Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Couple months ago we started to go through our belongings and packing some of it away to be saved and leaving the rest unpacked for an estate sale. We divided our clothes in two walk-in closets between keepers and get rid of's. The progress has been slow, but we started it!

Couple weeks into our organization came a day that I rushed to the airport and flew home to Finland to see my family and to attend my sister's wedding. Unfortunately I made my trip alone, Lee stayed behind to take care of the house and 3 hounds. I spent two and half wonderful weeks in Finland, eating mom's cooking and enjoying the cooler weather and peace and quiet. Well, some might think the weather was not cool, it was probably at low 90's, but coming from Texas, oh yeah, that's nice and cool! 

It was so wonderful to see the family and the friends after a long time. The sad thing is that there is always less people to meet than there was the time before and being on the other side of the globe doesn't always make it easy to accept. However, that is the life for people who live thousands miles away from their family. Another thing that made it a little bitter was that Lee and our pups were back home in Texas. Well, that resulted in lots of Skype action between Scandinavia and The Republic of Texas.

My timing in Finland was perfect, the weather was nice; blueberries, raspberries and strawberries were in season, even the mushrooms were forcing me into a daily game of hide and seek. Oh, and did I mention, it is so green in Finland, GREEN!!! Hardly anyone has sprinklers for their lawns and it is not even needed, the rain will come sooner or later and make everything lush and clean and first of all, green. The laundry gets dried on the lines outside and it smells like forest. The birds are chirping through the night, since in the end of July the dark doesn't come until after midnight. And how I missed the quiet and peace by the lake, the only ones making any noise were the numerous birds, like swans and loons.

My sister's wedding was fun and relaxed and everybody had fun and soon after the life returned back to somehow normal. I was so excited that my brother who is serving in UN Peace Corp was able to come for a short vacation and I got to see him. The time always flies by really fast, though all my siblings had arranged time off to spend with me, which was wonderful. 

Like always, the time comes to an end way too soon. And my trip back home started. I had a hectic layover in Chicago, where I walked forever, waited forever for customs, security and finding and dragging my 2 huge bags without the cart for re-checking. After that was all done, the run to the right terminal and gate started, I just got to my plane before they closed the gate and sat down and started the last stretch to home. I knew the layover would be really crazy, so I was ready to run out the plane as soon as I was able to and in a process forgot that I had split one of my carry on bags since it didn't fit in overhead cabby in one piece. Well, the yummy Finnish chocolates and some other candy, some souvenirs and a pair of earrings are greatly missed. It wasn't a huge financial loss, but I was so mad at myself for forgetting such a thing.

It was nice to be back home in Texas. There is a Finnish proverb that says something like: Being home is strawberry, being elsewhere blueberry, it doesn't really translate well, but you might get the idea. And if you ever have a chance to taste Finnish strawberries, their sweetness and juiciness, you will understand what it means. Though the wild blueberries are pretty darn awesome too. The difficult part is that for me, there will always be 2 homes.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Best Ever Home Made French Vanilla Ice Cream

How to cool off on a hot summer day? Even a caveman knows that the best way is to eat some yummy ice cream.

I have had a few people request this recipe and this last time I decided it would be the easiest to just post it here, so I can just send them a link instead of writing it down. This is by far the best ice cream recipe I have come accross, not that I have made tons of them, but it is definitely one of those that makes me skip a paleo for a while. It is so worth it. And yes, it is not a diet food, so don't try this if you are trying to lose weight, cause it ain't happening.

The great thing about it is that you can add different fruits in it and keep changing it, thus never get tired of it. I have tried with fresh mango and dark sweet cherries, and it is to die for.

