Friday, August 31, 2018

I Have Had It!

Our average stay at an address was a little less than four years until our move to Texas.  Remember the old joke about trading in your car because the ashtray was full?  We were like that with houses.  So 15 years in one house, new when we built it in 2003, has brought many mundane things to the forefront we never dealt with in the past.

We have had the flashings around vent pipes and the chimney on the roof changed and the roof cleaned (huge black gunky mess!). The entire house trim has been power washed and painted.  The landscape redone about three times.  A new AC and furnace unit, water heater, dishwasher, refrigerator, kitchen sink, additional crown molding, glass shower doors added in guest bathroom, bedroom carpeting, plantation shutters, interior painted twice, etc., all new experiences for us.  

We custom built a 4/3 pool home in Florida in 1996 and didn't have as much trouble as this bathroom has been!  The first two weeks went great and then it went down hill.  My last post said it is done.  Well it was until we started using it.  The shower enclosure problem is a tile problem.  Instead of tilting the top of the step in slightly, it is tilted outwards.  The "sweep" under the door is not enough to hold that running water back so it comes out onto the bathroom floor.  Now they have to take the glass down, rework the tile and then the glass people reinstall the glass.  When Ted used his sink to shave, the stopper wouldn't work.  I tried moving the post into every hole and it didn't help.  They were to stop by yesterday to look at it, called instead to tell us that "next week" they will be over to take the glass down.  Then no one came. I guess that call negated their need to fix the sink in a timely manner!  

I think it looks very good but why can't people do things right the first time?  Of all the workers, why wouldn't someone on the tile crew or glass crew lay a level on that tile to see if it tilted correctly?  Why wasn't the sink stopper tested to be sure it held water?  I can only imagine what would have happened if I had to type a letter 3 or 4 times before it was correct and could be sent out!  I would have been looking for work in a heartbeat.  

A big problem down here is the language barrier.  People do not necessarily learn English.  "No me gusta" is one phrase I learned right after "donde esta el bano"?  "I don't like" and "where is the bathroom"!  "Dos Cervantes, por favor" is another biggy but I don't drink so have no need for two beers!  I remember a news story in Florida of a prescription marked take once a day.  Once in Spanish is 11!  The person ended up in the hospital!   I guess eventually we will have two languages but all the Ellis Island people were anxious to learn English.  We see on the news all the time someone using a translator and they have been here for 20 years!  The glass people and stopper installer were all native English speakers so that wasn't the problem in these two instances!  

In the meantime the carpet people stretched and cleaned our bedroom carpet.  It looks great so I hope there are no hidden surprises lurking.  

Enough of my rant!  We can use the shower for now by placing a heavy towel outside the shower and I will let Ted use my sink!  I need mirror time more than sink time!  

We attended a concert last night with Terry and Carol featuring the Houston Symphony and a Las Vegas headliner doing 50s and 60s music.  It was a very energetic show and had people up dancing in the aisles, including us!   All four of us agreed it was a great evening.

We have our Community Theater tonight so will meet Gerre and Barry for dinner beforehand.  I have their 50th anniversary gift to give them.  I don't want to drag it on the cruise and then have them drag it home!

We have invited four couples for Labor Day so my weekend will be church, cleaning, shopping, cooking.  Not too exciting!  

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


On Monday, Chris came and put the faucets on Ted's sink followed by the arrival of the painters who did all the caulking and prep work so they could start painting at 8 am on Tuesday.  In the meantime Ted and I filled about 8 bags with clothes and prepared other things to be picked up by Paralyzed Veterans of Texas.  It took quite some time to get it all out on the porch.

Bright and early Tuesday Greg and his crew arrived and got started right away.  Ted had to work an outing at the gun club so I stayed behind in case anyone needed anything.

By the time Ted came home they had finished up, left and I had everything back in place plus I hung the decorative things once the walls had dried.  

The glass people are coming AGAIN on Wednesday.  The seals aren't touching on the shower door and the fellow they sent last week made it worse!  He even had the audacity to say he didn't think he could help me.  For $2700 for 3 pieces of glass someone at that company better be able to.  They have done work for us before, have a great reputation and told Ted not to worry they will make it right.  We are still in the guest bathroom so one more day won't matter I guess.

