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Posts Tagged ‘Nadine’

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.

Digital image

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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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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I am so excited!!!  It’s time for one of my all time favorite things in the world!!!

It’s time for the County Fair!!!

 

Yes, I know…  I need a life. 

 

But really – I love the county fair and if you’ve never been to one you have to go.  Even though ours is kind of small and not very fancy we still have a great time!  Actually, I am so weird that I pack up a camper and go for the whole weekend and this year I will take my beloved Nadine – even though she isn’t done. 

“Ain’t she a beaut?”

As of right now she still doesn’t have the basic necessities of a working fridge or water pump not to mention curtains on the windows.  (OK, I’ll take care of that before I terrorize a whole generation of local kids.)

It doesn’t matter that she’s not finished – I’m still going!  And I’m going to watch the Ranch Rodeo and dance with my favorite 4-H kids under the grandstand.  I will laugh at the ‘Dress a Zucchini’ competition and check out the chickens, bunnies, cattle & horses.  I’m also going to spend hours looking at the craft & cooking entries that everyone brings and once again I will unselfishly volunteer my time to judge the wine and beer .  Hey, even though they have never accepted my offer it still doesn’t hurt to ask.  I’m sure one of these years I will wear them down and they will take pity on me. 

 And last, but not least, I will eat and drink as much as I possibly can at the Annual VFW’s Beers and Ears Celebration!  Those guys know how to throw a party with lots of beer and more ears of sweet corn than you can shake a stick at.  

Sounds like fun doesn’t it?  But what does the County Fair have to do with Worthy & Weird quotes you ask? 

Let me enlighten you.

I am in charge of the Horticulture building. 

I didn’t accept this high and lofty position because of the money (we’re volunteers) or because of the glorious title (is Superintendent a ‘glorious title’?) or because I’m some kind of highly educated Garden Meister.  No, I volunteered for this no pay, no respect position because it’s the only building on the whole fair grounds that’s air-conditioned. 

See – I’m not quite as dumb as I look.

Never mind…

Any way back to the quote of the day.  I have chosen todays quote to honor the  Horticulturists of the world so here goes:

 

“You can lead a Horticulture…

But you can’t make her think!”

 

That’s OK…  Take your time…  I had to read it twice myself.

Deep, isn’t it?

I love this quote.  Just think of all the opportunities where you can throw this little beauty into the conversation:

garden club for sure,

 perhaps the local Art Council – every city has one,

and what about at the next PTA meeting? 

I bet the teachers would be tickled pink to meet your children after you drop a bomb like that.  Give it try.  It’s sure to raise a few eyebrows.

Let me know how it goes. 

But for now, I’m off and running.  There’s so much to do and so little time before I hit the dusty trail.   And when I get back home to my computer I’ll be sure to post some photos of the stuff I’ve seen.

See  you at the Fair!!!

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I should not be allowed out in public…

On quiet country roads…

Alone and unsupervised…

And I should not be allowed to drive a pickup fitted with an interchangeable trailer hitch and a big honking diesel engine built to pull heavy loads.  This is a bad combination for someone like me – someone who falls in love very easily and someone who is incapable of saying ‘No’.  You see I have always had a problem with temptation.  It is a dangerous thing and for me ‘stuff’ is much too easy to drag home.

It happened again tonight.

“Look what followed me home, Hubby.  Can I keep her?”

I don’t know what happened…

It’s all just a blur…

One minute she was tucked back in the weeds, nearly hidden behind a big old horse trailer and the next minute she was hitched to my pickup.  Maybe it was magic, maybe it was fate or maybe it was a miracle sent straight from Heaven above. 

It really doesn’t matter.  All I know was that suddenly – ‘Poof ‘- she was there.

(OK – it actually took a shovel, a handy-man jack, a pair of channel locks and a can of spray lubricant to get her hitched to the pickup but you should have seen how fast I got-r-done!)

She is awfully cute and when I saw this kitchen it was all over for me – everything but the check writing.  I was smitten.  I was in love.   And I didn’t even notice the large mouse nest in the bottom cupboard.

And then there was the bed room complete with the original, 50-year-old olive drab canvas removable bunk bed/storage shelf hanging overhead.

OK, that’s not so cute right now but it will be.

And what about this great dining area complete with the bright red table and orange bench seats.

Yep, I’m betting that orange wasn’t the original color of the seats but the floor is original.

