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The First in the Deck Series

Our most recent DIY experience through the process.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Gotta love a new beginning, right?

Peppermint Shortage

Just a funny afternoon.

Coffeyville, KS

I loved this experience so much that I had to write about it. Then, through e-mails it spread to Coffeyville itself.

Photo Restoration

I had a lot of fun with this "old school" photo. It turned out too cool to not blog about it.

Kitchen Remodel (part one)

This is the first of a nine-part series documenting the remodel of our 50-year-old kitchen in our 100-year-old home!

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

1984 Ford F-150 before I did anything to it.
Two months ago, I wrote about how I brought the '59 body home from it's temporary resting place.  It seems like yesterday, but doesn't everything?  Either way, I've started the project of reviving the '59 Ford by putting its body (the only thing I have left of it) on the frame of the '84.

It's been going pretty well so far.  I have the entire '84 body off and listed for sale on Craigslist.  I have had several people interested in it, but no trigger-pullers yet.  It's a really decent body, actually.  I never cared much for the seventh generation (80-86) F-series Ford trucks.  Of all the different models, it was my least favorite.  But, owning this one has changed my mind a bit.  Fourth generation F-series has taken it's place as least liked.  That's as far as I will go.  In my opinion, it's far too modern in styling to be a classic, yet it is also too dated to be considered modern.  It's in that no-man's land in-between nice and neat.

Removing the bed.
Back to the project, I rather easily got everything off but then felt the brakes get hit when I started on the cab.  Taking on a project like this takes a certain level of craziness.  Stupidity may certainly substitute, as well, but all along the way, one just has to hope that it's the former and not the latter.  Once to the cab, I started to get a bit overwhelmed when trying to figure out all the wiring.  The only solution was to completely dismantle the dash.  There was no way I was going to make sense out of any of it without seeing the big picture.  So, that's what I did.

Everything removed.  Cab resting on back of frame.
Here's the cab precariously hanging from my makeshift lift system comprised of pallet racking, several well-used and fraying ratchet straps, and a come-along.  It's partially sitting on the back of the frame for peace of mind.  I left it like this overnight because I understood that someone was coming the next day to buy it from me.  But, since that deal fell through, I rolled out the frame and lowered it back to earth. I half-suspected that I would find it on the ground the next morning full of broken glass but, much to my relief, that wasn't the case.

With the entire '84 body removed, I have dropped both fuel tanks and started the tedious task of cleaning the frame and preparing it for paint.  This will take some time, but I've got a pretty good little jump on it, so I suspect that if I keep up the pace, I may have the whole thing painted in the next couple weeks.  Then, I'll get to start the task of placing the '59 cab on it.  That's super exciting but equally as intimidating.  There will be a ton of measuring involved and some customization to make the body mounts work.

Rear of the frame with rear gas tank.  So much cleaning to do!
Once the frame is all painted, my plan is as follows:
  1.  Jack up the frame to get it all level and resting on blocks.
  2.  Set the cab on the frame where I think it should go.
  3.  Attach the front clip to the cab.
  4.  Line everything up where it should go using shims.
  5.  Measure all the gaps at the connection points so I know what thickness of bushings to get.
  6.  See where the current mounts are located versus where the cab will require them to be.
Hopefully, with some Ozark ingenuity, I can make the current cab mounts work for the '59.  If they won't, then I'll just have to add some new mounts where I need them.  Only time will tell. Until my next update!

Family, Fun, Food, and Futbal!

Last Saturday was my 37th birthday and we celebrated it how I wanted to celebrate it and then some.  For months, I've been looking forward to Copa America Centenario which, if you didn't know, is an international one-time tournament with countries from all of the Americas to celebrate CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation) turning 100 years old.  The kick-off game was last Friday night between USA and Columbia.

USA may have lost that match 2-0, but I still really enjoyed the game particularly since for the first time ever I got to watch from home.  We signed up with Sling TV which is a really awesome app.  We get to try if for free for 7 days and then it's only $20 per month for the basic package (a trimmed-down version of a standard cable package).  For an additional $5 per month, I got the sports add-on package which included Univision Deportes Network.  All of the Copa America games will be aired on this channel.  The only caveat is that it's in Spanish, but that doesn't really matter since I don't care to listen to commentators anyway.

