osodecanela: (Default)
2017-07-20 02:21 am
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Sitting buck naked on the porch swing at 2 in the morning.....

Despite feeling quite tired, sleep proves elusive.

The night's real dark; I'm not sure what phase of the moon we're in or if it's just overcast. The temperature is quite comfortable, cooler than it is in my bedroom. We opened the window a couple of hours ago, but neglected the patio sliding door. Sans air conditioning, the bed felt both too warm & slightly damp from sweat. Not a recipe for good sleep. I gave up 15 minutes ago and came out here. Meanwhile, my husband is blissfully within the arms of Morpheus.

LJ got back late this afternoon. He'd been away since last Friday; off to an annual meeting, with all four of our godchildren in tow. He had five days of playing parent, while I spent my time trying to bring order out of chaos. While I did take a friend's invitation to lunch on Friday and had a memorial to go to on Sunday, I've been quite busy the remainder of the time.

I was desperate for a dresser. While I have ample closet space, both of my dressers remained at our old place, leaving me no place to put things like underwear, socks and sweaters. Further, T-shirts were hanging, taking up room in the closet they just didn't need to take up. I made the journey with a handcart to the old place, retrieving the smaller of the two dressers, a modern oak coffee table & a dining room chair inadvertently left behind. I would've preferred the mule chest, but the dresser will live in my walk-in closet, & there just wasn't room for the larger chest. That, plus the fact the mule chest simply will not fit in the back of the Prius, while the smaller dresser did. The mule chest will eventually make the journey here, likely to be in my craft space.

With the dresser in my closet I was able to sort through things like socks, underwear, t-shirts & tanks and decide what stays and what goes. This afternoon (well, I guess yesterday afternoon), 6 sizable boxes of old clothes went to the thrift store that supports the local hospice. I found a cache of ancient shirts that dated back to the late 1970s. They got packed when I moved to the West Coast after medical school, and never opened, given all the weight I gained while doing my residency. They were mediums & larges. I think there's a reasonable possibility I will once again get into larges, getting into a medium feels rather doubtful. I got rid of 2/3 of them & washed the remainder. They're sitting on the living room chair right now for my husband to take a look at. Many, if not most, should fit him and I've asked him to take what he wants, and I'll bring the rest to the thrift shop.

With the china hutch in the living/dining room, in the place where it's going to live, I've been unpacking all the things that go into it. The china, the crystal, the fancier serving pieces I've acquired of the years were all super well packed, & taking up a lot of space. I had hoped to have everything put away before my husband's return, but that was just not in the cards. I did make a huge dent in it however. New goal is to try and have it all the way by the weekend.

I did have numerous boxes of things that belonged in the china hutch, in various kitchen cabinets. That's no longer the case, so I have more space now in the kitchen to figure out how I'm going to use. I also now have a bunch more bubblewrap to use for shipping things that I successfully sell on eBay. Speaking of that, three more items shipped out today, but I await payments on another half dozen, three of which I suspect I'm going to wind up having to relist. However, putting stuff up on eBay is definitely working and I expect when all is said and done, I'll reclaim 3 to 4 grand out of things I know longer want or need. I'm already up to 800 bucks and only a fraction of what I ultimately want to dispose of, has been listed and sold.

All right, time to try and lie down again.
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-07-04 10:23 pm

This & that… & A happy Fourth of July

Life plods along.

I went to see the eye doctor in Santa Rosa yesterday. I was overdue for an eye exam, like by about two years. I've noticed over the last several months that my eyes are slowly but definitely getting worse and that my old prescriptions just were not cutting it. Along with the fact that there's both glaucoma and macular degeneration in my family, it really wasn't good that I haven't been looked at in a long time. I think the adage is something about the shoemaker's children going barefoot. Well, the news was good. I have neither macular degeneration nor glaucoma. There were no signs of any significant problems, other than two early cataracts which are stable since my last exam. I now have a new prescription for glasses and I'll log onto Zenni sometime over the next couple of days.

We went to fireworks in Sebastopol last night, with the god children in tow. Great display & good company. We've got a mess of bamboo flooring that's been sitting at their home for the last six months. We loaded up my car with about a third of it before the fireworks and drove it home afterwards. LJ is going back down on Friday I will bring back some more and I have a dental appointment next week and will try to bring back the rest of it. This is eventually going to be the floor in the garage once that days of the remodel gets done.

LJ brought home a lithograph that used to hang over our bed, one of the Native American man and a shirt made from the American flag. The frame sort of fell apart in transit and so today I took it apart and repaired it completely. It's nice to have at least that skill used again. I learned how to frame things about 20 years ago & in the last couple of months have gotten the opportunity to use that skill several times. It's oddly satisfying.

Getting rid of things on eBay is actually working. Six of seven auctions that closed on Sunday sold & 4 were paid for immediately by the people buying. Those items went to the post office yesterday, on my way to Santa Rosa. Another nine options closed at 6 o'clock tonight, with all but one selling. Four of those have already been paid for and will go to the post office in the morning. I have a ton of more things to list, but if this last few days wasn't impetus to do so, I don't know what is. I should see about five bills in my pocket from everything that sold so far, after eBay and PayPal takes their cut. I certainly won't get rich, but it does reinforce "thinning the herd".

