home again!

It is certainly time for me to let you know that I’ve made it to Tucson safe and sound.  I’ve been here three weeks now and have spent most of that time unpacking, organizing and resting.  I might have been done with it all if I had the shelving I needed but it hasn’t arrived yet.  Well, technically the shelves are here but the upright parts aren’t yet so the shelves are useless in this moment!

Our very trusty and comfortable Penske rental truck with my less than trusty car behind it!

Our very trusty and comfortable Penske rental truck with my less than trusty car behind it!

I feel quite at home here, not just in Tucson but specifically in our apartment.  Given that I rented it sight unseen that’s a good thing!  One side of the apartment faces desert which makes me quite happy.  Every evening as the sun descends the coyotes can be heard singing their good night song.  I’ve seen a family of quail right outside my bedroom window!  Just tonight I saw an owl sitting on a chimney (yeah, we all have wood burning fireplaces in our apartments, something I doubt I’ll ever use but who knows?)

A rainbow as we left Sarasota.  I took this to be a good omen!

A rainbow as we left Sarasota. I took this to be a good omen!

The trip cross country couldn’t have been any better.  The weather was near perfect, the drive uneventful and I had only one questionable day.  That’s one day out of fifteen, two if you count the day we arrived here but that was just stress and overwhelm.

Storm clouds gathering as we left Sarasota, FL.  Our weather was near perfect with very little rain.

Storm clouds gathering as we left Sarasota, FL. Our weather was near perfect with very little rain.

There were several high points during the trip.  My favorite thing was finally getting to meet a Facebook friend (Linda Van Kampen) in Florida.  She was exactly the wonderful person I expected her to be.

A rainbow as we left Sarasota.  I took this to be a good omen!

A rainbow as we left Sarasota. I took this to be a good omen!

We spent extra days in San Antonio and Carlsbad, NM where we got to do the Riverwalk and explore the caverns, respectfully.  The caverns were a really amazing experience.

The Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX

The Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX

 

The Riverwalk.

The Riverwalk.

We ate wonderfully during the trip and neither of us gained any weight at all!  We ate at a Chinese buffet, had stromboli/calzone, indulged in filet mignon, enjoyed a night of Mexican food with a mango margarita and I had my first In-N-Out burger!  We had fun driving in the truck, talking about just about everything we could and singing Willy Nelson’s On the Road Again each morning!  Davette, my trusty driver and friend, now considers herself to be Picasso’s second mother.  They became close friends during the trip.  Davette took a video of Picasso jumping from bed to bed and has shown it to quite a few people like a proud mother showing off her kid’s newest antics.  And speaking of Picasso, he was nothing but a perfect gentleman on the trip.  I even felt comfortable leaving him by himself in hotel rooms, something I’ve not done before.  It was clear that he was going to be okay with it and, yes, he was perfect.

No photograph could ever capture the majesty of Carlsbad Caverns.  It is something that truly has to be experienced.

No photograph could ever capture the majesty of Carlsbad Caverns. It is something that truly has to be experienced.

 

The dim lighting in the caverns made for some interesting standing for me!  Let's put it this way - darned good thing there were handrails throughout!

The dim lighting in the caverns made for some interesting standing for me! Let’s put it this way – darned good thing there were handrails throughout!

Another one of the high points came when we were in our room in Carlsbad.  We hadn’t even gotten settled yet.  I was coming out of the bathroom while Davette was fiddling around when a man suddenly walked into the room!  Woohoo!  The first man I’ve had in my bedroom in quite a while!  Sadly he was there by mistake, the front desk having assigned him the same room they just gave to us minutes before.  Thankfully we were all dressed although Picasso certainly gave him a good barking, all while wagging his tail.  Great watchdog, ready to lick a intruder to death.  Good thing he’s so cute!

Sugar cane fields in Louisiana.  We just had to stop at a distillery where they make rum from the sugar cane.  Of course we had to test out their wares!

Sugar cane fields in Louisiana. We just had to stop at a distillery where they make rum from the sugar cane. Of course we had to test out their wares!

So here I am in Tucson…or is it Florida?  My brain has known I have “gone back” but sometimes thinks I went back to Florida, not Tucson, so at any moment I might be thinking of going to Publix rather than Albertson’s.  My driving has been limited to a very small area but I do manage to get out a bit more than I had been.  My trusty steed, my car, has been back in the shop for the last two weeks.  The loaner car looks exactly like mine except for the fact that it has been emasculated by having been given an automatic transmission rather than a stick shift.  Supposedly my car’s clutch is just fine, thank you (I’ve heard this before), but a part of the roof (an air dam) needed to be replaced and has taken a whole lot longer than I would’ve expected.

