PT, RV, TV, & Lydia

Today I actually got to pretend like I’m retired. At least for a little while. The only interruption to the day was my last PT appointment with EB at the VA. I don’t have to go back. Oh, the shoulder still hurts, but it was determined by mutual agreement that what needs to be done, I can do at home. As a parting gift, EB gave me a brand spanking new, in he box, ice pack. All I have to do, which I already did, is toss it into the freezer for a while. A great gift, and so simple to care for.

On the way home we decided to celebrate the lunch hour  by ingesting ground up parts of a dead cow. We seem to do that a lot. I know, it doesn’t really sound good when presented in that manner, but I’m not going to shade the truth. It is what it is. I still do not get the reference to pigs for the sandwiches created from the remains of that poor old cow. I think her name was Clarissa. Parts of her are probably still out there in someone’s freezer.

OK – sorry I went down that road, but it’s done and I can’t take it back.

After lunch, we returned home and let Panzee run free in the front yard for a while. Ozzie had to be forcibly relocated from his beloved kennel to the front yard for a little exercise, but he couldn’t wait to get back inside. Since he discovered what his last bowel movement cost, he’s decided, I guess, to just not ever have another one. His increased reclusive nature could also be the result of his distemper shot. We’re not sure. We just know he’s very not a happy camper right now.

One of my tasks today was to measure how many square feet of floor is visible in the old ’73 Winnebago. Turns out there’s around 42 square feet. Small, huh? The reason for obtaining those measurements is because so we’ll know how much replacement material we’ll need when we rip out the terribly stained carpet.

As luck would have it, we have some real deal bamboo flooring in our basement. It was purchased many years ago on a whim after seeing an advertisement on Craig’s List. I think there was a plan when we got it, but it was lost somewhere along the way. Maybe it was destined for the old Winnebago all along. The flooring consists of 24 boards, 3.75 inches wide, and 62.6 inches long which works out to a bit less than the area we need to cover. So, I’m either going to have to cheat on the math, or put spaces between the boards. Using spaces, they will eventually fill up with dirt and dust so that may be a viable solution. Diane will disagree, I’m sure. She does that a lot.

For fun, I set up the portable DirecTV HD antenna out by the garage and hooked up the DVR system in the ’79 Winnebago. I tried this yesterday, too, failing dismally. I knew where to point it, but getting it level proved to be extremely difficult. Today when I tried it, I discovered there’s a bubble level on the antenna, so it was a breeze. With bricks I was able to counteract the influence of the wind which was causing the dish to wiggle a bit, disallowing any possibility of obtaining a good signal strength. It went from ‘0’ to ’96’ plus, for all 32 whatevertheheck it is the DVR measures.

Once I got the good signal, I had a great picture … on channel 100.  Nothing else was available to me because the DVR hasn’t been turned on since last year some time. Now it’s going to be on every day. I’m just going to go out there every once in a while and turn it on, just because I can.

Now, about the portable antenna. It’s the same size as the ones mounted on homes. In fact, it used to be mounted on someone’s home but it was liberated and presented to me. It’s been languishing beside the garage for a few years but hasn’t lost any of its ability to capture digital images. It’s not even rusty like the one on the house.

My success in obtaining a stellar picture in the old motor home was obliterated by the fact that the DirecTV package I ordered does not include HGTV. Oh, the horrors that await me when we hit the road. I’m sure that aspect of the satellite programming will be reconsidered. Thankfully, that can be done on a whim. DirecTV is more than happy to up the ante, so to speak, by adding even more channels to the many you already don’t watch.

Speaking of that, I think satellite, and cable, providers should have an ala carte menu for programming suits each viewer. They can, we already know, be very selective about which channels you can get (the minimum is 55 for us, it seems, most of which we’ll never view) so why not just give us all the locals, TNT, Pac12, ESPN, MGMHD, SyFy, and, of course, HGTV. So charge me $5 apiece for each channel. I don’t care. Don’t give me the ‘package’ of 55 channels of which I will only, ever, watch those mentioned above.

I guess it’s not really a big deal, since I can set a favorites list, but that takes time to go through all those channels. Maybe Diane will do it. Another option, I guess, is to write down the channels we like and just punch in the numbers. Yea. That’s a reasonable solution. It just bugs me to see that hugs list of channels and not be able to see all of them. It’s a ‘thing’.

