Day Night Pleated Shades … Quick Fix Kit

2015-03-28 10.37.13

I’ve read about how finicky day night pleated shades are in a couple of blogs over the past few years. So, when we got them in our new home they didn’t give us any warm fuzzies. But with limited time, not to ¬†mention extra funds right after we picked up our new HOW, changing out our window dressings wasn’t an option. Although at some point, we would like to go with MCD shades. (Here’s a great post on how to do an MCD installation from the folks at Wheeling It.

One of the biggest problems with the standard pleated shades, once you get past the fact that they’re not all that swanky, is that they tend to be easily dented and the string system that makes them work is fairly delicate so it’s easy to break it. Plus, if you have a little OCD issue, and the pleats aren’t exactly level on all windows, it can be distracting to say the least. We have 17 of them to drive me bonkers. LoL In order to make sure they are all uniform you need to adjust the tension on the string … and the more you play with the string … the more likely it is to break. So yes, that’s what happened a few weeks ago. ūüôĀ

I won’t say who snapped the string using brute force ¬†… but this pic says it all. LoL

Why the heck am I doing this???

“Why the heck am I¬†¬†the one doing this???”

Ha! Clearly, because I have absolutely no ability to follow directions! Thankfully it was a very quick, easy and cheap fix. We found a Pleated Shade First Aid Kit
on Amazon and it only took him about a half an hour to get it re-strung and back up. ūüėÄ

on the ground with blind

Joe at the windowWhile I didn’t participate in the project, other than to provide directions over his shoulder¬†moral support I did make him a nice healthy dinner to say thanks. What? A pint every now and then is healthy. LoL


Do you have a broken or sloppy pleated day night shade that needs fixing? Here’s the link to the first aid kit we used.

We have enough cord left to re-string one more blind. My theory is that if we have a back-up on hand we won’t need it. But, any bets on how long it will be before we need it?


Our First Road Trip on Eight Wheels

Our first long distance road trip with the camper was in July. I’d like to say it went smooth as¬†silk… but that’s hardly the case. While we didn’t experience any real trauma, it certainly was a little nerve-wracking¬†to say the least. At only 26′ our camper is small¬†in comparison to some on the road. But in small towns, heavy traffic and tight parking lots it seems massive… to me anyway. Joe seems to not have any issues with towing, parking and just plain maneuvering it in general. Good thing because I still have not to this day driven while we are towing it. (I know. It’s on my to-do list… honest)

We left from¬†Freeport, TX heading north to Tennessee for the next assignment.¬†We only had a few days to get there and naturally pulling our new home-made traveling much slower. But after the disappointment we felt after seeing the condition of the beaches in Freeport and even up into Galveston, we decided to take a few hours out of our normal¬†“only stop for¬†bathroom breaks” mode and park our behinds on the beach‚Ķ a clean beach.

We headed out of Texas via the Galveston ferry where we got to see some dolphins (sorry no pics) and then followed the Gulf Coast shoreline into Louisiana. We went through a few of the well know cities like Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, and of course New Orleans. We lucked out as we went through New Orleans at the perfect time to see a bit of fireworks displays for the 4th of July celebrations. (again… no pics :-( )

The Horace Wilkinson Bridge (photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Horace Wilkinson Bridge (photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the other hand, as bad luck would have it, we had a little automotive scare while crossing over a very high Horace Wilkinson Bridge (shown above) coming into Baton Rouge on I-10. It doesn‚Äôt look that big in this picture but it seemed almost insurmountable at the time!¬†While climbing the grade of the bridge we felt/heard what I can only describe as a “POOF”. Joe¬†figured it was something to do with the baffles in the muffler/exhaust on the truck.

All I know for sure is that while trying to climb this mega bridge we seemed to loose most of our horsepower while pulling our home. Did I mention there was crazy bumper-to-bumper traffic everywhere? And that it was the evening of July 4th? And that by the time we limped off the bridge we ended up in a less than desirable neighborhood… ok down-right sketchy neighborhood?

