Anniversary of sorts! Winter!

I do believe someone with more influence than I, needs to speak to Mother Nature. This winter hanging on isn’t even nice to the birds.

Since I arrived in Haines on the 25th of April, it has been clear, only for a few hours one morning (see photos below). The rest of the time – snow, rain, gale force winds, snow, rain, winds and did I say snow?  Crazy weather even for Alaska standards.  The cold here is the wet cold caliper, unlike my former home in Palmer, the cold works right into your bones.  Even tho my winter clothes are in storage, dressing in layers has allowed me to be relative comfortable, except for yesterday, when I had zero electricity… and I was out in the weather too.   But my cats are having trouble finding warmth.  So today, I stayed home for my boys. Nasty day of weather, a hot chocolate kind of day and if I had something to add to it, I would have, but alas it was the chocolate that held me over.

My rig, my car in snowy Haines

The above image, should have been repeated later, as you can tell, the sun came out on the following pictures.

Looking East at Santa Mountain

Looking South, straight ahead from rig

Boat harbor to right, but not visible from here at low tide!

Looking northwest

So today is an anniversary for me.  It was on this day, May 1, 2012, that I moved into my Lazy Daze RV full-time (still had tons of snow on ground in Palmer too).  On that day, I drove it out of storage and into the rest of my life.  To look back is an amazing accomplishment to see how far I have come.  From not having a clue where the electrical outlet was outside the rig, totally clueless how to dump tanks, I means it was endless what I did not know – as I was not allowed to know any of this before, my duties pertained only to inside the rig and even that was rarely my doing. You might say I was a non-entity leading up to this.  Almost scary to think I took this bull by its horns and just went for it.  I was not afraid to ask questions, which probably helped me the most. Had a fair number of tumbles, mistakes and obstacles early on – but I learned to laugh about it and learned to just keep plodding forward.  Every day was a challenge and every week I could look back and go Wow! I guess I can do this. And so I moved along in my journey.

In a nutshell, I have the most amazing friends, they rescued me, found me a place to hole up until I could get my rig out of storage, encouraged me to keep trying, provided awesome support on every angle one could imagine and then let me fly. And fly I did. Thank you!

Then I drove out of Alaska (for the winter) into a world of unknowns,  didn’t look back, just kept moving forward however it would evolve – wow. That exceeded all expectations and then some. You know, the Lazy Daze family is/are one intelligent, creative, inspiring and supportive group. Have made lots of new friends thru them too. As they learned that I often laugh at myself, they started teasing the heck out of me. Laughter is a HUGE healing factor and I have laughed and laughed with my new knowledge in life. As I tripped thru newfangled info, trying to understand the workings of 12v, solar, water heaters, fuses, screws to use in RV, how to act on ideas, generators, etc, etc, etc.  It has been a nonstop education and in the process I am regaining my self-confidence, my self-respect and my self-esteem.  Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to have come so far in my healing in this short of time.  Oh I still have issues that need to be tackled, but I have come a long way baby and I’m enjoying the ride!!!

So who knows what awaits me this coming year.  I know, if the apartment becomes available in Haines, I will pass on it for now. Never thought I’d say that, but I’m not ready to do it now.  I’ve got more traveling to do…  Guess you will just have follow along with this blog to see what develops. But I can tell you, I will spend most of my summer going thru storage.

Fiber dreaming day

Today, finished taking the last of the junk to the dumpster. I’ve been doing some deep cleaning, rearranging storage in and out, really deciding what I should keep and what’s just taking up space. Its a breathe of fresh air to get this done. And I’m made some space for my friend Cheri who is coming to AZ at the end of the month, she will travel with me for one week.

So this morning, was to be a visit with friends Jim & Lois from Seward, AK – who is visiting their son in the area. But Lois’ niece had an allergic reaction to too much sun yesterday and they are presently sitting in some Emergency room as the docs give her niece intravenous steroids. Doesn’t sound good so may not see them today after all or much later in the day. If later, they may arrive when I’m introducing spinning to a local gal.

