Saturday, May 30, 2020

It's A Patio

Saturday: (05/30) I stripped the forms off the patio edge. I had planned to set some bricks on the edge but it was sprinkling slightly all morning and I convinced myself to take the day off, and did. Granola and apple for breakfast. Lunch from Harry’s Hofbrau, our usual prime rib for Lou and Dawn and veggie lasagna for me. A nice ham and cheese sandwich for dinner.

Sunday: (05/31) Lou made an oven omelet for breakfast. We watched the usual Sunday Morning show on CBS. I went outside and brought out the temper and tamped the base rock for the patio. I then mixed some mortar and installed most of the edge bricks for the patio. When I ran out of the one bag of mortar I had mixed, I stopped. I got all but about 4 whole bricks and the two corner pieces. After the ones I set today are dry, I can install the rest without knocking the others loose as well as using most of the next bag of mortar mix. It’s easier to mix a whole bag in the mixer than smaller quantities as needed. I cleaned up the work area as well as myself and relaxed most of the rest of the day. About 5pm Lou and I went to the Ace Hardware store and Lou got a few things for the garden. I had leftover lasagna for lunch. Lou made chicken pot pie for dinner.

Monday: (06/01) Granola and banana for breakfast. I mixed some mortar and set the last of the edge bricks. Only two cuts needed. I took a bike ride out to the Bay Trail and back into Mountain View on the Stevens Creek Trail. I stopped at Smart and Final Market and bought a pie. The last one was excellent and they are only $3.99. If it got damaged in the bike pannier on the ride home, no big loss other than an intact taste treat. I also picked up lunch at Lucky Chinese Bistro, my usual chow fun noodles and black bean fish. A nice relaxing afternoon in the man cave. Dawn made some salmon cacciatore for dinner.

Tuesday: (06/02) Granola and banana for breakfast. I worked on laying the patio bricks all day. I still have about eight more to lay and fit. I ended up having a little problem fitting the last few bricks and will have to recut two in the morning. Lou made a broccoli and shrimp salad for lunch. Lou made a corn salad for dinner.

Wednesday: (06/03) Granola for breakfast. I was at work before 0800 and installed the last few bricks finishing the new patio by the new garden. I must say it looks pretty good. I finished just before my 1000 webinar and after a shower adjourned to my man-cave (RV) for the webinar about 5 minutes late. It was already very hot and I had sweat through my clothes in the two hours I worked. I relaxed the rest of the day. Chili for lunch. Lou made a grocery run in the afternoon. For dinner it was a vegetable assortment with veggie meatballs and tater tots.

Thursday: (06/04) We enjoyed our morning tea out front watching the garbage pickups. I then weeded the berries behind Dawn's garden. I then relocated some big potted plants to allow two chairs on the rear sidewalk. After a rest, I returned to the yard and installed four of the big concrete blocks starting the remodel of the Mt Donald raised planter. I also brought the other 12 blocks out and gave them a bath. I’ll start installing them tomorrow or the next day, depending on how my back feels. These blocks weigh from 150-250 pounds each. Tiramisu for breakfast. Chili with a pastrami sandwich for lunch. Lou’s Iranian chicken salad for dinner.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Skyline OSP Two Lakes Walk

Friday: (05/29) Lou and I were off early to do our grocery shopping at the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Sunnyvale. About 1100 I was off for a hike. I attempted to hike in Purisima Creek OSP near half Moon Bay but there wasn’t any parking at the trailhead. So I returned toward home and stopped Russian Ridge OSP then hiked into Skyline OSP past the two lakes on the Ipawa Trail and the Sunny Jim Trail looping back to my start. Nice day but rather windy. Lou said that just before I got home they had had a rain squall lasting about 30 seconds. Granola for breakfast. Chicken breast for brunch. A BBQ tri-tip sandwich from the market in Half Moon Bay for lunch. Tomato salad with spaghetti for dinner.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Patio Developing

Sunday: (05/24) Granola and a banana for breakfast. I hooked up the new faucet in the backyard. Then I backfilled the hole it was in. The trench for the gray water drain extension is complete. Leftover corned beef hash and eggs for lunch. After lunch we took a drive and tried to get to Half Moon Bay but the traffic on Highway 92 was backed up. After a ½ hour in the slow moving traffic we made it to the first point we could make a U-turn and return toward home. Back home it was nice relaxing in the shade in the backyard. We had a really hot day today, which was about 88 degrees. Clam chowder and roasted tomatoes for dinner.