So here it goes:

French Vanilla Ice Cream

4 egg yolks
1/2 pint (2.5 dl or 1 cup) milk, preferably full milk
1/2 pint (2.5 dl or 1 cup) heavy cream
4 oz. (100g) sugar
1 vanilla pod

Pour milk to a medium pan and bring to a boil. Place lengthwise split vanilla pod into it for 20 minutes to simmer. In a mixing bowl, beat yolks and sugar until thick. Remove vanilla pod from the milk, and scrape the seeds out of it with the back of a knife or spoon. Add vanilla seeds back into the milk. Pour the milk mixture into the egg-sugar mixture while stirring, then return this mixture to the pan and heat gently while stiffing until it thickens (leaves a film on the back of a spoon). Remove from the heat and let cool down in a fridge. When cold stir in the heavy cream, I have never whipped it, but you could for extra fluffiness. Now it is ready to be churned for 25 minutes.

Add what ever your heart desires to it or eat just like it is, either way it is delicious. Can't go wrong with a slice of hot apple pie either. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Out with the Gold, In with the New!

First off, I'd like to apologize to our followers for our really slow posting as of late. Doesn't make for interesting reading when all you can do is reread old posts.  When the only people making comments on a blog are ANONYMOUS spam comments, it's not a good sign.

Though we've been idle on the blog, we have actually been making strides baby-steps towards getting the Revcon ready.

I believe we hinted at the replacement faucets we were putting in and after quite a bit of work I did finally get those installed.

Bear Witness: The New Kitchen and Restroom Faucets

This is what the old stuff looked like in case you needed a refresher:
Or if you look at our youtube video from when we first picked up the Revcon, you can see them in all their Golden Age Glory.

I also finally got around to ordering some wheel covers so the tires don't melt away in the Texas Heat while it awaits our departure. I also found snap-on window covers hidden away in one of the many secret compartments.
Here it is waiting ever so patiently for us in the 100 degree weather.

The other big project I've been working on is negotiating on a battery bank of lithium-ion batteries.  I'm aiming for a bank of about 840 amps, or 6 batteries..7 if I can get them. Then I'll be upgrading the solar panel array which is currently just one panel to hopefully 500-700 watts. Also I'll be finding the heftiest inverter I can find as I hope to be able to run the A/C, washer/dryer, and future induction cooktop when needed.
Finding the space for the batteries was kinda fun, since anyone who has been in an RV knows that space is limited and usually already used. So it was behind this electronics rack/drawers that I found some space. I may have to sacrifice the bottom rack space which is currently just the BASS for the surround sound system. I think batteries take a higher priority than a bit of enhanced sound.

BTW, all the above pictures were taken by my new Samsung Galaxy S4, it has an amazing camera to my untrained eye. I thought I had some pictures of behind the rack, but apparently I forgot to take my phone spelunking with me.

We had planned to take the Beast out for a ride Memorial weekend, but that whole trip was foiled when my rear-view camera had apparently melted. Driving without rear-sight makes me feel blind, so I wasn't going to risk changing lanes on top of a motorcycle, or backing over a kid while getting filled with diesel. Ordering a replacement of the same kind has been slow. The broken one was a black and white and the replacement I ordered is color. So Fingers crossed that it works okay when I get it and hook it up. Should be arriving anyday now.
Update:  Rear Camera Arrived, I did a quick test on it, and instead of the black squiggly lines the old camera was providing, now its colorful squiggly lines.  So the problems appears to be with my in-dash lcd screen.  Did not think it was the lcd screen since it displays other things fine, just not the camera.  So..back to the drawing board there.  Might be time to get a in dash LCD with built-in Nav system.

On the home front, we had a real estate agent give us a market analysis of our home and things are looking bright on that end. Just need to do some cosmetic repairs for the most part and get it listed as soon as we can and hopefully sold quickly.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Photo Contest Entry And How You Can Help Us Win

So I submitted a photo of our Italian Greyhound Louie to the photo contest. The winner will get a digital painting of that image and I am of course hoping that would be my image. Please click this link to the photo contest and vote for the number 47. On the page is a link to the voting right above the entry photos. Thanks for your help.

