It’s nice to be at my folks’ place on Lake Buchanan. We are about 75 miles northwest of Austin. I have a nice parking spot with a 30-amp hookup and water, and access to the benefits of a house (nice washer/dryer, long/hot showers, big kitchen, etc.). And mostly it’s nice to be with my family. I decided last year that I would stay around for a while this time and skip Quartzsite. At least until it gets warm, when I will head back to the higher elevations of New Mexico. Probably be here until about April or so. While here I’m working on several projects. Big projects include – installing new solar panels and controller/monitor, redoing the TV cabinet and installing a pantry. Also, there are always small things to do.
Riley and I got back in mid-November. We got to have a nice Thanksgiving with family. Then, in December, we did several shifts with Austin Sheltie Rescue at Barnes and Noble. We have done this for the past few years at Christmas, wrapping gifts for customers for donations. Riley hangs out in the pen looking handsome and getting some lovin’ from the customers, while I wrap gifts and visit with the other volunteers. We raised some good funds, which help to pay down our vet bill.
Back in Las Cruces, at the Farmer’s Market, I bought a small triangle loom and started weaving on it. It’s OK, but got me thinking about taking up weaving on a traditional loom. I went by Hill Country Weavers when in Austin to check it out. It’s one of my favorite local yarn stores, but had never noticed any weaving items when there. I talked to one of the saleswomen and turns out you can weave on a small loom, called a rigid-heddle loom. They had a class coming up in mid-December, so I signed up. You learn to weave and start a project in the 3-hour class, then are allowed to take the loom home for 2 weeks to see if you like it. I did, I loved it! In that 2 weeks I made about 10 scarves. I ended up getting a Flip loom that folds. It will be easy to use and store in the RV.
We had the whole family up at the lake for Christmas, like always. My brother and S-I-L (George and Marie) flew in from Seattle, where they had moved last year after George took a job at Microsoft. It was nice to be able to see them. I didn’t think they’d get back to TX this year. Marie is crafty like me, so we had fun going through my yarn stash (and my mom’s, too) and working with the loom together. I got busy and made a couple of scarves for them to take back for the cold Washington winters. Marie picked out a nice combination of burgundy and grey, and George asked for shades of black and grey.
I learned a dominoes game called 42 from my nephew, Kevin, and there was a game going on a lot of the time. Kevin and George are really expert at it.
By mid-December my dad and I had decided on the equipment we needed for the solar project. Having done one system on my prior rig last December, we had some ideas of what to do the same or different this time. I ordered the panels, charge controller and monitor online and got regular parts locally. By the end of the month, we had removed the existing 85-watt panel, the controller, and wiring. It took some thinking, but we finally decided on the new wiring route and where to mount the new controller and monitor. We did most of the installation in January. I’ll write a separate post with pics about all that soon. I’ll do a post about the new TV/entertainment setup, too. That took a lot of work, but turned out really nice.
I’ve been keeping busy with other things too. I spent some time switching the expensive, catastrophic-only insurance that I’ve had for the past 1.5 years for a good Obamacare plan. I was able to get my coverage set up in mid-December and able to get an annual checkup with my regular doctor in January. Also, I spent some time going through the stuff I had stored with my folks. I had some clothes and yarn in a closet inside and some boxes in a 4’x4′ corner of my dad’s garage. It’s been mostly too cold to work in the garage, but I did some work on a nice day recently, and we’re in a warm spell, so can do more these days. I would like to get to a point where everything I own is with me in the RV, but I can’t seem to make myself get rid of my books, and some kitchen and craft items. Last month I opened an Etsy shop online to sell scarves that I have woven. I call it “A Wandering Weaver“. Currently I’m working on a table runner. Scarf season is almost over.
In January I had a birthday and my folks had a cake made with my Lazy Daze on it! This is hand decorated with a pastry bag, and is such a close replica I almost couldn’t believe it. What a fantastic cake!
Next, I will write about the solar system we did. Lot’s of RV’ers are interested in how others set up their systems, so I want to document it a bit.
One more picture. We saw a little baby goat at the farmer’s market in Austin. Riley could not be any less interested.