Friday, August 1, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
This project got its 'seed' from some square racketball sleeves. I've been making different awning light covers for some time that are more fragile, and the square sleeves are ideal to stack the light covers in and protect them in transit.
Jokingly, one of the girls in our campground store asked if I might want a tennis ball sleeve one day (we sell the balls individually and discard the empty sleeves). I took a couple home and then the idea came to turn them into awning light (or patio light) covers.
My original intent was to use a graphics program to create a pattern on my computer which I could print out and place inside the cylinder, then paint the design on the outside . . . obviously, during the process, a typical-for-me entirely different direction emerged.
About two years ago I found http://thecraftypc.com online. I don't recall what type of product I was Googling at the time - yes I do - transfer papers for the jigsaw puzzles featured in the right hand column here (which are great). While exploring The Crafty PC website I discovered Backlight Film - and a Wedding Light pattern that I've since redesigned into my awning light covers.
As my design emerged, it took on a life of its own. With the bottom of the cylinder painted black to become the top of the lighthouse, I only needed a flat pattern to roll up and insert into the cylinder. I used basic shapes which I filled with color then tweaked with filters (the red and white bands, door and windows). I then cut out the window panes and diamonds from the light room at the top.
Originally, I intended for these areas to remain clear, then decided to add a 'reflection'. Off to my digital images, and I opened one of my colorful Florida Sunsets and placed it as the bottom layer. Having previously cut away all the glass areas, I was able to work with the sunset image until it looked right through every window - but keeping in mind that the top light would be meeting along the seam.
Aftter that, I added greenery from an image of a flower bed here at the campground - again, being aware that it had to match up on the sides.
For a little added zest, it was back to my image collection and this time, the siding of a houseboat on nearby White Lake was the perfect accent for the shutters. To give them a bit more zing, I went to my digital scrapping collection and found hinges and potential door knob from Scrap Girls, Eternal Love kit.
Add a few pertinent shadows and a few other tweaks and I had my pattern.
I printed it out on The Crafty PC's Backlight Film and let it dry for a few hours. Two coats of The Crafty PC's Decal Finishing and Inkjet Overcoat Spray (again, letting it dry between coats), one last 2-hour drying spell, and I was able to trim the paper to size.
All I need now is to get the light hole for Christmas Tree lights drilled to size and I'll be ready to hang it. In the meantime, the second pattern is underway - I'm aiming for a set of six lights.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Moo Two Designs designer, Gloria Val Verde, is the moderator of their monthly 'Impromptu Challenge'. For new/seasoned digital scrappers, Moo Two Designs offers a wide range of everything related to digital scrapping. All the members are helpful and encouraging - and really take the time to answer any questions or make suggestions.
This month, Gloria's 'Impromptu Challenge' is two create Brag Book Quick Pages using actually three of her kits - I've Got the Blues and Mini Monday 5 (freebie) in blue tones, and the green-themed I'm Feeling Green. Through the end of the month Gloria is offering the blue and green kits at a ridiculously low price that are worth far, far more. (No, she has no clue that I'm writing this on my blog).
I have never created Quick Pages before, so this was an intriguing project for me. When I work with my own images, I can do what I want with the papers and embellishments. In designing QPs, I discovered that I had to be aware of how someone might 'drop in' the images they wish to add in the future and create the pages so that doing so is not an insurmountable challenge.
Keeping that in mind was a whole new concept. These three kits had so many items I like - paisleys, plaids, tags, ribbons, journal papers, flowers, a calendar, and swirlies - just so many things to explore and experiment with. At first I was slightly daunted, but bit by bit everything fell into place and I'm sharing my first two pages here on my blog.
I also try to keep my slide shows updated, with my Moo Two layouts in a slide show of their own, as I do with TLC Creations, where I first started learning how to create Digital Scrap layouts a few months ago.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
This layout is a composite of my sensory feelings after visiting the MUSEUM at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts last Wednesday. The central image is three-in-one - the outside of the beautiful museum, a hippy-style bus - typical of many that crossed the country to get to the amazing music extravaganza which was held on these grounds in Bethel, New York on August 15, 16 and 17, 1969, and the present-day ampitheater, where music can still be heard across the Catskills on summer nights - but not at $6 per day.
