Monday, May 9, 2016

Indoor Basketball Hoop

Hey Guys,

I know it’s been a long time since my last post. Sorry about that, but you really haven’t been missing anything except maybe the fact that we’ve quit full-time RVing. I know, we said we’d NEVER do that and for the life of us we couldn’t imagine why we ever would.
But we’ve both found we just need our own office space and some things are more important than partying around the country...So, we very recently purchased a cute little house in Florida near  Pensacola Beach where we’ve been hanging out the last few winters.
We’d planned to install a pool in the backyard, but those plans are temporarily on hold.  I was thinking about a way to squeeze more exercise into my life without having to take a lot of time out of my schedule to do it. I’d previously told Trevor if we ever did buy a house again I’d love to get a place where we could install an indoor basketball hoop. Then it occurred to me…we have 10 foot ceilings in this house and a dining room we’re not using…And you know I’ve never been too conventional in my decorating. So taking inspiration from Joanna Gaines on an episode of HGTV’s Fixer Upper and on a pin I saw on Pinterest, we came up this plan for our new house!
It’s been so great! When I have something on the stove I don’t want to get too far away from or when I throw something in the dryer I want to take out after 20 minutes, if I want to work off some steam or if I’m just plain bored, I can pick up a ball and  shoot some hoops. It’s awesome!
The wall needed to be painted anyway and we were too lazy to do that, so we just built this over it…just kidding. The wall did need to be painted, but we’ll do that later when we take this down. It’ll be easy. Trevor just screwed some 1x4’s into the studs, stained some wood, and screwed that wood into the 1x4’s. So if we ever take it down, it’s only a matter of patching up a few holes and painting the wall. While we pondered how in the world we were going to locate the studs in this wall, the idea came to me to use a magnet we use in the RV. It came with the childproofing we used for keeping our cabinets shut while traveling. Worked great!

The image he painted on the wall is part of an iconic sign in Gulf Breeze, FL that has pointed the way to Pensacola Beach for many years.
Trevor used a tiny copy of the image with an Artograph EZ Tracer Projector and traced it on the wood with a stick of white chalk. We hated having to buy a projector and almost didn’t buy this one because many of the reviews said the image didn’t show up well on the wall. The projector calls for a 23 watt compact fluorescent bulb that is not included. After a blinding  experience with LED’s we tried to install in our bathroom, Trevor decided to use a 60 watt equivalent LED in the projector instead. It worked great! The image showed up nice and bright and clear!
 The painting only took a couple of evenings and 3 coats of craft acrylic paints. I’m sure there’s something out there that would have covered much better, but we were just winging it. The original plan was to scuff the paint up to make it appear to be weathered and worn, but Trevor doesn’t want to mess up all the work he’s put into it. Hopefully, like my son suggested, it will achieve the look I wanted with repeated strikes from the ball against it.
The basketball rim was sprayed with some gray primer to make it blend in better with the sign. Hanging up at about 8 feet, it’s certainly not regulation, but it’s just for exercise. No one’s planning to try out for any teams in the near future.
We have a playground ball we use sometimes but most of the time we use a child’s bouncy ball purchased from Walmart. The bouncy ball tends to bounce off the rim a lot more than the playground ball, which makes me work harder to reach a predetermined number of baskets before getting back to the daily routine. Not to mention that it’s easier on the Pergo floors and the nearby window.

We bought some old shutters we plan to hinge together to use as a screen to protect the window when we want to use the playground ball and we replaced the chandelier with a caged light on the ceiling.
The ball has only hit the ceiling once while I was shooting hoops and that was when Trevor tried to block my shot. He’s nailed it a few more times than that, but it’s a popcorn ceiling. What’s the worst that could happen? Oh no, we might have to replace it (sarcasm intended)!
There is a plan for a functioning dining room as well. I can’t wait to show you the outcome when it’s completed!    

Monday, December 1, 2014

Amphibian Assault Vehicle

Before leaving Pensacola Beach last February, we reserved a spot on the waterfront beginning in October. We were hoping to experience the area at a time when winter coats weren’t necessary. We did have to go buy some, but have only had to wear them a couple of times so far. Shorts and flip flops today, so we’re not doing too badly!

We arrived to town a few days ahead of our reservations, so in the meantime we stayed down the road at Fort Pickens; a national park located along the Gulf of Mexico. We love to walk along the beaches there, explore the old fort relics, soak up the sun and gaze out at the water while being entertained by abundant wildlife.

