Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Friday, September 30, 2011

Why I'm using a separate primer

I have had a lot of folks write to suggest I could cut my painting time by using one of the paints that already contains primer. I would do this if I was painting wallboard or plaster. The woman at Home Depot, who seems to be very knowledgeable as well as having practical first-hand experience, recommended Glidden's "Gripper" primer, because I am going to paint over laminate wood paneling that is nearly 45 years old, and Gripper doesn't chip as easily when used on wood and laminate surfaces. She tells me that I will get an even coat with this product, and that my paint will cover much better with less coats. I'm going to try it and am willing to do twice the painting if I get a better result, and if it maybe requires less paint in the long run then so much the better.

If I don't care for the results, I can always try the combination paint+primer on another room. My bedroom will be the "practice" arena. If it turns out I think I can do just as well with the primer+paint combination, then I can buy that for the living room and kitchen.

Another comment was about something I always thought was true, that is, don't feed the hummers when it's getting towards winter because you may delay their flight south. I have since read that birds are very instinctual and will travel when they must, no matter what you do. Then last year I read that there are some hummingbird species that winter over in the Sacramento area. It makes sense because of the normally mild winters, but I will look it up again and then decide whether or not to set the feeder out.

I appreciate the ideas and suggestions, and keep an open mind about them. (The nasty comments will be removed just as soon as I catch them.)

The carpet cleaner gave me an estimate of $100 to clean the carpets, which I'm happy enough to pay. I don't want to buy my own carpet cleaner since I eventually plan to get laminate flooring. I just want to move my furniture onto clean carpeting at first and the price seems ok. I withdrew the cash this morning to pay the man. I hope he can salvage the rug in the small bedroom that has been used by a smoker. The stale smoke is bad enough, but having smoked many years of my life I know that smokers have little (sometimes big) cigarette burns EVERYWHERE! On the clothes, furniture, carpet, etc. If they aren't too noticeable I'll just settle for the cleaning until I can tackle the laminate flooring.

I hope the anticipation doesn't keep me awake all night.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Humming along

I bought enough paint and supplies today to get me started. I'll still need lots more paint, as I only purchased a couple cans each of the primer and ceiling paint. I didn't have room in my car for more than that until I unload it at the house. I will probably go back for more early next week. What I bought today is all on the passenger side in front - the cargo area and back seat are loaded with things I've bought and retrieved from storage.

The carpet cleaning service is scheduled for Monday. Wouldn't you figure there is a 30% chance of rain on Monday? It shouldn't take long for 3 rooms of carpet, two of which are small, and there won't yet be any furniture to move. I'll be ready for the furniture by the weekend just before my surgery. I am aiming to have my bedroom done by then so I will have a beautiful and comfortable nest for recuperating.

Looking at my blog title today, I have to remember to buy a bag of white sugar for the hummingbirds. I have a new feeder and hope I can entice those in the area to hang out at my place. I'm not sure whether to bother with a regular bird feeder - I only had a couple of transients once or twice at my apartment last year.

I will try to take a lot of "before" pictures on Saturday; how they turn out will determine if I post them before I paint, or wait until I can show you the "before and after" at the same time.

I had several comments on the Verizon set up for a regular phone (to me, regular is not a cell phone). It is called a "Verizon Wireless Home Phone Connect", and I believe it was $35 for the unit, with a $20 monthly access fee, PLUS all the fees, taxes, etc. The way those companies print out the receipt you can't tell what the hell you are paying! Maybe looking at it just puts me to sleep before I can decipher it.

Several people commented that I should have a phone in my bedroom in case I need to call 911. Given the current state of my health that is an excellent idea and I will definitely place my 3rd phone next to the bed. My aversion to a phone in the bedroom no doubt goes back to when I had kids living at home. I could always rest assured that no one would call me late at night, but "late" to a kid carries a different meaning altogether. They didn't have to get up at 5:00 am to get ready for work!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Another Hooray for Verizon

I visited the AT&T store this morning to order land-line service, having seen their website quoting unlimited local and long distance for $24.99, but it turned out that the cost to me would be $45, PLUS all the taxes, fees and service charges they add on. So I told them I would think about it, and drove across the street to the Verizon store.

