Sunday, February 27, 2011


I wasn't going to post anymore pictures of this room until it was all put back together and the new sheers had arrived and were hung, but Craig said it is only fair that he get to take a couple of shots of me painting too.

So here they are:

I am on a ladder!

We will look back at this someday. 

Hopefully from a warm sunny beach. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Next Wall

Before I get onto the subject of my current painting project, I have to say how sad I have been for the people in New Zealand.  Their latest earthquake was quite devastating. 

We experienced quite a bit of damage and loss here in the 7.1 Loma Prieta quake of 1989. Seeing and hearing about the one in New Zealand brings back a lot of memories.  It makes my work here  seem so very trivial!

That said, heres the update on the dining room:
I finished the door and window sections, and Craig helped me move the plants, table, chairs, organ, and sideboard over to that side of the room.

I had already taken down all of the small pictures, and he helped me take down the moose. 

Good-by Moose. 

Well, not exactly Good-By,  We just put him in the garage. 

 I sent an e-mail to the president of the Moose Lodge last week, but haven't heard anything back.  I really do want to send him somewhere, other than the dump.  

The plants in the foreground of this picture are part of the four large ficus plants that are usually in front of the windows in the dining room.  They started as one, or two small plants in our last house 25 years ago.  I almost killed them many times by not watering them.  About twelve years ago Craig took over responsibility for them and they have flourished.  We have discussed the fact that they to will have to go when we put the house on the market.  They take up to much room and block the views from the windows.  Craig seems to be OK with that.  I hope so anyway.

This is the before picture on this wall.

I edged and painted it today.  Turns out that the high point in the dining room is not as high as the living room, so I was able to reach it by myself from my 8 foot step ladder.

If you look in the left corner of this picture you can see just a bit of the new blue color on the wall!

I considered just painting around and as much behind the hutch as I could and finishing the wall when we moved it out, but Craig wants me to "do it right" and paint the wall behind it now.

To do this we will have to move the hutch.  To move the hutch, I have to empty it first.  It is two separate pieces, and is chained to the wall.  It fell over in the earthquake we had in 1989 and just about everything inside came out and broke!

It will be a good opportunity to do a "first round" removal of things to be sold or otherwise gotten rid of.

The china stays.  We will need it and the glassware at Thanksgiving. 

 I have a few things from my grandmother and my mother that will be kept in storage or at my daughters.

I'm really glad never collected many nicknacks.  I have a few, but they will be easy to part with and will go down to the flea market box.  I'm not going to bother with E-bay.  I have a couple of picture plates that I found for sale on E-bay.  Highest price was $8.00.  Not worth my time to list them.  I will ask $10 for them at the flea market and accept $7.00. 

Well, that's about all for tonight.  Progress is slow, but any progress is good.

Hopefully I'll get some walking done next week!

Friday, February 25, 2011

How Fuel prices may affect us

Everyone is watching the cost of fuel rise.

I've heard it said that if you have to ask about the mileage a rig gets, you shouldn't be considering buying one.  A version of "if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it!"

On the other hand, I have read some full timers and others who RV part time, write that they are staying in one place longer, or not planning any long trips in the near future.  Who knows how many, like Mike and Gerri, have parked and bought a small house again?

I wonder how high it will go in the next five to ten years. 

I've heard speculation about prices rising to $5.00 per gallon this summer, and who knows if it will ever go down again.  

$7.00 or $7.50 may well be the price in a few years.

Will this keep us in our "sticks and bricks?" 

 Maybe.     Maybe not. 

 Being an optimist, I can see one bright side to this situation for people like us.  People who have not yet bought an RV.  

If fuel prices continue to rise, fewer people will feel they can afford to travel in one.  They may put their rigs on the used market. 

So maybe the result will be lower prices on used rigs, and more rigs to choose from.

If we can buy a nice used Class A for $10,000 or $20,000 less, the savings will go a long way toward balancing the higher cost of fuel.  

I'm no good at figuring such things out, so if I'm off on this thinking please correct me.

The way I see it is if you get 7 miles to the gallon, you will burn 5000 gallons of gas to go 35,000 miles.  With a pump price of $3.50 (about where it is now) this will cost $17,500.

If fuel prices go up by $2.00 per gallon, to $5.50, the same 5000 gallons of fuel will cost $27,500.  That is $10,000 more.  

But if you save $10,000 on the price of your RV, and apply that to your fuel budget, you will be even on your travel cost for the first 35,000 miles.  (17,500 miles at $7.50)

So maybe we can go after all!