My preceding blog which summarizes my experience at this amazing facility was too long to include the image, so I'm posting it separately. Please leave some feedback, either in the comments or the IM window in the side column. Thank you. I hope you are able to visit the museum. Tickets are available on line at BethelWoodsCenter.org.
. . . and the newly-opened MUSEUM at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, in Bethel, New York, is proof of that. With its emphasis on the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, which was held on its grounds, August 15, 16 and 17, 1969, the whole 60's era is fully explored through visual and sensory sights, sounds and memories. The politics musical evolution, the Vietnam-era draft, the assassinations of the Kennedy Brothers and Dr martin Luther King, Jr, and Man's first steps on the moon. All of this, and so much more, is fully explored in an amazing museum which took three years to create.
Every 'Flower Power/Hippie' cliche came to mind as we passed through the entry doors of the beautiful building last Wednesday. It's a 'Happening' in its own right. If you were in attendance during those three memorable days in 1969, you recall that it was NOT held in Woodstock, New York.
After the promotor's family was threatened by local residents who rallied against the possibility of 10,000 'rabble-rousing hippies and druggies' invading their peaceful town for 3 days, another location was sought out. The second choice was beautiful White Lake - but as the attendee numbers appeared to be swell beyond the original figure, that site was considered too small.
Eventually a farmer named Gelish, with a great location in nearby Bethel,agreed at the last minute to host the Woodstock music extravaganza on his property, just outside the peaceful hamlet.
With peaceful, rolling hills, and magnificent views of the Catskills, the mood was set. Getting all the equipment, stage, fencing, and other requirements into position was another matter. It was a hopeless task, yet the stage hands and workers got it together - almost. The fencing never was completed.
Advance tickets were sold for $6.00 per day. Yup. $18 bought you three days of live music - from rock, to country, to soul, folk and everything in between. Getting the bands was a feat in itself - many did not want to perform in an outdoor field in rural New York. Eventually, new names, like Crosby, Stills and Nash as well as the young Greatful Dead and Janis Joplin were among the notable and new who decided to give it a chance, being paid from $3,000 - $15,000 each for their onforgettable performances.
As the list of performers' names grew, so too did the crowds. Friends of ours said they drove as far as Monticello, but the traffic tieups were so bad that they turned around and went home.
From Sea to Shining Sea they came - waves of excited music lovers, swelling beyond any conceivable numbers. For those few who bought tickets there was no special seating. Days before the first bar of music sailed out over the Catskills, the masses started to arrive.
The anticipated fencing was worthless. Thousands trampled over the downed wire and onto the grounds. There wasn't enough food and getting to a Porta-Potty became a half-day adventure. To make it worse, the weather took a nosedive. Along with the sea of people - almost 400,000 - came waves of rain and thunderstorms and lightning.
In spite of the horrendous conditions, the music ruled. The music rocked. The music rolled. And the constantly moving tides of people rocked and rolled along with it. One attendee said that the whole experience was amazing. Everyone looked out for their neighbor and gave what they could to make someone with less more comfortable.
Food was brought in by helicopter when roads were too blocked by travelers to get supplies through. Most of the musicians arrived by air too, stunned by the unexpected sea of faces waiting to greet their musical idols and listen as their songs and sounds were emotionally fused deeply into each man, woman and child present. Unanimously, in later interviews, they all admitted to being wholly absorbed by the outpouring of love and appreciation for the musical gifts they brought.
Not even the terrible weather could stop the performances. The Greatful Dead gave a phenomenal performance - without any power. Yet, even though they played at night, in the dark, their music was heard - and appreciated.
In the creation of this beautiful museum, many images and video were located - much of which has never been seen or heard until now. It was all documented and recorded.
Meandering through and around all the displays, sounds and video presentations, visitors are transported through the tumultuous decade that was the 60's. The styles, the music, the men and women who shaped the decade with such energy that the relevance is palpable even today.
Janis Joplin, in an interview on the Dick Cavett Show after Woodstock, explained her heart-wrenching style in the need to hear women speak out from their core and fing their true selves and voices - not a popular idea of the times, when we were still being encouraged to be seen and not heard.
And, Muhammad Ali - then known as Cassius Clay. Nowadays he's beloved by so many. A gentle man with a huge heart. In the 60s we thought him pompous and loud-mouthed. When he refused to accept the draft everyone was in shock and dumbfounded by his audacity. On Wednesday I read the words he spoke as to WHY he refused to fight. Take the time to do so. Please read his words. Everyone. His words were prophetic, and totally understandable. Let our government leaders read them today - aloud - and let the words sink in. Sadly, they still apply.