The clouds were truly awesome during our trip.  This is but one example.

The clouds were truly awesome during our trip. This is but one example.

While I’m quite tired and my body is complaining about all I’ve been forcing it to do (packing, sitting in a truck for hours on end for two weeks, unpacking) overall everything is good here.  I’ve gotten to spend time with old friends I’ve not seen in a while, rekindled lost friendships and appear to be heading toward making some new friends.

Arizona!!!

Arizona!!!

Picasso loves it here.  As much as he hates the heat he seems to be doing quite well in the desert.  He has developed some new routines and has resurrected some old ones (howling in the morning as I grab the leash for his first walk as well as howling when I’m getting his food ready).  There is a “racetrack” in the apartment, extending from the kitchen to the dining room to the living room to the hall and back to the kitchen again.  Picasso especially loves to run the racetrack whenever I grab a paper towel to clean his face after he has eaten.  Perhaps he thinks I need the exercise but all it does for me is make me more dizzy than I already am!  He has also found playing “monster” to be a whole lot more fun here.  Of course I am the monster and he is running away from me.  Seems that running away from me is a real theme here!  On any given evening Picasso can be found in his kennel in the bedroom after having abandoned me in the living room.  He seems quite content.

Again!  The only reason my car was back on the tow truck was for a dead battery which was completely covered by warranty!  Whew!

Again! The only reason my car was back on the tow truck was for a dead battery which was completely covered by warranty! Whew!

Well that’s the quick version of how things have been.  I’m going to try to get this up on my website right away since the previous ones I’ve written never got posted.  I’ll throw in a few photos taken with my iPhone and call it good.  My camera has been taking a rest while I unpack.  I’ll try to get back to you again soon, after I’m done with the whole unpacking and organizing thing.  I will say that I’ve no doubt I’m exactly where I need to be right now.  It is good to be home again.

A Tucson sunset as seen from my apartment.

A Tucson sunset as seen from my apartment.

© 2016 deborah kauffeld

welcome to our home!

Yesterday was housecleaning day.  Somewhere along the line I realized this was actually the first time I’ve really cleaned.  Yes, I’ve swiped or vacuumed but this was the first front to back, top to bottom cleaning and I’ve been in this RV over two months already!  Yikes!  No wonder I could easily write in the dust!  But then I realized something else – yesterday was the first time I had everything completely in its place and organized since I moved in which is why I never got around to doing the whole photo thing.

There was a trip to Indiana immediately after moving into the RV as well as three trips back and forth to Florida and the time afterwards to recover.  I’m not as young as I used to be!  And then there were all the phone calls starting just after Christmas as mom began her final descent.  Yeah, all that to say that things have been just a little busy around here!  Oh, and I had to find homes for all the things I brought home from mom!  So, no surprise that I’m just getting to this now!

Okay, so having said all that, I owe you, my lovely readers, some photos of the new abode!  So here we go with narratives to go with each photo!  Welcome to our home!  Oh, and you might quickly notice that for me, it’s all about the view!

 

The view of the sofa with air mattress as you enter the RV..

The view of the sofa with air mattress as you enter the RV.  Picasso’s treat ball is easily in reach on the couch!  Hanging off of the cabinet handles above the couch and desk are chimes my mom gave to me.  The clapper is actually a piece of crystal and there are five different sized rods inside that make different tones when struck by the clapper.  

 

The front and only door into the RV.  There is a coat closet to the left in the photo with Picasso's rain jacket hanging off of the door knob!

The front and only door into the RV. There is a coat closet to the left in the photo with Picasso’s rain jacket hanging off of the door knob!  The first step down is inside the RV with the others outside the door.  When it is really cold I keep that opening covered to try to keep the draft down a bit.  And then there was the day I opened to door with the covering still on and, for some reason, decided I could step on it!  I could’ve really hurt myself but, thankfully, didn’t!  I doubt that I’d ever do that again!

 

Overview of kitchen.  Lots of counter space for an RV!

Overview of kitchen. Lots of counter space for an RV!

 

Love that I can keep my mixer out on the counter!  Probably the only way I would have brought it on the RV.

Love that I can keep my mixer out on the counter! Probably the only way I would have brought it on the RV.  The jars behind the sink are to grow herbs indoors during the winter months.  I still have hope for two of the three of them but I started them at the wrong time since I ended up spending weeks away from them while in Florida.

