Autumn: Leaves, squirrels, ladybugs and tile

mini and leavesEven those of you who love autumn probably take it for granted as it rolls around once a year like clockwork. The past four years, once the calendar said Sept/early Oct we’d head south with barely a wave good-bye at the chill that was creeping up on us. How special this year to be in CT to watch the leaves turn, tumble and crunch under our feet and tires. Weather concerns? Not us. Too windy? Oh, I didn’t notice. Rain? Well, I do have a rain jacket.
Much of this fall-ness occurred while we watched from our front window, heads bent and bodies contorted in dogged pursuit of a new tile floor. This new flooring (Armstrong Luxury Vinyl) would cover the entire floor except for the bedroom. I’ll skip the long story of tile acquisition except to say that in the end we bagged a great deal on-line from Abby Carpet in Weymouth, MA.

Nine boxes of tile, grout and adhesive- where's Wrench when you need him?

Nine boxes of tile with grout and adhesive- where’s Wrench when you need him?

The old carpet came up easily but revealed that we’d have trouble up by the helm seats where the plywood stopped and the metal began; uneven with the plywood of course. ????????????????Days passed as we prepped and that didn’t include old tile removal which we’d do as we went.

The old tile had faux grout and hid dirt really well

The old tile had faux grout and hid dirt really well

Ten days later we laid and grouted the last six pieces; all that remained to do…. Ahhh would it never end? Yes, finally and boy a million bucks couldn’t have bought a better looking floor. The Captain adds another notch to his Russ-of-all-trades cap.

A slide test revealed a big problem- a log screw under the dinette seat

A slide test revealed a big problem- a long screw under the dinette seat

 

Thicker tile meant trimming the door jamb- just what we need, more tools

Thicker tile meant trimming the door jamb- just what we need, more tools

Two of the heat register openings were best cut by hole saw, then dremel

Two of the heat register openings were best cut by hole saw, then Dremel

So many days would pass until we could grout that we taped the openings to keep out debris

So many days would pass until we could grout that we taped the openings to keep out debris

I was the hair dryer pro

I was the hair dryer pro

??????????????????????????????????????Before we embarked on the floor another dreaded item on the to-do list required attention; register Annie at CT DMV. Virginia gives you a 30 day temp plate which was generous (compared to CT at 10 days) but we needed to get our CT plate before Oct 8 and before becoming immersed in tiles. Thursday, Oct 2 we gather our paperwork, checkbook and feeling very confident, we take Bonny to Old Saybrook DMV arriving at 8:40. Soon we learn why the line is not moving; on Thursdays they open at 9:15 because they stay open later. The time arrives, we get a number at the counter after stating our business, take seats and 20 mins later we are called; not bad. The clerk spreads out the papers and promptly ruins our day, “where is the title and VIN Verification?” Boy if we didn’t feel like idiots, especially when we said we didn’t have a title from the dealer. And no, DMV no longer gives you a ticket to return later to the front of the line.

Officially Connecticut Camper

Officially Connecticut Camper

Panicked we rush out, call the dealer and are certain that we didn’t get anything other than the VA registration paperwork. The entire ride home we’re checking those failing memory banks; I mean wouldn’t we remember that? Turns out yes we had the title filed safely and forgotten. But the worst part was that we had to take Annie somewhere to have the VIN certified because we’d bought her out-of-state. A nearby auto dealer was on the “list” and the route was free of too-low train underpasses (several along Amtrak’s route are much less than 12ft). We hustle to stow stuff, bring in the slides, get un-hooked from electric, water and septic and take off. Ok, all set, right?

Before we’d gotten out of the campground a car flags us down; “your awning is still out!” Today is not our day, but once again it could have been worse, this was just the tiny awning over the door and a mistake we plan never to repeat. One hour and $10 later we are back to our pad with VIN cert in hand, stuff lunch down our gullets and zoom back to DMV, ever thankful it’s only 12 miles away.
This time the line is loooonnnggggg, so we take our number and run errands, making it back with still a 20 minute wait. The clerk smiles and nods, we smile and nod. He says the amount we owe, we stop smiling and nodding and with eyes bulging inquire, “why so much?” Oh, vehicles over $50k are subject to a luxury state tax. Right. Not boats though. Back home we give Annie her new plate and vow not to give CT another penny for that planned vanity plate.

The ladybug super- highway

The ladybug super- highway

They loved the area by the side front window

They loved the area by the side front window

October is ladybug month and once they burst on the scene they don’t leave. Every warm, sunny day found them covering the rig inside and out. And I’m proud to say that not a single lady was purposely harmed during their visits or during my removing them to a better place, aka outside!

October also contained a few chilly days, allowing me the chance to prepare stew for the first time in years. Russ handles the grilling, but we draw the line at cute, furry creatures!

I am enjoying my cast iron pan

I am enjoying my cast iron pan

so peaceful

so peaceful

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2 thoughts on “Autumn: Leaves, squirrels, ladybugs and tile

    • Ernie, good question. We discussed and researched this at length and the short story (even though you know I am not known for the short version!) is we only want to change residence once and so we’ll do that in 5yrs or so when we put down roots in another state…but keep the m/h too!

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