Friday, June 25, 2010

Always Something To Do

Friday: (06/25) Cereal for breakfast. Back to the yard today, just tinkering. Ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch. A visit to Kaiser for some lab work in the afternoon. Dawn fixed some nice vegetable beef soup with corn flour bread.

Saturday: (06/26) Ham, egg and cheese Don McMuffin for breakfast. I spent the working part of my day removing three 8" trees in the neighbors yard. They are weed trees that got out of hand. My little Royobi cordless chainsaw did an amazing job. I have four batteries and recharged and used them a second time to finish removing and then slicing it into firewood sized pieces. While recharging the batteries I got a nice afternoon rest or recharged myself while recharging the batteries. Lou and Dawn were out at the garage and rummage sales. Lunch was leftover soup from last night. Lou fixed sausage and cabbage for dinner. Dawn and I took a walk to Fry's Electronics a few blocks away for our evening walk. It's been 7 months since I last visited them so there was a lot new to examine.

(06/27) Donuts for breakfast. I tinkered potting plans and such most of the morning. Lou fixed stuffed tomatoes for lunch. For dinner we went to Lou's favorite New Tunk Kee Chinese restaurant then stopped by Walmart's where I picked up some new shorts. Even though I didn't have too many opportunities this winter and spring to wear shorts, i did manage to wear out a couple of pair with snags from the brush on the trails.

(06/28) Begals with ham, cheese and eggs for breakfast. Today was moving day. The RV was pretty much emptied out before it went in for service and stayed that way until Lou cleaned the carpet which has been drying for a few days now. Now much of the stuff was put back in, some, that hasn't been used nor needed were not.

Parmesan popcorn for  lunch. I spent some time at the computer as well today.

For dinner Lou fixed fish, a cold rice salad and some cauliflower. After dinner we went to Home Depot for a few things like potting soil, manure and other tidbits. For desert, Lou fried some tortillas with pecans, cinnamon and sugar.

Tuesday: (06/29) Breakfast was popcorn with dried cranberries, yogurt and milk. Today we get a new range delivered to the house in San Jose. I don't like stuff like that installed by the "professionals". They always do such poor work I always do it myself. They  provided a tight delivery time estimate of sometime from noon to 4pm. Obviously the customers time isn't too important to them.

Dawn had to work today so we drove her down then took a walk while we waited. We walked around by the Guadalupe River Park in downtown San Jose. It's coming along and may turn into a nice city park someday. We returned at 11am to remove the old range in preparation for the new ones arrival. While we're not paying them to install it they will haul the old one away if it's ready when they drop off the new one. Saves a $35 disposal fee. While I was off getting lunch, they called and said they would be there in 15 minutes or right about noon. For lunch I had a super burrito and Lou and Dawn had quesadillas from Super Taqueria near Dawn's apartment. I guess we were the first afternoon delivery. The old range was a drop in and thew new one is free standing. We weren't entirely sure how smooth that change would be but it was no problem at all. It slipped right in and looks nice and works sooo much better. With that done we reconnected the old water softener. It reconnected with no leaks until one of the internal tubes broke. Most have died of old age. Being such a cheapskate, I'll try to rebuild it before admitting defeat and getting a new one. The water source has changed in the past couple of years and is now very hard and the softener is now needed again. I decided to clean some of the junk out of the basement there leftover from old projects, mostly a bunch of leftover steel angle iron and tubes from rebuilding the atrium possibly 10 years ago. My time does fly but messes last forever. I loaded the car up and we returned home.

For dinner Lou fixed guacamole dip and chips and some TV dinners. After dinner we emptied the cars and put all the stuff away. Stuff likes to be taken care of. Time to relax and watch NCIS.

Wednesday: (06/30) Lou and I worked in the yard most of the morning. For lunch I fixed chile verde with black beans over bread. Lou picked up Dawn and they went shopping. I tinkered at home fixing a bad sprinkler valve and working at the computer. We had ham sandwiches for dinner.

Thursday: (07/01) Lou and I were off early. I needed to get a couple of tests in preparation for some minor surgery tomorrow morning. An Xray to see if my kidney stones are still hanging around and an EKG that confirmed I do have a heart, contrary to common belief. After that, we stopped at Holder's Country Inn in Cupertino for breakfast. We shared a supreme omelet souffle with Swedish pancakes. Always excellent. After a stop at a thrift store, a hardware store and a couple of nurseries and we were back home. Lou fixed Iranian chicken salad with corn on the cob for dinner. Iranian chicken salad is basically chicken salad with some Tabasco sauce added.

