Back to normal with a vengeance

The uncertainty over health issues being over, we are getting back to normal in a serious way!  Yesterday saw the curtains finished.  Today I got them ironed.

Here they are in all their glory, and we are happy campers.  An inexpensive solution to a slightly irritating problem.

We have purchased some Velcro strips — and we may sew three patches on the leading edge of the curtains that meet in the center of the windshield / or not / but we’ve done what NEEDED doing.

iPass transponderWhile I had the curtains down I decide it was also time to put the Velcro strips on the windshield for our iPass.   I’m not sure how much we’ll be using our iPass now.  I can close the account anytime I choose but for now we’re leaving it open.  The fares are so much more expensive when you pay cash that even a couple times a year makes it worth leaving $40.00 in the account for when we need it.  (Interest at the bank being what it is nowadays)

antenna tripodIt being a nice day I got a lot of other RV chores done.  In that we had paid for our DISH stationary antenna in OR, we brought it along with us in the Coach — what we did not have was a tripod on which to mount it for those occasions where our campsite has no view to the southern sky and we want to set out a manual antenna.  I recently ordered (from Amazon) an antenna tripod to be used with the DISH antenna.  Today I made sure that the shipped size was correct (1.66″, not 2.0″ a seemingly more common size) and put it together.

antenna bracket

DISH uses a bracket like this when they install an antenna on a 4 X 4 post — on the tripod I don’t need it — but it provided a little storage stability in the basement so I left it assembled.

Once I had the antenna and tripod together I had to find a new place to store the antenna in the basement storage bay.  I have been dragging it around with the old J bracket attached. Now I can discard that, and the antenna is a little easier to store, with the horns resting easily on a soft surface in the basement.  🙂

tank flush system

We’ve never bought a NEW coach, so I don’t know how much these are as an accessory. But I’d never want to be without one. They just make good maintenance so much easier.

While I was outside I made sure to give our black water tank a good flushing!  It’s not a polite subject to talk about but a plugged backwater tank is an ugly problem to resolve.  No one, but no one likes dealing with human waste and letting it flow out to the world in a sanitary hose is much nicer than having to get down and dirty with whatever is causing the plug.   We are at a full hookup site — which isn’t all that common for us, so I hooked up the hose with full city water pressure to the black tank flush system and let ‘er rip for a good half hour or so.

As I type, Peg is making a cover for a piece of upholstery foam that we had put into storage with the kids but picked up over the weekend.  It doesn’t ‘fix’ the sat-out side of the small sofa but it’ makes sitting on that side much more comfortable.  By purchasing a set of twin sheets as material we accomplished three separate things:

  • We now have spare pillowcases — which we seem to be hard on and go through faster than sheets
  • We have one flat sheet that Peg is using as the material for the cushion cover
  • We have one fitted sheet that fits nicely over the small sofa to ease the wear and tear on the sofa fabric.

All in all it’s a bargain for the cost of a set of 300 thread discounted sheets.

While out shopping for more drapery hooks ( we wanted a few more hooks on each of the curtains) we looked for a few small storage tubs.  Now that I’m getting around to chores I’m bound and determined to move some of the ‘stuff’ we carry around with us to places that make more sense than where they have ended up for the last 5 months — yes — it has been 5 months now that we have had the Ambassador and I am finally getting around to getting us ‘moved in’ right and proper like.

I’m also still looking for a good name for her.  Somehow calling it The Ambassador just isn’t right.   :-\

I’m not thinking of volunteering again, but on a forum we frequent someone recently posted that they were en route to their winter workamping gig in S. Texas and I have to admit that the idea of not paying for an RV site for the winter was a tempting thought; but we are so not ready for that.  In some ways the GREEN LIGHT from the doctor yesterday was the first time since July that I haven’t had my health in the back corner of my mind.  Last year the doctor had said a couple things and while I wasn’t worried they were this ‘thing’ just hanging out there.  While we were busy on the Forest I was TOO busy to think about it, but once we made the decision to leave the forest then those comments came back to mind and I was nervous about how this year’s tests might work out.  Now with good news I’m  ready to get on with living, not just waiting.

And that’s what we’re doing!

Our New Charger

Our New Charger

I also had time to get into our electronic’s storage bay and do a little organizing there.  A little over a year ago when we were still learning how to tow our CR-V we had a dead battery.  I bought a battery charger to get us out of trouble but I have not used it since.  I’ve been debating whether to continue dragging it along with us; and I guess I’ve resolved that I’ll keep it with us one more year to see if we find any occasion to use it at all.  If not — it may come to live in Milwaukee.

And there you have it,  another day in our unscripted life.  We have 4 more days here in Milwaukee — and almost no plans other than going to Bay View Gallery Night on Friday and get in a good long walk each day.  We have 4 days at  Bong Recreation Area where we want to keep up our exercise regimen (read that: WALKING).  One of the things I would like to find (if we stay in one place long enough) is a place where I could learn the basics of Tai Chi.  That would be good for me; good for us both.  After we leave Bong Recreation Area we have week long stays at Shelbyville IL and Rend Lake IL on the books but only from the standpoint that they are Corps of Engineers parks we have heard about and want to visit — so our plans is no plan — just go and enjoy and see what’s there to be seen.  After Rend Lake we are going to wing it for a while.  Between there and ending up in Bayou Segrette State Park outside of New Orleans we’re just going to go with the flow.


