Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 365

Monday: (12/31) New Year's eve day was clear and cold. Lou and I started the day by delivering the Hyundai to the body shop in Santa Clara. Lou and Dawn were then off to meet friends visiting from new York, one of Lou's former students and her mom. I enjoyed a nice Don McMuffin with meatlaof as the meat. I tinkered in the office trying to avoid going outside. Eventually, I went out and helped Ernie with some rewiring for his macerator pump. One of the wires had failed due to water intrusion. Leftover Dawn's soup for lunch. Courtney was the chef of the evening preparing hamburgers with brie cheese, sauted mushrooms, and the other usual fixings. It's getting harder and harder to stay up late to greet the new year, but we managed.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Another Fine Year

Saturday: (12/29) A rainy day. I put three coats of varnish on the new RV valences. I also did some organising in the study. Lou was busy packing and preparing to leave. Asparagus and ham omelet for breakfast. Cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. Baked potatoes, asparagus, and chicken.

Sunday: (12/30) A nice clear day. I put a couple of coats of varnish on the inside of the new RV valances. In between coats I  did other tasks and tinkered on the computer. Lou was busy with the wash ans sewing. Dawn and i visited Fry;s Electronics in the afternoon. Eggs, Sausage, and home fried potatoes for breakfast. Lunch at Chili's Restaurant. I enjoyed a CFS. Lou and Dawn had soup. For dinner we had some vegetable sausage soup that Dawn made.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Palo Alto's Foothills Park

20121228 Foothills Park

Friday: (12/28) My last hike for the year and for several months with the San Jose Mid-Week Hikers. I led this hike in Palo Alto's residents only park, a nice 7.2 mile loop hike on the Los Trancos Trail. We've had a lot of rain recently but the trail wasn't too bad. Just a couple of slide areas, a couple of fallen trees blocking the trail and one really bad unavoidable muddy spot. We even had a few sunny periods along the trail and located a couple of geocaches as well.

Breakfast was my usual Don McMuffin, a sausage cheese and egg English muffin sandwich. Lunch was cheese, crackers, lunch meat, and Christmas goodies. Dinner was chicken alfredo with avocados.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Merry Christmas

Tuesday: (12/25) Merry Christmas to all! We didn't get too much into the holiday mood this year. The tree was thinly decorated as was the rest of the house. Lou has collected a few Christmas wreaths for the front door. One is a singing wreath that probably drove the neighbors crazy for th week or two it was up. Lou traded it for a more conventional wreath after a while. For breakfast we enjoyed popcorn. Lunch was nibbles of cheese and crackers, beef log and deviled eggs. Earnie started the ham early. Some of the presents weren't wrapped. No surprise what they were anyway. The winch for the Jeep is rather big so it was the tree base. It's mount was similarly big and unwrapped. Most presents were things we'd have gotten even if it weren't a holiday for giving. We're back to the rain today. 

Wednesday: (12/26) Another very rainy day. We all went down to San Jose early. Dawn had an early appointment. Lou and I stopped by La Victoria Restaurant in downtown San Jose for breakfst. Lou ordered a breakfast burrito without the flour tortilla. It was served on a plate with a corn tortilla. I had a conventional breakfast burrito. They make a great burrito and their oramge sauce is outstanding. We then stopped by Danw's apartment. we checked the basement and discovered a lot of water. I do need to install a sump pump. We also noticed a wet spot in the basement under the kitchen sink. The main house tenants didn't want us to work on it today so we scheduled the repair for tomorrow. Lunch and dinner were leftovers. After lunch we made a trip to Costco for a few things. Dawn visited Best Buy and i visir-ted REI nearby. Lou was on here way to pick us up when there was a misap and she and another driver both backed into each other. The Hyundai doesn't look as bad as the VW Passat. Though both have miner damage I'm sure it won't be cheap.

Thursday: (12/27) A nice dry day. We were all up early and headed to San Jose for breakfast at La Victoria Restaurant in downtown San Jose. They are nice enough to make gluten free breakfast burritos for Lou and Dawn, all the fixins on a plate served with a corn tortilla.  We had an appointment with the San Jose tenants to fix a leak under their kitchen sink. That task took most of the day. A very stuborn leak. I also restocked their water softener salt. I had a late lunch at Sweet Tomatoes salad buffet. Lou and Dawn had appointments. Lou took the Hyundai in for service and to a body shop for an estimate. Lou got an estimate for the Hyundai repair, only $750. The other party had a $1650 estimate. Then she and Dawn played on the way home. Dinner was leftovers. Since it was a little breezy today our yard dried out fairly well so my hike tomorrow may be a little less muddy. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Rainy Christmas Season

Saturday: (12/22) Lou made a spinach omelet for breakfast. Since it's raining rather nicely, I tinkered inside all day as did we all. Dawn's friend Andrea came over for a visit. Courtney stopped by and Ernie took us all out to lunch at Harrys Haufbrau in Redwood City. It was a late lunch so our dinner was late. Courtney brought some brie cheese, fig jam, and crackers which we called dinner. I rather like a rainy day, especially when I can be inside.

