Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Today . . . I just couldn't resist

I regret it when I drive away and find I've left my camera at home. Today I didn't forget. I took it on my trip Down the Hill to the Little City to have my follow up on last month's cataract surgery.

I went down via the back roads.Things are greening up nicely in the countryside, but the narrow road has precious few places to pull over and just enough traffic that early in the morning to cause a hazard were I to stop in the middle of the road. But the skies were toooo much, stacked with billowy clouds and criss-crossing contrails. I pulled off across a long dirt driveway, leading to a ranch somewhere off in the distance.

I couldn't see what I was shooting nor what I got; I just pointed the camera in the general direction and clicked. You're getting them all. I can't choose.

I turned and looked the other way.

The eye doctor told me I'm doing fine, that I'm really going to like my new eyes. I told him that the vision is fluctuating, sometimes in- , sometimes out-of-sync with my glasses and other eye. But I don't want to change lenses or glasses until both eyes are done. I do have a wrinkle in the new eye. (No wonder things are looking like Chinese characters. It might take surgery to correct, but it's not time for that yet.)

I left with a dilated pupil on the new eye, so the bright sun seemed even brighter. The perimeter of the city was rimmed with the billowy clouds, and I still couldn't see any better to take several shots from the side of the road on the way to the bypass.

I know I'll get another panoramic view from the bank parking lot in My Little Town.

And the horses are galloping around, frolicking like a bundle of kittens in the green field.

Two feral kitties just asked for some dinner on the back deck. I give them some, because, once the sun goes down, raccoon horns in on it. Animal Control left a note at my back door a couple days ago that someone complained about the 17+ cats I have that are trespassing on their property. Seventeen-plus cats? Somebody's been smoking something funny.

Animal Control kindly says they'll loan me traps so I can drive them down the the little city. Where they will be euthanized.

That's something I literally can't do.

See you soon.


Saturday, March 23, 2013


 . . . and the transformation

A little gas pump icon flashes on when the status display in my car announces that it's 50 miles to empty. I've needed to go down the hill to the city to pick up some light fixtures for the hallway and treats for the cats and wanted to get gas while down there. I never remember the mileage down with any precision. So much depends on where you're heading and how you choose to get there, but I feel it's safe to run the car to 37 miles to empty and still reach a cheap gas station.

But every morning I had meetings and appointments and by afternoon just didn't want to make the drive. This morning when I went out for my (rescheduled) haircut, I noticed I had 9 miles to empty. (Grimace. That's cutting it a little close for the nearest gas station.) One thing about the "miles to" is that they don't correspond exactly to actual miles traveled. They seem to "use up" faster. Like, I can't believe the nearest gas station is nine miles away, but the countdown reached zero at the summit of the hill between my little town and the first gas station. At least I had a down hill to coast the rest of the way if needed. All my former cars usually still had gas in the tank when the needle reached empty, if only fumes. Zero didn't reduce to minus one, so I still don't know how much extra there might have been in the tank. I was relieved when there was room at the back pump when I slid into the gas station.

I had some funny pics of Jean-Luc, which I couldn't resist collaging. The blur is Henley.

Electric in the new rooms was finished up on Tuesday, and I think the drywall got delivered some time that day, too, while I was away. Insulation got started on Wednesday. It's big and puffy in the ceiling. Should keep my inside climate moderated on the sunny side there. It's been installed under the floor, too, although I haven't checked it out yet.

I've never seen drywall this long! It's 12 feet. I don't know how they got those into the rooms through all the corners and framing.

When I returned from getting my nails done on Wednesday, my computer, which had been left to drop off to sleep on its own, wouldn't wake up. Programs had been open, so when I forced a shutdown, they all were closed improperly. After a few fizzled tries, Windows finally offered to run checkdisk and cleaned out some corrupted file segments, so I'm back in business. For the moment. Knock on wood.

For Thursday Out, I actually did needlework at NeedleCrafts. While Terri's husband took a group photo, I did one too.

While I was away, the electrician removed the old hall lights that were on the walls and put in boxes for the overhead lights, that I still haven't fetched. So my hall is dark for the time being. I'll need a flashlight to change thermostat settings.

With the insulation completed, I noticed this new crawl hole through the ceiling, relocated to the new closet.

Friday was drywall day. It's not all in, but space has been transformed into real rooms. Very exciting. Here's the study/office.

This is the area for filing cabinets, and, if a future owner
wants this to be another bedroom, can turn it into a closet.

This is the exit from the quilt studio, with the niche for Saint Francis in the
part that juts out on the right. (I think. I'm totally turned around right now.)

The corner windows in the quilt studio are still a bit covered over.

Then here's the view from the bedroom. The old closet-turned-hallway is on the left and the new closet straight ahead.

Yes, it is transformed! It's turning into real rooms and will be part of a real house! It's getting closer. I may get to start unpacking before I even finish packing up.

