Sunday, December 30, 2012

When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers

Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!  ~Albert Einstein

To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.  ~Barbara Bush

And then there are birthdays:  Today is my daughter's 44th birthday and what is so great her brother gets to spend the day with her. This doesn't happen often as he lives in New Mexico and has had to get home by now and back to work.

Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed.  ~Charles Schulz

You're not 44, you're eighteen with 26 years experience.~Author Unknown

And my Best Wishes for the New Year to all.

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.
~Martin Luther

Saturday, December 22, 2012

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!

I so wish this for you with all my Inner Heart.

And, it's been a month since Housemate Jim's hip replacement surgery.  He is doing really good now.  He is using a cane and the physical therapists are working him up to walking without it.  His trust in the new hip is gaining.

Because they extended the neck of the device, his right leg is a bit longer then the left so he "limps" about.  The PT is recommending a lift for his left shoe - around a half inch, which she said is quite a bit.  So that will be the next episode - and he doesn't like to wear shoes!  He's a hard-soled slipper man.

We had our first snow Thursday night - ended up with around 1.5 to 2 inches.  Hard to tell, as the winds were blowing pretty hard and created some 1 to 2 foot drifts in our back yard along with a few bare spots.  Weather folks are talking about another snow on Christmas Day.

Son will be arriving on Christmas Eve day and will be able to stay about a week.  This will be the first time have seen him in a year.  Getting excited.  Always great to see the two kids together and watch their interactions with each other.  They are as different as night and day - I know a lot of you can relate to that.

Well, time to get more baking done.  Today I am focusing on my grand-doggy treats for Buster.  He's getting scones, crumpets, banana cookies, corn dogs, muffins, and bar cookies.
 Oh look, he even has Christmas green eyes!
PS. Neighbor's dog, Isabelle will get some too.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Two Week Update . . . .

What a change - from virtually not being able to move to riding a stationary bicycle today.

The physical therapist really does push Jim; and, Jim says that he always feels good afterwards.  That's not quite what he said before the 2nd session with the PT.  He cussed and cussed that PT all morning before heading to therapy.  Now, he somewhat giddily looks forward to the sessions.  Wish he would work that hard at home, but he diligently does exercising twice a day - or he wouldn't be as far along as he is.

Jim has been sitting to get in and out of the bathtub to shower; today he was able to lift his right leg high enough to clear the tub edge without assistance.  The PT is working with him to get his legs high enough to climb in and out of the tub in a standing position.

Me, am doing okay - at least I am sleeping in longer spells at night now, since Jim is getting out of bed by himself; as well as chairs.  I don't have to help him very much.  Now, it's just get new dentures so he can eat regular food.  I have been pretty creative with baby food though.

I've had my moments of frustration, being mad, emotional, helpless and fatigue.  In reading articles about caregivers, these are typical feelings.  The worst feeling is feeling guilty at having those moments.

Today I dropped off his Medicaid application as I wanted to get it in before Medicare started processing all his bills.  From what I have read once Medicare has made adjustments and made payments those medical bills cannot be counted toward the Spendown.  See, I am learning about Medicaid.

When I finished talking to the clerk at the office, I thanked her for all her help and told her that I needed all the help I can get as this is all new to me since I've never been old before.  She had to think about that one.

My gosh I haven't even thought about Christmas yet - let alone Christmas cards.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Man with the New Hip Will be Coming Home

And a Trailer is Decorated for the Holidays

First time I have decorated the trailer.  Eggie is a New Mexican at heart so I put up my chile pepper lights. I can see the lights out my kitchen window.

Housemate Jim will be coming home tomorrow afternoon, after his hip replacement surgery. I go in tomorrow morning and spend time with him and his physical therapist. I will be learning the "hows" and the "do nots".

One of the concerns we both have is Jim being able to get in and out of my truck without too much difficulty.  So the therapist is going to simulate getting in and out of a pickup compared to a car height vehicle by mocking up a "pickup" for him to practice on.

The house has been re-arranged with chairs moved around with the one he will be using for awhile in the living room now.  I have also lowered his bed so that he won't have to "jump" up on it.  We already have other "tools" needed to make life a bit easier for him.  Thank heavens he doesn't need the use of a wheel chair as he wouldn't be able to go through doorways - well he would be able to go into the bathroom with its wide door but couldn't get there!

Well, I hope the weather where ever you are is Holiday like and you will be safe when out on those highways.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Surgery Report

Housemate Jim came thru surgery great.  Doc said it was "textbook prefect".  Said Jim's hard bones did give him a change in plans and had to go to a different size ball.  That was about all I understood. Doc said he should be happy with his new hip.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Whew - that was close

Housemate Jim is scheduled for his hip replacement and last Thursday he came up with a bladder infection.

Oh no, a delay we thought.  Last time he was to have a replacement it had to be postponed due to a MRSA infection.

Just talked with the doc's office and was told that since he is on such a strong medication, it should not be any problem.  Jim is so looking forward to getting this done and then the other hip ASAP.

Besides, already told daughter I wasn't cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mold? Mold on my blog?

My brother is complaining to me that it's been awhile since I posted and mold is growing on my last post. Do you think that's a hint?

Actually, the lazier (according to my definition) the less I like to write - or have to write about. Hey, have been sitting in the recliner more. I can say that so many times and then the mold will really start to grow.

I do want to mention that my bro gave me an early Christmas present.
My sky blue Kit Kat
I have failed to do that and want to thank him very much for it. "It" is a sky blue Kit Kat clock, complete with wagging tail - and that tail wagging is, well, tempermental. It wags, it stops, it barely wags, it wags normal. Right now it is stopped. When it really gets nasty outside, I'll tackle the magnet thing. But, isn't he cute?

I put the cover on the trailer, several months ago, to keep the leaves and twigs from falling onto the top and from clogging up the space between the awning and trailer body. The cover survived through mild winds; but we had some 30-40 mph winds for a couple of days awhile back - well, the leaves got blown off the 2 trees in the back yard onto other areas bypassing the trailer top; and, therefore the cover wasn't really necessary. I didn't have to remove the cover, the wind did that for me.

