Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mirage Cord. Bobcat's Porch Bed. Aerostar.

It was chilly again this morning, and even sprinkled a little, off and on. Still long sleeve weather, and quite windy at times.

Ray arrived and we got a few jobs done in the short time we had, as he had to go pick up Shay. As we had the Mirage cord loose from the breaker box, we slipped the new large shrink tape onto the cord. We wrapped white 4" wide Eternabond around the splice before heating up the shrink tape with a heat gun, which shrunk it securely over the splice. Here is the little metal cable hatch. Yesterday, I took the broken Bakelite RV cord end back to the hardware store, and they refunded my money.

Then it started to rain so we went to the screen porch to fix Bobcat's porch bed. When I had the vinyl around inside the porch, Bobcat's perch was nice and dry. But in case rain blew in there, we raised the bed up by screwing a 1 x 2 under it on three sides, so that moisture wouldn't get trapped under it. Now it is screwed back onto the window sill, so here she is, happy again.

Speaking of 'happy cats', I had Patches' cage door open and Mime went in there to introduce herself. Mime and Patches touched noses and were quite friendly, so I guess Mime likes other cats, and just hates dogs.

I got out the table saw and cut the exact angle lengthwise on the 17" 2x4 to go under the Mirage seat, to make it more comfortable for me to drive. I think Ray is scared of the table saw, so that is why I did it. Yes, I am scared of it, too, ...one should be. Jay came by as I was doing this, and was miffed that I hadn't asked him to work, as the table saw was always his forte.

Jay wanted me to loan him $200, ......fat chance!! He just drank/drugged up a $10,000 settlement in the last 30 days, and I told him if he buggered off that money this time, that I wouldn't have any more to do with him.
I am so sorry for my friend, Claudia, his mother, who will die very shortly if she can't get a new liver. They are still giving her chemo to try to make her last longer. But Jay is so much stress for her that she is making him stay next door at his house now. Such a shame as he could be a big help to her.

Jim, the mechanic, finally came and checked out my "new" Aerostar van today. He said that I did good. He said that the only thing that he can find wrong with it, is that the serpentine belt needs replacing soon. So tomorrow I will go to the court house and put it in my name. It has current inspection and tags, but the plates are missing. You get new plates here in TX when you buy a used vehicle anyway, as otherwise you might get stopped for the PO's tickets!

I know I said I wanted a white one with all the buttons, but I had a feeling that this one would be good for now, until I can find one. Actually, I found one the day after I bought this one, but it is a Windstar, and all the reviews I read about the Aerostar and Windstar, it seems that the rear wheel drive Aerostar is better. I am not fussy what make it is, I just want a reliable white one with all the buttons, but I will read the consumer's reviews before I buy.

I have been cooking a brisket in my crockpot, so I will have some of that today.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mirage Cord, & Fixed Dog Carrier.

It wasn't so chilly last night, but we didn't get back to tank top weather today.

When Ray arrived, we did several odd jobs. We knew when we sliced the 30 amp cord end to the Mirage, that we would have to make the hole bigger where cord goes through into the rig. This is a different set up from what I have seen before, this one is metal, and the way it was made, there was no drilling the hole bigger. Ray took the main wires out of the breaker box, as we were going to have to make a new plate with the bigger cord hole in it, that screws onto the inside of metal box. We cut one out of fiberglass. Then we will thread the RV cord through the new hole, and fasten it all back in place.

While we had all tools out for cutting fiberglass, and had the big dog carrier to fix too, we worked on that. When Snack was in it, she was quiet and loved it as her sanctuary. But the first night that Patches was in it, she tore apart the old repair that Jay had made with some flashing, trying to dig her way out. She even got a tiny cut on her paw. That is why I put another open cage in there, the one we had painted and made a floor for, last week. Patches is so happy in it. She still isn't allowed loose, in case she jumps up or down and hurts her surgery, but she is quite content.

I will have no use for this big dog carrier in the Middle Room any more, but it still needed to be fixed, as I have someone who wants to buy it. We cut a piece of fiberglass the exact shape of the corner, filed all the edges and corners smooth, and pop riveted it in place. No animal will get hurt on our repair.

After lunch I drove to the next town, bought a rubber grommet to fit the hole in the fiberglass where the Mirage cord will go through, and finally found some shrink tape large enough to go over the splice in the cord. I had to do this, while the cord was disconnected from the breaker box, so that we can get it all back together tomorrow.

I stopped at Krogers to get a couple of things, but they had such great things on sale in their clearance area, that I still haven't got it all out of the truck. Such as 14 lb jugs of scoopable cat litter for $2.19 each, I bought all they had! Those jugs, when sanitized, make good RV water carriers, too. Also 3 lb jugs of organic brown sugar, I bought a lot of them, too, as I use brown sugar instead of refined white.