Now, the most interesting news is about Lydia. Summer is ending, there’s 2 weeks until she begins her freshman year in high school, and she was blessed with a solid case of Fifth Disease that will not dissipate until well after school pictures are taken. With Lydia’s permission, I’m sharing a photo that was taken yesterday when her face was all purple, and splotchy, and a little swollen. Every 14-year-old’s dream look, don’t you think?


Today, however, there’s very little, if any, swelling, and there’s no rash but it’s still covered with purple splotches. But, as you can see by the below picture, you would never know it.

Thanks to Avon, and the fact that her lovely Grandmother has lots of their products, they were able to rid her of that ‘look’ to ensure school pictures will probably not have to be repeated. It’s totally amazing.



I think she is a very brave, confident young lady to have allowed me to share the photos. She just rolls with the punches. That’s my Girl.

PT @ VA w/EB, TV, Dirty Knees

Our day started early because I had another PT appointment with EB, my therapist, at the VA this morning at 0830. That means we left home at 0730 to get there on time. He works on my shoulder and it’s feeling pretty good now, so I may be done with him. Just keep doing my exercises, and the should will be OK. The thumb knuckle and elbow on the same arm are giving me sporadic fits of pain of a different nature. As Big Brother Lyle used to say, frequently, “This too shall pass.”

Too true.

After returning from the VA, Diane and I rested on the couch for an hour and a half while we watched recorded episodes of Rizzoli & Isles, one of our favorite shows, and Perception, another one of our favorite shows. We have lots of favorite shows which makes our DVR one of our favorite electronical devices in our home.

When we were finished resting, I took a trip to Matzen Street to work on The Bathroom for a bit, hoping to solve the issue with the slow drip at the new shut-off valves. I was successful and the solution was in my hands the entire time. As previously reported, I used teflon tape and thread goop without success. This time I used Plumber’s Putty and it worked great. Thank goodness.  I was seriously considering relocating to a location where plumbing wasn’t necessary in the event I couldn’t stop the leaks. Plumber’s Putty saved me a HUGE expense.

Diane is tired of looking at my ‘dirty’ knees so, being the wonderful Avon Lady that she is, obtained a tube of Apple & Honeysuckle Rejuvenating Body Polish. Body polish! Interesting. She explained the process of rubbing it on the offending knees before taking a shower. Between the lines this meant I was supposed to do it now, and go take a shower. So, I applied some to each knee and scrubbed really hard. Though fairly viscous, and really good smelling, it’s a lot like rubbing compound you might use on your car, but more gritty.

We’ll see how good it works, but I think if it does, it will take time. The dark hue of my knees was acquired between the ages of 6 and 13 when I played marbles a great deal of my free time. So much, in fact, that I was the acknowledged target for hot-shot marble players throughout my hometown of Scappoose. During my playing days, we played marbles ‘for keeps’ which means each player got to keep all the marbles he shoots out of the circle. I had lots of marbles. One of my older brother’s friends was dead set on beating me but I wound up with all his marbles, too. In case you’re interested, there is only one town/city in the world named Scappoose. I looked. Google only found one. Mine. It was a good small town in which to grow up in the 50’s. Spending all that time on my knees in the dirt, playing marbles, permanently altered the nature of my knees forever. They look dirty all the time and it’s never bothered me before because it is what it is.

I hope the Body Polish works because it might be nice to have pristine knees for a change. Or, at least knees that look clean all the time. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Now it’s time to shower the Body Polish off my knees and see if there’s a difference. Also, Diane made taco meat so I can make a plate of my custom nachos.

Physical Therapy, Eyes, and Bathroom Sinks

Today was filled with variety, as you can see by the title. True, I’ve had multiple things in the titles before, but those were all lies. This one is the absolute truth. Honest. It is.

Here’s what I did and I numbered them for clarity …

1. I cancelled a conflicting PT appointment with EB at the VA. I cancelled it because it was on a day that we will be in Seaside. For those not familiar with Seaside, it’s a tourist trap of a city just south of Astoria that both Diane and I have been going to visit our entire lives. It’s a fun place and, oddly enough, is situated right on the Pacific Ocean. One of the main attractions is at the foot of Broadway where there is a turnaround with a memorial marking the end of the Lewis & Clark Trail. Surely you know them. I think they were explorers of some kind. Anyway, these guys were actually in Seaside at one time. That’s true. Anyway, we’re taking Diane’s Mom, Jean, there for a few days to celebrate her 86th birthday. She’s really old, but hard to keep up with sometimes.

