Keeping A Low Profile!

“One must not let oneself be overwhelmed by sadness.” – Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis

One thing about Sue, she was ALWAYS a lady.  She never a bad word nor spoke an unkind thought, always had good things to say, and she always dressed for the occasion,  I loved being with her, and I know she would make me look good!  Her memory was like that’s of a computer; she could recall how many biscuits we had for breakfast twenty years ago.  More importantly, the world did NOT revolve around her.

I remember her writing to a family member quite often when that person went to Detroit.  She would send a letter once a week, usually with some kind of goody in it, to Pete when he was deployed.  I remember her sending five gallons of popcorn to Korea when Pete was stationed there.  She loved to cook with Mitch, and these two would laugh and giggle all afternoon.

Tomorrow will be her birthday.  I called Jan Mongell, who lost Jim several years ago, and she reminded me that Jim would have been ninety-six and Sue sixty-nine this week.

When I see her pictures, I must admit I get teary-eyed, but I can remember each image as if it had been taken yesterday.  I love you, my dear Sue!

Her smile even cheered up the flowers.


I place a Bat Phone call to Colleen, and she was dragging as their visitors had just left a few hours earlier, and she was pooped!  I decided not to call her until tomorrow morning as I bet she will sleep tonight.

Oh, those pesky hunger pains!  I viciously attacked the refrigerator, and I came up with bacon, sausage, and eggs.  A good meal, high in protein and low in calories! Tomorrow I plan a big rib-eye for breakfast as it is ready to be cooked.

My frying pan does a super job!

Me and the Silver Ghost headed to Lowe’s early as I wanted a new register for the heater/air.  The original one had several coats of paint on it.  Now I have a new one!

I plan to replace several of the heater/air ducts in the attic, so I priced then today!

The bathroom scale went back to lying, so I am angry at it.  To get back under 190 pounds, I walked for an hour this morning and then worked around the house, putting on more than 10,000 steps!

Perfect Christmas colors.

A little further down the lane on my walk, the pink glare caught my eye.

The roses we displaying their charms for all to see.

Does our “hood” have fruit trees?  Yes, indeed, we do!  I found several peach and nectarine trees on today’s journey around the neighborhood.

I controlled my temptation and did not pick one, but they were sure tempting.

Today’s walk took a different route.  I just missed with no specific path fixed in my tiny brain.

New route; new sights make for a refreshing walk!.

I headed into the garden after arriving home.  The corn is coming along, so I spent a good hour watering the entire garden making sure the corn got all it needed.  Corn grows about five inches every night right about now, so keeping it hydrated is essential.

One more trip to Lowe’s as we needed some paint primer, a wax ring to set the toilet, and a smaller grab-bar than the thirty-six inch one I had in the garage.  It was a quick trip!!

All the grouting is completed, and in the morning, I will paint the primer on so we can set the toilet, the vanity, and the countertop tomorrow.

I was wanted to get out, so I quickly showered and headed to Patty’s Place for a drink, and I broke down and had two sliders.  My 1908 Gin was not available, so Chuck whipped me up a martini!  It was delicious!

I sat alone in the patio (except for the three ladies having dinner)

It was a nice dinner, and Chuck, the angel on my shoulder, limited me to two drinks.  After the second one, he brought a glass of water and a glass of diet coke with the comment, “Your choice, big guy!”  I thought that it was very kind of him to take care of the old man!

Smile, show them your tooth!

As you may be able to see, the inside bar was wrapped in white.  My usual seat was NOT available.  When I left home, it was 80 degrees out, and even by 10:00 PM, it was still in the seventies, a pleasant evening.

N inside dining tonight, it was either the patio or the parking lot!

After arriving home, I fell into bed and off to sleep.

Tomorrow may be tough as it will be Sue’s sixty-ninth birthday, and I will not be going to Disneyland, the Sawdust Festival, or Catalina as we have done for thirty years.  Robin is planning something to keep me occupied, but I will be reliving all those times, no matter what we do.

Tomorrow is a special day for me to remember all the fantastic times we had together!

Posted in Dining Out, Friends, Walking, Working Around House | Leave a comment

Twenty Weeks Today I Lost The Love Of My Life!

The grieving process is a journey and not a place. It never ends; it just evolves. We will get through the toughest parts, but grieving is a passage. The only cure for grief is to grieve.

We would walk for hours holding hands when we stopped and admiring the grounds of the Huntington.  For the past many years, Sue was in a wheelchair, but I managed to take her everywhere she wanted to go.  She loved the cactus garden and was always amazed at the beauty of Mother Nature.  She saw wondrous things everywhere she looked; it was who she was.

I renewed my membership at the Huntington, and I plan to go a couple of times a year just to remember the fantastic times we spend with friends and each other seeing the various gardens go through their seasonal phases.   I miss her so much, so very much!

I so want to walk the Huntington Library and Gardens with Sue one more time. This picture still brings tears to my eyes as she was so amazing, such a caring and loving soul.


Well, good news today as the torture device located on the bathroom floor finally decided to tell me a good story!  I indicated I was only 189.2 pounds this beautiful morning!  The BMI, which I discount because of my build and bone structure, came in at 26, meaning I still have a few pounds to lose.  I am now well within striking distance.

Another ten pounds and I am home free!

I prepared the house for my house cleaners, and I took a well-needed shower.  I darned near walked into the glass door. It was so spotless!  I will have to get used to the new doors.

I got a call from Lowe’s, and they decided to bring the new dishwasher today, so I had to call Bob Z and cancel the luncheon.  Then, another call cancels that plan, but it was too late for me to go to Santa Ana, so I called Robin, and we had lunch at the Yucatan Grille.

I got there ahead of Robin and had a margarita.  We got to sit in the patio area today as the inside was “closed.”  The patio is quite colorful!

Bring on the grub!!

I showed my artwork to Robin.  I taught all the grandkids to make designs out of their tortillas.  Grandpa; the myth, the legend, the bad example!

Yes, I am still making designs in my tortillas.

We had a lovely meal and talked for a good half hour before she had to go back to work.  Work is about five minutes away for her.

All smiles, and she now has the latest on the house remodeling status.

When I got home, Bob was hanging plastic all over as he was getting ready to shoot the walls with the texture coat.  I worked in the garage, sorting through all the stuff that ended up on my workbench.

I wandered out into the garden to examine everyone as the weather has begun to turn warm.  Joe’s favorite fruit was in full bloom.

I shall save several for Joe, and perhaps he can take them to work in his lunch!

Watering Corn is Important! Watering corn is so important; it could make or break your crop! Corn plants need approximately 1 1/2 inches of water every week to thrive and reach their full potential. Drought conditions will result in stunted plants that are reluctant to produce full-sized ears of corn.

The corn is getting tall, and I could see the tassels at the top of the plant.  The tassel is a male flower. Remember that the corn plant contains both male flowers and female flowers (corn silks) on the same plant. The tassel consists of many smaller parts that work together to release pollen.