Monday: (05/25) A short walk around the neighborhood in the morning. In the afternoon I installed the forms for the new patio. Granola and banana for breakfast. Chopped salads from our nearby Corner Bakery Cafe. Chicken pot pie with broccoli slaw for dinner.

Tuesday: (05/26) Granola and banana for breakfast, again. I got outside and moved some base rock into the patio hole. I needed to raise the hole to the bottom of my forms and I also added most of what will be needed to fill the hole and pout the edges. Unfortunately, there is a lot more still left in the front yard. I also installed the rebar for the edges. Lunch was a turkey pastrami and cheese sandwich. When I had finished everything but actually mixing and pouring the edge concrete, I took a well deserved shower. This hot weather makes for a ripe old man. I had started the AC in the RV earlier to cool it down before my arrival for an afternoon rest. We got dinner from El Grullense Taqueria down the street.

Wednesday: (05/27) Granola and banana for breakfast. Another hot day today. I deferred the pouring of the concrete because of the heat and because the yard man comes today, or usually does. It turns out he didn’t today so he’ll be here tomorrow. Anyway, it will be 10 degrees cooler tomorrow. I worked in the yard repotting and moving planters and weeding. I moved several of the trees we have in large planters to the front yard. Lou has been complaining they don’t get enough sun so now they will. She also wanted one out of the way of her view of the yard from the back room. We alo moved some things from the tent to dispose of for our semi-annual yard pickup garbage day. Leftover nachos for lunch. Lou’s Iranian chicken salad for dinner.

I had a virtual doctors appointment with my new doctor. Kaiser called this morning to setup the time.

Thursday: (05/28) Today was our semi annual yard cleanup day. Our garbage collection company was in front of our house right around 0700 and took all of our extra pickup items except for the metal. By 0900 everything was gone including the regular pickup. I set up the mixer to pour concrete and was ready to mix well before 0800 when I could start to make noise. I had to enjoy some ta and wait. I was finished pouring and cleaning up my work area by 0930. I enjoyed an early shower. Around noon I headed off to return items to Ace and Lowe’s. I also picked up a few things for the drip system to the front trees. I also reworked the piping for the sprinkler valve to the plans by the house. It is a single faucet mounted Wifi B-Hyve controller. Leftover chicken and an apple for breakfast. Lunch from Lucky Chinese Bistro Cafe.. For dinner, a nice super burrito from Super Taqueria.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Stanford Walk


Saturday: (05/23) Breakfast from Happy Donuts. I took my bike out for a little run through Stanford and into Menlo Park via Sand Hill Road and Santa Cruz Ave. Nice visit to the Stanford cactus Garden. Lots in bloom still. After lunch, I replaced the bad sprinkler valve by the rear fence. Then a relaxing day in the yard. More shepherd's pie for dinner.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Filling A Dirt Dumpster

Saturday: (05/16) Ernie called and said a sprinkler was running in the backyard. It started at 0220 and it was 0900 when he called. The yard was quite well watered. I’ll replace the valve when it dries out. I spent most of the day trenching for the gray water extension to the far end of the rear yard. I made a material shopping list for the parts I’m missing and headed off to Ace. Lou reminded me it was the weekend but I went anyway. There was a line outside waiting to get in. Off I go to Lowe's. They are bigger, surely no line. A really long line there. So I returned home. Lou arrived shortly with our dinner from Harry’s Hofbrau. It was to toss up whether to trench or install the forms for the patio edges.We’re expecting some rain tonight so I’ll hopefully get some time off now. Soft boiled eggs for breakfast. Lou’s tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. Dinner from Harry’s, veggie lasagna for me, prime rib for them.