Friday: (07/02) Lou and I were up and off early to the hospital. I was scheduled to arrive at 0730 for surgery to blast apart and remove my kidney stones. They removed the one that's been on the move since we were in Borrego Springs last April. As far as I know all went well. All I remember is seeing the anesthesiologist and then waking up a couple of hours after. I was a bit surprised that it was my throat that hurt the most after the procedures not something on the other end. Anyway, now if I can continue to watch my diet and drink more water maybe I'll be through creating gravel. Also, after a few days I can get back to some real work. I've been delaying starting rebuilding more of our side yard fence by the garden because I didn't want to get only partly completed before having to stop for a while with the dogs in the yard and our neighbor protected only by a temporary fence.

While I was busy, Lou and Dawn went out to breakfast at the Pancake House in Los Altos.  When I got home I enjoyed leftover chili verde and black beans over bread. Dawn made some nice looking potato cheese soup which they enjoyed but I couldn't because I considered the milk and cheese too much of what one of my medications recommended against. So my dinner was leftover cabbage and sausage. Hopefully some is left after a couple of days. Dawn makes very good soups.

Lou baked an apricot pie for an afternoon treat. Nothing like apricots from your own tree.

Saturday: (07/03) Today I fixed a variation on my Don McMuffins for breakfast. I added a thin layer of baked potato between the ham, egg an cheese. Actually the whole thing was glued together with thin slices of cheese between each layer.

My throat feels much better this morning so drinking my gallons of water will be much easier.

Wow! we've been home a month now, there is no shortage of things to do but I don't think we'll let that get in the way of taking a few short trips here and there anyway. When we passed by Mt Lassen and it was still under snow it beckoned us to return later as did several other places.

For lunch Lou fixed a green salad with three bean salad as the dressing. Ernie was in the baking mood so he prepared an apricot cobbler. Our tree is doing pretty good this year.

Lou and Dawn did their usual by visiting a nearby estate sale.

Chicken pot pie and asparagus spears for dinner.

Sunday: (07/04) Happy Fourth Of July. Apricot pie for breakfast under the wisteria arbor. We started the day with the intent to visit an art show at the Cultural Center but we got te date wrong. We stopped by a garage sale on the way back and Dawn found some more books. We then went grocery shopping. Ham and cheese sandwich and cantaloupe for lunch. Dinner was hamburgers and french fries in the yard followed by strawberry blueberry shortcake. Dawn baked the shortcake and the combination was red white and blue. We didn't go to see any of the fireworks shows but enjoyed a campfire in the yard listening to the one at Shoreline Amphitheater and our neighborhood illegal fireworks.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Alameda Fair, Pleasanton, Ca

Thursday: (06/24) Breakfast was ham and cheese bagels. Lou and Dawn started the day with a trip to see some used cabinets found on the Internet. They turned out to not be what is needed for some kitchen cabinet changes. The old cabinet plywood is so much better than new plywood and just needs to be equal to or bigger than is needed. No luck today but with all the home remodels and with good salvage programs the good stuff may show up some day. Our true mission for today was to go to the Alameda County Fair in Pleastanton about 35 miles East of home.

Pleasanton Pleasanton
We started with lunch downtown on Main Street at the Rising Loaf Bakery cafe. I had a Reuben Sandwich Dawn and Lou shared a teriyaki chicken sandwich all preceded with a couple of brownies.

Alameda Fair Gardens Alameda Fair Gardens
They have some nice display gardens.

Homemade Motorhome Homemade Motorhome
Here is a neat old homemade motorhome. Very aerodynamic.

Dawn And A Goat Animal Pens At Alameda Fair
We enjoyed looking at the animals. Lots of curious goats.

Curious Goats
Neighbors chatting or the fence.

Johnny Rivers Show Johnny Rivers Show
They have a really nice fairgrounds and the fair was really nice too. Very commercial but still had the essentials (animals, crafts, etc) well displayed. We enjoyed the show as well. We don't check on who the entertainers are but usually choose our day at the fair to avoid crowds and fit our schedule.

Johnny Rivers Show
We really lucked out because tonight the entertainer was Johnny Rivers of Secret Agent Man fame. His show was excellent and he did many of his well know tunes. We weren't sitting too close but he looked like a young man, not someone nearing seventy. It's hard to believe he had hit tunes out before the Beatles came to the US.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hanging At Home

Monday: (06/21) Leftover corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. Lou and Dawn were busy gardening. Ernie and I worked a little on the new garden fence moving some dirt. A chicken salad for lunch. Lou picked up the toad from the mechanic. I went on a shopping spree getting some of the stuff to install the fence post anchors and base. Chicken with green beans and white beans. After dinner I drove Dawn down to San Jose. I also received a call from the tenant that the dishwasher didn't work. I checked it, it worked so I showed them how to start it.