A bargain day.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mirage AC Shroud. 34-74 degrees! Earth Hour.

I didn't shut off my lights for "Earth Hour" last night. I think that the cutting down on eating hamburgers, and the methane gas that "beef on the hoof" produces, would do more for the Earth. Healthier too, that has been proven.

I thought that maybe it was a misprint, that we would have 34 deg. last night, as on the TV Guide for our cable channels, it said 54. But no, it really got down to 34 in the night, but started to warm up quickly at dawn.

When Ray arrived, and the first thing we did was to bend the bent door on Patches' cage. Again, temporarily she was put in a dog kennel, while we stood the cage on it's end and bent the door over a piece of 2x4, so now it is easier to open and close. She likes her cage, I guess it is because it is so open, she just doesn't like being in carriers.

Next was to address the broken AC shroud, which we had taken off yesterday. We needed to get it back on there, in case it rained. We went up in my storage, as I knew I had two old shrouds up there, and thought maybe we could piece the broken one together with parts from one of the others. One was an absolute fit, so no piecing was necessary. We did strengthen the corners where there were slight cracks with some thin metal strap and rivets, and put Eternabond on the inside. I drilled tiny holes at the ends of the cracks so that they wouldn't get bigger. The first thing that was very obvious was that the broken one was so light, brittle, and made of very skimpy material. The one I had is a lot stronger.

There were acorns and dirt dobber nests in the AC, so the little Shark sucked them up in a hurry.

Here it is installed. Some of the screw holes didn't quite line up, but some self-tapping screws fixed that. One more thing we did was to hold a board on top of the highest part of the AC cantilevered over the edge, and measured to the ground. That measurement will be taped to the dash. Maybe it will save the "new" shroud.

We also got some old fiberglass and cut a 4"circle, coffee can size, to put under the carpet where the table pole goes, as it was open to the world through the floor of the Mirage. We used fiberglass, as that is what is under the bottom of the Mirage. It needed to be weatherproof when driving in the rain. We stuck it down with marine Goop, and put a heavy block on it.

Thought prevoking quote:
"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money ... "
Margaret Thatcher.

Now it is a lovely sunny 74 deg. day.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Brrr! Heaters! Grooming.

By the time Ray arrived this cold morning, I had temporarily put Patches into one of my dog kennel cages. I had turned her cage upside down, so that the door would open the right way, moved it into the Middle Room, put it's floor back in, and got her all settled in it again.

<----Here are Mime and Patches.

Patches stitches looked good and no sign of redness. Kenya is away for a few days, so I was hoping that I wouldn't have any trouble with Patches' surgery. Normally Kenya takes care of the post-op. cases in a special room at her place, so I felt good that she had enough confidence in me to take care of Patches, though she knows that I have taken care of a lot of post-op pets, and people.

It was a good thing that Patches didn't go to Kenya's, as she lives in Cut-N-Shoot, TX, where they had the baseball size hail, yesterday. That broke all Kenya's windows on the west side of her house, rent house, barn and kennel. Patches seems to have had a good night, and is so loving and friendly. But I had to move her as I knew I would have two of Mindi's poodles in the Grooming Room today.

Now that it isn't raining, Ray and I got the rest of the screws out of the Mirage's roof AC shroud, and got it down the ladder. But we didn't work on it today, as I had to get Mindi's dogs done. So Ray painted the inside of the Mirage cabinet.

Boy, Oh, Boy, Mime does NOT like dogs! Each time the dogs went through the Middle Room to the Grooming Room, she had a fit. She was spitting, growling and trying her best to claw at them through the bars of her cage. Now that the dogs have gone, Mime is loose in the two rooms. Patches must be kept quiet, caged, and mustn't jump up or down on anything, but she seems to be quite happy laying around, eating, drinking, sleeping and watching TV.

Here they are, before and after.
These poodles live on a horse ranch so they are kept shorter than 'town' dogs.

Tonight it is supposed to be down to 34 deg., so I have the heaters on today.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Whew! I had a Day and a Half Today. Moen Faucet!!

I woke up at 5.00AM, and I was going to turn over and hopefully go back sleep for a bit, when I realized that I had this 'life or death' decision to make. Should I let Rahni go to Animal Control or should I invest time and money taking her to Tomball, to get spayed?

I fed Mime and Bobcat, and as I was holding Rahni she put her little face next to mine and purred. Then I knew that she would make someone a wonderful loving pet, so I knew that I had to save her for them.

