Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall Camping

Guess I need to add an update. Mark and I left on our camping trip the day after my father's funeral. At first we were going to cancel but then decided that we wouldn't be solving anything if we did. My family that came in for the funeral left the day after. My step mom's daughter planned on staying with her so there was no reason for us not to go.

Our new favorite camp spot is only 30 minutes from our house so if I was needed I could be back under an hour. It turned out to be a good plan. All the family came out two days after we setup camp and we had a cookout and it was nice to be able to spend time with each other without having others watching to see 'how we were doing'. During the following week I realized that I should have went ahead and gone home after the weekend. We wound up staying 11 days and Mark drove to work from the lake. I found that the longer I stayed the more difficulty I had facing going home. A date was set as to when we would head home and we stuck to it. I'm home and undecided on what I'm going to do now. So many decisions during the past years was based on the health of Mark and I's fathers that now they are both gone it's as if I don't have a focus. Right now the pressure of making a decision is more than I can deal with. Therefore I won't.

The pictures our from our trip, can't wait for the next one. For now I'm going to head to another favorite little lake of mine that's within about 20 minutes just because I can. No camping this time but maybe I'll find some serenity.

Monday, October 13, 2008

In Loving Memory....

Always has been and always will be my hero.
June 17, 1926 - October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Update on my Dad

It's wonderful to report that as of yesterday afternoon my Dad is back home. He's still very frail and weak but is so happy to be home. Of course I don't know God's plan but I have faith that things will become better for my father. He and his wife have talked and he told her that he's ready to go and knows that my sister and myself will be here for her when he's gone.

For now it's day to day and all we can do is be there for him. Home health care will resume tomorrow and who knows, he may rally and surprise us all. Today it's great that he is home, that his wife is home and that I'm home. Home is wonderful.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sneak Preview of Interior

Here is my new kitchen. The section of back splash is what we were going to install but we have found a pattern that we like better. This just gives an idea of what it will look like when it's finished. I don't mind the shellac edge on the counter top but will like the aluminum extrusion better. Still need to order the faucet and plumb the sink but that won't keep us from taking it camping this coming weekend. Since this photo was taken I have loaded my cabinets and have a better idea of how I'll organize it all. It's amazing but I have empty space! This is our new table. The leg will be made tomorrow and the hinge came in a couple of days ago. Again, the extrusion will be installed later but isn't it great?
This shows the inside of the closet/porta potti room. I'll sew a curtain to cover the fridge and leave the microwave open. Both the fridge and the microwave sit on new laminate shelves.
This is the left of the closet and still needs the closet rod installed. It's a nice use of space for a half closet.
This is where the drawers are boxed in. The area below is where we will store the porta potti. It will sit on a 'scooter' and slide out into the open floor space when being used then slide out of the way when not needed. The scooter is already built and also has a laminate top on it, I'll have to take a pic of it and will post later. I'll probably cover this area with a curtain also. If you click on the picture you can see the boomerang pattern in the laminate.
I'm looking forward to doing some decorating but need to be careful that I don't over do it. I'm already thinking about changing my curtains and cushion covers and they aren't even a year old. I found some fabric in Indiana that I adore but goodness is it expensive. I can hear my husband's voice echoing in my head "discipline, remember discipline". Since my nephew's SO works at the fabric store I'll remember that till I hear that the fabric is on sale. That along with the employee discount is using discipline isn't it?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Laminate is installed!!!

Wow, does it look great. May I say that I couldn't be happier with the out come? While I'm at it I might as well say that having a counter top is almost as cool as having cabinets. At times I get so frustrated with my husband because he can be slow when doing certain things. Let me tell you, when you see the quality and detail of workmanship in our Shasta all that frustration goes away. He has done a wonderful job.

It's almost finished and there isn't many other things we'll be able to do with it for the time being. Having taken family medical leave from work, all the trips to Indiana and the additional expenses have started taking it's toll. From this point forward we'll have to prioritise our purchases and gather a few remaining items over the winter. The only additional purchase we'll make for now is the new faucet. Luckily I've found one on ebay that is in the style, size and finish that I've been looking for.

