Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Indiana Corn and more...

Sorry I have not had a chance to visit your blogs I miss y'all I hope to catch up with you when we arrive in CO. Currently we are in Indiana we have spent 2 days visiting my mom's brother and tomorrow we head back out...My Uncle lives in a cornfield! Here is the Kids playing in the corn!


I enjoyed poking around in my uncle's garden...he let me pick some goodies, NOT this huge cabbage...but it was tempting..

THESE are so good I am taking some to my sis in CO...

THE corn is so fresh I picked it and we had some for dinner tonight delicious

While they reminisced I took a drive around some of the dirt roads and found a few interesting things besides Corn....

And some young blue birds learning the ropes from Mom n Dad up on the wire...

And Annie went on the wild side....

It was not a good day for photos...we had some drizzle, and heavy cloud cover most of the time since we arrived...quite chilly too!!

Tomorrow we head for Illinois, eventually Iowa, then Nebraska, then drop down into Colorado...While driving I don't get much time to stop and take photos...But we'll see what I can get along the way!!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

More Trip Preps!

Continuing trip preparations, and working on the issues with the DLEX!  The AC blower comes on blows a while then switches off....and for days nothing..It went off for the entire winter no heat no was such a pain...and get this:

When I bought this van the blower was not running I took it to the Dodge dealership in Lugoff, SC they told me I needed a new blower motor...they had it an entire day, they replaced that blower motor and charged me over $400...not long after that my son needed a vehicle.... so I loaned him the van...he never told me that the blower stopped an entire year went by without me knowing it was not running!! Then when I got it back the blower began working again so I was Like "YEAH" 

...then the problems started again...on off on off on off...and then finally OFF and its 100 outside.  The van has 2 A/C blowers one in the rear so I could get some relief from the back blower....but it was still not cool the way we want it to I told y'all I was blowing up You Tube last week looking for any clue trying to figure this out...
I had planned to replace the resistor which is a $30 part of the AC I went to the Auto Zone to get one, when I arrived I ran into the mechanic who did my recent tuneup, he said don't replace the resistor, he said "I jiggled the wire on the blower motor and it made the blower come its in that area"...he told me where to I did this!!

The following are 3 videos I made of the repair...I did this to help other people who might be having the same problem!

Each time I am able to do my own repairs I always say "another $80 saved, this time I've been saying $400 was WASTED!!!   SO that's all the problems I KNOW about,  
*knocking on good wood* now those FIRES IN THE WEST NEED TO GO AWAY!! We leave Monday heading up to Indiana so Mom can visit with her 79 y.o. brother. 

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

part two: fixin' things

So yeah Im about to rippen to Gold!! I havent mentioned any of these plans cause I don't want a jinx to come along...Im knocking on good wood as I type!! You do know I'm highly superstitious right?
Meanwhile I've been getting work done on my van I call it the DixxeLand Express...or DLEX for short...the reason for the name is DixxeLand is an imaginary world (created by me) in which all my dreams come true, my old by-line, maybe I'll go ahead and change it back---My vanity plate is on the front I designed it myself!  It has my 4 directional compass on it  I had it made at an online plate airbrushing company..And DixxeLand is the title of my blog, the name is My Life My Art...anyways blah blah blah lol.

...the problems

  For a year my son had my van he never does ANY maintenance/upkeep I guess since he was raised by me who does everything (psychology?) so the cover of the plate is now smashed and needs to be replaced! Anyways I've been busy fixing up my van as best I can...Y'all know the horror story of the tune up.... But I finally did get it done...another thing  I needed some tires SO I got some I want my van to look more like a travel van and less like a  snatch n grab molester mobile of some sort, I dare not ever cruise slowly behind anyone walking on a lonely road..Got the tires they are not top of the line they are however top of my budget line! 

other issues: the speedometer, the odometer and the cruise stopped working about a year ago and the A/C-heat-defrost- blower runs only when it wants to!! I YOU TUBED everything I could think of to get to the root of the issue of the cruise, speedometer, odometer thing the do nothing garage that was supposed to check it didn't as you know! One video said it could be the Transmission Speed Sensor...So I changed that---didn't help. I had the rear ABS sensor that is the code that kept coming up...Didn't help.  OH WELL this thing is gonna nickle and dime me to death!

