Entries to Win Afghan

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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Patriotic Concert - Let Freedom Ring

We went to the annual patriotic concert this afternoon. I'm always amazed at the quality of music put forth in our small city. There was a live band, choir, children's choir and several soloists. All excellent.

For this piece, the kids sang alone then did a countermelody with the choir and they held their own. Not an easy skill.

children singing

The flags of each service were presented and people who served in that branch stood.

Navy flag

Here's almost the full range of performers. I think I'm missing a row on the right. I know it's a small picture, but I wanted to show you what a large group this is.

choir with accompanyists

One of the soloists, Rich (also a friend of mine).

man singing

The concert is over an hour long and they do it twice in a row with only a short break to change audiences! The Methodist Church, where it's held, is large, and the seats are always filled. We went an hour early to get a good seat.

There are donation buckets at the doors. The purpose of the concert is to raise money for the local Veteran's Endowment Fund which can respond to needs faster than governmental types of aid.

This is small town life at its best. The only sad thing is there are very few people between the ages of 10 and 40 who ever come. It's mostly older people with a smattering of grandkids.

In other news: I wrote in the morning, and worked on some research in the afternoon.

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Details About Internal Bracing of the Trailer

This post is just some extra information about how I prepared the trailer for the new internal braces.

I've talked from time to time about how badly the door is out of line. Here's a picture of how bad it was before I began working on this problem.

sagging fiberglass trailer door

The suggested fixes for this issue are extreme. I do not have the tools, or perhaps the skill for one that I've read about (cutting the door apart and building an internal metal frame to hold the curve rigid, and then fiberglassing the door back together). I've been considering an alternative--to cut the lower part of the door open, create a wood brace in the correct curve of the lower part and fiberglass it back together. Definitely not on my preferred list of ways to spend my time, but probably do-able.

Anyway... I've mentioned that with all the interior structure out of the trailer the sides tend to sag outwards. They are so flexible that the door would sometimes come unlatched when I was driving. Before my most recent outing in May, I temporarily bolted a bar across the entire middle of the trailer to keep it more rigid while driving. We removed it while actually camping. Then I put it back in. But obviously that isn't a permanently workable solution.

bar to hold fiberglass trailer rigid

This has been really good, and I wanted to get those sides straightened up even more before I designed and cut the new internal braces.

I've seen a couple of videos/posts where people used ratcheting straps and planks to pull the sides in to be vertical. I didn't want to go buy straps, so I jammed some weight against the side opposite the door, and accomplished pretty much the same thing. I managed to take an additional inch off that bar, pulling the sides even straighter.

weight against the side of a flexible fiberglass trailer

Look at the difference this alone has made in the door!

sagging fiberglass trailer door

We still have to get the door off and rehung. I'm going to have to cut off the wood blocks it's screwed into, and cut the screws. We've tried everything else. Since this is a project that will require two people and several nice days in a row, I'm putting it off for now. However, look at the top of the door and notice how much it is sagging on the hinges. I'm thinking perhaps I might not have to reshape the door at all. I may be able to get it to pull in tight enough that some sort of weatherstrip threshold would seal it tight enough to keep the mice out.

sagging fiberglass trailer door

At any rate, I wanted to share about how I've made as sure as possible that the trailer is the right shape before I cut the internal braces.

See Index to Fiberglass Trailer Refurbish
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Saturday, June 29, 2019

My Trailer Redo - Days 76,77 - Interior Brace Template

This is the continuation of starting to create templates for the interior braces in the trailer.

I decided I needed to go one step beyond cardboard and make these out of scrap plywood before cutting into a good new sheet. That turned out to be an excellent plan, saving me headaches later. Pictured below is the first section I did, that spans the entire ceiling, about centered on the door, where there will be a partial wall on the opposite side.

template for an interior brace in a fiberglass trailer

I had to do it in two pieces, because to make it as one won't fit on a single sheet of plywood, but it's still going to be plenty sturdy. Here's the upright coming down the side opposite the door. Don't get confused by all those colors and shapes. I still have fiberglass repair to do, and the previous owner had toggled a number of things up and used a couple of kinds of paint. And remember, these are just templates, the real braces are going to be doubled 3/4 inch plywood.

template for an interior brace in a fiberglass trailer
Here's the ceiling piece after I cut it out of the junk plywood.

template for an interior brace in a fiberglass trailer

The really difficult brace goes up beside the door and then goes across the ceiling as far as the vent. This one could be made in one piece. It will also support a partial wall (and the walls, of course, also give support to the fiberglass). It took me three tries to get this one right. Just for kicks, here's what it looks like lying in the grass. But those three tries are why I'm glad I'm doing it with some free stuff first.

template for an interior brace in a fiberglass trailer

Here's that piece fit into place, running up the outside wall near the door.

template for an interior brace in a fiberglass trailer
And across the ceiling.

template for an interior brace in a fiberglass trailer

The other thing I did today was determine that this weird canvas edging around the door frame is not needed. Apparently this is the remains of an original canvas-edged screen door that long ago ripped and someone carelessly cut the canvas away, but not close to the aluminum backing.

remains of a canvas and net screen door in a trailer
So, that's now removed, at least well enough to not impede what I'm doing. Any remnants will be hidden.

edge of a fiberglass trailer door frame
And I pulled the threshold up and took the remains of same canvas door out from under it. It's actually sewed to the aluminum! I'll need to spend some time cutting that out, but I can do that later.

threshold for door of fiberglass trailer.

I'm almost ready to borrow a truck and bring home new plywood, insulation and stuff. I do have to patch a couple of holes in the floor before I do much more on the interior, because the flooring needs to go down, but I can put these braces in.