The extrusion for the outside trim on the table and counter top will have to wait. As we knew we wouldn't have it in time for our next trip I shellaced the outside edges and it actually looks ok without the trim so it will go on the it can wait list. The back splash will also have to wait and will most likely be the first thing to be ordered once our finances ease up a bit. The area where it goes is painted and has been for months so I'll just have to live with that for a bit more. The mirror will have to wait. I know the style I want and it isn't cheap so I'll just wait and ask for it as a gift. Same thing goes for the closet/bath door knob. It's ironic because I actually have one exactly like I want but it has been painted and I want a chrome finish. After all the time and money we have spent on this project I just don't see why I should 'settle' at this point. The door opens and closes fine without it so I'll just wait. The only other items I'll be waiting on is the porti potty and holding tank. I've used 5 gal. buckets for both of these before so I can do it again, not a huge deal and we'll have them for the spring season.

That's it for now. Have to get outside and help the hubby. Finishing touches are going on and curtains and cushions are going back in today. It will be back to Indiana for me tomorrow so I need to get busy.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Good news about my Dad

Having mentioned several times that I've been spending a lot of time away from home I realized that I haven't mentioned how my Dad is doing. Fortunately his gallbladder hasn't been acting up since he's been in the hospital here in Indiana. This is great news as he's continuing to gain weight and a bit of strength. There is still a bacteria in his lungs they are fighting but the doctor is optimistic that Dad will be able to go home one week from today. If this holds true then he will have been in the hospital exactly one month this time.

He is so ready to be out of the hospital, he is homesick and he misses his dogs terribly. I'm realistic enough to know that if they do release him next week that I still won't be going home to stay. He and I talked yesterday and I told him not to worry that I'd stay with him and his wife as long as needed. Dad is 82 and Sandy is 70 with her own health issues. There is no way that she is strong enough to take care of him on her own. They live about 10 miles away from me so I'll be able to go home on a regular basis and still be able to take care of both homes.

Well, I just got back from the hospital. Even though Dad does seem to be gaining some strength I realize that he'll never be able to be independent again. At this point the small gains he makes are important. For example we were talking this evening and I mentioned that he seemed to be able to turn over on his side without as much effort as before (he wasn't able to do this on his own). When a man goes from almost 200lbs down to less than 120 in 9 months it's a huge indicator to his decline in health. He still can't move himself up in bed without assistance nor turn over without the assistance of the bed rail. At times he will look at me with such sadness in his eyes that it just breaks my heart. It makes me wonder how many more times my heart will break before he finds his peace.

Another Shasta Update...

The aqua boomerang laminate is so cute. Unfortunately it wasn't here in time for my husband to take it back to Illinois so it is in the back of my truck. As I've been staying in an extended stay hotel for the past several weeks and I'm a bit nervous as I can't get the locks to turn on my camper shell. While at the Depot yesterday (can I say how nice it is to have 2 Home Depots and 2 Lowes in the town I'm staying in) I picked up a few more items we'll need to finish the trailer. At home I have to drive 40 miles to the nearest HD and 60 miles to the nearest Lowes.

While Mark was here we found and decided on the backsplash we are going to use. It is a special order item and could take up to a month to come in. That isn't such a huge deal, the only thing it will hold us up with is installing the inside corner extrusion on the counter top. We ran across a great deal on this same extrusion at HD. An employee had made an error on ordering this after they had stopped carrying sheet laminate in store. Therefore they have these 8' pieces marked down to $1.50 each. That's a $17.00 savings per piece (we bought 3). I'll still have to pay the regular price plus shipping from vintage trailer supply for the outside edge extrusion for the counter and table but it doesn't bother me nearly as much as it did.

