It’s early May and the LT Daisy is getting a fiberglass waxing. My neighbors don’t see me out front that often, especially not sitting on the ground, on the curb laboring.  The house I live in has an unusable driveway, so my camper is parked on the street.  It’s not so comfortable and with too fast drivers not my favorite place to spend an afternoon but other than residual fatigue from short-sleep nights am relatively content.

More Room For the Dogs! Seen from the outside door, looking in towards the back of the van.

Seen from the inside, looking at the back. plenty of room for the dogs to sleep under the bed instead of in the walkway where there’s a constant scramble for space.

I hope to do that video walk-though I never accomplished the last time I mentioned it. Everything in my RV has a place. Am trying a few things different having decided to eliminate crates and exercise pen which were stored under the bed/couch and instead make that area available for my dogs. It’s an experiment. All the little things that start to encode on my patience as I travel I’m attempting to change. Like the frigid air purring past the door seals; sometime soon will replace them, for now I bought a can of slide seal and applied the lubricant to every door and window, something I should have done sooner as they all have tiny cracks. Then I applied sound proofing closed cell foam tape weather stripping wherever I could.

Covering the dash has been an issue as Mason as well as Jeana insist on climbing up there when I’m away from the van. I tried using Clawguard  Protection Tape – Ultimate Pet Shield but found it did not work. The material is difficult to apply and once applied is highly reflective, not so great when one is driving, and it’s slippery, not so great for the safely of my dogs. (For a different application likely useful.) Instead I taped a piece of thick cardboard to the dash panel where they climb up, it’s taped into the glove box…  you just have to image the layout, but it works; have covered this with decorative paper so it looks a bit less bohemian, this provides a nice protection from thick canine nails. I really don’t mind if they want to be up there, esp Mason cannot see where it is I’ve gone. They are less likely to bark or to be stressed if they can stare out in the direction I’ve disappeared. It comforts them and I’m a softy, what makes my dogs happy, makes me happy as long as they are safe and well-behaved. Looks so funny to see 2 of my dogs squished up there flat as they can get…  oh, I see them scrambling down as quick as they can when they see me approaching! Silly dogs. Somewhere I have a camera that links to my cell phone, need find that and see if I can set it up in the camper.

For the first time I have a kitchen trash bag that does not need to sit on the rather limited counter: Attach-A-Trash The Hanging Trash Bag Holder. A simple idea, it holds the trash bag to the counter. Who knows if it will work and I see there are cheaper ones. I think it will be great, I don’t generate a lot of trash so I splurged and bought compostable trash bags, ( Unni ASTM6400 Certified 100 Percent Compostable Bags.)  I don’t want plastic everything. I’m tired of plastic even if my grandfather found his fortunes in plastic. Plastic in the ocean, in the stomachs of creatures that starve with full bellies, haven’t you noticed how much comes wrapped in plastic! Stores no longer give these out for free so purchasing some makes sense, about $9 for 100 bags.  I’d like to banish throw away plastic from my life but it’s not easy unless I request never wrapped packages and bulk products in biodegradable boxes.

No one but me or another RVer would get excited about this next item: Camco RhinoFLEX 5 ft RV Sewer Hose Extension Kit with Swivel Fitting and 2 end caps! This little hose will save me having to drag out the big guy and wrestle with it, and like a slinky toy it collapses with fun crinkly noise into a much smaller length for storage.  Am very happy I now have this.

My van will be stocked with my travel watercolor painting system. I’ll talk about that later and how it works out.

I’ve cleaned and uncluttered the van, the serpentine belt has been replaced along with a motor mount, oil changed, lubed, brakes checked, air-conditioning checked, tires rotated, propane tank filled; I applied some chalkboard like contact paper to the refrigerator so I can make notes or draw pictures on it. I have not fixed the generator problem nor the power to the refrigerator problem which means I’ll still be running the propane 24/7 except on a Ferry, to keep food cold. My mechanic, Bruce and his son Bruce of Bruce’s Auto in Goleta, (who gets to write Bruce three times!) checked and the frig is getting current but nothing is happening so likely I can replace the board, but hasn’t happened (yet.)

I’ve used Velcro to repair the broken hinge to the freezer compartment and will add some duct tape to get a good seal so I can carry ice cream! There are scores of little things, upkeep things I’ve done the best I can with while limiting expenses. I found I had 2, yep 2! super large umbrellas, so extra stuff like that has been bunted out to find itself a place somewhere in the house or one of the storage sheds.

Have trimmed Lagotti coats short, given pedicures to all 4 dogs and we all know how much dogs love having their nails done…  (baths to come) paid upcoming bills, told my bank I would be traveling, registered for summer classes, renewed credit cards, applied for Amazon 5% discount card, renewed camping memberships, picked up paper maps, signed up for medicare and supplemental insurance, made arrangements with my volunteer jobs and Board responsibilities, puppy people, made arrangements to start re- teaching Nose Work when I return, working on organizing a committee for the Lagotto Club, taught my dogs something about real truffles, fought viciously with a little laptop that would not comply…  am now back to my old one which badly needs to be updated but it works!  Still struggling to update my very annoying Garmin GPS. . . Jeana managed to come into Heat and that came with its own long list. Had my teeth cleaned, hair trimmed, still need to pick up a pair of jeans, vet visit coming up, eye exam will have to wait until my return,but dogs need theirs so I can fulfill new breeder requirements, cleaned the house, the yard, replanted anything I don’t think will make it until summer without help…  you get the idea, the list gets e n o r m o u s l y long somehow.  Will see what day I actually leave… towards the end of this coming week??? Am short on sleep, did I mention that already! The power was off yesterday again but it’s all good!

What’s so great about the Great Lakes?