Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Adding New Beds And Storage To Our Class B Motorhome

Mike and I are at it again.  We are getting ready to start traveling again and our motorhome needs some changes.  Our sofa/bed in the motorhome is not very comfortable so we decided to take it out and build our own.

Mike has an idea about making some big storage boxes and setting memory foam mattresses on top. He found 27 inch wide mattresses online so now the building begins.

Here is the original picture of our van long before any changes were made and we have made a lot, lol:

Working from the back doors we took out the sofa.which has always been removable, and disconnected the wires.  Mike also took out the carpet and the boxes that cover our rv wiring and the house battery:

The lovely carpet:

Our new carpet:

We laid the old carpet on top of the back of the new carpet and traced it.  Mike starts cutting it out:

While he does that I cleaned and vacuumed the back area of the van.  Next we put the new carpet inside:

We tucked the side edges under the walls and screwed the carpet in by the doors using the old bar.

Now it's time to make the boxes.  We still want to be able to use the van as a cargo van when we need it so we are going to build 4 separate boxes.  The two longs ones will be removable.  We start with the first box that will be installed over the wiring and wheel sell on the driver's side.  Mike takes the measurements and cuts the wood.  We used 1/2 inch plywood and many 2x2s.  The boxes will be the same height as the old wheel well covers but they will be 3 inches wider for our new mattresses.  After the wood is cut and the 2x2s screw in we have to add the carpet to the sides.  We went back and forth on this idea.  We could have painted the wood but we didn't think it would looks as nice.  We decided to carpet the sides just like Mike's days of doing custom work on cars back in the 70's.  So a little retro look.  Mike sprays the adhesive onto the outside of the box:

We put the box on top of the table and wrap the carpet around.  We used staples where we rolled it over the top of the box:

Adding the box and brackets to keep it stable:

After it is stable Mike cuts out the wood for the top of it and adds one hole for a finger grab.  Now for the hard part.  Mike has to spend a lot of time getting the electrical hooked back up.  He did a great job:)

Now for the next box.  Mike has to undo the wiring here:

We do the same thing for this box:

Nice….two down and two to go.  These two boxes are screwed in and also have brackets to hold them in place:

Building the frame for the first big box.  The one on the driver's side is 1 inch bigger because of the kitchen cabinets.  This one will be 27"x45" and will give us so much storage.   We actually have it backwards here but we are checking the fit.  The 3 braces will be on the back side since there won't be plywood on the back:

Mike adds the plywood to the box:

While I cut the carpet out:

We make the next box and set it inside…I am so excited to see it finished:

Everything fits so it's time to carpet the sides:

First box in and Mike adds and checks the top:

We get the last box carpeted and set in place.  Then I run to get the mattress.  THis is what we have been waiting for:

It is so much more comfortable than our old bed.  They are comfortable to sleep on and just wide enough for Mike and I to take a nap together, lol.  And look at the storage:

We had to make an "L" cut out in the new mattress and cover for it to fit around the "bathroom" wall area.  I was nervous about this as I was the one that had to sew it back together again.  Mike and I used a sharp razor to cut through the 4" memory foam and I did the best I could with needle and thread to sew the cover back together.  It may not be the prettiest, lol, but no one will ever see it.:)

View from the back of the van:

And looking toward the back:

The van looks so long now:

Mike also changed out the macerator pump and now is working on the bathroom faucet and moving our sewer and water lines.  He is making it easier to use and adding the switch for the macerator pump to the inside of the van.  He is going to use the "old" bed switch for that.

It's going to be like new…and we are very excited to start rving again.  We have some big plans this year:)

That is our latest…I will have to do some back stories to get caught up before we hit the road again.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Getting Ready For Shipping Containers, Remodeling the Kitchen and Bathroom, Time With The Granddaughter

Hello everyone and thank you for the well wishes for Mike.

Our first week back we were busy with Mike and moving things up to the house and basically get back to operational.  Now we can start the real projects and some fun.

Well…Mike has done it.  He has finally gotten my garden out of the backyard so he can take over.  He ordered two new shipping containers for who knows what, lol.  Boys and their toys.  I just hope we can get them up top.

In order for the shipping containers to be put on site we need to build a base/foundation for them  We will need 8 concrete blocks to set the corners on.  "I" moved the bags and mixed the concrete.  Mike was allowed(lol) to smooth the out:

Burning the last of my garden up top.  BTW, all my pressure treated wood rotted.

Of course we have one very special girl in our lives who has been driving us crazy to come and visit.  I picked her up one Saturday and we took her "recipe" book to the grocery store to shop for supplies.  Here she is making her Smores Drops:

And later on making Meatball subs:

Now it's het turn to teach me something.  She has been on a duct tape craft kick…so we are making duct tape bags…I ended up making one for my kindle:

And the next morning making breakfast for Nicole and AJ:

OK…had fun with the kids and now they are gone.  Time to get back to work.  Mike says it's time we had a little nice.  We normally do things for ourselves that are more functional.  The nice things are typically in the resales.  So we are going to make some changes to the house to make it more normal.  First up.  The washer/dryer situation needs to be fixed.  Right now they are in the spare bedroom.  We are going to take out the old closet in the bathroom and put it in there.  Just a couple of pictures taking out the old closet:

It is going to be a little involved since Mike will have to move the plumbing inside the wall for our new drain pipe, move gas lines, move our water filter, and close it all back up.  I will go back and forth with what we are doing.  As things come in or people show up our jobs will change.

