When I was a kid, the zipper on my favorite pair of jeans broke. Back then, my solution was to cut and sew buttonholes in the inside of the top zipper placket, and sew buttons on the inside of the bottom zipper placket, ala button-up Levi’s 501 style. It worked, and my favorite jeans lived a while longer.
This week, I mended a pair of waterproof rain paints. The zipper had essentially corroded onto the zipper teeth and was permanently stuck in the down position. I considered the button-up solution again, but that wouldn’t be great for waterproof pants. So, I decided to go for it… replace the zipper. I’ve never done it before. So I stared at it for a very, very long time. There are like 10 different sets of stitching on a zipper placket. I had to figure out which ones to rip out to get the zipper out, which ones to leave in place, and figure out the right order of steps to sew the new one in. So, after mentally reverse-engineering the entire zipper placket assembly, I decided I could do it.
In the end, the amount of time I spent staring at it took much longer than the amount of time it took me to rip the necessary seams, remove the old zipper, and sew in the new one. I used a little waterproofing goo on the inside to waterproof the new exposed seams. And voila!
It’s not exactly Saville Row work, but I learned a new thing. #proudofmyself
Unfortunately, I have a full calendar of dental work appointments in my near future. As the 5th of 5 kids born in 5 years, I got the short end of the stick in the tooth department – tiny teeth, missing lots of them, deficient enamel. I spent too many years in the dentist chair as a kid. It’s been pleasantly uneventful for about 40 years, but I need to once again sit in the chair and endure it.
My old dentist office of 25 years has left town. So, I found a new one. When they ask me questions with numbed lips, I just mouth questions about the technology. They have software for 3-D modeling of a new crown, designed and created in the office while I wait in the chair. No more temporaries. Just pop on the new one out of the kiln. Not how I want to spend an afternoon, but pretty cool.
After two decades in hibernation, my potter-self may make a reappearance this year. The control board on my wheel needed replacement (AMACO part # 22103G). Monte ordered one and installed it yesterday and it is operational again. Now…. to get a kiln and some clay!
Monte and I both hang on to the cars we buy a long, looong time – one is 26 years old, the new one is 13 years old. It’s time for some new blood in the garage.
We’ve been thinking about getting an electric vehicle, as much of our driving trips are less than 70-miles roundtrip (to the lake and back) and much shorter errand-trips around town. We have been shopping for a month or two. Last week we found one we were looking for in San Antonio. So on a wild hair, we hopped into the fossil-fuel vehicle (ironic, right?) and drove 75 miles to see it, sit in it, test drive it. We liked it, so we brought it home!
We picked a Chevy Bolt EV. Pretty roomy. It’ll hold our boat loads to and from the marina (ice chest and our bags) and lots of room for groceries and other things.
Whew, what a busy week! Julie is moving out of her apartment and moving on to the next step of her career and life. This girl can make things happen in a hurry. I was only there to help. She ordered a Pod. We loaded it over 2 days. They took it away. We cleaned the apartment and took things to Goodwill and the food pantry. Celebrated a birthday in between. Some wine might have been enjoyed. Buon viaggio, Julie! We miss you already.
Monte and I braved the 100 degree temps the other day to mow, mulch, and bag the tons of live oak leaves that fell in our yard back in March and April so we could dump them on the compost pile. It’s hard work, but we got it done. I continue to practice my trailer backing-up skills. As you can see there is a 1″ wide yard art wind twirly thing in the foreground. The only thing, actually, that was in the vicinity of the trailer, which I managed to somehow back into and squarely hit the light on the trailer. Now I will have to learn how to replace a trailer light fixture.
After being out of the water for seven weeks for its bottom job, Nirvana’s packing gland had dried out a bit, and it was dripping too much. The packing gland keeps the propeller shaft cool while it is turning. So dripping too much is better than dripping too little. But, dripping too much means that we are constantly sinking a little bit, so we didn’t want to let it go too long. 🙂 We have hired out the engine maintenance on the boat in the past, but decided to do this ourselves. Finding the right tool for the job is important. These wrenches from CatalinaDirect fit the nuts exactly, are narrow enough to turn the lock nut without turning the gland nut, and have stubby handles for the cramped space in the bilge by the propeller shaft. Perfect! We tested the temperature on the shaft after motoring for a while with an infrared thermometer. Looks like a good fix.
We were on a roll, and kept going and checked the impeller on the sea water pump, which pumps water to cool the diesel engine. We’d let it go too long and one of the blades had broken off. Now to find it…
Debris in the cooling system is not good, it blocks the hoses to, and the tubes inside the heat-exchanger, which can lead to overheating. Plan A: use a shop vac to try to suck the broken vane out of the hose between the water pump and the heat-exchanger. Plan B: open the inlet side of the heat-exchanger, which requires removing the alternator. Thankfully, Plan A worked. The entire blade was retrieved. After a new impeller, o-ring, and lubricant, it was all set to go.
We fired up the engine and left the dock for a 30 minute test run to make sure things looked good. And they did.
Then we decided to sail upriver 30 miles to anchor overnight and watch for some Perseid meteors a little farther away from the city lights. We saw a dozen or so.
We had a great sail up and back on Tuesday and Wednesday. And, wow, is Nirvana in top shape with her new bottom job. We hit 7.7 knots more than once.
I suppose it depends on how you look at it. Today is July 1st, and you can either consider that the year is half over, or there is an entire half a year left. I will take the latter view. Time does fly by, but I’m trying to enjoy the present and look forward to the future.
We’ve been busy. Working on house projects, boat projects, yard work, getting out and enjoying the lake, and, thankfully, finally spending time with friends face to face again.
The dishwasher conked out, and we installed the new one ourselves, as the first available installation appointment was weeks out. No thank you. AND, it works!
We’re enjoying the boat. The lake and our favorite coves are busy and packed with boats, but we’ve figured out that if we head out to anchor right before sunset, the majority of people have headed home. So, we have plenty of room to anchor and enjoy a peaceful sunset.
I got together with friends to celebrate Laura’s birthday in Lori’s new home. Getting this up close and personal with people outside my bubble a year ago was unthinkable. I’m glad we are where we are now. We played some fun new games that Tina introduced us to. This is an action shot from “Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza,” a fun, silly, fast-paced game. I recommend it if you’re looking for a fun game to play with a bunch of your vaccinated friends. 🙂
Patience, and a really big tractor. That’s what it took to finally re-launch our boat today, after 7 weeks on the hard for new barrier coat, new bottom paint, new cutlass bearing, new zincs, and a hull wax and polish.
Our batteries were dead after 7 weeks without charge, but we knew they were in need of replacement anyway. Starter battery and one of two house batteries are goners. A jump at the dock got the engine started. We are back in our slip now. Monte has the charger on the boat working on the one remaining battery to keep it charged, which is fortunate, because the packing gland is leaking pretty vigorously right now, as it had dried out. So we really need the bilge pump to be working off the one battery. We’ll give it a few days and hopefully the packing will swell back up after being in the water. We will replace all three batteries, too. So, we have some work left to do to get her ready for summer, but it’s very nice to have her back. As Keeto would say, “She’s so preeetty.”