Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Monday, October 31, 2011

Surgery News

I got tired of the waiting this morning and called the surgeon's office. The doctor's scheduler told me I could have my operation on November 15th, and if there is a cancellation on Nov. 8th I can have that. I don't believe a damn word she say though - why in the world hasn't she called me by now. I know I need to get my attitude adjusted before the 15th, and I think I will, but I am royally pissed with the whole situation. If I didn't think so highly of the surgeon and trust him implicitly, I would try to find someone else. When I think of it I have gotten a lot of work done that would haven't been accomplished if I had been laid up a month ago. I think I'm ready for a rest, but I have another week that I will work on the house and then settle down and relax the week before.

I was so tired this morning and TV is the fault. I ended up staying awake way after my usual bedtime because I got engrossed in Sasquatch. Believe it or not, I think there are such creatures and really enjoy the account of this group of "'squatch hunters". Humans think they know everything on earth there is to know, but I believe (and hope) there are creatures who can successfully evade us. Even with our night vision cameras, hunting by helicopter, sonar (in the case of the search for Nessie) and all the hi-tech equipment available to us now, these "primitive" creatures still have one over on us.

Hey, I know a lot of skeptics don't believe in much of anything they can't actually see and touch, but I think it's fun to imagine "what if". And forget aliens from other worlds - I think we should leave them alone and take care of our own planet.

I didn't do a whole lot today but paint the drawers in the bedroom closets. I don't know what to do about the doors - whether the color is too strong to include the doors; I will post a picture when I have all the topcoats on, the hardware back on, and the drawers put back in place. Then maybe the readers who comment can let me know how they see it.

I'm watching two of my granddaughters tomorrow morning from about 8 to 10:00 am. That means I have to get up a little earlier than I normally do, and I don't know if I can get Lady out or not. If I don't have time I will probably take her along and let her stay out in the back yard.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A few more pictures

Following are work pictures when the guys were preparing to do the living room roll-out. They had quickly finished the other roll-out (small bedroom) and decided to do the living room at least over to the hallway today, so they could continue it all the way back. To their great surprise, the line from the living room into the hall met and meshed perfectly with the flooring at the bedroom doorway.

I sure wish I could have at least TSP'd this part of the living room so I could have begun painting it, but I'll just be sure to cover the floor well. The guys are pulling staples and nails that were missed the first time around.

This is the finished small bedroom - I will get the molding for around all the perimeters of the rooms when it is all finished.

I asked them to just leave the door un-hung as I will move it somewhere else to paint it on both sides.

These pictures have that golden glow. I know it could be fixed in Picasa or any other photo editing program, but I don't do Picasa or the others. I just don't want to spend my brainpower learning how to do it. I am a terribly curious person when it comes to certain things, I am an avid genealogist which is like working a huge jigsaw puzzle, I read a lot, and will read much more if my eyes ever cooperate, but I pick and choose what I will learn next. Photo editing will never be on my hot list! So the photos have a yellow cast.

A word about housekeeping. I know you can see the mess throughout the house, but it is a work in progress and I hope one of these days to publish photos of everything when completed and in immaculate condition. I find it easy enough to live with the clutter when I think about the ultimate rewards. Actually, I didn't photograph the worst of the clutter! What is more frustrating is knowing how much trim and touch up painting I have to do, plus all the closet fronts.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Work in progress

Joe came by late this morning to check out the flooring, and put the underlayment down in the small bedroom after we emptied it of all the boxes and junk. Now the boxes and junk are all stacked in my living room, but I can live with it temporarily. He and Donald returned this evening and started laying the flooring, and will be back tomorrow to work on finishing that room plus my bedroom.

The first picture is more representative of the wall color, and I don't know why it looks yellow in the later pictures.

You can see that I still have painting work to do in that room - closet sliding doors and drawers, plus to finish the basic closet front. I started painting the drawers in my bedroom and I think everything is going to go together so well when it's all finished, whenever that will be.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Things are looking up

I wouldn't have said that this morning, however. When Donald and I went to Home Depot two evenings ago they couldn't find the order I had bought and paid for. There was a lot of scrambling going on, and the woman at the desk was very helpful in calling around to try to find another store that could let them have their stock. Unfortunately, most places had nearly sold out of it, but she did find a store that had 21 boxes on hand. They were going to get it yesterday and promised to call me.

I still hadn't heard anything by this morning, so I went to HD intending to cancel the order, get my money back, and go buy the same thing at Lowes. As soon as I walked up to the desk the women behind the counter recognized my situation and assured me they had the stock all along. Someone had evidently placed the 21 boxes on the high shelf above the display, sideways so that the stock ticket didn't show. Does that sound plausible? I'm not sure, but the woman sounded sincere and I certainly hope a woman wouldn't stand there and tell me a bald-faced lie.

I told her I was driving a Highlander and would try to get as much loaded in the back of it as I could, but that I would probably have problems unloading it at home so it might take me a while to come back for more. She immediately told me that they were going to deliver the order to my house because of the problems I have endured. That was right nice of them, and I accepted. A few hours later a very pleasant, very young man offloaded all 21 boxes of flooring, which weigh approx. 30# each. He carried them in two at a time and stacked them neatly. I would have died trying to get them out of the car, much less up the four or so steps and into the house.

I never could understand how their inventory system would allow them to sell the same product twice without question. I was very angry that these kinds of things seem to be happening to me constantly - I hurry up and wait. Of course, I'm not the only one who has to hurry up and wait - it seems like one after another RVer is reporting similar situations where they are promised one thing and then it falls through or is delayed. But I have my flooring on hand now and I'm hoping Joe and Donald can start on the bedrooms this weekend. That will greatly contribute to my being able to get some order out of the chaos in those rooms.

I finished the walls and ceiling of the second bedroom today and it is going to look beautiful. I picked a perfect color, a warm light green called "Water Sprout". Where do they come up with these names? It is a north facing room, and the white ceiling and light green walls brighten everything up considerably. I still need to do the closets and built in drawers in both bedrooms, and to that end I put a coat of primer on 6 drawers today, and will do the first topcoat tomorrow. I think everything is going to match beautifully.

With the carpet up I can see that I will need to find a good dust mop - not those flimsy things they have in most stores, but the big fluffy dust mop of the olden times. I will have to dust mop every floor on a daily basis to pick up the dog hair. I can't believe how much gets trapped in the carpet that is now accumulating all over the rooms.