Sunday: (12/23) A deluge day with extremely heavy rains that closed many roads. Our nearby creeks were full to the brim and over at some locations. Our sump pump, that receives all the water in our sub terainian backyard as well as all the flow from the downspouts, was busy all day. In addition to the rain, it was cold. Not enough for ice or snow but really cold for us California bay area sissys. Breakfast was leftover spinach omelet. Lunch and dinner were leftovers making way for the holiday feast leftovers.

Monday: (12/24) Our rain is gone, for at least today. Sunny and clear. We enjoyed the free breakfast at IKEA and a walk inside as well.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Coyote Lake Park, Savannah Trail Hike

Friday: (12/21) Lou was off to her Friday morning shopping trip. I headed off to San Martin for my hike. First, I stopped by McDonnald's for a sausage McGriddle sandwich for breakfast. I made it to the park about 30 minutes early. I wanted to be sure to get there on time and it was 40 miles away. There was the possibility the hike might have to be cancelled because of rain. When I first looked out the window this morning, the sky was clear. 45 minutes later we had a really nice orange sunrise in the then present scattered clouds. 30 minutes later when I was departing for the hike the sky was dark gray and threatening rain. Fortunately I drove out of the clouds by the time I made it to San Martin. It was darned cold but no rain. This hike included an orientation to geocaching. When my fellow hikers arrived I gave them the orientation and we proceeded up th trail finding several caches along the way. We were hiking in Coyote Lake Park from the Harvey Bear entrance.

Coyote Lake Park a nice oak tree by the Savannah Trail Coyote Lake Park Savannah Trail
We took the Willow Springs Trail up to the Rancho San Yisidro Trail then out our destination trail the Savannah Trail. Along the way toward the end of the Savannah Trail it started to rain. We decided to cut our planned route short and return by the shortest path back on the Rancho San Yisdro Trail.

Coyote Lake Park view along Savannah Trail Coyote Lake Park Rancho San Yisidro Trail
The rain stopped and, all in all, we had a nice hike. I had lunch with a couple of my fellow hiker Bob and Sharon at the Super Taqueria in Morgan Hill. After lunch I stopped at the Camping World for a quick look around and at the Hobby World which Lou and Dawn checked out yesterday. Lou made some more French Onion soup for dinner.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Good Weather To Be Inside

Saturday: (12/15) We enjoy watching the PBS TV show America's Test Kitchen. We were inspired by a recipe for French onion soup the other day so today Lou started making it. It called for apple butter but she didn't find any she liked so she bought apples and made some. It also required 12 hours in the slow cooker so while she started it today, it wasn't ready in time for dinner today. Guess what dinner is tomorrow. Otherwise we managed to relax all day due to it raining outside.

Buckwheat cereal for breakfast. Lou and I made a trip to the hardware store in Redwood City so we stopped on the way at Chavez Market for brunch quesodillas, mine flour, Lou's corn due to that gluten thing. Shephard's Pie for dinner.

Sunday: (12/16) A cool rain threatened bu no rain day. I was busy cleaning up the shop, sealing up some cracks in the shop wall, and rearranging the shop. Lou was busy sewing.

Breakfast at A Good Morning restaurant this morning. French onion soup and cheese toast for dinner.

Monday: (12/17) A rainy day. I started the day working in the office. In the afternoon I worked in the shop assembling the new RV valances. I also demolished an old broken cartop carrier so it would fit in the trash barrel. Lou and Dawn were off all day with appointments and shopping.

Sausage and pancakes for breakfast. Toasted cheese sandwich for lunch. French onion soup and cheese toast for dinner.

Tuesday: (12/18) Today was the Traffic and Electrical Operations Christmas Pancake Breakfast where I used to work. It's nice to visit occasionally to see what they are up to. For lunch I met Lou and Dawn at the LUU Noddle House for our usual Chinese lunch. Dinner was Lou's beef burgundy. I accomplished nothing else today. Lou was busy with laundry and sewing. Dawn worked at the library.

Wednesday: (12/19) Cereal for breakfast. I went trough the stuff I removed from th RV when it went in to the shop a while back. Lots of stuff didn't make it back as I reloaded the RV and Jeep. Amazing what you think you might need and don't and what you can collect. Lou had an appointment and when she returned, i was allowed to go onto the roof of th RV and reinstall the rain cover on the fantastic fan vent I replaced a while back. I had ordred a better cover and it came after I had already installed the vent. Lunch at LUU Noodle house. Lou and I shared a combnation chow fun. Dinner at Chevy's mexican restaurant. Lou and I shared a super cinco combination.