I waited until it was just daybreak to leave. It was very foggy and rainy on the 80+ miles round trip to Tomball, and lots of traffic. Rahni got renamed during the trip as she didn't act like an Indian Princess at all !! She was yowling some of the time, and trying to dig her way out of the carrier.

To be fair, here is a cat that had never had any real care, love, regular food, lived indoors, been crated, and certainly hadn't been in a vehicle, so I renamed her "Patches". I got back home just after 9.00AM. I would have to make the 80+ mile trip again, to pick her up later that day.

Ray was working on the Mirage, but I had something more important for him to do. The dog room bathtub faucet was dripping, and it was getting worse. We tried to take it apart, and it wouldn't. We looked up Moen, and there were no instructions how to get the cartridge out. So we called their Customer Support, and their recording said that the wait time was over TWO HOURS to talk to a rep.

I drove to the hardware store in town with a picture from Moen's site of the innards of my faucet, and they had a $20 tool for taking a Moen apart. Then the cartridge was about another $26 + tax. So I just bought another non-Moen faucet. Then came the task of installing it. The silly contractors that finished the house for us had some really weird ways. They had installed lumber behind the faucet that couldn't just be unscrewed, it had to be 'sawzalled' out. They had put the escutcheon plate on with Liquid Nails, so that nearly tore up the tub surround. Thank goodness I had the PVC and CPVC couplings here to put the pipes all back together.

I was really tired by then, and I just wanted to lie down before I fell down. Neither Ray nor I had had any lunch, so we didn't turn my water back on yet. I took a really needed short nap, then got back on the road to get Patches in rainy Friday night traffic. Two accidents southbound had traffic backed up for miles, twice. I finally got to the Vet and had to wait my turn to pick up Patches. She was still all doped up, so she just settled in her carrier, and enjoyed the trip back.

There was one more accident coming northbound, surprisingly the traffic wasn't too bad, but I still didn't get home until 700PM. We turned the water back on, and Hurray! No Leaks.

We had moved her cage where I can keep an eye on Patches to make sure she doesn't chew on her stitches as I write. Now, she is so loving, and wants to be petted all the time. Poor little thing, she was too young and skinny to have been able to safely bear and nurture her four babies.

EVERY LITTER BIT HURTS. So I stopped 1,600,000 homeless kittens, (yes, one million six hundred) from being born over the next ten years, today.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another Nice Day turned Rainy. Mime & Rahni

Shay rang my doorbell at 6.15 am this morning. She had the little pregnant cat in the carrier that I had put on it's end, door up, outside her front door. That is the easiest way to get a cat in a carrier if it doesn't want to go in there. Shay knew that she could pick up the little skittish cat, so we did it that way.
The reason Shay brought her over so early was that neutered Orange Glow just loves this little kitty, washes her and lets her eat Blackie's food. That causes fights. He was very upset that she was in the carrier, and was trying to get her out of there.
I brought the carrier into the Middle Room, opened the carrier door into my big cage and she got in it. It was all ready with food, water and litter. I took her some canned food, and let her settle down. Later, several times I opened the cage door and petted her so that she would get used to me.

When I told my SPCA boss, Kenya, that I now had the pregnant cat, she called the vet in Tomball, TX to see if she could be worked into their schedule, before she queened. She made an appointment for tomorrow, but I would have to take the cat, pick her up, and give her a name.

Now came the big decision, was she tame enough to be an adoptable pet? Should I call Animal Control to pick her up when they were doing their rounds in here, knowing that they would just put her to sleep. Kenya left the decision up to me. Later, the cat let me take her out of the cage, and I managed to take this picture of her. She is a calico, and calico is a type of fabric made in India, so I named her "Rahni", which is supposed to be Hindu for Princess.

I knew that Ray wouldn't be here this morning, so I went though a cabinet where I keep a lot of papers. I was really looking for the manual for my old cell phone. But one thing led to another, so I just kept the paper re-cycling bin and shredder busy. I still had 3-ring binders full of old bank statements from before it went online. There is a lot more room in the cabinet now.

Then it was time for some lunch, and go to the next town and meet Kenya to pick up my other foster, Mime, the tortie; tortoiseshell. I named her that, as she has orange on the right side of her face, and black on the left.

Mime seemed to be glad to see me, and Kenya remarked how super sweet she is. Then Kenya said that all the cats that I foster are very loving, gentle and well behaved, even when at Adoption Days. We talked about one of the other foster mom's cats and how terrible they are. I know that this foster mom really rough houses with her cats, then they just don't show well on Adoption Days. They seem to think that it is acceptable to bite and scratch!

