Entries to Win Afghan


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Winners are: 3rd place- e-book of your choice: Wendy Nystrom. 2nd place- book of your choice, paper or e-book: Sue Ann Crawford. Winner of the afghan: Elaine Hull.

Friday, September 22, 2017

My Trailer Redo - Days 29-49 - Stripping Round 1 Done!

 
The first phase of the stripping is 100% done! I thought I'd never get there.

fiberglass trailer

(Skip this part if you don't want the technical stuff.) Just for the record, I used almost exactly 1.5 gallons of Citristrip. In my opinion, it worked well. Some areas of paint came off with one application, some took two. This seemed to be related to the thickness of the paint, and how much it had degraded. However, the temperature also seemed to matter. I think the stripper worked best between 70 and 80 degrees. It definitely worked less well below 70. I left the stripper on for about an hour before scraping. It was usually dried in that time, but it had also soaked into the old paint. It didn't seem to soak in well at lower temperatures. If I left it longer than an hour it didn't seem to work better, but only took longer between coats. After each area was scraped, I wiped it down with mineral spirits.

I recommend buying as many plastic scrapers as you are willing to. They were only a buck each, but I'm cheap. I used 6. A better number would have been 8. Not only do they get dull, but the plastic actually softens. I was able to put a bit of an edge back on them, but it didn't help much because they got too flexible. I did like using a narrow one (1.5 inch) for tight curves. And I also used a kitchen scrubby for really tight places.

Getting this job done doesn't mean I'm anywhere near ready to paint. I have to finish filling those big holes with fiberglass, and there are a lot of dings to be smoothed out with filler. A final filler coat has to go over the bigger holes too.

fiberglass trailer

I also have to go over the whole thing at least one more time to remove the residue from this stripping. Lacquer thinner and a Scotch-brite pad were recommended. I tried a test patch and wasn't overwhelmed with the results. But that's something to figure out another day.

I'm also about ready to pull the windows and lights.

fiberglass trailer

Don't even ask how long this will take. It will take as long as it does. Some days the weather doesn't cooperate. Other days I'm just too tired after work. Today... Worked all day (but we did finish early), came home and did trailer stripping and wrote another 500 words of Dead Mule Swamp Druggist, and am headed back to work for the night in less than an hour. Energized is great, but eventually I crash.

It hasn't got much to do with the trailer, except that I was outside to see it... the sky was gorgeous!

sky

and I finished the trailer job just at sunset.

sunset

See 23-29, Half Stripped
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Swirly

 
The early evening sky was swirly with clouds (north).

clouds

Sunrise and sunset weren't too shabby either (east and west).

sunrise


sunset

I'm beat. That says it all for me. The sky just keeps on doing its beautiful things. I'm less consistent.



See Sky Show
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Zucchini Days

 
Today was pretty busy- work, shopping, stripping trailer, and a meeting this evening. Still hoping to write a little. I also made zucchini bread- two loaves. That used up half of the smaller one I had. Took some to the meeting. Somebody from work gave me a monster one today. I think a big batch of soup is going to happen. But not today.

zucchini bread

If you work with me, you'll be having Heather's soup and my bread for lunch tomorrow. Otherwise... too bad! Or you can come visit- I think someone is coming this weekend. Stay tuned.

More bread could go in the freezer for work snacks too.

See Quiet
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

36,37... Don't Ruffle My Feathers

 
Our feathers are permanently ruffled, so you can't make them any more so. We will just stand here in this corner and observe. Perhaps we have an attachment disorder.

metal flamingo

That would be really bad news, because flamingos need to be social, living in large groups, to breed successfully.

Over 20 different encounters, and now 37 flamingos. The series continues.

See flamingo posts
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Green Mansions

 
A few years ago, I came across a copy of a book at a rummage sale that I'd been wanting to re-read. The book is Green Mansions, by William Henry Hudson, published in 1904. Although he was an ornithologist and naturalist, and wrote many books, he is perhaps best remembered for this work. It was required reading in one of my high school English classes.

Green Mansions
And that brings me to why I wanted to read it again. It's certainly not my kind of book. Not then, not now. However, all I could remember from so long ago was the basic plot and that I found it strangely disturbing. There are only a few books that have ever left me with that kind of feeling. As an adult, I finally figured out that the stories that confused and troubled me this way were ones where I identified with more than one of the main characters.

Ever since I realized this, I'd been looking for a copy of Green Mansions. Found this one for a dollar!

I'm going to digress a minute to talk about the book itself. This is a Heritage Club reprint (1937) of a special book club edition. The Limited Edition Club was a subscription service created in 1929 by George Macy with only 1500 copies of each book printed. The Heritage Club offered more affordable reprints. The originals had stunning artwork, by famous artists. This book was illustrated by Miguel Covarrubias.

Green Mansions
Anyway, I wanted to find out if I would still react the same way to this book that I did as a young teenager. The answer is "no." Not at all. In fact, I had to force myself to finish the book.

I think back then I saw myself both as the explorer who wanted to search out the unknown parts of the jungle (not really the point of the first person protagonist- but I was too naive to "get it."), and as Rima the almost magical girl of the forest who could communicate with the animals, appear and disappear almost mystically, and who had no people, was unique. I think I somehow guessed that the story could not end well, but didn't understand why.

The style is flowery and romantic. Very much the style around 1900, but not so much a century later. It's the kind of book I can't really stand any more, where we hear every nuance of thought and emotion.

Even so, it will probably end up on my best books of the year list (that I haven't shared for a few years), because now it's disturbing for different reasons. It's all about lost love, and love that can never be fulfilled, and the death of innocence, and tragedies of non-acceptance. Classic literature is usually good for a reason, no matter the writing style.

It can be read online for free, at several sites that carry books that are out of copyright.

See Best Books of 2013
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