The Week Is Gone; Power Is On!

Sue is in my heart, so she is always with me. Always!

We loved doing new things, and the “All American Melodrama Theater” in Rainbow Harbor was one of our favorites.  We could boo, hiss, applaud, and cheer the actors as they went through the melodrama routines.

Sue was fun to be with, and we could talk for hours about melodrama and what it would have been like to see “the real thing.”  The theater is now gone, we were patrons for ten years enjoying all the fun.  Sue was such a good sport and fun to be with doing anything!

I rip-roaring time was had by all!

 

I called Colleen bright an early and she told me that she was going to a wedding.  Jackie and Nat are getting married Saturday!  I thought that was wonderful.  It will be a small wedding and I would have flown back but the Covid-19 mess has me a little worried plus the house is all torn up.

It is my wish that you two share the kind of love Sue and I had for each other! Congratulations!

While fresh in my mind, I went through the circuit breaker list and identified every outlet in the house where power is used.  It took another two hours, but now I have them all!  Now I shall make several copies and hide them around the house for future reference.  This winter, when it is cold in the attic, I plan to do some significant rearrangement of the circuits, so with one switch, I will be able to kill an entire area!

Bob was here early today, and he put on the scratch coat, and we put a high speed “dance fan” in the bathroom so tomorrow the finish coat can go on.  Then by Tuesday, the tiles get put on, and we are just about done.  The “dance fans” are the ones Sue and I brought to the Santa Ana Elks when we danced because the old lodge had an erratic air conditioner.  I always keep the fans in the car just in case.

While I did offer to mix the mud, Bob wanted to do it to make sure it was perfect.  So I went to the pool store and ordered the LED pool lights.  I know ow it is overpriced but it keeps the neighborhood mom and pop stores in business so that is good.

Supplies are at the ready.

The scratch coat was applied, and it is rough by design so that the smooth finish will bond to the surface quickly. The shelf is perfect for holding shampoos and other shower goodies. SPEC MIX Scratch and Brown Preblended Stucco is a dry, preblended cement-based product designed to be used as the scratch and/or brown coat in a three-coat stucco application.

Scratch coat installed, including the shelf.

The wall shelf will be tiled and will have the ability for a glass shelf half-way up in case I need more space.  Bob set it in to fit the tile we ordered perfectly.

The shelf details.

There was some cement remaining, so Bob, the artist, got busy.  I think I will move this to the front yard as a remembrance of this event.

Art for the garden.

The glass guy, from La Mirada Glass,  will be here a week from Monday to take the measurements and place the custom orders.  It will take a week to get the glass, so if I want to use the shower, I will get an el cheapo plastic curtain for a week.  While he is here, I plan to order a replacement for the Master Bathroom Shower at the same time.  I am looking for the “barn door” rollers instead of these silly little plastic rollers that wear out.

I spent an hour in the garden bringing in some tomatoes for tomorrow’s lunch.  I picked some table grapes and a handful of berries plus ten or so Roma tomatoes which I just popped into my mouth!  I love the garden but I do miss the joyful expression of Sue’s face when I would bring in these little delights.   Her brain would fire up, smoke would come from her ears, her eyes would sparkle, pots and pans would rattle, and the stove would start to heat up.  An hour later, we would have a wonderful meal!  She was simply amazing!

Goodies from the garden!

The pool equipment was originally behind a wood barrier with plastic lath.   I am going to put up a four or five-foot wall in front of the equipment so it cannot be seen from the house yet the maintenance folks can get to it easily.  The control box, the tan unit on the wall, is new, replacing the thirty-five-year-old controller, which was located by the main panel.  This move of the box will make it easier for the pool guy to do his thing!

The pool area is getting a revamp.

I washed down the front yard, put away all my tools, and watered the herb garden.  Then I decided it was time for dinner.

Time to rest.

I was tired again, so making a full dinner was not an option. So I found two small steaks, and I halved an onion, into the skillet and zot, dinner is served.  High protein, low calorie, I am still heading for 190 pounds, but progress is SLOW!

Easy dinner, steak, and onions!

Gee, I had an idea.  Why not jump in the hot tub.  I have not been in it for over four years, but I keep the spa operating, with proper chemicals, etc.  So, I went into the house, got my towel, and I skinny-dipped with the temperature at 102 degrees.  I stayed in there for 45 minutes, and it felt great!  I looked like a prune when I first got into the spa.  I cannot quite describe what cooking a prune for 45 minutes looked like, but it was NOT pretty.

I really missed Sue as I watched the sky turn dark.  We would sit in there for an hour at a time and just talk and drink wine and talk and drink wine.  She just made the end of the day magical for me. I remember her just sitting, smiling, talking, and usually planning some future activity.

I do miss that smile and beautiful thoughts about everything.

By the time I got back in the house, it was late, so I decided to watch “O Dark Thirty,” the movie about the elimination of OBL.  Summary:  A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy SEALs Team 6 in May 2011.

 

 

I checked my phone, and although I did not go for a walk, I walked 7,000 steps while the phone was in my pocket, so I probably did more like 8,000.  The movie was done at 11:45 PM, which, coincidentally, so was I.  Good night all!

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Power On; Power Off

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss

I remember so well that all the years we took pictures at our dance clubs, Sue would go ahead of me and visit with each table, warning them I was coming with the ever-present camera.  She got a chance to visit with everyone and spread her special kind of cheer.   I was so very proud to have her as my partner in life.

The few times recently I have been out in groups, I miss seeing Sue out-and-about visiting everyone.  She was just an astounding person and an amazing partner.

Ever thoughtful!

 

The day started early as I wanted to check on some things up in the attic before the guys got here.  I started in the back yard with he old box identifying the six circuits (cables) that headed up into the attic.  Thanks to the iPhone, I took pictures so I could remember!

Early in the morning before the fun begins.

I had done some of the wirings myself and I was careful to label every circuit and modification so I could remember the next time I went “upstairs).

I went up into the attic to check out a few things!

