Sunday, June 28, 2009

Staggering around

Soon I will be a Post Toastie...the term used for the walking irradiated. This should be a new and most interesting experience. Today I visited the mall to look at some furniture and get exercise in the air conditioned comfort of the concrete palace. I saw myself in a shop window, disheveled, staggering and had to laugh at how bad I can get. I'm surprised anyone approaches me to ask what I'd like in the stores. With some luck, the staggering may be lessened post irradiation.

A memorial service for my ex-boss was held on Thursday. It was a wonderful opportunity to see many old friends and remember how truly special it was to work at Lawry's when I did. Now, the grey heads outnumber the "naturals" and much of the talk is about retirement plans, grandchildren and health issues. Time marches on.

Will the picking of stuff never end? Today, more plumbing picks and selection of bathroom mirrors and storage cabinets. All nextweek will be selecting things and playing "fetch" for the installers on the job.

Richard The Imposter in photo posing as an avocado picker.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Picked up the results of my MRI and discovered that my AN is growing at an incredible rate. The tumor is usually very slow growing but mine has doubled. I'm sure my neurologist will recommend treatment and I'm predicting that she will recommend the cyberknife or gammaknife - basically radiation. Tuesday I'll see her and get a plan together.

I feel extra urgency to get everything finished in both houses in case I'm incapacitated for a while. Although with radiation, it looks like the downtime would be minimal.

Ordering toilets through the mail has an odd feeling, but we were able to save a couple of hundred dollars by doing do. Certainly we saved an $80.00 delivery charge from Home Depot. After they get here, we'll still have to muscle them up to the house from the gate - not an easy job. We also ordered a bidet seat - Richard tried one at a friends house and liked it- so we thought we'd add one.

We should move forward with the irrigation bid we get from Bob Butler. Hopefully he will be able to do the work next week which means we could do our concrete by the next week, thereby finishing the pool by mid July. Cabinets should be arriving by 1st of August. If plumbing is installed shortly after that we can move in and get Stage Coach rented.

Our paint job is now complete and it is excellent. We're very pleased.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I had my second MRI yesterday and this time took 1 mg of lorazepam in advance. Boy does that stuff help. I think I actually fell asleep in the machine despite the clanging and banging. Time passed quickly and it was not unpleasant at all. I won't be dreading it so much next time.

After the procedure, we went to the Escondido Farmers Market and enjoyed seeing all the wonderful fruit and veggies coming out of small farms around here. One vendor was selling Reed avocados which look like Canadian bowling balls. We bought fresh picked strawberries, apricots and patty pan squash. An olive oil vendor had blood orange flavored, unfiltered olive oil which was very delicious. We couldn't resist a bottle. The seller came from Delphi in Greece and expresses a few interesting opinions about religion leaving us with the Socratic directive, "Know thyself". He was 86 and looked 46.

Although it was rather early for dinner, we stopped at the French Bakery and had a light meal....the picnic plate for me which consisted of brie, copious amounts of fresh bread, salami, pate and slice of ham and one of turkey served with black olives, cornichon and pickled onions. Richard ordered a chicken tart but got some kind of meat tart which they took back and gave him the chicken version. Sadly, it was nothing more than a pizza which was disappointing. The owner invited us to pick out a dessert for free because of the confusion - we declined - they insisted, so we brought home a slice of gooey chocolate cake.

A benefit of the window shopping was a find on Richard's part - a mirrored door which just might work for our huge picture frame. I'll go down and take another look at it to see.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

An ordinary Sunday

A beautiful day in Fallbrook today. Bright sunny skies with an all day sea breeze - just cool enough for working hard. I carried a lot of wood to the dumpster and generally cleaned up. As I am having balance problems the challenge of walking and carrying seems to help - if nothing else it tires me out so I can sleep. All day, I felt grateful for the pleasure of being able to work hard and accomplish something. Very satisfying.

A good Chinese dinner preceded the movie, Taking of Pelham 123, which we really enjoyed. The movie did not get great ratings but we found it entertaining. By the end of the movie I was exhausted which happens after a full day. Effort involved with balance seems to be very tiring. Richard says I should try napping and perhaps I will.

