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Patience, Painting, and Progress

April 6, 2011

April is going to be a busy month.  A trip to Kansas this coming weekend for a grandchild’s baptism, then the following weekend, I’ve been invited to participate in a paintout in Possum Kingdom, Texas.  During this time, I’ll be focused on getting the house completely emptied out except for things we need for living in it.  Much got eliminated at the garage sale in Houston, but there’s still more to be dealt with.  The last week of April, I will be participating in the 3rd Annual Southeastern Plein Air (Painting) Invitational in Gadsden, Alabama.  As we head into May, the final work will be done to stage the house.  Some painting needs to be done, rearrangement of some furniture, rehang some artwork… in other words, then it’s time to turn it into as much of a showplace as possible.

Once the house goes on the market, I’ll be able to focus more on painting and other artwork, and I’ll be able to start working on getting the motorhome ready to live in.  We’ve put together a list of potential modifications or projects for the motorhome, and of course, there will be other things we’ll think of as time progresses.  Here’s the plan so far:

It will have to be done in stages, of course, and cost of materials and furniture will have to be spread out.  The major cash outlay will be the recliners.  And the carpet replacement in the cockpit may need to be done by a pro.  The engine cowling (referred to as the “doghouse”) may be more of a carpet challenge than we’re up for.  Otherwise, we should be able to do just about everything else ourselves.  We’re looking at the Trafficmaster Allure vinyl floor covering.  The look of tile or wood is a decision yet to be made.

We’ll be replacing the existing queen size mattress with the one on the guest room bed in the house.  We’re debating how to handle the cabinet hardware i.e. new hardware or paint the existing hardware.  Spray paints have come so far, that my discussions with the guys at Home Depot have me leaning toward painting the hardware.  There are an awful lot of handles, drawer pulls and hinges in this thing, and replacing it all will be expensive.  BUT… we don’t want it to look cheap, either.

I also think I’ll install outdoor carpet in the basement cargo bays.  Things are going to slide around down there, and some of our art show booth equipment needs at least a little bit of protection.  We’ve measured the cargo bays, and the tubs we use for framed art and spare frames fit nicely.  We just need to be judicious in terms of how much we’re going to carry.

I’ve been looking at cabinets for the workstation area.  My design is simple: a 24″x24″ cabinet at one end to house the printer behind a door, and possibly some of the computer hardware; an 18″x24″ cabinet at the other end to hold art supplies, either in drawers, or in containers behind a door.  On top, I already have a 2′ x 7′ hollow core door which we used as a desktop in the home office.  It fits perfectly and will provide a great work surface.  We only painted one side of it, so the other side is unfinished.  I’m thinking we’ll top it with laminate to either match or complement the kitchen countertop, and the cabinets will be finished to match the rest of the wood in motorhome.  We’ll look at trimming it out so that, hopefully, it looks like it belongs there.  There are also existing cabinets overhead for additional art supplies in this area.

At left is a view looking forward.  The workstation will be where the existing table and chairs are on the right.  The dark area this side of the chair is the fridge, and the desktop will line up exactly with the fridge, opening that area up quite a bit.  Nell’s not real keen on that single chair next to the door, so replacing it with a flatscreen tv cabinet will open up some space in the living area as well. 

I’m doing a lot of online research, looking into modifications and upgrades others have done to their RVs.  While ours is in very good condition, it is 13 years old.  RV manufacturers kept things pretty plain and generic back then.  This will be our home, so we want to make it feel that way.  RVers are so good about sharing their ideas and what they’ve done with their rigs.  There’s an awful lot of information out there if one just spends a little time exploring.

We were out and about a week ago, and picked up several colorful pillows to spread around on the sofa and the bed.  That did add some color, but there’s a long way to go to get past plain.  New flooring will help, along with updated hardware, the computer/art workstation, and, of course, Nell has other ideas for spiffing it up as well.

The good news is that we have time to do these things – and to wait (or at least hope) for the price of gas to go back down.  The bad news is that we’d leave tomorrow and work on it on the road if we could.  But we can’t.

So… we now try to balance patience with our eagerness to hit the road.

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