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Posts Tagged ‘crazy ranch wife’

Life has been a bit crazy lately hasn’t it? Illness, cancelations, anger, fear and no shortage of bad news. There’s definitely been ups and downs but my Mom taught me to look for the positive and I have to admit that when I sit down and tally it up my blessings have always out numbered my problems. Like everyone, I’ve missed out on some important things this year. I was supposed to compete in the National Arena Curling Championship last April – for pity sake! I was going to be the Skip of Team Stearns! I coulda been a contender!!! We bought snazzy red jackets and stretchy black pants. I even ordered real curling shoes (which I still can’t stand up on) but instead of playing on championship quality ice for the first time in my life we didn’t even get to finish our regular season. I was bummed.

Then there was the article I wrote for DUN Magazine, my all-time favorite fly fishing magazine for women. It’s a beautiful magazine! The kind of magazine you can’t throw away because it’s a work of art you wish you could hang on the wall. Yes! They were going to print my article for all the world to see and better yet – they were going to use my photographs too! Pictures I actually took would be spread across pages and pages of glossy, color-rich, high-quality paper. I couldn’t wait to see it!!! I’d probably have to order a case of them to hand out to everyone I know. But then Covid-19 hit and the printing presses stopped. There would be no new issues for awhile – maybe never. I was bummed again.

The hits kept coming – camping trips with the Sisters on the Fly fell through the cracks like a handful of change, parties and get togethers ceased to exist. Quilt retreats, community education classes and even Longmire Days were cancelled. I was really bummed.

But… it helps to stay busy, especially in stressful times. So, I took up a new hobby or two. I ‘shopped’ in my sewing room and started a few new projects. Heck, I even pulled out some UFO’s (Un Finished Objects) and finished them. And I decided to finally do some of the things I’d always wanted to do but never had the time. With no club meetings or appointments to rush to I suddenly realized I had nothing but time.

What a great feeling.

Suddenly I had time for guilt-free tatting in my recliner in front of the TV. I’ve been stashing tatting shuttles and beautiful threads for years preparing for just such an apocalypse so I pulled out those treasures and started tatting. My biggest achievement was to finish the incredible ‘MONSTER DOILY’ that I have been drooling over for years. It was designed by a Polish gentleman named Jan Stawasz. The pattern was published only once in a magazine named Moje Robotki in 2007. It’s hard to find but if you’re lucky (and stubborn as hell) they can be bought if you watch places like Etsy and never give up. Once I decided on the threads to use I was a woman possessed. I ate, dreamed and lived tatting! Mr Stawasz has always been known for the accuracy of his designs and this one was no exception. On April 16th I posted this on the Monster Doily Facebook page (yes – there is a page dedicated exclusively to this doily).

I can’t believe it! 8:00 pm tonight I finished it. The Monster Doily took me 84 days from start to finish. It is made with Lizbeth size 20 threads – colors #601 Snow White, #188 Coral Splash and #706 Sunkist Coral. The finished doily measures 26″ across. So much has happened since I started it and I have been thankful for this project to keep my hands busy and my mind calm. Thank goodness for tatting shuttles and a bit of beautiful thread!”

I love it! But what could I do now?

I moved on to the cedar strip kayak I had started last fall. My Dad was in assisted living at the time and his huge shop where he restored vintage aircraft was just sitting there – unused. Filled with tools and big enough to build a 14′ long boat it’s the perfect place. It was also a great motivation to drive the 32 miles to regularly check on his place and then stop and visit him. I would tell him everything I had done, what I had problems with and get some advice or just sit with him remembering. But that was last winter – he passed away New Year’s Eve. Suddenly, I was too sad and too busy to work on a kayak. I stopped visiting his shop. I stopped sawing, and gluing and sanding that beautiful wooden boat. Then Covid hit and we stayed home until I realized working in a shop by myself was the perfect excuse to get out of the house and still be alone. So I worked on my kayak and I wasn’t quite so bummed.

Sawdust is good for the soul.

It took lots of time just to build the jig (form) to build the boat on and even longer to cut and fit each strip of wood. It’s still not finished but I was making progress. The decorative stripe was a problem because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I struggled with different ideas then the perfect solution came to me one day. Dad was a Ham Radio operator his whole life. What if I used Morse Code to write a message on my kayak? I grew up to the sound of code playing over the airways. This could be a salute to my father. So I Googled ‘Morse Code’ and the first thing that popped up was a Bible verse someone had converted to code. It was Genesis 1:26 – the perfect verse but it was way too long so I shortened and adapted it to this:

“Let mankind have dominion over the fish of the sea,

birds of the air and all creatures upon the earth.”

The dots were easy – the dashes not so much until I figured out I could use the router to cut a pocket and glue a fluted dowel inside (these are used to join boards together for table tops, etc.). Once the glue was dry I used a hand plane to shave off the top half (side) of the dowel and poof! A perfect dash. I have to admit I had a blast working on that part even though I nearly drove myself to drink double checking every single word and letter so I didn’t misspell anything. But it’s perfect.