back story....
...remember when I put the trailer hitch on the van? I saw how rusty the rear shocks are so that's on my Fix It List too,  I think I can do it myself!! ITS Not rocket science, its 4 bolts, (struts on front another story). So in preparation of removing those bolts I decided to buy some Rust Buster and blast it onto those bolts hoping this will make it easy to remove then when I attempt this job--
SO today I put my tarp on the ground and crawled under to spray the Rust Buster.  Looking around I see this red wire sticking out of of a wire harness and its broken---I traced its route to the ABS Speed sensor on top of the differential (the rear axle) simple a first grader could do it ?  
Holy Cow could it be this simple? SO I cut a piece of wire off my utility trailer's old lights its all broken and I need to rewire it...About a 5 inch piece I stripped the ends spliced it into the red wire that had a white wire with a purple stripe bundled with it. I disconnected the negative battery cable of course before I did any of this!! I twisted up the ends of the wire and put some electrical tape around the connections pushed it back up into the wiring harness where it had been ripped from..I honestly think A Squirrel chewed this wire because they are always messing around under my van!  When I see them I go out and chase them away.
So once I had the wire tucked up nicely I reconnected the battery cable and backed up the needle moved slightly!! WHAT?  SO When I put it in Drive and sped off down the road, IT WORKED, so did the odometer, and After I remembered HOW to turn on the cruise it worked too!! One red wire the size of a piece of spaghetti stressed me out for more than a year!! 
Now onto the A/C problem...I blew my monthly Data allowance to bits You Tubing this problem...I do think it could be the ignition switch Because some times the windows don't want to work unless I jiggle the key in the ignition...when I first bought this van I took it to the "stealership" they told me the blower motor was bad, they changed me over $400 and then when my son had the van for a year in 2013 it went out again , he never told me so...I'm positive its a similar issue on this blower..some contact is not making good contact! Sometimes  you turn it on it blows sometimes it wont its hit or miss! OH and this is the same "stealership" that charged me $84 to diagnose my Speedometer problem, told me they had to open up the differential and drain the fluid and then see what's wrong with your diffential!!! SO did they know about the red wire and intended to rob me of even more money or what? NOW you tell me what kind of garage can be outsmarted by a 62 yr old woman??? (a shifty dishonest one thats what!) Of course I never went back for them to dismantle my differential as they estimated it to be another $400 took 20 mins a piece of scrap wire! 
A cosmetic thing I'm doing is the clear coat on the fiberglass top has peeled and shedding! SO I scraped it off and plan tomorrow to spray on new coat of paint and Clear Coat!  I'll photo the results when that's done...I should have done a before but here is after I scraped: its dull and has no luster so wish me a good day tomorrow for auto painting and detailing...Should I get some of those orange flame stickers to go down the side or maybe golden ones?
There is no way to be assured you won't have any problems when you're on the road but fixing what you do know is wrong may slant the odds in your favor.

                CAN'T wait to get GOING. 

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Part one -About to Rippen...

A busy week here in DixxeLand, mom who was away for a month arrived back home a week ago so we been working on her remembering the rules...she still thinks she is 19, NOT 91 so...more rules for her than when she was 19! She had a pretty weird day today everything she touched she broke, burned, or left in shambles! I hope her Karma can get a kick in the butt and she gets into a better groove.  I didn't write it here in this Blog but I wrote here about the scary fall she had a week before she left. She is all healed up now. 

So it seems like I've been waiting all half my life for when I would finally become 62! I know most people wish to be 21
-----> not me!! So in celebration of turning 62 IM turning everyone's life upside down!! (again) 
Yes I have 3 dogs and a 91 yr old  young to care for its quite a responsible, and it can become suffocating in light now of the increasing memory I've been warning my siblings of this BIG Event that is upcoming in my life...Hell nor High Water will stop me.

