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GARDENCHRIS's Photo GARDENCHRIS Posts: 25,895
5/13/19 12:08 P

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Barb glad you made progress on your touring van, pictures would be nice to see. to me it sounds very daunting! I have to many questions, how do you keep up with bills, what about sleeping in areas your not feeling safe about, and on and on. you are an adventurer for sure !
How do you cook in your van.....




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GFNOMAD's Photo GFNOMAD Posts: 2,224
5/13/19 12:03 P

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I've made great progress on the van. Completed the cooler stand modifications so that the bin below slides easily now, completed the conversion of a fixed shelf to lift up so that I can use the dead space below (behind coller & cabinet) and added insulation to the back passenger wheel well area between the outside and inside metal. That should help with temperatureand noise. My last appts for physio and chiro before I go are this week so I need to complete the folding shelf today. What to attach it to is the problem.

As to the Apt Lobby door, it locks but may not close properly if not careful so we've been told to use the side door or one of the garage doors. Just inconvenient and annoying.

Catching up on questions and other stuff
Terri - It is easier doing my own cooking rather than eating in restaurants or cafes. I take a good pantry of basic with me.

Cathy, I stay in hostels when they are available and motels if they weather is cold or really bad and no hostels in the area.

Chris - I've collected rocks too in the past and still have some from the Tizine area of Switzerland, also one from the West Coast of BC with a huge oyster shell attached.

Edited by: GFNOMAD at: 5/13/2019 (13:27)
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5/13/19 6:18 A

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Carol, we got some folding trellis at Lowe's and put them in like a triangle---it isn't hard to train them to go up them and was just right---we put a plant on each side of it. I wouldn't use wire but twine would be good to string. I have seen where someone took an old baseball backscreen--that one uses in the yard---and put it in their garden bed for plants to grow up that. We have put twine at different levels for our peas to climb up.
GF, good finds----bet they got the rotisserie as a gift and just didn't want to bother with it. Hope you enjoy using it. Yikes to someone trying to break in to your building. Won't that mean that your building won't be safe for 3 weeks? How will you get in and out? HOpe you figure out the refit of your vehicle so that you can go off on your jaunt.
I got some of the pollen cleaned up on the front porch--but then the cats took over the item I wanted to sit on to clean other things so I gave up---LOL
Has turned cool and wet here for most of the week. I got 2 orange geraniums from church yesterday so won't plant them until next weekend when it is warmer. Also next weekend I will plant my vinca---glad they are not in the ground right now as they would not like the temps for this week.

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TERRIJ7's Photo TERRIJ7 Posts: 14,902
5/12/19 6:30 P

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I trellised my cucumbers right along with my pole beans last year. We planted in straw bales for the first time and Steve took 2 long PVC pipes and bent them into an arch and zip-tied them to some t-posts. We had some old field fence that he draped over the arch and connected with more zip ties. I just trained the vines to the fencing as soon as they got long enough to reach it.

Eventually, the cucumbers went in all kinds of directions but most of them went up. It was much easier to pick and the arch was shady once the pole beans took off.

Edited by: TERRIJ7 at: 5/12/2019 (18:31)
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5/12/19 5:43 P

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Chris, Nebraska is way different than Pennsylvania. We have no rocks in our yard!!! I can't send you any cool ones.

How do I get a farie? I hate dusting. The air here is very dusty\dirty.

We built small raised beds to garden in. Anybody ever trellis their cucmbers? How did you make the trellis? Can we put wire between 2 posts or does it need to be an A frame? How do you start them up the trellr?

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5/12/19 10:19 A

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Happy Mother's Day to you all. Enjoy your day! And Belated Happy Birthday Cathy!



Thanks for the great advice about the sheet. I used to throw everything into a box but that's what got me into so much trouble with the backlog of mess. Wax begonias really need particular places to do well and look good. When I lived in Vancouver where it was humid and never got too hot (20 years ago) they were useful in really shady places in the garden or in planters. I'm sure you know all that. It's far too hot and dry here in the south Okanagan.

We had someone or people trying to break into the entrance door of the building. The Lock people came but there was too much damage for them to fix it. The frame was broken and the whole door and intercom system has to be replaced. Now we can't use it fo 3 weeks until the new door is ready. When I saw the glass guys in the lobby, I took the opportunity to ask them about my windows frosting up in winter. They had a look and said some plugs were missiing. I was relieved to hear that it was something minor. Our windows aren't schedule to be replaced fo another 6 years.

I need some faires too. I need to dust every 3 days or so. There is so much more dust here than in the townhouse. Besides facing a street now, I realized last night that this is one of the reasons. The new laneway houses can be seen too. They are twice the size of the street facing houses on the same lots.


