Water Pump, Tile, Friends, Dead Chicken & Shrimp

Last night it was determined that the ‘3 Jerry’s Group’ would meet for lunch at the giant all you can eat buffet at 2 pm today. The group name originated a long time ago because there were 3 of us named Jerry, in one form or another, who belonged to the TVCC (Tualatin Valley Cruiser Club). As you may suspect, we all have PT Cruisers. When the club was established there were very few members so it was interesting that three of us were called Jerry. We had numbers, too, according to age. I’m #2 because I’m not the oldest, and I’m not the youngest. I’m just the middle man.

Anyway, as things progressed with the car club we formed alliances, leaning toward those with whom we related the most and it kinda stuck. Diane and I have not done anything with the TVCC for a long time, but the friendships we made because of that car are set in stone, creating an entire new family and support system for all of us. It’s just great.

Not all were able to make it today, notably Vie and Coleen. That’s understandable since it was a last-minute decision to meet up. I’ve told you Tom’s story, and it was mainly for him that we just had to do it because it was like we were given a second chance to do this. When he went on life support on Diane’s Mom’s birthday. That was the 8th. He had called me a number of times, always asking how Diane was, because of her shingles, and always ending with a suggestion that we needed to gather up the group and eat something. For one reason or another, that never happened, then Tom almost bit the dust. It was a wake up call, for sure. So, clearer heads prevailed and made the arrangements. I think we’re good for the next month or so.

With that plan in place, I had a 1 pm deadline to be home, and clean, for the trip to Beaverton for lunch at 2 pm. That gave me about 3 hours to work with Daniel on The Bathroom. First order of business was to tack on a few extra pieces of cement board. Then we taped and sealed the joints, and got busy putting tile on the back wall. It was a sticky mess, but we kept it as clean as we could, all things considered.

We managed to set the center line dead on. I was actually pretty amazed we hit it as close as we did. It  was a happy amazing as it was a team effort with me slapping on thinset and Daniel slapping on the tiles. Tiles was Daniel’s job so if any of the grout lines are noticeably off, it’s his fault. That’s the way I work.

When we got up to the fifth row, or so, it was time for me to leave and get cleaned up for the trip to Beaverton. We were almost done with the gallon of pre-mixed thinset so I left Daniel to use it up and call it a day. We only had a couple of rows to go before beginning a pattern with colored tiles, so it was good timing. I walked away with a clear mind that Daniel wouldn’t have any trouble finishing up.

Getting ahead of myself a little, we stopped by to see the progress on our way home from lunch and learned from Jennifer that we hadn’t kept track of the thinset that fell off the trowel, and the wall, missing the sheet laying in the bottom of the tub and landing on the new tub. I wiped up almost every bit of what I spilled so it must have been Daniel that caused the mess. Honest. Anyway, Jennifer said it took her 3 hours to clean it up. When we got there, it looked really nice so I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Usually, with tile, I wind up doing it and cleaning it all up afterwards. It was kind of refreshing to not have to do that. So, Thank You Jennifer. And, thanks, Daniel for sticking with me and learning another skill set.

After deserting Daniel, I headed right home, as directed, to take a shower and get ready. I even shaved, removing only a little bit of skin that I no longer needed. It hardly hurt at all. I was ready ahead of time, but we still didn’t leave until after 1 pm … and … we stopped to pick up Diane’s Mom, Jean, because she went with us. That meant I had to sit in the back seat, again. That’s actually OK, because it’s comfy back there and I only have to say “Uh huh” once in a while to make the women think I’m listening. Sometimes I’ll say “no” just for fun, and add some totally unrelated detail, but they never catch on. Until now, that is.

The trip was uneventful and I apparently successfully answered all questions aimed at the back seat as the car did not stop in order to administer punishment. Not that I recall, anyway.

When we arrived, about 10 minutes late, I was gratified to learn that we were not the last to arrive. Jerry1 was still looking for Old Town Buffet. Tom was giving him instructions, but it wasn’t working out well.

