Friday, October 29, 2010

New computer

We have two very good desktop computers in our home.  Both work fine, and both are usually on and sleeping. So we really don't NEED to have a laptop, but last year when we went on a two week "rented" RV vacation in a 25' class C, Craig brought one of the computers and it's monitor along.  It rode in the booth dinette area, and took up much of the table top when he set it up each night.  Our internet connection was thru his cell phone.

That experience made me realize the necessity of getting a laptop. That and the desire to be able to sit in front of the fire, in my comfy chair, and read blogs or browse the web.

I asked for one for the upcoming Christmas. But Craig bought it now.  It is for both of us, but I think of it as MY Laptop.  He can have the other two!

Craig has done all the set up for me, (Us.)  He has also signed me up for a year of "One on One" at the apple store.  There are a couple of small classes and then I can book two hour blocks of time when I can work on my own projects and have an expert on hand to answer questions.  I don't know how it will work out.  I have always been a "user" and when ever there is any problems, Craig fixes them for me.

The problem is he is not the greatest at explaining what or why.  We shall see if someone from apple has any luck teaching me anything!

The project I have decided I want to do is to put together a history of my art work.  I have pictures of the very first animals I created in the 70's and of just about everything I have done since.  We have a good scanner, and the later images are already digital.  I'm thinking of it as something to leave for my Great Grandchildren.  My grandchildren know me as an artist already.   It would help to motivate me to go thru some of the pictures I have, and learn to use more features of the computer.

Right now I'm getting used to the keyboard and the touch pad.  I am determined to NOT get a mouse.  It would be very awkward to try to mouse in my easy chair!

Thats all for tonight.

No walking today, was out doing errands and then worked on antlers so I just had no time.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

The hours of the day are just flying by!

One of the two customers I have right now has changed her mind several times.  I know she is a good customer, because she has purchased my work in the past, but she has changed her mind twice in the last two weeks.  In years past I might have put her on a waiting list, but now business is so slow that she IS the list!  (Almost, I do have one other customer waiting for a piece.)  

Anyway, now I am making an elk and an armadillo  for her and a deer for the other customer.

We are also watching the World Series, GO GIANTS!

Tomorrow is errand day.

Exercise Goal:
1000 miles on the treadmill, 

2.25 regular miles Tuesday
+1 extra mile in memory of Margie
2.25 regular miles Wednesday
+.50 extra mile in memory of Margie
2.25 regular miles Thursday
+1 extra mile in memory of Margie

Total walked = 242.75 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Monday, October 25, 2010

More Aware

On Friday, when I was out and about dong errands, I was so much more aware of cars moving in the parking lots as I walked to and from the stores than I usually am.  I tend to be a bit of a dreamer when I'm in a shopping mode.   I will be a more careful pedestrian.

I also felt more aware of the very power of the large van I drove as I passed a lady walking her dog and a guy jogging along the country road leading to home.  I do try to be an alert driver, but you know, sometimes I think my mind wanders a bit.

I know Bruce and Margie were not killed by a driver who was just distracted in an "innocent" way, but improving my level of care is a ripple of the event.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 
2.00 regular miles Sunday
2.25 regular miles Monday
+1 extra mile in memory of Margie
Total walked = 233.50 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Cold and cloudy.  First fire tonight if it gets down to 50 or less.

Helping Craig clean the chimneys this afternoon.

Did my walking this morning!

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 
2.25 regular miles Saturday

+1 extra mile in memory of Margie
Total walked = 228.25 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Friday, October 22, 2010

shopping day

Today was a shopping day.  I needed to get some supplies for the three sculptures I am working on.

When I'm at stores I often see things that I  think would be great to have in a Motor home. Sometimes I pick them up and put them in my basket, but then put them back.  I will buy what we need when the time comes.  Today I noticed Costco had heated mattress pads.    Karen in the Woods mentioned keeping their bed warm with one last spring and I put the note in my "tips" file.  I didn't buy one today, but someday I might.  I have looked fondly at a set of really nice plastic mixing bowls offered at the grocery I go to.  I don't need them in the house, but I have noted they are "Good Cooks" brand.

What I am getting in the next few days is a Laptop Computer.  It is a MacBook Pro.  Craig ordered it a couple of days ago.  I told him I wanted one for Christmas.  It will be a joint Christmas present for both of us. It's time for a laptop.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 
2.25 regular miles Friday

+1 extra mile in memory of Margie
Total walked = 225 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yet another new approach

How to stay motivated to do the things I really don't feel like doing?  That is the question. . .

