Friday, September 23, 2011

Where’s the remote?

When we bought our re-possessed Phaeton we were well aware it was missing a few items. The TV and surround sound speakers were intact but we needed to buy a DVD player and receiver and we decided to update the TV in the living room as well. Turns out that the buying was the easy part.


Sorry honey, Wish I could help but somebody’s gotta take these pictures!

This is what the new one looked like, just a bit wider but there was about a 6” gap at the bottom. No problem, being the ‘decorating disaster’ that I am I filled it with artificial flowers!
(Thanks Mom).

Enter My Handsome Handyman . . . a.k.a. The Cowboy

Red Green says something like ‘If women don’t find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy’. How lucky am I to have both!


On the new portable work top you can see the frame with one of the hinges sitting on it.
Measure twice – Cut once.

Now the frame, the door and a small piece of trim, that will fit above the TV, have all received a coat of stain. Yup!  Much like watching paint dry.


After a coat of varathane the frame is installed.
Now for the door and hardware.


It’s difficult to see in the photo but the door has been routed, (routered?) to give it a nice finished look.



Great place for holding the remotes, some of my camera equipment and other electronic gadgets.
Everyone says it looks like it’s been there all along.
Ending note: When The Cowboy installed the new set he set it up on an arm that swivels the TV to the side. Again, it’s hard to see in this picture but that is all empty space behind. More storage, for perhaps, CD’s & DVD’s ?
So for today I think it’s only appropriate sign off with Red Green’s Prayer.
Lord. . . . I . . . . can . . . . change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
if . . . . I . . . . have . . . . to.

A new loveseat for our love nest

One of the major tasks we took on was to change out the huge recliner that was not functional to our life style but also took up valuable real estate in the salon.

living area

Originally, there was a short J-lounge in that space and that’s what we were hoping to find.

There were other items we needed so we justified our trip to Elkhart, Indiana, the RV capital of the US. Every RV’er we know has been to Elkhart and probably stayed at Elkhart Campground and most likely ran into someone they knew.



We found this which was really close to what we wanted but did I mention that we didn’t want to spend $1,000?



I Love to tell this story: When we found this ugly, blue fabric, used bench at RV Surplus The Cowboy wasn’t exactly pleased until Trina & I talked him into by pointing out that it was in great shape and could be reupholstered.

I said: We can have it recovered.

He heard: Oh, The Princess can recover it!

50 bucks – SOLD!

While I have done some minor upholstery jobs in my lifetime it had been quite a while (probably 30 some years ago) and it was my intention to hire a professional for this major undertaking. After all it was quite a large piece of furniture that would be placed, very prominently, in our home.

Armed with a swatch of fabric from our sofa we hit another surplus store where we found some very nice bone leather that would match perfectly. The price was right at $9 at yard.

I also picked up this fabric – just because it was all the right colours and I knew I would use it somewhere – either for covering cushions or some other accessory.

Also because it had leaves in the pattern and it was only 50 cents a yard:



It was only 22” wide but I bought 10 yards so I would have enough to do something with.

(I would be thankful later that I made this purchase.)


Starting with the removal of all of the original coverings that was secured with at least a million (plus or minus a few) large staples it looked like this:


I quickly became good friends with these tools. That little blue crow bar is definitely my favourite.


Still not convinced that I was going to tackle this job I soldiered on.






I laid out the pieces on the leather as a template and then I pondered.







I checked my phone for missed calls.

I checked my email for messages.

Took a break.

Checked phone again.

Changed the ring tone.

Made sure my contacts were still in alphabetical order.

All good!

Cleaned up my work area.

Why doesn’t anyone call me?

I did everything I could think of to avoid putting those scissors to that fabric.

It was about this time that Lyle, my father-in-law, stopped by and suggested that I call a family friend that does upholstery work. While she’s not a professional she does very nice work. She had recovered the motor cover and boat seats in the boat and did a wonderful job. I practically ran to my phone. Sorry if you were trying to call me then . . . I was on a mission!

Long story short – she politely turned me down with her own personal reasons but she did convince me that I had the ability and she boosted my confidence enough that I relented. She did give me a couple of good pointers and I decided I would tackle the seat cushion which was a separate piece and a small part of the project.

I don’t have any photos of the progress I was or wasn’t making, after all, I was busy.

Trust me, it wasn’t a pretty picture. There was sewing, ripping out, cursing, re-sewing, stapling, cursing, re-stapling and more cursing. We had decided to incorporate piping around the edges which gives a nice finished look. I made the piping with the same fabric which meant that, at times, I was sewing through 4 layers of leather. More cursing.

Thank Goodness, I don’t have much pride Be right back and took The Cowboy up on one of his many offers to help and he stepped in. Who am I kidding? He did most of the pulling and stapling once the pieces were cut and sewn where needed. It takes a lot of strength to pull the fabric taut and I couldn’t have done this without him.

I did misjudge one of the pieces and cut it too small so I was thankful I had picked up the other matching fabric. It’s the piece that covers the arm and runs along the back of the bench but it blended nicely.

It did come together quite nicely eventually but the story doesn’t end here.

Unsuspectingly, friends of ours here in the park, Jay & Vicki stopped over for coffee and a visit. Little did they know.

Conversation lead around to . . . It was time to remove that big recliner out of the motorhome to make room for our new love seat.

Removing the heavy recliner was a cinch for these 2 strong men.

The fun really started when it was time to put the new piece in.


It wouldn’t fit through the door. Well! Who would have thought to measure that?  Disappointed smile


It really only needed a couple more inches.


This is The Cowboy removing the inside door . . .


and hand rails. . .


and Neighbour Nancy relaxing after all that work!