Some bad news is that I'm having trouble locating a few needed items in the correct finish. We chose a bright chrome finish for the hardware on the cabinets and want it all to match. Finding a door knob for the closet/bath door has turned into a problem. Also finding a faucet for the sink has turned into a hassle. We need a 8" spread faucet and I've found one but it's $150.00. I'm kinda sick about this one. It isn't that I haven't found anything else that will work but it's not what I want. I want a bar sink faucet not a bathroom sink faucet. I'll do some more shopping today and see if I can find something more budget friendly. I've also located a handle for the door but it's $50.00 compared to the $12.00 one I found at HD but in the wrong finish.

Going shopping which I might add is not my favorite thing to do!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

1972 Shasta 1400 Update

The news is wonderful! My cabinets are complete. In fact there are just a few finishing touches and my 1400 will be done. Some may say I'm crazy when I consider building a new table and counter tops as "a few finishing touches" but when you start with nothing but rot and filth then what's left to do is nothing.

This adventure started 13 months ago. The trailer had been gutted and used as a cook house. Grease oozed from the floor and the only redeeming qualities was that the windows and skin were in decent shape. Now I have bench seats that make into a king size bed, a closet that houses my clothes closet, porta potti, fridge and microwave (Shasta multi-tasking). Did I mention that I have cabinets? After spending 3 weeks camping in the 1400 during two trips this summer I learned to appreciate the simplicity of a cabinet. At that point all we had completed in the interior was the bench seats. I now have 6 wall cabinets, 8 drawers and 2 base cabinets not to mention the bench seat storage. The shellac is dry, hinges installed and doors hung, it's a very happy time for us right now.

Tomorrow I'm heading back to Indiana for awhile and should be sending the laminate back home with my husband. Once he gets the table and counter top built I'll come home for a day to help him install the laminate. We'll be using it on the table, counter top, the fridge and microwave shelves, the floor of the clothes closet (which is actually above a set of 5, 3 real + 2 fake drawers) and the porta potti slide (which is housed underneath the 3 real drawers and behind the 2 fake drawer fronts). At that time I'll get the measurements to sew my closet/potti room curtains that will hide the potti and fridge from view. I'm still undecided if I'll curtain off the microwave from view, will probably wait to see what it looks like first.

There will still be a few things to finish up like setting the sink and faucet, touching up the paint inside the back wall cabinet and base cabinets. We decided today that we'll trim the seams/joints of the birch paneling with birch strips but we already have those cut. Just have to shellac them in the morning and cut to fit. After all of that is complete I'll clean and polish the floor, then bring the curtains and cushions back in.

Oh my goodness, I have forgotten one very important detail! I'm still undecided about my back splash. At first I decided to use the plastic panels that replicate the tin ceiling look. Then I saw where several others took my idea and I don't want my trailer to look 'common'. So I then decided to use a aluminum 4" tile I found on the net. Luckily I ran across a pic of a trailer where this same tile was used and I didn't like it. So then I thought...what about diamond plate? After giving this some thought I don't want anyone to think it has 'hot rod' theme so now I'm back to the tin ceiling idea. I already have 1 panel that I bought a year ago and I also have a different design that we installed in my Dad's kitchen. So far the one I bought a year ago has been eliminated. It's a copper color and is too close a match to the shellac on my cabinets. I'm going to pick up one other color and compare it to the choice that's left and then I have to make a decision. As this project can be done at anytime I'll probably wait till the counter top, sink and curtains are brought back in to make a final choice. That way the only thing I'll have to blame if I'm not happy is my own judgement.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Catching Up and Running Behind....

It's been almost a month since my last post. I've finished my canning and it all turned out fine. The gardening season is almost over and my husband has been concentrating on the 1400. As I have been away from home for almost 2 weeks it has also enabled him to spend more time on it.

First of all, we almost lost my Dad. He became very ill and started to give up but rallied and is now on a upward trend. We transferred him to Evansville, Indiana. This is where his lung doctor is located and it seems to have renewed his spirit. He talks about what he's going to do once he gets better and returns home. I'm praying that he's able to do all these things. The biggest lesson I have learned through this is that I need to take things day by day as they change about that often.

