Friday, July 30, 2010

Repair I'm proud of

My knee was OK this morning.

  It was only as bad as a twist you might feel when you step wrong on a big rock while taking a hike. Hurt at the time, but quick to recover.  I have arthritis in my knees and one ankle so I baby them a lot.

  Rest is often the only thing I need to do. Although I liked Judy's suggestion of an adult beverage over ice the best.  Alas, we are trying to abstain on weeknights.  The operative word is "trying."

I finished working on one spot that I have been fixing for a couple of weeks. It is a stringer on the overhang above the laundry room door.  (the boards that are painted white primer were both replaced.)

This spot of dry rot was about the size of a lemon after I had dug out all the bad wood.

Over several weeks, I climbed my eight foot ladder many times and worked in layers of plastic wood.

I painted around the bad area.  Eventually the hole was full and sanded.

This is how it looks now.  From this picture I see I have to get back up there one more time and touch up that little line of white primer. Seeing results like this make it worth it!

Later this afternoon I am going over to the church and unload the van, and set up my junk.  It will be easier than doing it tomorrow morning.

Daily countdown:
405 days, or 1 year, 3 months, 1 days to go.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill,  Resting the knee today.
Total walked = 185 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Slow day

After almost a week of not having time to work on the house, I went out to paint today.  I got a little done, and then I twisted my knee and decided to quit for the day.  There is not much more I can do by myself.  Most of the remaining areas either require some fixes by Craig or are to hard for me to reach.  I have one more area that I know I can do alone and will tackle that next week.

I think I'll take a nap!

Daily countdown:
460 days, or 1 year, 3 months, 2 days to go.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill,  2 miles yesterday
Total walked = 185 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Preparing for my first ever Flea Market!

I feel like I have just wasted two days of my life.

What a pile of junk!
I am preparing for my first-ever flea market.

  The little Bible Church up here in the Mountains has one every year and I signed up and sent them the $25 fee a long time ago.  During the spring months I took a alot of stuff to Goodwill, and then began putting things into boxes for a "someday" flea market.  Now is the someday.

 Monday I took it all out,  and cut up some old particle board to make "box cover tables"

My main impression was "What a pile of junk!"

Yesterday I did a lot of personal business that needed my attention, and went to the dentist.

 Today I spent all day pricing, organizing, packing and loading it all into my van.  Friday I will take it over to the church and partially set up.  We have had heavy fog overnight lately, so I'm prepared to throw a couple of tarps over it all.  They are having someone sleep with the junk on Friday night.

I get two parking spaces, and I could park my van there and sell in the other, but I have decided to park my van about a half mile away at the school, walk over Saturday morning and use both spaces for stuff.

I have never done this before.  Hundreds of art fairs, yes.  But a flea market with my stuff, never.

One thing I have promised myself is that none of this stuff is coming back into the garage.  What ever I don't sell is going to Goodwill on Monday!

Craig says he is going to come and buy it all  back!  I think he was just teasing.

Daily countdown:
461 days, or 1 year, 3 months, 3 days to go.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill,  (I'm going to go walk now and will add it tomorrow)
Total walked = 183 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A WHY NOT that is also a WHY!

First to answer a couple of the comments about my sailing grandson:

Yes Nellie, it is a very small boat.  It is called a Sabot and they start kids as young as five or six in them.
My six year old grandson  took his first three weeks of sailing camp this year.  They learn how to rig them themselves and how to sail.  They are responsible for getting them in, washing and putting them away each day.  Of course there is a lot of adult supervision, but the kids learn a lot.

 When I was down for my visit a few weeks ago it was so easy to mind the boys in the evening.  After a full day in the sun and fresh sea air they were very sweet, physically tired, happy guys.  No game boys or video games needed!  No obesity problems either.

Last week they spent five days at a university  computer camp.  They will also be going to  cub scout camp (not sleep over) for a week before the summer is out.  Keep them busy and they stay out of trouble!

On Sunday evening we had our new friends Myra and Dan over for dinner.

They are musicians, and so we enjoyed an evening of sharing some of our favorite records and CDs.  I know you cannot show a picture of music, but this is Craig's audio system which although it looks a bit industrial, produces incredible sound.

I think I enjoyed watching their reactions to the music as much as anything.  It was like sharing a wonderful desert without the calories!  We were all a little "high" without any illegal substances by the end of the night, and are all looking forward to doing it again soon.

They live full time in a Motor Home, and currently have a collection of CDs in local storage.  They are going to bring some to share next time.

