Sunday, May 21, 2017

And time passes!

Indeed it does pass. I just returned from 10 days of working for Rancheros gate guarding at the main gate in the back country. The time did pass fast but included a day of rain on Sunday May 7th. Thank goodness, us at the gate did not need to travel on any of the ranch roads during the rain but oh-boy the mud on all the other vehicles coming into and going out of the camp must have added about 200 lbs to each vehicle. All were a light tan in color wherever the mud touched them. The mud will be hard to wash off as it is a treated mud which becomes as hard as cement when dry.

All in all, the 10 days flew by with few problems. The weather for the first few days was sunny and warm with temps in the low 90’s then it cooled off after the rain and turned windy which meant many days with hoody’s on for warmth.

Spending as many as 18 hours per day on duty pushes us old men to the limit. However, with three of us taking turns during the day we all survived as usual.

Last Friday after packing up everything and having Clyda come up with the car to take some of the extraneous stuff home, two of us drove to Santa Maria to the Elks club for a few days of R & R. We did the same thing last year. It allows us to clean up the RV’s, dump our holding tanks and partake of a good “cook your own steak” dinner at the Elks fabulous cooking facility. Very good!!!

Clyda and her high school friend and another couple came up on Sunday so we went wine tasting on Tuesday to our favorite Sisquoc winery. After tasting, we had a picnic lunch with a nice bottle of wine.

Again, the wind blew the whole time we were in Santa Maria which put a damper on things but we managed to do some outside cooking for the group.

We came home on Thursday so I could attend a picnic for all the old Delco retiree’s. It is the only time I get to see many of the folks I used to worked with. The group is getting smaller, older, and bent over. It happens to all of us I guess.

I have been cleaning up all the stuff I took with me for Rancheros including the RV. All the laundry is done, the RV is cleaned up, and a dead mouse in a trap has been tossed out. Ready for another trip whenever we can plan one.

Wednesday we fly to Houston for our grandson’s high school graduation. We will only be gone over the weekend.

I don’t know what this flower is called. It is a succulent and we have it in three places in our yard. I looks like it will take over as it spreads easily.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Things are still green but the temperature is rising.

I did get the batteries in the truck replaced a few days after I purchased them, It was not a big job but I was surprised to find sand under the batteries on the tray. This is from the wind storm we had back in October while camped in Panamint Valley. The sand obviously got into everywhere so I still find it when I move or change anything on the truck or RV.

I got the pole beans planted in the garden and they are breaking through the ground.

I have been putting down cardboard on the garden pathways to keep the weeds down and then covering them with bark. It makes nice paths. The cardboard and bark will eventually breakdown and supply future mulch to the garden. It is the lazy man’s way to garden and I am all about doing it the easy way.

We have had a small amount of rain in the past two weeks. Mostly less than a half inch each time. Every little bit helps but usually we get wind after the rain and the benefits of the rain are lost due to the wind.

I mentioned that temperatures were rising and the last two days are an example of that. Yesterday was around 90 degrees and today was over 80. I don’t think it will last however but day time highs for the next week will be around 75 degrees, Still nice enough for me.

Next week is dedicated to getting all my Rancheros equipment rounded up and checked out. The propane stove and BBQ need checking and I am trying to decide if I need my neighbors camp stove out of his old RV. I have borrowed it for the last two years and it is useful but also more equipment to take along as I need an extra propane tank to use with it. Still deciding on that. Using it does give me more options for cooking.

May will be a busy month for us. After I am through with the Rancheros we are camping with a few friends for several more days. As long as the RV is out of the yard we might as well use it. We get home around the middle of the month then fly to Houston to attend our grandson’s High School graduation. Hard to believe that much time has passed. We will return after Memorial Day.

A flower from our yard. It is a Monkey Paw. I have never seen one this big.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

It is getting close to that time of year.

Yes it is. Time for me to start getting things together for the annual ride of Rancheros Visitadores. This year it happens on May 1st for me when I go over the mountain to mow the spot where we park our RV’s and work for the next 10 days.

