Monday Feb 11 Mission, Texas
We Saw Inside To-Day
We spent the morning shopping. At Feldman's I was off looking for a special tequila that Linda asked me to find when it became apparent I was being beckoned over to where she was standing. As I approached she was saying, "How true, how true." I couldn't see what she was referring to as she had her back to me, then she turned around with a huge smile on her face. Reading the words on the napkins I asked her to pose for a photo. The reason her lips are clamped shut is because she was trying to stifle another laugh. Guess she thought it was really funny, and then I thought of a whole bunch of things I could say about age, but they were only that, just thoughts. Good Bob.
Our home away from home. All day today, whenever we talked to anyone the story was always the when we were asked, "What did you do today?" Linda would immediately pipe up, "We went to Home Depot to take back the three circuit breakers Bob bought that didn't fit." Not a word about our trip to HEB where she forgot to put lunch meat on the list. The same lunch meat she ate the last of yesterday. And also no mention of the fact she consequently forgot to buy any. I was a nice guy and never mentioned it.
Ever wonder what is inside those water dispensing machines? Wonder no more. The filters and other unknown items were being replaced in the Glacier Water machine next to the one we filled our jugs from. I was surprised there were so many filters, etc., in there. No wonder the water from these machines tastes so good. The only bad thing, as we were finishing we learned that he hadn't changed the filters in our machine yet.
Remember how earlier I didn't mention how Linda had forgotten to buy lunch meat at HEB. Well, it appears she was trying hard to remember what it was she couldn't remember. As we would walk down the aisles she would look at everything trying to recall what she had forgotten. When we got home I triple checked and couldn't find "Indulgence" on the shopping list. But since nearly half of it disappeared as it became her lunch, I think it will definitely be on the list in the future.
The real reason we stopped at Feldman's and HEB. In about two weeks we will be having some awesome cherries on our dessert, and a bottle of cherry liqueur to make more Retama Surprises. It looks like our good Life is going to be getting even better. You could say we live Life with a cherry on top.
Tuesday Feb 12 Mission, Texas
The only thing missing from this photo is the reason I took it. Linda had stopped and picked up a fallen grapefruit on her way back to the coach, its purpose being to serve as bird food. She cut it in half, then put it out on the feeder. It was not easy as the constant flicking of her tongue proved. Good Bob for taking the photo when her tongue was in her mouth. Bad Bob for being such a lousy photographer.
Guess this could be called an attagirl photo. At the back corner of the pergola Linda had planted six scarlet runner bean seeds shortly after the pergola was built. Soon they had sprouted, all six of them, and today she excitedly called to me to come take a look at them. Seems they are growing nicely and starting to twine. That makes for a happy Linda because it looks like she may have found a fast growing annual vining plant for future years. Happy Linda means happy Bob.
We have the layout for the first part of the coach house done. We plan on only finishing the bathroom this year, and are getting a quote on the work in the next few days. We plan on having a very large shower with a built in seat, a place were Linda can sit and relax while doing the beautification things women do. Much more to come in the future.
The second Tuesday of the month, Shrove Tuesday since it is February, means a community get together. Good food, good fellowship, and even better was getting to renew some acquaintances as well as meeting some people we hadn't met before. Life just keeps getting better and better.
For those who don't normally look at the home page, I posted a new homepage article today.
Wednesday Feb 13 Mission, Texas
Not Much Happening Day
It probably wouldn't be a good idea to write about this photo the same way I wrote about a very similar photo yesterday so I won't, having learned my lesson, maybe, perhaps. Anyway, some days not much happens in Life and this was one of those days. Or as Ambrose Bierce put in THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY: DAY, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.
The rest of his definition is: This period is divided into two parts, the day proper and the night, or day improper—the former devoted to sins of business, the latter consecrated to the other sort. These two kinds of social activity overlap.
Bierce is one of my favorite authors, even though he has never been found. There are a number of websites with info on him and they make for interesting reading. One place to sample his "humor" is on the Project Gutenberg website.
I'll leave with another of his definitions. MARRIAGE, n. The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.
Thursday Feb 14 Mission, Texas
You think there wasn't much going on yesterday, there was even less going on today. The saving grace was that instead of a wasted day at work, we enjoyed a pleasant day in the Rio Grande Valley during our 8th year of full timing. I will not try to make this post into something it's not, so I'll leave you with this thought: Life is not a dress rehearsal. Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early.
