Storage Fitness

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

This is the time of year people find themselves resolving to lose weight, get fit or (my personal favorite), Get Organized.  After I spent the last year trying to “keep my weight down” by not carrying all my worldly possessions with me, and since the best way to a fit body is to marry one, my focus is on getting organized.  Before we put the RollingSilver2ndHome underground for the winter, our last trip revealed a few places that had turned into hot spots needing attention.  I’ve found the best time to restructure what doesn’t work is when it is fresh, so I spent about an hour getting ready for our next adventure, whenever that may be.

The trick I’ve learned about getting organized is to make it easy to put things away or retrieve them. In some instances I have done this very well, while struggling with others.  For example, I have a distinct group of spices I wouldn’t consider leaving home without.  Those spices have had three different homes in our small Airstream kitchen.  The first location seemed like an obvious choice; a “spice cabinet” that looked the right size, but every time I pulled the door open all my small jars had shifted in transit, and fell out.  My second attempt to corral them was to use a Snapware deviled egg tray (with handle) that I liked initially, because it was dual purpose.  Because of its size however, the best place for it was nowhere near I needed the spices to live, and a hassle to retrieve.  I decided to use prime pantry space for my spices, a slide-out shelf.  Sometimes bending your mind around another option feels like exercise, but once you do and can make it work, it’s a relief.  Like stretching, so you can move more easily!  Do you think I could consider that a version of getting fit?

Another hot spot was the area I call our Supply Closet.  We have two rather large closets in the RS2ndH.  One is used for clothing, and the other for cooking items, paper products, extra towels, cleaning supplies, etc.  Some things were working for me and others weren’t.  By now, I thought I should have a pretty good system worked out and decided to do a simple edit and reorganize, by shifting things around.  Once I began, it only required an hour of my time, with every “category” in its own small bin and instantly visible.  Isn’t it amazing how things can change dramatically simply by moving them around?

Quick view.

Quick view.

Two command hooks helped anchor a skinny wall of clear pockets on the back of the closet door.  Now I can see my small items and find them immediately.

We spent some time updating our mileage log for the RS2ndH before the year’s end, and were surprised to see we had traveled 7500 miles.  (Well, DUH.  Why am I so surprised?  See, Awning Repair and “Sploding” Tires.)  Considering the number, I hope I’m close to figuring things out soon.  Maybe next year with our “Year of Adjustment” behind us, it will turn into something else entirely.  Instead of making resolutions for 2013, I think I’d rather declare my Destination Intentions and go from there.  Being resolute seems like too much work!

New Wheels and Tires

With plenty of miles for the seed to germinate, we considered all conversations we’d had with people about wheels and tires.  We seemed to have the luxury of time, since it didn’t appear they were needed immediately.  Little did we realize there would be two blowouts before we arrived home, with the last, three miles from our destination.  There was no longer any need to mull the decision over.  By that time, it had been decided to make a change from 15 to 16 inch wheels, as well as better quality truck tires.  See:  Beginning and Ending-Awning Repair and “Sploding” Tires.    We ordered aluminum wheels from Treadit, found Michelin tires to fit, along with installing a tire pressure monitor system.  We don’t want any more surprises!  There was no need to “put a pencil to it”, knowing the cost of this upgrade would save us the costs of (now needed) repairs, which piled on every time there’s been a problem with a wheel or tire.  Also purchased were Centramatic wheel balancers, which seemed ingenious once the video was viewed.

There was a question about who to have install these for us, since they were an on-line purchase, and not a common solution to wheel balancing.  The young mechanics at Sears seemed excited to see these and install them for us, and they were anxiously waiting for us when the Airstream rolled in.  Once the installation was complete, they said, “If you have anything unusual like this again, please come back; we’d love to work on it!”  How nice these days to see customer service providers genuinely happy to add something new to their job description.  Thank You Shelly for helping us schedule this, and Tyler and Dan, for being excited about learning something new.  Your attitude ensured you have our future business.

While in Jackson Center, the other thing we picked up at the Airstream Factory was a new key chain, to replace the old one which had…lost a tire.  It wasn’t clear to either of us exactly when that happened, only that it was around the same time we had to replace the wheel that had sheared off all six of the bolts.  See:  Remodeling the RollingSilver2ndHome.  We both thought once the improvements were installed, the key chain should also reflect the change.  It’s funny isn’t it, that the wheel was lost on the same side of the key chain, which went missing on our Airstream.   The day the tires were installed, Better Half came in and made the change Immediately; switching the keys from the Airstream with one wheel, to the Airstream with two.

The tire on the key chain was missing around the same time as the tire on the Airstream. Coincidence? You decide. I already have an opinion.

Yes. Not only is the key chain well used, it feels like our Airstream has been too.