On these corn stalks, I will be careful to pick them at their peak and not let them get starchy. When corn is ready to harvest, the cornsilk turns from a light blond color to a dark brown. When the cornsilk is dark brown down to the husk, you can assume that the corn is ready to eat. To double-check the ripeness of the corn, pull back the husk a little bit and take a peek at the kernels.

Look carefully, and you see the tassels beginning to form.

Now it is 4:00 PM and time to eat again.  Why me?  I got below 190 pounds, and here I am eating twice a day!  It’s going to take two days to get back down in weight.  I think I will try Lee’s suggestion and go on an apple diet for a day or so!

Vicky cooked some ribs and a hunk of steak plus we had potato slaw followed by a lemon bar, courtesy of Irene.   The shower curtains were up and working well.  You can’t see Ed this time, but he is on the left-hand side of this picture.  The two layers of heavy plastic material hide him well.

What (or who) is behind curtain number one?

The shower curtain seems to work well!  We can “see” each other, talk, and act almost normal, but the virus stays put.  Great idea, Vicky!

Vicky and Del

I sat and talked with them for an hour before returning home (which is next door) to check on Bob,

Heading home!

I called Colleen, and she was up and visiting her inlaws, which I got a chance to meet and chat with for a while.  They are heading to Niagra Falls in the morning and then back to Iowa and tend the corn, I made that part up!

The wall texture was done, and the plastic was removed.  The walls look amazing.  Tomorrow the vanity and the granite should be here, and hopefully, it will be installed.  Then it will be time to paint.

In the home stretch!

The decorative tiles are now in the wall on the back of the shelf.

I love the design inside the wall.

Now I am safely back home.  I returned Lee’s call from earlier, and we chatted for a while, hopefully trying to find a break in our “busy social schedules” to get together and have lunch somewhere.

From there, I headed to bed as it was almost 9:30 PM, so I watched two episodes of Hanna, and I am closing in on the end of season two, which was the last one, I believe.

Before going to bed, I checked the toonies and saw one I will send to Becca and Zack!


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Another Day

“Grief never ends…but it changes. It’s a passage. Not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness. Nor a lack of faith…It is the price of love.” – Unknown

Sue could do anything, but golf was her favorite pastime.  That woman could hit the ball so straight that it got boring to watch.  The ball would not travel too far, but it was like watching a machine.   Her putting was outstanding; line up the putt and bing, in the hole it went!  She often said putting was half the game, and she was right.

We golfed everywhere we went, including Alaska, all over Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, France,  Toyoko (in the snow), Spain (in the heat), South America, Las Vegas, Arizona, Florida, everywhere.  We had so much fun just being together!  With her “evil eye,” she could spot my ball wherever it landed, and it landed in some remarkable spots (hardly ever in the fairway)

Now that it has been five months, I thought it would be easier to make it through the day, but alas, it is not.  I see her and hear her on every twist and turn.   I love you, Sue!

One hundred five degrees as we golfed in Sedona, Arizona!


I finally did it; I weighed in at 190.3 pounds this morning!  Now, how can I keep the weight down for the rest of the week?  A serious question that I must ask myself every time I pass that evil food storage device called a refrigerator!

It’s time for a walk, so I headed north through the hood, and almost immediately, I ran into a herd of Bow Wow’s. This gentleman is fearless because can you imagine what would happen if they all took off in the same direction, or worse yet, different directions? When I commented on his canine group, he stopped and posed the group for me.

What a collection!

A short distance up the street, I saw this fantastic truck. In the old days, roadway markings were merely done by a pickup truck with a guy making the marks on the road manually.  Now, they have an entire vehicle devoted to making the marks on the street complete with the fellow in the back who guides the brush with a set of controls, much like the back of a hook and ladder truck. It was quite a machine. The guy bending over looks appears to be cleaning the paint head, which became jammed.

Marking the streets takes a lot of machinery.

No more excitement, merely mother nature showing her beauty during the rest of my walk.  The Crepe Myrtle trees were in full bloom and were spectacular.

Love the trees in the hood.

Ah-ha, I spotted a potential meal sitting right there on the grass. Unfortunately, these guys were inedible toadstools, so not exactly pleasant to eat.  The terms “mushroom” and “toadstool” go back centuries and were never precisely defined, nor was there a consensus on application.

Every time I see this scene, I remember when Sue and I call a call from Jonathan’s school.  He had taken a dare and ate several mushrooms growing in the grass.  We took him to the emergency hospital, where they gave him a bunch of liquid charcoal to drink and pumped his tummy.  He was a mess for the rest of the day! That must have been twenty-five years ago.

Did You Know? Separating edible from poisonous species requires meticulous attention to detail; there is no single trait by which all toxic mushrooms can be identified, nor one by which all edible mushrooms can be identified. People who collect mushrooms for consumption are known as mycophagists, and the act of collecting them for such is known as mushroom hunting, or simply “mushrooming.”

Mushroom soup anyone??

So, I passed up dinner and continued to the next beautiful flower I saw.  These little guys are quite interesting as they are a brilliant white in the leaves are almost paper-like in their consistency. These flowers stay blooming for nearly a month before finally giving out. I believe they are called “dog roses.”

He is standing tall!

In the final stretch of my walk, I passed my neighbor’s house and observed their collection of flags. They have two little kids, so I think they did some decoration in celebration of July 4th.  This family that made the two drawings of Sue and me and gave them to me when Sue passed.

Our neighbors love this country.

I walked almost three miles this morning, and it felt terrific.  I didn’t walk every day for nearly two weeks because of all the construction going on around the house.

Pleasant walk this morning, and I talked to Jan and Joe the entire time.

I got back home; it was time for lunch. I decided, after my walk, then I would reward myself with a nice big juicy steak. Below is a picture of one of the plates that Sue I picked out together when we first got married. I found them in the closet, carefully put away, and I decided that they needed to come out and be used. Of course, they remind me of Sue every time I see them, and that is a good thing.

Sue had great taste, and I love dining off our original dinnerware.  The pattern is Margaux by Mikasa.

Making lunch was very easy as I just popped the steak into my big cast-iron pan for approximately five minutes on each side. Before I flipped the steak over the first time, I wandered out into the garden and found myself a big juicy tomato, which I cut into hefty slices and plopped into the frying pan.

While the second side of the steak was cooking, I prepared a spinach salad and poured a glass of wine. You may have noticed that my tablecloth has changed! I decided red was a good color for July.  I should mention that I used Scotchgard at my end of the table for obvious reasons.

Lunch is served.

If I don’t say so myself, the tomatoes were a great addition to the meal.  They were quite juicy, and we’re quickly cooked adjacent to the steak.

The tomatoes were just born, as Sue used to say.

Lunch was quite satisfying, so I sat back and pondered what I would do the rest of the day before my social engagement at 5 PM over at the park.

Resting up for my trip to the park at 5:00 PM

Bob began his work in the bathroom, putting in finishing touches, and I headed to the market as I was out of “beer.”   The O’Douls is an excellent beer substitute, and I can drink two bottles and not get sleepy!

