The Weak Begins; The Tired Stay in Bed!

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” — Winnie the Pooh

It was a few moons ago when Sue said, “Let’s take the boys to Alaska with us!” Well, we did.  The year was 2008, and Jonathan and Zachary were the perfect age for a trip with Grandma and Grandpa.  The four of us just had a ball laughing and giggling the entire time, and Sue said, “I learned more about anatomy and strange sounds than I ever knew before!” Well, after all, she had three teenagers with her.

She was not just a sport; she was a “super-sport”.  We flew in helicopters, winged our way down narrow fjords in floatplanes, road trains to the Canadian border, got lifted in trams, took bus rides through the Denali National Park, and we shared a “family room” on the back of the ship!

The boys (who are now 30 & 32) still remember how wonderful grandma was even when “boys would be boys!” In the picture below, we are heading to a fishing village, and it was in the 40s, but she bundled up and braved it anyway.  The lady was very special to all of us and will always be extremely special to me.  I love you, Sue!

She was brave!

 

Time to be brave and call the SSA.  I was on the phone for what seemed to be hours explaining a situation. Well, after an hour and ten minutes, I got an explanation and sent in the data they were after.  All ought to be fixed within a week! The SSA folks were helpful, it’s good to see the government doing well!

So far, so good!

Colleen and I chatted for a while before she and Mark went off to lunch.  Nothing new on Jackie but I am betting the new great grandbaby will arrive on the 4th of July!

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to the garden I go!  At first gander, it needed some serious H2O.  I watered and cleaned up a bit plus figured out what to do with all the ripe veggies.  The corn is coming on strong, and the tomatoes are producing like crazy.  The tomatillos are ready, so I am taking them next door. Munching on berries is a must so I meandered over to the bite-me vines (name so because of their stickers) and ate two handfuls of beautiful blackberries.

The right-hand wall has the yellow crook neck squash I just picked, and they will be for dinner tonight!  In general, each plant produces 5 to 25 pounds of yellow squash during the growing season.

Did You Know? Though native to the western hemisphere, squashes began to spread to other parts of the world after Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World in 1492.

The English word “squash” comes from askutasquash which means “a green thing eaten raw”. This is a word from the Narragansett language, which was documented by Roger Williams in his 1643 publication A Key Into the Language of America.

 

It is as high as a baby elephant’s eye!

I get hungry just looking at all the new corn.  Perhaps I will just roast tomatoes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and some spices?

Tomato soup or on the top of a nice juicy hamburger? Along the wall, I have about twenty bunches of table grapes, so they will begin to come into the house and serve as snacks when I watch TV.

Did You Know? Yes, grape seeds are edible. You can find them in all seeded grape varieties like concord, black, and red grapes. These varieties are better than green grapes because they’re sweeter. But among the three types of grapes mentioned, the red grape seeds offer the most robust taste. The bitter taste of grape seeds is a good thing because it indicates a rich content of nutrients, like flavonoids and polyphenols. Since most people consider them unpalatable, you can get past the bad taste by eating the grapes whole. You can also take grape seeds in their oral liquid form, like grape seed extract and oil.

The day was cool but picking up the dead (previously trimmed) corn and grapes is a lot of work.  Somehow in my head, I kept thinking of simmering down so I sat for a few minutes.  Then the term “simmering-down” kept rattling around in my head, of which there is a  lot of spare room!  So, I looked it up!

Bob joined me around 1:00 PM as he had items to pick up today. He applied AquaDefense to the shower floor and walls plus several feet outside the shower. Mapelastic AquaDefense is a premixed, advanced liquid-rubber, extremely quick-drying waterproofing and crack isolation membrane for installation under ceramic tile or stone in residential, commercial, and industrial environments. Mapelastic AquaDefense provides a thin, continuous barrier to protect adjacent rooms and floors below from water damage.

It goes on a magnificent blue and turns black when ready to go!

Bob showed his artistic side as he applies the second coat on the walls.  This is pretty amazing stuff and it will keep the tiles from cracking should we get a shaker in the future.

He is not tall enough for the Sistine Chapel!

One thing for sure, this shower will not leak!

I got several Amazon deliveries today, and the one I like best is a voltage sensor.  Not a meter but a device that lights up and beeps when it is close to a line with voltage in it.  It is so sensitive that it will tell which side of the Romex the hot wire is on.  This device goes into my electrical tool kit for sure.

