Bed Time

The winter was rough. I ain’t gonna lie. I was walking on the edge of a nervous breakdown before this trip but once I got my hands on Mander again, I was feeling much better! Spring has sprung! Thank god. 

I think it was a combination of going down to one trip a month over the winter, thus spending a lot of time not working on Mander with my deadline looming over me. Trying to get all my ducks in a row at my current home by going through all of my belongings (if I could just donate them and be done with it, I would but I’m counting on the money from them to help fund everything), listing and selling them. Getting closer to some VERY expensive purchases I need to make for Mander, trying to research and save up for those purchases. Plus regular old life on top of all that. Feeling the pressure of it all, I was waking up at 3 a.m. with my head swimming and spinning. Needless to say, I was chomping at the bit to get up to Wisconsin and get to work so I could feel just a little more in control.

Since the weather is getting warmer, I wanted to get Mander started and get her juices flowing. I have some serious electrical wonkiness going on which has destroyed my batteries. I’m plugged into my Dad’s 110v but because my converter is broken I have to have a trickle charger hooked up to my marine battery and because my battery selector switch is broken I have to run everything through both my starting and marine battery. Thus, ruining both batteries on account of them being drained and recharged countless times. Got that? Haha! Like I said, it’s wonky. I started off by replacing the battery selector switch so when I switched out batteries, I wouldn’t ruin them again. I got to work disconnecting everything so I wouldn’t light up like a Christmas tree. Safety first kids! Here’s what I was working with.


As you can see, things are pretty corroded and not so new looking. Inevitably, this happened.


I swapped out the selector switch for the new one and then scooted my butt off into town to get a couple new terminals. I was gonna need them if I wanted to finish the job!

The next day, I attached the new terminals and put in a new starting battery. I checked and rechecked to make sure I had everything the way it was when I started and then held my breath and turned the key. Mander started and nothing smelled like burning wires! The celebration didn’t last long because I soon discovered, things still weren’t right.  The furnace’s electrical start (I think?) started freaking out and I still couldn’t bypass my starting battery and run just on the marine. Ugh. I guess at the very least, I was able to warm up the engine, which eased my mind.

The rest of that day was mostly spent preparing for my friend, Eric, to come! Eric helped me back in October and I was super stoked to be receiving his help again. My Dad was gonna be gone the next day running errands so it worked out perfect that Eric was coming when he was. I did all the little piddly stuff that needed to be done like prepping the wall we were gonna work on and cutting these water lines from where the bathroom sink used to be. I really enjoyed using this tool for some reason!

I went over the plan and located all the supplies and tools with my Dad so I would be a competent foreman. Eric and I would not be slowed down by anything if I could help it! My Dad and I finished out the day by making some 2×2’s in preparation for building my bed platform. More on that later!

Eric arrived bright and early and we hashed out a game plan. I had one piece left of the wall that needed to be made. Missing this wall piece has stopped me from building the addition to my bathroom so I was more than ready to get it knocked out. First we built a brace to span the side of the wall that hadn’t been torn into. I guess I was so into building this piece I forgot to take pics. It had a lip to attach the new wall plug to, slipped behind the preexisting wall and connected from both inside and outside Mander. Then we built the wall plug. As you can safely assume, it couldn’t be done without a million trips to and from the garage…but we did it! With time to spare!

Before Eric took off, he helped me with my polywall. Oh has this polywall been a pain in my ass! I jumped the gun and bought it way earlier than needed because it was on sale. I plan to use it to redo my bathroom walls but in the meantime, have been hauling it in and out of Mander. It’s supposed to be stored flat so it takes up a bunch of room and is super awkward to carry. Eric and I cut 2 out of the 3 pieces to size so now it’s smaller and easier to manage.

We tacked a couple pieces up and I got a glimpse at what it will look like. I think it will be a simple, yet impactful change.


With the sun setting, Eric called it a day. How lucky am I to have a friend drive up to rural Wisconsin to help me just for the day!? He is truly a special friend. Thanks a million Eric!

I was in for a treat the next day when I finally got to build something from scratch instead of working with the unevenness that is Mander! If I’m gonna be living in Mander, she’s gonna need to have a bed big enough for me and my cats. After all, we are master cuddlers and nappers. Since it will be resting on top of some areas that I will need to access from time to time, I decided to make a platform that will attach with hinges so it can be lifted.  Here’s what I built!