Whatever you think about global warming, Lady's fur producing and shedding mechanism knows there is something different this year. In the 8 years I've had her I have never seen her shed so much even in spring after a cold winter, but this is fall for goodness sake! I skimmed through the 2012 edition of the Old Farmers Almanac when it first came out and I think that the west is supposed to be warmer and drier this winter. Warmer is fine, but drier could be disastrous since the agricultural industry in the state takes much of its water from snow melt in the Sierras. If there's no rain, then there is no snow. I need to double check that forecast, (if I can find the book in all this mess) but I think that's what it said.

I know that several readers also do genealogy, and I'm wondering if anyone out there has tested for the FamilyFinder (autosomal DNA). I've received my results and matches and don't have a clue how to use them, so please email me at: gypsy97 at gmail dot com if you have any advice or suggestions.

No word about my eye surgery yet. I've quit calling and figure they will call me when they have something to tell me. It's a good thing I have a lot of things here to keep me interested and occupied.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Uh Oh!

I painted the ceiling this morning and started on the walls this afternoon. I should have let well enough alone and waited until tomorrow, but I was impatient to see the color on the walls. I finished the little alcove next to the closet, and the adjacent wall. I spilled copious amounts of paint, through my own carelessness and stupidity. This is why I prefer to do my own painting - when an accident happens or there is a drip that goes unnoticed until after the paint dries, I can only get mad at myself. I will let my daughter help me out because she is more of a perfectionist than I am, or I should say, than I WAS in my younger days. Now I just say "Oh Shit" and go right on.

The room is going to look beautiful when it is finished and furnished. This will mainly be my office space, as I am going to set both printers up in the room, plus that is where my desk and supplies will be. I will need to find a smaller bookshelf to hold my genealogical records. I plan to get back into genealogical research, and have found a distant cousin in Atlanta with whom I'm corresponding and trading info. She mentioned someone from Sidney, Australia she just came into contact with, and I recognized the person immediately because I corresponded with her when I lived in Asheville. It's a small world, and especially when you start tracing ancestors back a couple hundred years and more.

Time to walk Lady, and then try to get some of the paint off me before I meet Donald this evening at Home Depot. I need to clear a place to set all the boxes of Pergo, 21 of them in all, plus underlayment.

I didn't think I would have any hummingbirds at my feeder this year but I put sugar water out anyway. I have at least one of them visiting me, and I'm thrilled to see him (or her). There are birds outside my kitchen window, probably in the crape myrtle, that have the most beautiful and melodious birdsong. I wish I could get a glimpse of them to try to figure out what they are. I have a guide to western birds, but spotting one in the first place is my problem.

I forgot to mention that when I was buying some more paint at Home Depot I chatted with the woman who was helping me. The lady I really liked retired, so I'm looking for a new, knowledgeable source. The young guy who was in the department didn't have the knowledge that I need, but the woman came along and filled my paint order, and we talked about the grease problem in my kitchen. She said that I should wash everything with TSP and do what I can to get rid of as much grease and grime as I can, and then to paint everything with Gripper, which is the primer I'm using on the paneling. Then I can go ahead with the painting. The kitchen will be the last room I do, but I was beginning to despair of finding a way to deal with the surfaces. This gives me hope.

I have a long hard way to go before the house is to my liking, but I love it and am putting love into every improvement I make to it. I know I won't be sorry, as it is going to be a fine dwelling, perfectly suited to me. I am so grateful to have found it, or maybe it found me.

I will never be able to wash all the paint off my arms and hands!

Monday, October 24, 2011

It Once Was Lost, But Now is Found!

Amazing! I have been looking all day for the roll of blue painter's tape. I used a small bit of it when painting my bedroom, but don't really like it. Today I had enough of laying around and decided to paint a coat of primer in the 2nd bedroom. It is small and I thought I could knock it out in about an hour. How could I have been so far off? I began about 10:30 in the morning, and with a half-hour break for lunch, I finished at 3:30 pm. In my defense I had to move a lot of boxes plus a bookshelf around while painting.

I had a ceiling light fixture to paint around which is why I've been searching for the tape. Needless to say I didn't find it until just a few minutes ago - 6:00 pm here in California. I found duct tape, I found plumbers' tape, I found electrical tape, and I know I even have some scotch tape somewhere. I just looked at the room and shook my head when I saw that light fixture. I'll put the first coat of ceiling paint on tomorrow and will definitely tape up the fixture - sort of like shutting the barn door after the horse is gone.

My back really hurts from the stretching, bending, and twisting. I didn't have to use the ladder much since I could reach the ceiling (6'4") with the long roller handle. I did use it to take down the hardware for roller window shades, which I absolutely dislike. I can never get them to stop where I want them to stop, either on the way down or on the way back up. I'm tossing the whole kit! There are sheers at the window, which may cause some concern if I happen to have an overnight guest to sleep on the sleep sofa I plan to put in that room some day. I have lace panels at my bedroom and don't worry at all. I simply dress and undress in the bathroom, or sit on the bed in which case no one can see in anyway.

I will get the paint for the walls as soon as I can, so that I can con my daughter into finishing the room if I have eye surgery before I can get it done. No word yet on that, and I don't intend to worry about it. If Judy , who must have the patience of a saint, can deal with the troubles she's been having lately, then certainly I am not to be outdone! (Judy is younger than I am and has many more years to get her fridge and other rig problems fixed than I have to get my house in order! Sometimes I'm painfully aware that I am on the downhill slope.)

I have had several readers comment about Kilz primer. Gripper was recommended to me by the woman in the paint department at Home Depot, as a product that won't chip. That is an issue with painting over laminate, and she had personal experience using it on paneling.

I think the problems I had the past few days were just a result of the anesthetic on Tuesday. I had originally planned to get nitrous, but when the dentist offered me an anesthetic I jumped at it. The nitrous is wonderful in allowing me to relax, but the novocaine shot going in can be extremely painful depending on which part of the mouth it is injected. If you can breathe the nitrous properly through the nose (hard to do with your mouth open), then it does help. I'm a wimp about pain in my old age so I took the easy way out.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

No blogging for a while

I've had a really "blah" week after having two teeth pulled several days ago. It may be the residual effect of the anesthetic because I haven't had any problems at all with healing quickly, and no pain at all.