You have to watch where you’re walking on these beaches because they’re full of ghost crabs. These crabs blend right in with the sand. If it weren’t for their blue colored eyes and innards you might not see them at all. You’d mostly see movement all around you, but not see what’s causing it. 

While Trevor paused along the water’s edge one evening, a stingray swam up and just hung there right in front of him. It was so close he could have reached out and touched it. I spotted another one a short way up the beach that soon made its way down and parked itself next to the other one. The stingrays and Trevor just stood there staring at each other for the longest time. We wondered what that was all about. When I loaded the photos I’d taken onto my computer the next day, it looked like one of them had something stuck to its tail. It looks like a tentacle from a Man of War to me. It’s so long and looks like it could be the blue color of the ones I’ve seen washed up on beaches. Maybe they were there because they needed help, or maybe that thing was just a mirage in the photo. We’ll never know. 

But the following morning, we were greeted by a pair of dolphins. So maybe the sea life in this town is just really friendly!

October was very pleasant with perfect weather for enjoying our campsite and the surrounding area. The nose of our rig faces the bay where there is endless entertainment; Regattas, pelicans, seagulls, dolphins, boat shopping and watersports. Trevor liked to combine his boat shopping with his watersports.

Across the bridge, the Blue Angels practice a couple of times a week. We watched them from a field behind the bleachers there one morning. They were amazing! Almost as amazing as the huge dragon flies in the field that mimicked the stunts the Blue Angels were doing. It was hilarious! 

For a while, there seemed to be no lack of amphibians on and around the RV and that was fine with us, because we think they’re pretty cute.

 But I started to get a little nervous while vacationing over Thanksgiving down in Ruskin, FL. There was one little guy who made me nervous because he blended in perfectly with our lounge chairs and I was afraid we might accidentally sit on him.

But the other guy was much larger with more powerful teeth. In the canal behind our RV, this gator started out swimming toward a bird on a post. The bird kept careening its neck out toward the gator as if to say, “Don’t even think about it buster!” Then the gator began to swim toward us! We were told once that gators don’t normally approach humans. They think that if they lay perfectly still in the water or on shore, that you can’t see them. So as far as we knew, a gator approaching us is one accustomed to being fed by humans (please don’t ever feed an alligator!!!). Not trusting it, we promptly walked away.

 But we thought it was pretty cool to see the bird, the gator and the two turtles sunning themselves on shore. 
 Hey, we did get the tissue box Gary made for us painted! Nothing fancy, kind of going for the buoy look. The box works great and we're very pleased with it. Thank you Gary!

We had a great Thanksgiving and we hope all of you did as well. We thank the Lord for each and every one of you and ask that His blessings be poured out in your lives.

We love you and miss you guys!
Love, Trevor & Roni

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What's Next?

Not long after my last post we had the pleasure of meeting with our friends, Gary and Karen at their home in Cedaredge, CO. 
We had some great games of Hand and Foot, lively and uplifting conversations and were treated to the beautiful mountain sceneries of Ouray and Telluride, CO. I’ve not been in the habit of carrying my camera with me lately so most of the photos are on my tablet, for which I have no clue how to get them onto my computer. Trevor did forward the above photo from his phone, for which I am very grateful.
Gary is a skilled wood craftsman and he, along with Karen’s help, completed some home décor projects for me that I’m very excited about.
RV’s are not known for their great amount of counter space, so there isn’t a lot of room for those rectangular shaped Kleenex boxes. So some of us buy the cube shaped ones, right? Have you ever noticed that you get half the amount of tissues in the cubes than you do in the rectangular boxes for the same price? Being the cheapskate that I am, I don’t want to pay the same amount for less. So I asked Gary to build me a cube shaped box with a bottom in it that I can easily open to insert Kleenex from the rectangular boxes into it.

The new box he made us is awesome! We’ve only just started to finish it with a weathered gray stain to match the décor in our rig, but plan to paint some color onto it as well. But it works great and saves us a lot of money!

Next, I asked Gary to make me a surfboard with what looks like a shark bite taken out of it. Kind of like those “Land Shark” signs you see in bars and restaurants. We were planning to place it on the wall between the passenger seat and the loveseat, screw a couple of hooks into it and use it for a coat rack. After our niece finished it with paint for us, Trevor jokingly held it up to the ceiling in the kitchen area. After several people concurred that it needed to go there, Trevor screwed it into the ceiling where it will remain until the last days of earth or the RV, whichever comes first. He just screwed it in last night and is still working on filling in the screw holes. But now I still need some coat hooks! Gary….