Sunday: (05/17) I headed off a little around 0815 to get some materials. I stopped by my Ace Hardware but it didn’t open until 0900, about 1 30 minute wait. Not me. I headed off to Lowe’s in Sunnyvale. Fortunately no line. I got my rebar, PVC pipe and fittings as well as more cement and a door bottom gasket for our outdoor shower. I unloaded all but the cement. It’s a rainy day today. I tend to leave that kind of stuff in the car until needed or until I need more room in the car. After tea in the yard I looked at my project and the fact parts of the trench were flooded and I spent the rest of the day tinkering on the computer, napping and binge watching Poirot mysteries. Granola and banana for breakfast. Rice, Brussels's sprouts, and ham for lunch. Lou’s chicken soup.

Monday: (05/18) Lou picked up breakfast from A Good Morning Cafe. I ordered my dirt dumpster to arrive tomorrow. My trench was rather muddy so I put a fan on it and relaxed most of the day tinkering on the computer and watching TV. A little after 1500 I got to work and installed the drain line extension and the water line to a new faucet. Tomorrow will be busy backfilling and moving dirt into the dumpster. Leftover lasagna for lunch. Lou made sauerkraut potatoes with apple sausage for dinner.

Tuesday: (05/19) Granola and banana for breakfast. I got outside early and started to backfill my trench. About 0830 I heard the dumpster truck arrive and went out to receive and locate the dumpster in front of the house on the street.. Then I got back to my trench filling until a little after 0900 when it started to rain. Time to go to the “office”. Unfortunately the sprinkles didn’t last too long and I returned outside and finished backfilling the trench. I planted the starts of the good grass that used to be in the front yard into most of the trench. Then it was time to start moving the dirt pile into the dumpster. I moved possibly about ⅓ of the pile before quitting a little after 1700. I made a ham, cheese and hummus sandwich for lunch and had the leftover chicken soup from a couple of days ago.. Lou made some asparagus soup for dinner.

Wednesday: (05/20) Granola and banana for breakfast. I got out early and continued moving dirt from the pile into the dumpster. By the end of the day the pile was gone and the dumpster almost full, probably about 9 cubic yards. I stopped to attend my Wednesday AlphaAnywhere webinar at 1000. For lunch, Lou made fried sauerkraut potatoes with sausage and eggs. Dinner was some Domino Pizza. I haven’t had any from them in 25 years or more. Actually surprisingly good!

Thursday: (05/21) I whittled away at Mount Donald, the long term dirt pile in the backyard. I had to hide a huge pile of dirt so it has been hosting lots of succulents for years. I had saved most of the succulents and today I whittled away making room for the installation of the concrete blocks for a raised flower bed wall. I finished two sides and almost filled the dumpster. I made egg, cheese and ham sandwiches for breakfast. Leftover pizza for lunch. Lou made Shepard's pie for dinner.

Friday: (05/22) Off early to do some grocery shopping and visit kaiser for some lab work. We shopped at Smart and Final and Nob Hill this time. Different stores different items for variety. After some roast chicken for a very late breakfast and lunch I got to work moving the last of the dirt. Or at least the last that will fit in the dumpster. I still have a yard and a half of Mount Donald left as well as some other sites that will amount to around four more yards. Looks like I’ll have to get another box sometime in the future. I called for the box to be picked up. I returned and finished up the perimeter of Mt Donald so I can install the retaining wall. I moved the last 12 buckets or so into a hole left at the end of the last driveway section. I had covered the hole a couple of years ago when I finished the driveway. I had intended , by now, to have dug out the remaining bad dirt and relocate the good garden soil and install a 10x10’ patio by the side garage door. That has been on hold because Lou is continuing to use the tent I set up for use while Ernie's shed was rebuilt. It’s still there. I finished cleanup from my activity and can take a day off tomorrow. Lou made Shepard's pie again for dinner tonight.

Monday, May 11, 2020

A New Patio

Monday: (05/11) PBJ toast for breakfast. After breakfast I was off to get groceries at Sprout’s, Grocery Outlet and Safeway. While at Sprout’s I got a call from Alphasoftware to renew my subscription. I have been debating doing that but decide to go ahead. Some computer time back home then chili and chips for lunch. After lunch and more computer time, I eventually got outside for a little digging for the new patio by the arbor. Squash, broccoli and sausage for dinner.