I do have some good news too. So, we re-homed our cat of almost 6 years yesterday. I was very nervous and heart broken, until we got to the house where he was gonna be living. He is in perfect place now. It was like a cat haven with two other cats and the whole house pretty much dedicated for them. I am so happy for him, he is gonna be much better there with tons of attention and buddies than he would be with us, dogs chasing and he would be hiding. He even sent pictures of them us to see how well they were doing. A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Struck of Luck and Some Tears Too

Today was a day that we had an engineer that is specialized on foundations come here and check on the house. We were expecting a really expensive fix, since about a year and a half ago we got an estimate for the foundation repair and that estimate was a hefty 5 digit number. As it happens, that estimate was for work that we did not need. We got a report stating that the foundation is not in a need of a repair at all. However we do have some cracked mortar that needs to be fixed but our bill will be about $10 K less than we thought. I wish you could hear the screaming and hollering from here, we are so happy! This means we can either spend longer on the road, or we have a bit more money that we can put to work. Ok, in reality it just means that we don't have to come up with non-existing $10 K.

So right now it looks like we need to kick in the purge gear and get rid of the stuff. Some will be saved for later use, once we are done with our RV'ing. I am being realistic thinking that the day will come that I will have a need to settle down somewhere where I can plant a garden and herd some critters. But I might be fine for several years to come, you never know. I think tomorrow I will start going trough my clothes (once again), pack away what I want to save but not take for the road. Rest will go to some local animal shelter. Looks like the packrat in a bathroom is gonna have to get rid of a bucketful of make up and other stuff that doesn't seem to get used. It is in need of some serious overhaul as well.

My weak spot will be kitchen. I used to work in a factory outlet for a glass factory while studying glass blowing. The company sold silver ware, pots and pans, table ware and glass and most these were high end and collectible and of course I bought bunch of it for a good employee discount. The problem came to be when we got married and we combined our kitchens, so we have lots of my modern stuff and lots of Lee's retro, hand me downs that came down from his parents and has been around the world with him and of course holds a bunch of personal value. None of that stuff is really great in the RV, but I think we are going to have to avoid buying more stuff, so we are either gonna take a risk of getting something broken on the road. I think I would like the retro stuff in the RV. Even a thought of  an old pyrex and stone ware makes me smile. The problem with that stuff is that it is quite heavy, which is a concern when the weight is a matter of an interest.

Today is not full of only happiness and good news, it is also a little bitter sweet. Our beloved cat Zubov will be spending his last night here before getting re-homed. We dearly love our big goofy cat but the relationship between the cat and the dogs has not been all rosy and we can not expect good outcomes if we all cram into the RV. We found him a home with couple other cats where he will not be tormented and where he can live a regular life in a center of attention, without having to worry about being out of the reach when the dogs come around. I am so heart broken about how lonely our cat has become in a house that is full of life. So sad that he feels like he can not take part on anything. It has gotten to a point where we allowed him to hang out on our dining table, just so that he can be closer to us a little more often.

I will be spending tonight with Zubov in a guest room behind the closed doors, so he can have all the attention he ever wants for the last time. Tomorrow he will meet his new buddies and we will sadly say good buy. I am happy for him for finally getting enough attention and a place where he doesn't need to run, but sad for having to make this hard decision of giving up on what I would consider a family member. It will be happier life for him and a little easier for us too, though I wish we never needed to make this decision. It will be weird not having a cat around. I will miss the headbutts and the talks with him, I so love talkative cats. Good luck Zubie, we will dearly miss you!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Back to the Future

So yesterday was the day that Marty McFly arrived to the future. It was also a day that I decided to finally get to posting my jewelry at my Etsy store. Making jewelry has been for years my goal, but they never really made onto my online store, just got either given as a present, or I sold the beads without making them into jewelry. I sold some necklaces few years ago to an art museum and couple galleries, but just now finally I have gained enough confidence to actually make them into a bit more constructed jewelry and post them on my own store. It is a small step, just have my first piece posted and I just have to keep the direction. This will be something I will be able to do on the road, if I just have a possibility to melt glass somewhere. I know of someone who has successfully done that, but I don't think I would want to set up a studio inside the RV. Something to think about.