Fox has the broadcasting rights to Copa America and the only way that I could find to get the channel was to get cable or satellite.  Fox does have an app called Fox Soccer2Go for $20 per month which supposedly allows you to watch sports games broadcast by Fox on your phone or tablet.  However, I read a bunch of reviews and nobody likes it.  Complaints are everywhere that the app freezes or kicks you out almost all the time.  And, I didn't want to watch it on a small screen anyway, let alone if it is going to be so buggy that I'll miss parts of the games.

So, I'm really liking Sling TV.  Unlike, Fox Socer2Go, I can watch a game live or I can stream it later.  Plus, Jodi likes it too since it also has HGTV.  And, when we're done with it, we can cancel it.  This is how easy it's supposed to be, but never is, with cable or satellite.

Sorry for the infomercial, but clearly I have enjoyed this new concept of having affordable, no-nonsense "cable".

My birthday celebration was awesome from even the night before.  Friday night, we had brats and dogs on the grill and ate outside enjoying the beautiful weather we have been having.  Jodi worked her butt off making 20 lbs of fajitas that we had on Saturday and were amazingly good.  I will forever judge all other fajitas by this new standard.  Then, she surprised me with a mulberry cobbler that her and the children picked from our mulberry trees.  If you've never had it, you're missing out. We watched four more games between Saturday and Sunday and still had some time to piddle around with a few things that I wanted to do.

Overall, it was a very relaxing and delicious weekend enjoying some great international soccer from the comforts of my own home.  Even Cute (our cat) got in on the action.  Here she is getting extremely upset about a bad call the referee made.

Cute and I share a birthday.  I forgot to mention that she turned 2 on Saturday.

Hot Wheels Collection Organization

From the blog: a Low and behold life (link in 1st paragraph)
My wife found a really nice solution to store our son's HUGE Hot Wheels collection online.  I can't recall if it was Pinterest or Google Images where she found the photo, but regardless of where it was seen, it's true source was from a blog called a Lo and behold life.  They repurposed a wooden shoe rack from Bed Bath and Beyond into a really cool and useful shelf system for their twins' toy cars.

We decided to give the DIY project a shot. The shoe racks were available at our local Bed Bath and Beyond store, so we picked those up last Friday.  We commenced to painting them the following day using our new handy dandy Wagner paint sprayer.  It took Jodi some trial and error with the sprayer to figure out what works best, but she had everything painted in record time.  She also used a ton of paint in record time.  I expect that we will get the settings all optimized the more we use the sprayer.  However, right now, it appears that there's a trade off of paint usage to speed and ease of application.  Maybe, I'll do an official review of this sprayer once we have used it a lot more and figured out how to better balance ease and efficiency.

We hung our shelves differently than how our inspiration did.  They connected two shelves in tandem so that each shelf was wider than the cars.  We stuck with one shelf because the vast majority of the cars easily straddle the single shelf.  By straddling the shelf, the cars don't roll around when you take them down or put them up like they would if they were sitting on their wheels.  This makes them more stable on the shelf.  And, as a bonus, we were able to make twice as many shelves as we would have otherwise.

With the cars having to straddle the shelves, however, I was going to have to space the shelf out from the wall about a half inch.  I could have bought spacers or used washers or something, but the cheapest and most customizable option was to get a 30" PEX water supply line from Home Depot (pictured to the right) and then cut it up with a utility knife to make the perfect length spacers for this application.  One of these lines is only $1.58 at my local Home Depot store.

Here's how our shelves turned out.  Lyric loves them and meticulously placed all his cars on the shelves himself with pride.  Now he has easy access to all his cars.  He can see them all, so he can pick which ones he wants to play with.  And, he'll have fun putting his cars up when he is done.

We also built a bunch of shelves out of pallet wood that was being discarded at my work.  I snatched it all up  and Lyric and I made a bunch of shabby-chic shelves in no time.  

All the shelves displaying his Hot Wheels collection.

A little more detail to show the shelves spaced off the wall.
Two of the shelves we made from pallet wood being held up by standard shelf brackets.
Four more super-long shelves for the craft room.

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