Friday, April 26, 2013

A little pain along the way.

Location, Home, CA

I had a few bad days a week ago. I woke up at 4 AM with extreme abdominal pain. By 5 AM I woke Clyda up and asked her to take me to the ER. I was quickly diagnosed with a kidney stone. A shot of pain killer really helped and a quick CT scan showed only one stone and it was near my bladder so it should move out shortly.

Well, no such luck. I made another quick trip to the ER for pain meds last Saturday and have had no pain since. My doctor thinks I have passed the stone. I have been drinking lots of fluids and adding a squeezed lemon wedge to the water. Hopefully that will dissolve any future stones.

Gate guard duty is coming up next week so I have been getting things ready to go. I will go mow the grass on Monday and take the RV up Tuesday afternoon. As usual, trying to anticipate what groceries they will give me and what I need to take from here occupies much of my time.

We have had so little rain this year that I am afraid we may not be able to have a night fire. Without a fire the night shift is really long and cold.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tree removal.

Location, Home, CA

The 10 days since my last post sure disappeared quickly.

Not a whole lot to report this week. We have a very large Chinese Elm tree in our back yard that is about 46 years old. Every year or so we spend lots of money to have it trimmed. We have thought about having it removed years ago but realize that it will completely change the looks of the back yard as well as remove the shade on hot days.

However, the tree completely covers our naval orange tree and the roots are now under the house slab and into the garden area. Also, in the winter all the leaves fill the rain gutters and cover our metal patio roof. When the wind blows it sounds like rain on the patio roof.

Last week we got an estimate from one tree service and will get another one tomorrow from another service on the removal and stump grinding. It is not cheap! But it is necessary. I am sure we will replace the tree with another but less invasive tree at some point. Many of Clyda’s shade plants will suffer when the tree is gone. 

This is a very large tree. Consider that the shed behind it is 10 feet wide.

The trunk is about 3.5 feet in diameter.

The plan is to have the tree removed while I am on gate guard duty at Rancher Visitadores. With the RV gone they can back the chipper on the slab next to the house and have easier access to the back yard. Some of those branches are huge.

Today we attended a memorial service for a neighbor and friend who passed away on April 4th. Arnie was the one who asked me to work with him as a gate guard for Ranchero Visitadores when I retired in 1995. Arnie had over 20 years on gate guard duty.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Moving ahead.

Location, Home, CA

What did I do this past week? Humm…….. I did go to lunch with my friend Don. We drove over the mountain to the Santa Ynez Valley where I checked on things at Blue Gate. Less than a month until I start work at the gate. Someone has mowed all the grass. It looks like a park rather than a cow pasture. Of course, we have had a little rain since then which will make the grass grow again. I will mow it before I move in as the foxtails really bother us if not mowed.

The car went in for long overdue maintenance. The key has been hard to remove from the lock sometimes but of course it didn’t do it while in the shop. They did lube some linkage so maybe that will help.

We took our tax info in a few days ago. It looks like we should be ok and not need to pay. The last form came yesterday by email so I dropped it off this morning.

I did work on the RV again yesterday. I wiped down all the cabinets in the living room/kitchen area and washed the ceiling. I thought about removing the carpet but had some doubts about the area around the slide out. I’m not sure if there is linoleum in that area. So…. I best leave it as is until I can determine a better solution.

I made airline reservations for August to attend an All-School Reunion for my high school. I do need to see my family as it has been since 2011 when we were last there. Time does fly!

Some recent photos from my morning walk.

Ceanothus in bloom on.
Pride of Madeira in neighbors yard.