Snow Storm Izzy, new camper & packing

lots and lots of packing!

Wednesday, January 12

It was an easy work day even though I played hooky last Sunday. I did a quick computer project, washed, dried and ironed the sheets, then stuck around to tend to the phone and simply be available for the guests while the boss made a quick trip to town. I was home by 3 o’clock.

Meanwhile, the day was warm enough that the tractor started so CountryBoy was able to grade the driveway and even out the clumps of gravel. It looks so much better and is definitely easier on the vehicles.

I spent the evening cross stitching. I can’t seem to motivate myself to do anything else. I know I’m waiting on more i’s to be dotted and t’s to be crossed in the closing process before I get too involved in packing anything else. Actually, we both are waiting. We did decide, however, that since we’re going to live in the camper until we find a house that it might behoove us to try and find one that’s a bit larger and more comfortable to live in. We figured we’d start looking at some nearby RV places tomorrow.

Thursday, January 13

Sleep evaded me for a while so I got up and started browsing the inventory from a couple of RV places nearby. I was, more or less, just wanting to get an idea of prices and see what was out there in terms of layout. To me, size is not as important as the layout. The layout needs to flow and needs to suit the needs of how one intends to use it. In the past we’ve had an older RV – it was great for short camping trips nearby; a fifth wheel – it served us well when we lived in it full time and traveled from job to job for three years; a pop-up camper – it was perfect as a place to sleep at crowded Thanksgivings with family; and our current travel trailer – that was meant for longer camping trips and a little bit of traveling. Originally, I was OK with our current trailer. It was small in size and could be parked anywhere. But as we tried to figure out where to store things and began picturing how we would live and function in the trailer we decided we might need something else; something a bit more comfortable for long term stays or trips. Something with an oven as well. As I browsed the various RV’s from dealers nearby I didn’t see anything that was practical for full time RVing.

This morning CountryBoy found an RV dealer two hours away with a couple trailers that had some possibilities. We both had our wish list and eventually I found one that met most of those. The size was right, the price was reasonable, the layout was practical, and overall we felt we could be comfortable living in it. CountryBoy contacted them wanting to get a quote on trading in our trailer. After several phone calls and emails we had quotes on both our trailer and the one we’re interested in. We liked the numbers so we made a deposit (going on photos alone) and they’re in the process of going over it with a fine tooth comb since it was a used trailer. We’ll pick it up some time next week. If we decide we don’t like the trailer we will get our deposit back and we’ll keep looking. Luckily, we had already removed most of the things that we had stored in our current trailer so it didn’t take long to empty it.

The pieces are slowly coming together however unconventional as it may be. Then again, truth be told, we’ve never been very conventional!

Friday, January 14

What a gray, dreary day. The fog hovered over the mountains all day and it felt like a damp cold. The kind that gets to your core if you’re outside too long. Needless to say, we did what we had to do outside then it was back indoors to keep the fire burning to stay warm.

The forecasters are predicting another snow storm this weekend with possible ice. Currently, they’re predicting up to eight inches of wet snow and to be prepared for power outages. We’ll be just fine if the power is out. I hope everyone else is making preparations and has a secondary heat source.

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We got a phone call from the RV dealer this afternoon. We have an appointment next Thursday at 11 o’clock to pick up the trailer. Here’s hoping it looks like the photos. If so, we’ll be good to go.

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We are in ‘use up as much of the stuff in the freezer as we can’ mode. We’ll never eat all of it before we move so we may have to leave what won’t fit in the camper freezer (which are very small). Some of the stuff in the freezer contain loads of fruit: scuppernongs (muscadine grapes), purple grapes, and blackberries. We decided to start another batch of homemade wine knowing that by the time we move it will be in the six week long fermenting stage and will be easy to transport. We used half a gallon bag of purple grapes which didn’t make a very large dent in the freezer but it’s a half gallon less of fruit now.

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Miss LizzieBelle got a bath today. Yesterday and today she was nibbling on her feet and munching on her sides. She hasn’t done that since I started adding probiotic powder to her food so I thought maybe a bath would help. Since it is cold I got the hair dryer out, dusted it off and dried her hair most of the way. Her coat is much thicker than it’s ever been. I’m not sure if it’s from the food (I switched her to Science Diet) or from the probiotics. Or maybe it’s both. Whatever the case, I’m just glad she’s doing better skin and coat-wise. She’s still being treated for CHF, HBP, and hypothyroidism and is doing good however she still can’t see or hear but she doesn’t let that stop her. My sweet Belle.

