Prepping

Life is good and busy, as it normally is. No drama, no unexpected surprises and its almost boring!  Except, I’m rarely bored, so what’s up with that?  Its called prepping. At this stage, I just want to hit the road, be done with it all.  I’ve actually evaded this leg of any given journey, then later regretted that I did not take the time to do it right.  What am I talking about?  Its called re-organizing, packing and making sure everything is in good shape and then load the rig. This is the time one double thinks, makes lists, double check this and that – I have long since learned, you don’t wait until the last minute, not even the last week to do this basic stuff.

My break time was sitting back and watching my neighbors swap rigs and move all their belongings back and forth.  Both rigs are 5th wheels, now how did they get that one into that parking space the wrong way?  I will have to wait and see.  I finally remembered to caption the photos, so hover over them with cursor.

One of my preps, was to get my tapestry loom dressed before I go. I hope to sneak in an online class as a refresher before I leave, so it looks like I know what I’m doing – laughing at this, as its been several years since I attempted a tapestry. But this is the loom that will now travel with me out on the road.  All its yarns, accessories have been organized and loaded into my RV.  Yesterday, I also loaded my RV with my spinning wheel and fiber to spin up some yarns too.  That’s for the RV, but for the shed, we got the warping wheel setup (see picture above, lower left corner).

The warping wheel is my preferred method of dressing my floor looms.  Dressing a loom, is putting on the warp – the lengthwise of any fabric.  I use sectional beams and this warping wheel allows me the freedom to design within each 2 inch section, if I so choose. But for my small floor loom, decided to put on just 2 colors, alternating all across the warp. I love to weave Shadow Weaves, a 3D effect, and this will be for cotton kitchen towels. Do not yet know what shadow weave I will use, but once I get going, will post pictures of that.  On my big floor loom, I am really jazzed about putting on 12 colors in bamboo. I’ve not worked with bamboo so am excited with just that, but I had my horoscope read years ago and the gal that read it, is also a weaver. She designated each color based on the planets, positioning etc of my own horoscope. So this is a one-of-a-kind project and the first just for me.  You see, majority of the stuff I make tends to find homes before it comes off the loom. So this horoscope weave is just for me. I think this will be a scarf, but not sure. Again, pictures will be forthcoming. And I’m trying like crazy to get both floor looms dressed before I leave… nice little challenge as its been so blistering hot and there’s no a/c out in the shed.

So I need to get back to work. Have a great day!

Artsy

Well, it has been a fun month traveling with Ruth. Today, I had to say good-bye, for now that is.  I suspect, we will get together down the road some day.  In the meantime, she is catching a train westward and I will head southward once again.

The whole time Ruth traveled with me, she was knitting this crazy blanket – that you see above. I wanted to buy it from her, but we traded instead. She got one of my handwoven towels in trade. Its way too hot to be using that knitted blanket at the moment, but can think of many times in the future that I will greatly appreciate having it.  Then Ruth found out that I love bracelets and necklaces, never owned a beaded one before. So was very pleased and tickled to be given these two, pictured above. I love autumn colors, and this fits it to a tee. They are gorgeous and I said as much to Ruth. So lots of laughter, lots of teasing, and then more laughter is now stashed in our memories of this past month. Thanks Ruth, if you are reading this… really enjoyed our time together, despite the initial challenges (on both of our parts). See you next summer!  I will bring your red Why hat, tahini (if anything left by then), and I can guarantee the chocolate bar will not make it to Alaska… laughing here. Told you, you would forget something…smirking here.  Thanks Ruth!

So I got the handwoven towels off the loom, washed, hemmed & pressed. My very next project is a kit from a Karen Selk workshop I had taken years ago. 100% silk. The biggest yarn is Bombyx silk 30/2 and the smallest is Tussah silk at 120/8… for ye lay person reading that… its makes sewing thread look huge!  Due to its wee size, I need a whole lot of heddles. I have 800 on my loom and I need 1187. So as we speak, they have been ordered and I will hopefully have them in my hot little hands by the end of the week. I am so jazzed about getting this project started. It will be a fun one to weave, but a challenge, like all shadow weaves can be.  Pictures will be posted as I get going on this.

So while waiting for the heddles… more bike riding is in order… and I suspect some much needed spinning will be started.  I am moving within the park I’m at. I found a little landscaped (if deserts can ever be landscaped) area big enough for me and my rig. It is a little closer to my neighbors then I have been doing, but this little patch of landscaped desert has a couple of trees to block the heat of the day. 80ºF needs some shade in my humble opinion.

But first, I am parked at Sanderson Ford Truck in Glendale for the night, with services being done in the morning. I swear by this Ford dealer – they have saved me money in many occasions, and well…just been real good. Besides, its free parking with security, electricity, even water – though the latter is next to impossible to hook up to, so I don’t try. It is worth going out of my way to get my rig into them, so I do it when I am in the vicinity…will sort of in the vicinity.

