Two months rolled by, just like that *snaps fingers*, since the last what’s-happenin’ journal entry? It’s crazy but true, at our age, time accelerates like particles in the Large Hadron Collider. I wake up to a Monday morning and by noon of the next day, it’s Saturday again and I’m thinking “What?…where did…? Did I just miss Thurs…?”
It has been busy round here lately, there have been changes and that does make the clock and the calendar to move in double quick time.
The dream is now a reality.
We flat outgrew our Itty Bitty. My bed was the over the cab sleeping space and climbing up and down that ladder in the middle of the night to use the facilities was becoming un-fun and worrisome. With RD retired our travel profile has changed, we’re no longer doing just weekends, we need a bit more livability in our rig. It would be great to be able to set up and then have a tow rig to run around in sight seeing. Not for nothing, but Itty Bitty was quite uncomfortable to drive. She is rough driving, and by the end of a long day of driving, we’d be wiped out and too tired to do much of anything. The smallish RVs built on the Sprinter chassis are great in a lot of ways but there are zero frills in the Sprinter cab. They’re not built for comfort and style, they’re built for utility, they’re basically work trucks and Itty Bitty drove like a work truck. In the middle of the trip we took to Moab, we had to find a place to pull over and just hole up for a couple of days to rest up. By the time we got home, neither of us were too anxious to get back in her for another trip, we were that tired. We did take the short trip up in the mountains to Spokane, and even then, a trip of 3 days, we just wanted to come home and rest.
We drove out to our local Airstream dealer and found the model that was right for us and started test driving tow rigs. Three dealerships, four different makes later, we fell hard for the GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD Duramax/Allison transmission. Three weeks ago, we woke up and said “Let’s do this!”
Toototabon! (Pronounced: Two-TOT-a-bon)
We got hold of our Airstream guy to let him know we were ready to deal. Boise Airstream actually gave us a great deal on the trade in. They called it full NADIA trade in value. It wasn’t, but it was close enough and far more than other RV dealers had offered when we looked last Fall. (After the Moab trip, it was abundantly clear Itty Bitty was no longer working for us. We either had to make changes or quit RVing altogether.) Airstream took 7-10 days to prep the new trailer for delivery. We cleaned out the garage, sorted, threw away, and organized which coinklydinkly took 7-10 days as well. The day we picked her up, Airstream gave us almost a 4 hour walk thru to orient ourselves on her systems, and remember, we’re not RV newbies!! It was an Airstream specific walk thru and very much appreciated. She’s finally home and tucked safely away in the RV bay of the garage. Because of the COVID-19 related Idaho mandatory 21 day Stay-At-Home order, we will just have to wait before we can get out in her. As my favorite Sewing Guru Barbara Emodi says, “A cooperative healthcare system means you cooperate.”
So that’s that. We’re waiting for the stay at home order to be lifted and parks to open up so we can get out and explore Idaho. Another change in our RVing is we’re going to be doing more State and National parks and less commercial RV parks. We’re going to be getting together with Raymond and going to his favorite Idaho state parks and fish with him. I’m very excited about that!! I’m trying to talk him into getting an Airstream Basecamp…RD nixes that and encourages Raymond to buy a house first. Shrug. What can ya do with solid logic like that?
Speaking of husband dumbassery, RD is looking over my shoulder and teasing me about putting pics of the Airstream and Toototabon on the interwebs right now. He says other womens out there will see the pics of the new rigs and will come to our house and try to steal him away from me. He says this is all their dreams come true. He says instead, I should be posting pics of a 1978 pop-up camper towed by an 1981 Toyota pickup. What can you do with solid wisdom and logic like that? I said I was including that in this entry. He said “There’s a section on husband dumbassery?” I said “There is now.”
And funny story, literally 24 hours after we signed the papers on the Airstream…the market crashed. Oh, it’ll come back, we’re not worried there. Some folks call it a market crash, others calls it a “buyer’s market” and the crash of 2008 is how I got into the stock market in the first place. So, I took a nice little piece of the pie of my inheritance from my dad, and I went shopping. I think it would make my dad smile, quite frankly. In 2008, I only played with $3500. This time around, I went big. We’ll see if it pans out. Never bet against the American markets.