Last of my annual snapdragons
Daughter Juno modeled again this year in her Day of Caring activity. I took this picture of my pink snapdragons and put it in front of her Day of Caring picture from last year. I just picked the last batch of snapdragons last week. I hope I can keep the annuals to survive another winter.

Spare tire cover with trailer quilt design
Oh, I can tell when it becomes Winer time for me - I get a puzzle out and start working on it.

A project I hope to complete this Winter is to make a copy of my "Four Winds Trailer Quilt" design onto something I can hang in the back window of the trailer. Three years ago, I worked on the same design for my spare tire cover; but, alas spare tire covers don't last forever.

Housemate Jim is scheduled for a right hip replacement on the 20th, just before Thanksgiving. My time will be spent helping him (and me) with his recovery and physical therapy for 6 weeks. Since he shouldn't be using his big, plush recliner it is going to be moved to where mine is in my bedroom, mine moved out to the living room and he will mainly use the swivel rocker and my former recliner. Changes in life, changes are a comin'.

I plan on making my pillowcases for kids receiving cancer treatment in hospitals. I had such a good time shopping for fabric and making them that I want to do it again. Was self rewarding.

This year I have put some Christmas lights around and on the trailer. Haven't done that before. My decorations on the house will go up this week as I will be busy next week with housemates surgery activities. It seems so early. I don't turn them on until the weekend after Thanksgiving. Speaking of that - anyone still shop on Black Friday? Not me, working at WalMart killed that in me - not that I really ever wanted to.

I continue to experiment with rice flour bread recipes and using rice flour instead of wheat flours because of my carbo intolerance.  Haven't come up with a good bread recipe yet.  Want one that is soft, moist and good tasting.  Using rice flour is a lot different.

Until next time.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Burst of Warm Days to Take Advantage of

We had a nice rain this morning around 2 a.m. Gave the lawn and shrubs a good watering, so I put the yard hose away - that means winter is setting in.

Vacuumed the inside of the truck for its semi-annual interior cleaning. Took good ole Armor All to clean down everything else.

The cover on the trailer has stood several Kansas wind tests and I didn't have any leaking water in this mornings rain. Maybe I have fixed the leak around the ceiling fan.

Time to get the generator cleaned up and set up for winter, in case we have any lengthy power outages. Won't run the furnace, but can run a small heater and lights with it.  Haven't tried the refrigerator but not gonna even going to look into it.

Have a few more porch furniture pieces to cover/put away. Would like to get the solar Christmas lights put up while it is nice. Won't turn them on until Thanksgiving. I don't have any exterior outlets, so the solar lights come in handy. The newer strings have bigger bulbs then the sets I have.

Had to get back on my diet as I put on a few pounds by eating too many carbs. I feel better any way.  My morning starts out with a walk on the treadmill for about 30 minutes/1 mile (knees won't let me run); then I have a breakfast of oat bran muffin (a basic recipe I expanded on), 2 strips of turkey bacon, 6-8 oz of a flavored Greek yogurt and one cup of coffee.

That holds me usually until around 1 p.m. then it's a variety of things - veggies, lean meat, salad, toasted rice bread sandwich; have an afternoon snack of homemade granola and a regular supper of some lean meat, veggie/salad, rice, fruit.

I try and keep the intake of foods rich in simple & complex carbs down as much as possible. Since I am a "mature in age" person I have experienced the body's (I'll say) misuse of carbs and the placement of those useless carbs. I also have developed an intolerance to gluten and starch, so this winter am working on recipes for gluten-free/rice flour breads, etc. I can handle rice starch as the rice starch is absorbed in the small intestine and does not cause the discomfort that other starches do a little further down the digestive line.

So anyhoo. Have been thinking of Casita friends over in the Flint Hills near Council Grove and hope they have made it through the wet weather okay. Beautiful country over there with interesting history. Mr Rob knows how to pick beautiful country to wander around in. Sometime he and Bob L. are going to share their love of that area with me.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Uh Oh - A bloody Owie

No, won't show you, just tried to take the inside of my thumb off with a hammer.  Was putting up the garage trim pieces.  You got the picture.
Before trim
After trim + a few drops of blood!

Woke up to frost on the pickup this morning.  The backyard thermometer said the low was 34º and the front one gave 33º on the front porch.  Weather folks are sending out warnings for widespread frost or even a freeze this weekend - now showing as low as 23º.

Going to use the excuse to finish the winterizing of the trailer; then won't have to worry about when the freezing temps do come in for good.

Almost am finished fertilizing the back yard.  I fence off the fertilized area to keep the neighbor's dog off the area (don't ask why) for a couple of days.  And I have only so much fence to surround the area.

Am also constructing a rack on the bed of my truck that will hold my sand tubes (I made them myself about a year ago) over the rear wheels.  I did this last year but the sand tubes were always wet from sitting on the floor of the bed; so, am raising them a bit off the bed and using some plastic I have.  I won't be putting the sand tubes in until they are needed.  I like being prepared.  No, I don't have 4-wheel drive.  Didn't want it.

If the weather is workable, will get the jacks under the trailer's frame Thurs or Friday.  LATER NOTE:  It's too cold!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Countdown to being cooped inside has started

Today is really nice, temperature in the back yard is 80º.  Earlier in the day, I saw a dark cloud stretching from overhead to the southwest and thought "Oh no, there's painting to get done."  So I have been under the back end of the trailer for the last few hours putting the ONE STEP rust converter primer on the metal frame.  This is the stuff that goes on white, quickly turns to a light green, then turns black as it uses the rust to create a primer.  Didn't think about getting pictures until I was already under the trailer.
So went out and got this one, Ain't that purtty?
(Oh forgot to mention - if you use this stuff, be prepared for flies to come around.  The smell seems to attract them from everywhere; and, I think it must intoxicate them as they fly like they are drunk!)

My upper body feels like I have been a contortionist.  I got smart this time and got a pillow for my head so I wouldn't have to strain my neck muscles.  Got the heating pad against my shoulders right now.  Later this week, I'll apply the black oil-based enamel over the One Step.