Thursday: (12/20) Don Mcmuffin for breakfast. It's another cold day. We had heavy rain forcaste but it's been clear all day. I tinkered inside most of the day. Lou and Dawn had some appointments and went down to Gilroy to look around the Hobby Lobby store and other things. I had cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. For dinner I grabbed a wet burrito from our nearby El Grullense Taqueria. Lou and Dawn had lunch in San Jose at the Original Joe's Itallian Restaurant, corned beef and cabbage day. They also ventured down to Morgan Hill to the new Hobby Lobby craft store then had dinner in Gilroy at the Black Bear Diner.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Monte Bello , Skyline Ridge, Russian Ridge, Coal Creek Loop Hike

Friday: (12/14) Threatening rain. A nice day for a hike. I met my hiking group at Monte Bello Ridge Open Space Preserve about seven miles West of Palo Alto near the top of the mountains. I had scheduled a hike for the group that looped through four of the preserves at the top of the mountains. Monte Bello Ridge OSP, Skyline Ridge OSP, Russian Ridge OSP and Coal Creek OSP. The hike was 8 miles and had a total climb of 1868 feet with an elevation change of 675 feet. It took us 3 hours and 38 minutes. While it was raining as we arrived, it was clear for our entire hike and then started to rain again as we arrived back at our cars. Of course, since it had rained yesterday, we did have some mud on the trails. There were only five hearty hikers that braved the weather, a little smaller group than normal. Here is the GPS track for the hike.

Monte Bello Loretta, Bon=b and Sharon Crossing Stevens Creek Skyline Ridge OSP Alpine Pond
Fellow hikers Loretta, Bob and Sharon crossing Stevens Creek in Monte Bello Ridge OSP. Above left is the Alpine Pond in Skyline Rodge OSP.

Russian Ridge OSP Ancient Oaks Trail Russian Ridge OSP View West Russian Ridge OSP Ancient Oaks Trail
Above left the Ancient Oaks Trail in Russian Ridge OSP. Middle a view of the Butano Mountains from Russian Ridge OSP. Right another view of the Ancient Oaks Trail.

Skyline Rpad Vista Point View Of Palo Alto Coal Creek OSP Meadow Trail
A view of Palo Alto form the vista point on the mountain ridge. Our home is about the center of the photo way in the distance. All that green area and including the light colored area that is Dish Hill on the Stanford University campus is almost all park land, Open Space land or other public open space. Starting with Coal Creek OSP, then Los Tracnos OSP, then Foothills Park, then Pearson Arastradero Preserve and finally Stanford's Dish Hill. About nine miles of parks. From where I took the photo you can hike in preserves either direction (left or right) for more than 20 miles. It does make finding a new path for a hike for the group easier. We are so fortunate to have so much park land so close to home. Above right along the Meadow Trail in Coal Creek OSP.

Lou and Dawn were busy at home sewing and reading, then some shopping. After lunch I finished up the gutter cleaning by reinstalling the gutter guard.

Breakfast was egg sausage and cheese muffins. Lunch was a chili size for me Subway sandwiches for Lou and Dawn. Dinner was hamburgers with grilled onions and mushrooms.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Get Your Mind Out Of The Gutter

Monday: (12/10) Pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Lou and Dawn were off to their appointments. I loaded the Jeep and headed to San Jose to clean out the rain gutters. Better late than never. Lou and Dawn met me at the house after their appointments. Lou was my spotter to call the undertaker if I were to fall off the roof. We fear the tenants would just step over me. All went well and didn't take too long. I also cleaned off the garage roof. Our neighbors tree is prolific! While the work hours weren't long, the work sure made us tired. Yes, Lou was tired too. She was the ground crew hauling the bucket loaded with leaves to the pile. Lunch was KFC chicken. For dinner, we went to the Crepevine in downtown Palo Alto. Of course, we had savory crepes followed by a shared sweep crepe for desert. The movie of he evening was The Odd Life Of Timothy Green, thanks to Netflix.

Tuesday: (12/11) An apple fritter for breakfast. I drove Lou to an appointment then browsed a new Grocery Outlet store and the Harbor Freight nearby. Lou and I stopped by our local Subway sandwich shop for their special $2 six inch meatball sandwich for me and all the ingredients of a coldcut sandwich for her, no bun.

Monte Bello Ridge OSP Pond
After lunch, I went up the hill to check out some questions I had about the hike I have scheduled for this Friday. I needed to check some trail connections and whether some trails might be closed for winter. I also explored this pond. All OK. Dinner was chili beans for me and chicken with baked potatoes and tomatoes.

Wednesday: (12/12/12) Lou and Dawn were busy with appoints much of the day. I relaxed, partly due to it raining today. I got some stuff off my desk. Latkas with yogurt and apple sauce with bacon for breakfast. Lunch at the usual LUU Noodle House. Lou made chicken hash for dinner.

