Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Project That Consumed My Summer, AKA RV Remodel

Since the first day A and I pulled the RV in the driveway, we've discussed ways to improve it and make it ours. Not that we didn't love the little beast but still it was utilitarian. It lacked personality and was just plain blah inside; dark oak paneling, retro 80's sea foam green upholstery, old yellowed light fixtures. 

I had immediately pulled out the dark grey/black carpet, put down cheap vinyl and we covered the upholstery and made new curtains. It helped but it was still dark and dated.

So I ran across a colorful RV remodel online and was inspired but decided to do it even better than they had. So we chose six bright colors and spent 3 months working on-and-off on weekends as much as we could tolerate in the heat and humidity to sand, primer, and paint the entire interior.

So here are before and after photos (just be warned there are a lot-click for a larger view).
 Kitchen and bathroom door

 View to the rear.

 Dining/bed area- most of the time we keep it as a bed because the dogs ride here.

After all the work, I liked what we had done but the cheap tan/white vinyl tiles I had installed a couple years ago just didn't work anymore. So A and I decided a black & white checkerboard floor would be the perfect contrast and finishing touch. 
 A friend described the completed project as very "Alice in Wonderland"-like.
I couldn't find a clock that would work in here for under $40. Instead I made a one of a kind clock with spray paint, rhinestones and a hot glue gun. It's funky and gaudy and something I would never have in my house but perfect in this space.

The ceiling and air conditioner were yellowed, so I chose to paint the A/C cover silver and the ceiling a pale blue like they do on the porches on Florida.  The tiny closet of a bathroom I painted white so at least it doesn't feel so much like a coffin. Finally new light fixtures and additional storage and I can say our little home on the road is complete. Just 2 weeks until its trial weekend run and then off for a major 10 day roadtrip. Yippee!

I did have a couple people comment that now we will never be able to re-sell this RV. Well no shit, A and I are well aware of that and it isn't like someone buys a RV as an investment!  We know that one day we will upgrade to something newer and bigger and we will never again have the chance to do something like this. So we'll drive this old-girl until she dies, find a nice piece of land to park her on and always have the great memories of our "first".

Monday, August 27, 2012

Contrary to What You've Heard, I'm Not Dead


I can hardly believe it's been months since I've posted. I logged on and had to spend a few minutes just re-aquainting myself with Blogger. The spring and summer have flown by in a blur and thinking back I wish I would have been writing all the experiences and feelings down. Sadly I would come home from work so mentally and emotionally exhausted that I couldn't even find the words.

Spring started out crazy. I work in a small town dental clinic with 2 doctors. Early in March, the senior doctor came to work one Monday complaining of a headache. We all just figured he had a migraine; we would just push through the day and tomorrow would be better. I worked with him all morning and could tell something wasn't right. By lunch time his speech was starting to slur and the corner of his mouth started to droop. We called his wife who took him to the ER and after a CAT scan and MRI, they confirmed it was a brain tumor. Brain tumor: that sounds scary enough until further testing confirmed it was a glioblastoma multiforme; a highly aggressive malignant tumor with an average survival rate of 12-14 months.

To say that the wind was knocked out of us is an understatment. Here we were all trying to deal with the emotions while remaining professional and continuing to support our one remaining over-whelmed doctor. Some staff were in total denial, some bitchy, while others just showed more clearly how selfish they really were. We lost staff; some I was sad to see leave while others it was a blessing. Five months later and the office situation has improved even if unfortunately our doctor has not. He's had a rough summer and the emotional aspect continues to affect us all from time to time.
Sunset over Lake Shetek

As far as life at home, A and I are still doing well. In just a couple weeks we will be celebrating our 13th anniversary. It doesn't seem possible it's been that long or that I could love her more every day but somehow it's reality.

Our summer has been busy with good things too. We've been camping, fishing, gardening and spending time with friends.

We've also celebrated many happy birthdays (including A's 50th) all while doing a full remodel on our little RV. 

In general we are finding ways to enjoy the simple pleasures that life offers.

The last six months I find myself being thankful for the good and letting the negative slide. Despite the moments of sadness and stress, life is good.