I started applying winter fertilizer/weed killer to the back yard earlier this morning - so was praying that we wouldn't have rain for a few days; as tomorrow will cover the rest of the back yard.  Am also preparing the trim board that will go on the east side of the garage.  I am cutting the 12 foot board into shorter pieces so it will be easier for me to put it up.  Haven't done any prep work on the '100 ton' garage door yet - except look at it.

I did put a cover on the top of the trailer.  I get so tired of the mess the leaves and twigs leave on the top; so, I patched up the cover and threw it up there.  Amazing how push brooms come in handy for other activities other than sweeping.  I have it tied down with four ropes across and secured to parts under the trailer.  Have alligator clamps with bungee cords on the front and back.  My tie down hasn't had a KS wind test yet.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Yahoo! I am Still Alive. . . .

Just got home from my first 6-month pacemaker visit with the cardiologist.  The cardio said to keep doing what I am doing.  Especially the weight loss.  J&J (pacemaker's name) is kicking in, in the lower chamber 32% of the time - mostly when I am sleeping to keep the beats up to 60 beats per minute; and the upper chamber is holding its own with no assists in 6 months from the pacemaker.  No palpitations in the last 6 months.

The pacemaker tech showed me what it feels like when J&J kicks up the heartbeats - ooookay.  Felt like my heart was climbing up my esophagus.  He had kicked the beats up to 90 beats per minute from about 65-70 bpm.  I said that yup, I have had that feeling a few times.

I don't go back to see the cardiologist and have a pacemaker reading for 6 months - maybe in time for my next birthday.

Well, back to my projects . . . .

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Finally, a working hand!

I think it must have taken my last post's threat seriously, because it sure started healing up fast; and, I was able to resume working on those projects I needed to get done before the cold days set in.

See those ugly little black spots (the fungus).
So I am back to getting rid of the black fungus on the top of the trailer and then covering the top with a wax compound, a glazing compound and then a fiberglass wax.  I am experimenting with a bleach based cleaner and a vinegar cleaner.  I have sprayed straight vinegar on the house siding where the black fungus accumulates - the northeast corner that doesn't get the sunlight as it is under a big tree.. And it has been working really good in keeping the black fungus growth down to almost "0" on the siding.  I'll be spraying the vinegar on the siding again in a few weeks.

Shiny, shiny top - those little round things are the rivet cap covers.
So far I have used the bleach based cleaner on the driver's side and will finish up with the vinegar cleaner on the passenger side of the trailer. The rivet covers are getting replaced too (about 24 of them), I took the black water tank's vent cover off, cleaned it and put new screen around the opening.  The screening keeps out bugs - mud dabbers from building nests in the vent pipe.  I will be doing the same with the gray water tank vent cover this next week.
Isn't this exciting?  That's my black tank vent cover; and look hard in the middle you can see the screen replacement.
There are the jacks under the trailer that I put on the frame to get the majority of the weight off the tires during the winter,  am going to attempt to tackle the rust on the framework underneath.  Then the battery gets hooked up to the solar panel too.  I take it out of the trailer and put it in the garage with the solar panel just outside the garage. Sometime in the next few weeks I will get the RV anti-freeze into the plumbing system.

As I was walking into the garage this afternoon, to get my trailer cleaning supplies, I glanced up at the "100 ton" garage door and remembered I need to paint, at least, the outside of it.  That door is a double wood door as many years ago a previous owner liked to work in the garage, even in the wintertime.  The garage is modestly insulated and there is evidence of an old heater in there, so hence the "100 ton" garage door.  If I had the money, I would replace it with a much, much lighter weight one and one with a remote!

There is enough work to keep me busy for the next 3 weeks; oh, including some winter yard preparation.  Our usual first-frost night is toward the end of October.  This coming Friday I have my 6-month pacemaker checkup with the cardiologist - am getting anxious to see how we are doing.  I know how I am doing - GOOD.  And - my diet, well just about 6/7 pounds to go to my goal.  Taking a breather this week and kind of done some piggin out, back on it next week.

Not very exciting.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Update . . . .Not getting much Done

Six years ago, I injured - actually fractured, the bones at the base of the middle finger in my right hand.  Went thru physical therapy for 3 or 4 months and it was great, just a bit set at an angle.

Well, sometime coming home I must have done something.  I don't recall it starting to bother me until heading home from Madison.  I packed it in ice and moved it a bit; then Thurs I accidentally jammed the finger against something and it's been driving me crazy!  Not much I can do with it, so my projects that still need to get done are on hold.  Hope it's better by the time I start getting the trailer ready for winter.

I'd show you a picture of the swelling, but it wouldn't be a nice gesture. Right now my typing is a mixture of one-finger on the right and regular typing on the left.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What a great week for me.  After all the busy, busy work all summer I had to "learn" how to do nothing!  This rally is pretty unstructured, which is the way I like them - maybe a few things to do together.  We all had lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Junction City, we had a couple of potlucks together, we had campfires together - in between one could go sightseeing, spend time visiting, nap, read, take a walk.

Front of trailer looking toward Milford Lake
Besides the "together" activities, I visited with friends I had made in the past, met a bunch of new ones, napped, read two books.  I did pick up some new ideas to work into my trailer - like putting the window awnings on a track, instead of using the suction cups.
Sun setting on Milford Lake.

The weather ran the gamut - hot, windy, rainy, windy, chilly, windy and perfect.  I did not get away on Tuesday as hoped.  My city was cleaning out the city sewer lines in our section of town and had advised us to cover any openings.  I didn't want my housemate to face any cleanup - really I didn't want to get a call on the way or after just getting there saying HELP.  Then we had a computer problem to take care of, then we did have a storm with 60-65 mph winds with rain and some branches did come down.  So it was Wednesday morning before I got away.

We had 32 fiberglass trailers - one Oliver, two Escapes, 3 Scamps and the rest were Casitas.  My camera didn't really get much of a workout this time.

I stayed until Monday morning, leaving at noon and drove to Madison Ks, located about 20 miles south of Emporia.  I went there to meet a Facebook friend Janet and her husband Larry.  Janet is one of those people you instantly feel like you have known all your life.  She is an artist and her husband Larry is a retired electrical engineer; but like most in the mechanical/scientific arena, they never quit being one of those types.

