Sunday thru Saturday, September 15-21—All Done


This week celebrated completion of the “To Do” list.  After last week’s marathon chore week, compounded by cleaning up from storm damage, this week proved to be pretty laid back, though busy.

We took the day off on Sunday, went to church, and then to lunch with Sunday school friends.  It was good getting back in a routine.  After sating our appetites, Kay read the paper while I half-heartily watched football.  

I fished Monday morning with Bill, and he ripped lips with the Zig-a-jig and spinning rod combination, while I managed a dozen or so on a combination scud with a zebra midge dropper.  Fishing behind him is like hunting squirrels with a .22 rifle behind someone hunting them with a 10 gauge shotgun.  Monday afternoon was used to lube the motorhome, contorting this 64-year old body in ways heretofore thought impossible.

Tuesday was spent rewiring the electrical connections between the motorhome and the “toad”, i.e. the Honday CR-V that we tow.  A direct charging line was installed between the battery and connected to a female plug receptacle which was installed on the front of the Honda, and a new wire and plug were installed in the tow bar.  Still, the BrakeBuddy failed, would recycle, and wouldn’t hold the brake for the required 10-seconds test.  Thinking the Honda was not providing enough amperage to fully operated the auxiliary brake, and consulting with Wayne, I installed it in the Expedition only to find the problem persisted.  This has been an ongoing problem for the last two years, and we sent it in last October 22, receiving it back as testing 100%, after which we tried it on the way to Texas in late November, only to experience problems again.  We phoned Hopkins, the company which makes the auxiliary brake, and explained the problem, and while outside near the Expedition talking to the tech, the brake began recycling,, fortuitous in that he could hear it on the other end of the phone call.  He authorized shipment for sending it back in—solution and cost to be determined!  

On Wednesday morning, Kay left for central Arkansas for visits with friends and family, and to drop off the BrakeBuddy at FedEx for shipping back to the factory, and I continued the clean-up of storm debris from last Thursday’s straight line winds knocking the neighbor’s big, double-trunked oak tree down.  I counted a total of 9 trees in our backyard that paid the toll.  Despite cleaning last Friday and Saturday, there were sawdust, leaves, and small limbs everywhere, and to prevent them from blowing on the patio and/or washing back down onto the dry gravel creek, they were raked into a small terrace.  130923_E_Tree_002Three of our pampas grass plants were damaged by equipment cleaning up the storm debris, but we had wanted to move them anyway so holes were dug in the hard, rocky earth and the plants transplanted.  Also, Creeping Jenny was transplanted between the recently installed stepping stones in the back.  Temperatures soared into the mid-90s, and humidity was near 80°, rendering my clothes soaking wet from the outside work.  After cleaning up and cooling off, I began the process of back flushing, sanitizing, and recharging the motorhome water softener.

130923_E_Tree_001Thursday was a near repeat of Wednesday, except that I used the morning to dig a small (10 to 12-inch) oak tree stump up that was tilted with roots going everywhere.  It left a perfect hole for a fire pit, except it was in the wrong location. Recovery from the storm is slowly taking place as the white butterfly bush sported a couple of blooms after its traumatic couple of days and being severely pruned.  We see some opportunities for additional landscaping and sitting areas…  After showering, and then washing wet outside work clothes, I re-installed the undersink water filter in the motorhome; however, what would normally be a mundane job proved to be a 2-hour endeavor in completely rebuilding the bracket and water filter valve; it had somehow gotten twisted and the filter cartridge would not fit!  This completed the very last chore on the list! But then wouldn’t you know it, when picking up the mail, the mailbox door was hanging by a single “thread”, as one of the hinges had popped loose.  It was off to Lowe’s for a new mailbox.  On the way home after punching the mailbox and stick-on lettering, I remembered buying a riveting took in the mid 1990s, and thought it would repair the old door hinge.  Back at the house, I found the old tool, collected other tools, and made my way to effect the repairs.  Wouldn’t you know it…while changing the size of the rivet mechanism, the tool fell into pieces with a key nut dropping to the street.  It was back to the house for a magnet, then back to near the mailbox where the nut was retrieved.  I took the mailbox off the post and back to the more controlled environment of the shop, where the rivet tool was rebuilt—no easy chore—and the mailbox repaired better than new, almost.  Once again, it was back down to the post for re-installation.  Whew!  Meanwhile, Kay reported in from Maumelle that Ridge had been sick with a stomach virus, and she, too, had gotten the bug and suffered symptoms late early Thursday morning.  After taking Karyn to the airport at 5:00 AM, she returned to the Adams’ house and kept Ridge for the day while they both convalesced.  

Rain was welcomed early Friday morning and continued until noon, yielding about 3/4 inch.  It was much needed and appreciated, and provided a day of rest.  Not wanting to infect Kaden before his taking the ACT on Saturday, she decided to cut her visit short and return home today, arriving shortly after lunch.

Refreshed and well, we ate breakfast Saturday morning at Mel’s Diner in Mountain Home for the first time in a couple of years.  The food was good, but we were shocked by the reduction in portions, about half of what we received last time we ate there—cost-cutting measures?  However, it was enough food, and we enjoyed the dining experience.  We drove to Lowe’s to return the new mailbox and lettering, and buy screening material for the patio door—an 18-month old toddler, Ridge, can play havoc opening and closing a screen door hundreds of times.  Anyway, maybe the new screen will last through Harper’s toddler time as we’re sure she’ll do the same thing.  But after all, they are grandkids and can do no wrong…  At the house, Kay began transplanting more ground cover, and I removed limbs overhanging the drive and a tree obstructing the view when exiting our driveway—seems our work never ceases.  At least we’ll have Saturdays off the rest of football season, as the University of Arkansas lost to Rutgers this afternoon, and has the beef of their schedule coming up.  

All in all, it was a good week, and the good Lord has blessed us with a great family, super friends, a good place to live, and talents, gifts, and physical ability to do the things we want and enjoy doing. 

(NOTE:  After reading the blog, one is probably led to believe that owning a motorhome, or any recreational vehicle requires a lot of work.  Actually, it doesn’t require  that much work; it’s just that it’s concentrated over a short period of time.  And our situation was compounded by the broken hood hinge and the inoperable BrakeBuddy, two anomalies rarely faced.  Otherwise, changing the oil, oil filter, air filter in both the motorhome and generator, and lubricating the motorhome is a one or two day job, once a year; not bad when you consider we drive about 5,000 miles a year, and live in the motorhome 6-months a year!)

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