Improving Accessibility of Under-bed Storage in T@G

Adding a strut and hinges to the T@G under-bed storage opens this wonderful storage area to easy access, making it much more usable.

Our teardrop camper is a 2015 T@G XL from NuCamp. It fits perfectly in our garage and pulls like a dream with our Subaru Outback. The cabin fits a king size bed with small cabinets above the headboard and footboard.

There’s not a lot of space for things like hoses, tools, outdoor rugs, etc., so every square inch is important to recapture, and because it doesn’t require an investment in a tow vehicle or off-site storage, we’re gonna make it work. The magic lies under that bed.

The bed sits on a platform of two pieces of plywood split down the middle sitting atop 1×3 framing. The 3″ height of that framed area adds up to a lot of storage space which is only accessible by manually lifting the lid with the bed and linens on top. It’s difficult at best and discourages use of the storage area.

Solution: hinges and struts

Shopping List:

  • Hinges
  • Strut Mounting Brackets
  • Struts – If I had it to do again, I’d look for 80lb struts. The 100 lbs are a bit tough to push down to close. The 20″ length is important to stick to given the measurements I’ve provided.
  • Storage Bins

Tools Needed:

  • Power screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Another person to help hold the lid
  • A cocktail depending on who the other person is and how they behave when given instructions
  • Dremel tool to notch out the space for the strut — this is what I had. You may be able to do it with a wedge.

Step 1: Attach hinges to bottom frame

Tips to make it easier:

  • Take the lid off and move it out of the way.
  • Open the hinges – makes it easier to see the screw holes. If they’re already open, you’re in luck. They’re really tight!!
  • Install all of the hinges , aligning the top of the hinge with the top of the middle frame.
Hinges installed on bottom half

Step 2: Install the strut mounting bracket

Don’t overthink the struts. They work even though they defy logic.

  • Install the mounting bracket (the one that is a flat triangle) to the bottom frame first. About 3.25″ from the middle (left edge in picture) and flush with the top edge.
  • Install the other one to the lid. It’s best to do this outside on the ground with the lid upside down. Come down about 7.25″ from the top edge and 29.25″ from the right edge and align the top of the cleat to the 7.25″ mark. TIP: Don’t screw in fully as they pierce thru to the outside of the lid.
Underside of lid from passenger side of camper
The top of the bracket should align with the 7.25″ mark with the ball face toward the middle of the lid.

Step 3: Attach hinges to the lid

This step requires a helper to hold the lid steady. The hinges are like miniature little crocodiles and the lid tries to jump out of the way when the screw approaches.

You may need your cocktail in this step. Tools are much easier to direct than people.

  • Set the edge of the lid down the middle of the frame on the opposite side of the hinge.
  • Close the hinge so it snaps to the lid.
  • Have your person put pressure on the bottom of the lid so it doesn’t move as you screw the hinge in.
  • Screw in all four screws.
  • Try closing the lid to be sure you’ve got it seated correctly.
  • Repeat for the rest of the hinges.

Step 4: Attach the strut

You’ve now got all the hinges and the strut mounting bracket installed. All that’s left is to put in the strut.

  • The connection of the strut to the cleat requires the use of a flat top screwdriver to wedge the brace open. It’s a little tricky unless you have three hands.

Step 5: Notch frame to give Strut space to close

If you try to close the lid the strut will bump into the frame. You can see the little notch I carved out to allow it to close. I used a Dremel tool.

Happy Camping!

Understanding Invoices

QuickBooks™ Online Invoices update your Income accounts by virtue of the configuration of the Products/Services you select.   To change which Income account is updated you have to go to the Product configuration.  Within the configuration you can select whether to apply the change to historical Invoices as well

Another important concept to understand is that Invoices update Accounts Receivable when created.  Your checking/cash account is updated only when you “Receive Payment” against the Invoice.

Invoice and product explained

Dynamics – How to Log In

Dynamics is a web-based application, so you log into it from a web browser like Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.  You do not need to install anything.

To Log Into Dynamics

  1. Open your browser.
  2. In the address bar, enter the URL of your Dynamics site.
  3. Enter your user name and password.

Bookmark the location and save it for quick access next time!

Feeding your cat as the carnivore they should be

Yesterday morning I watched as my 1 year-old cat puked up a log in a way I’ve seen my older cat do on a regular  basis.  I always thought the older cat, Cookie, just did that “because.”  When I saw it from the baby I knew there had to be more to this.

Our home “feline” profile

We have four cats; each unique in their own way.

