Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Clyda update.

Location, At Home, CA

This is just a short entry to update Clyda’s condition. She has spent the last week in bed with her foot propped up. She has some pain but mostly when she lowers her foot.

Yesterday she had a Doctors appointment and they removed the original wrapping and took an x-ray. Everything is fine so they put a cast on which ends just below her knee. She of course is tired of staying in bed and is planning to get more active as the pain decreases.

I have a TV in the bedroom to occupy her time. The Grandkids are at Disneyland for a few days but will be back tomorrow evening. Unfortunately, they leave for home on Saturday. More later.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Location, At Home, CA

Oldest son Tim, wife Diane and grandkids Matthew and Ivy arrived as planned on Saturday afternoon. It was good to see them at the airport. We are looking forward to 2 weeks of fun together.

Then tragedy struck. Clyda fell and broke her ankle on Monday morning while walking Craig’s dog. It required the Paramedics and a back board to get her to the ambulance as she was on the bike path near the grade school. Goleta Valley Hospital Emergency room straightened her ankle and wrapped it. She spent the night at home. On Tuesday she had surgery to repair it at the out patient surgery center. She now has a whole machine shop of screws and plates holding it together. Of course, this is the leg she had the knee replacement on and of course, she fell on that knee also. The x-ray showed no damage to the implant so hopefully it is only bruised.

She had a nerve block at the back of her knee so she has had little pain. She is flat on her back with her foot elevated for a week. It will than be 3 months before she can put any weight on the foot.

She is really bummed as Tim, Diane and the kids are here. She had been so looking forward to them coming.

She has a phone next to her bed and can have phone calls. I will move a TV in to the room later and I am sure she will get sick of soap operas really fast.

I will keep everyone informed about her progress.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another dump run

Location, At Home, CA

After my morning walk and breakfast, I started loading “junk” into the truck. I had several old fiberglass corrugated panels to get rid of so I sawed them in half so they would fit the bed of the truck. Lots of old PVC pipe once used to water the flower beds went in along with old water hoses, some that had been chewed by skunks looking for water, as well as all the stumps and tree roots that didn’t get burned at Visitadores in May. I ended up with a fairly large load which cost $16 at the dump. It is always a relief to get rid of stuff. I would like to fill one of those large roll off dumpsters that the local trash company has with all the things that have accumulated around here. I’m afraid one wouldn’t be enough. Oh, well!!!

I was really tired this evening and I doubt the work I have been doing is to blame. More than likely it is staying up until midnight every night watching the Olympics on TV that is to blame. I wouldn’t miss it.

The grandkids will be here on Saturday for 2 weeks. Can’t wait to see them.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The fence is done!!!!

Location, At Home, CA

The fence is officially done….. I put on the last two pieces of what I call “trim” to complete it. I do need to do some paint touch up but that is minor. Later, I will rebuild the fence along side the patio and redo the “wood shed”. I need to “think” about that before I start as we are now talking about removing the flower bed between the patio and the woodshed as it hasn’t served as a flower bed for some time. It takes way too much water to keep anything growing in it.

I loaded all the old fence and any other scrap wood I could find and made a dump run after lunch. I only paid $14.75 for a very large load as it was considered “wood scrap” and will be ground up and recycled.

Tomorrow I plan to take a load of just plain “junk” to the dump. Later, I also need to take a load of old concrete in for recycling. I will wait until after the flower bed is removed, if in fact we do remove it before I do that.

I need to report on some unfinished business. If you have been reading this blog you know I had sent my digital camera to Canon for repair. They eventually (actually a very short time) fixed it and FedEx’ed it back to me. I got it on Monday just before we left for the Bay Area. So far it seems to work just fine. They fixed the original problem with the memory and also something about a black spot (hole) in the lens? Anyway, it works and it was fixed for free, the best part.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The fence is done!!!!

Location, At Home, CA

I don’t mind building fence but the last piece plus the gate has been frustrating, slow, and error prone. I started on the gate yesterday morning and although it was slow, it went well. By the end of the day I had the majority of the gate built and the fence boards on except for 2 near the middle which need to be cut to size. I hung the gate in place over night.

Today was finish up day but first thing this morning I made a trip to the hardware store as they had spray cans of paint on sale, two for the price of one, and I needed paint for the shelf Clyda bought at Ikea last week. I also needed a few more bolts to complete the gate. After cutting the two boards to complete the gate I worked on the last few boards to cover the metal hardware on the posts. This process took me all afternoon with much frustration, recutting, trial and error and a few cuss words. Finally it was done including the latch.

