I spent last week at my folks, taking care of some chores that they couldn't…

I spent last week at my folks, taking care of some chores that they couldn't do while feeling under the weather.

Lots of wood cutting, cooking, shoveling, and the like. I have ran a chainsaw more in the last week than I have all my life.

It feels good to be able to help my folks out after all they've done for me. I just wish that they where healthy enough that I didn't need to!

The weather up north has been pretty bad. I don't remember ever seeing the roads as bad as they where. I am SO glad I took the time to put my good snow tires on. Nothing like waiting until March 1st to install your snowies!

I think I got enough chores done that they can rest and get healthy for spring.

We finished the trip with a day at the Mall of America. Let the girls have some fun at the amusement park.

In album Week at the grandparents

Mmore wood, ready to go to the house. I did over half a dozen trips like this.  The wood trailer is stuck behind a hundred yards of 3 foot deep snow.

Julie was SO EXCITED when she saw Dora. “DADO DADO DADO DADO” she kept saying. However, she just wasn’t having the photo op.

I picked up my birthday present from my wife! She knows me so well. She gets me 100 year old stuff. How awesome is that?

My saint of a wife cooked, and cooked, and cooked. Freezer meals. Meatloaf, lasagna, spaghetti sauce, chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pies.

I’ve never seen roads so bad. There is over an inch of packed snow-ice on everything that isn’t a major highway. Some spots the snow banks on the side of the road have to be 15 foot tall!

I spent some time checking propane gauges. This one is good yet.

I was shoveling sidewalks. Well, where they ought to be at least. This was over knee deep for me. Other spots I was shoveling, I step off, and go waist deep – and never touched bottom.

The girls washed the windows with their faces…

Missing grandpa. He was in the ICU.

Getting artwork posted at a restaurant.

Cutting wood. My dad has the process down pretty well. No bending over, no working too hard. Haul the long pieces in, drop them into the saw horses, cut them to size, load them into the truck. There is a wood splitter  by the tailgate for the oversized pieces.

Fresh wood to be cut. This is stuff from a local saw mill. All red oak.

Fast-freeze hot food.  No shocking the freezer this way.

We went to the Mall of America to ‘finish off’ the week doing something other than taking care of ill grandparents. The backpack is full of our winter jackets.

Bella LOVED the rides. She did this one twice!

Foldable trailer

With the new house comes the desire to move into it. Funny thing, that.

I have a lot of stuff. Most of it is pretty cool stuff, but there is a decided emphasis on quantity over quality.

I was looking at renting a moving vehicle for two different days. Somehow, I convinced my wife it would be better to acquire a utility trailer to enable the movement of my copious amounts of junk… I mean treasures.

So, I am now the proud owner of more stuff! A vicious circle, I tell ya! I now own a flatbed utility trailer. But wait, there’s more! This one knows tricks – besides the usual stay, follow, roll down that hill into the car’s radiator. This ones knows ‘sit up’ and folds up like a ping pong table. That’s right, it stores in 1/10 the normal space a trailer ought to. This leaves room for… you guessed it… more stuff in my garage.

The trailer I got is a Harbor Freight folding trailer –  a light-duty, bolt-together utility trailer with a 1,450 lb. GVWR rating. With the trailer weight itself around 275 lb. this yields a usable hauling limit of 1,175 lb. It was on sale for $299, plus I found a 20% off fathers day coupon on their website with my mad google-fu skills.

The trailer came in two boxes.
The trailer came in two boxes.

It came in kit form. It took me a couple hours to put the frame together. Some friends came over, and we built a bed and side rails for it.

The trailer kit layed out on my garage floor.
The trailer kit set out on my garage floor.
one part of the trailer kit assembled
One part of the trailer kit assembled
one part and the tounge of the trailer kit assembled
One part and the tongue of the trailer kit assembled
both halves of the folding trailer and the tounge assembled
Both halves of the folding trailer and the tongue assembled
the back half of the trailer folds on top of the front
The back half of the trailer folds on top of the front
me putting a leaf spring on the trailer
Me putting a leaf spring on the trailer
This is the trailer folded up, now imagine it standing on it's casters
This is the trailer folded up, now imagine it standing on it's casters
The finished trailer kit
The finished trailer kit
The trailer is a dump-deck, but it doesn't look to convienient to me
The trailer is a dump-deck, but it doesn't look to convienient to me
my new driveway is looking a bit old, eh?
My new driveway is looking a bit old, eh?
image
One of my buddies helping make the side rails
Another of my buddies taking a nap under the trailer... I mean helping tighten nuts undernieth
Another of my buddies taking a nap under the trailer... I mean helping tighten nuts undernieth
The side rails where precision measured... held up and bolted together when it looked good enough!
The side rails where precision measured... held up and bolted together when it looked good enough!
The finished trailer. Note the fiberglass driveway markers so I can see the back of the trailer when backing it up
The finished trailer. Note the fiberglass driveway markers so I can see the back of the trailer when backing it up

After all that, we went and moved my stuff.

The front of the trailer is taller then the sides, so I can stand tall furniture up at the front. When I need to make loading ramps for a lawnmower or whatever, they will be bolted into the empty space in the front rack to be part of that structure. Otherwise, you can see through it in the mirror quite well right now. The 2 orange markers in the very back are so I can see the back of the trailer in my mirrors. It makes it so much easier to back the trailer up. You can’t see the main part of the trailer, and just a little of the side rails..

Helping a friend move and a challenging box-spring

Saturday, I was helping some friends move. I must say, this was the best ‘hard move’ I have ever helped with. There where stairs and hard corners at both locations. A lot of big, heavy, and fragile stuff. We filled a cattle trailer and several vehicles with stuff.

What made it so easy was that everything was already packed up, and we had a ton of people!

We did have a slight problem with the queen sized box spring though. It was too big. It wouldn’t go up the stairs. So after most people left, three of us declared war on this stubborn item, and pushed really hard. We got it up the stairs!

Moving using a cattle trailer works wellCVS is looking to start unpacking the cattle trailer we moved most of the stuff in. Actually, it’s a good moving trailer, I was quite surprised.
The Box Spring wouldn’t fit up the steps, so Scott started to take the trim off the walls to see if we could gain enough extra clearance to get it through. Nope.
With some modifications to the bed as well as the ceiling, we where able to get it to fit. We had to take a small chunk out. The trim covers the hole, so it will be invisible when done.
Here you can see the box spring. We unstapled the covering, rolled it back and attacked it with a pry bar and saws-all. We took the one side board right off, and cut all the cross members as close to the edge of the springs as we dared. We could hook the first and last boards around the ceiling, but needed to push hard to get the cut bits through our slot we cut.
We replaced the factory board with a much wider board that we screwed on so it presented the same bottom profile as the original. The extra width let us screw to the shorter cross members.
Tracing the ends so the round corners are the same, and using a wood rasp to make it so the cloth was easier to pull back over, we now have a solid bottom again.
All put back together, as good as new! Better even, because now it’s upstairs instead of stuck downstairs..

Photos of the broken trailer

I literally ran the wheels off of the trailer I rented trying to get to Elgin.
Sometime in the middle of the night between Atlanta and Chatanooga, one of the wheels fell off the trailer. Quite a scary thought, as my vehicle (a friend called me on calling it a truck – saying it’s a station wagon on stilts) was on the trailer.

Here you can see what happened. It looks like a lug nut came off. That is the bottom most stud in the photo. The studs on either side where literally pulled in half, and the upper two studs snapped off at the base of the lug nuts.

I had to pick up a new trailer around Nasheville..

Moving Sucks!

I must say, if I knew that moving would be such a terrifying experience, I wouldn’t have even thought about it.

Where to start…

I rented a 16 foot truck and car carrier from Budget. Picked it up, not a problem. With a lot of help from the Peterson’s, I got the truck all loaded. Got my Escape up onto the trailer, and off we went!

Somewhere between Atlanta and Chattanooga, a tire fell off of the trailer. It looks like a lug nut worked itself loose, and the extra strain sheared 2 studs, and off popped the wheel. We didn’t notice when the wheel fell of, only discovered it when we gassed up.

Off the trailer with the Escape. Katie drove that 150 miles untill it was late enough in the morning for businesses to be open. A call into Budget, and they find me a new trailer just south of Nasheville. Off we go.

We get the new trailer, put the Escape back on the trailer. About Kentucky, we find a combination of high winds, bad roads, a semi-truck passing us, and a bit of bad luck. The wind & or the semi gusts us around, this causes the truck and trailer to start to whip back and forth. This gets worse untill I SWEAR we where on two wheels before the truck gets back under control.

I think the cats each used up one of their 9 lives.

No damage done. The Escape stayed put on the trailer. Nobody got hurt. We pulled over, and checked everything over. The inside of my Escape is absolutely TRASHED. The rocks, water, fish-poo, etc. from the fish tank is EVERYWHERE on the inside of my poor truck. The cats where standing splayed-legged like they expected their crates to roll right over.

To make a long story short, we pulled into Elgin at 6 pm tonight. The leasing office closed at 5. They aren’t open tomorrow due to Easter.

I literaly ran the wheels off a trailer to try to get here on time.

I am now sitting in a Day’s Inn with the cats and fish typing this post. I have the room for 2 nights until I can get the keys for my apartment.

I gotta drop Katie off at the airport tomorrow morning about 6am. I best be to bed!.