Saturday, February 20, 2016

A night at a Bordello and Millie the traveling pup.

 On Thursday Mike and I made our way over to Salem, IN.  We made plans to stay in a bed and breakfast that evening and then Friday morning pick up our sweet little pup, Millie.  So off we went, well after a quick unscheduled visit to the eye doctor.  Yes I seemed to have come down with well some kind of gunk, but I won't go into detail, except to say with the help of some drops everything is back to normal.  So we arrived in the small town on Salem a little before 5:00 p.m.  From Columbus it is about a 4 to 4-1/2 hour trip depending on who is driving.  

We had reservations to stay at The Gladden House B & B.  What an absolute wonderful surprise this place was.  Below is an excerpt from their website at

The Gladden House, located in Salem, Indiana, was constructed in 1898 and has a storied past.  Mattie Gladden was said to have been a madam in Nashville, Tennessee area before returning to her hometown with the intention of continuing her trade.  Sparing no expense, Mattie constructed a fine Victorian mansion right on the main street of town and opened her business to the delight of wealthy businessmen traveling from Chicago to Louisville via the Monon Railroad.  For a time, all went well until the town mothers "convinced" the town fathers to close her down.  From legends of lost diamonds, to connections with P. T. Barnum, to hidden passages and Victorian intrigue, Gladden House has stirred curiosities for more than a century.
The current owners, Chris and Jenny Bundy, acquired the house in 1978 and have lovingly restored the home to its former splendor as well as creating inviting garden areas for the pleasure of visitors.

The Gladden House Bed and Breakfast, Salem, In.

The innkeepers were Chris and Jenny Bundy and they were absolutely delightful.  We stayed in the Queen Ann Room which was just off the kitchen.  It had it's own entrance, a bedroom, sitting room and nice big bathroom.  It even had its own porch to enjoy.  We were warmly greeted by Jenny as her husband was away that evening.  She had home made cookies and drinks waiting for us.  Jenny also gave us a wonderful tour of her home.  She stated that they have owned the house since the 70's and raised 3 kids there.  I couldn't imagine living in such an opulent place as a child.  It would be like growing up in a fairytale.  There are 3 floors and 3 different rooms that they rent out.  She gave us all types of info about the town, I only wish we would have had more time to enjoy everything.  Jenny's husband Chris joined us the next morning for a yummy breakfast of, fresh fruit, blueberry muffins, coffee, juice and a frittata.  We enjoyed their company over breakfast and left stuffed and happy.  

One of the guest rooms

Titanic Room

Reading area on the third floor

Our room in the Queen Ann Suite
Now we were on to pick up our newest little addition to this traveling family.  It was a beautiful morning.  It was apropos that there were sun dogs in the sky that morning. 

We arrived at the breeders at 9:00 a.m. and were greeted by the owner Pat and lots of happy little pups.  I opted not to take pictures there as there was enough excitement going on and besides I couldn't hold Millie if I had a camera in my hand.  By 9:30 a.m. we were on our way back home with our little miniature schnauzer pup Millie between us safely in her pet carrier.  She was so good all they way home, not a sound out of her and slept most of the way.  We stopped for a quick sandwich that we ate in the truck and we got out to stretch our legs and give Millie a little time to walk around.  
My friend Melissa was kind enough to let me borrow her pet carrier so we could get Millie safely home.
Resting outside the carrier while Mom and Dad have some lunch.
Dad can we go to my forever home now.

Miss Millie
First time eating at her new home.  Went at it with her front paws right in her dish.

I know that we will have lots and lots of wonderful adventures ahead of us with Miss Millie the traveling pup.

Sunday, February 14, 2016


Anyone that knows Mike and I are well aware that we never leave anything we own in its original state.  We are builders, updaters, crafters, creative and yes sometimes even called crazy!  We updated and built on to our first house, we completely changed our live aboard boat to fit our needs, and now we are making modifications to our travel trailer.  Yes we have only been out in it for two weeks since we bought it, but in those two short weeks we were able to come to the conclusion that some of the things in the camper were just not going to work for us.  Besides the fact we wanted to make the place "our own".  You see Mike and I have never been much for cookie cutter anything, well unless it is actual cookies and that's a whole other story.  We love collaborating on projects.  So the trailer is now our current project.

