Sep 12, 2014 -

A New Blog

The day has come that I’m sure many of you saw coming.

This is the final post for Travels With Miranda. While RV living continues to be a huge part of my life and I do eventually plan to travel in an RV again, RVing is no longer the focus of my life.

I’ve been wanting to start blogging again more regularly, but have been hesitant because the subjects were not pertinent to an RVing blog. There is so much going on in my life right now, work, impending travel, and Haven projects that I need a blog that reflects my suddenly much fuller life.

So I can now be found at A Life By Design. This new blog is very much a work in progress and doesn’t have much content yet, but it will grow and expand as needed. I am going for a more minimalist look that focuses on the narrative. I also will be categorizing posts so that folks who are only interested in travel or RVing or Haven projects can just follow those categories.

You will find at the top a link to the new blog’s RSS feed as well as my new Twitter. I am keeping the Travels With Miranda facebook page for the time being and will continue to post on there regularly, as I have been doing for the past few months.

I hope that you will all follow me in this new chapter of my life and that my life will continue to interest you. Frankly, I look forward to writing about my experiences buying groceries in Mexico this winter instead of yet another season of blogging about how cold it is and how expensive propane is getting. :)

For those of you who choose to leave, thank you for sharing the journey to this point and best wishes in the future.

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Sep 8, 2014 -

I Love Mondays

It’s rare that I have anything significant waiting in my queue on a Monday morning since my clients are getting their week figured out. So when I’ve been burning the proverbial midnight oil, as I have in the last couple of weeks juggling a full work load and all the construction projects, I like that I can count on a quiet Monday to reboot my energy reserves.

I needed groceries, so I decided to spend a couple of hours in town today. I can’t wait to be in a location where such a plan could include visiting a museum, going to the movies, and other such activities. There’s really not much to do in Assiniboia, SK. I was tempted to get a manicure, though. :)

My first stop today was NAPA Auto Parts. I’ve been needing a new gas cap for my truck for weeks and resigned myself to the fact that those things are bloody expensive!!! The cheapest I found online was $25, plus shipping. I decided to try our local business first to see how much they’d charge for the part, if they had one. My timing was impeccable in that a gas cap to fit a 2000 Ford Ranger had come in this morning. However, it was still packed in one of 15 large boxes and I was asked if I could come back in a couple of hours. Yup. The cost was $25. At least I saved the shipping!

Next stop was Peavey Mart for a light source for the shed. I wanted one of those light bulb holders with a hook and long cord and Peavey Mart had the best price in town. Then, I had to find a light bulb to go with it. I haven’t had to buy regular light bulbs in at least six years. Wow are they expensive!

Then, it was off to The Bargain! Shop for paper towels. I’ve been here way too long to know who has the cheapest prices on such things. :)

From there, I parked ‘downtown’ and went to the bank to get a money order to pay for the latest gravel order since I was out of cheques. Boy have those things gotten expensive! I used to get money orders (and cheques) free with my account. Service fees keep going up, service keeps going down…

The Salvation Army is across the street from the bank, so I went over to look for pajamas and warm tops. I barely got to wear any of my summer clothes and now I’m already looking for cold weather gear. :( :( :( There wasn’t much in the store today, but I did find what I wanted AND it was all 20% off!

By this point, it was lunchtime, so I headed to Trifon’s Pizza. Their pizza is very good and they have a deal for a tiny one with a salad that is just a perfect lunch portion. I like that they serve hazelnut coffee!

Groceries were next. I didn’t buy much since I’m leaving for Quebec next week for a week, and then I’ll be leaving for eight months shortly after that, so I need to get through my stores.

My final stop before returning to NAPA was the post office to mail the money order. At NAPA, the gas cap was waiting at the till for me and it was indeed the correct one. I actually contacted Ford to find out how much one of their gas caps would be and I forget the exact figure, but it was upwards of $40!

Now, I’m home and enjoying a quiet afternoon picking away at a few small jobs due tonight. I was going to do laundry, but we didn’t get any sun today and it’s spitting. We’re entering a cold snap, so it’s a good week for typing. The weekend will be nice to wrap up my Haven projects.

Now, exciting news to cap off a boring post: my friend Jody is en route and will be spending the night at Haven! Talk about a great way to end a perfect Monday!

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Sep 6, 2014 -

Putting a Ridge Cap on the Cabin

Today, Charles, T, and I finished off the cabin roof by adding the ridge cap! We got the final sheeting done yesterday, so today we had to build the ‘ladder’ and then it was just a matter of positioning and screwing in the ridge cap.

Metal roofs are super slippery. There are several ways to move on them securely, like using grappling ladders, but what Charles prefers is to lay 1×4″s across the width of the roof over top of the tin and then screw them into the ribs. This gives us toe holds.

When the work is completed, he removes the 1×4″s and fills in the holes in the ribs with the screws that match the tin. You can barely notice them from the ground, especially since he makes sure that they line up with the rows of screws. So it all looks very nice, plus he built the ladders on the west sides of the buildings since they are less visible.

In fact, we made as many ‘mistakes’ and fudging as possible on the west side.  This was especially important on the cabin since I look out on the east side of the roof all day!

Once the ladder was in place, I climbed up to the peak with Charles while T stayed on the ground. That way, we could pass foam closures, screws, and tools with a minimal amount of climbing up and down.

The cabin is bigger than is the shed, so the ridge cap was actually easier to do because we didn’t have to cut any of it. The cabin is 19′ across the peak and I had two 10′ sections of ridge cap, so Charles just overlapped them a foot. The overlap with the shed would have been about 5′, so Charles felt that it made more sense to cut than to have a huge overlap.

Once we got to the end of the ridge cap, I climbed down and went to make coffee (Charles drinks A LOT of coffee). We had a break and then he took the ladder apart.

While he did that, I screwed the clothesline eye bolts back into the shed so that I can get my clothesline back up! I have really missed it these last couple of weeks! I’ll do that late tomorrow. Charles is going to come back with a trailer that we will fill with all the shingles lying around the property. He and Caroline will use them as kindling in their wood stove this winter.

After the yard is cleaned up, I have the following Haven projects to finish:

-scraping the shed floor

-pressure washing the shed one final time

-painting the shed door

-spraying foam insulation into holes in both buildings’ floors and walls

The weather is about to tank for a few days, so I’m going to focus on typing during that time so that I can give Haven a final push before I leave for Quebec on the 17th. When I get back from there, I want to be in departure mode.

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