Janet is a hoot and we talked about so much.  I told them things about my life growing up that I don't talk about much.  I told them what life was like growing up with an artsy mom and mechanical/sciencey dad.  I spent one night with them and left reluctantly the next morning.  I would have stayed another night; but, alas I didn't have enough meds to get me through.

Trailer is cleaned out and parked for the winter. UGH.  I still need to get jacks under the frame to get the weight off the tires; winterize the water lines and put away the clean linens for the next time.   Oh, and fix that leak in the ceiling fan that is still there - I did see where the water is coming through. There are a few other projects to do or finish before the cold weather sets in - garage trim, fix the porch guttering, maybe get the eaves on one side of the house painted.  We had a chilly night and a nice rain to get us "in the mood" for Fall.

Oh, I guess spending all that money on getting the truck's maintenance work done just before leaving, helped as I averaged, pulling the trailer, 17 mpg - haven't had that in awhile.  Now to just get it paid for.

Until next time . . . .

Monday, September 3, 2012

Oh No, Another 100º Day (and another), Plus Getting Ready. . . .

Summer just doesn't want us to forget her - threw a 105º day at us on Sunday before Labor Day and 106º on Labor Day.   Let us not forget the meaning of Labor Day - dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers (and this doesn't mean you Wall Street "workers").

Preparations to Eggie for our participation in the Kansas Egg-stravaganza this week at Farnum Corp of Engineers campground just outside Junction City, have been my focus since early August, after I finished painting the garage.  He has not had a thorough cleaning inside and out for over 2 years!  The last two summers, I workamped at an RV park starting in May.  I never really cleaned the trailer up good from top to bottom, nor tended to some repairs or improvements that needed to be done.

Ain't that frame beautiful?
The yellow is the insulation placed
above my refrigerator.
I have posted, in earlier posts, some of the things that have been done so far - new curtains, fixed the "screen door" to work better, stabilize the microwave, bolt the converter in more securely so it won't walk across the floor when traveling, painted the black water tank's drain pipe black after removing the peeling black duck tape to reveal a white drain pipe.  The rust on the trailer frame is getting taken care of and the underside will be attempted after I get home and before winter.  Added extra insulation around my fairly new refrigerator - if it stays hot this week, may find out if it helps. And the blinds were removed and cleaned

Alas, the leak at the front of the Fantastic Fan is still there and it is predicted that we will have some rain later this week.  The rally organizer is even helping that along by borrowing a surplus tent for us to huddle under.

See the shiny look?
 Pretty good for an old duck.
The top of the trailer has one coat of wax on it, but really need to spend some time up there as the gel coat (fiberglass trailer for those not familiar who Eggie is) is pretty pitted and needs attention.  Since we are on water restrictions here, I had to get creative on "washing" the trailer.  It got washed but by one bucket of water at a time, to conserve water.  It turned out pretty clean.  Then I applied a marine fiberglass restorer that removed the oxidation and put a light coat of wax on.  To top that off, I have been applying a glazing compound to bring out the shine.  I should be applying another coat of liquid wax after that, but my upper arms are protesting.  I use 3M Marine fiberglass products.  He's looking pretty spiffy for an "old man of 12 years old".

Ribbon windsocks I make.
Meanwhile, I have been working on the ribbon windsocks, think I'll have around 35 to take with me.  The vacuum cleaner has been used to clean the carpeted inside, cupboards cleaned out, the bathroom cleaned, water lines flushed of RV anti-freeze, hanging rods to transport all the windsocks have been put up and tested, refrigerator cleaned and was turned on today to start cooling down, groceries bought, clothes loaded, tires checked and aired up - they only lost 4 psi in the last year.  I even took the rig out for a test run last Friday and realized the only step I didn't do was to tighten the stabilizer after putting it on.
99¢ box w/lid from WalMart, punched holes in side to
hold paper roller.
I even made a new toilet paper cover for the bathroom, so it won't get wet when I shower. I can even roll the paper!

Meals for housemate have been fixed and he has a menu of what to choose from.  He doesn't cook - besides my cook stove can be kind of scary sometimes.  Burners get too hot or not hot enough, oven overheats and dries foods out if not played with.  Old electric stove from waaaaaaay back when.

I made the picture small so it
wouldn't look so bad
I think I "embarrassed" Big Red by covering him up while he was parked under the bird tree.  The area birds love to sit in the tree in the afternoon; plus the elm tree is a terrible pitch tree too.  The trailer is already hitched from Friday's test run and I just left them there.  A neighbor wanted to cut some tree branches today and I had to move the trailer.

Well, it's off to bed and then tomorrow will finish what I didn't get done today.  I hope to be on the road by 11 a.m.

Friday, August 24, 2012

It rained again tonight, harder and more of it!

We are having a nice rain, a really nice rain tonight again. Went out to the trailer to check the leak - no leaking.

Only difference - no wind tonight. In the past, that's when I had trouble with the leak. I have suspected the rain is being driven under the original sealing around the Fantastic Fan, when the wind comes from the front of the trailer to the rear. As I recall, I haven't experienced leaks when in the reverse or from the passenger side of the trailer. Getting the picture now?

Had a houseful of dogs tonight. Daughter had to work tonight and the thunder and lightening scares her dog. So I went over to get him. As soon as I put his Thunder Shirt on he's out the back door headed to my truck. He's there waiting to get in and become "truck dog" for the ride to my house.

Meanwhile, the neighbors went out for the evening and their kids were spending the night with friends. It's pouring down rain and Isabelle, their dog, is barking to be let inside their house - only she doesn't know there isn't anyone home. She comes over to our house and as soon as housemate opens the door she zooms inside soaking wet. (Housemate is pretty partial to Izzie) I call the neighbors on the cell, "opps" he says; and, he had his son come home to let Izzie in the house. Happy ending.

Daughter's dog is very aloof to Isabelle and she would like to be friends. Funny to watch. She's really a nice dog, Buster.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's raining, it's raining!

It's been weeks since we've seen more than 20 drops out of the sky. I got so excited I ran out to the trailer in my pj's to see if I was successful in plugging the leak around the ceiling fan. NOT.