As we all know trailers of any kind roll off the manufacturing floor looking like hundreds if not thousands of others.  Oh the manufacturers may have a couple of different models that year, but basically they are all pretty much the same.  Same types of fabric, wall coverings, color combinations etc.  Well since we own this house on wheels and have no plans on selling it any time soon (if ever) and we have the ability, why not make it into ours.  So this will be the first post of I am thinking many of the modifications (mods) we are making to our travel trailer.

Our 28 ft Jayco Swift Travel Trailer

As you can see from these first photos, the trailer is quite nice inside the way it came from the factory, but it's just not us.  To much brown and not enough color.  As I said before we want to make it our own.

As much as we liked the idea of there being bunks in the back for the idea that the grandsons would some day come along with us, they just were not quite right.  Needless to say it is a lot a wasted space and realistically who the heck other than a 4 year old is going to climb up in there.  So our first renovation was going to start with this area and coming up with an idea to make it more user friendly for us.

From the photo above you can see that these bunks are larger than a single, but not quite as big as a double.  Two children could sleep there or one adult.  Knowing that the kids (big or small) were not going to be with us that much we needed to figure out a layout that would help us to utilize this space.
We decided we still wanted two bunks (remember 2 grandsons), but we are going to make them only 26" wide.  There will then be a walk way through to the back where Mike will build a floor to ceiling cabinet.  Yay! more storage.  The upper bunk will be able to fold up out of the way so that we can use the lower bunk as another seating area along with a possible small table that will folks flat to the opposite wall.  A place for crafting or what ever.

So our first action, or should I say Mike's, was to tear out the bunks, but save as much as the lumber as possible so that we could reuse it.  Below are a couple of different views of the area before he started tearing it apart.

Good size bunks but hard to access

The ladder to climb to the upper bunk.  It stows in a vertical position to keep the slide out from hitting it when retracted.

The forward part of the bottom bunk can be partially lifted up to access the storage space below.  The rectangle lifts out to access the water heater for flushing/winterizing.

Bunks removed.  On the back wall, single water line is the "city" water hook up.  Box with two lines is the outdoor shower.  Closed in box in corner is the electrical cable storage.  Foam covered box in front of it is the water heater.  This entire area was accessible from outside by a door just visible forward of the water heater.  

Close up of water heater, lines, and electric box.  Short dividers protect unit from things bouncing around while driving.

Black pipe is drain from the shower.  The short vertical piece is a vent.

The PVC drain line was a surprise.  Mike decided to keep it intact, and will construct a protective cover around it.  He felt that moving it would be too much of a hassle.

The 2x2s that support the bunks were screwed in from the outside, before the siding was put on.  Luckily, Mike planned on using them anyway, so it is not an issue.  The cross pieces that supported the bunks were stapled together, and were easy to pull apart.  They were then "wiggled"  back and forth, and broken off flush with the wood.

Roughing in the drain pipe protector, and the support for the lower bunk.

While Mike is busy working on the remodel of the bunk area I am working on eliminating all of the brown brocade fabric.  I realize that this is "stock" fabric, but oh lord enough is enough with all the brown.  So in comes my talents with fabric and paint.  Yes folks there will be color in our home away from home.  Would you expect any less.  So my first step was to stop by Giant Eagle and pick up some gift cards for Joann's since this is where I plan to purchase my fabric and paint supplies.  Must get gas points!!! We did the same for Mike when it came to his supplies with Home Depot Cards.  We need all the help we can get.