And to show this:)  Here is our delivery truck of gravel.  We need to set the shipping containers on top of the gravel and we will have parking in the middle.  It's always interesting to watch trucks make it up our driveway:

Mike spreading out the gravel:

The project I am looking most forward to is my kitchen changes.  We went back and forth and I decided that my cabinets are fine but I would love an island.  My counter is in rough shape and needs to be changed out.  I am also considering a new stove with more burners:)

We ordered the countertops but we were able to get a match for my island cabinets:)

I know it is not finished yet but we will get there.  I just couldn't wait to get it into place:)

That was just a quick update.  We will have a mix of things going on this year.  Projects, kids, and even some traveling:)

Enjoy your day!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Catching Up From Florida To Tennessee

Wow…so much has been happening with Mike and I.  To say the least it has been a very busy spring for us.  We spent the winter at our beautiful lake house in Florida but sadly we never felt like it was home.  We decided to try and sell it and go from there.  To our surprise we sold it very quickly and then we had to hustle to get all the new furniture and all of our belongings packed up and moved and back to Tennessee.

We did our usual planning and preparing for the "big" move.  We sold the boat, sold the pool table, had numerous sales at the big flea market about an hour away, and reserved the moving truck etc.  It was a bit overwhelming and then on top of that three weeks before our closing date Mike hurt his back.  Since he did not have a doctor there he went to a chiropractor for 4 visits with no relief.  So it was bed rest and ice packs for him….and no lifting.  X-rays showed a herniated disc.  Not good.  Now the packing was left to me and we weren't sure if he could drive the moving truck.  Forget about packing the furniture.  I found a company that said they could load the truck for us.  As the time grew closer and Mike was no better I asked if they could drive our rental truck towing the trailer with the lawn mower and unload for us in Tennessee.  This is the first time that we have ever had to rely on others so much to help us…and it was extremely nerve racking.  And for the good part…we lucked out with the company we chose to help us.  I got most of our things packed up in the house and Mike was able to help with the lighter stuff.  We were able to get the truck rental the day before the moving crew was coming so we had time to wrap the furniture with the blankets.

The crew came on a saturday and loaded the truck for us.  They kept the truck overnight to give us time to get back home before them.  Mike tried to drive but his back locked up after an hour so he laid down for the remainder of the trip.  Nicole checked on the house before we got home and her and Ella picked up the sticks on the driveway for us.  Thankfully everything was OK.  Mike and I got home very late on sunday night/monday morning.  We got the house back online and went to bed, lol.

Monday late afternoon the truck arrived with all of our things and the 2 young men unloaded at the store for us.  The store saved us again.  Nicole and Ella also helped and we made sure Mike didn't lift anything.  After that we returned the rental truck, dropped the two men at a hotel and they drove back to Florida in a rental car tuesday morning.  It was a very good experience and they told us they would drive up and help us move again if we ever needed it.

That was April 4th…oh and then the real fun began…not.  That week we got Mike in to see our doctor.  While he was waiting to be seen his back locked up and he couldn't stand up.  At that point we had no choice but to call an ambulance and get him into the emergency room.  They did different tests, helped him with the pain and finally released him the next day when he could get out of bed on his own.  He was given steroid medication and was scheduled for a follow up 2 weeks later.  Back home I made him rest but the medicine was giving him energy and making him feel better(yes it was masking it all).  Anyway at the time Mike's mind was on fire with plans and ideas.  Now that he had his tools back home he wanted to do some projects.  Last summer his tools were in Florida and Mike being separated from his tools is not a good thing.  He has plans for a kitchen reno, new shipping containers, and bathroom remodel…and more.  We will see how this all works out.

We started with the easy things like my garden.  I am tired of fighting with the animals eating my garden so we decided to use a dog kennel with extra panels to give me a 10x20 garden.  But first we had to tear out my old garden.  We got the old falling down fence down:

Mike was able to scrape up the grass in my old "out front" garden area:

And then we picked up the cage panels.  We laid them on buckets as we plan to paint the bottoms with a rubber coating before we install them.  Too many of these cages rust from sitting on the ground.  We hope to prevent that:

Scraping the dirt from my old garden:

Mike doing a little work but being careful.  Of course Niki is right in the middle:)

We have been home for 2 1/2 months now and almost all of our projects have been completed.  As the weeks progress I will post what we have done and get you caught up.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Making A Recipe Book For The Girls

So much has been going on for the past few months but for now let me start with the recipe books that I made for my granddaughter and one of my nieces.  Both of these girls love to cook and I started working on books for each of them while Mike and I were in Florida.

I tried to find recipes that I thought each of them would like.  Then I printed the recipes and added pictures to each recipe.  I used sheet protectors for each recipe and inserted them into a binder (colored accordingly….pink for my granddaughter and purple for my niece). This way as they try the recipes they can keep them in the book or take them out.  They can also add new ones or I can give them new ones on their birthdays.

This is what my granddaughter's book looks like:

The index and coded for each category:


And just a few of her recipes:

On the weekends when I pick up Ella we take her book to the grocery store to buy ingredients for a recipe or two.  She has been working her way through the book and can now make some good recipes on her own.

When I go up to NY I will do the same for my niece.  We take over my mother in law's kitchen every time I visit.

I know I would have loved to have a recipe book like this when I was young…heck I'm in the process of making one for myself right now.  It took me awhile to make the books and I told both girls don't ever throw them out.  I will take them back and use them before that happens, lol.

I thought this was a good idea for two girls who really like learning to cook.  Now I have future gifts for them that I know they will like.  It's also a great way to make a book of your favorites or tried and true recipes.

Until next week…...