We got up quietly at 7:30 AM as Madeline was still sound asleep. Linda did not want to let her sleep too long and get off schedule so I got the “all clear” to grind the coffee beans just before 8 AM. I made the Costa Rican half-caff because I am trying to use it up so we can replace it with something we like better. Madeline emerged with Grandma Linda a few minutes later. After stretching they decided to sit quietly on the living room sofa and read stories while everyone woke up and the adults enjoyed our coffee.
Sometime between 9:30 and 10 AM we left for the Howell Farmers Market. We walked from one end to the other, with Madeline in her stroller, scoping out this week’s bounty. We then walked back through and Linda bought a few things including hard stem garlic which we had never seen before. We stopped and chatted with our favorite vendor, Marjorie.
When we got home and put the produce away Linda prepared a snack lunch for herself and Madeline. The two of them then went on an outing to the farm at Kensington Metropark (KMP) while I stayed behind to work on bus projects. I decided to start by finishing the assembly of the pieces for the built-in sofa. I attached the center support for the return air shelf as follows:
- I determined the center of the long edges of the shelf and drew a line between them.
- I carried these center marks to the other side and then measured 3/8″ to either side.
- I connected corresponding marks to create a pair of parallel lines 3/4″ apart and centered on the underside of the shelf.
- I placed the support in position, determined its fore-aft position, and marked the ends.
- I then marked a piece of scrap wood, cut it into four pieces, and used them to hold the support in place; two long pieces the same length as the support, and two short pieces across the ends.
- This allowed me to turn the shelf right side up with the center support held in the correct place and then mark and drill countersunk pilot holes for the screws.
- I removed the support piece, sanded off any rough spots, put Titebond II wood glue on the edge, and replaced it between the temporary blocking.
- I stood on the shelf to force the pieces together and ran all the screws down tight.
- I then removed the temporary blocking.
After sleeping on it last night I decided I would attach the plenum/support boxes to the vertical front panel and the wood wire chase on top of the HVAC chase rather than to the adjacent cabinets or to the floor. That meant I could go ahead and assemble them as complete, single units. Easier said than done.
Even though I used right angle corner clamps the two halves I built for each box did not want to go together perfectly. I managed to get one of them assembled but could not complete the other one by myself. The problem was that I needed both hands to pull the pieces into alignment and two more hands to operate the drill and screw gun.
By now it was 1 PM, which is Madeline’s normal nap time, but they were not back from the Metropark yet so I gathered up all of the tools and materials I needed to grout the floor tiles in the bus. That included the special Armstrong S-288 Glacier White sanded vinyl grout, a flat blade screwdriver, the 4″x8″ hard edge float, the smaller margin trowel, the 2″ putty knife (wall scraper), the ScotchBrite sponges, the Revel scrubber, two large buckets for rinse water, paper towels, a large cloth towel, and paper bags.
Since Linda and Madeline had still not returned I had a few pretzels with hummus. They finally got home around 1:30 PM and I heard all about the farm and the animals Ms. M got to see and touch. The 2-day old piglets were apparently a big hit but so was the playroom. It was a good outing and I wish I could have gone but I got stuff done that needed to be done.
Madeline finally laid down for her nap at 2 PM but Linda could not help me with the tile grouting as she needed to be within earshot of Madeline’s bedroom. I decided that we could not afford any further delay for this aspect of the interior remodeling project and resolved to do it by myself. Without Linda to walk me through the steps, have materials ready, and clean the tools, I needed to be very clear about the steps and their timing. I must have read the directions on the container of grout a dozen times in an attempt to internalize them but they just would not stick with me. I needed a spray bottle for water so Linda found one for me.
The afternoon was very warm so I turned off the air-conditioning in our home library, closed up the coach, and turned on two of the three air-conditioners, making sure they were on opposite legs of the electrical service. I staged all of the stuff in the bedroom storage box as I planned to start on the back side of the bed in the driver side corner by the head of the bed and work my way out.
I finally got started at 2:30 PM. The grouting involved a specific set of steps that got repeated many times as the directions said to only do 6 – 10 sq. ft. at a time. That range had to do with the time required to apply and strike the grout, setup time (3 – 8 minutes), misting with water, waiting 20-30 seconds, scrubbing, and finally wiping with a square edged cellulose sponge. I had to divide the U-shaped bedroom floor into six sections and it took me until 5:30 PM to do that much so my average time was 30 minutes per section, each of which was smaller than 6 square feet.
I took a short break, had something to drink, and checked with Linda on the timing of dinner. We settled on 6:30 PM and I returned to my grouting. I had to do the bathroom floor in two sections, which got me into the hallway and joined up with the work from the bedroom. I went in to clean up for dinner and was greeted by the smell of something baking. Madeline wanted to make cupcakes so Linda assembled the ingredients and walked her through the steps, letting her do as much of the work as possible. For not even being three years old yet she is very interested in cooking, but only if it is something she will get to eat! 🙂
Dinner was vegan cheeseburgers, corn-on-the-cob (from the Farmers Market), left over black beans and edamame, and sliced pears. I worked in the bus from 7 to 8 PM and finished the hallway as far as the bend that transitions into the kitchen. I cleaned all of the tools and sealed the grout container using Cling-Wrap pressed down onto the surface of the grout to keep air away from it, and locked up the bus.
I washed up and turned on the Yaesu FTM-400 2m/70cm radio in the ham shack while Linda helped Madeline take a bath. Steve, N8AR, was serving as net control for the weekly SLAARC information net and had already started the net but not yet called for check-ins so I got to participate in the entire net. We had a small group this evening, most likely due to it being a holiday weekend, but it was still a good net.
I came upstairs to have dessert with Linda and Madeline; chocolate cupcakes (vegan) with sprinkles. Yum. I then returned to my office to re-read an article I wrote about replacing the speedometer in the bus and editing it to indicate where the pictures should be placed. I dealt with several BCM related e-mails and then came upstairs.
Madeline was in her pajamas and sitting in her portable bed while Linda read a story. She decided that she wanted me to read a couple stories too, so I did. We got her tucked in with her stuffed animals arranged at the four corners of her bed, turned on the night light, and left her to fall asleep.
I opened the bottle of Apricot wine that Brendan and Shawna picked up from Leelenau Cellars and we each had a small glass. I worked on this post while Linda cleaned up the kitchen. It had been a long and very tiring day for both of us but a very satisfying and productive day as well. We don’t mind that kind of tired.