While on the way to the market, I talked to the solar power contractor and worked out some more details.  He said it would take about six weeks, most of it being paperwork with the city.  It’s not a bad deal.  $20,000 for the job and the kind government gives me $6,000 back.  The payoff, especially since I will pay cash, is about 4.5 years, plus it will add about $25,000 to the value of the house.  I told him I would get it underway mid-August or the latest September 1st.  It’s kind of exciting to think the sun will power my home!  No longer will I worry about turning off every light!

I stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond to get two squeegees since I will be cleaning the shower doors more often.  It seems like going solar is a good investment.   While there, I got a call from Marianne, and we chatted for a while.  We decided to get together soon.  She wants to see the new bathroom as she is looking to do some remodeling also.

Complete with a suction cup holder!

At Ralph’s market, they had a magnificent display of hand sanitizer. Everything must be getting back to normal as a hand sanitizer was available as well as toilet paper.  I am still using the stuff I already had.  Robin was the person who got me into hand sanitizers years ago.

Hand sanitizer coming out their ears!

At approximately 4:45 PM, I did a minor amount of cleanup to myself, grabbed a bottle of wine, and headed to Rush Park just a couple of blocks away. I had been invited to join Shaun and Teri to celebrate their anniversary. When I arrived, I found Kim and Dave were already there. The five of us had a great time, and I didn’t make it back home until approximately 7:30 PM.

Thank you Shaun and Teri for inviting me to celebrate with you!  You are good friends and kind to ask this old cover to join you!

Hey, I could not help myself!!!

Kim brought a small boombox so we could listen to music. She asked me what music I would like to hear, and of course, I requested “Come Go With Me” by the Dell Vikings. I had forgotten that Kim told me she enjoyed dancing and when the music started she remarked how beautiful the music of the 1950s was.

Well, what did I do but ask her if she would like to dance! We danced to about four or five songs together over the next two hours and it was great.  Kim is an excellent dance partner!  We may have worn a hole int he grass with our fancy dance footwork! I told Dave, her fiancé, that he needed to take dance lessons, and I knew he needed to talk to Jan.

Teri, Shaun, Kim, and Dave…Long time friends from Old Ranch!  Kim lives around the corner from me, and after they get married, Dave will also be my neighbor@  Small world!

As the five of us were talking, I noticed a beautiful dog coming in our direction. The girls asked his owner if the dog could be petted.  The dog was cute, and I believe his name was “Champ.”

Both of the ladies love dogs, and it was apparent.

Champ came over to me and was interested in my wine bottle.  I offered to share, but he decided water was more interesting.  He was a rescue but turned out to be a real lover!

He was a beautiful creature.

Well, by the time I got home, Bob was gone, the wine was gone, and I was gone!  I laid down, and that was the end of the day!  I woke up at 2:00 AM and finished off the daily diary and went back to bed.

Tomorrow the finishing touches go on the bathroom, and by Friday, I should be painting!

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He (Brian) Read My Mind!

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life.
Comes into us at midnight very clean.
It’s perfect when it arrives, and it puts itself in our hands.
It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”
John Wayne’s headstone

I was sitting here this morning in the garage looking st pictures from the 4th of July in years past, and as I saw this picture, the phone rang.  Brian and Jan called to check in on me, wow!  It was almost spooky!   Sue took to these two folks, and we planned to visit them this year, but alas, God had other plans.

We had so much fun with Brian and Jan when they came home to the US from the UK.  We went walking in the gardens, visited Catalina, went on water taxis, found new and exciting English Pubs to visit, just hung out.

Sue was just a barrel of fun to be with, and her quick wit and occasional “zingers” are so sadly missed.  I love you, Sweet Sue!

Sue and Brian are enjoying each other’s company.


Well, I cleaned up this morning and made sure everything was ready for the shower guy to show up and take measurements on the new shower.  While I was at it, I washed down the front entranceway putting all the materials and tools off to the side. Looks pretty good! The place almost looks good again.

I never realized how many tools and how many different kinds of supplies were needed for a simple bathroom remodel!

After the cleanup, I was getting hungry.  Being hungry is easy to tell as I hear the zoo animals growling and making other obscene noises!  I need to clean out the refrigerator, so breakfast turned out to be Chicken Tikka, which I nuked and a glass of pomegranate juice!  Of course, the meal was chased by a big cup of coffee.  Spicy kick to get the day re-started.

It is traditionally small pieces of boneless chicken baked using skewers on a brazier called angeethi after marinating in Indian spices and dahi (yogurt)—essentially a boneless version of tandoori chicken. The word tikka (Tike in Turkish, and Tik? in Azerbaijani) is a Hindi and Urdu word and means “bits” or “pieces.”

The glass guy measured the new shower, and it will be a door entry, no sliders.  The solid clear glass will be fixed to the wall.  The opening for the door will be wide enough for a walker or other mobilization device should it ever be needed.   Now that I am 190 pounds, yes, I made it to one-hundred-ninety today, I no longer have to go into the shower sideways!

While he was here, he replaced the old shower door in the Master Bathroom as it was twenty years old, and it just did not roll well.  The new doors are on sealed roller bearings, and the stainless steel wheels have a rubber outer edge, so it is quiet!  We loved the double shower, but it seems enormous these days.

Master Bathroom new shower door!

I have the side yard to go after this afternoon as I plan to move Christmas to the backyard like it used to be.  That will make it easier to go through in my attempts to reduce the number of decorations.  But, I have to stay “clean” as I was told by the shower guy, “The new door must stay dry for two days!” The next shower is Wednesday morning, and NO!, I am not selling tickets!  French bath, anyone?

There are always other options!!

Did You Know? French Bath: To douse one’s self with copious amounts of any God awful over-powering perfume or deodorant that burns the nostrils and olfactory senses of every person and animal within at least a mile radius to cover the fact that you are too damn lazy actually to shower.

Off to the sideyard, I go with renewed energy and high expectations for a leisurely couple of hours.  It was not to be.  I forgot how heavy those boxes were so I could only move three at a time, and then I had to lift them into place.  While Bob is here, I think I all put a wall on both sides and put a tin roof above with a weatherproof seal on the front.  I will make it so ONLY 36 boxes will fit, and therefore I will not be able to add any more!

When I took the picture, there were still four additional boxes yet to be moved, so I now have 36 boxes of Christmas, down from fifty!

After working all day, I had been thinking about dinner, and I know I am going to cook up one of the two rib-eyes I got on special from Ralph’s yesterday.   I plan to go shopping in the garden and perhaps fix some crookneck squash or roast some potatoes and tomatoes to add to the dinner plate.  The steaks are the right size, so I may just eat half of one and save the other for tomorrow with bacon and eggs. Speaking about the market…

That would be me!!

Well, I am a boy!  I got grimy this afternoon, moving the Christmas boxes to the back yard.  Tonight I will take a washcloth bath and attempt to remove most of the dirt from this magnificent body, or maybe run through the sprinklers naked after it gets dark.  I have not decided yet!