 

Knife rack behind the stove.  I have another rack that a hold more knives but I left them in storage and just took what was most important to me.

Knife rack behind the stove. I have another rack that would hold more knives but I left the rest in storage and just took what was most important to me.  The glowy thing on the toaster over is my essential oil diffuser.

 

Christmas in February!  Someone needs to change towels!

Christmas in February! Someone needs to change towels!

 

Picasso's favorite towel.  When he gets excited, usually because I've finally decided to feed him, he yanks the towel off the bar and flings it in gleeful excitement.  Now you know why he has his own towel!

Picasso’s favorite towel. When he gets excited, usually because I’ve finally decided to feed him, he yanks the towel off the bar and flings it in gleeful excitement. Now you know why he has his own towel!

 

My work space at night.

My work space at night.  The chimes are a bit more clear in this photo.

 

My printer on top of my wooden crate bookcase.  The printer is currently doing double duty as a card holder for now!

The printer on top of my wooden crate bookcase. The printer is currently doing double duty as a card holder for now!

 

The ubiquitous stink bug on the blind behind my lamp.  During the warmer days in winter they seem to wake up just to come into my RV.  Hopefully in spring they disappear again.  I'm not a fan.

The ubiquitous stink bug on the blind behind my lamp. During the warmer days of winter they seem to wake up just to come into my RV. Hopefully in spring they disappear again. I’m not a fan.

 

View of the lounge chairs when I'm meditating, praying and writing in the mornings.

View of the lounge chairs when I’m meditating, praying and writing in the mornings.

 

Ready to write in the morning as is my daily custom.

Ready to write in the morning as is my daily custom.  Yes, that’s a fountain pen.  Right now I have five of them each with a different color ink.  I use them exclusively for writing in my journal and love the varying colors.  I’ve more pens but they are still in storage.

 

The morning view as I come down the stairs to start my day.

The morning view as I come down the stairs to start my day.  My grill sits on the picnic table outside.

 

The daytime view from the corner kitchen windows.

The daytime view from the corner kitchen windows.

 

Love washing my dishes with the view I have of the woods and the stream.  What may not be quite visible are all the wild rhodadendrum bushes on the opposite bank of the stream.  I cannot wait for spring when they will all be in bloom!

Love washing my dishes with the view I have of the woods and the stream. What may not be quite visible are all the wild rhododendron bushes on the opposite bank of the stream. I cannot wait for spring when they will all be in bloom!

 

The view out the window when I'm watching TV!

The view out the window when I’m watching TV or reading!

 

IMG_3722

The view on either side of my computer. The desk was originally placed against the short wall on the left, at a ninety degree angle from its current position. I decided to move it so that the desk chair was sitting mostly on the floor of the main floor of the RV as opposed to the slide out floor. Just felt better somehow, more secure.

 

View downstairs as I get ready for bed.

View downstairs as I get ready for bed.

 

My bed!

My bed!

 

Opposite the foot of my bed on the right side are the bureau and bathroom sink.  Note the gold practitioner crystal singing bowl with mom's panda bear hugging it!

Opposite the foot of my bed on the right side are the bureau and bathroom sink. Note the gold practitioner crystal singing bowl with mom’s panda bear hugging it!

 

On the left side you can see the TV as well as some of the things I keep on the bureau including a ruby/kyanite crystal singing bowl.

On the left side you can see the TV as well as some of the things I keep on the bureau including a ruby/kyanite crystal singing bowl.

 

Picasso's bed!

Picasso’s bed with his “sweater” (really made of fleece) for when it gets cold and treats!  Always nice to get a bedtime treat!

 

To the left of the head of the bed is my corner shower.  I believe they call this a "garden tub".  I would call it a foot bath at best!  As a shower, it works quite well especially for an RV!

To the left of the head of the bed is my corner shower. I believe they call this a “garden tub”. I would call it a foot bath at best! As a shower, it works quite well especially for an RV!  That’s my robe hanging off of the wardrobe.  The wardrobe is used for storage, not clothes, otherwise the robe might’ve found a home inside rather than hanging like it does but it works for me!

 

My small little toilet room!  On the back of the door you can see the shoe rack thingy I now use for a variety of other things, overflow that doest' easily fit anywhere else!

My small little toilet room! On the back of the door you can see the shoe rack thingy I now use for a variety of other things, overflow that doesn’t easily fit anywhere else!