As for the Hippies and drugs. Take the time to listen to all who spoke out to make this wonderful experience - the MUSEUM at bethel Woods Center for the Arts - come alive. The Hippies taught us how to work as a team united. At Woodstock, people helped each other to get through bad trips - not by giving them medicine with long-lasting negative effects, but instead, they walked the affected through their demons and out the other side. In turn, those people, stronger emotionally, also helped others after. It was a poerful, healing time for many.
By the time you reach the final, 20-minute documentary, in a beautifully appointed theater, there is still one more doorway - a room in which you can record your own experiences of the time - for future visitors to continue to enhance their visit.
Still wrapped in the aura of all we had just taken part in, I left the building firmly entrenched in the 60s once again. Down the hill, in the ampitheater, musicians were rehearsing for this weekend's performance. In the early summer afternoon, the colors were fresh and vibrant and lush carpets of dense, soft grass covered the area where once, 39 years ago, 400,000 enthusiastic music fans came to see and hear the bands and solo artists who are today's music legends in their own right.
The MUSEUM at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is a must see, must feel experience.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Fortunately I was able to see "Sex in the City" in Monticello, New York yesterday. For those of us 'SitY' fanatics, it was cleverly melded as a true extension of the series with all our favorite characters as well as two newbies adding fresh input. Everyone will fall in love with Carrie's new personal assistant, Louise from St Louis who has a penchant for designer handbags. The introduction cleverly leads to understand how the four best friends reached this point of their lives. I enjoyed it enormously - even with my allergies starting up.
And, on that nore - I'm off to the shower and - hopefully - a brief nap.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Most diehard scrappers are moan in disbelief when I say I don't know the Scrapbook jargon that comes so easily to all of them. It's true - even though I've been creating frames, mats and different looks to my images for quite some time, I was unaware that there was an active digital scrapbook community.
In the May/June Calf Scramble at MooTwo Designs, we are asked to scraplift a layout. I opted to work with Gloria ValVerde's 'Sedona Scenery' (link shown here).
My images were mostly from a visit to New York's Finger Lakes region last year, focusing on Taughannock Falls - the tallest waterfall east of the Rockies and 60 feet taller than Canada's Horseshoe Falls. All credits are as follows:
Background: Avery papers; filmstrip by escrappers; Folded and Lined overlay and Spring Frame 2 by Gunhild Storeide; Fonts - Nimbus San TT Con Bold and Pepita MT - all images my own.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Finding a link to premade blog header art, I opted to find what was necessary to create my own - prior links state the obvious . . . I'm a camera-addict and rather hooked on digital scrapbooking!
Two links gave me most of the information I was seeking - template size and how to upload my designs.
clued me into template sizes. It's a great site, but there was ONE omission - the pixel size for this header is actually 1140 X 180 (I can extend it to 1320 x 180 to fill the box).
I spent a delightful evening creating my first heading. Knowing I wanted to include the title as part of my artwork I logged onto www.1001freefonts.com and found a round font that I could fill with my own art. Because it was an outline font I first set it to my header template (saved as png), then saved a jpeg copy to give me a solid background fill. Closing the saved type and reopening it, I inserted it on the top of the paper I wanted to fill the letters with. Using my magic wand, I first eliminated the white background.
Now I had the font 'Caligraph', with the colors I wanted INSIDE my letters. I used my magic wand, one letter at a time and cut and pasted the background inside my letters. Once that was done, I pulled out the background to be sure the letters were what I envisioned.
Afterwards I added the wondrful plaid background paper from the Digital Scrapbooks Seasons and Holidays collection, and the stitching, created by talented Gunhild Storeid http://www.storeide.se/gunhild/index.htm.
Finally, I outlined the letter edges to give them a bit more definition and added a feint shadow. The image of my 'House on wheels' was trimmed to fit and blend in with the other elements, with a very minor, soft shadow there too.
So, now I had my first blog header - and size - but the uploading instructions were beyond this Granny's brain (seriously!).
