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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

My Trailer Redo - Days 74,75 - Template Tool

I ordered this tool for about $40, and I'm pleased with it, although it isn't perfect. They do make one twice as long, but this is adequate. It's the Peachtree 37" Flexible Curve.

template tool for curves

The next thing I need to do in the trailer is create, and fiberglass in place, some central supports. With all of the internal structure removed, there is nothing to keep the sides of the trailer from flexing too much. This flexibility also allows the door frame to have too much play. I'll talk about where I'm putting these and how I'm making them another time, but this post is about creating a template to cut the complex curves of the ceiling and sides.

So, you lay the flat steel band of this tool against the curves and then tighten the knobs to hold it in the shape you need. It was pretty easy to use, even by me alone, but as you can see, the abrupt curve of the ceiling was too tight for it.

template tool for curves

Nevertheless, I traced the curve onto cardboard and added the shapes where the curves were too tight. Then I cut it out.

template tool for curves

This is the first fitting of the cardboard cutout to the body of the trailer. It needed a little bit of trimming, but it's not bad for the first round. It got me close enough to just do a little more snipping and end up with a template that is pretty good.

template tool for curves

I guess I will explain that I'm doing one piece that will span the entire middle of the trailer so there is not a join under the seam of the trailer.

Then I did the other side, which is of course, not exactly the same. Taped the two pieces together, and fitted it in place. I couldn't hold it up and take a picture. It's pretty good. However, it is cardboard, which isn't totally rigid.

template tool for curves

I'm thinking I need to cut an actual test piece from some junk plywood before I go messing up a new sheet. The bracing won't be as "deep" as the cardboard, of course. Only the top curve counts right now.

But I consider this forward progress.

Working on this trailer is like a giant complex puzzle... what has to happen next? I spend a fair amount of time just standing in the trailer looking at things and thinking and jotting down notes. I've decided this brace has to happen before I can rehang (and do whatever else with) the door, finish the painting, do much of anything else. I can always do little bits of fiberglass and Bondo work. And there are two large holes the PO cut in the floor for the air conditioner ducts. Easy to cut out... not so easy to patch. But I think I've got a plan.

I also cut out one small brace that had been fiberglassed in (I think to hold some cupboard originally), and replaced one window screw that still wouldn't hold, even in the epoxied frames, with a bolt.

In other news: I wrote in the morning, and worked on a lot of little projects in the afternoon as well as the trailer.

See Installing the Windows
Index to Fiberglass Trailer Refurbish Posts
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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Bread and a Bunny

It was bread day today, and I made a kind that always seems to turn out well for me, with a slight change. The recipe is for Onion Bread, which is yummy, but not so much in peanut butter sandwiches. Since I always have my pb with dill pickles, I decided to chop up a couple of pickles instead of the onions. The bread turned out great, but the pickle flavor disappears when baked. The dill doesn't come through at all. If I want to do that I'll need to add some actual dill. But the texture is good. No clue why this one is always good, and some recipes don't seem to work for me. Anyway, I like having bread with only about 5 ingredients in it, and I can slice it really thin.

homemade bread

The raccoon was on the deck again. He scurried off before I could get a picture, but there was a rabbit in the grass.

homemade bread

In other news: I wrote all morning, then started the next step in the trailer this afternoon. I'll show you more about that, probably tomorrow. Did some odds and ends and made the bread. Another day with no need to talk at all. I like it.

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Monday, May 20, 2019

Sunbonnet Sue

I have mentioned from time to time that my grandmother, Emily M. Rowe, made a large number of quilts. Some day I'll tell you more of the story, but today I'm going to show you one that isn't really a quilt, it's a comforter.

This is the Sunbonnet Sue pattern, and this was the quilt that was on my bed until I went to college. Granny embroidered the blocks and checkerboarded it with the "Indian" print.

Sunbonnet Sue quilt

This week I came across two more of the quilts she made that I still have. That leaves one more that I know of that I haven't located yet. I'm trying to get them in one place, and then I'll decide what to do with them. I put this on my bed, contemplating using it for a while. But the fabric is too fragile. It's ripped in quite a few places. I'll wrap it up again. I'm not ready to get rid of this one yet.

Sunbonnet Sue quilt

Today was calm and productive. I wrote, I worked on sorting pictures from the hike I'm writing about. I did some other stuff around the house. I'm not sure I've spoken a word all day. Perfect.

See Lone Star Quilt
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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Demo Day at Ludington Center for the Arts

The other big event I went to yesterday was Demonstration Day at the Ludington Center for the Arts. This was free, and you could watch artists at work and talk with them about their art, and sign up for classes if you wanted (not free).

I'll only show you a few of the pictures, because there were lots and lots of things being demonstrated. Here is print making

making a block print

Here is my friend, Linda, doing a collage. There was another collage artist who works all in black and white.

making a collage

Art done by the local middle schoolers was also on display. There was a lot of really nice stuff. I sure wasn't that sophisticated in junior high!

junior high art

Two groups were making music. This is one of them.

making music

There were several painters and sketchers- watercolor, acrylic, oils, pastels. One man was doing caricatures, and another woman was working on a drawing that was going to become a painting of her dog. This painter's technique was fascinating. He paints on an iPad.

painting on a iPad

There were wood turners and fabric artists. There was also a photographer. This man does acrylic pours.

doing an acrylic pour

Our writing group held a workshop during the time period, but I did not sign up for it.

