Friday, September 1, 2023

September 2023

Friday: (09/01) Granola for breakfast. I started work on the Van. I drilled all the holes that might be needed in the seat belt frame for the belt attachment and the cabinetry attachments. Then I painted the frame and let it dry in the sun. Back inside I worked on the tax return and managed to finish it and send it off. With that tax accomplished, I needed a reward. So we went to Bajis Restaurant in Mountain View where I had a nice salad for lunch. I drilled a piolet hole through the floor and it came out inside a box cross connect beam and was not accessible. I was afraid of that and thought I might just drill at an angle to avoid it but the floor is only 1.5 inches thick so that would not have moved me far enough. I considered some alternatives all of which seemed to involve a lot of work like removing the refrigerator again and also removing the batteries. The brilliance struck and I cut a hole in the side of the electrical cabinet to allow me to move the bolt hole 1.5 inches and provide enough clearance. In doing so I also improved the air intake flow to the heater which can now find its way directly from the electrical cabinet. It did require a longer bolt than I had purchased yesterday so I then made a run to Outdoor Supply Hardware for more bolts and stuff. Lots more that I need but a variety of sizes. I installed the frame and belts and reinstalled the heater cover and cabinet boards. All of them required a little trim here and there but it all fit back together with all the original storage spaces. I did have to cut the top of one side of the top drawer to allow it to clear the seat belt bolts. We had Dawn try it out and all is well not. Now we can head out for a little trip and I can maybe also make a fall run out to the zEastern Sierras. Chili beans with ramen noodles for dinner. The van is now functionally complete. Everything that is needed for three people to travel and camp for extended periods is ready. There are only little finishing touches left.

Saturday: (09/02) Some of Dawn’s rice donuts with honey for breakfast. I moved a lot of stuff out of the van to make room for Lou and Dawn to move in for a little trip. All went well with my plans until lou mentioned that she needs her electric scooter. That takes up half the storage in the garage and leaves some irregular other space. We all took a little shopping drie in the van. Dawn’s first time in the 3rd passenger seat. We stopped for lunch at Aqui’s Restaurant in Cupertino. We were looking for appropriately sized containers to utilize the remaining storage space. We finally decided some duffel bags will likely be best. Back home a nice nap helped. Dawn made some chicken celery soup with rice for dinner.

Sunday: (09/03) Granola and banana for breakfast. A typical slow Sunday morning. About 1100 I headed off in the van. I went to West Marine and bought a fan for the van with a credit that Lou had. I also stopped at REI to look around. I found some sun shirts like I have that were on sale and bought three of them. I then picked up a veggie burrito for lunch. I visited the Outdoor Supply Hardware store in Redwood City. They are even better stocked than the one in Sunnyvale which was unbelievably well supplied. Then I needed a nap for a while. Finally I visited Costco for a look around. I picked up a chicken bake there for dinner.

Monday: (09/04) I picked up a sausage, egg, and cheese English muffin at Happy Donuts as I walked over to Bol park to see the donkeys. I walked out Los Robles Avenue, came by the donkeys andwa;ked through Bol Park onto Hanover Street and onto the Stanford University Campus. After a quick visit to the restroom at the bookstore I enjoyed an Elephant Chia latte at Cupa Cafe. Then I walked over to the Cactus Garden. Still some flowers as well as lots of seed pods from previous flowering. Then on through the Stanford Shopping Mall to the Caltrain station to catch as bus home. 6.6 miles walked. Back home I had some of Dawn fresh baked pinto bean pecan pie as well as my leftover veggie burrito for lunch. Later, I went to the Sunnyvale Target Store, then the Cupertino Target Store looking for more stacking yard chairs. We picked up two yesterday and I found three more today. Most of our yard chairs have been in the sun too long and or had too many seatings of heavy people (me). Lou prepared chili topped baked potatoes for dinner.

Tuesday: (09/05) Granola for breakfast. I headed over to pete’s Palo Alto house to help him remove a fence. We removed the rear and side fences, posts and concrete post bases. We finished up much earlier than I expected at 1140. Pete brought our lunch of a roast beef sandwich and pear. After lunch I headed home. After a shower I relaxed for a while.I did cut a hole in the refrigerator cabinet to allow tying in the seat cushion and cut and beveled the toilet anchor knobs. Leftover chicken celery soup for dinner.

Wednesday: (09/06) We went to A Good Morning restaurant for breakfast. We were all bust packing and preparing to leave on out first three person outing in the van. Lots to fit in and lots tht would be going in the motorhome has to stay home when traveling in the van. We had thought we might be leaving later today but decided to just get ready and leave tomorrow morning. No lunch and leftovers for dinner.

Thursday: (09/07) We finalized our preparation to leave but didn’t get away until after 1000. We stopped at the cheapest gas station in the county on our way in Sunnyvale on our way to Gilroy. We stopped for breakfast at the Longhouse Restaurant there. Then on to Greenfield where I needed a nap while Lou and Dawn had some flan and did some shopping. We turned off Hwy 101 onto Jolon Road and past Lake San Antonio and Lake Nacimiento. Bothe lakes are county parks so we didn’t go in to look around since we wouldn’t have been staying there because it was over 80 degrees. We returned to Hwy 101 in Paso Robles then went down to a Von’s market in Atascadero where we picked up soup for Lou and Dawn dinner and I picked up some food at Panda Express. Then we headed West on Hwy 41 stopping about halfway to Morro Bay at the Cerro Alto Campground For the night.We enjoyed our neighbor’s campfire in the evening. This was our first night with three of us in the van.

Friday: (09/08) BLT sandwiches for breakfast by the neighbor’s campfire. We decided the current campground would be nice for a future visit but our neighbor is too chatty and we were headed to SLO anyway so we left camp about 1040. Note: the best campsites seem to be 18 and 19 that were currently closed due to tree maintenance being done. We head West on Hwy 41 to Morro Bay then up Hwy 1 to El Churro campground. We secured a campsite, #20, for three nights. After throwing our chairs out and installing a tablecloth, we head on down to Grover Beach. We stopped at Francisco's Country Kitchen for lunch. Lou and I shared a corned beef hash lunch and Dawn had a peanut butter cream pie. Then we visited several thrift stores as well as an RV supply store and a hardware store. I picked up a bullseye bubble level and a longer gray water hose. My gray water discharge is on the right side rather than the normal left side so I have to pass the hose under the van at a normal hookup campsite. We returned to camp about 1615 after being stuck in a traffic jam on Hwy 101 which carried on on all the side streets we tried. Ramen noodles with chicken for dinner. Interesting discovery while preparing dinner. I don’t have a can opener in the van, yet. On one of my nightly risings to pee I discovered the light on the toilet indicating it was full was on so we had to take a stroll to the restroom instead.

Saturday: (09/09) Granola for breakfast. In the morning I discovered the wood chips had possibly plugged the urine drain. Not sure if that is the only problem though. After Lou and Dawn took a shower with all our quarters, we headed off to Francisco's again for a BBQ lunch. Excellent. Then a little shopping visiting Walmart and the Dollar Store. We went by the last thrift store we visited yesterday and found our step stool still there in the gutter, not damaged and not taken. Then on the way home we stopped at a couple more thrift stores. Back at camp, we had leftover BBQ and some additions for dinner.

Sunday: (09/10) Lou prepared ham, eggs and leftover rice for breakfast. We relaxed at home in camp all day. Lou and Dawn relaxed in camp. I relaxed by taking a 6 mile hike up to Eagle Rock and a loop through the park and past a youth ranch and the community college and back to camp. After some real relaxation and cool down, I prepared grilled cheese sandwiches for our lunch. I took a shower in the afternoon. Lou and Dawn prepared tostados for dinner.

Monday: (09/11) Loou and I took a walk around the camp and up to the golf Course. Dawn relaxed in camp. Then we broke camp and left at about 1030. We stopped at the cafe at the golf course next door to the campground for breakfast. We then headed down to Oceana to the Oceana County Park and got a campsite for a couple of nights. We had an early dinner at Old Juan’s Cantina nearby.

Tuesday: (09/12) Lou and I took a walk to the beach. Leftovers for breakfast. Off to SLO to look at Tractor Supply and the Farm Store before another thrift store. Then we returned to Pismo Beach for a visit to Pismo Fish and Chips for a late lunch. relaxed the rest of the afternoon in camp. Dawn doesn’t feel well.

Wednesday: (09/13) Lou made tacos for breakfast. We slowly prepared to roll departing about 1030. We stopped for gas in SLO and at thrift stores in Atascadero and Paso Robles. Next we stopped in Greenfield for some flan for a snack. Then dinner at the Longhouse in Gilroy, their great garlic pork chops. Back home about 1800. I unpacked some things from the van. Lou and Dawn gave Dawn a covid test and it was positive. Second test was the same so likely we will all have it soon.

The three people in a van inaugural camping trip worked well. We only camoed one night without hookups in a Forest Service campground midway between Atascadero and Morro Bay. From there we moved to El Churro County Park for three nights with full hookups where we only used the electric except for dumping our gray water tank before we left. Then down to Oceana County Park for two nights, again full hookups using only the electric. On our first night in Oceana the battery on the inflator pump was dead. It hadn’t charged because the wall charger was off. So I slept in the front instead of Dawn by placing lots of stuff between the seats as a bridge to make the bed. We ate out about half of the time. All in all, we survived nicely. We did not use the inside shower though so that remains to be tested.

Thursday: (09/14) Granola for breakfast. I had a dental appointment at 1000. I picked up my lunch at Panda Express. On the way back home I stopped at Marshalls, Ross’s, Walmart Neighborhood Market, and picked up Lou’s lunch at Bajis Cafe. Relaxed all afternoon. Lou prepared chili baked potatoes for dinner.

Friday: (09/15) Granola for breakfast. Hot and sour soup for lunch. Chinese food for dinner. Lou and I tested positive for Covid this morning. I had tro make two trips to the Kaiser Pharmacy for some Paxlovid. Unfortunately Lou’s prescription took hours, mine 30 minutes. While out I got ga and some Chinese food.

Saturday: (09/16) Some hot and sour soup for breakfast. I did a couple of tasks on the van. I swapped two more USB wall chargers with USBc-PD. Chinese food for lunch. Chili ramen noodles for dinner. Otherwise relaxed all day.

Sunday: (09/17) Hot and sour soup for breakfast. Tostadas with carnitas and pico de gallo for lunch. Dinner from Pizza Chicao. Relaxing and recovering were the rule of the day.

Monday: (09/18) Lou made an omelet for breakfast. I took the first inside van shower this morning. I had finished dressing and bent over to throw something in the trash and a nose bleed started. After two hours trying to stop it, Lou drove me to the emergency room at Kaiser in Santa Clara. She dropped me off and skedaddled. I was checked in and was in the waiting room for two hours before being seen. On check in then did provide a welcome nose clothespin so i didn’t have to keep my nose pinched. They were extremely busy and the triage set where you were in line. I guess bleeding comes right after heart attacks and breathing problems. The guard said the longest wait would be 4.5 hours. After 5.5 hours of bleeding their 5th attempt at stopping the bleed finally worked. They installed a balloon up my nose and inflated it. With a little medication they sent me home. I had to wait for Lou to come from home to pick me up. I get to enjoy this balloon for three days then they see what they need to do to make a real fix.

I have never had nose bleeds and this started after starting the Paxlovid pills to treat my Covid. So now I get to relax for a few days and do nothing. No lunch. Leftover pizza for dinner.

Tuesday: (09/19) Leftover omelet for breakfast. Mostly relaxed in or on the bed except for some tea in the backyard arbor. Carnitas, tomato and cheese sandwich for lunch. Cream of tomato soup for dinner. Today I had two nose bleeds in my previously well behaved left nostril. It took an hour to stop the first one so I didn’t end up back at the emergency room. Fortunately I finished the Paxlovid pills this evening. Hopefully they were the cause of these bleeds.

Wednesday: (09/20) Soft boiled eggs for breakfast. I made a doctor's appointment for this morning because of blood in my stool. Like just swallowing too much blood for the past few days but possibly another bleed somewhere other than my nose. My doctor checked me and ordered some blood tests and off I went. Lou got her flu shot while I was at the lab. My nose has been better since yesterday. Leftover pizza for lunch. I’m still trying to control myself and rest. More pizza for dinner.

