Tag Archives: RV Living

I hate plastic…

A few days ago our door latch on the screen door stopped working, I assumed the “spring” broke so we ordered a new door latch.

While ordering a new one, we discovered there are “left handed” and “right handed” door latches. The latch is on the right side of the door, but the handle is left of the latch so we ordered a left handed latch.

We received the new latch today and thinking I could put this on in 1 minute or less, I braved the cold winds coming from the Southeast and went outside to install this… and spent about 35 minutes messing with this piece of plastic. I even cut a finger for extra bonus!

Of course the screw holes where just far enough away from the original holes that I had to mess with that, and when I finally got it on and tested it, it worked locking into the main door, but when we tried to have the screen door by itself, it would not lock into the latch at all, so it was just flopping in the wind.


I moved the latch around, tried this, tried that, nothing would work and the damn wind so was NOT helping so I said screw it, let’s deal with this later.

I came back inside with the new latch and the old latch when I came up with the idea of just swapping out the “spring” of the new one into the old one. Once I did that, I put it back on the door and boom. Done.

And then I saw what the issue was…

We should have ordered the “right handed” latch.

There is even a large “R” on the old latch, but of course, not in a spot anyone would notice it.


$15 for a “spring” and I also have a few spare parts of plastic.

Yeah… plastic on a metal box… What could go wrong?

And as a side note, it has been too damn warm the last few weeks to have this freaking cold wind hitting us from the Southeast. Yesterday the wind was from the Northwest and twice as strong but much warmer.

Brrr. I am so over this cold wind crap.

Busy, Busy

Damn, time is flying by even quicker then ever.

Before we left AZ, I needed something to make it easier for planning our trip and my to dos……I need something that I can see one week at a time and also month at a time. Found this assignment planner at an office store that has been a huge help since.

I love it! With the month view, I could put in where we were going to be on what date and the how much each place would cost for our budgeting. With the week view, it gave me enough room on the days to list what I needed to get done.

I have no idea why I didn’t think about one of these kind of planners before…..Purdue had one called the Mortar Board that I loved using when I was there.

Every weekend, I start laying out what I need to get done. I have a list for work, our personal stuff and our things around here. I have been totally utilizing this more then ever. Especially since I’ve been able to get focused finally.

With using my planner, I’ve been trying to get some of our spring cleaning done, little at a time. Totally attacked the bathroom the other day, love going in there and seeing how clean it is, I’ve attacked some of our windows, and got the rig vacuumed (got our dyson back…yes!). Still need to finish cleaning the vacuum, because it looks like it was use on wet stuff. But we got a good part of it cleaned. Been trying to reorganize stuff…it is a constant battle when you live in a box, we are always trying to improve it.

Because we live the full time rv life, unless a place has wifi….which is very unusual and not dependable….we have to use MiFi hotspots. Those are bandwidth limited, which is why I don’t put even one cam on anymore.

We have one 20GB one that works on Verizon and one that is 10GB that is on ATT. Wellll…we totally blew through our 20GB this month =( I think it was doing our taxes online with turbo tax. The only good thing is that the ATT reset the next day after the 20GB closed down. The problem with ATT is that if you go over the 10GB, it is $15 a GB and that can get very expensive, very fast.

We had been planning on getting another 20GB Verizon one anyway and with everything timing itself, we ended up getting it. They were suppose to prorate the remaining month, but since we ordered it so late in the month and they weren’t sure when we would get it, they didn’t charge us. Which is sweet. We got 20GB to use until the 1st for free….grin Very helpful.

And now we are giving ATT a break. I normally use that for work stuff only. But for now, with 20GB free, I just using that one and going from there.

That 20GB timed itself very well. Saw that Mac was offering a free operating system update…..unlike windows, I don’t feel the pressure to update because it works so well…..so forgot that it has been offered for awhile. The update was a 5GB download, so I took it. I kind of like it once I got around some bugs.

