Monday, February 8, 2016

Mrs. Calabash~ All the Work We Cannot See

Some time back,
I shared my ol' sweet trailer with you.
If you missed that one, here is that post.
Mrs. Calabash
Over the course of the past year,
it would appear as though I have just 'dinked around' with her.
But let show you what goes into this 'dinking around' business.
She didn't look too bad, right?
That is until you dig in and begin the work.
The last post were the "before" pictures.
These are the "during" pictures.
I have a feeling the during part is going to be on-going.
She had been 'updated' sometime around 1990- remember that?
One of the first things I did was pull out the cream and 'country blue' floral linoleum that was peeling up on the edges and seams, because
they didn't clean the original floor first.
It was put in in sections and was not done under the table.
It also made the bathroom door scrape.
The little blue flowers don't really show in the photos, 
but they're there, I promise.
The floor underneath is actually in pretty decent condition
and is much more neutral.
All of the cupboards featured a "lovely" 
(read tacky, low quality, poorly applied, stained, and dried out)
country blue tack paper.
This came out little piece by little piece.
If it were better quality, it might have at least come out in larger pieces.
Removed the plastic strip along here.
That little ladder rail that was there fell off - it was only hot glued on.
There was also country blue carpet hot glued to the shelf.
It's not there any more either:)
We knew the pump ran, but when we put water in the tank,
and turned on the pump, it sprayed water out the seal.
This is the picture I took before I pulled it out & cleaned etc.
I do that so I know which wires go where in case I need that reference.
The pump is now re-sealed and works properly.
I then went to drain the tank from the outside.
A little drip/trickle came out.
It took all day for the tank to drain.
Once drained, I removed the faucet, cleaned the corrosion out,
removed a ratchet head piece (I'm guessing fell in the tank and worked its way down,) replaced the faucet, and retested.  Works great now.
And last but not least. . . .
I have to say, I have a more intimate relationship with the potty
than I would like to admit.
I have disassembled and reassembled it.
It still has a drip, but at least water doesn't just run right through it.
It is functional:)
As a treat, I got an exterior black water holding tank.
Where we camp, there are no hookups so in order to use the potty,
we needed a holding tank.

I'm going to be a little ornery and stop here.
I'll show you 'after' pictures next time.
I know - cruel indeed.
It is amazing though, all the work involved that is really unnoticeable.
I think there are a lot of things like that.
We don't recognize the efforts of others, because we haven't
been there to witness the hours of labor.
That's just one of those silly things I think about on occasion.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Just a Note

Hello my friends.
Just a quick note to let you know I haven't dropped off the face of the earth.
I am working on some site updates
and having a few issues.
Sorry for the repost.
I should hopefully be back on track within the next day or two.
Thank you for baring with me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Decluttering Benefits ~ Dos and Don'ts

A few years back, I went through and did what I referred to as 
"cleaned to the corners"
at which time, I did get rid of quite a bit of 'stuff.'
It felt good to know things were clean and in order.
But there was always more.
Since then, we have inherited items from passing grandparents,
been gifted items for holidays, and brought other items 
into our home just by breathing in and out it seems.
Generally speaking, our house hasn't appeared really cluttered
with knick-knacks and dustables, 
but to us it began to feel that way.
A few months ago, a phrase came to me.
I don't know if it's something I once read or if God just put it there,
Make room in your life for the things you desire.
it has stuck with me like PB on the roof of my mouth I might add.
Please note, I am not a minimalist (nor a hoarder)
and have no desire to be either.
I don't want to live in a tiny house or only own 100 items.
My canning and food preserving items would make short news of that number.
But like I said, something clicked or resonated.
I began to "look" at items - really seeing them.
I have items from my youth (they aren't either antiques!)
They serve me no purpose, and I just keep them packed.
Why?  Because that's what I've always done.
I had middle school year books from before we moved out of state.
I don't even know those people, but I've packed those books around
for however many years.
They simply went in the garbage.
My high school year books, I didn't want to just throw away.
Within a week of getting them out, I ran into a classmate
I hadn't seen in a long time.
He was a transfer-in about our junior year so I asked if he would like them.
He was thrilled.  He said his ex-wife had taken his.
That's just one example of many.
I now have space between my clothes, several empty shelves
in the kitchen cupboards, as well as more floor space, and only enough 
books to fit in the bookcase.

