Old Diary

Topside, Bottomside all Around the House


storage
Yesterday was a whiz bang productive day!  Momma is much happier and when momma is happy the whole world is happier.  (Nah… I shouldn’t tease my wife like that — she’s ever so easy to live with, but sometimes I just can’t help myself! The devil made me do it.)

First and most importantly we got out our bucket and brush and cleaned the awning!   That’s a sloppy job — washing things over your head always is — specially when you’re using a long handled broom as a mop. But the job is done now — for a while.

If you aren’t an RV’er you won’t realize that we have four awnings on Journey.  Because those awnings sometimes drive down the road at 60 MPH they are subject to having rain water driven into the rolled up awnings from the leading edge, where it can sit — and sometimes mildew.   (I don’t drive faster than that when we are towing because the CR-V doesn’t want to be towed faster than 60 — so I usually cruise at 55.  Not a bad speed for a retiree.)

2013070207044001We haven’t had the awning out much this summer yet — high winds aren’t friendly winds.  But the one time we did have it out I realized the awning needed a little love.  So yesterday morning we gave them all a little love and the big one a LOT of love.  She looks a lot better now.  This early this morning shot gives you an idea.  Maybe later in the day I’ll take one when there aren’t shadows on the coach, but it was nice getting out in the low 60 degree sun to capture this shot!

I had the entire basement empty — several times — and I moved a bunch of things around.  And around.  And around. Figuring out the most efficient way of storing things, and trashing some of them in the process seems to have no better formula than trying them all out and seeing how much space you have after each attempt.  All that packing and unpacking took the better part of a beautiful day to accomplish.  But…  When I was finished we had less stuff and more room.

I’m sure everything will not continue to live where it is right now.  I will keep looking for better solutions for the next few months or more. That’s just who I am.  For example, I woke in the middle of the night to realize that my drill bits were now living in a place that will require several other containers to be removed before I can get at them.  But seeing how often I use some items will be a big clue in deciding how accessible they need to be.

On a Not So Positive Note

computer woesVerizon is still not done troubleshooting my broadband issue. They started a trouble ticket — for all that means to a customer — and they are supposed to have engineers “looking at it.” It’s going on three days now.

I get some slow, sporadic service using my iPhone as a hotspot. It’s not great and isn’t the right way to fix the problem. But I’ll write this morning’s post using what I have.

We moved here on Wednesday, I had good service Wed through Saturday morning and since then bupkiss!  I upgraded my MiFi device — I had the upgrade coming anyway — but the new device gets less of a signal than my old MiFi, or my iPhone — chances are good that this MiFi is going back to the store!

Reading

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We are both plowing ahead in our reading. Peg has moved on to another in the Jan Karon series, and I have moved on to another by Lawrence Sanders.

I saw that I have several more Sanders books down there in the bottom of my nightstand — a location also coming to be known as our “Library.”  I might try to get through some/most of them before I turn to our good friend William Shakespeare..

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Family, Old Diary

And the Good News Is…

noahs arkThe way things are going we may start looking for Noah and his Big Boat.  We have more rain — some of it forecast to be severe — in the forecast for today and tomorrow.  Fulton — just down the river — is expecting flooding later today.  So, with soggy skies we aren’t going very far or doing very much.  We’ve been reading, writing, and attending to small indoor chores.

But the Good News is that I have returned to my last summer’s weight loss mark — I’m back down to 30 lbs beneath my high weight mark sometimes just short of retirement.  During the winter I’d slipped a little and in the last three weeks I’ve managed to get back to my pre-Cudahy weight!  Feelin’ good; lookin’ better; gettin’ as much exercise as feels good and the weather permits (Ain’t no way I’m goin’ out to walk a couple miles in a rain slicker!)

x7322I finally finished that Peter Mayle book that has been dogging me.   Usually his stuff flies by as if inhaled but this one was different.  I’ve never been keen on collections of essays, and that’s what this one was.  But the premise — tastes acquired because of wealth — caught my attention and in the end it turned out to be an interesting and amusing read.  No way high on my recommendations list, but It’s Ok.

I have only 20 pages remaining in my re-read of The Seventh Commandment by Lawrence Sanders.  That was the one I started last fall and never finished after we returned to Cudahy.  I pretty much started from the beginning being unable to remember much of anything from last October. It’s not his best work, not his best leading character, but I like Sanders’ style, his books are long enough to make them worth while reading — I hate short stories.  With the rain in the forecast I hope to finish that today.

uninterruptible_power_supply

On the Small Space Living front, I’m pondering how better to deal with my power supply issue.  The one drawback to having committed to a short RV is finding ways to cope with how do you live with the storage issues you’ve created.  I am happy with how much we’ve downsized; I’m happy with being able to stow what we have on board — but some things have yet to tell us where they want to live within Journey.  I have been playing around with locations for my backup disks and my server — they are easy — they’re only 8″ x 8″ x 2″ — but this uninterruptible power supply is a bit bigger — 9″ x 15″ x 10″  and it wants to live near the server.  I might end up making a little storage / stowage box for the lot of them and let the server live on top of the UPS — or something — still thinking about that.  Yesterday I had pencil and paper out trying to figure a way to have Home Depot cut all the major cuts I needed for the parts out of a single handi-panel — 24″ x 24″.  That didn’t look like it was going to work.  So, I’m still contemplating.  Of course it’s possible I’ll figure out how to do it and then 2 days after I build it I’ll find just what I want at Bed, Bath, and Beyond in La Crosse or something…. Isn’t that always the way it goes?

babyTurtleI should have baked bread yesterday.  But I was too lazy to go down to the basement (meaning go outside in the rain) to get out my two jars of flour.  I’m terrible; I know.  It’s not like I’ll melt in the rain!