I finally talked to Colleen as she was out with her in-laws visiting the USS Constitution.   That brought back some memories, and Sue and I had walked the Freedom Train in the winter several years back.  Sue was like a machine and just kept walking.  Me, on the other hand, was slipping and sliding all over the place and looking for the next location to sit down.  Today, walking ten miles is a no brainer.

She posted her picture on Facebook, and this morning I got a note from my cousin, Claudia, with a photo of her and Doug at the same location as Colleen’s picture was taken.

Doug and Cousin Claudia visiting the USS Constitution.

The last box I attempted to move was so heavy I could not lift it.  Then I remembered, it had the box with the Christmas dishes.   I had a brilliant idea; I wondered if Rebecca would like the set?  So I called her, and before I could complete my sentence, she said, “Oh please, yes!”

It seems she loved her grandparents set, but when grandpa passed, another member of the family got the dishes, and they were trashed within a few years.  Rebecca always wanted Christmas dishes.   So I moved them out of the box, making the box movable, and I will take the set over, or Zack might pick them up in the next few days.

She has NO idea how happy that made me, knowing Grandma’s Christmas dishes would get a proper home and be cherished by another generation.

Grandma Christmas Dishes get a new home.

Bob departed about 8:00 PM, and I was pooped, so I nixed the idea of running through the sprinklers naked (besides, Vicky would probably report me to the feds).  Before he left, we did a drain test, and the drain is perfect!  The angles of the shower pan are quite sufficient to make the water seek the ocean!

We checked out the new shower drain, and water flows out like a champ!

Into my cute warm jammies, I headed to the living room with a bowl of bing cherries and a big cup of coffee.  I wanted two more episodes of Hanna before the eyelids began to drop!

The last thing I remember is looking at our hearts that I have placed on Sue’s side of the bed.  We both had open heart surgeries within three years of one another.  each operation was identical with three bypasses accomplished.  They gave us these stuffed hearts fo a good reason.  When they open our chests, they have to break the breastbone, and it takes a month to heal.  Anytime you cough, even a little, it hurts like hell.  If you clutch the stuffed heart to your chest as you cough, the pain is much less.

Still two hearts as one!

I remember taking care of Sue after her surgery, she did so well, I was not the least bit worried about my operations.  She was amazing!

Did You Know? Traditionally, surgeons would access the valve by making a 12-inch incision down the middle of your chest and breaking the sternum, or breastbone, in half. You may have heard this called “cracking the chest.” This surgery can take four to six hours to perform, and you’ll need six to eight weeks to recover.

The sternum is wired back together after the surgery to facilitate proper healing. During the healing phase, the wired sternum is vulnerable to the expansion of breathing muscles, which may loosen the wires over time.

Good night all, have a wonderful tomorrow!!!

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I Am Happy The 4th Is Behind Me!

The pain passes, but the beauty remains. – Pierre Auguste Renoir

This weekend has been the worst for me since Sue passed.  It was her favorite, and it was just before her birthday month starts.  I must look like a wreck as I cannot stop my eyes from leaking.  I thought I would get into the Christmas decorations just to get outside, but that was not good either. I made it thorough about a quarter of the boxes.

Every box I open and every little ornament I see is a direct connection to her.  Despite that, I separated things into items for Colleen (who likes everything, especially the vintage items), Rebecca (who loves the stuffed animals), Robin (who wants the Disney things), and those I will keep and hopefully used this Christmas.

I visualized Sue and me walking around the house with Christmas music playing, watching out for Chuhauhua’s, and laughing and giggling for three days straight while we transform the house into a Christmas wonderland.  She was my everything, and I am having a difficult time with that this weekend.  I love you, Sue.

So sweet!

We used to decorate everything, but in the last two years, Sue was not up to it, so everything stayed packed away.  I know I will not put everything up, but I will have a small tree and the most memorable of the ornaments.

The tree took me two days!

Yes, we had trees everywhere because our ornaments seemed to be un-ending!  I am afraid that Christmas will never be the same, and after today, I am not looking forward to Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.  Maybe things will change.

Sue did most of the house, and we finally finished it on days three.


The day started with me working in the office doing some rewiring and getting the sound system off the floor and onto the tabletop!  Sue loved her PC, so I got her a two-screen Dell system, which I believe she used perhaps twice.  I check into it once a month to see if there are any updates.

While I was testing the PC and moved sound system, I logged onto YouTube TV and canceled my subscription as I never have used it but have been paying for it for several months.

It was late morning, and I fixed a small spinach salad with a six-ounce steak for lunch.  It was just right in keeping with my desire to get below 190 pounds.  I am at the edge and working on it every day.

Bob worked on the shower and the floor for the rest of the day!

He was cutting up a storm!

Piece by piece, it is coming together!

The job is so close to being done, but no cigar!  Every rock had top be in the exact proper place!

The floor tiles are in, and they look great.  They are 1/2 inch ceramic tiles made in Spain.  Just enough grey to hide the dirt!  What dirt?? The flooring is waterproofed two-feet out, so I will not work about water damage!  The tiles are not slippery either, another plus.

I love the pattern! The spacing is perfect.

I was low on O’Douls beer, so I went to the market and darn near lost my pants!  I put on a belt, but it was a 38, and I am now wearing a 36.  I had to stop mid-aisle, look both directions, and find another notch, or my pants would have been down at my knees by the time I walked to the car.  Oops!

I began going through the Christmas things as I need to reduce the box count severely.  I have forty boxes now, and I want no more than ten when I am done.   I began to feel funny in the chest, so I stopped, I think it was just emotions building up.  I worked on the boxes for hours just a little at a time.

Boxes of amazing memories!

It seems as if I will have to store these because I took one over the UPS store, and it was $87.90 to ship one single box via the slow-boat.  I have five boxes packed for colleen, but that is $500, and I am not near done!  Dang!  It would be cheaper for me to put them in the van and drive them to New Hampshire; that’s a good idea!!

Bob worked until almost 8:00 PM, and I sent him home.  I told him I would clean up everything before the glass guy shows up tomorrow!

Everything has its place!

I wet moped the inside, and it is ready for measuring tomorrow and grout!

It is getting close!

It’s 9:00 PM, so I headed for the shower (in the Master Bedroom) and got into my jammies, made a cup of hot chocolate, and called Robin and then Lee.  Lee and I talked for forty-five minutes and plan to get together next weekend for lunch or dinner.  She is getting ready to dance, and I said, “If I bring my boom box and the iPhone’s dance music, can we use the dance floor in the park’s recreation room?”  I think we may have a plan being hatched!

I watched two episodes of Hanna before crashing for the night!  As I fell asleep, I was thinking of my lovely wife and how much I missed being with her over this long weekend.

Here she was with Joe at Old Ranch last year. It is burned into my memories how nice it was to have Joe join me (with the rest of the family)  at the hospital the night before Sue passed. I love both of you guys!










