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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Camphost Orientation and some furniture refinishing

I have neglected my blog again, sorry.... but since coming back from vacation, I have not had much RVing stuff to talk about. I guess I could just fill it up with grandtot stuff and what weaving or knitting I am doing.  But I do like to focus on RVing stuff.

Well------ Today I do!

High Cliff State Park has a new Camphost Coordinator ....  Steve's job description of Facilities Maintenance Repair Worker Advanced has now has evolved to incorporate a new task since Ranger Rob transferred to a new park.  Steve took on the added job of working with the camphost scheduling and training.  He started out planning an orientation for all of the scheduled summer's camp host volunteers to come to the park for a day.  His Ever-Faithful-Non-Paid-Assistant... known as EFNPA ... (or "me") has prepared all the paperwork, gathered up a meal and assisted with the program today.

The summer schedule is filled with camphosts taking a month at a time as their shift in the park.  We went over new changes, policies, contracts and shared ideas.  Camphosts offered feedback and ideas based on their accumulated years of experience as campground hosts at High Cliff as well as other parks.

Some of the hosts took a power point presentation on training for various pieces of equipment being used in their month working as hosts for the park.

While we munched on a luncheon of some delicious pulled pork sandwiches from Hilde's Deli and Bakery in Chilton, a pot of my famous calico beans, and some veggies and fruit.... followed up by an assortment of cookies from Hilde's.

The park naturalist Cindy presented a program on the history of High Cliff State Park, the lime kiln operation and some of the preservation efforts by The Friends of High Cliff Organization.  Their newest project is to restore the historic building that housed the general store and post office in years that the lime kilns operated.  Now it's a museum and nature center but needs a lot of upkeep and renewal to keep it functional.  

Steve and I will be doing our "stint" for the month of August as camphosts, with myself doing most of the hosting as Steve works full time days.  It's a fun job, and the rewards are worth it for giving of time and effort and energy to the park.

In other news, we did some furniture refinishing around the house....

My kind neighbors in the back yard, RC and Laurie, had an antique rocking chair, known as a "sewing rocker" because of the style with no arms.  Makes it easier to sew in!   They had done some remodeling in their home and didn't have a place for it any more.  So she asked I could kindly take it off her hands!   I offered to pay for it, but she said consider it a house-warming present! Awwwwww!

The chair is known as a "press back" chair because years ago they would soften the wood with steam and then press a metal form with ridges to stamp the design into the back cross pieces of the rocker!  I just love this pattern, it's so pretty!

The seat had a crack across the width of the chair.... and the finish was worn and old.  So it was time for a little make-over.

I was able to find an EXACT replacement of the same design of the seat panel ---- I ordered it from a company called http://www.vandykes.com/   They are still using the original stamps that were used to make the seats in the old days!   The seats are made from the same material as Spaulding basketballs.  Who knew?

The instructions were very clear. One just needs to carefully remove the old seat, trace the shape onto the new one and cut it with a strong scissors.  Using the same upholstery nails, I tacked it back into place but arranged the nails a bit differently to make new holes in the wood.  Easy peasy!

Once the seat was in place, it was time for a spiffy job of adding some rubbed in stain to the seat material.  That went easy.  Then the chair got an all-over covering of colored polyurethane by MinWax called Polyshades. I gave it two coats and now it has more of a reddish orange tone rather than straight brown.  It matches our woodwork in the house better.  

Here the chair got tested by a couple of grandtots, complete with a story book and some cuddles and rockabye baby songs.  (yes, even at ages 2 and 4, they still humor me and let me do some rockabyes!) 

When I had these grandtots for a couple days this week, I wanted to do another furniture refinishing project.  It was time to teach four year old Chelsea how to do this!   I had bought this cute little doggie stool from the gal who runs Critter Sitters Dog Grooming and Boarding in Stockbridge.  It needed a bit of sanding ...... and a new coat of polyurethane. (low odor fast drying)

 (just look at that concentration!) 

Little Chelsea was quite pleased with her creation.
It was a rainy icky snowy night, and we did  this project down in our basement. 

She was soooo excited the next morning to go down to the basement right away 
before breakfast and see if it was dry. 

That sure was one proud little girl of her workmanship and learning how to make something useful again instead of just throwing it away.  The stool is just perfect for the wee ones in our house to reach the kitchen sink---


We had Clayton (2) and Chelsea (4) for three days this week.... and these are my most favorite pics out of the zillions that I took of them.  Please indulge me.

Hanging out in the front porch, sharing fruit snacks....

Playing in the "rainbows" 
on the stair case from the leaded glass window.+

And this one I REALLY like... they are exploring how the light plays off a blown glass flower paperweight and a leaded crystal snowflake paperweight I found at an antique shop in Florida.

I suppose that is enough for tonight.  I am planning on doing some weaving tomorrow.. or maybe some quilting.  Oh I will add some pics (as soon as I take them) of two vintage quilts I got from the thrift shop today on my way home from the park.  

Note-----  You know you are getting well known as a fiberholic when the thrift shop calls YOU on the cell phone to tell you of some fine treasure that came in ----- and could I use it in weaving or whatever fiber idea I might have for old quilts with real wool battings!   Seriously!  They called ME! 


  1. I wish you could have had some of our antiques instead of our selling them to strangers.

  2. I really like the idea of you granddaughter finishing the step stool!


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