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Archive for the ‘Nadine – Lady of Mystery’ Category

  Spring is here.  The bees are buzzing, the pastures are full of new calves and the trees are blooming.  Spring also means it will soon be time to get my campers hitched up and out on the road again and I can’t wait.  If you’ve read my previous post (Sept 2016 – yes, it’s been awhile) you will have seen photos of the major parts of the ’72 Nomad (Nadine’s) overhaul.  But since there are always lots of ‘little things’ to finish I have been working on her most of last winter – whenever the weather was nice enough to be outside.

I have added additional cabinets, hooked up the water tank which is now mounted on the trailer hitch, found her an adorable kitchen sink, finished the cabinet front under the bed and added shelves and storage everywhere I could.  Just when I feel like I’m getting close to finishing I come up with something new to add.

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A home for the fly fishing rods and reels.

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A galvanized sink.

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And the storage space under the bed.

But all of that will come to a screeching halt soon, because in one short month I will be hitting the road to join the Sisters On The Fly for the biggest camping trip I have ever done.  We will be following the Lewis and Clark Trail from St Louis, MO to Astoria, OR.  The trip will take us about 4 weeks to complete and it will take me an additional 3 days to get to St. Louis and probably 4 days to return home from Astoria.  Round trip, I will travel over 4,400 miles but some of the Sisters will have many mores miles than that.  There are 59 Sisters planning on doing the whole trip with more joining for parts of it so it should be quite an adventure.

It’s freaking me out a little bit that there is so much to do before I leave – the work on the camper & the planning and packing.  And of course sometimes I have to wake up in the middle of the night to worry and wonder “What the hell was I thinking?”  But the sun rises and my worries evaporate in the daylight and I remind myself to take it one day at a time.   The important stuff will get done and if I forget something it can be replaced.

There are 13 stops along the way where we will spend 1 to 3 days & nights before moving on and our biggest day of travel is still under 400 miles so I know I can do that.   And if the worst happens and I have to pull out the trip part way I will find my way home with wonderful memories of the part I did see.

We have an amazing lady in charge of the trip and she has lined up hostesses for each of the stops.  These gals have been hard at work setting up fun and interesting things for us to see and do such as a paddle wheel cruise at St Louis, campfire entertainment, social events, catered meals, museums and historic sites, a chance to see the original journals of Lewis & Clark and lots of fun (and sometimes unusual sites along the way) such as Ladies night at the Sip & Dip Lounge in Great Falls, MT where mermaids and mermen swim in the pool behind the bar.  OK, I admit I am really looking forward to this stop not only for the mermen but also for their signature drink – ‘The Fish Bowl’.  I’m not sure what’s in it but I’ll let you know how it is, if I can remember.  Ha!

For now, it’s back to the camper to see what else I can work on.

Happy Trails!

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I hope everyone has had as much fun this summer as I have!

Our summer started out dry.  I mean Really Dry!!!  But I planted my garden with the best of intentions.  Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to realize I was watering twice a day and the plants were still dying.  When the rains finally did come we received over 3″ in one evening and enough hail to pound what was left of the garden into the ground.  So I surrendered the outside gardens to Mother Nature and started working instead on the plants in the hoop house and Nadine, one of my campers.  She is a 20 foot, 1972 Nomad and was the first camper I bought when this madness began.  She has patiently waited in the tall grass for a couple of  years while I worked on another camper but last fall I went a little crazy and gutted her.  Avacodo Green and Harvest Gold rom the ’70’s just doesn’t do it for me.  Torn apart and empty she spent last winter behind our house till spring hit and I started work.  After 3 months of rebuilding she’s still not finished but I have already taken her camping twice and she has performed flawlessly.

This picture was taken the day I bought her for $250.00 – warts and all.

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Now she looks like this:

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Quite the change isn’t it?  I patched & sealed the holes on the outside and removed the windows so she could be primed and painted.  The broken and unused vents in the roof have been replaced or sealed off and she’s gotten a new coat of roof sealant to keep out that pesky water.  Next I cleaned and repaired the windows, then resealed and reinstalled them.  She received a new ‘skirt’ of mini galvanized tin to hide the flaws around her bottom half, an air conditioner, a new jack and new lights all around.  Morgan painted her (we used tractor paint – sprayed on) then spent two weekends rewiring the whole unit, moving light fixtures & plug-ins, fixing the brakes and checking the wheel bearings.

