Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wild neighbors - Deer

As I was doing dishes last night, I noticed a doe browsing on some of the trees in our yard.   I was pretty sure she was the one who has twins this year so I quietly went out, camera in hand.

Sure enough, this little guy was  curious to figure out what I was with that big black thing in front of my face!

Then I notice it's twin coming up out of the forest. 

They and their mom never got close enough together to take a family picture.

It's because of these guys that we don't do any gardening.  We cut the tall grasses and weeds for fire control, and let any native plants alone, but we don't try to landscape except for some roses in a fenced garden. 

Daily countdown:
492 days, or 1 year, 4 months, days to go.

Time spent Painting the House:  
Me:  4.5 hours  Sunday         Total = 54.5 hours
Craig: 4.5 hours Sunday  Total = 12.5 hours  

Exercise Goal:  
1000 miles on the treadmill,  (Pretty much on hold due to the painting work!)
Total walked = 170 miles  
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Another local resident spotted - Mouse

On Friday I was working on an area that I again had a good view of the meadow below the house.  I have been keeping a look out for the gopher so I could try out the long lens on Craig's camera.  The day was quite pleasant and there was very little breeze.  I caught a gray movement out of the corner of my eye.

I carefully went in and got the camera, the hunt was on.

As long as he stays out in the meadow I don't mind.  If he comes into my garage, well lets just say "the trap is set!"

Short day on the painting project.  We watched the USA play in the World Cup.

Daily countdown:
493 days, or 1 year, 4 months, days to go.

Time spent Painting the House:  
Me:  3.5 hours  Saturday         Total = 50 hours
Craig: 2.5 hours Saturday  Total = 10.5 hours  

Exercise Goal:  
1000 miles on the treadmill,  (Pretty much on hold due to the painting work!)
Total walked = 170 miles  
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Welcome to a couple of new friends!  Randy and Pam, and Susan.  When the rush is over,  (I'm not sure when that will be!)  I look forward to reading more of the Werner's blog and watching for when Susan starts one of her own.

I really enjoy this expanding web of friends who are full timing, or working toward full timing.  They are all different, but all special.  So thank you for becoming followers.  I have some very big projects to complete before I can join you on the road.

Earlier this week, Karen commented that our house "It's not your regular ranch style house is it?"

No, it's not!  It's about 4000 sq. ft.  In some places it is 3 stories, some places built into the hill.  It has a three car garage attached, an additional tandem garage space, and a detached 2-car building we use as a workshop/ woodworking/ storage.  It partially repainted about five years ago, but we have changed the trim color choice from a terra cotta, to a dark chocolate brown.  My work so far has been to repaint the deck trim that was painted before.  I'm almost done with that.  Next week I'm going to skip the rest of the terra cotta and paint some of the "wall color" and window trim also on the lower deck area.  

As I said last week ... It's going to be a long summer of painting!  Te only reward I have each day is to be able to post some progress report and hours!

Each day of painting, makes the house closer to being ready for the market.  Selling the house is a requirement for achieving financial freedom and full time RVing!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Have you ever noticed that the sun light spots that dapple a shadow cast by a tree are round?

Do you know why?

The answer is that the spaces between the leaves act the same way a pin hole camera does, and what you are seeing on the ground is the  image of the sun, many times over.  If you look at the same shadow during an eclipse, each round circle of light will show the eclipse of the sun.

Daily countdown:
495 days, or 1 year, 4 months, days to go.

Exercise Goal:  
1000 miles on the treadmill,  
Total walked = 170 miles  
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Time spent Painting the House:  (This is not a contest, Craig is doing a lot of other things)
Me:  5.5 hours Wednesday        hours Thursday  Total = 42.5 hours
Craig:  hour Tuesday   Total = 8 hours
(This is not a contest, Craig is doing a lot of other things)

I hope to find some time tomorrow to answer some of the questions people have sent me.  

I really appreciate all of your comments, encouragements, and e-mails.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


 Craig started painting the supporting beams for the upper deck that I could not reach from the lower deck.  I can stand on a step ladder, even the tall 8' one, all day, but I am no good on an extension ladder.

He painted 1/2 of the first coat over the weekend.  Although he also did several other jobs, at this rate it will take him about a month to do this area.  He finds standing on an extension ladder for more than a few hours very hard.

 (You can't see it on this picture, but  the ground is rough and sloped where the bottom of the ladder stands.)