Saturday, January 15

I can’t believe we’re halfway through the month already. Halfway through the month means only a few more weeks before we close on the house; maybe less. The buyer really wants to close as soon as possible. I can’t say that I blame him. We couldn’t wait to move in either and seeing as they’re coming from Vermont I’m sure they’re wanting to move to a more manageable winter climate as soon as possible.

Speaking of a manageable winter the forecasters are calling for a messy mix of rain, sleet, ice and snow tomorrow. Here we go again! They’re also saying that it will be a wet snow and between that and the ice to be prepared for possible power outages. Since we’re already prepared for power outages we spent the day prepping in other ways: bringing in several wheelbarrow loads of wood and filling the bird feeders (they arrive in swarms during snow storms!). I hope we get some snow but I don’t wish for the kind of storm we had last week. Nobody needs that kind of mess.

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Speaking of mess, our guests that were arriving tomorrow asked if they could come today. The forecasted weather ruined their outdoor plans for the weekend so they decided they’d like to come a day early and just hang out at the cabin for the weekend instead. Since I was knee-deep in fabric CountryBoy took care of the finishing touches and turned the propane heater on to warm up the cabin before their arrival.

I spent most of the day prepping for one of the surprise projects we’re going to work on at the upcoming quilters retreat. I can’t believe it’s almost here and that I actually get to go! With everything going on ’round here and with prepping to move and figuring out what can be put in storage and what I should take I thought I needed to get this done. I had packed most of my fabric in clear plastic zipper bags – those kind you get when you buy new sheets – so it was fairly easy going through my fabric stash and pulling out possible fabric colors that I needed for the surprise project. Once I had the colors I needed I cut them into the necessary size requirements. I cut a lot of extra pieces and extra colors so that I had some color options. Not knowing what we’ll be making or what color fabric will be placed where I wanted options. Cutting extra pieces took a while but I got it done. Tomorrow I’ll work on trying to pack what I think I’ll need for retreat. I spent the evening cross-stitching and watching movies with CountryBoy.

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During coffee I somehow happened upon some lots for sale on the Kentucky River. It’s a brand new development specifically for RV’s. We watched a short video on the development and we liked what we saw and heard. We asked them to contact us and this afternoon we had a response via email. We have not called yet. We’ll ponder and pray about whether or not this is a viable option for us before calling.

Sunday, January 16

Due to the forecasted weather church was called-off today so that everyone could stay home and stay safe. I had also called the boss yesterday to see if she wanted me to come in a day early since the roads were predicted to be a mess today but she said there was no need.

Snow storm Izzy arrived later than expected but she wasted no time delighting us with her snowy self. The flakes started out small and were many…

… then all of a sudden she switched it up and the flakes were huge…

Again, the birds showed up by the dozens…

With such large flakes it didn’t take long before the ground was covered with several inches of powdery snow. It was also a wet snow so it stuck to everything.

These wet snows are just so beautiful!

Our guests messaged us and said they were enjoying the snow and were doing just fine up at the cabin. whew!

Monday, January 17

This morning we woke to the same scene as when we went to bed. It was a beautiful winter wonderland.

I was up a few minutes before CountryBoy so I checked the cabin email and personal email then hopped on Facebook to check for road updates before having coffee. When he got up he tried to get online to check the weather and the internet was down. I reset the router but it still didn’t come up. He discovered that our phone was not working either. We figured them being down had something to do with the snow so we didn’t think much else about it. We also figured they would be back on by day’s end. Nope. Needless to say, it was a quiet day both inside and out. Doesn’t the world seem so much quieter when it’s covered with a blanket of snow? It does here.

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Our guests were checking out today and had asked if we could update them on the road conditions. Well, without a phone or internet there was no way we could contact them. We were also concerned about them coming down the hill so right after coffee we hopped in the side-by-side and headed up. After some discussion about the best and safest way for them to get down we decided to help them get the car down to the bottom then they could take the side-by-side back up and bring it down when they were ready to leave.

In order to make sure they got down safely CountryBoy hooked the winch on the side-by-side to their hitch as a precaution. The cabin road is narrow and lined with trees. There’s also a ravine to the right in the following photos. He wanted to make sure the vehicle stayed on the road.

After arriving safely on level ground the guests went back to enjoy their breakfast and we warmed up with a cuppa hot tea.

While everyone was discussing the best way to get down I was snapping some photos…

Frozen fingertips aside we thoroughly enjoyed being out in the snow and getting the guests safely down the mountain. It was actually quite invigorating.

I spent part of the day sorting through my scrap fabric bin. I was looking for some scrap batiks so that I could make my name tag for the upcoming quilt retreat. I found some that would be perfect. While I was messing with the scraps I got them sorted and organized basically by size. It looks like I need to work on a scrappy project of some sort to use some of them up. After that I made the name tag then spent what was left of the day cross stitching.