Tuesday: (06/22) Cereal, yogurt and cranberries for breakfast. Ernie and and I installed a cooler duct on his trailer to bring cool air from the house through his trailer. Lou steam cleaned the RV carpet. Leftover chicken salad and bean soup for lunch.About 3pm Lou took me to the train station and I went up to San Francisco for my computer user group meeting (BAADAUG). I haven't been to a meeting in seven months while we were on the road. I do like to attend and try to keep up even though much goes over my head. The guest speaker Michael Slinn talked about Internet Web Services. Quite informative. Dinner was, of course, pizza at the meeting.

Wednesday: (06/23) Lou and I started the day with a trip to the hardware store to return the carpet cleaner and pick up a few things.  On our way home we stopped for breakfast at Country Gourmet in Mountain View. Ernie and I installed grills on his two screen doors to his trailer. For lunch we had guacamole and chips. I pruned a couple of trees in the back yard over the shop. I'm considering removing them but will start with a really good trim. Ernie fixed tacos for dinner.

Monday, June 14, 2010

RV Repair, Plumbing Problems

Monday: (06/14) I was up really early to hookup the toad and take the RV down to San Jose to Leale's RV to get the transmission looked at. It has a problem of not staying in 1st or 2nd gear when going down hills. Hopefully it's not a serious problem. I stopped for a chorizo breakfast burrito. I then went over to Dawn's to work on her computer to speed it up and update the software. Lou and Dawn came down on the bus, Dawn to work and Lou to help me work on the bathtub leak. But first we went to the House Of Pizza for lunch. they make a great combo pizza. After lunch, we tried our best but couldn't get the leak stopped, just reduced considerably. To do more will take an undetermined amount of time and will be a destructive repair to replace all the drain piping with little access so there will be no turning back once we start so we want an entire day before we start that. We also completed removing the leaves from the wisteria on the garage. There was less wind today and we had room in the car to haul the stuff off. We stopped for dinner at Sweet Tomatoes salad buffet.

Tuesday: (06/15) Lou started our day with a nice omelet. Lou and I spent the morning shopping at Lowe's for materials to replace the the bathtub drain piping at the San Jose house. We'll do it tomorrow morning to give us the whole day to get it back together. It's a pretty tight spot with poor access so it may be fun. We also explored ways to cool Ernie's trailer.  We also ordered a new range for the house. Lunch was leftover pizza. Our afternoon was spent pruning our neighbors tree. It's the tree that is adjacent and over where our RV is parked. They finally are allowing us to trim the 20' tall bush into a tree so the RV won't be parked in a tunnel any longer. Lou and I went to the LUU Noodle House for dinner of our usual combination chow fun and some egg rolls.

Wednesday: (06/16) Cereal for breakfast before we were off early toward San Jose. I needed a couple more things for today's work so we stopped by Lowe's on the way. We arrived at the house just after 9am to start the repair of the leaky bathtub. The tub drain fittings replacement went fairly smoothly thanks to my trusty sawsall but it took the rest of the afternoon and another stop at Lowe's to get the drain lines re-connected. Fortunately after all was connected it didn't leak so it was a productive day. For lunch Lou and I split a burrito for Super Taquiera. When Dawn came back to her place from work we headed home stopping at Sweet Tomatoes for dinner again.

Thursday: (06/17) Lou fixed fried potatoes, ham and eggs for breakfast. The weather has been nice recently. Ernie's lawn patching in the back yard is working and there are lots of little green spouts popping up where there was hard clay dirt. We intended to go to the San Mateo Fair this afternoon but Leale's RV called and said our motorhome is ready to pickup so we headed down and I brought home . I fueled up and filled the LPG on the way so we're ready to roll and ready if it rolls (earthquakes). The transmission had a bad switch that caused the low gears to not work correctly. All in all a cheap fix even though the $60 part was a tenth of the total cost of the repair. Lou and Dawn are doing more thrift store looking on their way home from dropping me off. When I got home I finished packing the remaining tree trimmings into the compost bins. our trimming of the neighbors tree produced about 180 gallons trimmings (three 60 gallon bins). Lunch was a ham sandwich.