We were supposed to have friends over to watch fireworks from the porch tonight. They were certain we would have a good view. I had my doubts. The begged off 15 minutes before they were supposed to be here. I was in the process of making dinner, but had held off putting anything on the stove since I was suspicious they would flake. It was easy enough to put everything cut up back into the refrigerator, and so much of the prep for tomorrow night's dinner is already done.

Mid afternoon I made a dash to the hardware store to pick up a few things needed to do the frame repair. Yesterday when I was in Santa Rosa I stopped at Grocery Outlet for the picnic we were going to have while watching fireworks. The store was carrying a new line of gluten-free bread, this one imported from Canada. I remain amazed at how many gluten-free items are made in Greater Canuckistan. I picked up a loaf and at the picnic was duly impressed. This bread is probably one of the best GF breads I have yet had. Even better it's only 70 cal a slice, and 3 g of fiber. This afternoon when I ran into Clearlake, I stopped at Grocery Outlet here and to my pleasure they actually had some. I now have 8 loaves sitting in the freezer. I don't know whether they're going to continue to have this or whether It will be a one time thing. (Hence, eight loaves in the freezer.)

Enough navel gazing for now.
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-07-01 06:19 pm
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A white nun on vacation…

The pantry closet was ready for shelves, so that's what I did today. Now that those RN it was time to unpack the alcohol, and the cookbooks. The only problem is, where the hell are they?

I knew with the bulk of the alcohol was, and so that's been retrieved from the center of the barn. Also retrieved from the barn was the case of homemade vanilla, now residing at the bottom of the pantry closet next to the sake. There's still more alcohol in the garage, somewhere, but we are still remains to be seen. Such is also the case for most of the cookbooks. I found a small box of oversized books, which have now been put away in the closet, but the bulk are still MIA.

It's good and hot here and after getting the bulk of things away after dealing with that much alcohol I decided to make myself something to drink. We have an inordinate amount of coffee liqueur of different pedigrees and there was a bottle of Saint Maartin's which is tequila-based. When I went to open it unfortunately the cork stopper broke off in my hand. There after I took a bottle opener and shredded the remaining cork. Fortunately in with the vanilla with some good stoppered bottles, one of which was perfect for the Saint Maartin's. Ever prepared I had a filtered funnel in one of my kitchen drawers and, perfect for decanting in the remains of the Saint Martin's into the new bottle, with none of the offending cork bits.

A White Russian sounded way too mundane and I'm not a fan of vodka anyway. I knows the rounds on one in the little bit and came across a recipe for a white nun, and in this heat rather than make it over ice it went over some cappuccino ice cream instead. Quite decadent. I think I'm going to go take a nap.

A White Nun on Vacation
1 ounce coffee liqueur
1 ounce white rum
1 scoop cappuccino ice cream

Stir the 2 ounces of alcohol together. Put small scoop of cappuccino ice cream into an old-fashioned glass and pour the alcohol over it. Serve on the veranda with and ice tea spoon in the glass.
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-28 04:05 pm
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eBay follow up...

Well, this looks like an encouraging week on eBay. Between Sunday and yesterday I put up a total of 16 auctions. As of 20 minutes ago, there are bids on half of them, several with multiple bids. Already I'm at almost $200 in bids, with much time to go before auctions close. This is a very good thing.

I'm jazzed.
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-27 02:58 pm
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EBay follow up…

EBay follow up…

I'm less than 24 hours into seven 7-day auctions, & already there were bids on four of them, one having three bids already. I'm hoping that this week's crop proves significantly more fruitful than last & given that I'm almost there in less than 24 hours, this has promise.

I have another nine listings opening at 7:30 tonight.

I knew that the cowboy boots would sell, but to my surprise the very first auction that sold was a pair of shoes Birkenstock USA sold prior to their Footprint line. Given that, this week I put up 4 pairs of of Birks. When I unpacked 4 boxes this past weekend, I found 2 pair that had never been worn (wrong width), and two pair that I was going to bring to Goodwill. As I was finishing my listings today, I looked at these two pairs and decided to list them together as a lot for $5 as an opening bid. We'll see what happens.
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-27 12:24 am
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Let's not count the chickens before they hatch...

In leaving our old place, it became extremely clear to me just how much of a pack rat I am. This was not news to me; I've had that epiphany before. I've previously resolved to declutter my life and nest, & sadly failed to keep the effort sustained. We were in Hawai'i a decade ago staying at a friend's spartan condo. It's sparsely furnished really just the essentials. After 10 days there and feeling freed of life's detritus, I resolved to get rid of something inessential daily, until such time as I was free of clutter. Nice thought, but my follow through waned in a couple of months. Just not my nature. I grew up in a home that had 5 full sets of dishes, each one a service for 12. The acorn didn't fall far from the tree.

However, nothing makes you confront yourself on the issue of clutter like moving.
I did an initial sort, knowing much more would get jettisoned after we moved. Many things got packed into boxes labeled with a "$". These were items to be listed on eBay, or sites similar. I finally started getting that done.