Already there were Tom, Linda, Rick, Jodi, Jerry3, and Nelda. Rick just happened to be on vacation this week so he and Jodi were able to join us, which was special. Jerry1 showed up shortly thereafter and we all limped, in our own special ways, into the facility. Jerry3 was fresh from his acupuncture treatment for sciatica pain, Tom was on two canes from his near death experience, Nelda had her trusty crutch. Nelda has always had a crutch and it’s odd that I mentioned that because I actually never notice it when I see her. It’s just … there … and invisible.

It was a good time to arrive because most of the lunch crowd had gone, but lunch prices were still in play, and drinks were included. A bonus.

Those at the front, the ones with the canes, chose the table closest to the food tables which worked well for me. Usually when we go there, Diane leads me to the back of the room, putting me in a position for failure, walking all that way with a plate full of food. I’ve been pretty successful the last few visits, but it’s just a matter of time. Today we were close enough to toss food on the table. I didn’t do that, of course, but it crossed my mind.

Sadly, there were no shrimp, something I was looking forward to, this being Friday and all. All they had was lots of fried chicken, and a lot of other stuff that I like, so I ate a complete chicken dinner, for lunch. It included two legs, potatoes, gravy, corn, and a buttered bun. It was so good I did it twice. Then I had a soup bowl full of frozen vanilla yogurt smothered in hot chocolate fudge. I always use soup bowls because they’re bigger than those tiny little bowls they put by the ice cream dispenser.

The sunday was so good, I did it again, too.

Then we talked, moving around the table, swapping ends, making sure we had a chance to talk with everyone there. I always catch grief for my behavior which I don’t understand because I really try to be good. Honest. My mouth just, sometimes, gets away from me and spins out of control, spewing things I wouldn’t normally say in a zillion years if I had time to think about it. But I don’t, so have to live with the results. I guess.

After moving to Tom’s end of the table, we had a heart to heart talk. It was totally awesome that we had this reprieve which allowed us to commune. As I said before, all these folks are family to us and I know our ‘real’ family members would think the same thing. Actually, Jack and Wynette have met them and I think they would agree. Especially about Jerry #1.

This Jerry used to be a Jockey and spends a considerable amount of time at the Portland Meadows race track where he ‘runs book’ on a current jockey. I think that means he gets them rides and shares in their winnings, but it may mean something entirely different. Jerry #1 knows Jack and Wynette from the track because J&W visit regularly to watch one of their friend’s horses run. Today, Jack, Jerry said Jim had a couple of winners the past week, and Jerry’s jockey is riding them.

While talking with Tom, I look up and see familiar faces coming into the facility. One familiar face from 8th grade and High School, with his wife and daughter. They live in St. Helens, as do we, so it was a surprise to see them amongst all these mostly strange people. Then they sat at the table directly behind me. He, Lonnie, didn’t recognize me until I went over and sat down next to him and started taking. His wife, Sandy, and daughter Shannon, I’ve met before at some point in the past, but I don’t remember when. I just see them around town once in a while. It was good to see them. Since they sat so close, talking with them wasn’t an option. It was meant to be.

While talking with Lonnie, I noticed he had steak on his plate, and Sandy had shrimp. That caused me to rethink my need to quit eating since shrimp is really what I was counting on. So, I got a plate, filled it with shrimp and returned it to the table. Then I got another plate, emptied the shrimp bin, and put it at the other end of the table, mission accomplished. Jerry1, Jerry3, and I ate one plate, Tom ate the other. No one else felt the need to delve into these culinary delights which suited me just fine.

Thankfully, everyone stood up at once, as if summoned by some unknown signal that indicated the end of our visit. It was a little weird, but I went along which is good because I was seriously considering another soup bowl of frozen yogurt.

Before entering our assigned vehicles we all practiced our hugs on each other in front of the windows to the buffet place. Assigned vehicles were varied and interesting. Jerry3 & Nelda were in their PT, as were Rick & Jodi. Tom & Linda were in their little Scion toaster car, Diane and I were in our Buick, and Jerry1 was in his Camaro. That was just to show you that our friendship isn’t about PT’s any more, but we still own them.

Then we all came home, returned Grams to her house to recover from all the gaiety, and I haven’t done much since.

Cedric asked to spend the night, which is always just fine with us, because he didn’t want to spend another night with giggling girls in the house. Lydia is always having house guests, it seems. They are all cute, so don’t know why he minds. He is, after all, a High School sophomore. I suppose it might get old after a period of time.