Friday: (06/18) Dawn fixed ham and cheese bagels for breakfast. We pretty much took the morning off. For lunch, we went to the Sunny Chinese Buffet in Sunnyvale for my Fathers day meal. Yeah, it's a couple of days early but we hate crowds that much. Even being early, there was still a good crowd. My brother Ernie, Dawn's friend Courtney and our neighbor Meili and her daughter Annan had lunch with us. After lunch Dawn. Lou and i headed up to the San Mateo Fair. Our own Santa Clara County Fair is dead, a fair in name only, just a carnival and vendors now. San Mateo's fair still has FFA and 4H participation with animals, crafts and art. Still a pretty good fair. We got to enjoy the pig races too. After the fair, we stopped by nearby Hillsdale Mall for a quick look before they closed. Our dinner when we got home was leftovers.

Saturday: (06/19) Ham and cheese bagels for breakfast, again. The only thing i accomplished today was to get the RV and toad washed. Lou and Dawn planted more of their garden. Lunch was ham and cheese sandwiches. Dinner was salmon, asparagus and rice.

Sunday: (06/20) For some reason Lou fixed my favorite breakfast corned beef hash and eggs. I worked on the RV some today cleaning the roof vent fans and fixing the fantastic fan that has had problems with the open/close motor not stopping. I disconnected it since we almost always have it open anyway and the manual operator is easier to use anyway. i also drained and refilled to water tank so we're ready for the unexpected. I also helped Ernie fix the backyard gate lock and started some more fence building by installing a temporary fence by the new garden spot so I can rebuild the fence and keep the dog in the yard as well. Lou and Dawn were busy with their projects like starting planter gardens. Lou fixed grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, another favorite. Dawn made some corn and barley chowder soup for dinner.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Old Volvo Repairs And A Sick Dishwasher

Monday: (06/07) I had an early doctor's appointment. About 11am, Lou and I stopped by Holder's Country Inn in Cupertino for breakfast. They make the best omelets and Swedish pancakes. In the afternoon we made a run to Costco and tinkered some more in the yard. Lou and Dawn made a visit to a couple of thrift stores. It takes a while for them to get to all of them. For dinner we utilized a two for one coupon for some Pizz'a Chicago pizzas, our neighborhood parlor.

Tuesday: (06/08) Election Day. That was the first order of business for the day. Breakfast was leftover pizza. As was my lunch and dinner. I said it was good. Lou had  lunch with our neighbor's mother. I replaced the rear door struts in our old car and a door lever on the new (toad). I still have to replace the engine protection pan that got battered on our rough travels the past few months. But that will be done another day. I also did  some more drip system setup.

Wednesday: (06/09) My breakfast was our leftovers from our Monday breakfast. Lou had yogurt on granola for her breakfast. We headed down toward San Jose window shopping along the way. We stopped for a late lunch at the Hometown Buffet. Coincidental good timing. Seniors get a special extra discount from 1-3pm. When we finally got down to Dawn's place we got to work. We could only avoid it so long. Our tenant complained about the dishwasher not working. Actually they called a month ago while we were on the road. They said it was making all the right noises but wasn't cleaning. I told them to check the filter. They couldn't figure out how to do it even with my suggestions so had to wait. When I checked it it was exactly what i had suggested, but even worst than i suspected. There was what appeared to be huge chunks of gravel like stuff filling the filter. They water there has either gotten much worse or somebody put some thing in it. In any case I couldn't get it all out and will have to return with a wet/dry vac to complete the job tomorrow. I plan for other tasks so Lou and i removed a dead apricot tree.  It was about 10 inches in diameter so my little Ryobi cordless chain saw had to work a little to bring it down. The new lithium batteries are really worth their high price. I bought two small batteries and one brought the tree down and trimmed up a good portion of it. The other completed the trimming and made a couple of additional cuts through the trunk to make manageable logs to cart away. But, I'll have to complete the job tomorrow with fresh batteries to make a couple more cuts in the remaining big piece of the trunk. With the tree remnants loaded in the car there wasn't room for me. In addition Lou was there to pickup Dawn and bring her home via all the thrift stores along the way so I caught a bus home. Lou and Dawn had chicken and rice for dinner while I had some leftover sauerbratten and rice and some sauerkraut, potatoes and pork.

Thursday: (06/10) Cereal with yogurt for breakfast. I was off early toward San Jose again but visited Home Depot, Lowe's, and Micro Center on my way. I needed a few things and also like to look, especially at the computer store. When I finally got on track, I continued on to San Jose with a stop at the House Of Eggrolls in Santa Clara for lunch. best eggrolls around. In San Jose I fixed the dishwasher, a broken upper shelf and an awful lot of calcium buildup flaking off inside the filter. I completed removing all the calcium gravel and gave the dishwasher a test drive. AOK. Mission two was to remove more trees. There are lots of junk trees all over the yard fro twig sized to three inches. I removed them all and dissected them into the compost bin. Final project was to reactivate Dawn's cooler for the season. Dinner was roast chicken, asparagus, and Spanish rice.