Back to Google search under 'creating free blog headers' . . .
and there, deceptively simple, was a great video tutorial that was almost embarrassing in its simplicity. Again, the author failed to give the header sizes- but the directions tell you that if you request, it will resize your art to the appropriate size for your blog (1140 pixels here - 1140 x 180 overall).
The second link:
My thanks to both these great wonderful bloggers.
One more item of note - when uploading your image for your header, note that one option is to automatically reduce the image to the suggested width. If you have a set image that you do NOT want rduced, DO NOT CHECK THIS BOX.
I changed my layout since I first wrote this and discovered that the suggested pixel width will not fill the full box, so you may have to experiment - The 180 depth is fine - but the widths change according to your layout choice. I did update the measurements to the size shown, adding more original art that I created - but I can still add another 180 pixels in width - and will most likely do so - eventually!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
|Make a Smilebox scrapbook|
I just realized a horrendous oversight in creating this Smilebox Album - the May calendar on the second page was created by me using Gloria Val Verde's May 2008 Paint the Barn Challenge at http://www.mootwodesigns.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=8767&cat=500&ppuser=542 (Moo Two Designs). The photos and papers are my own creations. The jeweled embellishments were part of Gloria's terrific template. Vicki
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Reflection of KOA Kamp Kottage
I'm a bit behind again . . . nothing new. Since leaving Georgia we've been on the go non-stop. We arrived in Middleboro, Massachusetts on March 21 and immediately started Workamping at the Boston/Cape Cod KOA, in unseasonably bitter weather. The cold is trying to snap, but it isn't unusual to see a 30 degree difference in temperature between Boston and Plymouth. Someone will have to tell me if that's typical for this region. The Boston Marathon was held today in terrific weather. I'm sure the runners were happy about that.
I was hired to work in the store and reservations with occasional help in housekeeping and supposed to assist with adult arts and crafts later this summer. I also understood that I would be working full time
Boston/Cape Cod KOA, Middleboro, Massachusetts
Well, it didn't quite work out that way. My hours keep being reduced while food and fuel keep increasing. The typical price for diesel fuel is about $4.39 a gallon in this area. We were paying $3.73 when we left Tampa, Florida in mid-March.
The campground itself is company-owned and nicely set up. The location is ideal and there is a great deal to see and do with great local transportation - I certainly was not in any hurry to leave at this point.
But, I'm not 30, or 40, or even in my 50's anymore and have been spending more time cleaning bath houses, Cruise America Class C motorhomes and Kabins - my least favorite things to do on a daily basis. Solution: - It's time to move on. Monday morning we're off to New York's Catskills.
In the meantime, once the bitter cold eased up, there was time to go to Plymouth for some fun images. The harbormaster greets arrivals from this quaint building in the harbor. It's close to Plymouth Rock and a replica of The Mayflower. Unfortunately, Plymouth Rock is under wraps for a few more weeks while being overhauled.
this is the Monument which houses Plymouth Rock. My daughters told me that it was only visible at low tide - the high tide line is clearly visible on the rocks. The rock itself is in the boxy-looking thing in the opening at the bottom of the structure. But this is where the Pilgrims landed . The Mayflower replica is just out of sight behind the trees.
It's definitely a delightful town worth visiting - when the season isn't at its peak! It was quite cold when I took these pictures, but many Europeans are here on Spring Holidays and they're quite used to colder weather . . . but even they were wearing warm coats as I was!.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
The Rally program says there are shuttles to every lot . . . NOT! Ours not only offers NO shuttle service, but we had to walk 30 minutes to reach the registration building.
Registration was not only s-l-o-w, but there was no place for anyone to sit - and most of us from our lot already had sore backs from the uphill hike. Finally accomplished, we happily spotted a shuttle to 'Lot 1' . . . and ended up back where we boarded - no one told us that our lot was excluded altogether from the shuttle service.
We spoke to a manager who tried to tell us we were parked where we weren't. Then he offered us a refund, or a chance to relocate today . . . when the traffic let up. That still sounded so-so - although it meant missing two seminars. Once we hiked back to our fiver - accompanied by other unhappy campers who had also complained, we realized that we probably could NOT move our unit, as the roadways are too tight.
So, now we were miserable, but decised to go to Wal-Mart - to add to the misery, we also have the only lot with NO security lights, and the only way out of the lot is across a narrow bridge that's hard to find in the dark.
This morning we found out that about 20 others also complained yesterday. Hopefully there will be better shuttle service by tonight - but at least ONE is running closer to our area, and we can live with that for now.