The picture below is where those cables came in and one can see the house was re-roofed and some of the old wood shingles fell through.  These pictures will remind me of what I will fix in the attic during the winter months. I plan to “clean up” some of the goofy wirings that were put in place over the many years.

The house is 60 years old, some of the dust is at least that old.

The guys arrived at 8:30 AM sharp and coordinated their plan of attack!  First things first, kill the power to the house by disconnecting from the power pole!

The day begins at 8:30 AM

The house is officially dead!  I ran a cable to Vicky’s place to get power for the bathroom so Bob could continue his work.

Power is cut, I am off the grid!

It looked like an explosion in a haystack.  This reminded my of when my dad and I overhauled my first car.  I was afraid we would never get things all together again!  Notice the labels on each wire!

The circuits are ready to reinstall!

No power, it was lunchtime and they departed.  I did the same!  I went to Subway on got a half-veggie sandwich and diet lemonade.  It was perfect. It’s 3:00 PM and the wiring is going back into the box. I am reading to them the circuit numbers, wire sizes, and other essential things from my spreadsheet.  They appreciated my help!

I worked with them to determined what goes where and circuit breaker sizing.

OK, we are ready for the “smoke-test”.  Eddie was serious as he flipped on each circuit breaker NOT to look directly into the box should there be a spark.  He shielded his eyes and looked the other direction.  I was brave (i.e. stupid) as I stared into the box.  Well, no issues!  The entire box came alive!

Damn, Looks like new! Well, it is!

We buttoned the box up and I spent the guys home as it was 6:00 PM.  I cleaned up the minor mess as it was simple.  They did amazingly well and the pool system all works as advertised, yeah!!

Buttoned up and ready for stucco wrap!

Did I walk today, well, that depends upon how you look at it?  NO, I did not walk around the block BUT I did 7,000 steps and walked two miles around the house helping out the guys!

Command decision time, I cleaned up snd put on fresh jeans and a space shirt and headed to Patty’s Place after talking to Colleen and checking in on the granddaughters.

On the way to Patty’s Place.

I was hungry but did NOT want to blow my weight target (I am hovering around 191 today) so I went for the petite steak French onion soups, and salad plus my purple drink!  It was great.  I chatted with Chuck and some of the regulars.  One friend came in who had not seen by since Sue left.  He was in tears as he hugged me.  Sue was very special to a lot of people and she knew many at Patty’s Place.

I have a small (6 oz) steak, a cup of soup and a salad.  Nice easy dinner!

Selfie time and now you know what a “space shirt” is!

Yes, I had a G&T!

I headed home, talked to Robin,  and I crashed like a ton of bricks.  I remember turning on the TV but that was it.  I didn’t move until 5″30 Am the next morning.

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Help! I Am Having A Mid-Week Crisis!

Though her smile is gone forever
and her hand I cannot touch
I still have so many memories
Of the one I loved so much.
Her memory is now my keepsake
Which with I’ll never part.
God has her in her keeping
I have her in my heart.
Sadly missed, but never forgotten.

It was amazing to me that my beautiful wife became integral in my family when we got married after so many years that I was not close to them. My aunts and uncles, all elderly, loved Sue and they were happy to see me happy again after s long period of being absent from their company.  Below is Sue with my cousin Kat, who was in her late 80s.  Every two weeks we would take her on an “outing”, to the zoo (like below), a museum, a new place to dine, even on cruises through the Panama Canal. Sue and Kat became great friends. They are both gone now but always remembered.

Sue was loved by my Mother and became an instant family daughter (Mom did not usually like girls but Sue was an exception).  It was more than just through marriage, they developed a deep appreciation and love for each other.  I was so proud to have family come and visit us and we did all holidays as a family group, I was so proud to have Sue as my partner.

I tear up, and that is OK, when I see these snapshots of us together with family.  The day pictured below was special as Kat got to ride the zoo train and feed the monkeys.  She was so excited and Sue and I just sat and watched and giggled along with her.  I love you, Sue, and always will!

Always thinking about others.

 

The day started relatively early as the electrical contractor began at 8:30 AM.  Wham, Bam, Thank You, Mam.  Wires were flying in every direction.  There were going to work around power being on but I said I would throw a cord over the fence to Vicky’s and grab what I needed for Bob to work.

The pool was not properly wired so I decided to get it right and I ran another 12 gauge wire through about 30 feet of conduit.  I apparently ran my hand into the stucco as I was forcing the snake into the pipe!  Ouch!

Fishing wire is not for the faint of heart!

These cables go into the ceiling and I must figure out where they go in the morning and label them! It at least six separate circuits!

Tomorrow at 6 AM I am going into the attic and figure out what these guys are up to!

They had to cut the stucco and out in a new box plus make the hole much bigger for the new power box.  I was impressed with the care they took NOT to get crud into the pool!  The crew was polite, neat, and knowledgable.

First class all the way!

The power saw was cutting stucco wall like there was no tomorrow but the baggie kept the dust inside and away from the pool!

They were carefully demolishing the wall to keep crud out of the pool!

The guys knew their stuff and were very careful when dealing with electricity.  Everything was labeled so tomorrow will be easier to reconnect the cables.

The work begins!

The new code requires grounding.  OMG, there are two rods and they go half-way to China!  Eight feet down into the Earth and also tied to the cold water.  The also bonded the cold water to the tankless heater and associated gas line in the garage.  I done been grounded and I am seventy-five years old!

We are talking serious grounding here, eight feet of copper rod driven down into the ground!

All the external piping is now off the wall and will be buried inside the wall which will make things look a lot better!  That means it is time to paint!

I spent three days labeling the wires and researching the circuitry.  I think that saved them several hours work!

The external pipes are gone!

Goodbye Zinsco box and breakers.  This box, after thirty years, was a fire hazard and I am happy to see them go.  How I will be set up for solar which will occur this summer!  The Square-D breakers are about five bucks each instead of sixty for the old Zinsco’s.

