Monday January 13 Sacramento, CA
A Good Day
We now have both kids (they are almost 40, but they are still our kids) out of the hospital and starting the recovery thing. Pneumonia with complications in one case, pneumonia with severe complications including surgery and also "THE FLU", the really bad kind, for the other. That makes both of us feel much better, and means I once again have the desire to write. It will take a while to get back into the swing of things so bear with me while I get my mind and fingers back into writing mode.
Once the worry is lifted, it is time to get back to doing those things that were put off, and this was one of the two we tackled today. We had previously replaced the kitchen and hall faucets, and today it was time to replace the one in the toilet room. For some reason they installed cheap fixtures in the coach, and we have been replacing them with Moen faucets that look similar but are far superior in quality to the originals. This one leaked so bad water literally poured down into the cabinet under the sink.
Linda took care of cleaning out all the items we had stashed under the sink. The problem was that the "room" is so small what with the commode taking up much of the space, that it was very hard for a mature individual such as myself to contort oneself enough to easily do the work. That doesn't mean I didn't do the job, it just means it has become much harder than it was some years ago.
Just to prove that I really did get the old faucet out. So there I was laying on my back, reaching up to place where I could not see what I was doing, and asking Linda for a socket so I could see if it fit the nut I needed to loosen to be able to remove the faucet. I guess my ability to diplomatically request a socket had badly deteriorated over the past few weeks, because Linda informed me in only the way she can, that if I couldn't ask nicely I could $!#@ well get my own in the future. Some how I was able to reformulate my request using the appropriate syntax and the faucet was soon out. Re-trained Bob.
Unfortunately replacing the faucet wasn't was easy as merely taking the old one out and dropping the new one in. The copper water lines on the new faucet were longer than those on the old faucet. Plus when the original pex feed lines had been installed they were made the maximum length needed instead of leaving some slack. That meant they needed to be shortened so I could attached them to the new faucet. I used a pair of pliers to loosen the ring clamp at a connection in the line. The photo shows the clamp removed from the upper side of the left hand water line.
I then used a utility knife to slit the pex tubing at the connecter, making it easy to remove and then cut an inch and a half off so it would be able to connect to the faucet. Not hard work, just hard to find a way to position my body to make it easy to reach back into the cabinet. Things like this always bring to mind Linda's sisters comment, "Getting old is pigeon poop". And some ways it is. In other ways it just means Life keeps getting better and better. It's all how we look at it.
The clamps fastened on the shortened feed lines. Then it was just a matter of connecting the lines to the faucet and checking for leaks. The result was no leaks and a Happy Bob. Though, after all the bending and reaching it is likely that tomorrow will find a Hurting Bob.
Along with the good is the bad and that was up next. And yes this is exactly what it looks like, though immediately after I took this photo Linda had a piece of plastic wrap sealing the hole even though no fumes were escaping. The reason for removing the toilet was the two pieces of tile you can see at the front and back of the hole. And that happened because the toilet was rocking back and forth on its base and no amount of tightening the nuts that hold the toilet in place would stop it. Linda was about to the point of having to take dramamine to prevent seasickness whenever she sat on the toilet. I don't know what she does on the toilet to cause such a situation as I had not even noticed the toilet rocked, however that is a subject that my intuition tells me is something that will never be known if I know what is good for me. Smart Bob.
I need to back up here for a second and talk about the floor replacement we had done by Countryside Interiors Of Junction City, Oregon. The old floor had a thick OSB underlayment with ceramic tile on top. When they installed the new vinyl tile they used a thinner underlayment of plywood and vinyl tile. That resulted in a floor that was a half inch below the top of the toilet flange. To try to bring the floor up to the needed level they cut two small pieces of tile and stacked them at the front and back of the commode base.
I will be nice and say that was a piss poor attempt by someone incompetent rather than saying what I really think about the person who did this installation. Suffice it to say because of this and other problems we have had with their installation of the floor we would never have them work on the coach again, nor would we recommend that others use them. Now back to solving the problem of the rocking toilet.