Then it was June and I returned to work at Jewel Cave National Monument and the kayak had to wait. After 2 weeks of online training from home it was good to be back to work even though my job duties were very different this year. There were no tours as it’s hard to practice social distancing in an elevator. So instead of selling tickets I got to work in new areas. My favorite was the Historic Area. Just a mile west of the Visitor Center there is a sweet little log cabin that was built in 1935 by the CCC. It was where our very first park ranger – Ranger Elwood Wolf lived with his wife and 4 kids. He sold tickets out of the front room of the cabin for .25 cents each and then shut the door and lead the tour.

A hiking trail passes in front of the cabin and continues down around the backside of the mountain to the historic entrance of the cave. Although they don’t really have proof that this is the entrance that Frank & Albert Michaud found in 1900 it is where the tours entered the cave in 1941.

Self portrait of a park ranger.

You can’t beat this for an office.

It is a lovely spot and with our numbers down it was quiet enough that the bighorn sheep visited me several times. I love that little cabin in the woods and think I could happily live there if only they would let me.

Besides the Historic Area I also worked the front desk and also a canopy set up next to the parking lot where we greeted visitors and answered questions. For the most part people understood why we weren’t giving tours but is was a strange year. Hopefully next year will be better. I’ve been finishing up the season working at the Admin Office revamping the central files. It’s a chance to make order out of chaos which is something that’s not so easy to do anymore.

Summer flew by and there’s still anger, fear and the never ending bad news but I have changed. I shut off the news and set down the phone. I’ve taking up walking every day – usually walking 5-7 miles a day. I’ve found ways to release the stress and I’m taking better care of me.

My mother used to say, “I’ve never lost a beauty pageant.” Then she’d stop and smile before adding “Of course, I’ve never entered one but still, I’ve never lost one.” I used to think it was just a joke but now I realize it’s much more than that. It’s a reminder to change your perspective and to look for the good in your life instead of focusing on the bad. It’s true that my article never made it to print in a beautiful magazine but this week it was published digitally. My words and photos are out there for even more people to see and I’ve gotten lots of kind comments on it. You can check it out here if you like: https://dunmagazine.com/posts/trout-trollop

Life has been crazy lately but even in all the chaos there’s still one important thing to remember. We may never get back everything we lost this year but there will be new adventures and for a little while longer I can still say:

“I’ve never lost a National Curling Championship!”

#PUREGOLDCEO #PROMO

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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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I hope everyone else has been having as much fun this summer as I have!

Of course my garden looks like crap but I have to admit the weeds have had a spectacular year.  It was soooo cold for soooo long this spring that the veggies  that actually sprouted are way behind.  I’m not sure if there will be anything at all except some herbs and a few green beans to harvest.  There are a few tomatoes on the vines but they are very green and with the cold nights I’m betting we will have a house full of green tomatoes this fall.

Since it is just plain depressing to go out into the garden I have been keeping busy with other stuff…  Some really fun stuff.

I have been working on my little camper – Rattlin’ Ruby and she is starting to look pretty darn spiffy.  We have the Custer County Fair this weekend, a Sisters on the Fly event in Buffalo WY next weekend and finally a car show to enter her in next month.

 In a moment of total and complete insanity I started polishing her silver aluminum hide.  Of course when I started this little project it was hot and dry but since then the skies have opened up and it rains just about every evening so my polishing has come to a screeching halt.  Only about a third of Ruby’s back-end is polished and about half of one side.  She looks a little goofy right now but that will not stop us from going to the fair.  We leave today and will carefully weave our way through the masses of motorcycles that are on the road this week for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.  It should be fun!

This last few weeks have been filled with even more fun.  I know – it’s hard to believe it can get any better than polishing an old camper, right?  Ha!

The first thing we did was the Days of ’76 in Deadwood.  I have never been to the ‘Days’ and I have lived here a really, really long time.  I didn’t get very good photos but we had a blast!  Dalton and Dani were the ones who came up with this wonderful idea and so we jumped in the pickup and drove to Deadwood where we had a fantastic meal at the 4 Aces Casino – prime rib and crab legs.  My advice – forget the salad bar and head straight to the good stuff.  From there we walked (actually we waddled) down to the Rodeo grounds to the vendors who ended up with some of my hard-earned cash and the grandstands which are amazing on their own.  Built from huge logs it’s like a work of art you can sit in.  I’ll try to post some photos when I get back from the fair.

The 2nd fun thing I did was to go to a party at the Antler’s Bar & Grill which was hosted by the Newcastle Library.  You got to love a library which holds a get together at a bar!  This one was for Craig Johnson – the wonderfully talented author of the Longmire series of books which inspired the TV show – Longmire.

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If you haven’t been watching Longmire on Monday nights you have been missing out!  The story is based on the sheriff – Walt Longmire who lives in the make-believe town of Durant, WY (which is patterned after Buffalo, WY).  Craig lives in Ucross which is a small town close to Buffalo.  The Buffalo Chamber of Commerce have celebrated Longmire Days for the past 3 years and I have wanted to go every single year.  I haven’t made it yet but I am definitely going next year.

