I had planned to come home tonight and write about the weekend; instead I'll put that off for a day or so...
One of the most useful things I've ever found to keep around the house is a roll of plastic sheeting. You can buy thinner stuff, and it will work fine for some things, but the heavier stuff is magic! You can find it at your favorite hardware store, your choice of indoor lumberyards, or the hardware section of Wal-Mart, where I've bought my last half dozen rolls.
For this winter I bought a 20'x25' roll of the heavier stuff; I said 6 mil thick, which it used to be, but it might be down to 4 these days, I don't have the wrapper anymore. The thin stuff will work for a month or so, but the heavy stuff will alst all winter as long as you don't get grease on it. I split it in half lengthwise, so it's two pieces that are 12.5'x20'.
I laid it over the roof of the truck trying to split it fairly evenly, then figured out how far to pull it over the hood to cover the wipers and cowl (the venting at the back edge of the hood where all your fresh air comes from). Poke a hole for the antenna of the truck; slip the excess between the bed and the back of the cab; then tuck it in at the front and rear edges of the door on one side making sure you keep it out of the lock. Pull it up a bit under the mirror, slip a rubber band over it; move to the other side and do the same. If the wind is blowing I'll slip an edge under the gas door just to keep the wind from getting under it.
For Dottie's car I had to trim 2 more feet off the 20' length and it will still reach the ground on both sides. On it we tuck it in at the front edge of the front door and the back edge of the rear door, and though I make sure to keep it out of the locks, I will slip a little back under the lower edge of the back door to keep the wind from getting under it. Rubber band the mirrors and it's good to go.
Today I pulled mine off and stuck it in the garage as it was only supposed to be flurries tonight. Had they sad freezing rain it would have been on the floorboard and I'd have covered it again when I got to work...
I've also used this stuff to cover a screen to make a storm window when a glass one got broken; I've fixed foundation leaks by digging down to the leak and laying a piece of it on the outside of the cement and backfilling the dirt. It's cheaper than buying drop cloths as you can reuse it.
Other cheats: everyone talks about putting sandtubes in a vehicle for traction, and I've done it for years. My last truck had a cover on it and plywood on the floor to soundproof it a bit so things didn't slide too badly. It also had a bench seat against the front of the bed, so they couldn't slide too far.
Last winter I had seven 60 pound tubes between the wheelwells of my Silverado, lying on the Line-X spray on bedliner, which is fairly good about keeping things stationary. Usually...
As I came off the end of the four lane into the industrial district where I work, going with a green light and somewhere around 50 mph, a "spotter" rig made an illegal left turn against the light across my lanes. I "anchored" the truck, and it stopped much faster than I'd have ever dreamed. The sand tubes, however, didn't! 420 pounds of frozen wet sand hit the front of the bed in unison like a 500 pound hammer and the truck jumped a couple of feet further than it would have otherwise.
I cleared the rig, but decided I didn't want to go through that again!
So this summer while I was working on the garage I picked up a couple of pieces of CCA and when it started getting cold this winter I took a handful of decking screws and the circular saw to them:
The CCA is taller than the tubes are, and I used the leftover pieces from the front box to make the "H" shaped piece that looks like a "T" behind the tubes; it's not fastened down, but makes it possible to go pick up sheets of things without having to unload the tubes first. Next summer I can lift the front one out until next winter.
5:30AM; I got off work at 3:30, home just before 4, by the time I had the trash out, my laundry in and got through the shower it was after 4:30. I ate a bowl of cereal, started the dishwasher and sat down here a few minutes before 5; now I should go off to bed, but I'm going to check in with one or two of you and put my clothes in the dryer, then I'll go...
May the week be kind!