Wednesday, May 24, 2017

VERY BUSY DAY AT MY HOME

What a day!  I had the handyman fix my lower deck.  It is a long time project.  I have had three contractors look at it and tell me what was wrong with it but tell me they can't fix it.  They were too busy or never got back to me or (maybe) died.  So it never got fixed.

Here's the problem: When the original contractor built my house they didn't (don't start pondering why, it will drive you crazy) put flashing along the bottom of my shingles where they meet my deck.  So when it rains, the water leaks in my house.  Nice.  It isn't a big leak but more of a seep.

To fix it my handyman had to remove my deck floor, take off shingles, and put the flashing on.  Then put the deck back on.  Some of the shingles broke and since the underneath was damp, we decided to keep the shingles off for a few weeks and let the inside dry out.

Here is the deck in pieces (looking down on the deck):


The silver piece on the left side is the flashing that is being installed along the house.


I also had to take my car in for some stuff that was going wrong.  I ended up having three oil leaks and have to have my whole shocks and struts, etc replaced.  That explains why my car is vibrating.  They couldn't do the work today because they had to order parts because my car is SO old.

To top off the night, the squatter from a few months ago returned to the vacant house across the street.  The contractor accidentally left the door unlocked and the same squatter from a few months ago returned and moved in.  He told the police he was renting the house.  He had a suitcase and food.  He is fixated on that house.  So I dealt with the police and the contractor to get the place locked up.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

CONCERT SECURITY

My heart goes out to the victims and their families and friends of the Manchester UK attack.

I was just writing about security at events the other day.  When I went to the U2 concert I was thinking that the crowd problem made me concerned if there was a problem.  Then yesterday there was a bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in the UK.  The bombing was outside the concert prior to the security check as people were leaving.  As I was saying at the U2 stadium I was at they were letting us enter in a few entrances but we all had to leave through one exit.  I felt concerned that we were all being stuffed out one exit.  What if something happened? We had no where to go.  The same with getting to the concert.  There was one road in and one road out.  What if there was an earthquake?  Or something else?

I will never go to that venue again.  It is honestly too dangerous.  I don't know who designed it but they were not thinking of safety.  They were thinking of money. 

Until tomorrow...

Monday, May 22, 2017

MORE GETTING RID OF THE SAND

Today I got up and shoveled more sand.  I filled 15 bags of sand.  I made the bags lighter with only 4 shovels full.  I had 3 buckets 1/2 full.  I loaded the car and took it to the dump.  This guy charged me $40.  I got rid of all the sand in the buckets and one 18 gallon tub.  I have 4-18 gallon tubs left.



It really feels good to get rid of the sand.  It has been taking up so much space in the backyard.  I am sick of looking at it.

I spoke to my friend and she wants some of the sand for her community garden.  I won't have to go to the dump again.  I am taking it to her community garden on Friday.  Yippee!

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, May 21, 2017

CLEAR YOUR MIND

Today was a day of rest.  It is really hot today and after moving all that sand yesterday, I needed it.  After food shopping I took my lunch and a book and went down to my beautiful backyard.  I took my two dogs and some music and relaxed.  I felt weird.  Like I should be doing something.  I have a hard time just sitting.  This is something I realized I needed to work on when I did the happiness project last year.  I don't sit still very well.  I start making lists and thinking of all sorts of thinks I could be doing.  It is a horrible habit.

I need to try to just stop and clear my mind.  First thing in the morning would be wonderful but I have a dog that wakes up and wants to eat immediately.  I have been working on stopping her from barking to get fed.  It is really hard to get her to change her bad habits.   So first thing in the morning is out.  I have to find another time to clear my mind.  I am working on it.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, May 20, 2017

GETTING RID OF THE SAND

When I got the sand delivered to fill in the pond, I got too much sand.  Not a ton too much but a bit too much.  Probably 100 gallons of extra sand.  I have been trying to get rid of it.  Nobody wants it.  Free sand.