Ray does the same thing with his cat, so she is a little vicious she-demon, and that is why Blackie and Orange Glow can't live in the house with her. Even Shay has been gaffed a few times as she walks by. You can't treat a cat like a dog, and even then it is not good to get a dog thinking that rough housing is good, as they can do it to young kids, and hurt them.

It is cooler than yesterday, a long sleeve T-shirt, not tank top day, like yesterday.

Now it is a rainy day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sink Out. Then got a Minivan.

This morning I went to pick up Jay, as he said he wanted to work today, but the way he looked, I didn't want him working today. So Ray and I unhooked the gas cook top in the TranStar, and unscrewed the counter top so that we could tilt it up to get the sink clips undone, to get the sink out. Ray only had an hour before he had to pick up Shay, and go to the doctor, so we didn't get much more done.

With Ray gone I tried to get one more thing off the list. Bobcat hasn't wanted to go out on her porch, and I think it is too stuffy out there. So I took down two panels of the sheet vinyl that we put up to make it cosy for the plants this winter. Then she went out there. As I watered the plants on the porch I noticed that my one flowering aloe has a great big long stalk with blossoms on it. Golly, it sure shot up suddenly. The hedge out back is making leaves, also my little Red Maple out front. So Spring must have really sprung.

"Mime", the cat with half orange and half black face, is coming back tomorrow. She is now spayed, vaccinated, tested negative for FIV and Feline Leukemia. They found out when they spayed her that she was at the beginning of a pregnancy.

There is a pretty little calico pregnant cat hanging around here, causing trouble by stealing Blackie and Orange Glow's food. So we are going to catch her, and see what we can do for her. I spent some time getting the cat cages ready in the Middle Room for the two cats.

I heard that Snack, the one that was so finicky about eating, is really settling down in her new forever home. Kenya had found exactly the right home for her. She is always careful to place the adoptable pets in suitable homes. Some are not adoptable, so they just get really good care for the rest of their days.

I bought a used Ford AeroStar minivan last night, it was 25 miles north on I-45 in Huntsville, TX. Ray and I went to pick it up. I had transferred the insurance off my faithful little old Puddle Jumper. So now I will put it, and the truck up for sale. I have never had a minivan before, it is a little higher to get into than my Dakota truck, but it drove nicely from Huntsville. We will see how it works out for a daily driver to take the place of the other two. I really like my Dakota truck, but only two doors were a pain, and everybody wanted me to haul stuff in it.

After sun and nice weather, it has turned into a rainy, thundery, stormy day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Obama Does a Good Thing for the 51st. State. Then Crooks.

If you happened to look at the Spring weather widget thing on here yesterday evening, you might have noticed the high humidity. I had to turn the AC on again last night. But today it was a lot better, even though it threatened to rain.
Ray and I started out by putting the fittings on the water tank, to see if we needed anything else. Tank at bottom of picture. Yes, of course, plumbing seems to always be like that!
We thought we had better do something about the broken AC shroud, compliments of Arkadelphia WalMart. We started to take the shroud off, and then thought that maybe we had better check to see if the AC still works!

I started to plug the rig into the 30 amp RV outlet, second time since we installed the new cord end. The PO had taken the RV 30 amp plug off and installed a 15/20 amp one. I couldn't plug it in last time, it just didn't seem to fit right, and Ray had trouble, too. This time this Bakelite plug disintegrated in my hand. I should have known to buy one from an RV store, but I wasn't near one, and had bought it from a hardware store. I did have a rubber molded RV cord end with an 18" pigtail that I had bought a long
time ago. So I found a length of flexible conduit which we slipped over the cord first, we butt connected the wires, coated them with liquid electrical tape, then wound electrical tape around each wire separately, brought the conduit over the splice, and wound wide electrical tape very securely over the whole thing. I had checked about getting shrink tape for this splice, but couldn't find any the right size.

Right in the middle of doing this, it started to rain, so we went into the TranStar and started to remove the sink which is too small for that size rig. I already had a larger one ready to go in there, just hadn't done it. We found out that we will have to remove the gas cook top, and counter top to get it out, so as it had stopped raining, we finished up on the cord.

The smaller sink is just the right size for the Mirage. It came with a teeny, tiny round one, molded into the fiberglass counter top, which we will cut out. It just has a hand pump faucet, and I happen to have a much better Attwood dual purpose one, so we will be installing a city water connection on the outside. Yes, this was just a bare bones camper when I got it, but that is alright, as I hardly ever go anywhere!

I was checking my emails, and there was one about the 51st state, the State of the Birds. "America is blessed with a spectacular abundance and diversity of birds, with more than 800 species inhabiting the mainland, Hawaii, and surrounding oceans. Birdwatching is one of the nation’s most popular pastimes, engaging millions of Americans; and it is big business, estimated to generate $45 billion dollars in economic activity each year. Birds are also a critical element of our farming industry as pollinators of crops and controllers of pests, as well as being key indicators of the health of the environment on which we all depend."