You can find this in my Etsy store, thank you for looking!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Learning Curve and Sneak Peak on Bead Spread

As I mentioned few days ago, we did some shopping and I bought couple sets of high TC sheets to our RV. Well, yesterday we decided to try how luxurious they were and I think I learned something new. In Finland where I grew up, I never heard even a word thread count, so this was kinda grade school for buying sheets for me. I should have thought of this, it kinda makes sense now that I think about it. The sheets we have used in our bed have been 700 TC and I love how soft and smooth they are, so I thought that of course the higher the thread count, the better the quality is and it will be softer and smoother. Not so much. The tighter the threads are, the thinner they have to be (instead of 700 threads on square inch that we were used to, the sheets we bought were 1600 and 1800, so to fit two to three times as many threads into the same square inch, the threads have to be thinner, a lot thinner), so this will make the sheet also at some point to thin out. I think it is safe to say that we have reached that point a little while ago. Well, the new sheets are very smooth, but yes, you guessed it; they are also very thin. While I like them, I am not expecting them to last very long. I think I will get a bit more expensive ones in the future, just to save myself from the frustration. So it wasn't as great of the deal as I thought, but I got exactly what I paid for, I paid for a cheap stuff, and that's what i got. My theory is just a theory, but I think I will stick to my 700 TC from now on. And for the winter I would love to get a set of flannel sheets too I could not care less if there is any TC involved or not. There is a proverb in Finland: The poor man can not afford the cheap stuff. I'm telling you, the old folks know sometimes!

If you remember I took on a gigantic project of crocheting a bead spread for the Beast (I prefer Monstah or Bugout). It looks pretty masculine on the outside but there is no reason it has to look like that on the inside too, which it actually does right now. I am determined to decorate it to look a little less like the Zombie Apocalypse Vehicle. So my plan is to girly it up with some fresh colors and soft materials and the bead spread is one of those things that is going to make it look a little less aggressive. I am still a long way from finishing it, mostly because of the lack of time to work on it, but I am not too worried, once we hit the road, I should be able to work on it at least for a little while every day. And it will get done pretty soon even if it is just little at a time. I have only less than one third of the length but I am not rushing it, I am sure couple months on the road will do wonders for this project.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Moving Along

As our latest progress has been slow, we are definitely still moving but the pace is almost unnoticeable. The faucets are still half installed since Lee hurt his back in a hockey game (no penalties for the assaulter either, shame on refs!). He is hopping around but sounds like me when he tries to get up from the bed. So the progress inside the RV has been MIA but we have done some shopping for the things we are going to be taking for the road.

We purchased a new Oxygenics shower head, still have to get another part for it to make using it a bit more water conservative and user friendlier. We are excited about it and we believe it will make a big difference to have a well functioning shower. We got the brushed nickel one, which is a little bit more expensive but will be more durable in the long run. I believe the price tag on it was just short of $45 and we think the shipping was free from Amazon. I also want to get a long hose for the shower head, since that will be the only place where I can wash the dogs and they generally don't care for standing in a shower, never understood why ;o)

