Thursday, December 27, 2018

It Comes Like Little Cat Paws

It's been quite awhile since I last blogged. Dealing with our RV insurance company, having the awning fabric blowing up to be a sail, the cover blowing off on the highway, thankfully not killing anyone, estimates, photos then all to find out the insurance won't cover it.  There's something coming..I can't hear it but I just know.

Finishing up commissions for Christmas kept me going and I have to say I'm amazed that I keep getting better as I age.  The dogs are good, Roger is good, but I still feel like there's something close by.

Oh, there you are..DEPRESSION. It has snuck up on me throughout my life but I'm good at covering it. Smiling, waving, chatting away but this season, not so much and a cold on top of it just isn't helping.  So many people get depressed this time of year , not being with mily, financial reasons, sickness. You don't want people to know, its' such a "weakness" but it's not. It's real and part of your makeup. My heart goes out to others. This time I told one friend who is always supportive and we text regularly. My children texted and facetimed for Christmas and it was glorious and I am grateful , it so helps. I am lucky, I have great friends, some I've never met but have no idea I'm frozen because of those cat paws that came stealing into my life.

So here it is, a blog totally muggled and disjointed.  I guess by saying it now I can put my boots on and start climbing out.  I'm getting to the point that I'm saying "damn the awnings", (short of starting an awning Go-fund me page..JOKING!!!)  I just want our big one to be fixed so it blocks the sun and I can paint outdoors.   The dogs hair will always be drifting through the rig and what would it be like not to have them? Not an option.  Art supplies..yes I've been doing retail therapy the past few days, a good sign, and thinking about what my plan is for 2019. A few more commissions and then I'm on my own so to speak.

Depression also brings with it a bit of agoraphobia so the only time I leave CiCiBlue right now is when the dogs have to go out. I know..therapy? Been there and I know the triggers and actually know what to do. ART! The meds actually curbed the creativity so those are gone and CBD oil has replaced that and helps me focus. Putting the words on a blog is actually sending those cat paws in another direction, I'm not alone and damn those awnings.  The trigger was actually the insurance company saying yes, we will cover it to, well, maybe to, yes we will, to, ah, no.

Thank you for listening. Thank you for being friends.. (Oh Lord, was that just the theme from the Golden Girls?)  5 more days to the new Year and a new beginning of art and adventure.

If you suffer, and one does, from depression, tell one friend. Try and reach out because sure as shootin' I bet that friend also knows what it's like and can reach back and help you climb back up.

I'll be back in the New year so have a wonderful rest of the year and be happy and safe!

Sheila and the Gang

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

It's Been An Adventure

Well we stayed a week in Ct. having our generator cut out, repaired and welded back in. What was Country Coach thinking that year they built her?  She had to be put on "stilts" to raise up the front end so the work could begin, which meant we couldn't stay in CiCiBlue for two nights. So we went to our ol standby, Motel 6. They only allow two dogs per room so we get two rooms. One for Lola and me and one for Roger and the boys. Yes, a little weird since we are all together all day in one room, but policy is policy.

We had to stay in our rig for the weekend then on Monday we had her finished up, stayed overnight, then on Tuesday, that one week mark and leaving them $3,498.50, we headed out on the highway with our generator purring.!  Fixed, one Onan Generator, one new chassis battery, odds and ends wires, and servicing the engine and generator and lubing all things that need to be lubed.  CiCiBlue was ready to roll. 

Not sure if you remember the summer fiasco of us waiting to have our awnings repaired? Santa Ana winds out west did a number on them but we had to wait until we were settled for a bit before we had them fixed. And not sure if you remember that the first RV Repair guy came and took measurements and even chatted with our insurance agent. He never returned. Number 2 RV Repair guy. He came and took measurements and actually sealed a seam on our slide out and swore he'd return. "That's awful what that guy did to you, we will fix you right up". He never returned. Before we left NH we were lucky to get a man who rolled up our large awning til we got to Florida and got a new motor. 

While we were traveling, Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle of Florida. Bucket trucks passed us all the time heading down to help. 

We made it to our second stop in Pa. and decided to stay for two nights. It was going to rain so it would be good to stay put. Our next stop would be a short ride to Virginia but, you know, life happens inbetween. 

