Monday, February 24, 2020

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!

I love playing card games.  When I worked for the County of Merced Building Division, four of us played pinocle every day at noon.  I actually won occasionally.  Poker however, seems to allude me.  I know how to play and I know how to win, I just never seem to get the cards.  There's always someone with a better hand.

I took this sunrise as a symbol of luck ... I was going to have a good day, mostly because I planned on doing absolutely nothing, not even leaving the house!
One couple hosts the party once a month, bringing the main dish for everyone.  The rest of us bring salads or desserts.  Something very easy that I didn't really have to cook was Italian pasta.  You just cut up all the veggies you want and open a can or two.  I did cook the box of pasta, but I never left the stove.  No use pushing my luck.

The dressing is even easier.  Open a bottle of Italian dressing and pour it on.  The balance of the bottle makes the best chicken marinade ever.  It was a winner.
As for poker, there were seven playing Texas Hold'em in the other room and seven of us playing whatever crazy game came to mind.  With that many people, we played with two decks, making it rather interesting when it came to wild cards.  

I won a big hand, then lost most of the night.  Finally playing Woolworths (5's & 10's wild) I hit FIVE ACES.  Woohoo!!!  You could hear me screaming down the street.  A few more hands and all those winnings were gone until we played Elevator, which brought me FIVE MORE ACES!!  I only won one other hand with five eights.  Winner winner chicken dinner!!!  

For the first time ever, I came home a big winner of $8.10!!!  I doubt you will see me playing on TV any time soon however.
It was a fun distraction, but now we're back to reality.  As I went into the kitchen this morning I heard this horrible racket outside.  OMG!!!  It sounded like my heater/ac unit was blowing up.  I rushed outside to hear water on the roof.  Wait .... I was just out with the puppies and it wasn't raining.

I checked again when it finally dawned on me.  The work crew must have broken into the drip irrigation line and forgot to tell me.  I raced over to the control panel and shut it off.  The racket stopped.  Thank goodness ... I really cannot deal with anything else going wrong!!

I keep staring at this sunset image in the hopes it will calm my racing heart.  Maybe a margarita would work better!!
Thank you thank you to the readers who told me about Do It Yourself Pest Control for scorpions.  I'm calling them first thing this morning!!!

Keep your fingers crossed I find someone to fix the porch!!!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

I'm Still Alive And Kicking

In spite of my tendency to go bury my head in the sand ..... in California ..... I was able to recover my composure yesterday with the help of all those virtual hugs and some big snuggles from Cooper.  He always makes me smile.
I was pretty trashed from no sleep, worrying about the bed in the rig floating away, so at 7:30 I made a beeline for LaMesa RV.  I drove right over to the rig, almost running over some guy.  Turns out it was Carlos! 

I thanked him again for plugging the rig in and rushed inside to check for dampness on the floor.  WHEW!!!  Just a drop or two instead of the flood I was prepared to sop up.  The rig is parked with the back end slightly uphill, so all the water ran downhill instead of inside.  I was one happy camper as I placed a couple of pans to catch anything else.
With predicted rains all day long, Dan and his granddaughter Laila went to the fairgrounds to see what the vendors had for sale.  Amazingly, the rains seemed to go right around the arena and the rodeo went off without a hitch.  
Here's a couple of my pictures from the last one I attended.  Yes, there's a cowboy under that bull's butt!!
It's a dangerous sport.  This guy got up after being kicked in the back ... but only with a little help.
I finally decided to get up off my sorry backside and get to work.  Not bad, eh?  I would have done more, but I ran out of paint.  This sheetrock is sucking it up in spite of the primer already in the paint.  It does look nice, just don't get too close.  I never said I was a great painter!!
As I moved some stuff out of the way, this guy scurried across the floor.  He didn't get far.  A little later I killed another.  I think that brings our total to eleven.  I did some investigating and there are products on the market that will kill scorpions in spite of what my pest control guy says.  I'm buying some.
Now out of paint, I started putting the shelves together.  One anyway, until I realized I needed to paint the ceiling first.  The fewer the obstacles, the better.
Today has another distraction from the rotting wood ... it's POKER SUNDAY!!  No use sitting around crying over spilled milk when I can lose even MORE money.  I'm a terrible poker player, but it's fun to meet up with the neighbors for dinner.  We play all night on $5.00, so I should be okay.

