Along the Natchez Trace

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Just Another Cold, Winter Day....

I haven't posted for a while.......  I certainly have the time to as 2 days in a row it didn't get above 30 F degrees...  the same day it snowed...  and rained...  and I believe the weatherman said "ice pellets".  Anyway, the ground was covered with snow, which was covered with ice.  I think the farthest I ventured out those days was to fill the bird feeders....
Last year Bill and Victor put up this great feeding station just outside our motorhome.
Since I put out several different kinds of seeds, suet and the such, it's just perfect.

I get cardinals, black crested titmice, chickadees, goldfinch, house finch, and (mostly) chipping sparrows at the feeders and juncos and doves on the ground...  with the occasional towhee.  Sometimes a fox sparrow or wren will come to dinner.  We've been hearing  bluebirds around us, but I think they use the feeder with the mealworms that Celeste has in another area.
It's time for the sandhill cranes to be heading north but so far we've not seen nor heard them way overhead.

We know that spring really is on the way...  just before this blast of cold weather hit last weekend, look what's blooming in the yard...
Kind of a grainy picture of a Daffodil...
Not just any daffodil...  Bill dug up a bucket of bulbs from our farm in Ohio and planted them here at our daughter's place.
That's a guinea feather at the base of the flower...
it belongs to one of the 5 that roam around the yard all day.

We're thinking of heading over to Livingston, TX maybe next week...  we haven't been to the Escapees RV Park for a while.
It's been too cold for Bill to do that clean-up work on the Lazy Daze, but it sure is nice to be in our home again.

That's All For Today!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Lazy Daze..... 99.9% Done

As promised, today I'll finish the saga of the RV repairs....

The windows went back in last Saturday.  No problems - that went fairly smooth.  The felt gasket could have been replaced...  and Bill might do that later, but for now, they are in and working fine.
 That's Victor holding the outside while Bill's working on the inside.

That left putting all the bay doors back on.  They all needed the gaskets replaced to make them close snugly.  Below all are back on except the big one just in back of the driver's seat.  
Before Bill could get in touch with Lazy Daze, he and Victor started from the top and were working their way down.  They changed their method after talking to Vince, but since they had started taking that strip off the top, they had to finish taking it off, clean away the old glue and caulk, put it all back on again.  But it's just as well, because they replaced rusted screws with stainless steel screws and secured it all with fresh caulk.

They're moving right along....
Monday was way too cold to be working outside and Tuesday we all had other plans for the day.  Wednesday Bill worked on cleaning up that top strip.

 Today (Thursday), both Victor and Bill were hard at it again....
The last of the bay doors is back on...  now comes the "finish" strips.

Oops...  not quite yet...
A section at the very back, at the bottom had rotted out.
Bill cleaned it up and they filled it with caulk.

Good as new!

Bill "fine tuning" this part...

And the strip across the top...  that took a lot of time because it all had to be recaulked and all new screws.

Around 5:30 or so this evening they put away the ladders and the tools.
It all still needs some finishing touches.  The excess caulk needs cleaned away in some places...  one of the bay doors needs a new gasket...  but these are minor.  They are nothing compared to the work these two guys did in the last 3 weeks.

I have included a spreadsheet of what we spent.  There were some things, like boards to make new framing, and some other items that they already had on hand.