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Craig is traveling around the state of Wyoming and visiting all 73 Wyoming libraries to talk about his book The Spirit of Steamboat.  What a nice guy!  He is a wonderfully funny speaker and is so humbled by the amazing success of his books and the show.  Its obvious he loves Wyoming and the people who live there and has become something of a local hero although you would never know it to speak to him.  In fact the Libraries ‘pay’ him to come speak with a 6 or 12 pack of Rainer Beer – which is Sherriff Longmie’s favorite drink.  He says he hasn’t bought beer in 7 years!.  What a great sense of humor.

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As you can tell I was very impressed and inspired by his talk.  I may just have to start writing murder mysteries too!  In my free time of course…  Dang, I’m funny!  I suggest you read his books (and the entire Britannica encyclopedia set) while you wait for my book to come out.  I believe the library also has Seasons 1 & 2 on DVD of the TV series.

The 3rd really fun thing I did last week was to join a few people from work who wanted to do a Mud Run.   This event was hosted by the Campbell County Mudders to raise money for the families of the 3 miners who were killed in a bus/car accident a couple of months ago.  It was for a good cause so I figured why not?  How bad could it be?  There were 5 members of our team – some of which actually like to run (go figure) and some of us who were built more for comfort than speed (myself included).

OK – I must admit most people who do these runs actually spend time training for them but since it was kind of a last-minute thing we had less than a week to prepare.  I trained by eating as much chocolate as possible and by running 2 laps around the house one evening.  It took me 2 days to recover from that.  Even with that extensive training, I was not prepared for what we ended up doing.   Silly me.  I imagined we would be jogging around the horse track at  Camplex with a few mud puddles to run through.

Lets just say it was a little more intense than that…

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Turns out that this event was one that would be classified as an Extreme Mudder Run.  As I always say “Go Big or Go Home”.

That’s Beth, one of my team mates in the picture above.  She was in the first obstacle.  Who knew they would build obstacles in a race?  They had dug 2 holes in the track, piled the dirt up on each end of the holes and filled both holes with water.  And that was just the first of many ‘fun’ things to come.  The course was 5K (or 3.1 miles) and was run in 2 laps with 16 obstacles in each lap.  The 1st obstacle – pictured above – we had to do 3 times.

Can I just say one word?

BENTONITE! 

If you’ve never had any experience with this powdery grey mineral you might not realize what water does to it.  I on the other hand I have helped seal off stock tank leaks with the stuff and have learned all the fascinating properties of the stuff.  I have found that combining water and BENTONITE creates one of the slickest, gooiest, stick-to-your-body gunk you will ever run into.  And ‘run into it’ we did.

We ran through it, slid down it, swam through it, climbed up it and slithered on our bellies like a reptile in it.

As if the challenge of wet BENTONITE wasn’t enough there were also huge tires from large mine vehicles to climb over, a cable bridge stretched between two tow trucks to fall off of, barbed wire (one with electricity to zap you) to crawl under, culverts to crawl through, structures to climb over, large round hay bales to climb up and over, a large roll-off dumpster lined with plastic and filled with water you had to wade through and duck under wooden walls and a vast plethora of chances to break a hip on.  As I get older I find myself thinking about that stuff more often.

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Thankfully, Beth’s daughter was there to take pictures of us as we worked our way through the course.  I figured I might need them for insurance purposes too.

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Thank goodness for my fantastic team mates.  That’s Jonathan hauling my lazy *%$ through part of the course.  Actually that was one of the obstacles – to carry a team-mate for a distance.  We had to stay together as a team and surprisingly we did pretty good – less than 90 minutes to get through it all.  We even beat out a team of 21-year-old gals who had to ask another team of guys to help them along the way.  Of course that could have been their plan all along – if you get my drift.

Here’s our ‘after’ photo.

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You can’t really see what a mess we were.  But they did direct us to the livestock wash racks before allowing us into the bathrooms if that gives you any indication of how we looked.  I’m still picking BENTONITE out of my belly button.

I have to admit I am rather proud of our team and even myself.   With a little help from my friends I was able to do every obstacle except one – climbing over a 15 foot wall with a knotted rope to pull yourself up with.  I’m going to have to work my way up to that one.  But all in all I didn’t do too bad for a 52-year-old woman who sits at a desk all day and eats massive amounts of chocolate.

Will I do it again?  I just might.  I must admit that when I hit that first obstacle my first thought was “What the hell did I get myself into?”  But completing each obstacle and crossing that finish line was a rush I haven’t felt for a long time.  Yep, I’ll do it again but next time I’ll train a little better – more chocolate and maybe 2 more laps around the house!!!

Now I’m off to have more fun!

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It has been a crazy summer – even though summer took her sweet time getting here.

Weather-wise it hasn’t been the best year for a garden which is kind of sad when I look into the greenhouse but since there aren’t any veggies to sell at the Farmers Market I have had some free time to do a few ‘fun things’ that I usually don’t have time for.

Like camping with Hubby!