My hubby, bless his heart, helped by offering to hitch it up and drag it to the dump every other day.  He has since changed his tune.

Here’s a photo of one of the clearance lights – just because I think they look bad-ass.  Bahahahahaha!

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The inside changes were pretty drastic too.  The paneling was ripped out and the rotten wood was replaced.  The propane system was completely removed because the fridge and furnace didn’t work and I never used the stove anyway so why keep it?  I bought a new electric fridge, a toaster oven and a cute little electric heater to take their place.

Every leak was sealed and triple checked before the first piece of pink foam insulation was added.

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The walls are a combination of pine bead board and 1/4″ plywood.  The cabinets, as you can see, are made from old weathered boards which I stole from the fence around our yard.  Hubby never even noticed until he stuck his head into the camper and said, “Where’d you get that wood?”   Ha!  The cabinets still need latches and handles but I love them.  The platform under the fake wood stove (aka – electric heater) is built over the wheel well and contains beautiful Mexican tiles left over from another project.  On the left you can also see a little bit of the bathroom and the hanging door hung on a piece of galvanized pipe with large eye bolts as the hardware.  It slides a little hard but that’s OK as the door isn’t moving around while we’re traveling. To the right, just out of the photo is the new fridge.

The countertop is a collection of sea shells I gathered on several trips.  I also added a few fishing flies, an old bottle with a message in it, and a few other items before covering it with a pour-on resin.  The odd rectangular hole in the counter top is where the sink (an old enameled wash basin) will eventually be.  The very large picture on the counter was there just to hide the breaker box and to ‘dress the old girl up’ a little for her first trip with the Sisters on the Fly.  The event which was held last month at Red Lodge, Montana.

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The other side has storage for folding camp chairs, fishing poles, supplies and maybe someday an awning.  Plus there’s room for a comfy chair and some artwork that swings opens like a wall safe and will double as my jewelry box – once it’s finished.

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The floor which was covered with nasty stick-on linoleum tiles was removed and the subfloor was covered with a new layer of underlayment before getting a Kraft paper finish which I’d seen on Pinterest.  Thank goodness for Pinterest!!!  This floor was simple and fun to do and I am seriously considering doing this in my sewing room this winter!  You rip up chunks of paper, crumple them then dip them into a mixture of 50% Elmer’s glue and 50% water, squeeze out the excess then smooth the wet paper out on the floor.  After allowing the paper to dry, I stained and sealed it with at least 6 coats of polyurethane.  It cost about $17 in supplies.

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Finished, it reminds me of old parchment.  This flooring is very forgiving.  You can sand down any parts that curled up or add more paper if needed and if it gets scratched you give it another coat of polyurethane.  Sweet!!!

The next photo is the front of the camper. The curtains are the ones that were in the camper before so they will eventually be replaced with something more appropriate to her make-over.  There was only 48″ for the width of the bed before it would hang over the doorway at the foot so I purchased a full-sized 6″ memory foam mattress and cut it down with a serrated bread knife.  I will eventually build pull out drawers under the bed to hide the mess and hold my Dutch oven and other supplies.  The drawer fronts will be more of the gray wood (it’s still on the fence as I write this – Haha!).  Since I decided to move the fresh water storage tank out onto the trailer hitch where the propane bottles used to sit the drawers should be about 45″ deep for lots of good storage.  Dalton has built me a metal bracket to hold the tank that I can cover with the leftovers of corrugated tin.

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The tin on the front (and back) walls of the camper were attached so that the center section can be removed to gain easy access to the front and back clearance lights.  Just in case…

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This isn’t a very good picture of the bathroom but you can see that the shower, which was on the right side has been removed.  It leaked like a sieve so I was happy to rip that out.  The plumbing lines are behind a hidden access door in the left wall and they will be run through to an outdoor shower – once I get started on the water system.  The black cabinet is screwed to the wall and soon there will be a rounded wooden door on the cabinet under the sink.  It all takes time.  The sunflowers in the corner are just stored there when I travel.  Once I’m set up they are hung under the windows on the side and back of the trailer.

One of my favorite parts of the whole rebuild is the ceiling.

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Since I didn’t want to pay big money for real tin ceiling tiles I purchased foam ones from a website called Decorative Ceiling Tiles.  These were $4.00 each but of course I have since seen them on sale for $2.   I painted them with chalk paint, highlighted the design with a swipe of a sponge dipped in metallic silver paint then added a coat of clear wax with dark wax on top.  Once I glued them to the ceiling I sprayed them with a layer of clear lacquer that gave them a shiny finish.