Well, that’s the grand tour!  I’m so glad you finally got to visit!  Now I have to admit, I’m looking at that photo of the toilet and thinking that’s a rather strange place to end this post, visually speaking!  Oh, well!

 

© 2016 deborah kauffeld

moving – the good stuff (part 2)

[This is part two of my moving process.  You can read the first part here.]

Well, the last post covered the drama.  Now, to the other side of things.  While going back and forth between the two RV’s I couldn’t help but notice the size difference.  But rather than thinking how large the new RV is in comparison to the old one, which I would think would be the more normal response, I found myself blown away by just how small a space I was moving from!  How did I ever live in that little space for 8 months and find it to be okay?  I still can’t believe the difference!  I feel like I’m coming out of a cramped hotel room and into an actual home!  There is no comparison.  Two very different experiences.  But the first RV really did serve its purpose and I’m very grateful for it!  It got me to the beautiful mountains in North Carolina!

The next thing I couldn’t help but notice was how much stuff I crammed into that little RV!!!  It just kept coming and I thought for a while that I’d never get done – ever!  Yikes!  The thing is that while I was able to pack all this stuff into that RV, I didn’t use a whole lot of it because I couldn’t get to it easily enough.  Now things are much more spread out and more accessible.  It will be interesting to see how this affects me and how I use things differently.

As I write this I am almost completely done with the move.  I have only the desktop computer and my TV to be moved.  I need some help with the computer for sure since it is probably a two person operation to get it off the table with its monitor arm.  On my own I’d risk dropping it since I just don’t have enough hands!  The TV I could probably do on my own but my back really has had enough and if I can get a little help, why not!  Better still, pretty much everything is put away in the new RV.  Now that doesn’t mean the move-in process is actually done. Because I have to leave Tuesday (tonight is Sunday) I don’t really have the luxury of doing a great job of things.  Tomorrow I have to spend doing a bunch of errands, things that have to get done before I leave.  I’ve got all winter to reorganize things!

Now to my conclusion – I am so happy that I swapped RV’s!  I wanted a fifth wheel to begin with and now that I’m in this one I can really see why.  I feel like I’m in a real home now, something I never felt with the other one.  Don’t get me wrong – I loved that little RV but I quickly outgrew it!  The views from this RV are nothing short of stupendous!  Every window with a view!

The view out from my  current kitchen table which will soon be transformed into my desk.

The view out from my current kitchen table which will soon be transformed into my desk.  I didn’t get to take a shot of my favorite view yet so we will have to save that for another time!

I’ve only been here for three nights but already it feels quite a bit like home to me.  I’m pretty sure it will continue to grow on me since I’ve not done a whole lot other than unpack so far!  I cannot wait to begin to use the kitchen with its expansive counters!  When I get back I still have to get a fair amount of winterizing done.  The drafts through the windows are horrible so I’ll need to work on that.  I still need to get a skirt for the bottom of the RV to keep the wind from blowing underneath it.  But I love it here even if I’m a bit chilly and wondering if I will need a mortgage to pay for the propane to heat it!  Once I get to working on it, though, it should be fine.  Oh, and Picasso loves it!  He likes to romp and stomp throughout it and seems really happy here!

We even have a fireplace (electric, of course).  As you can see, Picasso is already loving it!

We even have a fireplace (electric, of course). As you can see, Picasso is already loving it!

I found it utterly weird to move but still be in the exact same location.  That’s a first for me!  I doubt there are too many who’ve done that!  I kept thinking I’d walk out the door and be somewhere else but, nope, I was still here but my experience of “here” was quite different now since the outside was now part of my inside experience because of the windows.

But perhaps the piece I cannot help but notice is the healing that being here has brought to me.  I’ve had such a hard time trusting people as well as my own intuition ever since I lost my business.  By nature I’m a rather trusting person so this has been tough on me.  Throughout this whole process I kept doubting either myself or that Brian could possibly be who he presented himself to be.  I thought I’d be snookered or that this RV was going to be a piece of garbage.  Having some of those odds and ends going wrong didn’t help but I stuck with it.