It turns out that Verizon has a new offering - a small device that allows you to connect your land-line phone for unlimited local and long distance, but for $19.99 a month, plus the normal idiotic taxes, fees and service charges. I bought it on the spot and the salesperson even did whatever was needed to make it ready to work, and tested it to make sure it was ready to go. I came home and inserted all the batteries in my three new Uniden phones, plugged them in to charge, and connected the phone base station to the Verizon device. I called my new number from the cell phone and it worked! While I was at it I reduced the number of minutes in my Verizon cell phone plan. My intention is to make outgoing calls from the land phone, and to encourage frequent callers to use that one. I don't need all the cell phone minutes since I don't even use it all that much.

You may wonder why I have 3 Uniden phones; I wanted the Uniden brand, and they only came three phones to a box. I'm not even sure where I will put the 3rd one and I don't care to have a phone in my bedroom.

Verizon has the absolute best coverage across the country, the best customer service, and at least in the Sunrise Mall area, the best sales staff. I have never been disappointed with them. Now I will have my cell, land line, and Mifi in one bill which should make budgeting easier. They also include a printed user guide with their products, which has come in handy more than once. I like to get familiar with whatever device - cell phone, camera, etc., and then have the guide to look at to see if there is a feature I didn't realize was there. I would NEVER go to a website just to scroll through a guide for lack of something else to do, but I will pick up a booklet and give it a glance once in a while.

I just got back from the mobil home park where I signed all the paperwork, received a binder-full of information plus California civil codes that will take me a year to read, and got some questions answered. All in all it was much simpler than the apartment lease I had to deal with last year, and very much easier than the closing on a house. There are still a lot of things to do, such as transfer the DMV license to my name, notify the post office of my new address, etc.

I also received a call from a rep of the Sacramento Bee newspaper, offering me a 7-day delivery for $2 a week - that is the cost of just one Sunday paper! I agreed, mostly because the Bee has the New York Times crossword puzzle. I need to quit looking at the Sunday ads however.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I will be meeting with Yvonne early this coming Saturday morning to get the keys and miscellaneous information, and then do a survey to see what kind of plan I can come up with. Then I'll have to see what I can get from storage that I might need right away, and hopefully all that stuff isn't stored in the back of the unit. I'm meeting with the staff at the Park office tomorrow afternoon to get my gate key codes and take care of other necessary items, such as switching the utilities to my name, etc. I am really excited that the move is in sight, as I need a big project to work on rather than sit around waiting to die.

My DirectTV is set up to be installed the Wednesday after I move in, and I will need to call AT&T to see if I can get a flat-rate land line phone installed. I'm not crazy about going with AT&T, but the only other alternative is Comcast which looks to be about $5 more a month. I doubt their service is any better. Oh for the days when you just called Ma Bell, and they brought out your phone and installed it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm surprised

Surprised at the results of my blood tests and the carotid artery scan. Not much good to report. I am terribly anemic again, and damn, I was beginning to feel so much better. Now I just want to nap much of the day. I guess it's a good thing I have an appointment to see a cardiologist this coming Monday; I had been just about ready to blow it off as a waste of my time. Now I have to tell yet another doctor in no uncertain terms that I am NOT having a colonoscopy, and that I will NOT get a flu shot.

It turns out to be a good thing I did my research and asked my doctor to include a CRP test along with the blood work - the results are used for cardiovascular risk evaluation and mine is extremely high. I can't understand why no doctor has ever recommended this test for me when I am known to have heart problems, but they sure keep hammering away about a colonoscopy. I think you'd have to follow the money on this one, and obviously that is a highly profitable test for the hospitals, doctors, and technicians. I am at very low risk for colon cancer and if I found out I had it I would NOT have chemo or radiation, so I don't want to know anyway. I don't need to get slammed by any readers of my blog about this. I know the value of this test, especially since my husband died of colon cancer several years ago. He was at high risk and I'm not! The test can be a life saver for a lot of folks.

On a brighter note, as everyone should have something to brighten and lighten their day, I finally ordered my DirectTV installation. I have been looking at the info provided to me, including a chart of all the channels I'll be able to get. Of course some of them will not be available because I don't have HD, but those are all channels I wouldn't watch in the first place. I've highlighted all the ones I'm looking forward to, including the music: Bluegrass, Honky Tonk Tavern, Classic R&B, New Age, and Irish. I won't need to buy a radio!

