A little unwinding


Monday and Tuesday were time to unwind a little. As much as I like to think I’m still a young kid I accept that getting off the road for a break after an extended trip seems to result in a little adrenalin slump.  So why not embrace reality and learn to enjoy taking the first couple days easy.   I couldn’t do that Friday, Saturday or Sunday — so now was the time.bedraggled

We are back in Oregon — so of course we are getting wet. forecast window Some how getting wet in Oregon is a lot more fun than getting we in other states.  I’ll never completely understand how that can be, but it sure seems to be the case.  And, with more dashes of sunlight strewn in with the rain I don’t mind the 40º temps at all.  Maybe I need to be around trees or something…. All I know is that we are feeling good and continuing to re-build our state of health.  All I do know is that I really like Oregon!

hacking coughI have discovered a little side story to that cold/lfu I’ve been trying to recover from. I had been blaming that for my hacking cough — but I remembered that some 20 years ago I had gone to the doctor with the same kind of hacking cough and after a slug of tests she put me on GERD meds.   — specifically Prevacid in the low dose formulation.  I stayed on that med for, well…. 15+ years and before we went mobile I asked the Doc about getting off of it as I didn’t seem to need it any more. A couple days ago it finally dawned on me that the two coughs might be related and that I might be blaming the flu for something that was quite UN-related.

We picked up an OTC version of the same med and voila, the coughing pretty much stopped overnight.  So, something else to talk with the Doc about when I see her next.  And now that the hacking cough is gone I have a much better outlook on everything!  That was really dragging me down.

Tuesday we drove to Reedsport to see our old Boss and some of the Forest Service folks.  2014041617025119After refreshing our friendships with volunteers over the weekend this was our chance to spend a little quality time with the best boss I ever had — and she arranged to stay in the office so we would have some time to chat.  On our way over I ran into one of the other Roving Caretakers — I guess even though I spent most of my time on the Forest as Volunteer Coordinator I still kind of think of myself as a Roving Caretaker.  We shared horror stories and it was good to see that Al is doing well.  In the office we have a really warm chat with Belva.  It was good to see her again, and to know how she’s fairing with changes in management and personnel.  She has her 20 years in with the Forest Service and she’s eligible to retire — how long she hangs on has yet to be seen.  But she’s a really sweet lady and an amazingly hard worker — she tires ME out, that’s for sure.  We got updates on her grand kid(s) [a new one on the way].

For me, it was kind of like closure to know how all our old friends are doing.  The Oregon Dunes is a different sort of facility.  Being open year round the volunteers there have in some cases been on site for 6+ years.  There are some folks who are kind of hiding out from life there, others for whom the Dunes is a safe haven helping them get through life.  Some come as 3-6 month helpers, others come to find a sort of ‘home.’  There are a lot of long personal stories and you get caught up in them — as friends should, I suppose.  But for me, returning, re-establishing some contacts  and sharing stories was my way of ‘knowing in my heart’ that they were all ok.  I’m glad we did it.  It was a huge trip from S. Texas up here (2500 miles) — but to me, it was worth the expense and the effort.

Hinges

2014090209320801I have been waiting patiently to get back to the dealer so that we could get some replacement hinges for our cabinets.  Holiday Rambler uses some Euro style hinges on their cabinetry and we have three doors that no longer stay closed (not good in a moving vehicle).   I did the usual research — checking all the cabinet hardware sources I could find and there has always been something about the prospective replacements that wasn’t right — usually the fact that the base tab is bent on a 90º angle — to prevent using them.  I could have called the Holiday Rambler tech line and gotten what I needed I suppose but as long as we were coming here this is my change to address that little annoyance.  I have one set of replacements now.  I’ll try them on for size, make sure they are right (even though the finish is off just a bit), and then have the dealer get me some more.

Pop-a-Filter

Coffee Filter Holder
Coffee Filter Holder

While I was looking for hinges in their catalog (the right ones aren’t listed, by the way)  I noticed an advert for something I never in my life thought I’d want to buy and after three years of dealing with paper coffee filters I realized this little gadget is actually the cat’s pajamas!  Three screws to the bottom of the over-the-kitchen counter and my coffee filters are now easier to get at; they are kept without getting bent, folded, and multilated; and they have their own place instead of getting put inside a bowl that subsequently has something else placed inside of the filters.  It was all quite messy!

Of course I have exaggerated just a little — but that’s one of the fun parts about living in 350 sq ft. — there’s less to distract you from little annoyances, and there’s less to distract you from inventing better solutions. (Or in this case buying one that’s already been invented)

Tire Pressure

2014040213244330I’ve been thinking about my tires lately. Given my size I don’t fit easily underneath the coach to put tire gauge on the inner duals to check pressure.  The old bang your tires with a hammer method of checking for seriously low tires works but it’s not very elegant.  So I have been considering Valve stem extenders.

I talked with the service department about these handy little things and I was interested to hear that their company has a prohibition against installing them! It seems that they have seen a history of leaky extensions — causing premature failures — and they don’t want the liability of having put on a part that’s going to bite them in the butt.  Makes sense.  I am not in a hurry to buy the expensive solution — Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems.  I just don’t buy into the idea that it’s good to let a machine do what the driver is supposed to be doing.

3LB-SLEDGE-HAMMERBack in the day I drove truck one of our supposedly daily jobs was to do a safety inspection of our vehicle before driving it.  That was true on the Forest Service too — before we took any of our vehicles out for the day we were supposed to be doing a vehicle inspection.  It’s just a doggone good idea to actually LOOK carefully at your vehicle before driving it.  That’s how you find things like under inflated tires and low coolant levels.  Fact of the matter is that truckers don’t actually do those inspections daily.  Maybe every couple days.  And the days of seeing every single driver at the fuel pumps ‘bumping’ his tires with a lead pipe or a 3 lb sledge are long gone.  It’s just us hold-outs to days-gone-bye who do it now.  But you really can hear a difference!

So there you have it, another day in our Life Unscripted.  Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

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