We saw our smallest turtle yet on the road yesterday.  Most of the painted turtles we’ve seen have been 5″ – 9″ in diameter.  Yesterday we saw one that was scarcely as large as a quarter.  One of the students thought he might be a year old hatchling — seeing as it’s too early in the season for them to be hatching yet. But he was a teeny thing.

geeseThere are a flock of geese here raising their young and I’m developing a better sense for the expression “silly goose”!  Peg has spent a good while just watching the babies and moms and dads and uncles and aunts meandering around the campground.  We’re accustomed to being hissed at by now.  And we do our best not to intentionally irritate them. That said — it’s still a strange life they lead!  And we’re also appreciating how LONG the hatching season must be — some of this seasons chicks are quite large already with feathers and some are still quite small and dressed in only their baby fluff.  When you live in the city and see maybe ONE robin’s nest and only those chicks it’s not so easy to get the sense of Spring as a season for babies — and not just a singular TIME for babies.  I know that sounds stupid but I never lived on a farm, and never spent much time around baby critters.  The idea that there’s enough time for them to mature for their winter flight South if they are born 2 or 3 months after the earliest broods just never crossed my mind.

Well, there you have it for today.

Tomorrow — Wednesday — is moving day.  Not sure if I’ll write in the morning, or after we make the move — a lot depends on what the skies look like when I wake up.  Talk to you then.

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Images, Old Diary

Over Arching Expectations

It’s good to have over arching expectations!  To be excited, eager, looking forward.  I admit that with the last week of overcast skies it’s been a little hard to stay in my normally optimistic mood, but our progress with the chores around the house has done a lot to overcome the effects of the weather.

The St Louis Arch is actually quite geometric.  Up close you see the rectangular stainless sheets that comprise the skin of the arch — and for the sake of today’s post I wanted to smooth away all of those components — in the same way that our expectations typically ignore little details.  Expectations are generally about “the Big Picture.”

Michael and I are going to sit down in a day or two to work out our advertising for the school.  At his suggestion we’re going to try selling the school over Craigslist.  Our good friend Triko Bronjio sold her house (in Elkhorn) over Craigslist.  She had a bona fide offer in 5 days.  Their house was a lot more typical of the usual single family residence, but the fact remains that we need an unusual buyer for an unusual home.  After Michael’s suggestion Peg and I have decided that maybe Craigslist will bring us a little less ordinary kind of buyer; just the right sort of person for the school.

In the meantime Michael and Kathryn are still waiting on their bank’s appraiser to view their building so that they can get a loan for improvements to the building — hopefully before the winter sets in.  I know they’ve been chomping at the bit to get started with projects they were counting on a loan from us to finance.  So, our delay has been a test on their resourcefulness as well as on our patience.  But they are proceeding in the same gung ho manner that Peg and I might have done when we were their age.  I’m glad to see them digging in and digging deep to make what they want happen.  No matter how much you think you’ve taught your kid, there’s nothing like seeing life working out to reassure you that you accomplished that  goal.

Sunday I’m going to take it easy, and get some reading done — I hope. I haven’t picked up my latest Lawrence Sanders volume since before we hit the road for South Carolina. I hope I can remember what the silly book is about.

Peg has that one curtain to finish.  She’s really proud and happy with the results of yesterday’s sewing.  She had her share of frustrations during the day yesterday but those moments of insecurity somehow make some achievements even sweeter.

I was thinking today that I need to get a snow shovel. We HAD four or five shovels before downsizing — now I haven’t yet found one around here. We did too good a job of cleaning out the building.  That aspect of our temporary return to Cudahy has been extremely frustrating.  But it must be done.  I’ve never used one of those offset shovels that are popular now (see item #2 below).  If I have to buy one I might get one of those.  In the past I’ve always used the good old  30″ models (see item #8 below). In addition to the parking lot for 8 vehicles, we have a front sidewalk of about 180′ and a sidewalk to the house that’s another 40′.  Come the snow, there’ll be plenty of bending and stretching to be done.

We’ve still got our trusty 15 hp Ariens snowblower.  That’s supposed to go with the building when we sell it.  I need to change the oil in it for this season.  I’m hoping she’ll last out yet another year. I’ve kind of lost track how long we’ve had it. Some years ago we replaced the engine when the first engine died prematurely.  Since then she’s given us great service through some bodacious snow storms.

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