Monday, July 30, 2012

Purple Smoothie

Wolfies Ramp
Monday: (07/30) We were busy returning to @home mode and cleaning the house today. In the afternoon we met with a potential estate planner. We got to see Wolfie's new ramp all painted and with the roofing for anti slip. Lou made a nice sausage and eggs with hash browned potatoes for breakfast. Leftovers for lunch. Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) for dinner.

Tuesday: (07/31) Lou made a shopping run this morning while I worked in the office. We made a run down to the San Jose house and stuffed some things in the attic there. We also piled all the things that needed to be returned into the car as well and returned them to the appropriate  stores.  Purple slime for breakfast. Purple because of some berries added to our smoothies. Lunch at LUU noodle house. Lou had a pad Thai and I had the chow fun. Lou prepared corned beef with baked potatoes and fresh asparagus for dinner.

Wednesday: (08/01) I've been relaxing my back for the past couple of weeks but today I went back to work on the backyard walkway. I moved about 4 loads of rock to do some additional leveling in the greenhouse area and ran the tamper over it. Then, trying not to over do it on my first day back, I started reinstalling the rear flower bed sprinkler valves. I got the flower bed dug out for the pull box and removed a couple of the large concrete blocks used for the flower bed retaining wall that needed to be moved to intercept the water lines. If moving the 2-300 pound blocks doesn't bother my back, I may be OK now.  Lou did the grocery shopping. A very vegetable day. Green slime for breakfast. Ham and peppers salad for lunch. Zucchini soup with gluten free toast for dinner

Rear Sprinkler Valves
Thursday: (08/02) I spent the day completing the re-installation of the rear flower beds sprinkler valves. It's now all back-filled and the concrete wall is reinstalled and sprinklers tested. Granola with banana for breakfast. Salami and cheese for lunch. Steak with rice and fried green tomatoes for dinner.

Arbor Fountain With New Sprinkler Valves Lower Right
Friday: (08/03) I reinstalled the sprinkler valves around the arbor area today. A few years ago I consolidated all but one of the sprinkler valves in the back yard by the green house. The new walkway necessitated the relocation of the valves away from the greenhouse and those valves are now in two locations. Hopefully they spend the rest of their lives in their new locations and NEVER need relocation again. Peanut butter granola and banana for breakfast again. Stuffed tomatoes with tuna for lunch. Roasted vegetables with wieners for dinner.

Saturday: (08/04)  Lou and Dawn are off to their rummage and garage sales. They had purple slime for breakfast. I, on the otherhand, took a walk down to the San Antonio Mall area and looked for a nice breakfast. I wanted something different. There was always the "A Good Morning" restaurant but I was still looking. I took a look at Esther's German Bakery and Cafe and found they had some very interesting breakfasts. I had their special platter which was two eggs, a fried beef hash patty a German sausage and a latka with apple sauce. All the items had German names that I forget. All very good. The hash patty was distinctive. Definetly a place to return to. I returned home on the bus and finally got to use my new Clipper Card for the bus fare. Leftover KFC biscuits with honey for lunch. I tinkered in the back yard the rest of the afternoon. I installed some sprinkler pipes along the walkway edge and routed the sprinkler control cable permanently. I had just tacked it together last night. I also layed out the drain trench. Lou made chow fun noodles with tofu for dinner.

Sunday: (08/05) Gluten free strawberry waffles with sausage for breakfast.  For lunch, a carnitas burrito at La Victoria Restaurant in Redwood City while I was out on a shopping trip to Redwood Supply, a camping suppy store. I also stopped by Home Depot for some sprinkler parts.

Key Bricks
After finishing the installation of the lawn sprinklers that were relocated by the walkway I finally couldn't put it off any more and started installing some bricks. Only the first two bricks but it is a start. Leftover chow fun noodles and vegetables for dinner.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tales Of The Basin

Friday: (07/27) Crasin muffins for breakfast. Ernie and I finished building the ramp for Wolfie. All that remains is to install the ramp surface, which will be some left over roll roofing material and to paint it, both tasks for Ernie. We all finished packing the RV to leave. Chicken and artichoke rice salad for lunch. We were off around 2pm. After a stop at the store for marshmallows we continued through Saratoga up Highway 9 and up and over the hill then down the other side to Highway 236 into Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Big Basin Redwoods SP was created in 1902 and is the "Oldest" California State Park, but NOT the "First" California State Park? The first California State park was Yosemite State Park (created in 1864) before it then became Yosemite National Park. Yellowstone National Park wasn't created until 1872 and Yosemite became a National Park as well in 1890. So even though Big Basin wasn't the first, it got it's creation date on the State Park Ranger patches.