I originally had plans for large silver decals on the sides but Morgan wasn’t sold on the idea and since he did help so very much with this project and would occassionally like to take it camping too I agreed to leave her the way she was – except for the one on the back.  I think every girl needs at least one ‘tattoo’.

Happy Trails…

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Spring is in the air and of course my thoughts turn to gardening.  But since I always start my garden seeds way too early I have decided to work on one of my campers instead.

Nadine was the first camper I bought.  She is a 20 foot 1973 Nomad and was a true love child of the 70’s with Avocado Green and Harvest Gold reigning supreme in her décor.

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Can I just say – Wow?  No wonder so many people did drugs in those days.

Yes, she was a vision of loveliness right down to the torn linoleum.

Nadine wasn’t the camper I had always dreamed of (I was really hoping for a ’50 or ’60 model) but when I was able to talk the owner down to $250 she followed me home anyway.

I had done some work to her right after I bought her but I was never thrilled with how she had turned out so last fall I decided it was time for a major overhaul.

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I saw her shutter as I approached with the crow bar.

First item – the shower – which I had never used because it leaked like a sieve and was like trying to shower in an upturned coffin.  It was so small I had to step outside to change my mind.  10 minutes and it was gone.

The stove went next.  It still works but frankly, propane has always scared the ‘pee-wadding’ out of me especially when it is confined in a small ‘tin can’.  I’m sure it was perfectly safe but did Nadine really need propane?  Could she be all electric?  It wasn’t like I went camping just to bake cakes and scones in her cute little oven, right?

And her Avocado fridge (that never worked) had been removed and was now serving a life sentence in the greenhouse as mouse-free storage for all my garden seeds.  Have you priced a camper fridge?  I have and that’s why the replacement one was all electric.

It would be so much easier to pull into the campsite, plug her in and have everything work without any pilot lights to contend with.  And of course there would still be a battery backup complete with a solar charger for lights if I didn’t have hookups.

Why not?

So out came the stove, gas lines, propane bottles and everything that was hooked to them.

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And why stop there?  The cabinets were cheap, falling apart and trashy.  The drawers didn’t slide right and were open on the inside of the cabinet so that any mouse that came through the wall had access to the silverware, dishtowels and anything else stored in the drawers.  Nasty!  I started out carefully removing all those damn ‘bow-tie’ screws that are so popular with camper factories but soon gave up on that.   The crowbar became my tool of choice and the cabinets came out in pieces.

Nadine has always been full of surprises and the electrical was no exception.   As was the lack of insulation and the ancient bird nest that fell out of the ceiling.

Safety Note:  Always, always, always wear a dust mask, eye protection and gloves when your doing demolition in an old camper!!!  (There are even times when a full body Hazmat suit could come in handy too but that’s another story.)

Since this rebuild is geared toward keeping things simple I have decided to also remove some of the sewer vents too.  There were 4 of them – kitchen sink, shower, toilet and bathroom sink.  Is all of that really necessary?  I hope not because with the help of a reciprocating saw we are now down to the one for the toilet.

The shower is gone and the kitchen sink will have a simple drain down by the tires as the older campers did so those vents are not needed anymore.  I haven’t decided if I want to keep the bathroom sink or not but since it’s so close to the toilet the same vent should work for both of them.  This left 3 holes to patch on the roof along with the large vent for the stove hood which was removed shortly after the stove.  Hail had done a number on all these vents so sealing them up has already stopped most of the air and water leaks in her shell.

The water lines had been redone (by a real plumber) right after I bought her so they are still good but the aluminum water tank (which was original to her) had sprung a major leak on her last camping trip about 3 years ago.  I knew the tank had to go but by the look of the floor underneath it the leak had started long before we saw it.

Out came the chipboard flooring and two of the supports which were rotted through.

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When it comes to old camper it’s just easier to start ripping out stuff.  And don’t stop until all the damage is gone.  Get to the bottom of it before you start rebuilding or you will have problems with it forever.

In Nadine’s case, her whole front end had problems.  There was a leak along the first seam of the roof panels, a large leak on the top of the front window and the right front corner of the floor was pretty much destroyed by the constant leak from the water tank.

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This was one of the roof beams.

There was also some water damage from the clearance lights above the front window and almost nothing left of the wood under an outside access storage door.  There has been a lot of removal and replacement of wood – one board at a time.

