Summer Heat + Weekend Projects

It was nearly 100 degrees last Saturday.  So of course we had scheduled weeks in advance to tear down the last two sheds and a load of debris to the dump.

We headed out to Calimesa about 9:00 a.m.  There was Coachella traffic to deal with but we got out there just after 11:00 which was when I was scheduled to pick up the U-Haul.

Damn it was hot.  Didn’t really feel it until we were out in the sun tearing down metal sheds.  You would think they would be easier to take apart but they were not.

Dale (my brother), Della (my sister), Lori and I worked for several hours to take them apart and load them into the truck.  We loaded the rest of the stuff on top and Dale and I headed to the dump.  The garbage came out first then we headed to the metal pile and emptied the other two-thirds of the truck.   Headed back, got it swept out and returned by 4:30.

But oh what a hot day.  Each of us had to take breaks and go inside and cool off.  By my general feeling on Sunday and energy level I am pretty sure I had a mild case of heat stoke.

We all went out to dinner at a really cool pizza place after.  My only photo from all of that on Saturday was this sign at a nearby bar after we were leaving the pizza place.  With the current state of the world U.S. …..I just may make it screen saver.


I have 17 minutes….

The last week has been crazy.  Where do I start…  I have about 17 minutes before my blueline is up for review.

Lets see….Last week, Friday Lori bought a beautiful sculpture from a student at school.  She knew of the piece because she was asked to judge the competition last month.  It is a welded phoenix rising from the flames.  Looks kind of like a heron.  It is nearly impossible to get a good shot of it for the blog.

Saturday we went out to Calimesa for a maintenance day.  Things like cleaning out the last tool shed we hadn’t dealt with.  Making a new cover for the crawl space that had rotted out.  Hanging smoke alarms and broken shower parts and mounting the baby monitor because baby can stand and grab it now.

We got home late and were both exhausted from the week.  My work was/is busy and Lori had finals last week so we were showered and asleep pretty quick.

Sunday Lori had her own finals that were due by midnight and she worked straight through from 7:00 a.m until about 3:30.  I brought food and beverages but mostly ran errands to stay out of her way.  Hardware store, dry cleaner, car wash, groceries and did things like laundry and cleaning.  We had dinner with our friend Jan for her birthday at 6:00 and then the weekend was over.

This week,  It feels like one long day to me, is Spring break for Lori.  I have been working in a different office and have had clients in all week, lots of long hours.  In thinking back I can’t even tell you what Monday held.  Lori did get some yard work started and refreshed the oasis after I left for work.

Tuesday two of her students came and weeded.  Cut way back the plants in the front yard that had grown out of control.  I grilled chicken and burgers and made potato salad to feed them all.  Did my own weeding in the back and left them all still working.  The yard looks so different.  Great and different.

Wednesday, was that just yesterday, we went for a walk at Eldorado, stopped at the bank and pet food store, we also got Lori’s car washed and then I was off to work again.

Today one of the students was back at 8:00, he brought his truck and trailer and started off the morning cutting one big branch off the tree in the front yard.  Then we all moved to the back yard.  I did run to home Depot and picked up 21 more 16×16 bricks to finish the little patio Lori started on Monday with the bricks we were repurposing from the front.

Tomorrow is Friday, I may have to be in early.  My clients were supposed to be done tonight but that is not the case.  They are back tomorrow and its also the peak filing deadline.  Saturday which is already booked can’t come soon enough.  At least the yard work is all caught up and it was so worth the money to hire the students for help!  Sunday I may just sit in the yard and take it all in.

Blueline is up….gotta go, no time to proofread, but here are a few random pictures.

Bathroom Refresh

New paint, new medicine cabinet, new sink, new faucet, new shelf and new hooks.  Completed this weekend.  Looks great and served as a nice distraction.

Of course this did require several trips to the hardware store mid plumbing. (A pre requisit for plumbing projects right?) Not just for a new drain pipe, but also for a hole saw drill bit so we could cut the brand new cabinet we bought on line.  If it were only that simple…. the shelf then lined up exactly with the water valves so we had to actually sawzaw out a chunk of the back of the shelf as well.  At least we were entertained by it all.

(You can see the pencil marks of where I was about to saw out the back)

Naming Conventions

I probably have at least one post a month that is titled or at least starts out titled Weekend Update.  That really leaves me no where to go except, guess what we did this weekend!

I was on call this last weekend, however our boss has re-designed the weekend coverage so that we have some off hours on our on-call weekends.  The trade off is we cover more sites.  So instead of being on-call from 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning to 11:00 p.m. Sunday night for Southern California.  I was on call from 7:00 p.m. Saturday night to 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning and then again from 3:00 p.m. Sunday to and I was covering both Northern and Southern California.

I have to say that for my first time up with this format it wasn’t that bad.  A co-worker in Palo Alto was on call for the first shifts and we work well together so hand off of jobs was smooth.

This also meant I was able to get some other things crammed into the off shift hours.  Saturday we woke and went to Tai Chi class, then rushed to return my rental car from last week and go sign paperwork and pick up my new Subaru.