Posted in Cooking, Family, Holidays, Working Around House | Leave a comment

So Many Wonderful Memories

“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.” — J.M. Barrie

She loved this holiday and always dressed accordingly.  Here she is at Old Ranch watching the kids on the water slides.  She just brightened up my every day, making life worth living.  Always a smile and kind words for all.  I am sure she wished she could have joined the kids on the water slides today, but alas, that was not possible.

Sue’s last July 4th Celebration

Sue was simply amazing, enjoying life to the hilt.  She went with us to get fireworks, and she picked out “the Big Bang,” which delighted the kids.  I was glad that JR and Zack were there to get it into the car.   I can see her in my mind now going “ooh” and “ah” when the fireworks went off.  This year we were at Mitch’s house, and we had Vicky and Del with us plus the Chartier’s came up from San Diego.   Today will not be easy as July 4th was one of our special holidays.

Sue was just as excited about the fireworks as the kids, maybe more!


I attempted to start the day, but a feeling of loneliness hit me like a ton of bricks.  I was going through some old boxes in the garage, and I found my dad’s funeral book and many letters from people.  That was a half-century ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.  My bride is gone, my mom and ads are gone, and the feeling of loneliness is pretty depressing.  I can’t walk around with red eyes and tears, so I got busy cleaning my workbench and making breakfast.

Colleen read the Daily Diary and decided to get the rest of the gang dressed up in the colors of the day.  Thank you for the memories.  Sue and I would dress up all these guys for every holiday.  It brought back a lot of good memories.

Muffy and the gang in Red, White, and Blue!

I wanted to call Colleen but she has family in town and I know she is super busy so I will await her call.  Colleen worked very had to make their home ready for Mark’s family.

Bob came in about 1:00 PM and was finishing the floor today as I was getting ready to go to the Santa Ana Elks.  I was invited to have lunch and be with the Capps and Zaitz.  Donna and Bob knew this holiday would be a toughie for me. It’s great to have beautiful friends.

Donna was Donna, bright, and cheery.

Bill and Mary joined us, making for a lovely afternoon.  We have been dancing with Bill and Mary for many years.

Mary & Bill Capps, long time dancing friends, joined the group.

Post cheeseburgers, we are ready for the remainder of the day!  Bob and I enjoy one another’s company as we have the same sees of humor and react to events in precisely the same way!  I enjoyed a pair of margarita’s along with the burger and about two hours of great visiting.

Burger time at Santa Ana Elks.

I wore my mask into and out of the Elks, and everybody I saw had a mask near them.

I was ready with my N95 mask, just in case.

I returned home by 4:30 PM, just missing Bob by a few minutes.  He wanted to lay down the rest of the floor so it could be walked on during the final stages of the remodel.  The tile is looking great!

Now I am getting excited about the kitchen floor replacement later this year!

It was time to leave, so I went to Ralph’s and brought Amy a new boggle of her favorite wine plus some flowers.  While I was there, I also picked up a magnificent looking bag of bing cherries and a dozen patriotic cupcakes!

Arriving, the fireworks team was setting up this evening’s entertainment.

We are getting everything ready!  Don is bringing another table from his house.

Time to mentally prepare!  Joe, and his invention to hold the fireworks up high, rest before the sun sets, and all heck breaks loose!

Our Fireworks Captain takes a rest before the evening begins!

It begins, but I should say I have NEVER heard so much noise in all 75 Independence Day celebrations I have attended.  The sky was flickering all night, and the sounds reminded me of a battleground.  With the cancellation of public events, I guess people stayed home and celebrated.

That reminds me that coming over the Joe’s I attempted to turn onto Katella, but there was a traffic jam!  I had forgotten that the military base adjacent to us had fireworks, and families were heading over there at 6:30 PM.  I avoided making the turn but say a traffic jam for over a mile leading to the entrance to the base.


Did You Know? Those modern-day bombs bursting in air are symbolic of the real bombs that flew over the heads of our Revolutionary War soldiers as they fought to gain America’s independence from the Crown. The flashes of light that streak through the sky imitate the rockets that fly past our current American soldiers in Afghanistan on a routine basis.

Instead of watching this year’s fireworks celebration solely for entertainment, I reflected on the sacrifices past and present members of the military have made for our beloved country.

Without the dedicated service of these men and women, we civilians wouldn’t have the luxury of a fireworks celebration to watch.

I had a wonderful time this evening with the entire family.

I had great fun with the family!  I missed Robin and Bob a lot!

The family got a kick out of the event, especially as the “big boys” made up names for the various fireworks and proudly pronounced the name out loud.  We should have guessed they were making up names when we heard “Big Burrito” and “Watch Out”, etc.

We all had the best seats in the house!

Joe places the fireworks on the stand so we could see it perfectly.  It was a great idea!

Watch your fingers!

The neighborhood was also surrounded by sounds and a lot of explosions in the sky; we were in surround-works!


By 10:00 PM, the show was over, and my ears were in dire need of some quiet.  As I headed south toward Seal Beach, I was stopped by a fast-moving right train.  The train must have been going 50 miles per hour as it whizzed by in a matter of a few minutes.

The Choo Choo was moving fast; I could feel the ground shaking as it passed by.

By 10:30 PM, I was home, safe, and sound. The day started out being a sad one as I was missing Sue so much, but great friends and family made the day “OK”.  Colleen called along with Pete & Lisa and Robin & Bob, so I remained connected.  Then Bob and Donna helped as we remembered many July 4th celebrations in the past, and finally, Amy, Joe, and family completed the evening.  Thank you, guys!

As I dropped off the sleep, I thought of the thirty plus years that Sue and I had together.  I miss her so much!

She was such a magnificent partner in life!

Good night all!

Posted in Adventures, Family, Holidays, Working Around House | Leave a comment

Almost The Weekend!

“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

Mid-year, and we used to celebrate the entire month of July because it was Sue’s “Birthday Month.” We put ourselves into overdrive and were out and about every day.  This year seems so strange because I am not out and about.  I remember Catalina, the Sawdust Festival, Laguna Arts Festival, wine tasting trips, the county fairs, the train trips.  This year, I stay home and just delight in remembering the thirty-years we had together.  She brought enough joy to least my lifetime, and I sometimes just hurt that she is not here to share.  I love you, Sue, and always will!

We are at Old Ranch Country Club with many of our family and friends. She was ready to celebrate!


I was up at 5:30 AM, roaring to go.  I went through a pile of sheets and blankets and put them into another packing box.  I moved several cartons from the master bedroom closet, including the new one,  to the outside as I decided to give them to the Salvation Army.  Now I have more room.  I kept the single-bed sheets, but all the old doubles will be gone soon.

This morning I took the long walk to the mailbox and put in my estimated taxes.  I drug it out to the last minute, but I had to do it.

I whispered, “Let’s GO,” and the Silver Lady started right up, turned on her air conditioner, opened the door, and was raring to go, anywhere!  Of course, we went to Lowe’s as I needed a 3/4 inch male hose bib.  An exterior spigot (also known as a “shut-off valve,” “hose hydrant,” “hose bib,” or “silcock”) is what the hose connects to get water.

