Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Freezer Is Done!

Finally!  The chest freezer in the garage has been defrosted and cleaned!  Whoo hooooo!

See all that ice cream? 
The girls weren't eating it so I sent it all home with a friend of my oldest daughter.

I am so glad to finally have that checked off my "To Do" list.  It seemed like it took me forever to get to this point.  Holy cow!

I put the frozen food into our cooler with some ice blocks

Sunday morning I moved everything that was left inside the chest freezer into our big cooler along with some ice blocks with the exception of two turkey breasts that wouldn't fit.  Those ended up in the fridge.

This was the frost that I was most concerned with, 
See how it is starting to curl up over the edge?

This particular freezer has wheels so I unplugged it and moved it right outside onto the driveway and into the sun.  Then I lifted the lid and let nature do its thing.

The driveway is the best place to defrost a freezer, didn't take long at all!

Because I normally keep this thing stuffed to the gills there wasn't a lot of frost accumulation.  Just near the top on each side.  My big concern was how the frost was building up and wrapping itself over the edge.  I knew it wouldn't be too long before it encroached the seal and hampered my ability to properly close the lid.

While the freezer defrosted I got busy cleaning up the corner where it sits

I was anxious to get this project completed before the end of the month so I could start restocking the freezer in time for winter.  I always prefer to have a nice stockpile of meats before the cold weather hits and our heat bills go up.

That's better and Stella gave her approval as well.
She then promptly wanted back in the house.  She is not a fan of the heat.

While the freezer defrosted I got busy and cleaned up that entire side of the garage and did a little reorganizing.  It was a pretty hot day so after an hour of sitting in the driveway all the ice had loosened enough that I was able to pull it off and toss it into the yard.  I got a bucket of soapy water and a rag and thoroughly scrubbed it inside and out.  With a towel I dried it all off and it was ready to move back into place.

I washed the rack that came in the freezer along with two other plastic containers I like to use to organize the items I keep inside.  It helps me a lot so I don't "lose" items in the bottom of the freezer as well as with moving items around when I need to.

All scrubbed clean!

I plugged the freezer back in and let it run for a good hour and a half before I put the frozen food back inside.  It really feels good to have this little freezer all defrosted, clean and organized.  Now I am sufficiently ready to stock up for the winter ahead.

I am so very happy to finally have this done!

Hard to believe, as it hit 94° by noon that day, that I'm even thinking about winter.  But, I am and now I'll be working to restock this puppy.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Restoring An Old Car - Phase 2

The roof of my daughter's car was heavily oxidized and damaged by the sun.  There were a couple small spots above the windshield that had just begun to rust.  We wanted to address those rust spots right away and do something to protect the roof from further damage.  We also wanted to make it look better.


After - no more rust

After taping along the upper edge of the windshield I used wet/dry sandpaper to remove the rust which was easy enough to do as it was just barely on the surface.  Once dry and clean I sprayed it with a coat of automotive primer and let that dry while we prepared the roof for the next step.

She did one half of the roof and I worked on the other

First we gave it a light sanding to remove the oxidation and smooth out the surface.  We were careful not to sand any areas outside of the roof area we were going to repair.

Smooth as a baby's bottom

Then my daughter washed the roof and we let it air dry.  It was a warm sunny day so that happened rather quickly.

I taped along the edges of the roof with painter's tape to make sure we had good clean lines.

My daughter used paper towels and acetone to do a final cleaning of the roof.

All wrapped to protect what we don't want painted

While she did that I draped and taped off the rest of her car with plastic creating a protective shroud all around the car.  I didn't want to risk any overspray.  I also moved the rest of our vehicles far away from our work area.

We opted to coat the top of the car with truck bed liner instead of going through the whole process of repainting.  The top of the car had some pretty significant gouges in it from hauling cargo along with the oxidation issue so it made sense to us to do it this way.

First coat

We did three good coats of the spray on coating, allowing it to dry in between each coat.  Not only did it do a nice job covering up the roof it will protect it now so we won't need to worry about rust becoming a problem in the future.

