Urgent Care or a Movie – Hmmmm.

Thanks to all of you who sent my thumb good tidings. It appreciates it immensely. I know because I asked, and it nodded approvingly. Honest. It did so in a manner that limited the pain.

Today Jeran and I spent some time in our yard moving blackberry vines to the burn pile where they will await further attention once the rains come. I’m going to burn them to smithereens. We also moved one complete azalea, and many branches from one of the several rhododendrons that populate our yard.

Here’s Jeran ready to transport the first load. In all, there were four trips. Jeran drove most of them, learning how to drive the lawn mower. He did a really good job helping me, and I appreciated his company. I have no idea where he came from. Perhaps he was left behind when Jennifer showed up and went garage saling with  her Mother. That had to be it.


Actually, I knew Jeran was coming up to help me so his arrival wasn’t a surprise.

After gathering all the vines and branches strewn around the place, Jeran took a break and took about 50 pictures of various things from his vantage point on the swing. He took this one of me as I was cleaning up the remaining pieces that we chose to leave on the ground. My method was to run over them with the mower going full blast, shredding the remaining, offending debris. In case you’re wondering, yes, those are wings on the back of my shirt. Sadly, they are partially covered by  my festive suspenders. The wings belong to “Figment”, a very small Disney World dragon. I know this is true because on the front of the shirt has “Figment” in large letters. I think Diane got it for me as a testament to my flighty behavior.


Throughout the day, while three generations of ladies (Diane, Jennifer, and Jean (Diane’s Mom)) were out having fun garage saling, I would get occasional texts reminding me to eat, drink water, rest, take my meds, etcetera, with the ultimate threat of a visit to Urgent Care upon their return to  have my thumb checked by an expert. Since they didn’t return until almost 4:00 pm, and Urgent Care opened at 12:01 pm, I figured it was an idle threat. I validated the idle part by suggesting we go to Scappoose and see “Red 2”, which premiered today. The offer was accepted, we went, had a great time, and I ate an entire bag of popcorn using only my left hand.

On the way home we stopped at Rite Aide and purchased a thumb immobilizer, which is what the doctor would have given me had we chosen to waste 4 hours of our afternoon at Urgent Care. So, we got to see a really fun movie, and I got popcorn.

Now I have a stomach ache.

It’s always something, right?

Nicks, Dings, and Other Things

Today Jeran told his Dad, Daniel, that he’s surprised that I haven’t hurt myself yet while working on their bathroom. Little did he know that I’ve managed to collect memorable scrapes and punctures over the past week about which he is unaware. Most of them, I admit, were collected yesterday when Jennifer and I installed the tub and I connected the plumbing through a tiny little hole in the floor that was surrounded by screws with their pointy ends poking out.

Installing the tub wasn’t really a big deal – Jennifer and I just mixed up a 50 pound bag of thinset mortar, in one of her festively colored storage containers, for lack of a better option, and dumped it on an old tarp I’ve been using to cover the loads in my truck when I go to the dump. This mixture was situated in the area where the tub would sit then we just laid the tub back down in the gooey mess. Jennifer sat in the tub to get it back to level then stayed to enjoy the heat generated by the curing mortar while I wounded myself, over and over, connecting the drain. But it’s done, and it doesn’t leak. The fancy faucet even works. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll remember to take the camera to capture a picture before we put the walls up. I’m sure everyone is clamoring for one of those.

This morning, after coffee with Larry, Larry, and Lisa, and another trip to the church parking lot with Larry to  revisit the black top patch repair job, I returned to the bathroom project. Today was Daniel’s day off and he was eager to get to work when I arrived. Our goal was to get the overlayment down on the floor. That involved replacing the toilet drain which, in turn, required removal of a bit of floor so I could get the sawsall in a position to whack the drain off at a reasonable level. Once done we had to make an ACE run to get a sleeve and a piece of 3″ ABS piping for the drain. We only needed 3 1/2 inches of piping but 2 feet is as short as they’ll go so it cost $6 for that 3.5 inches. That’s OK.

Next step was to put down a layer of roofing felt between the subfloor and the overlayment. I don’t know if roofing felt is appropriate but its way better than the really thin paper we removed on the destruction part. We wanted to do it in must two pieces but there were just too many things sticking out of the wall to allow us room to do that, so we did it in four pieces. One piece had to have two holes cut, one for the toilet and one for the A/C vent. The holes weren’t perfect, were totally fixable, but I’m not going into those details. Let’s just way the overlayment is down and looks great. Next is the linoleum. Tomorrow.

The evening ended with Diane, Jeran, and I going to the movie to watch “Despicable Me 2”. Totally fun movie. We laughed almost non-stop throughout the entire thing. The movie was Jeran’s reward for helping Diane all day long without complaint. He was tasked with cleaning up their patio and surrounding area. It was a hard task because he wasn’t sure what should go and what should stay. When Daniel and I returned from ACE Jeran was just tossing something in the dumpster and reported that he’d “found an easier way to clean up the patio.” Daniel asked him what that was and Jeran said, “I just throw away the things Grandmas tells me to throw away.” Makes sense to me. There’s no need to make decisions using that method.

Diane worked in the living room, dining room, and kitchen the last two days straightening things up, and today it was vacuuming and shampooing the living room/dining room carpets. Not an easy task. Jeran helped with a lot of that today, moving things around for Grandma. Jennifer pitched in when she got home from work.

Cedric & Lydia were participating in Pacific Camp at their church, as they’ve been doing all summer, so weren’t around to participate. They did, however, appreciate the results of everyone’s efforts.

Tomorrow, as I mentioned, is linoleum day. First, however, Diane will be driving me to the Portland VA Hospital for my physical therapy on my right shoulder. My therapist, EB, doesn’t a great job, but I don’t think what’s wrong is going to go away. So, I’m prepared to live with it and skip these trips. Therapy isn’t really helping and the next option is surgery. I’m too busy right now to entertain that option. I’d be one-handed for longer than I can go without going to the bathroom and I know Diane wouldn’t help me with that. I’ve asked before. It’s always a resounding “No! Never!” She will, however, change my Depends when necessary.

They’re pullups.