I think I'm just in a slump and can't seem to climb back out of it. I will post in the future when I have more to write about.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dental work done

I really lucked out with the oral surgeon and his staff. They were all wonderful! The surgeon talked to me a bit first of all just to get acquainted, and I told him why I had neglected having dental work done for so long - the cost of it and my fear of the pain. He offered me an anesthetic which I happily accepted. It was administered via an IV, and I really felt no pain and don't remember anything about it, but when it was over with I was able to talk and walk, although a little unsteadily at first.

They told me I had to have someone pick me up as I couldn't drive, and I readily agreed. I called Donald, and since he was getting ready to take his Mom to the Commissary, she was also available to drive my car back. She is going to get me a couple boxes of jello, which I haven't eaten in years. I'm starving but since I can't use my partial denture for 24 hours, there is no way I can chew anything. Wouldn't you know I don't have a thing on hand I can eat. Jeannie called and said she is making butternut squash soup and will bring me some of that. She had surgery a week ago to prepare for dental implants, so she has a problem eating crunchy and chewy foods as well. The last time I was at her house I came home with some kale potato soup that was delicious, and I'm looking forward to trying this one. She doesn't cook very often as Donald is such a wonderful cook.

I was told by Maintenance that I could set my empty boxes out and they would pick them up. When we got back from the dentist, the man next door came out and told us he had taken the boxes, so I'm glad someone could use them rather than having them sent for recycling. If I had known I wouldn't have broken them down, but he can tape them back up easily enough.

I am fairly clear headed right now, but still unsteady enough I realize I can't do much of anything, nor do I feel like it. Even so I feel absolutely great! Just so I can drive tomorrow - Lady has enough food to last one more day. Maybe I should give her some chicken tenderloins I have leftover. She would think she died and went to doggy heaven, although I hate to start feeding her my food as she will begin to expect it.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Timing is everything, and it wasn't the right time last week for me to have eye surgery. I have become aware over the past couple of days that I need to see an oral surgeon and have a couple more molars pulled. I found a doctor nearby and have an appointment tomorrow, and I hope everything goes well. I hate to have to go through this as I only want to focus on one thing at a time, but it is very necessary and I hope the recovery will be as quick as it was in New York.

This morning I went to Home Depot and bought and paid for the laminate flooring. It was on sale and I didn't want to miss the sale price, but I'm going to need help bringing it home. I had originally arranged to meet Donald there tomorrow to pick it up, but will have to wait a few days until after my dental work. Damn, there is always something, and I am thankful it always works out for the best, but I wish I would get a little clue in advance.

I washed all the bed linens this morning since I was worried about the dust in the room from pulling up the carpet. I hung everything on the line, and remembered how tranquil the feeling of hanging the wash, piece by piece, and then taking it down and folding it. When my babies were young our electric dryer went out sometime in early spring, so I hung everything on the line until the weather got too cool in late fall. In those days I had cloth diapers to contend with. The hanging up and taking down of the wash had such a calming effect, and of course all the neighbors whose backyards converged were doing the same thing, so there was companionship as well.

Maintenance came by at 8:00 am with the dumpster, and I would have sworn it would have taken two loads to get it all in. They even agreed to come back and get the dumpster and to bring it back again. I got every bit of carpet, padding, and wooden strips with all the little nails into one dumpster load. One of the men even helped me lift the last two pieces of carpet for which I was so glad - it was really too heavy for me to be lifting over my head. And I'm so glad we had removed the carpet in smaller sections that were easier to handle.

Three more boxes were emptied today and I think I have about 12 to go. That's not bad out of more than 40 boxes. Never did get my clothes organized, but I can do that tomorrow afternoon if I'm feeling up to it. I'm itching to get back to painting. How is that for a switch - "hitch itch" to "itching to paint". At least it tells me I'm still alive and want to be doing something.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Some more accomplishments

Steve came today and the first thing we did was go to Home Depot to buy plumbing fixtures and supplies, as well as other miscellaneous items. I now have a new kitchen sink fixture which is really nice and doesn't leak if you turn it too far, and new handles in the tub/shower that might solve the water leakage problems in the bedroom. The bad floor in the bedroom showing the worst water damage is just behind the shower, and Steve thinks it may be because a fixture was missing that prevented water from the showerhead dripping onto the faucets and into the wall. We'll see if this does the trick.

I brought several samples of Pergo home with me and selected the one I want, so tomorrow I will go back to HD and buy it. I would prefer the guys start on the living room since that will be the most noticeable coming into the house. The guys are going on a backpacking trip next weekend, so it will be a while before I can get my work crew in to put in the flooring, which means I might have time to wash and paint the ceiling and walls of the roll-out part of the living room.

Everything is dependent on yet another thing being done first, and things seem to be in a never-ending circle right now. With all the carpeting up I need to spend a day or two getting my clothes organized and put away. I certainly have enough drawer and closet space, since I am going to use both bedrooms. But then when I finally get around to painting the drawer fronts and closet doors, I'll have to remove the clothes! Nothing is easy, it seems.

I think the smoke odor is diminishing, although my daughter-in-law could smell it immediately. There will likely be a slight odor forever, at least now and then.

I am so tired, and that seems to be an ongoing thing with me lately. I'm ok in the morning but slow down after mid-day. Could it be a sign of age?

I've had several questions I wanted to answer, but don't quite have the energy to go back and look them up. I'll try to remember some of them.

- I've also heard good things about Kilz. The lady I dealt with in the paint dept. recommended a product called "Gripper" for priming laminate wood paneling prior to painting it. I have been happy with the product so far.

- I'll just keep the gas range for now as I can't afford to buy a new one and still do the things I'd like to do. Money is an issue, of course. The flooring is covered and will be paid for tomorrow, and I'd really like to replace the formica panels in the tub area of the bathroom before getting a new range.

- The lady who lived here before didn't have pets, ever, to my knowledge, so that's not the source of water damage. I need to have the roof checked and possibly recaulked, and my youngest son, Joe, says it's right down his alley. I knew I could count on him if there is a roof to climb up on.

That's it for tonight.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

When did I become a klutz?