Dani and Dalton (who are teachers and have the summer off) decided to come to the ranch for a couple of weeks.  Since they have grown into highly responsible adults Hubby and I decided this was the perfect opportunity for us to take off for a couple of days.  I hitched up Rattlin Ruby while Hubby threw in a change of clothes and Steve the Wonder Dog who doesn’t hesitate when he sees an open pickup door.

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Hubby didn’t want to drive or even navigate so I just headed off in a generally north-westerly direction and we ended up here – Keyhole State Park near Pine Haven, WY.  What a nice place to camp and the weather was perfect – not too hot and we even got rained on which makes for good sleeping weather in an old camper.

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We only spent one night at Keyhole but it was such a pretty night.

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Steve travels really well.  He’s just the right size to fit into a little camper.  He especially likes watching out the door – guarding us against the evil squirrels who inhabit campgrounds.

The next day we drove a whooping 26 miles to our next stop.  You’ll never guess where we’re headed.

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OK – you guessed.

We went to Devil’s Tower – our nation’s first National Monument and camped in the KOA campground where parts of the Steven Spielberg classic movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind was filmed.  How cool is that?

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It was a beautiful campground with a great view no matter where you were parked.

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And to prove it just look at the view outside Ruby’s back window.

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And what a photo for her scrap book!

I had to laugh though – this was a huge campground filled with many large & very expensive motor homes and campers.  As my sister would say “It was a veritable plethora of gleaming and perfectly painted mansions on wheels”.  Steve and I walked up and down every row to check out all these beauties and when we returned to our humble little abode I told Hubby that there was ab-so-lutely no doubt in my mind that Ruby was the oldest girl at the ball (so to speak).  But even with this mass of “Trailer Perfection” parked in all their glory Ruby still seemed to get a lot of second looks.  What a Hoot!

We thought about hiking around the base of Devil’s Tower but we had done that years ago with the kids and since dogs are not allowed on the trail we would have had to leave Steve behind – which wouldn’t be right.  So we stayed at the campground and were basically lazy.  We didn’t even stay up for the free viewing of the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind which they show every night throughout the summer – of course they do.  Just imagine the thrill of watching Richard Dreyfuss sculpt a replica of Devils Tower out of mashed potatoes with the real Tower looming just past the screen.  But for us it was early to bed and early to rise so we could go see something that Hubby has driven past many times but has never stopped to see.

Wah-La.  I give you the Vore Buffalo Jump!

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Sitting right beside the interstate is an amazing thing that you really should stop and see if you get the chance.  Starting in the mid 1500’s this natural sink hole was used to kill large amounts of buffalo by the Native Americans.  They would slowly start to move the herds of buffalo toward the hole then stampede them at the last minute.  The buffalo in the front probably tried to stop when they saw the drop off but the animals behind them would have forced them over the edge.  The buffalo that weren’t killed by the fall would have been finished off by the hunters.  Then the work of butchering and preserving the meat for winter would begin.  It was a very interesting stop.

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Originally the interstate was supposed to go right over the top of this area but when an engineer testing the sink hole to see if it was stable enough to support the road came back with core samples filled with bones they decided to do some investigating.  There are many Buffalo Jumps throughout the area – even one not far from our ranch but this is one of the better known ones.  This particular site was used for about 250 years until the introduction of the horse made this form of hunting obsolete.  Every summer they work to uncover more of the site and learn a little more.

When we finished the tour – and I bought a T-shirt – we stepped outside to see this in the parking lot.

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Ruby, Ruby, Ruby…  You roll with the best of them.

(And no, that was not me spinning cookies in the parking lot.  LOL!!!)

Then it was off to Rapid City where we stopped at the Windmill Truck Stop to top off the gas tank before heading home.  As we waited in line for the pump a small gray car pulled up beside us and stopped.  Inside, an elderly man motioned for Hubby to roll down his window so he could tell us something.  I must admit, my first reaction was to look in the rear-view mirror to see if Ruby had scattered parts across the parking lot but to my relief the pavement was clear.  There was a glimmer of tears in the man’s eyes as he introduced us to his wife sitting in the seat beside him.  Although he didn’t say so, we could tell she wasn’t well and it appeared she wasn’t able to speak but she smiled as her husband explained they had seen us on the road and had followed us into the truck stop because he wanted to tell us that our little camper had made his wife laugh.  He must have seen our confusion as he continued to explained it was especially funny to his wife as her name was Ruby.  When she saw the name “Rattlin Ruby” plastered across the rear end of an old camper she couldn’t help but laugh.

He said it made her day…

With a shared laugh between strangers and a simple wave of his hand they drove away leaving Hubby and I laughing to ourselves and knowing that this would be the highlight of our whole trip.  I eased the pickup and trailer ahead to the pump wishing I could have told them that they had made our day too.

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It’s been some time since I last posted photos of my favorite vintage camper – Ruby but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on her.  In fact I was looking back at the old photos recently and was amazed at just how far she has come.  I thought maybe you’d like to see the difference too.

This is my first photo of Ruby – her baby photo.

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And here’s what she looks like today with her new paint and decals.  I’m still working on getting her shined up a little but she looks pretty good to me.

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Here’s the kitchen before – complete with a large mouse nest in the lower cabinet.