I had a frustrating time yesterday working on the changes to my van. I know what I want to do but can't figure out how to make it work. Ended up having to use a mitre saw to cut a brass screw off. They are too soft to handle removal more than once. I did make progress though.

There sure were a lot of large yard sales yesterday. I wasn't looking for anything in particular but I found had a lovely English teapot white china with pansies, barely and a Yonanas machine, each $5 and a Wolfgang Puck Convection/toaster oven with rotisserie (very large) for $20. That will go on the balcony for summer cooking. I love chicken cooked on the rotisserie. It looks like it has never been used.



Edited by: GFNOMAD at: 5/12/2019 (11:25)
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5/11/19 7:18 A

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Terri, if those fairies show up, leave them a note to head my way---LOL Yes, we went to Barbley's for dinner last night---brought home enough leftovers for dinner tonight. I haven't cooked all week---LOL
Chris---surprising how much dust from construction can get thru those barriers set up. Your rock collection sounds lovely. I have nice rocks from Lake Erie and some from the headwaters of the Mississippi but they aren't that colorful.
Had a lovely Birthday yesterday. Today I will go to the greenhouses for the last time this Spring. Not much left to sell so not sure how long I will be there.

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TERRIJ7's Photo TERRIJ7 Posts: 14,902
5/10/19 6:55 P

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Sounds like you're making good progress on the cleaning, Chris. I'm hoping the fairies will show up and clean mine while we work outside.

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GARDENCHRIS's Photo GARDENCHRIS Posts: 25,895
5/10/19 12:00 P

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more cleaning for me, living room is about 1/2 way done. changed the water 2x's yesterday from all the dust from the construction. I realized I collect interesting small rocks from all the places I have been to I try to remember and put a place on the underside so I remember. I have a few from Red Rock in Co. some from Germany I have a geode from someplace, a lot of interesting pieces and different colors



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5/10/19 10:36 A

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Are you going to the same family restaurant that you took us to when we were there, Cathy? Barbelli's or something like that...

Today, I want to run down the hill to Sacramento to look at a truck for Steve. It's at an auction place that I've followed for a couple of years now, and I've seen some good deals go through there as i watched the auction live on the internet. Now I'm actually here, so can go and check things out in person and see what I think. The boys might enjoy that. First, we have to drop the wire off at the dump and take Dad's truck back and get my car. I want to do this thing early so we can get home before the Friday traffic kicks in. It's a nightmare on Highway 50 on Fridays as all the city dwellers head toward the mountains and Lake Tahoe.

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5/10/19 5:52 A

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Chris, nice to get surprises like that.
Gf, as long as your projects are not in the way of the sinks, then just throw a sheet over them---afterall, it is your home and your projects and you shouldn't have to rush thru them for something like that---none of their business how your place looks inside. Hope you are able to figure out how to redo the inside of your vehicle so you can use it to camp. Will you occasionally stay in a hotel if the weather is bad?
Terri, woohoo to having good help with you this time. I think that you and Steve will always have ideas and plans----LOL
Still trying to figure out where to plant this plant---plus the teacher gave me hers---she lives with her parents right now and not into gardening.
Going out to dinner near my mom's old house---will drive by to see if anyone is living there now. My sister is going to meet us for dinner so that will be nice.

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5/10/19 1:43 A

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There is never an end to the projects at either of our houses and the ranch will be the same. Once we can get the others sold, it will only be the ranch and its endless opportunities for projects, ideas and improvements.

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GFNOMAD's Photo GFNOMAD Posts: 2,224
5/9/19 11:27 P

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Yes, it does Terri. I wanted to jump up & down, and did a little as well as a controlled whoo hoo when I got the rollup bamboo blind mounted on the patio doors and the screen moved without hindrance last night. Can't use nails and such on vinyl siding. I have to get creative. Still figuring out how to do stuff in this place.

It really does take a family to maintain a place like yours, especially with the extra precautions that must be taken now. We are headed for a drought this summer. Only 79% of the normal snow pack.

A notice was under my door when I got home this afternoon. They are flushing the kitchen drains and unfortunately I have an appt in another city the day of the work so I have to give my key to one of the council members. That means I need to clear up or finish all the projects on the go. My DR table, sofas and another table are covered with them.
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Edited by: GFNOMAD at: 5/10/2019 (10:09)
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GARDENCHRIS's Photo GARDENCHRIS Posts: 25,895
5/9/19 11:18 P

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I have had free squash in most summers from the compost bin, when I spread it around I sometimes get freebies!