It’s enough right now just to walk out in the garage and look at them both. Of course, first thing I did was to go inside the Airstream and clean her with a light bleach solution by wiping down every surface, anyplace someone might have inadvertently touched, inside cabinets, walls, everything. I still have to do the bathroom and the bedroom areas to wipe down. For me, a good cleaning is my way of claiming ownership.
Since this is primarily my sewing blog…soon to be shared evenly with a traveling blog, stay tuned…I’ve been doing some sewing for her. I’m making new quilts for the beds, here’s what I’ve got of RD’s so far:
Still have the left side border to do today.
I started making cushion covers for the salon area. At this point, I don’t think a 21 Stay At Home order is long enough time to get my projects completed!!! I’m fixin’ to let the housework go and focus down 100% to get these projects done!! No one can come over anyhoo and RD wouldn’t notice a dead skunk in the middle of the table so no worries there. We’re pretty good at picking up after ourselves in any case. It’s not like we ever let the sink pile up with dishes or leave items dropped on the floor or not make the bed every day. Worst case scenario is I’ll need to dust extra hard at the end of my projects.
The interior color of our Airstream is Sandpiper Ultraleather Dwell or as a normal person would call it, white:
With two dogs, white will not do at all but no matter, I have sewing skills. And some upholstery fabric on hand that I bought to make covers for Itty Bitty. I’m not sure I have enough on hand but it doesn’t matter anyways as this is the first effort, and getting the pattern made is the important thing here. Once the pattern is dialed in, I can make cushion covers to my heart’s content and change them out to suit my mood. I started out with a loose cushion, the smallest one in there:
I had to order upholstery zippers online from Sailrite. I’ll manipulate the fabric I have on hand to try and get the rest of the cushions covered.
Where does the name “Toototabon” come from? David Lynch. We’re huge fans of David Lynch movies~Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Twin Peaks. And this right here is where the name comes from, its a white chicken in the “What Did Jack Do?” short film. It’s on Netflix right now. We’ve watched it a dozen or more times. Matter of fact, the day before we decided to go for it, as we drove past the dealership on our way to MegaLo Mart, I said to RD “I would name her Toototabon!” And then sang the monkey’s love song.
Heh. We joined the local Airstream club for the help in learning how to trailer and safety of all things Airstream (you can’t have the propane on while pulling the trailer down the road, so how do you keep the refrigerator cold? And things like that). In our “Introduce Yourselves!” email, we noted the Toototabon name and we’re David Lynch fans…and then that night, in honorarium, we watched “Lost Highway” on Amazon…one of the few Lynch movies I had never seen before…and we just shrank in horror… “What in the world will those good folks at the local Airstream club think of us?” And RD jokes that the Stay At Home order was put in place by our local club pressuring the governor so they could just slowly slip away without our noticing. “Lost Highway” is so very….David Lynch. What do you expect of a guy who got his early start writing for the Twilight Zone??
So, that’s all caught up. Raymond is going gangbusters, of course. I don’t think I mentioned it last time, but he is now an A-Pay mechanic at the mine. 18 months, and he has already been promoted to an A-Pay mechanic. For perspective, including counting him, there are only 10 A-Pay mechanics at the mine out of the whole mechanic-ing department. He’s a rockstar! I have some serious DIY skills, but I credit his dad for his mechanic skills. His dad is like that, and Raymond grew up with a wrench in his hands. He tells of being a teen and wanting to go into town, would take an hour under the hood to get his truck running to make the trip. He’s a good egg, that man! My brother says that the next wave of millionaires in this country are going to be those with trade skills like welding, plumbing, mechanic and the sort. I believe it, I surely do. Pups are good. They’re loving the warmer weather and being able to be out in the yard more.
Alright, enough. Time to get moving.