I'm taking Italian pasta salad, which requires a trip to the grocery store.  I'm pretty sure a gallon of Tillamook ice cream will sneak into my cart.  What better way to drown your sorrows!!!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

UH OH .... Bad News!

UPDATE:  Good news:  Rig is dry except for a couple of drops.  It IS plugged in (YAY) and is on enough of a slant that water is not streaming in.  I put the pans in place anyway.

I'm completely defeated.  Exhausted!  Not one spec of energy left.  I just want to run away and hide.  I knew the porch was iffy ... the plywood spongy in one area.  The crew is supposed to cover this with half size pavers.  They rang the doorbell at around 1:30 with terrible news.
This outside beam is rotten all the way through.  It will have to be replaced because it's basically a structural issue.  Not that it will ever get wet again and become worse, because I put a patio cover over the entire length of this side of the house.  

Needless to say, they cannot put pavers on this.  I'm crushed.  Who do I call?  Mr. Dan of course, who came over in a flash.  He says the same thing happened to his house and it's fixable.  I just have to FIND someone who knows how.  The entire project came to a screeching halt.  On Monday the paver company owner will come by to see what he thinks.  They said they have dealt with this before, so hopefully we can come up with something.  I just see $$$$$$$.
To make it even MORE fun, Carlos from LaMesa RV called to say they had done nothing with my rig.  No repairs of any kind.  Hopefully he said, they will start on it Monday.

Carlos called me AGAIN around 4:30 to say it was plugged in.  My "friend" (who of course is Dan) stopped by and asked he take care of that.  I thanked him profusely.  It's parked down by a blue tarp (who knows where that is) if I needed anything from the rig.  

I was feeling so beat up, I went to bed early, only to wake up with a start at 11:00.  The rig is parked outside and it's RAINING.  There's going to be 4-5 cups of water on that bedroom carpet because I put the pans away, assuming (silly me) that it would be fixed.

So now I'm in a panic to get BACK to LaMesa this morning and get those pans in place before it gets any worse.  I'm totally crushed and defeated.  The last thing in the world I wanted to do was deal with stuff like this.

I'll be the blubbering mess of a human in the corner on the couch.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Rig Repairs $$$$$

I was so excited when the paver crew showed up at 8:00 yesterday.  We should see some improvement now, maybe even a paver or two on the ground.  Turned out there were lots of pavers on the ground, just not where I wanted them.

They had to remove all the pavers from the trailer in order to have room for all that concrete they thankfully said they would haul off.  At 11:00 they took their lunch break, returning at 12:30.  At 2:00 they took a nice long break, then put everything away in the trailer and were gone by 3:00.  I'm thinking this project is going to take about 30 days.
I tried to keep busy sewing, but was just too distracted by the thought of my rig's batteries being totally depleted in spite of me asking them to keep it plugged in due to the household fridge.  Finally, I couldn't stand it a second longer.  I drove over to La Mesa.

Did I mention the only employee who can check the jacks called in sick?  Meaning the rig has been sitting here since Tuesday morning.  They actually called me to ask if I wanted them to go ahead and check out the other two problems.  Are you kidding me Carlos??  That's a dumb question!!!  Here's my baby at home, plugged in!!
As I drove in, I spotted the rig parked behind a bay with the door open.  I made a beeline that direction, hoping to catch someone inside.  First thing, I checked the battery bank.  11.6.  I almost screamed.  I turned the inverter off and took a couple of things out of the freezer.  I'm sure that ice on the floor of the freezer will melt and hit the floor, but there's nothing I can do.

You want to get someone's attention?  Just walk into their repair bay where you are not allowed!!  I yelled like a crazy lady at the kid standing there about keeping it plugged in with even 110 to keep those batteries up.  I'm not losing $3,000 worth of AGM's because these guys have no clue!  He promised me he would hook it up.

You shouldn't eat when you are mad, but at least I was going to get $10 worth of lunch.  They had beef stew with a biscuit and a really good salad bar.  It didn't set well.  If you are heading this way on Saturday, they are having burgers.  

Funny, when I got home, Carlos called to tell me about repairing the leak and the toilet.  $1,000 for both.  I know it sounds like a lot, but I'm expecting the entire thing to run around $4-5,000.  At least I'm prepared for it.  I put away a little every month for repairs.

The bedroom slide leak is from a bad top seal and a deteriorated slide topper.  Honestly, I knew about the topper, having seen that the last time I was on the roof.  It's $650 in case you need it done for your rig.  The toilet repair takes up the rest with all new seals and a water line.  