The Shower recently had the addition of the grab bar.

Where the tub had been.

Ted's sink

My sink or as the painter called it, Donna's real estate!

The toilet room with the door in the front rather than on the side.

I understand the blog is posting even when it doesn't show so I will just post this now.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Home on Monday

We traveled Sunday from Florida starting at 8:30 to Moss Point, MS arriving around dinner time.  We had gained an hour traveling west.  There was a crash with standstill traffic in front of us so we hit Cracker Barrel.  (Thank you, Waze app!).   We then continued on to Slidell, LA and checked into a motel.  We both were asleep instantly I think.

We left refreshed the next morning and arrived home about 2 pm.  We didn't have a whole lot to put away and the mail was minimal so things were under control.  The next morning I worked on the numbers Sid had asked for.  Do you know how much you spend each year?  I had no idea!  Using the Yearly Total Summary from our credit cards, reviewing the few checks I write repeatedly and my "escrow" account where I accumulate tax and insurance money gave me a good idea.  Then I had to pull out numbers for discretionary spending.  RVG rent, our granddaughter's shower I hosted plus wedding present, trips by car and RV last summer, new furniture in the RV.  I hope he has enough info now for whatever spreadsheet he is preparing!

The window glass where the two seals had broken was replaced on Tuesday and the hairline cracks in the granite (veins they called them) were repaired perfectly on Wednesday.

I saw Dr. C Thursday morning and took my 3 week daily BP reading as requested.  Because my number always stayed in the teens without the pill, and sometimes even lower, he has removed it from my meds.  After a blood test, my cholesterol was 138 so the next 3 months he said no cholesterol pill to see how I do on my own.  He advised I stop the weight LOSS portion of WW and move to Maintenance.  A 4 lb. reprieve to Goal!  I had intended to ask for 3 lbs. because of the two artificial hips but I will take his 4!  

From there I went to my WW meeting and gave them my direction from Dr. C that he had written on a prescription pad.  She told me not to get on the scale until she adjusted my number.  I knew I had been 4-5 lbs. from goal so it would be close.  Lo and behold I had lost 2.2 lbs. and was .6 below goal!  

Now I have to stay in a 4 lb. range for six weeks, no more than 2 lbs. above or below goal.  Not too bad but two weeks of that six will be our cruise!  Wish me luck.

The last bathroom faucet will be installed Monday and in the afternoon the painters arrive.  Just maybe our bathroom will be done one day next week!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Wrapping Things Up

On Thursday we worked in the pool area.  The decking around the pool needs constant attention because water, humidity and dirt are a given here in Florida and mold and algae are right behind.  While Kristin did her volunteer work at Florida Hospital, the three of us worked on the decking, interspersed with some time in the pool.  

There was a beautiful butterfly in the screened pool area and we did all we could to get it out when it fell in the water and was just floating on its back.

When Ted tried to pick it up, it flew back up to the top.  Eventually Larry caught it in the pool net and when left outside, it flew way.

A little later a red hawk came to check us out.

We had "whatever you can find" for dinner so we all had something different from our previous meals.  Then it was on to more Downton Abbey.  I think we will not get through all six seasons!  

Since we missed WW on Thursday, we went Friday morning.  Larry and Ted were heading up the turnpike to a different sporting clay venue so we had lots of time to do our thing.  Kristin lost about 2.5 lbs. and I finally moved down to a new whole number after a month of "point this and that" going up and down.  These last 5 lbs. will take forever!  With the cruise coming up in 2.5 weeks, I will worry about reaching goal later.

We stopped in the salon next door and I availed myself of a little waxing.  By then it was lunchtime so we went home to eat and arrange for their mailbox to be painted and the house numbers reapplied.  It was time to head out again!  We returned a pair of shoes at Ross where Kristin bought shoes and slacks.  I got bath accessories at Bed, Bath and Beyond for our new bathroom and several travel toiletries for the trip.  Then on to Dillard's where I bought two bathing suits for both Greece and then later, Hawaii.  Kristin bought a few shirts,  eventually we made our way home where we found Ted in the pool and Larry sleeping.

Larry met friends for dinner at a Chinese buffet but we other three passed on that choice and went to 4 Rivers BBQ.  Great BBQ for not being in Texas!  Then it was more Downton Abbey.  I will have to renew my library card at home to get Season 6 and maybe even Season 5 if we don't get it finished.