I have been working on possible menus based on a food list I turned in a few weeks ago. I only have 3 of us to cook for but I still need to do some planning to make it all work.

I also need to replace the batteries in my truck. Two are required because it is a diesel. The last time I had the truck serviced they cautioned me that the batteries at 7 years old were beginning to fail. The last thing I want is to have dead batteries while on the road.
I purchased two new batteries at Costco today for $99 each and gulped at the price but spread over 7 years I guess that’s not to bad.

So what else have I been doing you might ask? Well, I am still pulling weeds but not everyday as I am down to a few small areas in the yard. However, the ground is starting to dry out so the weeds are harder to pull but I need to get them out before they go to seed. Why don’t I just use a weed killer like Roundup you might ask? Well, I have a lot of small lizards running around the yard and I don’t want to kill them so I pull the weeds.

I also planted a small garden area. Even with our water shortage I decided that a few fresh vegetables are worth the extra water. I planted zucchini, yellow squash, a couple of tomato plants and cucumbers. Yet to be planted are some pole beans. We love fresh beans.

My boysenberries are starting to bloom so I have lots of bees working the blossoms right now. Hopefully we will get a nice crop of berries. Clyda makes jelly and syrup from what we get and maybe a few cobblers also.

Clyda is still doing physical therapy at least one day a week at the clinic plus walking and lots of exercises at home. She is doing well. Time will help complete the her healing.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Nothing much going on.

It has been 4 weeks since Clyda’s surgery and she is doing amazingly well. In fact she drove the car the other day for the first time. All of the staples, 32 of them , have been removed and she only has her scar covered with Steri Strips which will soak off soon just from taking a shower. She goes for long walks several times each day which helps strengthen her muscles and also does lots of exercises, plus rides her recumbent bicycle.

We have no real trips planned for this summer except for on RV trip after I finish with Visitadores in May. We will go to the Elks Club in Santa Maria with friends for a few days much as we did last year.

In the mean time, I have been pulling weeds. Lots and lots of weeds! With all the rain we have had this year, they sure do grow. I have the bulk of them pulled now and only have out of the way areas to finish up. Normally Clyda does the flower beds but I have had to do all of it. Oh poor Me! It keeps me off the streets I guess.

Basketball. Yeah, it is that time of year when all the NCAA teams are trying to be that Number 1. With games on 4 channels to begin with, I do a lot of channel swapping. It beats watching the news.

I am trying to get up to speed on Google Docs with voice text. I purchased a headset with a mic from Amazon and have tried it and believe it or not, it works. I still need to work with it some more to get the punctuation right. I think it will come in handy for some projects I have in mind.

I have included a few flower shots I took this morning on my walk.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A medical update for Clyda.

I have kept many of you updated on Clyda’s progress but I am sure I missed a few people which I apologize for.

Clyda had her knee surgery last Thursday. At that time it was anticipated that she would have the old knee device removed and a new less mobile device installed. The Dr told us prior to the surgery that he had a plan A, B, and C ready just in case he needed them. Each device in this case was less mobile that the higher order one.

After Clyda was sedated and in the operating room, the Dr manipulated her knee and felt that the ligament in question was probably in good shape. After making the incision, he found that to be the case and so instead of replacing the knee he just replaced the 7 mm bearing plate with a 12 mm plate and that really tightened up the ligament. It is his feeling that Clyda should have no further problems with stability after her healing process.

Instead of a 4 ½ hour surgery, it only took 45 minutes. However, Clyda had been prepped for the 4 ½ hour surgery so it took her a while to recover from the anesthetic.

I received a call from the Dr about 2 hours after the surgery started telling me the “good news” as he said and indeed it was good news as her recover time will be much shorter.

In fact she has made amazing progress this week. Clyda even has walked to the end of our block using her walker for added stability. I think the walker will be gone after today and she will only use a cane for a while.

