Archive for the ‘How’s the Car?’ Category

Moving an RV

Always get a kind of knot in the pit of my stomach when I have to move the RV. Edgar and I have been living at Ft. Stevens for 4 months. I moved the RV 3 months ago when I took the position as Park Host, but only about 1,000 yards.

This time we have been living in it and I have made a ton of improvements. Framed in the door, replaced shower and kitchen faucets, replaced toilet, replaced 3 blinds with awesome cellular shades that really keep in the warm and made 2 pairs of insulated drapes for the bedroom, replaced all the cabinet inserts, removed old wiring and got all the electrical systems, including changing out the breaker box (which is actually very easy) working. Put up a shelf where there was a hole and had to custom fit some cabinet door hinges to make it work. Painting – I hate painting, I end up with paint all over me, in my hair, but I love color and this place needed a good brightening, I still haven’t finished the ceiling.

So moving, things just don’t go in one direction, when we move, we move, batten down the hatches is no joke. Everything moves, everything, even the structure, that is why I am so nervous. I have glued, nailed, repaired and painted, crossing my fingers it all holds up. I tried to think about the movement when I made the repairs, compensating tight fit for flexibility.

Then there is your stuff in the cupboards, you learn quick when a bottle of olive oil falls over and leaks. I have mats in all the cupboards, but stuff still falls over if it is not stabilized. Everything hanging shifts and things on shelves go flying.

Then there is the hitching up and towing the car thing…but that’s a different story.

Glad we only have to go about 50 miles.

Cathy

Maintenance

I was cleaning and doing a little maintenance on the RV today. We are moving from Ft. Stevens State Park near Astoria, OR to Nehalem Beach State Park near Manzanita, OR. Stopping at Skipanon Marine & RV in Warrenton on the way down to have the hot water heater repaired. Can I tell you how excited I am about having hot water!!!

Anyway, while spraying WD-40 on all the moving parts of the car towing equipment, I thought, if you maintain it, it will last forever. Then I weirded out.

That simple phrase “If you maintain it, it will last forever” applies to so many thing in our lives.

Your relationships – married people who have been together for years, and are still happy, say they take the time for each other. Relationships with customers, how many customers do you lose to price or competition that are really maintained? My guess is none.

Your body – anyone will tell you a few hours of exercise each week keeps you in better maintenance. How about brushing your teeth everyday, skincare, haircare, good food, and required medical exams all to better maintain the body.

Your car and stuff – wear and tear is inevitable, but you can change the oil, paint, clean – maintenance.

Your soul – that needs maintenance too, church, walking in the woods, volunteering at a homeless shelter or food bank, skiing down a mountain or climbing one, we all need to do things that make our souls soar.

Your kids – I don’t have any kids but I see all the time people spend maintaining their kids well being. Then when they have grand kids the maintenance is transferred through generations.

So much maintenance, so little time. We all have to make decisions on what is important enough for us to maintain. How much of our time we are willing to give to ourselves, our businesses, our stuff, our kids and our world. I’m making sure I put the important ones at the top of my list.

Cathy

Squirrel Attack

Getting up in the morning, I noticed the roof of the car was left open.  Opening the door and sitting down to start the car to close the roof really scared the dickens out of the squirrel sitting in my backseat enjoying a delicious organic d’anjou pear.  He scrambled up over the head rest and out the way he came in, scaring the dickens out of me!

All I had left of the encounter were some footprints on my car and chewed pear bits and hunks.  The attack occurred on the poor pears, it could have been worse….

Pennsylvania – Home Sweet Home

On the road again.  David and I drove the RV from Redondo Beach Marina to Portland, OR in 2 days.  I dropped both off in Hillsboro, OR and off to see my Mom in PA.

The drive across the country took me 3.5 days in my Corolla and the new engine worked beautifully.  I am actually getting better gas mileage!  Thanks Sabino.

I chose to leave the RV in Oregon because gas would cost me around $2,000 in the RV and $200 in the car.   I have plenty of places to sleep in PA and my favorite is our place on the Allegheny River about 100 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Bass, Walleye, Carp, Hummingbirds, Bear, Deer, Fox, Porcupine, Grouse, Bald Eagles, Hawks AND Edgar all enjoying the river.  Edgar loves to swim and comes to the river with me.  He has appointed himself official guardian and made it his duty to bark at everyone who approaches the cabin.

I grew up on this river learning to swim and fish.  Now my Oregonian friends understand the deep love of nature and why Oregon is my second home.  The mountains here are a bit shorter, but just as beautiful.

Cathy

 

“Your car is on fire.”

Driving back to Houston from Galveston without remembering to take the car out of first gear was in retrospect a really stupid thing to do, but I did it anyway.  “Your car is on fire” not words we ever want to hear.  I pulled over to the side of the 610 loop and jumped out.  The car immediately gasped its last breath and spilled it’s oil all over the ground.  I put an engine rod through the oil pan, destroying the engine.

Sabino from the Shell station on the West Road exit off I-45 agreed to put in a new engine for $1,750 and get me going.  BTW, that is after Shalom Car Service, the shop AAA towed me to, quoted $3,959 and said the tranny was blown, it was not.

While the car was being repaired, we decided to take the RV to Dallas.  The RV backfired and stopped in the middle of 7 lanes of traffic on the 610 loop.  When the Houston motorcycle officer pulled up next to my window, I immediately started blabbering incoherently, he looked horrified, and asked me if I could back the RV to the side of the road if he stopped traffic.  After stopping 7 lanes of Houston traffic I backed the rv to the side of the road without power steering, glad I wasn’t towing the car.  A battery cable had shaken loose, we were on our way in minutes after David made the repair.

Tires and an Oil Change

I got a flat outside of Albuquerque and was glad for flat fix.   The curb I hit in San Francisco made the tires catywampus so add another $350.00 for alignment and some kind of shim thingys – I check it out on-line – totally legitimate charges.

The car is now riding on 4 new, aligned, Firestones.

The southwest desert is a big lonesome in the middle of nowhere.  Cell phone service is sketchy and towns are far and few between.   I would hate to be on the side of the road without water or shelter from the sun.

Since we are prepared it was just a hiccup on our road to everywhere.

Cathy

Greg Borrelli’s May Madness

A little late posting these photos.  I am in San Diego, in the RAIN.

Classic Car Parade and Rockin’ Street Dance in San Rafael.  Hundreds of classic autos, custom hotrods and vintage roadsters.  We must be getting close to summer.  Cathy