Monday, August 31, 2015

Mabel's maiden voyage

We took Mabel to Canyon of the Eagles on the hottest weekend of the summer!
Since they have full hook-ups and she has electricity and water, it wasn't roughing it too bad...
I mostly stayed out of Hubby's way while he set up,  but occasionally, he would do a little show and tell on how to do something.  I'm not much of a Boy Scout, I'll admit!
We had plenty of shade and some comfy chairs.
He did all of the cooking - mostly using his small Dutch oven and the campstove.
We even had a shower at the rear of the camper.  It was like our little home away from home.
Food just tastes better when you camp.
And wine is nice to have while you still enjoying the breezes of the early evening.
Refill, please.
 The chef did a great job!
Grilled scallops, teriyaki salmon, bacon wrapped hatch peppers, and kale the first night.  YUM.
 We visited a nearby winery and enjoyed some cheese and fruit at a tasting.
Grapes almost ready to harvest - stay out, birds!
We enjoyed a bottle of their  Petite Syrah with some T-bone steaks - excellent!
Hubby also cooked breakfasts!  Leftover squash was made into a frittata, with grilled bacon, and some yogurt and fruit on the side.
Mabel has a tiny kitchen - but it was big enough to cook the eggs and make coffee.
Our campsite was quiet - probably because it was so hot that most folks stayed inside their RV's.  There was lots of room, and not a lot of noise.  Mabel was the smallest RV there and attracted a lot of attention!
Hubby can pull her with the Baja, but if we ever want to take her cross country, we'll need something that can pull it over mountains higher than the Texas hill country.  Just something to think about for the future...
We had a nice time away and learned what we needed to do differently next time.  When we got home, we made lists, got her all cleaned up, and ready for the next time we go out.  And next time we take her out, it'll be a little cooler.  Our next trip:  Lost Maples.

Friday, August 28, 2015

5 thing Friday - ice rags, spare room, vodka, crossstitch, Sugar

 It's been a whole week of school!  But I still have things to wrap up at the end of summer...
I signed up for this again, but this time I got smart and went to the washateria and used one of those multi-load machines.  Genius.  I actually wanted to sign up to do it a couple of times, even though the ice machine in the band hall was broken and I had to go a gas station to load the coolers up with ice.  Worth it for the band kids who have to practice marching on the hot-as-hell blacktop.
Firstborn is with us for six weeks.  We literally moved The Girl out, and him in.  I'm already making plans for getting this room back on October 15th!
I said I wouldn't drink as much wine, but geez, a little vodka tonic with lime is good when it is soooo hot out! 
I got a couple things stitched from my new book.  I don't promise I won't stitch some of the naughty words.  I think it's hilarious.  I'm already planning how to frame them, or make them into pillows, etc.  I think I found my Christmas craft.
Sugar is doing much better!  I finally gave up trying to dose her with a syringe and have just been stirring the antibiotics into her wet food.  She's so excited to get canned food, she doesn't seem to notice.  Which is good, because now she needs to pack a few more pounds on.  I estimate she lost about 5 pounds - you can feel her bones when you pet her.  Time to fatten her up!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Kitchen ready for Back to School!

Happy First Day of school to all of those living in beautiful central Texas!  I am working today, but taking a much-needed R&R day tomorrow.  I deserve it after all the packing, cleaning, washing, organizing, moving, and purging of last week.  One of the big projects I tackled was the kitchen:
The pantry, freezer, and fridge all got a deep clean.  Sadly, a lot of food got tossed.  Not so sadly, most of it was waaay past time to toss.  Chocolate from last Christmas?  yuck. Expired pantry staples?  Oops.
 Midway through the pantry I stopped to take a pic of my kitchen table.  Everything got a wipe down.  As I tossed, I made a list for the grocery store.
 Cleaner and neater!  Ready for me to buy back to school lunch stuff.
The freezer had the most dramatic cleaning.  Cookie dough from the first of the year got tossed, as well as dibs and dabs of stuff we were never gonna eat.  Now there's room for me to plan my next round of freezer meals.
 Same for the fridge.  I know it looks like we are condiment and creamer hoarders....I also tossed a bunch of stuff The Girl didn't get around to.
The sink was a temporary casualty! 
It seemed like every time I opened a cabinet, I found something like this - too much crap, not organized, and sometimes smelly.  I recycled a LOT of plastic containers.  Once they smell funky, they have to go.
Now if I could just get my Dishwasher Emptyer to help me keep this manageable.  (:  
It felt good to get the kitchen cleaned and restocked.  I bought groceries, too, and got some things for Bubbie to pack for the beginning of the week - I will do my regular shopping on Wednesday.  This big area done makes me feel READY for the start of the school year!

Friday, August 21, 2015


It seems like the last summer of The Girl slipped away FAST, but in reality, it started in May, so I guess it was plenty long.  I'm sure she would agree...
Her desk AKA the dining table.
When it was finally all said and done, she'd gotten everything done she said she would: finished up the classes she was taking, lost the weight she was trying to, worked the hours she agreed to, found a roommate and an apartment, and set up her utilities.
At the eleventh hour, packing and purging ensued.  Laundry was done, the trailer was loaded.  Ends were tied.
The last photo of The Girl's stuff waiting to go out into the world. We will miss her, but are excited and happy for her!
Another one launched.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

The blinds in the den are DONE

Remember that blinds project that I thought would never happen?  I chatted about it here,  and here, and here...The entire thing was a study in procrastination.
We started out with cellular shades in  the den, put here by the previous owners.  They were a cream color originally, but over the years they had gotten dingy.  Then the middle one broke.  Then I propped it for a while (which was ridiculous), then I took it down and raised the others so it wouldn't look so awkward while I finally got off my rear and ordered the wooden shades I knew would look great in here.
 Here is a closer view of that.  I had made "curtains" to hang between the windows, just to add some dimension to the window wall.  I used something similar to drop cloth material and trimmed it in burlap.  But I knew those would eventually come down, too.
 It was so blah.
I ordered samples from and The Girl and I spread them all out to choose.
We ended up with this combo - a natural woven shade with a natural burlap-looking trim, unlined to let more light in.  They came in after a couple of weeks and sat in the front room for about a week...I had to wait for Hubby to help me put them up, and I'm glad I did.  
Because the hardware that came with them was completely inadequate.  Not sturdy and not configured for side mount.  Not even the correct installation instructions. Much disgust.  We briefly considered sending them back.  After a momentary freak out on our parts, he ran to Home Depot and came back with brass L brackets. He had a plan.
He spent four hours, after working all day, configuring new hardware and hanging those blinds.  No way could The Girl and I have done it alone!
This was the solution to the hardware issue and mounting them from the side: remove the roller hardware, screw the L bracket to the stud in the wall, reattach the roller hardware over that.  Simple right?  HUGE pain in the butt involving measuring, remeasuring, and both of us standing on the ladder to steady the whole thing.  But that sucker is secure. We had to figure out how to adjust the tension on them and how they worked - again, inadequate instructions on the manufacturer's part.
 The next morning I tried to get some good pics, but it is devilishly hard to do.
They let in a lot of light, which is fine, because they are so beautiful and allow us to still see out of the windows.  They accordian up with a pull ring in the back center of the blind.
 So simple and pretty.  But I will probably leave them down most of the time.
All in all, worth it to improve the den, though I wish I had done more homework on whether they could be side-mounted.  And next time we install them (in the kitchen window seat) it will be easier since we will do a top mount.  And they weren't cheap, so I really want the blinds company to know that the hardware and instructions were lacking.
Whatcha think?



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