Saturday, 29 April 2017

Started recovering the valances

Friday was a slow day around here so I went to the rig and grabbed the old valances. We are not fans of valances but I think there should be something to cover whatever window treatments we end up with so I recovered a small one so we could see what it would look like. That video is here.

Its a very simple and quick makeover. Just remove the staples on the back of the valance, remove old fabric, wrap with new fabric and re-staple.

This is a before pic of the valances

And after with the new fabric. 

All of the cushions are finished as well. Though I did have issues with the last 3. The first, which I made a video of the other day (here), worked perfectly. When I did the other 3 the next day, they were crooked. By crooked I mean that the edging of the square cushions went from front to back. Pondering what I had done so differently, I realized that for the first one I had attached the two sides and then sewed each side shut but on the second I did one side at a time, not realizing I was starting them on different edges. So I had to remove one side from each and ensure that they were started on the same edge. Voila.

The tripod I had ordered from Amazon arrived Thursday and the new plumbing vent for the RV from Camping World came on Friday. The Fantastic Fans have been in Customs for 4 days now, while the roof itself and its accessory boxes cleared Customs same day.

Remember Brad's tooth issue while we were in England? Well when we got home he went promptly to the Dentist who drilled it to get the roots that the previous Dentist had left in at the top of the root. An appointment was booked for him in the event he would need to get it pulled but that wasn't anticipated. 

On Monday, the Dentist's office called to changed Brad's appointment to later which was no problem for Brad. Wednesday, the tooth started acting up again. So an appointment was booked for Friday and they actually phone on Thursday with a cancellation, an appointment which Brad promptly took. The evil tooth was extracted after much ado and a pain prescription written, Brad was in a fair amount of pain which we put down to the effort to extract it from his bone. 

But last night he was in a lot of pain and broke out in a sweat, stomach issues and the lot, so it was a late night. Early hours this morning he woke me to say he was going to the hospital, I wanted to go with him but he insisted I stay and sleep. Turns out, he had a reaction to that particular pain prescription. Poor guy. 

The ER Doc gave him a new prescription and he returned home where I had a nice bed made up for him on the couch. He sleeps with a CPAP he is not able to wear due to the infection in his cheek, so he is unable to sleep in the bed. The couch allows him to sleep on his side without rolling over. 

Hopefully now he is on the mend, but what a time he has had because of this one tooth.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

New dinette cushion covers

Tuesday afternoon to my surprise the fabric I ordered arrived. Didn't take quite as long as I had expected, so I ran down to the rig and grabbed the cushions out of her that I want to recover.

That very night, I began taking each one apart stitch by stitch while watching my favourite YouTubers. Carefully measuring each piece to ensure that both sides were the same I was happy to note that they were. I have written on each foam piece regardless just to make sure that the pairs stay together so I don't have to fight with puzzle pieces later.

Wednesday morning, two at a time I threw them into the washing machine with a good dose of bleach, borax, vinegar and laundry soap. The machine was not able to spin them very well so I grabbed my rubber boots and took them out to the deck where I stomped as much water out of them as possible and left them in the sun to dry. It was quite windy yesterday but they weren't finished drying before the winds associated with the coming rain picked up and I had to bring them inside.

With nowhere else to put dripping foams I stood them up on the woodshed framing wall. (This wall holds our wood piles from rolling out the door, and its almost spring so its open). The woodshed is designed to allow air flow. Still wet this morning so I will try to spin them one at a time in the machine today.

Meanwhile I cut the fabric to the pre-measured sizes and started putting together the new cushion covers. Only managed to get one done yesterday because I recorded the process and thought I'd just whip up the video to post on YouTube since I haven't posted anything for awhile now, however it took a lot longer than I expected. It is finished and online if you'd like to watch that video you can find it here.

So this morning once I am beautified I will get the other 3 cushions thrown together quickly (famous last words) and probably go to the rig to bring the cabinet doors up to the woodshed so that I can remove the remaining hardware, wash them with TSP , sand them down and generally prep them for priming and painting as soon as the weather cooperates.

Making YouTube videos is actually quite challenging, not just the editing which definitely is challenging but also when making the videos themselves you have to consider how each 'segment' will be used later in the editing process. I have found it much easier to to make many 'segments' for this purpose. Anyone who does these knows exactly what I'm talking about.

I don't have any fancy shmancy expensive video editing software (and I'm sure that shows) and only use free software to do my editing. I don't see the point to spending a couple hundred dollars for software you don't know you'll use yet. If my 'following' picks up and people are enjoying what I'm doing then I will look at some proper software, until then free it is.