We then picked up pizza and met my brother at our house for football.   He was there before us and had the game going when we walked in.  Unfortunately we lost and are out of the playoffs this year.  We did have a good visit and yummy veggie pizza.  Since there were a few hours before I had to be around my computer so we managed to make it out grocery shopping.  All in all a pretty productive day for an on-call day.

Sunday was pretty good too.  I did have to be on at 3:00 p.m. so there wasn’t as much time.  However we got quite a bit done.  Lori’s friend Jan came by early on Sunday and we all went to breakfast, of course taking my new very off-gassy car.  When we were done with that it was still early and with so many projects around the house we chose to go to a matinee of “Hidden Figures” which was fabulous and needs an entire post of its own.  But because I can’t be as eloquent as many of the reviews out there all I can add is, Go See It!

We stopped at DSW after and I picked up a couple pair of shoes for work.  We got home with just enough time for me to start a stew before needing to be “on” for work.

Nothing got done in the yard however.  Lori petitioned for us to finish off the mosaic on the other side of the driveway and I petitioned to put it off until morning so I could get some house chores done.  Sweeping and vacuuming happened and the kitchen started before work sidetracked me.  But a productive day.


This morning before work however we managed to get the last of the broken tile mosaic in.  We didn’t have any rain today but expect more later in the week so this was the perfect day.  As for the rain, it too deserves its own post, but I will just say we have received more rain this “year” then all of last year and we are only two weeks in.  It is fabulous and the weeds are loving it!  So is my purple Cauliflower this will be on tomorrows menu.  The rain is however not being so kind to my tomato plant.  It is seriously leaning, the tomatoes on it are getting pretty big because of all the rain but the whole plant is about to un-root itself.






I am back to work today after a week of vacation.

We had a mountain of things we wanted to do while we were both home.  The list included the paver project in front of our house;  a couple matinees we wanted to see;  a dinner that Lori won and we were both off work so a cool restaurant to try;  a few appointments and lots of things around the house.

Well the paver project is 99% complete.  It took several days, one really long day to get the rest of the 150 pavers placed.  Then a trip to find broken pottery that we could smash up and make a mosaic with.  We used qickcrete to set this mosaic in place and well….it worked, but not as well or as smoothly as we had hoped.  The other side still needs the mosaic and this side will need some securing.

But the pavers are all in, it looks great and best of all functions well and there will be less gravel kicked around and a lot less weeds for us to pull!

The movie(s) didn’t happen, nor did the groovy dinner place.  But we did see Dale and went out for Thai food for his birthday and we watched the SEAHAWKS win with him!  We also got Lori’s car an oil change and various other appointments done.

The rest of the week(end) was used up with this little story…… See my car parked across the street?  I moved it there because we were working on the pavers and for the street sweeper.


See my car being towed to the shop because it would not start.  (Also notice rain clouds!!!  We have been getting rain all week, its awesome)


Enjoy this last picture you will see of my car… is no longer in the family.  (This is what you call a cliff hanger)





Christmas Weekend

We headed out to see my sister and nieces yesterday.  I had to work in the morning but luckily got the job wrapped up about 11:00, packed up the laptop and we headed out with all of my ingredients to make spaghetti, caesar salad and garlic bread.

We got out there and I started my sauce so it could cook for a few hours. We then played cards and visited and had my great-niece Coral open her Christmas present from us.  (The only present we bought this year)

After dinner we headed out to look at Christmas lights.  There is a neighborhood that has all the houses and lights connected together and matching the music on the radio.  It was cool.

Today,  we started a “Christmas” project of moving all of the rocks and barrel cactus out of the easement and putting in pavers.  Several reasons for this; moving the thorns out of the easement, putting in something that is easier to keep up because the pea gravel gets kicked everywhere from passers-by.

We got all of the large rocks and cactus moved pretty quickly.  Then we moved forward to raking up the pea gravel and moving it into the back yard and laying down the pavers.  We didn’t finish the first section before we ran out of light and energy.  We filled the unfinished portion with dirt and 2×4’s so no one would trip tonight.

Tomorrow we will be back out there and hopefully finish it up.  I am on call and don’t think I’ll get away with the phone not ringing like today.  But one can hope.


House Painting

I am at work.  It is a little crazy.  We had yet another top sales person leave today.  Life has been 100% stressful for the last week.  The Election; Sales people leaving; dryers breaking; working all weekend and several other life events.

All of that to say, I have no blog appropriate material today.  So here enjoy some photos of the house in Calimesa we are having painted.  Luckily my nieces are there to answer questions, take photos, meet with workmen and dryer repair people this week.

They pressure washed everything on Monday, prepped and caulked and started painting yesterday and finished it up today.

We did need to get it done.  We probably could have gotten away with the pressure wash and not the paint, but we wanted to get it done before the big Thanksgiving next week with lots of company.  (Hence the tree trimming and porch fixing as of late).

I have yet to see it, but here enjoy the before and during photos sent from my niece.