Unfortunately this does not apply to those who already have an RV.  Higher fuel costs will depress the value of your RV on the used market, while making it more costly for you to travel.  A double-edged sword...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Good series of Posts every Wannabe should read

Paul and Mary over at the Great RV Escape are writing a series of posts every Wannabe should read. 

 I'm not sure how many posts there will be, but here are the links to the first three:

Myth #1 - Fulltime RVing is a Cheap Way to Live.

Myth #2 - Fulltime RVing is the Ticket to an Early Retirement

Myth #3 - Fulltime RVing is The Only Way to Go

I'm sure there will be more, but if you haven't read them you should check them out!

Gives us something to think about.

Meanwhile, back at My house, the painting goes well.  I'm loving the new color choice!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I've had the paint chips  for choosing the color for the dining room for months.  I really thought I had chosen the right color, a light blue, so when I went to the paint store I skipped buying a test sample.

I like to do the cut in first.  Over two days I spent about nine hours edging the windows and baseboard. The more I painted, the more unsure I became about my choice.  I  got about half way around the ceiling edge when I finally conceded it was not the right color!

I dithered.  I slept on it.  I got up this morning and really didn't want to look.  But I did, and agreed with myself that it was just the wrong color!

It's a pretty color.  But not for that room.

It's the kind of blue that makes me want to paint big fluffy white clouds or a rainbow across the high wall!

 It would be perfect for a baby boy's room, but not for a very large formal dining room.

So it was off to the paint store to try again.

I got two sample colors.  One is a sunny golden yellow called "full moon," and the other a greenish, grayish bluish color called "dewy."

Full moon is as out of place as the baby blue.  It also does not seem to cover the cut-in that I have already done, and would require at least two coats over the blue.

Dewy is a more dignified color.  It is closer to the color I wanted in the first place.  It seems to work well with the tile in the kitchen, although they are very separate rooms, I think you should have a visual relationship between them.  Dewy also covers the blue quite nicely and it will be very easy to redo the cut in work.

Dewy wins.  I think Craig will agree, but I want him to look at it before I go buy more paint.

On a completely different subject:

I get an email from the local freecycle group every day.  I always look to see what people are giving away, and have used it to get rid of a few things myself.  I often have to remind myself that I don't need anymore stuff!

But yesterday someone was offering a "large laptop case."  I didn't get a case when we bought my 17" MacPro so I do need one.  Usually when the listing is something good, it is snatched up quickly.  This time I was first.  I picked it up on the way to town this morning, and all I can say is WOW!

This is one like it.  Black, all leather with padding and pockets galore. It is like new. The web price is $71.99

I got it free!

It's necessary stuff.  My laptop will need a case in the RV!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Before pictures of the Dining Room

Before I get into pictures of my next big project, I want to go back for a moment to the spider's potty place.  A few hours after publishing my post yesterday I Googled "Spider Poo."  I was very surprised to find other people have asked this question.  I blogged about it just for  "comic relief" although I  wondered if that was what the tiny spots were.  My conclusion is that yes that's what they were.
Spider poop.  Would you believe there is even a video of a spider pooping!

CAUTION if spiders creep you out don't look at the video

Now the before pictures:
In getting ready to paint the dining room, I moved the table, chairs, and plants to one side.  I'm going to paint half the room, move everything again and then do the other half.
I have decided not to paint the ceiling.

  Craig thought I should, because thats what we have always done, but since we don't smoke anymore, it's in fine shape. 

 I should get up there and dust it, but that is just part of a normal good cleaning.

The room has two doors, a patio door, and five large windows.  

Lots of cut-in to do.
  The windows have brown metal vertical blinds. 

 They are rarely pulled, but when the sun is bright on the hottest days of summer, the blinds keep the heat out.  

The little rods above and between the windows are for the sheer curtains that are being replaced.

I have chosen a very light blue paint color.  It echos one of the colors in the area rug that is below the table. 

The room itself is about 15' by 25'.  I can do most of the painting, but like the living room there are places  I cannot reach from my step ladders, and Craig will have to go up the extension ladder to paint them.

Perhaps when I'm finished I will to try to do  a panorama room!  It would be good practice. 

If it works out, I'll post it of course!  

Monday, February 21, 2011

What do you think it is?

I have a mystery...  

In a few corners of our house there are very tiny specks of something dried onto the floor tile.  One of these places is behind the corner of the drapes by a patio door.  Another is just under the cut glass window in the front hall.  The third was in the back corner of the rarely opened front hall closet.

The substance can be removed with a wet cloth.  But it seems like the very tiny specks are in layers rather than something that was sprayed all at once.
The picture above is actually somewhat enlarged.