My spinning wheel – a Majacraft Suzy Pro – my all time favorite wheel for several years, I’ve been trying, off and on, to sell it. Not too active at doing that even – but its just too big to travel with in the RV. It has occupied the passenger seat all these months, except when I’m spinning.  I don’t want to put it into storage and so it needs to find a new home – to someone that will cherish it as much as I and use it.  If I don’t sell it while I’m here, I will take it back to Alaska, as I know it will sell there.

Last Fall, while in Port Gamble, Washington, I was introduced to and had the chance to spin on the Hansen wheel. Oh it was a sheer delight to spin on it. I can visualize multi-hours spinning on that. This little electric spinner that would fit in a shoebox would be ideal to have in the RV. In addition, it has a 12 volt battery backup. But its expensive.  So… must sell one to get the other.

Onto weaving.  I have written to AVL Loom, the maker behind the Warping Wheel, if they would consider making a much smaller version of the warping wheel for folks in small spaces. Alas, I have not heard from them.  I have used my warping wheel for 10 years, can’t imagine going without it but may have to. I may forego a desk so I could get my warping wheel into my RV. Things to consider when I get back home. Or maybe I can find someone with more know how than I, to mount it minus the stand. Wish it could fold up, but one can’t have everything I guess… And for those that are clueless what a Warping Wheel is, its a tool to measuring the warp. Warp is the length-wise yarns that go onto the loom, whereas Weft is the yarn one weaves from selvage to selvage.  That’s it in a nutshell.

I’m still thinking of getting my Baby Wolf floor loom into my RV. The space is right for it and it being able to fold up for travel is an added plus.  Plus I have some good ideas to have yarn storage too.

Speaking of yarns…  One of my favorite yarn stores, just moved from Florida to Idaho. Its the Lunatic Fringe Yarn.  In fact, I may make a point to pass by there before I head into British Columbia. It would be sooooo easy to do. Laughing here.

Special times

Tucker on left, Norm on right

 The photo demonstrates how one is to be totally relaxed in the sun beams.  Tucker wins on this one, Norm is semi-watching the world go by.

I’m still here at my friend Scott & Denise’s home. I was going to leave today, but reading weather maps on either  N or S direction I considered, it was smarter to just stay here until Sunday or Monday. The southern route, right now, is much hotter than I desire and with hot winds on top of it – no thank you. Its to cool back to more seasonable temps by Monday. The I-40 route, would have been good to travel today or tomorrow, but since it will take me two days to get there – it runs right into the first Spring storms of the season. Again, Monday looks like a better run of good weather.  But between now and then – everyone will get a dunking it seems. So will sit tight instead of driving in rain, winds and/or thunderstorms.  As I still remind myself, I don’t have to move now… I can wait these storms out, so I shall.

Scott & Denise have been the most gracious hosts. Its been a delight to have spent this time with them. And they have allowed me to get caught up on paperwork that needed to be tended to, by letting me print off stuff, and mail it.  Yesterday, Scott dragged out the hose and let me fill my water tank in my rig. Wonderful water!!! Then I sprayed off the salt spray that had oddly landed only on horizontal surfaces on my rig back in Corpus Christi – that was hard to get off!  Windshields took several washings to get the crap off.  So yesterday, I sprayed with water and tho I did not use soap, the finish is once again smooth.  I am most curious what this was, as I have parked next to the ocean in Alaska and did not get this stuff on my rig. I probably will never know.

Scott made my day and then some, when he made me a loaf of homemade bread, delivered it hot to my door on a bread board, with knife and a towel to cover. Oh my…. the butter just melted on the heel of that loaf… the first bite, my mouth accepted it gleefully, my eyes closed and the simply joy of it all wrapped me around the whole experience. Gosh, its been years since I’ve had this pleasure.. Thanks Scott!  Then last night, I was invited to join them for chili for supper/dinner. Afterwards, I got a chance to watch a video of a tribute that pertained to a mutual friend of ours, who has since died of pancreatic cancer. I had no idea that Scott & Denise even saw Geoph after school.  It was an awesome tribute and Geoph would have been honored, humbled I think. As that was the way he was.  So that was an unexpected event to experience. Wow!  And I learned a little more about Scott & Denise in the process. It has been a great stop in this moment in time for me.