As I said earlier, my husband has been able to concentrate on the Shasta as I've been staying in Indiana. The cabinetry is almost finished and I can't wait to see it. When I left home the last time all the framing was finished and one set of drawers were built but the faces weren't on them. Now both sets are finished and the cabinet doors are built. If all is well at the hospital this morning I should be returning home for a couple of days and will be able to see what he has finished.

As much as I appreciate the opportunity to be able to spend time with my Dad and help my step mom, I miss my husband. I miss him, my home and my dogs. Even though I know that he is taking good care of them it just isn't the same. I'm their leader and I know it distresses them when I leave. Of course I've humanized them, they are my babies and I miss their affection.

Hanging in there and hopefully going home for a day or two.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

OMG, It's true...I have turned into my mother!

Really, it's true. Do you have any idea how many years I've tried not to be like her? My mother and I were not close until a couple of years before her death in my mid twenties. I hadn't been around her much between my junior high years and early twenties. It was the typical middle daughter syndrome. My older sister was the beauty queen, my youngest sister was the smartest student in her class and was advanced two years in school so that she graduated when 16 and got a free ride to college due to her SAT score. It was hard to be average.'s ironic that I've turned out to have the most in common with her. The older sister owns her own salon in Dallas and the younger one is an HS advanced math teacher. Neither one of them have grown or harvested a thing in their lives. They certainly haven't canned anything which leads me to toady's entry.

I'm canning, freezing, pickling..maybe I've pickled my brain???? Six years ago you couldn't have drug me into a vegetable garden and now I'm giving advice to my friends. Have I grown old and not realized it? If only my grandmother and mom could see me now!

Actually I know that it's my husbands influence and the fact that I'm not working full time. Let me tell you, if I were still working 12 hr shifts I'd be buying my veggies and fruits off the grocery shelf. Since I'm not I've been spending this last week putting up fried apples, green beans, and corn. I'll be doing cream style corn tomorrow and start on my peppers and okra. We've been growing jalapenos and okra for several years but this will be the first year that I pickle any. It's also the first year we have grown banana peppers and I'll give those a try also.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Highs and Lows

Well, I guessed right. This past month has been hectic, not much work has been done on the campers. The month has been filled with highs and lows. The high is that my son's wedding went off without any problems. It was a beautiful event and the reception was very nice and a lot of fun.

The low side is that my father is back in the hospital and has now been there for 15 days. It was very difficult and stressful at first because he wasn't doing well at all and I didn't know if I would be able to make the trip to Chicago for the wedding. After being in there for 3 days he started showing improvement and we decided to go ahead and make the trip. He had a relapse over this past weekend but is now eating again and seems to be improving. Unfortunately during a conversation with one of his therapist this morning it led him to believe that he would be released tomorrow. After conferring with his doctor we found out that this information was incorrect and he would be in there for at least a couple more days if not another week. Dad is not going to take this well and tomorrow will not be a good day for any of us.

On the up side, Mark has been able to put in a few hours work on our 1400. We were not able to locate the correct window to replace where the previous owner had cut the window frame to install a window unit so we located two windows to replace the large one that was damaged. Come to find out we had a leak in the area between the two replacement windows and damaged some of the new birch we had installed. The leak was found, repaired and new birch installed. The best part is that I now have three new cabinets. One large one in the back of the trailer and two smaller ones on the side. As I spent three weeks inside this trailer earlier in the summer without any storage this improvement is huge. He doesn't have the doors built yet and I think he is going to start on the bathroom wall first. This is fine with me as I just want it finished. We have a huge camping weekend planned for Columbus Day with all the kids, their families and my sister and her family planning on joining us. As long as my Dad continues to improve and I can keep Mark out of the garden then I should have a completed trailer for this trip.

