Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Screen doors and children

What is it with small children and screen doors? Last summer when camping with my grand kids I lost track of how many times I admonished them "Don't lean/push/press on the screen." I remember my parents telling me the same thing when I would lean against the screen door of the house, and I remember telling my kids not to do it as well, so perhaps it's hereditary. LOL There's just something about it that makes it impossible for a child to resist. And pets are not immune to the lure of the screen either. Cats and dogs will push/bump/jump on/scratch at a screen almost if not more insistently than a child will. I will even admit to using my hip to "bump" the screen door open or to help hold it open if it's windy, and usually my hip hits the screen and not a solid part of the frame, so I'm also a culprit here. Since I plan to camp with my grand kids, and I will be traveling with both dogs and a cat, I thought I better do something to protect the screen door of the travel trailer. I ordered a Camco 43991 RV Aluminum Screen Door Deluxe Grille and installed it today. The grille guard is lightweight but sturdy aluminum and expands to fit doors from 20" to 32" so it fits most RV's.

Installation was a very simple project that consisted of holding the guard up against the door where I wanted it installed and using a pencil to mark the location for the guard on the side of the closed door of the TT. I butted the hinge side right up against the door jamb and left about 1/4" of space on the latch side. You want to make sure there is enough clearance on the handle side so the door will open and close without the guard striking the  jamb. Using a 1/8" drill bit I drilled pilot holes in the door and inserted 4 screws to hold the guard in place. It took longer to round up the tools than to actually install the guard.

 Because of the expandable nature of the beast the center portion will slide from side to side with a bit of pressure, so I also drilled holes in the upper and lower slide bars and used 1/2" sheet metal screws to hold it firmly in place. This stopped any small rattles that may have been noticeable without securing it. As an added benefit it makes the screen door much more solid, also important with kids and pets. (and hips)
While it won't prevent all screen door assaults by determined animals and children, it should at least minimize the damage. Some days that's the best we can hope for. lol

I finished up the project just as the raindrops started to fall yet again, just heavy enough to soak the grass so it looks like I'm off the hook for mowing the lawn today. The peach tree that I planted last spring had about 60 or 70 peaches on it this summer, but shortly before they ripened I discovered they all had brown rot. The previous owner of the land here had several ornamental (not edible) peach type trees that dropped fruit all over the front yard. I'm guessing that's where the brown rot fungus was hiding, waiting to strike down my poor peaches. After reading up on it, it seems it can be prevented by spraying when the tree(s) are blooming, and again before the fruit starts to ripen. I will have to do some more research this winter to see if there is an organic spray that is effective.

In the meantime, the peaches are still edible if you cut off the fuzzy brown areas, which seem to appear in a matter of hours just as the fruit reaches the edible stage. 60 or 70 peaches don't amount to much when you have to whack off half of the fruit, but at least I've been able to enjoy some of them. I have less than a dozen left, and after paring away the bad spots there's enough to make a very small cobbler. Guess what I'm having for dessert tonight.

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