Tonight (Monday now) Brian came over and this RV is officially mine and the old one is gone.  The swap has been completed.  Brian was here with Scott, his employee.  The hot water heater turned out to need a new element, just as Brian predicted.  [Update on the hot water heater – although it appeared to work after the element was replaced, by morning the water was again only lukewarm.  Not willing to make the same mistake twice, I didn’t take a shower that morning!  Brian will be back again to fix it after Thanksgiving.) The door got fixed needing just a little adjustment.  The circuit breakers were checked and all was good.  The thermostat turned out to be working properly although the LED was a bit wonky so numbers appeared different than they should.  I now know how to work it while Brian looks for a fully working replacement.  Furthermore, Brian is here for the long haul and will be available to help with whatever work might be needed and at prices that will be much more realistic and reasonable.

I cannot tell you just how grateful I am for the help I’ve received since moving here.  Brian singlehandedly has helped my broken truster to start healing.  I followed my intuition, also broken, and have been well rewarded. I have to admit that my life has been just a little strange since I decided to go for this adventure and has been absolutely nothing like I would have expected it to have been.  My favorite activity so far in my new RV is to just sit in one of the lounge chairs with a cup of tea and just take in the wonderful pine tree outside my window as peace envelopes me in her loving arms.

My new kitchen!  Just look at all that counter space!  And speaking of counter space, it's all Corian!

My new kitchen! Just look at all that counter space! And speaking of counter space, it’s all Corian!

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I leave for Indianapolis to be with my family.  I am so grateful that we will be seeing each other again after such a relatively short period of time.

I cannot express fully how grateful I am to see this healing come over me.  It has been quite a long time and, to be honest, there were many times I had lost hope that my life would ever come together again.  I just had to keep holding on while moving forward, neither of which was easy at times.

I have to admit to wondering what will be next on my agenda.  I’ve been asked what I would be doing here all on my own for a whole winter.  The reality is I don’t have a clue!  I’m hoping to be writing but I don’t know yet.  Seems whenever I have an idea it turns out to be something different anyway which makes me wonder if I should make plans at all!

I’m also very grateful to each and every one of you who takes the time to read about my crazy, adventurous, healing life.  It’s a real pleasure to have you with me!  Life can be good again even after falling apart.  When I first decided to get the original RV it was because “my body” told me that the experience would bring healing.  I thought it would be about the travel but apparently that isn’t the case.   I just needed a new, healing location.  I feel like tremendous healing is and will continue to take place in my life while I’m here.  I’ve met some wonderful people and I’m grateful to each and everyone of them.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Our lovely turkey on the rotisserie while being smoked!  Yum!

Happy Thanksgiving! Our lovely turkey on the rotisserie while being smoked! Yum!  My son Kris did a great job on this bird while Elizabeth my daughter-in-law did all the rest!

May this Thanksgiving season find you with people you love enjoying each other’s company.  May there be a great many things for you to hold in your heart with gratitude and, if not, know that things can really change.  They have for me; they can for you.  Blessings and love to you all!

© 2015 deborah kauffeld

moving – the drama (part 1)

[It has taken me much longer to get this posted than I expected since my internet service was quite intermittent “on the mountain”.  That is about to change as I will be getting my very own internet service in a few days!]

As I start to write this it is the beginning of the week leading to one of my favorite holidays – Thanksgiving.  And tonight (Sunday evening) finds me nearing completion of the move into my new (to me) RV.  On Thursday Brian, the seller, brought the new RV to the same site I’ve been on for the last three months.  First the old one was moved out to make room and then it was moved back, behind the new one.  This made moving all my stuff a bit easier since both doors were on the same side.

The two RV's end to end, doors on the same side, with my car in the foreground.

The two RV’s end to end, doors on the same side, with my car in the foreground.

Brian got here earlier than expected on Thursday, well before noon.  That gave me a bit more time to get started with the move which was good since I had no choice but to sleep in the new RV that night.  The old one had no utilities so no heat, water or electricity.  It was no longer level either which could probably make sleeping a bit funky!  I didn’t think rolling off the bed in the middle of the night would be fun but it would’ve made getting to the bathroom quicker!  Prior to Brian’s arrival I admit to having been a little nervous that morning wondering if I was totally crazy or what!  But once the RV arrived that all evaporated.

Brian was here quite a while which I found surprising.  Part of the deal Brian and I had was to have new decals installed on the RV before I would get it since many of the original ones were peeling off.  The decal issue was a well known problem for this company for those model years.  While the inside of the RV was in good shape, the outside left much to be desired.   When Brian drove up with the RV I was blown away by just how great it looked with its new decals!  He commented, not complaining, about what a difficult job it was to get them done, never wanting to do it again even though it probably added at least $2,500 to the value.

The full side of the RV.

The side of the RV.