Tuesday, January 18

Still no phone or internet service. By now we weren’t sure if we were the only ones without service or if it was area-wide. We decided we should go to town and use the day to run errands. While in town we went to the bank, activated the cell phone with new service then called Windstream. The problem was area-wide and was being worked on. We were told service was expected to be on by 9 this morning but since it was already after 9 the service rep couldn’t give us a time other than it should be up and running some time today. That’s OK. At least it’s being worked on. After that I called our realtor. She had been trying to contact us to let us know when the appraiser was coming out and that’s exactly why I called her. He was originally coming out today but he had to shuffle his schedule around for some reason so now he’s coming tomorrow. Tomorrow is perfect since we were running errands today (we would’ve gone back home if necessary) and Thursday we’re scheduled to trade in/pick up our ‘new to us’ camper. Thank you Lord for your perfect timing!

Our next stop was Rural King in Winchester. We’re stocking up on feed so that the new owners will have plenty when they arrive. After that we headed to Lexington. I wanted to recycle some batteries, an old phone, and see if they could get my old laptop working. I also wanted to see if they had any camera lenses. After much thought (and missing my mirrorless camera) I’ve decided to replace the lens that got damaged when I dropped it. (That was NOT a good day. sigh.). I had just enough money saved up. Originally I wasn’t going to replace it but I really like that camera and none of my other lenses would fit it. Anyway, Best Buy didn’t have any but told us about Murphy’s Camera not too far away. After a quick bite to eat we went in search of this Murphy’s Camera store. We finally found it and I was like a kid walking into a candy store. I did pretty good at staying focused on just replacing the lens and not looking at all the other COOL stuff. Long story short, they did not have the lens in stock but I wound up with something better – an EF-EOS M adapter. What that basically means is with this adapter I can now use any of the lenses I already have with my mirrorless camera. sweet! Another of my favorite lenses (EFS 18-55mm) hasn’t worked right in a long time so I asked if they had one. They did not. The clerk checked his refurbished stash and he had an EFS 18-135 mm with Image Stabilizer and auto or manual focus. It’s basically the same lens but with a better range. I hesitated but CountryBoy said get it so I did. I’ve already used them on my mirrorless camera and they worked great. yay – back in business!

We got home in time for LizzieBelle’s supper (I had it with us just in case!) and she’s been napping all evening. The phone and internet was also working when we got home – yay! One of the first things I did was post some of my favorite snow pics on Facebook and check the cabin email. The rest of the evening I got caught up on journaling.

Rumor has it we’re in for another round of winter weather tomorrow evening – rain, then a freeze, and then 1-4 inches of snow. As much as I love the snow I’m really hoping it either doesn’t happen or that it’s very mild. We really don’t want to miss or have to change our appointment to swap campers on Thursday.

Wednesday, January 19

Boring pretty much sums up the day. I worked longer than anticipated then came home, helped hook up the truck and trailer in the rain, ate leftovers then spent the evening cross stitching while watching a movie out the corner o’ my eye. While I was cross stitching (and before the movie) CountryBoy did a little more research on the RV lots on the Kentucky River that’s for sale and there was mention of free parking available on their storage lot during the winter when the river may flood. There goes my vision of an outdoor living space built underneath the RV canopy. And there goes the idea of living there full time. We’re undecided as to whether we want to check it out now or not.

It’s been raining all afternoon then the temperature is supposed to drop and start snowing. CountryBoy called the RV dealer and we’re going to play it by ear tomorrow.

Thursday, January 20

The big day is here!!! We only got about an inch of snow overnight so we figured we’d attempt to head north to Ashland to trade in our camper and, fingers crossed, pick up our ‘new to us’ camper. From the get-go the odds were against us. The truck battery was dead (apparently the camper drained the battery for some reason) and the hood was frozen shut. We almost canceled right then and there but then we figured we’d try to remedy the situations and if not, then we would try for another day. I brushed all the snow off the hood and windows while CountryBoy went to the barn to get the charger. We poured bucket after bucket of water onto the hood until it thawed and we were able to open it. CountryBoy hooked up the charger then we went back in to have our second cup of coffee and warm up. It didn’t take long before the battery was charged enough to turn over. While the truck warmed up and defrosted the windows we got ourselves ready, called the RV dealer to let them know we might be late, grabbed the paperwork we needed, reminded ourselves to take the cell phone we rarely remember we have, packed LizzieBelle’s supper then we snatched her up along with everything else and were on our way.

