Monday, June 21, 2010

Ladies Dresses Half Off

Ladies Dresses-Half Off

Perhaps you think this is a bargain sale of ladies clothes. But my friend kept giggling about the Ladies Dresses-Half Off.

It had become our joke du jour

When I moved into my motorhome, the closet was too short for my long dresses. The choice was to either hem the dresses, or hang them as is, and let the bottoms get all wrinkled. Yes, the motorhome came with an iron, but the thought of ironing the dresses every time I wanted to put one on, was daunting. I look at the iron as for emergencies or sewing projects.

I couldn't just change my wardrobe either. That takes money. Besides, these dresses fit me just fine and I liked them. 

I have sewing projects piled up and no time to sew. My days are so busy. 

Lately, I am busy trying to fight the medical problems and get well again. But this shall pass. For weeks I am fine, then suddenly my body goes the opposite direction. 

Anyhow, as a quick temporary fix, I bought a compression rod, that is typically used to hang up a shower current instantly. Well I mean a shower curtain. I have sailor on the brain. My head injury sometimes makes me come out with weird stuff. Like a rod to hang up the shower current...

Now that I look up mail-order information on closet compression rods, I find they are really called tension rods.   I often prefer shopping mail-order as it sames loads of gas money and time. I can pick out exactly what I want and not drive from store to store searching. 

My motorhome came with a built-in accordion style shower door so I have no need for a shower curtain to contain my shower current, um shower flow. But for hanging up the dresses, they would fit in the shower, if only I had a rod. So  I twisted the compression rod to a close size, then stuck it in the shower stall near the ceiling. I twisted it until it fit nice and snug. 

At this point, my showers were still cold ones or borrowed ones in someone else's home.  (I did finally get the hot water fixed one day, after about 5 months of cold showers.)  So when I needed to shower, I laid the dresses on my bed, then took a quick cold shower, and hung them back up. I could close the shower door, and no one but me, knew there were dresses hiding in the shower. 

All the shorter things hung in my closet, with plenty of room left for the dresses, should I ever get them hemmed to short dresses. 

A few weeks back, or was it months, whichever it was, I drove down highway A-1-A on the east cost of Florida. I was thrilled, it was a beautiful day and I was meeting up with one of my all time favorite people. I drove at only 30-35 miles per hour,  as I savored the surroundings. It had been decades since I had driven down A-1-A.  To be in my motorhome, a dream that had become a weird reality at a time when I least expected it, just seemed like heaven on earth. I was alive, feeling pretty good and the scenery was gorgeous. 

In my mirror, I could see a little red convertible sports car, following me so closely, you would think I was towing him. 

Suddenly two children ran out in front of me, causing me to slam on the brakes, to miss hitting them. I was astonished their parents had not taught them how to LOOK for vehicles before crossing such a busy road. I missed the children by a few feet. They could have been teenagers or tweens, it was hard to tell. Either way, they had no sense about how to cross a road and no parents in sight. 

I heard a loud CRASH. I was shaking all over from the near-miss. I thought OH NO.  That little red sports car has crashed under my motorhome. Now what a mess this will be. The children had vanished on the eastern side of the road, presumably to go to the beach. 

A-1-A had no where to pull over, I could put my right tires, maybe one foot off the road. I would just have to stop in the middle of the road with my flashers on. This would cause a huge traffic snarl. I checked my mirror as I turned on the flashers, and was surprised to see that little red car was still behind me and he had not crashed into me. He was much further back now. I bet he was glad he had good brakes to miss crashing into me too. 

There were more cars behind him, so I turned the flashers off and decided not to stop, since there was apparently no wreck to deal with. I sped back up and finally made it to my destination, a wonderful campground at Long Point Park.

As i drove, I checked the rear-view mirror on the windshield. It gives me a view of some of the motorhome interior and a glance out the back window over my bed. I still had NO idea what the loud crash was.

The motorhome makes all sorts of noises when driving. It's a guessing game to figure out what the different noises are. 

