Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Snakes, palms and dishes

I had a baby king snake in the yard yesterday morning. Got some video and a few pictures. Here is the link for the video....

I have three grapefruit! Three visible ones anyway. There might be more, but I won’t know until they start ripening.

I decided to paint the wooden bowl that all my work crap goes into each night. Here is before and after. 

Jack from across the street was trimming the dead stuff off his palm tree and volunteered to do mine. My palm tree before and after…

And finally, my dishes. I love them. I still need to find a home for them as I got them late in the day and since I had to go to work, didn’t get them taken care of. Each plate has a different colored center. They are very nice and very bright.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

08/30/55 - 02/25/10


Happy Birthday Jake. I don't need to say how much I miss you each and every day. You would be 61 toady.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The steps are done!

Yup, the steps are finally finished. Much more stable and sturdy now that they have been shimmed and enclosed. They look good. I'm happy with them. A little over budget, but less than hospital expenses if I really hurt myself on the brick and concrete. I was lucky with both falls that it was just bruises and scrapes and nothing broken.

Don't they look nice? :) I still have to move a few things around. Want to clear the potting stuff from the bottom shelf of the bench in the cool tub area and I need to find a new home for the hitch box that I had been using as a table. I have a couple of options for that. I could cut the bottom out and put it over my water pipes in the back, put it under the potting bench with all the pots in it, or put it over by the fence and use it as a wood box for the chiminea. Haven't decided yet. I will need to relocate the golf cart stuff that I stored inside it for any of those. I really could use another shed. I guess I will just have to reorganize this one again soon. I can't seem to keep the benches clear and useable, everything that goes into the shed ends up on the benches until I get around to putting stuff away.

It is a beautiful morning this morning. About 78 degrees. Actually cooler outside than inside. I have the bedroom window open and the fan going to exchange the air indoors. I will have to close it up soon, but it is really nice to be able to do that, it has been months since I have been able to open a window or the door.

I'm going to have to think about finding some crushed rock for the yard while I have a paycheck coming in. It really needs a new layer. It is pretty thin in places and the bunnies have been digging holes.

Still not much going on in my life. Work, sleep and waiting to go to work. I'm lonely and would love to have someone special in my life, but it isn't looking promising. Took me a long time to find Jake and it will probably take longer to find someone else. Sigh...

Now that we are looking forward to some cooler weather it is time to think about finishing up the camper and putting the bar light on the front of the golf cart. It has been too hot to even think about doing either of those projects.

I did take half the day on Tuesday and reconfigured the cool tub area. I lost about three feet to the steps. It is smaller but is still useable. I had to rearrange things a little and rebuild the little wall I have the fireplace on. I reduced it from three blocks to two and a half to allow me enough foot space to walk between the wall and the steps, and moved it a couple of feet back. Swapped the curtains on the front and the back, took down the shade sail and put up some sarongs to block the late morning sun instead. Plus they add color.

The new filter pump also arrived on Tuesday, just in time as I had to drain the tub to move it, and I cleaned it and started it up with bromine this time. The bigger pump unfortunately won't work on solar, drains the battery too fast and the controller shuts it down. But I don't think it uses all that much electricity so I am not going to worry about it. 

I took down the non working solar light over the front of the patio by the driveway and put up one of the path lights. It has a motion sensor and throws off quite a bit of light. I may put up a couple more at some point, but it lights the way when I get home from work at night. Hopefully these lights will last longer than the fixture I took down and tossed. 

I'm going to miss yet another meal out with the park neighbors this afternoon. They are going to the Grubstake at 5 for the fish fry, but I work until 5:30. I will be to achy and tired to go then. And since I have been working Sunday's I also miss Sunday morning breakfast now. That was my only social life. I hate having to work. I have so little social life and trying to do stuff with people that are retired and schedule things in the middle of the day isn't easy. I don't have the freedom that they have.

Well, I'm off to try and get another hour or so of sleep. Four hours just doesn't cut it. Seems to be all I can manage tho. Doesn't matter what time I go to bed, I'm up after four hours. I'm tired.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

New steps, finally!

The steps still aren’t quite done, but they are in place. He still needs to shim under the top deck part and then enclose the front of the steps. That needs to be done so that I don’t have any nasty surprises from any local critters - namely rattle snakes, and for appearances. The brick steps are undamaged and just waiting for someone in the future to unearth them. 

