Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas tasks winding down.

Location, At Home

The majority of the Christmas shopping is done. Packages have been mailed and received.

We will make tamales tomorrow. The pork is cooking in the crock pot today. It is a labor intensive job but they do taste good when we are done.

My root canal turned out just fine. I had 2 sessions with the endodontist for the root canal part. He managed to save the tooth. Later I went to my regular dentist to have the cap re-plugged where it had been drilled through for the root canal. I really had no pain through this whole process and feel very fortunate to have the tooth saved.

We will spend Christmas day with our niece Chelsea and family. I will cook a turkey the day before on the Weber kettle as usual for our Christmas dinner.

This spring we had the large Chinese Elm tree removed from our backyard. At the time the stump was also ground out. That process took two sessions with the grinder but in reality, a lot of large roots remained in the ground. Craig has been chopping, digging, and sawing more of the roots over the summer and fall as he feels like working on it.

He screened all the ground and removed rocks and more roots. A soil amendment was added and a ficus tree that has sat in a pot on our patio for years is now planted.

Chinese Elm


 I am sure this tree will also grow fairly large in the spot but by then I will be too old to care.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all who may read this.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Not much happening.

Location, At Home

Clyda has done very well with physical therapy since her surgery. Other than resting and “icing” her knee frequently, she is walking and moving freely.

I, on the other hand have not gotten much done. I did put up the Christmas tree and decorations and put up the outdoor lights. Both the tree lights and the outdoor strings are experiencing “old age” as several bulbs have quit working on both. I bought a string of lights for the tree to cover the bottom branches where one string has quit. I left the old lights on and added the new over them. From a distance it is not really noticeable. I guess I need to bite the bullet and either replace the strings or buy a new tree next year.

I am having problems with a tooth and tomorrow I have the pleasure of having a root canal done. If the tooth is cracked too badly it will need to be removed and an implant put in its place. Oh the joys of old age!!!!

I’ll end with a sunset photo from my recent trip to Death Valley.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A busy week.

Location, At Home

A busy week here at home…..

On Wednesday Clyda had “revision” surgery on her 2004 knee replacement. The plastic plate on which the knee joint rests and rotates was worn and deteriorating to the point the knee became unstable. The “revision” surgery replaced the plastic plate with a lifetime unit which was also thicker thus providing less movement in the joint. Clyda should feel more stable as she walks.

The surgery went well and with the use of a “nerve block” in her leg she had no pain for a day and a half. She was released on Friday and is doing very well. She uses a walker to get around but in truth, could get by with a cane. She has Physical Therapy here at home provided by Visiting Nurses.

Meanwhile, I have been cleaning up the RV. I have all the sinks, shower and bathroom cleaned, carpets vacuumed, and all the provisions removed. As usual, I have a few items which need fixing. Some of those have been done already but the biggest item is to try and get a vent line from the bathroom sink out to the vent stack from the shower. At present there is an auto vent under the bathroom sink which allows the sink to drain properly but also allows gas from the grey water tank to vent back under the sink.

The main obstacle to adding a vent line is the AC channel running fore and aft between the ceiling and the exterior roof. If I can find a work around, adding the vent line would be beneficial. I am trying to do this without putting another hole in the roof.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fall desert trip.

Location, At Home

Well, well, well….It has been a long time since I last posted and much has happened.

My desert trip went off without a hitch. Son Tim came from Houston for 10 days of hiking and 4x4 trips. It was a pleasure to have him. The rest of the crew appreciated him also as they had someone to answer their “rock” questions.

We hiked almost every day which is a rarity for us “old guys”. I kept a log of the hikes and trips.

I think the main reason for all the hikes was the amount of prior planning and the quest for finding the unknown in Death Valley. Each year as we learn more about the history and peoples of Death Valley we also add to our list of things to see and do.

I have had a long running list of places to see and check them off as we do them. My list is four pages long and contains 52 items. Some of these we do over as newer people join us and I note the year we did them. Also, we like to check every few years to see if certain artifacts still remain or has someone taken or defaced them.

This year we rechecked several areas on found for the most part all is as we last saw them.

In particular we hiked to “Rood” rock at Jayhawker Springs to recheck that item and found it much as it was before. It is a very good hike up hill which gets your blood pumping.

We also took a 4x4 trip with a guide to find Jean Lemoigne’s grave and his wagon. The wagon had been hitched to two mules which Lemoigne had tied to a mesquite bush when he fell ill and died. The mules also died. Someone later took the wagon back to a canyon near Lemoigne’s cabin. Lemoigne died in 1919 which makes the wagon almost 100 years old. The wagon was intact but had been smashed down by heavy snows over the years. The idea that it was still there is remarkable.

I'll end with a nice sunset picture.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Getting ready to hit the road.

Location, At Home

This has been a busy week as I try to get ready for my annual fall desert trip.

On Sunday I washed the truck and gave it a coat of wax. I used Meguires Cleaner Wax as the truck has been sitting all summer and was quite dirty. Over this I put a coat of regular Meguires which really made it shine.

Tuesday morning I washed and put another coat of wax on the RV. It really shines now.

Today it was time to get a haircut and run a few errands. I also washed and waxed Clyda’s car.

Tomorrow morning I will check the tire pressure in the RV and truck tires before it warms up and then do my grocery shopping.

Friday morning I leave.

In the spring we had a large Elm tree removed and the stump ground twice. That still left a lot of large roots in the area where we want to plant another tree. Craig has been digging and cutting those roots, some of which are rather large as you can see by the photos.

 A large hole.
 A large root partially buried.
 Some of the roots removed from the hole.

I think he has enough removed that we can now plant a Ficus that has outgrown its pot. It should make a nice shade tree without getting really big. Then again, if it does get big I don’t think I will see it in my life time.
 Ficus waiting to be planted.