Today I began putting the sand in compost bags and taking it to the dump.  I put about 5 shovels full in each bag and lugged it up the 15 stairs and put it in my car.  I took about 5 bags and two 1/2 full 5 gallon buckets.  They were super heavy.  I drove to the dump and the guy at the dump felt sorry for me.  I didn't know the process and didn't know it would cost me $40 each time I brought something.  He explained the whole thing to me and let me in for free.  He told me to hire someone to do it.  HA!

I dumped me sand and met another guy who told me the same thing.  Double HA!  They don't know me very well.  I can buy the compost bags for $0.20 each I fill them enough as I can carry.  I can put a bunch of them in the car along with buckets 1/2 full and that is almost 1/3 of the sand gone.  It will cost me $40.  I can get rid of the rest of the sand in two more trips.  It is just time and energy.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, May 19, 2017

FAMILY FAIR DAY

I went to a Family Adoption Fair today.  It is where there are kids who want to be adopted and families who want to adopt them.  I didn't know what to expect but it was a good time.  It was a picnic where you only know the people you come with!  There was food and activities for everyone to do.

I played catch with these things that had velcro on the catcher and the ball with some kids.  I hoola hooped and potato sack raced.  I made a bead necklace that turned into a bracelet. I participated in all the ice breakers: cake walk and rock, paper, scissors, chicken. I am game for anything!  I think I was the goofiest person there.  Not sure that was good or bad but that is me!

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

HAMILTON

Yes, I went to see Hamilton tonight.  It was wonderful.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  I didn't read or talk to many people about what would happen at the play. I just knew it had a lot of singing and dancing.

I knew the play was about the book Hamilton and Alexander Hamilton's life.  I still don't know that much about Alexander Hamilton.  I guess I need to Google him.  I also need to Google Aaron Burr.  I have heard of him but have no idea what he did.  American history was 35 years ago for me!

The gardener also came today and the yard is looking even better.  She planted my tomato plant and a blueberry bush in pots.  I can't wait to get tomatoes and blueberries!  She also planted another purple flowering plant downstairs and dill.  She planted colorful flowers on my deck. I would never think to put these flower in a pot together.  They look great.



Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

U2 NIGHTMARE

Tonight I went to the U2 concert.  I was excited to see U2 once again.  I have seen them many times.  U2 was the first stadium concert I attended back in 1984.  This was the 4th or 5th time I saw U2 in concert.  Joshua Tree 2017 was a revisit of the original Joshua Tree concert back in 1987.

The concert was starting at 6:30 with Mumford and Sons as the opening act.  I was super excited to see Mumford and Sons.  I left my house at 4pm thinking this would be enough time to get to the stadium to see the concert.  Boy was I wrong!

I am glad I brought snacks and drinks, I was in my car forever.  Just as a clue how long, my clutch was getting so hot, it was making a weird popping noise that was concerning.  I thought for sure it would burn out before I got there and I would be THAT person with their car broken down in the middle lane.

It took me 2.5 hours to get to the turn off to the stadium.  I pretty much thought it would take 2 hours to get to the exit.  So I was doing pretty well. The traffic was moving at 5 miles per hour tops the entire way.  There were all the cars going to the stadium plus all the cars commuting home.

The stadium holds 68,500 people and the concert was sold out.

I get to the exit and there is only one road to the stadium.  Who makes a stadium with only one road accessible to the stadium?  As I was sitting in completely stagnant traffic, I started thinking what happens if there is an earthquake or an emergency?  There is no where to go. No emergency lanes, no way to get through.  Who designed this nightmare?  Plus there are homes in the area.  All these people are trying to get home from work and are caught up in this traffic.  There are no police or event staff directing traffic.  It is just a free for all of people not moving.  Everyone is hot, frustrated, angry, late for the concert, and hungry.  Not a good mix.

