Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Calm Before The Work

Saturday: (06/13) Back home again, time to relax, and not drive. Ernie eats to a schedule now and he was up and at it before we were. He fixed eggs and bacon for his breakfast. Poor Lou and Dawn got my sausage, eggs and cheese sandwiches (No English muffins in the house) later at a civilized weekend breakfast time.

Lou went off to San Jose to a doll show at the fairgrounds. Dawn went with her to her apartment to work. Ernie and I went off to do a little shopping, mostly at Trader Joe's.
It was otherwise a very relaxing day doing much of nothing. Dinner was shrimp fettuccine, fresh asparagus, and a green salad. The weather is very nice here.

Sunday: (06/14) More Calm. I slept in, others got up. Ernie fixed breakfast of fried eggs, hash browns ala Ernie, with bacon and toast. After breakfast Ernie, Dawn and i went to the Farmers Market on California Ave in Palo Alto. We picked up some good looking asparagus, and some garlic cheese curds. Farmer Dawn bought a persimmon tomato plant, some wheat grass, and a taragon plant. She is really enjoying gardening.

One of the interesting things about doing things for yourself is that you can easily change plans mid-stream or any time. looks like the replacement shop and yard sheds are one of those things. They were originally against the house, were removed to install the siding on the house and intended to be installed along one side of the house but about 10' from the house. That is the 15-20 wide section of the yard that could provide for drivable access to the rear yard. It would have been close to where the shop was, just the opposite side of the space. Now we are reconsidering leaving the space open to allow bring things into the rear yard, like the RV, if needed. The new sites for the sheds are further back in the rear of the yard. The tricky part is to do it without ruining the look of the yard and still providing a usable shop area. It looks possible. The previous site where I removed the broken driveway will likely be converted to garden area. Dawn is going to start removing the bad dirt from the spot. So... That's the plan for today.

Lunch was leftovers from last night. Lou smoked a bunch of meat this afternoon. Guess what we had for dinner. Smoked pork, potatoes, squash with mushrooms, and a green salad.

Monday: (06/15) Breakfast, for those that ate was cereal. Our morning was interrupted by some noise from outside. Our neighbor was having some 40' tall cypress trees removed from bside his driveway. So we pulled up our chairs and watched the show. We're easy to entertain. Too bad the neighboir didn't also have the 8 trees along our fence removed. The needles are messy and since they are 50 or taller trees, they prevent us from installing solar panels on the house. Of course the rest of the roof or day our own oak tree causes a shadow.

Lou Dawn and I went on a Costco run. I really hate the place but we still go for a few things occasionally. We started with lunch from their "diner". We then picked up a couple of food items, some of Lou's "joint juice", and a DVD recorder (with an ATSC tuner) and a new wireless phone set for the house. All things we needed. One of the reasons i hate the place is the lack of customer service at the place. i also hate having the receipt check at the door. We just leave the register where the checker is supposed to have checked us out, we then had to have our purchase approved by the register manager, then we proceed to the door, have our receipt reviewed where then then call over another manager to verify our purchase. Four checks. Rediculous! I don't think it's our suspious looks, i think it's their proceedure. Fortunately, we don't visit too often.

For dinner, I fixed creamed fresh spinach, Spanish rice which we had with some of the smoked chicken.

Tuesday: (06/16) For breakfast we had latkas (potato pancakes) with apple sauce. sour cream and sausage. I worked on updating computers, always painful. Dawn went to San Jose for work.

About noon, Lou said it was to to go to lunch. We went out to the Crazy Buffet, Chinese buffet in Sunnyvale. When we were in Salt Lake City last week we did laundry at a laundromat next door to a Crazy Buffet. Unfortunately we had just finished lunch before we arrived so we couldn't indulge.

For dinner Lou used yesterday's leftovers placing them in whole wheat wraps.
Wednesday: (06/17) Breakfast was cereal and bananas at our front yard table. Lou went to PT this morning for here knee. Ernie is relaxing. Dawn is working. I'm playing.

Chef salad for lunch.

I went down to the Milpitas Great Mall, an old converted Ford Motor Plant. The Traffic Signal Association I belong to had a meeting about an adaptive traffic control system. The meeting was at Dave and Busters. They have a good restaurant/bar along with a huge game room. Our buffet dinner (chiken, pasta, salad and mixed vegetables) at the meeting was pretty good. Lou and Ernie went out to dinner as well. They went up to Redwood City to Harry's Hoafbrau.

Thursday: (06/18) We enjoyed an Ernie breakfast this morning, hashbrowns, eggs and bacon.