Highway 9 had a very narrow construction zone at Sanborn Road where there was a channel with concrete barriers on both sides a few inches from the sides of the RV. No problem getting through there. Highway 236 is a single lane road most of the way into the park form the North, the way we came in. No problem getting through there either.

We were the first to arrive at the Tales Of The Basin weekend,sponsored by the South Bay Story Tellers. We camp in the Gazos Creek Picnic Area, an old campground that was turned into the picnic area. It's reserved for the story teller group camping for the event. Usually we have to move a barricade to get in to the campground for the Storytelling And Listening weekend. This year, the road was open and the area was filled with people. It was supposed to be empty. There are only a couple of sites big enough for our RV and they were filled so we looked for a place to hang out until and if we could get a better spot.

Offending Tree Root That Damaged RV Offending Tree Root That Damaged RV
After walking a narrow loop to check it out to see if we could get through I drove through the loop trying to find a parking spot to wait until the picnickers left. All didn't go well this time. I was almost out of the loop when I heard a horrible cracking sound.

Offending Tree Root That Damaged RV
I managed to locate a tree root at the side of the road going around a turn and ripped up the right  wheel well. Some pretty good damage but nothing that can't be fixed and we can still drive it. This was the first time I've hit anything in the nine years we've had this RV and we've been in many tight spots. The root, on the other hand, sustained almost unnoticeable damage.  Hamburgers for dinner.

RV Damage RV Damage
The RV is sort of like driving an egg shell.

Saturday: (07/28) Sausage and muffins for breakfast.

Banana Slug
About 1030 I took off on a hike. I took the Skyline To The Sea Trail to Berry Creek Falls Trail. I didn't go too far before seeing some nice banana slugs on the trail.

Big Basin Skyline To The Sea Trail Big Basin Skyline To The Sea Trail
The trail goes through a nice redwood forest.

Big Basin Skyline To The Sea Trail
The creek was flowing pretty good for this time of year.

Big Basin Berry Creek Falls Big Basin Silver Falls
Along the Berry Creek Falls Trail are three water falls, Berry Creek, Silver Falls, and then Golden Falls. There are also many cascades all the way up to top at the junction of the Sunset Trail, which I took back to camp. Nice nine plus mile hike though it got a bit warm later in the hike.

Big Basin Sunset Trail Big Basin Sunset Trail
I snacked on nuts, banana chips and a granola bar along the way. I was back about 3pm. Lou and Dawn had BBQ ribs and green beans for lunch and left a couple of ribs for me for a snack. Dawn was off helping with the Junior Ranger program. About 4pm we went down to the amphitheater for a couple of stories presented to the junior rangers. We returned to camp for a pot luck with the story tellers, listeners and rangers before returning to the evening campfire for more stories.

Sunday: (07/29) We started the morning with a little ride around the park. We drove out to look at the other campgrounds. They are soo crowded and we were alone in our campground except for one tent camper of the Story group. The other campgrounds were very full and crowded. We took Sky Meadow Road out to the end of the park then continued on Lodge Road coming back to Highway 236 and returning to camp. We'll be returning to hike  (me) and explore those areas of the park sometime later. I didn't know that these areas existed. I've hiked most of the rest of the park before.We enjoyed our peach blintzes and sausage for breakfast and then hooked up and left the park. We stopped in Boulder Creek to look at the town. There are a couple of interesting antique and junk shops there. We then headed South on Highway 9 to the Scott's Valley cutoff and took Highway 17 back over toward home. We stopped for a late lunch in Cupertino at the Country Inn Restaurant. Lou and Dawn shared a California omelet while I had a chili omelet. We then separated and they visited the thrift stores on the way home while I stopped for gas and returned home. It was rather nice in the park but here at home it is rather hot today.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Typical Morning