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5/9/19 8:46 P

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It does feel good, Barb! But then, you know that because you always have so many neat projects yourself.

My grandsons are really getting a lot of difficult work done here in the canyon and it is improving the look and the defensible space for fire protection.

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5/9/19 10:27 A

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Cathy, a good thing to do - pollinating the squash. Glad you have plans to visit your friend especially since the family trip fell through.

Terri, it must feel really good to see things completed and you too Chris. You have your home back!

What a day yesterday! .We had a sudden warming - to 86F. Had to haul out the patio umbrella and bamboo blinds. The blinds needed a backing board so they would clear the screen properly. Fixed that and mounted them. A/C still to be unwrapped and fans set up.

I started working on the modifications to the passenger side of the van and ended up dismantling it all. Oh my! Nothing is even or square in a vehicle and I can't shave off bits of metal, lol. I have a new plan and will muddle through until it works. I have the brackets for a new folding shelf and I want to make use of dead spaces.

It's meeting day today at Guild. I finished the Blog post for last month's meeting and can report that it is published.

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5/9/19 6:10 A

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My deep cleaning starts with the front porch, the inside waits until I finish up with school---and I think I will be going away as soon as school is out so it will wait until I get back---LOL---going to visit my Sparkfriend Joy and probably be there for 2 or 3 weeks----we get into so much trouble together---all fun stuff! LOL
Michael got me two Mickey Mouse items for my garden----he knows him Mom so well---LOL
Also the school gave us a plant---not my favorite but I will plant it somewhere---it is a wax begonia with the dark leaves---I would have preferred the green leaves one, but even then I don't really care for them---but they are hardy plants.
My squash plants have blooms forming---I am going to take a feather to cross -pollinate them---have heard a bee buzzing out there but not taking a chance this year---I really want some of my own squash this year. Everything is growing nicely, too.

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5/9/19 12:39 A

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Ugh, I wrote the reply, then closed the wrong tab!!! All gone. Too tired. It will have to wait until tomorrow.
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GARDENCHRIS's Photo GARDENCHRIS Posts: 25,895
5/8/19 8:35 P

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Deep cleaning all the rooms, moving furniture and wiping EVERYTHING down. 3 rooms left



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TERRIJ7's Photo TERRIJ7 Posts: 14,902
5/8/19 4:10 P

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It really does! Now for the outside...

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5/7/19 6:13 A

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Bet everything looks so nice now.

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5/6/19 12:18 P

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Thanks for the advice for the succulent soil. I have mostly hen & chicks, but there is something else mixed in with them. I didn't really want to have to buy more soil, but will pick up a bag to make them happy.

Steve has one long wall on the kitchen to trim and that's the last of it. He'll be up on a ladder for that. Most of this trim has been to cover the places where the drywall comes up against the logs. It didn't bother me that much, but the realtor said it needed to look more finished. I agree that it does look nicer. The doorways were just never finished and that did bug me.

Edited by: TERRIJ7 at: 5/6/2019 (12:25)
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5/6/19 6:05 A

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Terri, the succulents will do better in cacti soil---you can find bags of that at Walmart and good gardening centers--they really don't like dirt all that much---although hens and chicks don't seem to mind it too much. Wish Steve was here to do the molding in my living room---LOL
I need to ask my son if he is going to build me new steps at the back door---otherwise we need to tighten up the railing that is there. I sure don't want my dh to build it---I want something safe and secure---LOL---he can help but that is all!

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5/5/19 2:48 P

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I think you've beat us all with your project, Chris! Barb is always doing something in her apartment and does most of it herself! I do some things, but mainly "coach" my prince while he works on our house. My skills are more toward sewing, knitting and gardening and all that goes with those things. I'm not a builder.

Carol is the one who's wondering about soil and growing things, but visiting the local nursery is an excellent idea. I love ours too!

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GARDENCHRIS's Photo GARDENCHRIS Posts: 25,895
5/5/19 11:17 A

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here I thought I was busy with all my house remodel projects! I need to step up my game!

Terri I would go to your local nursery and just wander and see what they sell and ask a lot of questions. have fun, i love my local nursery.



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5/5/19 10:42 A

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I'm in zone 8 at both houses and that knowledge has been helpful when buying fruit trees and bushes. I have 10 fruit trees in 5 gallon pots sitting in my driveway. They were bareroot when they arrived and are now doing well. All are leafed out and looking good. I also have 8 new blueberry plants in 1-gallon pots, half a dozen boysenberries and the 30 or so raspberry "volunteers" that I dug up from our patch. All are looking good and putting on new growth.