 

Jumbled education

Spring is here!

Whew! I am so thankful this week is almost done.

The water issues, a seemingly ongoing project, is better understood. Most of this week, I have had water, a dribble, but water coming out of my faucets. That’s a huge improvement. One of the discoveries learned, I needed to replace all faucets in my rig. Once we got the water system primed, air removed extra, checked the water heater, etc… discovered gushing water out of the base of the faucets, but not out of the faucets – hence, I had to get new faucets. All kinds of screens, cartridges, hoses, etc were checked for clogs.  It was a mess.  I’m really hoping the replacement of the faucets will do the trick, but must wait and see. They are being replaced as I write this post.  Lots of swearing around the itty bitty bathroom faucet too. Smiling here.

In the midst of all this, I started having brown outs.  Just me, no one else. Freaky stuff, as my hardwired surge protector was telling me I had high readings of 132, then at one time had a scary low of 108. I don’t do electrical. I call for help. Twice on one morning, my surge protector cut the power off and the latter one on that day, just shut me down entirely. Woke me right up at 0436.  That day, asked to see if others had any problems. They came and checked the voltage for me on the pedestal – it read 123 whereas my surge protector was reading 130 then.  They scraped clean one of my prongs on my electrical cord that had some discoloration. The next morning I had another brown out. So called these guys back. These guys are part of the Lot Management here within the Escapees park. All volunteers. This time, they took the socket out of the pedestal and found one of the points corroded. They replaced that, checked all the wiring around it, replaced one wire that looked ok to me, but they felt it safer to replace it. Later that day, one of them came back with a couple of meters to ‘evaluate my surge protector’. They believe I have an overly sensitive protector and thought they could just adjust it. Well, that’s not going to happen, as there is nothing on the gauge to adjust.  I need to make a conference call to Progressive to see what should be done, if anything. Now trying to coordinate that is problematic this week.  But no more brown outs. Next week will tackle that call.

And in the midst of all this… my scheduled shipment from Alaska arrived in Seattle. A friend, Rob, rented a Budget truck, pallet lifter and went and picked up the shipment for me and brought it to my storage unit. I am so very thankful I had him helping me. Also, I was very impressed with what he managed to overcome in getting the pallets off the truck into the storage unit. So grateful, for his kind and generous help in doing this. Thank you again Rob, it is greatly appreciated.

And as I round out this week. The faucets have all been replaced – I got WATER FLOW! And no leaks!!! How exciting. Amazing what gets me excited these days.

And with me being giddy with joy, have found a sponsor in area so I can join the Elks Club – finally! Been trying to do this for the last 2 years. I had so hoped to have joined in Haines, but they had closed down two months before I got there. This here, will happen in April. Yeah!  The Elks club here has another feature that excites me. They do dance classes – all kinds of dances. Bring it on.  As for dancing, there is a couple here in Evergreen that does line dancing and the two step every week. Real avid dancers. There’s apparently another that does ballroom dancing. Have not met him or her yet. So finishing up all this responsible stuff, I want to go play. And play I will.

Haines

On a mental note of hitting the road once again, all those last minute things that should have been done, are now in motion. One of the big ones this time for me, was to take a critical look at what I have not used, may have thought I would use, but have not in 2 years. All is now out of my rig.  One of which was my non-electric Nissan slow cooker. What a surprise to open it up and find… liquified peaches… pits included. Gads,  I don’t even have a memory of getting peaches or of having opened the Nissan pot since I got the thing.  Pot got super cleaned… Only fleeting odors crossed my nose this whole time, and when I did smell something – I thought the cats had done something.  Sorry Tucker & Norm for getting the blame. So yes, the pot holds things very well… whether heat or chill or smells…

Chilkoot Lake and Chilkoot River are favorite places to visit.  If the salmon are jumping up river – the bears are soon to follow.  This year, they are late, that is the bears.  No earthly idea why, as the salmon have been running pretty good this year. But just in the last few days… sightings of bears have increased greatly.

The other night, Cheri & I went out to watch the bears.  Saw one grizzly – a blond one – across the Chilkoot River from us. He/she looked squarely at us and I wondered if they could hear me telling Cheri to stop.  No picture, the bear gave us one more glance and re-entered the tall grasses. The river is quite high, so am not surprised now, that the bears haven’t been seen much. They don’t want to expend the energy to swim when they rather be fishing and filling there bellies with quality protein.  But this will soon change.

Chilkoot River meets the Chilkoot Lake

Smokey- hazy evening on Chilkoot Lake

Wild Celery

For years, I have watched the natives pick wild celery to eat.  This plant can easily grow to over 8 feet tall in our long summer days.  But its not a plant to tangle with unless you know how.  The stalks and leaves have short nettle like… not quite thorns… but they work themselves right into your skin and fester. Just a nuisance.  But the natives peel these off and enjoy the inside of the stalk. Yes, it tastes just like celery!