Because I always appreciate those who like to excel at their job, I highly recommend Shelly, Tyler and Dan at Sears.  If you need tires, they’ll help you out.

Sears

9701 Metcalf Ave.

Overland Park, KS

913-967-8799

Almost Ready!

Let’s talk about sheets shall we?  For anyone living in a RollingSilver2ndHome, they ARE NOT an easy subject.  You see, beds in an RV aren’t traditionally sized.  Typically, they aren’t the same as the one you sleep on peacefully at home.  In fact, without some added Topping, they aren’t all that comfortable either.  Enter memory top foam.  Find a mattress pad that fits.  If you opted for twin beds in the bedroom in order to have a normal sized pathway, so things in your built-in storage could actually be accessed, and because you wanted the open visual length of your Airstream to maximize the feeling of space…well, then you know what I’m talking about.  (Don’t forget my penchant for pairs.  Two beds change the bedroom by turning it into a Lounge.  Do I even need to say it?  Dual Purpose!)  Anyway,  the mattresses are curved to fit the outside curves of our iconic silver trailer.  Like shoes, there is a Right side and a Left side.  Oh Boy.

I’ll confess that I originally bought custom, curved sheets, thinking they would be a perfect fit.  In fact, they were not.  There is not a lot of room for changing the sheets in the tiny Lounge.  When sheets are a perfect fit, it is perfectly impossible to get them on.  It’s like trying to put on a pair of too-tight jeans by lying flat on the bed, holding your breath to zip up, and jumping up and down to stretch and move all into position.  After struggling with these for too long, I knew something had to change.

 
My revelation came in the mail via The Company Store sale catalog.  My favorite sheets are jersey knit, which are no longer easy to find.  The quality suffers for many sheets, often seeming to be thin “seconds” that won’t fold up properly, nor do they have any kind of straight edge.  After noticing the sheets at The Company Store would fit a deep mattress with a contiguous elastic band, I figured I might be able to get these to actually FIT, without twisting into a pretzel to get them on.  Ordered!  The first thing attempted was to make the bed(s).  Knowing the struggle needed to do this in the past, they were approached with trepidation.  You know what?  My bed making issues are OVER.  Within a few minutes the sheets were on, and tucked into a refreshed, beautifully made, crisp, inviting bed.  Aaahhhhh.  That’s more like it!

Our time of Preplanning, Preparing and at Peace was just that.  The weekend was spent readying the RollingSilver2ndHome for the next excursion.  There was No Rushing.  Imagine! Once we’d put everything to bed (so to speak), I plugged in a cassette tape and we had a cold drink.  It was raining.  Although it wasn’t enough to make any difference to our drought, the rain-fresh smell was reviving.  The light has changed and there are beginning hints of fall.  The hummingbirds are very busy, gearing up for their long flight south, the same way I’m looking forward to some road miles.  You know, I never feel like I’m on my way until we’re down the road, because of the energy required to get there.  There’s very little now left to do, and I’m relaxed and calm.  It seems right to be slipping into a vacation frame of mind.  I’m ready.

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The next road sign I want to see!

Refreshed and Revitalized

The RollingSilver2ndHome has been refreshed!  It was finished on Friday the 13th, which added a sweet note to a day that is known for its less finer qualities. (No Bad Luck here, but then you have to know where to have the refreshing done. I’m feeling smug about picking the right place, and people to deal with.) The Airstream has a new floor which has the same feel as its original look from the factory, and looks almost brand new inside.  (From 11 years ago, but hey, it works for me.)  It’s easy, breezy, and no longer a carpeted maintenance nightmare.  Give me a broom and wet swiffer and I’m good to go!  The Goldilocks chair freely rolls.  Aaaaah.  We also have a fresh, new, streamlined china bowl toilet which helps with that brand new feeling.  It’s the simple things that make me happy.

For anyone who needs a new floor in their RV and finds themselves in the Midwest, Village Decorative in Augusta, Kansas gets my rave reviews.  You know how it’s impossible to find old-fashioned customer service anymore?  Not here.  This is a family owned, three generation business who care about their work.  We drove some distance to have the job done there, because they came highly recommended.  They have had much experience replacing RV floors, and I would use them again in a heartbeat.  Special Thanks to Dick Pennington, Berry Harvey and Angela Wilson for their exemplary customer service!  Should you need their services, here is their information:

Village Decorative

117 W. 7th

Augusta, Kansas  67010

316-775-6651

http://villagedecorative.com/

In the 36 hours they had it, two different people inquired if the Airstream was for sale.  I guess I know now where to park it when that day comes!  If it weren’t so hot, I’d be planning my next trip.  As it is, it feels good to check this off the list.