Striding and Soaring

Have I hit my stride? Maybe so! This last Mander trip was a lot more successful than the previous ones and I left feeling like I have a better handle on things. Even though there were some not so great things discovered, I’m feeling a little less like a floundering fish out of water. I’m learning! Visible progress is being made! I didn’t even cry! Yay!

My Sister and Brother in law were planning a trip up to help my Dad with fall harvest so I timed my trip to coincide with theirs in hopes they would be able to lend a hand in between apple pickin’ and potato diggin’. My Sister did some extra harvesting work so Paul’s (my Brother in law) hands were freed up to help me. She even got her hands on Mander a bit as daylight was fading.

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I love my helpers!

What a difference having extra help makes! My Dad has done a lot for me, helps as much as he can and I am extremely grateful to him. Unfortunately, he is limited by chronic pain and some days he is in so much pain it hurts to move at all. So we were both feeling grateful for the help. Paul is more than capable when it comes to doing handy things so he didn’t need much direction other than putting some tools in his hands and showing him the thing that needed doing. That freed me up to work on other things. More than one thing getting done at a time….WHAT!?? Mind blowing. I was more than relishing in it.

I’m still dealing with moisture being trapped in one wall in particular. As we are tearing into it we are realizing that it’s almost entirely compromised. On the agenda for this trip was to open the wall up even more to pull out all that rotten mushy wood. Behind this mush wall was a bunch of rusty screws that all needed to be removed.

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When I very delicately pushed my thumb through the wall I knew it had to come down.
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Wet and crumbly wood.
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All those screws, and so many more not pictured, need to come out in order to rebuild.
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My Dad had the smart idea to start them from the inside so they would push through the roof goo. As you can see, this job brings me so much joy.
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Sometimes you gotta get in the bathroom cabinet to cut mush walls away.

In between wrestling rusty screws and pulling out mushy wood we were making progress on other things! We were able to finish what we started with the generator when we got the 38 year old spark plug pulled, replaced with a brand spankin’ new one and the fuse in. It started right up (head toΒ A girl and her commanderΒ on instagram to listen to that baby roar)! But then it wouldn’t turn off……LOL! This generator is damn near deafening so we all were kind of scrambling to figure out a way to make it stop. At a loss, we pulled the connection to the spark plug. Well, at least we know now that it runs.

Next up, winterizing Mander. This process helped me learn a lot of things about her. I had tried to hook up water a couple months ago and it came flooding out under the kitchen so I knew I had a break somewhere but I didn’t know where. This was a mystery I had been thinking about often and wondering how bad it was going to be when I found it. Turns out, not so bad! Blowing out the lines helped us locate the break and it just happened to be in a small section of the water line, in between two connectors, located in a pretty accessible place. Shouldn’t be no thang to swap that out! That’ll probably only take me 5 mins, right Dad? πŸ˜‰ But really, it could have been so much worse.20160926_185909

Β I also learned where the grey water tank is and where the black water tank is and that they’re connected. I learned that there was some old dookie in my black water tank. I learned that black water tanks are absolutely disgusting and I can’t wait to have a composting toilet. Speaking of which….Paul helped get the demo started to make space for where it will go! Here he is holding his accomplishment.

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Then I finished off the demo by ripping out the remaining cabinetry.Β This is a before and after photo of where the composting toilet will go!img_20160925_192933

I saved that amazing mirror and storage cubby but the rest got smashed and trashed! Right now my bathroom looks like this….

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To help you understand the layout, the now demoed area is to the left. You can spot a little of the bathroom sink.

Currently, you can shit and shower simultaneously if you don’t have a claustrophobia attack and go running out in the middle of everything. That doesn’t bode well with me so I will be taking out the toilet (*shudder* can’t wait) and turning the space into just a shower stall. Then I will build an addition where the now demoed bathroom vanity space is to house the composting toilet. I’m weirdly excited about a composting toilet.

Another unexpected treat from this trip was the bonus family time and the support I received from them. Β This is a labor of love for me so when people are critical and unsupportive it hurts my heart. It’s harder to shake off than your normal everyday naysaying. On the other hand, when I get cheerleaders and words of encouragement it makes my heart soar! Β My Great Aunt Mary was visiting from Oregon which is not something that happens often. Last time I saw her I was maybe 10. She’s a cool lady that has done some motor home traveling for months at a time and had a lot of great things to say. My personal favorite was after checking out Mander she said, ” I can see this has a lot of potential.”Β Soar.Β My Sister saw Mander for the first time and said, “When you get done with this you’re gonna feel so good because you will have touched everything and feel very confident in what you built.”Β SOar.Β Then my Aunt Jenny stopped by whom I haven’t seen in years and wasn’t even fazed by the mess Mander was. She immediately started talking design ideas with me.Β SOAr.Β My Aunt Audrey and Grandma are continuously applauding the progress we make each day. Even if it doesn’t look like much.Β SOAR!!!!!!!Β Oh great, here’s those tears I’ve come to know so well but this time they are all happy.

7 response to "Striding and Soaring"

  1. By: Trinity Posted: September 30, 2016

    Glad we could join in and provide a little boost! I’m appreciating your honesty as you move through this very challenging project.

  2. By: carmenross88 Posted: October 18, 2016

    So much work involved! I’m mightily impressed and CANNOT WAIT for a road trip with yo bad girl!

    • By: agirlandhercommander Posted: October 18, 2016

      Thank you so much Carmen! I was literally in a bubble bath crying from feeling totally overwhelmed/worried/stressed while you were commenting on my posts. I needed some encouragement right about now so really, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

      • By: carmenross88 Posted: October 18, 2016

        Awwwww. We’ve all had those moments. Arit and I were talking about you the other day and your new venture and he literally told me, “The thing about Jessy is once she sets her mind to something, she gets shit done.” It’s a huge project so don’t beat yourself up if it takes a long time to get everything just right. Enjoy the process as I’m sure you will.

  3. By: carmenross88 Posted: October 18, 2016

    Also, buy your own domain name and buy a kick ass wordpress theme. Raise your blog to the next level. I started following you on bloglovin’. I’m your first follower.

    • By: agirlandhercommander Posted: October 18, 2016

      I did buy agirlandhercommander.com and have it set up to redirect here. I thought about getting fancier but I don’t know how to internet very well. Your blog is looking great! Next time we see each other you should help me up my blog game.

      • By: carmenross88 Posted: October 18, 2016

        Ok. I bought my site template from Etsy, of all places. If you go to Etsy and search “wordpress themes” there are tons! They’re not too expensive, either. My theme came in a zip file with all of the codes and instructions I needed. All I did was copy and paste the codes according to the instructions and voila! It was pretty easy. Poke around.

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