Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back home.

Location, Home, CA

I am a little behind in blogging it would seem.

We were gone all last week to our nieces wedding in Washington State. We flew up on Tuesday and came home on Monday of this week. The weather even cooperated on the big day although it had rained several times while we were there.

Many of the relatives and friends on the bride’s side of the family helped make decorations and getting the church and reception hall ready.

It was very nice to see everyone including our son Tim who flew in from Texas.

We arrived home on Monday morning to a scorcher. It was 85 degrees when we got off the plane at 10:30 AM. The temperature continued to climb until we set a record of over 100 degrees for the day. We left the house closed up as it was cool inside.

Yesterday and today are still warm but not unbearable. I do stuff outside then go back inside to cool off.

I have spent most of the last two days trying to get answers about getting a smog check on my diesel pickup. The problem is my after market exhaust brake which is not listed on the states approved list. Further digging within the website found a chart which shows that exhaust brakes are exempt as part of the smog check. I will find out tomorrow how true that is when I take it in for the check.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Location, Home, CA

I picked the winter squash from my garden today. Most of the vines had already dried up so I felt it was time. They are some kind of Turban Squash as you can tell by the light colored turban shape on the flower end of the squash.

I had expected them to be green in color which they were when they first formed but soon turned to orange. Looking up winter squash on the internet comes up with many varieties. All very interesting. I will cook one soon.

Not much else going on. I continue to work on the fall trip. I think I have a better handle on who will be where and when. At least enough to make the food assignments. We won’t need to cook often but there will be 8 to 10 each time for dinner. Some people may have a problem with that but it also means way less meals we need to cook which I like.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Location, Home, CA

The days just slip by without much thought. The days are shorter and fall is definitely in the air.

We woke up to fog this morning but it cleared off before noon which made a fairly nice day. The temperature dropped as soon as the sun headed toward the horizon.

I have been working on the rain gutters on the wood shed. They are finished and ready for testing. I need to take the hose to the roof so I can see how they work. The rain barrel project is going a little slower. I need to design a catch basin which allows the first dirty water from the roof to run off to a drain before I start to fill the barrels. I have seen several designs on-line but they all look too complicated. Needs more thinking I’m guessing.

I need to start the shelves in the shed next. In the meantime I worked on a few refinements to my book shelves in the trailer. I now have nylon straps which I can tighten to hold the books in place.

Also worked on food assignments for the fall trip. I still don’t have a firm head count but that usually happens each year. Plans change so will wait a few more weeks before I send out the list.

We really are packing a lot into the 4 days we will spend in Las Vegas. It looks like we will now take in a show on one of the nights. There are discount tickets available for the time we will be there so why not take advantage of them.

My truck went in for maintenance on Monday. Had to have the upper and lower ball joints replaced. BIG BUCKS!!! I knew in advance what the cost would be so no surprises there. The mechanics have been telling me for two years that they needed replacing so now it is done. The steering is a little stiff but is getting better the more I drive it.

Also had to replace the truck batteries on Friday. Old ones just quit. Because it is a diesel, both needed replacing at the same time. Another hit to the wallet.

Better days ahead, I hope.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

To Wisconsin and back.

Location, Home, CA

I am back from my trip to Wisconsin. I arrived home about 10:30 PM on Tuesday. I have been playing catch up since then.

The trip went very well including all of my flights. I arrived in Chicago a little early and was in my rental car ready to head North by 6:30 PM. The traffic was minimal on the Northwest toll road to Rockford, IL so I made good time. I stopped once for food and arrived at my sister’s by 11 PM.

On Tuesday we sorted through 5 boxes of photo albums and papers my mother had collected. I brought much of it back with me and sent another box home on Friday. The box arrived today.

The rest of the week was spent visiting my parents in the assisted living facility, visiting relatives, a trip to the cemeteries to clean the headstones (they grow moss on them), and attending an all high school reunion on Saturday. It was great to see old classmates and neighbors some of whom I haven’t seen in 50 years. The last reunion was 3 years ago and another is planned for 2013.

I left my sisters at 6:30 AM on Tuesday for the 4 and ½ hour drive back to Chicago. I had anticipated construction on my route but only had to slow for a single lane section once. It was very windy however. I did run out of clouds south of Madison, WI and except for the wind it was a beautiful day. Traffic was moderate from Madison on but maintained 65 MPH for the most part. I was off the toll way by 11 AM but it took another hour gas the car, turn it in, and shuttle back to the airport.

My flights all left on time and the first leg from Chicago to Las Vegas I was in First Class. I could really learn to travel this way. Great service, and great food and drink. It was first class from Las Vegas to Los Angeles also but the flight was only an hour so there were few real perks.

I arrived home with a raging head ache which I attributed to not drinking enough water and too much air conditioning. It was fine the next morning.

I took few pictures on this trip. I think the fact that we spent so much time looking at all my mother’s pictures put a damper on my taking more. When I get old, who will want them any way? Food for thought.