Thursday: (07/19) Thursdays are always interesting. They usually start as it did today with tea in the back yard. Check. Our days is generally planned during tea. Check. Today the first item was a dash down to Walmart, before the crowds arrive, to get a replacement paper shredder. Our existing shredder gave it's life in service so a replacement was needed. We stopped for a quick look at the construction of the mall next door. It was difficult not to stay longer watching. Then we resumed our backyard morning with leftovers for breakfast. I had hash browned potatoes, a half English muffin and a wiener. Lou had leftover spaghetti squash with shrimp sauce. This morning is overcast and rather cool. Thursdays are different mainly because the gardener pays us a visit so we cleanup and put things away off the lawn and when the gardener is gone the yard looks it's best for the week. Lunch was chili rellenos (chilis from our garden) for lunch with tomales. The afternoon had clear skies but never got warm. I washed the three cars and the RV. They all were quite dirty possibly because of the rock dilivery and all the dust within. We had portobello mushroom and cheese sandwiches for dinner with avocado smoothies (another type of green slime) for desert.

Friday: (07/20) I had donuts for breakfast. Lou and Dawn had red slime for breakfast. This time they had beets and sweet potatoes in them both of which I don't like. We went over to Costco to get a few things and had lunch there. In the afternoon I climbed on the RV roof and replaced the Fantastic Vent fan assembly. The hardest, and messyest part of that is cleaning up all the old caulk. We now have a nice new fan.  Macaroni and cheese with fried zuchini and squash for dinner.

Saturday: (07/21) Breakfast at Ann's Cafe in downtown Menlo Park. Ernie and I had a pork chop and eggs, Lou and Dawn shared a feta and spinach omelet. There was a street art faire (Connoisseurs' Marketplace) closing the main street there in front of the restaurant so after breakfast Ernie and I took a look around the show. Lou and Dawn went off to a rumage sale in Redwood City and garage sales along the way. I walked toward home via the Allied Artist's Guild, Stanford Mall, and downown Palo Alto before catching a bus home. I recently got a Clipper Card that is good for fares on all the bay area transit systems. I haven't used it yet and, though I tried to use it on the bus, I still haven't used it. The reader on the bus wasn't working so the ride was free. I really wanted to test it out but a free ride is a free ride. I was home about noon. Hamburgers on homemade bread for lunch. Roasted chicken with zuchini salad and potato salad  for dinner.

Sunday: (07/22) Fresh peach blintzes with sausage for breakfast. Our neighbor across the street had a chair in front of her house with a free sign on it. It was in perfect condition so we called aur friend Courtney and she accepted it. Tinkering at home today along with a visit to some garage sales and a visit to our neighborhood Fry's Electronics.  Popcorn for lunch. Leftovers for dinner, macaroni and cheese, zuchini salad and potato salad.

Monday: (07/23) Green slime for breakfast. Lou and I went down to the San Jose house to meet the carpet installers. The tenants have been there for almost 20 years and the carpet was installed just before they moved in. It wasn't in terrible shape, just bad shape so it was time to renew. The problem is worsened when the place is occupied so there was a lot of work that the tenant had to do moving their stuff out for the day. Neither their back nor mine could move the big furniture items so the installers had to do that.

SJ New Carpet Install SJ New Carpet Install
The instsllers did a very good job, arrived before 9am and were on their way just after 3pm. KFC chicken and corn meals for lunch. We went to dinner at our friends the Shaws. Wonderful grilled steak with grilled vegetables and rice. Watermelon for desert.

Tuesday: (07/24) I headed off to San Jose when I finally got my act together. I stopped for a late breakfast at La Victoria burrito restaurant in downtown San Jose. I had a punch list of repairs at the San Jose house. Toilet constantly running, Door latches needing repair. Bathroon exhaust fan crudded up and needing cleaning. And then there was an unpleasant new problem. Some rats in the basement. I checked and repaired all the vent screens and other access points and set bate for them.I also set a bate box by the probable attraction, the compost bin the tenant started. That's why I like letting the city turn our compostables into compost and then just getting it from them when needed. We can get two pickup trucks full each year. Leftover baked macaroni for dinner.