I have poked myself with a screw driver while trying to get the new blade into a box cutter, and it's a wonder the blade itself didn't do any damage. As it was the screwdriver drew blood. Then I pricked my fingers upteen times with the little nails on the strips that hold carpet down.

Joe and Donald pulled up all the carpet today. It was a real mess, as some of the foam padding was like new whereas in traffic areas it left a fine dust. Joe and Donald pulled carpet, tacking strips, staples, etc., and I tried to keep up with sweeping the debris and dust. I am plumb wore out!

It's a real good thing I decided to pull the carpet up NOW so as to get the Pergo down sooner rather than later. I found several spots indicating leaks - at least one of which was still damp, and a couple which will require cutting out and inserting good plywood. None of this was evident from the carpet or walls, so when Steve comes over tomorrow I will see what his recommendation is - I may just need regular gutters, or recoating the roof - but I need to fix the problem before putting down any flooring.

It's a good thing this place was free to me or I might be a little more upset about it. Buying something dating from 1963 is almost a guarantee of finding some sort of problems, especially when a single older woman, such as myself, lived here for 20 years. I'm not much good at maintenance, and she might have been marginally better. It may mean I will have to delay the replacement of the kitchen range, but if that's what it takes I'll just deal with it. I am still happy with the basic dwelling and can see its potential for improvement.

Poor Lady, watched her favorite resting spots being removed one by one. She likes to move around the room and go from room to room throughout the day. Joe saved a couple of decent pieces of carpet so she can go to a couple of other rooms and not have to lie on a hard plywood floor. I set her bed in front of the double doors where she loves to watch the people and dogs going by. I will be anxious to see if the smoke odor in the bedroom abates even further, as I hope it does. I think it is getting better but sometimes when I walk into the bedroom it hits me like a ton of bricks.

This turns out to be a relatively conservative neighborhood, and I don't fit in well to be begin with. Today while we were working and wanting some music, I used the TV music channels - a couple of hours of great Honky Tonk, and a couple of hours of Classic R&B. This is the R&B and goes back to the late 50's/early 60's and was my kind of music then. No one stopped to complain, but I will bet I'm being talked about somewhere in the Park. I certainly won't lose any sleep over it. We needed the music loud enough to hear in the back (the TV is in the front of the house), and I did turn it down somewhat when we got to the living room.

I don't know if I can summon the strength to fix much of a supper, but maybe another Miller High Life will give me a slight nudge in that direction. I've been drinking water by the gallons all day long - working in all the dust and around the tobacco smell does that. Maybe I'll post some pictures tomorrow but for now I'm just too tired to pick up the camera.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Back when I owned the 5th wheel I bought a small personal fan at Walmart for $5.00. I only used it once, but today I thought I'd try it since it's getting up to 88F this afternoon. Thankfully temps are predicted to drop to the 70's for most of the days left in October. The fan works fine except I had to set it up across the living room since I could plug it in there. The outlet near my recliner already has an extension cord.

You may remember I wanted to get ceiling fans for all the rooms, but that isn't a really workable idea now that I'm in here. For one thing, the two roll out rooms have a ceiling height of 76" - that's just a little over 6'. By the time you consider the drop of the fan, it would be a bad idea. The other ceilings are about 91" but none of the rooms have ceiling light fixtures and I'm not sure what is involved in accessing an electric source through this paneling.

I was just thinking about my DirecTV service. Do I like it? No, I don't. I am paying $30 a month for 12 months, and then it will go up to $60 a month for the next 12 months. There are tons of sports channels and other channels I don't watch. There are about 12 channels on which I might find something interesting once in a while, but certainly not often. There are 3 or 4 music stations that I listen to. That isn't very much for an average cost of $45 a month. But maybe I have some character flaw that prevents me from enjoying inane television programming.

I know you can modify the online guide to only show the channels you are interested in, but the instructions leave me with my mind wandering because of the way it's presented. It may be relatively easy, but then why don't they say something like: "Step 1: Do x,y,&z. Step 2: Do thus and so. Step 3: You see what I mean?"

Some companies seem to go out of their way to complicate procedures that really aren't all that difficult, but it's the instructions (if there are any at all). This applies to most items purchased any more, although some companies such as Verizon, Nikon cameras, and so on, seem to excel at giving you a booklet with clear, easy to follow instructions. I know probably most of you love online user guides, but I don't.

Back to DirecTV, or any other tv subscription service, why can't they offer 65 channels and provide them at a decent price. I had Charter Communication cable and that is exactly what I got, and it included all channels I was interested in, plus it wasn't so danged time consuming to scroll through the channels to see what was on. There are plenty of sports lovers packages - why not a sports hater package? Or a Can't Stand Movies package? Or a package without 50 religious stations.? I haven't counted them but I bet I'm close.

I did some laundry today and dried one of them in the dryer across the road; I hung the 2nd load on the line and I'd better go take it down before I forget it until tomorrow!

Just a comment on kitchen ranges. I actually prefer cooking with a gas range for many reasons. If I get a new electric range the elements will heat up pretty fast for as long as I'll be around to use them. The reason I'm so adamant on switching is that there is a greasy film on EVERYTHING in the kitchen. Even the two pull chains on the ceiling fan are sticky. That may be for more than one reason, but the main one is that gas exudes a residue which builds up if it isn't cleaned up pronto. I have tried so many products and nothing is getting the sticky film off the cabinets. I clean the entire stove top daily and it seems to be ok, but the control knobs, door handle, etc. are terrible to touch. It puts me off cooking with a gas range.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I've been working hard

TROUBLEnTX wrote to suggest that I just go ahead and pull out all the carpeting now, rather than wait until I can put the new flooring in. I wasn't quite sure what the subfloor would be like, or what even lay under the rug. I pulled up a bit of it and saw that under a foam pad in very good condition (at least from the small section I examined) there is a solid looking wood floor. I also received an email from my son suggesting I pull it all up at once.

The biggest problem I can see is what to do with the old stuff. I can get a small dumpster brought to my driveway and picked up and taken away, but according to the rules of what can and cannot be dumped, there seems to be a 40# limit. I don't know if that is 40# per item or total weight of load. Forty pounds isn't a whole lot, so it must mean per item. That wouldn't be a problem as we could cut large sections of carpet into small.

Now my son and I are moaning the fact that we both sold our pickup trucks - he had an F-150, and of course I had my F-350. I think my youngest son can borrow his father-in-law's truck so we can get it all hauled away. Joe has to work on Sunday so we're hoping he can pull it up on Saturday. I feel bad about having to move the furniture, and if I'm watching his 2 little girls I won't be right there to help him.

Steve will be here on Sunday and has agreed to install a new kitchen faucet, bathroom faucet, tear out the garbage disposal that doesn't work, install some replacement electrical outlets (half the outlets don't work), and things like that. I haven't had a disposal for years and don't want to be bothered with one. That will give me more room under the sink for supplies. The dishwasher needs a "catch" to be able to close the door and use it, and maybe we can find one at Home Depot. I would like to have a dishwasher.

This is a shot of the kitchen, and of course it is about as cluttered as all the rooms. I've really emptied lots of boxes today and hope to get a few more done tomorrow. I work like a young person in the morning, but after lunch I have to hit the couch!

The trouble will come when I'm looking for something and can't remember where I've put it. I'm going to store my clothes in both bedrooms, so in addition to a chest of drawers I will have lots of closet and drawer space. I really need to come up with a plan for organizing what will go where, or I'll always be searching for something.

The walls have been painted previously, so providing I can get the grease off the walls and cabinets, it should be fairly easy to paint. I'm going to do a contrasting color on the cabinet fronts.

Eventually I am going to replace the awful gas range with an electric. Yvonne told me that there is a 220 connection at the stove. There is no end to the improvements I want to make, but it will take time and money.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Even the little things . . .

. . . make me worn out. Today I painted the insides of a couple of closets and they look much brighter. I can start hanging up my clothes and putting things away in drawers, at least in the non-smoking room. It's getting a little better, and I think when we finally get the grubby carpet up it will improve 500%.

I cooked a superb meal tonight - in fact the past 3 nights. I'm determined to increase my protein intake as well as calories, so it's been fish and/or chicken, with organic sauteed greens, and boiled red potatos smothered in cheddar. I put a box of Klondike bars into my shopping cart the other day. Couldn't bring myself to read the ingredients, but now and then is ok I figure. I've only had one so far - I ate too much dinner to even want to think about dessert.

One of the commenters to yesterday's blog asked me if my granddaughter began to bark (after sampling Lady's food). She hasn't done that, although she does beg for treats.

Speaking of dogs, I want to call attention to the fact that PBS's NOVA will be airing "Dogs Decoded" tonight. Check your local listings for time and channel. Here is a quick description of some of what the program will be about:

"Dogs Decoded" reveals the science behind the remarkable bond between humans and their dogs and investigates new discoveries in genetics that are illuminating the origin of dogs—with surprising implications for the evolution of human culture. Other research is proving what dog lovers have suspected all along: Dogs have an uncanny ability to read and respond to human emotions. Humans, in turn, respond to dogs with the same hormone responsible for bonding mothers to their babies. How did this incredible relationship between humans and dogs come to be? And how can dogs, so closely related to fearsome wild wolves, behave so differently?"

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One bright spot in the last 24 hours

I stayed overnight at Jeannie's last night. I was really on edge the whole evening, so Jeannie got out a couple of word games with tiles (and proceeded to beat the socks off me). Donald appeared in the room looking somewhat panicky, and asked what do I feed Lady. I told him it was an organic product - he had walked into the laundry room where Lady stays and caught the 2 yr old helping herself to some dog food pellets!

The reason for his concern is that Arianna has so many food allergies, and can't have wheat or dairy products at all. I was able to assure him that there was no corn, wheat, eggs, or dairy products in the food, and that it was actually quite nutritious! I'm not sure about the nutrition from a 2 yr old standpoint, but I guess it didn't hurt her. I've been giggling about it all day. I was so glad I hadn't added any wet food to the dish.

No surgery today

I met with the eye surgeon this morning and was told there was a malfunction in some of the equipment they used so my surgery will have to be rescheduled. I'm sort of relieved, as I never had the anticipation and positive attitude that I had with the first transplant. Something was different, and I thought it was just my worrying about my heart. So now I'm waiting to hear when it will be rescheduled.

My concern is that to get me in sooner than just waiting at the end of the list, it will require me to have the surgery done at Mercy General Hospital, rather than the small surgery center. I don't like big hospitals and worry that I will come away with something much worse than what I went in with. Also, most of you understand what intake is like in a big hospital - I'll be sitting waiting for hours to get past the front desk I'm afraid. Maybe not.

So I'm back to unloading boxes.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

See ya in a few days

I spent the day opening boxes and pulling things out I had a place for. I ended up with several empty boxes so I guess I made some headway. I went out this morning and spent a horrendous amount of money replenishing staples and other food, and I don't have half of what I need. I think I'm down to about zero on this month's money!

I don't have to worry about that because I won't be doing much shopping for a while after surgery (Tues. 10/11). I'm getting my hair cut really short tomorrow and will then go to Jeannie's where I will be spending the next couple of nights. I figure I should be able to come home Wednesday or Thursday.

If I ever move again, and I surely hope I won't, I will have a cleaning service come in and do a thorough cleaning job. That is where I'm getting hung up - every time I start filling a new cabinet I have to first clean the shelves. It would have been nice to have the time to do it all before moving in, but there was simply too much to do. I also wanted to get my belongings out of storage so I don't have that monthly bill any more, so this is how it ended up. To top it off I won't be able to get the painting finished for quite a while - my bedroom was what concerned me most and now it is done except for the flooring.

I cancelled the carpet cleaning which is a relief. I can't imagine having it done right now while things are so upside down.

I mentioned watching RFD-TV in my last blog, and for you city dwellers RFD stands for Rural Free Delivery, so the programming has a countrified slant. It covers the whole country and Saturday night I watched a program from Michigan featuring a polka band and polka dancing. The participants were all ages, even teen-aged boys! My 4 yr old granddaughter was here, and she who sings along with Lady Gaga like she was recording the songs herself, began to tap her feet to the polka beat. She wanted her little sister to dance with her, but the 2 yr old is in the terrible two stage and doesn't do anything you want her to (mostly), so Grandma danced with Autumn. Now I wasn't swinging around a dance floor, but the little dancing I was doing plumb wore me out! Looking at the old geezers on TV made me wonder how they get that kind of stamina. There is very little break between numbers, so the band as well as the dancers get a real work-out. So did Grandma. The show reminded me of about 39 years ago when we went to a Polish wedding in Port Huron, MI, as the music was the same. I never learned to polka in the Eastern European style, but danced polka mostly with Italians. It's happy music however you look at it.

I'll be back online in a few days, and in the meantime I won't be able to read or comment on any blogs. I won't even take my computer with me.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I should sleep well tonight

I am surrounded by boxes that need emptying and a couple of items of furniture that need to be rearranged, but I'm happy to have my comfy bed set up. It is a queen size bed, and takes up a lot of the room. I'll be happy with the bed, a chest of drawers, and a nice table next to the bed - no room for much else.

I've decided to cancel the carpet cleaning service. Since I'll definitely have to put something else down in my bedroom, and plan to eventually extend it throughout the house, I decided to apply the cost of carpet cleaning to the cost of laminate flooring. My son has agreed to come over next week to measure for me and go to look at Pergo and price it out, select a grade and color, etc. Donald and Joe will put it down for me, and I'm comfortable with that because Joe and Sarah did their entire house a few years back.

I have to really be thankful for my son-in-law, Donald. He went with me to pick up the truck, drove it to and from storage, and moved just about everything himself. I carried a few items, but for the most part he wouldn't let me do any work. He got everything in the truck so we only had to make one trip, and then he moved most of it into the house. Jeannie came along and helped with the boxes and putting things away in the kitchen. The entire house is still a mess with boxes and items everywhere, but eventually it will all come together. There is a lot I can do even a couple of days after surgery, as long as I don't lift anything heavy.

I've found that just about the only good thing on TV is RFD-TV, recommended by Dizzy-Dick. I thought I'd be able to get the National Geographic channel, but get a message that I haven't subscribed to that channel. I called DirecTV and found I could have Nat Geo for $5 a month extra. I think I'm paying enough for the few channels I watch, but I'm finding a lot to like about RFD-TV - not all of it, but a lot.

When I feel like trying, I will modify the Guide so that I don't have to scroll through hundreds of stations I can't even view as well as the ones I will never want to view.

No pictures tonight, but maybe when I get my act together and my house in order.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Still no carpet cleaner

His luck is about as bad as mine lately. I wrote about his encounter with wasps, and the next morning he was supposed to be here early. His son works with him, and the van he was driving was hit by another car. The son is ok, but the driver of the car that slammed into him was taken to the hospital. The van suffered more damages than originally thought, so I've been on the short end of all this. The cleaner called me today and offered to try to get here late this afternoon; if he can't make it then he will clean the carpets at the same rate quoted, but will move the furniture. It would be so much easier and quicker when the rooms are empty, but I have no control over the situation.

There is much more work to do here than I originally thought. Everything in the kitchen is covered with a greasy, sticky film, and I am trying everything I know of to remove it. There are some cabinets that are ok on the inside, although the doors are all tacky and I hate even touching them. I'll probably use a small sander and sand it off before painting. I bought shelf liner and lined enough cabinets to provide me with a place to put at least the most important things away. I haven't used contact paper in years because I always ended up getting wrapped in it. It hasn't changed! I have seven overhead cabinets cleaned and available, 8 large drawers and 4 small drawers cleaned, plus a couple of large cabinets I haven't yet decided what to put in them.

I also bought lace panels and curtain rods for the bedroom window. There were vertical blinds at that window and they are stained orange with nicotine. Needless to say I plan to toss them. The big job will be to figure out how to remove the large screen and take it outside to wash it, then to wash the windows inside and out. I can't put nice curtains up on dirty windows or my mother would come out of the grave to admonish me! She was a fanatic when it came to clean windows and while I'm not so fanatical, I come pretty close.

I've been freezing in the mornings and evenings, so yesterday I retrieved my small heater and some warm clothes from storage. What a wonder it is to sit in front of that little heater!

When Lady and I go out the back gate we head to the north (left) in the morning, and to the south (right) towards US 50 freeway in the afternoon. After one day she knows which way to turn without my prompting her.

My house is behind the fence about 5 down on the left.

Although the freeway is less than a mile from my house, I hear no traffic noise, nor do I hear it from Sunrise Blvd. at the park entrance.

Across the trail is a light industry/business park:

This is one end of the bedroom. I intended to paint the drawers and doors on the closets, but it will be difficult for me to remove and re-hang the doors, so I thought I might just leave it like this. Any comments? Does it look too ridiculous to even consider? I can do it later when I'm feeling better and less tired I suppose.

Issues with blogger

I hadn't seen an update to the Barbara's blog, Me and My Dog, for 5 weeks, so I wrote to ask her if she is ok. She recently bought a Class C that she named The Palms, and she and dog Katie finally got to hit the road. She responded that she is ok but having trouble with Blogger. Here is an excerpt from her email:

"I'm still blogging, but my blogs aren't showing up on some of my followers blogrolls. You will have to click on my blog down at the end of your blogroll to bring up current posts. Or enter dewelldesigns.blogspot.com to bring it up.

Blogger doesn't have any tech support, so whatever is wrong, I can't ask them to fix it. I'm thinking of moving over to WordPress so I don't have to deal with Blogger anymore. Blogger keeps adding new things that most people don't seem to want, but they won't fix the issues that have been plaguing us for months."

I scrolled down my list to "Me and My Dog" and found her latest post which was yesterday, 10/6. (The blog list shows last post 5 weeks ago!) Barbara is having trouble with her generator/batteries/power and really needs some help and/or suggestions. I never could figure that stuff out, and I'm hoping that one of her readers can give her some answers.

This makes me wonder about Blogger and what is happening to it. I have trouble seeing photos - some of them show up, and some that are referred to in the text don't appear at all. It seems random and I've just learned to live with it, although I know I'm missing out on some great photos. Now I'm thinking I should go down my list and click on some of the blogs I haven't seen an update for, as the same thing may be happening to them. I agree with Barbara that Blogger keeps adding features that aren't all that great, or wanted, or needed by the users, yet they can't even be contacted to report long time issues with the program. I find it is getting worse, at least for me. Some bloggers say they have no problems with it, but what if half the readers can't even see an update? That is, those of us who rely on the blog list to show the latest updates for the blogs we list.

