A family on the road living fulltime in an RV.

Tag: Preparation

Limbo

Boxes have replaced dressers and nightstands.  Mattresses sit on the floor.  Old toys en route to new homes whisper memories of little boys.  A rainbow of threads is scattered under…

Boxes have replaced dressers and nightstands.  Mattresses sit on the floor.  Old toys en route to new homes whisper memories of little boys.  A rainbow of threads is scattered under the kitchen table where my friend and I spent three days making not just curtains but memories.

We’ve said our goodbyes and yet we are still here tying up the loose ends.  It makes for a strange state of mind.  Today, I sat on the floor folding my laundry as if it was an ordinary day.  A day where I would wake up in my bed, a bed that is no more.  A day where I would sit at my desk, a desk who days are coming to an end.  A day where I would school the boys on the couch, a couch who has moved on.  A day where I would drive the streets I know, the streets that I will miss.

For a moment, I wanted it to be any ordinary day.  There is so much beauty in the ordinary when we see with our hearts. I desperately wanted the boxes and bags to disappear.  I wanted to slip seamlessly back into my routine.  I wanted to know, as much as is possible, what tomorrow would bring.

I held onto the laundry on my lap as if it were an anchor.

Peel enough layers and there is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear that paralyzes and moves me.  Fear that smothers and ignites me.  Ignites trust.  Trust in a God who loves.

Meow Cow has taken to napping in his travel bag.  It seems he is trying to tell us something.

We said our goodbyes.

Yet we are still here.

But not really.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Open “House”

Saturday morning, we decided we would have an rv open “house” on Sunday.  We had been *thinking* about the open house for a month and leave it to me to…

Saturday morning, we decided we would have an rv open “house” on Sunday.  We had been *thinking* about the open house for a month and leave it to me to invite people 24 hours beforehand.  The truth is I wasn’t procrastinating.  I was just being thorough. Everything needed to be “just so”. Which explains (or muddles) why we were still up at 12:00 am hanging cabinet doors and sweeping piles of screws into the drawers.  Those finishing touches.   Nothing says we are ready to go like  clean countertops even if the closet is filled with paint cans instead of clothes.

The party was at noon and at 11:30 am we found ourselves an hour behind schedule still trying to hitch up the trailer.  You see, we waited until right before the party to test out the hitch and as it turned out our truck “hitch height” is different than the previous owner’s truck making it impossible to “just hook up and go”.  Somehow Brent figured it out (he always does) and we pulled up to our little get together.

There are a lot of things we are going to miss about Ventura this year…the beaches, the mountains, the fabulous weather, two Trader Joes…but none of that compares to the way we are going to miss the people.  So many wonderful people.  I’m thankful that a handful of these wonderful people were able to make it out on such a ridiculously late notice and I hope they know just how much it made our day.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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The Couch Angel

Last week, I mentioned a great friend was coming over to help me reupholster the rv sleeper sofa frame. Well she’s not a great friend…          …

Last week, I mentioned a great friend was coming over to help me reupholster the rv sleeper sofa frame.

Well she’s not a great friend…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She’s a saint.
(If you could of seen me around 12:30 when I was hungry you would agree….A SAINT.)

Not only is she a saint but she is also one of the kindest, most creative, and thoughtful people I know.  She got to my house at 10:00 am and left at 9:30 pm.  That’s 11.5 hours (for those who are mathematically challenged like myself.)! ELEVEN and a HALF hours!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the rv sofa before.  We thought about getting an entirely new sofa but not only was it expensive, it was hard to find one to efficiently fill the space.  We didn’t want to waste any space and we wanted to keep the sofa bed for the future when the boys want to bring along friends. I scoured Craigslist but nothing the right size with a bed was coming up and most of the sofas on Craigslist didn’t fit our style.

What to do….

We decided the most cost effective solution was to pay someone to reupholster the cushions (I can sew very simple things like pillows but cushions with piping and zippers are waaay out of my league.) and we would reupholster the frame.