I know that store pretty well now.  We were back home in 30 minutes, and the hose bib was in place.  I also got several packing boxes as I plan to send a lot of Christmas decorations to Colleen and get my Christmas boxes down into the single digits (there are almost forty boxes now!)


1/4 turn hose bib.

I got a call from Mike, the bandleader from “9 Carat Gold” and they were looking for a place to practice.  I thought of Old Ranch and the Himalayan Grill.  Old ranch washed out because of the reconstruction.

So, I invited the guys to the Himalayan Grill for lunch, so I (we) could talk to the boss.   The owner did not understand 1940s music until I played “Blue Champagne” on YouTube.  He finally realized it was not a “rock group” with noisy guitars and drums.

9 Carat Gold playing at our Old Ranch New Year’s Eve party.

Success, they will be practicing there starting Tuesday!   I will go the first time, and then after that, I will invite others to listen and dine. Yeah! I love it when a plan comes together!

I got to the restaurant a little early to make sure they would be open as you can’t tell with all this nonsense going on around us. So, what to do for forty-five minutes?  Beer was the answer.

Time to dine Indian style dressed in my July 4th garb.

It’s finally beginning to act like Summer.  The temperature was 82 today, and that was perfect.  I am happy I watered the corn today.

Summer be here!

Mike came in first traveling from Long Beach  Mike and I chattered about things for close to thirty minutes before Chuck showed up.   Mike knew the Himalayan Grill when it was Sams Seafood.  He played here several times.  The backroom is always a surprise to people as it can hold 200 or more people and comes complete with a small stage.

Mike, the band leader of “9 Carat Gold.”

Chuck showed up and is doing well.  Below he is showing his scars from the recent motorcycle accident where he broke his leg in two places.  Yes, he rode from Downey to the beach using the side streets, no more freeways for him!

The scars are going away slowly.

My phone was about to die, so I gave them a number to call; it was Jan Mongel!  We all chatted with her for a while.  Jan sponsors the Phoenix Club and knows the guys well.

A call to Jan Mongel.

Hello! Jan? (We passed the phone around)

When it came to ordering lunch, they were not sure as they had not had Indian before.  I recommended the mild Chicken Tika for their starters.

So good!!!

Did You Know? It is traditionally small pieces of boneless chicken baked using skewers on a brazier called angeethi after marinating in Indian spices and dahi (yogurt)—essentially a boneless version of tandoori chicken. The word tikka (Tike in Turkish, and Tik? in Azerbaijani) is a Hindi and Urdu word and means “bits” or “pieces”.

I had mine fifteen on a scale of ten.  It was so good.  Then I did a bad thing!  I had two large Indian beers.  OMG, I was so sleepy by the time I got home I laid down and died on the spot.  I have not had two beers in thirty years!  It was hot, but that was no excuse.  After getting home, I recalled that Old Monk, Indian beer, is eight percent alcohol.

The guys really enjoyed the meal and will definitely come back for more, no more fear of Indian food!

Bob got here and worked for three hours before I woke up.  He said he checked my breathing to make sure I was OK.  I just don’t drink anymore, so the two beers and the warm day had their effect on me!  That means I will be up all night long!

I finally woke up about 7:00 PM and wandered outside into the garage and the garden.  I watched the president’s speech at Mount Rushmore.  The address was impressive.

I am now in the yard working after my nap.

The bathroom is coming along nicely.  The flooring has been started.  Half was done, and it is drying so we can begin to walk on it and then finish the other side.  The small yellow devices keep the spacing exact so that grouting will be easy to put in.

The flooring is ceramic tile and impervious to water!

The walls are coming along nicely. Tomorrow will see the shower tiling finished.  It is exciting to see the progress.  The seat is now built into the wall.

Did You Know? The ancient Greeks were the first people to make their form of a shower, which sprayed bathers with water. Their aqueducts and sewage systems made of lead pipes allowed water to be pumped both into and out of large communal shower rooms used by the wealthy and ordinary citizens alike.

What we think of as the shower today was invented in 1767 by William Feetham, a stove maker from Ludgate Hill in London. His shower contraption used a pump to force the water into a vessel above the user’s head, and a chain would then be pulled to release the water from the vessel.

The shower didn’t come into common usage until the late twentieth century as people realized showering is a far quicker and more hygienic way of washing than having a bath.

The wall will be finished tomorrow. The top of the shower has its fan/light combination, and there is a “rain head” also at the top!

I watch President Trump at Mount Rushmore.  Damn, he was good and said all the right things.  I love that guy!

Trump is an amazing man, just like the other four!

At 9:00 PM, I was again tired, so I hit the sack as tomorrow is going to be a busy day. I watched two episodes of “Hanna,” which was interesting.  Summary: Hanna is a 15-year-old girl living with Erik, the only man she has ever known, as her father, in a remote part of a forest in Poland. Erik once recruited pregnant women into a CIA program, code name UTRAX, where the children’s DNA was enhanced to create super-soldiers. When Erik falls in love with Johanna, Hanna’s mother, he rescues baby Hanna, and they flee. The CIA then orders their on-site agent, Marissa, to shut down the project and eliminate all the babies.

More people ought to believe.

Posted in Dining Out, Friends, Working Around House | 2 Comments

The Second Half Of This Terrible Year Is Underway!

“Remember that people are only guests in your story – the same way you are only a guest in theirs – so make the chapters worth reading.” ? Lauren Klarfeld

It was four years ago when we made our last journey to San Diego to see the San Diego Fair.  We went every year for nearly thirty years but the last few years was rough so we stayed home.  So why is she smiling (besides the fact she was always happy)? Well, she got me on that new-fangled gondola that flys over the fairgrounds, roughly 4,500 feet in the air moving at 65 MPH while swinging wildly back and forth.   She is watching me squirm and try to act like I am NOT terrified.

She was so wonderful to be with and we spent the entire day exploring every inch of the fairgrounds including the petting zoo’s (which she loved) and watching some cooking demonstrations and of course, dining on the “scrumptious” fair food!

July began our summer activities and I know I will be feeling the blues missing out on our trip to Catalina (for her birthday), the water taxi around Long Beach the fairs, the Sawdust Festival, etc. etc.  I miss you my sweetheart!

Now you know why she is smiling!


Ham, bacon, and eggs for breakfast was a perfect meal.  Then I spent about an hour doing some rearrangement of the master bathroom and closet.  I decided to give to the Salvation Army five large boxes of towels, heated blankets, dish towels, etc. Most of them are brand new but I just don’t need them anymore.

Then, take a guess what I did!  You are right, the Silver Landy and I went north to Loews where I bought a new dishwasher!  This one even has an app with it so it will monitor and report to me the status of the wash cycle.  It was a little more than I wanted to pay but it will last for the rest of my life plus it is new and handles the electronic air filter with no problems!

It is an 800-series dishwasher washer.

Everything is electronic these days!