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and the kitchen after:

No more mouse nest!

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Her ‘kitchen’ hasn’t changed much except for the finish was sanded off the cabinets and they are now sealed with a coat of clear poly.  The biggest difference is one you can’t see – her stove, oven and fridge all work now and she has a new propane line that goes to them so hopefully we won’t blow up.  That would tend to ruin a camping trip.  Another big change is that Ruby has a new fresh water tank that runs water into the sink.  Will the wonders never cease?  Life is good when you have running water.

Remember this?  The dining room before:

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And the dining room after.  The seat cushions were redone (to how they looked originally).  The cabinets were refinished and the walls were papered with silk wall paper.  And don’t forget those mosaic windows on either side.  It’s amazing what you can do with a jar of broken glass.

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The bedroom before:  Can you say Yuck?!

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The lady who reupholstered the sofa stripped it down to the springs and built it back to better than it was originally.  She also did the bench seats and I love the way they turned out.  It’s a very comfy place to sleep now and looks much more inviting.  I did leave the supports for the hanging cot (bed).  Originally she had 2 cots – one above the sofa/bed and one above the table which also converts to a bed.  When I bought Ruby she only had one cot left which was in surprisingly good condition so I decided to leave the back bunk but took out the supports for the front.  The canvas cot and the two steel pipes it hangs on stows away in the ‘pocket’ above the back window (there’s a matching pocket under the front windows by the table too).  I don’t know that I will ever sleep on the hanging cot but I figured it would work great for extra storage if needed.

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I still need to strip and refinish the cabinet under the bed but I’ve got some good ideas to work into that area when I get the time.

Do you remember this hole by the door?

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There used to be a rather large (and completely rusted out) furnace which was sold for scrap metal shortly after I ripped it out of the wall and threw it out the door.  Instead, I now have a cute little fake fireplace (electric) heater which is much easier to use and works really well so what could I do to fill this opening?

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How about a nice cabinet with spots to hold fishing poles, books, nick-nacks and a fire extinguisher?  I still need to fill it with stuff but you get the idea.

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And the bottom opens to reveal a first aid kit in an old tool box.   I just need to label it so everyone can see what it is.   Just around the corner of the new cabinet is now a cork bulletin board for memories and a new mirror but this time the mirror is actually made of plexiglass.  I had no idea they even made such a thing.  I even remounted the clock into the hole where it belongs.  I haven’t hooked it up to the battery yet to see if it actually works but I’m working on it.

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There’s still 16 items on her to-do list along with lots of little touch ups here and there but she’s getting better and I’ve been having a lot of fun too.  I can’t wait to get her back on the road.

Happy Trails!

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I never thought I’d be able to say such a thing but I have been to Bee College – Wyoming Bee College no less!

I would guess there were around 300 people attending and they had classes on commercial beekeeping, making salves and products from your honey and beeswax, selling strategies,  baking and cooking with honey and one very nice lady told us all about the bumble bee.  I spent last weekend meeting all kinds of nice people who love bees and I learned all kinds of wonderful things about them like:

1.  You should harvest your honey on Mothers Day – winter should be over by then and the nectar run should have started.  That means any honey in the hives should be extra.

2.  One skunk can destroy a hive in less than a week.  They scratch on the side of the hive and eat the bees when they come out to protect their hive.  Bad Skunk!

3. You can dehydrate honey to make powdered sugar.  Sweet!

4.  Beeswax lip balm is easy to make and works really well.

5.  Bumble bee queens can grow up to 3″ in length.

6.  A raindrop falling can kill a bee.

And the most frightening thing I learned:

7.  Snakes will sometimes move into a hive for the warmth and possibly to eat a mouse who has moved in.  Yikes!  Good thing I learned that because if I had lifted a hive and had a snake pop out I would have dropped the hive and wet my pants!  At least now it won’t be a total surprise.  Perhaps I need to add a hoe or a long handled shovel to my beekeeping kit.  I thought about a pistol but I would probably just shoot lots of holes into my hive and totally miss the snake!

I had tried to get a couple of friends to go with me to college but no one could make it so at 3:30 am I hit the road.  Actually, I think that early morning departure time might have had something to do with no one going with me.  Ha!

A storm had moved in Friday night and by the time I left a couple of inches of light, fluffy snow had piled up and it was still coming down but I took off anyway.  The roads weren’t bad and I was only slowed down because of the snowplows that were out.  Those guys take their jobs seriously.  The snow was so light that it was easy to push but following behind the plow there was no way to get close enough to pass because they stirred up such a cloud of snow you couldn’t see a thing.  So since I prefer to arrive at an event alive I just backed off and took my time.  You have to love Spring!  It snowed all day Saturday and then melted and totally disappeared on Sunday and the roads were great coming home.

It has definitely been a ‘bee week’ around here.  Monday night I gave a talk about beekeeping to our garden club in Custer.  This is what my pickup looked like.

Does anyone else ever think about what would happen to you if you rolled your vehicle when it’s loaded like this?  It wouldn’t be pretty.