Thursday: (12/13) I had a PBJ English muffin for breakfast. Lou and Dawn had buckweat cereal for their breakfast. They were off for their appointments. I went out and caught the bus to do some Christmas shopping. I picked up some things at Walmart and Target before stopping at Subway for a meatball sandwich for lunch then returning home. My afternoon project was cleaning out the gutter on the sun room. It's generally a lengthy job due to such a lousy design with no access and lots of leaf traps. For dinner Lou fried the last of the saurkraughted potatoes with some sausage. It was followed by a piece of Courtney's pumpkin pie.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

RV House Cleaning And Bluegrass

Saturday: (12/08) We enjoyed breakfast outside, for a change. The weather was nice and sunny. Dawn went to the Palo Alto Library book sale and Lou and Dawn visited a bunch of open artist studios as well. I spent the day cleaning out the lower storage compartments of the RV. I also cut out the new window curtain valances. In the evening we went to another Redwood Bluegrass Associates concert. The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band (Peter RowanMichael WitcherKeith LittlePaul Knight, and Blaine Sprouse). Wonderful concert as usual. And they have wonderful pies which I got to enjoy. Poor Lou and Dawn couldn't, I shouldn't, but do. Saurkraughted potatoes with chorizo patties and eggs for breakfast. Lunch was cottage cheese and fruit. Leftovers for dinner.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Stanford Campus and Dish Hill Loop Hike

Friday: (12/07) Lou made biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I met my hiking group over at Stanford Mall and guided the 10 hikers for a tour around the campus and up the Dish Hill and managed to return with all the hikers I left with. This hike was supposedly the same as I hiked last week but this hike was a mile longer being 9.5 miles. Here is the GPS track link.

Stanford Stone River Stanford University Cactus Garden Flower Stanford Walkway Leaf Prints
This Stone River (above left) was built with stones from the rubble of Stanford buildings after the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes. I liked the leaf prints on the walkway. (right)

For lunch we had egg nog milk shakes from Jack In The Box. i added a cheese burger to my lunch. Dinner at IKEA. We had the Swedish Julbord buffet which was pretty good, their Christmas dinner special. Unlike their normal cafeteria, the dining room was closed to all but those that pre-bought the Christmas buffet.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Still Raining

Friday: (11/30) Lou and Dawn had cereal before heading out for Friday grocery shopping. I had a Don McMuffin for breakfast before i started tinkering inside. We had heavy rain all last night and this morning. Chicken mushroom soup and toast for lunch. Lou worked detailing the interior of the RV. Dawn prepared chicken, baked potatoes and green beans for dinner.

Saturday: (12/01) Rainy day schedule today. Spinach and cheese oven omelet for breakfast. sausage and cheese English muffin sandwich for lunch. Lou and Dawn were out shopping. I tinkered at home all day. Lou and I were cat sitting today necessitating spending time at Courtney's to play with spunky. Pot roast for dinner.

Sunday: (12/02) Rainy day schedule today. Leftover spinach and cheese oven omelet for breakfast. Leftover pot roast for lunch. More cat sitting today. Lou was busy with the laundry. I tinkered. Chicken soup for dinner.

Monday: (12/03) The rain is gone, at least today. Nice and sunny. Lou and Dwn were off early to appointments. They had cerel for breakfast. I stopped for a breakfast sandwich and Jack In The Box. I stopped by Harbor Freight to swap my defective nail gun. I met Lou there while Dawn checked out a book store. She then went on to another sppointment leaing me alone at the mens toy store. I picked up a winch on sale and a ventilation tube fan to help change the air under the house.We've been smelling mold since the rain. We all met at the local nearby Chinese buffet there in Santa Clara for lunch. They then went on shopping and I went in search of some plywood and other hardware store looking myself. Busy Busy. Dinner was Kentucky Fried Chicken Monday specials, chicken and corn.

Tuesday: (12/04) A nice day, no rain and only some high clouds ocassionally. Lou and I were out shopping. Dawn was working as a volunteer at the Los Altos Library. Lou and I went to Southern Lumber in San Jose. i needed a good piece of oak wood for a modification in the RV. I didn't like the wood at Home Depot and Lowes so we went to our local real lumber store. I found just the right piece with a good even grain. Unfortunately, real lumber stores aren't as cheat as the junk lumber stores but the premium was worth it. Sweet Tomatoes Restaurant for Lunch. Artichokes and avocadoes for dinner. We had some of each that were timing out. I added a sausage cheese Engish muffin to my dinner.