A busy week ahead - medical things, more subs to see and perhaps our irrigation to start. I'm ready to see the end of the dirt piles which we have to climb over to get anywhere. At the moment we are buried in trash and need a day's clean-up to get ahead a bit. August is starting to seem too ambitious for completion so I'm hoping now to be in by Thanksgiving.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Our new tiler, Manny did a great job finishing up the tile. Our master bathroom shower is called "100 bottles of beer" because the glass tiles are made of recycled beer bottles. Our guest shower, Richard calls the clown shower because of the colored glass.
It all worked out and we are happy with it. Manny will be doing the outdoor tile work on the patios also. Bottom picture is the outdoor tile and Mexican accent tiles which will be mixed in. Tile in the arch is Italian tile and is now surrounded by bright blue paint. Fireplace is now painted an earth brown color and the mosaic looks much better against this color. Painters are going to paint it black inside.


The exterior of the house seems to be just sitting still. Inside the new paint job is almost complete and looks so much
better. Now there is a cozy "casa" look to the place, like old Spanish haciendas which is what we wanted. Today the painters wrap up and we make a decision on irrigation redo. If this is underway next week, by next weekend they can start the hardscape. Meanwhile I can get the cabinets started and am starting to shop for plumbing stuff. Yesterday our electrician began installing lights and light switches. We found we need an 18" access panel from the closet upstairs to our tub. Another detail we overlooked.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Richard's Roof

With the new spark arrestors on the roof, it is finally finished. Richard worked hard to get the roof the way he envisioned it. It's
5 tile colors, some of them antiqued. The design on the roof is somewhat like a shopping center in town and something like roofs
we've seen in Italy and Spain. Richard actually piled the roof guys into the car and drove them around looking at roofs in the neighborhood before he finally got them on the same page as he was.

The spark arrestors also took us some time. We make our final choice with some trepidation thinking they might look a bit Moorish. Funny thing about these decisions. Once they are made, you hardly think of them again. Or even notice the item...overall I'd say we are pleased with the way it turned out.

Today we have another irrigation person up to the job. The sprinkler system is about 1/2 complete and has to be tied together and much has to be added to it. Domingo, Mr. Sunday will give his bid.

I will start wrapping the house in plastic to protect it during the concrete work which will be taking place soon. I'm also
picking glass off the hillside where the solar panels used to be located. When they were removed, many of the panels broke and the shards went everywhere. As we'd like to put some bedding plants on that slope, we have to get the dangerous glass out of the way.

Sharon and I picked out the front lights and post lights yesterday so I'll go over to Lamps Are Us later on and pick them up. Meanwhile, I'm ordering the sinks and faucets.

My mosaic fireplace treatment turned out better than I thought. One picture shows me composing the design and the other picture shows it actually installed on the fireplace. Now I want to do the stair risers going to the garden with the same "cracked
up" design.

Pool Face Lift

Although not in our immediate plans, it turned out we had to rush to redo the pool. The pipes run under where the patios are
going and so this all had to be installed. New coping and water line tiles had to be chosen. Once more I was given a big book with
100 options. We looked at a rock yard and liked the look of three rivers stone, very colorful and variegated. I thought it might
be too much but after looking at a neighbors pool created with the same stone, we decided to go ahead. Now that it's complete
I'm glad we chose it as it looks very good from the deck above.

Before photo show plain Jane coping...just white cement. The tile was pretty and we might have kept it, but when you remove
coping, the tile goes too.

The stone masons were excellent - clean and neat. They came in and did the work and left quickly and efficiently. Very pleasant young mormon men.

New Paint

I chose a light gold paint as the main color for the house - Laura Ashley pale gold and had it cut down 25%. The color was terrible and actually made my eyeballs jitter. The whole house felt like the inside of an egg yolk, plus the painter we hired was just awful. He smeared paint all over the place, didn't cover things properly and generally made a terrible mess. I hired an interior decorator who spent two hours with me, going from room to room and a new painter who is doing a wonderful job. Now the house is a light beige with a darker accent color. We have one bright blue wall and the master bedroom is a kind of terra cotta which looks good (see picture). The swatch on the wall kind of scared me because it is bold, but once the whole room was painted it resulted in a kind of glow and made the room feel cozy.

I'm trying to pick out the colors for the stamped concrete outside which is proving somewhat difficult. My neighbor Sharon is helping a lot - she has a good eye and enjoys giving her opinion and helping out. She has good, practical suggestions.

The final big decision is the cabinet color which I am still wrestling with. White or wood or BLUE stained wood which the interior designer recommended. I might be able to do a door or two in blue but not the whole kitchen. She likes the bottom cabinets one color and the top another. A "furniture" look is really the in thing now.