A couple of scenes of the
"during" stage.
You'll be glad to know,
it no longer looks like this.

So what is so remarkable about all this?

Think for a moment if you will about how many organizing and cleaning
solutions you routinely encounter in the way of products, books, magazines, containers, paid professionals, etc.
When you have only the things you love and use,there really is no organizing to do other than keeping like with like.
(Clothes in the closet, food in pantry and so forth.)
Things just seem to fall into place.
Clothes make it onto hangers or into drawers,
dishes get done and put away, surfaces are clean,
and within, there is a peace that is difficult to explain.
The never-ending and foreboding to-do list gets such a haircut,
it's the whole "weight off your shoulders" cliche.
Picture a counter top piled with stuff.  If your mission is to wipe off the counter,
all of that stuff must first be dealt with.
Now picture a cleared counter top and think how easy it is to wipe it off
with the damp towel as you go to throw it in the hamper.
That's the difference physically, mentally, and emotionally.
If you're having troubles getting rid of certain things 
you know you don't need, try asking yourself,
"If I had a friend who lost everything and I knew he/she wanted it,
would I give it to him/her?"
If yes, then deep down, you are really okay with letting it go - for free even.
If you sell it for even a fraction of it's worth, you are doubly ahead.
One other thing that is often promoted in books about decluttering
is that if you are undecided about something,
put it in a box and if after 6 months you haven't opened the box
then get rid of it.
Do not try this!
It will just become a box of clutter and it won't bring you peace because, 
you will dread the day you have to decide weather or not to get rid of it.
If there is truly an item you are undecided about, set it on the kitchen table.
It will be there with you at every meal so you will really have to 
recognize your ownership of it.
If you love it, you will keep it.
If you don't, it will go and you will be okay with it because
you made that decision.
You will be at peace, because you have made the decision
and don't have to dread making it 6 months from now.
 If you are feeling like you are up against road blocks, look around.

Are you making room in your life for the things you desire?

Mr. LB and I have goals and things we enjoy both together
and as individuals.  Removing the barriers allows us to focus
more thought, energy, resources, and time on those things we deem important.
We had a huge yard sale this weekend (it poured all day.)
I have a car full of things to go to the bargain counter.
There are some larger items still out in the shop.
Mr. LB asked if I wanted a couple of the things back in the house.
It was hard not to yell "NO!"
It's all going one way or another.
Some decisions have been more difficult than others,
and I still have a few more things to go through,
but it's manageable and doesn't seem so overwhelming.
Now our house can breath, and 
we too can breath.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Knife and Steel

Take a look at these beauties.
(Never mind my old stained cutting board.)
A good year or so ago
Mr. LB found a good deal on J Russell Green River knife blades.
This one is the 'sheep skinner.'
He thought the angle might be interesting and useful.
With one, he used the two blocks of wood that come with the blade
 to make the handle.
It turned out fine, and he has used it several times.
The other, he took to my brother.
He enjoys knives and does a pretty nice job.
 So they worked something out.  You know how horse trading goes.
Hubby was thinking of having it done "nicely" as a possible gift
to maybe his brother or my dad, but my brother didn't know that part.
My brother thought he would do something nice for Mr. LB.
He used deer antlers instead of the blocks that came with it,
 and made a steel to match.
Hubby is right handed so the knife goes in his right hand,
and the steel in his left.
Look at the contour of the antlers used.
He cut the antler right where it would lend the proper angles
to fit each hand.
My baby brother said he used a new kind of shellack,
and he didn't seem to care for it as well.
Mr. LB is also disappointed - that's sarcasm incase you didn't catch on.
Needless to say, it has not yet been used.
It is at present sitting on the mantel center stage.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches