Take me out to the ball game..

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I am not a big fan of baseball. 

I own a glove and understand the terminology, but the professional sports side of it I do not understand. When someone asked me who my favorite player was I said Buck Bokai, for the London kings.

So why a baseball game? Well we were kind of enticed to go.

We did know the star of the show, the most talented hostess Halley Murrow Castleberry, and her invitation was hard to pass up.


Not only that but our kid brother was asked to say play ball to start the game and I had to be there to cheer him on. This was not the first ball game I have been to see.
Sleydar Says: Plaaaay Ball!!

A long time ago when my son was still little I took him to see a game in one of the big stadiums back home in New York. I am not sure which team it was like I said I am not a big fan, and that was a long time ago. I went then because I wanted to be able to say I took my son to a ballgame.

It is a staple in American society. Kind of a bonding ritual that shows up in your memories like a black and white photo of a past that seems sweeter then it was. I don’t remember who played or what the score was but I remembered how I felt.

I remember the roar of the crowed, the smell of the food, and the excitement of the game.

I also remember there was a line for everything, in between plays being slow, and really being upset I was not old enough to buy beer. Not to take anything from the memories I made with my son or the grandeur of the great American ball fields of New York but I think I really enjoyed this time better.

http://www.HalleyMay.com

If it were not for Halley I likely would have never known that the pelicans were even a thing and I have been to Myrtle Beach many times (Mrs Winter and I honeymooned there and we try to go back every anniversary) but I did not even know they had a baseball stadium.

This outing still turned out to be one of our best nights at the beach.

When it comes to bang for your buck an evening with the Pelicans is the way to go. When it comes to ticket prices it is not a lot. I don’t want to say how much tickets are, this is not an advertisement but I will say that I have spent more to see a movie.

Not only that but it is more than just a ball game, it is kind of a show too. The game started off with a troop of fire jugglers from Over the Moon Productions who put on quite a show. I was so close to the show I could smell the kerosene.

Then there was a rousing rendition of the national anthem preformed by Aubrey Cook that had the whole stadium standing with hand on heart.

The part that had Mrs Winter and I all excited though came when Sleydar walked on the field with team mascots Splash Pelican and Rally Shark to say play ball to get the game started.

I am no sports reporter and I can not give you the low down of the game. But I can tell you that between innings we got a chance to see things like the pony hop and that type of game come on the big screen often hosted by Halley the hostess with the mostest.

The first thing that comes to your mind when it comes to a ball game, well my mind anyway, is the food. You can’t help but get hungry with the smell of popcorn and pretzels in the air.

It was not all just junk food though the ring of fire grill offers grilled vegetables and veggie burgers. Kayla ate sensibly but I had to have a braut but I put vegetables on it so I wouldn't be a bad influence over the kid. The view from the grill was great. ->
The staff very friendly. One park associate had seen Sleydar anxiously chase foul balls with his glove on  and gave him an official game ball. It was nice but unnecessary because a few innings later Sleydar got the ball he was waiting for when a player knocked a foul ball right over our heads and it landed were he could retrieve it.

He soon turned around and gave it to a family that looked like they wanted a souvenir. What a sweet kid.

As the game went on and our attention span started waning we took a walk around the park and got a helmet full of dipping dots as we found our way to the bouncy house. Sleydar got a chance to bounce of some excess energy and throw a few baseballs.

We even got a silly picture with him in a baseball card cut out. As the night went on we quickly wore out
and before too long we were all ready to go home.

Though we had just made  it through the seventh inning stretch it was time to go home. Though we hated to see the Pelicans loosing when we left, if we had not left then we would have been carrying Sleydar to the car.

There are few things that are more American than a day at the ballpark. I doubt that I will ever know all the major league teams or watch a game on TV.. but I must say that a day at the park is a good day indeed. I am certain that this will not be the last game we go to.


Extra!! Extra!! Read all about it!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

A lovely reporter from the Lexington Dispatch, Dwight Davis, called me a few weeks ago with questions about my book and our upcoming journey! This morning I found the awesome article he wrote on their website and figured I would share it here with you all!! Thanks for reading and supporting our dreams! -Kayla & Robert

Click Here to read article!!

Spray painting in our RV

Friday, August 8, 2014


Wow, looking back on it that tape and paper everywhere was a mess, and honestly it took me longer to tape everything than it did to spray paint it!

Welcome to part two of our RV renovations, the spray painting. Unlike the rest of the painting it did not take weeks. Luckily the Valspar spray paint we bought covered in one coat and I was able to do it all in the same day.

As you remember from the blog post Robert wrote about painting our tiny home on wheels on his first day of painting the little brother and I secured all of the hardware to cardboard and spray painted that with Rustoleum metallic paint in the brushed nickle finish.

Securing the pieces to the hardware was probably one of the best ideas I've had during these renovations because it kept everything organized and from falling over onto each other.

This also allowed me to use the screws that would be showing to secure the hinges down so that they could be painted as well & would match the hinges once we put them back. I consider this a win-win!

The first photo on this post was of the stove hood all masked and painted, check out the final result above! Taking your time taping all of the edges neatly and making sure to place newspaper or plastic over areas you don't want painted saves a lot of headache!