One thing these places have in common is that they are below spots where spiders weave their webs.  I think I slurp up a spider or three every time I vacuum that corner in the hall, and there sure were a lot of cobbley webs when I took the drapery down. There were webs in the closet too.

It is my guess that it is Spider poo.  

Bears leave scat, birds drop "whitewash," aphids leave "honeydew,"  so what do spiders do?

What do you think?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nice Sunset

Nothing much happening today.  Did a little prep in the dining room.  Craig fixed a couple of cracks and I went down and got the first gallon of paint.  I'm switching brands, to the best  Sherman Williams.  It costs a lot more, but maybe I'll be able to get better coverage.

This evening I was sitting with my back to the windows when Craig told me to look at the sunset.  It was gorgeous.

 So I grabbed my little camera and went up the hill where I can see it a little better.

 There are to many trees at house level.  We can't even see the sunset in summer when they all have their leaves.  (The neighbor owns them so there is no hope of trimming!)

Hope all of you who have Monday off enjoy yourselves.

I'll be painting!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Exciting Day!

Something happened today that only happens once every few years.  It Snowed!
The flakes of snow were as big as a half dollar!
A wonderland for a few hours!

It felt like we were inside a giant snow globe!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ebay research

I've sold things on Craig's list (have one up right now) but I keep wondering if I should try selling some stuff on Ebay.  

I have been doing the research part.  Finding listings of things similar to what I might have to sell, and seeing what the asking prices are. 

Checking the completed listings, I find it quite depressing to see so many " no bids," and when they are listed as sold the prices are very low.

For the very few "collectables" that I do have I might just as well take the pennies on the dollar at the flea market, or the very small tax deduction if I donate them.  

I've spent some time this week taking down pictures in the dining room, sorting thru the dragon picture collection from the stairwell wall, and considering  which, if any, to keep and wondering what to do with the others.

I researched "framed art" on Ebay and see the same as with collectables.  Few sales and those at low prices.  

For many of our pieces, the frames are worth as much or more than the images themselves!  

As I write this, I came up with one idea to explore. 

 When I was active doing shows and active in the local art guild I was often asked to donate a piece of my art to an auction to benefit this organization or that.  Maybe I should get in touch with some of those people and donate some of the pictures we have. 

 The local Public Radio station has an annual fund drives.  I should look into making donations to them.  I think I would get a better write off than at the Goodwill!

Now thats how Blogging is helpful.  If I hadn't written this out, I wouldn't have thought of PBS.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 

miles Friday

Total walked = 316.5 miles  

Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pretty, Plus Painting Progress

I took some time this afternoon to take the picture out of my camera and file or discard what was there. I ooh these in the last few days. I find I  reach for the camera more often now that I blog.

 I like to see pictures in blogs, and usually they say more than a lot of words could.

There are many flowering fruit trees,  wild and in orchards, blossoming right now.
I have always just taken them for granted.  This year I am seeing them!
Another sunset from the deck. 
 Although the color in this one is not a vivid as in some of the others I shot that night, I liked the way the bare branches are silhouetted against the sky.

  (That tree in the center is about 150 feet tall!)

And last weekend's painting progress:
Craig did the cut in trim painting I couldn't quite reach from my 8' step ladder, and
painted the  part of the stair well to the downstairs that could only be reached with the extension ladder.  I painted the lower part on Wednesday.

AND ...  I have started walking again.  I let myself be lazy for awhile!

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 

1.5 miles Wednesday
miles Thursday

Total walked = 314.5 miles  

Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sorting thru years of papers

I find sorting thru papers and deciding what to keep and what to shred  more difficult than dealing with "things."

I know I have to keep all of our tax records for  seven years. These will be kept by our daughter in her attic, or somewhere that she can get to them if needed. 
 I remember when we moved to California I carried one year of tax records with us, but the mortgage bank wanted to see three, and I had to dig thru many boxes in the storage area of the moving company to find them. If our records are in a pod somewhere  it could be a problem.

But what about all the other records? 

I worry that I will discard something that we will needed. 

 I need to tell myself is that no one is put in jail for discarding a piece of paper.

Fined by the IRS maybe, but not given the death penalty!

I think what I dread most is Craig asking me for something that I have tossed! 

He holds me responsible for keeping track of papers.  If I can't find something he really gets upset.  But I will survive his rants. 

Actually I'm almost done with the boxes in the dining room.  I was pleased to see how much I had actually sorted thru last spring.  