While working on the roof leak I also learned that silicone caulking is truly a ‘Tool of the Devil’.

Someone in Nadine’s past had desperately tried to stop the roof leak with silicone.  And from the looks of it, it must have worked for awhile but over time the leak came back and more multicolored layers were applied.  I’m betting their theory was ‘if a little is good, a whole lot must be better’.

All I know is that Nadine had more silicone injections than half the starlets in Hollywood – combined!!!

For the record, I would also like to state that I really hate removing silicone caulking.  Maybe there’s an easy way to get rid of it but if there is, I haven’t found it yet.  There are still several days of working on ladders ahead of me before it’s all gone so I will keep at it and let you know how it goes.

I have big plans for this camper including a ‘fix’ to take care of this spot where someone had ripped off some of her siding.  To bad I didn’t get to hear that story…

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They did patch it but I’m hoping to do better.

Nadine has lots of potential and even the cats seem to enjoy her.  They almost look like some weird kind of decoration spaced out on her back bumper enjoying the morning sun.

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But then again, maybe they’re just pointing out that matching tail lights would help too.

Oh, so much to do and so little time before the camping season kicks off.  I guess I better get to it!

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Now that the forest fires have burned out and everyone seems to be on the mend (including the cat) things have quieted down quite a bit – Thank Goodness!!!

Finally, I have gotten back to working on my girls – Nadine and Ruby.  Ruby has only gotten a quick once over with soap and water but Nadine is the one who has made real progress. 

Yikes!  OK – she still needs some major work on the outside and definitely a new paint job but she’s almost livable on the inside.  And would you look at that – I never even noticed that the wheels were two different colors – don’t worry – I can fix that…  What do you think – chrome rims with spinners?  Oh, Baby!!!   Call in the Slurry Bombers – she’ll be smoking!!!

But back to my story…  Even though Nadine isn’t finished we have been on a couple of adventures this summer.  She followed me to the County Fair where we had a ball and several girl friends even stopped by to check out my little piece of  ‘Heaven on Wheels’!  You guessed it – they all want one too.

Then since Hubby was feeling left out because he couldn’t come to the fair we hitched her up and headed West to the Big Horn Mountains for the long Labor Day weekend.  We actually had running water on this trip even though the water heater wasn’t working yet and neither was the refrigerator, shower or furnace which turned out to be something we could have really used as the temperatures outside were very close to freezing at night.  I told Hubby it was just a good excuse to snuggle.

Vacation wasn’t the only excuse to get out of town.  We also had to make a small delivery.  Our first stop was Gillette, WY at my brother and sister-in-laws house.  Scott needed a welder so we hauled one of the big ones to his house.  Actually, I think the welder weights as much as his little loader – notice the back wheels off the ground?  And goodness gracious – his wheels are two different colors too.  It  must run in the family.

But Scott has nerves of steel and a steel roll cage so no one seemed to be too worried.  After we unloaded the welder we hitched Nadine back up and headed west and wouldn’t you know it – we ran into mountains. 

 Big mountains…

The Big Horns are beautiful!!!  And obviously, everyone else thought so too as there were people everywhere but luck was on our side and we missed all the really busy campgrounds and ended up driving completely across the Big Horns and down the other side.  We then had the option of either climbing back up the way we had come or to push onward and see new territory. 

Hubby and I talked it over – while eating lunch beside Dirty Annie’s Trading Post (Hey – you just can’t make this stuff up).  After studying the situation we came up with a new rule for traveling with Nadine – ‘Never go back’ (unless, of course, parts fall off and we have to go back and get them).  So… since nothing had fallen off the old girl we continued on into Greybull and then turned north to the town of Lovell.  It was a wonderful drive but we decided we should really head back to the mountains and find a campground before it got dark.  So we turned east toward the mountains and drove until we found this sign:

Looks like my kind of road.  I mean really, what good is having a pickup if you don’t take roads like this?  And Nadine is only 20 feet long so we had 10 feet to spare.  There was another small sign that promised the Five Springs Campground was at the end of this road so we headed up the side of the mountain.  I have to admit, the sign was right – the road was everything it had promised but when we reached the top there was the prettiest little campground you ever saw. 

Nadine fit right in.

We were parked right next to a beautiful (but icy cold) creek.

Nadine was a vision and totally at home in the great outdoors.

