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Monday, January 31, 2011

Wow another week has gone by.  I had made a self promise to post a bit more often but it seems times just gets away from us.  I can't wait to slow down when we hit the road. 

Life has been a bit hectic here, what with working and trying to get the house fixed up to sell.  Actually we can't put it on the market until the weather warms up enough to allow us to live in Serenity.  That should be within the next 6 weeks so at that time we will become "full timers" in a manner of speaking.  But in the meanwhile we have still got stuff to get done here.  I hope we get it finished early so we can have the house the way we want it for a little while before selling. 

Because we wont have sewer in the yard we will still use the house for such things as showers and laundry.  Everything else will be in Serenity and we are hoping that we wont have to pull out to dump the sewer any more often than every10 days to 2 weeks. 

As I posted before we tore the computer room apart and fixed a spot on the wall that had become damp from a leak in the bathroom next door.  (We fixed the leak too and made sure there were no mold problems) We painted the whole room top to bottom and tore out the old smelly ugly carpet.  We are now laying the new flooring.  THAT IS HARD WORK!!!!  We worked at it all day yesterday and today I am so sore.  We are not finished yet, we got about half the room done. 

It is a few hours later now and we are finished the floor.  All that is left to do is replace the baseboard around the room.  The closet was a real challenge but I think we did a good job. The room looks about 100% better than it did.  The best part of the whole thing is that not only did we do it ourselves, we are still married and even better we are still talking to each other!  There were a few moments where it was touch and go but all in all I think we make a pretty good team.

Next we tackle some plumbing!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More wood needed.

During the coldest part of winter we use wood to help heat the house.  Nothing is quite so cozy as a wood fire. So last fall we bought a couple of cords to do us.  Because we had planned to spend the coldest part of the winter in Florida we didn't buy much. Those plans got changed and now we are running out.  So today we went in search of more wood.  That was our biggest chore of the day.  We loaded and unloaded about 1/3 cord into the truck then into the backyard. 

I got the baseboard to the computer room painted first and second coat.  The walls have been patched and we are now ready to start painting the ceiling.  I hope we will get a good start on that tomorrow. 

There just seems to be an endless list of stuff we want to do in the house to get it "fixed up".  I am a list person so of course I have my list of what needs to be done.  The problem is for everything we cross off that list, two more things seem to get added. Does it end?

Today was much warmer than yesterday and the snow was melting.  Unfortunately we have winter storm warning for tomorrow.  All that bare ground we are starting to see will be white again within the next 24 hours.  The winters here are usually mild but since I moved here 3 winters ago they have turned nasty.  hmmmmm all you guys in Texas had better hope that I spend my winters in Florida.  It seems I bring the nasty weather. 

January has always been a strange month.  The hype of Christmas is over and spring seems so far away.  I find that month seems to drag.  Once Feb. rolls around the days really pick up.  You start to get nicer weather and spring is just around the corner. It seems that you can now start to get serious about travel plans and they just don't seem so far away. 

Tonight is going to be an evening of researching workamping  and some TV watching.  I hope everyone stays safe and I hope to see you down the road one day soon.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ok you win

I give in.....................it is cold outside.  I was determined that this winter would not be as bad as last years.  We had huge dumps of snow last year in an area that usually doesn't get much.  There were so many snow days that closed schools that the students (and teachers) lost their spring break to make up days;  Well I knew this year was going to be different.............there just couldn't be two years of that in a row could there? Well I give in.  It is winter, it is cold and there is snow.  Even the cat who usually tries to make his grand escape every time the door opens is hesitating before venturing out there. 

My only consolation is that spring and warm weather will come.  One day I will look back and say "Am I ever glad that is over!"  Next winter I hope ....no I know... I will be in a warmer climate.  Don't know if it will be Florida or Texas but it will definitely be warmer. 

We have the computer room torn apart.  I wonder how one small room (11 by 12) can hold so much stuff and where does all that paper come from?  After its release from that one small room it has spread out to cover the "man cave" the half bath and the double car garage.  I don't know just where to start sorting.  What do we keep, what do we toss, what is going with us or to be stored and what will we need before our departure date so it goes back in when we get the room painted?  I am half tempted to just toss it all and let the chips fall where they may.  

 When we started this room we had to remove everything which included the modem and wireless router.  We went without Internet for one whole day!! Talk about feeling isolated.  We live in a city with a couple of hundred thousand people around us and we felt isolated.  What ever did we do before the Internet??

We ripped up the old carpet in that room.  It was UGLY!!! and smelly.  We are going to put in hardwood floors.  Again I wonder.... I have always loved hardwood floors and ceramic tiles.  Now that we are selling the house they get installed.  Someone else is going to enjoy them.  It really doesn't make much sense and everyone does it.  You live in a house with all its flaws and imperfections and are perfectly happy.  Once the decision is made to sell it suddenly it is not good enough anymore.  What was good enough for you is not good enough for new owners.  I know we are not the only people to do this but I wonder why we wait so long to fix up all the little things.

Now I need to run.  Lowes is calling and we need more stuff. 

All my friends in the south enjoy the warm sun, and for those up north stay warm.  We will chat again soon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It has been a while

I know it has been a while since my last post but when you are just in the preparation stage and not yet having adventures there is not a lot of excitement to report.  We are still getting the house ready.  We have touched up paint in the kitchen, living room, dining room, main bath and "man cave". 

Our sorting piles for donation, storage and pack in the trailer is getting larger but very slowly.  We really can't do a lot of packing yet because for the next 2 to 3 months we are still going to need that stuff.  There is so much I have looked at and said that is going but for right now I still need it.  Especially work clothing and kitchen stuff. 

Tools in the garage still need sorting but until we get everything done here we still need those tools.  What I am trying to do is avoid the mad scramble at the last minute to get everything packed.  I believe I have said in another post that we plan to put the house on the market before we go to the RV-Dream rally in April and not move back into it again.  We want the dogs out of the house once it goes on the market, so that when we have a showing all I will have to do is dust.  We will stage the house and live in Serenity.  However I am afraid that is spite of my best efforts we are going to have the mad scramble at the last moment anyway. 

We have bought new flooring for the kitchen and a new vanity for the master bath.  The bad part is that they are both sitting in the garage at the moment.  My dad is going to help us do the install next month when he and my mother come to visit.

Today was dog grooming day,  My poor little Kisa was looking pretty shabby so I decided to clip him up a bit.  I bought a set of dog clippers but somehow I just can't seem to get the look the groomers get.  He was so good.....just sitting there while I tried to shorten his mop.   He does look better but I guess I won't be giving up the professionals any time soon.

It is snowing again out there.  I am not liking it one bit.  I just keep telling my self ............next year at this time, next year! I really can't complain ( but I do) we only have 2 or 3 inches of snow on the ground,  but I am just in a hurry for spring to get here.  I haven't felt like this since I was a kid counting the sleeps for Christmas. 

Everyone reading this who is in the warm south I am jealous of you and for those of you further north..........glad I am here. 

Until next time........stay safe and I hope we meet in a campground somewhere soon.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Still making headway

Before I say anything, I would like to thank those of you who have selected to follow my blog and especially those of you who comment.  It is nice to see a response to what I write.  At least I know what I write isn't getting sucked into some sort of cyber black hole or something.

In consideration of you nice people who read my blog, I haven't posted anything for a few days because it is mostly the same thing and I really don't want to bore you to death.  We are still digging out cupboards, closets and desks.  We have bags of stuff that needs shredding.  I am starting to see the storage pile growing and definitely the garbage pile.  We are also making many trips to the local Salvation Army (affectionately known as the Sally Anne).  The Sally Anne is loving us and the garbage collectors are hating us. Life goes on.

The agreement Ira and I have is that we will go on the road until one of us wants to quit.  It might be in 6 months or it might be in 16 years.  Who knows.  But because we do expect to one day own a place again, we are not getting rid of everything we own.  Some things we just could not get anything out of and it would just cost way to much to start buying again.  So for now we are going to hang on to some.  Who knows one day we might just head to our storage unit and have a huge "garage" sale.  The beauty of this lifestyle is that we have the freedom to choose. 

We are starting to take things out to Serenity now and pack them away.  Seeing as we just got snow I am guessing I will not need summer clothing for a bit.  We got 2 or 3 inches of the white stuff... and before all of you say pffft ............I just want to state I don't like it one bit.  The ground isn't frozen so I doubt it will stay long but in my mind 3 days is about 2 and 1/2 days too long. 

Ira and I watch a lot of movies so we have quite a collection.  Today I bought a binder with sleeves so I could put the DVDs (without cases) in and take them with us.  I know weight is going to be an issue, so I am hoping that it will fit in and we will still be within our weight limits.  I am forgoing my books so I think it is a good trade. 

