11/15/2014

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A productive day. We met as usual at Starbuck’s. Raven has a hankering for beef tacos with beets and dried apricots as she dreamed it, OK. As I have dried apricots we hit the farmers market for beets, I want more pineapple guavas while I can get them. Some walnuts for the beet green salad. Back at Safeway we picked up O ground beef and some nice white corn tortillas.

Raven needs to get her truck checked out as it’s making noises, we drop it off at Luis’. He has welded the new frame extensions, they look good. We pay him and head home in my car.

We need to move the vardo over, I need it on solid pavement to jack it up and replace the axle with the new extensions to widen the stance. I start my truck, oh oh, it’s battery is low, but just enough to kick it over, it starts. The overhead light was on a couple days ago when I turned it off. Raven guides me back as I back and fill my truck, getting out a couple times to see until it’s perfect over the hitch. We crank the tongue jack down as it engages, perfect, clamped on. I notice the maximum truck tow load is 2,000 pounds we’re over by 200, but not going anywhere. I pull forward and back a bunch of times cranking the wheels of the truck what seems wrong but actually right to get the vardo steered to the proper place. Solid pavement back enough, perfect. Click the jack down and raise it off the hitch. I move the truck, turned around and parked. Wow, we moved it.

Raven heads in to prepare her dream meal beet green salad.

I’m sorting through the wood blocks for a stack that will hold it up and be stable. Gary’s ton floor jack raised the wheel, still need a another board, good, the wheel spins. I do the other side the same. The vardo is afloat on hard ground. I get out the lug wrench and pull the wheels back spinning to get them loose. Tires under the frame just in case.

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Lunch needs the meat cooked, chopped onions and garlic in first, the beef, cumin and salt to flavor, more cumin. I don’t do hot peppers but we need salsa, I head up to the corner for a small can of Mexican tomato sauce, good stuff. I want my beets cooked, a half sliced in water, bright red, I have an idea. I find a piece of muslin in the garage, folded. As the beets get done and removed I dump in some vinegar as a mordant and soak up the beet juice. A salmon pink cloth set out to dry.  Lunch is wonderful.

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Raven needs to sew the cover for the new egg crate foam with the floral rose cloth we picked up last week at Sally’s. I help get the sewing machine running.

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She sews a good simple sock from the folded sheet. excellent.

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Meanwhile, I’m working on the axles, I remove the spring U bolts easily. The axle won’t clear. I need to remove the spring bolts, a challenge as they’re blind, using touch to get them loose. I got it, using the taper bar to hold the bolts solid as I use the wrench to loose it. Slow going, but I’m getting it. As the back drops free the old axle tumbles out alright. I loosen the front bolts free and do the other side.

Luis shows up with the truck, he can’t find anything wrong. No trouble found, good to go. Raven gives him a ride home.

The bolts for the spring mount are bigger, 9/16, I try drilling it on the press but it rattles around too much. I get out the big half inch hand drill. I found the side handle, makes a big difference as it punches through. I enlarge all 8 holes quick enough. To attach the springs I need to remove the mounts and bolt them to the extensions, the inside bolt first using the taper bar to hold the bolt inside.

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I get one attached, the swivel end with difficulty using two crescent wrenches one on top one small to turn it. It would be easier with a 7/8 socket. Luis has one I’ll borrow, but it’s getting late. We clean up carrying the axles back together, they are lighter that way. With a hug Raven heads for home.

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