And so are the lights – both of them…

And so is this…

LOVE IT!!!

Yes, I shouldn’t be allowed to roam the back country roads alone and unsupervised but I do it every chance I get and sometimes I come across the bestest stuff ever – like a vintage 1960 Siesta travel trailer that measures a whopping 7 X 13 feet for a total of 91 square feet and 1,735 pounds of ever-loving potential. 

Yes, it’s true – she has been adopted and from this day forth she will be cared for and loved and known for ever more as

Ruby

Nadine’s little sister.

“Mom, she’s touching me!”

“Am not!’

“Are so!”

Look – they like each other!!!

 

I think I need some serious therapy!

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Has anyone out there missed me?

Well, I have certainly missed you!

Once again my dish was out of alignment and due to a couple of ‘snaff-oos’ it took better than a month to get someone out here to fix it.  But I’m back on the air waves now so look out!

I have so much to tell about all that has been going on but can only post a short note today as we have been surrounded on 3 sides by forest fires for the last 3 days and it looks like there will be more ‘fun and games’ today as they let 2 of the fires burn together – unfortunately that is right where some of our cattle are. 

But here are a few of my favorite photos from the last few days:

If you look really hard you can see our house right in the ‘crook’ of the backhoe arm.

I LOVE SLURRY BOMBERS!!!  THESE GUYS ARE MY HEROS!!!

AND HELICOPTER PILOTS RANK RIGHT UP THERE WITH THEM!!!

They have been dipping water from one of our stock dams and thankfully it is spring fed so the level hasn’t even begun to drop.  Check out this one.

That would definately give a person nightmares if you had never seen an air crane before.

And last but not least – don’t worry about Nadine – the guys are looking out for my little camper and this picture is definitely going into her ‘baby’ book.

God bless firefighters!

 

 

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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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Look out! I’m back up and running and life is good.

And what have I been doing with all the free time I had?

I spent $250.00 and I bought myself something I’ve wanted for several years.

I have looked high and low (especially the last few months) and finally found the one … 

my new project…   

my new ‘baby’…  Nadine.

No – she’s not standing behind this nasty old camper.  She is the nasty old camper!!!

I will love her,and I will take care of her,and I will name her Nadine,and I will bring her home,and I will fix her up,and she will be my favorite camper in the whole, wide world!

OK – that’s a little freaky but it’s true – her name is Nadine. 

I don’t know why – she just looks like a Nadine.

I know – most women have never dreamt of finding an old camper and fixing it up but there are a few of us warped and fun-loving gals out there who do.  Just check out the website for Sisters on the Fly and you’ll see why. 

www.sistersonthefly.com

Someday – when Nadine gets a little more ‘grown up’ we will join them on an adventure or two.  But until then I will tear her apart and rip up and fix the soft spots on her floor and lucky you, I will probably write about every little detail.   I have to write it here, my family is already tired of hearing about her.

Here’s her inside view.  Hmmm – Avocado Green.  Who remembers the ’70s.  I was actually looking for a trailer older than this one.  I was hoping to totally avoid the period of Avocado Green and Harvest Gold. 

Here’s the sofa that pulls out into a bed.  Can you say “Nasty”? 

I knew you could.

Ane here’s her little kitchen.  Actually, the stove and oven work great!  Looking inside,I’m betting no one ever even used it so I’ll clean it up and this will have to stay.  Thank goodness it’s not the bright, neon, glow-in-the-dark green that the counter top is.  This I can live with as if I squint my eyes I can almost convince myself that it is actually Sage Green instead.

Of course there were other issues.  It snowed big time again and her tires were rather ‘iffy’.

After fixing or replacing 3 of her 4 tires she made it home and is now sitting in front of my garden shed. 

Perhaps mud flaps for the pickup should be high up on our list of things to do.  What do you think?

Another big challenge will be getting a title for her.  I’m not even sure what she is.  If I had to guess I would say she was built in the early 70’s – probably 1970 – 1973.  If you look realllllllly close you can make out the name ‘Nomad’ under the big window on her side.  And there is a label by the door that says she’s a product of the Skyline Corporation.  We measured her and she is 20′ from bumper to ball and there are some numbers stamped on the hitch but other than that she’s a woman of mystery so far.  She was last licensed in 1995 in Colorado and has passed through several hands since the title was lost so I’m sure the whole title thing will be a major saga but maybe by the time I get her fixed up we’ll have one.  So for now it’s time to get to work.

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