Projects & Packing
In August we had a chance to re-group at my mom's house and to play some concerts in St. Louis. We used this time to clean out unused items, work on small projects, and FINALLY have the brakes and bearings officially worked on. Our homeschool books arrived in the mail and we scavenged through storage for things that we had missed as we evaluated our winter clothing options.
During our time on the road, we made a mental list of all the things that we would like to do as soon as we had time, space, and tools. We knew that once we actually began USING the Airstream the priorities would present themselves to us. It was true, we quickly discovered that the kids' back bedroom was a SAUNA. Although I had replaced the screens, it took about 30 seconds for the kids to kick them out just by rolling over on the top bunk. Because of that we almost never opened the windows. The vent was working, so we had not replaced with with a Fantastic Fan, but the original fan was FAR, FAR inferior to the Fantastic fans that we had installed in the front.
Michael went to work on installing a new fan. He then removed the broken refrigerator and secured a keyboard near the front couch. We had the RV repair person work on the brakes. He confirmed that they were definitely in need of attention. I addressed the screens.
My solution for the screens came from something I had seen on a kids' playground. We purchased a mesh tarp. I took the screen frames and used them as a template for size. I cut a piece of the mesh tarp about 2 inches larger than the frame and then put a wide hem to make it fit the frame. I matched the new tarp-screen to the frame. Then, where the frame had a screw to attach to the wall, I hammered in a metal grommet on the tarp. This way if the kids kicked the screen, it did not put the pressure on the mesh, but on the metal grommet. The new screens are not attached to the frame at all, but screw into the wall so that the frames hold pressure around the perimeter. It worked like a charm! Two weeks in and no screens have torn!
I then hung some towel rack in our shower, hung the second curtain in the front of the hall, and made a quick sheet mat for our front bed.
The sheet was a creative solution as well. We could not get a sheet to stay on the curved corners of the bed. In the rear bunks, I made sleeves like a large pillowcase for the mattresses. We could not do this for our front bed since we use it for seating during the day. The vinyl was sticky and sweaty for sleeping, but was great for keeping the kids from staining the cushions during the day. We learned that the vinyl sticks to everything, so I cut a piece of vinyl the size of the bed and sewed a sheet to the top of it. The vinyl bottom layer stuck to the vinyl couch cushion, but the top layer was soft cotton for us to sleep on. As I made the vinyl-backed sheet, I began to doubt that it would work and I kind of gave up in the middle before adding a binding to it. We have been testing it out and so far it IS working. It is not perfect, but it is the best solution that we have had so far.
The week passed quickly, we decided to end it with a bang and took a field trip to the Lincoln Museum. I highly recommend going if you are near Springfield, IL. I have never enjoyed studying history, but this place really does bring history to life!