Thursday, July 28, 2011

Honey do Hubby...

Scott has been working a lot on the RV. I think he equates the RV to how he would feel about a special car.
Let's see if I can remember what he'd done so far.  Remember, this is our first RV, and we are LIVING in this FULL TIME. So we are trying to make it as comfortable as our home, just more "cozy".  That's the term used in real estate for a small house. Sounds nicer than very small house.
Installed "JT Strong Arm" jack stabilizers
"Ambient Weather" thermometer: This thermometer has 4 readings that you can decide what they are for.  We have 1. Outside 2. Inside 3. Refrigerator 4. Basement compartment  It also give barometric pressure, which is good for me, because I think my migraine headaches may be related to the pressure drops.

Took out the couch today!!!! So much more room! The couch will now go to someone that could use it on Freecycle.
Turned the dining room table sideways and put up against the windows and it is now my desk, until we find an actual desk more suited.

I added a thin baker's type rack in the unused space between the bathroom sink and bedroom drawers. Right now we are storing our towels there.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Delaware? I could be in NJ in the RV for all I know! It's been so hot, that I've stayed in the RV the whole time! Only ventured out to let the dogs do their business.  There's a lovely lake here, but never figured out how to get to it without going through other people's sites.  Too hot to take a hike and find out.
Nice campground, with lots of shade trees which I would love to sit under and read, but it's too damned hot.
Living in the RV is fine so far. Luckily, Scott & I get along very well.  Even though Scott was home all the time in our reg. home, he spent most of his time in the bedroom or upstairs. Now we are in the same room. Weird, but I don't THINK it will bother us.
Realized we forgot quite a few items...towels (using kitchen towels to dry us after a shower), hair brush, butter. But we have dog food, wine and coffee, so I'm fine.
Scott's parents came for dinner during the week.  Scott is making his fast chunky sauce over pasta. Oh yea, forgot the fresh pasta also.
Friends from way back in my first years working at the Post Office visited us also. They gave me some home made hot sauce. All ingredients from their garden and she did the canning herself.  I stuck my finger in the jar for a taste.... At first a slight sweet taste, but then...HOT! HOT!! I will try again, now that I'm more prepared for the heat.
July 18-22, 2011 -------- Monday - Friday
Our rating: 4 out of 5 Would revisit.
+Nice quiet campground.
+Large sites.
+Pets allowed
+Verizon worked fine.
-Only 6 sites have electric. The rest are primitive.
-Communal water and dump station.

I would come here again.
Scott has to carry 84# Ryley in & out of the RV. With bone cancer, it is VERY EASY to get many mini fractures and once that starts happening, he'll be in too much pain to keep alive.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

And so it begins...

We have officially began our full time RV life.  There's some good news and there is some bad (actually terrible) news.  Let's get the bad news over with.
We are down to 3 pets for our travels in the RV. Although, if we still had our Pillsbury, we would gladly had made room for him and all his needs, just to have him still with us.
Our 10 yr old Irish Setter Ryley, has been limping. We thought it was from him trying to play with our former foster, Ollie who is very active.  We kept Ryley from participating in the play for a couple of days to rest his front left leg. Thought he was getting better, but on Saturday he started limping so much that at times he didn't want to even use his leg.  Sunday, more of the same.  Monday, the same. We decided we wanted an xray so we would know what is the matter before we go away for 5 days.  Our general vet couldn't squeeze him in, so back to Garden State Vet. Specialists again. No use beating around the bush...bone cancer in his shoulder.  1 - 6 months to live. REALLY SUCKS!!!!!!!!
Ryley has always been a survivor. He was dubbed "telethon dog" while still a puppy, because he had so many health issues that we took care of and had to of course pay for, that it would take a telethon to pay for it all!
Off the top of my head, here are a list of what he's gone through.
Age 4 months: diagnosed with H.O.D. (Hypotrophic Osteodystrophy)
Age 4.5 months: broke front right leg.
Age 5 months: anal prolapse Put under anesthesia and pushed back in. Never happened again.
Age 2 years: Lymph node in neck removed.
Age 3 years: Juvenile cataracts.  Cataract surgery to repair and new lens implanted  left eye. Right eye, cataract was still minor. 
Age 5 years: TPLO surgery

