Thursday, October 22, 2015

BUSY BUSY BUSY!

WOW!  Time flies when you are having fun!

It is hard to believe but my 3 weeks in OKC are coming to an end.  I leave to fly back to Seattle tomorrow.  I have had such a great time!  Every day has been filled with fun!

As I posted last time, I spent the first week taking care of Caleb while Megan and Aaron were in school.  The second week was filled with running errands with Amanda and helping her wash baby clothes and get Kegan’s closet set up.  I even got to go to her ultrasound appointment and see Kegan in 3D!   

Kegan Emit Harrison

Look at those chubby cheeks!

Last Friday, Megan, Aaron, Caleb and I went to the zoo.  The weather had cooled off that day and the animals were out and active. 








Then last Saturday, Oct 17th, was Amanda and James baby shower for little Kegan.  It was held at James mom and dad’s house about an hour south of OKC.  There was lots of Harrison family there and we had a great time.

Papa and I gave them all the crib bedding and blankets, the nursery lamp, and a ton of clothes, plus other various items.

I also made a cross-stitch pattern that had Kegan’s name done in a camouflage pattern with the nursery colors.   The nursery theme is fishing, camping, outdoorsy, camo type stuff so I glued little fishing theme decorations onto the frame.   I think it turned out really cute.



James mom and dad gave them an amazing gift.  James dad, Keith, is an amazing woodworker.  He does it just for a hobby but he could definitely make a lot of money selling his work.  So for their gift, Keith made a mini-crib totally out of reclaimed wood.  It has such intricate detail and inlaid wood.  It is just stunning!



This piece is something that will be saved and treasured and passed down for generations to come. 

The following day, on Sunday, Oct 18th, Amanda, Kaitlin and I went shopping at Target for baby items that she didn’t get at the shower.   Target is having a huge baby sale this week so she got some amazing deals!  Between shopping in the store and on-line, I believe that she has most everything that she needs.

When we got back to the house, Megan, Aaron and Caleb were waiting for me.  I got out of Amanda’s car and jumped in the car with them and we then went to Orr Family Farm.  This farm is amazing.  It has all kinds of games for all ages, a petting zoo, a train ride, a hay ride, a zip line, a carousel, pony rides, a pumpkin patch, lots of things for toddlers to do, lots of food and much more.  It was crazy busy but we had a great time!
 
Caleb's second carousel ride!

Caleb's first train ride!


Corn crib filled with deer corn!
He loved it!




We then rushed back and I immediately went to dinner with some high school friends that I haven’t seen in 30 years!  It was so fun!  It was like we had not been separated all those years.  We just had a great time talking and catching up.  I haven’t laughed so hard in a very long time!  We were so busy talking that we forgot to take a pic of all of us!

I have also had a great time these past few weeks playing with my grand-puppies too.  Amanda and James have a German Shorthair Pointer named Watson and a German Shephard named Ivan. 
 
Ivan
Watson

Watson is crazy hyper and has tons of energy.  He would spend all day running around outside looking or chasing birds if you would let him.  Ivan is the exact opposite.  He is calm and super chill.  Both are super, super smart and know their commands and mind very well.  But when they play, they are crazy wild!

This week I have had various things scheduled each day as well as spending time with Caleb.  I babysat Caleb Monday night so Megan and Aaron could go on a date.  By the time Wednesday got here, I was unable to keep going.  My body had just completely shut down. 

I have been pushing myself since the week before I came to OKC and I just can’t do that.  I have many medical problems and several invisible disabilities and I knew that I was going to pay for my hectic schedule.  I was just hoping I could make it until I got back to Seattle before I crashed but that didn’t happen.  I have spent the last two days in bed.  I will probably be in this flare for a month or more.  I haven’t been this bad for several years. 

So, that is my 3 weeks in a nutshell.  Crazy busy but filled with great memories!  Tex and I will be back in OKC for a few days in December when Kegan is due.  Hopefully, Kegan will cooperate and we will get to spend a few days with him before we have to leave.  We can only stay about 10 days so it will be a much shorter trip.  We will have to plan to come back in a few months in order to see Kegan more as well as Caleb. 

Hope everyone is enjoying the cooler Fall weather!  Get out and have fun in the great outdoors!

Until next time!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

OKC!

Hi guys!

What a crazy week I have had!

I spent the week taking care of Caleb and we had some great bonding time together.  I haven’t seen him seen him since last December when he was just 6 months old.  Poor Papa hasn’t seen Caleb since he was 1 month old and moved from Seattle to OKC.  I got to come back for Christmas last year but Papa didn’t get to come.  Same with this trip, BUT, we both get to fly to OKC in December for the birth of Kegan and to see Caleb.

Caleb and I had fun watching Daniel Tiger, over and over, and playing with balls and cars.  Caleb loves anything with wheels and will play with cars for hours.  He seems so young to be so fascinated with cars and plays with him like he is 2 or 3.












This past week, I stayed with Megan and Aaron and slept on a twin bed in Caleb’s room.  I quickly found out that Caleb is a loud and wild sleeper.  He sleeps pretty quiet and calm for the first half of the night but the last half he cries out in his sleep and moves all over the crib.


