Thursday And We Be Pouring Concrete!

“Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that, and all will be well.” – Buddhist saying

We danced here, and we danced there; we danced everywhere!  For years we went to “The Senior’s Prom,” which raised money for seniors in need in Orange County. We often went with ten for more other couples. We danced to big bands which is the most excellent music ever.

I loved her dance attire with was bright and cheery, just like her! We so enjoyed each other’s company and could pretty much read each other’s minds; it was so comfortable.  Pretty as a picture she was.  I miss you, my sweet wife.

Seniors Prom at the Irvine Marriot Hotel 2011


Last night was not great.  At about 3:00 AM, I woke up and was sick, so I passed it off as the result of a very hot lunch I had. I felt a little ill at ease because I was by myself; no one was around.   I stayed up until about 5:00 AM, and things seemed to settle down.  I tried to sleep and got two hours rest before waking up again at 7:00 AM.  Everything seemed to be OK.

I forgot to tell you; I am now one of the Directors on the Los Alamitos/Rossmoor Sewer Board!  I saw a call in the newspaper, and I applied.  I will attend regular meetings and assist in managing the maintainance 320,000 linear feet of pipe/drains beneath the ground in our local area.  It should be interesting.  I was asked, “Why did you volunteer?” and I answered it by saying after thirty-five years in the city, I wanted to “Pay It Forward.”  Next step, the White House! Seriously, it will be exciting, and it’s a way of getting away from the house and meeting a new group of civic-minded people.

My new domain! Now I know about FOG (Fats, Oils, and Grease), the nemesis of sewer systems.

Bob had to go to Corona to pick up the vanity and some other equipment, so I decided to put in the “grab-bar” supports.  I plan to make sure I have grab bars around the shower and on the exit from the shower.  I used my shop-saw to cut the 2″x8″s into 14″ segments and then toenailed them into studs.

While paying the bills, I got an email notification about Disneyland. The open on the 65th Anniversary.  I should go as I was there for Opening Day, the 25th and the 50th Anniversaries.  It will be much different without my life partner.

Yeah! Time to go?

OK, I am just a pound away from 193, so I shall hit the sidewalk bright and early do a little over two miles by 9:30 AM.   Off I went in a cloud of dust, chugging up the street going north.  I wore my mask, but people wondered why a Star Wars Storm Trooper was in a straw hat and jeans?  It’s hard to explain. The temperature was in the mid-70s, so it was pretty pleasant.

I did two more miles today!

Sue loved these flowers and they are all over Rossmoor.  They stay in blossom for quite a while ane wave in the breeze.

Basking in the Sun

I threw out the anchor and slowed down as I passed the neighborhood artist on Martha Ann.  She has been busy the last few days. We have new decorations on display.

The little brown froggy stairs to from below and grins at all the walkers.

Hey, do you like my outfit?

Stumpy is hiding from the passers-by! I guess he is bashful.

Shhhhhh, I am hiding from you!

Even simple pieces of trees come to life in her magical hands.  This little guy was so realistic, I was waiting for him to speak!

Hello there.

The sunflowers were in full bloom all over the hood.  These flowers are unique in that they have the ability to provide energy in the form of nourishment and vibrancy—attributes that mirror the sun and the energy provided by its heat and light. Sunflowers are known for being “happy” flowers, making them the perfect gift to bring joy to someone’s day.

Looking at the Sun!

Did You Know? Immature flowers face the Sun, mature flowers face East. Interesting fact: they don’t turn by twisting the stem, they turn by tilting the top of the stem. The name sunflower comes from the Greek helios “sun” and anthos “flower.” Sunflower got its name because the flowers turn toward the sun. Some kinds of sunflowers are grown for food, seeds and oil. A sunflower head can produce up to 1,000 seeds.

After the two-mile walk, my tummy was saying, “Feed me, Fool!”  So, I quickly brought out “ol’ Trusty,” the frying pan, and popped in bacon, ham, and finally some eggs.

Tummy, be happy now!

I remembered my apple tree is going berserk, and I also remembered seeing Lee Drumond’s fried apple recipe so, quick, like a bunny, I picked a few apples, cored them, sectioned them, and plopped them into a pan with butter and brown sugar and a splash of water. I put the top on the pan so they would steam stirring them often to assure the sugar coated everything.

Fried apples and brown sugar, what can be wrong with that mixture?

I opened a bottle of sparkling cider and sat down to a plate full of freshly made fried apples.  Mouthwatering and full of good stuff.  Apples are low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol. They don’t offer protein, but apples are a good source of vitamin C and fiber. One medium apple has about 100 calories.  Simple to make and great to eat.  I enjoy cooking!

Apples for dessert.

After cleaning up the kitchen, I headed to the office to read my email and call Colleen and Lisa on the Bat Phone.  I remembered my book about the “History of McRae Arkansas,” which is where my Dad grew up.  I knew there was a picture of Aunt Edith in the book, and I found it.  She was on the “championship” team and was playing with her future sister-in-law!  The year was 1927.