Friday: (06/11)  We started the day with French toast and bacon. Then Lou and I returned to San Jose. We removed a whole lot of wisteria and reduced it to appropriated sized chunks for the compost bin. We have to cart off all the debris so will have to return to collect the pervasive leaves piled on the roof later,unless then magically blow away. For lunch we shared a super burrito from Super Taqueira nearby. We also discovered a serious leak in the plumbing that we'll have to return to fix as well. Never ending! we stopped at many appliance shops looking for a cheap good new range for the kitchen as well. Time for a weekend off now. Dinner was Dawn's sausage and kale soup.

Saturday: (06/12) I worked on the drip watering system. Lou and Dawn were busy with visits to garage and estate sales. A piece of Ernie's cherry pie for breakfast. Leftover pork, sauerkraut and potatoes for lunch. KFC chicken for dinner.

Sunday: (/06/13) Breakfast was cereal and bananas. We emptied out the RV in preparation of its going to the shop tomorrow. Wow, there is a lot of stuff that we carry that we never use. Maybe it wont all be returned.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Home Again

Tuesday: (06/01) We arrived home about 23:30. Nice to be home again after our 5.5 months away.We got home so late we're camped out front for tonight.

Wednesday: (06/02) Leftover corned beef hash with eggs for breakfast. We were all busy cleaning and moving stuff most of the day. We did start with a walk around the neighborhood and went up to California Avenue for some Mediterranean wraps for lunch. Lou started with cleaning the cooler. It's the first warm day we've seen in a long time. I pruned a tree that was bothering a neighbor. The yard looks pretty good, not as bad as we anticipated due to the sprinklers not working and the weather finally warmed up. Fortunately it was raining regularly all the time, unusual for us. Lou fixed hot dogs and Brussels sprouts for dinner.

Thursday: (06/03) Oatmeal with yogurt and cranberries for breakfast in the back yard. I had a doctors appointment just before noon then Lou and I tasted a tomale at the Framers Market in the hospital courtyard. The we went shopping a little and eventually had a real lunch at Lou favorite restaurant the New Tung Kee in Mountain View. We shared our usual #21, a combination chow fun plate. More shopping followed. I bought some new jeans. I ruined several pair with my rough hiking over the past few months. Dawn fixed vegetable soup for dinner with some garlic bread sticks. I finally got the Kinetic photos up on this blog.

Friday: (06/04) We spent the morning working in the yard. Lou and I brought things out of the greenhouse and Dawn worked on her garden.

In the afternoon we all went shopping for the garden and other projects. Home Depot had what we needed compost, manure, and some hardware. We also stopped by the Grocery Outlet market for  a few things.

Lou fixed ham and eggs for breakfast.
Lunch was just some ice cream.
For dinner we had sauerbraten that Lou had started in the crock pot this morning.

Saturday: (06/05) A clear day. We spent the morning gardening. I finished reconditioning the plants that survived our absence in the green house. Dawn's working on planting her new vegetables and herbs. I also fixed a couple of the locks on the sheds that were not finning correctly now that our clay is drying out.

PBJ English muffins for breakfast.
Grilled cheese and ham sandwiches for lunch.
Sauerkraut, potatoes and pork that I had cooked all day in the crock pot for our dinner.

Sunday: (06/06) Another nice clear day. Lou fixed our back screen door hinge that was loose. Some rivets had come loose and were replaced with screws. I reconditioned the strawberry beds trimming off the dead and adding a few new plants. I also upgraded the drip system around the arbor so that all the plants brought from the green house would be watered.

Ernie and I went to our local Orchard Supply Hardware store for a few things. More drip system materials and a tomato plant for Ernie. We stopped by the Sunset Celebration Weekend at the Sunset Magazine Headquarters in Menlo Park. We attended the first one in 1998 and again a couple of years later. the first  one was nice, not too many people and free. The second time we went was much more crowded and they charged a few bucks to get in. Today, we decided not to enter because we're too cheap to pay the now $16 admission. We do like to walk their gardens occasionally and that's at our favored price, free.

Lou fixed French toast with bacon for breakfast.
Leftover sauerbraten with rice for lunch.
Dinner was BBQ ribs and rice.