Today I’m grateful for blue skies, blue tools and blue streaks.

Saturday, September 10, 2011



Early morning dew hanging in the air as anxious shoppers stand in line at 7:45 AM waiting for the doors to open to the annual Extravaganza.

What was I doing there? I’m not sure either but I found myself in line just like everyone else until I found it would be another hour and fifteen minutes before the doors opened . . . then I turned around to see the people behind me and knew I wasn’t leaving my spot now!


Each year the Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital Volunteers Association collect donations and holds the ‘granddaddy’ of all yard sales.  This is their 36th annual sale and I knew there were treasures in there just waiting for me (and the hundreds of other people).

Once the doors opened the mob moved very quickly inside.


Good to know some of Ontario’s finest were on hand  . . . just never know when a shopping riot will break out!






The Special Event Centre offers up about 62,000 sq. ft. and it was packed. I was really impressed with the organization and layout.




Several bake tables offering all kinds of goodies.





Everything including Crafts & Household Items, Electronics, Books, Toys & Antiques.

Prices ranged from Free to $5.00 for most of the smaller items.


You could fill a huge bag of assorted used clothing for $5.00 or bid on larger items in the Silent Auction.

They held a sale on the Thursday evening prior to the Saturday sale of furniture and larger kitchen appliances.

Several came prepared with trailers and trucks to haul their findings home.




The friendly volunteers, and there must have been hundreds, were extremely helpful.




The Girl Guides even got in on the act offering banana boxes with ropes for shoppers to tote their treasures around – for a donation.

Other commitments in my life kept me on the go all day but I did manage to make a second trip back. They reduce their prices drastically as the day wears on.

These are a few of the treasures that I brought home.







A nestled set of 3 ceramic planters, a leafy terra-cotta planter, a squirrel-proof bird feeder & a water fountain. The ceramic hummingbird feeder was brand new & still in the box. Total for the above $10.50. I Love a bargain!

We had just recently found out that we now have a permanent site here at the park so next spring we can start decorating outside!

Today I’m grateful for all those people who donate their time and their cast-offs to such a worthy cause.

Trillium Court Pork BBQ

Another of the activities held here at the park is the annual pork barbeque. Sadly, this marks the final event of the year.


Big Thanks to owners Marjorie & Earl for supplying the meat.

Wonderful aromas drifted through the park and the meat was moist and tender and tasted just as good as it smelled.

The rest of us pot lucked it! We love pot lucks! That’s when everyone brings their specialties.


Slow cookers filled with beans or meat balls, every type of salad, devilled eggs and tons of home made desserts spread over 5 large tables.



Our dinner companions for the evening were:


Rick Bolton & his wife Marion have had a seasonal trailer here for about 19 years. They are parked right next door to Al & Marian (behind Rick in the pic). I actually knew Rick previously from my career life. It’s a very small world.


These smiles were actually prompted by . . . believe it or not . . . this guy:


Jay Elliott who worked with the Cowboy back in the 70’s and has remained friends of ours since then.



Jay & Vicki have had a trailer here for about 12 years. Their site is directly across from the previous two couples.




Marion Bolton – helping organize all that wonderful food.



Great Job Everyone! Well Done!

And when we thought everyone had finished eating . . .


Nancy didn’t realize that anyone was watching as she tried to steal some of the crispy cracklin’s from the pork roast.


Busted !!!!


Oops! Sorry Nancy . . . I promise not to tell a soul!

After waddling back to our site Nancy & Sandy joined us for an ‘after dinner’ glass of wine. Our relaxing time was cut short when Nancy remember a little project. She had bought a new lamp for her lake home and it needed to be assembled.



This picnic table has seen many projects completed, gallons of coffee drank and a little bit of wine consumed too.









It’s difficult to see the details in this photos but there is a pine tree and a moose at the metal base of the lamp and the shade is trimmed with leather laces.

During the time of this major assembly our friends John & Patti Hill from Tillsonburg texted and asked if we were up to some company. Well, of course we were so the evening ended with great campfire that Patti tended to and a wonderful visit with them.

DSC_0012There is absolutely nothing that warms my heart more than this  . . . . . .  Our new friends meeting our old friends.

Patti also brought me this beautiful rose


How gorgeous is that?

Today I have so much in my life to be grateful for.

Thank You God.


Following my little shopping spree several other commitments kept me on the go all that day.

An afternoon graveside ceremony for my SIL Carol’s mother was my priority for the day. Before the ceremony I made a trip to her home to drop off a salad and sandwiches for the gathering of family & friends invited back to her place after the small, private ceremony.

On my way to another errand I found myself driving by pretty Lake Lisgar and noticed several people at some sort of activity. Then I noticed some miniature sail boats on the lake. Muttering to myself: Man, if I wasn't in such a rush and so busy I’d have time to check that out – and yes it was all about Me!

Having checked off another item on my list and driving past the lake again to the other end of town – to get my nails done *embarrassed*  I decided I could take time out of my busy schedule, quickly stop by and shoot a couple of photos.
















The other attraction at the park were these guys:



Clicking away and feeling some of the anxiety melt away in the serenity of the park


I noticed that the ducks were all heading inland.They were definitely on a mission:


Apparently they recognized this lady as soon as she pulled in the parking lot with a big bag of corn in the back of her truck.



Her name is Lynette and this selfless lady tries to visit the park every day to feed the ducks.






She echoed my very own thoughts when she mentioned that she felt like the Pied Piper





We had a great conversation and I walked away from there, not only with tears in my eyes but with a whole different attitude than I started out with.



These photos are not all that I left with that day. Tags: ,