Tuesday: (05/12) Soft boiled eggs for breakfast. We all went to San Jose for an appointment. On the way home we picked up lunches for Lou and Dawn at the Spaghetti Factory restaurant and a burrito for me from Super Taqueria. I relaxed much of the rest of the day and tinkered on the computer until later afternoon. I then moved some dirt from the backyard making way for the base of the new patio. A nice ham and cheese sandwich for dinner.

Wednesday: (05/13) I was busy trying to get Dawn’s printer to print. For some reason any computer she uses can’t print for her. This time I couldn’t get it to work either using all my usual tricks. It turned out the printer couldn’t determine the ink level and the black cartridge was empty. It didn’t bother showing any problems. I attended my Wednesday Webinar about using AlphasAnywhere. Dawn made air fried rice donuts. I made a run to Office Depot to get some ink cartridges. I also attempted to go up to Russian Ridge for a little hike to see the flowers in bloom but failed. I was running too low on gas and it started to rain. I returned down the mountain and got gas. Back home, I got to work doing more digging and dirt hauling for the new patio. I finished the rough digout. Leftover potatoes and sausage for breakfast. Lunch from Happy donuts, a breakfast English muffin with sausage, egg and cheese. Leftover chili over baked potato for dinner. A few showers or drizzle today while overcast.

Thursday: (05/14) Granola and banana for breakfast. Lou made breakfast for lunch. Smoked pork chops, potatoes and eggs. I did more digging. I trenched for the second gray water outlet. A little trip to Ace to get some PVC parts and some grocery shopping on the way home. Back home I installed the gray water piping and transferred the hose to the new outlet. I capped off the old outlet which needs to be extended about 30 later. Lou made chicken and corn soup for dinner.

Friday: (05/15) Granola and banana for breakfast. A trip to Ace Hardware for a couple of PVC fittings and some begonias. I installed a flexible hose on the sprinkler pipe that I had to cut out of the way of the gray water drain pipe. I backfilled the gray water piping. I planted the begonias where some were missing in the greenhouse patio planters.I also repotted and disposed of some plants in the arbor. A ham and cheese with hummus sandwich for lunch. After lunch, I drove up to Russian Ridge for a hike through the wild flowers. Leftover chicken and corn soup for my dinner while Lou and Dawn had their liver and onions.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

RV Jacks Problem Again

Saturday: (05/09) Lou didn’t feel well all day. I helped Dawn with an online class she had in the morning. In the afternoon I added the manure to the garden and tilled it in. I also stored away the extra mortar and sand that, hopefully, will be used later in the yard project. I also did the RV laundry. I made sausage eggs and potatoes for breakfast. Chili beans for lunch. Dawn made butternut squash soup for dinner.

Sunday: (05/10) I looked at why the RV jacks aren’t working. The left front isn’t going down. This is the problem that Leale’s supposedly fixed for us last year by replacing a breaker. At that time it was also not allowing the slides to work. The breaker probably fixed the inop slides but evidently the jack problem fixed itself, for a while. We had no problems during our tour of the East coast. I had hoped it was just the hot weather since it was an extremely hot day that we returned home on. Cool mornings didn’t fix it. Little looking online indicated it might be that the jack was retracted too far, one of five possible causes for the error code I got. I checked and it looked like it might have so i got my drill motor out and lowered it a little manually. They others then extracted properly and then they all went down normally. All good now. Next project was dumping the holding tanks and filling the water. I also helped Dawn do some planting in her garden. Otherwise a nice day in my RV office tinkering on the computer. Soft boiled eggs for breakfast. Chili beans for lunch. Dawn’s rice donuts for dinner with some cottage cheese..