I started to hear a banging up on my side and I sat down in the stairwell to look up to see CiCi thinking she wanted to turn into a sailboat! The rolled up awning started to unfurl. At one point it was about 2 feet into the air above us as I had visions of us being pulled in a direction we didn't want to go. Thankfully we drove right into a Pilot and stopped in back beside the trucker scales. We went out to look and then looked at each other. We have Coach Net. The AAA of RV's. We pay yearly and for those who say it's pricey, well, it's already paid for itself! 

Their first question is, "are you in a safe area". Then you tell them your issue, ours being we have a sail boat dreamer and we can't get up there to do anything. Within about 30 minutes we had someone to come and save us. Actually, we followed him to their shop so they could figure out what to do. 

Roger kept telling me he was just going to shut CiCi down and head to that building behind him!!! LOL

Who needs a ladder when you have a truck. Zip tied and bun-geed with heavy duty cords. It was going to stay like that until we cut it off.

They did a great job and we left after the cost of $150.  Service call and bungees. Zip!

Back on the road!!! 

Our next stop was in southern Va. (I think, because you stop and go some many times you forget where you are!)

Fort Chiswell RV Park in Max Meadow. 
if it didn't snow here this could be a place I'd stay!

Our rig was in front of this photo. I was in heaven. Lola was not quite. The steer stopped and just stared at her and she stared right back then barked and lurched. Ah, were not doing that. I was telling the young man at the office/store (That only sold wine and beer and rv supplies, and you say, ya? what's the issue?) and he told me that the herd is run by dogs so when they see one they stop and wait for directions.

We made it to South Carolina and stayed one night so we could drive today to Georgia and be closer to our final destination. Everything was going great and a trucker passed us beeping his horn. We were over far enough so we weren't sure why but then we heard a noise and Roger saw something black fly off the top of the coach. A branch from the tree we were under last night? Probably. That's when we heard flapping from the drivers side of the rig. Again found a rest stop. I am the one who gets out to check dolly ties and tires so I went around to see the awning fabric flapping away. Hmm. Then I notice our awning cover has blown off.  Now what do we do. That awning comes down so Roger and I decided to do that and cut the fabric off ourselves.

The cover itself is a heavy plastic but smashed into our dolly fender and I'm hoping landed on the ground so as to not injure someone behind us. Now we knew why the trucker was blowing his horn.

Naked awning rail. Oh ya, we look really classy. LOL

Getting awning fabric totally off and the metal awning thingy back up and locked? FREE.

I'm frustrated that this all could have been prevented if the RV Repair men could have been responsible to return my calls, many calls and just said we can't do it. We could have looked for someone else. But, as you know, I always look for the positives...I'll be painting more, and yes, raising my prices a bit but having payment plans in place, and CiCiBlue will be getting new awnings all around. It will be a winter of..ACTION!!!

Friday we head down to Florida to be there for the winter season, unless I get wanderlust. It was hard driving by the entrance to Highway 40 west...Hmmm...

Have a great night and thanks for joining in our adventure. 

Sheila and the gang.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

And We Thought We'd Be Out BY Noon

The alarm went off at 6:45 A.M. this morning and we stumbled towards the dog leads, put them on and took the kids right out so we could feed them and get to the waiting room by 8:00 A.M. The mechanic was right out to get CiCiBlue and bring in her in to get her worked on. 

Our list was lube the chassis, check the wiring in back that goes to the tow dolly, do the yearly service for engine and generator and a connector on one of the batteries was loose.

The mechanic came in with paperwork....servicing the engine went well. HOWEVER, your chassis battery is reading fair, and it's not a high fair but a LOW fair. If you don't do anything it will be dead in months. "MUM", Lola says, "What will we do??"

Then the mechanic returned... the connector wires to the fuel pump in the generator are shot. There is a separate fuel system for the generator apart from the engine. We depend on that generator to keep us up and running if electric goes off or we're traveling in really hot weather and we can have a/c.

"Mummm...I think I'm getting depressed"

The mechanic continued..."The wires in back that attach to your tow dolly are really messed up. I can cut them out and rewire that system for you".  The wires attach to the tow dolly and give us turn signals, running lights and stop lights. Important, so that was a yes too.

