Summer 2012 Travels travel blog

This was after the stump had burned for 10 hours

The next day - after 3rd burning

Its going . . . going


The before in the paint sorting project

All of it out on the floor

The before of the niche clearing - blue bin was broken and...

The after of the niche clearing

Acorns all over the roof of the MH

The difference between the double and the single pocket on the drapes.

SUNDAY: I made oatmeal for breakfast and then we went out to the fire. The stump had burned all night and was really burned away. While granddaughter, Papa and I were doing that, Mark and Tara packed up the sleeping bags and tent. They had to wait until the dew dried off, but it went back in the box pretty easily.

Then we cooked hamburgers for lunch with sweet potato fries cooked in the toaster oven. Mark had potato chips as he doesn't like the fries. After that the gang headed home. School starts this week so they have to inventory all the school supplies and buy the ones that are missing. I remember when we sent them to school with a couple of pencils and a 5 cent tablet. Times they are a changing.

MONDAY: We received a call from AZ that our garage had flooded with the last monsoon rain. But sweet Kaye had swept the water out and had the door open to air it out. She even went to get sand bags to put in front of the door. The garage is built about a foot lower than the end of the driveway leading up to it. So we will either have to sandbag it every time we leave or somehow get it jacked up and put a new foundation under it. Everything is fixable if you throw enough $$ at it.

Here at Stronghold I'm working on gallons of paint stored under the workbench where the radial arm saw is attached. So you know what the cans look like. About 1/2 inch of sawdust on the top ones (some are stacked 3 high) and cobwebs with sawdust all over everything. Check out the pictures.

There are two places it is stored. Each one is about 4 ft deep and 5 ft. wide and, like I said, some are stacked 3 high. I have the first one cleaned out, cans blown off and sorted to a degree. I have also blown out the cubby. I had to come in and get something to drink to get the dust out of my throat.

Some of the older paint cans and those that are almost empty, we will place on a skid and open to let them dry out before throwing away. I'm going to try to mark the others and sort by color and store them the same way.

While I was doing this, Ron is remodeling the entrance kiosk for the Olde English Faire. They are making the windows in them lower so the ticket sellers can reach to the cars driving up.

TUESDAY: Finished up sorting the storing the gallon paint cans in the morning. While we waited for the dining hall to open, I cut my hair and Ron's. We were getting very “fluffy”. At lunch I picked up the new material for the day bed in Guest Room (GR)1. It is a wide striped material in crimson, forest green and butterscotch. I think it will be pretty. She got some room darkening crimson drapes that I have to shorten. So I will be busy for awhile.

After dinner, Ron started the fire in the stump again. It is interesting to see how the fire smolders underground, burning out the roots, but goes out on the part that is above ground. I have shown pictures of it at different stages.

WEDNESDAY: Today I was notified that I lost a good friend. Sherry Harris was the administrator of the forum where we have posted back and forth for at least the last 10 years. I had only met her in person once, 2 years ago. But I have talked to her on the phone and as I said, posted daily for years. She lost her husband (who created the board) 4 years ago. A little over a year ago she moved into assisted living and has been in and out of the hospital many times since then. I was the liaison between her (or her niece) and the board when she was in the hospital. Today I was the one who had to post on the board that she was gone.

Needless to say it has been a hard day for me. Altho she was younger than I, I looked up to her and admired her as a mentor. She was an encouragement to all who knew her.

I started some sewing this morning but after I got the call, I just gave up and came home and read.

Oh! I'm really ticked at Kindle customer service at Amazon. I bought a book and it wasn't downloading. So Prateep had me reset the Kindle. Now ALL my books are on the cloud and all my web bookmarks are gone. I have no idea what books I have read and what ones I haven't read. I asked to speak to the supervisor and during the transfer, of course, I was dropped.

THURSDAY: Another sewing day. First I cut out the skirt for the day bed. Since it is a pretty stripe, I've got the stripe going vertical around the base of the bed with box pleats to make it look more full. I found some really nice decorative cording but it is in an off white that is just too white for the material. So at lunch today, I tried dying it in coffee and in tea. The coffee is absolutely the way to go. So that will be on my agenda for the weekend.

They have a really nice new Singer sewing machine in the volunteer room. It is so nice that I don't know how to run it – well I know how to sew but not sure on how to thread it or set the tension. Of course, there is no manual. So I came home and printed off the pages I needed from the net. Now I don't have to sew the crimson drapes with black thread.

I took the hem out of the drapes and pressed them. Then I took one panel up to the room and hung it so I could measure it. I am now in the process of cutting it off to the correct length, turning up the hem, pressing it and sewing. So far I have two panels of the 4 marked, but need to get on to the next steps.

I also made a double pocket in the top of the drape so that one puts the rod in the lower pocket and the upper stitching makes it look nicer. Don't know if that makes sense or not – but check out the pictures and you will see the difference.

After lunch we came back to the MH and rested. Ron had been helping the staff with the burn pile (huge pile of branches from various trimmings and windstorms) and I over ate at lunch. So we decided to take the afternoon off.

It was pretty hot this afternoon and we finally turned on the AC in the bedroom. If we shut the folding door, it keeps that room rather nice and the AC doesn't work too hard to try to cool off the whole MH. Smart idea to replace the small curtain with the folding door.

We burned some more on our stump tonight. There are just a couple of big roots left to burn. If we get a roaring fire going, the roots burn all night. I think we should be able to fill in the dirt and call that one finished by the weekend.

FRIDAY: I was able to get the drapes all hemmed and pressed and some of the daybed skirt pinned on the cover. I discovered that I needed more fullness in the skirt so cut another length of material for the skirt. I also was able to cut an old foam mattress in half length ways to put together for a bolster. I'm not sure I have enough material to cover all of the bolster so I think I will put a coordinating fabric on the back.

Since the bolster is the same length as the daybed, it makes a great place to work while pinning the skirt on the daybed cover. I'm using the huge table in the old dining room in the Castle as a work space.

I brought the cording back to the shop and have had it soaking in (what was) hot water and coffee grounds. I'll let it soak all night and then dry it out so it will be ready to sew with later.

SATURDAY: Ron was on the roof of our MH early this morning fixing the vent cover that broke a couple weeks ago. With the vent cover in place we can keep the vent open even if it is raining - so that is a good thing. I have been handing tools, etc. up to him via a rope and grocery bag.

He is sweeping hundreds of acorns off the roof while he is up there. We are parked under an oak tree that has thousands of them. They fall at all hours of the day and night - sometimes lightly and sometimes as if a cannon has gone off over our heads. We will have to sweep them off the slide covers before we leave but at least some will be gone.

I was going to go sew even if it was my day off, but then I got interested in a book (imagine that) and didn't go over to the castle. I did get the cording dyed and it is jut the color I wanted. I just dumped a bunch of coffee in a plastic basin and added the hot water out of the shop faucet. Dropped the cording in and let it soak all night. This morning, I rinsed it thru several changes of water to get the grounds off and hung it between the MH and a tree to dry. It looks good, a creamy brown instead of the shiny white. It will blend with the material just fine.

As we were leaving the dining hall, Dar, the cook, asked me if I could make her some aprons out of the leftover fabric I found in the sewing room the other day. Three years ago, I made curtains for the kitchen/dining room here at Stronghold of a unique veggie print fabric. I told her sure, did she want full aprons or half – one of each. So I did some investigation on the net and then gave up and IM'd my friend, Harriet, the apron queen. She answered back with the perfect measurements and instructions – so that will be my job for tomorrow. Hope to have pictures for next week.

Anyway that is the way our lives have been going. Hope you and yours are well and happy. ENJOY!!

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