We were up at 8 AM and I made a pot of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe half-caff coffee while Linda got breakfast ready. She made a batch of granola yesterday so we had some with fresh blueberries and unsweetened soy milk. It’s our standard breakfast, but that’s because we like it so much. She had an e-mail from Robin at the bakery and had to deal with some issues related to the bakery’s new account, The University of Michigan Ann Arbor. As I do most mornings I sat in the living room working on my iPad, drinking my coffee, and paying attention to our two cats.
Being Tuesday Linda had a date with Diane to walk at 10 AM and left at 9:30 for Kensington Metropark. I continued working on my iPad for a while and enjoying my coffee. At 10:15 AM I called the Livingston County Sheriff and reported the mailbox incident from late Friday evening /early Saturday morning. Shelby took the call, was very nice, said she was not aware of any other mailbox reports, but would pass the info along to the Desk Sargent. I checked my e-mail and confirmed with Harvey for Friday at 10 AM to move the old bus refrigerator. I finally went out to work on the floor of the bus at 11 AM, by which time the outside air temperature was already in the 80’s.
I leave three of the awning style windows in the bus open a few inches so it doesn’t get too hot inside. I opened all three roof vents, turned on their ceiling fans, and set them to exhaust air rather than draw it in. I also left the entrance door open to allow more air to flow through the inside of the coach. I then sanded and vacuumed until about 1 PM. When I came back in the house I had two missed calls from Michele Henry of Phoenix Paint so I called her back. I was on the phone with her when Linda got back from her walk.
Once I wrapped up the call with Michele we had a light lunch of hummus with pita chips and both black and red grapes. While we were eating we were entertained by a gray squirrel who had gotten onto the bird feeder and was hanging upside down by its hind legs. It would curl its body to bring its mouth up to the bottom of the feeder, emancipate some seed, and then uncurl to the more relaxed stretched out position and eat it. All of this was also being watched with both interest and considerable skepticism by three crows who were hanging around on the ground under the feeder. They grabbed seeds that the squirrel dropped but seemed very wary of it, which surprised us. I speculated that perhaps they had never seen a squirrel behave in this way and were, therefore, understandably and appropriately cautious; crows are very smart, after all.
After lunch we took the three wallpaper sample books to the bus to look at them with the woodwork. Before we could do that, however, we discovered a small bird trapped in the coach and had to deal with it. I say “trapped” because it was up on the dashboard and obviously confused by the windshields as it kept trying to fly out through them. It did not realize it could get out the same way it came in, through the open door.
The bird seemed small and I think it was an immature sparrow but I’m not sure. It was seeking safe shelter in the space between the dashboard cover and the lower driver side windshield. I used a broom to try to gently encourage it to fly towards the door but it was understandably suspicious of my good intentions. I put on a pair of canvas work gloves and it allowed me to gently pick it up. I tried to release it at the door opening and it flew into the door causing Linda to make a comment about why we use the phrase “bird-brained.” I caught it again, got outside the bus clear of the door, and tossed it gently away from the bus. It immediately took flight and flew off to the southwest, apparently none the worse for its ordeal. I can only image the story it told the other birds.
I got a piece of the Armstrong Alterna Luxury Vinyl floor tile from the garage. Many of the wallpapers that we thought would look good with the floor tile turned out to be too yellow, and most of the ones with good color tone were too dark, but we found a few that we liked. Those tended to be lighter without a lot of pattern and a neutral, off-white color. We are, however, far from a final choice as we do not currently have a sample of the Lambright Notion Linen upholstery fabric or the MCD night shade material and the wallpaper has to work with all of these simultaneously.
We measured the areas that need to be repapered and in the process decided that we would leave the old wallpaper on the inner wall of the hallway, at least for now. (The paper in the bathroom, which is different from the rest of the coach, is generally in good condition and we are not currently planning on replacing it as part of this project.) The existing wallpaper in most of the coach is a string cloth with a beige base but distinct vertical threads that contain a noticeable amount of grey and a more subtle herringbone pattern. It looks good with the walnut woodwork and worked well with the old white carpet, black ceramic floor tile, and bone leather upholstery, so we think it will continue to look good with the new floor tile.
If Josh is at his shop tomorrow we will try to stop and pick up the Lambright Notion Linen sample as whatever wallpaper we choose has to work well with the furniture fabric. On Thursday we will revisit the papers in the three books we currently have with an eye towards something that has some grey in it.
It was another warm, humid day and I was done sanding so I closed up the roof vents, locked up the coach, and went inside. Linda prepared a pizza using the gluten-free crust recipe she got from Mara. Yum.
After dinner I went to Lowe’s and bought two bags of TEC Skill Set Universal Floor Patch and Skim Coat, a mixing bucket, two bags of tile spacers, and three 4’x8′ sheets of 1/4″ SurePly underlayment. I meant to buy a folding metal sawhorse but left it somewhere in the store. I was going to buy premixed floor leveling compound but they only had 1-quart containers for $10 each and the directions said it would only cover 1.5 square feet. I have about 80 square feet of floor to patch and level, so that clearly was not a good solution.
The Universal Floor Patch is a powder that has to be mixed with water, but each bag will cover 20 – 25 square feet at 1/8″ thickness and costs $13; much better than the premixed stuff. I have a few areas to patch that are deeper than 1/8″ but the material can be applied up to 1/2″ thick per coat, and most of the area just needs a much thinner skimcoat. It can also be sanded within 24 hours which will allow me to make it very smooth and keep the work moving along. My goal is to have the floor leveled and sanded smooth by bedtime on Saturday so I can install the 1/4″ underlayment on Sunday and start laying tile on Monday or Tuesday next week.
I stopped at Teeko’s Coffee and Teas to get some more of the Cafe Europe half-caff blend. They had the regular blend but not the decaf blend so I had Roger use the Columbian decaf instead. He roasted the beans for me while I waited and Jeff showed up along with his wife as I was leaving. They were married last September and are expecting their first child late next month. Jeff was wearing his Pepsi delivery shirt, confirming what the woman at the Kahuna Coffee Shop told us last Friday.
We turned in early as we will be getting up very early tomorrow to drive to Indiana again. Linda watched an episode of NCIS after which I watched a PBS special on the origins and evolution of the Navy Seals.