I found someone to recover the cushions with buttons, piping, and zippers for $40 a cushion (and it only took him a day and a half!).  I have no idea what it costs in other parts of the country but for southern California this was a steal.  I know because I called, visited, or emailed pictures to nearly every upholstery shop in our area.  He did an exceptional job and I couldn’t have been more pleased.  If you are in the area the shop is Robert’s Upholstery and the number is 805-659-5600.

So I made two treks down to the LA fabric district and got some gorgeous wool fabric in the exact color we wanted for $2.99 a yard.  The problem was the fabric had a pattern every 3 or so feet and they only had 14 yards.  I bought it anyway because those are the type of irrational things I do assuming we could make it work.  As it turned out the fabric made us work.

This was around noon when I hungry and cranky nearly gave up and called Robert to ask him the cost to recover the sofa frame.  It was going to be more than we wanted to put into the sofa so we persevered into the dark.

See the southwest pattern?  Grrrrrrr!  After Robert had used 8 of my 14 yards for the cushions we only had 6 yards left.  Take out the pattern and it was less. (See my math is improving as I write this post.)

Still working into the night.

Is this still a sofa?

If you ever decide to reupholster a sofa frame, do one side first.  I don’t know what we would have done if we had not left one side intact.  I took pictures and notes of taking it apart to have for references but I might as well been looking at Monet painting from 2 inches away at 3 o’clock am.  They made no sense.  Being able to look at the original side was a sanity saver.

Almost done.  We still had not screwed the frame back together and the cushions are sitting on boxes which is why the cushions look like they need Botox but you get the idea.  The couch itself is ordinary so to add some character I decided to add buttons like this ridiculously overpriced settee from Anthropologie.   All in all, with fabric and labor (not counting our own) it cost about $200 to reupholster the sofa.

So if you ever want to reupholster your own rv sofa frame, here are some tips.

1. Make sure you have enough fabric.  A total no brainer and it worked out okay only because this is an rv sofa and 3 of the 4 sides are hidden.

2. Give yourself plenty of time especially is you don’t follow number 1.  Had we had enough fabric it wouldn’t have taken near as long.

3.  Do one side first so you can look back at how it was put together.  Also take notes of the pieces and the order you take them off.

4. Have the right tools.  I don’t know what the “proper” tools are but here are the tools we used: staple lifter, hammer, pry bar, electric staple gun, needle nose pliers, screw driver, and scissors.  We owned all of them except the staple lifter and the electric staple gun which I borrowed from a friend.

5. Find a saint to help you out.  Most important!

By shopping around for fabric and reupholstering the sofa frame ourself we saved about $300 since the least expensive place cost $500 to reupholster the entire sofa. More important than saving money, I have a new fun (now) memory saved in my heart.  Thank you, Diane.

We are thisclose to being done with the interior!  Brent is finishing the floor this weekend and I have to do the curtains but those are the last major things to do.  I can’t wait to show you pictures!

love and laughter,
jenn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is there a forest around these trees?

Life may be a tad bit on the busy side right now but I still want to document it. This week we’ve been painting, sanding, painting, sanding. From how much…

Life may be a tad bit on the busy side right now but I still want to document it.

This week we’ve been painting, sanding, painting, sanding.

From how much we’ve I’ve been painting you would think that we are moving into a 3000 square foot house not a 300 square foot trailer.

I may or may not have had a breakdown in the bathroom last night over….

LINT.

Yes, there was lint in the polyeurathane and it nearly sent me over the edge.  Good times.  Good times.

I’ll just let you imagine how I felt today when Brent told me today after driving home from the LA fabric district that the polyurethane (I spent an entire day applying to the cabinets) didn’t dry clear and everything has to be re-sanded and re-painted.  I thought I was done with the kitchen cabinets and now I’m almost back at square one.  I basically wasted an entire weekend.

Except I didn’t because…

…I spent precious time with this guy.   His hard work blows me away.

I’m really trying to see the forest through the trees and remember what this trip is really about.

Family.
Adventure.
Memories.
Love.

Who cares about a little lint.

We are hoping to leave October 9th, our 12 year anniversary.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate.