I may post again later today. I have a couple of photos to add, but can't seem to locate the cord that hooks up my camera to the compouter. I will be SO glad to get my furniture and belongings tomorrow and can at least begin to organize and find a place for everything. This morning I'm cleaning kitchen cabinets, a job I don't like at all.

Later -

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The bedroom is painted

Tomorrow I will decide if I want to add a 2nd coat on the walls. I let the ceiling go with just one coat (plus the primer, of course). I will probably regret it, as I will be the one most likely to be looking up at the ceiling! I've used slightly over half a can to cover the walls, so I will probably slap a 2nd coat on the walls that are most likely to be noticed. I'm tired of painting.

The rain we've had off and on sort of has me worried. I'm worried about leaks, and will probably not be able to let it rest until I get someone to come out and look at the roof. This is just too much like having an RV to worry about. Although it would be nice to have a washing machine of my own, I'm seriously thinking about demolishing that small room that was added on between the two extended rooms. The extended rooms are like permanently slid slide outs. The room is wired, and of course is plumbed for the washer, but I guess that isn't too difficult to get rid of. The roof was extended flat out from the main roof, with no allowance for run-off. It was an ongoing problem for Yvonne, and her son told me he had coated it about every two years which seemed to work.

Looking out my front double sliding doors, I see the beautiful western sky at sunset, with palm trees towering over all the houses and the other trees. Lady loves to look out those doors during the day. She is so curious about everything, she could tell some stories if she could talk, because she notices everyone and everything!

Speaking of Lady, her fur is shedding something awful and she looks so shaggy. The weather forecast is for an early and cooler winter this year, but maybe her fur growing mechanism knows about a late heat wave? I sure hope not. I take her brush when we go walking out on the trail behind the Park, and I pull out big loose clumps and brush like crazy. It's all over the field now!

My TV was installed today and I couldn't find anything interesting to watch just now. Maybe later this evening. There are so many channels it is annoying to have to scroll through the guide, but I'm not familiar yet with the numbers to be able to find what I want any other way besides scrolling. The gentleman who installed it was so informative and patient. He explained in detail about the remote. Don't laugh, but back when I had TV there were way fewer channels available to me even though I had cable TV. This is definitely overkill for me, but I need the package I got in order to see the few channels I like.

Thankfully I will have clean rugs tomorrow. I've just about decided to put laminate flooring in my bedroom, and it's too bad I can't get it done before Saturday when the furniture is being moved in. I reserved a uHaul truck, and contrary to my own nature of getting an early start, I reserved it for 12:00 Noon knowing that my "help" doesn't get started until later. I know Donald would help me no matter what time I asked him, but I hope it will be easier for him this way. Plus, I have the truck for 6 hrs. and I believe the place closes at 7:00 pm, so we'll be sure to get it back in time. My daughter can usually be counted on but she had dental surgery yesterday in preparation for dental implants. I didn't realize what a long drawn-out process it is, but I don't think it will be completed for a complete year. She's having a difficult time now from the surgery, so I don't want her to overdo.

I'm actually looking forward to my own surgery next Tuesday - I want to get it done and get started towards decent vision in both eyes, plus I just need a rest. I'll be climbing the walls wanting something to do while I'm resting, but I certainly need it at this point. I have too many jobs ahead of me with this house, but I can look forward to completing them one by one.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ceiling finished - I hope!

I got the rest of the walls primered and started on the ceiling paint. I am really being optimistic, and at the same time lowering my usually high standards, but I think there is a chance I can get by with one coat of ceiling paint. I really won't know until tomorrow after it has had a chance to dry. To be on the safe side, I didn't wash the roller, tray, or brush, but have them wrapped in plastic and sitting in the fridge.

Here are some before and after pictures, and don't notice the absolute mess in the room.

There is another closet on the opposite side of the room, so you can see how much drawer and closet space I have. There is one closet in the smaller bedroom, and maybe I'll store the change-of-season clothes in it. I had planned to paint the walls in bold warm colors, but after thinking about it I decided to use more muted warm colors. There is so much more light now that the paneling is white, and I would like to keep it light, especially since I see so much better in the room even now. I tried to take a picture of the paint chips but they completely washed out.

Susan came by last night and brought me some plastic storage tubs that she was getting rid of. Now to fill them at least temporarily with all the bags and boxes I brought from Jeannie's and which are sitting in the kitchen. Everything goes into the kitchen until Thursday when the rugs are cleaned. I don't have much hope for the bedroom rug being salvaged as I'm still getting a strong odor of smoke. I set a plastic cup of vinegar in the room as I heard it will absorb smoke odors, and did you guess, I knocked it over today. I have drop cloths down and was able to wipe up most of it.

Donald brought over the TV and my microwave today, in addition to one of their air mattresses. I slept ok but getting up several times a night was the difficult part. I can get up from an air mattress, but am totally unable to stand up very steadily when getting off the floor. I noticed that when camping I was falling when I tried to stand up, and using the air mattress has completely solved that problem.

I guess it's time for Lady's walk although it feels so good to just sit down I hate to even go out. We walked on the bike trail this morning - at one time it was a two lane road so it is nice and wide for bike riding and walking. Of course Lady loved sniffing new bushes, grass and trees! She conned me into a short walk between the primer and the ceiling top coat - I was just starting to take a quick power nap too.

A big storm is predicted to come into Northern California during the next 3 days, bringing rain, lots of wind, and snow for the Sierras. It has really cooled off and is 64F right now. Things will warm up to the 70's by Friday, but I doubt we'll have any more very hot weather. That suits me fine.

The DirecTV installer will be here between 8:00 and 12:00 tomorrow, so I won't be able to go to Home Depot for wall paint until afternoon. I could start putting the primer on the small bedroom, but for all I know I will wake up to find that the ceiling needs a second coat. My ambitious plans are so far off track now I don't even worry about it. I need to reserve a U-Haul truck to move out of storage this weekend and it will be so nice to see my furniture here. Then it will start to seem like home.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It must be the planets!

I think they are probably aligned so as to give people lots of setbacks, and I have had my share. A woman from the carpet cleaning service called me at 11:00 this morning - she thought I had an afternoon appointment - and said that the owner had been stung by several wasps yesterday and spent the night in the emergency room and could they reschedule me for Thursday. What was I to say, as I've been there, and he could have been in a dangerous situation.