Image of the 2015 Interagency Senior PassSO this week Im dog sitting for my sister (M), when she returns to pick up her dog I am packing my mom, and my 3 dogs, her oxygen machine, her walker, her nebulizer machine, her canes, her medicines, and MY CAMPING gear in the van and we are going on a trip!! I hope to spend my actual birthday in a National Rec. Area of some type so I can my "GOLDEN AGE PASS" or whatever its called these days...

So when you have lots of lemons make lots of lemonade. We will be making a slow westward trek to Colorado to the home of my other sister (E)...there we will hold up turn her life upside down for at least a month for me to ripen to the Golden Age, and then I will leave on my own solitary journey.  Mom has her own room and bath in E's house...I will have a room that is currently described as Jimmy's room...Jimmy is a DOG by the way so....Im taking some fleas spray JIC its HIS bed Im sleeping in. Haha

E has agreed to keeping my 2 big girlz for me while I go on my sabbatical and little Casey will be my sidekick he takes up very little room and travel does not stress him in the least.  Annie has a bad joint on her front leg that gets her to limping almost right away while hiking...if she doesn't over do she is fine but I don't want her to be in pain .. Flossie barks at everyone she sees so not a good camp dog due to noise levels..SO just me and ole' KC

I know this is going to be an awesome adventure for me, for my mom, and for my dogs, E is welcoming us with open arms and she has space for all of us and M owns a vacation home there too so if we start stepping on each other I will head over there with my pack of dogs and give E a break before I head out and leave my loved ones in her capable hands..

Family what we would do with out them?? I always say I carry my Baggage in a backpack!
I'll tell you more when I know more! I got the tune up, have some tires to buy and I wish I could get my cruise fixed but that may not happen..I will have to put my Right foot to the test.  Finally there is GOLD in my future!!
This essay continues in Part 2, fixin' things:

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Project House Latest!

I've been setting up some of the furniture in the project house, 
So here is what I consider the quest room of the house. This bed has always been weird! I bought it when my son was about 11 years old...and it was time for him to move out of a twin to a full size bed.  I got it in a second hand store, and when I bought a mattress and brought it home for the bed it was too small on the width by about 1.5 inches!

the mice chewed rug looks okay so Im using it in this room
I looked high and low for a mattress to fit, none would I carried a tape measure with me everywhere.. finally found out what the problem is!! European beds are sized differently! An American full size is 54" wide a European full size is 55" its due to the metric system of measuring! So this bed was made in Europe and brought to the USA at some doesn't seem that old and its not a fine bed its just ordinary. I really wanted to get rid of this bed and get a different frame and should one come close to me and be affordable I will...because I can't find a 55" mattress set!  

the European size is 55" wide due to metric measuring
I had some thick side rails I got for another bed...I put those on the European bed it helped only slightly so when I get the mattress for this bed I think Ill slide a 1 x 4 down alongside the mattress on both sides to hold it in tight... I put the dresser I refinished over on this wall it looks pretty good.  I have a bigger mirror (it is also painted white)...once its refinished I will hang it here over the dresser. I think its maple (under the white paint) so it should match okay. 

the refinished dresser
This cabinet is one I did a make over on many yrs was a plain cheap "you assemble yourself cabinet'...I read this workshop about how to create a one of a kind from a plain one, So I added the trim to the front, did a special paint job with layers of color, starting with a yellow, then a brown highlight wash, distressed it some then added my lizards and snakes... sorry 'bout the junk on top those things go in the bathroom, its the vanity light and the sink faucet set.  The Globe needs a new resting place its floating around room to room right now!  This cabinet has shelves so its great storage. This room has a very small closet.

decorated cabinet

I'm experimenting with some finishes like maybe Ill use the samples given to me of my novelty fabric line Tribal Ponies back when I was doing that...they're kind of bright...but it may work, I want to get some nice bullion fringe to go in the seam.   Still dealing with the man cave sectional I wanted to get rid of...I may be able to make a slip cover for it?? When I have time. It has recliners on the end pieces. Maybe a yellow/gold/blue tone on tone brushed cotton or microfiber? It would take 18-20 yards to do it using 54" wide fabric. 

the fabric is just folded around to see how it looks 

Some things I collect are cobalt blue glass and terra cotta this is a good place to showcase these things..