The first time I opened the door after they brought the steps in, was quite an experience. I had forgotten they were there and it startled me. Was kind of funny. Hoping they will be complete today. Will cost a little extra because he needs to buy more lumber for the fronts.

I didn’t do much yesterday. Slept, like I always do on Monday’s lately. In fact, Mark and his guy got here, opened the front gates, took both shade sails down and rolled up the side of the patio enclosure before I even realized someone was here. I had been snoozing. But in my defense, I can’t hear anything over the big fan in the living room. 

I will need to rearrange the little wall, curtain, and cool tub area. I will loose space. Haven’t quite figured out how I am going to do that yet. I’m going to loose about three feet, so the space will be considerably smaller. I may have to buy some more blocks, but we’ll see. 

The guy in the red shirt is Mark. The other guy is someone he got to help him move the steps. As you can see, the original steps are still there and untouched. That will be covered up later today hopefully. I should have a picture of the completed steps tomorrow.

My black rug that I have on the patio will fit pretty much perfectly on the top. I think it looks pretty good and will be much safer. It is already easier going in and out the door. I did have to take the original safety rail down as it was in the way of the new railing. I have some screw holes to fill and some paint to fix, but there is no rush on that. Will have to find my wood filler.

I splurged on some dishes this week. I found them on Amazon originally, but after some searching, found them for less at Walmart. I don't really need them, was looking for a fruit bowl, but really, really liked this set. Nice coffee mugs...would have bought just the mugs if they were affordable separately, but I would have paid more for four mugs than I paid for the whole set. They will brighten the place up considerably.

Work is still work. Lately I have been doing back to backs on Saturday and Sunday and it is exhausting. Not enough time between shifts to rest and for my body to recover. I sleep a good part of Sunday afternoon and Monday after my work week. It's a crap job, but it is a paycheck. I'm hoping something better comes along soon. I would love a Monday thru Friday work week with set hours. I hate the fact that I can't plan ahead and that my hours are constantly changing. In fact, I went in on Wednesday and found out they had changed the schedule and I had to sit around and wait another half hour before I could start. That wasn't very nice.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Still hot and dry

Last week I approved the plan for the steps and gave him the materials money. I am still waiting for them. This has been the longest simple project I have dealt with. Not pleased with the amount of time this has taken. I am hoping they will be in place before the week is out.

Not much happening around here. Glen and Diane are back, Lois and Rusty took off for a couple of weeks. It has been hot and humid and very uncomfortable and I am past ready for the heat to break. We still have a few more weeks before that will happen though, probably more like four to six weeks.

I have been watching DVD's all summer. Started with Gilmore Girls and moved on to McLeod's Daughters. Since I only have about two nights a week at home, it is taking a long time to get through them. I have the final season of Castle on the way and season 8 of Heartland. I had to buy a region free DVD player for McLeod's Daughters, and my Heartland DVD is coming from the UK. Isn't available here yet.

Thinking about buying a subscription free TIVO for over the air TV. It is pretty pricey tho, almost $400. I am in a spending moratorium right now tho. So I am still thinking about it. It is on my wish list.

I still haven't found a decent affordable unlimited internet service. I look about once a month. At some point, something should become available. I prefer prepaid as I hate monthly bills. I have almost enough money set aside for the winter bills...park dues, taxes, etc.

Work is work. The new manager is OK. Patsy is back from vacation but is thinking about transferring. The store is finally in decent shape, just in time for the busy season. We are still short handed, but I have been working fewer hours the last week or two. Figure that one out. Makes for tiny paychecks.

I have several projects that are waiting to get done. I have the light bar for the front of the golf cart and more work to do on the stealth camper, but it is way too hot to be doing anything outside yet.

Kay took me for a ride in her side by yesterday. That was something I hadn't done yet. It was freakin hot (115 degrees) add engine heat and sun to that and it was quite uncomfortable. Especially around my lower legs and feet. But it was still fun and I am glad I got to experience that.

I'm still loosing weight. Yay. Lost another pound last week. I exceed my daily exercise goal at work almost every day I work. Sunday I hit 139%. That is about three miles of walking. Add weight lifting to that and it is a full body work out five days a week. I should have my A1C checked, it should be back down around 6.0, where it should be.

We haven't gotten any rain. All the storms seem to just go around us. We have had two small monsoons and one dust storm so far this season and the season will be over next month. A very dry summer. The trees I have been watching over on C Street are turning yellow and I have had to adjust the watering system. I need to go check on them this morning to make sure it is working. I would hate for either of them to die. 