The weather was becoming a little nasty while in Cedaredge, so we left earlier than planned. The mountain passes we needed to get through were closed due to snow, so we spent a few days in Glenwood Springs, CO. I’m not a great fan of snow, but it was so beautiful there in the mountains, we just took some time to relax and enjoy where we were until the passes opened up.
While there, we met a wonderful couple a few sites over from us, thus having a mini rally with this couple who happen to be members of that we frequently use for important information and help concerning RVs and for social purposes as well. 

Our next stop was Golden, CO where we had a great visit with family members we don’t often get to see and miss terribly.

There was still a bit of snow on the way to Golden and I wondered how many inches we were in for. 

The nice thing was with our new remodel in the beach theme, no matter where we are or what’s going on outside, I’m always in my happy place!

The summer was busy in Minnesota as always, especially this year with lots of celebrations. First was the baby shower for my daughter who was having her third child 12 years after her last one. Knowing the baby was a boy, we found this recipe online for blue punch. It turned out pretty cute and everyone seemed to really enjoy it.

The following day, Trevor and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary by renewing our vows. When we were first married we weren’t living out our faith in Jesus Christ. We were married by a judge using New Age vows and ever since the day the Lord gave us the faith to believe in His Name and in His shed blood for the cleansing of our sins we’ve wanted to renew our vows in His presence and amongst our family.

If we had our way, we would have flown everyone down south for a celebration on the beach near beautiful Gulf waters. Instead, we bought a beach themed backdrop off ebay and faked it. I know it’s cheap and sappy, but we had fun and enjoyed being with our family!
The following week we had a family gathering with Trevor’s side of the family at the KOA in Maple Grove, MN. It was great getting together with relatives we rarely get to see outside of weddings, graduations and funerals.

For me, time has a way of all running together when there’s so much going on. Somewhere in there we squeezed in a visit with our friends, Jack and Mary and Trevor’s big brother

 and his wife at their home in Wisconsin.
We get a lot of comments that the RV remodel looks way better in person than it does in photos, so Mary took some photos with her wide angle lens, our thoughts being maybe it’d be better if the whole thing could be seen at once. 

I’ve seen wide angle shots like this on other RVs and always thought they were airstream photos or something. Now I’ll know better what I’m looking at when I enjoy viewing what fellow RVers have done to their rigs. 
Before leaving MN we took my parents and their dog Rookie, on a trip to one of our favorite places, Anacortes, WA. 

We so wanted to share all the things we love about Anacortes with them. We talked it up for a long time before take- off and could hardly wait to get them out there to enjoy it with us. Unfortunately, it was pretty foggy almost the whole time we were there!

 The big bummer about that was the things we most enjoy there are the sights! Which were a little difficult to see! My mom did get a small glimpse of Mt. Rainier before we left but my dad never saw it. I was especially grateful they got to see the islands from the top of Mt. Erie before we left, but it was still too foggy to see Mt. Rainier from there.

Still, there were other sights to see along the way and we did get to enjoy a lot of other things.

On the way home, our grandson was born just as we were pulling into town. Great timing! It was my dad’s birthday, plus we got to see him the day he was born! My dad thought they should name the baby after him since they shared a birthday after all, but they didn’t bite!

A couple of years ago, I began to visit climbing forums in order to get information for a work of fiction I’ve been working on. On one of the forums I saw that another author had been on the forum asking for help and a climber named Brad had offered her his expertise. I contacted him as well and he so graciously answered any questions I had and he and his wife even met with us in person to help me with technical issues such as knots, etc.
Brad, a deacon in his church in Alabama, asked if we’d like to attend with them one Sunday and say a couple of words about who we are and what we were doing in town. When Trevor told him he was going to say that I met their deacon online and we came out here to meet, we didn’t have to get up and speak in front of the church!!!
The four of us have become good friends and just got back from enjoying time together at Gulf Shores State Park in Lower Alabama.

If you’re an RVer looking for a great place to stay, check this out. Their sites are cheap and the park is filled with all kinds of great things! It’s also a great place for families to stay. They have lots of cabins and some cottages right on a lake there. We rented a cottage that had plenty of room for the 4 of us and more. 

So what’s next?
We’ll let you know when we figure that out…lol!
Take care, you guys!
We love you!
Love, Trevor & Roni