Here's a few shots of the wedding, the garden (my husbands second love) and my new cabinets.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Shasta Twenty Update

Unfortunately we haven't had the time to actually work on either of our Shasta's this past month. August isn't looking any better as we have the wedding this month. We returned from our last camping trip the first week of July and Mark just got the Twenty parked back behind the garage and the 1400 back into the pole barn.

I'm back on the schedule at work but that hasn't stopped me from doing a bit of on-line shopping :) On the way to my house is a set of 42" wings for the Twenty. They will have to be rebuilt but what doesn't on these trailers. Cannot tell you how excited I am about this. It is very obvious where the wings once were and it looks naked without them. The paint is very bright and shiny where they use to be and it just makes me happy all over to know that I have wings to put back on her.

Also on the way is two replacement globes for the light over the sink and the ceiling light in the bathroom. Both lens covers for the 12v lights in the main cabin have cracks in them. Honestly, it isn't really noticeable unless you look closely but it bothers me. So...I've found one and will keep looking for the other one. There are also some sconces I'm keeping my eye on.

It's very difficult for me not to get too wrapped up in this project. We won't start working on her till next year and I want to start shopping for fabric. This is a mistake I made on my 1400 and won't do that again. I won't commit to an interior fabric scheme till new paint is on the trailer. Realistically this may not be for another two years. When we decided to buy this trailer it was with the plan to make it a 2 or 3 year project. There is hail damage on one side of the trailer so we will be replacing all the side skin.

We still have a lot of unanswered questions in regard to our Twenty. We are looking at this trailer as long term. It needs to be designed where it will be an easy set up at a local campground but also be capable to boondock for up to a month at a time. If we can't take it to the ranch in Colorado for as long as we want without electricity then it isn't worth investing a bunch of money in. So...we'll be researching generators, batteries, gas and solar panels. How we'll be able to incorporate these items into our vintage trailer and not be able to see that it's been modified is an issue for us. It isn't that I'm a purist and have to keep it completely original but I would like it to appear as original as possible.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Not a blogger nerd!

Well, I found out today that I do not belong in the blogger nerd club. Since I have to work till 1 pm today and I'm bored (at work) I thought I'd check out the blog (hoping that I would remember the user name and password). When I logged on it took me to an area that said I had four comments waiting to be approved (they were from weeks ago), sorry girls...I didn't know.

Obviously, I need to pay more attention while I'm on my laptop. Gosh, I just really don't want to have to go through the log-in process each time so that pc's set to remember me.

Anyway, thanks for the comments on Dad and the girls. We are cautiously optimistic about Dad right now. He didn't use the wheelchair at all yesterday but he is still so very frail. He has now made the comment "This isn't anyway to live" several times. It's in God's hands as to how long he'll be with us. If his time is up I just wish God would go ahead and take him and not make him go through this. I lost my father-in-law in May from cancer but thankfully it was fast, to look at him you'd have never known he was sick. Unfortunately that's not the case with my Dad and it just breaks my heart.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Donna's Daycare - NOT

My grandchildren are a joy, they really are. What I have learned is that I enjoy them much more in smaller doses. Yesterday my three granddaughters and my niece spent the day with me, the whole day. 1 two month old and (3) three year olds. It was really fun to have them for the day but a bit trying at times. More importantly is that the girls had fun. Grandma took them for a walk, we checked out Papa's garden, smelled the flowers and I let them pick blackberries. My girls and sister got a break and the girls got a break from their Moms.
Ada is my oldest granddaughter she turned 3 last month, she is the one with the curls and the glasses. Marren is my niece and turned 3 in April, she is in the leggings, so proud because she picked out her own outfit. Gracie will turn 3 in September and is in the dress, she is my youngest girls little one. Ada is the older sister of Aleighia who is 2 months and is pictured with Gracie.
Quick update, Dad came home from the hospital yesterday and is doing much better.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


It's been a hectic week. We wound up not coming home from the lake till the 5th. Once getting home it was a lot of working unpacking and getting things back to normal. We had camped in the trailer 17 days out of 3 weeks and it was a mess.