As for the show, it starts in earnest tomorrow - and it looks like it will be a great one overall. Indoor entertainment will be a plus, plus a dance competition that's aiming to break the Guiness Book of Records on Saturday evening.
There will be so many vendors we may never get to them all. And RVs? Wow! Even a great variety of tow haulers. Better leave the checkbook in our rig!
No images to upload yet, we may have to wait til after the show as it's too awkward to bring our laptops up.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
As far as my nomadic lifestyle is concerned, winter is unofficially over. We closed up our house on wheels in the Tampa area yesterday and started northward - only as far as Lake City, Florida for two nights, as we're scheduled to reach Perry, Georgia, tomorrow afternoon for the always-terrific Good Sam Rally. We already have a list of all the seminars which start on Thursday and just have to get the 'feel' of the grounds to determine where everything is located.
For two nights we're enjoying one of our favorite Passport America campgrounds - Oaks n Pines RV Park on I-10 near Lake City. I did forget how close it was to the Interstate, but the sounds of the big rigs and the bikers leaving the huge Daytona Rally simply gets the blood revving up - rather like Canada Geese and Sand Hill Cranes with their semi-annual migrations!
After we set up yesterday, Mike decided to call his son . . . but was unable to find his cell phone. Calling it proved unsuccessful - both our phones easily convert to vibrate at inconvenients times. As we have no need to drive anywhere right now, we're still hooked up to the fifth wheel. We checked with the office - no phone. Mike tried dialling his number one more time - and a gentleman answered - he heard it ringing at the rest area where we had lunch on I-75.
Fortunately, he was heading toward Jacksonville, and had to pass right by the RV Park. He refused to take anything for returning the phone. Whoever you are, Good Samaritan, we both thank you .
Now we can relax today before our hectic weekend - but fun hectic - and two of the ladies I worked with at Camping World near Tampa will also be there to say hello to.
Monday, March 3, 2008
There's nothing more infuriating than having restricted internet time. We've been down at WigWam RV Park in Seffner, Florida, for several weeksa now, but there is an upside . . . I'm busy with my camera and creating greeting cards without interruption!
We were only able to get the lunar eclipse images through the full eclipse. Even my camera was able to capture some strong images until the clouds came after it reached its peak. The image on the furthest right was the soft glow of the total eclipse. What a thrill that was to see.
I've also been creating a new line of greeting cards that are getting some favorable comments, incorporating my own images and creative digital scrap booking techniques. Definitely not for the photography purist, but something I'm enjoying as the designs are my own and the possibilities are endless in scope.
One more week in Seffner, and we'll be heading for the huge Good Sam Rally in Perry, Georgia. We went to one in Daytona two years ago and are ready to enjoy another. In the meantime, it's time to start getting our 'house on wheels' ready to roll. Florida is so sandy and messy, but Mike's been having an easy time washing her down so she's bright and shiny for the road.
The inside also needs a good going-through . . . including the closets and collected junk from being in one place awhile. I found a great knife holder on sale at Camping World last week. I have a good one behind the stove, but when the cover's open it isn't easy to reach behind. This one fits tidily on my dish cupboard door and still closes securely. With new steak knives, it was imperative to have a holder easily reachable yet out of harm's way of small grandchildren. For about $5, it's exactly what was needed - hooray!
Last night we went over to Winn-Dixie and discovered their Prestige ice cream brand was featuring Plant City Strawberry Ice Cream. It is SO good, with huge pieces of berries. The Strawberry Festival is in full swing. For $2.79 one can enjoy a HUGE bowl of Strawberry Shortcake. We've been over twice - the second time my daughter was visiting from Michigan and my aunt and uncle drove up from Ft Myers to meet her. (I was adopted at birth and met my birth mother three years ago. Her brother winters in Ft Myers, so I get to visit them when I'm nearby - my half-brother is also in nearby Clearwater, so Becki got to meet three new family members on this visit).
Just as we finished up our wonderful treat, the skies opened up and it poured! It took Becki two days to get here due to snow and ice . . . then she was greeted by heavy storms in a not-so-sunny Florida! Fortunately it didn't last.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
1) System Restore . . . doesn't
2) Be vewy, vewy careful of what you install. A friend insisted I download her iWin JewelQuest program . . . sorry, iWin - no more games from you.