All the peeling decals had to be removed first.  Afterwards, the adhesive was removed using some kind of really nasty product designed to remove the adhesive as well as layers of skin!  Finally, the decals were applied, a process  that required perfect weather  so the decals could properly dry in place.  The decals themselves were actually composed of many different little ones and had to be put together much like a jigsaw puzzle.  I believe it was something like 50 decals in all!  Summer would’ve been the best time to get this work done with the extended daylight hours and warm temperatures.  Well that wasn’t happening and the rains kept coming, totally delaying the application of the decals.  While I can normally be fairly patient under these circumstances, my timeline was getting pretty crunchy given the fact that I had to drive (in my car) to Indianapolis for Thanksgiving and there was much work to be done prior to my departure.

This is a close-up of the decals. Each one of those mountains is a separate decal so you can imagine how challenging it was to get them up correctly!

This is a close-up of the decals. Each one of those mountains is a separate decal so you can imagine how challenging it was to get them up correctly!

When Brian finally got here we all admired the great job that was done on the decals.  It made a huge difference.  I never took a single photo of the rig with the peeling decals but it was not pretty.  The RV then was moved into its new location, leveled and the utilities hooked up.  One of the more important issues was getting the heated water hose installed so that while I was gone the water wouldn’t freeze in the hose if the temperature went below freezing.

Not long after its arrival, Jim and Kathy (owners of the RV park) excitedly came over and asked if they could go inside and check it all out.  Afterwards Jim took me aside to tell me that I did a good job with this RV.  I think he was a bit surprised.  Yesterday he told me he admired me and that he was proud of me!  You never know the impression you make on people unless they decide to share their thoughts.  To be honest, I never would’ve guessed he felt that way!  Jim also told me that he really liked Brian and later was busy picking his brain about his own rig.  What I haven’t told Jim about yet was the fact that I also got a screaming deal on this RV.  Brian bought it for a really good price since Camping World, having taken it in on a trade-in, wanted nothing to do with peeling decals.  I was the recipient of this good deal since Brian passed on the savings!  Brian and I did an even swap of the two RV’s even though the wholesale price of the new one was $5,000 or $6,000 more than the one I was trading!  It’s funny, I didn’t think about it until now but it reminded me of a house that needed a bit of rehab work done to it.  While others couldn’t see the potential, I could and, in this case, it really has paid off!

Eventually everyone left and I was alone with my new home.  Wow!  I really did it!  I was floored by the wonderful views!  Well, enough enjoying things!  Time to get to work!  The first thing I did was get my mattress into the RV (thank you, Jim) and I then had to open the box.  I got a latex mattress and I’m always amazed at how small a box they can get those suckers into!  But now that the box was upstairs in the bedroom I had to open it and get it situated on the bed.  Believe me, this was no easy task!  The mattress, by Jim’s estimation, weighed somewhere around 100 pounds!  Believe me, my back wasn’t at all happy either!  Try as I might I couldn’t get the box open!  I finally pried off the staples from both ends but there was still no getting it out at that point!  I finally took my scissors and began to carefully cut down the side of the box where it was seamed.  It took forever since I had to do a little bit at a time so I wouldn’t accidentally cut the mattress.  When I eventually got it out of the box I then had to get the box out from under the mattress!  Now the next task emerged – getting the mattress out of the plastic wrap that kept it from exploding into a queen size mattress while being shipped!  (What a visual!)  That plastic was quite thick and in several layers.  Again, care was important!  After I got nearly half way done it appeared to have its own life as it began to expand and rip the plastic that was left intact.  I briefly wondered how I was going to manage if the mattress was upside-down.  Realizing that was exactly what was going to happen, I quickly reversed it before it finished coming to life!  Fully open I never would’ve been able to flip it by myself.  Now I had to remove the plastic from beneath the mattress, a slightly easier task then the cardboard since the plastic was much more slippery than the cardboard had been.  After arranging the mattress on the frame it was time to make the bed.

Now you have to understand that this was the first real mattress I’ve had in over six years having slept on either a futon or a sleeper sofa.  There’s a whole lot more to making a real bed!  First the heated mattress pad went on followed by the waterproof pad (my insurance that Picasso won’t mess things up.  He’s been good but, who knows?)  After that, the bottom sheet then the top and then getting the duvet into the duvet cover as well as the pillows into their shams!  Let me tell you, prior to even moving anything my back was already getting quite grumpy about the situation. But, hey!  My bed looked great!  Better yet, it feels great!  I did a good job of choosing and I’m quite happy with it.  Yay!  Thankfully mattress pads don’t have to be done all the time.  Oh, and that heated mattress pad?  Just a little bit of heaven!