I'm seeing the window covering guy this weekend, the floor covering guy will come and measure on Tuesday, then we'll set up an appointment to choose floor coverings. The drywallers will be back, apparently for a long stint, and my days will have lots of other activities and appointments, including what's supposed to be the final follow up on my new eye. At the moment, I feel like it's still stuck on text in the distance looking like Chinese characters and my current glasses, which seemed somewhat okay at first, aren't working very well with it any more. 

See you soon!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Electricians & plumbers & hvac and more . . .

(Admission: I didn't manage to post this Tuesday evening, despite the time stamp. I have been totally vegging.)

the weekend walkaround

Friday seems long ago now. I don't remember how I spent the day. I'm sure I devoted at least some time to preparing a presentation  for my computer club about Facebook on Tuesday evening, and Facebook had changed my Timeline format, rendering obsolete some of the graphics I'd prepared.  Likely the electrician was there some part of the day. Tom was putting on siding. He still has the teepee at the top of the end of the new rooms to fill in. I took pictures after the workers had left for the day and I'm locked out at night.

The daffodils are blooming away. They'll be happy that they're getting some rain tonight. The last "rain" was barely more than a sprinkle.

Did I mention before that I ordered the "Aussie" Kangaroo Kabinet Sewing Table? With free chair? I got two different shipping invoice emails under two different corporate names. The tracking info was identical, each saying one package at 15 lbs. I could buy the idea that the free chair might fit that description, but if my Aussie sewing table weighed only 15 lbs, I shouldn't expect much from it.

The driveway was full of subcontractors' trucks when the poor FedEx guy backed in to get as close to the garage as he could. The first big box off the truck he estimated at 50 lbs (there goes my career as a FedEx driver), followed by a second of similar size and weight. There was a total of five boxes for the Aussie, all heavy, and one box for the free chair, which I threw into the trunk of my car to take to storage in Garage Mahal.

The boxes had quite a few punches in the cardboard it was shipped in, and since we (the Royal we) won't be assembling it for awhile, I took a complete set of time-stamped photos, not noticing until I reviewed them that there's a picture of the Aussie in one of them:

 (I'm looking down between the two heaviest boxes.)

It would be a good idea if I could get some muscle to help me open these and inspect.

Trucks on Saturday?

I'd reordered the eye drops I'm still using for the cataract surgery on Friday and tried to combine the trip to the pharmacy with a stop off at Sister-in-Law's to get a key and cat-feeding instructions. After the pharmacy, I was going to Sister's and Brother-in-Law's for dinner. So I headed from SIL's to the pharmacy just before its closing time. Only I arrived there without purse. I called SIL and she'd already called the pharmacy to tell them . . .

"Can I leave an IOU?" I pleaded.

I left with the eye drops and the pharmacy lady put a Post It on my receipt and tucked in under the credit card scanner. Thus I was supposed to return to the pharmacy to pay off my IOU between 10 and 2 on Saturday. I was lounging around in my jammies at one on Saturday when I remembered. After paying, I stopped at the grocery store to buy orange juice and left with $71 worth of groceries. When I got home, there were two plumbing trucks and two plumbers, there to install the outdoor hose bibs. Only they were locked out of access to something they needed in the old basement. I let them in.

(one of the faucets)

Monday I raced off to feed SIL's kitty and when I returned, Tom and Craig were up the ladders I'd seen leaning against the house earlier. Craig does not like heights. so I waited until he'd acclimated awhile before taking photos. Craig's in the dark shirt, Tom in orange.

Craig said he's fine as long as he doesn't look down. Then he looked down.

Tom carries the boards up, while Craig hangs on for dear life and tries not to look down. (I'm with Craig.)

Inside, the electrician has been running wires, mounting cans for recessed can lights, and placing boxes for plugs and switches. The electrician, a young fella', listens to his music on his iPod. Craig and Tom listen the old-fashioned way, on a boom box.

At the end of day, I did a big walkaround.

Siding is done on the back, and that teepee part on the side has been filled in.

Under the house, I finally noticed the heating/ac ducts are in, as are the lines to the hose bibs. (I'll spare you my multiple photos of all the water lines.)

The front siding may or may not be done. Much pondering is going on.

A bird flew over which I at first thought was a hawk. I walked up the driveway in its direction. It began to circle me and companions joined him. Whoops! Vultures. I'm still alive. Thanks anyway. There were five of them but they soared too irregularly to capture more than two at a time.

Big pine cone by the neighbor's driveway. I never took note. There must be a pine tree there.

One of my Nina friends is posting a series of photos of "rust" for a particular photo group. I was inspired to take a rust picture, although I think I need to come back to it when it's sunny, instead of overcast.

I found myself in a confluence of yellow.

Finally, here's a clear view of what Craig and Tom had filled in this morning.

I had to get back to working on my presentation to the computer club on Tuesday evening. You know I need deadline and a last minute to finish anything!

See you soon.