Wednesday: (12/05) Lou was off to an early appointment. I dropped Dawn off at the trolley station about 0930. Since i was in Mountain View, I stopped at the Hong Kong bakery for a pork bun and egg tart for my breakfast. An advantage of a late breakfast. Lou and Dawn don't visit there since they went gluten free. We had another downpour this morning and it sprinkled the rest of the day. I tinkered at the computer all day. When Lou was free, I met her for lunch at her favorite New Tung Kee noodle house. She had pad Thai and I had a couple of egg rolls. Lou worked pn the dinette cushions. they were always a bit too big since we replaced them a couple of years ago so shes' reducing their size. I put a pork roast with potatoes and saurkraught in the low cooker rather late about 2pm. Since I was late I started the potatoes with a litlle microwave time before placing them in the pot. Dinner was ready at 7pm.

Thursday: (12/06) Fired saurkraughted potatoes with sliced pork roast and eggs for breakfast. I tinkered in the shop in the morning. I also attached a couple of tasks from the to do list like fixing the fgate and front security door locks that were acting up. Beef pot roast with carots, onions and potatoes for dinner.

Stanford Arboretum and Dish Hill Loop Trial Hike

Thursday: (11/29) Lou and Dawn were off for their appointments early. I had a Don McMuffin for breakfast.

Stanford Mausoleum  Stanford Family Sculpture
After breakfast I drove over the the Stanford Campus. Since we have a lull in our rain today, I planned a hike for the group that would be good for a rainy day or just after. At least that is what I hoped. So I decided to check it out. I started at the Stanford Shopping Center and hiked through parts of the Arboretum around the dry Lake Langunitas and up and around Dish Hill then returned. The hike was 8.5 miles and took 3.5 hours. Along the way I stopped and chatted with a former coworker, Ludi, for quite a while. Extremely nice views from the hill. Above is the Stanford Family Mausoleum and their statue.

Stanford Cactus Garden  Stanford Cactus Garden
I really liked the cactus garden. I'll have to return in the coming weeks to watch the flowering cacti all ready to pop open their flowers.

Stanford Old Church
Stanford's Old Church is rather ornate.
Stanford Dish Hill The Big Dish  Stanford Dish Hill Trail
The big dish and the trail on top of the Dish Area.

Stanford Dish Hill
A view across the hills  of one of the dishes on the hills above Stanford.

Stanford Arboretum Trail  Stanford Arboretum Fall Colors
There are some nice looking spots on the trails made even better looking by the paint of fall colors.

On the way to lunch I was rudely interrupted by someone running into the rear of the Jeep. Fortunately not hard enough to cause damage just enough to make me think there probably was. Lunch was at Jack In The Box. It had started raining as I was finishing my hike and by the time I got home it had rained pretty good. For dinner Dawn made chicken mushroom soup with toast.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Good Weather After Thanksgiving?

Saturday: (11/24) A nice sunny warm day. Usually we are into winter after Thanksgiving. Chicken hash and eggs for breakfast. I tinkered inside in the morning. Lou was off to a craft faire. Cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. After lunch I figured I'd better get to work so I installed the drain trench and laid all but the edge bricks that need cutting for the section of patio that needs the bricks. Leftover chicken, thrice baked potatoes, and green beans for dinner.

Sunday: (11/25) Popcorn for breakfast. I spend the day slicing and fitting bricks for the patio. I got all but three little pieces installed. So I have something to do tomorrow. It was getting dark and Lou came by and said to quit because that's when mistakes are made. She's right, as usual, so I quit. Chips and salsa for lunch. BBQ ribs, baked potato, green beans and corn on the cob for dinner.

Monday: (11/26) Cereal with honey for breakfast. Lou and Dawn were off to an appointment.

Finished Red brick Patio Dirt Pile With Brick Dust
I got to work and installed the four cut bricks that remained to finish the patio. I then grouted and sanded it. then cleaned up, which, in addition to putting away my tools, included moving the remaining brick pile to a better location. Hopefully that completes all the heavy work projects for the year. The red clay dust made my dirt pile look better.

Now to get the motorhome ready to roll. Lou has been repairing the Venetian blinds and scrubbing the dash and seats. Lots more to do if we want to really tidy up. Lou made tacos for lunch. In the afternoon, we all made a Costco run. Dinner was a rotisserie chicken from Costco with leftovers from the fridge. Weather was nice today. Mostly sunny.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Stevens Creek Park Hike To Maisie's Peak In Fremont Older Open SpacePreserve

Friday: (11/23) Today is Lou's Birthday! She and Dawn went to breakfast at Ann's Cafe in Menlo Park. They were called to help take Spunky the cat to the doctor. She's fine but shouldn't be eating bedspreads. I stopped at Jack In The Box for a breakfast sandwich.

Maisie's Peak View East At Fremont Older OSP Tony Look Trail At Steven' Creek Park
I was off for my Friday hike. Nine of us San Jose Mid-Week Hikers met and hiked the 7 mile hike to Maisie's Peak. The weather was great and the trail in good condition.