Friday, August 17, 2012

31 Days of that Miserable 100º+ Weather

Didn't hit the 36 days of 100º+ we had last summer.  That's okay, still no rain - maybe 16 rain drops here and there.

I finished painting the east side of the garage for as much as I am doing now.  I still need to replace the fascia boards on the east side - probably wait until September to do that when it is cooler.

I did get the house refrigerator cleaned out; and,  . . . . well, it did bring on the rains but not for us right here.  The folks north of us have been getting some rain - there is more heading eastward from Colorado now, maybe just maybe.  I'll leave the windows open on the trailer tonight - think that will work?

I have started fixing curtains for the side windows in the trailer.  The curtains panels I am using are ones I saved from a previous residence. The fabric is a window pane pattern and this particular fabric is very similar to window covers of my youth.  When I was a wee one, I would visit my maternal grandparents in Norris TN.  There were some windows in their TVA house that didn't have screens so Nana used this window pane fabric, stretching the fabric between curtain rods at the top and bottom to act as window screens.  It was light weight enough to let a breeze and light through, but kept out the bugs.
Curtains down
Curtains drawn up
The panels are too long and I did not want to cut the panels up, so I created a double valance.  Since I won't want them down all the time, I attached ribbon pulls so I could pull them up. Very similar to Austrian pull-ups.  I have them on wooden dowels that are tied onto the venetian blind top.

Before I got started on the side curtains, I had to clear the bed off so I could take measurements.  One of the items I had to move was my toaster oven.  I had wanted to store it in a cabinet when not in use. Well, I had to clean out that cabinet and ended up cleaning out 2 more cabinets and still hadn't put the toaster oven where I wan
Finished microwave cabinet
with electrical plug reversed.
Microwave is at bottom of picture.
ted it.  It is in its cabinet now - had to so I could get out of the trailer!

I replaced the microwave the second year of ownership of the trailer; and, it was smaller then the space.  When traveling, it kept slipping to the back of the cabinet, then I always had a struggle pulling it back out so I could open the door.  So I put a brace in the back to keep it in place. Yea. I also reversed the electrical outlet for the microwave making it more accessible for me and easier to unplug the microwave when the trailer is in "storage" for the winter or summer.

Oh note:  Leaving the trailer windows open hasn't brought us any rain, but the northern tier of counties are getting some rain.  At least it has cooled off and the rain is trying.  It would take us around 10-12 inches of rain to get us out of the extreme drought!  There isn't much water left in our City's lake.

I (think) I have fixed the last remaining leak around my Fantastic Fan, located in the ceiling. I thought I had it fixed last winter.  Guess when the rains finally come, I'll know for sure.

The electrical converter in the trailer came out of its cubby hole several years ago.  A washboard road I drove over loosened the bolts holding it in place and I had to prop it up so it would stay in where its suppose to. I reinforced the bolts by putting strips of wood behind the fiberglass and with lock nuts.  Hope that works.  Sure is nice seeing it in place, finally.

The rust on the trailer frame is getting taken care of.  I am trying some stuff called One Step.  It goes on white, immediately turns a light green color, then black.  You apply a second coat within 25 minutes.  Hate crawling under the trailer.  Next week, I'll apply a black enamel paint.

Last year I sold some of the ribbon wind socks I make (for something to do!) at the rally.  Several participants have asked me to bring some again this year, so am making some new ones in my spare time.  I even fixed my weather station so I could hang a couple of wind socks from it.

The trailer's refrigerator is getting some additional insulation added around it; the waxing of the trailer's fiberglass will start next week; cleaning out the garage so I can get the truck all the way in this winter. There are other things that pop into my mind that are getting done too. Somewhere in there I'll clean the trailer out and stock it up for the adventure over at Milford Lake and the KS Egg-Stravaganza Get-Together next month.

Down to 10 more pounds to lose.  Not rushing it and experimenting with what I can eat and still maintain the weight.  Will write again after the get-together.  Am stopping to meet a Facebook friend, Janet, on the way over to Milford Lake.  Looking forward to that.

Monday, July 23, 2012

22 Days of 100+º and counting

I had a talk with Mother Nature and told her that to have prolonged "hot flashes" not only makes it rough on her (speaking from experience), but it makes it very rough on those around her - i.e. all of us living through continual 100º plus temperature days.  She's not listening.  I wish the Man-Up-Stairs would control her.  Not.

The garage is two-thirds done.  I just have the east side to go, which is the side between my garage and the neighbor's garage/dog pen.  No windows to paint, but the moulding and fascia boards will come down and just the fascia boards will be replaced - who's looking at moulding on that side.

Flowers in the window of my garage.
I fixed up the blocked window on the west side and here is the results.  I had a lot of fun doing it. (To the left)

I started on the east side this morning and managed to get both of the 12 foot rotten moulding pieces down without any trouble - a lot of the nails stayed behind.  I got two-thirds of one 1x6x12 ft fascia board down, as it was rotten and all the nails stayed up.  The other third of this board is located up under the shingles and was behind the moulding.  That still needs to come down.  I started on the second fascia board and got half of the (again) two-thirds loosened.  I was getting covered by dirt and rotten wood and quit for the morning.  Heat, sweat, dirt, itchy wood did not feel good to me.

I did start painting though; but am not being as particular about this side.  In fact, am not going to paint the whole side, just what can be seen from the street or driving down the alley.  The end close to the alley is getting covered with more paint then three feet in towards the center.  I just want it to look green as one drives by.  I'll need to go about three or four feet further on the south end where the garage door is located.  Should have enough paint to do that much.  Now, if my neighbor decides to tear down his garage, while I am still living here, and not rebuild something - well . . . .

I need to work on the drainage between the buildings too.  Ideally, I would like to put guttering on the east side and let the rainwater drain into my rain barrel, but that's another thought for another day.

And the refrigerator is getting cleaned out.  I am trying this out to see if it will bring on some much needed rain - you know like wash your vehicle, leave the windows open, etc.  Daughter still has my truck (hopefully, will have it back next week) so can't wash it or leave windows open.