Of course, any time you travel with Nadine, adventure is not far behind…

I didn’t get any photos of the stuff that went on that night but I’m seriously thinking I need to invest in night vision goggles.  Sometime, in the middle of the night I began to hear weird noises.  At first I thought something was outside – maybe a bear!  I lifted the curtain to peek outside – nothing – but then I realized the noises were coming from inside Nadine’s cupboards!  Somewhere along the way my dear little camper had become the new playground for a rowdy pack of ferel campground mice!!!  Hubby swears they came in by crawling up the electrical plug-in cord.  He said he heard the little flap door bouncing as they snuck into our humble abode.  We heard a few squeaks then the pitter-patter of tiny furry feet.  This went on for some time – I would switch on my little reading light – the kind that hooks onto your book but as soon as the light came on all would be quiet.  Then, when the light went out – the party would start up again.  Nadine’s floor space isn’t that big but Boy Howdy did those mice enjoy it!  They ran, they squeaked, I swear they were doing gymnastic routines.  I took it for a while then crawled over the top of Hubby and got out the big guns – peanut butter and mouse traps.  I set the traps and crawled back in bed to wait.   It wasn’t long before we heard the deafening snap of a mouse trap followed by the scuffle of a struggling rodent.  It was over quickly but it didn’t seem to faze the rest of the pack.  At least 8 more furry little feet went running in wild abandon across the floor. 

It was all very exciting. 

We got one mouse the first night and another one the next.  Technically, the 2nd mouse probably doesn’t count as it barely caught him and I turned the little bugger loose outside – still very much alive.  The third mouse traveled home with us where it too met its demise in the wicked trap.  Sorry, little mice but I can’t run the risk of having you chew through all that new plumbing.

But back to the Big Horns – Sunday morning we hiked up behind the campground to the Five Springs Falls.

If you look real close you can see the top of the falls right above the trees in the center of the photo.  But the bottom of the waterfall looks like this.

And this:

 Stunning!!!

One of our camping neighbors, Bill from St. Paul, who had been coming to this same campground since the 70’s said he had actually showered in the waterfall a couple of times.  I tried to soak my feet in the stream but nearly lost toes to instantaneous frost bite.  I don’t think I’m as tough as Bill.

We spent two nights in our new favorite campground – sitting in the sun, snoozing in the lawn chairs and generally doing nothing at all.  It was great!!!

 There was beautiful views no matter which way you looked.  Check it out – just like home – black cows everywhere.

 When we left Monday morning I had Hubby pull off so I could get a picture of Nadine hanging onto the edge of the mountain.  The photos just don’t do it justice – it was damn steep!

We crept down the hillside then climbed back to the top on the main road, stopping long enough to hike out to the Medicine Wheel and then on into Sheridan, WY to something everyone should see at least once in their lives – Don King Days. 

No – not the guy with the hair!

But that’s another story…

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We have had a busy weekend – the kind of weekend I like.  A weekend with a house full of family and friends and a weekend where we got a lot of stuff done. 

 Yipee!!!

The first project was the blue pickup.  Morgan, his buddy Caleb, Hubby and the neighbor Paul spent Saturday putting a rebuilt engine into the old Ford pickup that has been broken down, gutless and parked by our kitchen door for almost 4 1/2 months.  Believe me – it was time.

Here’s Morgan running the back hoe.  He’s primed and ready to lift the engine ever so gently.

And on the other end of the hoe is Caleb with lots of help from Casey the dog and Julio the cat.

You may have noticed the strange hair style going on at the base of Julio’s tail. 

 

Please do not contact PETA.  This was not some mean-spirited joke played on a poor unsuspecting feline.  We did not do this – the veterinarian did. 

Julio – a rough and rowdy tom cat from town went out ‘catting’ one night and came back with a bad bite on his tail.  Since he was a stray that occasionally hung out at the feed store no one really noticed it before it had gotten infected.  When Morgan finally saw it he was going to take Julio to the vet clinic after work but as luck would have it Pete the vet showed up at the store for something and ended up loading Julio into his pickup and hauling him back to the clinic himself.  It’s amazing the amount of care shown to a lonely old stray cat in our little community.  It really says a lot about the caliber of people who live around here – especially our beloved vet, Pete.  Anyway – long story short – Julio got his tail shaved and treated and now the wound is healed and the hair is slowly growing back.  And Julio (who has been banned from the feed store because he learned how to tear open bags of cat food and milk replacer) has now moved to our house where he lives on the front porch and enjoys snoozing in the nice warm greenhouse.