Then I read, and rejoiced at this:
"Administration Moves to Restore Endangered Species Act
The Obama Administration has announced its intention to reverse a rule passed in the last days of the previous administration and thereby restore the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to its previous full strength. The rule removed long-standing requirements for federal agencies to consult with experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service in cases where their actions may impact endangered species. Instead, it allowed each agency to decide on its own whether or not to consult. The announcement by the administration this month has been enthusiastically greeted by American Bird Conservancy and others in the conservation community. "

Of course, on that bird site there is the article about letting cats outside, who kill birds, but I won't go into that today.

Later this evening:
PS: I just got this from Bob2K, (an old friend from a previous RV chat), who posts on the RV-Dreams Community Forum:
"Last night we got a call from a woman that said a "3rd party" was trying to use our checking account and she wanted us to give her our 16 digit account number so she could make sure they didn't use our account.
Jerry hung up on them since the call was late at night and smelled like fish. We called our bank this morning and spoke to a VP and she said that there was a scam going around.
You might want to check with your banks and make sure they know what's going on and can watch your accounts. Happy Trails, Bob and Jerry."

Also, today, I got an email that looked to be from eBay Messages, asking for my name and address to send a payment. It did not have my full name on the top of the message, like eBay does, and it wasn't even addressed to my eBay User name. Of course I forwarded to eBay Security, and they are already working on it.
Beware, the crooks are always trying to get to you.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fish. Mirage Water Tank Fittings. Pet Safety.

Today was warm and sunny, but there was a chance of rain. The sky looked quite dark in places, but it just drizzled 6 drops on the windshield as I got home from town. Ray was cleaning the fiberglass on the Mirage.

Jay had to go to town too, to get some more parts for his fence. But we stopped at Petsmart first, with a sample of his aquarium water as he wanted them to test it. A couple of days ago he had set up his aquarium, and put some little feeder goldfish in it. The water was nice and clear. Yesterday he bought some expensive cychlids, and moved the goldfish to another little tank. When I walked in there this morning I could see that the water was cloudy..... not a good sign. I asked him if he had overfed then, and he denied it. Then he admitted that last night his friend had said that he had fed them, Jay hadn't believed him, and fed them again. Mystery solved. The 'fish lady' at Petsmart sold him a bottle of water clarifier, a gravel cleaner, and told him not to give them more than 5-6 pellets. He had given them about 30! Those poor fish, overfeeding sure does make the water go sour, and they were having to "breathe" that, but his charcoal filter should clean it up.

Finally, I could get on with my shopping. At Lowes, Jay got his fence parts, and I got the little 1/2" x 3/8" plastic barb fittings, and tubing for the water tank. I also got some 4" PVC fittings to make a little gray water tank, as there isn't one. More on that later.
On to Camperland where I got a length of that turquoise and white water fill hose that is used to go from the tank filler to the tank, and the tank drain cock. I got the flanged kind, as I want to bring it out to the side of the Mirage. It is so handy if you have to quickly rinse your hands without going inside, or put water in a dog's bowl.

Speaking of dogs, I read this today about pet safety. Folks don't realize that a pet becomes a projectile in a wreck, and if it runs off while the EMT's are taking care of the people, it could be lost forever. That happened to my daughter. When it is in a strapped down carrier, or safety harness, there is a much better chance of it not getting injured, and the EMT's will call the proper animal authorities to come and care for your pet. http://blog.rv.net/2009/03/safe-pet-travel-products/

Just a parts gathering day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mirage Cabinet. Water Tank. Poppy Seed Cookies.

First thing, Ray and I unpacked my Puddle Jumper wagon, which was loaded to the roof with a neighbor's yard sale remnants. We took the boxes and clothes up to my "Yard Sale Dept.", over the store room, and hung the clothes on the rod up there. I didn't have time to go through the stuff, but I will when Yard Sale time comes, and donate most of it. One thing I washed and kept for myself was a comforter and pillow shams just the right color for the Mirage.

Ray re-bondo-ed some places on the Mirage hood, and did some more cleaning on the outside, while Jay and I worked on piecing together all the little parts for this cabinet. This is just a dry run of it, as part of the counter-top will have a piano hinge at the back to lift up to use the toilet. That will cover up the window! There is door-curtain that goes around this little area, so it will be private.
What you can't see is that there is a place cut out at the back of the middle wall, so that you can store stuff behind that plastic chest of drawers. It might come in handy for extra rolls of TP, or whatever. I use every inch of an RV! Then Jay's friend came to pick him up.

Ray and I put my 10 gallon tank in there under the dinette bench to see how it would all fit, and hook up. I went with my small tank, instead of buying a larger one, as there is an access panel to something under that floor, so it will be easier to empty and move a smaller tank, if needed. We traced it's position on the carpet with a black marker, and if we can make the plumbing flexible enough, one should be able to pick up the front of the tank to get to that access. If not, we will just have to have quick-connects. This is the closest place to the kitchen, so it had to go there.

Yesterday, I had started to make Solo Hamantaschen Cookies. They are made with Poppy Seed Filling. The recipe was inside the label of the can. As the dough had to be divided and refrigerated, that's as far as I got. Today, I finished them. I couldn't follow the recipe as I didn't have the ingredients that they listed. I don't have any All Purpose white flour, only wheat flour; I don't have any white sugar, only brown; or butter, just Smart Balance; I didn't have any milk, only Fat Free Half-N-Half. But they still turned out nummy for anyone who loves poppy seeds. But I did find out later that they are better when made with Wondra Flour, but I don't have much in refined white things, so I didn't have enough. I do keep a little bit of it around for the rare times that I make gravy, though. My late DH loved Poppy Seed Cake, but I thought I would make cookies, instead, a rare occasion around here.

So that was just about it for this lovely, sunny day.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Inches to Gallons. Cabinet work on Mirage.

Another great day here, sunny, not too hot, and not chilly or cold.

I went to get Jay, as he wanted to be here today. I had already told Ray he could carry on with waxing the outside of the Mirage, if I was gone too long. You never know with Jay, and I had to wait for him this morning.

Jay cut a few pieces of wood on the table saw and chop saw, then a friend came to pick him up. So Ray and I finished what Jay had started. We now have the back supports installed for the Formica top for the little cabinet. Then Ray and I concentrated on some other jobs. We fixed the handle that pushes up the top for ventilation on the little 12v. powered roof vent. We attached a board that had to be taken down at the back to get to the wiring for the rear clearance lights.

We took the out the back bolts that hold down the driver's seat, as I am going to have to raise the back of the seat, or keep on sitting on two cushions. My right leg can't be bent while driving, old war injury, but if I have the seat that far back, I can't engage the clutch!! So the remedy is to raise the back of the seat by adding a 2x4 back there, and use longer bolts. I haven't found the right strength bolts yet, the hardware store only had strength 5.
Ray climbed up in the overcab bed and glued the carpet back up to the front wall around the windows that we replaced. We know that we have to replace the cracked window, but there are other more important things to do right now, if I am ever to get on the road.

Then we fixed the rack for the 500 watt inverter and tested it out. The 110v. work light that is in that cupboard is being powered by the back battery through the inverter.

The Mirage has a very small water tank, smaller that I care to have, only 2 gallons. I don't carry much water on board when traveling, but there are times when you want to have a tankful. Like at the beach, or boondocking. I found an area under a dinette bench, and measured it. I have a 10 gallon that would fit, but that isn't much. There are a couple of reasonable ones on eBay, an 18 gallon, or a 21 gallon bladder tank. I only had the dimensions, so to know how many gallons they held I went to: http://www.petfish.net/calculators/calculate.php Like most Rvers I will probably be hooked to city water most of the time, so I might just install my 10 gallon, and carry one of the bladder tanks, which folds up to a small size. I might need that extra room under the dinette for other things. But the bladder tank when full, would weigh about 176 lb, and as I don't quite know how I would manage it, I will have to re-think that. When full, I would have to carry it on the hood, or inside, and then have some kind of pump to pump it into the tank.

Enough thinking for today.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Brazoria Co. Memorial Fence

Another nice sunny day here in near the Gulf Coast of TX.

Every now and then, my computer slows down or freezes up, in spite of all the cleaning, defragging, 'msconfig', One-Click-Fixes, and other stuff I do to it. So I decided that I had some time that I could devote to this problem and called AOL Customer Support. It worked better for a while, but then went back to it's ways. But I do go all over the world on this thing. Sometimes I even buy stuff from Britain, that I can't get here!

When I was looking at the news about Bert Brady, who goes to D/FW airport each day to greet the returning troops, I came across another item of interest, to me anyway.
This is all about a man in Brazoria County, (where TX began), and how he built this fence to honor all our latest fallen troops. What a tragedy that there are so many crosses on it.

Angleton resident Jimmy Jackson said he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from people and organizations helping him rebuild his fence, which supports more than 4,000 crosses bearing the names of fallen soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The memorial was damaged by Hurricane Ike.

I did get to the lake to feed the ducks and fish, the hardware and grocery store.
Then my friend's husband succumbed to cancer today.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hungry Americans. Cabinet Top

Another lovely day, and Ray and I got a little bit done to the Mirage cabinet.
We routered the Formica on the cabinet top, and took it inside the Mirage to see how to build the rest of it. It is a little tricky, as the RV is wider at the back than the front!

Hunger: Do You Know The Facts?
It is estimated that one billion people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition. That's roughly 100 times as many as those who actually die from these causes each year.
About 24,000 people die every day from hunger or hunger-related causes. This is down from 35,000 ten years ago, and 41,000 twenty years ago. Three-fourths of the deaths are children under the age of five.
Famine and wars cause about 10% of hunger deaths, although these tend to be the ones you hear about most often. The majority of hunger deaths are caused by chronic malnutrition. Families facing extreme poverty are simply unable to get enough food to eat.
The Hunger Site began on June 1, 1999. In 1999, a year marked by good economic news, 31 million Americans were food insecure, meaning they were either hungry or unsure of where their next meal would come from. Of these Americans, 12 million were children.
Click here to learn more about hunger.

This was on the Hunger Site when I did my clicks today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Re: Person of The Week, Bert Brady. WWII

It was more misty than foggy, first thing this morning, but still turned into a lovely sunny day.

When Ray arrived, later, we got a few things done. The Mirage is still at Jim's getting the clearance and side lights worked on, so we were limited to what we could do. I did drive down there to get the pedestal pole for the table, so that Ray could paint it the same color as the bases. We got the top drawer section off the little plastic chest unit, and smeared Contact Cement on the cabinet top that we had made, and the Formica for it. While we were waiting for that to dry, (it has to be dry before you put both glued parts together), we fixed a pot lid holder in my kitchen and a few little things like that. Once the contact cement was dry, we carefully lined up the two parts, stuck them together, and weighted it down until tomorrow.

As Ray was helping someone else earlier this morning, I had time to read some emails. One email was this video about Bert Brady, who goes to D/FW airport nearly every morning to greet the returning troops. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ud1Bk3Ns-E
Here, away from it all, it is so easy to forget that there is a war going on, and that we have troops dying in battle right now. It is wonderful that some folks go nearly every morning to airports to welcome those who are returning, but there must be much more we can do for the troops?

This made me think of my own experiences of WWII:
During WWII in London, I was in the midst of the bombings and heard the planes going over dropping their doodle-bugs, and then the explosions. I was woken up regularly, in the middle of the night by the sirens and rushed, first to under the stairs, but later we had a shelter. I would go to school each morning wondering which of my friends had got killed in the night. Our house didn't get a direct hit, but I did get hurt from one that landed close by, when our ceiling fell down on me from the vibration. I never saw a banana as there was food, and other rationing, for many years.
Every beach had barbed wire strung across it, and big cement places that housed guns to fire at any ships, or subs that tried to land on Britain.
The one, and only day, I played hookey from school with my girlfriend, happened to be the day that all the planes were flying over us, going south for DDay, 6th. June,1944. We were used to seeing fleets of planes, but not this many, so we didn't really think much of it, at the time.

When VJ Day (Victory Over Japan) came, I really didn't know what that was, all I knew was wartime. But I put streamers on my bike handlebars, as the other kids did, and rode up and down our street. I went on a quick visit to some relatives on a farm, and they had Italian prisoners of war working for them who were all so nice and polite.

Even when VE Day (Victory Over Europe) came, things didn't change much, except there were no more sirens or bombings. Everything was still rationed and I didn't fully understand what "Peace" was, for several years. Not until I moved to Paris to spend some time with my father who was working there. The war, and German Occupation was still very fresh in the Parisian and Parisienne's memories. They still spoke of the stories of the brutality of the Nazis. There were still empty spaces, and rubble between buildings, just as London had. The rebuilding process took a long time for all the European countries that were impacted by the war. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_occupation_of_France_during_World_War_II

Psychologically, it took a lot longer. I was in Sweden and Switzerland, two neutral countries, and their economy was thriving, as usual. The Italians, Danes, and Dutch seemed to have got over it very well when I was there. But the war was a little bit different for the Italians than Occupied France, even though Italy was occupied too, as they were on the other side. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Italy_during_World_War_II#Italian_forces_in_France:_1940_-_1943
Then there was The Cold War: http://plus.aol.com/aol/reference/coldwar/cold_war?flv=1
We all knew that it was going on, so there was still a possibility of another war.

Today, now we have had more wars since WWII, which was supposed to be the "War To End All Wars". Will it ever end?
So, I am grateful to all those who fought for our freedom, as I have first hand civilian knowledge of war.
"If we don't want to take care of our Vets, we should stop making them".

