Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Flurry of Visitors

There's usually nothing going on up here in the northwoods, but suddenly we have company...lots of company.

On Thursday night we had Christy and Dave over to visit and play cribbage.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday brought our friends Becky and Patrick from La Crosse up our way to camp and hang out.  They were lucky enough to be parked right next to the "farm" and couldn't figure out what the drumming sounds were all night long.  At first she didn't believe me when I said it was the emus, but then she heard them making their unusual sounds and was a believer.  I couldn't find anything on YouTube that would let you know what it sounds like, sorry.

Monday and Tuesday we had Ron and Kathy camping in Ham Lake to catch up with us.  We met them in North Fort Myers and I played pickleball with them, so of course they needed to go with me to the Andover YMCA on Tuesday morning to meet my gang.

This was the week that we were also trying to help the kids prepare for the move on Wednesday, so we were pretty tired out by this evening.

Tomorrow the moving truck comes to take it all away and we will go over in the morning to help with last minute hauling of stuff to the garage at their new place and cleaning up the house for the new owners.

Then our little family will be homeless for three weeks until they can move into their new digs.  Luckily they have good friends who have taken all four of them and the dog for that duration.  These kind of friends don't come easy and they are blessed to have this opportunity.

Sorry for the lack of photos.  Seems I get so busy enjoying the company that I don't think to take any photos of us...so you'll just  have to take my word for it that we really do have friends.

Long Live the Company Queen

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Planning Continues

Now that things are coming together, we are wishing we didn't have to wait until spring to move in.  There would be so many advantages to setting up before we leave, such as prepping the land for delivery of the trailer and being able to leave as much as possible in the new unit.   But alas, there is the renter there until the end of the season, so we'll just have to wait until next year.

Our plan, even though it seems to change day by day, is to enjoy one last swan song in See-More on the way down to Arizona.  Then after the kids visit is over in December, start looking seriously in one of the two parks in Mesa for a home during January through March 2017.  

It's funny how I always proclaimed I never wanted to own anything again after we sold the house.  Now we own one property and looking to buy another in Arizona.  Heck, we may still get a third one in Texas and have choices of where to winter, renting out the other one in our absence.

The timing is right since Left Brain is hitting that magic age in 2017 where he needs to start taking money out of the IRAs.  My job is to help him part with it.  It's not a new job for me, I've always been there to assist in the spending and buying as I'm so much better at that.

Long Live the Queen of Hope

Friday, August 19, 2016

Our Last Resort

The kids had invited us over to their house and as much as I preferred staying home and wallowing in my pity party, we agreed to go.

Left Brain suggested stopping at one more RV dealer on the way, said he'd found something online that looked interesting.  Groan.

I was so tired of having my hopes built up and then dashed that I could barely stand the thought of yet anything spin on this emotional rollercoaster.  But he persisted, so I went along for the ride, not expecting anything.

They only had three on the lot to look at, so at least this wouldn't take time.  He drove up and parked at one called the Resort.  Yeah right...this is our last resort I thought snidely.

And then we walked in.  It instantly felt like home.  I don't know how to describe it.  There was nothing particularly stunning about it, no flash and glam...but it just felt right.

The kitchen had a decent countertop area...ok...I like this.  And look, the island doesn't have a sink on it.  Just open usable SPACE. I can already envision cooking up here or using it as a cutting table for quilting.  Or setting out snacks for guests now that we can invite someone over...the the possibilities!

The fridge has an 18 cubic feet capacity - WOW.  The microwave is full sized, not one of those tiny toy ones they usually put in RV's.  The oven looks a bit small, but has four burners and an oven.  So far so good. 

OMG!  Is that an actual pantry?  I opened the door expecting the usual six inch depth of disappointment I'd seen in others.  Nope.  This pantry is wide and deep with pull out drawers on the bottom section.  Whoa!  There was some planning going on here.

The dining table and chairs are right by the window, near the kitchen and can actually be accessed.  Several of the other models we looked at had a little "wall" to define the space...as well as the functionality.

And then there was the area in the front window for as big a TV as Left Brain could salivate for.  Now I'll finally have a home for the sweet little glass house my friend Beth made for me five years ago on my sixtieth birthday.

On one side was a comfy couch that pulls out into a queen sized bed for company.  It doesn't show in the photo, but there is a ceiling fan over the living room area.

  The other side had two large swivel rockers that reclined and were oh so comfortable to sit down it.  The usual thing we've seen these days are theater seats, but I like the recliners as they allow for easier rearranging.  OMG...I can rearrange furniture again, at least after I unbolt everything. I think I'm in love!

We went down the hall and peeked into the bathroom.  The sink area was a bit small, but about the same space we have now.  They could have added some more storage in here, but the shower...that made up for any other faults the bathroom may have lacked.  Big...roomy...built in seats...oh yes.  The norm seems to be a small circular arrangement that even I would have a hard time not splashing water all over.

By the time we reached the bedroom we knew we had some real potential here.  The bed is King sized, which usually means it takes up every inch in the room, but this one had easy access up both sides.  Unheard of!

Plus each side had a window for good ventilation as well as a counter space large enough for our cpap machines...unheard of in any other models we've seen.  Oh, and there is a second ceiling fan above the bed.  Bring on that summer heat!  The area underneath this countertop is open and I could just see George picking this as his new favorite hiddy hole when the thunderstorms hit.

The closet was huge with a shelf across the top and hanging space the entire length. This will provide more space than needed for hanging our things and still have room for the vacuum cleaner as well.