I'm sure I've said this before but its very difficult watching yourself on video. I had no idea my speech pattern and facial whatever was like that, but it is. Weird. I guess you perceive your own characteristics are like those you watch through your own optical lenses but when you see it from the outside in its really nothing like you thought. Not that you DO think about it, LOL no idea what I thought really, just didn't see myself as the camera does I guess. Anyway, like I said its weird.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Rogue Tarp, Pending Orders and FB

The tarp is off. Winds were strong the other night and ripped the grommets right out of the new $120 CAD tarp we purchased. We tried to sort it but it just wouldn't.. Hoping to get her inside shortly but we just have to leave her and hope for the best.

We have ordered the roof. Theoretically it will arrive shortly after we move her, allowing us some time to take off the existing stuff and clean the top of her. Think I will try to call buddy today and see how his boys are making out with finishing their work in the truck bay.

We tried to order the roof from a Canadian company but they are all so far away and we live so remote that the shipping was a problem, not just the cost (which was high) but also the company was having trouble finding a shipper to come out here. So we ordered it from a US company called Best Materials, Thank You Chuck! Still expensive with a high cost of shipping but at least they have someone who will bring it here - they say. "Don't borrow trouble" as Brad would say.

Checked in on the dinette/valance fabric again this morning and it is moving, it was in Moncton early hours this morning but they have changed the expected delivery date from April 21st to April 28th. I swear I don't make this stuff up.

Also on order are 3 fantastic fans, a plumbing vent and an Octopus tripod for the camera or iPhone. At this rate the shipping costs will equal what we paid for the whole RV! Exaggeration sure, but its climbing fast.

Time sure is dragging on at the moment, but we have what we need ordered and just have to wait that out. I know once things start happening in the next week or so there won't be a moments rest, and I cling to that. I'm a Type AAA personality, always wanting to be accomplishing something.

We now have a FaceBook account, well I opened it ages ago but deactivated it shortly after. I reactivated it yesterday. My problem with FB is the tracking. You have to enter your cell phone number and it then advises everyone who has your cell phone number in their Contacts list that you have created a FB account.

Well, because of Mr., we have well over 1000 business contacts in our list and I don't really want them all knowing my business. I'm trying to get away from all this not take it with me. I messed with some of the settings and it seems like I may have averted this problem. Its been 24 hours and I only have 4 friends. Sad, I agree but I'm hoping that number will increase with RVers and potential RVers.

Here is a link to our FB page if you want to be our friend and/or just follow along...

Editor's Note:  FB locked my account. Apparently it has to be in a name not a nickname, but they didn't message me to tell me that they just shut it down. I can't even go in an edit anything. Locked out.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Update on Work, Fabric and George

Sunday I returned to work. What a great shift, one of the best I've had there. Super busy which always goes to make the shift go faster. Night and day to what it used to be like, everyone pulled their weight and cooperated. Yesterday was much slower but just as cooperative. Only problem was my feet and back were so sore I just wanted so desperately to sit down. I did in fact, sit down for a few minutes. Concrete floors are harsh and I have flat feet so its especially hard on them. I have to invest in some new insoles if I am to keep this up, my current insoles are clearly too squished. The good news is that I seem to have been accepted back into the fold, always nice.

I also think a Dr.'s appt is in the cards for my back. I coughed at work and it felt like my spine was going to separate. Perhaps the makings of a hernia but I shall leave that up to the Doc, my job is simply to point it out. Nurse NeverWell I am. Actually I hate going to the Dr., during my first appt I advised that I don't go to the Dr. unless I'm dying and was promptly advised that if I were dying it would be nice for the Dr. to know something about me! Point taken.

Strong winds last evening took the tarp off of George the Condo, aargh. We had her wrapped and strapped for what we knew was inevitable but clearly that wasn't enough, will have to get over there today and sort something out. Perhaps we shall have to invest in a proper cover for her, likely need it for when we're doing our 6 mos at home anyway... I'll look at the prices today.

Also today, I will be contacting the 2 places I have found for the roofing material. Naturally it would be sooo much easier to do this elsewhere especially given the winds (20-70 km/h next few days). Shipping costs are steep to our locale but I guess its all part of the fun, right?! We are hoping to be able to move George soon, hopefully within the next week but we have no control over that aspect. Just pray the guy doesn't back out on us for this space.

FedEx advises I shall receive my Sunbrella fabric by Friday April 21/17... but it shows nothing other than that a shipping label was created. Here's to Friday! Yay, something to do.