The first 7 items listed, 6 pair of cowboy boots and a pair of shoes have all sold and been shipped. What I brought in was less than I'd hoped for, but I'm not saying now to almost $120. I beats driving over to the good will. I listed another 7 auctions yesterday and this week looks like it'll be more remunerative. In just 24 hours three items have seen bids, one of them twice, and 3 more have watchers, one pair of boots a half dozen.

I was out in the garage early today gathering boxes to go through. I found 2 boxes of my good, everyday pots, and frypans, my woks (yeah, I've got two. One large and one small. What part of 5 sets of dish did y'all miss?), pizza stone, and Dutch oven, all of which got put away. I also found a box of shoes and a box of boots the latter with $$ on it. The upshot is I'll have another 9 items up for auction tomorrow (7 pair of boots and 2 pair of Birkenstocks). I've got drafts of the items already uploaded to eBay. In the morning, I'll get things polished and photos uploaded.

I'm also listing neck ties. I inherited a pile of them from Pop when he passed away. I'll hold on to some of them, and the ones of lesser quality have already gone to the thrift, but the lion's share will be listed for sale
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-25 04:06 am

An update

So I did actually get back to sleep early this afternoon, I about a two hour nap, more or less. We had friends for dinner followed by poker. All quite enjoyable. Each day this place feels more like a home and less like a construction zone.

So, the first batch of things I listed on eBay all sold, though for less than I had hoped, but the important thing is they all sold. $125 is significantly better than zip for things no longer of any use to me. I have 7 auctions scheduled to begin at 6 PM tonight, with 4 more to finish up and get listed this afternoon. The photos are all done; I just need to figure out shipping costs and quote them in the adds.

I have a ton of things to get rid of still and hope to convert most of them to cash on eBay. We shall see what comes of it.

I have some framing repairs to do. I was happy with what I did for the mirror in the bathroom. We have settled on 3 things for that room - 2 Mexican bark paintings and a large lithograph of a western rural winter landscape. That is on the do list for this week. The photo of Yosemite that I got for its frame as come undone and now is the time for me to deal with that. I had intended to put our marriage certificate in that one. I'm thinking it will eventually hang in our bedroom, which come to think of it was where the Lovings kept theirs, if I'm not mistaken.

Time to get horizontal.
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-24 11:31 am
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Attempting to get more sleep...

After 36 years of marriage, I am uncertain whether I am a married gay man, or a gay single parent.

My husband just recently on CPAP & is still not used to using it. Kaiser is still working with him to find the right mask, and last night I was awakened repeatedly by the noise of his mask leaking air. The first two times I tried shifting his mask a little bit, but after the third attempt in less than half an hour, I turned on the overhead light to find that he had turned his headgear into macramé and badly done macramé at that. I have no idea how he did this, but it was no surprise the mask was leaking given its tenuous attachment to his face. I woke him, had him sit up and readjusted every last bloody strap and connection after which he was out like a light. I was up until past 3. At 7, I heard him up in the kitchen.

I'm now trying to go back to sleep. We've got friends coming for dinner and poker at 6:30.
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-24 11:26 am
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I can haz err condishoning.....

At 2:48 yesterday afternoon, the central AC got turned on. (Can I get an a-men!)

Almost 3 weeks ago, the AC contractor was getting started with his crew and he called one of them Adam, only to be told, "I'm Jason." I looked at the man quizzicality and he looked and said, "Adam's my brother." I smiled and said to the contractor, "I never thought I'd get to say this, but you don't know him from Adam!"

Well now I've met Adam.

Two guys started working at 9:30 in the morning & at 3pm, Adam did a 60 second explanation of how to program the thermostat. Fortunately for me, he left the instruction booklet.

I need to get some air filters for the system within the next couple of weeks, particularly given the amount of dust and dog hair we've got around here. They only left us two filters and Adam's assessment, not the highest quality. However, even with the less than stellar air filter, the system is now working and the house is much more comfortable.

We are by no means done, but this was a huge milestone.
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-23 12:45 am

Sitting in the dark…

LJ was off to the dentist today, which for him into trip to Santa Rosa, while I remained here at the house. The AC people were back today (amen) and informed me that when they're back tomorrow hopefully the central AC will be up and working, which in this heat will be a blessing. It will be a bit longer for the furnace, which in turn will slow down our work in the living room, but we can live with that for now. The wall heater that we currently have needs to get removed, and will be utilized when we remodeled the garage into a studio space for me. We're not taking it out until the central heat it for him, and since it's sitting where the china hutch is supposed to go, y'all can do the math.

By mid morning I was out in the back 40, continuing my assault on the invasive thorny bushes. There are certain things that continue to amaze me; A) that I'm gardening/landscaping B) that I actually went out today and a pair of short shorts, and a tank, & C) that I was actually comfortable doing so. Having been obese since my mid-20s, the Second Amendment right to bare arms was never something I choose to exercise. Amazing what losing 70 pounds, and working at the gym will do for you. Incidentally, when I started in the back 40 it was already 85° and in the hour and a half that I was out there it got up to an even 100°, by which time I have had quite enough, thank you. I did manage to remove all but one of the thorny bushes, including on most of the smaller ones a good chunk of taproot. I also noticed that two of the three stout wouldn't trellises out there needed some reinforcements, so I went ahead and attack them with an impact drill and some four-inch deck screws.