But back to the pickup…

The engine was installed and everything hooked up.  Fluids were added and it sounded great once she was fired up.

Morgan and Caleb made it to town and back on her first test run and then after supper she moved to Morgan’s house in town.  Yipee!  No more large blue, 3/4 ton, vintage 1974 lawn ornament in the driveway!!!  Life is good.  If it had stayed much longer I’d have dumped a load of dirt in the bed and planted petunias. 

But that wasn’t enough excitement for one weekend – it didn’t stop there.  Another thing we got done (or fixed) was something I have worried and stressed about for a month – Dalton fixed the bathroom floor in my camper – Nadine!!!

Double Yipeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!

 

 That’s right – Nadine is so cool she now has genuine diamond plate sheet metal on her floor. 

 It’s great to have kids who know metal.

 Dalton found a piece of rusty old metal in the scrap iron pile.

 He did some careful measurements, got out the torch – assisted by his wife, the lovely and vivacious Dani.

And cut out the perfect piece of diamond plate for Nadine. 

He also welded rebar supports to the bottom of it to stiffen it so it doesn’t ‘pop’ up and down when I step on and off it.

He then used the grinder to get the rust off of it and all the rough spots around the edge. 

 He loves me.

Meanwhile, I dug through the left-over paint supply in the basement and come up with a partial can of primer and a full can of black gloss spray paint.  Then, because it was a beautiful day, Dani and Dalton went to catch and ride a couple of horses.  Left unsupervised, I primed, painted and glued down my new bathroom floor.  That’s why there is a scrap piece of wood and 2 cement blocks adding weight to hold it down.   Dalton assures me that if you glue it and let it set for 4 or 5 days, undisturbed it will be stuck down forever.  That’s what I’m hoping for as sewage is not my thing.  Liquid Nails is a wonderful product. 

If you can’t screw it – glue it!  That’s my motto and it should be theirs. 

I know right now it looks like a very rustic two-hole outhouse in the back of my beloved camper but under those cement blocks is a floor of steel. 

I feel safer already.

And as for the pickup…  How many rednecks does it take to mount an engine?

I count 4 rednecks

 3 support vehicles with hood, trunks and tailgates open

2 complete sets of tools and

1 bemused ranch wife.

It’s just another day in paradise.

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I know – you’ve all been wondering what’s happening with Nadine – our favorite camper in the whole wide world.  I have been working on dear, sweet Nadine but things are moving kinda slow.  The weather has not been cooperating very well and it has been too cold and wet to do somethings but I will show you what I have gotten done.

First off – remember that hole in the floor by the door?

 

 All patched up and solid as a rock thanks to Nadine’s new best friend – water putty.

I’m not sure what they put in this stuff but I certainly wouldn’t want to confuse it with pancake flour!  This is gooooood stuff.  Just like it says – it sticks, it stays put and it will not shrink.  Sounds like my idea of a great guy.  (Git your mind out of the gutter!)  Mix it with a little water and you can fill holes and cracks in just about anything – knot holes in wood, nail holes in walls, cracks in plaster and you can use it to tighten loose joints in furniture.  I know for a fact you can even fill the finger holes in a bowling ball with this stuff if the mood strikes. 

(I’ll tell you about that someday)

 I have used this stuff for years and I highly recommend it (as does the local hardware store) and not just because of the picture of the ‘stud’ on the front – Mister Durham’s Rock Hard All Around Champ, himself.  Admit it – he’s a stud and he knows it. 

Just looking at this label made me run to my computer and check out their website.  Usually, things with advertising like this are either really good or only sold in specialty stores (if you get my drift…) but there’s some very interesting stuff I didn’t know – like the Champ’s name is “Rocky”.  (of course it’s Rocky – what else would it be?)  I also learned you can fill empty egg shells to fool large exotic birds in zoos and cast replicas of ancient Native American pottery. 

Who’d a thunk? 

 And I won’t spoil it here but if you wish to see a new and ‘beefier”‘ Rocky complete with hairy arms and legs you’ll just have to check out the web site yourself.   www.waterputty.com   Then you too can impress your friends with your amazing knowledge of water putty just like me. 

(sometimes I’m so weird I actually scare myself)

Yep – from the looks of things, Nadine just might develop a ‘solid’ relationship with Rocky by the time we finish this project. 

On to the next problem.

I’m not sure if even Rocky can help with this one… 

We seem to have a small hole in the bathroom floor. 