8 thoughts on “Back to normal with a vengeance

  1. The curtains look great, and I wish we had darker curtains in our motor home like that. We also have our TV up front in the dash area, and we have to put solar shields behind our curtains if we want to have a better view of the television during the day, especially if the coach is pointed toward the sun at that time. It is an easy solution when we need it, but it would be nice to have your option. The solar shields really help keep our coach cooler in the hot weather months, but I’m wondering if your lined curtains would do as good of a job, too? We wondered if we could just find some roll-down blackout shades to mount above the front windshield windows that we could just pull down when needed, but I’m not sure we have enough clearance in the area where we would need to mount them. We have a twin pull-down bed over the cab area that would hide them from view when not in use, so we would even see them most of the time if we could mount them in that area. Need to check into that before next summer.


    1. Thanks for the compliments on the curtains. I agree that they look great AND they really were easy to make, once we borrowed our grand-kid’s sewing machine. The best part is that they were inexpensive in the grand scheme of things when compared to the cost of custom RV drapes.

      Our Winnebago was not as well insulated as the Ambassador. We bought some of that funny little bubble wrap mylar coated sheet insulation and had that inserted in virtually all our windows during the winter — AND — during the highest heat of the Wisconsin summers. The Holiday Rambler handles heat much better, and with a second heating/cooling zone it keeps up better with temperature variations better. We do not know – given the fact that the Ambassador has more internal space – how it will handle COLD weather. I’m confident that it will do well. Then again, we hope to stay OUT of COLD weather. 🙂

      I question whether roll down blackout shades would to the job very effectively. ANY place open to air transfer is going to let the heat in or the cold in as the situation might be. The one thing about the drapes is that we allowed them to extend beyond the precise length required so that there would be some bagging at the bottom, insuring that there isn’t heat transfer through an air gap at the base of the windshield. We have yet to test it in really extreme weather. BUT…. We still have our pieces of bubble wrap in the basement and can pull them out should the need arise. We might need to re-cut pieces, or purchase more because the new coach’s windows aren’t the same size as the old coach’s.

      I encourage you to just spend time thinking about HOW to implement a new solution for YOUR RV. All RV’s won’t respond well to an identical solution but there pretty much has to be a solution for every problem and sometimes all you need is enough time to think the project through to find a solution.

      I know I sometimes feel awkward writing my blog because I sometimes talk about the same topic from time to time and appear not to have made any progress in my thinking. The fact of the matter is that I’m simply familiarizing myself (verbally) with the project until I can see it clearly in my brain. I don’t SKETCH, I don’t DRAFT, so I have learned to VISUALIZE. And I keep talking or thinking about something until all the components come into my brain, and all (or most) of the deterring factors can be visualized. Suddenly, I can SEE the solution. And with Peggy, it’s often a matter of my finding the right color or fabric so that she can SEE the solution as well. She looks at the problem aesthetically; I look at it a bit more pragmatically — together we make a pretty decent consortium of skills and ideas. 🙂


      There’s time before next summer. 🙂 >


      1. I think we will likely just stay with what we have anyway. We will keep our exist curtains but would like to have a better way to darken the front end for the TV more than anything. The pull down shades definitely would not insulate the front well, for sure. We also camp in cold weather months and often have nighttime temp below freezing, and we need every layer we can get around those windows.


      2. Boy can I sympathize with camping in below freezing weather. Last winter in OR the coldest we had was 17, but that was in the Journey which was not as well insulated, but also a smaller space to heat. I’m curious to see how this winter goes in the Ambassador.


    1. Linda, I can understand that. I try to have a library of options about which I am aware. I don’t like to go into an area ‘blind.’ Specially not driving something 13′ high.

      When we first got married Peggy was ‘into’ makeup, and I remember getting angry a couple times because it was taking so long to get going in the morning. We both changed a little and she used less makeup and I waited longer but we both grew to like spontaneity. Nowadays we still do a lot of things on the spur of the moment: trips, purchases, etc. But there is always a background story behind those spur of the moment actions that others see as shear insanity. Other people don’t know that something has been back in the recesses of our mind for a while and we just happened to let it LOOSE suddenly. 🙂


  2. Peter, the curtains look great! How does your black tank rinser working? When we first used ours, it didn’t seem to let much water through it. A quick search on the internet showed that to be a common problem with our motorhomes. There is a fairly easy fix, the holes in it get plugged up, not surprising given its environment. The riinser is easily accessed through the passenger side door in front of the rear axel that has no latch. Two screws under the bottom edge and the door opens up and there is the rinser right in front of you in the top of the tank. Three screws to remove it and a little reaming with a small drill bit and it worked 100% better.


    1. Bob, Thanks for the roses on the curtains. We are really happy with them — and even moreso over the cost.

      As for our rinser — I don’t know if the dealer already checked it before delivery but when I hook up the hose that bugger sprays like crazy. It makes a racket even INSIDE the coach. I can tell from the hose that it’s pushing a lot of water.

      I’m familiar with that hatch. The dealer replaced the original water heater before we took delivery and then when our water pump went out it was dribbling water across the rotocast tray into that side of the coach so I saw the mechanic working on that door, and in that bay. Thanks for the suggestion though. One never knows. Our Winnebago had one that worked only partly as well. I probably should have done what you suggested on THAT one!


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