Shroud of plastic removed

It will also provide a much more durable layer of protection should she decide to add a roof rack later on and place cargo on top.  I think it looks pretty good too, which is every bit as important as maintaining the integrity of the car.  Kind of adds a little bit of a sporty look to it.  Total spent on three cans of bed liner and a roll of tape = $29.20 + tax.  All of the other supplies she needed I already had on hand.  That made it very affordable for us to fix the roof.

The light filtering through the trees makes it looks spotty, but it really isn't

As far as projects go this one wasn't too terribly difficult.  We took our time to make sure we got all of the prep work done that needed doing and I truly do think that makes all the difference with how well these things turn out.  Good prep work is everything.

She is looking really good!

My daughter is quite pleased with the final results.  That in itself makes it all worth it.  Now onto the next phase.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Last Week's Thrifty Moves

Sunday morning I packed our little cooler with some food, filled up our water bottles and tossed the sunscreen into my purse.  The girls and I hopped into the car and headed off to the beach for a few hours of fun in the sun and water.  It was really nice to take a break from our projects and enjoy some family time playing and relaxing.

My oldest daughter was anxious to get back to work on her car so by 2:00 we were heading back home.  Ready to get busy once again and finish up Phase 2 of her car repairs we jumped into our grubby clothes and got right to work.  Check back tomorrow to see what we did.  I think you'll like the results.  She sure does and is super happy about it.

The rest of the week went by in a blur.  We completed two more projects on my daughter's car during the week.  Those posts will coming up in the next couple of weeks.  

I worked a lot of extra hours last week so I'll have quite a bit of overtime on my next paycheck.  Yay!  I really appreciate that!

I kept our meals pretty simple.  A salad or vegetable and meat.  It has been a warmer week for us so keeping things fresh and light, plus quick and easy prepping, seemed like a really good idea this past week.  Especially with me getting home from work later than usual.

I borrowed some hedge trimmers from a co-worker saving me the cost of buying my own or renting them.  Since this is a tool I rarely use it makes more sense for me to borrow one than to own one.

I mix one tablespoon of shower gel into a cup of warm water

I used some  warm vanilla sugar shower gel to mix up a batch of foaming hand soap refill solution.  I used it to top off my kitchen and bathroom dispensers.  I love that scent.  It is one of our favorites.

We washed out several Ziploc bags to reuse.

Some of the 15 Minute Chores I accomplished to keep my home in order:

Laundry Room & Half Bathroom - cleaned sink & toilet.  Daily swish & swipe.

Dining Room - vacuumed floor, dusted shelves and chair rail.

Kitchen -  vacuumed floor, cleaned microwave and appliances.

Bedrooms & Main Bathroom - vacuumed & dusted.  My oldest cleaned the bathroom.  Daily swish & swipe.

Other - three loads of laundry, vacuumed & dusted living room, hallway & entry.  Swept front porch.

How was your thrifty week?

Friday, July 12, 2019

My Truck

I'm sure by the time the summer is over you will be completely sick and tired of car related posts, but that is the place we find ourselves in these days.  I have both a car and a truck.  My car is my daily driver and I use it to go back and forth to work most days as well as for errands and road trips.  My car is really nice and I really do appreciate it, but my true love is my truck.

Pretty low miles for her age

I bought my Nissan XE pick up brand new in 1997 and it was my very first new vehicle purchase.  Up until then I'd always had used vehicles.  This one was the last truck for that year left on the lot and they had it on clearance, priced lower that the two year old used truck I'd originally come to the dealership to take a look at.  It didn't take a rocket scientist to convince me that this was a much better investment of my money.  I test drove it and was smitten right away.  We've been together ever since.

Trucks are so handy!

For the past 22 years we've gone camping, pulled a Scamp trailer, taken a few road trips, made countless trips to and from Home Depot, hauled a large variety of stuff in the back, helped people move and done all that other stuff people with trucks tend to do.  I usually drive her to work once a week and she is typically my weekend runner.

The carpet is still in amazing shape

After 22 years of devoted service it is time to put some extra love and attention into her.  I've got a few spots where I'm losing paint so I'll be doing some body work before the summer ends.  Over the 4th of July weekend I did the annual maintenance I like to do.  I changed the oil and filter (which has been done every 3000 miles like clockwork) and topped up all the fluids.  The air filter wasn't very dirty so I vacuumed it well and put it back in place.  I also cleaned the engine along with the underside of the hood.