Best laid plans

I seem to be doing this very well… that is make plans and they fall apart before my eyes.  Just part of the game of living on wheels, I guess.  So I mentioned I would probably move over to Sun City West, but I’m not, I’m staying right where I’ve been all week. My Aunt got me a hair appointment – yippee!!! That is Monday afternoon. We got together yesterday, got caught up on news, etc. and Monday we will go for lunch, then to get my hair cut, and then I get to go see their house. Before my Uncle passed away, we heard them tell stories of spending January juicing tons of tangelos.   Now wouldn’t that be grand? When my Mom was living with me, they would send her tree-ripened grapefruits… she loved them, in fact inhaled was a better description.  I know from years ago in having fruit trees, there is no comparison of fruit straight off the tree and the stuff they sell in the grocery stores.  I have gotten a few tangerines off the tree here at Gini’s – they are delightful, simply delightful.

To know I will get a hair cut on Monday, I decided to chance getting my rig into service. Called this morning, after going thru these young gals that don’t know squat about vehicles, being tossed from one person to another, bingo!  I got connected. Not only did I get connected, I’m in for Tuesday morning. Wow!  The man of the hour, not only gave me his direct office number but his own cell number so I don’t have to go thru all that again. I didn’t even ask for it.  So this is good. Something else I learned, which might come in handy down the road, they have 30/50 amp  and water hookups, but no dumping of tanks. Wow! again. So I could park there overnight or more without any issue.  And I learned, one can bring ones rig in and leave it and they will get to it when they can or you make an appointment and you get in pretty fast. Since I’m living in my rig, I won’t leave it.  I will let the Lazy Daze group know about them if they do good work.  I’m impressed so far, but time will tell.  To find any place that will do the servicing of the engine on a RV in the Ford family is rare, so if this is good its well worth noting and sharing with others.  All of my previous oil changes have been crawling under the rig doing it, as no one had the means to raise the rig. One used a jack to raise one corner – boy was that scary looking.  IF I can ever afford levelers, those can be used to raise the rig, alas, I don’t have them yet.  And folks, I used to change my own oil and filter, spark plugs, you name it, but I don’t do these big guys, the rigs.

So I’m here now until Tuesday.  Today, I got a package from my mailing service. I got a Christmas card – from upstate NY and a Handwoven journal, National Genealogical journal, and my roadside assistance info from CoachNet and…. drumroll I got a Christmas care package from my friend in Palmer.  Loaded with homemade candies, cookies, Raspberry cocoa, Alaska honey, granola, a salmon dip to make and a family photo Christmas card… gosh it just about brought me to tears… what a wonderful thing to receive. I promptly called and thanked her. We chatted for quite sometime.  Its been a few months since we did.  I’ve spent so much time on the phone today, that I haven’t had a chance to flip thru the journals, little lone read them.

Another day..

I’m still here… in Pahrump!  I had so wanted to leave today, but delays beyond my control put a real damper on this.

First, filling of propane was amazing to me. Normally, this is a one person job – but today was by 5 people and none of them could figure out what the next was doing or when.  I never hang near when they are filling and either these folks were learning how or they just didn’t care if their lungs were filling with gas. Over and above that, all those with individual tanks went first, disregard being the 2nd person in line. Really odd.  What should have been a couple of minutes turned out to be 45 minutes.  Glad I’m not in any hurry.

2nd delay was the post office. The post-Christmas long line was evident in all its glory. Wasn’t too concern by that and when I finally got up to ask about my package, was sad to hear it wasn’t in yet. But did learn the General Delivery will forward packages here at Pahrump, to anywhere FREE, but they asked me to check tomorrow, if not in, I will give my next destination.  Even they expressed concern as its meandering to too many places vs here.  Wish I knew what I was getting! Probably something that was back ordered and I have forgotten about it. Anything is possible.

And lastly, the weather was rather ominous this morning, really black sky with brown and green in the clouds. Not a friendly sky whatsoever.  No precipitation happened here, but the clouds were in the direction I needed to go.