The next thing we bought was a wire fence. We actually bought 3 sets of play pens but you can connect them together to form a fence. This is so the dogs can move around a little bit without having to be leashed all the time. The plan is to use them outside the RV like actual fence. We still need to get something to block the dogs from being able to go under the RV so we need to also buy fencing that is not as high, chicken wire would do if everything else fails. The fence is needed for the youngsters, Nelli is a good girl and stays by our side where ever we go but the two little Greyhounds can't be trusted. Louie would probably be fine and follow us but Pixie would just take off and keep going until she would end up being a dinner for a coyote. This is a Greyhound thing, they are goofy and can not be trusted with open doors or gates. Now they have room to go in an out of the RV without being leashed. Yay! I am sure it will get tiring to set it up and pull down and store while we are on the road but it definitely will be better than the alternative. The fence (that's what I call it, since that is how we are going to be using it) happened to be on 40% sale at Petco when I searched for it. I kept comparing and looking at different options but these seemed good quality and cheaper with the sale price than anywhere else. So I decided to go to see if we had them in our local store... until I realized that it was almost midnight, and it was the last day of the sale. So I had about 3 minutes to finish my order or pay about $150 more after the sale. I did not want to have to pay more, so I panicked and ordered them and ended up paying with the taxes and free shipping $188.32. It was pricey but could have been much worse. The normal price for one set was $99.99, we ordered three of them. Sale price was $57.99 per unit and the sales tax was about $15. Deal, I think! Now we just really hope they will work for us the way we visioned.

This is just one of the three play pens that we purchased, we had to get the
48" tall ones to prevent these greyhounds from hopping over it,
 now we just hope they won't.
Pixie seems to think she is held captive against her will: "Help!"

We also were able to put a check mark in front of the Zero Gravity chairs on our to buy list. I am so excited, I love those chairs, I feel like getting rid of our couches and just chill out on our chairs all day long. I was a little bit skeptic if they would be as good as reviews were or if I got the right ones since it sounded that the radius they moved was not very much. The radius is more than needed. Me happy! I received my chairs just a couple days after ordering them from the Overstock, fast, I am telling you! The chairs were around $90 for a pair, depending on color, we wanted the tan ones so they will not be absorbing too much heat in the sun and two chairs were $91.99. I also got off 10% in coupon savings for being their customer for the first time, that took away $9.20 and shipping was free. So I got my two chairs for $82.79. I thought that was a great deal.

I also purchased couple sets of king size sheets for our RV. One of the sets was 1600 TC and the other one was 1800 TC, both Egyptian cotton. The shipping was $2 and the sets themselves cost $29 a piece. I ordered them from I have never seen so high thread count sheets for that cheap. Can't believe my luck. I hope the quality is as good as I would assume for that kind of thread count. That's it for now for shopping.

We have tossed around the options of different flooring. We really would like to go with hardwood, but since we have these crazy critters that do all kinds of crazy stuff 24/7, we are starting to lean towards the vinyl flooring. They make really nice wood looking planks that are 100% water proof and looks like also idiot proof on installation, which will hopefully benefit us. So far we are waiting on Lee's back feeling better and his work to be over with, then we are going to switch the gear and go full speed ahead with everything.


Monday, February 18, 2013

New Faucets

Well, this was a post I was supposed to write a couple weeks ago and it was supposed to have complete story about how to change the faucets and pictures pronto and all those shenanigans. Guess what, it isn't.

We have tried for couple of weeks to change the fancy golden faucets from the 80's TV series Dynasty, I can not stand the gold, black and white interior we have, it is so outdated looking that nobody believes the RV is really from 2002. All that is cosmetic after all and we are not in huge rush to change everything but I believe once we hit the road I will be spending most of my days trying to get the RV to look like fairly modern couple lives there.
Still thinking we have it done in next 5 mins. Not so much.
We bought the new faucets, and were kind of limited to one hole models or to those that allow you to choose 3 or 1 hole option. The pickings were slim but we made a purchase. We are not raving about the faucets, they are not exactly what I really would wanted but considering that what I really wanted is not going to ever work where we need it to go, nor would I have money to pay for such a piece of art. So all in all we are quite happy with our non-golden choices. We are replacing both kitchen and bathroom fixtures and were first bummed that we couldn't find them with the same kind of finishings but since we aren't most likely staring at them at the same time, it will most likely be forgotten issue as soon as we figure out how to connect the new ones.