First, it sneakily adds a pop up announcing new games every time you go online;
second, it is bound and determined that you will sign up for online play; . . .
and third . . . it will make you become really friendly with your computer manufacturer's
online service techs! Out of nowhere, my desktop expanded wayyyy out of proportion.
Even opening images to edit them became impossible as they were effectively distorted.
Fortunately, Sony was able to come through and help me there, but I'm still waiting for feedback regarding the System Restore issue.
As if that isn't aggravating enough, the park I'm presently at keeps losing its WiFi signal . . . so I have to drive to a nearby hot spot to see where I'm at with the different fixes.
When my daughter got her new laptop a year ago, it still had Windows XP, so she's being spared some of these aggravations.
Now, one last surprisae, that the Sony reps keep 'forgetting' to comment on - and I hope I hear some feedback from some of you on this gem.
Supposedly, I have Windows Vista Premium Home edition . . . but the Sony rep indicated that my computer was actually shipped preloaded with Windows 98 - even though I can find no reference to 98 when I do a search or look within my computer - and everything opens under Vista.
Has anyone else heard anything about this situation????????????????
Sorry to have such a frustrating blog entry today. But I would sure like to know what's what in the scheme of things.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
Even with the filter, hard water sediment will still build up. You can't camp in as many places as we do and not collect it. Every two months or so, when the shower water pressure slows down, I remove the shower head and hose and soak them in vinegar for about 15 minutes. I then blow air through one end, emptying the trapped water in a clear jar to see how much sediment is still present. I repeat the steps til I'm satisfied, rinse them out well with clear water and replace them.
(Note: In air conditioning weather I also wash out my filters at the same time - both ac and my vent filters. In sandy states, like Florida, they get filled quickly).
Fortunately, I'm working part time for Thousand Trails in Camping World. I am supposed to know where things are, and periodically wander through looking for ideas (a dangerous move, trust me!). Two weeks ago I spotted a gizmo for flushing out the hot water tank easily. The water at this campground is so hard, that my vinegar treatment and filter-changing were not effectively helping with the shower pressure. It was time to do something. Several times I saw other RVers purchasing the Tank Saver RV Water Heater Tank Flushing Tool, so I knew we weren't the only ones having issues.
The packaging says it takes about 10 minutes, twice a year to keep your tank running smoothly . . . but that doesn't apply if you haven't drained it in three years, since it left the factory!!!! It took several (embarrassing) flushes, but what a difference. And easy? I can do it alone easily. Atwood hot water tanks have no anodes, but even those that do will follow the same procedure. The directions are easy to follow.
You can be sure we won't let that happen again! Happy Camping, everyone.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
As a Workamper, I wear many hats (just look at my resume card samples below and on the side). Ever eager to promote the company I'm working with, and constantly creating things from forms to promotional items and personal gifts, this adventure provided another opportunity.
Twice a week I generate leads for Thousand Trails at the Tampa-area Camping World (which already has most of my monies - it's a dangerous place for a full-time RVer!!!). On my third day, aware of all the dogs that were coming in the store, I called Mike and asked him to bring 'Nugget' over (lead images for this blog). Thar fellow is a magnet when it comes to getting attention. Mike got quite a chuckle when he saw guests and dogs alike coming over to check him out.
Before getting too carried away, I asked my boss to come over and approve my new 'helper'. She was a bit skeptical, thinking that Mike might be helping me, and the position only pays one person per shift.
Quietly I brought him up from behind the counter and started putting him through his paces. She responded to him immediately . . . then stared looking around, stunned, as people stopped in their tracks for a better look, then started gravitating our way. Nugget was hired!
Nugget isn't 'just' a dog - he's a hand puppet with the ability to be quite amazing.
There was one problem though - three out of five people want to BUY my buddy. It was time to get him 'dressed' for his part. With my boss's permission, I took digital images of our current promotion and edited them for iron-on transfers. I have a wonderfu, free, program - www.wildthings.com, that offers a good variety of customizable patterns. Using a beret pattern, I adjusted it to fit Nugget, then printed it out. Now he has a beret featuring the current promo on the top and the Thousand Trails logo on the wider-than-normal band.
As my great boss, Sue Rose says, "Life is Good".