Fly fisherman
Story of the sow with triplets – I’ve known her thru 2 sets
Evening on the Chilkoot River

As we drove along the river, so very slowly hoping to see another bear or two, we just enjoyed the peace of it all.  I love to watch fly fishermen… the ones that do it right are awesome to watch and its a talent that I wish I had.  I can’t get the correct wrist action behind it. So am content to just watch on the sidelines.  This river is a fly fisherman haven…

Close-up of weir
Weir 

Bears L-O-V-E to fish at the weir. Its easy, easy pickings!  The guy that counts the fish daily, doesn’t like to be disturbed by the bears (or by curious 2 legged kind either).  He has to be constantly alert for bears…  loud shots over the bears keeps most of them at bay. For the ones that don’t heed that, the counter guy runs!!!  The stories the weir can produce would fill several books!

Unique display along side road

Can’t upload anymore photos… will tell more on this last picture later. And will post more too, later. When I can get a decent signal. Right now, I’m blocked by big Class A’s.

The Skinny of it all…

The day before the estate sale, the 3 of us gals headed up to Skaneateles, New York to do some shopping. The way the locals make it sound, it is like “skini aetles” vs “skaneni aetles”.  That’s the skinny of it and I’m sticking to it. Laughing here.  Its a beautiful historic town in upstate New York…
Skaneateles Lake

So a little brief history on Skaneateles and its namesake lake.  It is one of the Finger Lakes in central New York in the USA. The name Skaneateles means long lake in one of the local Iroquoian languages. The lake is sometimes referred to as “The Roof Garden of the Lakes” because its altitude 863.27 ft is higher than the other Finger Lakes.  It is 16 miles long, about 315 ft deep.  Its the cleanest of the Finger Lakes, its water is so pure that the city of Syracuse and other municipalities use it unfiltered.  The shores of Skaneateles Lake are in three counties – Onondaga, Cayuga and Cortland

Crystal clear waters off of pier

This image and the one next is showing how clear the water is, but also old anchors with nickels, dimes, quarters and even a few pennies thrown in for good measures. I’m told the water is too cold to retrieve the coins… its also quite deep here.

Tried to get a fish in said picture – it remains elusive

Sunken schooner of old. Now a great home for fish

View looking down street in Skaneateles, click to enlarge to read sign

Lots of neat shops down both sides of the street. Plus great food

The estate sale was a huge success… amazing what sold and what did not.  It was busy all day Friday. They held it again on Saturday and I believe the last day was today. Equally busy.  Haven’t gotten the latest report, but I bet today was just as profitable.  After working the day on Friday, back at Tom & Anita’s home… more tulips had popped open and we were delighted with the birds that showed themselves as well.  Two orioles, several red-wing black birds and yellow finches kept us glued to our deck chairs while enjoying an ice cold tea…

Bleeding hearts near tree, I thought it was rose hips…

This past week, with the field drying out, greening up, fences mended – they let the adult cows out to feed first.  Once they strengthened the fence a bit more, they will let the calves out.

Old tractor, still quite workable I’m told

One of the calves…

Saturday morning as I left town, all the blooming trees were in full bloom, leaves popped out on all the trees – none of which had happened the day before.  It was gorgeous!!!  So it continues to hold true, I arrive in winter and leave in the spring… but then I jumped into summer…. knew it would happened.

My first night – I found a RV park – dumped my black tank and refilled my water and got a good night sleep despite the many parties around me celebrating Mother’s Day a day early.  I got up at 5 am – totally unheard of in the last 3 weeks… lingered while sipping a cup of Market Spice tea, enjoying the cool, cool morning as the park slept. Heavy dew on everything… my kind of morning. Started hearing others stirring, so went to task and left at 7:10 am.  
I did not want to drive thru Cleveland… although I planned – yes, I actually planned to hit this on Mother’s Day – thinking it would be quieter, no rush hour kind of traffic.  Early this morning as I studied my maps one more time, I realized I was basically parked in a spot between I-90 and I-79.  I knew from studying maps that I could catch I-80 on either I-79 or I-90.  I had a choice of doing either as I pulled out of the RV park this morning.  My rig took me the best way…  beautiful early morning Pennsylvania landscapes and farms as I headed south.  After driving for quite a distance, I began to wonder if I had made an error, but stuck with it and sure enough, I got on I-80.  I-80 is a turnpike in Ohio, and apparently in Indiana as well. Totally missed Cleveland. Yea!  Tonight, I’m parked at a truck stop on the turnpike – even have electricity (free) in the RV parking area separate from the trucks. Nice.
Tomorrow, if weather permitting, I will veer off of the turnpike before, in or after Toledo – not sure which at the moment to get to the back roads.  My next destination is to see one of my childhood friends, get my cats vaccinations updated and take a wee bit of down time.  
NOTE: Hello my friend in Kellogg, ID – can you please send me an email once again… Thought I saved our previous correspondence, but can’t put my finger on it now.
And lastly… I have always used a rubber bucket – about a 2 gallon size, to collect shower water, which I then dump into black tank to flush the system.  I had not dumped my black tank in 3 weeks, so had overflowing water in the bucket.. I had dumped my gray tank into a sistern. (not sure how to spell that) When I checked into the RV park and dumped my black tank and went into my rig to use the shower water bucket to rinse.. I found a lake in my shower.  Not only did the bucket empty its contents, it soaked my dirty clothes and dirty clothes basket and that plugged up the drain so it could only seep down the drain…  In all this time, this has never happened… of course, I normally dump the black before hitting the road, but really now… a lake in my shower pan!?!  I am very fortunate it did not spill out onto my floor.   Another lesson learned…