After lunch I called my dentist and arranged to see him at 2:30.One of my teeth was bothering me. I stopped by the Mountain View Light Rail station and picked up Dawn. I dropped her off at the Valco Shopping Center while I went to the dentist. The dentist fixed me up and I picked up Dawn and we went home. The Valco Mall has been failing for years but has made some progress recently opening a bunch of movie screens, a too modern bowling ally, keeping it's ice rink and the three main anchor stores Macy's Sear'a and Penny's but loosing almost all the other tenants. Half of it is totally closed off. Maybe it will get going but the recent downturn has to be really bad for them.

Ernie fixed corn on the cob, I fixed asparagus and Lou fixed some of the smoke pork roast. A real team dinner.

Friday: (06/19) Lou fixed pancakes and sausage for breakfast.

We all went out grocery shopping this morning with stops at our veggie stand the Milk Pail, then Trader Joe's, and finally Safeway.  Lunch was cold cuts and cheese.

I request a Sungevity Solar quote for the house. You can request an estimate online and they use Google aerial photos of your house to make an initial estimate . I got the  quote today in the email. They can supposedly provide a 4Kw system finstalled or about $18k our cost after rebates and tax credits. That almost sounds doable and is about 1/3 of our last quote. The problems are that the Google photos evidently don't adequately show the shadows that will cover much of the panels if installed as shown in their example photo. In order make a system on our house useful, we have to get the neighbpr to agree to remove his eight cypress trees and we need to remove our old oak tree. Getting  neighbor to agree to do something like that is rare and getting the city to agree on the removal of our oak tree and even in our wanting to remove our oak tree are problems. So, likely we won't be going soalr right away but it's nice to know it would be cost effective now days.

Later, Dawn and I went out to Best Buy and got a couple of more DTV converters. A problem with having a older TV's in most rooms is getting them digital. The house TV's are now done but only half the recorders are. We're waiting for a sale.
For dinner, Ernie fixed Pork Chow Mein. For desert Dawn fixed homemade Basil Lemon Ice Cream.

Saturday: (06/20) We all went to Menlo Park to Ann's Restaurant for breakfast. Lou and Dawn shared a salmon Benedict and i had my own. they were different, I'm glad I tried it but probably would pass on another.  Ernie had eggs, bacon and hash browns.

Ernie and i didn't do much else all day. Lou and Dawn went back to Ann's for lunch for Lamb shanks which Ernie and I don't could as food. Dawn then went to the Kepler's bookstore there in Menlo Park while Lou cvame back home. When Lou retuirned to pick Dawn up the did a little shopping, thrifting and then stopped at FedExOffice to make some copies.

Dinner  was a chicken white bean soup that Ernie made in the crock pot.

The high temperature today was 10 degrees cooler at about 79 degrees. it actually felt cold in the evening. Great!

Sunday: (06/21) Father"s Day! Ernie and I got to take it easy, I took it too the extreme. Lou and Dawn fixed and delivered breakfast (eggs, bacon and hash browns)  in bed, where I remained all morning watching the Sunday morning shows and playing at the computer. Ah, what a life, at least for a day. They even delivered lunch (Dawn's artichoke soup). The weather is quite nice today with the high in the hi 70's.

Monday: (06/22) Cereal for breakfast.

I worked most of the morning reorganizing and cleaning up my study. It was a total mess and now is just partially a mess. In the afternoon I started the too long deferred tax preparation. Our extension will run out soon so i had to get started. The easy part was done before filing the extension to assure we would owe anything. Part of the problem was the loss of the previous years info in both the TaxCut software and the Quicken files when the hard drive failed in the old laptop. The rest of the problem was just finding the paperwork to prepare it. All dreaded activities on my part. I completed all but the medical cost part.

Sandwiches for lunch. Dawn returned home in the evening. Lou was busy rebuilding an older vacuum that is self propelled. Using the existing vac is hard on her knee and she feels if the vacuum does it's share of the work her knee won't be bothered as much.

Ernie is doing the cooking and baked a nice apricot pie He's on a Chinese path and cooked chow mein for dinner with smoked beef and orange carrots.

Tuesday: (06/23) I fixed potato pancakes, eggs and fied bologna.

We have a new tennant here at Wilton. A couple of birds have decided to nest in the wreath on our front door. (Yes, we still have a wreath on the door.) Our regular use of the door doesn't seem to bother them.

I managed to find most of the stuff i need for the taxes.

Lunch was sandwiches again.

Ernie's dinner was Chinese fried rice. I think he's missing his ocassional visit to Bill lee's Chinese restaurant in Bakersfield, Ca.

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