It’s really, really hot here.

Maybe you’ve noticed on the news that the Pacific NW is dealing with some pretty hot weather. So hot, as a matter of fact, that Portland, Oregon was the hottest city in the world for a little while. Really. That’s true. As for those of us who live a bit north of Portland, the temperature was even warmer. Diane told me that it was 117 in the shade at home. Finding that hard to believe, I took a picture of the thermometer on our little shed and it actually looks like it’s between 117 and 118. What do you think?

This was in the shade.

That was yesterday. Today is a completely different story as the marine air from the west is pushing the hot stuff away from us.

Not knowing we were going to be roasted we drove the motorhome to the Bremerton, WA Elks Lodge (1181) for the week. It was just as hot there as anywhere else within a 600-700 miles radius. That’s a guess, but I suspect it’s not far off. It was hot. Hotter than any time in recorded history for many locations, Portland included. We persevered, however, and enjoyed our visit with the Winnebago People (CarolAnn, Terry, Sofie, Les, Susie, Cliff, John, & Susan). They all, in pairs, drive Winnebagos and we’re included in the group because we used to drive one for a while. We’re all fairly old and have a lot of fun just sitting around talking. Being fairly old, that’s what we do best.

One of the benefits of being fairly old is that we cumulatively have a stunning variety of skills that have been honed to a fine edge of the centuries. You name it and it’s a rare event if one of us can’t figure out hot to do it. My skills are minimal, limited to administrative stuff like alphabitizing things, typing, and computer related things. Those suit me best because I can do them sitting down. All the other guys are sources of knowledge for anything mechanical which is really handy when traveling in the complicated rigs we drive.

We drove home yesterday, in the heat of the day, the hottest one for this heat-stroke episode. Traveling on such a day seemed appropriate. Diane and I were looking forward to getting home to a functioning A/C. The ones in our rig didn’t seem to be coping with the extreme heat as well as we’d’ve liked. We found that laying on our respective couches, remaining very still, watching silly movies, made the heat tolerable, so that’s what we did most.

We made it home safely to discover the A/C thermostat set to 68 while the inside temperature was hanging around 80+. We suspect the difficulty for our A/C is that our home is brick and all that absorbed heat was just too much for the upstairs. It was just fine in the basement but it was actually cold down there so we we just toughed it out by reclining in our respective chairs while watching silly TV shows. This morning, as previously mentioned, was a tremendous change with cool air in the high 60’s. Then the sun came out.

It was hot again, but not too hot to accomplish some needed work. It was all in the shade so Diane let me work on it. First was the sprinkler manifold I made for our in ground sprinkler system. One of the lines developed a serious leak on the input to it’s timer, so I turned it off before leaving on our adventure. It had to be fixed but, first, I had to get access to the unit without being mauled by the encroaching Rhododendron.

In order to gain free access to the sprinkler manifold, I cashed in on Diane’s desire to reduce the impact our rhododendrons have on the sidewalk leading to our front door. They looked really nice when they were smaller but have grown to be a menace.

So, she said I could trim them. Which I did … right down to parade rest.

The side behind me looked similar but shows more of the devastation I created with my little chainsaw. I don’t get to use it very often so it was fun.

Then I stuffed both of them in my trailer and hauled them to the burn pile which won’t be used until the fall so everything should be nice ande dry by then.

To fix the manifold I removed the ACE timers from their respective lines and set them aside. You can actually see that in the first photo, but I failed to take one before their removal which ruined my ability to capture a true chronological photo journey for you and I’m sorry about that. The next photo puts us back on track.

This one shows a better view of the manifold and the four zones. You can see that I’ve attached a garden hose to ZONE 2 which is the one about which Diane was most concerned. It’s for the plants and bushes next to the house. Removing the two Rhoddies will reduce the amount of water needed to ensure everything gets a good drink.

I haven’t figured out what’s actually broken, but the water was coming out of the supply side (next to the house) of Zone 1. Now that I look at this, I’ll have to go outside in the heat, once more, to find out what the problem is even though I already have a solution. I can fix it with four short hoses and three hose splitters.

Or, I can just build a new supply side. Yes! That’s what I’ll do. It’s been a few days since I’ve been to ACE and the last 2 times I didn’t have a valid reason for the trip which made Diane a little suspicious. She knows “stuff” so I have to be careful.

Wish me luck.

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