Meanwhile I worked on the picky work of painting the supporting structures on the steps that go from the deck to the kitchen porch.

This was a bit of a challenge because there is another flight of stairs below what I was painting that go down under the house.  Drop cloth time and some acrobatics on the short step ladder.

There will be painting down below, but I hope to put that off as long as possible.  Spiders!

In addition to painting, Craig did the second round of weed-eating on the entire property (usually takes 2 weekends!) And cleared out a couple years of leaves and debris that had built up against the road side wall of the attached garages.

Thats our new roof!

Before any painting can be done here, we will have to dig away some of the dirt that has seeped down the hill.  No dirt should be in contact with the wood part of the wall.  I'm not sure if it will be a Craig job, or a my job!

While blowing the leaves across the driveway, he exposed this little critter.  We have been here for over 22 years and this is only the third one I've seen.  He must have been happily living under the old moldering leaves.
These pictures were all taken with my little point and shoot Cannon Camera.

Today I took the morning off and went to the 24 hour fitness.  Did 3 miles on the treadmill, went in the pool for awhile and enjoyed the hot tub!  Painted just a little this afternoon.

Daily countdown:
497 days, or 1 year, 4 months, 10 days to go.

Exercise Goal:  
1000 miles on the treadmill,  3 miles today
Total walked = 170 miles  
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Time spent Painting the House:  (This is not a contest, Craig is doing a lot of other things)
Me:  hours today         Total = 32 hours
Craig:     Total = 7 hours
(This is not a contest, Craig is doing a lot of other things)

Monday, June 21, 2010



Any  internet time I had was spent reading other blogs.

A good weekend of work was done.  Pictures possibly tomorrow.

Daily countdown:
498 days, or 1 year, 4 months, 11 days to go.

Exercise Goal:  
1000 miles on the treadmill,  
Total walked = 167 miles  
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Time spent Painting the House:  
Me:  hours Fri,  1.5 Sat,  5 Sun,  2 Mon        Total = 30 hours
Craig: 2 hours Friday, 5 hours Sunday             Total = 7 hours

(This is not a contest, Craig is doing a lot of other things)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Gopher was a no-show!

When I told Craig about the gopher last night and my disappointment in not being able to get a good picture of it, he put the long lens on his camera for me.  This monster has got to weigh ten pounds!

He usually uses it to take the studio pictures of my animal head sculptures for my web site.  On a tripod it is great.
 We left it downstairs where I could get it if the little guy poked his head out again.

But he didn't.  As I painted today I kept watching for movement in the ground, but there was none.

So I took this picture of a rose instead:

Painting went well.  I finished the second coat on the overhead beams pictured on Monday.
 I did take an after picture, with my camera, but it is too dark to post.
 The new color is a dark brown that reminds me of bitter sweet chocolate, and it was hard to photograph in that area.

This is part of the next area I'm going to be working on.  The stairs, railings and narrow wood uprights are all stained redwood and will not be painted.  The large beams and stair supports that are now the terra cotta color will be painted with the darker brown color.

I spent almost two hours today masking and still have a lot to do before I start to paint again.

 I will also be working on the large beams on this level of the front of the deck and down the center off the room. This should keep me busy most of next week!

Daily countdown:
502 days, or 1 year, 4 months, 15 days to go.
Exercise Goal:
1000 miles on the treadmill,  
Total walked = 167 miles  
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Time spent Painting the House  
hours Thursday      Total = 18.5 hours

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Local wildlife - Gopher

Today as I was stretching to paint the ceiling beams from atop a step ladder, I looked down and noticed another resident of our property also working on his home.  These are terrible pictures, but the good camera was upstairs and I thought he might go away before I got it.  Where is Judy when I need her!

Just like caddie shack!
Daily countdown:
503 days, or 1 year, 4 months, 16 days to go.
Exercise Goal:
1000 miles on the treadmill,  
Total walked = 167 miles  (might do a mile or two later this afternoon)
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Time spent Painting the House  
4.5 hours Wednesday          Total = 13.5 hours

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Addiction, Obsession, or Amusement

I'm not sure what to call it, but I really enjoy doing Sudoku puzzles.  Not just the one in the daily paper, or an occasional one found in the airline magazines.  I download and print them from two sites on the web, and usually do between 5 and 8 puzzles per evening.   I alternate between Suduko and reading.  A couple of puzzles, then some reading etc.