I enjoy taking on BIG projects like painting the outside of the house, or even finding someone to do a big job for me like tearing down the shed, but I strongly dislike all the puttsey little things like going through papers or closet shelves.

So today I decided I would just set a timer and say to myself I would work on one closet for one hour, and I did.

I also took the barrel of toxic liquid off to the recycle station this morning, and the guys said I was one of the very few who did it correctly.  They told me that  they wouldn't have taken it  because it was to big if I hadn't had the little hand written note from the county hazardous waste inspector.

I had a feeling that's what would happen because there were no readable labels on the thing.  That's why I asked him to write the note and sign it.  It was just on yellow note paper, but they knew his name.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 
2.25 regular miles Thursday

+1 extra mile in memory of Margie
    For some reason that extra mile is the easiest, perhaps she is giving me a little help.

Total walked = 221.75 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Didn't do much today

I feel like I wasted most of the day.  Craig was off, but there wasn't any way I could help him on his current project so I was just "standing by."

I did do my exercise, and started work on a couple of sculptures that were ordered yesterday, but that didn't take much time or effort.

I poked around in the garage and found a few more very old cans of paint to get rid of tomorrow, but that was about all.

My dinner plan is  left over  pot roast from yesterday so that's no work.

I guess I just feel a bit at loose ends.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 
Wednesday: 2.25 regular miles 
1 extra mile in memory of Margie and Bruce

Total walked = 218.50 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Toxic Waste

When they pulled down the shed  last spring, a five gallon of some very old chemical solvent was left behind.

 Today I called the county hazardous waste department to ask  to how to properly dispose of it.  I had expected them to just tell me where to take it, but they insisted on sending someone out.

The guy took a sample and did a "back of the truck" analysis, and gave me a note to the hazardous waste disposal center with what it was, so that they will take it.

 It had been left behind by the previous owners, or perhaps the ones before that. The previous owners tossed lots of things into the forest.  I'm glad this wasn't one of them.

A small step, but a necessary one.  I take it in on Thursday.

Doing the right thing for the environment.  I want to enjoy it for a long time.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 
2.25 miles Tuesday
1 extra mile for Margie

Total walked = 215.25 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Monday, October 18, 2010

My tribute is walking

I walked an extra mile for Margie and Bruce today.

They valued the time they spent walking together in the fresh and beautiful mornings.

It's all I can do.

I had been a follower on her Healthy living for several months, and had only just started reading their other blog.  Margie was such a good roll model.  She stresses she was not perfect but kept trying to make the right choices.  If she slipped, it was not far, and reminded us all that each day is important.

I know that if I had been able to connect with them at a park one day, I would have wanted to join them for a morning walk.

But now I will do it in memory of them.  Every time I walk, I'll try to add one mile.

Margie would understand if somedays I can't.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 
2.25 regular miles on Monday

1 extra mile in memory of Margie and Bruce

Total walked = 212 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

No Words ...

I feel a great sadness in hearing about Margie and Bruce.

Somehow I expected to meet them somewhere down the road.

Life is short.

Friday, October 15, 2010


NOTE: The following occurred with humor, but also with a touch of truth.

Among the treasures we have moved from place to place for 46 years, was a foot locker type chest that I believe Craig must have used to take his things to college in the 60's.  It was not "quality." It was made with some sort of laminated pasteboard and had a torn wood grain paper lining. The hinges were rusted. It smelled. I put it out with the trash cans for this morning's pick up.

Last night after dinner I tied up the last load of kitchen waste and was going to take it out to the cans.

"I'll do it for you" says Craig....

He comes back in  "You are throwing away my good chest. "

"It smells moldy"  I say.

"You could put it out in the sun" he says hopefully. "Wouldn't it be perfect for  storage in the RV?"

I harden my heart and answer "They have big plastic see-thru bins for that."

"Oh" he sighs,  "Another of my family treasures gone." And made a sad little boy look and went back to reading his book.

I do believe this was just in fun.

BUT, he does read my blogs, and my mention of the computers opened another issue.

I put most of the items I plan on taking for the electronics recycling next to the front door.  The old Mac was in a box.

This morning he asked about it.  I showed it to him and pointed out that I had seen dumpsters full of the same type of machines at recycling events in the past.  It is NOT unique!