I can get a bit daunted when I think of all the prep work and painting there will be for me to do, but I'm just going to take it easy and deal with it when I can. I've thought several times about hiring someone to paint, but I'm extremely picky about the painting and will be much better off doing it myself. I make mistakes and am sure to find flaws in my work, but then I can only get mad at myself about it, rather than resent someone else, especially someone I've paid to do it. I'd like to get the bedrooms done before I move my furniture in because the bed, dressers, etc. would be much harder for me to move around than the sofa chair and coffee table in the living room. The kitchen is probably the most in need of paint, but I can do it last and at my own time and speed. What music do readers think I should listen to while painting? I'm leaning toward Honky Tonk Tavern, at least for now.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A visit with Susan; medical tests

Yesterday I spent several hours with Susan at her beautiful "Spot", a Big Horn 5th wheel. It's amazing how much storage is in a 5ver, and in the case of this Big Horn, there is a tremendous amount of basement space as well. It is good to see a friend find exactly what she had been looking for and wanted, and I wish her many happy travels in it.

In just an hour or so I am leaving for the UC Davis MedCenter, which I hate driving to. It's not difficult to get there, but trying to find my way around the roundabout and into a parking garage is so aggravating. I will be getting a call from UC Davis soon about seeing a cardiologist, and I am going to ask for one who is in the suburbs, with free parking right outside the door. Those big centers are certainly not designed with the patient in mind.

I will be visiting the Vascular department, and getting a carotid scan as well as a dopler leg scan. I don't expect either of them to result in anything I don't already know, but at least I will get it out of the way for a while.

Now I'm worried that I've gotten my cholesterol down too low. I've been researching the subject, and it seems that when it goes too low the person is at a much higher risk of cancer and other problems. The cholesterol has come down over just a few years of taking 3 fish oil capsules a day, so I am going to cut down to two capsules until I get the results of the next blood test, to be taken tomorrow. For the blood tests I'm going to the UC Davis Center in Rancho Cordova which is right across the street from La Bou, my favorite croissant place. I'm going to have my coffee there, with at least two luscious buttery croissants! That will make up for having to fast for these tests!

Not much else except just waiting for news of when I can move into my house. I'll go ahead and place the order for DirectTV this week, and try to find a company for land line phone service only (no bundles wanted). I'm afraid I will have to go with AT&T, which left me with a very negative impression after using their air card (for internet) as well as the cell phone service. You may remember that I couldn't use the AT&T cell phone at all in my last apartment, even though the Verizon phone worked okay there. I wasn't the only one with the problem, and at nearly any time you could see residents walking around the parking lot to talk on their cell phones that didn't work indoors.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Smoky dreams

I took a short nap this afternoon, during which I dreamed I was smoking a cigarette. I experienced every deep drag off it and felt the hot smoke in my lungs. The strange thing is that the dream went on, puff by puff, until the cigarette was finished. By the way, it tasted damn good! For a few minutes after I woke up I had an extreme craving for a cigarette, but a small glass of beer cured that. I sure hope this doesn't happen very often. Something is very different about blogger this evening. I think I remember clicking on something related to "Improved Blogger" yesterday, and if someone can tell me how I can unclick it and go back to the old version I would appreciate it. This "new and improved" has exactly the same features but they are located in different places on the screen. Some improvement?

Mac is Back

I got a phone call and an email this morning that my laptop was ready to be picked up. I was happy to get it back so soon, and really happy to not have to use Windows any more. I will probably keep the PC just to have as a backup, but hope I don't have to use it. The really good thing about that setup is the screen, but it's not worth dealing with the operating system. When I turned it off before I left to go for the Mac, I got a notice on the screen that Windows was installing 70 updates!

I haven't been feeling up to par today, or for the past week for that matter. I think it's allergies, but who knows. I just took a Benadryl but maybe I should have taken two of them?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I miss Mac

I took my laptop into the Apple store this morning and left it for them to install new USB ports. One of the ports didn't work at all, and the computer is under extended warranty with one year to go. I found my old Dell computer with Windows XP in the garage, and Donald set it up for me. I couldn't get the internet with their Wifi so I eventually installed the MiFi to work with this computer. Right now I'm so glad to have the MiFi even though I haven't used it but a couple of times since May, and have felt like I'm wasting money on it.

I'm starting from scratch with this computer since Donald had wiped it clean in preparation for donating it to Goodwill. Now I'm glad he didn't get around to it, but I will be overjoyed to have my Mac back. I would never go back to Windows on a regular basis again. The only thing I prefer with this one is not having the touchpad in the way.

I stopped at the Mobil Home Park today and got a reference for the carpet cleaning service they use. I may have to put new flooring in the small bedroom (due to a lingering smoke odor), but if I can delay having to re-floor the rest of the place I'd like to wait. I drove past the house after visiting with the office staff, and I just can't wait to make it into my home. I feel like the sky is the limit with what I can do, something I never felt with my RV. I really wanted to do some painting and re-arranging but always hesitated, thinking about resale. I don't ever want to worry about that again, although I don't intend to sink a lot of money into it - just some redecorating.