The dresser was enormous and would easily hold our printer and a small TV for my enjoyment.  Yup, there's the cable hookup right there.  They were sober when they designed this unit!

Plus there is another window for cross ventilation.  We seldom turn on the AC and prefer the natural breezes. 

Good Lord!  There's a second closet on my side of the bed as well with nice deep storage, not to mention the four overhead cabinets above the bed.  This is great for those things you only need to access once a week or less.

Then, just for fun I lifted the bed and found a nice deep storage area underneath the bed as well.  We have room for a lot of stuff here!  Now we could actually play hide and seek in our RV.

We sat down with the saleslady and I gave Left Brain "the look".  He smiled back.  Then I explained to her that this would more than meet our needs, especially since they had just lowered the price on it...but it's too early.  No problem she said...if we paid for it they could hold it until next spring.  Whaaaaat?

We all but picked her up (she was a tiny thing) and ran back to her office to put down a deposit on our new home.

I sure hope I don't wake up and find out this was just a dream.

Long Live the Queen of Glee

Thursday, August 18, 2016

We Have Land...Need a Home

Finally ....we are both breathing easier knowing that we have land to call our own next spring.  The next hurdle is to find a destination trailer to put down on it.  Then, if things go as planned, we can find a place in Arizona and sell See-More there.  Ideally we'll sell the RV and car as a package since we'll need a larger vehicle for traveling back and forth with the cats.  It's all about the cats.

I was enjoying this process for quite a while, going through RV dealerships and walking through fifth wheels and trailers, getting a feel for what would best suit our needs.  It didn't take real long to narrow our search to just a destination trailer.  Since there are far fewer of those on the market, that narrowed the choices even more.

I'm convinced that some of the people who design these things had to be drunk or high during the process.  In one of the models we looked at all the closets had the clothes bar raised so high I could even touch it.  I'd need a step stool to hang up my clothes.  That brand was eliminated right away.

This land of the giant trend seemed to continue into other areas of the RV as well, with cabinets that were unusable unless you were close to six feet tall.  And don't even get me started on the overhead lights that would require a ladder to turn on my reading lights.  Sigh.  I know I'm vertically challenged at 5' 4", but this is ridiculous.  It sure provided an insight on how the little people must feel.

How I long for a bed I can walk around the sides to make the bed without having to crawl forward with the fitted sheets in my hands waiting to tackle the front corners.

The current trend in the big trailers seems to be the ability to sleep as many people as possible.  This is accomplished by adding four bunk beds in a second bedroom, sometimes accompanied by another half bath.  Yikes.  You could sleep up to eight people in these RV's with the couch making into a bed as well...but you still only have a small table with four chairs.  Who wants to share space with that many people.  We like to keep our company slightly uncomfortable so they leave after a short stay.

Then there were the models with a "den".  This is usually positioned somewhere in the middle of the unit and consists of a couch with a large wardrobe and television across from it.  Ok, this might be nice if you had a sulky teen you didn't want to look at during your stay in the RV, but you sacrifice a lot of kitchen and living space for it.  Yes, the cats could have had their own room and watched Animal Planet in privacy, but we haven't spoiled them quite that far.

The closest thing I'd seen was an RV with a loft over the bedroom.  This was accessible by a carpeted set of stairs to the upper level.  Oh the possibilities!  My first thought was all the cat toys, beds, scratchers and litter box could go up here out of sight.  It could double as an attic for storage for all the things that wouldn't fit downstairs.  Now, keep in mind this loft is only accessible on hands and knees.  It would be great fun for little kids or cats...but not usable for a sewing room or anything like that.

By this time we'd been to most the dealers in the area over a course of several weeks and it wasn't fun any more.  I declared to Left Brain that we'd just look for a lot in Arizona and continue to drive back and forth and live in See-More.  It's worked this long, it will work longer still.  I wasn't thrilled by the prospect as I really want to get off the road and into something larger, but there didn't seem to be anything created that we could agree on and I was sick of looking.

Oh well.  Maybe something will present itself.

Long Live the Queen of Dismay

A Glimpse of Our Future Home

When we stopped by our property (I never get tired of saying that) we took some photos to remember what it looked like.

It is currently rented out to someone until the end of the year, so my first mission was to introduce ourselves and ask permission to wander about the property taking photos and getting measurements.  He was fine with it, so we proceeded quickly as the mosquitoes were biting after the recent rain.

We are located in the second row, well away from the flood plain area.  That kind of excitement I can live without.

Here is our lot from the front.  The RV will face East. The rules state no paved parking areas, so we will hire one of the guys here to put in a gravel parking lot for us, probably where that patch of dirt is.  

This is the south side where the hookups are.

This is the from the back where the shed is.  The shed will eventually go and be replaced with a larger resin model.  We are allowed to have a shed up to 10 x 12, so that's what we'll have. Although I hate to part with this classy metal number.  We'll probably put it in the same general location since it provides a bit of privacy for our patio.

Here are the trees on the north side.  I can't wait to create a bird feeding sanctuary and gardens here!  As soon as we land next spring I'll put in my application for permission to dig so I don't accidentally run through anybody's cables.

It's fun to daydream about adding a screen house to our awning and putting down some patio blocks for the patio area. The rules of the park are to maintain the open feel of a park and not having people fence off their property.  I like that...it will be a far cry from the tight spaces in Arizona this winter.

Long Live the Queen of Lot 208