Wednesday: (07/25) Green slime for breakfast. Chili's soup and salad lunches. Their loaded baked potato and cheese soup is very good. Homemade bread with sausage gravy for dinner. The gravy was made gluten free with tapioca flour and was rather sticky. Hopefully some type of other flour will work out. Ernie and I were busy making a ramp for Wolfie to use to enter his trailer. The poor doggie can barely move around any more due to his arthritus.

Thursday: (07/26) I fixed a real breakfast this morning, sausage, eggs and home fried potatoes. Ernie and I worked on Wolfie's ramp much of the day. Leftovers for lunch, roast chicken with zichini salad and steamed vegetables. Coconut tilapia fish with rice and steamed vegetables for dinner. In the evening Lou and i went to a workshop on estate planning. One of our tasks is to step out of the 95% of people who don't have wills and get our shit together by setting up a trust.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


New San Antonio Mall
Wednesday: (07/18) Lou made green slime for breakfast. About 10am we drove the RV down to the San Antonio Mall, about 1.5 miles from home. They knocked down most of the old mall a while back and now it is looking more and more like they are making progress toward completing the reconstruction. Unfortunately the construction is behind a fence with fabric on it and there is no good place to watch. Lou has been wanting to spend some time watching the work so today was the day.We parked by the fence and could easily look over it to see the activity. We picked a very busy day when they were pouring a bunch of foundations until after 5pm. I pretty much did the same thing I've been doing at home, tinkering at the computer but the view out the window was much more interesting. Lunch was takeout from Lou's favorite restaurant LUU Noodle House nearby. Our usual combination chow fun with some egg  rolls and an avocado smoothie. The avocado smoothie is nothing like Lou's green slime even though both are smoothies. Lou's is a combination of all sorts of vegetables with enough fruit to sweeten it some. The avocado smoothie at LUU's is a sweet treat more like a milkshake. Lou's lasts better than a big breakfast, LUU's is a tasty treat only. This has been one of our shortest RV trips, ever! For dinner Lou and I stoped in at the Chili's next to where we were watching and had their two for $20 dinners. We both had BBQ ribs. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Achng Back

Thursday: (07/12) Lou baked an omelet for breakfast. Ernie and I finished about a third of the concrete edge for the green house/patio area. Chinese chicken salads for lunch. Leftovers for dinner. I had pizza.

Friday: (07/13) Brother Ernie's birthday today. We had green smoothies for breakfast. Eventually we got started pouring some more of the edge concrete that keeps the baserock in place but my back gave out after the first pour and Ernie had to come out of his planned day of general relaxation and bring the project to a better stopping point. Lou made more Chinese chicken salads for lunch. Since I was off duty for the day (week) I relaxed in the afternoon (napped). For dinner we all went to Marie Calendar's. Courtney joined us. Prime rib specials.

Saturday: (07/14) Leftover ham omelet with some of Dawn's bread toasted for breakfast. My back is still off duty so i got a late start. By the time i made it outside Ernie had already gotten the materials and tools for finishing the pouring of the concrete edge. I watched as he finished up the edge. Wieners with steamed vegetables for lunch. I tinkered with the computer the rest of the day. BBQ ribs with oven baked French fries and corn on the cob for dinner.

Sunday: (07/15) Oatmeal with yogurt and diced fresh fruit for breakfast. Ernie stripped the forms today. Lunch at Chili's. We all had their soup and salad lunches. After lunch Lou, Dawn and I went shopping. The primary stop was at the Big Lots store in Redwood City. The had a 20% off sale today and I'm out of energy drinks. Fortunately they finally had some of my favorite Rumba energy drinks so i bought all they had. It's a discontinued drink made by Monster/Hansen and is the best I've found. Getting them at Big Lots where they cost about 25% of anyplace else is a bonus. Beef pot pie for dinner with banana peanut butter freezes. 

Monday: (07/16) Green slim for breakfast and green salad for lunch. For dinner Danw had prepared some excellent baked potato onion soup. I continued in relaxation mode and tinkered at the computer all day.