Did You Know? Henry Ford reveals the Ford Motor Company’s newest vehicle, the Model A, during December. In May of that year, Ford announced that all production of their famous Model T had ended and that all factories would be dedicated to creating a more innovative and exciting vehicle. Ranging in price from $500 to $1,200, the Model A debuted with 7 different body types and was available in 4 different colors. Its new features included a safety glass windshield, 4-wheel brakes, and hydraulic shock absorbers. It was also the first to feature the iconic blue oval logo badge. They reportedly sold over 400,000 vehicles in the first 2 weeks after its debut.

I posted the picture on my cousin Claudia’s Facebook page, and within a few minutes, I got a sweet thank-you note.  She had never seen the picture before.


Dear Mom,

I just wanted to drop you a note and tell you how much you would have loved to have seen your granddaughter, Colleen, grow up.  She was just a teenager went you left us in 1990.  She was at your side when you left us.   Colleen has grown into a lovely lady, a good mother, and a fabulous grandmother.

She, like you, is definitely artistic.  Colleen always has a project going on and I am sure you two could have done a lot of “junking” together had the timing been right.

Went Sue left us, I was, of course, devastated, but Colleen, Joe, and Robin came to my rescue.  Colleen stayed for almost two weeks and helped me get over the shock of my loss.  Since then, she calls every day, and we talk, sometimes several times.  She even set a reminder that plays on Alexa (a new-fangled contraption) every morning at 9:00 AM, reminding me to take my medicines.  She keeps after me and my medical appointments, such a marvelous and wonderful nag!

Colleen and Joe are very close, which I enjoy seeing.  Colleen and Joe have also “adopted” Robin, who has become muy daughter.  You knew Robin via the telephone as she and I worked together for a long time.

During the last two weeks, Colleen and Mark, her husband,  built a playground in their large backyard for their grandkids (your great-great grandkids).  It is a work of love, and it is fun to see the videos of Calhan and Logann playing on their roller-coaster.  Jonathan got a teeter-totter to add to the collection.  Their love for the grandkids reminds me of the merry-go-round you and Dad got for me back in the 1940s.

Colleen, Mark, Sue, and me at Old Ranch just weeks before Sue passed.

I often wish you two could have been closer, but you know that I had to make a change and bring Sue into our lives.  As you said, “That was the best thing you ever did!”  Colleen and Sue were extremely close, and that was a good thing as Sue provided some serious stability to a difficult time.

I consider myself very lucky to have Colleen in my life!


Back to work!  Bob got here about 3:30 PM as he had things to pick up.  Well, we make concrete and poured ten bags into the outside area and another two sacks in the bathroom.

Bob and I worked together; he would lift the 90-pound bags and put them into the wheelbarrow and then add the exact amount of water needed.  I would use the hoe and mix it up real good. He was worried about me working so hard but hard work is a good thing.  I watched him carefully as you can always learn from an expert!

We are getting ready to mix. The exact amount of water is essential.

We filled this mixing device twelve times before the afternoon was done.  I would not give up.  We finished everything at about 7:30 PM.

We filled this puppy up many times and it was perfect for mixing cement.  I may have to get one!

Stop it, Bob! Put that down!  I can’t do another one!  Not really, it felt good to work hard.  I may buy a couple of bags from him as I have thought about putting up two poles in the front yard and hanging outdoor lights from them to the house.

The bags disappeared one by one!

Inside we needed two bags just to level things out and fill up the hole where the sewer connections were made.  Tomorrow Bob will do the pan and then it must set up for several days.  The concrete in a shower needs to be watertight so the curing process is essential.

Not too much was needed inside; tomorrow, he gets a unique concrete pour.

Outside Bob worked to make the area we had to breakout match the original.  He studied the finish on the original concrete and it looked pretty good to me.  Tomorrow morning I will carefully mist the top of the concrete to assist it in setting up.

Finishing touches on the drain!

I mustered a smile, but the old bones were feeling the work! We did concrete for about four hours so that was 1,000 pounds of dry concrete we mixed and add the water we did well over 1,200 pounds.  Prediction: I will sleep tonight!

I could barely manage a smile after mixing all the concrete.

I headed for the shower and stood in the lovely warm spray for quite a while!  I took a chance and got on the scale, and I was 193 pounds.  Dang, I love work.

I checked my pedometer, and today I was thirty steps short of 10,000 steps.  In fact, in the last thirty days, I have been averaging 6,236 steps a day for a total of 187,072 for the month!  Not too bad for an old fart who has been close to home and is under construction! I am seeing 190 in the near future.

Tomorrow is another busy day, so I am signing off as it is 11:40 PM.  Good night all!

About Paul

Just an old retired guy trying to finish out my last years on this planet. I lost my best friend and wife in early 2020. I was blessed again by reconnecting with Dr. Mary Côté, a long-time friend. Mary and I got married July 28th, 2021, and are enjoying life together and plan to spend the rest of our lives being a blessing to our friends and family.
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