A real rats nest of circuitry!

Closed up for the night.  Tomorrow early the crew will disconnect the mains on the roof and begin the replacement of the box and adding the new circuit breakers and wiring.  By end of the day Thursday, we should be in business!!

The opening is now big enough for the main panel!

Meanwhile inside, Bob put up the wiring for the paper on the shower walls and will get the “tar paper” and a scratch coat of concrete tomorrow.   The scratch coat is put on rough so the next or finished coat will stick properly.  If the weather stays reasonable warm, Friday will see the float coat, and then tiling can commence forthwith!

Show is ready to go, all we need is a wall!

Since power was going on and off, I decided I could have a hamburger today so I spent my 650 calorie budget at the local burger joint!  Alas, that means no more foodies today.

By 4:00 PM they were done, I have my new four gang switch installed.  I mean an extra black wire through the pool conduit so the pool will be properly wired the ground and neutral separated.  Thanks to Bob for his “goose grease” and good ears (it’s a long story).

We added a shelf in the shower for the soap and goodies plus we size the shelf to match the size of the wall tiles, it is going to look wonderful.

It is my plan to call the pool company tomorrow and get the new LED light installed in the pool.

We are creeping up on getting finished!  I predict the 4th of July all will be well!

By 10:00 PM I was officially crashed!

 

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Two’s Day And All Is, Well?

“Without you in my arms, I feel an emptiness in my soul. I find myself searching the crowds for your face – I know it’s an impossibility, but I cannot help myself.” =Nicholas Sparks

We loved our “special events”, such as The Art Deco Ball, held on the Queen Mary every year.  We went for ten years starting the first year it was held! We enjoyed getting gussied up and hearing the stories about the trans-Atlantic cruises of yesteryear.  Sue could easily have been a docent on the Queen Mary as she knew every nook and cranny, including the engine room.

Dressed up in our best bib and tucker, we were off for an enjoyable evening of dancing to the music of the 1930s and quick-stepping around the ballroom floor like we knew what we were doing.

I miss holding Sue in my arms and aiming for the stars while attempting to keep up with the band.  The roaring 1920s and fantastic music of the 1930s was amazing. I’d give anything to dance one more dance with the love of my life.  I guess dreams will have to do for a while.

Sailing around Long Beach Harbor on the Queen Mary, or so it seemed!

The most popular dances throughout the decade were the foxtrot, waltz, and American tango. From the early 1920s, however, a variety of eccentric novelty dances were developed. The first of these were the Breakaway and Charleston.

 

The popular dances throughout the time of the Great Depression was the foxtrot, waltz, and American tango

 

I talked to Colleen first thing, and it looks like Jackie is going to be early as she is having contraptions now.  The doctor said the baby is ready, but it is about four weeks early, according to their timeline.  STANDBY, Great Grandpa Paul is about to have the fifth great grandbaby!  Exciting!

Colleen and Mark are “cleaning house”, going through everything and getting rid of whatever they can.  Colleen is a bit of an artist, but when she went through her art supplies, even she was amazed.

…and there is still more to be bagged!

Colleen being very thoughtful, checked out every single one to make sure they were OK to give to the local school.  She was many pages to “doodles”.  I suggested she ought to have the artwork framed!

A picture of a picture of a picture!

Back to the circuit checks, I do believe I am 99% complete.  Tonight I shall turn everything on and see what does NOT light up!   I still have three circuits that seem to go off to no-where?  Perhaps one more sojourn into the attic is warranted?  It will be an exciting two days when the electrical folks show up tomorrow.

Bob is busy in the bathroom putting in the last touches of copper pipe into the walls before we begin to button the shower up for the cementing effort.  We made several decisions today that may seem to nitpick but do make a big difference.  Bob and I agreed on every decision, so I am trusting his judgment more and more!

This morning I added another outlet to the kitchen counter by the phone and got the plugs with computer power connectors, thus eliminating three power adaptors.  Most of the rats nest is finally gone! The desk is clear; Sue would have liked that!

I used this plug for power to a second plug I added to the wall.

Now the phones, Alexa Show and Echo Connect can all reside off the countertop! Room for more stuff?  I think not!

Not the counter is clear of cords!

The Silver Lady and I went for a ride to Lowe’s as I needed some supplies for the remodel.  While the wall is open, I plan to add two switches for the back yard floor lights and the swimming pool light.  Since the swimming pool light is now a multi-color LED system connected via Alexa, I will likely turn them it one when I dine.

The plumbing is done, and tomorrow, if all goes well, the paper and screen will go up in the shower and be ready for the first coast of cement.  BTW, the white 2x6s are for the grab bars I plan for the shower, I can’t be too safe at my age!

All the plumbing is in and pressure tested!

Bob did not depart until about 7:00 PM, and I was beaten, so I jumped in the shower, and the Silver Lady and I gallivanted to Seal Beach, and guess what?  The Lady stopped at Patty’s Place; I think she was thirsty!

I talked to Chuck and some of the regulars before heading home.  I wanted something, but calories were NOT one of them.  I selected deviled eggs as a balance, so I get my proteins but not so many calories.  I did, however, have a G&T with my meal!

Chuck was on duty tonight and he had his welding mask on!

He and Lisa had an opportunity to talk to Rebecca about some plans in the future and Chuck was very complimentary of my granddaughter.  I would expect nothing less!

The evidence is on display.  Two deviled eggs remain, and I ate them slowly!

I just had eggs for dinner, keeping the calories low!

I did NOT do dessert for myself, but I thought of the dessert monsters next door, Vicky and Del, and texted them to make sure they liked Key Lime Pie.  You can see the answer below!

I thought of Vicky and Del when I departed and brought them some dessert! I had NONE!

I was home by 9:20 PM, at which time I watched a little TV before going nighty-nite.  Tomorrow starts the tear out of the back wall stucco in preparation for the electrical box replacement on Thursday.  That means I will be incommunicado, except for the cell phone, on Thursday.   While the power is off, I plan several activities, including running new wires into the attic so I can change out the old 12-2 and 14-2 groundless cables replacing them with more modern 12-2 and 14-2 Romex with grounds!