I told her the other day that “at the rate she is progressing I better plan a trip soon. Ha!

This Angels Trumpet just keeps putting out flowers every few weeks. Amazing!

Monday, February 20, 2017

An update

I did have my session with the Lithotriptor and it looks like the kidney stone was busted up into small pieces which have passed. The process was painless as I was sedated and didn’t feel a thing. No pain or effects from the process. Now to keep up my liquid intake regimen to avoid this in the future.

We have had a lot of rain over the last week, in fact over 6 inches locally on the coast and much, much more in the mountains which is where it is needed to fill the lake where our water comes from. We had another 1.2 inches overnight. All is welcome even with the weather related problems it cause. Some roads have been closed, trees are down, and the airport was closed overnight on Saturday because of runway flooding.

As to our phone and internet problem – I got a recorded message on Saturday afternoon saying that “the scheduled repair would not take place until the 23rd of February.” That was 3 whole weeks from the time we lost phone service. I called Frontier and was told “That is what it is.”

So, I visited the local cable company office on Monday and set up an appointment to have a full bundle of services, phone, internet, and TV, installed on Wednesday. When I returned home I received a phone call from the cable company asking if it would be OK to do the installation on Tuesday morning. OK, now that is service.

The installation was done on Tuesday but a few problems came up. Mainly, our cabling in the house is 50 years old and all needs to be replaced. That is a major job. One that I need to talk to the cable company about. In the mean time, we do have phone, internet, and TV but some of it needs to be fine tuned yet. All in good time.

When the cable is replaced, I want to move some of the outlets in a few rooms to shorten the cable runs. When this house was built the cable was installed in every room with no real thought as to where the TV’s would be placed.

I have spent the last 3 days changing the email addresses for all of our on-line accounts to the new email address. That is not a small job as many accounts require a 2 step process to make changes while others require that they make the changes themselves.

I decided to add a few photos from our cruise to hawaii.

 Sunset as we leave Kauai.

Banyon tree at Lahina on Maui. Multiple trunks but all one tree.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

It is heck getting old.

On December 29th I was admitted to the Emergency room of the local hospital with severe kidney stone pain. After a CT scan, an IV, and pain meds, I was released after 4 hours. The stone bothered me over the weekend but I was not in severe pain as I had been. We were scheduled to depart on another cruise to Hawaii with friends on January 4th. This trip was surely in jeopardy as I also had an appointment with a Urologist on the morning of the 4th. Her recommendation was to cancel the trip but in the end she left the decision up to me. Before I left the clinic she had me get an x-ray so they could track the stone.

Needless to say, I did make the cruise but about the time the ship left the dock in Los Angeles I was having second doubts about my decision as I was having mild kidney pain. This pain occurred a few more times over the next few days but then quit completely for the remainder of the cruise and has not recurred since.

However, I did have a scheduled appointment with my Urologist when I returned from the trip and her suggestion was to have the stone removed as soon as possible. Her comment was “You have had this stone long enough so lets get rid of it”.

I am scheduled for a session with a Lithotriptor on Thursday of this week to “pound” the stone out of me with sound waves. In the mean time I have had multiple doctor visits, lab work, etc in preparation for the procedure.

As a result of all this medical stuff we canceled our annual winter trip to Arizona for this year. We hated to miss seeing all of our friends but I need to get this taken care of.
The other reason to get it done is because Clyda has knee replacement surgery scheduled for February 23rd and I need to be ready to take care of her. This surgery is to replace the device she had installed about a year and a half ago. The device is perfect but she is unstable on her feet as the ligaments for that leg are stretched. The only way to compensate is to put in a new device with less movement sideways. Unfortunate, but it has to be done.

There is no traveling in our near future until Clyda is back on her feet and stable.

On another note: We are having RAIN. Not a lot, but enough to make a difference in the drought we hope. Of course, much more is needed to overcome all those years when we had little rain. The lake (our main water source) has come up some but is still has a long way to go before it spills over the dam. I doubt it will happen this year.