After that the heat was intense enough that I just laid low for the remainder of the afternoon. I did reach my quota of unpacking and putting away at least one box from the garage & I did get together seven more items to list on eBay, including getting them photographed. I packaged up the last pair of boots that sold on eBay to mail out in the morning. To my pleasure, all seven items that I listed initially, six pair of boots & one pair of shoes, have sold in the last two weeks, not for as much as I would've liked, but certainly pocketing $125 was the better option financially then bringing them to the Goodwill. I have another seven items that will go up for auction on Sunday, again six pair of cowboy boots & a pair of shoes. Divesting myself of things that are no longer items that are useful, but instead have a come clutter, is a damn good thing, but as I have said previously, not easy for me to do. In listing things for sale, I have to look at them with a detailed eye, to adequately describe them and hopefully get a better price for them. However that's often when Tim Tatian comes in to hold onto them. Today the item that almost got held onto was a pair of boots that fits me well and were quite comfortable – & are also bright red. If I lived in cowboy boots every day and we're getting more dressed up, they would periodically get worn, but it's been at least three or four years since this pair was on my feet, so honestly I don't need them. I'm hoping some cowboy will take them out for her to step on a Saturday night. They're in superb condition, so I'm hoping they'll get me at least 50 bucks, but we shall see. Can't count those chickens before they hatch.

The truth is that getting these things out of here actually feels pretty good. Decluttering is a good thing. Winnowing is a good thing. Some extra cash in my pocket, is a good thing.

LJ is sleeping peacefully right now, whiIe I have wandered out to the porch to post and to enjoy the cool of the evening. It's dark out here in the country and pretty much all I think you're a few lights in the kitchen behind me and some house lights in the distance across the lake. The night is alive however, with the sounds and of crickets & other fauna. Finally, I get to enjoy the feel of this cool porch swing & a gentle breeze across my bare skin.
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-21 12:55 pm

It's another day of hellacious heat here.…

I knew Lake country gets hot in the summer, but it's early in the season for it to be this hot so early in the morning. It's now a balmy 98°, but thankfully there's a breeze on my porch. Again the central AC people are here, working on getting our system in, up, & running. Given that it has been as high as 105° here recently & predictions are for 108° later this week, I'm grateful for their work.

I've been up since shortly before seven. Last night's dishes are done, the food plants have been watered, my daily quota of getting at least one box unpacked and either put away or discarded has been met, & I made a light & cold breakfast for LJ and I. In this heat, he didn't balk when I put an iced latte down in front of him. I had the bowl of cherries and raspberries with yogurt I'd portioned out, but didn't eat yesterday morning, while I put out for him a bowl of cold cereal with blueberries, and his standard portion of coffee cake. He had gotten several more pieces of redwood siding on to the back of the house before breakfast, and decided after eating, in this heat to head back to bed.

Since I haven't been doing as much landscaping as is needed recently, due to the heat as well as work within the house itself & the heat here was not too cbad yet I went out into the back 40 with the Weedwhacker and landscaping tools. We have a rather vigorous and somewhat invasive fuzzy bush which has sprung up with a vengeance. I planted a peach tree several months back in the new year which was free of all of the plans except some grass. This unidentified bush, which turns out to have some other unwanted thorns as well was now crowding the peach tree. Well I've pulled out about a quarter of these bushes clearing out an area of about 60 ft.² I need to do some reading about how to get rid of the roots organically. I'm unwilling to use and herbicide why ground up. An hour in this heat was about all I could take. However, I'm realizing why my weight-loss is ongoing. It's now 70 pounds since retiring.

Before coming up onto the porch to chill (so to speak), I decided to get the Roomba started vacuuming. So far I think I'm pleased with the unit, though it's not doing everything I had hoped it would do. The floors are decidedly cleaner, but we have a canine that in spring and early summer sheds a Chihuahua daily. The vacuum is good and getting up dirt and some stray hair, but somehow it manages to wad up balls of hair that it leaves behind scattered about the rugs. These in turn are much easier to pick up than individual here spread out over everywhere. My suspicion is long-term once I program the machine to run daily on its own, it'll get ahead of the amount the dog sheds every day and be more efficient in cleaning. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) Watching the dog eye the vacuum is interesting. He's rather wary of it. He'll look around the corner when he hears it running and when he sees it that the far side of the room and make a dash for the door. This is the same creature that I've had to pull off of the deer that he was determined to make lunch with the poor creature have a misfortune of having a run-in with him in the yard. Frankly I find his reaction to the vacuum almost comical.

Enough navel gazing for now. Got work to do.
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-20 11:28 am
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Been busy....