We were taking it nice and easy because the roads were still a bit slushy but a couple hours later we found ourselves wondering why we hadn’t seen any signs for Ashland along the parkway. At the time of our appointment I called the RV dealer and told them where we were and that I wasn’t sure how far out we were. Long story short, we had made a wrong turn which made the trip about an hour and a half longer than it should have. We were very late. Thankfully they were super nice and understanding. We got right down to business upon our arrival. They checked out our trade in; we checked out the camper we were buying and the technician went over everything and answered any questions we had. Since we liked it we were then ushered to the finance department to do the paperwork while the tech readied the camper for traveling and adjusted our hitch to accommodate the trailer. You should see the hitch – complete with a sway bar and heavy duty! Even though the camper we bought was used they put all new tires on it, a brand new battery, replaced one of the awning arms, and gave us a brand new sewer kit with adapter plus the hitch package. We were already pleased with the trade in value and the price of the camper we bought but I have to say that we really felt everyone that helped us at Summit RV went above and beyond to make our buying experience a pleasant one.

It was 4:20 by the time we were on the road heading back home.

We were tired and hungry and more than ready to be back home. This time the trip didn’t take nearly as long, thank goodness!

Friday, January 21

It was time to get down to the business of packing. Now that we had the camper we could start the process of determining what our bare essentials would be then finding places to put them. There’s a good amount of storage space inside the camper but there’s really not enough for full time RV living. Is there ever?! With that in mind I am trying to determine what kitchen items we use the most, which ones would be a convenience and nice to have, and which ones we most likely could do without. As has been the case whenever I start to think about it I immediately get overwhelmed. I mean really, the amount of stuff one has in their kitchen is crazy! Or at least mine is. It’s time to pare it down. Nothing like being forced to do it which, in truth, is really the only way I would do it.

Anyway, I started the day wrapping quilts around framed pictures and getting them packed. I moved on to our depression glass plates and cups then on to the oil lamps. I emptied the lamp oil then wiped the bases down and washed the globes. CountryBoy found the perfect box and began wrapping them in packing paper and placing them in the box. We’re getting a nice size pile of boxes in the mudroom to take to storage.

After that we started putting a few things in the camper and we made the bed. It’s going to be nice and cozy living quarters. Welcome to our home!

By now I was running out of steam and starting to feel a bit overwhelmed so I decided to stop for the day. It was early afternoon. Physically I could pack and go all day long but mentally – not so much. I spent the rest of the day cross stitching and cooking supper. I managed to finish one motif of the Christmas banner I’m working on.

This is one of the most complicated piece I’ve worked on in a while. There is a lot of shading and blending of colors and they’re scattered all over the place. And the blending filament adds a sparkle to the motif that didn’t show up in the photo. All those details, though, makes for a beautiful design.

Saturday, January 22

Today started out much like yesterday. Wrapping and packing the rest of the picture frames and a few outdoor stuff. We had a nice pile of boxes in the mudroom so we decided to take them to storage while the weather was decent. We also had a few items to donate so we offloaded them then headed to Aldi’s. We like their mixed nuts and since we just got into our last container the other day we wanted to pick up a couple more. We also got a few other grocery items then headed to Walmart to look for some acrylic drinking glasses for the camper. I decided I did not want to mess with trying to keep our footed tea glasses from breaking when we were in travel mode. We picked up some acrylic storage containers for flour, sugar, etc. and an acrylic tea pitcher and a dish strainer that almost fits the sink. It’s useable but the verdict is still out on whether or not we try and use it or return it. We also picked up a water filter that attaches to the water hose and a couple tire chocks since our old ones were dry rotted. All in all it’s coming together.

Sunday, January 23

I managed to pack some glassware and chatted with a friend before church. After that I headed to work to put a newsletter together. When I woke this morning I was motivated to work on some projects for the upcoming quilt retreat but by the time I got home from work every ounce of my motivation was nowhere to be found. I wound up picking up my cross stitch and working on that the rest of the evening.

Monday, January 24

I spent some time today taking photos of furniture. The buyers are interested in a couple pieces and the rest I posted on Facebook Marketplace and a couple other groups there. Dealing with people via Marketplace/Facebook drives me crazy. Short drive I know, but still. It doesn’t matter how detailed the description is people will still ask the very question that was answered in the description. It’s also just a lot of wasted time with people asking if it’s still available, what’s the lowest you’ll take, do you have more pictures, and so on and so on. Every time I want to sell something I truly dread posting it because I know what’s about to happen. But, taking the time to post items and dealing with the nonsense is usually worth it in the end when we’ve successfully sold something and the buyer is pleased with their purchase.