Date Supplier Parts Cost Tax Total Cost
2/2/2015 Home Depot  Bar Kit 9.97 0.82 10.79
2/4/2015 Lazy Daze Window gasket - 33' 33.00 0.00 33.00
2/4/2015 Lazy Daze VHB Tape - 70' 140.00 0.00 140.00
2/4/2015 Lazy Daze Bag Door Clips (12) 6.00 0.00 6.00
2/4/2015 USPS Next Day Delivery 19.99 0.00 19.99
2/7/2015 Home Depot  1 1/4" screw 9.37 0.78 10.15
2/7/2015 Home Depot  Wht Sealant (6) 35.1 2.91 38.01
2/7/2015 Home Depot  sheet metal screw pan (2) 8.82 0.73 9.55
2/7/2015 Home Depot  GE WD Paintable White (2) 16.44 1.36 17.80
2/7/2015 Home Depot  Unv Satin White (2) 11.52 0.95 12.47
2/7/2015 Home Depot  2" brush 2.97 0.25 3.22
2/7/2015 Home Depot  3" flat brush 1.48 0.12 1.60
2/7/2015 Home Depot  Philips stnlss 8x5/8 4.97 0.41 5.38
2/7/2015 Home Depot  Contact Cement (2) 23.94 1.98 25.92
2/7/2015 Home Depot  Hex Screw 8.24 0.68 8.92
2/7/2015 Home Depot  Hex Screw 8x1 7.53 0.62 8.15
2/7/2015 Home Depot  Hex scrw oab 10x1 stnl 5.94 0.49 6.43
2/7/2015 Home Depot  4x8 Utility Panel 9.97 0.83 10.80
2/8/2015 Home Depot  Insulation (2) 9.96 0.82 10.78
2/9/2015 Home Depot  4x8 Utility Panel 9.97 0.83 10.80
2/9/2015 Home Depot  Insulation 4.98 0.41 5.39
2/9/2015 Home Depot  Unv Satn White 17.28 1.43 18.71
2/13/2015 UPS 2nd Day Delivery 64.17 0.00 64.17
2/14/2015 Home Depot  Rivets 5.98 0.49 6.47
2/16/2015 Home Depot  Lacquer Thinner 7.46 0.62 8.08
2/19/2015 Home Depot  Caulk/Screws 36.76 3.03 39.79



The total cost for materials was $532.38,  If we had to have paid to have it done, I don't know what the labor would have cost.

Bill did call Lazy Daze and ask about their "Lifetime Guarantee".  Apparently this is for such things like the cabinets falling off the wall.  Well, this all started because the window blind over the dinette fell off the wall, which led to finding out that the framework had rotted...  because of water damage...  because of an error in workmanship in construction.  

We are fortunate...  Bill & Victor did all the work.  Our daughter and son-in-law gave us their vacation rental to stay in while the work was done.  We didn't have to stay in a motel or rent a place.  The weather was reasonably decent...  at least no rain (or snow) during this time.

Bill says he learned a lot about the construction of this place...  and I can sure believe that!

One thing...  sometimes folks ask us if we're going to upgrade or get a newer motorhome...  we've lived in this one 14 years now...  full time.  Seems to me we just added a lot of future years to this one....  heck, it may outlive us!

That's All For Today!  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Can You Hear Me Now?

I know a few of you might be waiting for my final post about our Lazy Daze renovations, but it's been very cold here so Bill and Victor took a couple days off until it gets a bit warmer.

Today, Bill & I headed up to Ft Worth to the Cabela's store.  I had a couple of items to take back (yes, they have very good customer service and if you aren't happy with your purchase they refund your money or replace your purchase with no hassle).  

While we were in the store, I stopped by the Walker Hearing Center.  I don't know how many Cabela's have a hearing center in their store, but I do know this one, the Cabela's in Hamburg, PA and the one in Dundee, MI have them.  I had a hearing test about a year and a half ago and got fitted for hearing aids at that time.

While I have been very happy with the hearing aids I got, I really wasn't using them fully until this past December as I should have.  Part of the reason is that this past summer I was using a mower or other motorized equipment that was noisy... so noisy that I wore ear protection nearly every day.  No reason to amplify sound only to have to muffle it.  Anyway, when we back in Ft Worth last December I stopped by and had my hearing aids "recalibrated" for my particular needs.

Bill has an on-going earwax problem so the technician didn't want to test him back then.  When we stopped in today the tech didn't have any other appointments so he checked Bill's ears...  they were clear enough to get a viable reading of his hearing capabilities.