Onward and Upward, one bum wiggle at a time...

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

We found a bay and back to work

One of the local guys around here has a workshop about 20min from the house, I managed to reach him this morning to see if we could work on the RV in his shop. No problem he says, but his guys are doing some stuff in there for the next 2-3 weeks. After that, we can move the rig in and get some stuff done.

The weatherman today is calling for freezing rain with more rain tomorrow... I emailed Mark at RVeducation101 because I had read that putting a tarp on an RV was a major NoNo. I didn't think it would matter in our particular circumstance but I just wanted to make sure as there is a lot I don't know... and he's an expert. He confirmed that a tarp in our circumstance would be better than the alternative.

Going online we found a tarp 20' x 30'. Not quite big enough but we'll have to make it work. The bulk of the problem is up front anyway... enroute to buy one I decided to check in at a different store just in case they had a larger one. They did. 20' x 40' for $119 CAD. Perfect, and White - Bonus! At least it won't look quite so bad to the neighbours as if it were green or blue... it blends a little better White.

Before going to pick up Brad from his Masseuse (its Wednesday, remember) Robbie (the dog) and I quickly drove into the Tim Hortons drive-thru to get Brad a hot coffee. My (former) boss pulled in beside me and let me know that the 'problems' at work have been eliminated. Hmmm... Could I? Do I even want to?

Once Brad was firmly entrenched in the car and happy with his coffee I let him know about work. Should I go back? It would be something to do, there's 8 months between now and RVLife but will it interfere with working on the renovation? I decided to stop at the office and talk to them.

We agreed I'd work 2 days a week, Sunday and Monday. My uniforms were still in the office, in the same bag I had returned them in. Just sitting there waiting for me. We all had a laugh that they knew I'd be back so they didn't move them. (I've retired a few times from here already)

Once home we promptly covered up George (that's what I call the RV- short for Georgina. It's a Georgie Boy Pursuit, but the girl version me thinks :)) Unless we get some decent weather in the next while I think we'll just leave her be until we can get her into the bay and accomplish some real stuff. Now with a tarp over her roof and windows I was able to open the windows a crack hoping to dry things out a bit.

I do have the fabric on order (I went with Sunbrella fabric by the way for camping durability, at least on the dinette and valances) once that arrives (tick tock people) I can putter around doing that until the weather improves or we move her indoors, whichever comes first.

I must say, things are looking warmer up here. The icebergs we had in the backyard a few days ago are gone today. Sorry the pics are through the window with raindrops but I wasn't willing to go out there and take good ones. Its only spring everywhere else.... that blueish blob in the 2nd picture is an iceberg approximately 6' high, or was anyway... gone now :D

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Reno has begun

The other day I went to the RV to grab some paperwork for the solar calculations I was doing and when I went inside wouldn't you know it the carpet was saturated. I don't just mean wet, I mean sopping wet.

This small leak is not so small. I can assure you that the roof appears visually to be good, there are no tears, rips or holes. It is apparent that the roof has been repaired before but it seems to me (as a layman) that perhaps the wrong roof repair materials were used. I know from my research that there are 2 types of rubber roofs - EPDM and TPO. If you use the wrong material it could bubble and cause problems. Today I went to the roof with a camera and it is evident to me that the issue is in the center above the driving cab. A repair which was done is clearly lifted and bubbled.

I put out a video today on YouTube but I didn't think to add anything about the roof in it so I will put a quick video of it here.

Yesterday we began with taking off the window coverings, cupboard doors and carpet. That was fun, and fairly easy. As expectedwhen we got the carpet out from the Livingroom area the floor was soaked not surprisingly. Naturally they used the cheapest stuff for the floor under the carpet, there is a name for it but its lost on my blonde roots so I'll just call it the not-so-plywood stuff. You know, the stuff that expands exponentially when it gets wet!!! Did I mention we have a leak? Yea, I thought so.

Brad was having a bad back day today (tomorrow is Massage Wednesday) and so I sent him off to get some groceries while I dragged a neighbour down to the rig to 'spot me' while I went up on the roof. After which I managed to get the doors off the overhead cab area and it was pretty apparent that the whole thing would have to go. So, I started taking it apart. When I finally freed up the piece closest to your head when you driving, it poured water out of every orifice it had - and it has a lot. I struggled getting it outside, but finally managed. Hopefully it will drain overnight. I'm hoping to cut a new piece of (preferably) plywood and reuse the fabric.