He agreed to let it go, but said it would haunt him all day thinking about old computers piling up in a dumpster!

So sad. But if people didn't keep upgrading he would not have a job!

Then he asked about the old Terminal.

 It was heavy and after I unwrapped it to see what it was I put it right into my van.  We looked at it and he says it goes with the other machine he wants to donate to the computer history museum. At some undefined future date ....

See Dear, it's back on a shelf in the garage.
 I tucked plastic around it after I took this picture.

Meanwhile, The guy came and bought the wine press and another is coming for three car boys later today.  Another $120 in the kitty. Thats the kind of progress I like.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 
2.25 miles Friday

Total walked = 208.75 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Daily countdown:
383 days, or 1 year, 17 days.  To get the house fixed up!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


With my part of the outside painting done, I have been feeling a bit at loose ends.  

I have spent several days out in a very dusty garage, and did manage to haul away one load of trash to the dump.  

We leave the door open almost all summer and leaves and dirt blow in.  There is also a table saw in there and every time we cut something up it a cloud of sawdust blows onto everything. (After shoveling up a summers worth of sawdust, I used the leaf blower to blow all the dust back out.)  It seems to work pretty well.

I keep all of my master sculptures in there and have each in a plastic bag to protect it.  Some hang on hooks, but most are just piled up on the floor.  Yesterday I went thru them and grouped them into sets that I then put into bigger bags.  I also culled out quite a few that I want to discontinue from my web site. 

If I stop offering them for sale, I can get rid of the boxes of materials I have collected. I put several large bags of masters into a big appliance box in the other garage where I'm storing some of the things that will go to the dump eventually.

I put a wine press and some of the Carboys on Craig's list.  One was sold today.

I also spent hours up in a very small attic.  It's about ten feet wide, and six feet deep.  The problem with it is the tallest part is only about five feet high and it angles down from there with the roof pitch.  It is all insulated and has a solid floor so there aren't any spiders or other critters. But I can only crouch over for a little while, so I've spread the task out over the month.

 I have been at it before, so almost all of "my" stuff is gone. This time I tossed a box of my old paintings.  I never was a very good painter! 

  I pulled out everything on one side and have been shifting boxes like a Chinese puzzle.  Most of what's in there are empty boxes from computers and other electronics we have bought over the years. I was able to cull out a number of them because the electronics have been trashed. Many are now stacked up in the hall. 

I did come across a 30 year computer old terminal and a 25 year old MAC.  There is an electronics recycle drop off this Sunday at a near by community center.  Craig said he didn't want to know!

I found two large boxes of things that belong to my daughter.  They will be left out and she can go thru them at Thanksgiving.  I also found some of my sons treasures.  I have gone thru them and boiled them down to one small box that I will mail to him.  I am not keeping all of his old game notebooks and charts, nor am I paying the shipping to get them to Washington.  Mixed in with his stuff were some of his dirty laundry from about 25 years ago!

There is a big box of coral I want to photograph and put on E-bay.   There is also a heavy box of papers and books from Craig's early computing days, and a small box of family papers I need to go thru. These can stay out in the hall area until I deal with them.

My goal is that by the end of the week the attic will contain ONLY empty boxes, empty suitcase, and a few of Craig's things that I will list in my "book." (All Christmas decorations are elsewhere in the house!)

So ... that's what I've been up to.  Small steps, but going in the right direction.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 
2.25 miles Wednesday
1.25 miles today  (humid lazy day)
Total walked = 206.50 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Daily countdown:
383 days, or 1 year, 18 days.  To get the house fixed up!

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 
2.25 miles Wednesday
1.25 miles today  (humid lazy day)
Total walked = 206.50 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Daily countdown:
383 days, or 1 year, 18 days.  To get the house fixed up!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday - Flu shot

Not much going on.
 Actually lots going on, but it's all  in my head!

Getting my flu shot this afternoon.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 
2.25 miles Saturday
2.25 miles Sunday
1.00 mile Monday
2.25 miles Tuesday
Total walked = 203. miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Daily countdown:
385 days, or 1 year, 20 days.  To get the house fixed up!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Housework today

I really like the new format on the dashboard page of Blogger. The pictures from each blog are nice and big and very inviting.  I'm going to try and pick a picture for each blog now.

Today I'm devoting to some much needed fall housework.

Busy weekend ahead.  Hope the weather stays as nice as it has been for awhile yet.

