This week is all about the neglected bits of life that inevitably happen when a lot of stuff happens in a very short period of time. Pictures will show better than words the chaos that is our life right now.
The City of Edmonton tickets people who have creeping bellflower in their garden. My whole front garden is/was infested. We have turned the entire thing over and we've made some headway but it's tenacious stuff and needs to be ripped up a second time already. We currently can't get in and out of the back yard without going through the house or walking all the way around to the back because until we fill in under the gate with some dirt, the dogs will be able to get out.
We tore up the sidewalk weeks ago. We managed to rent a truck and haul away the clean concrete and asphalt but there is still a load or two of wired concrete sitting beside the trampoline. The grass is 3 feet tall now because we can't physically move around in there enough to get at it with a mower or weed whacker.
All of the plants I wanted to save from the front flower bed were put in pots, tubs, and alternate beds until we get the bellflower sorted out. We can't put the swings, the canoe, or the firepit away until the concrete and dirt are moved. And we still have a little temporary doggy fence around the concrete patio, thought Art has figured out how to escape. We will need it to stay up at least until after our garage and yard sale.
When the people who were supposed to take over the studio lease shit the bed, I was left with a LOT of stuff to deal with. I sold as much of it off as I could but it wasn't enough so now I have things like an entire box of hangers, and another full of styrofoam heads, some items that sold but weren't picked up yet, and of course the big stuff I had planned to leave at the studio since it would make more sense than dragging it back and forth like my backdrop stands and the folding card tables. To keep the dogs from getting in there, we have it temporarily gated off with boxes and chairs.
I was definitely off the wagon this weekend. Friday night we were greeted with a bill for snow shovelling and a summons to court over the ice we hadn't been able to chip off the sidewalk when it was -40 in February. That stack of paper and the box beside it are nestled on the floor between the sewing machines I can't put away until I get the front room cleaned up and the computer I should be using to finish 2013 taxes and my sister's audit.
Of course we still don't have a functioning bathroom upstairs. And there are 4 folding tables and a china cabinet blocking the upstairs hallway. I have smashed my toes so many times in the last 2 weeks I'm surprised they're not broken.
On the up side, Clemmy came home on Friday. We managed to get the path clear enough to pull her in. She made that funny noise when we cranked her steering wheel again - I still think it's a belt but I'm not a mechanic so... we will be getting a once-over done in the very near future.
Kaelan loves the roof. I have to get up there still - there is some sort of symbol on the roof that indicates it's a police bus. She was pretty filthy inside - several layers of dust, straw everywhere, the smell of manure - but we were happy to have her home anyways. There wasn't a lot we could do in the dark on Friday night so we chilled out, ready to haul some serious ass on Saturday.
There a good sized path along the port side so we can get into the compartments if needed, though we will definitely need her to be further away from the fence when we start doing the body work. That's a loooong ways off though. I still need to clean the wheat and chaff from the intake, and I certainly hope we don't blow a tire anytime soon - the spare we have is scary bald!
We knew about the damage to the rear bumper but hadn't really noticed how the front bumper is a bit askew on the starboard side. The rust. Oh my word, the rust is frightening. I'm not looking forward to dealing with all that rust. ~sigh
We saved a couple of slabs from the sidewalk to park Clemmy on so she wouldn't sink into the dirt. We're going to move her a few feet forward once we have the fence finished up, which is why we didn't mother countersinking and levelling the slabs yet. (in the bottom right of the photo above, you can see Art has already marked his territory...)
We definitely want to leave as much of Clementine's character intact, including getting the bus phones and PA system back up to snuff. We're also going to try and get the closed circuit TV to work with the back-up camera. I'm pretty excited about having heated mirrors, even though the likelihood of us doing any winter driving is slim to nil.
There is a TONNE of graffiti all over the inside of the bus. The girls kept giggling because there were so many swear words. The double layer of plexiglass left on some of the windows will be coming off this week, hopefully, along with all the l-brackets on the ceiling that I keep walking into with my head. We're going to have to figure out which heating units we keep and which ones we toss. they had two separate "rooms" on the bus so there were 4 units at ones time but we only have 3 still in there. They aren't leaking or rusted but they are disconnected, so for now we'll just put them in storage.
We didn't find a single mouse turd (which is miraculous) but the pale shade of dust, the straw, and the distinct odour of cow pie from her being parked in a barn makes me believe there was a fair bit of dried manure on the bus. We didn't want the girls playing in Clemmy until the particulate (shiticles, as Bill would say) had been dealt with so, after we hauled all the cabinets, garbage and sheet metal out we gave her a good sweeping and vacuuming before letting the girls mop and wipe her down with bleach from tip to tail. You've never seen three more excited girls than when we walked to the dollar store to get mops so they could "swab the decks." Weird weird weird...
We were able to see that she has fibreglass insulation, which is likely why the smell of manure is still so strong. I assume the rest of the barn smell will go when we take that out. Despite the mild stink, the girls wanted to camp out so we moved in a couch and the bistro set, hooked up the projector, and let the girls have a sleepover in her.
The dogs were excited about a sleepover on the bus, too. It wasn't until morning that I really got to admire how nice the cockpit was looking after a bath. Sweet!
We're still debating whether or not we're taking her up to North Country Fair this weekend, as it might be the only opportunity we have to take her out travelling before we get too far into the work. We're going to leave the interior skin of the bus intact at least until after June 29th when we are hosting a buswarming party and yard sale. Since pulling the skin out involves removing the windows and floor, too, we won't be going anywhere until after she's re-insulated and panelled with all the electrical and plumbing roughed in.
The Mazda will be getting permanently parked in the next couple of weeks. Once we have the first garage/yard sale, we'll pull her into the garage and apparently the neighbour, who we bought our truck off this weekend, is going to help us rebuild the engine and set the timing belt so we can use her (or at least sell her for more than what she'd be worth for parts.) She's a great little car and I'm hoping we can get her back running - I'm nervous about car shopping. She's the devil we know, right? Then there's the part of me that says, screw it, I want her gone because we need the money. Whatever the case may be, we now own a big green diesel truck. Whether the Mazda stays or goes, I won't worry about getting myself a little city car until the fall.