View from the inside.

What a gate!!! That should last.

View from the street side.

The result looks good and should out last me.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Back to work!

Location, At Home, CA

Well, after a week off and a slow day yesterday, it is back to WORK. Neighbor Paul had another section of forms ready so this morning’s order of business was to pour cement for that section. About an hours worth of labor and the cement was poured. Paul finished it as it dried. I mixed a small amount of cement in a 5 gallon bucket to fill the 2 pipes I had cemented in earlier. Filling the pipes helps strengthen them and keeps water out so rust doesn’t form.

I needed bolts for the fence hardware I had purchased recently so off to the hardware store I went. Prices have sure increased in the last year so it takes more than a few dollars to buy bolts.

After lunch I set up the chop saw and figured out how to makes the cuts for the post stringers. This was all a slow process as each board needed to be cut to a different length. The fence drops in height down to 5 foot at the gate. This allows the Gas Company to read the meter by looking over the fence. Actually, they use a small monocular to read the dials.

Back of the fence showing the hardware and drop to the gate level.

Tomorrow I will start on the gate. This is always fun so stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"Hot August Nights"

Location, At Home, CA

Boy-oh-boy! What a week! We were at Cindy and Gary’s house to celebrate “Hot August Nights”, a celebration of friends, and Cindy and Gary’s recent retirement. There were 4 couples gathered for this celebration, Clyda and I, Budd and Brenda, Don and Bev, and our hosts, Cindy and Gary.

On Thursday before everyone gathered, Cindy and Clyda shopped while Gary and I visited Fry’s for some electronic stuff. You can never have too much “electronic stuff”. I bought an Irobot Roomba which is a small circular electronic vacuum cleaner which was on sale for one day only. It does a heck of a job and we plan to use it in the kitchen on the bamboo floors.

The remainder of the day was spent in and around the pool as the temperature was in the 90’s.

On Friday we drove to Emeryville and the Ikea store. Clyda wanted some bookshelves. We found what we wanted but not in white so I get the job of painting one of the shelves. Next we drove to the Crate and Barrel Outlet store in Martinez. The ladies shopped while Gary and I browsed bookstores.

Then it was pool time for the remainder of the day. Around 3:30 PM Don and Bev arrived and Budd and Brenda came shortly after. We all spent the remainder of the afternoon around the pool. What a way to relax.

On Saturday we drove to the Amtrak Station in Martinez and took the train to Sacramento. It is about an hours ride. The train was very full or I should say many seats were occupied by one person taking up the whole seat. We sort of made room for ourselves by asking people to move over. It is amazing what a large group will do to reluctant folks.

The train drops you off in Old Town so the first stop was at Fat City for lunch. It was very good. We had a room to ourselves with appropriate group tax for service. At 17%, it is kind of steep.

We wandered around the shops and eventually got an ice cream before going back to the train station. It was very warm the whole time which kind of dragged everyone down but we still had a good time. We arrived back at the house for more pool time.

On Sunday afternoon we went to Retzlaff Winery in Livermore. After some tasting and buying we stopped at Wente winery but they had a tour bus of people on the premises so we left and went back to the pool.

Don and Bev left on Monday so the rest of the ladies shopped while the guys went to Fry’s, Costco, and every Safeway in the East Bay looking for cheap Cutty Sark scotch for Budd to stock up on.

More pool time and left over’s for dinner. Cindy had planned and cooked all meals for the weekend and put out a spread that was fantastic.

The other activity that occupied us every evening and some mornings was the Wii. Now if you are from some other planet and don’t know about a Wii, it has been the rage for the past few years among young kids, older kids, and now adults and seniors who have discovered the Wii. The problem is finding one. They are sold out as soon as they hit the store. The Wii is a series of games played on a TV screen using hand held controllers. Our favorite game was bowling which can be played by up to four players. It is just like bowling only the alley is on a TV screen. Of course, having a big 54 inch LCD screen helps with the realism. I am afraid we all have aches and pains from the Wii exercise after the weekend.

This morning Budd and Brenda and us packed up and after one last bowling game left for home around 11 AM.

We arrived home after 5 PM with a car loaded with stuff. What a wonderful week at Cindy and Gary’s house and what great “Hot August Night’s”. Thanks Cindy and Gary for a great week, good food and better friendship. Looking forward to next year.

PS: I elected to not post any photos because of the "Mature Nature" of the subjects involved in this weekends Hot August Nights.