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I’m not sure if my talk convinced anyone to become a beekeeper but we did have some laughs especially when it came to my crazy ranch wife ‘ bee suit’ which has gotten a couple of new accessories – and I didn’t even have to fight the dog for them.

Happy Spring!!!

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I bet you thought I had fallen off the face of the planet – didn’t you?

Well, I didn’t – but my computer nearly did.  After a long time and a small pile of cash things are finally getting back to normal.

It has been a cold, dark and dreary winter and we are all ready for spring to roll in like a run-away Mac truck without brakes but winter has been pretty stubborn around here.  Even so, I have been watching for any sign of spring and am happy to announce that even though it is only March the first spring flowers are blooming here at the ranch!  Of course they are dandelions and they are growing inside the greenhouse.  I really should take the hoe to them but after last winter I am content to watch them bloom – for now.

The best news though is that it appears both of the beehives have survived the winter.  As cold as it was I was getting a little worried about them and had even sent off an order for 2 more packages of bees to arrive the end of April.  But then it happened – we had a few nice days above 50 degrees and we saw the first activity at the entrances.

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They’re moving slow and they don’t get very far from home but they are moving.  I was sad when I realized they were moving dead bees out of the hive and piling up the little carcasses on the ground out front.

It was a really tough winter.

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I am amazed that they can survive temperatures of -30 (or colder) with just a loose wrapping of tar paper to help block the wind.  We did leave them with plenty of honey – 4 boxes instead of the 2 that all the books suggest so I didn’t really worry about them starving to death but I did worry about the wind.  With those extra boxes the hives were a little bit top-heavy but the straps and cement blocks held them steady enough – at least until last Tuesday morning.

I heard the wind before I even climbed out of bed.  It was howling pretty steady then around 6:00 am the house was hit with a gust that sounded like it was trying to tear the roof off.  One huge blast then 15 minutes later the wind died down and had nearly quit.  It was a bit eerie, but we still had a roof so I figured everything was OK until I stepped out to feed the chickens and found Beatrix’s hive tilted to the side at about a 45 degree angle!   Steve (our Corgi) nearly jumped out of his skin when I screamed and ran across the yard.  He hasn’t seen me run very often and frankly – he doesn’t like it.  He believes I was built for comfort not speed and I tend to agree.

It didn’t take long to realized it wasn’t as bad as it looked.  Thankfully, the blue strap, with the snazzy chain adapter, was cinched down tight enough that the hive had tilted as one solid piece and didn’t break apart in the middle.  The green strap had also caught the top and kept the whole hive from tumbling off of the cement blocks too so it was just hanging there like the leaning tower of Pisa.  It didn’t take much to stand it back up, re-adjust the straps and move a few more cement blocks in beside it.  The roof is still a little tilted like it got crammed down really hard but hopefully our girls are OK inside.  It was too cold to open the hive right then so I will wait for the next nice day before I check.

I have been reading and thinking a lot about bees this winter.  There are some great books out there with lots of good information.  I have also been building 2 new hives (for the bees that are coming), and there’s also plans for a ‘Honey Hoist’ (so I can lift the hives by myself) and a couple of swarm traps to see if I can catch a wild swarm – free bees is a wonderful thing.  From everything I’ve read it’s kind of like fishing.  You set out bait – a swarm trap made out of a hive box that has been used and smells like honey and beeswax and then you sit and wait for someone to fly by and take a whiff.  Since it’s more of a dumb luck kinda thing I should be really good at this.

I have even given a couple of talks to different organizations (and basically anyone who would sit still and listen).  Since I am becoming something of a local ‘Honey bee expert’ (that’s code for ‘crazy bee lady’) I have decided to purchase a few props for my next talk which will be for the Custer Mile High Garden Club next Monday night.

My lovely assistant Steve has offered to model them for you.

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It’s like doggy camouflage for when we’re working bees.  The bees will never suspect that he is a dog and not a actual winged member of the colony.  At least that’s what I’ve told him and so far he believes it.  The wings and antenna really do look better on Steve than they do on me – but even he admits he doesn’t have the legs for the tights – yellow and black strips – way cool!  Now if I could just find a yellow tutu…

Yes, it should be a fun-filled discussion at the old garden club but before I impress the gardeners I will spend this weekend in Cheyenne, WY at the first (but hopefully not last) Wyoming Bee College.  2 days of beekeeping classes, banquets and lots of people who will teach me everything I ever wanted to know about bees but was afraid to ask.  The conference is  presented by the Laramie County Extension Office and is a really good deal at $50 for both days.  It sounds like they have some great speakers lined up and even a few vendors who will sell me wonderful things I simply can’t live without.

So I will leave Steve in charge while I am gone.

And I’m sure things will be fine…

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“Look deep into my eyes.  You are getting very sleepy.”

“Now repeat after me,  I must feed the dog…  I must give him bacon…”

Steve, you crack me up!

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It’s official.  These bees are going to drive me to drink. 

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE MY BEES!!!   But I have always been a worrier and it appears I have adopted something new to worry about. 