I don’t sleep well normally and with Caleb sleeping so wild, I hardly slept at all this week.  A few mornings Caleb woke up really early and never went back to sleep.  Some days he took a long nap and other days he barely slept 45 minutes. 

So, Friday afternoon, I moved over to our house and will be staying here for the next two weeks.  (Our youngest daughter Amanda, and her husband James, live in our house and take care of it since we started living in our RV full time.)  I slept like a rock the first night.  No dogs taking up my bed and no baby crying! 

Saturday, I went with Amanda to Wal-Mart and then went to dinner with our great friends that live across the street from our house.  Afterwards, I helped James mow our yard and then I cleaned out the front flower-beds.

 
Our handy riding lawn mower

View of total property.  We also bought extra lot and had
secondary driveway installed so we could put RV in side lot.
If you look closely, you can see the pergola that is on our lot as well.
Total 1/2 acre
Close up view of house
Boy, I don’t miss mowing and yard work!  I had almost forgot what it is like always having a “to-do” list of household chores requiring our attention.  This was a great reminder!  I love living in our RV full time and not being tied down to a house and all that entails.   Tex and I can roll up our mat and hit the road at a moments notice and not have to worry about anything.  If and when Amanda and James want to move out of our house, we will probably put it up for sale since we don’t plan on coming back anytime soon.

Meanwhile, while I am in OKC, Tex is back in Seattle working and taking care of the pups.  He is working short days so he can be home to take them for potty breaks and walks.

Tex also was home to meet with Auburn Kent Valley RV Center when they came out with their mobile service last week.  They fixed all of our issues and successfully re-wired the dash shades so they now work without having to start the RV engine.  Yea! 

So, all in all, Tex and I had a very productive week last week.  This week should be a little quieter for both of us.  Megan and Amanda only have to work a few days this week due to Fall Break.  I will be visiting with Caleb off and on throughout the week.  We plan to go to the Zoo either Thursday or Friday.  Amanda and I plan to shop for baby and breastfeeding supplies/clothing for her later this week or next week.  Then, on Saturday the 17th is Amanda’s baby shower!  So excited! 

Until next time!


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

AutoMotion Shades Installation - Finally!!

So as I said yesterday, I began this post about the installation of our RV shades last week but life got crazy and I had to stop.  I am now ready to give some info about the shades and how our week went in Woodland.

Beware, this post is a little long.  Sorry in advance!!

As a reminder, we went to Woodland on Monday, Sept 21st and spent 3 days at Columbia Riverfront RV Park.  It is about 1 mile from Dave and LJ’s RV Interior Design so it is the perfect place to stay.  Our blinds were installed on Thursday and Friday of that week.  Installation was supposed to be done about Noon on Friday so we had planned to travel back to Seattle Friday afternoon.

Well, we made it back to Seattle safely but we were delayed leaving due to some unfortunate events with the installation of the new shades.

Dave and LJ’s ran into several issues and it took them longer than planned.  They actually didn’t get done until 5:30 Friday evening.  We didn’t want to drive back to Seattle that late so we ended up going back to Columbia Riverfront RV Park Friday night and then drove back to Seattle on Saturday morning.

I don’t even know where to start about the installation of the shades.  So many little crazy things happened.

First of all, when they measured for the shades back in September, I asked them if there was enough room for the shades behind our valances because I was concerned.  Dave measured and said that they would fit.  He stated that there would be about a ¼ inch to spare.  Well, when they went to install them, there wasn’t enough room so they had to cut a piece of wood to place behind the valances so that it would extend the depth.  This was necessary on all of our windows.  They stained the wood piece to match the other wood in the RV, so if you didn’t know it wasn’t original, you might not notice it.

See the little strip of wood behind the valance?
That is the piece that was added.

The next issue is about the dash shades.   The dash shades are electric and cannot be ordered manual.  This is a safety feature because you don’t want the shade to malfunction and fall down on the dash when driving.  Dave and LJ’s connected the new shades to the switches that powered the old electric shades that were removed, which is perfect.  The only problem is that the new shades are wired so that the only way you can use them is if the ignition key is turned halfway on. 

This is a problem because every time we turn the ignition key, it starts the glow plugs etc. to warm up the engine.  I am not sure on the technical wording but you get the idea.  This is bad because this puts extra wear on the RV each time we want to raise or lower the shades. 

They stated that Newmar has funky wiring in the dash and that Newmar will not tell them how to wire the shades so the ignition key doesn’t have to be turned on.  I find this very hard to believe (and we later found this to be untrue).  As I stated earlier, the shades installation were already delayed because they had to extend the depth of the valances and I just think that they either didn’t know how or didn’t want to deal with the wiring issue.

We had no option but just to let it go at the moment because it was late Friday and they were all ready to go home.

Another mistake/problem that they created is that they cut a piece of molded plastic wrong.  The plastic part is the part that covers the wires along the side of the drivers side window.  These wires run from under the dash, along side the drivers side window up into the cabinets above the dash. 