I didn't count the day I brought the piece of plywood up from the barn. That was pretty much a project in itself- big job to fight it out from behind a bunch of stuff and not fall through the floor. But I won't give it the satisfaction of counting as a day.

In other news: no writing on the book happened. I couldn't get to sleep last night because I realized I have to get the lights for the trailer before I can put in the insulation, because I need to know what kind of bracing they require, and do wiring for any that aren't battery powered. I got back up and looked at a bunch of light options, and basically don't like hardly any of them, but I'll have to choose. So much to think about! However I did write in the afternoon because I had stuff to turn in for North Star on a deadline. And then I worked on the trailer despite the miserable humidity.

See Template Tool
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Friday, June 28, 2019

Sweetbrier, Probably

I've been walking past this on my 3-mile road loop for, literally, years. It's a wild rose, of course, but which one. I never seem to come home with quite enough information to identify it. But now, I think I've got it.

Rosa rubiginosa

For starters, it's a shrub. Not that that narrows down the field much, but a bit.

Rosa rubiginosa

The flower isn't going to help. Most wild roses look pretty much the same. It mostly has seven leaflets on each leaf. Just FYI, that winged thing just above my fingers is called the stipule. All wild roses have them. It doesn't help with the ID unless it's really narrow. These pieces of information don't help much. The thorns are recurved-- they point downwards, pretty much. And it does have thorns, so it's not Smooth Rose.

Rosa rubiginosa

Now we have to start being a little arbitrary. There are still three good choices: Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris), Pasture Rose (Rosa carolina) or Sweetbriar/ Eglantine Rose (Rosa rubiginosa). Palustris and carolina have smooth stems except for the thorns. This is smooth. That suggests it's not rubiginosa.

Rosa rubiginosa

Palustris and carolina have leaflets that narrow at the base. These are more rounded- look at the very top one. That suggests it is rubiginosa.

Rosa rubiginosa

So, if you hear me talking about plants a lot you already know we are way past the single picture of a flower that I'm often shown and asked to identify (which sometimes works, but don't be annoyed if it's not adequate). And we still haven't nailed this down.

So, now I'm going to pull in the information from another season. Here are the hips - fruits or seed pods. As you can see, they are quite large, and they are elongated. Now we are getting somewhere. Seed pods lie less than herbaceous qualities. Both carolina and palustris have very round fruits, maybe even a little bit squashed- known as depressed-globose in plant lingo.

Rosa rubiginosa

Bingo! I think we have Sweetbriar or Eglantine Rose, Rosa rubiginosa.

About time I figured this one out.

In other news: I wrote all morning on North Country Quest, then I wrote all afternoon for North Star. Went for a walk. Not as hot as yesterday, but the humidity was something! I thought I might do something on the trailer, but it's already 8:30. Not worth dragging out the extension cord and the tools.

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Thursday, June 27, 2019

I Bought My Office a Gift

I didn't want to show you this until I was sure I was going to keep it. Now I'm sure. It lives here. I had to put it together in the kitchen.

office chair

My old office chair was 27 years old and hurt my back. Its one redeeming feature was that it was small, and fit in my space nicely. This one is bigger.

office chair

But it does work. I wasn't sure it would pull close enough to the antique desk I use which I like a lot.

office chair

The bottom line is that it doesn't hurt my back.

office chair

It's nice to be able to work in my office again. Makes me feel a little more professional.

office chair

Got it for 40% off, but even so it cost a lot more than the last el cheapo one.

In other news: I wrote all morning, and did errands and other stupid stuff in the afternoon (if only it looked like I did anything), and then worked on my trailer in the evening. I'm not quite ready to show you that yet. Soon, but tomorrow is supposed to rain again.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Bread Day Experiment

Yes, it was bread day again today. I really like making my own bread- I can slice it thin, and it doesn't taste like air. And there are no long lists of chemicals on the label. I put all but the current loaf in the freezer and it lasts quite a while. I see that my last baking day was a month ago. Of course, I've taken a couple of trips since then, so wasn't eating it every day. Still... a couple of hours of time invested every 3-4 weeks should be do-able. I'm not sure why I stopped for a while there.

homemade bread

So, what was the experiment? I decided to try a rye swirl. The dark rye bread alone is sort of heavy. Good flavor but not the best texture. I wasn't sure the double layer would really work at all- maybe the one would bake faster and leave the other raw. But it did work. The moisture from the lighter bread seems to have infused the dark dough. The only issue seems to be an air pocket that formed between the two slabs of dough. It passes the yummy test, however.

homemade rye swirl bread

I other news: I worked on writing stuff all morning, did laundry, made bread and worked at trying to put some of my never-ending messes away.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Common Critters that Make Me Smile

Just enjoy a couple of critters today. I've been busy.

A lovely male cardinal- always cheerful


And I'm s total sucker for pictures of little bunny rabbits.

cottontail rabbit

In other news: I worked on North Country Quest all morning, worked on the writer's event all afternoon, had writer's group tonight and then went grocery shopping on my way home.

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Monday, June 24, 2019

Last Day on the Road for a While

Life at Ester's will be primitive for a while yet. She still has only temporary electric and no water. But we are cool with camp living. We made coffee the outdoor way.

pan heating on propane camp stove

We did have one meal, then I had to hit the road. We tried a selfie that would show her beautiful new deck (so glad that didn't burn!), and the selection of flowers she bought to brighten things up a bit. But mostly you just get to see our silly faces.

pan heating on propane camp stove

The house is nearly cleared, and crews will start reconstruction inside this week. Her stuff is all over the place- at several different cleaning companies, and she can't find anything. Hoping to get some storage on her own property, and get her glam camp more set up. She'll be busy!

Now I am home and need some space for a while. Maybe some serious space. I'm peopled out for a bit.

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