"Oh you guys", said Ozzie wearily. "No need to worry, as long as I have food and treats life is good"

So in the morning the chassis battery will arrive along with our connector wires and the work will commence again. Hopefully not too long. Estimated time is just before noon. I went to the car and got 4 blocks of wood that we used in New Hampshire and asked the man who drove CiCI out front for the night to place them under the wheels. Last night it rained and at the angle we were at rain seeped in the bedroom slide.  Tonight we just opened one side since we are in a parking lot and people use it to turn around. Don't want anyone to drive into us.

So here we are. Pouring rain and severe thunderstorms are going through. We made reservations at a campground about 3 hours away in Pennsylvania and we'll stay two nights just to gather ourselves and recoop. It's stressful sitting forever in a room all day. A strangers room.

Sammy says that he's very happy to be home and sleeping in his own space. They are so good and the guys come in and gush over them and they wiggle and wag. If you break down or need work done I so recommend, yet again this year, Five Star Fire, in Hartford, Ct.  They just work on RV"s and fire engines. Cummins, Freightliner, they know their stuff.

Ok, now that the storm, thunder and lightning is right on top of us I guess I'll close. 

Have a great night and see you all tomorrow, hopefully from Pa.!!!


Monday, October 1, 2018

Submarine Life..RV Style

I guess I'll start this backwards.  We arrived about an hour ago in Hartford, Connecticut at Five Star Fire. It's the same place we were lucky enough to come to last year about this same time. This year, however, we made the choice to come because of the amazing service they provided

Our list is yearly service and look at the generator that had been shutting off on our way north to New Hampshire, but of course ran beautifully today.  Our tow dolly lights don't work so that's on the list along with a connector on one of the battery cells. Chassis lube and I think that's it. Our jake brake threw on our engine light at one point and just didn't connect but the second time we put it on it was fine. The sand and grit out west has actually solidified in places and turned to "brick". Not really but that's how I'm seeing it. I have also noticed that it attaches itself to silicone and it has dissolved the rubber so I just flake it off. Needless to say I got my trusty gun out and resealed some areas before we left NH. I'm getting good!!

So why are you in a Submarine lifestyle tonight Sheila? When we arrived we came in as we did last year but had to go out back, remove the car and dolly...(I did it all and yes, I'm tired) then turn around yet once more and come in the opposite way. The area we we park at is on a tilt and the tilt just may be too drastic to put out our large slides. We did put out the bedroom slide since it's smaller and it's electric. Our other two is an electric and one hydraulic. We opted to go Sub style for the night. 

The piles you see are from the stuff we put on our bed when we roll. I actually have less and very proud of downsizing yet once again.  I will say I don't know how Roger did this in a real Sub with tons of other guys on a submarine for 6-7 years. Ah youth.  He's actually very comfortable. Me? I'm so tired from getting stuff ready to roll this morning and getting the car on the dolly, did I say in the rain, I'm happy just sitting here at my small table. Roger is making hotdogs and beans, on the road food in case we are out and rolling again tomorrow!

And now back to the leaving of Wellington Camping Park, Lee, NH. This was our second year. We love it. Sites are big, you are in a forest so you're likely to see wild animals, which we did. One day Lola and I were walking back down the path on the side of the field and looked over to see a coyote running down the middle looking at us. Then one day a bear decided to wander in. We saw deer eating way at the end of the field and a family of coyote running along the tree line on the far side of the field. They are probably hanging in the woods saying..OMG, I saw a human and a huge furry animal walking down that far path.  The park is peaceful and quiet and the people are fantastic and the bonus, my daughter and her family live 8 minutes away. 

We love it so much that Roger and I will be working there next summer. We're excited!

On our way to Ct. Rain off and on but not bad.

And now Sammy has Ozzie in training to get us places.

It's an important job you know. Sammy has been doing an amazing job but he said he wanted to give Oz some on the job training!

And now that we are settled, I'm celebrating our perfect arrival, taking Lola out then crawling into bed. Thankfully the tilt in CiCiBlue will have our head up and feet going down so it will be a comfy night.

Have a great night and now that we're on the road I'll be back to give you daily updates.


Monday, September 24, 2018

A Summer Of Waiting

When we arrived here we contacted our insurance company about damages done while we were out west. Contacted a mobile RV guy here and he came and measured everything and he was given a purchase order.

It was an incredibly wet summer which didn't help but that doesn't excuse the texts, the calls from me and from the insurance company to the repair person who never returned any or showed his face.

We had more damage to the coach and again, I called our insurance company. National General told us, Oh too bad but we will give you $200.00 towards the repairs.

