Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Day Three: The Purge Slows

At home near Fort Worth, Texas...

I really don't plan to post daily about this transition to fulltiming, but there appears to be a surprising amount of interest in it, so I'll plan to post something whenever we're home and working on the project. 

Thankfully, we don't have to do this downsizing thing hurriedly, because there are frequent demands on our time that take us away from the task at hand. Today was such a day.

The first errand was to take the first load of Sandy's excess clothes to the nearby church charity shop. I like this trip, as it is always one-way. Nothing we take there ever comes back, even if Sandy changes her mind. I suppose she could buy it back, but so far, that hasn't happened.

After that, I stopped at Home Depot to get a few things I needed in order to finish crating up my Blue Ox towbar. I'm shipping it to the factory in Lincoln, Nebraska for inspection and refurbishment. They offer this service for a flat $95 plus shipping, and supposedly it comes back like new; we'll see.

I forgot to take a photo of the wooden crate I built for shipping it, but you would be correct if you assumed it was over-engineered and amateurishly built. It seemed sturdy enough, however, and I don't doubt that the folks at the factory will find its overkilled construction amusing. I'm pretty sure it would survive a fall off truck, or maybe a mountain. It probably added 30 pounds to the shipping weight. Oh, well. 

Why did I send the towbar back, you ask? Well, I began to notice that the gripping pieces around the ball were getting a bit loose after almost five years of use, so I called the factory and talked to one of the tech guys. He said it probably needed to be inspected and lubed at a minimum and told me about the $95 offer. He said that if I wanted to do it myself, I could watch a YouTube video that shows how to take it apart and make any needed adjustments. After watching a few minutes of the video, I knew this procedure was way beyond my skill level, to say nothing of how uncomfortable I would be in using it after I had messed with it. So, in an abundance of caution, it is on its way to Lincoln. Needless to say, the construction of the shipping crate consumed several hours over a couple of days; someone competent could have done it in a half hour, I'm sure.

In spite of this diversion, I was able to go through a collection of DVDs, diverting to the charity box quite a few that I knew we would never watch. I also found these lurking at the bottom of the bin:

Yes, they are VHS tapes. Remember these? We don't have a VHS player; why did I keep them?

I noticed that Sandy busied herself going through the bathroom cabinets where she keeps cosmetic stuff. At one point I noticed on the bathroom vanity a rather large array of different sizes of bottles, cans and tubes that appeared to be destined for the trash can. I didn't offer a question or comment, secure in the knowledge that I really don't need to know what is going on with things I don't understand.

We are also trying to use up items in the food pantry and not replacing them; so, noticing a box of tempura mix on one of the shelves, I grabbed it, along with some frozen shrimp, to make some shrimp tempura. I also cut up some pieces of broccoli and onion and, after thawing and peeling the shrimp, dipped them in the batter and fried them up, along with the veggies. It was all quite good and surprisingly easy. I didn't have any tempura dipping sauce, so I mixed some soy sauce, beef broth, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar and honey and made my own. It, too, was surprisingly good.

Well, there you have it. Day three was not a barn burner, in terms of the downsizing effort, but we stayed busy. It will really slow down in a couple of days, as we're leaving for Houston and a holiday visit, then motoring over to Canton for Trade Days. I'm pretty sure it will all still be here waiting for us when we get back. 

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.

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