 I have RLS (restless leg syndrome) and find that if I just sit and read my legs are all over the place.  As soon as I am concentrating on a puzzle, they calm down.

 I have compared notes with my sister, who also has RLS, and she tells me her legs are calm when she is doing counted cross stitch, but when she reads she sometimes feels like walking around with the book.

Just a little tidbit about me.  Suduko will be a light and easy take along on the road!

Painting: Got the first coat on all the cross beams in the area I pictured yesterday.   I have decided not to include the window area in this weeks paint target.  I will start the 2nd coat tomorrow.  

Surprisingly, I was not at all stiff this morning.  Was out by 8:30!

Daily countdown:
504 days, or 1 year, 4 months, 17 days to go.
Exercise Goal:
1000 miles on the treadmill,   mile today
Total walked = 167 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Time spent Painting the House  
4.5 hours today,          Total = 9.5 hours

Monday, June 14, 2010

Painting Day 2

Weather was fantastic this morning.  Close to 70, no wind. Surrounded by bird chirps, I started painting by 9:00 and worked till 12:30.

 This is the area I am concentrating on this week:

It is the   underside of the upper deck.  Each board is a 2"x10" that is about 7' from side to side in the area that I can reach using a 6' ladder.

 The area to the far left of the picture is over a drop-off that is reachable with an extension ladder.  I'm NOT doing that.

 I will also be working on painting around the patio door and side windows at the right side of this picture.  That is my studio room.

The color story is this:  When we bought the house 22 years ago, and when we repainted 18 years ago the trim color was dark brown.

 About 7 years ago we had all the decks rebuilt, and at that time Craig selected the terra cotta color seen here.  It went with roof at the time,  but I didn't like it very much.  I thought it was too much of the sienna color and reminded me of a bridge.

At the time,  He painted all of the new raw wood associated with the decks, but never finished the house.

When we choose the new roof, the terra cotta color was not compatible, and we decided to switch back to the dark brown color.  I told Craig we could keep the beams and supports structures of the decks in his color, and just do the house trim in brown, but he says thats not "right" and so it will all get redone.

Daily countdown:
505 days, or 1 year, 4 months, 18 days to go.
Exercise Goal:
1000 miles on the treadmill,  1 mile Friday, mile today (to be walked as soon as I post this)
Total walked = 165 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Time spent Painting the House  
3.5 hours today        Total = hours

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Welcome to a new friends, Kenny and Angela, I'm looking forward to hearing more about their three dogs and their progress toward going full time in four years.  Their blog, RV Life is Good, tells the story.

I explored the new template designer!  I found out that the reason I couldn't do anything with it before was because I was in Safari instead of Firefox.   Still needs some tweeking, but it's fun to try a new look. 

I like to keep track of things.

 Make lists.

 Lists of things to do, and lists of things done.

 I find it personally motivating, and since that is what this blog is about, I'm adding another subject to keep track of: Hours painting.

 I started painting this morning, and it felt like I was on the ladder forever.  After checking the time, I discovered I had only been at it for an hour and a half.  Long enough.  It was getting hot and it was my first day.

After that I did 3 miles on the treadmill in the cool of the family room and as soon as I'm done here will be finishing up the wash.  What an exciting life. (not)

Daily countdown:
506 days, or 1 year, 4 months, 19 days to go.
Exercise Goal:
1000 miles on the treadmill,  1 mile Friday, 3 miles today
Total walked = 164 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Time spent Painting the House 
1.5 hours today        Total = 1.5 hours

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hello to 3 new friends

I want to say hello to three new followers.  Laura, Karen, and Nellie.  I just want to thank you for your encouragement.  Thank you to everyone who has left comments.  They mean a lot to me.

I just checked out Nellie's blog and find it made me smile.  She and her husband are just a couple of weeks away from going full time and she has a delightful use of photographs.  You Go girl!

I'm on track today.  Did my 2 miles, finished the Raccoon for the lady in West Virginia, and as soon as I post this will be hunting up some additions to the garbage cans so they will be full for pick up tomorrow.

The Raccoon:

Daily countdown:
509 days, or 1 year, 4 months, 21 days to go.
Exercise Goal:
1000 miles on the treadmill,  2 miles today

Total walked = 160 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Picked out paint colors

A few years ago we started painting the house.  We got as far as doing part of the trim and supporting beams of the deck, but then winter came and we never got back to it. Now it seems the  color  is not compatible with the new roof and rain gutters.