Yeah...  that's Bill...  in the testing booth....
The test takes maybe a half hour or so...  it's all computerized and at the end the tech has a graph that shows if/where the hearing loss is.  Neither Bill nor I were surprised that he has enough hearing loss on the high end of sound to warrant wearing hearing aids.

Neither Bill nor I were ever "concert goers" in the '60s or '70s.  But Bill was in the Air Force and did work around planes back then.  He also has been an equipment operator for several years...  loud, noisy equipment.  Whatever....  neither of us have profound hearing loss, but enough that if we take measures now, we may delay further hearing problems.

The kiosk in Cabela's is "Walkers Hearing Aids"....  not endorsed by Cabela's, but probably there because Cabela's also sells all kinds of guns and Walker's sells hearing protection for gun users as well as hearing aids for those that need them.  The hearing test itself is free.  It's quite thorough...  I think we were there at the kiosk about 3 hours in all.  No hard sell or anything....  

But if after a person is tested and knows the results, they can be fitted with hearing aids right then.  And after that initial fitting, the tech encourages you to walk around the store for a half hour or so to get a feel for what's going on.  This particular store has a very loud waterfall/fountain very close to the hearing kiosk.  When you're first fitted with new hearing devices all you hear is the noise of that fountain!  

I don't need to go into all the details, but will just say that from now on...  I know that Bill can hear what I'm saying...  heck, with both of us wearing hearing aids, neither one of us can claim we just didn't hear.  

I wish all our "aging" problems could be fixed so easily.

Next post will be the final post about the motorhome.  We are back living in it now, but there's still some outside work to be done.  As soon as it warms up a bit Bill & Victor will finish up.

That's All For Today!

PS...  I got so tired of those orioles from down in the Valley that I replaced them with moose from Maine...  a photo I took while we were there last summer.  I'm sure looking forward to heading back there this coming summer.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Overhaul... Continued......

When I last posted (a week ago) the repairs were well underway.  Bill and Victor had got enough done that Bill knew what all he had to order from Lazy Daze.  He made the phone call and talked with Vince, then back to the person who processes the orders.  Lazy Daze does not accept credit cards, so we sent our check "overnite" by the US Postal Service, and they received it before 3pm the next day.  That cost us $20 but by them getting it on Thursday, we thought they'd send out the needed items the next day.  By this past Tuesday, Bill was ready for some of the ordered materials....  but on Wednesday they hadn't arrived.  Another phone call to Lazy Daze...  well, yes, they had received the check the week before but hadn't sent the materials yet.  
Here's the rig.....  Bill has replaced all the rotted wood areas, and has installed the insulation.  Now they are ready to start replacing the siding.

But before it can be put back on the rig, it needs a lot of work.  The siding itself is very thin and flimsy.  But it had been backed by 1/4" plywood.  That plywood had been glued on.  Victor took a hand grinder and cleaned off all that plywood...  nasty, dusty job!
Then they laid the aluminum siding on the porch floor and replaced the wood that Victor had taken off.  Not all of it needed replaced...  only the water-damaged areas.  But it was still quite a job.

They used contact cement to secure the new plywood to the siding, but also painted it with a rust-resistant paint.  

Now the first sections of siding are back on the rig.
The lower section will take a lot more time because of all the cuts.  There are several bays, the water tank area, the gasoline tank area, the (generator) battery area, and the water-dump area.  But the windows could go back in if they had the order from Lazy Daze.

When Bill called back and found the order hadn't been sent yet he inquired about the quickest way to get the stuff.  Well...  for $60 it could be expedited by UPS.  It would come COD since Lazy Daze doesn't do credit cards.  We opted to do that and yesterday afternoon UPS delivered a small cardboard box with the necessary gasket and tape materials.

This view of the rear corner of the rig shows where the finishing strip of siding will go to cover the raw edges.

Here's Bill....  checking out the progress.....