Tuesday: (07/17) Lou went all out for breakfast and cooked eggs, bacon and hashbrowns. I had a dentist appointment at 1pm but didn't need lunch. I got my new crown today but needed some additional grinding so had to be numbed up again. With my shiny new tooth in place I was off. I stopped by the Santa Clara Big Lots to see if they had any of my energy drinks and they did so I got a few more cases. Shouldn't need any more for another year, or two. Then I stopped by Best Buy and picked up Dawn's repaired cell phone. They replaced it under the warranty. It had been in a loop continually rebooting. Now I can get mine back from Dawn. I stopped by and got a couple of egg rolls for a late lunch. Then, feeling optimistic, I stopped at Walmart's and bought a couple of more pairs of shorts. That should eliminate any possibility of a hot spell anywhere we go. For dinner we had spaghetti squash with a white shrimp sauce served with asparagus, tomato and green peppers. My back is feeling well enough for me to be getting around fairly well and to possibly get into trouble by thinking it's OK now. It needs a week or so more before I should use it. So more fun!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Self Publishing Machine

Wednesday: (07/11) Ernie and I started early moving some rock in the cool of the morning. We started a bit after 7am in violation of the no work until after 8am in Palo Alto, but rules are meant to be broken and we were pretty quite anyway. We were quite, that is until I started using the tamper after 8am. We stopped by 11am. Breakfast was more green slim, I mean green smoothies. Actually very good. Lunch was Chinese chicken salads. Dawn and I headed off toward Gilroy after lunch. I needed to get a replacement Fantastic vent fan for the motorhome so we stopped at Camping World in San Martin just North of Gilroy. We then continued on to our primary destination, Santa Cruz. Traffic was terrible on the freeway so we exited to surface roads only to be hung up in more construction. Seems like a plot? Dawn wanted to attend a meeting at the Bookshop Santa Cruz about self publishing. The book store has a fancy new Espresso book publishing machine, one of only 80 in exstance and of only 12 in retail shops. Their machine is one of only two on the west coast, the other being at Powell's in Portland. The machine can print, bind and trim a 100 page book in less than 5 minutes. Kind of slick at  a cost of less than $10 for the 100 page book ($5 setup and $.045 per page). You can't tell the difference from any other paperback book. Right now the cover can be color but the inside is only B/W. It can also trim the books to any size from about 8.25x10.5 inch maximum. Cool machine. Hopefully they get a full color version soon. It would be excellent for printing blogs. Speakers also spoke about doing consignment distribution and publisizing your book. Dawn was really pleased with the information provided. We arrived downtown about 3pm in time to look around some. I walked out to the wharf and the Beach and Boardwalk amusement park. then returned downtown. We had dinner at the New Leaf Market downtown. I had a turkey meatball calzone and Dawn had a millet yam patty and some potato salad. I topped by dinner with a brownie ala mode at the Marini candy shop nearby. The meeting was at 7pm. We finally departed at 9:20 pm and drove back over the hill home.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Working On The Rock Pile

Tuesday: (07/10) I started the day by moving some surplus stuff out to the curb hoping someone would take it and save us disposal fees. I moved a couple of half sized king bed box springs and a bed frame and head board that we didn't use in reassembiling our bed. I got all the stuff out but didn't complete attaching the "free" signs on them before a neighbor came over and took them. That was fast and saved us $35 disposal fees and anothr trip to the Sunnyvale dump. I then dropped by the dentist office to have my temporary crown reattached. Having to wait a couple of weeks for a permanent crown here at home is certainly different than getting it the next day in Mexico. And the cost is 5 times as much as well. But it's quite hot down in Yuma this time of year. I lounged around watching a little TV and having lunch trying to avoid having to go outside and work. About 1pm i started doing the final touches and then started moving the base rock from the driveway to the backyard. I got arounf 1/3 of the needed rock moved and cleared the driveway for the return of the motorhome. I workd untill 8pm to accomplish it. The last two hours were much nicer than the first four hours. It had been forecast to be 86 degrees today but got up to 93 degrees. I was actually quite comfortable. i tried out my new desert shade hat that covers the neck and has a wide brim. it was actually much cooler. In moving the rock i also got to use my new cart. It hauls bout two contractor wheelbarrows full at a time. It made fairly quick work of the rock move. About 5pm I had a couple of refried bean and cheese sandwiches and a rice pudding. I was feeling rather worn out before eating but dinner perked me up. After cleaning up I brought the RV home form it's parking spot about two blocks away. We never feel comfortable with it away like that. Lou and Dawn had a few shopping banking and a Dentist appointment as well today.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Good Bye And Thanks For Your Loyal Service

Monday: (07/09) First thing this morning was the to clear the driveway for the approaching rock. I moved the motorhome and car and put up a little temporary barrier to keep the rock off the lawn. I stopped off and got some donuts for my breakfast. Lou and Dawn had the green smoothies again.