Mercifully, as I write the AC people are working on the ducting under the house. It's been brutal here for the last half week. It made it to 105 here both yesterday and the day before. Last night I slipped upstairs to take the proverbial cold shower, generally not something I enjoy, but last night an absolute godsend.

LJ had beaucoup errands to run in Sonoma County yesterday, so I was here by myself. The day was productive. The curtain for the bathroom window got sewn and hung. The bathroom door of that painted and rehung. The toilet paper holder that hung. The casement around the pantry closet got its fourth and final coat of varnish. This morning, that door got rehung. The Roomba robot vacuum got unboxed and put into service. It is diligently working its way around the living room as I write. More items got put away and others into the car for Goodwill.




(I see a black door and I want it painted white!)

Need to pick up a couple of items that sold on eBay this weekend and get them into the mail. No rest for the wicked.
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-18 02:02 pm
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Father's Day 2017…

It's blazingly hot here today. We're in the midst of a heat wave and it's now 102°. It is at least a dry heat; were we dealing with a humid heat, it would be more than stifling. I had wanted to get out and get some landscaping done, at the very least get the weeds knocked down, but the morning got away from me and it got just too damn hot to do that now. Maybe early evening will be bearable to do so.

I was listening to the moth radio hour last night as I drove home from Santa Rosa. Given that today is Father's Day, the stories they featured were all father related. The bulk revolved around new fatherhood, but the final installment was by a young man who as a graduate student abroad, lost his father suddenly. It focused on what he learned about his father during the morning period after his death. I nearly had to pull off the road.

I was physically present in the room with my father breathed his last, along with my mother, my sisters, and an an aunt & uncle. My father was dying of leukemia, then only a few years older than I am now. It was the culmination of a 13 year battle. Up until a few months prior, I had been in denial that my father would succumb to the disease. It had been a chronic leukemia & he'd had health crisis after health crisis for over a decade in and after surviving each of them, he'd gotten back up and went back to work. I'd been called home too many times, that he had had a "terminal" event and I would be needed to help with funeral arrangements, only to have him sitting up and reading the newspaper in his hospital bed upon my arrival. There are chronic leukemias where the patient survives 30 odd years with the illness. Most of my father's aunts and uncles made it well past 80. My grandfather didn't retire until 90. I honestly expected my father would do the same. However, 2 1/2 months prior to his death, the leukemia became acute.

At the end of June in 1995, Pop called and said, "my absolute neutrophil count is under 100." It was his way of telling me, "This is it." My response? "I will be there this weekend." It was Thursday afternoon. I caught the redeye the following night. I was able to arrange for cross coverage; 2 rent-a-docs, actually a married couple just out of their residency came in and worked my office for the duration. Nearly 3 months later. my father died on September 26. I returned home the beginning of October.

This time together left us time to talk and to simply be with one another. When Pop died, we had each said what we needed to say; we had no unfinished business with each other. A few days before he passed, I said to him not to try and hold on for us, that if it was his time to go, we would miss the hell out of him, but we would be OK. I said it, because it was something I thought he needed to hear. He was suffering. I was lying through my teeth. My inner child, the little boy within me, was not ready to say goodbye to daddy. He still isn't. 22 years later he is still hurting, & he is still grieving.

There was much I learned in the process of losing my father. Four days before his death, his calcium levels became dangerously high, not a rare side effect of his malignancy. The residents working at the hospital (an Ivy League medical school no less), responded by opening Pop's IV line wide, pumping him full of fluid, and chasing it with a diuretic. I was sitting at his bedside reading, when I noticed Pop hop out of bed for the third time in half an hour to take a leak. Now as he was not a diabetic, that made me look for the why & seeing that his IV line was wide open, I went to the nursing station to find out why. There the resident, not realizing he was talking to a fellow physician, informed me that if he didn't do something about my father's hypercalcemia he was going to die. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. I responded, "I'm sorry, but is treating his hypercalcemia going to cure his underlying leukemia, which is killing him at the moment? He is still continent and neither needs nor wants a catheter. What you are currently doing to him is not going to lengthen his life significantly and its decreasing the quality of what time he has left. Please, Stop it now."

The day prior to his death I bathed him. He was too weak to be able to do that for himself. I was my honor. I knew the end was close, and I knew that at the funeral home that there would be a ceremonial mikvah, to cleans his body one final time. I had the satisfaction of knowing that I had allowed him to feel clean while he was still able to feel it. I heard him say it. That I could do that for him still gives me some solace.

As a physician, I thought I understood death. With my father's passing, I realized I understood nothing. In my youth I struggled to be my own person, to individuate from my parents & see our differences. It was in losing him that I finally came to see how much of my father remains within me. I have his gregariousness, his sense of humor, and even the timber of his voice (though thank God I don't need a basket to carry a tune as he did). I have his flat feet and his lousy eyesight, as well as his insanely low cholesterol (likely the reason most of my his parents' generation made it into their 90s). I came to recognize just how generous he was with me emotionally, how much he was in my corner. I recognize that I had, no, have his unconditional love and that's what sustains me in enduring his loss.