Good night all!

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Today Is The Twenty-Tooth!

“Be the things you loved most about the people who are gone.” — Unknown

Together again at the Elks Lodge, ready for an evening of dancing and sharing with friends.  Father’s Day was tough without Sue, but through the love of my family, especially my kids, Robin, Michele, Colleen, and Joe.  My other kids,  Mitch, and Pete also got in on the act making the weekend better than I had expected.  Thank you, my dear family!

I did miss the smile from my bride as she lit up the room whenever she entered.  I know she was there on Sunday in the Tea Room as that was a special place for us.  Robin and Lisa had a wonderful idea to go there for Father’s Day.

Monday, I looked back over the weekend and thought about all those Father’s Days that Sue made so special. Sue was a phenomenal, extraordinary, incredible, unbelievable partner, and I miss her so very much!

Summer is here; we would celebrate for days!

 

Today I worked in the kitchen, not cooking, just decluttering.  I also cleaned out the Science Projects (i.e., cleaned out the refrigerator).  It was indeed time.

Heading outside, I brought a bowl and captured a mess of blackberries for my breakfast, which was protein-enriched cereal with whole milk.  Maybe now the bathroom scale will start telling the truth!

I called Colleen, and we talked for quite a while.  Cassie seems to be doing OK, and Colleen will call me if anything changes.   As soon as I finished talking to Colleen, Lisa called on the Bat Phone. Lisa and I chatted for a while.  She was just checking up on me.

I am getting ready to go to work.

During the day I worked around the house straightening things up, there is a lot to do when one is by one’s self.  I wrote thank you cards to Amy and Michele for Saturday’s dinner and the movies.

I chased the last of the electrical circuits down and talked to CJ, the electrical contractor.  He needed to beg off one day, and I said that would be fine.  So, the back wall of the house will be taken out on Wednesday, and the electrical will go in on Thursday.  He will run several spares for me so I can clean up the wiring at a later date.

Time to walk,  even though it is late.  I did an hour and almost 2.5 miles as I was zip-bibbing along at warp speed.  I like doing that so my cape will flow in the wind!  While out and about,  I talked to Robin, who will be coming over Friday.  I hope she stays over, but at a minimum, we can walk together and have dinner!

My walk began at 7:00 PM today.

Progress is being made in the new bathroom.  If all goes well, tomorrow, the shower will get the first coating of concrete.  Once the concrete is up and cured, a coat of Red Guard is applied, and then the final coat goes on and then the tile, followed by the flooring followed by the cabinet and toilet.  Things will almost be back to normal.  The shower will be amazing now as the ceramic tiles will go all the way to the ceiling, plus it has the rain-feature in it. I am toying with the idea of a small light in the shower that goes on when the bathroom lights are turned on, just enough to light up the enclosure.

We are hoping the man who runs La Mirada Glass will come by and give us his take on what to do with the shower door.  I am putting myself in their hands; I just want it done right!!

The mud is on, and all seams are patched.

After getting home, I watched “Takes From The Loop” and then got a cup of coffee before crashing.  I was rather tired.  I watched it on my new TV I installed in the office. From now on, I can work on the computers and simply turn my head and see the new 30″ HDTV to my left.  It was a great idea.

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Father’s Day 2020 Was Different!

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal, and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.” — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross?

Sue could convince a rock to crumble, and she was so smooth at doing it.  To demonstrate her abilities, the picture below is me in a Ferris wheel at California Adventure, and I hate heights.  For Father’s Day, Sue always had a plan involving family and some activity.   She would spend all sorts of time planning some elaborate adventure to make the day unique for all the dad’s in our group. Over the years we went yachting in Newport, lunch on Catalina, jet boating to Long Beach, mountaineering in Palm Springs, dining at Disneyland, train rides, etc.  She always was thinking about others!

This year was different, I was not with my dearest one, but she taught well.  The weekend was full of activities, and by Sunday evening, I fell into bed, tuckered out.  Sue was a special lady, an extraordinary lady!

Fathers Day 2017 at Disneyland

 

Up at 6:00 AM and ready to go, but no one is going to be here until noon, so I did some work around the houses before going to the store to get supplies.  I planned to make corn chowder, but it was a massive failure, all my fault.  I did not get the ingredients out ahead of time, and I did not measure carefully, I tried to sautee veggies without using oil, I lost track of time… it was a total disaster.  I finished the process as best I could, sat down and took a spoonful of the concoction to my lips, and quickly jumped up and poured the entire shebang into the garbage disposal.  Lesson learned: do NOT get in a hurry when cooking!

I used the Bat Phone with Colleen and checked up on Cassie who has been in and out of the hospital with what we think is a severe allergy.  Things were stable this morning.  I miss Colleen and wish she could be here.

But then things turned around as at noon, right on the money, Bob and Robin came in!  We visited for a while then all of a sudden, someone else was at the door!  Just what a need, an encyclopedia salesman!

I about fell over backward, it was my kids from San Diego.  Pete and Lisa came up and joined the party!  Wow!  Gee Whiz! Garsh!   I did NOT expect them at all.  Now the day was getting better by the minute!  I forgot the kitchen failure as we got busy killing off two boggles of champagne before 1:40 PM which was “take-off” time.

Pete and Lisa drove up from Oceanside to be with us!

Take-off to where I attempted to ask?  Everyone got quiet.  The first went into my closet and picked out my clothes but on the bright side, I was not in a tuxedo top and bathing suit bottoms!

Now I gets to open my Father’s Day presidents!  Robin and Bob got me two pairs of pajama bottoms which were a) the correct size for my mew physique and b) shorts so I will not swelter all summer.  They were perfect!  I did have to promise NOT to send them a selfie with the PJ’s on!  Then, Pete and Lisa got me an electric tooth brush that tells me when I have brushed enough,  Plus, Pete got me a bottle of Whiskey.  Not just a bottle but a bottle of Jeffersons Ocean Aged fourteen-year whiskey.