I haven't had any projects or made anything since I started working last fall other than the stealth camper and a few things around the house. I seemed to have lost all my creativity and motivation. I was hoping the Paper Pumpkin monthly kits would jump start something, but so far that hasn't happened. With only two days a week off, it just seems impossible. I am actually thinking about liquidating some of my jewelry supplies. But that is still in the "thinking" stage. There are so many people here that make jewelry that mine isn't unique any more. 

Guess that is about it for this week. Nothing new and exciting. Pretty boring. Maybe some day I will get back to doing things and having some fun. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Waiting for the estimate

I had someone come look at the steps yesterday. I am now waiting for the estimate. It has to be done, so I am hoping it will be reasonable. No plywood, no lattice, and pressure treated lumber to discourage termites and other buggies.

The original plan has been revised so that I won't loose much patio space. I will loose a few inches on either side of the steps for the framework, but won't loose much in the way of depth. The top deck part will be the depth of the current steps, but the whole width of the steps, about 2.5 ft by 8 ft, and then the steps will follow the existing steps down. Basically a squared off shell over the round steps, railings on both sides of the full width stairs.

I have been thinking about the leaves on the patio situation. I put a little piece of 2x4 on the floor going into the cool tub area and it keeps out most of the leaves most of the time. Only when they are airborne do they make it into the back. I am now wondering if the same thing will help prevent leaves on the rest of the patio. Most of them blow in at ground level, so I think it is worth a try. I will have to measure the width of the opening and see how big a 2x4 I will need. If it doesn't work, I will have the lumber for another project. I hate having to sweep leaves off the patio daily. Plus, no leaves, no bugs...

I had a quiet day yesterday, slept a couple of times. Vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, changed the muddy water in the cool tub. I filled the tub with the hose and yesterday's water temp was once again 98 degrees, too warm for cooling off so I didn't get to use it until late in the day when the water dropped about four degrees. It is amazing the difference four degrees will make.

I may actually do the dusting today, we'll see how ambitious I get.

I have no plans for today except more R&R. The temps have been a bit lower the last couple of days, but the humidity is up considerably making it more uncomfortable than the dry heat. We are running between 105 and 112 degrees with 30 to 50% humidity. It is more of a sauna than an oven right now. Only six more weeks until it cools off some. Made it through July, now just have to survive August.

There has to be more to life than work, waiting to go to work, and recovering from work.

Monday, August 1, 2016

I fell...again

Yes, the steps got me again. It is time I get serious about solving that issue. I don't want to destroy the steps, want to keep them for resale value, but I can't live in fear every time I go in and out my door. I am always very careful as they like to grab my feet, but so far, have fallen twice. Have been very lucky both times, minor injuries, but I'm afraid the next time I might not be so lucky.

The plan is to build a deck over the steps. Something that I can walk out the door, open or close it without teetering on the top step. Room enough to set something down and stairs with a railing on both sides. I hate to loose the space on the patio, but I think my safety is more important. I will have to rearrange the back end of the patio to compensate for the loss of space, but will figure it out. The deck has to be removable as the steps are what got me to look at this place to begin with.

I have feelers out for someone to build the deck for me. I could do it myself, but I don't want to. I do, however, have what I want in mind unless the builder has a better idea. I am open to suggestions.

Not much else to write about. The "job" has taken over my life. I just finished a five day week of nights and I am physically exhausted. Today is a day of R&R and maybe some household chores that have suffered.

It seems like I spend all of my time either working or waiting to go to work. That isn't what I had in mind for my life, but I can't retire for another 7 or 8 years, or until something changes. Need the income. Hopefully a better job is just around the corner.

We had our first dust storm since I moved here the other night. I didn't get the tub covered so I need to change the water again this morning. It was staying nice and clear this week too, until the dust storm. I have been using it anyway, what is a little dirt? Lakes have all sorts of things in them and I swam in them. But I do like nice clear water in my cool tub.

It is time to stop feeding the critters again. I have way too many and they have gone through a whole seed block in less than two weeks. I can't afford the amount of food they eat, so I will not put out another for a couple of weeks and hope that the critters thin out. Bumper crop of baby bunnies this year. I have several in the yard daily. I feel bad that I will loose a lot of the little birds that I like, but have to do it to loose some of the bigger birds and hopefully some bunnies.