To each of you reading this a happy Father's Day. And to you Pop, I love you. I wish I could hear you say it again.
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-17 01:36 pm
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Master bath nearing completion…

This was David's first experience using epoxy grout, and sadly he wasn't able to get everything grouted before the grout set up. There is a small section of the floor unfortunately right in front of the door which still needs grouting & we don't have enough of the gray grout left. Further, the finish plumbing (faucet and shower head) still remain to be put in. I still need to settle on a custom shower door, which unfortunately is going to be pricey, so likely we'll be living with a shower curtain ,hung from a tension rod for the next several months, while I search for a permanent alternative.

What remains to be done in the bathroom is a curtain for the window (which I am likely to make rather than buy), a toilet paper holder, door knobs for the door, hanging said door, and deciding on a bathmat. Otherwise, the bathroom is done (& the check is in the mail).





osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-17 12:37 am

The house is becoming a home....

Stressful day here.

I was out early to hit the hardware store. I got the wrong supply hose for the toilet when I went yesterday, and she nice David will be away all next week, and I want this bathroom to use, I ran. LJ needed stuff doe an electrical project and the first hardware store was out of them, so I hit the other one in Clearlake which had them and also put me right across the street from Grocery Outlet. I had both dish soap and laundry detergent on my shopping list, so I knocked Walmart off my stops-to-make list & went there instead. Got the detergent, picked up LJ's favorite yogurt, some fresh white peaches and coffee, but struck out with the soap dish, cafe curtains and toothbrush holder. They're on the list for mañana at Home Depot. I had to get home to meet the cable guy.

We're now getting internet services from Mediacom who are the only game in town the county for fast internet and cable tv (as opposed to satellite). After ordering service for cable tv over a week ago this was the first appointment available for cable installation.

I have two HD tv's big screens each, both having originally come outta office waiting room. I got the better one of the two up in the master bedroom last week. We only agreed on placement of the screen upstairs the night before, incidentally in the location I had originally envisioned. There hadn't been time to get the tv up on the wall.

Fading suddenly. I'll continue this in the morning.
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-15 07:41 pm
Entry tags:

I'm enjoying sitting down.

I have just settled onto the porch swing, as the sun is sinking low in the sky. I've got my back to The approaching sunset, otherwise I'd be unable to sit here right now. My husband is napping & David is cleaning up, having tackled one of the more challenging jobs left, the shower floor.

LJ finished the initial phase of the repairs he was doing on the front steps. I was up early and out of the house first getting a final coat of varnish on to the kitchen door, and then get in the plants watered before coming in and making breakfast for the three of us. I'm really enjoying David's presence here; his calm and good humor go a really long way to reducing stress levels here and I'm thrilled with both the quality of his work and the speed with which it's happening. Further, he's a delight to work with, when you're working alongside him. No question is too stupid on how to get something done. He's everything our last contractor wasn't.

So, I managed to finish the kitchen door and get it back on its hinges. I managed to reinstall the entry door knob and it's working better than it had been before. The deadlock is proving more challenging, as it's refusing to go back in in the same way it came out. I have some work to do on it, shaving down one of the metallic supports inside the door in order to get everything sit just right.

David suspects that the door dates to the early 50s, which would correspond to a remodel we think was done in 1950. I'm really pleased to save this door. Junking it would have felt absolutely wasteful. The colored glass now that the door is it's original wood color actually looks kind of attractive. All in all, it's been a satisfying experience.

Late this morning I turned my attention to the mirror which in a few minutes we're going to hang in the bathroom. We've done some recycling with things within the house. The pedestal sink which was lost in the old master bath is now in the new smaller bath upstairs. The door (along with its jam) between the master bath & bedroom is now the door to my closet, not far from its original location. This mirror was in the upstairs powder room. The vanity it hung over was hideous, and having taken such an intense dislike to the vanity, in my mind's eye I had painted the mirror with the same broad brush. Guilt by association.

We had moved the mirror downstairs for temporary use a couple weeks ago. I noticed thereafter it really didn't look that bad and was kind of a match for the granite countertop on the vanity there. I decided that the mirror warranted some work to save it, at least for now. Fortunately, I've done some picture framing in the past and so I knew what was required here.

The frame of the mirror was basically in sound condition though it's backing was gone. I took a damn cloth to the frame to clean it up, then some Windex to the individual mirror panels. After scraping the back edge a little bit, I coated its edge with a thin layer of wood glue, then cut a swath of construction paper we've been using to cover the floors, and draped it over the back of the mirror to adhere to the frame. Once dry, I took a sanding block and lightly sanded the edges, giving a perfectly sized and shaped backing for the frame. I took a water mister to dampened the back, left it in the sun to shrink the paper, giving a tight back sheathing. Since this is going into the bathroom, once dry, some Aqua Net hairspray, essentially aerosol lacquer, got sprayed over the backing to give it some better moisture resistance. I reattached the eye screws, added some heavy duty picture wire, and it was ready to rehang.