I only knew it was a short walk and we had twenty minutes to travel to where we were going.  Robin said, “Head for PCH on Seal Beach Blvd”.   My mind raced, where is a girly bar on PCH? No, that’s not it.   Arriving at PCH, I got ordered to turn right.  Ah-ha, we are going to Malarkeys!  Nope, I was directed to turn left on Main heading right down the center of Seal Beach and twenty dining establishments!

Robin had an address and spotted the place, which I did NOT recognize.   The Grey Ghost slid into a parking spot and we all walked carefully toward the address.   At the last minute, I figured it out, The Tea House.  This was a special place as Sue and I went there many times for a restful afternoon tea!

The family took me to the Tea House on Main Street in Seal Beach, a favorite of Sue and I.

Did You Know? Tea drinking was popularized in England by Charles II of England and his wife the Portuguese Infanta Catherine de Braganza. It was not until the 1840s that the concept of afternoon tea was introduced by Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford. In the 19th century dinner was often served at 9 in the night. Anna who became hungry requested “some tea, bread and butter and cake”. The idea became popular throughout the Edwardian era among the wealthy and elite.

Afternoon tea gave people the chance to show off the best china and table linen. Upscale hotels and restaurants became popular meeting grounds for patrons of afternoon tea. The concept has lost popularity since the end of World War II, though it has revived in modern times.

There was a nice salad, a tomato bisque soup and then the finger sandwiches and scones and other delicious goodies.  I drank an entire pot of tea myself.  It was delightful!

Oodles of goodies and great tea!

Sue and I always found this restful, especially in the late afternoon.  We just put a hold on life, sat back, and enjoyed the meal and each other, a special time.

HAndsome and de-boner as usual.

Pete, our Marine, looked suspicious at all the dainty cups and saucers.  He was ready for a burger and a beer!  We fooled him.  Lisa was dressed to the nine’s with a perfect outfit for the occasion!

Pete and Lisa

Bob got the cup holding just right and, in fact, he could do a pinky-promise while drinking his tea!  Robin had the million-dollar smile and was proud she pulled one over on old dad, I had NO idea where we were going!

Robin and Bob

It was a super afternoon which I absolutely enjoyed.

A word cloud about Father’s Day.

Quick like a bunny I freshened up and headed the Silver LAdy toward Fullerton to go to Chomp at 5:00 PM.  I was gong to meet Mitch, Zack, and Conner and families but alas, Chomp was closed!

No one was home!

We decided to go to Zack’s and order Italian and of course, I ordered pastrami which was outstanding.    We had Connor and Kerrick join us and had a family dinner in spite of the closure.  Great fun.

Returning home, I was beaten so I hit the hay at 10:00 PM and was out like a light.

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More Work; Getting Closer; Dinner!

“Those we love can never be more than a thought away, for as long as there’s a memory they live in our hearts to stay.”

We were members of museums everywhere, and one of our favorites was The Bowers in Santa Ana.  This day was rainy and wet, so we jumped in the Grey Ghost and headed to Santa Ana for a visit.  Today there was a display about mummies.  We had a great time and dined at the restaurant inside the museum.

Sue was always interested in everything, so we spent a long time studying the displays and all the supporting materials.  I do miss her company as we were a perfect fit.  We laughed, giggled, wondered, shared every day, and every day is difficultt without her by my side.  I love you, Sue, and always will!

A rainy day at the Bowers was made perfect by her companionship.

 

I was a little sadder than normal today because it was the first day of Summer, Sue’s favorite time of the year.  She loved summertime because it was warm and we could go outside and walk in the gardens.  I will think of you as I stroll the gardens which I plan to do keeping our traditions in tact.

Summer arrived at 2:43 PM today!

I did not leave the house until 5:00 PM today.  I put on another 7,300 steps which helped keep my weight down.  In the morning, I chased down some more circuits after a good look through the list and double-checking everything.

Walking around the house,

I worked in the garden for a couple of hours, removing all the corn stalks, and I sent the corn to Ila and Vicky, suggesting corn chowder.  It is my plan to make corn chowder also since the corn has gone starchy. I used the high-pressure nozzle to remove the roots, and tomorrow I will clean up the pathways so the garden will again look snazzy and the tomatoes will be easy to get!

The corn stalks filled a 100-gallon trash container to the top!

While I was pulling the corn, I also needed to trim the grapes.  If the grape leaves cover the vines and they do not see the sun, they can get moldy since I am so close to the beach.  I fixed that issue!  The bunches are in the open and visible to the heat of the day!

Two more weeks and I will be up to my hips in table grapes!

Meanwhile, inside, Bob was putting down the final pre-tile layer in the shower and buttoning up the walls with drywall.  After the drywall goes up, a triple coat of Red Guard will make it waterproof.

No leaks in this shower!

The plumbing is ready to go to completion of the drywalling will likely occur tomorrow or Monday!

I hit the shower and got ready to go to Joe’s for dinner and a movie.  The ladies fixed the meal, and the Dad’s just sat back and drank wine. Tony and I are yakking up a storm between trips to the hamburger-hot-dog bar.  Great fun!

The supervisor, Michele, was on duty.  The cooking took place across the street at the neighbors.

I was a bad boy.  Just before pulling up aI called Amy and asked, “You did say around 7:00 PM, eight?” She got very quiet and said, “No, we are having dinner at 5:30 PM!” I responded with, “I will try to get there as soon as I can!”

Then I drove the extra 300 feet to their home, at which time Amy gave me the “Mom Look!”.  Oh, dear, what have I done?  Now Amy is sure that Joe and I are just alike!  We all had a good laugh.

The Dad’s doing what we do best, taking it easy!

Food is on the way!  Miss Carri is doing the delivery to Joe’s garage, where the tables are set up.

Carri makes a delivery.

The dining area is set up, chairs to the ready; all we need is a dinner bell.