After 1.5 hours I got to my parking spot.  The parking spot.  I have not been to the stadium before.  I swore I would never go to this stadium when it was built.  I heard nightmare stories about the stadium and people getting to it.  I decided to go to this concert.  When I bought the tickets I also bought the $50 parking.  I thought I should make sure I had somewhere to park.  As I inched along from the freeway to the parking lot, there were signs that said "quicker, easier parking".  Of course I had bought the $50 parking and I was not going to pay to park somewhere else.  When I finally go to my parking it was awesome!  I had a 5 minute walk to the stadium.

I got to the security once I finally parked at 7:45.  I had to go through the crazy security with my heart monitor.  I was a bit afraid that they would think I had a bomb.  The heart monitor looks like a large walkman that attaches to your belt with wires that attach to your chest.  Before I went through the metal detector I told the girl that I had a heart monitor on.  She just let me right in.

I got to my seats and waited to U2 to come on.  They came on at 9 pm.  It was surprising because there was a noise curfew at 10 pm. They played until 11:20 pm.  At 10:20 pm Bono said "We are just getting warmed up!"  Many of the people sitting in front of us left around 10:20.  I figured they paid babysitters and had to leave.

Bono was good.  He was losing his voice and I have seen him better and I have seen him worse.  The concert was a lot of fun.

The way home was easier.  I got home at 1am.  I was tired and hungry.  I heard the next day that the stadium ran out of food and beer.  People were very unhappy.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

BREAST CHECK

I went to get my breast cancer doctor today.  She did the check and things look good.  She gave me the paperwork to get my MRI.  I have my MRI appointment set for a few weeks from now.  I am on the every six months get a MRI and mammogram plan.

My hips and joint are still killing me.  My new RA appoint is coming up soon.  

Until tomorrow...

Monday, May 15, 2017

LOOKED AT PROFILES IN THE ADOPTION BOOK

I went down to review profiles in the adoption book today.  It is always a wave of emotions looking at the profiles of the children.  So many children and so many stories.  There may be some of these children at the picnic I am going to later this week.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, May 14, 2017

DO I RECOGNIZE YOU?

Have you ever run into someone you think you recognize but you are not sure it is someone you know?  You are on line in the supermarket or walking down the street and you see someone and they look familiar but you can't quite place where you know them from or what their name is but you know you have met them somewhere?

Well, that happened to me today.  I saw someone that I knew I had met before but I could not place the person.  Was it an old intern?  An employee at a client's office?  A friend of a friend?  I could not remember where I met them or what their name was. Until they had walked away and I was half way to my car.  Then it came to me.  Too late.  It was a friend of a friend. 

I don't think they recognized me because they didn't say anything to me and didn't even acknowledge I was there.  So I didn't insult them.

I got dirt to plant my tomato plant but got home too late to plant it.

I also got my 15th signature on the speed hump petition so I can submit it.  Yay!!

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, May 13, 2017

NEW BOOK

I am enjoying my backyard so very much.  Today I sat outside and ate my lunch and read my book.

I finished this weird book.  It started out really good but ended up weird.  It was like a car accident on the freeway.  I wanted to put it down but I just had to finish reading it.  I had to see how the weird book ended.

Now I am reading a "summer" book.  Light and fun.  Just what I need for a sunny afternoon.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, May 12, 2017

EARLY GIRL 50-DAYS HYBRID

I bought my tomato plant today.  I am super excited!  A few years ago I got this type of tomato plant and I got a bunch of tomatoes.  It is a Early Girl 50-days hybrid plant.  The tomatoes are not big but they are plentiful.  I plan on planting the plant in a pot tomorrow.

Last time I forgot to plant the tomato plant inside the wire tomato guard.  I tried to put the tomato guard on after the tomato plant grew big.  It doesn't work that way.  I ended up having to use some long poles and string to hold up the tomato plant.

This time I will start out with the wire guard around the plant from the get go.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

ANOTHER VISIT TO THE DOG PARK

I took the dogs to the dog park again.  This time I let Happi have her freedom to walk anywhere she wanted.  She is so happy to be around the other dogs and people at the park.  We even went to the part of the park where the have these things set up where the dogs can jump over some barriers.  Happi was good at it.  I really thought the little dog would be good at it but she wasn't as focused as Happi.  Happi was so excited to jump and get a cookie.  It is funny since the little dog is a chihuahua and she jumps all the time so going over these barriers should have been easy for her.  I guess her ADD didn't help.