Our City hasn't gone to Stage 3 water restrictions yet; but they said if they do, there will be no outside watering.  The only non-outside watering I will struggle with will be with my boxwood plants.  I have worked so hard for the last 5 years to get those bushes to survive.  They, unfortunately, are located where the winter winds just blast them and they have struggled.  Last year I covered most of them with a burlap bag and that seems to have been the best solution, so far, to get them through the winter.  In fact, the ones that were covered looked better than the ones that I didn't cover.

Okay, we are at 22 days and counting.  I know there are other places that have a few more days then we do - think Salina Ks is up to 26 or 27 days of 100+º days.  Maybe next time I can report we have had rain!

PS:  I finished painting the back side of the garage tonight.  Now if you are driving south on the main street or west on the alley - it is green to match the rest of the garage.  Just have the south end to paint now.  Oh, and remove and replace the fascia boards.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

17 Days & Counting

Of 100 plus degree days, so far this summer.  Last year we had 20 days of 100+º weather all summer - and they didn't start until around mid-July.  Got the electric bill this morning in the mail; and, yikes it sure pointed out how early the hot weather started with us.  I don't remember what the dollar charge was last year, but we used 137 more kwh this year for the same number of days and same time. Ieeeeee, what is the next bill going to be?  We had 105º today.

Meanwhile, am still painting on the garage - early mornings (some very early if I am beating the sun).  One more day, and I should have two-thirds painted.  The ugly side is coming up - that's the side between my garage and the neighbor's garage/dog pen.  The trim on that side definitely has to come down.
Back is done & almost with side.
So my 4 inch paint brush and I will keep on painting.  Oh, I have come up with something for the board covering that blocked window.  Hopefully, will have it done for the next posting.

PS Am down a couple more pounds, just 14 more to go.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Couple More Projects Done

The garage painting is coming along. I need some more white primer so that part has come to a temporary halt until later.  It's an ordeal painting the gravelly cover - like painting stucco. I got most of the back done, but need to put primer on the corrugated (white square) part before finishing the wall. Don't know why it's there and ain't gonna look.

This is the window I glazed.
I did my first window glazing job on the north window.  The south window has been covered over on the inside and two of the glass panes are gone.  So I am covering it.  My brother suggested, this afternoon, to paint something on the board - hmmmmm, maybe paint a flower box with flowers on that one.

The second job was making a curtain for the back window in the trailer.  This is a special curtain.
If you look hard, you can see the horses and other figures in the fabric above.
This is my step-grandfather with one of his sculptures.
  A number of years ago I acquired this piece of fabric from my stepmother.  I had no idea what to do with it but figured the time and place would come.  Well, as I said in another post, the time and place has come.  The horse style in the fabric reminds me of the style of horses my step-grandfather created in his art deco work of stylized animals.

The finished curtain in my trailer. The blinds
are still there.  I can slide the curtains to
the side or tie to the side.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Time to Spend More Time in the Cool of AC

Thank heavens we are not experiencing as many 100º+ days as last year, we are up to 13 - 100+º days so far this year.  Today was a very cool 90º in our back yard.

The windows in the house are all done now - curtains cleaned, blinds clean, glass cleaned
I know you can't see "clean", but I can.
inside and out, inside window frames painted and the outside frames cleaned, even including the caulking is clean.  I did some touch up on the doorways throughout the house too, since I had the matching paint on hand. I did add some Reflectic to the west windows to cut down the heat coming through the windows.  Works really good.  There is a picture below with the Reflectic in the window.

The new grass in the backyard is looking good, except for the crabgrass, but that's later.

I am 98% done on the trailer's dinette window curtains.  I wish I had made the side additions a little bit longer, so will "fill" in to make the look a bit more balanced.  They are hung on double curtain rods and I can slide the white curtains back and forth and tie them to the side.

My 16 foot trailer does not have a screen door, so a number of years ago I made a screen door, hanging some screen from a shower curtain rod.  It is pretty basic, in fact a bit on the short side.  I intended, one day, to make it longer and wider.  The length was just about 1-2 inches shy of touching the floor and 2-3 inches short in the width.

I added the striped material at top, plus left side.
The day to work on the door screen finally came.  Since I had left over material, from covering the cushion and fixing the length of the dinette valance, I added extra stripped fabric to the top, dropping the original screen down 2-3 inches; I added a band of stripped fabric on the left side of the screen, added 5 grommets to attach that side, via drapery hooks, to the carpeted wall closing off an opening for bugs to get around.  Plan A didn't work, neither did Plan B, Plan C was getting there but it took a combination of Plan D and C to secure the screen.  It is longer and wider now.  I "tried" to add magnets on the right side - the side I pull aside to enter or exit the trailer.  That was part of Plan A;  Plan B included using magnets on the left side to the AC frame.  And, with my pacemaker I didn't really want to add more magnets around me.

As far as more sewing projects go,
I have one more trailer cushion cover to make and and with the left over fabric I am making a hanging pocket organizer.  It will drape over the closet door.  On the side that fits inside the closet, there is a pocket to hold papers - especially my Checkoff list.  The outside will have various size pockets for odds and ends.

So far this year, the expenditures for the projects have been very little.  The striped fabric was purchased several years ago when I covered the boat chairs; the only paint I have bought has been the yellow for the bathroom and the two quarts were $5 for both, since they were a wrong mix for someone else - I had plenty of paint brushes; I bought the drapery hooks (96¢) this year, the grommets last year are left overs from the trailer's window shade project.  I did buy a curtain panel for the house bathroom window ($7), that I split that between that window and the trailer dinette window.

The garage paint job will be another thing.  Paint, new trim, nails.  With the heat hitting us now, the window to work on the garage is in the mornings for just a few hours.

You know, I just remembered I haven't even removed the winter's anti-freeze out of my plumbing in the trailer, . . . . oops another job to do.

Finally, got started on the garage.  The garage is white with some gray trim - that's what the house was like when I bought it.  I added siding in a sage green color with white trim windows; and, then I added a little decorative look to the windows.
West side of garage.
I wanted to match what I did on the house as much as possible - paint, trimming, use of same colors.  The garage was built in the 40's or 50's and is covered with decorative tar paper.
Finished front of garage.
Fortunately, there is a coat or two of white paint
already on, so that will make it somewhat easier applying the sage green color.  I am not going to the extent of giving dimension to the garage windows like I did with the house windows  to keep my costs down.

