Friday, January 18, 2013

This Whole Camper Thing…

            As usual getting the camper ready has been harder than we expected. We shouldn’t have been surprised nothing like this goes as easy as we would like it to, the perfect example being our bathroom remodel. But like every tough situation we find ourselves in we buckled down and got to work. Now I won’t take any credit for fixing the camper. My role has been mostly to reassure, and keep heads level. I am the interior decorator, and I will toot my own horn about that. Charlie has done an amazing amount of work to get the camper ready for our January trip. What we first thought was going to be an easy fix to seal a window turned into replacing most of a wall and then resealing a window. The sink didn’t pump and the propane didn’t work so all of that had to be replaced. There were lights that needing replacing and some cushions that needed some cleaning. I am happy to report that all his hard work has paid off and we are up and running. There were times when he hated that camper, but he prevailed. This is one of the reasons I love him so much. No matter how frustrated he gets he always gets the job done. I do the best I can to keep it all in perspective for both of us. We tend to get way ahead of ourselves when we get excited about something.
Meet Gladys yes I named my sewing maching.
Fabric for the "Dining room" curtains
            So now it is my turn to contribute to the camper. When we first got it I asked Charlie what I could do and he said sew curtains. Well shit… The last time that I sewed anything was in my 6th grade home economics class. Heartburn ensued. But I had to pull through. He had done so much and worked so hard that I could not screw this up. So I sat down with the Singer that I got from Mom last year for Christmas. We were going to become friends or I was going to sew my fingers together in the process. I read and reread the manual, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Then I had to wind the thread in a bobbin. It was one of the more anxious moments of my life. First you need at least an associates degree in engineering to thread the machine to even put the thread on the bobbin. Then you have to try to control your nervous foot as you press the pedal to wind the bobbin. Somehow I made it through that. Then I had to thread the needle. Again another degree to figure the thing out. Then you have to get the thread from the bottom of the machine to the top. At this point I was about to vomit, but 6th grade was starting to come back to me. So now that I had this damn thing threaded I had to get the fabric ready. Now in wanting to do all of this right I of course consulted pinterest and youtube, like any sane person would do. That’s when I realized that I would be doing two things that I kinda loath; laundry and ironing. Damn it. But I was going to do this right. So I washed the fabric and then ironed the whole thing. Next it was time to measure and cut the fabric. This is probably the most frustrating and nerve racking part of the whole thing for me. Well after a few attempts and several pricked fingers, I got all the fabric cut and pinned ready to roll. Then I remembered one thing I read about pressing the seams. Seriously I have to iron again?! Did I mention how much I just LOOOVE ironing? After a short-lived tantrum I set the iron up again and pressed the seams. I’m glad I did it made things so much easier.
Finished Dining Room curtains
The Bed Room curtains
            Here it was the moment I was waiting for. Time to actually use the sewing machine. Take another Pepcid, take a deep breath, and push the pedal right? Well that pedal is tricky. I pushed it gently at first and nothing happened, I pushed a little harder and the damn thing took off. It is a fine line between warp speed sewing and the 5mph sewing that I am more comfortable with. The first curtain looks a little sloppy I won’t lie, but it did get easier as I went along. Then I was on a roll. I also made a tablecloth! Take that 6th grade. In your face! Ok I’m gloating sorry. But as you can tell I had a really good time, all my fingers are still separate, and I am looking for my next project. No worries though you won’t see me on project runway, unless there is a curtains edition. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Thank Goodness that’s over with… Now on with the Quest

            So I had wanted to continue my post from last time about the craft room. I wanted to gloat about how proud I was of myself that I got it cleaned up and organized…then Christmas happened. No gloating here, the room is a mess! It was clean for about 2 hours though. So I guess there is some hope that I could get it straight again. So moving on.
What it looked like almost clean. Then
Christmas threw up in here. It's still
a freaking mess! One day it will be clean.
One of the many shadow boxes I made
for Christmas presents.

Now I am not a total scrooge but I am happy that Christmas is over. Well may be relieved a better word. It was a handmade Christmas for the most part so I have been a busy elf over the past few weeks. A lot of it revolved around the wedding; various shadow boxes and photo albums, and some of it food. Have to say I am kind of tired of looking at wedding photos. There are amazing but there were a lot. I am hoping that next year it will be more about food.
            This brings me to my latest obsession, Julia Child. A few months ago I broke down and bought myself a kindle, and the first book that I purchased, well the only one I bought, I'm cheap, was a biography on Julia Child “Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child” by Bob Spitz. I highly recommend this book. It could be life changing for me. Growing up I would catch her on PBS and always thought that she was pretty cool. I mean this huge woman and that voice. How could you not get sucked in? After watching her I would then run into the kitchen to then host my own cooking show that mostly involved pulling a bunch of pots, pans, spoons, and canned goods out and clanging them around. Thank goodness I couldn’t reach the knives.
            I never really appreciated cooking good food until I got older. And now there is no stopping me. This book is totally enthralling and has inspired me. She had such an amazing life. If this firefighter thing doesn’t work out I’m running away to Paris and devoting my life to food. The hubby is totally enabling this new and growing obsession. For Christmas he got me both volumes of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” Game on. Now I can’t say that I have lofty goals of cooking my way through the entirety both volumes but I do plan on reading them both cover to cover and giving it a go. Charlie isn’t the only enabler. My aunt and uncle sent me a cookbook filled with recipes from Maine. I also received some great pickling and canning cookbooks from my in-laws that will get put to great use, especially when we get the garden fired back up. The collection is growing, and I am running out of room in the kitchen to keep them. I am going to have to get creative in my storage or just add on to the house.
Here's our baby!
Inside needs updated.
But I can handle that 
            Now that Christmas is over and things have settled a little bit, Charlie and I have out pet project to work on. We bought a camper! A 1972 Serro Scotty pull behind camper. It is official! We’re now camping snobs. This is going to be like staying at the Hilton for us. Running water, a bed, and electricity! A big change from dehydrated food and sleeping pads. Now don’t think for a second that we are going to forget where we came from and not use those sleeping pads! This is a game changer for us though. Once we get her up and running, a lot more camping opportunities open up for us. Now there will be no more excuses of it’s going to rain, or it’s too cold, or it’s too hot. No excuses, except for maybe snow and ice, but those are only for safe traveling purposes. Though I am sure that Mr. Holland will push that limit too if given the chance.  I can’t wait to get it on the road. There are a few things that need to be done to it, but nothing too major that has to be done to it for us to start enjoying it. The 1972 interior is on the list to be updated. Surprisingly this thing is in really good condition. Some cleaning up and a few touches here and there and we are in business. Which brings me to “The Quest.” Now this was Charlie’s idea but I was on board immediately. So “The Quest” is to visit all, and camp in as many as possible of the state parks in VA next year. There are 35 of them. It’s gonna be a long year. I’m up for it though because it is going to be great fun. Especially since we can take the pups with us, to liven up the campground if it needs it. We all know they are good at that.

            Our first trip is coming up mid January. I’ll let you know how it goes…