I've added a 1/4 mile to my treadmill walk today.   Plan to keep it this long for a week or so.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 
2.25 miles today
Total walked = 196.25 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Daily countdown:
389 days, or 1 year, 24 days. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bobcat Spotted/ Home improvement of the day

This morning I  glanced out at the meadow outside my studio and saw  a bobcat  sunning himself. I think he was half asleep!

 I only had the point and shoot at hand, and it was hard to aim as I tried to be quiet sliding open the patio door.

Then he saw me.  Bright eyes ...

And decided it was time to leave ...

                          And he was gone!

This was the first time I have seen a bobcat in our yard. 
 I knew they were around, but I have always had a dog or two. 
 My own little piece of wilderness.

Now for the less interesting part of the blog:

My home improvement today was a trip to the dump with a half of van load.  I totally agree with some of the full timers that say this is a liberating experience.  Of course most of what I took was simply trash that would have gone anyway.  Odds and ends of drywall, painted wood scraps, etc.  But some was "stuff."
All of it out of the garage areas.  Craig was home when I was loading, so he knew what I was doing.

The other day I was working on the attic and came across a large box of coral from Craig's fish tank days.
Twenty six years and two moves ago.

 That evening I started to tell him about it when he said "stop!"  "I don't want to know." 
 So, I said "OK, I won't touch anything of yours." 
"No."  He said "Do what you have to with it, just don't tell me."

I get a little pissed and a little depressed when he does that.  It is such a cop out.  I think it's his way of not helping with the work.  But I also know him well enough to know that if he says he doesn't want to know, that is exactly what he means.  So I'm stuck with all the purging.  And since he sometimes reads my blog, he will know.

The Coral?  I want to photograph it and try to sell it on E-bay.  I doubt I'll get much, but it is shippable in those post office one price boxes.

On the other hand ... He really worked hard on his part of the painting again yesterday. 

 And ...
 After several years of needing new glasses he finally got two new pair.  (His old ones were crushed by a log when he put them on the ground next to the firewood rounds we were loading into the van a few weeks ago.)

Why two pair.  One is a pair of bifocals,  and the other is for just distance.  He told me they were going to be much better for driving the big RV.  

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 
2 miles today
Total walked = 194 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Daily countdown:
390 days, or 1 year, 25 days. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cleaning the Fireplace stonework

Tuesday I decided to do something I have wanted to do for several months.  Clean the smoke stain off of the stonework of our fireplace.  I really meant to do this last spring when I bought the brick cleaner, but the intention got lost with all of the painting work.

I have done this every couple of years to keep the stone reasonably nice.

 I only had a small bottle of the cleaning solution so I didn't get it as clean as I would have liked, but I plan on doing it again next spring, or before we put the house on the market.

We burn a wood fire in this almost every evening during the winter months.  We really enjoy just sitting in our comfy chairs and reading, (or doing Sudoku) and listening to good music.

Now no comments allowed on my eclectic collection of stuff on the mantle!

 The clock in the center is one of my only treasured antiques.  It is over 100 years old and was owned by a great aunt of mine.

  The small brown stuffed animal is a moose on skis.  I got him on a family ski trip to Whistler Blackhome BC, and he has gone on many other ski trips with us.  He has retired to the mantle to remind me of some fun times in the past.

On the very end of the mantle is a little orange traffic cone.  Craig bought it for me on our "rented RV" vacation last year.  It says "IF GRANDMA AIN'T HAPPY, AIN'T NOBODY HAPPY."  I try to remind him from time to time that if he puts me in an RV I will be happy!

The fireplace itself has a story, but I will leave that for another blog.

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 
2 miles today
Total walked = 192 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Daily countdown:
391 days, or 1 year, 26 days. 

Just like the walking.  If I do a little bit each day it will add up to a house ready for market.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Miracle Drug and back to the treadmill

For those of you who joined me in the last couple of months, Last spring I  set a goal of walking 1000 miles on my treadmill to get into better shape for walking in our National Parks someday.  Everything was clicking along, a few miles a day, until I began to have a really achy knee. Doctor said "arthritis" and prescribed Naproxen.  It tore up my stomach!

 I limped along into summer and by July the knee discomfort was overshadowed by grinding ankle pain and swelling.  In August I quit drinking all alcohol, so that I could try some extra strength Tylenol.  It didn't help at all.

In September a Druggist suggested I ask my Doctor about a drug called Mobic.  He gave me a prescription for the generic version and in  a few hours after the first dose my pain was almost gone!