I bought four of them! Green LED shows the unit is active, flashing red indicates live voltage. The VoltAware NCVtester is useful for identifying hot conductors, finding breaks in wires, and detecting the presence of AC voltage at outlets, switches, electrical panels, wires, and cables.

Where have you been all my life??

It’s now about 7:30 PM, so I decided the hot tub would help me sleep.   Like magic, just before I walked outside I said to myself, “Self, call Robin!”  Well, the ringy-dingy went ringy-dingy and it was Miss Robin. We talked on the bat phone for a bit making arrangements for lunch on Wednesday.

I feel so lucky to have the kids caring about me.  Today I got calls from Lisa, Colleen, Robin, Mitch, Joe, Michele, and also my grandkids call to check up on me (I wonder what they think I am up too?)

OK, it’s HTT!  That’s aerospace jargon for Hot Tub Time.  The recipe called for thirty minutes at 102 degrees to be well done!   I decided NOT to add onions or carrots tonight.

Just watching to sun go down and planning tomorrow!

I was as limp as a dishrag when the timer went off but managed to slink into the bathroom and turn on the shower.  Into my jammies, I went and to the living room to contemplate TV.  I selected a new movie entitled “Spy Like Me,” which was a Prime TV production.  I found myself laughing out loud and many of the scenes.  I enjoyed a cup of coffee as the movie progressed.

Summary: The film is about the ex-military JJ (Dave Bautista), who after his time in the army now tries to work as a CIA agent. During his missions he still works too much as a soldier. The CIA does not get the necessary information and decides to use JJ for undercover operation. JJ now has to spy on mother Kate (Parise Fitz-Henley) and her young daughter Sophie (Chloe Coleman) in the hope that her arms trade partner contacts his family. JJ is soon discovered by the clever nine-year-old Sophie, who promises to share nothing about his secret mission with the rest of the world. In return, JJ has to train her on how to become a spy herself.

After the movie, I worked on the Daily Diary, and I was off to bed at midnight.  I did make a decision NOT to go into the attic tomorrow until AFTER the LED floodlights show up.  I am now worried that all I will need is a single lamp since it is 11,000 lumens or almost two-and-a-half times the brightness of Joe’s back yard.  I do NOT want helicopters flying overhead looking for a football game!

Just a thought to leave you with this evening!

Posted in Adventures, Gardening, Movies, Working Around House | Leave a comment

Up Up And Away

“This is not goodbye, my darling, this is a thank you. Thank you for coming into my life and giving me joy.” — Nicholas Sparks

Sue could talk me into anything.  I dislike heights, but wherever we went across the globe, she would find the highest point and off we would go.  We climbed the Hallgrimskirkja , the tallest building in Reykjavik.  We went to the World Tower in Sydney, which was 73 floors.  We did the Raffles Tower in Singapore, which was one as the tallest building in Singapore and the 123rd-tallest in the world.  Then there was Toyoko, Hawaii, New Zealand, France, Portugal, and many more. An of course, every time we were in New York we went to the World Trade Center and the Empire State Building.

Below, we are at California Adventure, and she talked me into the Ferris Wheel!  3,000 feet in the air going around in circles at 200 MPH is not for the faint of heart.  I am trying not to look scared, but everything was shaking.  You can’t see it but Sue is holding my hand tightly and whispering, “It will be OK every time we get to the top!” Sue thought it was funny.  I would do anything for her, and this proves it!  She was naturally incredible!

Fathers Day 2017 at California Adventure

 

Today was a little slow, but that might be needed.  I began by removing the old flood lights from their location under the eves of the house in the back yard.  I used to have two 100 watt lamps overlooking the garden, but now, being by myself, I want to light up the back yard like a Christmas tree.

I selected a LEONLITE LED Outdoor Flood Light with Knuckle, 1000 watt equivalent or almost 11,000 lumens, super bright.  They should be here Tuesday from Amazon, and I will try them Tuesday night.  I might just need three for the entire back yard as they are so bright!  My original plan called for six, but that may be too much!

These ought to show the way!

Before I begin, a Lowe’s run is required! Into the Silver Lady, and we are off.  Yes, she gets to go to the store today!  I stopped by the shower section first as I am thinking about changing the Master Bedroom shower door to something like the barn door arrangement. I am tired of wearing the little plastic rollers out and having to replace them!

Barn door shower door design, no small plastic rollers here!

Now to the electrical department where I got new waterproof boxes for the lighting fixtures.  Tomorrow I shall go up into the attic and make the connections.  I am ready to roll!

