Today was “V. E.” testing day (volunteer examiner) so a half-dozen members of our amateur radio club were at breakfast even earlier than usual. (Our club does not test volunteer examiners, we have members who volunteer to give amateur radio licensing exams to people who want to get or upgrade an amateur radio license.) We were later than usual and ended up at the far end of a very long table arrangement, as there was a large turnout, but that gave us a chance to chat with a different group of people.
Mike Sharpe (W8XH) had a flyer he printed on his mother’s car, a 2005 Ford Taurus in excellent condition with only 21,000 miles. He was asking $5,800 which is slightly below the suggested Blue Book value. I texted our son to see if they might be interested in the car. Linda and I both had Ford Taurus cars starting in 2000. I had a beige station wagon with a beige interior and Linda had a red sedan with a gray interior. Our children eventually ended up with these vehicles, Brendan with my car and Meghan with Linda’s.
Back at the house Linda made a shopping list and headed to the grocery store while I changed into my work clothes and got to work in the bus. My focus today was deconstructing the cabinet above the refrigerator. I could tell from the dimensions that it was probably a box-within-a-box, but did not know how it was built. I removed all of the carpeting from the inside surfaces, labeling the back of each piece in case I decided to reinstall them. With the carpet out it became obvious that the floor, sidewalls, and back of the cabinet could be removed as I could see the screws and angle brackets that held them in place.
The floor was in two side-to-side pieces which were narrow, each sidewall was a single piece, and the back was in two pieces. All of the pieces were sized to fit through the front openings in the face frame, a very clever design. There were cleats supporting the floor and spacing the back and side walls out from the larger permanent structure of the refrigerator alcove. The panels I removed served the dual purpose of getting the bottom and sides to line up with door openings and providing space to run wires while concealing them. Things got trickier after that.
The walnut face frame was assembled with glue and pocket screws. It had cleats along both rails and the two end stiles, all of which appeared to be glued and screwed to the face frame. In addition, the piece of walnut veneered plywood that separated the refrigerator space from the cabinet above was glued and screwed to the underside of the lower rail cleat. In other words, it was a solid and very professionally assembled cabinet. The bottom board was attached to the two sides with angle brackets and it appeared that I might be able to remove the face frame and bottom board once the side and top cleats and brackets were unscrewed. The top rail of the face frame, however, was tucked up behind some ceiling trim, preventing me from pulling the whole assembly straight out. I loosened the trim and found that pulling it straight out was probably not my best option. To get it out I would have to drop it straight down which will require the refrigerator to be out of the alcove.
The Aqua-Hot has been on with the thermostats set to 55 degrees F in case it got too cold. It was cool today so I turned the engine preheat pump on to warm up the main engine. When it was time for lunch I started the main engine and let it high idle while we ate. After we were done with lunch I moved the coach backwards (to release the brakes if they were bound up) and then forward enough to put the tires at a different spot. I set our electronic level on the centerline of the floor and then lowered the front and passenger side rear to level the coach. When I walked around it actually felt level, which it rarely did when trying to level off of one of the floor tiles or the kitchen counter.
I quit working around 2:30 PM as Linda was getting ready to prep ingredients for the risotto she planned to make for dinner and got cleaned up. I used to cook a lot but since we switched to a vegan diet Linda has done almost all of our cooking and, except for making coffee, tea, and popcorn, the kitchen has been her exclusive domain since she retired and we moved to the new house. But I offered to help and she agreed to let me so I diced an onion and five cloves of garlic while she sliced mushrooms and other things. By the time I was done I had about 40 minutes before Steve and Karen were due to arrive, so I updated my medical history for Root Canal Specialty Associates. I have a follow up visit with them in Wednesday.
Steve and Karen arrived at 4 PM and we settled in to conversation and munchies (they brought a mixed fruit salad, pistachios, and mixed nuts). We finished up the open bottle of Malvasia Bianca from Heart of the Desert Winery (Eagle Ranch) in Alamogordo, New Mexico. After chatting for a while about our respective winters—ours in the Southwest and theirs near Venice, Florida—we gave them a quick tour of the inside of the bus. It looks quite a bit different now compared to January 2014 when they spent a couple of nights in it at Williston Crossings RV Resort enroute to Venice, Florida. It will look even more different (hopefully) once we are done with the remodeling.
Linda eventually had to attend to the final preparations for dinner. Karen helped by stirring the mushroom risotto while Steve and I stayed out of their way chatting in the living room. Linda roasted refresh asparagus and sliced a baguette to go with the risotto. I opened a bottle of the 2013 Egri Merlot to go with dinner. Steve does not drink alcoholic beverages or coffee and Karen prefers drier red wines, but she seemed to enjoy the Merlot all the same.
The weather had been beautiful all day and we sat on the rear deck after dinner enjoying our last sips of wine. Once the sun dropped behind the trees it cooled off to the point where it was uncomfortable and we went back inside. I turned on the natural gas fireplace logs but left a window open which seemed to strike the right balance of temperature and mood. By 10:30 PM we had caught up on travels, families, and hobby interests. They had a 45 minute drive to get home and usually leave around that time. We had a long but very satisfying day and were quickly to bed once they were safely on their way home.