We walked all around the park and Happi did really well. There is a part where the dogs can go up a hill and walk in the trees.  I am trying to get Happi to work up to going up the hill.  I think she would like walking in the "forest".

When we got home they were konked out for hours.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

SPEED HUMP PROCESS

I have been collecting signatures to get a speed hump in our neighborhood.  They are no longer called speed bumps.  They are called speed Humps.  Not sure why.

I have to get 15 signatures to move the application along to the city.  Today I got my 13th signature.  I am almost at my goal.  I have met neighbors I never met before.

Once the application is submitted with the 15 signatures, there is a decision from the city, then a hearing and another vote from the neighbors. It takes forever. In a year we should have a speed hump.  Fingers crossed!

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

SPEED HUMP UPDATE

This was the first day I worked on the neighborhood speed hump.  I filled out the application and began getting signatures.  Some folks said they signed a petition a few months ago.  I found out a neighbor began the process but didn't finish it a while ago. 

I went out to get a signature and while I was out I got 5 signatures just by standing and talking to a neighbor.  Tonight when I walked the dog I got two more signatures.  Now I just need 9 more signatures. 

Until tomorrow...

Monday, May 8, 2017

HEART MONITOR UPDATE

I have been wearing this heart monitor for a while now and I am pretty used to it.  I sleep with it, I take it off to shower, I change my sticker things every three days, and I charge it every day for two hours.  It has become a system.

Some days I push the button to mark that I have an episode, a heart flutter, a lot and other days I barely push the button at all during the day.  There are some times that I can't push the button because I am driving or cooking or carrying something I can't put down.  Sometimes I forget that I am wearing the monitor and when I remember, it is too late to push the button.  I figure if I push the button 70% of the time, that is good enough.  Some days I push the button 20-25 times.  Other days I just push it 1-2 times.  There is no rhyme or reason.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, May 7, 2017

WIN THE GAME

I have been playing this "game" from the supermarket.  It is a game where you get pieces when you buy items and then there is a board and you put the pieces on the board.  It is called Monopoly but it really isn't like Monopoly at all.  I am so close to winning a bunch of things.  I have five of the squares and need one more.  I could win money, electronics, and other things.  It would be cool to win something.

Then I made an orzo salad.  It has a lemon vinaigrette.  It is so tasty.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, May 6, 2017

LONG WALK, STROLL, TREK AND GROOT

I woke up early for a Saturday because I was going hiking with a friend.  I was a bit nervous about "hiking".  I told her a week ago that I was a novice.  See, I was brought up camping every summer with my family and we would go for these hikes.  They included climbing over rocks and up hills.  So when someone says hiking that is what I think of.

We didn't go for a hike.  We went for a walk in the woods.  We were in a park that had a wooded area and a well worn path with folks and their dogs and we walked.  We walked and talked.  It was a very nice two hour trek on a beautiful day.  Then we went out for burritos.  It was a very nice day.

I came home and took a bath with some Epsom salts.  I needed it to easy my muscles.

In the evening I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 with my friends.  It was awesome!  I love Groot.  "I am Groot".  He is so cute.  I want one.  If you don't know what Groot is, you have to see the movie!

Until tomorrow...



Friday, May 5, 2017

PLANTING PLANTS

The gardener came again today.  My garden would never look this good without her.  She took down three sides of my backyard that have vines on them in two hours.  She is a powerhouse.  In two hours I barely get through one side and then I have to sit in a bath for two days.  She says she rock climbs on her off hours.  She must have arms of steel.  I do not.

She bought plants that are drought tolerant and look nice.  She also bought some herbs and we made an herb garden.  My backyard is really looking good.  A place I want to spend time and have people over to hang out.  The dogs like being in the backyard.  I am thinking of making the sand (previous pond) pit a Zen garden with a rake and all.



