The World Came to a Screeching HALT!


This tangled pile of ties is the closest thing I have in my photo library to display the chaos we entered into in the early months of 2020.

News of the Corona-Virus had started to surface and the World News was painting a grim picture. Little did we know how our lives were about to change. Darin and I live in Oceanside CA and our Governor was very quick to start the process of putting the state into lockdown. This is not a complaint, I believe his quick action saved many. The nation as a whole did not seem immediately fazed by the outbreak of a Pandemic but we all started to feel the strain and stress pretty quickly.

My son, Franklin, decided to make a quick visit to CA from Houston in order to jump out of a Hot-Air Balloon. This is something he had scheduled a few times and wind or weather had prevented it. Luckily, it was a success for him this trip and something he has checked off his to-do list. While he was visiting the news of the Corona-Virus was becoming more intensified and frightening.

Like many folks, I had re-started hobbies. One of which was sewing, I made this nifty Hoodie-neck pillow for Franklin. It would come in handy for his flight back to Houston. Speaking of his flight back, the news was increasingly awful and the fear of going into public places was settling in for me. Fortunately, I keep sanitizing wipes on hand for quick clean-ups. Darin and I have been taking care of his 95-year old father for a few years now and those wipes are useful. I put several of them in a zip-lock baggy and made Franklin swear he would use them prior to touching any surface while traveling home.


Darin is only a short few years from retirement, he is a Union member and works in convention centers. Large gatherings got shutdown and so did Darin’s job. All of a sudden, our routine had to be changed, we were all at home, all at once. It was weird. I kept sewing, cooking and started gardening. Darin just relaxed and watched tv for a while. Then the new episodes ended! Dear God! What next? Ok, well, I went grocery shopping with my best friend and broke my hand!


This fracture happened when I mistakenly picked up a canned cooked whole chicken! I was thoroughly disgusted by the idea and just had to take a closer look, don't do that. It hurt when it slipped from my fingers and I tried to catch it before it landed on my foot.


I sewed more, I made these great cloth bags for the van that are awesome for storage. I made baby clothes for people I didn’t even know. I cooked more, if you’ve never made and eaten a Dutch Baby you are missing out! I cleaned and re-seasoned some old cast iron my mom had given me during my last trip to Georgia. I gardened more, at this point my tomatoes, jalapenos, zucchini and eggplant were going OFF!! Sewing has been an old standby of mine for many years. Since I was in the sewing mode, I made toddler clothes for Sweet Delilah, the daughter of a very dear friend on the other side of the country and mailed them to her.

Bread?!?! Yes, I baked bread, I bake the best hamburger buns I’ve ever eaten and some pretty weird hotdog buns. Like the rest of the country, I was almost at my wit’s end. For years I allowed myself some me-time. Well, when you are in lockdown with your husband and father-in-law, that gets pretty tricky. So, I went upstairs completely emptied our guest bedrooms and re-organized them. That kept me occupied for a day. Darin, was going through Netflix and Prime Video and eventually got a call from someone needing his assistance, so he got a few days of side work. That didn’t last long but did get him motivated to do something other than watch tv.


Time to focus his attention on the van. When we bought our Sprinter Van, we chose a Crew Van because of the side windows and the crew seat bench. As you may remember, we kept that bench for a bit and used it in the van. Very quickly we realized we did not need nor want the bench so we did like many others and tried to sell it, to no avail. Fast forward to the Covid-19 lockdown, Darin’s attention on the van resulted in him grabbing his Saws-all and completely cutting the bench in half. What do you think of these pictures?


Well, we couldn’t leave it like that, now could we. We had kept the portion with a working seat belt and two leg braces, it still secured into the original tracks. Darin fashioned a way of securing the bench at a different location in our van. Not exactly DOT approved so let’s skip those details. Darin had maintained the upholstery in order to cover the cut edge. My God it was ugly. So, being the sewing hack that I am, I decided to cover the whole bench in some tie-die material. What do you think of this? Unfortunately, I don’t have the final picture of it fitted properly. Now if any of you decide you may want or need this one of a kind ½ crew seat for your van, please do email us right away, as I am certain it will be a hot-ticket item! This can be all yours for the price of…..FREE!! It will actually lock into the original tracks of a crew or cargo van and has working seatbelt and an armrest. Come and get your one of a kind modified seat bench, or better yet, we can tell you how to Saws-all yours.

I actually got to put it to use on my next trip. My BFF, Wendy and I decided to throw caution to the wind during Covid and drive to Big Bear Mountain. Some areas of California were re-opening and the tribal casinos were opening back up. We were armed with masks and hand sanitaizer, so off we went. We drove about 40 minutes before our first stop at a casino. The slots were set up so that every other one was blocked off, it was kinda weird but we had fun. We had a burger and decided to ‘camp’ in the casino parking lot for the evening. Now off to Big Bear.


Once in Big Bear we thought we had a campsite nailed but arrived too late to secure it. No worries, stealth works for us. BUT, Wendy called in a favor and we got a primo spot in a great parking area at some really cool cottages. The back door opened up to a rather large meadow, so it actually looked like camping.


Wendy is a much better hiker than I am, but I held my own on the Cougar Crest Trail. The Cougar Crest Trail actually leads to the Pacific Crest Trail! This was an exciting revelation; we officially have now hiked on the Pacific Crest Trail! We had a great weekend of hiking and threw in a little shopping on the side.

As you know, toilet paper was at a premium, so it was time to improvise. I had previously installed a bidet attachment at home. So it was time to get one for the van.

Please do subscribe, our next post will bring some sad news and a trip of a lifetime that actually leads to the origination of this blog and the name of our new business. Darin is still unemployed due to Covid, after all. We had to come up with something.


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