We found a new RV repair man and he did come once to seal the leak on top of our slide out. Then we extended our passenger side awning and the motor died, leaving it it out.

Obviously, we can't drive with the awning extended and the park closes this coming Sunday. September 30.

A friend in the campground found this on the internet and sent it to us last evening. All it needs is two more dogs!

The weather has change and it's cold. For us anyway. Lola loves it. The light is doing the "Fall/Winter" thing so I'm getting depressed and finding it hard to concentrate or paint. Not a good thing. 

But...let me show you what I HAVE accomplished..

And looking at them, these are a few, I guess I actually worked through the depression! Hmm. 

Memory boxes for a friend, and a few of the paintings were sold. 

I had fun with my daughter and her family. Going out to dinner with our granddaughter then seeing our youngest granddaughter dance with the Boston Community Dance Project! Amazing.

Morgan, oldest Granddaughter and "Us".

Kelsey, our youngest, almost 15 year old granddaughter, dancing with the Boston Community Dance Project. Oh ya..she's serious. 

Thus the summer of waiting! Our plan is to leave a week from today and head back to Florida. I'll be back on giving the highlights, trials and tribulations of fulltiming once again. I really didn't think you'd want to hear me all summer long saying , "still waiting for the repair guy" or "OMG it's raining again!"

Oh fun thing I did do...threw out my leaking rain jacket and got this!!!!

A bright red starry rain poncho!!! The hood comes down over my eyes, which may be helpful in blasting sidewards rain, 😆, but it works and keeps me dry! Plus it's just FUN!!

So with that I'll end and get to work on a commission piece I have. The dogs are sleeping, Roger is busy so it's quiet and it's time.

Chat with you all soon as we start our voyage south!!


PS. I've returned to doing searches on and I'll do a blog on that soon too. Who knew?! (So far not one rich and famous person but it's really fun to see who the relatives were)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Month Already?

Time really does fly! But in this time life has been good.

On the RV side of life our claim into the insurance company is finally proceeding. It took a new person to take over the claim and she's getting things accomplished. I found an RV repair man here, Ron and he's been busy but still getting things ordered for us.

The offending awning! The Santa Ana winds did a number on it this past winter and even though we have a $500.00 deductible on this side, as well as another claim in the other, sigh, it really needs to be fixed.

And why is that Sheila??

Yes, that's rain leaking in. I don't worry about the valance itself and actually glad it's soaking up the water, but if it leaks into the wall, which some has, it will cause our wall to delaminate from the frame. 

I have climbed up as far as I feel comfortable to put Seal Flex tape up on the seams but Ron said some of it just didn't stick. He did say he'd fix the seams for us when he did the final work. Needless to say I do not do the rain dance around here.

I've been busy doing new art pieces and I recently ordered a floater frame for a couple of them. This came yesterday and I'm loving it.  Gold crackle, good weight but not heavy and it really enhances the painting!

I recently completed a painting on copper for a person who won a portrait. Each year I donate to Lab Rescue. I was thrilled to receive this photo of the subject and his portrait!

Some years ago I was doing small 4" x 7" paintings and putting them in 5" x 7" double mats. They were quick and affordable so I decided to add them once again to my repertoire. If you would like your pet drawn or painted in this format please let me know. $25.00 prepaid and they are on acid free watercolor paper and sent in a plastic sleeve.


I've also been taking on line art courses to strengthen my abilities. (Those which at times seem to play games with me and hide), It's an ongoing life lesson these gifts so every so often I need to stop and refresh. My goal is to get outside and do some on site paintings without every value being the same. Wish me luck. LOL

This is a recent painting I did of our Sammy. 10" x 10" oil on stretched canvas. I have to say it's one of my favorites. Painted after one of the on line classes and I found I was much more bold with my use of color. This will also be framed in a gold and black floater frame.

And finally..I bought, as roger calls it, the 1000 dollar bed for Sam. It's an orthopedic and he loves it. He waits for it at night in the bedroom then sits and waits until I return it to the living area and oh, wait, I also haul it outside for him to lounge in the air. I know, you all want to come back as one of our doggies... so do I!!!!

Well that's all for now. The sun is out and I need to get stuff dried outside from yesterdays deluge. Life in an RV. Not all that bad if I do say so myself!!

Have a great rest of your day and I'll see you soon.


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