The first bug was that it wasn’t recognizing my second monitor. Now I use this for my book keeping and support, doesn’t need to be fancy or very high def. So I have a simple AOC E1649FWU 16″ USB-Powered Portable LED Monitor….just a plug and play. After googling, I hit up apple chat support and they were extremely helpful and gave me the link for the software updated I needed. I was very relieved to have that working.

There is no way I can work very well without it anymore, I have no idea how I did it before.

The next bug was my notes in my mail client disappeared…icks!!!

Hit up support, we were going to do a call today, but I finally found that they took the notes out of the mail client and they are their own separate app. With all my work notes on there, I was very, very happy to find them.

Due to that, I’ve found a new app called SimpleNote that is much easier to use, I can use on my Mac, iPad and iPhone without accidentally deleting one with a sync. Spent the day cleaning out my notes and copying them over, so now I have them in two spots….but I love getting things more organized.

The Maverick update helped get some of the bugs out of my mail client that I have when I try I use my work email that uses MS Exchange. There are little changes that I can’t pinpoint, but I do like. I seem to be running faster and smoother now.

That is how I’ve spent my weekend. =)

Spring time in the Northwest…

Is Amazing!

The weather is so much nicer. We have had less rain and more sun with more fog then more sun and then more fog with some sun.

Today I saw my first Anna’s Hummingbird! It was bright red like I am use to and not that deep dark red we saw in Arizona. I only got about 1 second look at it, but that was all that was needed to make me happy. We have not put our feeders out yet, but will be soon. We are just concerned about the winds we still get every so often.

We also saw our first Golden Eagle today! And even better, we had time to go back to get the camera! While it was still foggy when we started taking the pictures it cleared up about 45 minutes later we was able to take more pictures with the sun out as he was still in the same tree we left him in. Lazy bird. Not the best pics as I was “just off” regarding focus, but they count.

We also saw the USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE-7) going out to sea from Indian Island. She had been dockside since we arrived in November. The first time I saw her I thought she was a building. (Crap weather prevented a good look from so far) but I was able to make out the life boats on the side to confirm she was a ship. She had the usual 2 USCG ships waiting to escort her out to the open sea.

One of the Rangers told us we will soon be seeing more and more wildlife showing up soon and the Bald Eagles will soon be tearing branches off the trees to make their nest which is something we have never seen, so I think we will be bringing our camera with us more when we do rounds in the morning.

I am still running 3 miles a day. I took 2 days off due to the whole “blind in one eye” thing when it was just too sunny for me to see properly and without excessive pain but other then that, I have done pretty well. I know my course well enough to know how to pace the hills. The only thing that slows me down now is soggy trails, harsh winds and drivers not paying attention where they are driving.

Yesterday, I was almost hit by 2 ladies who was paying more attention to whatever they saw outside the passenger window then what was in front of them, I saw them from a distance away and was going to run on the side of the road as I normally do. (I run against traffic since I do NOT trust drivers) but she started to drive like they was going to park on the side of the road where I was running toward, so I went right, then she veered right directly towards me, and as I got closer I realized they still have not seen me, and they never did see me, even when I ran past the drivers window about 2′ away.

I was so close to slapping the drivers window.

Honestly, I was looking directly at the driver and she never, ever saw me. It’s not like I am 6’2″ and 225 lbs and wearing bright red or anything.


Anyway, today I ran my best time ever, beating yesterday (which was my record, which was also a new best time record) by 15 seconds. 3 miles on trials, hills, and road in 32 mins and 45 seconds.

Bright sunny days, with brilliant views of Mt Baker, the Cascade Mountains and the crown jewel, Mount Rainier.

I Love the Northwest!

Once again I failed to remember I have pictures on my phone waiting to be downloaded, so some of these pictures are from a month ago, but most of them are from today.


Better days? What better days???

I think I spoke way too soon. This is February in the Pacific Northwest. There might be a better day or two, but this is still February in the Pacific Northwest which mean high winds and rain. We have had gust up to 46 mph with sustained wind of 30 mph. It is suppose to calm down in the next few hours to the typical 10-15 mph but until then….


Since we are the only RV in the retreat center camp host spot, which has 2 full hook up sites, we did not want to park the typical East/West direction with a view of a building but facing North/South so we could have a perfect view of the water and Whidbey Island and the Cascade Mountains, Mt Baker and at times Mt Rainier.

Worth it!


The only issue we have had with this setup, is when the wind comes from the Southeast, it hits our main slide out and shakes the whole rig and when the wind is over 35 mph + the canvas cover over the main slide out flaps in the wind since it is getting hit on the edge so the wind is traveling between the canvas and the top of the slide out like a sail.

There is really nothing we can do to stop this short of pulling the slide out in and living in a even more confined space, and from experience that is just plain miserable to live in.

Now, I kind of wish we pulled in the slide out when the winds are over 35 mph. But reality is, it just isn’t practical.

I went out today to take a better look at the canvas cover and it’s destroyed. There is a 14″+ rip where the canvas meets the RV  on the left side and one of the three straps was so chewed from flapping against the edge of the slide out, I just pulled it off to save time from having to do it later.

We think anything over 50 mph we will bring in our slide out. But until then, we will weather the storm.

I tried to figure out what the best thing to do is, and at this time, I can’t think of anything.  The damage has been done to the existing cover. It will need to be replaced. I don’t want to start putting straps on or weight or whatever on top, since I don’t want the extra weight on the slide out roof, and if the winds did get over 50 mph, I would rather be able to pull it in without having to get a ladder to “free it”.

We estimate this will cost $350-$400 to replace. I have been thinking on this all day and short of pulling the slide out in every time, I can think of no other option we had. The canvas is 12 years old and weak. The wind is strong and constant with the wind coming from the Southeast the angle it’s hitting it is “the perfect storm”.

Since we have been here the wind has hit us from every direction, so short of pulling the slide out in every time or parking in different directions every time the wind shifts, I have not yet figured out what we could have done to prevent this.

We had the canvas replaced with a “vinyl” cover over the bedroom a few months ago due to the same reason, the canvas just gave away. That cost $175. And so far it appears to be holding up, but we have a pretty good wind break protecting us from the West winds. We have been hit by winds from the West, and they rock the RV more then the winds from the East, but they don’t hit the cover on the edge like is happening with the main slide out.

Ok, enough about this subject.

We also have been dealing with internet issues. We had 3 MiFi hotspot’s. 2 used the Verizon network, and the 3rd on the AT&T network. Recently our unlimited MiFi has been cut off with zero chance of coming back so we are now down to 2 and both of those are iffy in the best of times. We do plan to get a 3rd one again, also on the Verizon network, but until then, we have been fighting to get and stay online enough to get our work done.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the last few weeks. It is not all “doom and gloom” here, I just can not think of too many happy thoughts at the moment due to the constant winds getting on my nerves and the internet of tubes is too unreliable so I want to get this posted before the tube burst.

Enjoy the night.




A Month of Catching Up!

I didn’t realize it has been almost a month since I last did a post. I know I’ve been working on the blog, but that has been all in the backend so I totally lost track of time. I’ve had to go find my last post just to get a sense of what is has happen since.

I should be doing work voice mails, but we just had a storm cloud move through…no rain, unfortunately…..and it has finally cooled down from 91.4 to 79 and the humidity has dropped nicely…in fact the breeze can give a chill. Most pleasant it has been mid day in a long while, so I’m sitting outside and enjoying it. ToRn is trying to get some good shots of hummingbirds and I’m typing this up….grin

I know ToRn has done some blogging about this, but it helps me to figure out the timeline and what I’m going to say…so bear with me and my repeats.