 So it has taken us a week or so to decide what brand and colors to use.  We have decided to stay with the same house color that we started with, but are changing the trim color.    There are miles and miles of trim to do.  In many areas there is more trim than main color.  I'm going to start with the repainting of the trim we did before.

 I probably will wait until next week to start, because we will want to wash it first, and we are having friends over for breakfast and World Cup Soccer on Saturday.  We do have a real life to live in addition to reaching for the dream!

I did do some prep yesterday by moving and re-stacking some firewood that was next to the garage.  And today I went to buy the paint.

Tomorrow I have to finish a raccoon sculpture that I promised to ship by Friday.

I'm looking forward to starting the painting.  Another step towards our future.

Daily countdown:
510 days, or 1 year, 4 months, 22 days to go.
Exercise Goal:
1000 miles on the treadmill,  1 mile yesterday,  1 mile today

Total walked = 160 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Looking forward to a long summer's work

Oh well,

 While the other bloggers I am following are traveling about the country, or selling their homes without even listing them, or buying bigger and newer RV's, or packing for the beginning of their new lives, I'm stuck here looking forward to a long summer of painting the house.  As you know from previous posts, it is a big house with a lot of detail trim, doors, and windows.  We will hire someone to do the very highest work, but most of the lower down painting will be done by the two of us.

Why you may ask.

 I don't even want to know what a professional painter would charge for the whole job.  After the big bite that the roof took out of  our fix up budget (never really written down), I think we just have to paint it ourselves.  I really don't want to accumulate debt fixing the house if we don't have to.  For now at least,  we want to pay as we do.

We have picked out the trim color, it's much the same as the old color and matches the new rain gutters pretty well.  I got some sample quarts today and will paint with them tomorrow.

Once that is decided, I plan on painting every morning for a couple of hours.  A house is painted ONE BRUSH STROKE AT A TIME!

  It will put a dent in my exercise time, since if I go to the club, or do the treadmill at home, it is usually in the morning.  I will try to average 10 miles a week.  That will be doable.

Sniff!  Grumble! I want to be a fulltime RVer.

 I want to see this beautiful country before it becomes illegal to drive a vehicle that gets less than 10 mph!

Daily countdown:
512 days, or 1 year, 4 months, 24 days to go.
Exercise Goal:
1000 miles on the treadmill,  2 on Saturday 3 Today

Total walked = 158 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Clean Up after, and Craig is happy

I've been vacuuming all morning to clean up all the dust and dirt that filtered down when they did the roof. They did a pretty good job cleaning up outside, but the inside is a disaster. In one place the nails from the ceiling dry wall backed out leaving bits of plaster all over. There is dirt from the installation of the new replacement skylight and the sun tunnel.  An inexpensive framed poster fell off the wall and the glass broke, and today when I was taking down the plastic diffusers from the skylights, so I could clean all the roof dirt out of them,  I dropped one and it shattered.

 I guess I'll get my exercise by actually cleaning today!

Craig seems pretty happy with the roof work.  There are a few things they have to fix, but overall the work went well.

If Craig is happy, I am happy!

Next ...
Choosing  new paint colors.

Also finding a special carpenter to do some special work on the ends of a couple of large beams that the roofers said were OK but look terrible.

Daily countdown:
515 days, or 1 year, 4 months, 27 days to go.
Exercise Goal:
1000 miles on the treadmill,  1.5 yesterday

Today getting my exercise vacuuming and cleaning up all the
dirt that filtered down from the roof job.

Total walked = 153 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

As long as a Trip to Mars!

I was listening to the news this morning and they talked about a crew of astronauts" going into an isolated chamber in Russia to test the effects of long term confinement similar to what they would experience on a trip to Mars.  The number of days caught my ear.  520. Only four days longer than my "goal" date.  So should I be thinking I could go to Mars in about the same time as it will take to get this house fixed up and on the market!

As you can tell I have very little to write about.  They are still pounding over my head. Should be done later today.

Daily countdown:
516 days, or 1 year, 4 months, 28 days to go.
Exercise Goal:
1000 miles on the treadmill,  None so far today,  maybe later!
(I've had a tender knee for a couple of days)

Total walked = 151.5 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Didn't Win The LOTTERY

Dang!  I didn't win the lottery again!