The solution proved deceptively simply, due in part for my proclivity to save things, in this case that piece of heavy duty rubber matting I carried back from a walk this spring. I made a pattern out of newspaper, then cut out the spacer from the mat. I followed the measure twice, cut once rule and the spacer fit perfectly. Sometimes I even surprise myself with just how good I can be. Smiling Bob.
The completed job. Linda had been concerned that there would be an ugly piece of black rubber sticking out under the shroud that covers the base of the commode. Oh wife of little faith, how after all these years could you have possibly doubted me when I said it would look just fine when it was done. Answer: most likely because she knows just how many times I have messed things up over all those years. What can I say, sometimes you get lucky and thankfully this was one of those times.
Before I leave today, we both want to thank our readers for both the said and unsaid as well as written and unwritten wishes and prayers as we struggled with the illnesses of our two "kids". It meant a lot to both of us. And it makes me realize that the Daily Journal is more than just me writing words, it is also the many, many people who read those words. May your Life be as awesome as ours.
Tuesday January 14 Sacramento, CA
A Lazy Day
Well, it looks like I pulled a Tigger with my burst of writing yesterday. Tigger was a cat we had once who got a very serious Kitty disease. For a number of days he simply laid in bed, never moving anything except his eyes. Then on a Saturday morning he literally jumped up in front of us, tore off into the family room, raced around it several times bouncing from furniture to floor and back, clawed at the pillows on the couch, them ran back to his bed and laid down, not to move again for four days or so. Then he got up and for the rest of his life acted as if nothing had happened. Ever since we have called doing too much before one of us is completely over being sick, "Pulling a Tigger." My burst of writing energy yesterday and lack of same today makes it look as if I may have pulled a Tigger on the writing front.
Not really. We simply didn't do anything today and what we did wasn't worth writing about, especially since after my several instances of dumb husband syndrome yesterday I was on my very, very, very best behavior today. You know the rule: To let resting grizzlies lay, keep your big mouth closed. I did. Very smart Bob.
Actually, most of our day was occupied with taking care of our son who is currently staying with us in the RV as he very slowly recovers from his very severe illness. It makes it extremely crowded, it makes for frustration and looking at his haggard appearance which is a shell of his former athletic, outgoing self, it makes us sad. But by the end of the day we see improvement, no matter how small it might be and know that the silver lining to this dark cloud is beginning to peek through.
Perhaps this quote by John Grogan, author of Marley and Me, puts it into perspective. "Many of the qualities that come so effortlessly to dogs - loyalty, devotion, selflessness, unflagging optimism, unqualified love - can be elusive to humans."
Wednesday January 15 Sacramento, CA
A Fun Day
It has been a long time since I have been able to use the word fun in the title of a Daily Journal post, but that was what the day was. It started with me getting my hair tangled in my hair brush this morning and then somehow getting a few strands over the top of my head. One thing led to another and soon I was sporting a comb over, the likes of which are seldom seen.
My entry into the front of the coach brought a laugh from both Linda and our son, and soon Linda was documenting it for the world to see. When she told me that I would never post the photo she took, what else could I do but post it. (Now I have to wonder if that is how woman has always managed to get man to do what she wanted them do.) But back to the subject at hand, who is mighty good looking if I do say so, know that it has been at lest 40 years since my hair last looked like this. At that rate in another 40 years I will completely bald. Now that is scary thought. Worried Bob. Laughing Linda.
Even Red was in a happy mood today, and he went all out in the bubble nest building department. By the time his evening feeding time came around the nest had encroached into the open area where I normally feed him and the poor boy had to struggle through one of the plants to reach his pellets. Sometimes Life is like that, then you reach your goal and it was all worth it. Fat Red.
Another action that proves things are returning to some semblance of order in our lives. After we had the new floor installed Linda spent hours reading everything she could about the best way to keep it clean. In the end she decided on a Dyson hand held rechargable as the very best, even though it was quite expensive. It arrived the day after Christmas which was also the day when everything got turned upside down in our lives. Today she was finally able to open the box.
