Monthly Archives: October 2022
We prefer to stop at travel centers such as Love’s, etc. when we are on the road. Naturally, the signs for “Mom approved restrooms” at the Sapp Bros. travel center in Wyoming caught our attention and the reality did not disappoint. Around here, folks make a big deal about Buc-ees; in my opinion, Buc-ees doesn’t hold a candle to Sapp Bros.
“You’re doing it backwards.”
I am right-handed. No big surprise there since it’s estimated that 90% of the population is right-handed. However, I am somewhat ambidextrous and there are many random things that I do left-handed. I don’t really pay attention to what those things are until something or someone calls my attention to it. The first time I remember this happening was when I began working my first part-time job at a fast food restaurant in my teens. Let’s face it, wrapping a sandwich in a paper wrapper isn’t rocket science. My trainer showed me the correct wrapping procedure and had me emulate him. He then cocked his head at me and furrowed his brow. “Do that again,” he instructed. I did it again. “You’re doing it backwards,” was his determination. Backwards? How could I possibly be wrapping a sandwich backwards? After some experimentation, we realized that I was wrapping them left-handed as opposed to his right-handed method.
Random things I do left-handed:
- Wrapping sandwiches
- Dealing cards
- Counting money
- Opening screw-top bottles and jars and pop-tab cans
- Opening doors
- Counting weevil larvae
Wait, counting weevil larvae? Yes, dear reader, you read that correctly.
Since my new part-time job involves working for an entomologist, bugs are always a possibility. Currently, once a week, I hand-count a few thousand weevil larvae. (Exciting, right?) About halfway through the process the mild arthritis in my left shoulder reminds me that counting is something I do left-handed. Kenn would tell me to just switch to counting right-handed, but that wouldn’t work. Trying to count larvae (or anything actually) right-handed would just take longer and result in many dropped weevils. I’ll just be taking ibuprofen on weevil counting days, LOL.
So, are you right or left-handed? Are you ambidextrous?
For the first time, Kenn planted a small garden this year. Some things didn’t do very well, but we did get a few bell peppers and the tomatoes are still coming in. However, we’ve learned the hard way that we can’t leave tomatoes sitting on the kitchen counter to finish ripening. Nyx, our black cat, has a weird obsession with them. Any tomato left unguarded will, at the very least, develop teeth marks – if it doesn’t completely disappear.
Earlier this week I showered while Kenn cooked supper. When I came downstairs to set the table, etc. he told me that he’d brought in three tomatoes. He turned his back for a minute and all three were gone. He managed to find two of them (one was in the garbage disposal) but one was still missing in action. I didn’t find the third one until I went downstairs to play video games. The remains of the third tomato were at the base of the stairs.
Our cats definitely keep life interesting, LOL!
‘Tis the Season. Not.
I. Love. Christmas. It is by far my favorite holiday. While I detest shopping for myself, I love shopping for the perfect gifts/stocking stuffers for my family members. That said, I am not mentally prepared to be bombarded with Christmas decorations as soon as I enter a store. (I’m looking at you, Walmart.) Where’s the Halloween? Where’s the Thanksgiving? *squints* Oh, yeah. They’re wedged into that corner over there. (Insert biggest of eye rolls)
And don’t even get me started on Christmas music. Once again, I love Christmas music. My Christmas CDs come out the day after Thanksgiving. Christmas music in October just makes me angry, LOL. At least I’ve managed to avoid the cinnamon brooms that come out this time of year; they give me a terrible headache.
Even though I’m anti-Christmas-decorations-in-October, there’s a part of me that’s starting to get a little panicky about the fact that I haven’t started shopping for stocking stuffers yet. I’ve even got two new family members to shop for. (Note to self: buy Christmas stockings for the twins.) True, the twins will only be 10.5 months old at Christmas so they won’t care, but it matters to me!
What’s your biggest holiday pet peeve?
When Cricket was a kitten we had to hide the toilet paper in all bathrooms because any roll left out would get shredded within an inch of its life. She eventually outgrew that particular obsession, but even now, as a senior kitty, occasionally the old urges return. Here, she is sleeping the sleep of the righteous after destroying the paper that was in the box with my new work boots.