About five times a year I risk a whole $5.00 on the Lottery.  I don't look at the wining numbers for weeks after, so I can imagine "what if?"  It's a pretty cheep way to fantasize.  So today I finally looked at a ticket bought in March,   No win.  Oh well

But the roofers have started the job.  I know this is a terrible picture, but it is what it is.

They actually started yesterday, and will be finished tomorrow!

There is a lot of extra work that needs to be done, but the have a huge crew up there.  Unfortunately we will be adding several thousand to the bill in dry rot repair etc.   But the roof replacement is a big item to be checked off the must be done list.

I keep reminding myself that in a few years this will all be a foggy memory.

These are the kind of things that are very hard for Craig.  The roof would have to be done no mater what our future plan was. It has been leaking in small places for as many years as we have been here.  We've had repair men in, and Craig has been up there year after year spreading caulking to no avail.

But now, even though we have hired a top rated, very professional company, he is never quite satisfied with their work or materials.  His projects take years.  These people get things done!

I wish he could be happy things are getting done.  This has nothing to do with the idea of RVing.

His fussing is a reoccurring pattern.  Part of his nature.  I just have to ignore his sad looks.

 I have for 44 years.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Moose Lodge Membership

Craig and I went to the Santa Cruz Moose Lodge for a BBQ on Monday.  A new friend and her husband were the band entertainment.  The whole "scene" reminded me of days long gone in our birth place, Wisconsin.  People sitting at outside tables who smoked, lots of people in the old time bar area, with a shuffle board and pool table,  and a medium size "hall" with tables and a nice wood dance floor.

The whole building was clean, freshly painted and fixed up, but by no means "modern!"  Loved it.  Many of the people who were in the hall were from other lodges where my friend plays, and came for the dancing.  (Country Line Dancing)

Because of this unexpected group of people, the BBQ planner had underestimated the number of dinners needed, and they ran out of food just before we got there.  After a quick trip to the grocery, we were able to eat a meal that was O.K. , but not up to their regular standards.  But, we were only charged half price so it was fine.  ($4.00 each)

We still don't know all that much about the Lodge, or what it  does, other than have lots of dinners each month (average price is less than $10.)  The people seem  nice and "down to earth." I know they donate part of the membership to an orphanage, and have several community service projects.

 My friend really didn't let us do our usual "Well, we will think about it" when it came to signing us up, so now we are in the process of Craig becoming a Moose.  Actually I had the check in my purse, ready to fill out, and hand over, so the push to sign up wasn't particularly resisted.

Moose Lodge membership for a man is $75 per year, plus a $20 one time application fee.  This lodge doesn't  have a "Lady of the Moose" chapter. "Lady"  dues would be $25 per year, but there are many active women at this lodge, and as a family the women get the benefits thru our men's membership.  A single woman would have to join thru another lodge that has a Ladies chapter.

What are the benefits?  Aside from fellowship and community, and being able to eat for a reasonable cost from time to time, there are the usual selection of discounts.

One of the benefits we had our eye on is the fact that as a member you can overnight at many lodges thru-out the country.  There's an online list by state and city. Some have  RV hookups.  This lodge charges $5.00 per night.  I was told the highest it usually gets is $10.

So even if we don't get out there for a while, it won't take to many nights to cover the membership.  Somehow I'd rather stop at a Moose Lodge than a Walmart, particularly if there is an event at the Lodge on the night we stay over.  Also if you are a traveler, I'm told that local help is usually available if you need something or some information about the area.

For us, there is  another reason for looking into Moose Lodge membership.

 My biggest Moose:

He is life size, created using a full size taxidermy form.

His skin and antlers are crocheted.   He is a "one of a kind" and I created him about 30 years ago.

 He has been a part of my identity ever since, and every house we have lived in was purchased only after agreeing that there was a place to hang "The Moose."  (Three different homes, three different realtors, Two moving companies!)

 But this time,  well,  there is no place in an RV for him.    I don't mind the idea of giving him up.  I do not want to put him in storage, and I would hate to see him at a Goodwill or worse yet taken to the dump.

SO, the next best thing would be to find a place that would give him an honorable location, and would accept him as a donation.

The Moose Lodge seemed to be the place to start.

I don't know if this is the right lodge yet.  They are remodeling an upper room in their building and I don't know if it has a tall wall.  But once Craig is a member, I can look at other lodges to find a new home for him.

In any event, he will not leave my dining room until the rest of the house is ready for sale.  And that may be over a year or more.

What is, or was your hardest possession to find a new home for?