But…there’s the to-do list.

RV
Finish paint and Hang Cabinet Doors (we took them off to paint)
Paint Living Room Walls
Install Wood Floor
Build Brent’s Desk
Sew Curtains
Find Upholster for Cushions
Upholster Couch Frame – We were going to take it somewhere but it won’t fit out the door!
Install Closet Organizer
Install hardware
Paint Fan
Paint (or Find New) Light Fixtures
Re-upholster headboard
Buy storage bins
Install and plumb new bathroom sink
Purchase various small items

House 
Sell, giveaway, or burn stuff we are not taking.  (This is a mile long list in and of itself.)
Sell Car
Pack RV
Clean and repair current house. (Another list as long as this list.)
Trim bushes at current house
Fix stuff at the rental house. (Our tenant just let us know there is an opossum living under it.  Awesome.)
Order a few more school books

Misc
See friends
Keep up with laundry

Oh and that video we shot in July?  The deadline is fast approaching. When I think I’m working hard, I remember how hard Brent is working.

How many days to October 9th?

Don’t remind me.

But I’m not complaining because it’s all going to be worth it.

I think.

I hope.

with love,
jenn

 

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Making a “house” a “home”.

Today was our first official work day on the trailer. It’s a family affair.  Almost.  Thing 2 pops in and out offering encouragement.  Sort of. However, Thing 1 is more…

Today was our first official work day on the trailer.

It’s a family affair.  Almost.  Thing 2 pops in and out offering encouragement.  Sort of.

However, Thing 1 is more than happy to get to use tools help as long as we don’t paint the kitchen cabinets green.  We won’t talk about the breakdown in Lowes when he and I mentioned Brent and I were “thinking” about a green kitchen.  You would have thought I told him we thinking about giving up electricity.

We started in the bunk room.

 

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Putting new handles on the cabinets.  Thing 1 doesn’t mess around.  He scoffed at me when I suggested a screwdriver

Off comes the border.

 

 

 

 

 

Prepping the wall for paint.

We also brought Meow Cow over so he can begin to adjust.   Seeing that he’s not hiding under the bed, I’ll assume he is adjusting rather nicely.  Oh wait, he can’t hide out under the bed.  Hmmmm…..

You may be wondering what was I doing?  I was sitting on the couch texting while my child worked.  Isn’t that why we have them?  Kidding, I was killing brain cells painting primer on the walls and at the rate I’m going that is all I’m going to be doing this week.

with love,
Jenn

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The Birthday Beast

When I was a little girl I used to tell my mom that someday I wanted to drive across the country in an “old junky convertible”. She always asked me…

When I was a little girl I used to tell my mom that someday I wanted to drive across the country in an “old junky convertible”.

She always asked me “Why does it need to be junky?”   That still makes me giggle.  At 10 years old, I already dreamed of being on the road.

Everyday that childhood dream gets a little bit closer.

Sunday was my birthday and I got a BEAST of a present.  It’s not junky.  It’s not a convertible.  It’s not really even all that old.

Our new to us 2007 Chevy Silverado diesel, long bed, crew cab truck.  (That’s a mouthful.)

I can’t believe I own a truck.
(It really belongs to Brent and I but since we got it on my birthday we are calling it “my birthday present”.)

Confession, it doesn’t feel like “me” and I’m terrified to drive this beast.

I have no clue why I decided to sit on it.

I’m trying to “own it” but it feels like playing make-believe.  Let’s see…I’ll pretend I’m a cowgirl working on a ranch.

 

 

 

 

I drove it once yesterday and ended up parking far far away so I had plenty of room to swing this bad boy around into a space.  Then it took me 10 minutes to back this beast out.  I’m going to have to take xanax every time I drive it.  Wait.  That would bad.  Very bad.

Now we are trying to decide if we should do a veggie oil conversion.  Brent’s all for it.  I’m on the fence.  It sounds fantastic but I’m wondering if the reality would be more trouble than it’s worth.  If anyone has any experience with “going veg” we are all ears!

love and laughter,
jenn

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