We went to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson in June. That was really cool and we highly recommend it. It is a combination museum, zoo and botanical garden. 85% of it is outside, so make sure you take water, wear a hat and lots of sunscreen. Saw the fattest black bear we have ever seen….no black bear in the wild gets that big….lol Saw the cutest gray fox and very cool ocelot. ToRn posted pictures here: <a href=”http://wherethehellarewe.com/2013/06/13/arizona-sonora-desert-museum/” target=”_blank”>http://wherethehellarewe.com/2013/06/13/arizona-sonora-desert-museum/</a>

It was much bigger then we thought and spent more time there then planned. But we still got to the Saguaro National Park, the west unit, just much later and much hotter….lol…..triple digits according to the Jeep. We went and saw the petroglyphs and got ourselves new sun hats at the visitor center. Now we look like typical birders…..LOL….but the hats are much lighter and covers the back of your neck and we got them in our favorite colors, I got my purple and ToRn got his green.

Found our first fresh kill on June 15th. It looked like it was a fawn. Since it was out in the open, we believe it was from a pack of coyotes, mountain lions would drag it back to the treeline and try to bury some of it to keep for later. We found it in the morning and I didn’t see any vultures the evening before when I did my walk that we think it was killed over night. The bones were still “juicy” but everything picked cleaned or on it’s way to clean. Now it looks like it has been there for several months it is so bleached and dried.

For awhile there we had 3 wild turkeys hanging around. If you ever had seen the movie Dark Crystal they reminded me of those 3 mystics, hunched all over…lol Last 2 weeks we’ve only been seeing 2 of them. Not sure if one of them became someone’s dinner.

Finally been seeing an occasional bobcat….and all without going out on a hike. ToRn saw one when I was out on a hike, just walking in front of the rig, about 30ft away. Of course, I had the camera as he looked for it before he remembered and grabbed the video camera. We got it posted : <a href=”http://wherethehellarewe.com/2013/06/21/last-nights-bobcat/” target=”_blank”>http://wherethehellarewe.com/2013/06/21/last-nights-bobcat/</a>

Then a few nights ago, we saw a bobcat bouncing in the grass in the middle of the drive away. The little bugger was hunting. =)

Yesterday, we had a visitor say that they saw a small black bear. About a year old, more chestnut colored, acting like it should and running from people. Then a staffer saw it running across the road after we were just out looking for it this morning…LOL So ToRn went back out later, didn’t find it, but got more critter pictures. =)

Hummingbirds have really picked back up. They are going nuts right now. We have broad-bill, violet crown and black chinned on a regular basis. The rufus showed up a few days ago. Larry at Patons told us that they have 2 magnificents hanging around there. Got the feeling we are going to be taking a trip down there…lol

Finally got the iBird Pro app for our iPhone and iPad. They also have a new one out just for iPad only, called Waite’s Birds…free to download with 50 different birds, the cost of getting them all is normally $49.99 but we got it on sale for $9.99! I LOVE sales. What is really cool about it, is over a month ago we had some of the people from iBird Pro, they all have some of their bird pictures in there and the guy that does support was showing me the new one while it was in beta. Showing all the cool things it does. So I’ve been looking for it, I really wanted to get it while it was on sale….so I’m tickled by that….grin

We went to the small parade Patagonia has for the 4th. Kind of reminds of our small one of Troutdale Summerfest. But with a few differences….like here in Patagonia, you are encouraged to bring your water guns and balloons…lol It is the only day of the year you get to throw water balloons at the town marshal and the parade participants return the favor….grin With the heat and climate here I can full understand that, it was hot. And they “hung” the Grand Marshall…lol

We’ve had one actually thunderstorm and a few rumbles here and there. Boy, our kitties do NOT like them. They totally go into hiding, we feel so bad for them. They didn’t grow up with thunderstorms in our part of Oregon. I’m so hoping they start doing much better with them by the time we leave Arizona.

Wow, this turned out much longer then I expected and I probably missed something. Nothing unusual there….grin