While still at the lake my son and I had a huge argument and wasn't speaking till a day ago. That was difficult for me as we are very close but we are also hard headed, stubborn, etc. Things are better now but it will take awhile for the hurt on both sides to go away.

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law came for a visit two days after we got home. It's only been about 6 weeks since my father-in-law passed away and I feel so terrible for her. She lost him just a few days short of their 50th wedding anniversary. Kathy, my SIL said that all she does is sit on the couch. She's been able to get her out of the house twice and that was to come see us. We don't live in the same town, about an hour and half away so it isn't like we can visit everyday. She isn't alone and I'm thankful for that. Two of her adult sons live with her so I know they are taking care of her but they are a bit odd. Guess that's obvious because we are talking about two men in their 40's that still live at home.

I'm very worried about my father. He is 82 and his health is failing. Last night he went to the ER and they admitted him with a bowel obstruction. Found out this morning that he isn't urinating either. He is a 3 time cancer survivor, had his back broke in 4 places, lost a lung and is just a very strong individual. He has fought and worked so hard his entire life and I think he's tired. Last night at the hospital my step mom tells me that he's been have trouble with his bowels for the last 8 months. Now during this time he has also lost his appetite and has lost close to 50 lbs. I hadn't heard about the bowel problems till last night and she tells me he has been eating prunes and taking laxatives almost daily. I wanted to smack both of them. This morning I asked her if this had been discussed with his doctors, her reply..I think so! I'm waiting till after the doctor sees him this morning before I go up. Sandy (Dad's wife) and my sister are there. I'll stay with him this afternoon and let them get some rest. We'll give this hospital 24 hours then we'll take him to Evansville, IN or St. Louis if we don't see improvement. To say that I have little faith in our local hospital is a massive understatement. If he hadn't been in so much pain last night we would have went to Evansville to begin with. If you've stuck with me this far send up a little prayer.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Puppy Pics at Dolan Lake

Well, I didn't make it back to the lake last night. Rain has moved in and I'm sure Mark and I will have a blast packing up a wet camp. He's still sleeping as he didn't get in from work till 2am. Not really looking forward to waking him up as I have bad news for him. On the way home yesterday my check engine light came on and my truck started acting sick. Seems like she's running on 7 cylinders, maybe a plug or plug wire (hoping & praying it isn't more serious). The problem is that I won't be able to bring the trailer home, we'll have to use Mark's truck. The plan had been for both of us to go back to the lake, break camp and then he could leave for work from there. Less sleep and more work for him now that my truck is out of the picture.

Here's a few pics of the dogs and a Blue Heron. That bird sure was brave, I cropped the picture cause at the bottom of it you could see Daisy's butt. We saw it everyday and it was kinda cool to watch it fish.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dolan Lake

Well, finally home again. It was a great time although a bit stressful at times. We took all five dogs with us for the weekend (with both campers) having no plan to stay a week. We left on Thursday and it's Wednesday night and one trailer is still at the lake. Once the holiday crowd started rolling in it was time for me and the dogs to head home. As the hubby is at work (he has been working and driving from the lake since the weekend) and expects me to be at the lake once he gets off work..I haven't decided if I'll be driving back out tonight or not. It would be easier to break camp in the morning if I was already there but again there is the issue of the dogs. Can I stress enough that I don't want to take all five dogs camping again?

I did get some really cute pictures of the dogs while at camp but don't have them uploaded yet. That will be for another day. We really enjoyed our camping trip and the place we camped was awesome. For the most part we had the loop to ourselves and it was perfect. The weather was great, one night of rain but very little heat or humidity. For anyone living in the mid-west they know what an oddity this is for late June and early July. We have now found a new 'favorite' camp site within 30 minutes of home. With gas prices as they are, can you beat that?