I tried my best, but the photo is definitely out of focus on the precise area I was trying to get in focus. But since it was a bunch of hair and dirt it is probably best that it is out of focus. It just goes to prove I can be good even when I am being bad. (As Linda would say: In your dreams Bob, in your dreams.) However, Linda was amazed at the amount of dirt it picked up because she has been very good at sweeping the floor and keeping it as clean as she could. And let me add that I also thought the floor was clean. Needless to say we are even greater Dyson believers than we were before. It will be interesting to see what tomorrow's cleaning yields. At the very least I hope it yields a better photo. Bob, The Untalented Photographer.
Pistachio pie, our son's favorite. We always remember the time when he was little, probably about five or six, and he made two pistachio pies. For some reason he put them on a flat cookie sheet to carry them over to the refrigerator. During the transfer to the refrigerator shelf one ended upside down on the floor. There was a very said boy at our house that evening and to this day we never make a pistachio pie or have pistachio pudding without remembering the great pie catastrophe.
I think that John Williams, the renowned composer may have said it best: "So much of what we do is ephemeral and quickly forgotten, even by ourselves, so it's gratifying to have something you have done linger in people's memories."
All of us, no matter what our age, have that little kid inside of us. It is a shame some people work so hard at keeping him or her inside of themselves. Remember: Life is not a dress rehearsal. Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early.
Thursday January 16 Sacramento, CA
A Good Day
Linda stopped at the local German food store today and brought home some lunchtime sandwich fixings, Schwarzbrot, Schweizer Käse und Fleischwurst. Mit Bienenstich für Nachtisch es war sehr gut!! It brought back memories of past trips and dreams of next fall, plus our son now has a better understanding of just why we enjoy our travels in Europe so much. And with some work maybe my German will be better by the time we get there. Hopeful Bob.
Our nickname for our son is "Fat Foot" and it is easy to see why. Linda placed those marks to be able to measure the amount of increased or decreased swelling as might take place. Nurse mom.
Another day, another photo of the dirt in the Dyson. I was informed by she who does such informing that she would be taking the photo today so we would have one that was in focus. Hummm, wonder if claiming to not be able to brush my teeth would have her telling me she would be henceforth brushing my teeth? Something tells me if that was the case the brush would be a wire brush. Not a good idea Bob, definitely not a good idea.
Back to the Dyson. How is it possible to vacuum up as much dirt today as yesterday? Or as Linda says, "Where is all this dirt coming from?" To often we let what others, the ones on TV or the politicians or other such nobody's dictate to us what is important in our lives. For now it is this magical dirt debut that is important to us. It is a problem to be solved. We must put all our resources into finding the cause before it overwhelms us. On the other hand, maybe we just need to sweep every day and the problem will soon take care of itself. It's a problem if we think it is, otherwise....
Friday January 17 Sacramento, CA
A Lazy Day
Not much happened today, though we still managed to generate enough dirt that the usual amount of it was picked up by the Dyson. What can I say, life today may not have been very exciting, but where we lived it, it sure was clean.
I'll end this short post with a quote from Formula One multi-time World Champion race driver Sebastian Vettel: "There are some things that you can fulfill with money, but at the end of the day these are not the things that make you happy. It is the small things that make life good."
Saturday January 18 Sacramento, CA
A Busier Day
Wow, no sooner did I finish up Dysoning the floor than she who tells me not to step on the floor that she has just finished mopping did her thing. She mopped the floor. And then I did my thing. The result of which was my being told in no uncertain terms that if I dared to make one more footprint in her fresh mopped floor it just might be the last footprint I ever make. Often when she says such things it is just talk. From the look in her eye when she informed me of those intentions I decided that it would be best not to attempt to discover just how serious she was. Stationary Bob.
I should also mention that our son pulled a Tigger. Yesterday there was a trip to the doctor, a stop at his sister's house, and then shopping. Linda did the driving but he was more active than he had been in several weeks. Today he was a regular bobble head boy on the couch, constantly nodding off and dosing or sleeping most of the day. The family Tigger effect strikes again.
Meat loaf for dinner. At least in our family this is the ultimate comfort food.
Mashed potatoes, cauliflower style. Linda went all out tonight, adding some softened ICBINB and a dash of salt to the boiled cauliflower before mashing it. It was so good I ate two helpings of it just like that. Forty-seven years ago she burned the first meal she ever fixed for me. Fortunately I was in love with her to the point that I overlooked it. (It burned because we were making out on the swing on the front porch of her parents house and she was distracted, or so she claimed at the time.)
