Sunday, February 28, 2016

Storage tips for living in an RV - the desk area

There are never enough drawers to be found in an RV, so you have to be creative and find a way to keep those things you need close at hand.  By adding some organization grids I can keep everything from jumbling while moving and nice and organized.

On our desk area, I placed three Keurig coffee trays.  Wow,  you people must drink a lot of coffee you say.  No, not really.  This serves a couple of needs.

Yes, there is an abundant supply of coffee, tea, hot chocolate and apple cider.  But the tray on my side is primarily filled with thread and sewing items.

The top of the trays are rubberized so they can be stacked, which creates a nice area for the computers to rest when off the table.  The surface keeps them in place during our drives unless Left Brain really gets crazy.

The little fabric box (yes, I made this)  in the center holds our mug rugs, my smallest cutting grid, a deck of cards, small paper plates, pens and odds and ends.  I added a metal mail sorter inside to give it some structure.

These are just some of the things we use to make our life more organized and easy.

Long Live the Queen of RV Organizing

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Queen has New Shoes

I've been needing a new pair of shoes badly.  Playing pickleball really seems to wear them out...not to mention they are eternally damp from sweat.

These guys were so cheerful and fun I just couldn't resist.

I was going to throw away the box, but then recalled one of the cat toys at PetCo I'd seen recently.  All it consisted of was a cardboard box with holes cut into it and small toys hidden inside.

So out came the X-acto knife and I created some holes in the box.  

Then I stuffed in an assortment of balls and furry toys for the cats to discover.  One of the balls makes a chirping noise when it's bumped, which really makes them curious.

It's so fun finding ways to keep these funky felines entertained.

Long Live the Queen

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A New Toy for the Kitties

As soon as I saw this online I just had to order it at once!

Anything that will entertain Gracie and give me five minutes to myself is worth any price.

It is a piece of cheese and two yellow mice poke up at odd intervals on one side and then the other.

George is still trying to figure it out, but the boy does take a bit longer to grasp a new concept.

I thought it was a flop when they lost interest after a while, but then Gracie will paw at it to try to make it start again.

It has a feature where it will run for about 10 - 15 minutes and shut off, as normal.  But then an hour later it will run another cycle and after that session is done, it will wait two hours to run it for a third time.  I haven't bothered with this because without a nanny cam (or kitty cam) I wouldn't know what their reaction was anyway.

One can never have too many toys.

Long Live the Queen of Cat Entertainment

Monday, February 22, 2016

One week into the shingle life

Hmmm, that title sounds a bit like a newly divorced woman with a speech problem, but I assure you Left Brain is still with are the nasty itchy cursed splotches.

Why do these things form just out of reach to be scratched?

There were a couple of days of hibernation, only surfacing to use the bathroom and take in food so I could take the pills three times a day.  And on the third day she rose!  Hmm, sounds biblical. 

I had all that renewed energy of someone coming out of a coma and couldn't wait to catch up on everything all at once.  I should have known that would be short lived.

We started by going to breakfast and then returning home for a while.  Then I decided I'd like to get out and see a movie so we took in "Race" incredible film.  

Did you know that the White House didn't acknowledge Jesse Owens win of four gold medals until twenty five years after the fact?  And when he and his wife arrived for the banquet being held in his honor they were not allowed to enter through the front door, but instead had to use the servants entrance and come in through the kitchen.

Here the US was condemning the Nazi regime for it's treatment of Jews and gypsies while we continued to make live miserable for the blacks in our country...that we brought in as slaves in the first place.  This left a sour taste in my mouth, and we obviously have a long way left to go.

My earlier plans of going shopping, visiting the Flea Market and many other ideas faded away by the time we returned to our cozy little RV.  I guess I'm not as recovered as I'd thought.

Last night was miserable as I thrashed around in pain and with itching, unable to slide into the slumber I so desperately desired.  I think there may be another nap in my future this afternoon.  Perhaps this is a new way of life for me now, naps after lunch.  But I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to play pickleball on Thursday as my opportunity for doing so is running out quickly.

