Thursday, June 24, 2021

Arbor Bricks Installed

Thursday: (06/24) Leftover French toast and sausage for breakfast. I worked on the arbor bricks all day. I finished most of the trimming except the row against the raised bed and the two side extensions. It looks like I don’t have enough bricks to finish. I may need a dozen more because each one I cut is more than half a brick long. I worked late and finished enough to make it usable again including doing some grouting. One of Lou’s chopped green salads for lunch. I picked up Chinese from Lucky Bistro for dinner. They were almost out with my dinners being the last from their fast food side.

Friday: (06/25) Granola for breakfast. I worked outside on the arbor bricks all day except when my inspection talents were needed for the project down the street. I finished cutting and installing the last of the bricks. I had to do some cleanup of the side yard to begin removing the annual collection of leaves amongst the bricks stores beside the house. I located enough bricks to finish the project. Hamburgers for lunch with some banana pudding made with rice krispies. Baked potatoes with beef topping for dinner.

Saturday: (06/26) Fresh baked apricot cobbler for breakfast. I took Dawn down to San Jose to meet Andrea and then we went to lunch at Aqui’s Restaurant for lunch. Then we stopped at a couple of thrift stores on the way home. Lou made Shepherd's pie for dinner. Then Dawn and Andrea went to another thrift store. I did get a tiny bit of work done. I repaired a sprinkler pipe that had broken.

Sunday: (06/27) I worked at moving plants and cleaning leaves from around planters. I finished moving all the extra plants from the sidewalk at the back of the house back to their homes in the arbor. I managed to fill both our 40 gallon compost bins with the leaves from yesterday and today’s cleaning. Apricot cobbler for breakfast. Leftovers for lunch. Grilled veggies with rice and steak for dinner.

Monday: (06/28) I checked out the construction project down the street. They were supposed to be pouring last Friday but were waiting for an inspection which evidently didn’t occur so they weren’t pouring this morning either. It looks like they are doing whatever they can that will be needed for the following phase to keep the crew busy. I cut a couple of bricks and mixed some mortar and installed the key, corner bricks for the new front patio. I can now stretch a strict line using the bricks to try to lay the edge bricks in a straight line tomorrow. Mostly a relaxing afternoon napping and watching TV. A late breakfast of a fresh apricot cobbler. Chopped chef’s salad for lunch. Steak with baked potato and garlic mushrooms for dinner.

Tuesday: (06/29) Morning tea in the yard before a later breakfast. I checked my construction project down the street. Evidently they won’t be pouring concrete until next week. I made a run to Lowe’s to get more mortar and picked up some begonias at ACE Hardware on the way home. I planted the plants in the raised bed for some color. I started to consider laying some bricks in the front yard patio. That was preempted by Lou’s need for a drive. We drove up and through Foothills park then on up to Skyline Drive and on over to Saratoga. We stopped by Sanborn Park for a look at their RV campground. Looks nice o a stay will be needed in the near future. Lou and Dawn inspected the Cupertino Goodwill store on the way home. Apricot cobbler for breakfast. Salads from Subway Sandwiches for lunch. Dinner at Chili’s restaurant. We ate in the restaurant.

Wednesday: (06/30) Granola for breakfast. I drove down to San Jose to watch a tree removal of a limb over our garage from a tree in our neighbors yard. I attended the usual Wednesday webinar as well. I did some grocery shopping on the way home at Walmart neighborhood Market in San Jose and grocery Outlet in Sunnyvale. I also stopped at Harbor Freight for some scissors. Then I picked up lunch at the China Wok in Sunnyvale. It also provided dinner. My afternoon was spent napping.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Henry Coe State Park Hike

Wednesday: (06/23) Up early, off to Happy Donut for breakfast, then on down to Morgan Hill and Henry Coe State Park for a hike. Tara scheduled this hike out to Frog Lake at possibly the last time until this fall when it cools down again. Weather was nice today and we enjoyed the 8 mile hike. After the hike, I took the long way home and stopped in South San Jose at a la Victoria Taqueria for a late lunch. Back home a shower and nap were in order. Lou made chicken and peppers over rice with some green beans from our garden for dinner.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Andrea Visits