The reason I say this is a "WHY NOT" is because it will be hard to leave the quality of the sound system.  Yes we can take the music in other forms, but there is nothing really comparable to being surrounded by the SOUND.

So how was the evening also a "WHY?"  Because I really enjoyed getting to know this couple.   I'm not sure we will see them very often, but sharing time with them was good.  From what I read about the full time lifestyle, there are many opportunities to meet new people and enjoy a few hours "around the campfire."  It's something I'm really looking forward to.

Craig and I are really quite happy with just each other most of the time.  I think I am more social than he is, but he likes people too.

So I am torn, selling an audio system to die for at a cut rate price will be hard, but finding a new orld of friends on the road will be very sweet.

Daily countdown:
462 days, or 1 year, 3 months, 4 days to go.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill,  miles again today.
Total walked = 183 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Monday, July 26, 2010


I have several subjects in mind for blogs, but at the moment I'm just to tired to write!

Instead I'm posting a  picture of my 9 year old grandson sailing his boat in Mission Bay, San Diego.

Daily countdown:
463 days, or 1 year, 3 months, 5 days to go.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill,  miles today.
Total walked = 181 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mountain Lions spotted

Last week we received an email from our road manager that two mountain lions had been spotted on our road. It was a reminder to keep our pets close and to not walk or  jog alone.  There have been no other sightings.

 It may be that the pair were young cats just passing thru.  Mountain lions can have territories of ten square miles.  They are usually solitary, so seeing two might mean they are siblings just out on their own, or a female with a older cub.  We have so many deer, the hunting for them is good.  (Picture is from the web)

For the last few days I have seen the doe quite close to the house.  Tuesday she was lying down under a bush and one of the fawns was nearby.  I looked and looked for the other and was worried that perhaps it had been taken by a lion. But then it came out from behind a bush and I knew my little family was safe.

I stay close as well, but just last week I took a solitary walk down into the forest to check for any new dead fall for possible fire wood harvest.  I do know what to do if I see a big kitty.  But I would rather not.

Today I spent the morning cleaning my studio room.  It has been awhile since I have had any work. I guess it's the economy.

I did paint a little this afternoon.  I was supposed to be cleaning, but I got bored!  I hate housework.  If we never had company I would probably never clean!

Daily countdown:
466 days, or 1 year, 3 months, 8 days to go.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill,  2 miles today.
Total walked = 179 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Word Verification on Comments

I really dislike the fact that most bloggers use the Word Verification feature for their comments.

  I understand why they do, because for the first time  I had a spam comment on my blog.
My first reaction was to turn the word verification feature back on, but then decided that since it is so easy to delete a comment I would do that, and wait to see if it became a bigger problem.

Did many of you get a lot of unwanted comments? Or did you just leave the word verification feature on because everyone else has it?

On the "being overwhelmed" subject I have started doing something Katie mentioned in a recent blog.  Started to make lists.  A few weeks ago Craig brought home a rather nice 2010+ daily planer book that one of the vendors at work had given him.  Of course it had sat around on his desk for a few months, but if he had given it to me in January I'm not sure I would have used it.

What I have decided is to use it to jot down some estimated deadlines for getting certain things done.  Long range, and short range deadlines.  On a daily basis I will jot down what I expect to get done the next day, or into the next week.  I will do this in PENCIL, and in the evening I will erase what I finished and move forward what I didn't.

 If dreams are written in smoke, deadlines are definitely written in pencil.

I think this will help me because I won't lie in bed for hours thinking about when will I get this or that accomplished. The lists are for no one but me.

On the painting front, I finished work on what I could reach on the porch outside the kitchen.  This also includes a door (on the left) from the master bedroom to the outside.

I painted below the window, but not the window frame or above it because the stairs do not allow me to use my ladder.  I'm thinking of renting some scaffolding when I get to areas I can't reach without.

This looks like a small area, but there were many small holes to repair and everything got two coats, so it took five days to do!

Tomorrow is a no paint day.  I want to do some housework because we are having friends over for dinner on Sunday.

Daily countdown:
467 days, or 1 year, 3 months, 9 days to go.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill,  I WILL WALK TOMORROW!
Total walked = 177 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


If I try to stay focused on one small part of the job at a time, I will not be overwhelmed.  It seems that now that I am starting to patch small spots of decay, as I fix one, I see three more!