Oh no! I forgot to write about the photo! It was Linda's attempt to draw one of the walls of the coach house and help me understand where the water lines were going to go. I'll let you draw your own conclusions as to how successful she was. Until tomorrow, Tonight Linda did her best after our two hour happy hour to watch Zero Hour on TV. It was beyond bad, so she switched to Community. The moral: there is nothing wrong with trying something new, but sometimes it can be a real bummer. Some people should never try full timing, they give it a bad name. Some people know what living Life is all about. We know which group we belong in.
Friday Feb 15 Mission, Texas
Linda told me I was a Bad Bob yesterday for posting the photo of her chicken scratchings of a drawing. I promised to make it up to her today, then she pointed it out once again the first thing this morning. Fortunately for me I refrained from saying something like, "Touchy aren't we."
"How could you take a picture of what I drew on the graph paper. I was trying to help you plan where the water lines go, and what did you do?" "The least you could have done was to point out that it was something to help you, but no you had to go and post it on the Daily Journal." "Take a photo of what I put together to plan where everything goes in the coach house so people will know that those chicken scratchings were just that."
They dusted this morning, huge clouds of it. I know it looks like a tractor pulling a mower but it really isn't. It is a duster. I have several other photos I took of their dusting but the dust is so thick you can not see either the tractor or the duster (mower). I guess we have to look at the bright side, it sure beats having to have snow plows go up and down the roads. Life sure is tough in the Rio Grande Valley during the winter.
I wasn't going to include this photo but after the big to-do over the chicken scratching photo from yesterday, I thought I had better redeem myself. Understand this has nothing to do with that first photo, but it has everything to do with the fact that I have been very busy working on both the inside and the outside of the coach house.
In this case it was a nylon rod we received via UPS today, one I wore my forearms out cutting into 5/8's inch pieces. What for you might ask? To place a spacer between the pergola pillars and the lattice which would allow room for Linda's plants to twine around the lattice and climb. Ever notice how everything I do relates in some way or other to Linda? That's because she is the greatest and I truly am the luckiest man in the world. And that is not a Good Bob, it's simply the truth.
Yes, it's a photo of a shoe. In fact I found about a half dozen shoe photos on Linda's camera when I downloaded her photos. It turns out that those shoes we bought a week ago for Linda have been causing her problems. They have worn a hole on that little round bump that sticks out just above the ankle on both of her feet. Linda does not deal well with pain. The holes are painful. The shoes are history. She now has a really cute pair of pink and white Nike's. I told her they looked sexy. She said, "Humph!" As all we old men learn, once a women passes a certain age life is never the same.
This is the difference. Forty-five years ago I was doing this and today I am still doing it. Maybe it was just pulling some wire in the coach house, but it is the principle of the thing. Just think, because of what I did today some night the outside of the coach house may be bathed in light from our outdoor Christmas lights. If that's not a Good Bob, I don't know what is. You're on your own when it comes to figuring out where Linda fits into all of this.
She is just as stubborn as she is beautiful, much to my dismay. It was cold, it was windy, but she was determined we would be outside for Happy Hour. No neighbors showed up and no wonder, it was near freezing out there, the temperature plunging to 69. Then there was the wind, wind blowing so fiercely it upset my plate of corn dip, covering the seat of my chair.
That drove me inside. About a half an hour later Linda came in, smiling but puzzled at why no one was out for Happy Hour. I pulled the greatest imitation of Sgt. Schultz I could. I know nothing, I say nothing, I do nothing. Okay, I did do something which was to go outside and bring all the untouched food she had taken out, inside. Somedays are like that, they don't turn out like we wanted, but if we can smile, it was still a great day.
Saturday Feb 16 Mission, Texas
A Wiring Day
It was the day of the annual Retama wide yard sale. It started at 8 A.M., and Linda was out there from the get go. The amazing thing was not how little she bought, though she did great in that department, it was how practical everything she bought actually was. Metal skewers for the grill, three large candles to melt down, and two electrical boxes, all for a grand total of $2.25. Maybe this was just a warmup for next year when we will have the coach house to fill, but still, her restraint was marvelous. Good Linda.
It was only a few days ago that I was posting photos of a nearly barren tomato plant and accusing Linda of vegetative violence. I have to take it all back, Linda really did know what she was doing. Either that or she was really lucky. Look at those tomato plants now, green growth everywhere and even her new plants are setting tomatoes. It's hard to admit, this being the second time in two paragraphs, but, Good Linda.