Thursday: (06/17) Extremely hot day. I was a chauffeur and personal shopper today. I took Dawn down to San Jose to pick up her friend Andrea. Then they had lunch at John's restaurant and dessert at Dolce Sicilia in Willow Glen. I took a walk and took a nap and then met them for dessert. After dropping them off here at the house in Palo Alto, I went shopping. A visit to Kwik Key to get some keys made, then Smart and Final, then Walgreens, and finally Grocery outlet. About 2000 I drove Andrea home and dropped off the keys with the tenants in San Jose. Waffles with berries and sausage for breakfast. A late lunch of a ham and cheese sandwich. Some leftover BBQ ribs for dinner.

Friday: (06/18) I made scrambled eggs and ham with cheese for breakfast. Mine became a sandwich. Another scorcher day. I did some weeding outside before it got too hot and also installed some drip pipe fittings in my new garden. then had a shower. Lou made hot German potato salad for lunch. About 1400 I took Dawn to pick up a free skeleton, then I took her down to San Jose to look at the thrift store she visited yesterday. She thought there might have been more electronics she could use for her pod casting. She also visited the Hickelby’s bookstore before we returned home. Lou made green salads for dinner.

Saturday: (06/19) Granola for breakfast. I got outside earlier to try to get something accomplished before the heat of the day. I worked on the drip water tubing installation for the raised succulent bed. Completed the installation of the sprinkler pipe to the hanging baskets and raised bed. Laid the red bricks under the hose and sprinkler valve area. Still need to install the bricks that need to be cut to fit. Also need to connect the sprinkler line to the raised bed. I noticed the cooler was weak. I inspected the cooler and tightened the belt. I also put some things away. I quit about 1100 and took a walk down the street to see what they were doing. It looks like they have almost finished the rebar and will likely be pouring concrete again Monday. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. I worked in the backyard in the afternoon. I trimmed the wisteria and prepared for installing the bricks in the arbor by cleaning out the stuff that had been collected. Leftover soup for dinner.

Sunday: (06/20) Breakfast of Huevos Rancheros from down the street at Tacos El Grullense. I tinkered a little in the backyard working on sprinklers and drip lines. I also relaxed in the RV much of the day with Lou who is hiding from pollen. Leftover hot German potato salad with a sausage for a late lunch. BBQ ribs with baked potatoes and a carrot with raisin salad for dinner. The weather was pretty good today, only getting to 80 degrees.

Monday: (06/21) I got out early and worked on the arbor paving. I laid most of the whole bricks, just a couple of rows left and then a lot of cut bricks. Granola for breakfast. Home grown squash and sausage for lunch. Ham and cheese sandwich for dinner.

Tuesday: (06/22) Lou made French toast for breakfast. I got outside and did a little work finishing the last two rows of bricks and cutting and installing most of the threshold bricks. McDonalds fries with BBQ sauce for lunch. After lunch we headed off to Smart and Final and Nob Hill Markets for groceries. Steak with cauliflower for dinner.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Mixing Things Up In The Garden

 Tuesday: (06/01) I picked up breakfast from Happy Donut, my usual sausage, egg and cheese English muffin and a donut. I spent a little time watching the construction project down the street. Another shotcrete installation day. I filtered more dirt and mixed the compost until I ran out of compost. I filtered a bit more dirt into a pile until I filled my 12th bucket with rocks and clods then headed off to the dump to swap the dirt for more compost from the Sunnyvale Smart recycle station. Tomorrow I’ll get another load of compost then process more dirt. Lou made chili rellenos with stewed tomatoes and rice for lunch. Leftovers for dinner. I had rice, carrot raisin salad with a ham sandwich.