I had also hoped to get the left dinette off the floor to make carpet removal easier but getting into it I discovered that the electric step wiring runs through here so it won't be as easy as that. Probably not a biggie but I still decided to wait and think it through before I started messing with the electrics.

No idea what I will tackle tomorrow but that damn chair still needs to go, there are 2 bolts that spin and one that won't budge. On the bright side, we got one out no problem. Since the floor needs to go anyway, we are considering just cutting the floor out with it. Problem is, we don't know whats underneath.

Desperately searching for an indoor bay to do all this in, but it doesn't seem there are that many out our way and what few there are, are taken. My brother has offered that we could do it on his property but he lives a wee little drive from here so we'll have to see. A trip home to see the family would be nice but visits and alcohol (my favourite sister-in-law, you know who you are ;)) would definitely slow things down.

Just another day around here.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Pre-Solar nightmare

I probably will end up doing a long list of Solar posts, but that is not my intention right now. Today, I decided to try to calculate what our solar needs will be and I knew just where to go -Pippi Peterson

I have been watching RV videos on YouTube for months and months and months now... and while I haven't learned all the details of things like Solar power, Compost toilets or how to clean the tanks, I most definitely know where to go to find it! There have been quite a few YouTubers who have done Solar videos, The More We Explore comes to mind as someone who did a detailed explanation of their Solar install but Pippi Peterson really goes in depth. With spreadsheets and calculations which she explains in such detail that when I wanted to do the calculations that is precisely where I went first.

I made a list of all the electrical appliances which we expect to use in the RV and the Volts, Watts and/or Amps for each. Surprisingly every appliance lists different information, some have the Volts, some the Watts... what a bloody nuisance. Anyway, after a few hours I had managed to convert them into the required DC Amp hours (ah) that I was trying to get to, great! Um. No. My calculation was 5550ah/day... now keep in mind that a typical battery (as per the one Pippi shows in her video) holds 232ah. So we would need something like 25 to 28 batteries... I did something wrong, please tell me I did something wrong...

I did something wrong! I went to each appliance again and rewrote the entire list and the power requirements for each, converted them all to ah again and voila. Success!! My new calculation came out at 1162.50ah/day. Better but... Pippi's video was something crazy like 96ah/day, was that the ballpark I was supposed to be aiming for?

Now when I got the 5550 originally, I just knew something was off so I posted a comment on her video hoping that one of her followers would reply and set me on the right path. To my surprise I got a reply from the Madonna of YouTube herself! She noted in one of her replies that the calculations for her RV were a little over 1000ah/day also and she has an 800ah battery bank. What a relief, I'm in the ballpark after all!

Then I had to make supper. So figuring out what 1162.50ah/day means in terms of panels and converters will have to wait until tomorrow.

Anyone who knows me, knows I have the memory retention of a goldfish so if your not interested in my Solar adventure I'm terribly sorry, but if I just have it on looseleaf paper it'll be gone so some posts will be Solar jibberish until I have it on the roof, which will probably be awhile since we have to gut the RV yet. My posts will not be all about Solar but out of necessity it will be sprinkled in here and there.

Oh yeah, and yesterday I made these potholders for the rig.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Heavyweights and a decor plan!

We have been on what my husband calls a 'starvation diet' the past week. We signed up on MyFitnessPal last Friday I think it was and it turns out when you sit on your arse all day you get fat!! Who knew?! This sedentary lifestyle of late has got to go! We went to the big city yesterday and picked up a used treadmill too. In order to lose weight will sitting on his tush The Hubster gets to eat 1500 calories and I get 1200 - hey, what happened to equal rights?!

The software linked above is a pretty good system. You can search for whatever you eat by brand, including Tim Hortons coffee... or Green Giant beans, whatever. Restaurants and their offerings are listed as well. Just search what you ate and it will tell you. Careful though that you have find the listing that helps you with your entry- for example, if you ate an 8 oz ribeye at Montana's Cookhouse you can search for it but it helps if you find a listing that offers the details by the oz or at least by ounces.. so you can enter your 8 oz ribeye as Montana's Cookhouse ribeye 4oz and put the servings at 2 to create the entry as an 8 oz serving. (PS. Restaurant meals are excessively high in calories, so I don't recommend this without consulting your physician ;))

Yesterday, I finally settled on a decor plan. I want a dark colour on the bottom because its camping after all and we have a dog and a light colour on the top to help with the open and airy foofooiness of it all. I really like Chocolate but its such a warm colour for Arizona even in spring and grey (the latest trend) seems too cold for the winter months we intend to be spending in the RV. (January to June) So, what's a girl to do? Blend. I chose a colour that is a chocolate version of grey! The ceiling, walls and upper cabinets will be white (except for a highlight wall I haven't decided whether to do in this choco/grey or in literal wood), the lower cabinets and bed frame will be choco/grey.