My trusty moving helper! couldn't have done the move without it!

My trusty moving helper! couldn’t have done the move without it!

About a week prior to the move I picked up a foldable wagon that I had originally seen in Florida at Bed Bath & Beyond when I was there last month.  It’s one of those with chunky, fat tires that enable it to go through sand and good for up to 150 pounds.  I figured it would work well for what I needed.  I cannot carry much without risking back pain so this would be my transport between the two RV’s.  The best $80 I’ve spent in a long time since it literally saved my back and allowed me to get the move done!  I wish you could see how I have to move things!  I used big plastic containers to put stuff into and then slid it to the door.  I slid it down the steps while using my knee to keep it from getting away from me and then slid it into the wagon.  I then pulled my little blue wagon over to the other RV and did the whole process the opposite direction, careful the whole time not to stress my back any more than the bed had already done.  I am happy to report that my back survived thanks to my crazy ingenuity!

But life hasn’t been without some drama, naturally!  What would my life be like without drama!  First issue – I blew a circuit breaker and it wasn’t even more than a few hours after I was in the RV!  I made some tea for myself and had the heater on the same circuit.  I didn’t realize they were on the same breaker and – boom!  Circuit breaker flipped!  Thankfully I knew where the breakers were so it was an easy fix.  But later I plugged into a different circuit only to have that breaker also flip.  Hmm…I called Brian who told me he figured the circuit had too little amperage to support the heater.  I was a little worried since the breakers were relatively warm.  He told me he would check the breakers when he came back on Monday to pick up the old RV, the day the swap is totally official.

Okay, issues over, right?  Well, I couldn’t get the main door to close easily.  It took some really nasty slamming before it would latch and I was actually getting concerned that I’d destroy something in the process.  Another call to Brian who told me it probably needed a good dose of WD-40. When I found it and sprayed it on it was like magic.  Suddenly the door closed normally although we determined it also needed some weather stripping, something they didn’t have at the time.

The first night was more or less uneventful.  Well, almost.  I went to set the thermostat because heat was an absolute necessity.  Well, another issue!  It seems I could set the temperature at any setting I wanted as long as it was in the 70’s – 90’s or in the 40’s.  The digital thermostat evidently didn’t like the 50’s or 60’s which was a bit of an issue since I wanted to set the temp for 55 that night.  I didn’t think 71 was a good sleeping temperature so 49 it was!  I forgot to put on Picasso’s sweater so the poor little guy must have been a bit chilly but no complaints from him!  When I realized I turned on our little space heater so we were all toasty once again!  Not surprisingly, there was another call to Brian that morning!  He will replace the thermostat when he is here on Monday!

I did a little work around the RV and decided it was time for a shower.  This shower is a bit larger than my last one and has a glass enclosure.  I was looking forward to my inaugural shower.  I got in and ran the water.  I was a bit surprised that the hot water was more lukewarm but given it’s distance from the hot water heater I wasn’t particularly concerned.  About halfway through my shower while I was all soaped up and had conditioner still in my hair, the lukewarm water turned icy cold!  AHHHHH!!!!  I practically cried with the idea of having to rinse off in water that was frigid but I managed, just a little worse for wear!  Brr!!!  Another call to Brian.  He explained how when they are showing the RV sometimes they run the hot water heater either with no or little water and the heating element then dies.  But that doesn’t makes total sense to me since I had hot water prior to that.  I have this weird idea that it really isn’t the rod in the heater but rather something with the circuit breaker from the day before or something else.  It’s just one of those feelings and I could clearly be wrong but I’m too often right to not pay attention to my thought.  I will make sure Brian checks out those circuit breakers well.  Better safe than sorry!

Stay tuned for part 2!

© 2015 deborah kauffeld

we did it!!!

Second night on the RV already and I’ve not posted anything yet?  Yeah, guilty as charged but it has been a bit hectic as you can imagine!

I am happy to report that all things went almost as planned.  There were a few glitches, like being allergic to the RV and nearly coming down with bronchitis (mustiness within the RV), but we managed to get past all that!