Now back to work.  I took the picture so I could find them again should I need more boxes!

I talked to Joe, my son, for quite a while about the lights and decided he was right to go with the 3000K lighting instead of the 5000K lighting.  When I was at dinner at his home Saturday I say his arrangement and liked it a lot.  The warmer lights will be just fine.

I selected the warmer color since it is going to be quite bright!

Irene popped over at 1:00 PM, and we talked for almost two hours then I popped the question, “Wanna eat?”  She said yes, and I suggested Gourmet Pies across from Costco.  I had a chili size, which was terrific.  Irene did pastrami and said it was good.   I brought two pies home, not for me, but for Vicky and Del.

I wanted to cheer them up.  They have been inside for 104 days now (they are being extremely careful because of Del’s age) and low-and-behold, one of Robbie’s co-workers tested positive for COVID so that means Robbie may have brought it home.  Vicky and Del are going for a test Monday.  I pray that it is negative!!

Lunch with Irene.

Did You Know?  What is known for sure is that the chili size was developed in Los Angeles at a place named Ptomaine Tommy’s. In business from 1913 until 1958 at 2420 N. Broadway, Ptomaine Tommy’s was the largest and best known chili parlor in town. Reportedly, movie stars such as Mae West and Mary Pickford were regulars, devoted to Tommy de Forest’s chili. Other newcomers like Chili John’s in Burbank (established in 1946 and still in business) have sprung up since then with their own version of the chili size, but Ptomaine Tommy’s was the original.

Tommy de Forest, a local restauranteur, claimed the invention of the chili size in the 1920’s. His specialty was hamburgers, so he looked for a way to make a different burger for his diners. As the legend has it, he had a few ladles that he used to spoon the chili into bowls. When a customer wanted straight chili, he used the large ladle and the order was served. On the hamburger, however, he used the small ladle, calling that “hamburger size”. And finally, he came up with a variation, serving the larger amount of chili over an open faced burger and then covered it with cheddar cheese and chopped onions. This open-faced sandwich was henceforth referred to as “chili size”, and sold for 20 cents as opposed to the chili burger for 15 cents. Soon, people all over Los Angeles were asking for a chili size, or sometimes ordering just the straight chili in a bowl as a “bowl of size”. By the time Tommy de Forest closed up his restaurant in 1958 due to financial difficulties, the chili size was a popular item all over the West Coast.

The chilisize was good today; I only ate half of it!  The remaining portion shall be my lunch tomorrow!

I ate half of the chili size, and the rest came home.

Meanwhile, back home, the final concrete wall is being finished!  Tomorrow, Monday, the Red Guard is going on the wall, and it will dry for a day and then the tile! Speaking of the tile, I selected two designs.  For the floor of the shower, we have a rock design, and you see the sample without grout, of course.

The flooring will be “bumpy by design,” so it is virtually non-slip!

The walls will have the design below again with significant overtones to match the floor of the shower and of the room itself.

The wall ties in with the flooring perfectly!

The concrete continues to be added to the walls.  Bob used twelve ninety-pound bags of cement in the shower/bomb shelter.  It will be a quiet shower for sure.

All the concrete is on the wall, over 1200 pounds!

I continued to work on the backyard lighting wiring and decided not to do any more until the lights get here Tuesday.  Thay way I can fire them up and place them in the dark and mount them the next morning.

I walked 6,000 steps today just around the house!

Now it was time, so I popped into the shower and got into he jammies and watched “UPLOADED.”  The premise is: In 2033, humans can “upload” themselves into a virtual afterlife of their choosing. When computer programmer Nathan dies prematurely, he is uploaded to the very expensive Lake View, but soon finds himself under the thumb of his possessive, still-living girlfriend, Ingrid. As Nathan adjusts to the pros and cons of digital heaven, he bonds with Nora, his living customer service rep, or “Angel.” Nora struggles with the pressures of her job, her dying father who does not want to be uploaded, and her growing feelings for Nathan while slowly coming to believe that Nathan was murdered.

At 10:30 PM, after a cup of coffee and a cup of hot chocolate, it was lights-out for me!

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

Work & Fun, A Good Thing!

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

Sue loved the babies and they loved her, it was magical.  BElow, we were babysitting Theo so Mom and Dad could get an afternoon off.  It was 2007 when we drove over to West Los Angeles and spent an afternoon with Theo.  He was a good baby and just enjoyed being talked to and showing us all his toys.