Dave Ava Bob Lesley Don Loretta Monika and Pamela
Here's the crew. The hike took 3 hours. Here is a link to the GPS track of the hike.

For dinner we went to the Black Bear Diner in Milpitas. Lou and Dawn shared a prime rib and Ernie and I had chicken fried steak, not shared.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Prelude To Thanksgiving

Saturday: (11/17) Leftover rice for breakfast. Lou and Dawn were off to the Stanford rummage sale. I relaxed inside most of the day. Chorizo nachos for lunch. Lou made potato cheese soup for dinner. After dinner we went to the 21st Annual Tellabration Story Concert. Some excellent story tellers present their best efforts.

Sunday: (11/18) Spinach omelet for breakfast. I spent the morning laying some more bricks. Fortunately, no rain fell today but it was very wet outside. I quite about 1:30 and cleaned up. Lou was busy with the laundry and building a cabinet in her play room. We had loaded baked potatoes for lunch. We took a little drive after lunch. I checked out a park I'll be leading a hike on this Friday. I needed to confirm where we'll meet. The we visited Harbor Freight for a 2 hour members sale. I bought a new air compressor and a few other tools. 30% off is worth the trip. Tacos for dinner.

Monday: (11/19) Leftover spinach omelet for breakfast. I tinkered at the computer all morning. A loaded baked potato with sausage and baked beans for lunch.
Wilton Rear Walkway Finished  Wilton Rear Walkway Finished
After lunch I finally went outside and started to work. I laid the last 7 feet of the walkway then grouted and sanded it and ran the tamper over it. The walkway should be done. I still have to lay about 3x7 feet of patio after I intercept the drain line and install a drain slot to drain the patio. Unfortunately the intercept point is under Ernie's trailer so it will be interesting to do it. We had KFC chicken for dinner.

Tuesday: (11/20) Don McMuffins for all this morning. Lou and Dawns were on there home made gluten free muffins. Fortunately, the rain we are supposed to have should be later today.

Wilton Patio Drain Installed
I  intercepted a drain line and extended it for a drain for the patio area I need to put in. The patio area will have a sunken area in the middle of it. Fortunately the drain line is just below where it needs to be. I managed to get  the pipe line installed (white spot in center of photo above) and everything back-filled and ready. I got it in before any rain which would have made a big mess. I need to go by Lowe's to get the trench drain next. Mine was real. Lunch was cottage cheese and fruit. For dinner Lou made roast chicken, mashed potatoes with cauliflower, and green beans.

Wednesday: (11/21) Donuts for breakfast. It's a rainy day so I was on a rainy day schedule meaning a no work day. I took a drive by the park for my Friday hike and determined where the trailhead was. It could be embarrassing to try to lead a hike and not, at least, know where to start. After that I stopped off at Lowe's and got my drain gutter. Lou was off to an appointment. We met for lunch at LUU Noodle House for our usual lunch, chow fun noodles, egg rolls and an avocado smoothie. Lou made chicken vegetable soup for dinner. In the evening I finally posted some photos on this blog for the past couple of weeks.

Thursday: (11/22) Thanksgiving Day. We went to breakfast at our local grill, A Good Morning. Lou and Dawn shared a Cancun omelet and I had a Mexican omelet. Both involved chorizo. It was nice of them to be open today. I tinkered in the shop putting things away. Dinner was early. We passed on the turkey. Our meal consisted of roast chicken breasts, twice baked potatoes, cashew green beans, baked stuffing muffins, fresh cranberry sauce, corn on the cob, and a fruit salad. All followed later in the evening with apple and pumpkin pies. In the evening we watched Doris Day and Rock Hudson movies.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Los Gatos, St Joseph's Hill Hike

Friday: (11/16) Lou was off on her Friday early shopping run for groceries. I stopped by Jack In The Box for a loaded breakfast sandwich then made my way to Los Gatos for my Friday hike. It was threatening rain so half the people who signed up for the hike chickened out and there were only five hearty hikers. We hiked up Los Gatos Creek then up to the top of Saint Joseph's Hill and then looped back. Our last mile or so was in a pretty good rain but the rest of the hike was nice. It was about a 6.3 mile hike up a 900 foot hill. On the way home I treated myself to lunch at the Country Inn in Cupertino where I had a nice wild mushroom omelet with Swedish pancakes. Then, since it was raining, I stopped by Harbor Freight Tools for a look around and of course found a couple of thinds I needed. For dinner, I had chili and a sausage. Lou and Dawn returned home late having spent the day in San Jose at the Abilities Expo

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Time To Fill The Greenhouse

Wilton Greenhouse Filled For Winter
Sunday: (11/11) I tinkered in the greenhouse most of the day. Now all the plants are inside, out of the cold. We've been getting down into the 30's recently. I till need to setup the watering for the additional plants. So, I headed of the Lowe's to get some more stuff. I had a bit of a list that I collected so it took a while. Lou's biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Lou's chow mein for lunch. Leftovers for dinner.