Still haven't mastered all these Blogspot changes.  Don't understand HTML, so I guess ALL the time, that's why there are these huge spaces, pictures over lettering.  Humph, must be those young creators that don't understand how the older mind doesn't work certain ways anymore.

Well anyway, since I only have the front of the garage done, you know what my next few weeks will be filled with.  I tried a roller brush, but spent more time putting paint on the roller then rollering.  I am using brushes to paint the garage.

Updates on diet:  I have lost 18 pound so far, have 16 more to go.  It's nice to have lose fitting clothes.  I haven't stuck 100% to the diet rules., but still slowly loosing the pounds.  This week I've had cravings for lemon flavorings and ended up buying a big tub of lemon sherbet - hey it's low fat and I left the sugar in it at the store!

Daughter still has my truck to get her back and forth to work.  It'll be toward the end of this month before they start working on it.  The body shop is very popular and they guarantee their work, so she is sticking with them.  She did try a friend's Bronco, but the heat took it's to toll on it between vapor lock and overheating.

Okay until next time.  Back to the garage painting - tomorrow.

PS Made the print on my blog screen bigger - for those of us with aging eyesight, cataracts, and whatever ails us.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Long & Short of It

This is my third attempt at getting this blog published.  Blogspot has made changes and I keep hitting something that deletes my postings, even when they have been saved.  Too numerous other weird things going on too.  Picture posting is the pits. Okay, third time is a charm.

I am getting clean windows - plus clean curtains and blinds.  About 5 years ago I had new windows put in my house and in order for the windows to fit, filler pieces were added - they never got painted.  So, as the windows are getting their individual attention, the bare wood is FINALLY getting painted.  Just 4 more to go.  Easy when you match existing paint.

I have been re-working the window curtains in my trailer.  The high day time temps kind of drive me out of there (ya, I could use the AC but then I wouldn't be able to hear the birds or the neighborhood noises), so progress has been slower than I had hoped (but then am working on other projects too).  When I made the original valance for the dinette window, I did not wash the fabric first.  Sooooo, thru some creative experimenting, I am making the valance longer and with fabric that matches my boat chairs I had covered several years ago.  I made my first ever cushion cover too.  Am pretty proud of it, have 3 more cushions covers to make. (I'd post a picture, but it screws up post.  Gotta learn this.)

New grass is growing in the back yard - may not seem much to others; but when you have a back yard with weeds, grass is soooo nice.  I love walking barefoot through the new grass.  Plus, the robins just know whenever I come out side I am going to water the new grass and oh YEA the bugs are flying. Feast time.

I finally finished re-arranging my bedroom and then I discovered all the pictures in the house needed cleaning too; so everybody is getting clean faces.  

Next year I hope to have a yard/garage sale the first weekend in June, when my town has its city wide garage sale; so, have been going through lots of stuff already and daughter's garage is getting full.  Am working on downsizing anyway so great time to "distribute" my soon-to-be someone else's possessions.

Finished the last of the pillowcases for kids and got them in them mail to the rep in Kansas City to distribute to kids undergoing treatments for cancer.  (Here I'd add another picture, same results - ugh.  Yea figured it out! to the right)

Planted some  new zinnias and the annual snapdragons I planted last year have been so beautiful this year.  I hope I can get them to survive another winter.  I m supplementing the existing ones with some new ones this year.  The spot is very protected by the back door.

I witnessed my first ever cicada emerging from his skeleton.  Didn't take very long and once it was dried out, it was gone. They are a pretty green when they emerge.  I have always seen the skeleton after they were gone.  Was an experience and nice to have time to enjoy a creation in nature.

I have been spending a lot of time researching and experimenting with recipes that fit in with my Dukan Diet.  I try this - yuk; and, I try that - yum.  I was so excited that I had reached 15 pounds loss in my quest of losing 30 pounds.  I was so excited about the loss and so excited that I am feeling so good.  Then I discovered the scale I have is off about 5 pounds - not in my favor.   So I wallowed my disappointment in eating a milk chocolate cupcake (no frosting) yesterday.  I have a new weight scale now and pushing onward to really lose that 5 pounds; plus the other 15.

Daughter was coming home from her work at the local mall and hit a deer.  This happened around 12:30 a.m., I headed out to bring her home.  By the time, she got the report filed with the highway patrol and the towing company got her vehicle loaded, it was a little after 2 a.m. when I dropped her off at her home.  Her first experience with hitting a deer so she was pretty shook up - and of course she has all these feelings about her little vehicle disabled.  I know how she feels, been there.  Thankfully, no injuries.  Oh, the deer didn't do so good either.  She will be using my truck for awhile.

Now what the heck,  my paragraphs are repeating themselves.  Gee, am I ever going to get this posted. About ready to hit "Publish".

Let's see, still on the list is paint the garage, get a new jack stand put on the trailer and clean up the trailer.  Keep planting new grass so the robins can have a feast all summer.  Don't know if am going to get the eaves on the house painted this year.  Oh, and son is coming for a short visit in early July.  Not long enough to help me paint the garage though.

That's the Long & Short of It.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Eating good is good, no?

In my 4th day of the Dukan Diet and have chucked off 5 pounds and it's not bouncing back on during the day.  Course I knew eating good was good, but you know those cookies were always so good - especially the home made ones.  Oh, I'll get to eat them again - later and just in time for the holidays!

Tonight I fixed tuna salad, put it on bread for housemate Jim and fixed us salads.  I used low-fat cottage cheese, a little onion and some seasonings (put chopped pickles in Jim's).  For a salad dressing for me I made a spicy tomato juice dressing using Snappy Tom tomato juice, adding a little balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce.  It  was peppy and good.  Wanted to make some hard boiled eggs, but Jim & I have to be careful with eggs, gonna do some experimenting.  This week I plan on learning to bake breads, muffins, we may even have some waffles Sunday night.