I will probably not be online much until later in the week except for checking email once in a while, so I wish everyone a good week ahead. I have an appointment with my doctor on Thursday, when I will get the pre-op stuff out of the way. I hope it all goes smoothly.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Doing nothing!

I'm sitting around bored out of my tree with nothing to do. It's the weekend and I try to stay out of the weekend traffic, plus I need to stay out of the stores until after my move, so there is nowhere to go. I don't want to wish my days away, knowing they are on a steady downhill slope, but I would like to be in my house now especially since I will have so much to do there. My patience is really being tested.

In answer to Penny's question about whether I will have a fenced area for the dog, the answer is that I won't have enough room to fence off an area for her. I am thinking about buying a folding "gate" to put at the porch steps, and she can sit out on the covered porch and watch the world go by. A bike/walking trail runs right behind the property so I hope to stick to a daily walking regimen for both of our benefit.

I got a note from my daughter-in-law in NY recently. She said my 5 yr old grandson asked her when they were going to get a dog. The 3 yr old responded, "We already have a dog and her name is Lady, and she's with Grandma right now".

I plan to take my computer to the Apple store on Monday since one of the USB ports isn't working. Fortunately I bought a 3 yr warranty that covers everything, and it is in effect until November of this year, so the worst is that I will be without a computer for up to a week. The last time that happened I bought that silly iPad, which I promptly returned. This time I will just do without a computer while it's being repaired.

Monday, September 5, 2011

More info about my 1963 Budger


The link should direct you to the Budger info that I found in the Atlas Mobile Home Directory. There are four models pictured, and I believe mine is the 3rd one - with the two roll outs. I don't believe this home ever was made to go rolling down the highway, nor were the "roll outs" exactly like the slide-outs we are familiar with today. The entrance used to be between the 2 expanded rooms illustrated, but a previous owner removed the entrance and tried to enclose the space as an extra room. The expansion never really worked properly and it is being used as storage space now. I will decide what to do with it after I've lived in the home for a while.

The front expanded room is part of the living/dining room, and the rear expansion is the master bedroom.

For those who are interested in the history of RVing and movable homes, here is the link to the Atlas Museum:

The collection of vintage ads goes back to 1930 and continues to 1968, plus a collection of memorabilia such as cigarette lighters and toys. I still see ads on Craigslist for the 1960 Serro Scotty, and I was looking at those ads half-seriously when I sold my truck.

The current owner said I could come over today to get some more questions answered as well as to get another good look at things I missed the first time. I took my daughter with me, hoping her memory would hold up where mine fails. I tried to photograph the paneling so that I could hold the color charts up to the photos, but they just didn't come out very well. I was planning to paint the kitchen and living room the same, but now I realize I need a medium gloss for the kitchen. The paneling in the living room is sort of shiny looking, so possibly I could just continue with the satin gloss. I'm really confused as to what I want to do and will need to get advice where I buy the paint, probably Home Depot. Everything I read seems to point to the need for a primer coat plus two top coats. Hmmm, for someone who has sworn off painting for life I'm doing a 180 on this.

The front railings can be removed to make moving furniture in and out a lot easier. If a truck is used, it can be backed right up to the steps.

You can see where the entrance door is still hanging in the area that used to be the entrance. Side entrances are only practical on a corner lot as there isn't enough space for an entrance between two units.

This side entrance opens to the carport side from the kitchen, and the trash and recycling bins are conveniently kept there.

Before leaving the Park, Jeannie and I walked over to the laundry facilities that are just across the street from my unit. It is a very nice building with shaded parking, picnic table, and a large grassy area. Inside are a large number of washers and dryers, and everything is spotless. A door leads off to a large private patio where quite a few clotheslines are strung for the use of the residents. I know where I am going to dry my sheets and towels from now on!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Advance Look

Jeannie and I went to a farmer's market this morning, and on the way home we drove through the mobile home park so she could take a look at my "new house". Here are a couple of shots, and keep in mind it will cost me only what I want to put into it. My first priority will be updating the interior. An identical model is located a few doors away, and the man who bought it really fixed it up on the outside. It looks very nice, so I have something to strive for, as well as a person who has already dealt with the same house and can maybe share some suggestions and experiences with me.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Homeless no more! (2nd post Sep.2)

I got a call from the Mobile Home Park to let me know my applications for residency and site rental were approved. That was quick - I just dropped the apps off this morning and was told it usually takes 2 or 3 business days. I had run my own credit report yesterday, which was sterling, so I didn't expect any problems in that regard.