Monday, January 21, 2008
So much for hearing about the RV sales slowdown - don't tell that to the vendors there - they were hopping. I not only FINALLY made our reservations for the upcoming Good Sam's RV rally in Perry, Georgia in March - but received a $25 certificate towards fuel. OK - it may not pay for much, but on a limited income, some is better than nothing!
We've been drooling over Freightliner-type conversions for some time. I like the warranties on them and the way they handle. The Optima has been at the head of our list, but this year, Renegade came on as a close second. They don't have the frills and gussie doodads of Prevosts or other luxury brands, but for us, they're more livable and we'd never have to worry about overloading. But that's strictly pesonal preference - and they're still out of our league. My CrossRoads Cruiser fits us well and has held up beautifully for full-timing. What surprised us was how popular they are becoming. Normally there would be three or four at the Super Show - this year we looked at 10 - and didn't see them all. There were about 1,300 RVs total on the grounds for viewing.
My daughter and her husband have been looking at lightweight towables - fairly basic, but comfortable for a family of 4 and a dog in inclement weather (otherwise they are outside). T@B now has a unit slightly larger than their revised, popular teardrop (like the Betty Boop unit on the left). For their needs, there are units they would be happy with - ECO has one that is even better geared to their needs without going overboard on their wallets.
At the other end of the spectrum, we're seeing a huge surge in high-end class A's. The transition lot at Seffner's LazyDays is so busy that they're asking the people there to try to stay only one night as they transfer their belongings from the former units to their new ones. One such couple is staying at WigWam RV Park where we're at - waiting for their new unit to arrive. Lazy Days was putting them up at their beautiful Rally Park, but it has been full with reservations - and will be, through the end of the month. We aren't in a resort-type park - far from it - but new arrivals are sporting some gorgeous units for the few days they are staying.
Even the dry camping lots - at TA and Flying J truckstops as well as Camping World, are filled. The Super Show has not only drawn them in, but also LazyDays with their own show which will be ongoing this coming weekend at Rally Park. It's a fun time for looking and dreaming.
I sure wish RV salespeople would stop trying to sell heavy RVs to people that are beyond their true towing capacity. I went in a beautiful Alfa fifth wheel, to drool a bit (sometimes it's a bit embarrassing - and that unit definitely qualified!). The salesman was telling a customer that he definitely had the right pickup truck for it. I inadvertently blurted out, 'Sure, as long as it's bigger than a one-ton' - the salesman glared at me as the prospective customer confirmed that he indeed had a diesel one-ton. When I mentioned that as a former RV transporter the EMPTY weight on that one made me nervous - especially in the mountains, the salesman modified his comment to add that the one-ton would pull the behemoth just fine with certain modifications - omitting the detail that virtual ANY power-boost changes void a new pickup truck warranty.
I keep repeating myself like a broken record, but knowing your weights and combined loaded weights (GVWR) are critical. Overextending can create unpleasant nightmares down the road.
Happy Camping everyone
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
Thursday, January 3, 2008
This past summer we worked at Timothy Lake Resort in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains. On Sept 8 we took the ferry from New Jersey to Ellis Island & the Statue of Liberty.
As I stood in the Registry Room at Ellis Island, I was emotionally hit by A disturbing mental image.
To my right, Lady Liberty stood tall & proud through the beautiful windows. Ourforefathers looked at her with renewed hope when they migrated to the U.S. all those years ago. That statue stood for hope, freedom and fresh starts. For many of them the trip leader been arduous and horrific, crammed into the tight steerage holds of trans-Atlantic ships. (New arrivals with enough money, not only sailed in comfortable cabins, but were also spared the dehumanizing experiences of Ellis Island.)
To my left, stood the New York City skyline, minus the World Trade Center. On that morning, September 11, 2001, we not only lost American citizens. some of whose parents, grandparents, & great-grandparents originally reached this beautiful New World via Ellis Island-but also visitors. Visitors from other countries. some of whom were brutally murdered by thoughtless mercenaries from their own country. Those deaths affected Mankind worldwide.
Returning home that nightI felt an intense need to create an image that the sights and absent buildings had evoked deep within me. This was one of three results. I 'ghosted' the Twin Towers to where they once stood, proud and tall . Our flag was borrowed from an image I took in Clewiston, Florida. the New York skyline was taken through one of the upper windows on Ellis Island, and Lady Liberty was captured on the ferry.