OK –  half of it is missing.

When I peeled off the linoleum, the particle board underneath was very, very rotten.  And by the time I cleaned out all the rotten stuff I had a pretty good view of the septic tank.  Lovely – isn’t it?  I’m not quite sure how I’m going to fix this one but I’m working on it.  The main thing is that it has to be solid enough to support me as I’m sitting there contemplating the meaning of life.   I would really hate, in the middle of the night, to end up in the tank. 

A thing like that could really spoil your whole outlook on life. 

I’m sure we will figure out something but until then I must admit there have been a couple of ‘redneck’ repairs going on too.

The window was broke…    I fixed it…

Duct tape is a wonderful thing.  

Can I get an ‘Amen’ from the choir?

I’m really surprised Martha Stewart doesn’t use more of it. 

Come to think of it, I don’t believe I have ever seen duct tape mentioned in her magazine or on her show.  She obviously hasn’t researched the vast and varied uses of duct tape.  Perhaps someone should drop her a note and let her in on this little secret.  I’m sure her whole Christmas theme would take a detour into the wonderful world of duct tape next year and just imagine what she could do for Halloween.

Sorry – I kind of took a detour there myself. 

Meanwhile, back to the window –

Don’t panic, this really isn’t the final repair for the window.  I wouldn’t do that to Nadine but at least it will keep the moisture and snow out until I can get her licensed and pull her somewhere to get it fixed right.  It’s not permanent but it will work just fine for now.

Nadine also has new ‘redneck’ lawn furniture too! 

What makes it ‘redneck’ lawn furniture?  You ask…

It’s ‘redneck’ because I found it in the road ditch last night.

No – really…  I did.

Looks pretty good for road kill. 

It must have flipped out of the back of someone’s pickup and obviously, it didn’t ‘bounce’ very well because the parts were scattered on both sides of the road.  It was beside a very busy Wyoming highway but I risked it.  Fortunately, it was after rush hour. 

Ha Ha Ha!!!   Rush hour in north-east Wyoming?  Ha Ha Ha!!!

That’s a good one!!!

I had just enough time (about 37 minutes) to gathered up the pieces before anyone else drove by and called the cops to report a crazy lady in the road ditch, wandering aimlessly and looking lost and disoriented.

(Hey, it’s happened before)

Once I got the parts home I took out the twisted screws and put her back together with shiny new ones.  Now it looks pretty spiffy sitting next to Nadine.  Maybe next week I can find an old toilet to plant herbs in. 

 Yes, (I hang my head in shame) I’ve done that before too.

Now, I don’t want you thinking I’m the only one in this family who drags home ‘interesting’ things, this is also parked in front of my garden shed and I didn’t put it there.

She’s a classic!!! 

It may not look like much but it runs like a scalded dog. 

Our youngest son found this treasure and he has plans to fix it up. 

I say all it needs is a couple of cans of spray paint then we could hitch her up to Nadine and hit the road.  Heck, we could even strap the new lawn chair to the flat-bed and I could ride in style –  just like Granny Clampet.

“A little faster, Jethro.  Yee Haw!”

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I have been working on Nadine.

She is now ‘booth-less’.

 

My husband says that sounds dirty but I can tell you it’s a whole lot cleaner than when she had a booth. The cocoons and spider egg sacks had to go. 

Along with the nasty old insulation and 40 years of dirt that had built up in every nook and cranny.

The mouse nest under the oven continues to be a challenge along with the gigantic hole by the door…

 

and the ‘squishy’ floor under the toilet.

But like the rest of us, Nadine is slowly and painfully giving up her secrets – the little things that we try to hide when we first start a new relationship. The type of secrets that only reveal themselves after you have lived with someone for a while.   And I can tell you, she is not the pure and innocent lady I first thought.

Nadine has led a sordid life.

 There are things she’s been hiding for years and it has been a fight. Blood has been split (you should see my knuckles) but like a new girlfriend, she is getting used to me crowding into the innermost corners of her psyche and she has grown comfortable with me –

so much so, that Nadine has revealed the skeletons in her closet…

No, really…

There are skeletons in her closet.

Sorry, I should have warned you.  

I think it’s one of the mice who lived under the oven. 

I suspect foul play was involved.  I’m sure CSI would discover traces of poison locked deep inside their tiny little bones.

Who did it?

Nadine won’t say.

It’s just another unsolved mystery of a shady lady.

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