Looking Ahead

Yesterday afternoon I finally got around to calling Casita to order the parts I need.  They have a new phone system so you can bypass the overworked receptionist, which is a big improvement in how they do things.  So I left a message for the parts department to call me.

Very unlike Casita, they did not return my call.  So today I called to leave another message and got a recording saying their mailbox was full.  That is TOTALLY unlike Casita.  So I called again and dialed O for Operator instead of 3 for the parts department.

A very nice man answered, and explained that due to the ice storm, the plant was shut down yesterday.  He took my name and number, and later, I think it may have been the same person who called to get my parts order.  I wonder if the factory was still mostly shut down and he was just doing what he could to help catch up on the backlog?

Anyway, I ordered 6 new cabinet latches, 5 sets of hinges to replace the ones that are rusting.  And a new cover for the cable connection.

This turned out to be a little too much hat for me.

This turned out to be a little too much hat for me.

Around the house I am doing whatever I can to beat the spring-is-never-going-to-come-and-I’ll-never-be-able-to-go-camping-again blues.

I went to Hobby Lobby the other day and got some pretty material and lace to make new valances and a table skirt for my bedroom.  I also got some of their silky *I Love This Yarn* brand yarn.  It is so soft and works up like a dream.

A couple of my friends knit or crochet head warmer hats for chemo patients who have lost their hair.  I’m not sure if I want to commit to it, but I did try one of their patterns to see how it would go.  I’m not too thrilled with either the pattern or the colors I chose, but it is a very soft, warm hat.  I will probably use it as a camping hat next fall.



I don’t think I’ll do a big garden this year, but I would like to do some Earth Boxes and maybe a small square foot garden.  So I started some seeds last night.  Maybe when they sprout and start growing a little I will feel more like spring will really come this year.  🙂






  1. EmilyO

     /  March 4, 2014

    I love that cap. It will be nice and warm. I know what you mean about gardening. I am trying to resist for a few more weeks. Am taking some cuttings off a shrub and getting them started inside tomorrow. Think all this weather has screwed up a lot things. Take care.

    • Emily, when it gets a little warmer, I plan to take cuttings of my heavenly bamboo and plant a line of it to screen off the propane tank and garden area. It is evergreen. I may also plant some out by the road to screen our property from passers by. I am also dreaming of two red or pink camellia trees on either side of the driveway.

      We will see how far those plans get. 🙂

  2. When DH had 15 fractions of radiation last November and December, he got a bald patch on the back of his head. It looked like someone had held a flat iron to the back of his head! The hair has started to grow back in now, but it is still a place where the wind can make him chilly. He put his watch cap over it, but it doesn’t really come down far enough. Your cap looks like it would be perfect for a more thorough head covering. Good work! ;->

    Virtual hugs,


    • Judie, that is incentive for me to go ahead and plan on doing one hat a month, maybe, and donating them when I have several made up.

      I saw some photos of children who had lost their hair proudly modeling brightly colored hand made caps and that melted my heart, too. 🙂

  3. TC: Rather than rebuild a cargo van, I’ve decided to purchase a used Econoline Conversion van (E-150). They’re hard to find, but often already have some of the amenities like power windows & locks, a higher roof, and leather seats that fold into a bed. Worst case scenario would be extremely high mileage. Solution: for $2000 a rebuilt engine can be dropped in. I’ve found some that are very reasonable. What do you think of this idea?

    • Hi, Jerry. I think you meant to post this on the Cargo to Camper Van post, but that’s okay.

      My sister is the one who did the cargo van conversion. I would prefer to work with a cargo van because I could insulate it better so it would be more comfortable in cold and hot weather. However, I have been checking out Craigslist and it looks like high top conversion vans are a lot more available than high top cargo vans. The cargo vans that are available are usually extremely high mileage.

      My feeling is go with the newest van with the least miles you can afford to save lots of money and heartache down the road. However, since most of us are on limited budgets, I think an older conversion van that has been taken care of is probably a good choice. That’s what I am looking for. And they do look nicer inside than most cargo vans. I would, of course, have a mechanic check it out first.

      If you are handy at fixing things, you might do okay getting an older van and doing a lot of the work yourself. But you will need to save a little money for the constant repairs you will need along the way.

      Good luck! 🙂

  4. Mary Alice

     /  March 5, 2014

    My friend has crocheted 100 caps for cancer patients this winter. I am not so eager as my friend but tried as you did. One hat. She is a widow and sits for hours crocheting. Yours will be warm anyway. Good job.

    • Mary Alice, that is one of the reasons I am hesitant to join one of the organizations that makes chemo caps — the pressure to produce. I looked at one web page and a woman was telling others, “I need more hats!” I don’t want to be under any pressure to produce a specified number of hats.

      I think I will just make them on my own and whenever I have a dozen made, take them directly to an oncologist’s office. That way there will be no pressure that would take the fun out of making them.

      I am making another one to tweak the fit and it is going to look a lot better than the first one. After I’m through with it, I will decide if I want to keep making them. 🙂

  5. I love your hat! It’s very cute!

    We have called Casita twice in the past few weeks due to ordering two different items. The first time I had to leave a message for the parts department to call me back….and they did within a few hours.

    The second time was last Friday and Victor answered the parts phone. It had been years, maybe four, since we had spoken. He was just as professional and courteous as ever before. I can’t imagine how hard it is for them to keep all of their old trailers up. Surely not making enough money to pay for the service?

    Good luck with your seedlings. My Mom and stepfather farm two small raised beds and produce lots of vegetables.

    • Lynne, I have heard and read about Victor for years on the boards, but I finally got to “meet” him when I watched a video someone had taken of him giving an orientation tour. I was amazed at how thorough and patient he was after giving that same orientation thousands of times.

      I know once when we were camping and had lost our refrigerator vent, they rushed another one to us. I found out later that is a common part that all RV dealers stock. Casita could have told us that and left us to find an RV dealer on our own. Instead they rushed the part to our campsite.

      I do think it would be a lot easier on the Casita personnel if they would put an online parts store on their website. But as committed to their customers as they are, I guess I can not quibble about that. 🙂

      For several years I grew all the vegetables we could eat and canned and dehydrated enough for winter from 3 4×4 square foot gardens and 10 Earth Boxes. It took a lot of compost and natural nutrients to grow that much that densely, but it was immensely satisfying.

  6. Horst

     /  March 5, 2014

    Doesn’t surprise me about the Casita folks being closed. I-45 running through Corsicana was a parking lot. ” … I can to beat the spring-is-never-going-to-come-and-I’ll-never-be-able-to-go-camping-again blues.”…Boy you hit the nail on the head with that statement!!.I keep wondering when I can hit the road…though I had to take a step backwards as the Doctor decided to do the other eye…so now another month of saying close to home before I’m released from the Doc….Great cap!…Take care and stay warm for the maybe next cold front…Horst sends

    • Horst, you sound like the endless bad weather is really doing a number on you, too. And having eye surgery on top of that and getting grounded for another month is a real downer.

      I get so fried at the global warmers who will look all over the earth to report on one area where temperatures are above normal and ignore Niagara Falls and Lake Michigan freezing over as well as the extreme, unusual cold that the rest of the country is enduring. And enduring is the operative word. I have never read about so many people all over the country with cabin fever.

      I see our local COE campgrounds booked solid in March. I wish I could enjoy cold weather camping. At least they are OUT! 🙂

      Hang in there, Horst.

  7. Marsha

     /  March 5, 2014

    I thought the hat was cute, but I’m not much of a hat wearer. I have a round face and a hat makes it look rounder.

    Love your picture of “hope” – I planted some cool weather crop seeds on Sunday – lettuce, spinach, kale and mache. It may be too soon, but I think it’s a little bit of “hope” for me, too.

    • Marsha, I also have a round face and most hats look horrible on me. That little brim can be tweaked to frame my face a little better and take away the peasant moon face look a little. 🙂

      I planted Chinese cabbage, collards, romaine lettuce, Little Gem lettuce (5″ heads for individual salads), bunching onions and johnny jump up violas. I also have some chives planted in a flower pot.

      When it warms up I will plant tomato, peppers, cucumbers and eggplant. I guess I need to plant some spinach seeds too. I have them along with tons of other seeds. But I usually plant more than I can use, so am trying to be a little smarter about it this year.

      I think maybe I’ll do spinach in an Earth Box since I like it best for salads.

      Hope your seeds sprout soon to give you an extra shot of hope! 🙂

  8. Old Guy

     /  March 5, 2014

    We had a dear friend { now deceased } who crocheted hats ALL year round.. At the beginning of winter she would take them to the homeless shelters to be given to the homeless, so the homeless would at least have one warm item…A good hat really does help keep a body warm..She ask her church congregation to donate the yarn and she would make the hats..She did it for several years..So if you make any hats they can and will be used..Homeless or Cancer patients and I am sure there are others as well..I too am going to use some Grow Boxes..I am going to attempt to build my own..Lots of ideas on youtube showing how to make them..I love Heavenly Bamboo,,It is tough and grows well..Old Guy

    • OG, I had not thought of doing hats for homeless shelters. Another fantastic idea! Thank you!

      Yes, Youtube has taught me so many things. What a great resource, huh? I have seen homemade ones and they are nice, especially against a privacy fence. They change a plain yard into an interesting garden.

      Thanks for the vote for Heavenly Bamboo. I was wondering if I would be making a mistake using it as a privacy hedge.

  9. I like your hat. Did you knit or crochet. I have recently started making the frilly edge. I bring them down to the cancer center when I have a big bag full and thought about making the heavier ones for the homeless too. I like doing it on my own as you said so there isn’t any pressure. I’m now making those lacy curly scarves they are so easy and fast. But every time I finish one some one takes it. haha kids. Have fun with it enjoy the time you spend making them.

    • Jo, they are crocheted. There are so many new stitches since I did a lot of crochet in the 70’s. You can even get a cable effect that you used to have to knit to get.

      I had read on your blog that you make the caps for the cancer center. Then after another friend mentioned she did it, too, I decided maybe it would be a good thing for me to do, too!

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