Long Itch the Queen

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Specialty storage items

It's always interesting to hear the questions we are asked about our lifestyle.  I thought it might be fun to share some of these with you and will try to make this a weekly feature of the blog.  Do you have any questions you'd like to ask?  Please let me know.

Where do you find all the specialty storage items you use in the RV?

It can be tricky since nothing in an RV equates to the standard measurements in a house, so it takes some creative thinking to make it happen.

Some of the items are easy to locate, like the clear plastic bins I use in the cabinets to store food.  Since things shake, rattle and roll when we move, it's nice to know if two glass jars get into a battle, the innards won't be spilled on the carpeted shelving.  

Now where did she put those cat treats?

These also allow me to pull out a small tray to access things more easily since I'm vertically impaired and can't see what's way in the back unless it's less than five feet off the ground.

One of my more creative solutions for maintaining the everyday bathroom things but keeping them off the countertop was this metal spice rack.

The little lips in front keep the small items secure when moving and the silver metal matches the hardware in the bathroom.  There used to be two towel rings in this location before which was just dumb.  The towels hung over and draped on the countertop, so I removed them and replaced them with this rack.

Since we're in the bathroom, let me show you how we function without the conventional towel bars.  I utilize plastic suction cups and with the help of the little plastic clips, the bath towels hang here to dry.  There is an over the door coat rack to hang them on when using the shower.

Suction cup holders are used for shampoo and soap, as well as cleaning supplies and other items that can withstand getting wet.

Tension rods are used everywhere to keep things from tipping forward when opening an overhead cabinet.  I've learned to always have one hand up over my head in ready for the avalanche just in case.

Long Live the Queen of RV Living

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Shingles Saga

The first day of starting my new meds on Tuesday lead to a case of diarrhea, and I hoped this would not be a continuing symptom.  It seems it was a one time thing..thank goodness.

On Wednesday  I felt up to an outing with Left Brain and we did a little shopping and had lunch.  This is going to be a piece of cake. Although I did feel a need for a nap later in the afternoon.

Thursday I felt well enough to drive myself to a movie and saw "Spotlight".  I had been warned about driving while on these meds, but I felt great and the theater is about five minutes away.  All is well, but still needed to take a nap later in the day.

Friday hit me hard and it was basically get up to eat breakfast so I could take my pills and then back to bed.  Up for lunch to take pills and back to bed.  Watched a little TV after supper and taking meds and went to bed at 8:00.  Could not keep my eyes open...just want to sleep. At least I have my faithful companions napping with me.

Saturday finds me stiff and tired with a headache.  I think we'll try for a little outing later today...maybe to see the movie "Race" or a visit to the Flea Market.  Maybe just lunch.  I can already see a nap in my future.

Having shingles really sucks.  And I have a very mild case because of having had the vaccine.  The meds help with the pain, which is a hot burning sensation with a side order of pins and needles. All my joints ache and my fingers feel swollen and sore, which I trust is part of this malady.

I really thought I'd have to force myself not to go play pickleball or be more active, but now find I don't have the strength to do much of anything.

The timing is okay though, I'd hate to have had this during our rally in early March and be missing all that that has to offer.

Well, time to go lay down for a bit.  More updates later.

Long Live the Queen 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Feeling Itchy

It started out as just innocuous itching, irritating but not worth a second thought.  But then things changed over the next week. I noticed tenderness in my left breast and tried to recall if I’d been hit by the pickleball in that area.  The tenderness gave way to a deep burning sensation.  Now I was starting to get concerned.

My first fear was cancer, knowing too many people who have had this awful disease.  I found myself unable to keep my eyes open about 4:00 each day and succumbing to naps, but still able to sleep throughout the night.  Why was I so tired?

Then the itching progressed from irritating to maddening and seemed to follow a direct route along my left side.  Not being able to see this area well on my own I had Left Brain do a check for me and confirmed I had some kind of rash forming.  It was time to see a doctor.  I will spare you the photos of the rash.

