Thursday, July 30, 2015

Proud to display our National Ensign and U.S. Coast Guard flag!

Hi again!

It is another scorcher in Seattle today!  It is 95 degrees today and mid 90s are predicted all this week.  Last year there were several heat records broken and we are breaking another record today.  We chose to move to Seattle because we were tired of the HOT summers in the South.  Totally did not expect to have it this hot in the North.  Thankfully, we don’t have the horrible humidity and it cools off very nicely in the evenings.

I thought I would review another upgrade we made to the RV.  This is another upgrade that was not something that made our life comfortable inside but, as a military family, we felt lost without it.  That would be a flagpole.  We are extremely patriotic and were missing our large flagpole that we have in the middle of the yard back home. 

There are several options when choosing how to display a flag.  Some RVers make a flag display out of PVC pipe and stake it in the ground in front or beside their RV.  They look really nice but we wanted a very tall flag that can be seen from very far away. 

We chose to go with a 16’ pole that attaches to our rear ladder on the back of the RV made by Flag Pole Buddy.  We bought our 16' Flag Pole Buddy Kit from Amazon because, at the time, it was cheaper than buying directly from Flag Pole Buddy.  We also bought a solar LED light from Amazon that goes on top of the pole to illuminate the flag at night.   

Flag Pole Buddy makes flagpoles that go as high as 23’ high but we didn’t want anything that tall and were concerned about the wind at that height.

Whatever height you decide to buy, the flagpole is super easy to setup.   It has two brackets that mount permanently on the ladder and then the pole just slides in to the bracket without having to climb the ladder.  It can display two 3x5 flags at one time or you can put the National Ensign at half staff by using the lower set of clips.

Installing the permanent brackets

Installing brackets and hoisting flag the first time

We have had several people in the RV park comment on how they love the flag and especially love how it looks illuminated at night.  All of these people have stated that they are going to buy one since they had seen how great it looks on our RV. 

So, if you want to display our National Ensign or any other flag for all to see, we highly recommend Flag Pole Buddy.

I want to reiterate that we do not get any money from these companies and we pay full price for our items.  We just love these products and want to share with other RVers.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment.  We would love to hear from you!

Until next time!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New Tile Backsplash

One of the upgrades that we did that was purely for looks was taking out the mirror backsplash behind the stove and adding a tile backsplash.  The mirror backsplash made the area seem larger but it really dated the RV.  It was about the only thing that made the RV look old.

A popular backsplash that RVers use is a product called Smart Tiles.  These are sold at Home Depot, Lowes and online on Amazon, Wayfair, Wal-Mart and other stores.  They have a sticky back and don’t require grout so they are easy to install.  However, they are not real tile.  They are a poofy plastic that resemble the look of tile.  All you do is use scissors to cut through the plastic to fit the wall.

Personally, I think they look cheap and do not add anything to the RV.  We wanted real tile but were concerned about the weight and how they would handle bumps and twists in the road.  Tex researched online and found a company called Mineral Tiles.  They have a backsplash product called “Peel and Stick” as well.  It has the same peel and sticky backing as the Smart Tiles but this is real tile and it is only about 1/2 the thickness of regular tile used in homes.

The wonderful thing about these tiles is that they are real tile but with the sticky back so you can grout immediately after installing on the wall.  The tile we used was called Peel and Stick Rome Glass Mosaic Tile.  We decided that we would also install tile beside our stove and also above our pantry to make the look cohesive.  We were able to install all of the tile in just a few hours.

The red is the sticky backing

We have now had the tiles installed for about 6 months and they are beautiful.  They have held up great traveling and have not broken or shifted at all.  We highly recommend using Mineral Tiles.

By the way, as with all of my updates and products I mention on our blog, we do not get any money from these companies and pay full price for them.  They are just some of the wonderful products that we have tried and recommend.

A few more updates that I will be posting will be about our new flagpole and our wifi booster.  I also have a couple of minor organization products to talk about as well.

Until next time!

New washer/dryer combo

Hi everyone!

As I stated in my last few posts, living full time in our RV in an RV park has allowed us to get used to the lifestyle and to make changes to our RV that make it more comfortable for full time living and travel.

For the first year, I used the RV park laundromat.  While it is nice to get a bunch of laundry done in a timely fashion, it became apparent that a public laundry was just not working out.  One reason is that Tex has military uniforms and we have to wash those regularly.  I never knew who had used the machine before us and it seems like everyone likes to wash their dog beds and other really gross stuff in the machines.  I couldn't trust the machine not to ruin his very expensive uniforms.  It also was very expensive to wash and dry.  It took at least 2 cycles, sometimes 3 to get things dry.  

We finally made the decision to buy a combo washer/dryer unit.  Our RV was already plumbed for a unit.  We had been using this space to hang our coats and other general storage but we put those things in space bags and put them behind our couch.

One thing that we did have to do was cut a hole in the side of the RV.  Now, that made us both NERVOUS!! However, because Tex is so awesome, he did it correctly the first time!

Vent hole that Tex cut out

Tex stuck his arm through the hole

Washer/dryer fit in Jeep


We bought a Splendide combo washer/dryer from Camping World while it was on sale.  It does have a little learning curve.  You can't just use it like you would a regular washer or dryer in a house.  If you follow the directions and tips in the user guide, it was actually quite simple.  The key is to take the laundry out a few times to shake them and that lessons the wrinkles.  I usually hang up our clothes before they get dry and that allows the wrinkles to fall out.