Meanwhile, we were living in our daughter's vacation rental next door.  It's been a real treat staying there, but since it was rented for Valentine's Day weekend, we moved out yesterday.  Not a problem....  Victor and Celeste have their huge 5th wheel RV parked about 20' from where our rig is sitting.  We moved into it for the weekend.  (they welcomed us into their home and guest room, but we decided to stay in the RV).

If all goes well, we should be back in our own place in a couple of days.  One good thing...  I've had the opportunity to do some "deep" cleaning...  even took off the dinette cushion covers to be dry cleaned, I'm shampooing some hard to reach places on the carpet and various other housekeeping chores that get neglected.

Of course I'll post photos of it all when it's finished, and also a list of parts, cost etc.  We'll be checking into what kind of a "life time warranty" that Lazy Daze will honor.

That's All For Today!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Better Photos... I hope....

I realized after yesterday's post that that collage I assembled was the pits.  Yeah...  I do that every now and then...  (maybe more "now than then" these days)...  but since I already knew what everything looked like, it was okay to this non-mechanical...  non-??? ...  well, heck...  I was an English major....  go figure...

Anyway...  today it actually got up to 60+ degrees!  Yahoo!  Yippee!  and a few other expletitives .....

So...  after our Friday trip to H.E.B. this morning (you NEVER want to venture out into town after 10:00 on a Friday morning...  traffic is awful)....  Bill went to work on the rig again....

All the rotten wood has been removed...  now starts the rebuilding of the infrastructure

This board isn't really in place yet...  Bill is just showing me where it will go to replace the rotten one.  But...  at the top of the new board is the "gap" that Lazy Daze accidentally left when building our rig that caused all the damage.

This is where that board will go when Bill's ready to put it in.  I am going to repeat myself here, but believe me when I say that Lazy Daze puts out a fantastic motorhome.  We may have this problem, but if we ever have to buy another motorhome, trust me....  we'd head right back to California and order one just like we have.  Sure, things happen....  but we feel like our 13 years on the road were only possible because of our excellent living conditions.

And on the opposite side, he's already put the new board in place.  Those clamps are holding it secure until the glue dries.

Tomorrow Bill will head to Home Depot or Lowe's...  buy a sheet of paneling and begin the tedious job of making the cuts to replace the stuff he had to take out.

And, like so many of you have said...  YES!  Thank goodness that the "capable" handymen are here to do the job.  It's a whole 'nother story, but, believe me, I've learned that not everyone has these abilities.  So...  as you can tell...  there'll be "the rest of the story" to follow.

That's All For Today!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Overhaul Update...

Bill & Victor have been moving right along.... despite the (very) cold temperatures.  So cold, in fact, that Victor bought one of those outdoor propane heaters to help a little.

The windows are out...  so are all the various doors to bays, batteries, water etc...  as well as the fender over the real wheel.
They started this job last weekend and since Lazy Daze (manufacturer of our rig) isn't open on weekends it was Monday before Bill could call Vince and ask some questions.  Most of what they were doing was just fine, but they should have started at the bottom and worked up to the roof.  Not a big problem but will require some additional work later.

These photos make the damage look really bad, but actually, there are only 2 places that need repaired.  It looks like the water damage was caused at the window frame.  The molding that goes around the frame before the window is inserted had about a quarter to half inch gap on either side.  Just enough for allow water in and over time run down inside the frame and rot the wood.  Keep in mind we've lived in our rig 13 years full-time and it's never been in a garage or out of the elements.  

This better shows the damage at the lower corners of the window.  You can see how dark the wood is at either side.  (and at Victor's feet is the outdoor heater he bought to ward off the cold).   Now they have to put in new wood framing around the window, replace the insulation and replace a section of paneling on the inside.  Bill called Lazy Daze yesterday and ordered the materials to make new window gaskets and some other items like the 2-sided tape they use to hold things together.  That should arrive here next week.   