Saturday I got my hair cut.  We all went to church then out to eat.  

We finished up Season 5 of Downton Abbey so I will have to borrow the final season from the library.  We were heading for home on Sunday.  

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Shooting and Shopping

Larry and Ted went shooting but it was about 1.5 hours away.  So we knew they would be gone a good six hours.  

So we headed to the Orlando Premium Outlet Mall to the Easy Spirit store.  Talk about traffic and parking difficulties!  Thankfully I used the Waze app that got us around the standstill traffic and we found a spot to park behind the stores at the very edge of the whole mall.  There were many visitors dragging their newly purchased suitcases behind them filled with their other purchases.  Lots of other languages were being spoken too.  And then we learned Easy Spirit has moved out!! 

Kristin, who has lost 30 lbs. on WW, bought lots of new things for the cruise.  I bought a shirt and dress plus new bras.  I needed them!  We ate lunch at Panera Bread but there was no room in the restaurant to eat.  It emptied out to the food court but it was no better.  I waited for the food while Kristin scouted around and finally found us a table just as our food was ready.  She said weekends and Christmas are even worse.  It was after 5:00 when we got home.  Shortly thereafter we headed to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner.

We went to see Death of a Nation Saturday afternoon but I don't think my companions liked it all that much.  But I am a history nut and found it interesting and informative.  We had a bit of time before Mass so Larry rode us through his childhood neighborhood and showed us his house and schools.  It was his old church that we attended.  

Then we went to Outback for dinner and finally home to continue our Downton Abbey marathon.  We are up to the second season, the fourth episode.  It reminded me that the Outlander season is to start up in September!  

Sunday we stayed home and invited Larry's sister for dinner.  Ted and I went swimming and I noticed the screen door looked as if someone had spray painted yellow paint on it.  Kristin said whoever cleaned their screen enclosure last time sprayed a solution that caused it.  When she and Ted went out I told him to buy a can of flat black rustoleum and a piece of poster board.  I fixed the door appearance!  

Monday we returned to the mall (ugh!) to return some things and then headed to Disney Springs to see what had been added to Downtown Disney to create this new area.  We walked a good distance taking in the sights then rode a boat across the bay to minimize our time in the sun.  We ducked into a store to cool off and purchase a gift for Nancy who is keeping the home fires burning while we are gone.

We rode the boat all the way back instead of just half way as we headed for home.  We had to stop at The House of Blues to get cooled off.  They gave me a cold rag to help me cool down and Kristin brought me a cold drink.  In a bit I was fine to continue on.  

Tuesday we drove to our old hometown of DeBary to meet with our financial guy who is retiring soon and to meet the new guy.  After a good conversation with Charles, we met Syd and we all went to lunch.  When we returned, Syd showed us some new software and after asking several questions and using the info he has, he created a graph with three different scenarios.  Total meltdown of the market, average returns, and the market soaring.  He showed how adding and subtracting discretionary or non-discretionary amounts makes the graphs shift.  The green banner "On Track" never moved even when taking Ted to age 96 in a major market turndown. 

We talked about our big travel expenditures slowing down but medical costs and possible long term care having a big effect on finances.  We discussed our housing situation - one floor, accessible bathroom facilities, small yard being cared for by a service, cleaning lady when I feel the need for one, probably a new roof in the near future.  Even my Expedition and replacing it for an easier access vehicle was talked about.  He was very thorough.  We left feeling very good about where we are right now and optimistic for the future.

Instead of jumping right on I-4, we drove south to DeBary to see our old house.  It looks as nice as when we built it in 1996!

We attended a NAMI group meeting for families dealing with mental illness, mostly their children.  Larry's sister has paranoid schizophrenia and they facilitate these weekly meetings while she attends one for those suffering from a mental illness.  My heart went out to these people and what they go through each and every day.  Maureen has her own home and a paid companion in the same neighborhood as Kristin.  Larry administers her medications and except for some quirks, she gets along well.  On Sunday her dinner roll fell off her plate onto the table.  You or I would just pick it up and put it back or eat it.  She looked at me and said it fell.  I just took it away and gave her a new one.  You do what is necessary for them to feel safe no matter how silly it sounds.  I learned a lot that night.