This morning we ran into two more potential problems.  The air conditioner (9 year old) didn't seem to be cooling very well this year.  The repair person came out this morning and said we were low on coolant.  This could be a slow leak, fixed by the recharge that cost $360 this morning, or a bigger problem that will take up to $1100 just to find and fix if it is small,or an unknown amount if it is a component.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Then as I was going out to get to work on sanding, I notice a little puddle of water on the deck where no water could possibly get by natural causes.  It is below the kitchen sink.  No water was running up there.  I hate to have to tell Craig about it when he gets home.

I will not be overwhelmed.

I will NOT be overwhelmed.

I WILL NOT be overwhelmed.


These problems would exist no mater what my dream is.  
 These problems must be dealt with.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Catching Up, Carpenter Bees

I got back from visiting my grandsons (ages 6 and 9 ) in San Diego on Saturday afternoon.

 Craig had worked part of the day on the dig out project and determined the "rock of an unknown size" was actually a cement footing for a fence that the previous owners had put up to keep their dog off of the roof.  There were two other lumps of concrete as well.  On Sunday he rented an air hammer and they broke up quite easily so he was able to get that phase of the job done.

On Sunday I painted in the morning. (Craig took this picture of me thru a rather dirty kitchen door and screen.)  Since my knees won't take kneeling, and my back doesn't like to bend over, I have found sitting on a little one step stool makes it possible for me to paint low places.

 In the afternoon Craig and I experimented with using a Bondo product to start repairing the bottom edge of the cheap siding that was used on that side of the garage, and had had contact with the ground.  It was a bit delaminated and Craig spent some time sanding it before we tried the Bondo.  We aren't sure how it will turn out.  We have to do a lot more work on it before I can paint there.

Today I started to learn about making smaller repairs using Plastic Wood.  All of the painting I have done up to this point have been in areas that were either protected from the elements, or newer wood.   I have now gotten to some that need more attention before I can just paint.

I have decided to take down the tally of hours spent painting.  It was fun at first, but as the number passed 100 hours, I started to get depressed about how much time I was spending on this.  I am so slow!  But the job will go on, and I will do as much as I can.

While working on this job I have learned about another local creature.  For years we have noticed  few big black bees that bumble around the garage and house.  Last week while painting I thought I heard a sound like someone nibbling on a cracker coming from a window sill just above me.  Then I saw one of these bees go into a hole under it.

 It is eating my house!

Looking on the internet I have learned they are Carpenter bees.  They don't eat the wood, but they do drill holes or go into existing holes and raise baby bees.  Wasp spray doesn't seem to bother them.

  I have found some info on the web as to how to build a bee trap, and I might give it a try.

Oh, that is not my hand.  It is a picture from the web.  I don't think ours are as big as this one looks!  They are about the size of a bumble bee.

Daily countdown:
469 days, or 1 year, 3 months, 11 days to go.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 2 miles Wednesday, 2 miles Thursday
1 mile Friday
Total walked = 177 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

San Diego visit

Having a very relaxed time in San Diego. My knees and ankles are recovering from all of the ladder time.

 My grandsons are very well behaved and have matured a lot since I saw them last (in January.)

Daily countdown:
474 days, or year, 3 months, 16 days to go.

Time spent Painting the House:  
Me: Total = 113.5 hours
Craig: Total = 44 hours

Exercise Goal:  
1000 miles on the treadmill,  miles Wednesday, miles Thursday
 Total walked = 176 miles  
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I'm Leaving Him!

Yup!  I'm leaving Craig.

 Just thought I'd do a "Tabloid Headline" because my blog has been supper boring lately.

Actually I am flying down to San Diego for the week to visit and look after my Grandsons.  Both our daughter and her husband need to be out of town for their jobs this week.  Although they do have a live in Au Pair, a nice girl from Austria, the contract is that she cannot be on duty 24 hours a day.  So I go down to be the extra adult.

It all works out great.  I usually like to go down for a visit a couple of times a year besides Holidays.  In the last few years they have also come up  for a Summer visit,but this year they will be celebrating their other Grandparent's 50th in Hawaii.

The boys are at a perfect age.  Six and Nine.  The younger loves arts and crafts, and the older one loves board games.  They will both be at sailing camps part of the day.  One in the morning and one in the afternoon, so I will get individual time with each.

I'm not sure if I will be blogging or not. I always feel a little uncomfortable using someone elses computer.

One good thing is I will get a break from painting!    I figure I'm about 2/3rds finished with painting that I can do.  Craig still has lots of work, and then we will hire someone to do the really high places.

A boring picture.  This is the area outside the laundry room that I finished this week.

Another shot of my wonderful husband painting a hard to reach place.  He is actually lying on his back on one roof, painting primer on the overhanging boards of the roof above.