                                                   Id like to add a Heisenberg blue Vodka bottle to this collection

Slowly finding resting spots for my favorite things that will stay in the house... The mantle seemed like a good place for some pottery...and this Texas Long Horn thing I picked up (in Texas) in 1980 ...I know it's not Vegan...but its been in my life so long---I'm keeping it for old times sake. 

                                                                                             Cocoa found a home

And more favorite things found a home up in the shelf I decided to keep open...the little Christmas Pail has my sons old favorite cookie cutters in  it, we spent many Christmas Eves cutting out sugar cookies with those old cutters.

                                                                                      some  favorite things

The old china cabinet found a home here it contains my  wedding "china" set which was popular back in the days...was 12 of everything but now some pieces are missing!

                                                       the pattern is Sheffield Fine China of Japan- Elegance 

The Bar room that my son was planning was such a good idea I kept that theme...Its one of my favorite rooms now! I set up the chess set but it needs some new pieces something heavy so clumsy people like me won't knock it all down!!! There's 2 more of those bar stools I am gonna put one more in here under those picture frames that's why I put them up so high.

                                                                     see the ice bucket I found last week in Goodwill?

And here is where I am in the bathroom.. building a shelf over shelves at the foot of the tub...THIS house was built before showers were in tubs... and probably had a claw foot tub at some point the tub wall is 8 inches longer than a standard tub is...SO have to figure this out I think this will work, tile it all up and then put a door on the front, good space for storing TP rolls, soap, etc. and rolled up bath towels!

                                                                 cubby hole cabinet spiders not allowed

That's the latest on the project house...Plenty to be done still but I'm in the homestretch!  

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Spiffy n Thrifty

I'm a thrifty person as you have guessed by now I have no foolish pride to get between me and a bargain! I always look for second hand first! EVEN if I had money I'd do it that way. To me it takes ingenuity to live on less and still have all you need....I take it as a challenge and I'm up for it!

I hopped into the Goodwill something I haven't done in a while...AND I found a Hipster sleeping bag!! I didn't want to say XXL so Im calling it a there's room for my hips! 

slp 003I find in my van its much easier to just use a sleeping bag than real linens...on the little wider than a twin sized bed...So this one will give me room to turn over inside the bag My old bag I've had since I was 23 yrs old and its now a snug fit!! I can zip it but when I want to turn over I get a little bit tangled up...AND when its cold you need it to be zipped. MY old bag is a better quality tho it has flaps over the zip to stop cold air getting by the zipper teeth, this one does not have that but it has a little headrest! $6.00 I took it to a laundry and put it in a big machine and gave it a good wash. It's in perfect condition looks like its hardly been used I checked and similar ones sell for $28-35 range new. 

Found another item I wanted.  I have a day pack but its larger than needed for a day I found this High Sierra Loop day pack with nice straps, 2 bottle holders, and lots of tie straps for $2.87 Tossed it in the big washer too it came out looking good!!
This pack sells for $39.99 when purchased new. I got a great bargain and I like the color its def a color that says DON'T shoot I'm not a deer!

One more outdoor type item and this one I did buy with the thought of reselling on Ebay an
Igloo beverage canteen with an insulated carry bag! It's 48 oz with a sipping or pouring top and adjustable to shoulder length carry strap! It is also in cool colors, love it 

$1.85 I couldn't find one exactly like it on Ebay but one similar is listed for $25.00  
I found this cool "color combo" throw rug... its like a 5 x 3 I know it will come in handy over in the project house maybe this will be the bathroom rug? $4, laundered it too its drying on the porch chair.  I put all these items in one huge machine $4. to wash all 3. Brown is one of new favorite colors

I'm getting interested in drinking more and more...LOL so I found this excellent vintage GEORGES BRIARD insulated ice bucket. I paid $ has a couple small condition issues but no matter to me, I cleaned it up and it will go in the "bar" of the project house! It has a vinyl padded cover in a simulated wood grain pattern with a tacky gold plate for engraving your name if you wish...I mean it screams 70's to me!  Similar ones sell on ebay for $35.99 plus shipping! Score another bargain!