Sue was patient and took everything in stride always looking for the best in any situation.  She was a real jewel and a wonderful life partner.  It is so easy just to close my eyes and she is right there in my thoughts and memories.

Now, little Theo is a teenager!

 

One more trip into the attic to examine the wiring before it gets closed out by stucco.  It was a successful trip and I now have a game plan for this winter!

Now it is chores time.  I have come to appreciate how much Sue did around the house over the past thirty-five years because, with just little old me at home, it is a lot of work!  This morning I washed, dried, and hung up clothes.  I made a decision to give to the Salvation Army seven boxes of towel sets and other cloth items I found in the hallway closet.  They are all clean and in a lot of cases brand new.  I will never use them and someone might as well.

Then I went through the refrigerator looking for potential science projects and only found a couple of items that I must cook up this week.  Now that I made it to the kitchen, I emptied the dishwasher and reloaded it with a couple of items.

Casting my eyes about the room, I decided to water the inside plants which take about thirty minutes as they must be fed and watered and, of course, talked to or they become unhappy.

As I walked through the living room, it reminded me of the three pictures I put on the couch.  It’s a long story but the short and sweet of it is the three pictures hung in my aunt’s den since it was built in 1953.  When Sue and I moved Kat into assisted living, I took these pictures and hung them in my guest bathroom.  They no longer fit there so they got promoted to the living room.  When I see these, it reminds me of the fifty-years I would visit my aunt and enjoyed seeing these silly creatures.

Wonderful memories!

Since I was in and out of the kitchen, I had to listen to the house-phone message machine which I try to do once a week.

Finally, m chores are done and I can have a cup of coffee!  Yeah, the heart can get started again!

Bob showed up and began the final concrete coat on the walls.  He worked until 7:30 PM and had to quit as he ran out of cement so I will see him Sunday morning.

Robin had to work and she stopped by at 1:00 PM so we went to CPK and dined outside.  I mentioned I was going to Amy and Jor’s tonight so I had an appetizer, Mexican Street Corn.  That was perfect as it kept my funny from growling until 6:00 PM.

I mentioned to Robin that my granddaughter got married a few hours earlier.  We both thought that was wonderful!

Congradulations!

Jackie’s niece and nephew got in on the act!

Time to leave for La Mirada as I was invited to dinner with Amy and Joe.

I went to Ralph’s market and brought Amy some flowers and a boggle of her favorite wine.  She was a happy girl!

I also brought Joe a book on the “History Of McRae Arkansas” so he could see where his grandfather grew up.  When he is done, I will mail it to Colleen as she wants to read about McRae.

Amy did Italian, always a safe bet.

Charlie joined us while Alex was on doggy-duty!  Apollo and Alex stayed inside and watched TV together.  Charlie did well with the ravioli and Joe and I offered him sushi!

Charlie seems to be eyeing the sushi.

Don lives across the street and he joined us this evening.  He and Apollo had a thing going on all evening!

Don, Joe’s neighbor, joined us and he is always a delight!

Amy listened to Joe and I banter back and forth and just shakes her head in disbelief.  It is so funny because we use a lot of the same sayings and often finish each other’s thoughts.  I am very proud of Amy and Joe, they are wonderful kids!

That’s my Son and after I get a little more hair we will look alike!

I must remind myself to get a book on how to take selfies.  I think it might involve needing an arm stretcher because I can’t get it far enough away.  Someone ought to invent an iPhone stick where you can hold the camera away from you and take a picture.  I will have to give that some thought.

One of these days I will learn to take a selfie correctly.

Don brought over apple and chocolate pie so I had to try the chocolate.  I took a teeny tiny piece, better called a sliver as I do NOT want my bathroom scale to found out what I did!

 

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

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!

Posted in Cooking, Gardening, Movies, Walking, Working Around House | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Power On; Power Off

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!

 

Posted in Dining Out, Working Around House | Comments Off on Help! I Am Having A Mid-Week Crisis!

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!

Posted in Dining Out, Dning Out, Friends, Working Around House | Comments Off on Two’s Day And All Is, Well?

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.

Posted in Walking, Working Around House | Comments Off on Today Is The Twenty-Tooth!

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.

Posted in Family | Comments Off on Father’s Day 2020 Was Different!

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.

 

Posted in Family, Food and Wine, Friends, Gardening, Working Around House | Comments Off on More Work; Getting Closer; Dinner!