Wednesday: {06/02) I Made a run to get more compost and unloaded it. I then made a grocery run and got carrots for Lou and ciabatta buns and waffles for me. Back home, I picked the berries and we had waffles and berries for breakfast. I added sausage. I settled into the RV (man cave) for my Wednesday webinar. I worked on the flower bed rework. I finished mixing the filtered dirt with compost then laid some fabric on the bottom of the raised bed to try to keep the tree roots out. Then I moved all the mixed compost/dirt into the bed. Next I started to prepare the second half of the bed. I setup some plywood barriers to try to keep the tilled soil in the bed.I rototilled some. Lou picked up salads from Subway sandwich shop for lunch. Lou’s chicken soup for dinner. This time it was spicy mexican soup.

Thursday: (06/03) I made a run for more compost to start. I then laid a panel down over the already prepared garden spot to contain the dirt I need to filter from the second half of the raised bed. Next I removed the plans that remained in the raised bed keeping some and getting rid of some. I then tilled and screened all the dirt onto the panel. Tomorrow I’ll cap a drain line that was under the bed then lay some fabric on the bottom. Then I can mix the soil and compost and fill the bed. Granola and banana for breakfast. Lou picked up salads from Subway sandwich shop again for lunch. Beef stroganoff noodles for dinner.

Friday: (06/04) I prepared sausage and eggs with toast for breakfast. I spent much of the morning watching them shoot concrete on the last of the walls in the basement down the street. Back home, I did the last of the digging to find the old drain inlet pipe. I covered it temporarily 15 years or so ago with a piece of plywood. I’ve been worried that the tree roots would enter the pipe and clog it so while I have most of the dirt out already, I exposed it. I filled the last of the buckets I had with dirt and headed off with 15 5 gallon buckets in my little car. I dumped it at the Sunnyvale Transfer Station then filled most of them with compost. Next stop was at Lowe’s for the 4” drain pipe cap and some ½” PVC pipe. Then on to Harbor Freight Tools to get some buckets. I threw two away at the dump and more are wearing out. HFT has red buckets that I can use as cones as well since I won't shop at Home Depot anymore. Then I came back to El Camino Real and picked up a very late lunch (1530) at Super Taqueria then on home. I checked the construction site again and they were doing the final cleanup and had completed the last of the basement walls. At home I unloaded the compost then relaxed. Not too much done today. No dinner needed.

Saturday: (06/05) Granola and banana for breakfast. I got outside and was tinkering on the raised bed area when I got a call about 0830 from the rockery that they were on their way. They were scheduled for 1300-1500 this afternoon. Nice to have it early. I spent the day moving it into the two patio areas and compacting it. I still had about a ½ yard left in the driveway at the end of the day. About noon, I checked the construction project when I noticed some activity. They had a crew working cleaning up and removing form walls. Must be something planned for Monday. Chili beans for lunch. Leftovers for dinner.

Sunday: (06/06) I prepared ham and eggs with toast for breakfast. I built a retaining wall to contain the extra baserock and then moved it from the driveway to the box on the future garden patio area. I installed the pipe for the drip line to the hanging planters but needed a fitting to complete it. I reinstalled the concrete blocks for the raised bed wall that had been pushed out of alignment by one of the succulents. Leftover chicken soup for lunch. After lunch I dashed over to Ace Hardware to get a ½” PVC tee fitting. Back home, I installed the fitting that completed the piping under and in the raised flower bed. I then laid the fabric and started mixing dirt and compost and filled the raised bed. I used all my compost but still have more screened dirt to use up. Tomorrow I’ll get more compost and mix it then have to figure out where to put it. You made steak and pepper stew over rice for dinner.

Monday: (06/07) I made compost run in the morning. Then we made a trip to the nursery for Lou and Dawn to get some tomato cages. Instead it was me that came away with some vegetables for my new garden spot. Unfortunately I didn’t feel in top shape so I relaxed all afternoon instead of mixing my dirt and mpost and then planting. Later, I drove Lou to an appointment. Granola for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Fish stew over rice for dinner.