Again, I ranted about plugging it in and not killing my batteries.  Carlos said he would go make sure they did that immediately.  I don't believe him one little bit.  Here's my thought.  These guys don't OWN a rig, thereby knowing how things work, or they just don't give a damn.
Other crazy things have transpired, but I'll relate those later, after I eat half a bottle of Tums.  We have tickets to Saturday's rodeo, which is another reason I went to the rig ... to get my hat because it's going to rain.  I also picked up the roller extension for painting.

This morning there's an ugly black sky out with 22 mph winds, followed by more wind and rain all day tomorrow.  That should be perfect for rodeo watching!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2020


Some days I should never get out of bed.  Yesterday was a good example.  I got a call very late in the day saying the crew would be here to start the entryway paver project.  I was up and at 'em super early.  The guy showed up with the sand mixture at 7:15.  He dumped the load and left.  I waited.

And I waited some more.  By 8:30 I figured I would fix up some hummingbird juice for the kids who frequent my patio.  About the time I should have turned the stove off, the crew (and I use that word loosely) showed up.

By the time I got back in the house, the first alarm went off.  UH OH!!!  Smoke was pouring from the underneath the lid.  I grabbed the pan and took it outside to the lawn.  I ran back inside just in time for the second and THIRD alarm to start screaming as I ran from room to room opening doors and windows.   I hit the exhaust fan button, but it was too late.

The phone rang.  Surprisingly, it was my ADT alarm company.  I guess one of those alarms belonged to them.  I explained everything was okay ... but I was pretty happy to know if this ever happened for REAL, they would call the Fire Department.  Lucky for me, the Fire Department did NOT show up.

So tell me ... how in the world did a little sugar and water wind up looking like this?  It's black to the bottom and hard as a rock.  The good news is that my house now smells of caramel.  I'm not kidding ... a lovely wafting of sweet candy.
Back to the crew once the smoke cleared ... here's the walkway now.  I thought it was made the same as the back patio, where I removed pieces of flagstone with a shovel.
Come to find out, the FRONT had concrete underneath.  It took a jack hammer and one hour to remove this much.  That's when the boss showed up and was mad I told the guys to remove this.  His plan was to put the pavers right over the top.  Not a good idea in my book.  I checked the contract and he wrote "Remove flagstone from front".  

Next thing I know, there's a knock at the door.  The kid was taking the tile off the top of the steps and said I had a HUGE scorpion problem.  Don't I know it!  Apparently all around the front steps he found dozens of the little creepy denizens.  I got out my pest spray and they soaked the entire area.
Around 11:00 I didn't hear anything, so I went outside to check.  There was no one in sight.  WHAT? Where did they go?  Maybe it was an early lunch.  By 12:30 I began to get concerned.  Maybe they all just walked off the job!!  At 1:00 they came back to work another hour before disappearing AGAIN!!  

Hmmmm I forgot I was close to Mexico.  My 8-5 work hours just don't compute down here.  At least I know they will be back because the pavers showed up.  I crawled up on the trailer to take a look.  Hmmmm again ... they are supposed to be all the same size, mostly because it was a little bit cheaper.  I'm not telling them a thing.  I just hope they get it finished in under 30 days!!
As to the RV ..... I called my man Carlos and got an answering machine.  I called the office, who called Carlos and got an answering machine.  See a trend here?  If I can sneak away today, I'll go get my cowboy hat (we're going to the rodeo and it's supposed to rain), the paint handle extension and see if I can locate Mr. Carlos, who apparently works the same hours as my paving crew .... AND have a free lunch.    

By the way, if anyone asks, husband took his buddies to New Mexico in the motorhome.  He'll be back in two weeks.  I sure hope he doesn't have to extend his vacation!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Can I Borrow A First Born?

I'M ALIVE .... but probably only for the time being.  I made it to the repair shop at La Mesa RV at the appointed hour.  Of course my service guy was nowhere to be found.  I tapped on one door and got a loud grumble, causing me to shut the door quickly.  Geez ... where's the smiling happy-to-see-you faces?

Every bay had a rig in it, and some had TWO.  They do get busy this time of year.  Although my plan was to wait, I towed the Jeep.  Don't you just love unhooking in front of a dozen people just waiting for you to make a mistake?  That's probably not really true, but I sure feel like it.
Carlos showed up and was friendly as can be.  We discussed the jacks not holding up, the toilet seal that needs replacing, including the fact that hardly any water comes IN to the toilet bowl.  I saw dollar signs in his eyes!  I explained how the water gets in under the seal, I just don't know exactly WHERE it is coming in.  