Finally,  I have decided to put a couple of boxes of personal records aside for another time! I have decided I want to scan some of them and put them on  CDs or flash memory which our daughter can also keep for us.  These are records I want to keep, but don't need to have in the RV. These could go to storage.  
I've done enough for now!
So here is my Gold Star for today!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Questions for those already full timing ...

About half of the bloggers that follow my ramblings are living full time in their Rv's, or as in the case of Karen and Al, Rving but still have a property.

I have many questions for you.  Here are two:

Is the experience what you expected when you were in the planning stages?

How is it different?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

An answer to Rick's blog about blogging

On his blog today Rick talked about why he blogged.  His was an answer to gypsygmas

This was my comment:

I started reading  blogs to learn more about the RV life, and more about how to handle the unique challenges.

I continue for those same reasons, but also to link into the lives of the many virtual friends I have made.

I write my blog to track my journey toward full time RVing. By writing about my goals I give myself something concrete to aim for.

By writing about my accomplishments I give myself a big gold star.  The positive comments I get are virtual pats on the head.  I enjoy them.

I try to comment on all of the blogs I read some of the time.  I can't all of the time because I might not have time, or more probably don't have anything to say.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

February Goals

I can't believe we are already ten days into February.  This year is going to just fly by.  I have roughed out a few goals for each month in my "to do" book.  Written in pencil of course so they can be changed, erased, and moved, but if I can get those  accomplished each month, things should look pretty good around here by next winter.

I can't speak for Craig, or plan the projects he needs to do, but he has been "talking the talk" lately and helping when he can, so I'm hoping he will get lots done this year too.

My February goal is to sort the all of the  papers I have moved to the dining room from the front hall closets.

(There were 22 boxes of records, one for each year we have lived here.  I went thru many last spring, but still have some left.) 

 I also have to sort the records and receipts  for the 2010  taxes! 

If I can get that all done, I can paint the dining room in March. 

There are a number of other things I hope to get done this month, but they will be fit in if I have the time. Small goals will also need adjusting if I get art work to do, and right now I am exchanging emails about two special projects, so it is likely there will be work to do.

I did make a big step forward this morning. It had nothing to do with the papers. The fabric samples finally came, so I made the decision, and ordered the new drapes and sheers for the living room, and a new drape for the patio door in the dining room, and new sheers for the other six windows in  there. 

And, keeping to my vow to appreciate "here and now," I gloried in the beauty of a sunny afternoon. 

I noticed the trees outside the window dancing in the wind as I categorized papers and filled yet another grocery bag destined for the shredder!

Tomorrow is another day.  
Another good day. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Living Room Update

I came close to achieving my goals for January.  I had wanted to get the living room painting done. 

 I almost did. 

There is a little bit of touch up along some edges to do.  The paint color was so hard to see that it is only now, when I look at the dry paint in a different light,  that I can see a few missed spots.

 And the edging at the highest corner that I can't quite reach from the eight foot ladder. Craig will have to do it using the extension ladder.

I had not included the stairwell to the family room in my January plan.  Although it will be the same color paint, much of it needs to be done from the extension ladder as well.

When I took  the drapes and sheers down in the living room. I thought that  the sheers could be saved.  Unfortunately they were two far gone and shredded while being cleaned. 

 I'm almost happy about that.  It has pushed me into taking action on ordering new ones. The old drapes were also to bad to put back up. Now that the walls are clean, new drapes are a must.

I found a web site that sells customs drapes, and hopefully I can find an acceptable fabric, for an acceptable price.  
I have several samples coming in the mail.

 Their prices are pretty good, and they are also doing a 50% off  sale right now.  I'm trying to get the order together before the sale ends.  I talked to someone on the phone yesterday, and he was a bit vague as to how long the discount would be offered.

The drapes are manufactured in Hayward, California, which is just up the road from here.  I like the idea that they are American made, even if the labor is probably done by illegal immigrants.

 I didn't ask, but I think I may be able to go pick them up when they are done, and save the shipping costs. 
 (I could batch it with a trip to Berkeley Bowl!)

I'm pleased with my progress on sorting thru "stuff."  I agree with a comment that Heyduke left on one of my posts.  Something about "layers" of stuff.  I have found that by going thru and getting rid of the top layer,  it has become easier and easier to sort thru related things. 

I do wish Craig were more involved in it though.  I guess I just want to be sure he is OK with not keeping some things.  

On another note:

We are flying down to San Diego for a Super Bowl Party weekend with our daughter.  It should be a lot of fun, and of course we always enjoy seeing our grandsons.

Where are you watching the big game? 
Who do you think will win?