I will say that it is quite a bit to get used to all at one time, particularly since I’ve been so tired from getting out of the apartment and into the RV.  The reality is that the final kick was a tremendous amount of work, achievable only because I was able to get help from two really good people who came to my aid!  Without Lisa and Stuart’s assistance I just wouldn’t have made it.  I am so very grateful that they chose to be there for a long, difficult day.  While we did have our fun moments, let’s face it – over ten hours of work is WORK!!!  Thankfully we were blessed with an overcast day with moderate temperatures.  I cannot even imagine how it would’ve been if we had to do all that work while baking in the sun.

A very empty apartment!

A very empty apartment!

We moved everything into the RV on Thursday.  I spent the night at the apartment, though, so I could be there when the cleaning people arrived at 8:30 the next morning.  Friday saw Picasso and me doing a lot of running around to get everything done in time for the walk thru.  Finally, just before 4 PM we got to the RV.  On Friday the 27th of February, Picasso and I spent our first night in our new home!

There’s so much to get used to.  It is very much like moving in general but then you have to add to that the fact that the systems in an RV are all new to me.  Thankfully I have some basic knowledge and some good instincts.

First problem?  Well, I’ll spare you the details but, oh, hmm…how do I tell you without some of the details?  Okay, so there are three tanks on most RV’s – a fresh water tank, a grey water tank (dirty water from sinks and showers) and the infamous black water tank (yucky water from the toilet).  So sometime two days ago I started to notice a smell in the RV.  Prior to that there have been other smells like a spice that was driving me nuts.  I guess in the close environment smells just seem to grow exponentially.  But this was a different smell, one entirely not nice.  I went to sleep that night, my first night, but kept smelling the stench the whole night.  My eyes started to tear and my throat was also reacting.  The following day, yesterday, we had errands to run so off we went.  I decided to get an air purifier which I set up when we got back.  While it helped, it was clear that there was something else going on.  It didn’t take too long before I figured out it was that infamous black tank.  I kept wondering what I could do to fix it.  I had already bought and used one of the black tank treatments but it wasn’t working, something I found odd since it was supposedly the best one on the market.  I went to bed last night wondering what the heck I had gotten myself in to!  I started texting a friend of mine who sort of has some knowledge of these things.  “Sort of” because his knowledge is marine based, not RV, but otherwise very similar.  Finally it occurred to me what went wrong.  In an effort to conserve water, I I didn’t use enough water when I first used the treatment nor whenever I flushed.  I decided to do the treatment again, this time using more water.  In the time that it took me to walk from the bathroom back to bed I was pretty sure the smell had already abated.  Today, fresh as a daisy!  Crisis avoided!  Oh, and I guess I can’t say my shit don’t stink!!!  Sorry.

The first morning here Picasso and I went over to the Little Manatee River, a short walk from where our RV is parked.  It was beautiful, peaceful and full of life.  We did the same thing this morning so this may become our morning ritual.  I’m curious if there will be some good sunsets over there but will have to wait until tonight since up until now it has been either overcast or raining.

 

Picasso taking his place on the back of the couch, looking out the window.

Picasso taking his place on the back of the couch, looking out the window.

Picasso seems to be doing pretty well overall.  I am sure it is just as big of a change for him as it is for me!  He is doing his guard dog routine, barking or growling at pretty much anything that goes past our window.  He has his favorite spots to hang out all mapped out and he is getting fed his regular diet.  Seems his mom forgot to defrost some food for him so it was like three meals of kibble instead of his normal raw diet!  He didn’t eat much of the kibble but he seems to have survived.  Today I took a shower in the shower hall and left him alone in the RV for the first time.  He did fine!  I think he gets that this is home, albeit a very different home!  My sense is he is going to like the traveling lifestyle once we really get into it!

I’ve lots of organizing to do and will probably look to get a few more things off the RV and into storage, in other words – still downsizing!  I cannot believe I fit everything on to the RV but it really is a little too cramped for my liking.  On top of that, though we did try to organize it all as we went, the reality is that I have some heavy duty organizing left to do!  But this is home!

The beginning of an organized kitchen.  Feeling a bit like home!

The beginning of an organized kitchen. Feeling a bit like home!

I want to express my gratitude to all who have followed our journey up to this point.  We did it!  And you all were an integral part of my getting there.  So many people helped in so many different ways.  Some offered real physical help, others offered tips and ideas, many offered their prayers and good thoughts.  I needed all of it and please know that it is because of friends like you that I managed to do this.  Just getting to this point has been quite healing for me already.  I’ve learned to trust that it will all work out, even when I don’t see a way!

Thank you!  Now on to the next adventure!

The Little Manatee River

The Little Manatee River

© 2015 deborah kauffeld