Monday, May 4, 2020

Pinnacles Visit

Monday: (05/04) Granola for breakfast. I headed off early to a hike. I hiked out the Bench Trail from camp then up Bear Gulch Trail to the High Peaks Trail. Then I took the Rim Trail to the reservoir. It was full and there was a good flow from it so the stream in the caves, that are closed, so the waterfalls would have been nice. This was my decision point. I had given Lou two possible routes. One was to continue on to North Chalone Peak and do the entire Pig Fence South Wilderness Loop. The other was to return to the High Peaks Trail and continue up to the Juniper Trail and return via the Balconies Trail. I decided Option 1, the pig fence hike even though it is super strenuous and the longest hike I do here.. All these hikes are three miles longer than usual because they must start at the campground rather than the trailheads. It was a beautiful clear day for the hike but this was likely the coolest day during our stay only getting up to the mid 70’s. I had my trail lunch by the old fire lookout tower on top of North Chalone Peak. Then I continued down and back up to South Chalone Peak and then down alongside the infamous pig fence. This is an extremely steep descent on loose rocks and sand that requires use of the barbed wire pig fence to control descent. The “trail” was way overgrown since previous hikes here, some nearly impassable. At the bottom the water hazards that were nonexistent on the first hike 7-8 years ago and began to require three short water crossings since now amounted to an entire flooded section of over a ¼ mile. I tried to find some bypasses through the brambles but, in the end, just waded through. I returned to camp worn out about 2000. Lou provided spaghetti dinner and pudding dessert with lots of water. Along the way today I saw two huge horned toads. The first one seen near Bear Gulch Visitor Center was nearly 5 inches without his tail and iridescent green. The second one was seen on the South Wilderness Trail and about 4 inches long.

Tuesday: (05/05) Another nice day. Nice to be able to move again, though not too fast. Lou made an oven omelette for breakfast from many of our leftovers. I cleaned up my pack but didn’t get to the task of plucking the fox tails from my socks and shoes. Sometime in the morning the power went off in the park. We didn’t notice it until Lou wanted to run the air conditioner. It returned about 1530. Fortunately we have solar and batteries and the day was nice as well. I uploaded some photos and made a Facebook post. Lou and Dawn took a drive up into the park for a short walk. Handicap placards are allowed in. Leftover spaghetti for lunch. Lou served leftover chili for dinner. I took a walk around the campground just before dark. There were 20 big birds in the trees we saw birds at before. Most likely not condors, too dark to tell but that would be amazing.

Wednesday: (05/06) Started with an early morning walk around camp. Leftover omelet with pan toast for breakfast. I took a walk around near the campground and when I got back, I joined Lou in another walk around the campground. Ham and cheese sandwich with broccoli soup for lunch. Leftover chicken artichoke and rice for dinner.

Thursday: (05/07) Lou made potato pancakes with applesauce, yogurt and some chicken Italian sausage for breakfast. Lou drove me up to the Old Pinnacles trailhead, thanks to her handicap placard, and dropped me off for my hike. She wanted me to limit my hike to 8 miles today and those hikes are non existent without being creative. I hiked out the Balconies Trail to where it is closed at the caves. I then hiked back via the Bench Trail to camp, about 7.5-8.5 miles. At home We had leftover chili for lunch. Leftover meatloaf with baked potato and carrots for dinner.

Friday: (05/08) Biscuits and gravy for breakfast. We took a walk out to the Bacon ranch house to look around. The Pinnacles NP was once the Bacon Ranch. We saw a few turkey’s, some turkey footprints in some deer on the walk. The house is riddled with woodpecker holes now. We prepared to roll and left the park a little after 1000. We stopped for gar for the RV in Gilroy at Costco before continuing on home. I parked the RV and tried to set it up in the driveway but the jacks failed to go down, or at least the left front one would. Same problem as last year. It’s been nice for over a year. I suspect it might be the heat, it’s hot today. I’ll try it again when it’s cooler. I don’t like to put the slides out without the jacks down but i did slide the bed out so we have access to the closets. I picked up lunch at Super Taqueria, a couple of super burritos. After lunch Lou and I went to our Ace Hardware and bought manure and some other things. While we were gone our yard man had been there and mowed the lawn. First time he’s been allowed to for over a month. Leftover chili for dinner.