is built in trees and the food is great!

They are now on their way to Alaska!! Great adventures!!

Before we head out we are purchasing this. It comes with four monitors but we will have to but extras since we have a few more wheels to cover! It will let us know if the tires are over heating or loosing pressure which will save us from a tire blowing.  When we took the RV driving class we were told how to handle the RV if one of our tires did blow. Our first response would be to slow down but it's the exact opposite. Speeding up and getting control of the rig then you can start to slow and get off the road. My hope is the tire monitor will help us avoid all of that stress. 

Around 2 P.M. I usually stretch out on the bed and hang my right leg over the side to stretch muscles. I bring my phone and check messages, play a few games and usually have something fun to munch on. Yes, Ozzie loves me but he knows my program. Hoping that I drop some crumbs that he can help me with.! While I'm chatting about the furkids let me tell you this story that I figured out today. We get our dogfood shipped to us and it's great. I have been getting Acana Pacifica, grain free. On the expensive side but after loosing two Labs to cancer I'm really fussy what they eat. It had been made and packaged in Canada, however, not long ago they moved to the USA.  I first noticed that the vacuum sealed package was now not so sealed.  Lola has a sensitive tummy so every so often she would do a hurl or two. Hmm, what had I given her? Did she eat cat poop from outside? Well for the past two days she's been miserable. The pollen has been crazy so I thought maybe that was it. Twice I got up in the middle of the night to clean up her mess. Funny how God gave us women the gene that wakes us when our furkids or two legged children hurl. 

This morning I took some of her Acana food as a treat thinking maybe it was the fresh pet treats I was giving her. "Good Girl, HERE" , I said. I swear she spit the kibble. The lightbulb went off...the food!!! I called PetFlow, (great company) and switched food to Taste of The Wild Pacific grain free. During the call I asked the person helping me if by any chance did any other complaints come in about Acana. She said, yes.  On the whole I've had good luck with Pacifica except for maybe two or three bags but today I did the happy dance knowing Lola will be fine! For breakfast she had a bit of the new food, I went to Tractor Supply and bought it, and rice and an egg. She was thrilled.

She has a spa day on this Saturday!! Summer cut coming up.!! Today it's 96 out. 

Off to stretch early now, then time for painting. Have a great day and see you tomorrow for the big countdown!!


Monday, May 8, 2017

Count Down Day #24

Today was a busy day. Grabbed two cups of coffee to go and headed south to Cocoa to pick up Pamela. Our first adventure was to drop off my portrait of the Newfie to his owner. Heidi invited us in to meet her family of 5 furkids. After saying hello to all she let the boy I painted out of his house. So excited to meet him then she let her larger show Newfoundland out and he was a lovable bundle of excitement. Lola is a "talker", so being accustomed to the voices, we just spoke a bit louder. It was so much fun!

Then off to the storage unit! A couple of hours of lift, sort, save, throw..not sure if I want that, no, you throw it so I don't feel bad..I ended up with trash and a few boxes of "stuff".

Ok. a few more things than I wanted. I'll have to go through all of this and do a heave ho.

I gave my notice at the storage place and I'll go back once more to rid the unit of old unwanted paintings and send a chair to my sister.

One framed piece was this one I did of my Sophie. Watercolor and colored pencil. I am offering it now unframed, not matted for 125.00. I can't keep them all and I know someone will love this piece.

We then headed home, traveling up A1A and stopped at the Blueberry Muffin for breakfast. So what if it was 2:00 P.M. All we had was coffee and I hate missing my favorite meal of the day! A cheese omelet, grits and a coconut,bran muffin satisfied my needs!

Now I'm home and after taking my girl out for her walk I get to relax. Can you tell I'm exhausted. 😵

I'll end for now and get back to you tomorrow for day #23. Still so much to get done but happy what was done today.

Have a great night.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Took The Whole Day Off #25

Yes I did! We did a family picnic at Sand Point Park in Titusville. It's right at the beginning of the Max Brewer Bridge, on the river and a perfect spot with cover and picnic tables. We were so there!

There was a lovely breeze and strong sunlight so I wore my sombrero! Roger, Jamie and our grandson Logan.

There were sky divers in the distance but, alas, you aren't going to see them in this photo. Teeny tiny.