They replaced some of the wood that had dry rot damage.

 I'll be back on Saturday!

Daily countdown:
477 days, or year, 3 months, 20 days to go.

Time spent Painting the House:  
Me: hours Sunday   Total = 113.5 hours
Craig: 5 hours digging and painting  Total = 44 hours

Exercise Goal:  
1000 miles on the treadmill,  (I hope to walk in San Diego this week)
 Total walked = 172 miles  
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Husband appreciation

Craig spent four hours on the "dig out the side of the house" project today.

 He hopes to finish tomorrow, but there is a size-unknown rock at the corner of the house.

 When I remember these days,  I will appreciate his hard work.

He had to work on his knees as he dug the hard dry dirt and shoveled it  into a bucket.

Then he hauled each bucket up hill to the wheel barrow, and  carted it off to a place that needed a little fill.

The weather was hot today.

He called me to take a picture of this salamander.

 They look yucky, but the are harmless and have their place in this world too.

 We relocated it to another shaded place so it wouldn't get hurt in the digging.

Daily countdown:
479 days, or year, 3 months, 22 days to go.

Time spent Painting the House:  
Me: hours Saturday   Total = 110.5 hours
Craig: 4 hours digging in prep for painting  Total = 36 hours

Exercise Goal:  
1000 miles on the treadmill,  (Five hours of painting on a ladder IS exercise!)
 Total walked = 172 miles  
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Moose Lodge

From the pleasant comments about the Malva Pudding recipe yesterday, I guess I know what I'll be brining to a future RV pot luck!  Hope some of you are there.

Craig officially became a Moose Lodge member a few weeks ago.  The ceremony was not "hooky" and they do not wear funny hats!  The initiation was held on the same night as their steak night dinner and we were given two free passes.  The dinner usually cost a whopping $10.00 each, so the dinners canceled out the $20.00 application fee.  As a welcome gift we were also given a pass for dinner for four sometime in the next 90 days.  This is to encourage us to introduce another couple to possible membership.  We are not sure who we should invite.  I think most of our friends are a bit to "foodie snobbish" to appreciate the good down-home-ness of the lodge.

Last night we went to the hamburger night with the couple that were our sponsors.  We enjoyed it.  Again the cost was very low.  $3.50 for a nice big hamburger, fresh  hot fries, and a slice of water-mellon.  A glass of beer or wine was $2.50.

Our Lodge is not a very fancy place, but it is clean and friendly.  Here are a couple of pictures:

 The bar.
Dan, Craig, and Myra in the dinning room

Daily countdown:
480 days, or year, 3 months, 23 days to go.

Time spent Painting the House:  
Me: Thursday 6 hours, hours Today  Total = 106.5 hours
Craig:  Total = 32 hours

Exercise Goal:  
1000 miles on the treadmill,  (Five hours of painting on a ladder IS exercise!)
 Total walked = 172 miles  
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The most decadent desert! - Malva Pudding

Craig loves to find new recipes for me to make.  In honor of the World Cup Games, one of the news paper articles he read mentioned something called "Malva Pudding" and so he had to look it up.   It seems it is a favorite South African desert, based on a Dutch Origin.

I made it last night and it was totally delicious!  Very high in fat and sugar, but Very delicious.

We were enjoying our servings  several hours after dinner, when I said something like "When I try a new recipe lately I try to imagine how I would make it in an RV, and I imagine this one made on a cold rainy day when we are shut in, just relaxing and reading our books.  It smelled very nice when it was baking, and if I substitute regular milk for the sauce at the end, I probably would have the ingredients on hand most of the time."

Craig's response was something like "Talk like that makes me want to go out and paint something!"  "Get us on the road."

We had a second serving during the morning World Cup game today.
It was good cold, but also re-warmed easily in the microwave.  

He says it is the best thing he has ever tasted.

Malva Pudding

Recipe #121413 | 21 min | 20 min prep
Claire De Lune

By: Claire De Lune 
May 10, 2005
From: Boschendal Wine Estate Restaurant, Cape Province, South Africa. It is actually a delicious cake but rich!! Very simple to make.





  1. 1
    Beat the egg and sugar well in a mixer. Add the jam, sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Melt the butter add the vinegar and milk. Add liquids to egg mixture alternately with the flour. Beat well and bake in a COVERED dish such as Corel at 350F for 45 minute to 1 hour. It is important to use a covered dish otherwise the sauce won't soak into cake.

  2. 2
    Melt together the ingredients for the sauce and pour over the pudding as it comes out of the oven.