I do want and plan to take my sewing machine and assorted related items with me.  (jury  is still out on the serger) I do a lot of sewing and it is a hobby I am not really ready to give up yet.  Not sure just where or how to store the stuff I will need. So any suggestions?  I know I will have to be careful with the material.  I just can't buy stuff and store it like  I can here.  I believe that "she who has the most material when she dies ......wins!!!"   But I will have to purge.  A friend of mine has converted her double car garage to a sewing room and I thought I had lots of material.  She actually has isles of the stuff! It looks like JoAnns in there.  She has so much material and notions that she barely has room for her machine and cutting table.  I walked in  and stood there with my mouth open.  When I get intimidated thinking of packing up my sewing room I think of hers and mine just doesn't seem so daunting any more.

We purchased materials for the new kitchen floor last week. I will take before and after photos and show you the difference.  I can't wait to start.  I like to see the big changes.  Makes me feel as if we are really making progress. 

Three more months until the rally.  Counting the days.  Can't wait to meet some of you there.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Braved the cupboards

I did it.  I got the kitchen cupboards cleaned out and purged.  It will be easy to  empty the kitchen into Serenity now.  I also got the master bath done.  Ira had to work all day and I didn't go in until tonight so I had a long time to get things done without him saying ...."no ....I want to keep that."  Ira is the worse pacrat. 

I was talking with my mom today and now my dad has this cold.  So Ira has hit a grand slam.  He nailed the whole family...Mom, Dad, my sister, her husband, me and my daughter.

Men really do think differently than women.  When I moved in here with Ira after we married the first thing I noticed what the lack of storage in the master bath.  The vanity is 19 inches across and of that about 16 inches is sink.  Now I ask you ...where is a girl supposed to put her hair dryer or curling iron?   Where do I  set my makeup  and so on.  I have suggested that we change it out for a wider one with drawers and some counter top.  Ira does not really see the need for it.  When he bought this house he didn't notice the lack of space and he figures that no one else will either.  I have informed him that a female will DEFINITELY notice that lack of space.  I think this house was designed for a single man.  The closet in the master bedroom was only 3 feet across!  And there was only the one.  There wasn't even enough room for all my purses.  No woman would settle for that.  We have since used up some of the floor space and built a double closet in the room. (with the help of my dad.......well actually my dad built it.) Luckily for us it is a large room so we could afford to give some up.  The other bedrooms all have double closets so I think it was rather strange that the master bedroom only has a single.  Oh and we are installing the new vanity in a few weeks.

I saw another flock of geese on a northern flightpath tonight.  My fingers are crossed...maybe an early spring. 

Well that just about sums up  my day.  Not much excitement but one day closer. 95 days to go.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to work

I felt much better today so  I went in to work.  Not sure I am happy to be back but soon it will be all done. 

We didn't get much done today.  Mostly just little things like cleaning out a corner or a closet and sorting stuff for donation or keep.  I love opening a closet door and finding it empty.  I keep looking just to enjoy the sight.  The two spare rooms are done as to the point of staging but of course will have to be emptied after we sell.  The donation pile is getting bigger I am pleased to say.  We will soon be making another run to Salvation Army. 

The kitchen is nearly finished and is looking good.  We still have to replace the flooring but as I said before that is a next paycheck job.  Besides getting the house ready for viewing it is just nice to have it clean and feel that it is getting sorted.  We keep opening a drawer, finding something and saying............oh yea....that is where I put that!  Of course now that I have found it (whatever it may be) the chances are I don't need it anymore.

Tomorrow I will start emptying the kitchen cupboards and sorting the stuff in there.  I know ..... I am shaking just thinking about it.  The back of those cupboards are scary spots.  Don't know what I am going to find in there.  Probably find that I don't need groceries as bad as I think I do.

I would like to congratulate my daughter on her promotion at work.  I hope she realizes how proud of her I am.  Of course this will come with a pay raise which is always nice too.  Way to go sweetie.

Dee I can sympathize with you about the stink beetle findings.  We have them too.  No matter how many I find and flush I always find more.  I don't ever find droves of them .....just one or maybe two.   I don't know there they are hiding but there seem to be a never ending supply of them. 

That is about all for me for today. Just another quiet day slowly getting closer and closer to our dream.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Still sick

I still feel terrible so in fairness to others I called in at work.  I really didn't feel like standing there for 4 hours and infecting everyone that stopped to say hi.  I also turned down a day of subbing at a local elementary school.  I am sure the mothers of all those 5 to 10 year olds don't really want me around their children either.  I hope I feel better tomorrow so I can go in.