This is the inconvenient part of living on the road….wondering where to go for medical treatment.  The internet in the RV park was down, so I went to my new phone for answers and found a mobile app for users of my insurance company to find preferred providers.  Cool.

There was a walk in clinic not far from me; we’d driven past it several times without ever giving it a second glance.  So I packed up my Kindle and prepared to settle in for what could be a long wait and drove over.
It was easy to register and get settled in, everybody was so friendly and helpful and soon I was at ease.  After being seen by a competent young woman and ruling out any problems with lumps in the breasts she announced what I was suspecting all along:  shingles.

I had the shingles vaccine as soon as I turned 60 and insurance covered it, because I never ever wanted to have this ailment.  It didn’t prevent it, but she said it probably minimized the severity of it.  Either way…it’s mine now.
So, for the next week I am to “baby myself” and lay low to allow my immune system to catch up and begin healing me.  They called the prescriptions for a couple of meds over to Walmart for me to help knock out the virus and deal with the pain. 

The worst part of the news was I should not play pickleball for the next week.  When I asked about volleyball later in the day I got a resounding “NO” to that as well.  Bummer.

I’d had chicken pox as a baby and don’t recall the agony that went with it, so I guess this is life giving me a second chance to savor that sensation.  Life can be funny that way sometimes.

So, it looks like I'll be a woman of leisure as I rest and recover.  There’s always more sewing to be done. Maybe now’s the time to finish up those projects I began earlier.

Long Live the Itchy Queen

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Another reason it's good to be living in an RV

We came home to find a notice on our door that due to a break in the water main we would have no water the next day, and after that to boil the water until it was deemed healthy for use again.  No problem when you live in an RV to handle this.  We just filled our water tank and shut off the valve at the street.  This way we could use the pump to have fresh water for several days until we get the all clear.

A couple of days after this we came home to find the neighbors all standing in the street talking about the power outage.  Some of them were concerned about food in the fridge spoiling.  Not an issue with us as the fridge switches over to LP gas when the electricity is turned off.  If the outage continued any length of time we could just turn on the generator to generate electricity.

Then the winds came and we did not take down the awning.   But the RV shimmied and shook all night long, making for a restless night.  I thought we might end up further down the street from all the movement, but in the morning we were right where we started.

So, as you can see there are some distinct advantages to this way of life....with the exception of strong winds.  

Long Live the Queen

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

New Phones for Left Brain and the Queen

The day started with just going out to have breakfast and pick up a couple of groceries.  And then Left Brain suggested stopping at the Sprint Store to ask some questions about our plan, possibly new phones, etc.  This seemed a great time to ask why my battery drains so quickly as well.

We left the store much later with two brand new Samsung 6 phones in our hands.  They had a good deal going on for us and we altered our plan to reduce the monthly charge by almost half.

It's a different world now where they encourage you to lease the phones for the two year period instead of purchasing outright.  It actually cost much more to buy the phones, so we went with the leasing plan.

Then the deal got sweeter when she asked if we belonged to any clubs that might offer a discount on the monthly billing.  I jokingly said everything we belong to revolves around the RV lifestyle.  Needless to say, I was shocked to find out our Passport America membership gives us 19% off the bill.  Who'd a thunk?

Nothing like coming home with two brand new phones AND a lower bill.  Life is good.  Now we just have to learn how to operate these things.

The best part is I forgot to plug my phone in last night and I'm still at 69%....unheard of with the old one.

Long Live the Queen

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Rainy Days and Swollen Ankles

The nice weather has ended and the rain is resuming, along with the colder temperatures.  This must be what had our buddy, Larry, packing up his stuff to begin the trek back to the north.  Gracie is going to be really bummed out because she's enjoyed sleeping with him and sitting on his lap. 

The ankle is still tender, but with the use of a brace and some Aleve I've still been able to play.  I'm not playing with the usual wild abandon that I'm used to, but at least I'm still out there.

This actually may have been a blessing in disguise as I find I'm placing my shots much better now.  If the opponent can't return it, I don't have to run.  But I am being as reasonable as possible since I want to enjoy playing the rest of the month.  That and I wasn't getting nearly enough sympathy from either Left Brain or Larry.