Age 6 years: Glaucoma in right eye. Tried to save it, but couldn't. Ryley blind in right eye now.
Age 9 years: Glaucoma in left eye (with fixed lens). Couldn't save it, so now Ryley is completely blind.
Age 10 years: Grapefruit sized tumor on his liver.  Removal of tumor and partial liver removal. Within 10 days, Ryley was back to normal and active. His cancer was the "best cancer" he could have had. It is not the type to spread and will most likely SLOWLY grow back in the same spot. We hoped to have another 2 yrs with him.
Age 10 years: 2 months after liver surgery. Diagnosed with bone cancer, not related to previous cancer.
This is the first time for our African Grey Parrot, Swayze to be in the RV.  She is temporarily in a smaller than normal cage. She traveled well , but doesn't seem to like the small cage. In the middle of the night, she had a night terror. Ended up losing 3 blood feathers, so blood splattered over the kitchen table and part of the night blinds. We brought her cage into the bedroom with us and she settled for the night.
She is currently enjoying our company outside her cage for a change of pace.
 We drove the two hours to Lums Pond State Park without incident. Traffic was heavy, but Scott handled the drive easily. I'm so proud of him.
Large campsites, with shade trees, but open enough for the RV to fit in without hitting overhead branches.  Scott did a great job of backing in. We are still trying to figure out our signals to each other. We do use walkie talkies which makes for a happy marriage.
Since now we are actually starting to LIVE in the RV, the items we brought in will not be leaving. Weird to hang up all my clothes and try to figure out where to put things.  I'll enjoy figuring out little gadgets to use to gain more storage space as we find what we use daily.
It is HOT, HOT, HOT! Anything over 75 degrees is too hot for us. It's about 88 degrees right now. The only time I'm leaving the RV is to let the dogs do their business.
DEBBIE: I've been pretty much relaxing while here. Lots of volunteer computer work to do for A&B ES rescue applications. That will take at least 3 hours.  I did work on my Summerflies Shawl last night.  I will finish it today. Just have to complete the picot bind off.
SCOTT: Scott on the other hand has been working all day. Wish he had been more like this in our sticks & bricks home.  Remember, this is our first trip LIVING in the RV, so there are lots of things to be done to make it ours.
Completed today:
Signed up for Verizon for internet through Millenicom. You get a lot more bandwidth through the Millenicom/Verizon service.
Hooked up Direct TV & Tivo
Protective screen over screen on door, so dogs won't poke a hole in it.
Installed long handle across door.

Repair closet latch, repair shower latch, covered shower skylight.
Installed screening over fridge opening and heater exhaust.
Installed little computer fan in fridge to aid circulation and keeps things more evenly cooled.
Time for a bloody mary for jobs well done.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Back to normal...well, somewhat!