We are staying in our daughter's vacation rental next door.  
It's quite a lovely place...  I may not want to move back into the rig.
Okay, it's very nice, but...really, there's no place like home.

That's All For Today!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Birthday Wishes....

 Today is Bill's birthday....  
We've been together well over 30 years now, and I've never seen him without a beard.
Here's what we looked like in 1982....

Bill, Bear and Me....
Bear's long gone, we no longer farm...
No chickens, no goats, no bees....  no fresh veggies...
It's been a long time since we were 40.

But Bill still has his wonderful smile...
(and his beard).....
Happy Birthday to my best friend!

That's All For Today!

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Nope, not for me, 'though I could no doubt use one.  A few months ago Bill restrung the window blind that is over our dinette and when he tried to re-install it, the screws didn't seem to have anything to dig into.  Not good....  

We weren't in a place we could do much about it then.  And of course we didn't know the extent of damage...  or even where, exactly or what was damaged.

So when we got back up to our daughter's place it was time to do something.

We were fortunate in that they have a house that they use as a vacation rental and it would be free of renters until Valentine's Day.  So Friday Bill & I took the necessary stuff to live in the house for a couple of weeks.  By the way, it's amazing what's "essential" to live away from home.  I know, we spend months abroad or on a cruise, but this time I didn't just pack a few changes of underwear, I took some of my favorite things...  like our own flannel sheets, my huge skillet....  just "stuff", even though this house is totally furnished...  even down to the fridge being full of condiments and the bathroom having "hotel size" toiletries...  I mean totally!  

And not only that, we're just a few hundred feet away from where our rig is parked and being worked on...  but...  all that aside...

The windows had to come out....  that meant that everything along that side of the rig (inside) had to be moved.  Now...  we live in a 27' rig...  no slideouts....  everything is very compact.  We took our computers and printer over to the rental house.  The rest of the stuff ...  and I do mean lots of it...  had to be stacked in the bathroom or any other available space.

When the windows were out, Bill and Victor, our son-in-law, could see the problems.  Looks like we had a major leak around the window  probably where 2 parts overlapped.  We have no idea how long ago...  but the water had come down through the wall and rotted out the wood frame around the window.  

I put a big arrow pointing to some damage.  That cup is sitting on the housing for the batteries (for the generator).  Just in front of that is the storage bin I use for computer supplies and any other odds and ends that I don't have to use daily.  Yeah...  that's all stored in bins for the time being.

Looking from one end of our rig towards the other...
You can see where both windows should be...  and there was enough water damage to rot both frames.  In the foreground is where the couch is...  those cushions are stored elsewhere now.  I've written that we don't have a TV...  so what's that thing dead center?  I guess it IS a TV but it's never been used as such... it's what I use for my Wii.  It's amazing how much exercise a person can do in less than one square yard space!  If you look close you'll see our 5 grandkid's high school graduation photos (my, they're outdated!) and our great-granddaughter's birth announcement hanging on the wall.  (Also very outdated)...  Guess I need to overhaul my photo album when we get back in the rig.

You'll see Victor's legs on the ladder outside...  What's he doing?
From the outside looking in...
Those 2 arrows show where the major damage is.  But, in order to repair and replace, all the siding has to come off from this side.
No kidding!
Bill & Victor are patiently unscrewing every screw that holds it all on...  from back there where the ladder is, clear to the front over the driver's side door.
Bill says he'll have to order some 1/8" plywood as most local places don't carry that size.  He'll also have to order new window gaskets from Lazy Daze.  Actually he won't know what all he'll need to do until the siding is off and they can get a good look.

Our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter are kind enough to park their vehicles elsewhere while we take over their carport for a few weeks.

I'll be honest...  this job seems overwhelming to me.  
I kinda have a feeling that 2 weeks isn't going to be nearly long enough time to get the job done.
I'll keep y'all posted on how it's coming along.  

That's All For Today!