Did I mention that we took both trailers? Mark was a bit embarressed pulling the Twenty as the outside of it is in such rough shape but let me tell you that the inside of this trailer is wonderful. There is so much more space than the inside of the 1400. I'm now itching to start on the rebuild. Gosh, there just isn't enough time or money and I want it done NOW. All good things will come to those who wait? Right?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Shasta Twenty

Here's a picture of our 'newest' Shasta. She'll be going in for rebuild either this fall or next spring.

Getting Ready to go Camping

No weeding for me today. Today will be spent cleaning house and reloading the Shasta. One week after returning home from an 8 day trip and we'll be heading out for 4 more days. This time we'll be sticking closer to home and going to Dolan Lake. It's a small state lake about 30 miles from home. It's always very quiet as most people forget it's there or don't realize it is in the first place.

I really, really want to camp on the water. I wouldn't want to camp this close to the lake in a tent as the lake has LOTS of water snakes but I'll feel safe sleeping in the trailer and the dogs will sound the alarm if a snake gets too close for my comfort.

We may be taking both Shastas on this trip but that is not yet decided. Here's the problem, my youngest daughter and her family want to camp with us this weekend. The husband has already told her that they could use the Shasta Twenty once this year before we start the rebuild on her. Daughter has asked me if they could use it this weekend and I told her not to get her hopes up. The hubby has already told me that they aren't using it this weekend. Why? Who knows? What I do know is that I'll most likely get stuck in the middle and I've told her I don't want to be there. So, we'll see. I don't see what the problem would be and I think it would be kinda cool to see the old gal in her element before we tear her to pieces. Since I'm totally ate up about taking pics and documenting the trailers anyway I think it would be a great photo op. More on this subject later.

These pics were taken on our vacation and at the mini rally that wasn't.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

After yesterdays work

Should have taken some before pics yesterday but didn't think about it. Anyway here are a few after pictures showing the fruits of my labor the last couple of days. Also decided to showcase the payoff of why I spent the morning working my tush off (not a bad thing).

Before and After

Having spent 2 hours on the wrong end of a hoe, progress has been made. The bed I cleaned out this morning had to be the worst. It still needs fresh mulch but looks so much better than it did.

Why seven flower beds?

This one will placed on my husbands shoulders. His mother is all about her flowers and I must admit she has a beautiful yard. Before Mark and I married I did tinker with gardening but was never very successful. Fact is, gardening is a lot of work. This year I was so happy because our flowers came in without much effort on our part. Most of our flower beds are relatively young and we always to to add, remove, split, mulch, etc. to get the look we were after. Spring arrived and it didn't seem we were going to have to do much. We knew that we needed to add mulch to all the beds but wasn't overly concerned about it. Why? Because we had the Shasta to think about.

Now vacation and the maiden voyage is over and boy am I paying for not thinking more about that extra layer of mulch. Since returning from vacation I have spent many hours in my flower beds. Even though I enjoy our flowers very much I'm wondering if we really NEED 7 flower beds. Couldn't we have stopped at at 3 or 4? Granted we do have a very large yard compared to most but my goodness. Guess I need to quit complaining and continue my battle with the weeds. Two down and five to go.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Why two Shastas?

Well, like most Shasta enthusiasts I want a canned ham. Since our 1400 is a seventies model it is considered ‘toaster’ shaped and is not a canned ham. It’s true that when we first looked for a Shasta we waited till we found a 72 model to match our truck. Unfortunately it didn’t quite satisfy my Shasta yearning. After working along side my husband inside our 1400 we realized that even for the two of us it’s a bit tight inside. Why couldn’t I be satisfied? It’s small enough to tow with just about any vehicle and doesn’t affect the gas mileage too bad. didn’t have birch interior and still left me wanting. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my trailer. Even though the 70’s trailer didn’t come out with birch walls my trailer now has them. In the late 60’s Shasta went from birch walls to paneling, not my favorite. I didn’t have to worry about keeping it original because even the original paneling was long gone from my trailer when we got her. Anyway, I kept my eyes open and found a 1964 Shasta Twenty. Even though it is larger it does have the canned ham shape. This is a fairly rare trailer and difficult to find info on. At this time I still have not found another owner who has one of these. Walking into this trailer compared to my 1400 is as different as night and day. The first thing you notice is how much space is inside. There is a ton of storage and the birch interior is intact. The down side of this trailer is the outer skin. It appears to have been damaged by hail and eventually we will replace it. This is next year’s project and one that will be spread over a few years. We want to restore it to original condition with a few modifications for safety. The up side of this trailer is that I got a great deal on it. We paid less for the Twenty than the 1400 and it was only two hours away.