I have to admit I was in a state of panic, albeit an inner-self-contained attack, as I’ve learned over our several thousand miles of traveling together, even without towing the camper, that Joe processes emergencies much better without my twenty questions. Thankfully, once we maneuvered through the dilapidated streets things seemed to have purged themselves out of the muffler (or whatever/wherever it was) and we seemed to have our horsepower back… oh… and a new metallic rattle coming from regions unknown.

We stopped to do a vehicle check and have dinner in a Cabela’s Outfitter’s store parking lot in Gonzales, Louisiana. Not very romantic you might think… but quite the contrary. While Joe was checking out the truck issue I hopped in the camper and made us each a ham and turkey wrap, with muenster cheese, fresh spring mix, cucumbers, oil and balsamic vinegar. I grabbed two bottles of diet coke and some sun chips and we had our dinner by a little man-made pond on the Cabela’s campus. We watched a beautiful sunset over Baton Rouge. That’s pretty romantic if you asked me. (I know… you didn’t.)

This was one of the perks we had been looking forward to. Being able to throw together a quick meal in our home, instead of eating on the run in the fast food joints was a welcomed change of pace. After resting a bit and getting fortified with a yummy dinner, not to mention relieved that there seemed to be nothing seriously wrong with the truck, we hit the road again to get some more miles in before we stopped for the night.

We traveled through Mississippi where the towns of Gulfport, Biloxi, and Pascagoula stood out. We ended up spending the night in a Super-Walmart parking lot. This was a first for me. I have to admit it was something I had actually laughed out loud about when I first heard that people did this while traveling. But, it turns out it’s not as bad as you might think. It certainly beats shelling out anywhere from $30 to $50 for a campsite that we would only use for a few hours. It’s hard to believe but even after just about five hours of sleep we woke up ready to hit the road again.

Next state, Alabama but just for a few miles (a few miles to us is anything under 150 these days) through Mobile and then on to the highlight of this leg of our journey… Florida and Pensacola Beach!!

Casino Beach, Pensacola, Florida

Heaven on earth… did I mention I love the beach?!?! As soon as our feet hit the sand we could feel the stress melting off our shoulders. After only just a few short hours we were stress free and ready to hit the road again.

Of course there was another SNAFU on the next leg of our journey, and the next as well, but I’ll only bore you with one at a time.


Why “Gibberish” one might ask…

gib board

I really do hope that what one finds written on this blog is not gibberish. But when I was trying out different names for the new blog American Gypsy Gibberish really struck a chord with me.

The gypsy part seems pretty straight forward, but the word gibberish sort of has a negative aura and yet I decided to go with it anyway. While I understand the word literally means “Unintelligible or nonsensical talk or writing” I still equate the meaning to be of a more personal nature. To keep it short and sweet, what it basically¬†boils down to for me is that if¬†my work is¬†not published it’s just mere ramblings, just¬†words on a page.

I’ve been writing for what seems like forever, but other than being a local beat reporter for a weekly newspaper, I’ve never gotten paid for anything I’ve written. Just¬†like most of the other “writers” out there aspiring to be “authors”, I have the beginnings of a manuscript or two not to mention too many WIPs (work in progress).¬†However, they are just words on the page, collecting dust as they sit on the shelf. The writing is¬†grammatically correct (I hope) but as¬†they sit there, in their unfinished state, the words may as well be gibberish.

That, my friends, is how the title of this blog came to be. I hope you’ll look past the literal meaning of the word and take a peek at what I have to offer. Some days¬†the posts¬†might be about our travels, some days perhaps about how¬†we’re trying to decide where to go next, and sometimes just about what I cooked for dinner.

Random topics? Yes, but the writing will always¬†be from the heart and I’ll do my best to keep it¬†entertaining.¬†I tend to write with a good¬†deal of humor whenever I can, which is how¬†I tend to look at life as well. ¬†Because after all, life is way too short to take seriously all the time.