It’s not because they’re aggressive – far from it.  In fact, I’ve been working with the hives lately without my crazy ranch wife bee suit and we’ve been getting along just fine.  I know one of these days I will probably end up with a nice big swollen bee sting right on the end of my nose but for now they are tolerating me pretty well.

The problem is that I have only had bees for a little over a month and it seems like we have pretty much had a crash course in beekeeping.  Just when I think things are going well they throw something new at me…

One week after installing the girls into their new homes it was time to open the hives and make sure the queens (Beatrix and Matilda – of course I’ve named them) had made it out of their cages.  I suited up and headed out with my shiny new smoker and an assortment of tools any seasoned beekeeper would be proud of.   Hubby was all set to take pictures but the camera battery was dead so instead he drove the pickup as close to the hive as possible and watched from the safety of the front seat.  Yes – he had all the windows rolled up tight. 

Something tells me he’s still not sure about this whole ‘bee thing’. 

It was a beautiful day.  The bees were happy, the smoker worked like a charm and best of all the queens were out of the cages.  I was super surprised to see that each of the hives already held nearly half a box of wonderful honeycomb.  It was impressive – after only one week the bees were doing great.  Carefully, I lifted one bar of comb out of the box for Hubby to see.  It was beautiful, light yellow and covered with bees.  I looked at Hubby with a huge grin on my face when the whole comb fell off the bar and crashed onto the ground!   Nooooooooo!!!!  I felt horrible.  What was I supposed to do now?

I picked up the chunk of comb and carefully laid it back into the hive but a pile of bees lay at my feet and all I could think of was “Where’s the queen?”

I knelt there for a while and watched the churning pile of bees but couldn’t see the queen.

What a mess!  I didn’t know what to do so I closed the hive and walked away, hoping the bees could sort it out.  And in about 5 minutes the whole cluster of bees was back inside where they belonged.  I’m sure my little bee girlfriends were cussing under their bee breath about the inept beekeeper they got stuck with but at least all seemed well in the hive world once again.

At least until the next evening.

After work I went out to do some gardening and check on the bees when I noticed lots (and I do mean LOTS) of activity at the front of Beatrix’s hive.  I watched for a while thinking they must have really started gathering goodies when I realized there wasn’t hardly any flowers blooming yet.  I took a closer look.  Bees were coming and going in a frenzy.  It looked like an international airport with the departing bees climbing up the front of the boxes to take off as the incoming bees flew straight to the entrance and ran inside.  There were also clusters of bees struggling on the landing pad and dead bees had started to litter the ground.  I checked the second hive and found lots of bees coming and going but nobody wrestling on the landing pad.

What the heck???

I remember something about this in my favorite book Beekeeping for Dummies.  I looked up ‘Robbing in Hives’ and from the book’s description it was pretty obvious that’s what was going on.  Matilda’s hive was attacking Beatrix’s hive and they were stealing whatever they could.  The book stated that this behavior occasionally happens after a hive has been opened and the scent of honey has been released into the air. 

Bingo! 

I’m sure that when I dropped the piece of comb on the ground I had made matters even worse.  And to top it off, the book also stated that the type of feeder I am using is bad for causing this behavior as it places a food source (sugar-water) right at the entrance of the hive.  How did I miss that when I read the book?

OK, I had made lots of mistakes and I guess its time to build some new feeders.  But that would have to wait till I could get the robbing stopped.

I checked several websites and tried to figure out what to do.  It was getting dark so I blocked off part of the entrance with some wood chips to narrow down the opening – hopefully to make the hive easier to defend.  One of the websites I found had also shown a simple wooden frame covered with window screen to seal off the entrance so I ran to the shed and found the materials I needed and quickly whipped up one.  With staple gun in hand I waited till the temperature dropped and the robbing stopped for the night.  It was nearly 10:00pm when the bees settled down for the night and I stapled the screened frame into place.

The next morning, with the regular hive entrance completely sealed off and only a very small opening (just big enough for one bee at a time) at the very top of the frame I waited to see what would happen.  It worked like a dream.  The attacking bees remained focused at the entrance while the bees who lived in Beatrix’s hive were able to exit the hive and move around under the screened area untill they found the opening at the top.  They were soon coming and going without any problems.  After 4 or 5 days of this it appeared the attacking hive had given up and were soon side-tracked by the opening blossoms of the gooseberry bushes in our tree strip.

I heaved a sigh of relief.

I began to wonder how long we were supposed to leave the screen on then one evening (after the first warm day of the season) I noticed this:

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 OK, what the heck is this?

I ran back to my copy of Beekeeping for Dummies.  Thankfully, it appears they were simply ‘bearding’ – kind of like a beehives’ version of everybody going out to sit on the porch and enjoy the cool evening air.   That’s a relief. 

According to the book this is sometimes caused by not enough ventilation. 

OK girls – I get the hint – it’s time to remove the screen (you can see the side of it on the left side of the photo). 

Once again life is good in the beehive world….  At least I think it is.

What do you think Steve?

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 I agree – we need a drink!

Good dog!