I ordered some fabric (god don't let me mess this up, its expensive!) to redo the dinette I can't get rid of (because His Lordship wants it to stay) and I will also do the window valance thingys in it too. We all know the internet will not do this justice but here is the fabric colour.

Here is a mock up before/after I did online just to get a feel for it...

I'm thinking of making butcher block for the counter, table, desk and vanity. Have never done butcher block before so that should be interesting. I will be checking with my local wood supply guy to see if they have anything wide enough in a slab first, but likely I will need to do a butcher block- wish me luck on that one. 

I would like to replace the stainless steel sink since the counters will be swapped out with a single deep black. The current sink is great as a deep double but with so little counter space I think it would be preferable to get a single deep sink that I can put in side to front (as seen in the Newark RV in a previous blog). This will free up counter space which though the table could be used for chopping veggies, a certain someone will need to put his Keurig somewhere. Alternately, I may be able to just turn the existing sink sideways (I'm realizing as I type this). If I can find a way to do that which will fit the sink while still allowing for a faucet! I'll let you know.

I was searching through my fabric remnants and found what I think will be a good fit for my decor idea and so today I made 2 pillows for the sofa we don't yet have. Did I mention I'm bored? Anyway, this is the colour scheme I'm aiming for and yes, its darker than the fabric I ordered.

While it is still too cold up here in Hell to get started on anything significant yet, at least I have a plan now and can proceed with some of it which would normally be done at the end but ... a girl has to do what a girl has to do!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

It seemed like a good idea

So I went to work on Monday, my 1st day back in a year. I have retired from this place about 3 times now, and I'm always welcome to go back but this time was different, for me at least.

Because we live in an isolated locale, I was bored. I decided to go back to work simply for something to do and had planned to stay there on a 2 or 3 shift/wk schedule until we leave in January. When I got there though it was totally different than I had hoped. I spent 2 hours there and just had to leave. Apparently it is true what they say, "you can't go back".

I left mainly because it was obvious I was causing a problem for the younger staff as it was apparent they were uncomfortable taking direction from me when the person they are used to taking direction from was there. Rather than get them in 'trouble' with her, I just went. Thinking about it on the way home I was contemplating what I would do to sort this problem out and realized that I just didn't care, my heart wasn't in it anymore. After sleeping on it, I advised my boss that it wasn't going to work out.

So what to do? Winter here takes forever to leave and we won't be able to do much to the RV before June. But, I can do some of the sewing projects that I have in mind. I want to make a quilt for the bed and change out the fabrics on all the windows. I've considered doing videos of the quilt and other fabric mods but as I'm just not that good at it I haven't decided if I will. Brad has agreed to let me paint the cabinets WOOHOO! so now its just a matter of the colour scheme... I shall work on that today.

There are a few things I want to order from Amazon too. Nothing particularly pressing but I came across the Berkey Water Filter a couple of months ago and definitely want to get one, also a tankless water heater and a few other things. It sounds like we will be gutting most of the RV to make sure there isn't any mold issues with her which will allow us to ensure the insulation is sufficient so I look forward to that (silly cow). Most likely that will be another one of those "it seemed like a good idea at the time' things.

Having been born in England and shuffled back and forth many times during my childhood, I quickly learned to adapt my accent (you know how kids can be) and so now when we go to England I pick up the accent very quickly and it still lingers now, a week later. Last time we went for 2 weeks it was 3 weeks after we got home before it left. I'm sure some people think I'm cracked but thats just the reality of it. I also lived for almost a year in the good ol' USA and picked that one up too. So if we come across each other in the path of life and I sound funny - you'll know why.

Because our weather is so bad (blizzard right now) and is often that way- rain or snow, we are trying to purchase a treadmill, just an ordinary treadmill and found one after much research on Amazon. However, upon checkout I was promptly advised by the internet guru gadget that they don't ship such items to our geographic location. Told you we were isolated. We have had armchairs delivered but large electronics? - nope. So I shall be back at that today as well as sorting a colour scheme for the RV and I have a load of laundry....

My posts will likely be sparse until such time as something exciting happens around here. So to the handful of people who follow our stuff, I apologize, but it will get good eventually.

Not sure who I'm trying to convince - me or you...