Two weeks before Christmas we’re ready to shop.
Got a long list of items to buy in one stop.
By door number two looms a thirty foot tree.
They drag it out yearly for people to see.
Shopping carts strewn up to six blocks away.
The people with vests need a raise in their pay.
Inside is the usual yearly assortment.
Kitchenware, TVs, and glittery ornaments.
Electronic gadgets flying off of the shelves.
Specially homemade by Santa and elves.
Tired looking shoppers with dark sunken eyes.
Stuck in the gauntlet of last minute buys.
The checkout line shelves stocked with last minute gifts.
Checkers are pulling in double-time shifts
We drive past the store with its lights blinking brightly.
This year we don’t miss it; no not even slightly.
Try to find a Dorodango ball for sale on the internet. I dare you. Good luck.
Dorodango means mud dumpling in Japanese (I think). It’s literally dirt formed into a ball then dried and polished over a period of time (everyone has their own technique), to become something pretty impressive.
I’ve been trying to successfully make one for about a month now. It takes practice. They tend to crack and the outer shell tends to nick during polishing depending on how you do it.
I’ve tried and tried to finish one over the past weeks. I threw a few. I wrote a poem about them but deleted it because my son was silent after I read it to him. Maybe I’ll rewrite it from memory.
I finally successfully made one today. I want to sell them. Especially after I discovered I couldn’t find but one on the entire internet for sale. I couldn’t believe it. There’s a vacuum in that market. Maybe Etsy, maybe here.
This last year has been very difficult. Very. We’ve had some really hard times and one of the things that helped me through it was my various art projects. I had to use what we had on hand most of the time and dirt was readily available. This is a fun activity and I highly recommend it but it takes patience. Just hit youtube for some tutorials if you want to give it a try.
Onto a couple off the grid self described hacks.
I came up with an ingenious idea for keeping the hoses and water filter from freezing this winter. The spring and holding pit never freeze even in extended zero degree temps. We learned that last year.
Why not mount the filter under the water line and just keep the hoses in the water also when not in use? Theoretically it makes sense.
We hit some items on the monumental To Do list today also.
We pulled the RV’s water tank out today. Had to pull out a small part of the structure in the RV basement to get it out. We’ll replace it of course.
We put it on a couple of barrels so we could fill it up to see if the bottom really leaked and filled it with water. No leaks on the actual bottom but both inlet/outlet receptacles leak around the edges. I sprayed a coat of Flexseal on it and am letting it sit overnight. Will do again tomorrow then fill again to see if the leak is fixed.
If we can use that tank, we won’t have to wrestle with keeping an exterior water tank from freezing. Crossing fingers. One thing at a time.
We called the manufacturer of the dreaded and cherished gas hot water heater and asked them why the thing isn’t turning off. The water is getting super hot. Not safe. We’re just turning the gas off after about a half hour of heating for the time being.
They said it sounds like a thermostat. 10.00 on Amazon. It’s under warranty but why bother for such a small amount?
Incidentally, Atwood is now Dometic (maker of RV appliances and maybe other things).
One item at a time off of the check list.
But wait, there’s more. There’s always more. We believe the front right hydraulic jack sheer pin sheered. It is a sheer pin after all. The jack won’t move up or down. We’re trying to finish leveling the trailer still. Everything on the bathroom counter roles towards the rear of the trailer. Driving me nuts.
We added 2 more batteries to the solar power system this afternoon. We’re going to try the TV for a little while. I think it’s charging fine after all. Added 4 more 100 watt panels to the system yesterday. It was a challenge to figure out the wiring. It’s still really rough looking mounted on two sheets of plywood. We need to secure the panels better before a windstorm hits.
Now to reap the rewards of siphoning the water from the top of the property from the well we dug, installing a new hot water heater, removing and reinstalling the shower faucet approximately 6 times as a result of the overheated water, and installing a new water pump.
I think I deserve a hot bath.
Hack: You can use one little microfiber rag to dry off your entire body after a shower. Just keep wringing it out as you go. They work great. I’ve had to do it more than once upon realizing no towels were available.