Wilton Walkway Project By Greenhouse
The truck arrived at 10:30.

Wilton Walkway Project By Greenhouse
Unfortunately the driver didn't do as good a job as hoped and part of the load had to be dumped in the motorhomes side of the driveway. I needed to go by Lowe's again for some PVC fittings and that trip turned in to a day trip.

87 Volvo Disposal
We've been planning of getting rid of our old Volvo so we did. Above it's on it's last drive.

87 Volvo Disposal 87 Volvo Disposal
 It was dropped of at the dismantelers. Poor thing. It served us well since 1986 but uses too much gas and has become ocassionally unreliable. Oddly, the unreliable part may have finally had a resolution about a week ago. I think I finally learned which connector to wiggle to get it to start. A bit too late though.With barcode installed, it was off to become something new.

We stopped for lunch at the El Rincon Restaurant across the street form where I used to work and near to the dismanteler. I had a milanessa torta and Lou and Dawn had quesodillas. We stopped at Lowe's for the PVC fittings. While there we noticed a nice dumping four wheeled cart and bought one. We were in the little Accent and it was already full so getting the big heavy box in the car was a challenge. Next we stopped by the Sunnyvale dump to drop off an old CRT computer monitor. Since the Palo Alto dump closed Sunnyvale is now our disposal site. Another stop was at the Bed Bath and Beyond store in Mountain View. I had a couple of paper towel holders that we didn't need. They've been hanging around for years unused but they were taken back with no problems. A nice store. When we got home I assembled the cart, not too simple of a task. It really handles a load nicely. Since we had disposed of most of the day I just tinkered in the backyard tweaking things around the new walkway. Lou made tofu chow mein for dinner.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sixteen Tons

Thursday: (07/05) Lou enjoyed cereal for breakfast. I was fasting so planned to eat later. First thing on the list today was a visit to Kaiser for some lab tests for me and an appointment for Lou. After I donated a few drops of blood, I stopped by the Hong Kong Bakery for breakfast of a pork bun and an egg tart. Yum! When we got home I tinkered in the yard removing the existing sprinkler valves an piping. They will be relocated and are in the way. And they leak too much for where they are. Toastados for lunch. We had leftovers from our Holiday dinner. Peanut butter banana ice cream for dinner.  

Wilton Walkway Project By Greenhouse
Friday: (07/06) Green smoothies for breakfast. I did my final final grading for the walkway by the greenhouse. I had a change of drainage plans so some adjustments were needed. Toastados for lunch. After lunch I went by Lingsol Garden Center to get the geotextile fabric I need to line my hole and to order the base rock I need. I calculated 12 cubic yards but they sell by weight so it turned out to be 16 tons. How cute! "You load sixteen tons of crushed  recycled concrete base rock and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt." Later Lou and I went to Lowes in Sunnyvale for a few things. Part of my new plans include relocating all the sprinkler valves so I needed a few parts and fittings. Lowes is the only place with stock for my valve manifolds.  Pad Thai for dinner at LUU noodle House. 

Saturday: (07/07)  I started laying geotextile fabric and drain lines. Green smoothies for breakfast. Hamburgers for lunch. Leftovers for dinner.

Wilton Walkway Project By Greenhouse
Sunday: (07/08) I spent the day finishing installing the geotextile fabric and drain lines, water lines, etc. Green smoothies for breakfast. Enchiladas for lunch. Cheese burgers for dinner.

Wilton Walkway Project By Greenhouse Wilton Walkway Project By Greenhouse
The dirt pile viewed from both sides of the arbor.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

Wiener Roast Wiener Roast
Wednesday: (07/04) Happy Birthday USA!. Another green smoothie morning long with morning tea in the back yard. We had our holiday meal around 2pm. What could be more appropriate for a celebration of US origin than tacos? Maybe the corn on the cob helps? We enjoyed the meal in the back yard with good weather.