So at 11:00 am, which I consider getting a late start, I opened a can of primer and went to work. After wearing out my muscles yesterday with the cleaning, I found the painting to be even more strenuous. Those grooves in the paneling are the very devil to paint! I finished my ceiling and a little more than 1/3 of the walls. I had really hoped to get both rooms primered but it wasn't to be. First thing in the morning I will paint the first coat of ceiling paint, and then finish the walls while waiting for it to dry. It will take at least two coats to get decent coverage, and I hope it doesn't require more than that. I really hoped I could do both bedroom ceilings in one session, but I'm not going to fight the fact that I simply can't do it.

I had to stop early enough to look for a few items in storage and then pick up the dog, and get back before the daylight ended. Plus I'm bone tired. If that wasn't bad enough for one day, I got the air mattress and air pump and discovered that I had only the cigarette lighter connector, so I took everything out to the car. No cap for my air mattress, so the air comes back out as fast as it went in! I tried stuffing the opening with bubble wrap but it isn't going to work. I ended doubling over a comforter and will just make do.

The smoke odor is just as strong in the bedroom as it had been, and I'm sure it's mainly in the carpet. Now I'll have to wait until Thursday to see if it is even worth saving, but if not, then I'll just set my mattress and springs in the small bedroom until I can get laminate flooring - and someone to install it. The really weird thing is that the smoke smell is strong enough to make me want to gag, but I've been having more cigarette cravings than I normally do. Washing off the second hand smoke on the ceilings and walls, and then imagining what the first hand smoke looks like inside a pair of lungs, will keep me from even picking up a cigarette. But I swear if I am ever told I have a week or a month to live, I will buy a couple of cartons and chain smoke myself to death!

To top it all off, Yvonne's son (not the smoker) came by today to shut off the water supply to the swamp cooler. Yvonne thinks we will have another warm spell and I'll wish I had cooling, but I have lived without a/c since about 1999, and I think I can live without it some more. I listened to the directions on what I have to do to turn it off, and quit listening in mid=stream. Her son was there and offered to turn it off for me, which I gratefully accepted. When he came by today he mentioned several maintenance items I need to be aware of, and damned if it isn't just like an RV! The adage "wherever you go, there you are" is 110% true in my case.

Oh well, can't do nothin' about it, so I might as well laugh so's I don't cry. I hope I can get a good night's sleep because tomorrow I'm going to paint like a madwoman!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I hurt all over!

I got the two bedrooms cleaned, walls and ceilings, with TSP. All my muscles hurt, especially my right shoulder and arm. Tomorrow the rugs will be cleaned and I hope to get the primer on and even possibly the first coat of paint by the end of the day Tuesday. I will still have work to do in those rooms, as there are double closets and umpteen drawers in both bedrooms. The larger bedroom has double closets and drawers on both sides of the room. They will really come in handy, except there are bronze drawer pulls on all the cabinets and drawers in the house - a bajillion of them! I will have to remove them in order to do a decent paint job.

I should probably have contracted with a house cleaning service, but I'm too frugal for that and besides, I can do it better. (Just slower.) I'll be glad when the TV is installed on Wednesday, because I can listen to music while I work. I could actually listen to music via my iTunes on the computer, but haven't yet taken the laptop over to the house when I'm working. I don't want to get sidetracked into browsing the web or whatever.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Update on move, 2nd post Sat. 10/1

Just a quick update. I met Yvonne at the house at 5 pm, and went over how to work various systems and such. The house itself was emptied out and looks pretty good, but there is still a lot of trash outside and things in the storage shed that I hope get moved soon.

I'm going to love it once I get in and start working on it, although I don't have much time to get anything done. Probably that is going to insure I don't overdo it, and I've already resigned myself to just taking it easy and not worrying about meeting goals. Why do I need to set time limits on myself anyway! I do plan to have my bedroom painted before my surgery though.

The smaller bedroom is too small to actually be a bedroom unless, as Yvonne did, I just put a twin bed in there. I don't want to buy a twin bed, and I also have a triple wide dresser that was Bill's that I will use in there, so I think I will get a sofa bed eventually. That way it can be a sitting room until I have company, and then I can open out the couch to make a bed. There's no rush on buying a sofa bed either.

So I'm ready to start work tomorrow, although at a slower and more dignified pace than I originally anticipated.

The Best Laid Plans . . .

As arranged with Yvonne I appeared at the house at 8:30 this morning. I could tell she was no way ready for me, and still has a lot of things to pack and move. I offered to come back in an hour, and she seemed to think that would do it. Well, after an hour of walking through K-Mart I returned and things were still not going well for her. Her daughter was going to help her move, but she has to come from Nevada and wasn't there yet. I told Yvonne I would come back around 5 pm, but first I would like to see the bedrooms again.

With the furniture out of the rooms, I can see that the smoked-in bedroom on the south side of the house is much larger than the one on the north that she used for her bedroom. I think I will switch gears and take the larger room as there is no way I could ever fit even my queen sized bed in the smaller one. With the doors and windows open and the carpet vacuumed, the smell of smoke was only faint, and I think with rug cleaning plus washing the walls and ceiling, and then painting, is going to make it A-OK.

I'm a bit overwhelmed right now at the amount of work for me to do, and I realize most of it is going to have to wait until I can deal with it and my eye surgeon says it's ok. For now I will just concentrate on the bedroom I plan to use.

Meanwhile my car is packed to the ceiling. I'm back at Jeannie & Donald's house right now, and if I wasn't so stubborn I would just stay here tonight and try again tomorrow. But I'm too stubborn to do that unless Yvonne absolutely can't be out today. I really empathize with her - I was in that same boat when I moved from my house in Asheville. I had to do absolutely everything myself and did I ever feel forlorn - so I'm trying to be as easy on her about this move as I can be.

One thing I am pleased with is that she is leaving me the recliner in the living room. I have my heart set on a particular leather rocker/recliner but really don't want to spend the money this month, so this will be perfect until I can get my own. And then, the living room seems to be big enough to hold two of them, although maybe not. I learned not to cram every available space with things when I lived in Asheville, and my house looked absolutely huge from not being too crowded.

I realized this morning the incredible amount of storage space in the house - drawers and cabinets everywhere. It's like being in a big RV, although probably 3 or more times the size of my 5th wheel.