A few hours later, I was parked at the campground. My friend arrived less than a half hour later. I was giving him a tour of the motorhome.  I tried to open the opaque accordion  shower door, to show him that, but it was stuck. Actually jammed shut. 

So THAT is what that loud crash was. My compression rod had compressed when I slammed on brakes so hard.  All the dresses had crashed to the floor on their hard plastic hangers. The whole mess had jammed the door shut. 

Nice work. 

We moved on to other things and it became a joke as my friend kept saying "Ladies Dresses-Half off!"

Eventually, I think it was the next day,  we worked the shower door open a few scant inches, and tried to shove the mess around, until we could open the door further. I dragged the clothing out bit by bit, and my unwrinkled dresses were now pretty wrinkled up. 

I moved the compression pole to the side of my bedroom in back of the motorhome ad lengthened it by twisting it, to fit there. The dresses were now hanging in the corner of the bedroom and we could use the cold shower without having to move them around. 

Weeks later, I found myself in Lowe's looking at kitchen faucets. I happened to stumble across a closet flange set.

Every thing in my motorhome from circa 1994 is in grass, um I mean brass. (Brain is just not up to par today.)

So I bought a set of brass closet flanges. I went to see if they had an identical compression pole, as I had bought mine at K-Mart, 550 miles away. Sure enough, Lowe's had one identical and it was cheap. It fit the flanges perfectly. WOW, something simple was actually going to work out for me. 

I got to thinking about whether to put the tension rod in the bedroom or the shower. Finally, I decided to put one both places.  My dresses could hang in the bedroom when I was showering, instead of flinging them on the bed. So I bought another pole and went to find another bass flange.Um, make that a brass flange. 

Back at the motorhome, I let my project age a few days. I often let my projects age while I mull them over. Once I put holes in the motorhome's walls, well they are there to stay. 

I had some exterior mounting tape. This is thick tape that is sticky on both sides and rated for X number of pounds per inch used. I figured if I used the tape to stick up the flanges, they would be held in place, while I screwed the brass screws in.  Also, this might eliminate any potential new squeaks when driving the motorhome. 

I screwed half the screws in, and my hand seized up.  Two days later, I screwed the rest in. I hung the dresses in the bedroom. I took a cold shower to cool off, cause I was hot and sweaty from my efforts. That's when I discovered just how handy these new rods would become. I now had a wet towel, I wished for it to dry before I folded and hung it on the towel rods that are recessed on the bathroom door. 

So I took some clothes pins, and hung the towel from a heavy duty plastic hanger, then hung that in the shower to dry. I hung my soaking wet wash cloth on a hanger with clothes pins too, after wringing it out.  

Many campgrounds will not allow you hang up wet things outside.  This can be inconvenient, but I guess they want their campgrounds to look aesthetic. 

Later in the day, when the towel had dried, I folded and hung it on the bathroom door's towel rack for future use. I tossed the now dry (but stinky) wash cloth into the dirty clothes bin. 

When we got caught in the rain and my clothes were soaked, I had a nice place to hang them to dry, and anything that dripped, well it dripped down the shower drain. I felt really clever by now. My bathing suit could hang there to dry, the dog's towel after his bath could dry and so on. 

I also seemed to be moving my summer straw hat around all the time, there isn't a hat rack to hang it on and I don't want it crushed. So I used clothes pins to attach it to a plastic hanger and hung that in the bedroom on the tension rod. I also sometimes hang my purse on a hanger and toss that on the rod too. My gosh, whoever knew that this cheap addition to my motorhome, could become so handy. 

I still plan to hem my dresses shorter, one day and put them in the proper closet, but for now, they just hang in the corner, and don't get wrinkled. The closet rod in the overhead of the shower, has become my drying rack, as I hang things from clothes hangers, then hang them in the shower. I put the tension rod so close the ceiling, than even a tall person can shower, without banging their head on the rod. 

I am pleased with the whole idea.

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