Monday, January 31, 2011


So, Christmas is over and Missouri is being revolting--at least the weather is. Today for instance, it is freezing with an inch of freezing rain and 12 inches of snow coming on top of that within the next couple of days. This is on top of the several inches that have yet to melt off from the other million snows this year. Will we ever see the ground again????
With snow and ice covering the ground and cabin fever setting in in a big way, I have been anxious for a change of scenery. This happens most years about this time. Everything outside is cold and inside is just the same old thing.
For some time now, I have been trying to decide what I can do with my coffee cups. They currently reside on the lazy susan in the corner above the sink. It is a stretch for me to reach them each morning and besides, I have no decor on the backsplash above the cabinet.
While baking cookies with my friend Kathy, who owns the campground, I noticed her mug rack. You can see it in this picture to her left. (Just ignore her cute dogs trying to get her to share our baking with them!)
Her Mug Rack is made from a piece of fencing board painted black and fitted with mug hooks. Very simple and it works well for her.
This gave me the idea for a mug rack of my own. I thought a piece of ceiling tile with wood behind it would be a good choice for me. Just add hooks and Voila!
We headed out to some of the second hand shops around--and let me tell you there are a LOT for such a small town!
Kathy has an eagle eye and kept pointing out tin tiles. Each one was just a little off for my taste.
In one shop, I found a bunch of metal signs. They were not old and they were not expensive. There was the Wizard of Oz (appropriate for Kansas), Route 66 (why not since we are in a camper), various coca-cola signs etc.
Then, while shopping at the local Alco, I found a wooden folk art flag made of wooden strips. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was just what I needed.
I brought it home and screwed in cup hooks, hung it on the backsplash and I had a really cool mug rack that fit me perfectly!
I remembered that I had some of the metal barn stars that had hooks on them as well, so I hung those by the flag.
This made me smile every morning when I came out to make my coffee.
You can see the mug on the left from OCC (Orange County Choppers) and the two black and green mugs have 88 on them for Dale Jr. (we kind of follow him in NASCAR--hehe) and my white mugs trimmed in red that go with my set.
I am sure that as we travel, we will add more mugs.
Then, I started thinking about the rustic flag and stars and contrasting those with the traditional wall border. This border is in shades of hunter and seafoam green, burgundy and desert rose on an ivory background. While it doesn't make me go ick, it doesn't really endear itself to me either.
The other day, Kathy and I escaped to Columbia, MO and the Menard's store. She to find campground supplies and me to find a border that I thought I remembered seeing.
Sure enough, I found the border that just made it all complete.
Last night I had the pleasure of removing border that was adhered well. I don't know what Nu-Mar uses to adhere the border, but it is sure not meant to come back off!
Lacking a paper tiger, I tried scraping the paper off. I tried peeling, I tried adhesive remover, I tried hot water--it was really slow going!
I scratched the paper and recalling that vinegar takes off wallpaper, I sprayed it with Windex Vinegar glass cleaner to loosen the paper. It took 3 layers of scrubbing and scraping to get it all off, but it was finally off.
Now the new paper is up and I think it is really me. What do you think?

Friday, January 7, 2011


I woke up the other morning when Tank, my 160 lb mastiff mix was trying to snuggle under the covers of the bed.
Now, it isn't unusual for the pugs to snuggle under the covers--nor is it unusual for Tank to sleep on the bed. It IS unusual for Tank to try to snuggle or get under the covers.
I quickly noticed that it really seemed cold in the 5th wheel. I like a cold room of 60-62 degrees--even 50 degrees is okay--for sleeping, but this was really COLD!
I hopped out of bed and headed for the living/kitchen where I noted that only cold air was coming out of the vents--EEEEEEKKKKK!!!!!! And, the air temp was a crisp 44 degrees! I thought, well darn, the heater must have malfunctioned. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes when the propane switches from the empty tank to a full tank, there is air in the lines and the furnace doesn't fire.
I threw on some warmer clothing and headed out of the coach to check the propane--EMPTY!!! BOTH of my 100lb tanks were empty! I have two so that when one is empty I have time to get it filled and back online before the second one is empty. Well Old Timers must have gotten to me because they were both definitely empty.
Being quite early, Drew (or He Who fills the propane at the campground) was still asleep and I am not one to interrupt someone's beauty sleep unless absolutely necessary, so I grabbed my wrench and unscrewed a 100 lb tank and connected one of my 40 lb onboard tanks to get some heat going.
I ran back into the coach to feel blessed heat coming out of the vents. Rubbing my hands and blowing to warm them, I also turned on the electric space heater. I rarely use the electric space heater as we get our electric included in our lot rent and I hate to run the bill up for the owners as that cost will surely be passed along to everyone camping here at some point as the owners are not running a non-profit campground (or in this case Kampground) for their utter amusement and enjoyment. This is how they eat and they must make a profit. All they ask is that we utilize the resources here as we would if it was our own home.
I quickly decided that were this my own home, the space heater would most assuredly be in use!
Soon, I was shedding heavy clothing as the coach warmed up to a toasty, normal 65 degrees and all was well. He who fills the propane filled the two 100 lb tanks and one of my 40 lb onboard tanks and returned them to me. All was well.
All the while, the Vanilla Ice song was running through my mind. Why? Am I a hip-hopper all of a sudden? Am I going through some sort of a second teenagehood--in the hood?
No--I was recently cruising through the channels and came upon the DIY program Vanilla Ice Project. What the heck, I thought, why not give it a try. I like programs about flipping houses and such and what is better than watching a burned out rapper/hip hopper flop--uh--flip?
I began watching and realized that this guy actually knew what he was doing! I also thought I saw something else that intrigued me...
I made Jim watch the beginning video of the show (he really HATES DIY shows, shows that are centered around tools, anything about fixing homes, cars or anything else!). He asked why I was torturing him and I just said watch!

He started getting really into the video and then said what I had been thinking--that looks like James! Our son! I didn't give him a hint of what I was seeing, I just wanted to see if I was crazy because Jim and I often see people very differently. Not this time! We both saw our James--uh sans the body art which thankfully James has not delved into! Now everytime Jim sees me watching Vanilla Ice Project, he just says--You're just watching because you miss James! Yep--probably. But, the show is okay too.

So, those of you who know James, have a look at these photos (of course Rob Van Winkle, AKA Vanilla Ice is 42 and James is 28) and see what you think!