Lots of work on my part today, including using one of the electrical boxes Linda bought at the yard sale. It was an up and down the ladder many times day as I installed the outlets in the corners of the patio soffit, and another plug behind the bar. Because she wanted to be able to plug in her crock pot and other appliances, possibly all at the same time, I decided to make it a 20 amp circuit. It was more difficult to work with the heavier 12 gauge wire, and it may be a little overkill, but if it means the likelihood of a tripped breaker is eliminated, it is more than worth it.
All that work makes Bob a hungry boy, and from the looks of Linda's plate I wasn't the only one who was hungry.
Now I know why my legs are hurting so much tonight. Up and down the ladder, then sit either on the concrete floor or on a low stool. I knew it didn't have anything to do with age, it was just that I was placed in positions I don't normally assume. Of course how I feel when I get up tomorrow might be a different story, but I'll stick with the above story for now.
Look at that smile when the circuit, complete with GFCI, worked exactly as it should. I would normally brag about how good I am at this point, but I know Linda would not let me get away with it this time. As you might guess, there is more to the story than just a light that works.
Seems like when I first tested the circuit the light would not light. I was feeling pretty dejected because I thought I'd done everything right. About the time I was talking about having to take all the connections apart and see if I could determine where the problem was the solution stared me in the face. I had wired a switch into this circuit, and I hadn't turned the switch on. Egg on my face, no way, the smile on my face was too big to see any egg. Now it was my turn - Good Bob. And may your day have been just as good.
Sunday Feb 17 Mission, Texas
Are We Having Fun To-Day
It was another day of wiring, but besides that, it was a day when Linda came up with a good idea for lunch. Understand that lunch is a misnomer since we are eating our large meal in the mid afternoon and calling it lunch. Today it was beef tenderloin marinated in a spicy sauce then grilled as a kebob. She was so proud of her invention that she insisted I take a photo of the before being cooked kebobs.
This is not what it should be. "Did you take a photo of the kebobs on the grill?" she asked.
'No, should I have?" I responded.
In the end a photo of the kebobs resting on the plate was taken. It wasn't what she wanted, but it was what happened. Luckily for me I did not ask her why she didn't take a photo of the kebobs on the grill if that was what she wanted. I value my life to much to have made that mistake. Good Bob.
The final outside electrical circuit going in. This hole was where the green box with the GFCI and switch was going to be mounted on the back wall of the coach house. The cooler will eventually be plugged in to it. Next fall I will do the rest, burying the conduit and putting outlets in behind the grill and at the southwest corner of the pergola. I'll take this small success for now, no sense in over doing it.
Notice something different? A beautiful lightly clad young woman? It's Bailey, Jeff and Val's daughter just down from Manitoba where winter is real. We gathered around the fire pit, Bailey sat there in shorts and sleeveless blouse. Once we were young. Once we grew up where cold weather was the norm.
All we could say was someday she will be our age and then this weather will be cold. Youth, long gone but fondly remembered. I think Theodore Roosevelt put old age in perspective when he said: "Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you've got to start young." Bailey has six successful people she can look up to.
Monday Feb 18 Mission, Texas
A Nothing Day
Some days just are. This was one of them. Some days you burn the eggs. This was one of them. Some days you basically do nothing. This was one of them.
It was Helen Keller who said: Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood. It was Bob who sat in his chair at the end of the day while scratching his head, then smiled and said, "I can't wait for tomorrow."
Tuesday Feb 19 Mission, Texas
A Less Than Nothing Day
"One creates from nothing. If you try to create from something you're just changing something. So in order to create something you first have to be able to create nothing." -- Werner Erhard.
I was really into creating today. Good Bob.
Wednesday Feb 20 Mission, Texas
A Smile a Day
It may not look like much but it is to a certain boy who has a special day coming up next week. I can still remember some of the presents I received on my birthdays when I was growing up. And it wasn't always the present itself, it was the fact that someone cared about me.
Life has a way of changing over the years, or as the saying goes, life intrudes on Life. In our daily interactions with others we have the opportunity to give the equivalent of those childhood gifts. It may be just a word of appreciation or a quick smile, but if it brightens the day of the one who receives it, it was a gift of great worth even though it cost nothing.
Happy Zachary, Happy Linda. Linda got to be a little girl again today when her bike basket arrived. It actually just slips on, but I had to move the front reflector so the basket was centered. With that she rode off to get the mail.
When she returned there were two pieces of mail in the basket and one in her hand. In response to my puzzled look she said the card had blown out of the basket. It brought thoughts of her, of a time long ago. Of a little girl in a cotton dress, pigtails flying, as she furiously pedaled her bike. That was something never seen, but I was sure her beautiful smile as she got off the bike was exactly like the one on that little girl's face. And did it ever make my day!