Brainstorming

This being stuck just doesn’t hold water. Frustrated and bummed about it, I missed a real opportunity. Well, not missed but most seriously delayed.  So on the surface it looks like no RV park or State Park or what-have-you is open in Pennsylvania or northward until May 1st, right?  Well, not quite true.

Its rather amazing how the mind works when ones doing mundane things like filling the water tank.  First let me say… there’s alot available if I wanted to move every day, truly there is. But neither I nor my cats like moving everyday for more than 3 days.  The calendar tells me I got a little over 2 weeks to play with before my next adventure.  So even attempting to plot and plan this to any degree did not quite fill up that 2 weeks. So I tossed that idea.  I made one phone call this morning on a hunch.  It was to a RV park further north of me that claims its not open until the end of April. All reviews state this is a good place. So I asked if I could help get there park open.  I told them a little on what I had done camp hosting last summer, and I had no plans to get back into that this year, but I need a place to park until such and such date and what I’ve done before.  We chatted a bit more and they said they would talk it over and get back to me. Not 20 minutes passed, phone rang.  If I could come in next Monday, the day after Easter, they would love to have some help. They outlined what they were seeking and what they were offering.. it doesn’t sound like much on the work part, but will reserve that opinion until I get there. But yippee!!! I got a place to hang until May.

It was chilly this morning – high 20’s, and it snowed last night but didn’t last long.  And it was a hot 52ºF this afternoon, well in the sun it was toasty..  and that prompted a different subject.

I don’t know how my fellow full-time RVer’s keep plants going in their RV, but it has been a challenge for me.  A couple of pictures here are off springs to the Grandmother Christmas Cactus.  I say Grandmother of all, as when I carried this huge plant on my lap out of Adak, Aleutian Island, Alaska back in 1994, it was 18 years old then.That was a long airplane ride with that plant on my lap. I acquired it from a civilian gal who acquired it in the Philippines before Adak.  That Grandmother cactus has thrived in the northern arctic entry of my house for all these years, and it went outside in the summers sitting on the front porch facing north. Then I moved to Haines and I realized it was way-y-y too big to carry in my RV, so found a nursery to maintain it over the winter until I got back.

The first picture below, I had planted this arm off the main plant – it was just as big as the plant back in 1994 when I handed it to the gal at the nursery in 2012, when I returned in the April 2013 (check my previous blog posts on this saga). When I finally got it out of her, this is what I was given. The soil was so saturated with red water – it took months for it to dry out… while waiting for that (at a friends house) it bloomed one last magnificent time, then died.  After all these years… I can’t believe she is gone.  She made many, many people happy as she bloomed several times each year.

Click on photos to enlarge

Sick Grandmother Christmas Cactus held up with a moose fishing

Well, this little cutting in this yogurt cup is the last off spring of the Grandmother’s plant. I got this in June of 2013 when I delivered the above plant to my friends house to try to save the main plant.  I managed to frost bite the leaves twice this winter, lost those leaves. Norm took a chunk out of another leaf and I am proud to say… I got 2 new leaves coming on the plant.  Happy, happy, happy!!!

Christmas Cactus baby

Now if anyone has a good solution to hang this on the wall, out of reach of cats, secure enough to go down the road – let me know, ok? And any tips on protecting it better in the freeze.

Before I thought of asking to work at getting a RV park open for the season, I started looking at other sources that I had acquired before I went full-time. They are more fitting for me now, but I had totally forgotten about them.  One is Overnight RV Parking and the other is Boondockers Welcome. The latter one I have belonged to since before my RV ownership, as I provided our home in Alaska to be a stopping point for RV travelers. Then it lapsed.  So I have rejoined as of today.  If I had checked either one of these, I would have found solutions and not restraints on moving forward.  So it is a good day and I thought I would share these with you.