I packed some more glassware and transferred some food stuffs out of glass containers into the acrylic containers. Bit by bit the kitchenware is being packed or designated for the camper. I talked with the buyer for a few minutes and the only other productive thing I did was the laundry.

This evening I cross stitched while watching a movie.

Tuesday, January 25

I packed more glassware today then called Summit RV to order a replacement piece for the awning that had endured a mishap when CountryBoy was trying to maneuver the camper here at the farm to park it. Thankfully it was a minor mishap. The part will arrive at the RV place tomorrow and they will, in turn, ship it to us.

After that I headed to work to train a coworker on how to create the newsletter and a few other computer related things after I’m gone. She’s our youngest employee and she caught on quick. I’m leaving the newsletter and the creative side of the B&B in good hands. That was the last of my job responsibilities that needed to be handed off so we’re all breathing a sigh of relief especially since two weeks tomorrow is our original closing date.

Speaking of closing date, we’re still waiting on the results of the appraisal. We’re all hoping that once the results are received that we’ll learn of our closing date. I think we’re just as anxious to move on as the buyers are to move in.

I know I need to knuckle down and work on getting ready for the quilt retreat but I need to be motivated for it. Hopefully I’ll have a clear presence of mind tomorrow to get the projects done, or at least started, and to make the decisions as to what I can put in storage and what I can take with me. I think the whole trying to determine what I’ll need and what I won’t need is why I’m procrastinating in getting it done. One day I’ll have gumption to not care and to not fret over making those decisions and I’ll get it done because I would like to have it all out of the way before push comes to shove. If that happens then most of it will have to be put in storage because we just can’t afford all the extra weight of my fabric stash.

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We’re still in the process of trying to eat up as much of our home canned goods as we can before we move. It’s the whole ‘weight thing’ in the camper however, doing so is creating a whole other ‘weight thing’ if you know what I mean. For instance, I made Apple Pie Enchiladas yesterday so that I could use up a jar of apple pie filling I canned a year or so ago. We’re finishing it up tonight and I’m quite sure it will show up in my thighs tomorrow. sigh. But it sure is tasty!

Wednesday, January 26

Are really nearing the end of January already? It’s been a long month because we’ve had such crazy weather to endure and yet it’s flown by at the same time. How does that even make sense?!

I did not have to go in to work today so I spent the entire day working on a project for the quilt retreat. Literally, the entire day. I decided to re-make my name tag with the updated and corrected dimensions. All in all the making of the name tag didn’t take long but it was the time spent looking for things I needed to make it. Last October I had packed the majority of my crafts with the lake house in mind. I tried to put each craft into the same tote or box but if it wouldn’t all fit I would tuck into another box or tote thinking I would be unpacking it in plenty of time to make and gather items for the retreat. Well, long day short, I wound up unpacking every box and tote (mainly so I could find what I was looking for) and re-packed as I went along. Only this time I had to decide if I wanted to store it or take it with us.

During this process I discovered that my embroidery machine (which is also a sewing machine) no longer wants to sew. CountryBoy and I both troubleshooted the blasted thing and we could not find the problem. The feed dogs move up and down but the fabric will not move forward. sigh. I wound up hand stitching a simple design rather than messing with the machine just to get it done.

Meanwhile, CountryBoy got a lot done. He took a few more boxes to storage, had the oil changed, drove our filthy truck through the car wash, and bought a storage box for the truck bed. It’s funny, it seems we always give away something that we wind up needing later. We had a perfectly good truck storage box from our traveling work days but we had given it to a neighbor because it was taking up space and gathering dust in the barn. Oh well, that’s probably why I have a hard time parting with stuff.

Thursday, January 27

Today I stacked quite the pile of totes and boxes in the mudroom to be taken to storage when we go again. I was feeling ruthless today so I was able to make quick decisions about what craft stuffs go to storage and what I would like to take with us. I’m making progress but it still feels like there’s so much stuff still left to deal with.

We’re still waiting on a closing date. I’m torn between wanting to know and not. I figure each day we don’t know is another day to sort and pack. However, if we did have a closing date we would know how many days we have left in this cold, drafty farmhouse. So, I’m truly good either way just knowing that one day in the near future our next adventure(s) will begin.

CountryBoy decided he wants to put his little boat in the storage unit. This morning he tried to load it onto the trailer and it was stuck to the ground. By mid-afternoon the ground thawed and he was able to get it loaded onto the trailer and covered with a tarp. Just in time for a light snow shower.

The part for the camper awning came in this afternoon. It didn’t take us long to remove the broken one and put the new one on. It fit – whew!

I spent the evening cross stitching. I needed a break from sorting, packing and pondering what to tackle next.

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