I was then deposited in the waiting room where this sign is right in your face.  Good grief ... I need a first born to give them in payment!  I'd love to ask the repairmen exactly what THEY get paid.  I do suppose you have to add in free lunch, which by the way is now free to ANYONE according to the nice lady at the counter.  I'm thinking from now on when I drive to town, I'll stop in and thereby cut my grocery bill down a little.
My poor baby ... I just love this picture of her in the snow.  I have been lucky not to have had any really bad problems with her and these things have been going on for awhile.  It's time to get her fixed up.  As you can tell, I'm still here, meaning I haven't heard one single thing about how much ANY of this will cost.  He promised to call, but like a used car salesman, he must have broken his finger, because Carlos did not contact me at ALL yesterday.
So while I waited at home, I painted the corners on half the ceiling.  I would have painted the walls too, but alas, I left my pole extension in the rig.  RATS!!  

So instead, I put together one of three shelving units I'm putting in the garage.  Although I do have a variety of tools, I had to borrow the hammer from Mr. Chance.  He doesn't know it because he was gone.  My my, his garage would make anyone jealous!!  I can only dream.
What I did was split one unit in half, making two work tables.  You know it wasn't me who thought of that, it was Dan's idea.  I've got two more bigger shelves to put together after I borrow a roller extension and get the painting done. 
Trying to keep myself occupied, I planted the last of the cactus, discovered I really didn't need to repair the sprinkler line and spent twenty minutes getting paint off my fingers.  Then I tended to my forehead.  

Why you ask?  Because when I was frying up that rasher of bacon, a huge drop of grease came flying out and hit my forehead.  It instantly burned a very deep hole in my face that has required maintenance ever since.  I know ... the weirdest things happen to me!!

I'll be in the garage ..... waiting to hear from Carlos!!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

I'm Sequestered In The Garage

I arose to the sound of clanking, screeching and lumbering railroad cars passing by, followed quickly by the long LOUD wail of the whistles.  By 3:30 am, the trains are hitting the tracks heading West.  I can lay there all day, but I will never go back to sleep.

With every breath I take, the puppies scooch in a little closer until they are nose to my nose.  That's when I get up!  The first order of the day was to finish taking out the rock in the back, all the while thinking I could probably save a HUGE amount of money if I did these pavers myself.  Instantly the sore muscles said OH HECK NO!!

While waiting for the plumber to arrive, I sequestered myself in the garage for an epic painting session.  Someone said "why do you need texture?  It's just a garage!"  I decided they were right and I would just paint it.

Painting and I don't get along very well.  My arms are never long enough.  Lucky for me however, there is a break in the action because my rig needs to go to the hospital.  Two of four jacks (on opposite corners of course) are not holding me level.  Add to that a leaky bedroom seal and this will be a pricey repair.  Hey, it's only money!!!
The plumber showed up on time (YAY!) with a completely different idea of what I wanted than what I told the office girl.  He thought I wanted to REPLACE the hot water heater.  Nope ... just need a pan underneath in case it leaks.  

Well how about this $2300 electronic leak detection system instead?  Nope ... just need a pan underneath in case it leaks.  In the end, I had an estimate of $268 to change one lousy bathroom faucet and only $160 for the pan.  I'm sure you know which one I chose.  I'll brush up on my faucet installation skills in a day or so.  For now, I actually have to call back to make an appointment to get the pan replaced.

About the time he left, I was hit with a nice surprise.  The King of the Magic Kingdom came to Tucson to visit relatives, and called to see if I wanted to go out to dinner with him and his lovely Queen.  I jumped at the chance.  Guess where we went!!

Yup .... Divine Bovine ... although I will tell you, this is probably the last time I will EVER go there.  I had no idea this burger and sweet potato fries came to a breathtaking $18.57.  YIKES!!!  I almost passed out!!
And so I'm off to the repair shop, leaving you with another gorgeous sunSET this time.  I'm taking this picture with me so as to remain calm when I hear what the repair bill will be.  
If you don't hear from me, it's because I had a heart attack when I heard the price, died and went to HEAVEN!!!  I'm hoping I'll still be here tomorrow to tell you what happened.