I'm not sure what the delay was, but Steve didn't get the door up yesterday. Instead, he finished all the small pieces of trim in our closet and bathroom and the guest room downstairs. Maybe he wanted to get those pieces up before he lost any of them. The rollers are now mounted onto the door and it's standing in the hall. He just needs to put up the wood piece for backing and then mount the rail to hang the door. Should be done today. There's one more place in the living room that needs to be covered with nice wood. It's behind a sofa and is where we had planned to build in a bench seat. That never happened, so now he's just going to put a nice finish on it instead.

I have some succulents to plant that my DIL1 gave me. I have some hollow logs that I saved when Steve cut down a hazard oak tree. I have three of them and will fill them with soil and plant the succulents in them. They won't last forever, but will look nice for a few years. I should probably do that this morning while it's cool. Then I need to get back upstairs and get more sewing done.

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5/5/19 10:41 A

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Carol, your sandbox is so much nicer than the plastic ones I see for sale all the time. Remember that it takes time for the eggshells to break down. I used them as a defence against slugs too.

Cathy, you've had qwuite the week. And yes, I did think of getting back home!

Terri, I'm impressed with Steve's progress! I always run into stupid problems.

I tried mounting the backboard for the miniblinds. There are no studs above the kitchen window, only at the outside edges!! What is going on with that? I think I can mount it on top of the molding. I'll try that today. I had 3 surprise projects this week that were not mine. Hopefully I can get back on track. Can't stand the mess of unfinished projects.

Spring has sprung here. It's so lovely to see all the tree , shrubs and bulbs flowering.

Barb in the South Okanagan of BC

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5/5/19 7:15 A

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Carol, the best advice might come from your neighbors or a nice garden center if you can't contact the Master Gardeners for your region. It would help to know what zone you are in as that makes a difference, too. Are you looking to plant perennials or just annuals for now?
Terri, looking forward to hearing what next project Steve will be tackling---that still sounds like a lot of trim work.
I did bring home 3 plants yesterday and got them planted before I collapsed on the couch to binge in Star Wars yesterday. One was a lantana plant that I put in a pot and 2 were Angelonia that I put in front of the big pots out front.

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GARDENCHRIS's Photo GARDENCHRIS Posts: 25,895
5/4/19 10:20 P

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What zone are you I'm in northern I'll zone 5



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5/4/19 8:02 P

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Got some great gardening tips just now reading the posts! I asked my hubby to start saving egg shells!

We starting digging the front flower bed space. The dirt here is amazing compared to PA! Anybody have any ideas on gardening in the mid-west? I'm sure it's way different than PA.

We finished the sandbox for the grands today. The whole family is pleased....which makes us happy!



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5/4/19 8:58 A

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We aren't grand travelers, but do enjoy camping. But I like to stay in one place to camp and explore from there. Hitting the road for weeks and weeks would be strange to me, but an adventure for sure and you'll definitely have the ability to stay longer in an area you find interesting. Barb, do you have any trouble eating along the way with your dietary needs?

Steve built the "barn" door for our pantry yesterday and got it stained. He hopes to get the last piece of trim up for the hardware to be mounted and then get the door hung. That will finish up that part of his trim project and then he's just got some in the master bedroom and bath to do--and one long wall in the kitchen. I think that will finish the trim in the house and then he'll move on to the next thing on the list.

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Just remember that you have to drive it back to get home---LOL----but it sounds like fun---just not the sleeping in your vehicle part of it. I am not a camper! I do put eggshells in the bottom of the tomato plant hole, but sometimes you just need a boost to them. And I scatter eggshells around all the plants to help with cutting bugs and slugs.
Had quite the day yesterday at school---bomb threat so we were evacuated and then had to walk to the Salvation Army camp to be safe---not really that far but quite the hike holding on to 2 autistic children to make sure they were calm and keeping up with the others. We spent about 2 hours there before having to walk back---but all but one of our kids were picked up at the Camp so just one to keep track of. Thankfully I had grabbed my drink when I came out---I was at lunch when it was called---I definitely needed fluid when we got there as it was in the 80's and the sun was hot. I walked 5 miles yesterday---and my legs are protesting it today.

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5/3/19 3:14 P

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That's a trip for sure!!



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Chris, from the South Okanagan of BC to Newfoundland and I would like to get to Labrador, a trip I have been talking about for 10 years. I consider it as a Canadian pilgrimage, lol.

I posted this tentative map in Mar or Apr. I might go through the States from the start to Regina or southern SK depending on circumstances when I leave. I've done the home to the West coast of Vancouver Island so many times, I think it's fair to start from the South Okanagan for this trip.