 
This is the part that was cut wrong.  These holes should be at the top


They had to cut this plastic so that it could fit around the new shades and valance.  Well, the technician cut the wrong end so now they have to order the part from Newmar and we have to go back down there for them to cut it again and install it.  This means more days off for Tex and another trip to Woodland.  Dave and LJ’s took a few hundred dollars off the price of the shades in order to cover the cost of diesel for us to drive back down whenever the part comes in.

So the combination of the wiring issue and the technician cutting the plastic part wrong kind of put a damper on the excitement of the new shades that day but we really love them and it was well worth the cost and problems we encountered. 

So a very long story short, we got the shades installed and drove back to Seattle on Saturday morning. 

Last week, we called Auburn Kent Valley RV Center, who are the wonderful people who installed our new residential fridge and inverter a few months ago.  We needed a few minor repairs done on the RV and already had a mobile appointment set up for after we got back from Woodland.  We talked to Dave who is the guru on everything electrical and we felt confident that he could re-wire the shades correctly so we didn’t have to use the ignition to work the dash shades, so we added that to our list for him to look at.

Yesterday was the day that Dave came out to work on our RV.  We needed new valves on the grey and black tank, as they would leak when we were disconnecting the hoses.  We also needed him to look at the inverter and make some adjustments because we felt it wasn’t quite charging the batteries as it should be. 

Dave fixed all of our issues and then took a look at the wiring of the shades.  Lo and behold, he knew how to re-wire them and fixed them very easily.  Yippee!  We can now extend and retract the front dash shades without using the ignition key.  We now have privacy at night!  Yea!



So now, the only problem left is the plastic piece that Dave and LJ’s cut wrong.  Tex called Newmar and got the part number and provided that to Dave and LJ’s.  In 2 weeks, they still had not connected with Newmar to get the part number and order it.  Hopefully they order it this week now that we gave them the info.  We really would love to go down there in November to get the part replaced because we are flying to OKC in December for the birth of our second grandson.  If November doesn’t work out, it will have to be January before we can go back.

Here are a few pics of the new shades.


Day Shade down
Night Shade down




 



















Night Shade down

Black Day Shade down.  We can see out but no one can see in.

We absolutely love the new shades.  They are AutoMotion Shades.  The name may not be as familiar to those in the RV world as MCD shades are but they are exactly the same.  There are several reasons we went with AutoMotion instead of MCD. 

First off, we did a lot of research on MCD and AutoMotion both. We were told by several dealers of MCD that the quality of the MCD shades is in a decline.  The shades are breaking more than ever before and they are having trouble with post-sale service and support from MCD.  Many dealers have quit selling and installing MCD and have switched to AutoMotion shades. 

Second, we also talked to several prior customers who have MCD shades and they also stated that the shades break a lot and are hard to get repaired. 

We also liked the fact that AutoMotion has a lot more color and fabric choices than MCD so you can be sure to find just the right shade for your RV.

The final reason we went with AutoMotion was because of the local dealers.  First off, we checked the website RV Service Reviews.  Next, we talked with the local MCD dealer closest to Seattle and prior customers of them.  This dealer has a horrible reputation, not just with shade installation but overall customer satisfaction.  They are known for not completing jobs in a timely manner and taking weeks longer than scheduled.  We were told that their employees are not very knowledgeable and that we should avoid them at all costs. 

We then researched the local AutoMotion dealer.  They got rave reviews from everyone.  In fact, there were several RVers who were at our home RV park that had appointments to get their entire interior redone by them.  That dealer was Dave and LJ’s RV Interior Design. 

Unfortunately, we had a few issues during the shade installation but they did overcome some of the obstacles and we love the new shades.  The problem with the plastic piece being cut wrong was that they were hurrying because it was 5:00 on Friday by that time and he wasn’t paying close enough attention.  The wiring issue was either they didn’t know how to wire it correctly or they were in a hurry. 

Either way, both of these issues have ended up costing us additional money.  We had to pay Auburn Kent Valley RV Center to wire the dash shades correctly and Tex is going to have to take additional time off work in order for us to go get the plastic piece installed.  They did pay us for the diesel cost to drive back down and they are paying for the replacement part.  It is just an additional hassle to go back down there.

I would still recommend Dave and LJ’s with the caveat that you plan extra time over what they quote and not to have the work done on a Friday.  If we had to do it over again, I would schedule it for a Tuesday or Wednesday so they would have time in case they ran into any difficulties.

Even with these issues, we LOVE our new shades.  The night shades keep it so dark that we don’t even know the sun is coming up in the morning.  If we have the night shades down during the day, it is complete pitch black in the room. 

The day shades are great as well.  We never used our day shades before because they were so hard to pull up and down.  These new shades go up or down super easy so we can use them or decide later to put them up and it isn’t a compete chore.

These shades really help make living in the RV so much nicer because they are something that gets used every day.  I highly recommend AutoMotion Shades.  They look classy and are super easy to use. 

Well folks, sorry this post is so long.  Just thought I would detail what we went through and how we came to the decisions that we did.

I will try to keep the next post shorter! 

Until next time!