  • There is Cookie, the vocal, attention demanding black long-hair.  She is probably close to 10 years old and projectile vomits at least three times a week without discriminating as to where, including our bed.
  • There is Helen, the pure white, blue-eyed cat my kids call the devil.  She is probably a little younger than Cookie.  We adopted her from the SPCA about five years ago.  She’s a refined huntress with an incredible sense of bravado and fight. She will nip your toes to let you know she’s done being inside and ready to be let out.  Helen will eat ANYTHING and everything.  She suffers from skin issues on her nose and the tips of her ears.  The vet believes it’s sunburn from her coloring, and all biopsies have come back negative for cancer.  She also has a perpetual drainage from one of her eyes.  I believe these are manifestations from allergies.
  • There is Charlie, a 10-something year-old rescue we adopted three years ago from a local cat rescue organization and discovered quickly he was incurable sprayer.  Short of putting him down due to this issue, we’ve relegated him to be 100% outdoors.  He is such a lovable, wonderful cat, but his history precludes him being an indoor cat.  He also has intestinal issues and often has to visit the vet to have his anal glands cleared.  He has diarrhea, a recurring UTI and is currently plagued with ear issues which cause him to fall over when he shakes his head.  He’s on his second round of antibiotics to see if it’s middle-ear related before moving on to blood work to see if it’s something else.
  • Then there is Mia.  We adopted her from the SPCA last year as a 3-month old kitten.  She had been with a feral colony prior to arriving at the SPCA.  We have coddled and kept her close to us so she would learn to be an indoor cat.  We’re succeeding

Prior to adopting Charlie we had a 17 year-old family cat who got diabetes and for three years we administered insulin, veterinary-prescribed food, and struggled to the end when he was put down.

All of my cats are fed Purina One dry cat food “at will.”  Leaving a bowl outside for Charlie has attracted many a raccoon and neighborhood cat to our front porch, which is not a good scenario.

Yesterday I learned how to feed them to *thrive* not just survive

A search for cat vomiting yielded this website: by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM., a graduate of the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

This philosophies shared on this site speak to me.  You see, I eat naturally and respect the relationship between food and health.  I’m not sure why I’ve never related this to my cats.  I guess I just never knew how bad dry cat food was until I stumbled upon Dr. Pierson’s site and then continued researching the topic.

To summarize the information she shares:

  1. They’re meat-eaters
    • Cats are carnivores.  In the wild they eat raw met and bones of their prey.
    • Cats in the wild do not eat carbohydrates or plant-based proteins like we see in commercially-prepared foods — grains and vegetables are for humans, not cats.
    • Cats need a diet with a balanced ratio of meat (phosphorus) and bones (calcium), and less than 10% carbohydrates.
  2. They expect water from their diet
    1. Cats inherently have a low thirst drive and need to consume their water “with” their food.  A cat’s normal prey is 70% water.
    2. A healthy urinary tract system requires flowing water.
  3. Dry Cat Food
    1. Is devoid of water.
    2. Wreaks havoc on insulin/blood sugar because of the carb load.
    3. Is synthetically supplemented with plant-based proteins.
    4. Is cost-effective to the producers by using “by products” rather than muscle meats (chicken, turkey, beef, rabbit)
    5. It’s processing removes the beneficial moisture and alters the biological value of the protein sources, as well as damaging vital nutrients.
    6. Is not refrigerated and sits in warm warehouses, on pet store shelves, and in your cupboards for weeks or months before being consumed, leading to bacterial growth and rancid fats.
    7. Is a prime source of contamination and illness.  Just look at how many pet food recalls we’ve had recently.
    8. Any canned cat food, regardless of price, is better than dry cat food for your cat’s overall health.  If you do nothing else, GET THE DRY CAT FOOD OUT OF THEIR DIET.  Buy any kind of canned food instead.
  4. Justifying the effort
    • All cats appear “fine” until they demonstrate outward signs of disease from poor commercially-prepared diets.  Diseases are brewing long before outward signs.  Common results:
      • Obesity
      • Diabetes
      • Blocked urinary tracts
      • Cystitis
      • Food intolerance (IBD)
      • Kidney/bladder stones
      • Cancer
    • The time you spend feeding your cats a species appropriate diet will pay off in time and money spent dealing with an illness.  I know the heart, soul, and $ I put into taking care of a diabetic cat for three years.  If this makes them healthier and happier, I’m in.

Today is the first day on a species-appropriate diet for my cats

Last night I visited our local gourmet pet supply store (Redbridge Pet Supply Market) and picked up canned food with zero carbohydrates to help us in the transition from dry food.

Today we went shopping for chicken thighs and drumsticks with bone-in and skin on, chicken livers, and the required supplements and made our first batch of home-made food.  It was a lot easier than I thought.

Here’s our first batch:


Portfolio > Systems Interfaces

Purpose: This document was created to communicate all the systems and describe their interface specifications within a specific business domain.

Audience: Internal business and IT stakeholders

Confidentiality Statement: This information is confidential and is owned by DMV.   It is being made available for a brief review of Debra Silbert’s portfolio, after which it will be removed from public view.

Dealing with personality types — not just at work

Understanding personality types is critical in your journey as a ScrumMaster.  Being a person who leans more toward the extrovert side of the graph, dealing with introverts was incredibly frustrating until I studied up on what motivates them and how they recharge their brains.

Here is an article with tips on dealing with introverts vs. extroverts.  It has two great graphics which I laminated and posted in our team room. 22 Tips to Better Care for Introverts and Extroverts

Summer Solstice

There is nothing more beautiful in life than a flourishing garden.

Red Malabar Spinach blossoms
Red Malabar Spinach blossoms

Nasturtium leaf after watering

Suburban Gardening
Suburban Gardening


Lemon drop squash bloom
Lemon drop squash bloom



Nasturtium bloom
Nasturtium bloom

Yeap; summer.
Yeap; summer.

Helen the hilarious
Helen the hilarious


Herbal happiness
Herbal happiness


Herbal happiness
Herbal happiness