My sister-in-law has been taking it for over nine years and says it still works for her with no side effects! The only negative is that you should not drink wine or any alcoholic beverages.  But that was OK since I had quit a month earlier.

 I have been taking one pill a day for about a month and find that not only am I pain free in my knee and ankle, I have renewed flexibility in joints that I had given up on.

 I can bend!  I can smoothly get up from a chair!  I can sit on the floor and actually stand up on my own without first crawling over to the sofa!  Getting out of bed in the morning is no longer an "iffy" proposition.  Painting some of those hard to reach places on the roof overhangs would have been impossible last July.

Now I'm able to walk on my treadmill again!

 I have it downstairs in the home theatre room. (Thats a large screen with an overhead projection screen system.)

I usually watch NetFlix DVDs or TV while I walk.

I restarted walking last week with just one easy mile on Friday.  No problem.  So I did two miles yesterday and two today.

Bringing back the mile count:

Exercise Goal:
 miles on the treadmill, 
1 mile Friday, 2 miles Monday, 2 miles Tuesday
Total walked = 190 miles
Someday I will be hiking 1000 miles in National Parks!

Daily countdown:
392 days, or 1 year, 27 days. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

My part of the painting is done, well almost ...

I changed the background of the blog because although the entire job of painting the exterior of this house is not quite done, everything that I can do is, (with the small exception of a second coat on one small place that I have to wait on until Craig does the work above it.)

He still has plenty to do, and continues to show reluctance to talk about hiring anyone to do the final part.  He keeps saying he is not ready for them yet.  He continues to take Wednesdays off and has been working hard on weekends.

Anyway, I am taking about a month off.  I will be poking about looking for things to organize or discard, but I'm not going to start on any more repair work until November.

Might rain today.

Haven't had any since May.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

About those sandwiches ...

In my last blog I mentioned going out to eat Vietnamese sandwiches and got a couple of questions in response.    If you've never had one, and find yourself near a Vietnamese neighborhood sandwich shop, stop in, they are really quite good.

The name of them is  Banh mi.  They start with a crunchy French type roll, (remember Vietnam was occupied by the French for a long time.  Then layer on a swipe of pate, some spicy mayo, cilantro, slivered carrots, optional hot chillies such as jalapeno, and a meat filling.  Roast or BBQ pork and roast chicken are popular. The meat is usually warm.  They also do a vegetarian version.  I think there might be a little sauce, but I'm not sure.

We've had them in a couple of places and they are always very inexpensive.  The ones we had on Wednesday cost all of $2.50 each.  One plus my black pearl drink and a small desert were enough for me, and Craig had two sandwiches and a bottle of water and was satisfied.  (dinner for two at less than $15)

 A nice change from hamburgers or Sub sandwiches when you are out and about.

Daily countdown:
394 days Or 1 year, 29 days 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Playing Tourist in your own town

One thing I do know is we have to start taking some time to go up to San Francisco and visit some of the new museums.  They have been open for one or two years, and shamefully we have not taken the time to visit them.  I think that's probably true for many people.  They never look at the neat places in their own area unless the have out of town visitors.  Got to put it on my list of must dos! It is less than an hour away!

But this week we took a little peek into the culture of others in our city.

We went to the east side of San Jose to see the giant Jade Buddha for Universal Peace. It is on a world tour.

It was a bit like stepping into another country.

Certainly into another culture.

As I looked around at a couple of hundred people there on a late Wednesday afternoon, I couldn't see another caucasian face.  I'm sure there must have been some, but I couldn't see them.

There was a long line of people waiting to go up onto the platform with the Buddha, and many who just walked up and took pictures from a distance (like us.)

It was interesting.

The best part was we then went out for Vietnamese Sandwiches.

Have you ever had a Black Pearl Drink?

They are really quite interesting and quite good.  If I had not read the restaurant's review on YELP and learned about them, I would not have tried one.  The black pearl size soft blobs that zip into your mount thru the oversized straw are tapioca.

I really am trying to be more adventurous!

Tonight we are going to the Moose Lodge again for a Prime Rib dinner.  $10.00 each. A bit more familiar.

I wonder what I should order to drink.  I have completely given up drinking  wine or alcohol (another blog).  At home I've been drinking Pelligrino water.  I wonder if they will have some.

Daily Countdown:

396 days Or 1 year, 1 month until something happens!