Dinner time; over the teeth and through the gums, look out tonsils, here it comes!.

The dining room established.

Dinner is complete, and while Carri and Joe set up the screen, Amy and crew set up the ice cream bar!  They did not tell me about dessert, so I forgot the bring sauerkraut and buttermilk for the ice cream bar.

The best part of the evening has arrived. We made bets on how long the screen would stay standing before it crumpled to the ground!

STOP!  Time must cease to move forward as everyone attacks the dessert table.  Yes, even I did a quick flyby!

Ice cream completes off the dinner.

The movie begins, “A Dog’s Purpose”.  Summary: A dog finds the meaning of his existence through the lives of the humans he meets—another beautiful story.

It was so good I did NOT fall asleep.  I did, however, get cold, and Michele gave me a fuzzy blankie to use!  It was hot.  I drove the Silver Lady this evening and not the Grey Ghost, so I did not have any blankies in the car, I checked.

Another great movie.

It was a beautiful, albeit cool, evening in La Mirada.

Simply cute!

I got home about 11:00 PM, and I watched “Tails From The Loop” before going night-night.  Tomorrow is Father’s Day, and I have all sorts of events planned courtesy of my beautiful family. It is not easy without my sidekick, Sue, who walked me through some pretty tough Father’s Day’s over the years.

 

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Hi Ho Hi Ho, It’s Off To Work I Go!

“The fact that something has happened to a million other people diminishes neither grief nor joy.” – Author Unkown

We used to go to the Farmer’s Market in LA every two months because of the French restaurant, Monsieur Marcel.  We would often take friends and family with us to share the great food and the ambiance.   The picture below was just us as we enjoyed each other’s company a lot!  We walked around, saw things, and finally came to the restaurant where Sue would order the fondue, which I would share with her.  I usually went for the Beef Bourguignon, which I have learned to make recently.

What’s in the bag, you ask?  Well, the restaurant has a European market associated with it, and Sue loved to see the food items, especially the spices.  Check out my shirt, Sue’s suggested attire for the day!  She was always on-spot. I miss her so much it hurts and today has been a difficult one.  I know it will be hard tonight as I am going to the Garden Grove Eks for dinner to see old friends. She will be there in my heart!!

We have the most beautiful times TOGETHER!

 

Up and awake ay 7:00 AM, I guess I was tired last night!  Almost eight hours of sleep.  I was going to call Lee last night, but I dropped off to sleep in about three seconds flat.

This morning I finished the last wiring job, which was to replace the GFI sockets and waterproofing with an “in use” box meaning a device (plug) can stay attached in even during the rain.  The security cameras will like that!

Before, it was waterproof if the box doors were closed!  My security camera always remained plugged into the box so it was NOT waterproof and I had to be careful when watering the orange tree,

Before

No more electrical hair curling for me!

When it rained, or I washed down, the plugs/GFI’s could get wet.  I fixed the problem! The camera’s wire comes out of the bottom of the box, and the plugs are sealed against the environment.

Looks better and a lot safer than before!

Task accomplished, what else is on the list? To the side yard where I cleaned up 90% of the construction mess, leaving only the sink-counter top and toilet remaining outside.  The toilet I will keep, but the sink needs to find a new home.  Perhaps it will go to the habitats for humanity?  As long as it goes before the inspector comes next week, I am fine.

Inspector?  No, not Jacques Clouseau. Yes, the old Zinsco 100 Amp main breaker box is going bye-bye, and being replaced with a 225 Amp 42 circuit main box set up for solar.  Solar is coming soon. I am settling in on a 6-7KW system, which will provide 35 kWh a day, which is about what I use.

Oh yes, about that 50 Amp 220V circuit that goes nowhere… the one I could not figure out for the past two days!  Well, it goes to the air conditioner, which is seldom on, so I forgot about it.  Duh!!!

Captain, say it isn’t true!

At noon I headed for the money store as I checked my wallet, and the moths have been busy. I have eleven dollars remaining and when I opened the wallet to count it, the little guys were carrying signs saying “Will bug for food!”

The Silver Ghost and I headed out where I got my favorite veggie half-sandwich from Subway and then visit BofA and make a loan so I can survive the weekend.

I managed to put 150 gallons of trash into the 100-gallon containers, so I am awaiting the trash truck to come by and see if it tips over when it attempts to lift the cans!  I could hear the truck strain as the trashcans were lifted into the truck and emptied. A sigh of relief came quickly.  Now I have room to trim the fig tree tomorrow. Always something to do around the house.

It’s back to work as Bob installed the water barriers in the shower pan and begins the reconstruction with drywall.  Things are starting to come together!

The underneath layer of concrete is dry and cured. Now the waterproof barrier can be placed into the shower.  The moisture barrier will go up the wall several inches to assure water is not “wicked” up the wall.

The waterproof barrier goes into place.

Now the drywalling begins with cutouts for electrical sensors/plugs.  The room has a moisture/humidity detector now, which will keep the fan running until the humidity level drops below a specific point.  No longer will I have to wait or walk off, leaving the fan running. I put a separate switch in for the shower light.

The two devices on the way are for controlling the shower light and measuring the ambient humidity of the room so the exhaust fan will go on whenever the humidity is high.

The purple is NOT the wall color; it is the moisture barrier.

The switches by the door take care of the standard exhaust fan/light combination, the overhead can-lights, and the vanity lights above the mirror.  The plugs on the far wall, will take care of blowdryers and, of course, Miss Alexa, who also lives in the bathroom!

Hanging the drywall is an art.

Do not drop!

We gots screws, a bazillion screws!  I just bought Makita drywall screwdriver that will take these puppies and drive them to a specific depth.   I plan to drywall the garage after the electrical work is done in the back yard. Drywall screws (sometimes called sheetrock screws) provide a stronger hold but cost a bit more than nails. These usually feature a Phillips head. Coarse drywall screws feature coarse threads to secure gypsum boards to studs.

Drywall screws by the ton!