Tuesday: (06/08) I drove Lou to the Kaiser pharmacy to pick up her order. I spent much of the morning watching the construction crew installing the deck to install the concrete first floor. They were ¾ finished by the end of the day. After lunch I finally got to work mixing dirt and compost. I had just enough compost to complete the mix. Then I skimmed off the planter mix I had lid down over the compost/dirt mix. I then distributed the compost/dirt mix that I just completed over the newest garden area and spread the potting soil mix over both the raised planter and the newest garden spot. I was worried I’d not be able to find a home for it all. I did use less factory garden soil mix than I had planned. Now I’ll need to plant the plants I got yesterday in the garden and replant all the succulents in the raised bed. Granola for breakfast. Chili for lunch.

Wednesday: (06/09) Breakfast from Happy Donut, the usual hike breakfast. I went down to Rancho Canada OSP for a hike. Tara led 19 of us around the hills on a 9 mile hike. Great views of the South County, nice weather. I got lunch from Panera bread on the way home. Lou and Dawn had salads from the Corner Bakery Cafe near the house. Dawn made a chicken polenta stew for dinner.

Thursday: (06/10) I was outside early (0730) and noticed the garbage, compost and recycle bins were all already empty. Seemed odd to me so I walked down the street to see if the garbage truck I saw was picking up all of them. I wasn’t able to confirm it but I am suspicious. I was enjoying my supervision duties down the street when our San Jose tennant called to ruin my day. He told me that the water heater was leaking. Actually the pipe to it. He sent me a photo. I picked up breakfast from Happy Donut on my way down. Once there I took a quick look and headed off to Lowe’s to get some parts. I got a few extra parts in case it all fell apart once I started. It went together well but one of the hoses didn’t like the bend that was needed so I returned to Lowe’s to get an elbow to make the bend easier. I also returned the extra parts. I picked up lunch from La Victoria Taqueria on the way home. Back home I relaxed and watch an episode of my new binge series Ms Fischer’s Modern Murder Mystries. Later, I got to work outside and planted some corn, peppers and tomatoes in my new garden space. We had some Pizza Chicago pizza for dinner. 2010 the tenant called to inform me they didn’t have any hot water. I drove down and tried to light the water heater but it wouldn’t light. I had to inform them that they would have hot water until, hopefully, sometime tomorrow. I’ll be busy tomorrow. I left about 2120 and headed home. I had to cancel my attendance on a hike tomorrow.

Friday: (06/11) No breakfast. I headed off early to Lowe’s in San Jose to check if they could replace the water heater in the San Jose house. Their online contact said to check at the store. The store doesn’t know, they say make a phone call, probably to the people I’d already talked to. Their plumbing guy suggested Angi’s list as a contact so I tried their website. Then I requested info from three outfits. The first to call back after about 5 minutes was one of the highest rated and said they could meet me at the house in 15 minutes and could do it today. They actually arrived about an hour later, and had a good price so I had them start removing the old while they waited for the replacement to be delivered. The two guys headed off for lunch, as I did too, while we waited for the tnk to be delivered. It was installed and getting hot just after noon. Possibly a sucker move, but they said I’d get the water heater and installation for free if I had all the water piping replaced. Lots of seeping and leaking piping under there so I said yes. They will be back Monday to do the pipes. I noticed some other wet flooring in the basement ceiling so I checked under the kitchen sink, dishwasher and washer. No leaks found. More to look into. I picked up breakfast/lunch at a nearby pizza joint, Sammy G’s. Supplement leftover soup (Mulligan Stew) from a previous meal for dinner. I received a long outdoor ethernet cable yesterday evening. Tonight I removed the outdoor wifi repeater I had mounted on our TV antenna mast and relocated it, temporarily, to the opposite corner of the house. Now get full speed, 55mbs up and down speeds, close to what is provided in the living room at the fiber modem. Ernie’s been complaining about his speed and now should be much happier.