Once again, it’s time to quit. I have, as Terri might say, used up all my nouns. Actually, she says “I’ve lost my nouns,” when trying to remember some thing, some one, or some place. We all loved our lunch and conversation. I was told so many things I needed to remember, but I didn’t have anything on which to take notes. So, those things will rattle around in my head for a while and eventually pop up at some unexpected moment, making it necessary for me to expel it in the midst of something totally unrelated, causing it to lose significance because of it’s seeming lack of association with reality regarding the current conversation, whether I’m part of it or not.

Oh. Almost forgot. The Winnebago water pump showed up in yesterday’s mail. Now we can flush the toilet. Thank goodness for that.


Out On My Own !!

Today I drove farther, and longer than I have in months, and months. Usually I’m only allowed to drive down to ACE and back on any given day, multiple times if necessary, which is usually the case. But it’s not very far … under a mile … doesn’t really count as a “trip”, if you know what I mean.

Normally when I leave the house I’m with Diane and she drives everywhere, all the time. She told me that when we’re together she’s a better driver than a passenger. Consequently, I’ve become the consummate passenger any time we go anywhere together. And that’s OK. I’m good with that because it gives me lots of time to fiddle with my gizmos. For some of you that may have a totally different meaning than the one intended. Since I can’t totally control which way your mind bends, you’ll have to work that out yourselves.

Today I drove all the way over to Clackamas Town Center to assist with a personal issue for someone about which I’ve been forbidden to speak, so I won’t. Suffice it to say that I drove, both ways, without mishap, although I was seriously tempted to run over a Kia Soul whose driver chose to cut into traffic at bad times, then almost stop in the traffic lane in front of me to cut over again. Very irritating. But, I swallowed my urges and let her continue on her wave after a beep and a friendly wave thinking that perhaps she had a more dire need to reach her destination than I was to reach mine.

Or, she was totally frustrated by the traffic that she has to deal with every day, with her 2 hour commute, that she’s not concerned about anyone else on the freeway. This probably all stems from the fact that, due to the economy, she was downsized from the business close to her home, where she worked for the past 15 years, and had to find another job to support the home she purchased because the area was nice, and the job was good. The new job is 40 miles away, accessible only by congested roads and freeways because her boss doesn’t believe in flex hours that would allow her to beat the traffic both ways. Or, perhaps, she had to work overtime today to make up for being late yesterday.

More than likely, this being Friday and all, she was in a hurry to get home so shave her legs because she has a blind date tonight and didn’t want to give a bad first impression, just in case.

Thinking about that makes me wonder why a woman would shave her legs when going out on a date with anyone for the first time. Is there a need for a woman to ensure that her date is aware that she recently shaved her legs, or is it simply a matter of hygiene? Do their legs feel “dirty” if they don’t shave them, or do they itch? I’ve never shaved my legs so don’t know the answers to these questions. I can, however, tell you about shaving for a vasectomy, but I won’t. Diane would get cranky at me, I’m sure. Besides, it wasn’t for me, it was for a friend of mine. Really. It was.

Now that I’m home safe, Diane and I are sitting on our porch waiting for it to rain. It probably won’t, but we’ll wait anyway because it’s cooler out here than in the house even though all the doors and windows are open. Every once in a while a hummingbird will fly up and buzz around a few feet away to check us out. They feel safe when we’re out here and they probably know the cat is in the yard, far away from them.

Ozzie is on a diet because he started looking like a little porker. Jennie said I was feeding him too much so I cut his pouch food rations in half. He doesn’t seem to mind, so far, but I have suspicions that while we’re sleeping at night he sticks his but in our faces. Since I sleep with a CPAP machine, I’m not too concerned, but Diane doesn’t. If I was her, I’d be worried, because I know Oz heard her agree with Jennie. The fact that I’m the culprit who carried out the cut back is immaterial at this point so he takes revenge where he can. I’m sure.

The battery on my laptop is about to run dry so I better quit while I can still save this. It’s vital to everyone  that I get this out in the ozone where they can snag it out of the air and waste their precious time reading it. I’d equate it to a computer virus that causes people to spend time doing something they really don’t want to do in order to resurrect their computers in order to read drivel like this. Now, aren’t you happy you made it this far?