Why five Miniature Schnauzers?

Why can't I settle for one? One dog four years ago and now I have five. One vintage trailer last year and now I have two. In some ways I've came to realize it has to do with being a mother. If my son hadn't wanted one of my dog's pups I wouldn't have bred her. If I hadn't bred her I wouldn't have been too soft hearted not to sell the remaining two pups. If I didn't have two females I wouldn't have considered getting another male to breed them with. If I hadn't accepted the fourth pup as a gift from my son then I wouldn't have been too soft hearted to return the pup to the breeder when he didn't pass his puppy exam. Noooo, when the breeder said I could keep him and pick out another pup did I pass on the offer? Of course not, that would have made sense. Ironically I have now decided not to breed any of the dogs. Having become more educated in pet population and puppy mills, I just don't think I need to add to the problem. The thought of one of my dog's off spring not being taken care of and loved the way it deserves was enough to stop me in my tracks. Now I am considering opening a doggie day care this fall. Since I live in a rural area I'm not sure how it would go over, still lots of thinking to do on this subject.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Why The Fin and Feather Inn?

Let's just say that the name was fitting when we first purchased the trailer. Our baby was a ebay find and about 3 hours north of us. The person we bought her from used it as a fry house for his church. From the amount of grease that ran from the floor when the door was open, it was obvious that it had housed many fish and chicken feeds. An industrial exhaust fan had been installed near the rear of the trailer and nothing remained of the original trailer except a fairly good exterior skin and lots of cooking grease and a very strong oder. The condition of the outside is what sealed her fate. We knew that we could fix anything that had taken place on the inside as long as the outside was in good condition.

Why a Shasta?

My father bought a Shasta in the mid 70's and kept it a long time. That old trailer went from Kansas City, Salt Lake City, Wyoming, New Mexico and then to Illinois with my family as my Dad never stayed in one place for long. Heck, it even served as my bedroom when I was a senior in high school in Wyoming (bad decision on my Dad's part). After joining my family in Illinois it's where I conceived my first child. So, Shasta's have been a long standing part of my family and when I decided to start looking for vintage it had to be a Shasta. My husband already had a 1972 F100 truck that he had restored. It was just an old farm truck that Mark's grandfather had but it was Mark's first vehicle. After lot's of love it turn out to be a very cool truck. So the search began for a 1972 Shasta travel trailer.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Why a blog?

Honestly, I don't really know. This seems to be a good place to put thoughts, share ideas and talk to myself. My life's not all that interesting, I'm a wife, a mother, and a grandmother (still trying to get use to that one). We live outside a small rural town in Southern Illinois and not much happens around here. There are a few things that keeps my interest though and I'm sure these subjects are what this blog will consist of.

Right now our "project" is a rebuilding a 1972 Shasta 1400 travel trailer. There will be many posts on this subject as it is what is consuming most of our time. I have five Mini Schnauzers and they take up most of what's left of my time. Most people think I'm crazy for having five dogs and I don't disagree with them.

We also enjoy gardening and landscaping. Right now both the garden and the flower beds are in sorry shape. We spent so much time getting the Shasta ready to take on vacation that we let the weeds get away from us. Since weeding isn't my favorite thing to do please excuse any gripping I may do on the subject. June is almost over and Mark just finished the remaining vegetables and the first planting of corn yesterday. So much outside work to catch up on and Mark wants to leave Thursday for four days. We'll see.