And let me see what else did I get...? Oh Yeah this absolutely cute pony!!  She is having a HORRIBLE hair day.  I've come across this problem before with dolls the hair a matted mess...So its off to my salon to get it right she is before---
 look how pitiful...

This is from Paradise Horses its about 18" tall ($3.87) she has on leg protectors and front boots so she may be getting ready for a horse show...When I had real horses I learned how to properly groom one by the time I was 12 yrs old...When you're combing out a tail always start at the bottom and work up use a big tooth comb on tangles...SO I did that for "CoCoa" I think that name goes well with her dark brown coat and flax mane n real life some Liver chestnuts have similar coloring. SO I got my detangler, big tooth comb, scissors and got busy...once you get the tangles out you can smooth it down with a fine tooth comb and some hair spray!

my lil pony 007 my lil pony 009 my lil pony 010

Now look at her how gorgeous she came out I used a lint brush on her coat I could have braided the hair while wet and given her waves but I love this look for her...maybe she will get a perm wave next time?

            my lil pony 011 my lil pony 014

I enjoy going 'thrifting', when I have time, and I resell a lot on Ebay. I'm not however one who is listing like crazy, I have about 215 items listed and I have a store on Bonanza, and one on Etsy, I also sell my own art and photography on Red Bubble and a couple more spots! Lately its been slow the last item I sold was skull n cross bones doo-rag, and a poster of the '53 Chevy pick up I photographed in Utah a few yrs back!  I am keeping this pony---we'll have to see where she ends up!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Or AM I just nAiVe?

Okay I gotta have y'all's opinion on this one!

This tale begins last Friday one week ago.  My van has started to jerk when I slow down like take my foot off the gas, and then I have to speed up to get it to stop jerking...its like it don't want to go slow..
I have had a speed sensor out for like a year no speedometer, and no cruise I researched online and it says have the rear abs speed sensor checked...
Well I thought it could be the transmission needs a fluid and filter change so I call this garage to see if they do this Yes but we are closed till was 2:30 pm last Friday..
Okay Ill come by Monday and make an appointment. I go by Monday he says you should go to the transmission place and see what they say ...SO I did.

They were so nice there they immediately drove my van and even had a second guy drive it they both said its not the transmission it needs a tune up and speed sensors So I go back to the garage...
Made an appointment for Friday 8 am That was for today.

I set the alarm so I could get up and be there by 8 am...I was on time.  I told the receptionist Im going to walk to the library and spend the time there waiting for your call to tell me the tune up and sensor check has been done...she said Okay...

By 2 pm no phone call! So I called them.  "oh we haven't checked it yet" 
WHAT??????????? I had an 8 am appointment time and you have not even looked at it...are you going to get it done by closing time? We'll see.  I walk closer and sit in a fast food joint and wait for the call..they call me at 4:10, they close at 5:00, come and get it..
SO I get there she said you want to reschedule for Monday we didn't get around to it..

YOU had it for 8 hrs to do a one hr tune up and you did NADA? 
The owner tells me they run a wrecker service, a roadside service, and garage and they have to prioritize...
SO In other words THEY decided my tune up was not important so they just didnt do it..

Then he says 'if you can rent a car and leave it,,,,'
But they don't work on the weekends
SO Im gonna pay for a rental while my van sits in his lot all weekend just so he can decide when he is Really Gonna do The work.

I don't think so...

                  NO there wont be a rescheduled appointment...
                                      Good Bye!

They burned 9 hrs of MY daylight and nothing got done...I was so angry, what would you do? If he had told me he was just too busy to get to it I could have made my appointment at another garage, who DID have time to do it and who probably would have given me a ride home to wait, I did ask them to take me  home (no they can't take the time to do that)  IF they had done that or told me they might not get to it... I could have made arrangements for a ride...BUT NOPE didn't do any of he just greedy or what... he was over extended well he could of told me that in the beginning.  I don't get it.  Needless to say I wont be going back and lets just say his Google review is already been done!
      Sometimes I feel like this is me...

And this is the world

Makes me wanna get on my pony and ride...

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.