*This has nothing to do with spray painting but when I used modge podge to decoupage these atlas pages to the walls I also decoupaged  pink and blue sticky tabs pointing out where Robert and I are from. The pink one points to the Peidmont Triad of NC where I grew up and the blue one points to Long Island, NY where Robert grew up! By the way I used three coats of glossy modge podge to secure these maps to the wall and provide a surface that would be easy to clean.

For the refrigerator door panels there were two tiny screws that you can take off to release one side of the (tan colored) edge. Then you can carefully pull the panels out and spray paint them. It would have been super messy & hard to tape around those doors because the panels are not glued down & there would have been drips & ugh.. let's just say I'm glad I took them out!

**The same applies for the top of the stove and the oven door. There were four screws (two on the top and two on the bottom) of the door. Once those screws were removed the front of the door (with the handle still attached) pulls away from the back (the side that is inside the oven) and reveals a layer of insulation. The insulation was not glued into place or anything so I took that out and put it to the side.

There were also two screws on the inside that allowed me to take the handle off. This may sound complicated but I can assure you that taking these extra steps kept me from doing a lot of messy masking and ensured the final result would be smooth and drip-less!

The stove top is made to detach so that you can easily adjust the burners. So that was a no-brainer.

I took all of the panels, doors, and pieces outside, spray painted them, let them dry for 48 hours and put them back. Giving them adequate time to dry ensures that you won't scratch them when trying to put them back.

That pretty much sums up the spray painting part of our RV makeover! Stay tuned for part three where I go over how I made Roman shades out of old mini blinds & completely redid the upholstery!

If you want to make sure you are notified, since Facebook can be a little sketchy about delivering posts to your news feed, sign up for e-mail alerts! This will send our posts directly to your inbox (no spam guaranteed) and you will never have to miss another post!

See ya soon!

Painting tight spaces

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I have had some experience with painting in the past

The first job I ever got paid to do, way back when as a 14 year old, was as a painting assistant. That did not start a lifelong career but it was the first of many hours spent painting. 

When my wife and I left our first apartment I painted the whole thing in 48 hours. So with all that experience and the best paint money can buy I thought for sure I would be done painting the Defiant in no time.  

Boy was I wrong. Getting the camper ready for painting did not take long. All we had to do was take down the cabinet doors and replace some old wood. There is not a lot of work that could be done in this little space. We decided to start the painting with the ceiling.
Our little brother wanted to help on the first day so Kayla put him to work helping her with the spray painting.

This was easy enough. It went on quick, covered well, and looked good. I thought it was a good sign, and was eager to get started on the next part: the cabinets. 

Camper cabinets are small, up high, and coated in a laminate/ veneer skin. The paint we used was top of the line and we have used it before so I thought it was a one coat wonder. I was wrong again. This thick white almost paste like liquid streaked across the cabinet skin like water on rainX. 

I felt that it looked more like dandelion sap than paint. It was thin and kind of runny as soon as I smeared it on I had to go back over it and clean up the drips. With the small brush I had to use to get in those tight gaps it took a really long time.... A long time in an odd position

The cabinets are too short to reach under standing up, but too tall to reach from sitting on the floor. So most of the time I was in kind-of an in-between position. That kind-of led to a lot of breaks to stretch out the creeks in my joints. It wound up taking me all day to crab walk my way around the Defiant to finish the first coat. 

At the end of the first day I was ready to be done, but it was just the beginning. Not only did I have runny paint and cramped spaces to deal with but there was still all the other things that needed to be done that made this chore go on day after day. 

If I was not spreading paint on the walls I was spreading tar on the roof. Not only was I trying to get the place painted but we were fighting leaks the whole way. Still it was not all bad. All that time alone in the camper gave me time to catch up on some pod casts.

I listened to a few hours of the History of Rome before I started listing to a History of Britain that turned out to be more entertaining than I thought. 

We did learn a few things along the way like a good primer goes a long way. That as seen on TV stuff called mighty putty works as good as they say it does, so far at least. It is also a good idea to have your tarp on hand if you have a leaky roof and are in the middle of North Carolina's rainy season.

You should also make sure that all the plumbing systems are in order before you start painting. I also know every square inch of the defiant at-least on the inside of the living space. I have crawled on my hands and knees across every inch of the floor and brushed every exposed surface; over and over. 

I have even scrambled over the roof more times than I would like. It is all worth it though. It looks a lot better than when we started, more like us. I knew anything we bought Kayla would want to make-over in her own style; Which is good because I love her style. 

I would like to think that it will not be long before we are done remodeling and ready to move in but, as I said.. I did not think painting would take that long either. I just wanted to stop and write this to give you guys an update as to what is going on and complain a little about painting. 

So I am about to get started on the next step of our project and I hope it will go easier than the last. Still... it could be worse, we did more hard work than this in our last place when WinterStead started. 

All that work was taken away by a faceless bank. The Defiant though is all ours, so any work I put in to her will always be ours. We are excited to get this adventure started and we are glad that you all let us share our story with you.

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By the way:
We painted the ceiling with one coat of Valspar: Cover-n-go in flat white.
We painted the cabinets with four coats of Valspar: Reserve in Eggshell white
We painted the walls with one coat of Bullseye 123Primer (no sanding, works well on veneer)
                                    & two coats of Valspar: 4000 eggshell (the color was a really light gray).

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