Upholstery is in great condition as well

When we detailed the cars last week my truck got a complete interior clean and I shampooed the carpet and upholstery.  I used a razor blade and Goo Gone to remove a few sun damaged stickers from the windows.  Then they were washed inside with my favorite Sprayway window cleaner.  The exterior of the truck got a good bath as well.  In my opinion nothing is nicer than a squeaky clean vehicle.


There are a few seals that have begun to leak so I'll be looking at replacing those as well as some other routine maintenance.  That pretty much comes with the territory.  Do I feel like I shouldn't waste the money or time on repairs to a truck this old?  I absolutely do not!  This is my truck!

After - all squeaky clean!
To be honest, I haven't needed to spend much money on maintaining this vehicle over the years so it seems reasonable to me that at some point I'd need to pay for some repairs.  Up until now I've done repairs and maintenance as needed.  Replacing belts, batteries, flushing the radiator, replacing U-joint boots, things like that.  If something breaks or wears out, I fix it.

Good routine maintenance is essential

Routine maintenance, like oil changes, seriously prolongs the life of a vehicle and I am really big about that.  I make sure all of our vehicles receive regular routine maintenance.  Because of that my sweet little truck is still a solid and dependable vehicle.

How long have you ever had a car or truck?  Do you keep your vehicles a good long time or do you routinely trade them in and replace them?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Restoring An Old Car - Phase 1

My daughter's car is fourteen years old.  There are lots of nicks, small dents, scratches, some tiny rust spots and a lot of oxidation, especially up on the roof.  Some things on the car need to be replaced or repaired.  On the whole the thought of all those things seems overwhelming to her and it is hard to know where to begin.  I suggested that we eat this elephant one bite at a time rather than try to stuff the whole thing into our mouth.  She agreed and we decided to begin with "Phase 1".  The Hood.

Oxidation and loads of surface scratches underneath wear the cover was

The previous owners decided to cover up the front of the car with a Le Bra.  A lot of people think this will protect their car and it will, however it isn't meant to be put on and to just leave it on indefinitely.  You still need to remove it and wash underneath.  They didn't do that.  Over time dirt accumulated and damaged the paint underneath it, but mostly the sun did a number on this car as well.  The hood was extremely oxidized and sun damaged.

We opted for a three part solution - rubbing compound, polishing compound and wax.  We also opted to do all of the work by hand as we didn't want to risk working through the paint and creating more damage.  We definitely didn't want to make the situation worse.

We all got in on the action, including my youngest

After washing the car we used rubbing compound and worked out the majority of the oxidation.  Then we used polishing compound to bring back the paint.  That was by far the hardest part of this project and required the most effort.  We had to break it up over two days to give our arms and hands a much needed rest.

rub, rub, rub, rub, rub

Lastly, but certainly not least, we applied and buffed the hood with two coats of carnauba wax.  Wow, did it ever shine!  You could see yourself in the finish.  It turned out much better than we ever imagined it could.

Almost got it

My daughter was beyond ecstatic, not to mention how proud she is of this accomplishment.  She admitted that initially she had little faith that we were going to pull this off.  She also told me while we were working on it that this was definitely where I was being a "Dad".  I thought that was pretty cute.


The rubbing and polishing compounds were $5.99 each and the wax was on sale for $5.49.  A two pack of compound applicators was $2.49.  We purchased these things at O'Reilly Auto Parts, or rather my daughter did.  She has a budget, a rather small one at that, for making repairs and we are going to try our best to stretch it as far as possible.  Total spent on Phase 1 = $19.96 + tax





It took us two days and A LOT of elbow grease to work out the oxidation, polish out the scratches and marks left by Le Bra and then bring it to a shining conclusion.  It was a ton of hard work, but the end result certainly made it all worth it.

This is one happy girl!

I can see myself!


Next project, or "Phase 2", is to repair the roof.  

It is beyond the clear coat and there is some small rust spots as well as damaged paint.  Wait until you see the solution we came up with for this!

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