David finished laying the tile on the shower floor today & mañana, grout awaits . The painting is done, the 'throne' is in, though the water supply isn't hooked up (I got the wrong hose at the hardware store), the mirror is up, the outlets above the vanity are in & working and the window is finished. While we'll still be showering upstairs for the next week (David's doing a building project for the place he went to high school next week), we'll be using the bathroom for everything else. I need to make a window treatment happen (& I've got clear thoughts about what I want) while he's gone and figure out how we want to decorate the room. However, that there will be a working john down the hall in the middle of the night, rather than using the patio's toilet or going upstairs is a boon, as will brushing my teeth in the bathroom rather than the kitchen tickles me no end. (Gotta get your thrills where you can.)

The kitchen door in situ:

Before



After



Bathroom Mirror



Shower (I can haz floor!)

osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-15 01:12 am
Entry tags:

Lying down....

T'was a busy day today.

David (contractor extraordinaire) crashed here last night. I enjoy his company, plus saving on the drive time from Lakeport to our place means that much more time he has to get things done. I made chicken fajitas last night, and it's nice to actually hear someone praise my cooking. I also got b'fast prep done before I went to bed.

This morning I had b'fast for three ready in 15 minutes. I'd put steel cut oats up last night with cinnamon, raisins & vanilla, so all they needed was a fast reheating. The veggies for two personal frittatas was cut and ready. All I had to do was beat the eggs and into the microwave. LJ had toast with avocado and queso fresco which is fast, and the lattes were all set today brew. Then all three of us went into action.

David attached the bathroom. The painting is done, the toilet now in. The sink is affixed to the counter. The shower floor tile got laid out and is ready to be set in the morning, with grout in the afternoon. (Knock wood) The window is done. I need to get picture wire in the AM and the mirror will get cleaned up and hung. The back of it also needs to get closed up. Since I've done framing in the past, I know what to do. I'll be making that my AM project. David's going to be gone all next week so there's a lot to get buttoned up in the n ft 48 hours.

LJ continued to work on the rebuild of the front steps. He's not done yet and he's not fully satisfied with the job he's doing. I brought back con heart redwood 2x4s from the lumber yard yesterday. He's happy with the wood (& what man wouldn't be?), but I screwed up the screw order; right gauge, right head, wrong length. My bad.

I was in door world today. I started with the front door, flipping it over to finish the cleaning process, and managed to get two coats of varnish on that side of it during the course of the day. Then it was on to the pantry door, which got sanded, then painted multiple coats today, I finally put the hardware back on it. It's now ready to be rehung, once the casement is ready for it. The first coat of varnish went on that casement today. By midday, that entry door should be ready to go back up as well.

Fading here. I'll finish this post in the morning.
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-12 07:20 pm
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Stripping…

No, this is not an homage to Gypsy Rose Lee. (And frankly, despite my sizable weight loss, I doubt there are many people out there who would be hollering, "take it off take it off.")

When we bought this place the kitchen door was nothing short of garish. Once upon a time it was probably a lovely door. However, somewhere along the way the nine panes of glass in the upper part of the door I suspect were replaced with multiple shades of colored glass. (Nine panes, four different colors.) The previous owner then compounded the insult, by painting the door black. Poorly. As in, he obviously hadn't bothered to mask off the panes of glass and there was black paint splashed along the edges of all of them. A razor blade and a little time could've corrected that. He hadn't bothered to do that either. To my eye, the door looked like something out of a carnival nightmare.

With everything else we had/have to do in the house, an ugly, but solid and functional door was not a high priority. They were many other more pressing things. Still, I had to look at that eyesore daily and I desperately wanted to do something about it. Now that warmer weather has arrived, late last week I took the door off the hinges, and started stripping it. Between sanding blocks, chemical stripper, & an orbital sander, The door was ready for its first coat of varnish early this afternoon.

What a difference! Against the natural wood tones of the door, the colored glass no longer looks garish, but warm and well, colorful. I was dreading the idea of having to take the wood supports the part to replace the glass, and so relieved with the difference. With luck by late Wednesday, the door will be reinstalled and one more chore will be finished.

Before:





In process:



Post first coat of varnish:

osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-07 07:12 pm

We have a bedroom!

David finished the last of the painting, as well as installation of the baseboard and thereafter we put the bedroom together. The bed is massive. No other word for it. It dominates the room, but that's not a bad thing. The bed should dominate the bedroom.

While I was off and the boar and scrounging around for my nightstand, as well as my bedside lamp, David attacked the swamp cooler and got it off the side of the building. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am! We have one window in the bedroom and there is a gorgeous view of the lake from it, and it was almost completely blocked by a gigantic, nonfunctional swamp cooler.

Not only do we get to sleep in our bedroom tonight, in our bed, we'll get to awaken to a gorgeous view. Somebody, quick pinch me. I need to be certain this isn't a dream.
osodecanela: (Default)
2017-06-07 09:40 am
Entry tags:

Is it my breath?

I'll get by with a little help from my friends, or so the lyric goes.