A piece of the new flooring was laid down to measure the depth of the concrete pour we are going to do Saturday morning.  The following is very light but extremely strong and waterproof.

The new flooring is ceramic tiles with a texture to eliminate slipping.

While Bob worked, I slipped outside to do some watering and brought in tomorrow’s lunch condiment as I plan a juicy hamburger.  The puppy looks perfect!

Having a garden has its benefits!!

Did You Know? Tomato was once called this. LOVEAPPLE. Tomatoes originated from the Andes, in what is now called Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Ecuador – where they grew wild. They were first cultivated by the Aztecs and Incas as early as 700 AD. The Spanish adopted the fruit and adapted its name to tomate. At one point, because of their heart shape, tomatoes were thought to be an aphrodisiac – hence the name “love apples.”

My social life takes an up-tick!  I am off to Garden Grove Elks for dinner with friends.  We had two tables of eight each, but that was OK as the place was not full at all so that we could talk.

Below Craig and Bob enjoy the quite as the “girls” go line dancing behind us.  They were singing La Bamba, which terrified the local wildlife, so I reached for Old Trusty, the iPhone, and played a rendition of La Bamba for them as they wiggled away their dinners.

Bob and Greg at our table talking.

It was great to see Iris and Leon.  Will missed the picture as he was right next to me, and Marsha was answering the call of nature.  We did not stay very long and returned home by 9:00 PM.  The dinner was pot roast, and it was OUTSTANDING.  I downed half of mine, and the rest will be for breakfast tomorrow.  Tonight, I had a G&T, which tasted good!

Iris and Leon bantering back and forth

Dressing for the occasion is my specialty.  We thought there would be a DJ, but alas, the headcount reservations did not indicate a DJ was doing to be worth the investment.

The Old Man watches all the goings-on.

You go, girls!  Marsha, Marianne, Iris, and Donna wiggled away while I held up the iPhone.  If we do this again, I plan to set up and hour of dance music on the iPhone, and I will bring my blue-toothed boom box.  It is a Jawbone BIG JAMBOX Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, the one I took to Catalina when we all got remarried in 2016.  It is loud enough to rattle your teeth!

Dance girls dance!

Tonight I took the Silver Lady out for a spin. She was so happy to get out from under her car cover she just wanted to Gallup down the freeway.  She just went to the beauty parlor (I have the cars washed every two weeks by Juan the Carwash Wizzard).

I am thinking about renaming her “Zoom.”

Careening into the driveway was an exciting way to arrive home, but it made her happy, so I went with the flow.  I popped into my jammies, hit the button on the Keurig, got my coffee, and headed to the office.  I placed a call to Lee, and we chatted for a half-hour.

I watched two episodes of “Tales From The Loop.”  Each episode of “Tales From the Loop” tells its own hourlong story, focusing on one citizen from the small town of Mersa, Ohio, and each entry shares key elements, like their setting and the Loop itself — a machine built under the city to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe.

Not walking today was bothering me until I checked the pedometer and found out I did over 7,000 steps just while I had the iPhone in my pocket, so I was OK.

I was not quite aerobic, but it was exercise, especially when considering the walking was done between tasks like carrying 90 bags of cement!

The last time I saw on the night-stand clock was 10:45 PM.   I must get rest as this is Father’s Day weekend and my kids have me busy all the time. Tomorrow at Joe’s for a celebration and a movie.  Lunch with Robin and Bob on Sunday followed by Mitch taking me to dinner with Zack on Sunday evening in La Habra.  Michele invited me to dinner Saturday but I was “booked up”.  It is wonderful to have a loving family.  Frankly, the holidays are rough as Sue always had a plan in progress. Good night all!

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8,000 Steps And I Did Not Leave The House!

There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go. ~ Author Unknown

We had so much fun together, no matter where we were and what we were doing.  Below, at first glance, looks like a playful punch, but upon examination, I am pointing out a train on my railroad shirt that we took in Alaska.

Below we were at the old Santa Ana Elks Lodge and planning another trip to Alaska.  Our friends asked what we do for exceptions on a cruise, and Sue, being very quick to respond, said, “We take his shirt!”  I realized what she was saying and pointed out the White Pass & Yukon Engine on my shirt.

She was always so observant of everything around her, and we used to call that “situational awareness” in the aerospace world we lived in together for so many years. Sue was one of a kind and a beautiful being.  I am going through life now without my sidekick, and it is difficult at best.  Every day I realize how much I truly adored being with her and sharing our experiences.

We are planning a train ride at the Santa Ana Elks!

 

More work!  Oh my, I never realized how much work there was to do to bring everything up to code.  But, except for a 50A 220 VAC line that goes nowhere and my inability to determine how the pool light is powered, all it well.  I decided to leave those mysteries to the electrician!

When I got up, I decided to finish off the attic rewire first, and I spend about an hour “upstairs,” installing a grounding lug and separating the grounds from the neutrals.  The fix entailed drilling a mounting hole in the attic subpanel and bolding the grounding strip to the box tightly.  Then I moved the ground (green wires) form the neutral terminals to the grounding strip separating the circuits. I would have been a fifteen minutes job if I were standing up, but I had to keep reaching into my pocket and pull out different tools.

The ingenious little device is only about two inches long.

After the workout, I needed breakfast, so I whipped up some vittles, an obsolete alternative to the word victual, which is defined as food prepared to be eaten.  As I sat down, I decided a selfie was in order before the rest of the work starts.  OMG, I am a handsome devil, emphasis on “devil.”

It was taken without my makeup!

Breakfast, well, it was the old standby mostly because my bacon, ham, and eggs were reaching their expiration date.  This meal held me until late in the day.

Tomorrow I will tell you about the special plate in this view!

Must start the day with a full tummy!

The rest of the day, I worked on several plugs around the house, making sure everything was OK for next week.

I put together and stuffed my new Rubbermaid storage locker.  I wanted to get the liquids off my inside storage racks and outside of the garage proper.  The new storage container was a perfect solution, and I already own two of them, so I know they are high quality and last a long time.