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5/3/19 12:13 P

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where are you planning to go this time?


as for the tomatoes, I put in this fertilizer specifically made for tomatoes in the hole when they get planted and of course they get covered with my compost. they are always delicious!



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5/3/19 11:00 A

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Cathy, that is good advice to Terri and Chris. I didn't know that calcium trick. Congratulations on the success of the Greenhouses. That's amazing! I love the way you're conserving water.

Chris, I've been following your progress on your Blog and the Team Wall. It reminds me of when I was doing home renovations many years ago but it went a lot slower than yours, lol. Regarding my trip, I'm doing it solo. This one is twice as long as my 60 day trip through BC, Alberta, the Yukon and Alaska in 2004 when I went to the Arctic Circle. That was in a 2003 Subaru Forester. Now I have a Transit Connect, the same length as a compact car but a high rooftop. I'll post a photo of the inside when I have it ready.

The building windows were washed yesterday. We had to remove the screens. When I got home, I opened the guest bdrm window wide open. The passage set wasn't fully installed so it was propped open. With the open windows, a pressure built up and the wind blew away the block and the door slammed shut right in front of me! Oh,No!!! I couldn't get the latch to catch no matter how much fiddling I did. In desperation, I finally called the fellow down the hall who has done bldg mgmt. As I was showing him the problem, the latch caught. Isn't it always the way. He tried installing the passage set but the screws were mismatched which is why I wasn't able to install it last fall. After he left I found the other parts, made everything match and installed it. At least I can cross that off the list.

I have my list of things to tackle today.

Edited by: GFNOMAD at: 5/3/2019 (16:28)
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5/3/19 10:52 A

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Good to know about the milk water. I dress my plants with my worm castings and they always have lots of eggshells in them for the calcium, but its probably not as accessible as the milk.

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Chris, just having the usuable space makes a difference and then you can decide what color to paint the bathroom.
Terri, good idea for Steve to hire a company to put up the rain gutters and maybe he should also do that for the front steps since they will be so high----that way you know it is done safely and can't come back on you about that.
Finally got some good rain last night---I was thinking we would need to water everything with the hose today with it being so hot but now we don't---we are on city water so we try not to water unless we absolutely have to---we hand water the veggies as much as possible as then the water goes directly to the plants. I did feed the tomato plants some milk water to give them a good start with calcium---just save a bit of milk in the jug and add water, then pour it on the tomatoes to get instant calcium to them.

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the contractor who did the kitchen hired all the "pros" electrical and plumbing from what I paid him and he took out the whole bath area and installed new bath area and shower doors for me. the walls still need to be primed and painted as does the ceiling, but right now it is not my priority! It is all usable just not finished. Getting the kitchen done first was the priority and then reclaiming the rest of the house from the mess.



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Congratulations on the Greenhouse sales and status! That's pretty amazing.

We're considering hiring some help with some of these projects here. Especially the rain gutters because they are HIGH and Steve isn't thrilled about being up there. I agree.

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Chris, congrats on getting your house back. Are you happy with the work? Are you doing the bathroom or still need a professional? I am glad we had most of the work done by a professional company in ours---the only thing I had to do was paint and decorate---LOL
GF, sounds like you are about ready to start---are you waiting until June?
I planted all my veggies on Tuesday night---nice to see things growing in the raised beds. It is too warm too early here but I can throw plastic over them if we should have a sudden drop. We have lots of cages and trellis in the raised beds if we have to,
We had a May Day celebration at the school greenhouses yesterday---we are now the Number One School Greenhouse program in the USA. Our sales just topped $100,000 for the school year---with the majority of it being in the Spring.

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So you guys sleeping in the van on this trip? Looks like your making it a livable space



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Yes, I'll be checking in. I have a poster up on my hall wall to write things down.
this is only my van list: LOL just so I remember



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You're in the right season for that deep cleaning, Chris. We're getting our house ready to sell, so will be doing a lot of that too--once he's done making a mess, that is.

Barb, will you be connected while on your trip? I'm hoping to hear about your travels as you go.

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emoticon Terri! I went all day without realizing it is a new month, lol.

emoticon Chris!

I don't know where the last week has gone but I had appts every day of the week. My snows are off and van serviced. Now to do the fixit's and start getting ready for my big trip across country. Still need to finish my kitchen though or at least get it presentable.

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Most everything is back to normal, the bathroom still needs work but it is functional, so not really on the priority list, now just the deep cleaning and calling someone in to deep clean the carpets



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Congratulations, Chris! That's got to be a good feeling.

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So glad I got my house back from the contractors, now the cleaning!



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April flew by.

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It's late in the day, but it looks like I got to it first. Can you believe we're already in the 5th month of the year?

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