Today was not as productive as some I have had but I did manage to get some stuff stored in Serenity. Mostly the Christmas decorations that I sorted.  I also got the one bedroom we are using to store the packed stuff sorted out.  It looks more organized now.  We looked at tile for the kitchen floor today.  I think that is a next payday project.  On my next trip to the Salvation Army I am going to grab the pots and pans that I have in Serenity and take them with me.  I am using old stuff that I had for camping and have the good set in the kitchen. It doesn't make any sense to store the ones in the kitchen and use old stuff. I might as well just transfer the kitchen set to the RV. 

We also started researching houses for sale in our area.  We are trying to get a feel for what houses are going for.  We are planning to get with a real estate agent in about a month.  We have a pretty good idea of what we want for the house but we still want an agent to confirm it.  We will probably get an appraisal done too.  This is one step I really wish was behind me.  I hope we are not sitting here in the fall still waiting for it to sell. 

We have spent a lot of time lately trying to decide on where we will domicile.  There is just so much to read and research.  Both Texas and South Dakota have their advantages.  Who knows..............maybe in the end we will just flip a coin.  Let fate decide. 

We went out for a drive today down by the river.  The geese are already there.  They usually arrive much later.  That early spring is looking better and better.  Maybe it is just wishful thinking but I am so excited to go to the rally..... 97 days and 47  minutes.  Can you tell I am excited?

On that note I am going to sign off.  It is late here and bed is calling.  Good night all and safe travels.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

belated Happy New Year

I would like to wish everyone a belated Happy New Year.  I am excited about this new year because I can now say "I am going full time THIS year"  YAY!!

We had a long drive home yesterday.  Spent Christmas up in the snow.  I liked the snow and liked it even more when I left it in Canada.  We don't have any snow here. In fact when we pulled into the drive last night at about 2 AM it was 50+ degrees.  Today I was out raking leaves from the lawn when a flock of Canada geese flew overhead heading north.  Either we are in for an early spring or they have a rotten sense of direction.  I am crossing my fingers for the early spring.  It sure felt like it outside today.

Having spent the past week in snow and ice I was reminded of why I want to follow the sun in an RV.  I spent most of my life in a climate that has snow in the winter and I am ready for a change. 

Ira picked up a cold right before we left for the holidays and he single-handedly took out my whole family.   Now my mother, sister, brother in law, daughter and myself are sick with this cold. The only one left standing is my father.  Of course Ira feels great. 

For the past couple of years we have gone to Florida for at least part of the winter.  This year we are not.  We are dealing with the next step  in my immigration process.  We really can't leave here for any length of time until we get that card  in hand.  My hopes are that we will be done and complete (for 10 years anyway) within the next month.  But I am missing Florida.  We had planned to go anyway but we ended up shelving those plans.  We are staying here until the RV-Dreams rally in April.  I am counting that as our jumping off point to full time.  The house will be on the market and we will be living in Serenity by that time.  So the counter on my desktop says 98 day 7 hours and 48 minutes.  Some very good news in the neighbourhood is that the house on the corner went up for sale and sold in a matter of days.  I think it was very low priced but at least houses are moving. 

The selling of the house is the only thing we have not got control over in this whole process and that makes me nervous.  I wish I could get it on the market now and get it done. Does that make me a control freak?   I have never thought of myself as one but ......maybe.  I do like to have a bit of a timeline.  I like knowing what is coming up.  I don't think we will be the type of full timers that just go and stop with out a schedule.  We will be free wheeling but we will also be making reservations.  I know that takes away some of the spontaneity but we have got a big rig and pets.  So we have to have an idea that where we are going will take both.  Maybe once we are on the road for a bit we will be more relaxed about knowing exactly where we will stop for the night but at first I think we will have a schedule.

We took down the Christmas decorations today.  Some are packed for storage and some for Serenity.  I am taking some things with us so that we can put them up next Christmas where ever we are.  I have one small cupboard that is in an inconvenient place that I can store  the decorations.  It is not a place I would want to try to get into more than once or twice a year so that works out quite well.

Well  that is about all for now.  I am sitting here with a stuffy head that feels like it weighs 25 lbs and a chest that feels like someone has an iron grip on my lungs  so I am going to dope myself up and go to bed.  I hope everyone is feeling better than I.  Good night all.