As we were packing up the old place to move out, I took a hard look at our old bed & decided new home, new beginnings, new bed. We've slept in a king size water bed the entirety of our marriage. I acquired one when I arrived in San Francisco, and it was the bed we kept when we moved in together. I guess it was 20 years ago that friends of ours bought a new bed frame & we in turn took their old one, replacing what we were then sleeping in. The old bed had been taken apart numerous times and put back together and it was looking sad, worn, & tired. When I drained the tubes inside the mattress, I found there had been some leakage. There were clear signs of mildew inside the mattress cover. Time to go shopping for a new bed.

With the remodel going on, and our bedroom being one of the rooms to be worked on, we had time to look around for both a bed and mattress. In late February while perusing Craigslist, l came across a bedframe that looked both really pretty, and formidable. It's a pecan wood sleigh bed, a woman was selling because she was now caring for an infant grandchild & her bedroom could not accommodate both the ginormous bed, as well as the infant's crib. She had already gotten rid of the mattress, taken apart the bed, the headboard in her living room, the rest in her garage. I arranged to look at it.

Her home with decorated very tastefully; the only thing she was getting rid of was the bed, not the remainder of her bedroom set which matched. More importantly she was willing to store the bed in the garage for as long as we needed her to, until such time as we could move it. For $400 I bought the bed, which had originally retailed at $4000. A month later, my friend Chris and I were finally able to move the bed, which came here to the property on his trailer. It went directly into the storage container. (Nota Bene: While the bed is still in pieces, most of it is now in the bedroom to be assembled, once David finishes the work on the baseboards today.)

While the purchase of the bed frame solved the problem of what to put a mattress in, it certainly did not solve the problem of the mattress itself. LJ and I have been debating what to get & up until recently, had been leaning towards a memory foam mattress, though not terribly happy about the cost of one, likely to run about $1200, if not more. There are a number of different ones out there, many marketed by the manufacturer directly to the consumer. The upside? Most will deliver to you directly at no added cost, then give you 3 months to decide whether you want to keep the better not. The downside? The less expensive ones don't have any brick-and-mortar stores were you can go in and actually lie on them to see how they feel. Given all the money we are currently spending on the remodel, another $1200 is not exactly something we want to spend right now, if avoidable.

I had mentioned to a few friends that I was looking for a king size mattress and boxspring to see if they had any recommendations on brands. Last Friday a good friend down in Marin called to ask if I was still looking for a mattress. A friend of his had a king size mattress and box spring set he wanted to giveaway. The man's father and stepmother had slept on it for a couple of years before going into an assisted living facility, and since then, it had been sitting in a storage unit, which in turn he was planning to empty by yesterday. It was a firm Simmons beauty rest in good condition. All I had to do was drive down, either to his storage unit in Point Richmond, or he was willing to drop it at my friends place in central Marin, if that would be easier for me. I gratefully indicated the latter and then set about to find a way to go collect said mattress.

Unfortunately, there's no way to get a king size mattress, let alone the box springs into a Prius, even my Prius V. My friend with the trailer was unfortunately tied up and I was unsuccessful in finding anybody that could fix me up with a trailer hitch for the Prius on Saturday. Borrowing the trailer was out. I checked with the various rental places for either a pick up or a van, and while they were available and the rental was only $20 per day, every last location had a mileage fee that was absurd. The best that I could find on short notice, was $1.09 per mile. Given the cost of gas, and the distance, the rental would've cost me somewhere in the vicinity of $400. Fortunately, a local friend was kind enough to offer me the use of his pick up on Monday. My friends in Marin were OK with the mattress sitting in their garage for the weekend, and so Monday morning I went over to my friends place to get his pick up.

What I hadn't counted on, is that my local friend, because of a previous DUI has a breath detector installed in his vehicle, which allows him to drive for work. Using the pick up meant I had to learn how to use the breathalyzer in order to start the car. Moreover, anywhere from every 15 to 30 minutes the breathalyzer beeps at you, and you have to do another breath test. I thought, I can do this. This shouldn't be a problem. Well, learning to operate the breathalyzer was not so simple. It took roughly 8 attempts for me to get it right & actually get the thing to analyze my breath, which of course came back with a blood alcohol level of zero. In the state of California, you're not allowed to hold a cell phone while driving, but there is no such injunction about doing a breath test. Let me simply say it made the trip down and back, um, interesting.

The truck is also tall, with somewhat oversized tires, meaning you have to climb up into the truck. Before returning to the gym last fall, this would have been a challenge. That aspect at least did not prove difficult. I had absolutely no trouble getting in or out.

Once in Marin at my friends place there, I had to figure out how exactly to get the mattress and box springs in to the truck. This beast is equipped with iron racks for construction equipment and materials, & ultimately the boxsprings went into the bed of the truck, one on top of the other, the head of the box springs up on the utility box, the lower end in the truck bed, while the mattress was strapped to the roof rack much the way this truck carries drywall or plywood.

As I write, David is at work in the bedroom finishing up the baseboards. The boxsprings and mattress are on the floor in the center of the room, while the massive headboard is lying on top of the mattress. Early this afternoon, I will wind up putting the bed back together and getting the mattress and box springs into it. Tonight, for the first night of hopefully many, many more to come, my husband and I will cuddle up together in our bedroom, & awake in tomorrow morning to a glorious view of the lake.