I woke one morning shortly after the Lodi parade and found a message from a woman named Millie Noe. She told me how she had seen Levi and the van and how hard it made her laugh. It blessed me so much to know that our venture had indeed brought someone great joy.

Turns out Millie Noe has a humor blog. She writes some very funny stories and reading them will be sure too put a smile on your face and make you laugh out loud.

I asked her who made her logo and she said Moi. So I asked if she would want to paint something on my van. She sent me this…


It was an awesome drawing and a brainstorm came to my mind. I asked if she could paint Levi fly fishing on my hood. She said… Give me a minute. Soon she sent me this…


I couldn’t believe my eyes. This was perfect to represent the Project Healing Waters, so we agreed to get together at her place and she would paint one of the most important parts of the van. The hood. I had been looking at paintings to get an idea of what should be on it and hers was better than anything I’d envisioned.

I suggested maybe trying to paint it on some poster board first and she sends me a practice painting that she did on an old white van they had. I laughed when I saw not only had she already practiced, but actually did the practice on an old Ford van they were sending off to The Ranch. Talk about dedication.

We were going to meet on Saturday however the weather was a bit cold and a chance of rain so we met on Wednesday which was my day off. It was a hot, sunny day and Millie actually took a vacation day from work, to spend painting the van.

When we arrived she greeted us at the beginning of the driveway.


I opened the bus door and she climbed aboard. Back by the house, she’d set up a table with paints, brushes, water to rinse the brushes and rags. She also had a cooler with beverages and some chips and plenty of other snacks. With a smile she told me how she had bought carrots for Levi. I explained he just spits carrots out. Later we discovered that he loves crackers and juice boxes. He watched everything with curiousity



Levi drinking juice from a juice box.



First we took Levi for a walk. I let Felix lead him but the next thing we knew Levi had pulled the rope from his hands and was running ahead of us towards the neighbors property.


Luckily there was a tree down and when he reached it, he turn around and returned to us. We headed back to the van to begin the project.



This woman is truly the hostess with the mostest. She even took us inside to get Felix some paper and an easel so he could paint as well. With brushes in hand Millie and Felix began to paint. I took pictures as things progressed.


Felix painted on the easel.


Millie did an awesome job of painting on the van after we sanded it first.






While it dried we went on another walk through a pretty wooded section.


The finished painting was beautiful.


I sprayed it with several light coats of clear gloss sealant.

We then took a drive in the van to meet Millie’s mother and sister where I sprayed a thicker final coat of sealant on the hood.


After we had a short visit that included another friend who stopped in for the B.S. Girls meeting they have every Wednesday, we headed back to the ranch with Levi.

An unexpected heavy downpour on the way home after dropping off Levi managed to wash away most of Millie’s amazing mural.


I can honestly say, I was sad that all her hard work had simply vanished in minutes, but thinking of all those who’ve lost everything due to the hurricane in Texas, I still felt blessed. Nothing could erase the blessing of time spent with new friends.

The project lives on and we will attempt another painting on Christie’s Quilt. This time with oil based Rustoleum designed for metal and lighter coats of sealant.