I built the first part of the frame and then my Dad and I brought it into Mander to make sure we could fit it through the door and rotate it into place. Then we brought it back out so I could continue building it. I added more structure to the frame, then 2 portions of plywood for the top, then skirting around 3 of the edges so the mattress doesn’t go sliding around everywhere, especially when I lift the platform. I have to say, that so far when I’ve completed a project, I’ve been flooded with feelings of disappointment. It’s very strange and never fails to surprise me. I must have some subconscious expectations of it looking 100% better and it just doesn’t. It mostly ends up looking like a polished turd. BUT building the bed platform gave me that “look what I did and doesn’t it look so good!?” feeling.  I guess one could say I am feeling something akin to pride. It also felt really rewarding to have moved onto something that was entirely my creation.  I can’t wait to do more creative work instead of rebuilding!


Here it is in place. I will have storage underneath and more than enough room for all the book reading and cat cuddles!

On my last day, I finished the last bit of demo where the bathroom vanity used to be and got to painting.

I gave everything else one last coat of paint and….there you have it! A bright, white, polished turd!



Don’t get me wrong. I am very happy to see the rebuilding part of Mander completed. Even though it didn’t produce a ton of joyous feelings, it means now I can move on to things that will! I came up with a plan for my dining room that I’m excited about and now I can start tackling that bathroom build. I have a wonderful friend that has offered me a spot in her driveway to work on Mander that’s only 40 mins away instead of the 2 1/2 hours away it is now. There are a few things I HAVE to do before I can move her, so I’m going to concentrate my efforts on those things first. Hopefully by the end of spring ,I will be bringing her closer to me and then I’ll really be able to make some progress!

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A Girl & Her Commander

9 Comments on “Bed Time

  1. Jesse I’m so proud of you and all you have completed!!!! We are weaved from the same cloth. We are strong yet very easily weakened by the defeat of or own mind. We set high goals and we jump in with both feet and when things don’t work out we feel defeat until we find something or someone to unlock what we’re looking for to complete what we started. I feel your pain sister but I to got a awakening on Tuesday when I went out to do some more wiring and it just hit me I got it I understood it and just started wiring all day on my own with my book and I felt so much accomplishment it was the best day😊. So can’t wait till we have each other to lean on in those tuff times and the Great successful days. Saturday Gary my hired helper is coming over and we are putting the rubber roof on should be a great day temps in mid 70’s🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞💪. Have a great weekend and come up if you would like anytime and we can just hang or work I need to start getting things together for that super sale I’m going to have soon👍 luv ya girl see ya soon❤

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Awe thanks girl! I’m on the cusp of entering the electrical mess inside Mander. Happy to hear you understand the wiring you were doing because I’ll probably need you to teach me! 😉 Keep kicking ass! I CANNOT wait until we’re working along side each other! Good luck with your roof! If I get any spare time, I’ll try to head over and lend a hand. 💚💙💜💛

  2. Jessy, there’s always a steep learning curve when you tackle something new. This project is so out of your comfort zone yet you keep plugging away at it. I applaud your perseverance. I know you’re learning a ton of new things on this project. I hope it all goes smoothly from here on out.

  3. And entered the electrical meander grid we did,..for those of you who know her by blogging only, yer missing out!!…. I finally got to Spend an afternoon with the mander capt. And although we didn’t get the daily project completed, it was all about fun,, and the capt didn’t disappoint,I’m looking forward to finishing the wiring, this girl has a lot of balls in the air and it was a lot of fun watching her juggle them around…wonderful job on the progress Jess!!!

    • Thank you so much Buster! You are the best! I am really looking forward to working on it again with you *hopefully* very soon. 🙂

  4. Language to enjoy – talented writer at work (hardhats only).
    tarp baby
    You don’ take off dat hat and say hello, ahs gonna bus’ you wide open!
    Then reality smacked me across my little cheek and sent my rose colored glasses flying right off my face.
    You can turn a phrase. m’dere.
    Unless being counterproductive is your thang.
    Honey, the experienced noses of your Dad and Uncle probably smelled all that dry rot from as far out as the north 40.

    Multicolored battery terminals – marvelous!
    Did your Dad ever offer a candid opinion of what you had gotten him in to?
    If’n he was retired and had time on his hands, Mander would’ve been a blessing.

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