My health seems to be doing ok so far. A couple different checkups have not discovered any major health issues. Of course, there are the ususal "getting older" aches and pains in the mornings, but nothing that has slowed me down. If fact, I returned to work in mid-October. I went to work for a company I worked for back in 1985-88. It's an RV sales and service company in Hermiston, OR. One day I was snooping through Craiglist employment ads and noticed this company was looking for RV repair technicians. Out of curosity, I called to see what they were looking for. Their service manager and a service tech both quit them all in the same week. Their service manager joined the Marines and the tech moved out of the area. The owner was happy to received my call and hired me the next day. It's good to be working again and repairing RVs and working with RV owners.
Returning to work has really compressed my time with regards to our garden and chores around home. Time management has taken on a new meaning. ( smile ) I've also purchased an 91 Aerostar van and 90 Chev K2500 truck that need extensive repairs as well as continuing restore project on Sharon's 40' Monacho motorhome that her father gave her. All I have left on the motorhome is checking out the LP gas systems and service the engine components. Sharon is anxious to take it on weekend trip somewhere locally. Maybe this year. ( smile )
2016 has brought us some of the coldest winter weather and snow accumulation than in the last five years. We've received almost 17 inches of rain this year. Previous five years we were lucky to get 12 inches. We've had overall 15 inches of snow so far this year which has required two driveway snow removal tasks with the Kabota tractor. I only had to do that once back in 2013 and none required in 2014 or 15. The Farmers Almanac predicted colder and snower year for us this year and so far it has been pretty accurate. This Spring will be an interesting start for our garden. Currently, there is a huge snow drift that covers our entire garden. At its maximum, the drift was four feet deep and made putting kitchen compost in the garden a real challange. ( chuckling ) I'm anxious to see how our carrots are doing under all that snow. Hopefully the gophers and mice will leave some for us. ( grin )
As time allows, I wish to add a section covering a neat and easy to construct and use "sludge judge sampler" tool for checking the health of septic tanks. A similiar tool purchased online costs anywhere from $120 to $185. Mine cost no more than $25 with parts easily purchased from HomeDepot and is just as accurate as the expensive sampler tools. I constructed mine in about 30 minutes or less. We have been using our septic tank for a little over five years and I was getting concerned that it may need to be pumped. I had no way to discover myself whether it was necessary to pump our septic tank or not, until I seen one of those expensive tools in use at a friend's place that a commerical septic system company was using to check his septic tank prior to selling his house. I thought to myself... I can make one of those. So I did! ( smile ) Works fantastic!! Turns out our septic tank is extremely healthy and is a go for another five years. No need to spend $500 for an unnecesary septic tank pump! ( grin ) Look for instructions with photos on the main page soon.
Sharon and I would like to wish you and yours a healthy, safe, productive and prosperous 2017. See ya next year! ( smile )
Sharon and I have been hanging in there health wise. Sharon is doing really well with Parkingson's and her meds. She walks 1 1/2 mile daily either outside on our walk path north of the house or on treadmill if weather is marginal. I walk with her most every time depending on chore schedule. ( smile ) Sharon keeps busy with her cross-stitch or reading books. She is an avid book reader.
So far, we are holding pretty steady being on Social Security only income. We both desire some sort of work to help supplement our income, however; any job we find involves driving 50 to 70 miles per day and the fuel, wear and tear on rigs does not justify going for most jobs. We'll eventually find something. Sharon would like to find another transcription type job that she can work from home. Me too! ( smile )
Spring came quite early this year. I was mowing grass in February! Weird! So the weekly expenses went up but the power bill went down so it was pretty much a wash expense wise. We had an $113 power bill last mouth which was quite unbelievable. I sure didn't complain! ( smile )
Anyway, hope you all got through winter ok and on to your Spring time activities. I will update our garden plan for this year. I see that I did not include last year's plan so I will add that along with this year's plan. We have saved huge bunch of money with our garden. Not a day goes by that our meals are 50% garden raised foods. We harvested carrots all through the winter and took the last carrots out of the garden just a few weeks ago. Wonder carrots!!
Family wise, sister Janice called the other day and shared that brother Don in Spokane celebrated his 80th birthday. Janice stated that there were about 70 family and friends who attended. We wish Don and his family many more to come.