Saturday: (06/12) I made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. After breakfast, I took my phone to BestBuy to be looked at. I bought it a little over two months ago and it is unresponsive and has a dark screen but was still working with it’s annoying, un-cancellable alarms. Eventually the batteries died and quiet was restored. I tried to make a Geek Squad appointment but the closest one possible was in Bakersfield. Something wrong with their website. When I got there as they opened, I had to make an appointment. They were able to help me by accepting the phone back. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a replacement but Milpitas did have one so they credited me for the phone, ordered the replacement to be picked up in Milpitas and discounted it to pay for a new 2 year Geek Squad warranty on the new phone. I ended up, for some reason, with a new warranted phone and have a $10 store credit remaining. Nice to have a working phone again. I picked up lunch at New King Eggroll in Milpitas. Back home I moved the Wifi cable that I had laid around the house to the new repeater location up onto the roof. It’s out of the way for now. I may do a rerouting through the attic or gutters later. Then I replanted my succulent garden in the raised bed. Dawn made Basque soup for dinner.

Sunday: (06/13) Leftover corned beef hash with eggs for breakfast. I worked on a couple of bad cameras this morning. Both weren’t working with the AC powered USB power supply and one killed it’s battery quickly. I replaced the one camera and the USB power supply. That seemed to fix the camera. I also updated all the cameras to the proper access points since I moved the one a couple of days ago. I also updated the sprinkler USB interface to use the new wifi. I then repaired the lower panel for our garage people door which fell out a while back. Lou had taped it up but that failed too. I added some metal and plastic to attach it better. Leftover pizza and a stuffed tomato for lunch. Hamburgers for dinner. After dinner, I looked into a problem Dawn was having printing. For some reason, her computer won’t print to the living room printer. I turned on the printer in the study and confirmed it worked and set it as the default printer. Then I grabbed my things and headed toward San Jose. I need to be there in the morning for the plumbers. I stopped on the way and picked up something to snack on and something for lunch tomorrow. I also got two cases of drinking water bottles. I knocked on the door of the house and confirmed they know the water will be off all day after 0900 tomorrow.

Monday: (06/14) Enjoyed my nights rest here in San Jose. I was off for a La Victoria breakfast burrito at 0700. The crew arrived a little after 0800 and was busy preparing to replace all the piping in the house. At 0900 off went the water and they started destroying the old piping system. Then the replacement began including fixing some things as they reinstalled the pipes. It took a while but the water was finally turned on a bit after 1930. Then it was quickly turned off. The piping to the water softener was spurting water. I had them just bypass it with one of the flex pipes and they can return tomorrow to fix the leak. Otherwise no leaks. There was a kinked water supply hose for the kitchen sink that was quickly corrected. All OK at 2030. All went better than I expected. Now all that remains, other than the leaky water softener, is a city inspection in a couple of weeks and for Lou and I to patch the walls under the sinks that were cut open. I had a can of soup for lunch and a Cuban sandwich for dinner.

Tuesday: (06/15) Spent the night in San Jose. Another La Victoria breakfast burrito for breakfast. I took a walk around downtown San Jose to start. Back at the house, i did some inspection and cleanup of the basement. I also place a big fan down there to dry the water and mud. The contractor was supposed to call and come by to correct a few things about noon but never showed up. I called him later in the afternoon when I found his number and he is now supposed to call to meet me there tomorrow. I loaded the car with a bunch of wet stuff from the basement including an old range hood microwave shelf and a dishwasher. Quite a load for the little car. Back home in Palo Alto I added most of the debris to the garbage and recycle bins. The dishwasher will be dropped off at the dump tomorrow. Chips and hummus for lunch. Leftover cabbage soup for dinner.

Wednesday: (06/16) Corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. I headed off after breakfast to the Sunnyvale dump to get rid of the dishwasher. Sal from Triumph called as I was waiting to dump and said they’d be there in 15 minutes. I hurried and met them there. They started to repair the softener but needed parts so I suggested they credit me for the damage repair which they accepted, $200 credit which I’ll use to buy a new saltless softener. They did correct the reversed H+C lines in Dawn's bath sink. I remained to attend my Wednesday Webinar before heading back toward home. On the way home I stopped at Grocery Outlet, Harbor Freight, got gas in Sunnyvale, stopped at Smart and Final and Nob Hill for groceries, then picked up lunch at the Lucky Chinese Bistro. After lunch I took a long nap then it was time for dinner. I joined Lou in the air conditioned RV for the afternoon and evening. Leftover Chinese food for dinner.