I placed about 30 two-inch diameter PVC pipes on the parkway hoping someone will come by and get them for their project.  I used them to cover our blueberries but I have decided to put in a small patio and a BBQ adjacent to the pool where the blueberries used to be so, no need for netting.  I will go to the market instead of putting the PVC together and keeping the birds away!

I talked to Colleen this morning and she mailed me a picture that made me very happy and sad at the same time.  Sue’s collection of the Muffy Vanderbear family complete with clothes was fairly extensive.  Since her introduction in 1984, Muffy Vanderbear has been the best dressed and best-loved bear in the USA. Created by Barbara Isenberg and produced for nearly 30 years by the North American Bear Company, Muffy still delights collectors of all ages.

I sent part of Sue’s collection to Colleen for her daughters and granddaughters.  The remainder will be sent in a couple of months, before Christmas.

Every holiday, I would help Sue change the clothes into whatever season/holiday it happened to be. It brought tears to be eyes to see Sue’s little guys dressed in their July 4th garb.  Thank you, Colleen, for making my day!

I was happy to see the babies get a new home where they are enjoyed as much as we enjoyed them!

I got proof from the garden gang that they raided the garden.  That also makes me happy.  I love my garden but even one tomato plant makes more than I can use so I give to family and friends.

Vicky’s shopping from the Liles Garden

Dang, another collection of food from Robin’s place.  There is nothing like fresh produce right form the garden!!

Robin’s shopping from the Liles Garden

At 5:00 PM I wandered over to Old Ranch and met up with some friends.  I found out that Dave and Kim are now engaged.  Dave lost his wife about four years ago and he and Kim are a perfect match for one another!  I am very happy for the both of them.

Bob worked for several hours completing two walls.  Because of the weight of the tiles, he wanted to wait a day before finishing the remaining wall to make sure it was completely dry and the tiles were set.  All the materials are at the ready for the final phase of the rebuild.

At the end of the day, everything is ready for tomorrow.

The tiles are set and grout spaces are in place.  Tomorrow, the walls get finished and the flooring begins.  It is getting exciting.  We ought to finish up on the 9th which is perfect as the shower glass doors will be ready within a day or so of the 9th!

One more wall, then the grout, and the flooring starts tomorrow.

Speaking of flooring, it will be just like below.  The floor will be different as the grout will be added and everything sealed up.

The floor tiles, pre-grouting! They will have sufficient texture so as not to be slippery at all!

While Bob was doing that, I was getting the pool equipment area ready for the new wall enclosure.  That included water blasting the neighbor’s garage wall to remove all the loose stucco since we plan to re-stucco the wall to match the new fence. Depending upon the measurements, I may even add a storage area against his wall as it is right on the property line and a couple of bricks here, and a couple of brings there would give me some room for outdoor storage.

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Half The Year Is Gone; So Far So Bad!

“Grief is not linear. It’s not a slow progression forward toward healing; it’s a zigzag, a terrible back-and-forth from devastated to okay until finally, there are more okay patches and fewer devastating ones. The mind can’t handle emotions like grief and terror for any sustained period, so it takes some downtime.” – Lisa Unger

It’s been nineteen weeks, and it seems I think of Sweet Sue more and more each day.  The forecast for today is “lonely!”

She was a patriot and loved our country.  Red, white, and blue was the dress code for July.  She loved the fireworks and seeing everyone together, celebrating.  She would suggest buying dinner for soldiers when we went to dinner, and soldiers came into the establishment.

Below, we visited the Newport Harbor Elks for a drink.  I miss her.

She loved our country!


It was time to conversate with the east coast, so I asked Alexa to call Colleen and voila, there she was on the big screen.  Colleen had her grandkids with her, so I got to talk to them for quite a while. My great-granddaughter was quite talkative today.  She was telling me about her long hair.

On the Bat Phone.

Of course, I teased her and told her that I had long hair; she looked carefully and pronounced that it was incorrect. Then we talked about teeth and I learned a lot.  She is a cutie!

I darted to Lowe’s first thing to gather hardware for the second outdoor floodlight, but after getting home, I decided to wait until later this summer to install it.    I want to see the light without the tomatoes in the way.  The Silver Lady was with me today.  She likes the run-up the freeway.

My house cleaners galloped in early as they are doing the windows today.  They had masks today, so I asked, “Why the masks?” It turns out they were allergic to all the dust in the house because of the reconstruction!  It never bothered me.  I told them it would be another week and then we should be done!

When they were done, the windows were beautiful; I could see outside!

I finally made the call to the vinyl fencing company.  The iron has been up for almost 25 years, and although I paint it regularly, the paint just does not hold up, so vinyl is going to replace it. The new gates will be here in about three weeks, and I will be glad to see them.

New gates are coming.

Vicky came over and when shopping, taking bags of tomatoes, squash, and other goodies from the garden.  I love it when folk use what I grow.  Today I am making hamburgers for myself, and I have an eye on one tomato, it has my name on it.

At 3:45 PM, Robin arrived from work; she was ready to walk, so we made haste setting our compass south.  The more we walked, the hungrier I got, and finally, Robin said, “Let’s go to Patty’s Place”.  So we did!

A short walk today because it was dinner time.

Patty’s was surprisingly busy at 5:30 PM, but Chuck sat us at our favorite table.  Robin got to watch the fishies, and I got to watch the bar.  We both had their “Steakhouse Special,” which is a 6 oz steak, French onion soup, and a small dinner salad.  It was right on!

Dinner at Patty’s Place with my eldest daughter! She is such a joy!

Returning home after dinner, Robin also went shopping in the garden, plus she found the plums and filled a bag with those beauties.

I do not know why, but I was lonely all day missing my bride.  I saw Diane’s post again and determined Diane and I feel the same way!

Memories around every corner.

Bob kept on working, and he finished about 8:00 PM tonight.  We had our “end-of-the-day-beer,” which is an O’Douls!  Neither of us drinks, Bob not at all, and me just a tad.

The grout is not in yet, and they are just hanging on the wall setting overnight.  This is going to look magnificent.

Coming along, tomorrow, all the tile will be up, and the floor gets started!

We were having our “beer” in the patio, and my security lights kept coming off and on like they are supposed to when they sense motion or noise.  Then I remembered, I have an app on the phone in which I can control the lights, making them motion-sensitive or not.  Out of my pocket flew the iPhone; I searched for Defiant, and there it was, the app of the moment.  With the push of the button, the lights were permanently on!

I forgot I could manually control by patio lights!

The day she is complete, and this old man is going to have a cup of coffee and hit the living room to watch a little TV.  I watched a science fiction movie, but I fell in, and out of sleep, so I do not remember much of it, so it sounds like it will be a rerun tomorrow.

I was thinking of my dad as I traipsed into the bedroom.

Dear Dad,

I sure wish you were here because you always had great advice when I needed to make a decision.    As you know, my beautiful wife passed, and I am not moving away from my home, at least for another ten years.  Like Mom, I will stay where I had the greatest memories of her.  Since I am staying, I am doing some updating with a new electrical box, new pool lights, some wall work, replacing gates, modern bathroom, and probably some new flooring.