A couple of days ago I was driving in the area and was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I have been homeless for the past several months and hadn't had much luck finding either an RV I liked, could afford, and could live in, nor was I able to find an apartment that I could see myself satisfied with. The fact that I was homeless kept running through my mind. But for about the past year my mantra has been "Go with the flow", and it is surprising how easy it has made my life. So I kept repeating those words when I felt myself sinking too low, knowing that somehow I always get what I need.

On a whim I drove into the Mobile park to see if there might be rentals available. I was told at the desk it was owner-occupied only, no rentals allowed. But the woman who talked to me pointed out an elderly lady standing around the curve of the counter, saying "You should talk to Yvonne; she wants to move into a newer unit and will give hers to you." It took me a few minutes to let that sink in, but I spoke with Yvonne and found out that indeed she wanted to move but couldn't keep her old unit, couldn't sell it, and was willing to give it away. She said "I thought maybe they could find someone who was homeless who would be able to take it over". Those words nearly blew me away.

So I arranged to return a couple of days later as she insisted the place was in a mess due to her planned move. I can certainly relate to how women feel about strangers coming into a messy house, even though most of us are messy at least some of the time. Two days later I returned (and she was right, it was pretty messy). It is a vintage (1963) model and in a tacky sort of way looks like it never moved out of the 60's. The model is a Budger, which I had never heard of.

Yvonne told me that it is not considered an actual singlewide and is not subject to property taxes. It does need to be registered with the DMV and a fee paid to that agency, although it doesn't need a license tag and can't be moved on its own - it looks just like a regular old vintage singlewide. There is lots I want to do on the inside, for example the walls are all old wood (or laminate) paneling, and I am going to prep them and paint them. The living room will be first, even before I move in. The carpeting is a chocolate brown color that I can live with for a while after getting it cleaned. I had thought of installing hardwood or laminate flooring, but the carpet isn't as bad as she led me to believe, and Lady will probably like it better than wood flooring.

The pet rules say that dogs should weigh no more than 35#, two pets per unit totaling no more than 75#. I asked how about one 75-pounder (Lady is on a diet from all the treats given to her by the grandkids), and they agreed.

The rent for the site is way less than what I paid last year for the apartment, and it is 2 bedroom, 1 bath. Added to the rent I will be paying a fee for storm drain, sewer, and trash collection, and the total is still less than the apartment rent. I feel so very fortunate that I can settle down, get all my things out of storage, and have a place to live and to return to when I travel. This Park also has storage for RV's, so in the future I may find myself getting another one. But for now I will be firmly planted on the ground and will be 1 mile from son Joe, 5 miles from daughter Jeannie, 200+ miles from son Steve, and about 3500 miles from son Mike.


I have a line on a place to live, and if all goes well I'll be moving in around the 1st week in October. I decided that I will take my granddaughter's old TV since I really don't care for a flat screen that seems to be stretched wide and compressed vertically. My s-i-l tried to explain it to me but I can't get it through my head, probably because it doesn't matter to me - I just don't like it. With the TV in mind I've been looking at cable service providers and found that DirectTV seems to have the best price for the channels I want. I wish I could understand the logic, if there is any logic, behind the way the programs are placed in the packages. For example, out of 4 levels of channels, the God network appears on all four, but you have to go up to at least the second level to get the History and National Geo channels. When I found a level with music channels including my favorite Bluegrass, that settled the matter. I will have the God channel for any guest who may want to watch it, and I can watch History and Nat Geo, or crank up the bluegrass or Honky Tonk radio!

Then on to the phone service. I have always wanted to go back to a land line but it isn't easy to find that service without having to take an entire package. I was shocked to find out that so many providers give you a monthly allowance of minutes, as I thought that scam just belonged to the cell phone providers. I want to drop my cell phone service and just get a small basic phone for when I travel, maybe a pay as you go plan.

For internet I really don't know what to do. My MiFi should be adequate for the remaining year on my Verizon plan, so maybe I should just use that for the time being. I like the Verizon phone service but think I might drop it and pay the early termination fee.

When the "deal" is locked in on the lodging I will write more about it and how it dropped into my lap. The best part is that I will still be able to travel when I want and keep up with the site rent. It is not an RV or an RV park, but a 55+ community of single and double wides, and I will have a real challenge ahead to make it uniquely mine. I may even break my vow to never hold a paintbrush again!