Thursday: (09/21) Granola for breakfast. I had an appointment at Kaiser Santa Clara to get the balloon removed from my nose. I got my flu shot then as well. Leftover tuna noodles for lunch. My nose bleed returned in the afternoon. Tamale pie for dinner.

Friday: (09/22) Granola for breakfast. I was awake much of the night because my nose bleed returned in earnest. When the ENT clinic opened at 0900 I called for an appointment to have it looked at again. Leftover chili beans for lunch. I had a 1530 appoint at Kaiser and they cauterized my nose. Seems like it’s finally fixed.So nice to finally be able to b;ow my nose again. Now, hopefully, the headache and toothache caused by the procedure go away soon. Chinese food from Lucky Bistro for dinner.

Saturday: (09/23) I walked over to Happy Donut this morning. I got a sausage, egg, and cheese English muffin and a donut for my breakfast. Feeling good. That didn’t last. I had a nose bleed later in the morning. Fortunately, it stopped with the addition of an Afrin soaked cotton ball. I removed that after a while and that cork lasted the rest of the day with my limited movements. Leftover Chinese food for lunch. Lou made French toast and bacon for dinner.

Sunday: (09/24) Leftover French toast with peanut butter and jam for breakfast. Leftover hot and sour soup for lunch. We took the van out for a drive up to Foothills Park. Ham and cheese sandwich for dinner.

Monday: (09/25) A ham, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I had a nice day with no nose bleeds. I worked on preparing a slide show that presents the history of the van construction. I posted it to Facebook. Broccoli salad for lunch. Dawn’s soup for dinner. Lou was very busy today doing a couple of tasks I'd normally be doing. The kitchen sink is clogged and she tried to clear it without success yet. She also drained the tanks on the motorhome.

Tuesday: (09/26) Granola for breakfast. It rained a little this morning. We visited ACE Hardware for a pipe cap and Grocery Outlet for some drinking water. Lou was busy. Since I’m not allowed (by her) to lift or bend over, she climbed the ladder on the roof and inserted the hose into the kitchen sink vent pipe. We got to try out my new telescoping ladder in which she had no confidence. It all worked. A minute or so applying pressure into the pipe and water started flowing again. We picked up super nachos for lunch from Tacos El Gruellense. That pretty much did her in for the day. She did start sauerkraut, potatoes and sausages in the crock pot for later dinner. I was busy blowing my nose all day. Nice to not have any more nose bleeds.

Wednesday: (09/27) Leftover nachos and some strawberries for breakfast. I attended my usual Wednesday webinar. Leftover Dawn bean soup for lunch. I had grand plans of doing a shopping run after lunch but decided I wouldn’t enjoy it due to already being fatigued. Some baked salmon and ramen noodles for dinner.

Thursday: (09/28) I felt pretty good today. I had granola for breakfast. Dawn was having a problem with a driver for her use of Adobe Premiere Pro. i spent much of the morning cleaning up her computer, updating windows, Premiere pro, Audition. And make sure her antivirus was up to date. The cleanup and updates fixed the driver problem. Then I was off. I picked up lunch at Panda Express. Then I was off to Milpitas Super Walmart to pickup some things. My shopping run was about 70% successful. I hurried back toward home about 1430 to avoid getting stuck in traffic. I stopped at a Grocery Outlet in Sunnyvale on my way home. Leftover sauerkraut potatoes and sausage for dinner.

Friday: (09/29) I had a slice of apple pie and bacon jerky for breakfast. I was acting chauffeur today. I drove Dawn to her PT appointment. I then did some shopping at Nob Hill and Smart and Final markets while I waited for Dawn. I also visited Marshalls Home Goods store and found a small saucepan for the van. I also found a can opener with big handles for Lou but she actually didn’t need the opener but wanted some big handled potato peelers. Another day. On the way home we picked up lunch from Lucky Chinese Bistro. Leftover bean soup for dinner.

Saturday: (09/30) I had a slice of apple pie for breakfast. Broccoli salad for lunch. Mostly relaxed all day. Leftover Chinese food for dinner. Later in the evening, Dave Smith emailed me and said he’d like to reschedule the Ranch Weekend this weekend due to expected extra high temperatures. I changed the event on Meetup and sent out emails.