Long Live the Limping Queen

Friday, February 5, 2016

Dressing up the tables

During our stay in Lake Okeechobee I noticed a motorhome with a table outside with the neatest covers.

I was lucky enough to catch the lady at home one day and she showed me how she constructed hers and ever since then I knew I had to make a couple of these for my tables.

The underskirt is a lightweight knit that will wash and dry easily as well as store compactly.  This part is fairly easy and I'm thinking of making some brightly colored ones as well as the gray.

There wasn't enough of the gray and black stripe to make both, so the table towards the back of the RV is a solid gray.

I like having a table near the door as it's handy to set down things when unloading the car.  It also doubles as a serving table for when we have people over.

The upper portion is a fake leather (thank goodness for JoAnne Fabric's coupons!) and this provides a waterproof surface that can be cleaned off easily.

They not only look nicer, but provide a hiding place for extra items and the recycling bin.  The longer top provides a little more protection from the elements.

Fun to make?  No.  One of the neighbors suggested I make and sell these and I had to decline.  It's so nice to only sew for my own needs now.

Long Live the Queen of Toppers

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Hosting a house guest in 320 square feet

It's not easy having a house guest when you have a small space to live in...there's just not much to offer.  But, if you have the right person it can be done.

Larry is Left Brain's buddy from up north and we were garnering from his emails that he was sick of the snow and cold and thinking of coming our way.

This is a great guy, very laid back and comes with his own sleeping bag and bath towel.  He accepts an air mattress on the floor with cats using his body as a runway up and down the hall...not for the faint of heart.

Gracie has been sitting on his lap and even George will approach him for a scratch and rub.  Since he's cool with the cats...he's in.

We went to Ford's Garage for lunch to share the experience with Larry.  Mostly he and Left Brain have been visiting and golfing, so I have just continued with my normal routine.  Like I said...easy to have around.

The bathroom never fails to entertain me.
He's an avid reader like we are, so there's no problem filling the day.  Some people require more entertainment, visiting the local attractions and the like, but he's content just to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine.

But the real perk is that he's a computer geek, so our laptops always get a good going over when he visits.  I'm proud to say I got a clean bill of health on mine, meaning I haven't screwed it up since the last time he checked it.

Long Live the Hosting Queen

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tuesdays Treasures

This is a new meme focusing on all things old.  You can locate it at Tuesdays Treasures for more info.

Long Live the Queen

Taking a Turn for the Worse

It was only my second game of the day and I felt my left ankle bend and found myself standing on my ankle bone and in danger of falling sideways.  I managed to regain my balance and after stretching it out good decided I could continue playing.

But by noon it was starting to become quite painful and I decided I'd better call it a day.  However, I needed to make a stop at Walmart for supplies and picked up a brace while I was there.

Since I had been advised by several to apply cold to the injury I stopped for ice cream on the way home.  My logic being that I couldn't apply external compresses until I got back to the RV, but I could attempt to apply cold internally during the drive.'s ice cream...I can always find a reason.

By this time the left ankle was visibly swollen and I started with the elevation and icing.

On the second day it felt better, but I was prudent and skipped volleyball that day.  I don't think I could have done much there anyway, so why aggravate it further.  I want to be healed by Thursday to return to play.

Long Limp the Queen

Monday, February 1, 2016

2016 Python Challenge

Everywhere we go, the local news is always far more entertaining than it used to be back in Wisconsin.  It was on the newscast that we learned about the 2016 Python Challenge.

This is the python we saw captured in Shark Valley while on a tour of the Everglades
Now here's a fun event for the family!  From January 16 to February 14 there will be a python roundup, so to speak.  You could wrap up (pun intended) a Valentine's Day date with being the winner of the snake hunt.

There is training available to increase your chances of finding and capturing these snakes.

There's even a "drop off" location for the pythons you've snagged, how convenient is that!

So far 39 have been captured.

If you'd like more, I've included the link for the Python Challenge for your reading pleasure. 

Will we be doing this?  No way.

Long Live the Queen