I am very happy with our purchase.  It is very convenient.  I can wash early in the morning or late at night and can do it in my pajamas if I want.  I highly recommend having a washer and dryer in your RV if you plan to full time.

Until next time! 

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Today is our 29th Wedding Anniversary.  Tex and I met at Oklahoma Christian University in OKC in November 1985 and fell in love at first sight.  We were engaged after just one month and were married 9 months after we met, on July 25, 1986.  

Everyone told us we were too young to get married.  I was 19 and Tex was 21.  They told us that we had just met and to wait.  We were told a million different reasons why we shouldn’t get married. But you know what?  Every one of those people that told us not to get married are now divorced. 

And guess what!!!

Our family is growing this year!!  Amanda and James, our youngest daughter and her husband, are expecting their first child December 16th.  We are all so excited!!  She is 19 weeks along and is growing the cutest baby belly!
Amanda - 19 weeks pregnant

Amanda and James

They officially decided on the name this week.  Our grandson will be Kegan Emit Harrison! 

Due to her teaching schedule and Christmas break, Amanda and her doctor have decided to induce her on December 17th if she hasn’t had the baby by then.  That will give her the most time home with Kegan.  Because of her horrible car wreck a few months ago, she doesn’t have as much leave from work as she had planned so she needs to maximize her leave with Christmas break. 

So, because she will more than likely be induced on Dec 17th, we have already bought our tickets home.  Tex will be able to go to OKC for a week and I will only be able to stay about a week longer due to the New Year and sky-high ticket prices. 

We are so looking forward to holding our second grandson in December.  Our first grandchild was a boy as well.  Megan and Aaron, our oldest daughter and her husband, had Caleb on July 10, 2014.  He just recently turned 1 year old.

Caleb Dean Qualluuraq Gunderson

Caleb is such a ham and has the absolute cutest smile with his scrunched up nose and dimples. 

We miss him so much.  He is just growing like a weed.  We are so thankful for technology!  We FaceTime with Caleb at least every other day, sometimes every day.  He loves to talk on the phone and put on a show. 

Megan and Aaron have their hands full with him.  He is just now beginning to assert himself and throw little temper tantrums.  It is so fun to watch Megan with him as he learns new things.  She gets so excited and sometimes baffled as to how to deal with such a strong willed child. 

It is really hard not being close to our kids and now grandkids.  That is one of the weird sides of RVing.  In some ways, RVing is great because you can go visit family whenever you want. But in other ways, it is hard because you are gone traveling all the time.  Our situation is a little different as Tex still works for 2 more years so we can’t just hit the road anytime we want.  Once he retires, we will be able to visit Caleb and Kegan much more often and be a bigger part of their lives.

To conclude our family, our 3 little fur babies went to the groomer today and had their Spa Day.

They look so beautiful when they are all pampered and have bows in their ears and on their collars.  The bows don’t stay in long so we have to get pictures very fast!

Well, next time I will try to get back to the RV upgrades that we have done.  I have quite a few more to show you.

Until next time!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Amazing Day!!

Today was an amazing day!

A few months ago, we bought two Living Social vouchers for 2 hours of kayaking from Issaquah Paddle Sports at Lake Sammamish State Park.  They were only good Monday through Friday and expired tomorrow so Tex took a day off work today in order to use the vouchers.

Lake Sammamish is located in the City of Issaquah.  The lake is just about 2 miles from Issaquah Village RV Park where we live.

Neither one of us had ever kayaked before but we have used a canoe.  We immediately both fell in love with kayaking.  It was so much easier to maneuver and paddle and felt much more stable than the canoe did.

It was so relaxing being out on the water.  We had a boat many years ago and didn’t realize how much we missed being on the water until today.

Hard to believe I-90 is right behind those trees in the front

Letting go of some stress!

This lake is in the middle of town.  I-90 is right behind those houses


Such a beautiful gem in the middle of town

The water was so clear!  It was very deep though.

A little friend passed us by

More friends

Just relaxing!

Such a beautiful lake in the middle of Issaquah

Hard to believe there is a huge town between the trees and that mountain

Blue Heron

Blue Heron in flight

Blue Heron wasn't scared of us at all

Do you see the ducks butts in the air?

Some ducks and some duck butts!

We have talked about buying kayaks in the past but never gave it any serious talk but now that we have been out on the water in one, we are definitely going to look for some to purchase. 

Our day on the water ended all to soon but we are definitely making plans to kayak in our future!

After we were done kayaking, we went and grabbed some lunch at our favorite restaurant, Taqueria La Vendita.  On the way home, we had to pass West Coast Armory, where Tex has purchased two guns in the past.  Recently, a new gun came out, the Glock 43.  He has talked about this gun a lot so we stopped in to take a look. 

Long story short, we ended up purchasing the new gun.  Since our 29th wedding anniversary is Saturday, I told Tex Happy Anniversary!  LOL!!

Tomorrow, we take our RV back to Auburn - Kent Valley RV to have the leak on the water line to the ice maker fixed as well as our awning repaired.  We spent the evening breaking up camp and getting ready to drive down there tomorrow. 

Very busy day, but it was a great day for Tex to release some work stress and just to have a good time.

Until next time!