 

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I can’t believe it’s the end of February already.  I have been a busy woman – the tomato and pepper seeds are planted & sprouting.  The garden plan is drawn up and the hoop house is ready to go.  I was in full garden mode and fully focused on my gardening mission when BAM! in the middle of everything I got a phone call from a man I had never met…

“I hear you restore old campers…”  He started.

“Yes?”  I answered wondering what kind of weirdo made crank calls like this.

“It’s free if you’ll drag it away…”

Not every woman would fall for a line like that.  But I did. 

Apparently, this very nice man had purchased a house and property on the outskirts of Newcastle last April and was ‘blessed’ with the old camper that had been a permanent feature for some time.  To tell the truth, I’m not sure he realized it was part of the deal when he signed the papers.  Now, after nearly a year of looking at the old beast he had decided it was time for it to go – one way or another.  Of course I offered to stop after work the next night to check it out. 

When I first saw it – I gagged.

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NO WAY!!!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME? 

This thing is huge – 24 feet long!  I want cute, little campers not carefree mobile home living!  Besides, the thing fairly screamed “Drag me to the junk yard!”  

I considered turning around and quietly driving away at a high rate of speed but I had told him I would stop so I did even though I had already made up my mind.

The very nice man who now owned this treasure met me at the door.  (I didn’t even have time to knock).  He knew nothing of its origins but had already offered it to several people.  From what he said I got the impression that every single one of them had run screaming into the woods!  Obviously I’m a little dumber than the rest as I was still standing there.  

One or two of them had actually stopped long enough to inquire about striping out the ‘good stuff’ before they high-tailed it down the driveway but no one was insane enough to consider taking it home.

I was desperately trying to think up an excuse to leave.   

Good Grief – I haven’t even finished the two trailers I have and you know, Hubby would probably divorce me if I drug that thing home. 

But I should at least look inside – just to be polite.

So I stepped through the only door that would open – did you notice it has two?  I walked past the rotted wood on the inside of the door and the one single board that was all that remained of the screen door.  I was trying to remember when I’d gotten my last tetanus shot when I stepped onto a solid floor!  

No Way!  I bounced on the threashold then I bounced my way around the room and down the hall (I’m pretty sure the very nice man thought I was nuts).  The floor was solid.  This thing has been open to the elements for roughly 15 years and the floor is still good?  That can’t be.

The arctic winds whistled through the trailer like a wind tunnel at an airplane test sight, chilling me to the bone as I bounced past the bathroom.  OK – that’s scary but at least there wasn’t the smell of rot and decay or mold and mildew or the stench of mice poop rotting in the corners.  The old girl was as fresh as the great outdoors.  Of course she had been airing out for 15 years.

So she’s solid underneath and smells good but I still shook my head –  No Way! 

Then I noticed she was actually pretty clean inside.  No rubbish piled up – no junk stored inside – no furniture or mouse infested upholstery to deal with.  Considering the winds in Wyoming everything had probably blown out and across the pasture years ago.

We moved to the kitchen – me, still bouncing on the floor.  He looked at me – a glimmer of hope in his eyes that he could pawn this thing off on the crazy lady but I stuck to my guns.

 “I’m sorry, but this job is way beyond my skill level.  I don’t think……I can……..Ahwwww.”

I looked up…  my jaw hung open, slack and agape.  I’m sure he could see every filling in my mouth.

Above me was the most beautiful ceiling of honey-gold birch I have ever seen in a camper.  It glowed like the setting sun.  It’s warmth filled the room.  I fell to my knees to worship at the Holy Shrine of Heavenly Birch.  How could this be?  Her roof was still sealed.  Through the tears in my eyes I could see there was very little water damage.  The worst of it – an area about 2″ square on the corner of one ceiling vent.  In hushed reverence, I reached up with a trembling hand and closed the vent.  Really? 

The freaking vent was open!!!

I took a deep breath.   The very nice man drooled in anticipation.

“Well, she’s got potential but – no.”  I shook my head…

And then I saw the kitchen cabinets – honey gold birch radiated a soft glow, gleaming in the light from the busted window.  Rounded corners and classic details from the 50’s.  Original appliances – the stove and fridge were both clean inside and in good shape protected by a layer of dust.

I smiled and heaved a weary sigh. 

“No, sorry…  I can’t”

I got in my pickup and drove away…

 Newcastle-20130223-00472

You should be proud of me…  Hubby was…

 

I went home ate supper and tried to sleep that night. 

But she wouldn’t let me.

I spent the next two days trying to talk myself out of it. 

But she wouldn’t leave me alone.

For 3 nights I didn’t sleep because that nasty old camper wouldn’t stop whispering to me!

She crept into my thoughts – at night, at work, at all hours of the day. 

‘Pearl’ haunted me.

I should never have given her a name.

Dopey from lack of sleep I finally gave in.  I called the very nice man – the offer still stands. 

Now she’s mine. 

The very nice man thinks I’m totally nuts. 

Of course, Hubby has known that for years.

I spent $40.00 on used tires to fit her rims and another $40.00 on duct tape and silicone.  With the old sheet of plastic from the greenhouse I should be able to seal up the windows till I can get them fixed but first we have to get her home without a major mishap…

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Heaven help me!

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