I am now in the 2nd phase of the diet.  It is called the Cruise Phase.  This is when I work my way down to my target weight, hopefully by mid-August.   Have located several sights on the Internet and have come up with lots of recipes.  Haven't had any cravings for sweets or carbs - but my brain has!  I like being able to eat all the time - as long as it's items from the accepted lists.

And JJ (pacemaker), he's doing his job, except I think he gets a bit excited sometimes or just gets tired of laying horizontal in my chest.  I am a side sleeper and there have been times when I have rolled over from my right side onto my back and that sucker is in a vertical position - standing out from my chest. Doesn't take much to convince him to go back to the usual horizontal position.  The first time it happened, my chin hit JJ, besides waking me up it startled me so much my heart started racing, couldn't figure out what it was. I did call the doc's office to ask if should be concerned and did a transtelephonic monitor reading; they called back and said everything was working which meant the leads to the heart chambers were still attached to the monitor.  Just hope no one ever sees it.

Hope everyone has a good and safe Memorial Day weekend - and please remember who this day is in honor for.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Body Has Been Screaming at Me to Lose Weight

It's only 30 pounds, but it's finally convinced my mind I need to do something.  I have so many diagnosed food allergies and in tolerances, that I have become dependent, over the years, on carbs/sweets for my existence almost.  Well, we all know what happens then, when your metabolism slows down.  Although with JJ (pacemaker) it has picked up a bit, but JJ still needs help.

Something else I have learned is that food allergies, if consumed especially if you don't know you have them, can make you fat.  I do consume some of the foods on my allergy list to maintain some level of "tolerance" - like foods with soy in them (there are unknown proteins in soy I am allergic to).  There is a book out titled:  "Your Hidden Food Allergies Are Making You Fat" by Roger Deutsch, if you are interested in learning more.

A full-time Casita friend RVSue, is trying out an eating plan that would not only supply me with the nutrients my body needs, but would help me lose the weight at the same time.  It's called the Dukan Plan and has been in Europe for over 10 years.  In looking over the plan, it eliminates carbs and sweets for awhile (oh moan, groan) and will get me started on a better nutritional plan.  For 3 months, for me, the focus is on protein foods (and a lot of them I know I can eat via experience) along with veggies, a lot of those foods are what I should be eating because of my food allergies; and, then for the next 4 months, my base of foods will broaden to include fruits, some starchy foods, a little cheese.  I can have 2 "celebration" meals a week of anything I want.

By the end of the 2nd phase, I should be close to my target/desired weight, the 3rd phase helps me to reinforce what I am doing, and the 4th phase stabilizes everything.  One of the "aids" is the consumption of oat bran daily and lots of liquids.  And, daily exercise (walking is recommended) is another aid.  Oh, and you aren't suppose to let yourself get the hungry feeling either.

There's some stuff I haven't included so there maybe some holes.  I realize it's going to be quite an adjustment to get use to no carbs/sweets; I'll be fixing about the same meals two different ways, because my housemate will be eating regularly.  For example, we want beef enchiladas:  his enchilada will be made with the purchased commercial flour tortilla and I will have a tortilla made with oat flour - I can use my favorite green chiles and the beef will be lean (I won't be able to put shredded cheese on until after the 2nd phase).  I will still be able to have a favorite grilled cheese sandwich with green chile (after the 2nd phase).  So just a little more work in fixing meals and remembering what I can eat.

It's really the first weight loss program I have looked at that I have gotten excited about.  I have already warned housemate Jim that I might be grumpy/grouchy at first.  And who knows,  he might like some of what I fix for myself.  It'll be the opportunity I have needed to cleanse my body of stored allergens during the 2nd phase.  I finally have motivation after all these years.

I am presently going thru my non-perishable food items and checking expiration dates.  If they fall sometime in the 3rd phase and I can use them for my "celebration" day or the stabilization phase or in fixing meals for Jim, then I keep them - if not they'll go to a food pantry or I throw out, depending on how long I've had them.  Am doing the same thing in the refrigerator (and it needs cleaning anyway).  So I haven't started yet.  I will be going to the grocery store laster this week to stock up on allowed items.

I'll post how I am doing from time to time.  If it gives me a lot of problems, then back to my old ways.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Not into Feng Shui much, But . . .

I have an awkward room to put the head of the bed in the direction I want to go - 2 windows and 2 doors. I've had it 3 directions - SW, W and North. I would like to have the head of the bed face NE and I may still move it that way squeezing it in the little wall space I have.

The two times I have had the head of the bed facing North in this house, I have not had good night sleeps, minor physical annoyances, rather boring life and so on. The North wall is the south side of the bathroom and that is a no-no because of the negative flow from the toilet.

Okay, by now those not familiar to Feng Shui are saying - "So?" So now my excuse to re-arrange the bedroom is Feng Shui for me.  My Kua number is 2 and according to the Feng Shui Direction Chart, my bed should be facing to the NE for money and success.  I am after a successful chance at money.

So am moving the bed to the NE wall! That way the foot of my bed won't be facing a doorway, my head is against a solid wall and I won't loose energy through either window and I can walk on both sides of my bed for positive inflow during the night! And, I can see the whole room.  Now, let's see have I forgotten anything?

Works for me!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I Ran Across This . . .

I was reading another blog (The Back Porch View on her 4/18/12 posting) and a comment made by Ed, Carol and Gopher the dog. The quote was "The Greatest Adventure", from The Ballard of the Hobbit, from the animated movie The Hobbit, based on a classic book by J.R.R. Tolkjen. If you are at a crossroad in your life, read this . . . .

The Greatest Adventure, The Ballad of The Hobbit
From the animated movie The Hobbit

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.
Today and tomorrow are yet to be said.
The chances, the changes are all yours to make.
The mold of your life is in your hands to break.

The greatest adventure is there if you're bold.
Let go of the moment that life makes you hold.
To measure the meaning can make you delay;
It's time you stop thinkin' and wasting the day.

The man who's a dreamer and never takes leave
Who thinks of a world that is just make-believe
Will never know passion, will never know pain.
Who sits by the window will one day see rain.

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.
Today and tomorrow are yet to be said.
The chances, the changes are all yours to make.
The mold of your life is in your hands to break.

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.