Time for a summer project wrap-up! It’s mid-September now and we’ve certainly been busy with a lot of projects this summer. We came home to meet our newest grandson, Jaxson and we stayed to spend as much time with family as we could. Plus there were the projects! So many of them.
All The Summer Fun!
We worked on Cupcake a lot this summer, but we also tackled some other much needed jobs as well. We helped our oldest daughter’s family to finish a main floor remodel. Then we sorted our personal belongings to condense them into one storage unit. Later we waxed the truck and the camper before scraping old caulk on Cupcake to replace it with new. Finally, Steve undertook the largest project of the summer by installing 200 more watts of solar on our roof. That was a huge undertaking! I mean, really huge. Here’s our summer project wrap-up, in case you care…
Our daughter and her husband remodeled their kitchen this past Spring. Then it ended up being new flooring throughout the downstairs and some built-ins next to the fireplace too. It was a large project for them, which kind of dragged out longer than they expected. Don’t they all?
We helped with the tail-end of work doing baseboard trim and some odds and ends finishing touches. It was super fun for Steve and I, even though it was stressful for them. Everyone pitched in to create a beautiful living space for them. It all wrapped up a few days before their party for our oldest grandson’s high school graduation. Super fun!
Steve and I spent a few weeks going through all of our belongings. There may be one or two boxes that we left sealed, but for the most part we opened every box. Then we got rid of about a fourth of it all. Mainly, though, we compressed items into fewer boxes. Because it turns out that we weren’t very good at packing.
We both ended up bleeding and bruised on more than one occasion, as we hefted, shifted, and even dropped boxes. What a feeling of accomplishment once we finished though! And we’ll save about $300 each month on storage unit costs, so that’s awesome!
Waxing The Truck And The Camper
One of my smaller contributions this summer was waxing the truck and the camper. I’m saying smaller because it only took two days total. But it still is a chore! Luckily, we stayed at an RV Park that allows truck campers to come off the truck. Surprisingly, this isn’t allowed at very many places.
I stood in the truck bed or on a ladder to reach high places, and then Steve came along for the highest areas that I still couldn’t reach. It’s handy having a husband who is 6’3″.
Resealing the Truck Camper
A bigger project that I tackled was to scrape off all the old caulking around the exterior of our camper. Then I resealed all of it. Well, once again Steve helped with the areas that I couldn’t reach! That is still a nerve-wracking task, as I’ve worried each time it’s rained since. I did the best job I could at getting everything resealed, but it’s so important that I’m nervous. Any gaps could let water in and that causes a huge amount of damage.
So, even though the job is finished, I’m still checking the seals regularly. And also crossing my fingers a little too.
Adding Solar To Our Truck Camper
Our summer project wrap-up wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the largest project of all. Steve added 200 watts of solar to our camper! At some point, I think Steve may write a blog post or two about his solar project. It was a massive undertaking. Three things made it a little tricky for him.
- We live in the camper. So each evening he put things back into working condition so that we had power inside. No power means our food spoils in the refrigerator and we can’t even use the water pump for flushing or tooth-brushing. So it slowed him down some having to put everything back into working order each day.
- It was frequently over 100 degrees. We waited for summer to finally arrive in the Northwest, before Steve started working on the solar addition. Of course, that means one day it rained and the next was 90 degrees. So the heat impeded his progress on more than one day.
- The final thing that made adding solar difficult was he didn’t have a complete set of materials from the vendor. We picked up a couple large boxes when we came into Springfield, Oregon earlier in the year. Unfortunately, not everything that was needed was in the box. So Steve spent some time checking in with AM Solar and then going back and forth to electric and hardware stores.
Overall, I think Steve is pleased with working with AM Solar to finish this project. He emailed them regularly and even though there were a couple of miscommunications, it was a successful project.
The good news is that he learned a TON and we now have enough solar to work from Cupcake. We can turn on the inverter (via phone apps) to plug in and charge our laptops. It’s pretty awesome. I’m proud of the work he did to make our nomadic lifestyle last a little longer. More solar means we can work remotely and not have to be civilized members of society quite yet! Whew!
New Kitchen Faucet
We also got a new kitchen faucet! Since Steve had everything torn open during solar wiring, it seemed like the best time to switch out our slow leaker. The local RV dealer only had some used faucets in stock, so for $20 we tried three different faucets. All of them also leaked.
So we drove an hour to a different RV dealer and found a nice kitchen faucet. For what should have been a quick and easy summer project, it sure took a lot of time and angst!
Odds And Ends Projects
Steve also did some odd jobs like re-building a fence gate at my sister’s place. Then he did some much-needed electrical work at his brother’s condo. He enjoys helping out with projects like that and it’s a small way for us to say thank you for the moochdocking we do!
We both started doing freelance website article writing this summer. I think we’re both at around 15-20 hours a week, so we bring in a little income now. Taking less money from savings is a huge bonus. And we’re each enjoying the work we’re doing. Right now we’re camped beside a river and both typing away at the dinette.
Today I actually am taking a stand by sitting at the dinette! Ha! I tested positive for Covid on Labor Day, so that was a hell of a summer project wrap-up! I slept for three days and then I improved daily. But I still haven’t tested negative yet. So I’ve been sitting on the bed to work instead of directly across from Steve. He doesn’t seem to want me breathing my germs across the table at him!
It’s been 13 days now and tomorrow morning I’ll test again before we go into town. We’re near Yakima, Washington and a friend told us this is the best time to stop in at some of the farm stands. She says apples and grapes are ripe now! She also told us about a local tamale restaurant, which got my mouth watering. So I can’t wait to not only be around people again, but to also get some good food. I’m hoping for an heirloom tomato at the farm store!
Summer Family Time
Weekly Trips To See Jaxson
Our summer project wrap-up wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention that we got to spend time with Jaxson each week. Oh my goodness, if he isn’t the absolute cutest! It’s been neat seeing him grow and begin to develop his own personality. Of course, my job is normally just to hold him. And it’s the best gig of all!
He smiles and coos and it literally just melts my heart.
Graduation, Birthday Parties, And Camping
It wasn’t all work this summer as we got to spend a ton of time with our family.
- My oldest sister and Steve’s oldest brother both turned 60 while we were home!
- My Chicago sister came out for a visit.
- Our only granddaughter turned 15.
- Our oldest grandson graduated high school and attended two proms, since his girlfriend goes to a different high school.
- We went camping with our youngest son and family. Plus kayaking and hiking, too.
- And our oldest son turned 39 yesterday! How in the world did that happen? Who has a kid who’s almost 40?? So odd.
We’re glad to be wrapping up the summer while sitting beside a river. My best friend beside me and already beginning to plan what the next adventure might be!