Monthly Archives: September 2013



We met in Healdsburg at the Safeway Starbucks and headed for the farmers market across the street. As I have a bounty of volunteer tomatillos in the garden, tacos are on the menu. We’ll need some cilantro (coriander), found some at the Mexican booth, perfect. Raven wants carrots, scored, tomatoes for tacos, those wrinkly ones look good and a red sweet pepper. I want another small melon and another batch of cornichon pickles are  always good. My buddy Joe was to meet but isn’t here, let’s head out. A stop at Shelton’s for organic corn tortillas, an avocado, a local meyer lemon and some tarragon for the pickles, to home.

I started chopping O chicken breast to marinade as Raven arrived. She’s painting in gold today, the fru-fru patterns on the corner posts, looking good. I roasted the tomatillos in a covered fry pan turning once to brown the ends. Lemon, a small walla walla onion from the garden, a half clove of garlic, a pinch of basil and oregano from the garden, a bunch of cilantro, all in the blender. Wow, this is good, I left out the hot pepper cause I don’t like it. Tasty stuff, in the fridge to cool. Chopped the tomatoes from the market plus one from the work gardens, then the rest.

I studied under the main sink in the vardo, I’ll need a slide bolt attached in back, near the wall. There’s no room near the aisle as the pump transformer is in the way. A couple hinges up front so we can open the counter to remove the stove as necessary. We’ll need parts from Restore.

Hungry, cooked the marinated chicken bits in the pan with the extra garlic thrown in. Toasted tortillas in the other pan with a drop of water each to steam. Grated cheese, it’s ready, just as Joe showed up, perfect as there’s plenty. Great lunch.

We talked of gourd tepees, I have  bamboo, We went out back to the pile and selected some decent pieces, stripped of side branches and toted home. Maybe some for curtain rods in the vardo.

Raven wants to hit Salvation Army, Joe too, I’m up for that. Off we go in Joe’s new car. Raven found a bunch of fabric for curtains and nice throw pillows, I got a pasta machine for a buck and a Skill saw cheap. Joe refrained so I loaned him the pasta machine.



Back home, I cut a sunflower for Haven to roast. Raven played with the fabric as Joe and I worked on tuning the sewing machine. We’ll need it to sew the curtains, cushions, etc. Got  it to work for a while, but needs more adjustments, close though, a better understanding.



A good day.


A vardo day, we met at the flying goat cafe as Raven needed to hang a poster. We walked down to the Farmers Market through the plaza, setting up for a beer festival, tempting but work to do. I bought some corn, lemons and a cucumber for lunch. A brief stop at Safeway then home (forgot the lime water, Sonny’s corner store). I pulled out the salmon from the freezer the land lady gave me for fixing the neighbors stove, in a water bowl to defrost. Open the garage and set up the saw horses as Raven arrived.
She’s still working on the detail paint, burgundy today instead of black. I need to move the back running lights up so they don’t get smashed on a bump. Raven says up to the corner, she’ll redo the gold trim. It’ll take new brackets, I dig out a tarnished sheet of copper, pirate booty from the boat yard (“Taarrnished” says Raven), cut on the band saw, sander and punched with holes, Z bent in the vice. It works with a couple new wood holes for the bolts to hide in.
Lunch time, Raven broiled the salmon and corn. I picked a zucchini and steamed it. Cucumber, garden tomatoes, lemon, oh my.
Back to it, I punched a hole in the P (passenger) counter Formica with the router to except the tube for fridge electric. Dug through the screws to find a 1 3/4″ box, perfect to attach the P counter down. Clamped into place, drilled from beneath and screwed in three places, one near the door, two at the bench. I tacked down the counter luan end panel.
Raven reassembled the torn out bed for foam measurements. Total: 5′ 8″ (68″) X 39 3/4″. With the seats in 14″ below and 20″ back doubled should fit perfectly. I cut a piece of paper to model the necessary folds to make a cushion cover as Raven looked online for other examples. I think 4 seperate cushions, the backs Velcroed. This will work well as it’s all boxed in. (hmm, thought, could velcro the cushions together). I pulled out a piece of old foam for Raven to experiment next week.
A good day.



I met Raven in town this morning at Safeway Starbucks for coffee, then to the farmers market. My boss gave me a recipe for fig conserve I want to try so 2 lbs fresh figs, a melon and some lettuce for lunch, lemons for Raven. On the way out was a rose bush loaded with hips, we picked a bunch for Raven.  A stop at the hardware store for fine detail brushes and some cauliflower plants for the garden.

Once home I tested a slice of melon, sweet and green inside, yum. water for the roses and plants. Raven continued on the black trim painting.

Then whack. I pulled out the sledge hammer to remove the planks holding the back supports as the vardo is hanging in the air three quarters of a foot up. Whacking on the P side, the big beam support split, not good, Raven go, I used the wonder bar instead, then freed the D side.  This is scary, the floor jack is under the vardo, not good, I move it aft so I can get out if it falls over. I pull just a 2×4 from the stack and lower the jack, whump. Across to the other side, I jack it  up and remove a 2 by and lower it. The hydraulic jack drops quick, to drop the whole distance would be a bad idea, I work it side to side a little at a time until I get to touch down, whew.


The steps are way tall, but forward is too high, I get out the scissor jack for the car and raise it enough to clear the stack and remove the 2×4 under the crank jack, lowered to level, we’re fully extended on the crank jack (the one welded to the tongue) but without a 2×4 extension. OK.

Hungry, I thaw and recook last weeks pesto burgers with fresh tomato sliced thick from the garden, FM lettuce, a new jar of dill pickle spears dated 7/13/13 (they’re good), wow.

Back to it, the steps are still an inch high. I get out slide ruler set to 1 1/4″ and mark the lower step legs and cut them with the jig saw to the new height, good fit.  We can get inside and the door opens again. Raven’s complaining with me inside as the vardo’s rocking while she’s painting detail.

She calls her Mom while I take measurements on the P side aft switch panel. I cut the parts from some mahogany scrap on the table saw, 45 degrees, rubber banded together it’ll fit, I glue 2 corners but leave one side open to slide into place. This works and the wood matches the paneling well, perfect, needs more glue left side.



The running lights still have loose wiring, I break out the multi-tool saw and cut new slots to pack them into. Raven covers the wires with black paint.



Another fine vardo day, we’re close, find the gas leak, counters down, bench down and secured, all secured, weigh and register it, that’ll be a challenge.