It was an amazing event that makes me want to take lots of classes, but I have neither money nor time.

This morning was bell choir, and that went really well! But I have totally reached my people and event limit. I completely chilled out for the afternoon. Read and watched a movie.

See Linda's Art Show
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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Mason County Garden Club Flower Show

I learned this week that the Mason County Garden Club holds a small flower show every other year. How's that for cool? The theme was "From Mother Goose to Dr. Suess," and there were divisions for horticulture, design, educational exhibits, and photography. Each division had classes with headings relating to children's books.

For example, one of the horticultural classes was "How Does Your Garden Grow?," a display of various blooms that didn't fit in the other categories. Most entries in that were primroses.

primroses and other spring flowers

The Design division had 2 sections: Section A was based on three books: The Wizard of Oz, Charlotte's Web, and Where the Wild Things Are. These were the most spectacular displays.

My favorite was this entry in "The Wizard of Oz," although it was tough to pick. The exhibitor's card said "After consulting the wizard's crystal ball, Dorothy and Toto climb the yellow brick road to the witch's castle."

flower show entry based on the Wizard of Oz

Section B was three classes based on Lewis Caroll books. This one is the winner in The Mad Hatter's Tea Party. The judges said, "Beautiful design in good proportion. Well done."

flower show entry based on the Mad Hatter's Tea Party

This flowering quince won in the horticultural display "The Giving Tree," which was to be a flowering branch.

flowering quince

There were many beautiful daffodils. This group was "a collection of a minimum of 5 different cut specimens exhibited in compatible individual containers."

a selection of daffodils at a flower show

And... I think I've identified my bicolor daffodils as Narcissus delnashaugh.

Narcissus delnashaugh

In other news: I have officially made it to tired of doing things and tired of people and tired of running around. But I'm going to do some more of it tomorrow anyway. After the flower show, I went to yet another event which I'll share tomorrow. Then I came home and crashed. Wrote a little bit this morning, which is better than not at all.

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Friday, May 17, 2019

We Found Another Long-Distance Hiker

While we were eating our hamburgers in Mesick yesterday after our hike, another man came in with a backpack. It turns out he's also beginning a hike of the North Country Trail. His trail name is Sir Dickspatcher. A couple of us talked with him for quite a long time.

Sir Dickspatcher

And I just want to share a couple more pictures from yesterday. This is the "pond," a lake really, formed by the Hodenpyl Dam where we began our walk. We walked away from the water, although we've hiked beside it some times. This view isn't from the trail, but from a roadside rest area.

Hodenpyl Dam Pond

This is a really funny burl. Looks like the tree decided to try to grow a crop of potatoes.

lumpy burl

Today has been more normal. I wrote in the morning and then worked on various projects and jobs all afternoon. Walked to the post office and bank. There really need to be some more normal days here, but the next two aren't going to qualify!

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Spirit of the Woods Hike- May 16

Our trail chapter had a 10-mile hike today from Hodenpyl Dam south to the Upper River Road trailhead. This is the NCT side of the NCT/Manistee River Trail Loop. It's very hilly, and some people like it less because there aren't as many views of the water as the other side but I like it for the challenge and the long vistas (the river is down in that valley). It's also less beat-up and messy than the other side.

above Manistee River

There were ten of us and an energetic Trixie.

group of hikers

The shadbush (serviceberry) is just starting to bloom. Much later than usual.


I have to call this the best wildlife event of the day. I know this doesn't have crisp focus, but it's not too shabby, and it's the first time I've seen a rufous-sided towhee near home, and the first time I've ever gotten a picture at all. I see them in New York fairly often. There were three of them.

rufous sided towhee

Just a nice shot of hikers looking down from Red Hill Lookout.

hikers in the woods

The wood betony (lousewort) is getting leaves. The texture is so interesting. Others saw some that was purple- not unusual, but sometimes shocking in its intensity. I didn't see that patch.

wood betony

First snake of the year- a lovely little garter snake.

garter snake

The expected rain never materialized. We all went out to eat afterwards and met... well, you'll have to wait till tomorrow for that story.

There is no other news. I left home at 8 this morning, and just got home a bit ago.

Hike 100 Challenge = 74 miles

North Country Trail, south from Hodenpyl Dam to the Upper River Road TH, Manistee County, MI. 10 miles

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Miscellaneous Goodies

I spent all afternoon working on the trails at Shagway Arts Barn, and I did finish all the clearing and trimming. Big job. Here's one space before.

trail overgrown with autumn olive

And the same space after I trimmed it. A lot of the vegetation there is nasty invasives like autumn olive. But at least I don't have to be careful about how I trim. Just hack away. I can only wish that careless pruning would kill this stuff. Shagway has about a mile of little loops that are open to hike- just a pleasant stroll.

cleared trail

Look what's happening in my little jugs! So far so good. When they begin to get some of the real leaves I'll thin them.

sprouts in milk jugs

And Josh stopped by to bring me a little Mother's Day gift. These are interesting. Look closely. The petals are made of wood! Josh is doing really well at the present time. His health is pretty good and he has a job. Those are big plusses.

rose buds made of wood

I wrote in the morning and did laundry, and worked on trails all afternoon. I'm bushed. Bed and a book are coming right up.

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