It took a bit of time and a degree in magic to get the old kitchen tap out. The space is really tight and the visibility is very poor. After shoving your hands through the hole in a wall, the visibility was non existing. But after all, that was the easy part. We thought we are just going to re-attach the new one and move on to the bathroom to do the same. We ran into the problems as soon as we got the new faucet to where it was supposed to be, re-attaching the water was not as easy as we thought, the piping for cold water was for some reason too short, so we needed to find an attachment that will make it a bit longer and as we became to notice, also deliver the water to the faucet and not leak under the sink. Finding the right piece has been a case of trial and so far only error. Lee has already gotten tired of driving back and fort to the Home Depot and made the decision to drive the rig over there so he can fix it close to where he can just go to exchange the parts that more than likely weren't right. The size of a piping is not standard, so getting those the faucet and pipe to connect might take some adjusting. It doesn't help that Lee works 14 hour days, not much is left of a day to work on other projects once he is done and on his days off, hockey rules our lives. Ok, hockey rules his life.
This should be the after picture, but it is just
the meanwhile  picture.
So hopefully I will have something to report soon about our fantastic new fixtures, other than we are still working on them. We are glad we didn't decide to do this while on the road. We aren't used to doing the handy stuff ourselves but this is going to change right now. We are going to have to do it ourselves once we hit the road, so we have to start rather sooner than later.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bead Soup Party - Blog Hop Event

Some of you know that I am a glass artist. I have a degree in glass blowing but I love working also on a smaller scale. I make little glass beads and sculptures using torch, this is called lampworking. I signed up to the Bead Soup Party, which is a blog hop event where we are paired with another person and we exchange beads, one focal and coordinating beads to go with it (I make mine of glass, my partner maybe doesn't) and a special  clasps. Using these provided supplies we make jewelry and post it on a set reveal date on our blogs. Then the list of blogs is published and we can hop from one blog to another to see everyone's creations. 
So in the beginning of April I will be hopping from one blog to another. You should too!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Silence of the Lambs

Yes, we have been sheepishly quiet, there has not been much to report lately but we are hoping that this will be changing soon. The exciting news is that the last time we took our rig out for a holiday with the family; one of the critters managed to pee in it without us noticing (the ugly carpet hides stuff well, I guess it is good and bad... in this case, very bad) and we were sure there is some sort of leak in a black tank, that's how bad it smelled. Appears that we will be changing the flooring sooner than later, while it has been standing without any use for weeks, it has started to stink. No good! So bye bye carpet, we are not sad to see you go! But we are sad to have to do the work to get it changed.

I think it is one of these two who peed on the carpet... 
We had some resilient cold fronts here that seemed to make the winter last longer than usual, and we hadn't really winter proofed anything in the RV and it seems that we have sprung some leaks in there. Both faucets, the one in the kitchen and the one in bathroom are leaking and we were so glad we had to buy new ones to replace them.  You will not believe the rig was made in 2002, it looks like from the Dynasty, everything is black and white and on top of that (like a cherry on the ice cream) the fine golden faucets and other hardware in the bathroom. Scary if you ask me. But at least the most obvious eyesores will be now replaced.

Today we did some shopping, the new water fixtures, some plumber's tape and a Payday candy bar to keep us alive until our Monday tradition (Indian buffet with our good friend). The faucets are stinking expensive, and we suffered $200 plus taxes. We also filled up the propane tank in our Beastie and did our first dump ever. It was exciting. I was just expecting a scene from the movie RV rolling in front of our eyes but our excitement was short lived and nothing happened. It wasn't even as stinky as I thought it would be. I think it was stinkier inside the rig. We also bought a new black water tank hose with some gloves and that brought us to spend another $140 and then some at the RV place. We were eyeballing the LED light bulbs, new shower head and new latches, but didn't want to spend more today, partially cause we didn't find exactly what we wanted and $350 in one day is enough, gotta do some working in between shopping sprees. We will be back to upgrade the light bulbs, shower head and the latches on our cabinets.