Subsequently over the years there have been a very limited number of occurrences of that first "over cooked" meal, but as she proudly states, she never had to call the fire department, likely because the kids always screamed something about the stove being on fire soon enough that between them and her the flames were always extinguished.
Please take note that I did not write those words to embarrass or ridicule her, rather to point out that she is merely human and not the exalted goddess she would like me to think she is. (I think that anyway.) The end result has been a lifetime of fabulous dishes that always have the same origin, she just thought them up as she was cooking. Those mashed 'potatoes" were just another example. Wise Bob.
"The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook." William James.
Sunday January 19 Sacramento, CA
A Normal Day
At last, a normal day in our lives. The kerplunk coming from the toilet was the signal the black tank needed to be dumped. By the time everyone had done their thing and I was dressed and ready to go out and play sanitary engineer, Linda was announcing the level of waste in the pipe to the toilet was within a few inches of the top. Never have we come that close to overflowing and never have I moved so fast to get to the wet bay and begin the process of dumping. The great thing about it was I just knew that no matter what happened during the day it had to be less stressful than the seconds after Linda uttered those words. Relieved Bob. (In more ways than one.)
It was almost like déjà vu all over again when we went on a walk today. The doctor had told our son the best thing he could do for healing his lungs would be to walk every day. Mid afternoon Linda rounded he and I up, started her iPhone walking app, and off we went so he could get his walk in. I never did figure out how we became such an important part of the advice his doctor gave him, but at I guess Linda had.
Right off I realized I didn't have the same app on my iPhone that Linda did which meant I needed to download it. The problem was that when I signed in to my account it immediately asked me to sign in again and I couldn't remember the password I had just entered for the life of me. I knew I was an idiot, a fact Linda made sure I was very much aware of. Someday she will forget something and I will get my chance to return the favor. Upon reflection I probably won't, knowing what is good for me. Smart Bob.
Mom and son on the walk. Small steps can add up to great progress.
Another one bites the dust. The park we are staying in was once a mobile home park. There are still a small number of mobile homes here that are occupied, but when those people pass on or have to vacate their mobile home the site is cleared and it becomes another RV site. In this case, rather than move the MH out of the park, it was scrapped, which is likely what also happens to the others. Then we realized that some day in the far distance future the same thing will likely happen to our coach. Wonder how many owners it will eventually have and where it will be when it meets its end? Another of those mysteries of Life.
Speaking of changes and what happens in the future, when I was in grade school I learned that today was Gerry Starr's birthday. I went through all 12 grades with her and Gerry is the only classmate whose birthday I remember. The reason was that all the calendars used to show today as Robert E. Lee's birthday. I was passionate about history and the Civil War, so I made the connection with Gerry's birthday.
Isn't it interesting how some things stay with us even though everything around us changes.
Monday January 20 Sacramento, CA
A Linda Day
Linda wasn't feeling 100% today so our activities were less than minimal. One thing about her, when she says she doesn't feel good she looks like she doesn't feel good. She did her best to make sure I knew she didn't feel good, having me feel her forehead and also taking her temperature. Unfortunately she was normal in that regard, but just one look was all to took to know she needed extra care today. And that's exactly what we did all day, took extra good care of her. Lucky Linda.
What a woman. I try to point out to her how her hair scrunchy is almost always the same color as the top she is wearing each day, and my reward is always a big smile. To make herself feel better she decided to wash her hair in the afternoon. Shortly after that I noticed the glass she was holding was the same color as the towel she had wrapped around her head. I just had to tell her how cool I thought it was that she was color co-ordinated even when she wasn't even trying. That got me another of those awesome Linda smiles. Lucky Bob.
By evening Linda was feeling normal. This is one of those, "You're not going to take my picture again, are you," photos. Not only was I, I did. Certainly not the most exciting day, but a good day nevertheless.
Not sure where this one comes from, but certainly is true: Making one person smile can change the world – maybe not the whole world, but their world.