Its tummy is full as of this afternoon!

It is 4:00 PM, and the shower is calling for I am going out to dinner this evening with friends.  I got out of the shower at 4:20 PM and was worried about getting there on time as dinner was 4:30 PM.  I hurried my little 191-pound body as fast as it would go.  I made it just in the nick of time (OK, here is the secret, I am dining in Vicky’s nation with friends and Vicky is next door!)

Dinner is served next door.

Yes, I provided the fresh corn.

Korn on the kob!

We all talked for three solid hours about everything.  Below is Ed, who lost his wife just nine days before Sue passed.  He and I share a lot of feelings and talk quite often.  Ed is a good guy and offered to be my wingman when we go to the Elks for a dance.

You have no idea what the ladies do when a widower shows up at a dance.  Nothing “romantic,” but they want to dance, dance, and dance some more.

My view through the shower curtain was difficult at best.

Vicky, as expected, was a wonderful hostess, and we have a “Paul’s Place” hamburger and “Paul’s Garden (me)” corn on the cob.  It was BYOB, so I brought a bottle of Sue’s wine and enjoyed the afternoon sharing in all the laughing and giggle.

Not shown is Irene, who was three layers of shower curtains away, and her picture was unrecognizable.  Irene was there for sure.

They are generally not fuzzy.

We all talked about dogs, and I thought of Sue’s herd of Chi-Wiggles.  If I were to get a dog, and I am not sure yet, it just might be another Chihuahua as I loved our pack so much! Would it be fair as I am 75, and that would mean he poor little feller would have to put up with for fifteen years?

When I think about getting a dog, this cartoon comes to mind.

After the long journey home, somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 steps, I decided to listen to the news.  After the Aunt Jemima (Helen Green)  debacle, I turned it off.  OMG, this land is going goofy.  Here is a lady who was born a slave, worked hard, had a great mind, became well to do because of hard work, and now the looney-left wants to dishonor her legacy because she chose to be a “stereotype.”

Hells bells, we need a lot more like her around.  Her career allowed Green financial freedom to become an activist and engage in antipoverty programs.  She was one of the first African-American missionary workers. She used her stature as a spokesperson to become a leading advocate against poverty and in favor of equal rights for individuals in Chicago.

Thank you for all the excellent work you were able to do.

General Mills, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.  I am going to sell my stock in them tomorrow morning.

The world has gone crazy.

I crashed at 10:30 PM after a long day, and tomorrow we start again in the bathroom, and I complete the garage and wiring work.

On my way to bed, I checked, 6,048 steps today for a total of 2.1 miles.  These steps were just around the house when I had the phone in my pocket.

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What A Day This Has Been!

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” – C. S. Elliot

It has been seventeen weeks since my bride departed, and every day does not get better, just different.  Today I went through the garage attempting to make more room and ran into her art supplies.  Most people do not know she was reasonably accomplished in oils and painted many pictures, none of which she ever wanted to show anybody.  Sue was not one to draw attention to herself.

Below we are at the old Santa Ana Elks Lodges, and she put on funny glasses for a few seconds so I could snap a picture (or two or three).  Always with that beautiful smile.  Today was not a great day as I lost it a compile of times, but that is to be expected.  I love you, my dear, now and forever!

It must be St. Patrick’s Day!

 

To the garage as I am going to get the electrical “fixed” (returned to code) out there before I do anything else.  It took about six hours as I had to run to Lowe’s for a circuit breaker and do some severe modifications to two subpanels.  Everything checks out hunky-dory now, we are ready for inspection!

Well, I should say I went to Lowe’s twice, once without a mask, and came back and then once with a mask and went inside.  The store is only none minutes from my house, so that was OK.

I used to do Home Deport, but their entrance now has a lineup, and I refuse to go there!

I was up early, and it was still not quite light out, so I had to resort to a flashlight to see what I was attempting to do!  Since I was working on the power, the garage had no lighting available.

At 6:40 AM, I needed a light to see what I was trying to do!

I had an idea, why not move my shop to the north wall so I could have a window above the workbench.  Well, since most of the shop is on rollers, I simply readjusted things, but after moving things around, it did not seem to be what I expected, so I rolled everything back in its place.

Joe called, and I was invited to the 4th of July at his home!  I have a place to go, no longer am I homeless!  Without Sue, July 4th will be difficult as that was another one of her favorite holidays. She would dress up in red, white, and blue and be ready the share the day with our family and friends.

I had to move everything to get to the wiring.

I save a mile of wiring as I added a 20-Amp circuit breaker to the Spa subpanel in the garage.  This redesign saved time and copper. I attempted to drop a circuit from one of these breakers, but they kept popping.  The Spa ground-fault breakers are extremely sensitive for a good reason, so I managed to get a new 20-Amp switch at Lowe’s (trip number three today), and that solved the problem.

A spare circuit saved the day!

Yes, that is four cases of toilet paper!  Amazon is sending another case on Monday!  I am going to have to stop the deliveries because with the bidet; I do not use TP anymore!  I gave two cases to Vicky & Del (my dear next-door neighbors) before this picture was snapped.

While I was there, I vacuumed.

When I was “done”, it was 7:00 PM, and I was tired to the bone.  I inched my way into the house and had dinner.  Dirty was an understatement so, I showered to get the first layer of grime off.  More interesting was the fact the bathroom scale, my new friend, indicated I was 191.2 pounds!  Wow, blasted right past 192!

No “cooking today,” but I did have a package of spicy Mexican pork, which I had other plans for this weekend. Instead, I heated the pork and downed it without rice or veggies.  It was about 550 calories, but it tasted so good.

At 9:00 PM, I crashed and was out by 10:30 PM after watching two episodes of my Scifi thriller. Haven is an American-Canadian supernatural drama television series loosely based on the Stephen King novel The Colorado Kid (2005). The show, which deals with strange events in a fictional town in Maine named

 

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