Monday: (11/12) I had a Don McMuffin for breakfast. Lou and Dawn had cereal. They were off to San Jose for appointments. I tinkered inside all morning. When Lou returned, she made Hawaiian pizza for lunch. I finally got to work outside. I pulled some wire into the conduits I installed earlier to provide power to Lou's future shed and a new cable for some sprinkler valves. Lou helped me pull them in. It was rather cool again today. Tomorrow is supposed to start a three day warm spell so I'll have to get to work early on those days. Lou made split pea soup for dinner.

Tuesday: (11/13) Lou was off to an appointment early.  I set the keystones but had to wait for them to set up some before continuing so when Lou returned we went to LUU Noodle House for lunch. After lunch, I laid about half the edge bricks for the rear walkway. Leftover chow mein for dinner. It sure gets dark early now!

Wednesday: (11/14) Lou and Dawn were off early after cereal for breakfast. I started with a slice of leftover pizza and followed that with a donut. With breakfast done, I set to work. First, I cut some boards that Lou wanted. She wanted a notch on the edges of some shelf boards so I ad to search out my router to complete the job. My shop is not well organized even yet, after 3 years in existence. I prepared to lay some more bricks but decided I needed more sand and cement before I started. I was nearly out of both. A quick trip to Orchard Hardware fixed that.

Wilton Rear Walkway Edge Finished  Wilton Rear Walkway Edge Finished And Walkway Patch
I then got to work and laid the rest of the edge bricks. I also patched a damaged corner of the walkway by the edge. I finished and cleaned up by 14:30.

Wilton Shop Walkway  Wilton Arbor Minus The Plants
Here are a couple of pictures of other recent work. The walkway in front of Lou's future shed and the arbor without any plants. They were all put in the greenhouse.

After cleaning myself up as well, I got a late lunch from El Gruelense Taqueria down the street. My chili relleno and enchilada were tasty. I relaxed the rest of the afternoon and Lou and Dawn returned about 1700. They had leftovers for dinner, corned beef sandwiches.

Thursday: (11/15) Lou was off early to an appointment.

Wilton Rear Walkway Started
On this third nice warm day before the rains I laid about half of the rest of the walkway. The inside bricks are just placed on sand, not mortar so they were placed quickly. Too bad I could complete the walkway but now it will be a few days before i can do more, possibly Tuesday. I stopped when I ran out of sand and then stopped by the store for another load which I just got put away at home before dark. Breakfast was a couple of donuts. When Lou returned home we went to a Chinese Buffet restaurant in Santa Clara for lunch. leftovers for dinner.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bluegrass Concert and A Birthday

Saturday: (11/10) Ham and eggs with home fried potatoes for breakfast. For desert after breakfast we had some nice gluten free chocolate cake with chocolate peanut butter frosting ala mode. It's Dawn's birthday today. Lou and Dawn were off to a Harvest Festival at the San Mateo fairgrounds in San Mateo. That kept them busy most of the day. I relaxed inside in the morning  Cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. After lunch I finally went outside to do a little work. I worked at cleaning and rearranging the greenhouse and moved a lot of the yard plants into it. BBQ ribs at Chili's Restaurant for dinner.
Redwood Bluegrass Associates With Foghorn String Band
After dinner we went to another Redwood Bluegrass Associates concert in Mountain View. The Foghorn Stringband, a group from Portland, gave a really good show.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Almaden Quicksilver Hike

Friday: (11/09) I had breakfast at Jack In The Box on the way to my hike in San Jose. Lou was out on here regular Friday early morning grocery shopping spree.

Quicksilver OSP Hikers Quicksilver OSP Hike
I met my Meertup hiking group at the Almaden Quicksilver Park. This park is home of a big old mercury mine from the gold rush days. Mercury was needed to process gold so the mercury mine was busy. We took a rather short 5.5 mile hike that was pretty steep going out and fairly quick coming down on the return. About a 1550 foot total climb. While rain had threatened to cancel the hike, it having rained heavily last night, we had good weather for the hike. Some nice views along the trail of the Almaden Valley and Santa Clara Valley.

After the hike I headed South to San Marten, just North of Gilroy to check out a park for a future hike. I had lunch in Morgan Hill at Scramblez, chicken fried steak and eggs. For dinner we had leftover corned beef with potatoes mashed with cauliflower and peas.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Where Does The Hour Come From?

Wilton Shop Walkway Ramp  Wilton Rear Walkway Ready For Bricks
Saturday: (11/03) I started my work day by going to the hardware store for a few more sprinkler fittings and then completing the sprinklers by the walkway. I then backfilled the trench. Next, I set up a form to pour the edge for the ramp portion of the walkway and poured the concrete edge. And finally, I sealed the edge of the greenhouse where it abuts my shop so leaves cant come in. There was about an inch clearance. I also cleaned all the leaves off my shop roof and pruned the tree limbs above it then got all that into the compost bins.

Pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Cottage cheese with fruit for lunch. Zucchini lasagna with spinach for dinner.

Now, where does the hour come from that we get tonight when we reset our clocks back?

Sunday: (11/04) I relaxed most of the day. Lou and Dawn took care of their garage sale inspections. We went to a very late  breakfast to a local restaurant in Los Altos, A Good Morning. They make nice omelets. Lou's bacon potato soup for dinner.

Wilton Shop Walkway Ramp Regraded For Bricks
Monday: (11/05) I got to work outside by setting most of the edge pavers for the walkway.  In the afternoon I had a dentist appointment. I had a bacon Don McMuffin for breakfast. Lou made cheese burgers on her homemade gluten free buns. Dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Redwood City.

Tuesday: (11/06) Lou made corned beef hash for breakfast. She doesn't goof around having put a corned beef brisket in the crock pot last night. I do it the easy way and open a can of corned beef. Lou made spaghetti for lunch. My next task was to vote. I then started to work. I set the rest of the edge pavers by the sheds. Then I started to set the bricks for the base of the wall for the shed. I needed to drill some holes in the floor slab for wall anchors but had the wrong bit size. So off to the hardware store I went. In the afternoon I finished laying some bricks as a retaining wall for the walkway. The bricks will be part of the new shed wall. Dinner was a chili verde potato. Interesting evening watching the election results.

Wednesday: (11/07) I relaxed inside until about 11am watching the morning shows.

Wilton Shop Walkway Ready For Bricks
When I finally got outside to work I started laying bricks for the walkway in front of Lou's future shed. I got them all in, sanded and ran the plate compactor over them. Nice to have a continuous walkway to my shop now. I have a few finishing touches to do later. We're supposed to have a couple of days of rain tomorrow and Friday so I should get to relax some more or at least do something different like get some more bricks for the final portion of the walkway at the back of the house. Don McMuffin for breakfast. Leftover spaghetti for lunch. Leftover peach blintzes and sausage for dinner.

Wilton Shop Walkway Finished
Thursday: (11/08) I spent the morning finishing up the walkway by the sheds. I cut off the drain pipes and cleanouts to make a flat surface and grouted them. I also did a final backfill of the edge of the walkway. And I put some of the materials and tools away. Today was threatening rain so I started early and just beat the first sprinkles about 10:30. I then headed off to Home Depot in Sunnyvale to get more bricks for the walkway behind the house. This project has grown and taken up the whole year but it is almost done. The walkway behind the house really wasn't on the calendar for this year but it just seemed like a good thing to integrate the baserock deliveries and dirt disposal with it. It will also look better than before. Anyway, I made three trips from the store moving a pallet of bricks home, enough to finish the project. Had I known the extent of the project when I tarted, I could have had three pallets of bricks delivered but since the project has grown in thirds, I never got more than a pallet and it just doesn't seem practical to pay the delivery cost for one pallet. I am cheap and do , evidently, have too much time on my hands. The rain didn't really develop so I got all the bricks in the backyard ready to install.

Breakfast was leftover corned beef hash and eggs. I had a late lunch at the Hometown buffet in Santa Clara. I can still eat there, Lou and Dawn won't. They had lunch at Original Joe's in San Jose. It was Thursday so they have corned beef and cabbage as their special. I wasn't too hungry for dinner, nor were they so we had leftovers.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Long Ridge Open Space Preserve Trek

Friday: (11/02) Lou did her usual early Friday morning Walmart and grocery shopping run. I had one of my Don McMuffins for breakfast.

Long Ridge OSP Long Ridge OSP Pond
I met my Meetup hiking group up on Skyline Road at the Long Ridge Open Space Preserve. I was leading another hike. I had warned my fellow hikers that I hadn't been on this hike before so we could get a little lost but should make our way back. The area was very nice, even nicer than I had expected and I had hiked portions of today's trails 10-15 years ago. Here is a GPS track of the hike.

Long Ridge OSP Banana Slug Long Ridge OSP Deer
Above left is a fellow hiker, a banana slug. Other hikers were the several deer we saw.

Long Ridge OSP
Here are most of my fellow hikers, Michie, Bob, Ava, Loretta, Me, and Peter. Sharon took the picture. The hike was 7.13 miles which we hiked in 3 hours 20 minutes. We had an elevation change of 656 feet and with a total climb of 2070 feet. I didn't loose any hikers.

Lou made chili rellenos for lunch. Our peppers are doing well. I worked on the walkway project installing the sprinkler pipes along the walkway. Lou was busy washing the Hyundai and making a recycled bottle and can run.

For dinner Lou made eggrolls.