The Project…

I mentioned about a month ago my new project. Now that I’m done with my doctorate, I’ve embarked upon The Project, resorting the horrendous camper I purchased (along with resident black widow spiders) for a ridiculously low price.

My goal is to make it into something similar to this:

So. As picked up, the Treehouse (its new name) was in sad shape. We (my Dad and I) replaced the tires before I made the 5-hour trip home with the thing. Put on a set of U-Haul magnetic lights to keep me legal and off I went.

Tows like a dream, no pulling from one side to the other. Got home safely, backed it into the garage (my first attempt *ever* at backing a trailer and I got it into the teeeeeeny space I’d cleared to work on it.

Popped it open in the garage and…

Gnarly old (and smelly) canvas, roof rot, floor rot, the whole works.

Ripped off the canvas and tossed it. Even the zippers. We just didn’t have the energy to pull the zips to save and/or sell them. And since I’m going hard-sided, I didn’t need them.

First up was the floor. After spray-bombing the underside and letting it sit overnight, I sucked up the battlefield of deceased black widows with the shopvac and got to work.

Icky floor is now patched.

“high-tech” wheel wells replaced (yes, that really is chicken wire and duct tape.

Stage one of the new wheel wells.


Learning to Be…in a Whole New Way.

Well, here’s a thing I realized late last night. I have lost the ability to just…be. To be still. To sit. To relax. To read for pleasure.

Yes, I do have a book due to my publisher on July 1 and really have no hope of making that deadline.  I am finding it difficult to sit and write. I am truthfully finding it difficult to just sit.

Yesterday, as I was preparing for my afternoon swim with my neighbor, I realized I had 15 minutes before we were to meet. I thought of at least a dozen things I could do in that time before realizing that I did not HAVE to fill that time with anything!

What a shock!

I have heard that post-doctoral folks tend toward depression following completion of their programs and I can see why. I’m not by any means depressed, but I am finding it hard to not work on something like crazy.

Take, for example, my newest endeavor: The Treehouse.

I have always wanted a treehouse and have always wanted a pop-up camper. Now I have both, combined in one. I bought, for a ridiculously low price, a 30+ year old Starcraft pop-up, complete with worn through canvas, rotted wood, and about 60 or so black widow spiders.

Not kidding about the spiders. Got the thing home, put it in the garage to work on it, and then bombed the crap out of the thing. Came out the next morning and the garage floor resembled Gettysburg, post battle.

Now that I have a Project (aka, the Treehouse), I’m going to town on the thing. Since the doctorate is done, I will be posting the progress on the Project. We are not replacing the canvas. Instead I am making something I saw once, fold-up/down solid walls (the top still pops up). Kind of like this one. The difference is that ours has slide-out beds that will also have rigid sides.

Pictures to follow in the next blog, this has gotten too long.

Tonight. Reading. For realsies. And relaxing.