Just dropped my English Setter foster dog, Ollie off in Newark, DE, to the 2nd person of a 6 leg volunteer transport. Ollie is being adopted today and will be living in Beaufort, SC. It will be a long stressful ride for him. He should finally arrive at his furever home around 9pm tonight. If you'd like to read about how Ollie almost died, one day after we started fostering him, go to our Pets page.
For those that don't know about volunteer transport...this happens every weekend all over the country. Hundreds of animals are transported from kill shelters to rescues or from rescues to adoptive homes. This is how I got started in rescue, by doing transports. You usually drive between and hour to an hour and a half and meet the next driver and pass the animal on. Very rewarding and you can claim something like 16cents a mile on your taxes as charity. Here are a few links if you are interested in finding out more on volunteering to be a transport driver.
**UPDATE, Sunday, July 18, 2011: Ollie is with his new "dad"/adopter.
Keep in mind, Ollie is NOT a good car rider. He wants to go from front seat to back, he wants to chase the cars passing and barks at them. Here is narrative, by Leisa, one of Ollie's transporters. 
"...Ollie seemed to enjoy riding in the car and was convinced that we needed him to be an active participant in his transport. He would graciously point out when  cars were passing, by giving two barks.  We assured him that our mirrors were working just fine and he needn’t notify us via his loud barking.  He only pointed out about 5 cars that way –we collectively expressed our dismay at him, and praised him when he was quiet.  He figured it out quickly and stopped barking—and trusting that we could figure out traffic on our own.  He then turned his attention to the driver and passenger area.  Were we buckled in?  Hmmm….could we read the gages?  How about steering?  Driver position okay?  Can you reach the gas and brakes—I am going to my new home and want to get there in one piece. After about 45 minutes of his conducting his 10 point traffic safety inspection of all aspects of the car’s operation and the driver’s operation of the car he settled down quietly to enjoy a little nap.  In fact, he slept like a baby for the balance of the trip..."
RVing: Purging
So now that we no longer have any fosters (dog nor piggies), we can get back to the business of purging/cleaning/repairing/packing/learning.
Freecycle has been my best friend throughout our purging process. I have lived in this house for 22 years, my husband for 16 yrs. We have STUFF in the basement that hasn't been touched since Scott moved in 17 yrs ago. I guess that means we don't need it. We plan on hiring 1-800 Got Junk or something similar to just take the STUFF out of the basement and AWAY. I'll write a review on whatever junk removal service we use.
We have been planning our full time RV life for at least 5 yrs. Since we knew we would have to get rid of almost everything, we have not bought furniture in a loooooooong time. Our couch shows it. Lots of fading and a few tears also. Scott would rather sit in bed and watch TV than on the couch, since the cushions have sunk and his bony butt gets sore. Of course, my butt is not boney and I'm fine sitting on the couch, or maybe it's because I wasn't as much a couch potato as he was, so my side of the couch still has some cushiness to it.
On Monday, July 18 will be the next step toward f/t. We will have our 5th wheel officially on a campsite. We will take a short trip to Lums Pond State Park, in DE, so Scott's parents can see us living in the RV. Scott will cook his quick chunky pasta sauce. Mmmmm, mmmm good.


28 oz. jar Ragu Lite Tomato & Herb sauce
1 can Chunky Stewed Tomato w/italian seasoning
2 onions
1 cup mushrooms
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. sugar, to your taste
1 Tbsp. Parmesan, to your taste
olive oil

In fry pan brown beef to almost done. Set aside.
In fry pan saute onions, mushrooms & garlic in oil.
In saucepan put the Ragu & canned tomato.
Add the cooked beef and onion/mushroom/garlic mix to the pot of sauce.
Simmer 30 to 60 minutes.
Serve over pasta.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Piggies are gone

I have been fostering Guinea Pigs (yes, there is a rescue for all kinds of animals) for about 3-4 yrs. I had fostered occasionally for both A&B Eng Setter Rescue & Adopt-a-Setter in the past. But as happens with many foster situations, we ended up a two time "foster failure". Which means, we adopted 2 of the dogs we had fostered. I'll go into detail about our foster failures in another post.
Last night the pair of piggies I had been fostering were returned to Marci, head of Have-a-Heart Guinea Pig Rescue. I feel like a foster failure, but not in the good sense. I feel like my volunteer job was not completed. I was hoping they would have gotten adopted prior to our move into our 35' RV.
So I put Miss Tigra & Mr. RaiRai into a small pet carrier and stuffed them along with 3 piggie cages, a bird cage, and large dog crate, & supplies into our Ford Focus wagon. I sure do miss my Ford Windstar Minivan! Drove an hour to Burlington, NJ to drop them off and say my last goodbye.
I have had 2 litters of piggies born while on my watch. Amazing! Baby guinea pigs are born completely formed, with eyes, open, all their hair and eating regular food within a day! They just look like mini guinea pigs.
So, this was another step in our purging process to downsize to fit our life in an RV.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

So close...

We're still imprisoned, in NJ. But not for long!
Let's see if I can get how to blog and not be boring.

Our Travels