2. I made an optometry appointment at the VA with an unknown practitioner because the government sent me a postcard directing me to do so. This isn’t in response to my suspect diabetic retinopathy test, but rather my annual followup to see if I’m going blind for other reasons. I don’t think I am, but who knows? Maybe I am and just don’t know it. If that’s true, I will sorely miss my computer, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

3. I Kung Fooed the plumbing into place in “The Bathroom.” The pedestal sinks were temporarily mounted yesterday, a detail I forgot to share. Just for fun we’re going to mount Lydia’s sink a little higher than the boy’s to see if her OCD-ness can tell the difference. Regarding the sinks, Jeran thinks there should be three sinks because Lydia shouldn’t be the only one with a personal sink. In Lydia’s defense, she needs her own sink and she gets the one next to the wall because that’s where the plug is. Apparently she has plans to use it. The sinks were actually just propped up against the wall which made it easy to remove them so I could install the plumbing parts. I did that today. It was a challenge because I had to  cut some large chunks out of 2×4 studs so there’s an increased chance the wall may just collapse at some point. Maybe not. We’ll see. Until that happens, I trust the PEX tubing In installed will not leak. What did leak was three of the four new cut off valves, two for each sink. That was a bummer. It took a long time to convince myself to cut the supply lines, thereby making complete installation of the valves a requirement. Otherwise, the water would have remained off, no one could shower, no one could flush the toilets until the last person was done with it for the night, which would have created an iffy situation that could easily have ended with the involvement of lawyers and such. Not wanting to be responsible that kind of situation kept me going until it was water tight. I had to reinstall the valves three times to get it right. The final solution involved some incredibly gooey crap to seal up the threads. Now all that remains is to add the drains, finish the wall, and, oh ya, wainscoting. Actually, the latter aspect will simplify the process for finishing the wall.

I might have to take some pictures of the before & after to share with you. It’s been quite a process.

VA, Weinies, and Mold

This afternoon I had an appointment at the VA Hospital for physical therapy. On the way we always pass this dry cleaner in Portland that has the coolest sign in the window – “Drop your pants here!” I’d do it, but Diane won’t stop and let me. Just want to accommodate.

This morning I spent a couple of hours with Daniel seeing how bad the damage is on the bathroom floor and the consensus is that we’re just going to gut it and start from scratch. We know for sure that we’ll have to replace some of the sub-flooring, and underlayment, so might as well make sure it’s all gone. The mold smell is horrendous now that we’ve unleashed it into the atmosphere. But, it’s trapped in the bathroom and the kids are on notice to stay out until it’s all cleaned up. We also yanked out the bathtub. It’s actually OK where it was sitting, but I wrecked it with the sledge yesterday, as reported, so feel obligated to replace it. I suggested to Dan that we just put it in the back yard and they can use it to plant something. It will probably just go into the dumpster that’s on the way.

On the way home we stopped at Fred Meyer’s to get “a couple of things” and walked out many more than that. Typical for those kinds of stops. But, we needed all of it so it wasn’t a wasted or un-frugal stop. One thing she got is a cat nip scratch pad thingies for Breezy. She laid on it a couple of times then ran off when I tried to move it away from the deck railing, fearing she might start flipping all over and fall off. We’ll see how it works out.

Dinner tonight is beans-n-weinies and potato patties. Comfort food. Diane boiled a dead chicken yesterday thinking I’d make egg noodles today, for my world-famous chicken and noodle soup, but there was no time. That will be a task for tomorrow. It’s not really soup because there are no vegetables in it. I cook the liquid down, and add flour until it’s thick like gravy, then we put it on mashed potatoes. It’s part of our new diet that I call “I Like Starch So There.”  For those who like acronyms, it could be ILISTARSOTH.

EB, my physical therapist, made me hurt today and all he used was extremely large rubber bands. I didn’t know it at the time, but now it’s 7:30 pm, five hours later, and I’m a little sore. Maybe I should exercise more.

Gotta quit, now. Game seven of the NBA finals is on.

Go Spurs.