Herb Garden

Update on the upper deck: it still smells but not as much as before.  It is fading but not as fast as I want it to.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, May 4, 2017

WHAT IS UNDER THE STAIRS

Okay, today was the day we opened up the back of the staircase to see the damage.  I knew it would be bad and it was.  It was also worse in some places.  Here is the before photo under the stairs:


After cleaning up all the bad wood and installing the support beams:



Here are the nice clean stairs with the new caulking.   In a few weeks they will be sealed.  I can't use the stairs for 24 hours while the caulk dries.


The handyman also fixed the bridge in the backyard and helped me rinse off the deck again.

The house is looking great!

Until tomorrow...


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

ROTTEN STAIRS

Okay, it finally stopped raining so my handyman can start working on some outdoor projects.  Today he started on my front stairs.  I know they are in bad shape and have been leaking.  I can see the water damage under the stairs.  The city made my contractor seal under the stairs with drywall.  I was annoyed at the time because when I needed to work on the stairs I would have to tear out the drywall.

Today was that day.  First the handyman cleaned the stairs.  Then he began digging out the caulking step by step.  About five steps in, he called me over to show me that there is a space between the wall and the stair.  Uh oh.

We went under the stairs and he tore down the drywall.  It was damp as I suspected.  The drywall practically came right off.  There is rotted wood but not as much wet stuff as I suspected.  No mold.  I guess the holes in the caulking kept the mold from forming.  Finally a highlight!

We created a plan of what to do.  The main supports seem fine since they are concrete.  The wood on one side is rotted out for about 4 feet.  We found supports that the previous contractor put in but didn't put them all the way to the ground.  Weird.  My handyman is going to put a new wood piece and support it.  He is going to put full supports where there are partial supports.  He is going to remove all the drywall so I won't have this problem again.  Then once the stairs are all supported again, he is going to caulk the remaining stairs and then come back and seal the stairs.

By the way they look beautiful.  I forgot how white the stairs are.  They have been so dark grey and dirty for so long.

The handyman keeps saying to me, "why did they do this?"  I keep telling him it will drive him crazy if he keeps asking himself this. Just assume my previous contractor jerry-rigged things everywhere and the house is almost 100 years old so things are going to be done in an unorthodox way.  He is here to fix their mistakes!  Lucky him.

The handyman also  put screws in a door, fixed my french door hinge, took my stove pipe off and redid it, and fixed a lock.  It was a busy day.  I am super happy about the stove pipe.  I have an old Wedgewood stove/oven and it has the old silver stove pipe that goes into the wall.  The last person working on it installed it backward.  He took it apart and found out it was not connected correctly. It looks great now.  The stove also has an exhaust hole that goes up to the roof that had some newspaper stuffed in it.  I pulled the paper out and fortunately had a bucket under the hole.  A bunch of stuff came out.  It looked like roofing material and dirt.  I cleaned it out as best as I could but the handyman will have to fix it and put a screen on it.  I am so happy this finally got done.  The kitchen will be correctly ventilated when the stove/oven is on now.

Hopefully this heatwave will end soon.  Poor Lucky is not a happy camper.  She hates the heat.

Until tomorrow...


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

OXI CLEAN SOLUTION?

Today I tried Oxi Clean instead of vinegar and water. I am not sure it will work, tomorrow will tell.  When the sun goes down, the smell recedes, when the sun comes out the smell starts up again.  I ate my late lunch out on the deck today when the sun stopped shining.  I hope the Oxi Clean works.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, May 1, 2017

MAY DAY

I walked in a May Day Protest.  It was super hot.  So hot.

I tried the vinegar and water again on the deck.  I seems to be making a bit of a difference.  It is not making a big enough difference for me with this heat.  The dogs want to lay outside and I want to be outside but it smells too much.  It stinks up the kitchen.  It is much better so I am hoping it is going in the right direction.

Until tomorrow...