Ok, see that little swirl in the left center of the photo?  That's a manatee. There was a mother and her calf swimming by. Great photo Sheila, you say sarcastically. I know, she only poked her nose up just once and I couldn't capture it. I did get the swirl though!!😌

Jamie, Pamela and Logan. Pam was taking most of the photos but we got her arms and hands. Needless to say we laughed a lot.

They have a course around the park with stations. A balance beam, chin up bars, push up bars and posts of different heights that you step up and down on.  "I can do all of those" ,I said, forgetting the age and lack of exercise.  After about three tries of Logan holding my hand, I did finally do the balance beam all by myself.  The chin up bars? Ah, forget about it.  After we returned home I immediately looked up gyms near the campground we are staying at next winter. Age is no excuse...I can change some of this.

My favorite photo of the day is this of me and my grandson, Logan. Now 16 and on the Varsity squad football team. When he was a lot younger and staying weekends with us, we were always playing in the pool or out front of our house throwing a football. Once a week I would go to his house after he got home from school and we would do some art, eat popcorn and watch a movie. I think I had more fun than he did, but great memories were made.

So that's my day. Tomorrow, full out. Dropping a painting off at a clients house then heading to clean out our storage unit. 

See you tomorrow and have a great night!


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Day # 25 To Rolling Day

So what was accomplished today? After my wonderful massage yesterday I was feeling really good and walking great. I decided before I painted today I would go below into the depths and empty out my basement bay!

It's about a 3' distance under the slide out to the bay door. It's a bend and crouch move and here goes. I placed my yoga mat on the ground and went in! I got about 15 canvas and a few paintings that I meant to send but forgot, (They were in the basement) so those are out and will be shipped. Two people will be pleasantly surprised and one will be shocked. (In a fun way).

Now our basement holds two anti gravity chaise and one painting for my granddaughter that was meant to go about two years ago. I just always believed we would have traveled long before this. The plastic bag is for our window screen covers when we take them off to go.

At least 4 or 5 bike trips to the dumpster and I was done. Everything that the massage accomplished yesterday has been undone but thankfully I have my trusty rolling pin and I've been rolling it over my glutes and IT band since noon.  Now we are outside in front of the coach having a beer and relaxing, and yes I do look tired!

Last year we had two Sandhill Cranes give birth to one baby. We think the new noisy bird is that baby and his "lady". They are coming over to the park separately so that means there's an egg in the nest. The female was here a few minutes ago then as the male came she flew home. There is a size difference between them so that's how we are guessing their sexes. Scary, but wonderful, we have been come Sandhill Crane officionados.

So until tomorrow, have a great night!! 


P.S. Never got to paint. 😞

Friday, May 5, 2017

Ok, Now Down To 26 Days

The days are flying by and we still have tons to do. Today Roger gave me our trip plan to New Hampshire. It seemed a bit round a bout but actually it's really good way to go. Skirting around Washington, DC and New York City is a must.

So, what did I do today. First had a banking visit then went for my last massage here in Florida. Not the fluff and buff but the tough kind that really helps all those achy muscles and stiff joints. I left happy and walking without mu usual limp from a tight psoas. By the time I got home it was later in the day so I started a watercolor.

I started by sketching on an 8" x 8" 300lb watercolor block. I'm fussy about drawing freehand. My feeling it captures the energy and gets the feeling of the subject you are working on. (Don't get me on that soapbox..😮)

Then I put in a wash of the colors that I want. The pencil lines are a bit dark but I couldn't find my magic eraser. Ugh. I just had it the other day for pete's sake!

I washed in eye color and now looking at it I'm noticing the right eye just faded out. Hang on, instant fix.

Whew, ok, much better! Tomorrow I'll do more work, adding more washes to bring the color out. The blanket behind the Lab is bright red! Excited about that.