  3. 3
    You will not beleive the taste! I never add whipping cream or Cool whip as it is quite rich the way it is.

  4. 4

Daily countdown:
482 days, or year, 3 months, 25 days to go.

Time spent Painting the House:  
Me: Wednesday 3.5 hours  Total = 95.5 hours
Craig:  Total = 32 hours

Exercise Goal:  
1000 miles on the treadmill,  (Going up and down a ladder has to count for something!)
 Total walked = 172 miles  
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Good Weekend after all

Over the weekend I was thinking about the possibility of joining a caravan during our first month or two of full timing.  It seems like it would be a good way to get used to the RV life, and have some help if needed along the way.  There are caravans to Alaska and to Baja.  Both places I would like to see, but would be a bit afraid of going alone.

 I mentioned the idea to Craig, and he didn't say no.

 Of course, if and where we would go,  would depend on what time of year we actually sell the house and start the next chapter of our life.

Something to look into anyway.  Something to ponder while painting.  

A bit on the real time life saga:

I wasn't quite sure if I thought we were making progress on Saturday of this weekend.  In fact I was a bit unhappy, OK I was very Grouchy about how little was being accomplished.   Craig took Friday off to watch the World Cup games, but then when they were done for the day instead of coming out to join me, he got caught up in a computer program problem.  He did paint a little though.

On Saturday, he again watched soccer, and then worked on a rib rub recipe that he should have been able to finish while watching the games.  It's a long story ... but the ribs didn't turn out very well and I was pissy because I knew my old recipe would have been better.  He again didn't get out to paint until late in the afternoon.  It all sounds pretty trivial now, but at the time I was a real Bitch about it.

After a good night sleep I was better, and on Sunday I apologized for my grouchiness.

 We both had a good day of work.  I prepped and painted the trim on the flat roofed garage.

 The new paint color is not all that different from the old, but it is all so fresh and nice.

 The trim in some places is very faded and dried out!  It is time!

  Craig did some hard to reach places.  (Notice the tongue in grove ceiling overhead.  We did that ourselves about ten years ago and are very proud of it.)

Monday, Craig started digging out the road side of the house.  We discussed hiring someone, but he decided to do it himself.

 He should be able to get it finished next weekend.

A thought about painting in general:  Some of my friends have said they like to paint, some say they hate to paint.  In general I enjoy it about as much as any work around the house.  The house is like an old tired lady.  Faded and torn.  Giving her a nice fresh paint job is like giving her a bath, buying her a new dress, having her hair and makeup done.  A real exterior make over!

Daily countdown:
483 days, or year, 3 months, 26 days to go.

Time spent Painting the House:  
Me: 4 day weekend - 14.5   Tuesday 5 hours   Total = 92 hours
Craig:  4 day weekend - 17 hours  Total = 32 hours
Some spent digging out the side of the house in preparation for painting!

Exercise Goal:  
1000 miles on the treadmill,  (Pretty much on hold due to the painting work!)
 Total walked = 172 miles  
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Progress Report

It's been a busy week.  On Monday I took the day off from painting, and ran some errands, including buying more paint.  I did have time to do a couple of miles on the treadmill!

On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I painted all day!   I want stock in the blue tape company! Much of my time was spent putting up BLUE TAPE, and then taking it down again after the paint was dry.
( We always do two coats. )

Here are a few pictures:

Craig paints everything!

This is a passage way under a porch that leads to the laundry room floor.  The pipe is the dryer vent.

 He is kneeling.

Merikay painting the blush color on the deck walls.  Note the careful cropping that cut off my fat butt from view!

The deck area has two doors regular doors, a glass sliding door, and six windows.  All had to be taped before I painted the trim:

Tomorrow I again have to go down to town, this time to get my van fixed and buy supplies for the weekend.  I may or may not paint in the afternoon.

Hope you all have a fun Holiday.

 Think of me.

 But know that I am happy because each brush stroke brings me closer to my dream!  I would rather be working on the house so that we can sell it and get on with life, than going to a picnic and drinking beer!

Daily countdown:
488 days, or 1 year, 3 months, to go.

Time spent Painting the House:  
Me:  4.5 hours  Sunday        
          6 hrs Tuesday  7 hrs. Wednesday, hours Thursday
Total = 72.5 hours
Craig: 4.5 hours Sunday
            1.5 hrs. Tuesday    1 Hr. Wednesday    Total = 15 hours

Exercise Goal:  
1000 miles on the treadmill,  (Pretty much on hold due to the painting work!)
miles Monday  Total walked = 172 miles  
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles  in National Parks!