Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sparky and Her Tool Man

Hopkins, MI   High:  80  Low: 59

I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I LOVE tools and working with them. When I was single, I fancied myself a do-it-your-selfer, and had LOTS of tools, some of which I wasn't sure why I had them, but they looked like something a homeowner should have, so I bought them for my tool collection. Like some of those ratchet tools. Like some kind of electric meter or plug tester. Never used it, had not a clue HOW to use it, but I had it just in case. I LOVE collections of tools--like a sets of bits for a power drill, the more pieces the better. Don't ask me why, I just do! I'm in heaven walking down the aisles of Home Depot or Lowes, looking at tools, thinking about owning a variable speed power drill bigger than the one I already had. I even had a circular saw. Did I need one? Nope! But you never know when the time might come that I would!  I remember the time I was going to fix the toilet in my mobile home back in Fremont, IN...You know, change out the guts in the tank. (Haven't we heard this story before? wonders E.) Maybe, but Sparky wants to tell it again, in case somebody missed it the first time.

At any rate, I bought the kit at Home Depot, it looked like an easy job. It had THREE steps on the box. I get it home, find out there are about 15 actual steps, attempted to put it together inside the tank, and ended up having to call a plumber. Who promptly informed me, that I had it in the tank upside down! Oh!  Phooey!

There are other things I have fixed and done really well at fixing... Like....Hm-m-m-mmmm, I know there is SOMETHING I fixed...Let me think about that and get back to you on that...Twenty years of being single, you gotta get handy or you're gonna be out a lot of money for repairs for this and that! Oh, I know...I did my own quarry tile floor under a pellet stove, laid all the tile, grouted and sealed it. It looked good! Replaced screens in doors, patched and sealed holes in dry wall. Put together a LOT of furniture in my day.....I know just enough to be dangerous or in the way, take your pick. :-)

At any rate, sitting at Hidden Ridge for a couple of days with no sightseeing or touristy things going on, Eldy decided to get his leveling jack blocks fixed up a little differently. He wanted to screw two blocks together, with alternating grain, then attach a couple of eye bolts so we can pull them out from under the rig without getting dirty on the ground trying to get them out. As soon as Sparky saw the tools.....

She said, "Let me do that!" Oh, ok, says Eldy. He didn't mind. Until Sparky took his favorite crescent wrench that he has had since he was 18, and started banging on a balky, stripped, badly driven screw head trying to finish it into the wood. "EGADS, WOMAN! YOU DON'T USE A WRENCH FOR A HAMMER! That wrench is my favorite! I've had it for 46 years!"  OOPS! Sparky went back to work, and after having to be told how to hold the screw properly to get the screw started into the wood straight, Sparky was off and running. Job completed! (And job well done, says E.)

We spent much of the day washing and cleaning the outside of the rig. We have not been able to wash our coach all winter. Every park we stayed in said NO to washing your rig yourself, and most parks said no washing, PERIOD, because of many dry areas and drought all over the country. So the Tiffin is in badly need of a wash and wax. We CAN wash here at Hidden Ridge. Yay! Eldy started today and worked hard on one side of the rig. He did the wheels as well. He used two special products called Chrome Shop Mafia Aluminum Polish, and Chrome Shop Aluminum Sealant and Wax. Seriously, that's the name of the product. Guess there was some reality show awhile back called Chrome Shop Mafia.  Eldy found out about these aluminum polishing products from the Freightliner class we took. The wheels look TERRIFIC!

He even put some special stuff (303) on the tires to protect them from the UV rays. That 303 stuff is fantastic for protecting everything from UV rays. We use it on our dash in front inside the coach, you can use it on your leather couches to prevent fading, you can brush it on your rubber gasket seals around your slides to help protect them from the sun and weathering. If you're thinking, boy, that man has a LOT of cleaning products for the rig, you'd be thinking right. But there are different products for different purposes, and the ones he has do a TERRIFIC job!

Sparky washed the outside of the windows AND the screens. You wouldn't believe the dirt that came off the screens...Ugh! that's one thing we forget, those Fantastic Fans pull in all the outside air and the screens suck it in, too! But the coach is starting to look a LOT better...It will be great to get it all done. One more day here at Hidden Ridge and we head over to South Haven, MI to meet up with our friends Ritchie and Nick, who we met last December in Florida. We'll be with them for about six days. We're really looking forward to seeing them!


  1. Wow, looks great! Would you take care of ours next?

  2. When I was single (and I was single a long time since I didn't get married until I was 37) I think I owned a screwdriver and a hammer. But I sure did know a lot of guys who had tools and that worked for me. We have a fifth wheel that sure could use some cleaning like you're doing. But with the heat here in AZ and the dust storms, we probably won't do a whole lot until it gets later in the year.

  3. Three steps to 15...what is that all about?
    Sparky...we have to be careful when we use "boy" toys. They are very protective of them. I know first yelled at too for using the wrong tool the wrong way...oh boy!

  4. Yup, George loves his tools too. I'm sure the basement is full of tools that we may be (maybe not!) using. George made those same level blocks..seems like everyone has those handmade ones!

  5. Now it is a certainty, Sparky can WRITE! You made tools and washing the motorhome fun. You are such a pleasure to read. I love your mind and talent of putting it down in the blog. Thanks for the fun!
    Dianne and Jerry

  6. Oh I'm tired just reading this. Tools make me tired. Washing the coach makes me tired. Can I bribe you two with a good vegan dinner to do Winnona in about 6 months??

  7. There's no doubt. . .girls need tools too. ..and since I was my father's first son (ha ha). . .I have my own. . .and woe be unto anyone who doesn't put something back where it belongs. . .you hear me?

    The wash and wax job is looking fabulous. . .that Eldy is a hard working man! oh, and Jeannie too. . .LOL!