And finally, Today is Sammy's 12 th Birthday!! When he was 4 months old I flew to Illinois to get him. His owner didn't want him. We already had two Labs, Sophie and Fergus but I showed Roger Sammy's face and begged. The woman was giving him to anyone who would give him a good home. Off I flew! We attached as soon as we met and Fergus took him under his wing right away.  Sophie had trained Fergus so she was quite over it and just kept her distance from the silly pup. I loved watching how Fergus pushed him away from electric cords or mouthed him to stop biting, such patience. He did the puppy training and I did the obedience. We started him in agility and he was fast. Really fast. Did we do it? No. Sammy had terrible separation anxiety, so bad that I couldn't walk across the field without him screaming like he was being murdered. We tried everything we could think of to help him get over it but it was severe. He also had ADHD and OCD and would take every pot and pan and every utensil he could steal and bring it into his crate. His positive attribute, the biggest cuddler ever and to this day remembers all his obedience training and is the sweetest soul. After we lost Fergus, Roger adopted Ozzie. Sophie was aloof and Sammy was furious. A wiggly little thing that wanted Sammy's toys. Sammy's food, Sammy's humans. It took a few days but one day Sammy dropped his ball in front of Ozzie. A huge gesture. Oh yes, Sammy became, much to our amazement, Ozzie's teacher and best pal.

Happy Birthday Sammy..We all love you!!

Have a great and safe night. Listening to the news about the crazy weather all around. See you tomorrow for Day 25!!


Thursday, May 4, 2017

27 Days And Counting Down

Dogs need their shots, Lola needs to be trimmed for the summer, still need to go down into the basement...So what did I accomplish today?

Finished the painting I was working on. Last year I donated 2 gift certificates to the Newfoundland Group in this area. A woman from Cocoa Beach won a portrait. I'm excited because this Monday I am driving down to actually deliver it to her in person. Not for praise but to meet her Newfie. She takes him around the country doing seminars and training in cart pulling and he's one or the top Newf in that field.  She has also been giving me great pointers in working with my Lola Bear. Lola is a reactive girl. She is afraid of things and reacts to it in lunging. Dogs? She wants to meet them after being afraid but again wants to pull me across the road. So we walk with a bag of fun treats as I say the magic word, "HERE". When she hears it she looks at me, then nudges my hand for the treat. If at times, and oh yes there are, that she is totally focused on something, I put her in a sit and down stay. (I wish I had her focus).  She stays until the magic word.."Break". Treat. Then she shakes and I know we are good to go. Heidi assures me we are on the right track and that it takes time. I have to be be calm, assertive (ha..except for when she almost pulled me over in the chair and I screamed). I don't want to be angry with her, Newfies have a tendency to shut down and be stubborn if their feelings are hurt.

After finishing my oil I started a drawing for a small watercolor.  Maybe I'll work on this later tonight. Oh, I did hang out a pair of jeans and two pillow cases that Roger found out and about the grounds. Who knew it was so windy out. 😱

And now it's time to take these kids out for their afternoon walk! Tomorrow our Sammy turns 12! With all his bumps and lumps he's still able to run after the ball. We give him two runs then he lays down only because it's hot out. He can still jump up on the bed when we aren't looking but otherwise he barks for me to give him a boost. I understand though. If his bones ache like mine do at times, hmm, maybe he will give me a boost one of these days.

So that's it for today. Have a great night and I'll see you tomorrow!! What will Day 26 and Counting be like!!


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

28 Days To Rolling

Well I woke up at 1.00 A.M., 3:15 then 4:00 A.M. and couldn't get back to sleep. I got up and walked around a bit, not far since we live in a contained space, but wandered just the same.  Looked at paintings that need to be finished, boxes that need to be finished or started, canvases to have great creations happening on them. That was one side of the room. Sigh. We have a very bright wall clock that sounds incredibly loud at 4 A.M. and I heard my life ticking away so to speak. Sometimes I freeze when there is a lot to get accomplished, not knowing where to start but thinking, "for Lords sake Sheila, just jump into it!".

I did this video this morning so I'm hoping you can hear it and it plays. Funny, as I was riding around I realized I'd miss it. Well at least during the off season. I love the emptiness. People often hear me say, just put me out in the middle of the desert and I'll be happy.

Went to Family General, like Dollar Tree, and got a pot for my two aloe plants, laundry pods and two boxes of animal cookies for the trip. Will they make it til June 1st? 😀 Home now so JUMPING into my artwork for the afternoon. Hopefully it will give me a good nights sleep tonight knowing I really did accomplish stuff.

See you tomorrow for the next countdown. 

Have a good rest of the day and a great sleep!!


She's getting very excited!!!!