The Great Drawer Dilemma
Owning a travel trailer comes with all of the joys and pains that go along with traditional home ownership. However, unlike a traditional home, the travel trailer bounces around which puts unique stresses on everything. One of the things that drove our decision to purchase our Micro Lite 21FBRS was the amount of storage – especially in the kitchen. In addition to two small drawers for utensils and such, there are two deep drawers perfect for holding pots and pans and other larger miscellany. However, those large drawers have been problematic from the beginning.
Opening a drawer in your traditional home is simple, you place your hand on the drawer knob and pull. Easy peasy. Opening a drawer in a travel trailer requires a bit of a tug; that extra bit of tension is required in order to (usually) keep the drawers from bouncing open when on the road. Early into our travels with Serenity (our 21FBRS) I kept finding pieces of “stuff” in the bottom drawer. Obviously, something was malfunctioning, but what? The what became clearer when the top drawer got harder and harder to open. It turned out that the drawer slide on the top drawer was failing and that where the random pieces were coming from. Kenn replaced the drawer slide and we thought that was that. Wrong.
During one of our last trips, I was getting ready to cook supper but I couldn’t get the bottom drawer open. Without the pots and pans in that drawer, no cooking transpires. I assumed something in the drawer had shifted, preventing it from opening. Wrong again.
It turned out that the bottom of the drawer had collapsed. We had to remove the top drawer in order to empty the bottom drawer and then wrestle it out of the cabinet. In order to save weight, many drawers and such in travel trailers and rvs are made from thin wood veneers; while these materials are lighter, they aren’t always sturdy. Kenn has already replaced the “floor” of the closet next to our fridge because it broke during my month-long stay in SC earlier this year.
Rather than tack the chintzy bottom of the drawer back in place, Kenn decided to just rebuild the entire drawer out of plywood. Once that was done he decided to go ahead and rebuild the other drawer as well instead of waiting for it to fail at some future date. While the new and improved drawers should last for years to come they have created issues of their own. Due to the increased weight of the drawers, new slides were required along with some sort of mechanism to keep the drawers closed while traveling.
The first device Kenn purchased to secure the drawers didn’t work out, but we had a weekend trip planned. As a temporary alternative he installed some childproof/cat proof latches of the same type we use on our kitchen cabinets in The Cabin. (Our kids are grown, but Nyx, our black cat, is fixated on the kitchen cabinets and refuses to leave them alone.) However, the latches were not strong enough to contain the drawers. Fortunately, we always stop a few miles from the house to attach the weight distribution hitch so we discovered the problem with the latches early on. Cue the arguing.
If you want to stress test your marriage, or if you just like stress, buy a travel trailer! I’m convinced that getting a camper backed into a site has led to the demise of more than one marriage. Kenn and I don’t argue much, but when we do it’s more than likely going to deal with navigation or something to do with the travel trailer. When we discovered that the existing latches weren’t going to keep the drawers secured, my recommendation was to just remove the drawers, leaving the contents in place, and put them in the bed of the truck. Kenn wanted to use bungee cords to secure the drawers to the faucet. This was a big NOPE from me. One of the first thing we did after buying Serenity was to replace the default kitchen faucet with a nice gooseneck faucet with a pull-down sprayer. I didn’t want to get several miles down the road only to find that not only were the drawers not secure but that we also had to replace the faucet. Basically, I wanted to err on the side of caution. After several rounds of both of us repeating ourselves, Kenn emptied the drawer contents into a container and then stored the container and the drawers in the bed of the truck. This in turn was followed by several uncomfortable hours of little to no communication. You’d think after thirty-six years of marriage, we would have learned how to argue. Not so much.
A permanent solution for securing the drawers is still in the works. Kenn has some industrial strength magnets on order so we’ll find out how well those work on our next trip. Once the drawer issue is resolved we need to figure out why the oven door insists on being cattywampus and why the stove burners keep falling off.
How do you keep disagreements from turning into arguments/pouting?