History lesson over for today.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Do Nothin' Day.

For the second day it started out chilly and foggy, but straightened up to be a really nice sunny day. Also another day that Ray wouldn't be here.

I tried out the new drawer unit in the Mirage. I knew when I bought it, that the top drawer would have to be taken off, but I couldn't do it by myself. One person has to push in the four little tabs, while the other one pulls it apart. This little lightweight chest is the right width for what I need in that little cabinet, but is too tall, so I can use that extra drawer somewhere else.

I put my new vacuum together and tried it out...It really sucked up cat hair out of the carpet that the other one left behind, and it is lightweight and easy to handle. It is a Hoover Nanolite from WalMart. But I don't know if it would be good for bare floors, as it blows air out of the front, right below the dust cup. But for me, I think it is going to work out well.

I spent some time looking, online, at compartment doors and storage solutions for the Mirage's outside. Jim, the mechanic, was ready to look at the lights situation, so I drove it down there. I even had to go down there later, to measure another place where I could put some outside storage.

The sun was shining on the porch, and I remembered that I had better water the plants. It is so much easier with the new watering system that we installed the other day. They are blooming, and making babies beautifully out there.

It is a terrible thing, waiting for someone to die, but still no more news on another liver for Claudia, so we are waiting, day by day.

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Liver Was No Good. Shopping On a Sunny Day.

It started out chilly and foggy. Ray and Shay were going to go all the way south of Houston to work on a relative's fence, so Bobcat, MaeMae and I amused ourselves. They slept, while I searched online for the right size containers for the little cabinet in the Mirage. I also tried out a couple of 4-cup coffee makers I have, to see which one to put in the Mirage.

About 10.30AM Claudia called, and said the liver transplant place had called late yesterday afternoon to say that she should hold off leaving, as they were having a problem with the new liver. They tested it, and it didn't work. They had another one that they were testing. She and her neighbor waited around on tenterhooks until 11.30 at night. Then they heard that the second one didn't work either. So she didn't have to go down there, yet. But she is obviously next in line, so she is keeping her bag packed and close to home. She does wear one of their pagers, so they can alert her in case she does have to go somewhere. So I took MaeMae back down to her, but I have to be ready to take care of MaeMae, at a moment's notice.

After lunch, it had really warmed up. I went into the next town to WalMart, and it was packed. They had a drawer cabinet the right width for what I need. I bought that, and the vacuum that I have been looking for, too.

I am also looking for some kind of heavy duty storage box that I can affix to the back step. I don't want to have wet hoses, propane and butane canisters, etc. inside the Mirage with me. So I also went to Lowes, and got a good idea there, but didn't buy it yet.
Then I made the mistake of going grocery shopping when hungry, and bought a whole bunch of meat, veges, and things on sale. Everywhere in town had a shortage of parking spaces. I had to run the AC in the truck on the way home. Can Spring be far behind?

Another " I should have worn my pedometer" day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mirage Work. Then New Liver for Jay's Mom.

Another cold day, but with light coats on, Ray and I were able to to a bit more to the Mirage. We had made a cardboard template for the cabinet top, got the top cut and the right size Formica ready. We cut some 1x2's for the framework that holds it up, and for the little divider. We couldn't finish it, as I found out, online, that the brand of storage drawers that I was using, don't come in the one more size that I needed. So I will have to look for another brand.

This is the top and bottom of the table we made for the dinette. I had bought the pedastal pole for the table yesterday, so we were able to put the pole in the floor hole and line it up to the table, between the dinette benches. I know it looks off center, but that is the way the original one was, so they must have had a reason. I think that it is so that you can pivot the table out of the way if you had to get from the cab to the back.

Ray primed the aluminum pole holders with the green aluminum primer, and then painted them.

As we couldn't install the table right now, we looked at the cupboard where the inverter is, next to the 110v. fridge. It was turned so that you couldn't even get to the outlets on it. I found this little ventilated shelf that gets it out of the way of the regular outlet where the fridge plugs in, and enables it to turn to get to the ones on the inverter. Then it started to rain, so we quit for the day.

This afternoon I got a call from Jay's mother, Claudia, they have a liver for her. She is excited and ever so scared. So I will be taking care of MaeMae for a week while she is in the hospital. I am so grateful to the folks that donated this liver, how wonderful of them. My heartfelt thank you to all organ donors. It makes such a difference to those waiting for a new lease on life.
The Lord works in mysterious ways..... he knew I would be needed here, and hadn't let me go to Kerrville.

Please pray for Claudia, she has the surgery today.