My goal is anything that is covered in the brown brocade fabric was going to be changed.  We also made the decision that the back cushions for the settee were just not going to work. (refer to picture way back in the beginning)  You can sit comfortably on either end of the settee but we soon realized that the ONLY person small enough to fit back by the window would be our 4 year old grandson Miles.  Now as much as we want him to have his own little space we need this to be usable by all.  So out came the original back cushions soon to be replaced with simple pillows that can be moved around as needed.  Besides this was going to be an fairly easy inexpensive fix since I have collected at least a dozen or so "poofy" pillows over the years.  I knew there was a reason I was keeping those things.

Pillows are stacked everywhere in hopes of some new covers.
The pillows were going to have to wait for a while as I wanted to get started on tackling the cornices. Again these too were covered in the bodacious brown fabric.  Eww!!! So I took on the task of removing the original fabric and the hundred staples that kept it in place.

Tricky taking this picture with my left hand while pulling staples with my right.  

I seriously could not believe how many staples were in just one small cornice.

Above is what the cornice looked like when the fabric was gone.  Hmm very thin wood in the front. I tried covering this with the new fabric and realized half way into it that the staples were coming through the other side and of course this was the front side.  So I ripped out the staples took off the fabric, sanded down the holes and worked on a different way to fix this issue.  So I decided for this valance that is located over the sink I would try to paint it then I will see if I can decoupage some craft papers over it.  More on this to come once it is completed.

Painted cornice and paper laid out to measure for decoupaging 
Okay so I decided on the cornices for the bedroom I would simply cover over the existing fabric and see if that would work better.  And whaha it did!

So far I have covered the two cornices for the bedroom and one of the cornices for the main living areas.  Still have a couple more to go, but I am happy so far with the way these have turned out.

Now is time for a little confession that my darling daughter will attest to.  When I am creative I am messy! There I said it.  I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful space in the basement of our condo to work in.  There is no heat down here but my space heater works great for the area.  Since we moved in I have acquired another work table.  The one you see in the photo below (far wall) Is a combination of some old cabinets from an old desk of mine that a friend of ours had in his barn and the table top is an old door I bought at the Habitat for Humanity resale store ($5.00).  So I now have two wonderfully flat surfaces to work on and yes they almost always have some project or projects covering them.  

Mr. Mike's workshop area is pretty much the same as mine.  Good to know out of all our stuff comes some awesome projects.    Oh and on this Valentines Day what do we get each other as gifts?  Lumber of course, what else!

Lumber, Valentines day gifts to each other.  These pieces will soon be turned into a cabinet and a head board.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Weekend Road Trip

Now that I (Jana) am back to work we now take our "road trips" on the weekends.  So this past weekend we decided to head up north to Lucas Ohio where Malabar Farms is located.  This was the home of the late Louis Bromfield and where Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were married.  We have been here before in the summer and toured the house, but today we were there just to go for a hike.  It was a beautiful January day, sunny and a little cool, but not so much considering it was the end of January.

Planted perfectly in a row

We drove by this area and I made Mike turn back around so I could take a couple photos.

Do love me some barns

The house at Malabar Farms
This little one followed us around pretty much the whole time.  Just looking for some lovin.

For January 30th it was a beautiful day.

After our hike around the farm we headed over to Pleasant Hill Lake.  We had no idea this little lake even existed.  It was pretty deserted as you would expect for a lake in January, but the scenery was still just wonderful.

The shore was covered in these mussel shells

We then headed over to Mansfield to see if the Ohio Reformatory was open for tours.  This is where the movie Shawshank Redemption was filmed.  Well when we finally found the place we came to find out it is only open April through September.  Oh well still was able to get a couple of shots of the place.  Must put this on our list of places to return to.

Well since we were this far north we headed up to the Lake and a stop in Huron.  Oh what a different place this is during the winter.  The wind off the lake was crazy, but we decided to walk down to the lighthouse.  It was well worth fighting the wind to see all the wonderful sites.

Hanging out on the edge of the ice

Because we were so close to Sandusky we made a run over to Tofts for ice cream.  It was a wonderful ending to a great day!