So they have a thing called “solar power” now.  It was a kind of science fiction dream in the 1960s, but it is real today. If I give this nice man a big box of money, he will put solar cells on the house (3′ x 5′ glass sheets), and I will be able to take my electric bill to zero (or less).  The panels sit in the sun and create electricity, which goes into the main power box and avoids the need for taking power from the power lines.  Neat, huh?  My guess is about $15,000 before government rebates, and that means a payback of something like six years.  My inclination is DO IT.  What do you think?

I have a book called “The History of McRae Arkansas” that I got from my uncle Otis years ago.  I am sharing the book with Colleen and Joe, your grandkids!  Colleen is really into genealogy, and Joe is interested from whence he came.   There are pictures of your sister, Aunt Edith, in her basketball costume after winning the local championship in 1927, close to 100 years ago!

The book, written by James Cook, likely a relative of ours since your Mom was a Cook, talks about how your uncle brought the lumber mill into McRae, and that allowed electricity to come to “town” in 1912.  Aunt Opal was quoted as saying, “When I first saw an electric light, I tried to blow it out when we left the room.” I had to laugh.

You would have been so proud of your grandkids. You, me, Joe, Colleen, and Alex (your great-grandson) are clones of one another! It is incredible to see!

I’ll write to you again soon and keep you posted on the work around the house.  I wanted to also thank you for teaching me so much about “stuff”.  I can still plumb, do electric, mix concrete, carpentry, etc.  You were a fantastic teacher!



Time to crash! It’s been another long day, and I am ready to rest. However, I will leave you with a thought!

Isn’t it the truth!

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Half The Year Is Gone, Good Riddens!

“No journey out of grief was straightforward. There would be good days and bad days.” – Jojo Moyes

Sue’s father was a charter member of Old Ranch; his membership number was in the single digits.  We join before we retired so we could play golf.  Well, Sue was the golfer, and I was the explorer.  I explored every nook and cranny of that place, looking for my ball.  Sue, on the other hand, was right down the center like clockwork.  Before her back surgery, she was extremely proficient, almost a scratch golfer.  The back operation made that impossible, but we had fun anyway!

Just before or just after our game, we would head for the dining room or bar at Old Ranch and grab something to eat or preferably, drink!  I called it, pointing fluid!  I miss spending all that “us time” on the course laughing and giggling and attempting to explain why she goes straight and I am all over the place.  Sue, I love you!

Old Ranch, our happy hunting ground!


I called Colleen, and we talked for a while.  She, like me, is getting rid of “stuff”.  We even share “how to di it”, so it is fun.

Today I diddled, which means I did a little here and a little there, no big projects! I trimmed the blackberries which were overrunning their small garden and making it difficult to walk around the pool.  Then I did some watering, making sure the corn got their two-inches of water.

Alexa lit up blue, which means she has a notification.  What was the information? We are going to get a high-brilliance LED floodlight in the next three hours.  So,  I am going to rig up a test for tonight. I plan to place it up under the eve, tie it to the new inside switch, and see how bright it is going to be. I just want the entire yard lit up should I need to see what is happening.  My security light, motion-sensitive, is OK, but it is only 1,600 lumens, about like a 100W light.  The new one is like a 1000 watt light!

The floodlight, she has arrived!

Meanwhile, the Silver Lady and I celebrated her birthday by going to Ralph’s market and getting O’Douls beer.  While I was there, I got Wondra (which I cannot be without), a couple of onions, blueberries, and a big bag of bing cherries.

Returning home, I fixed myself lunch, making a small steak, a spinach salad, and some fried onions that I cooked with the steak.  It was pretty good, and it kept me from eating the rest of the day.

The Silver Lady is fourteen years old today, and she is just starting live!

Before Bob arrived, I dug up one of my cherry tomato plants as it got powdery mildew and, although the fruit was OK, it looks terrible.  I also took out a small red-berry plant that I had high hopes for but alas, the small berries tasted horrible.  I am not sure what I will put into that spot.

Bob spent a while at the stone works out near Robin’s house, and he selected the granite countertop.  It looks beautiful, and he is going to make the seat in the shower match the countertop!  Bob picked up the piece, and he will do all the cutting on-site, which I an anxious to see.

The counter is granite, and Bob picked out the design.

The wall tiles are going up.  Every four panels weigh in at eighty pounds or twenty pounds per tile.  Tomorrow, the remaining tiles will go on the wall, including the opening made for the bath supplies.  The seat will be granite and will be just eighteen inches above the floor. It’s getting exciting!

The La Mirada Glass fellow called, and Bob gave him come rough measurement for both showers, so Monday the 6th, we will meet with him, place the order, and that will be the last item on the list.  A week later, the glass gets installed, and we are off to the races!

The wall tiles are going on, it’s getting exciting.

I had to go into the attic at 5:00 PM; it was hot with a capital “H”.  The wiring for the lights is all inside proper junction boxes and labeled accordingly.  Now we wait until it is cark enough to see the light.

It’s dark outside, finally so on goes the new light. This first light I installed is over the left-hand side of the yard, so it is over the vegetable garden.  The tomatoes block a lot of the light, but it sure lights up the neighbors back wall!  When the garden returns to “normal”, this light will be perfect.

The floodlight does a job in the garden.

I am beginning to believe that one more centrally located floodlight will take care of the rest of the yard with ease.  The equivalent of 2,000 watts will be available with the flick of a switch.

The question, one or two more?

I asked our next-door neighbors dog about the new light, just to get an honest opinion!

If you can’t stand the answer, do NOT ask the question! (Picture courtesy of Joe)

I was tired, so I decided to get cleaned up and get ready for bed.  When I came inside, the kitchen night-light was on.  The red lights, which use LIFX strings, make sure I do not lose my night vision should I wander into this room at night.

The strip pulls less than three watts and tools out to be six feet long.

As of tonight, the house has twenty LIFX systems, some ceiling lights, some lamp bulbs, and some other strips.  I have them set for different “themes”.

The light is on a timer I set on my phone, plus I can change its color and appearance anywhere I happen to be.

I love the kitchen when I come in at night. Everything is visible, and my eyes do not readjust.  However, many times I do want to say, “Up periscope!”

Conning tower lights are for a reason!

I worked on the daily diary a few minutes and then hit the sack at 10:30 PM. Good night all!  I watched an episode of “Tales from the Loop,” which follows the interconnected lives of the residents in the fictional town of Mercer, Ohio. Mercer is home to the Mercer Center for Experimental Physics, an underground facility known as the Loop. It is there where researchers attempt to “make the impossible possible”.

I missed talking to Colleen and Robin because I was in the attic and working around the house.  Robin will be here tomorrow for a late lunch around 3:30 PM and we are going to walk a mile.

Just us, I am on the left!

Colleen, I shall call as soon as I get up and get a cup of coffee in me.  Good night all!

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