Most of 2015 I've been involved with helping a good friend with his property from May until mid-November. Most of this involved upgrading some old aluminum windows to vinyl dual pane windows in the kitchen and one bedroom. The house was sided with aluminum siding which required removal as well as the window openings being resized larger, then replace the siding.
After the windows we took on the kitchen flooring. The kitchen sink, at one point in time, had leaked which required rebuilding the sub-floor. After that was completed, we were able to continue with re-tiling the kitchen floor. After we finished with windows and the floor, then the cabinets looked out of place. ( smile ) So we cleaned, scrubbed, sanded and totally refinished all the kitchen cabinets. Now the laundry room and utility rooms looked out of place, so all those cabinets, doors and doorways were completely refinished.
After completing the kitchen, laundry and utility rooms, he decided to build closets in two rooms which did not have closets in them to begin with, but were large enough to be bedrooms. He wanted to increase the "bedroom" count of the house from two to four to help sell the home. So we set about building built-in closets in the two rooms with closet doors as well as finish patching and totally re-painting both rooms. After these two rooms were completed, just some doors, doorways and living room ceiling needed patched and re-painted.
With the house pretty much dolled up, we moved to projects outside. My friend's trade over the years has been commercial radio communications. He accumulated a fair number of radio communications towers and antennas over the years. These all had to be dealt with and cleaned off the property. He was able to sell some of the hardware, however; we spent a considerable amount of time hauling the remaining hardware to the scrap yard. It was truly sad to see some perfectly good towers go to the scrap yard, but they had to be dealt with.
After the tower and antenna pile was cleaned up, we settled into cleaning and sorting his garage and large shop. Sorting stuff to keep, sell or haul to the dump. Talk about time consuming. I had trouble sorting through all my cherished possessions with great difficulty when I sold my home in Pendleton. My friend's possessions out numbered mine by a factor of 1000!! ( chuckling ).
The latter part of October came rolling around and we had gotten about as far as we could with the sorting of stuff. My friend decided to fix some existing fence then finish the fence that surrounds the remainder of his property. So we set about fixing 200' of fence then building approximately 400' of new wire fence which included a 16' gate. Due to various interruptions and other necessities like fixing pickup fuel tank and fuel pump issues, the fence project took longer than expected.
Time finally arrived that all projects had to be finalized for this year and sorted items gathered together and loaded in a moving van for their 2000 mile trek back east. Another friend and I helped him get the truck loaded, the place secured and him down the highway. The weather was perfect for his journey east and arrived home in time for Thanksgiving. ( smile ) We were very thankful that he made the trip without any issues or troubles.
So, that is pretty much what happened with us from May through November. Intertwined with helping my friend, there was the weekly lawn and pasture mowings, tending to the garden, repairing blown off roof tiles, completely redoing the 40' motorhome roof and interior cleanup, myself physically replacing the rack&pinion in our Ford Windstar... "twice" due to incompetant "professionals" at a frontend alignment shop. Can you imagine a 66 year old fat fart rolling round under a minivan on a gravel driveway replacing the rack&pinion... "twice". ( sigh )
2015 was a particularly challanging year for Sharon as well. She has been a real trooper here at the house while I've been over in Hermiston working the past several months. She helped with the gardening and did "all" of the canning by herself, this year. She put up the bulk of the tomatoes, beets and zuccini that I harvested out of the garden. Prior to her discovery of having Parkinson's, she absolutely would not have been able to do all the canning like she has done. She was barely able to walk or stand for any length of time. The illness has pretty much been put into check after seeing a doctor, but it will be a life-long issue for her now. She is back to smiling again, happy to be mobile again and very happy and thankful to be more functional again. She is grateful to finally know what was causing her health issues. She is walking daily either outside or on the treadmill for exercise which is very important when dealing with Parkinson's. Stress is particularily bad for folks with Parkinson's. Sadly, she now deals with her heart which has been unforgivenly broken over family issues. Sharon has such a pure loving, giving heart. It is inconceivable to believe that anyone could assume her heart harbors contempt, ill will or harm towards "anyone"... let alone her immediate family. She longs for the days when hearts were happy, time spent together when loving smiles and hugs were abundant. Only those who's hearts are truely capable of knowing "love", will fully understand Sharon's pain.