Tomorrow’s forecast is a whole lot better, but I won’t be able to leave early due to the post office run. So will head for Henderson or Boulder City tomorrow night, then head South the next day.  Plan to take Highway 93 vs SR 95 down.  More of a direct route, just hoping the high parts don’t have frozen bridges, etc.  But will take it in stride and enjoy getting back out on the road.

Its tough..

Yesterday was downright tough… to hear of another shooting at a school was heart-wrenching enough, to learn it was of such young students – no words describe how I feel. But to learn it was the school in which a long time friend had worked at for years just about brought me to my knees.  I couldn’t get a hold of her or her family at all yesterday.  This morning I got a brief email to say she is ok. Those were/are the most beautiful words! The rest of the story is not important.

I know my friend and her family are overwhelmed with grief, as they try to work thru all that was dumped in their laps yesterday from another crazed individual…  Some day, I might hear the rest of the story, but these kind of traumas are hard to shake loose from. In some ways, I wish I could be there to give hugs and provide a shoulder to cry on, but its the last place I need to be. It is a strong, close knit town, no different than any other small town across the good ole U. S. of A., but when something so horrific happens, the folks in town close ranks quickly,  as they don’t want or need strangers in their midst. They need to hold on to each other – folks they know not strangers. The reality of it all hasn’t sunk in yet… the grief process is so profound, but necessary to go thru and they will go thru it.  Major hugs are in order, then step back and let them have time to heal. When all the media leaves and the hoopla of the investigation is done – the cold hard facts of reality will hit – it is one tough pill to swallow… my heart goes out to them.

And so… today… I’ve got to break away from the computer, TV, and put some action into my body. Put my brain to work on something totally unrelated…

Cats & packing up

If the morning finds me sleeping in, buried under the cats and my blankets, then I probably won’t be out of here at first light.  If the bladder gets me up (usually before light), then I will most likely be heading out at first light.  Either way, as long as I’m on the road by 0700, I should be fine. Of course, unless I set my alarm clock anything is possible.  These wonderful cool temps are so easy to sleep in.

Today, Sarah loaned me her car and I went off to Temecula in search of a PetSmart store.  It has been a struggle trying to find answers on why my boys are having such foul smelling stools. And they eat, but they don’t eat – that’s hard to describe. Worse than being picky, most foods they may try, but won’t eat. They are not unhealthy looking, but Tucker is far more active than Norm. I have done a fair amount of research on the internet, and I have asked friends with cats, as well.  Its highly unlikely my cats have worms or parasites, as they never go outside and no other critters come inside.  A vet tech I talked to suggested I try one of two types of foods – neither is found in grocery stores. And both are given high praise on the cat forums. So PetSmart was the closest store to me here that has this food and have sense learned Amazon carries it too. Royal Canin was one of the foods, but the selection was lousy at PetSmart, so targeted the Blue Wilderness food.  I got a bag of Indoor dry food and a selection of wet foods to try.  The dry food, was a instant love at first site. I have never seen my cats react to any food like they did when I opened this bag. I mixed a quarter cup in with there old Purina Indoor dry food – absolutely none of the new was left, but all of the Purina was. Hmmmm…. despite what they are showing me, I plan to take this slow. Last thing I need is two cats with diarrhea.  The Blue Wilderness is 100% grain free. Apparently, its grains & by products in all the other cat foods that cats are becoming allergic to or find intolerable and/or can’t digest.  If this is the answer, I find it amazing that over processed foods are affecting animals as much as it affects us humans.

I was checking the outside of my rig this afternoon and I was bummed to see something left a dent and took paint off in two places (one with the dent, the other about 3 inches away). The dent is high enough that it wouldn’t be from a small car or grocery store basket. I guess something could have hit it as I was going down the road, but this dent is on the passenger side of the rig, right over the rear duals.  Would a truck passing by do this?  Or it is the strong winds?  One will never know, but dang I hate seeing this.

I have only a few things left to do in the morning, all is put away and ready to go. It will be a couple of days before I write again.