Wednesday we drove to Tavares to visit a high school friend and her husband.  We met at their son's restaurant for lunch.  It is a beautiful venue on a lake with float planes going in and out and the food was delicious!  We had a great time visiting for over 3 hours!  

Friday, August 10, 2018

It Happened Again

I just added what we have done since arriving in Florida and posted a few photos.  When I posted what I wrote since our arrival, it all was just gone! 

We haven't done anything too exciting - nails, shopping, WW, swimming, etc.  Kristin volunteers at Florida hospital so Ted and I fill our time.  Larry has been getting new roof estimates and keeping some doctor appointments.  It is just family time.

So here are the photos Larry, our photographer, has added to the house.  I have never seen a collection of so many photos of myself anywhere else!  

Larry took the Rogers Family Reunion photo last summer.  Here it is blown up to 18 X 24.  These are all of Ted's siblings, Rogers grandchildren and great grandchildren.  About 125 people with a family or two missing.

A 40 X 30 collage of their portraits hanging over our bed!

An artwork rendition on several plates creating several layers.  I really like this one.

Now to see if this will post since it was just created and not added to.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Closing In

Sunday we tried to see Death of a Nation but it was sold out.  We will try to see it in Florida if we have time.  So we watched the Astros instead.

Monday the fellows showed up and put the plumbing together under the sinks and put my faucets in but not Ted's.  The toilet paper holder is missing a set screw so we have to get one of those.  The grab bar is up in the shower.  They touched up the nicks and bangs on the dark cabinets.  They were minor and they left the stain for me in case I need it.  Their only remaining job will be Ted's faucets once his granite is replaced.  

Ted went to the fabricators and brought home a piece of granite he thought was a remnant of our slab to compare it to what is installed.  It matches so we went back to check a bigger piece that will work.  In all this hullabaloo over granite, we still ended up with the wrong one.  I was worried about our first selection because of yellowish undertones.  When we rejected the brown one they sent and went to pick out our own slab, I saw another one called Dallas White.  It had a whiter back ground but upon closer inspection the dark brown spots were purplish.  We chose the Ornamental Light.  When all was said and done, they sent Dallas White.  That's what I get for sending a one eyed colorblind fellow who just had cataract surgery to check to be sure it was our selection.  It came to light because in looking for a scrap, some were looking for Ornamental Light and others Dallas White!  It is in, we like it but we will never know which one was the better choice.  I have learned this is quite common and people swear they didn't get what the picked out.  When we did Kristin's kitchen the same thing happened.  She had to rework her backsplash to tie the cabinets and granite together because the granite was too brownish for her cherry cabinets.  It was shades off of the sample.  

As soon as the contractors left we loaded up the car and headed to Florida.  We didn't leave until 1:30 but made it almost to the LA/MS line before stopping at a Hilton Garden Inn for the night,  After dinner at Cracker Barrel, we were ready to turn in.  

Saturday, August 4, 2018

I Spoke Too Soon!

I started a new blog, commented on adding that installation photo to my last post, and it worked.  So I wrote another new blog with photos, posted it and all that posted was my bragging paragraph!  No photos!  So here goes again.

Shower is finished except for oiled bronze grab bar to be installed Monday.

Where the new toilet door is.  The tub was under this window.  Once the painting is done I can hang my "flowers" above the window.

New drywall where the old toilet door had been.  It is waiting for paint and then I can hang my two pictures above the towel rack. 

The faucets will be installed Monday.

We will get on Greg's paint schedule for when we return.  Once he is finished I can have the carpet in our bedroom stretched and all the carpets cleaned.  And we will be done with 2018 projects.  

Well I really spoke too soon!  Ted found two cracks in the granite in the strip between the edge and the sink where he will stand.  Now the search is on to find the remnants of our slab to match it up and hope there is a big enough piece to replace that piece around his sink.  Ted will deal with the fabricators tomorrow.  I think Pauline had perils easier than I have had doing this bathroom.  How do businesses stay in business doing everything twice?  And they banged my wall and said nothing about it!  We are past needing luck, we need prayers

So we went to church and to Olive Garden for dinner.  God reminded me of his promises on our way there.