Sunday, August 31, 2014

A family gathering 08-31-14

Yesterday we went to a gathering of my sisters side  of the family. Mostly her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

It was a chance for cousins from different sides of the family to get to know each other.

The party was at my great niece Alex and her husband, Mike’s, place in Petaluma. They live out of town on some acreage.

We arrived around 12:00. My sister Mary and brother-in-law Tom, my niece Connie and her husband Bruce were there already; others arrived soon after we did.

Eventually we had a large gathering of cousins, second cousins, aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles, parents, grandparents and several babies.

Okay, here are some random pictures taken at the party.

L to R; Joanne, Alex, Felice and Marci looking at old photo albums.


My Niece Christine and Dave.


Riley and Mat and some old fart.


Here is Madison Rose and her mom Sarah.


There were also some older kids,


And plenty of old farts,


And of course, pets.


We had a fine time visiting with relatives we don’t often see.

Thanks Alex and Mike for hosting the party and thanks Mary for getting it organized.

It was a fun day.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tie-rod, a football game and a visit to the emergency room. 08-30-14

Yesterday I went to the doctor for the results of the CT scan. Everything is just fine with the aneurism. I will be able to go to Arizona this year and not have to come back here for a CT scan.
I will be able to have an ultrasound instead and it can be done in Arizona. Yippee!!

After the DR’s appointment Patti and I set out to adjust the toe in/out on the van.
When I installed the tie-rod, I eyeballed the tiers to get them close to where they are supposed to be.
As it turned out I got them set right at 0-0 which is what the spec calls fore. All I had to do was lock the adjustment in place. I set the van back on the ground and took it for a ride to see if I had the drag link set right. It was also just right so I locked it down.
Okay, so now the tie-rod project is done. Now I can use the van to hall stuff up to the cabin.

In the evening we went to watch Harvey’s first football game of the season. He plays quarterback for the Santa Rosa High School Panthers.


Just before the end of the first half Harvey was running with the ball and was tackled and didn’t get up. Our hearts sank as we saw a crowd of coaches and EMT’s gathered around his prostrate form.

We got him in our car and off to the emergency room we went.


As it turned out Harvey had only dislocated his shoulder. We were  relieved as it could have been much worse. This was his first serious injury. I think it shook him up a bit finding that he is not invincible.

Okay well, that was Friday.

We are going to a party today. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Some medical stuff and the Tie-rod project. 08-29-14


On Wednesday I went to the hand doctor for another injection of cortizone in my right hand to try and fix the trigger finger. I think that eventually I will have to have surgery on that hand but for now the shots work for a while.

I have been working on the tie-rod project for the  van. I received the jam nuts last week and they look like they will work with out any modifications needed.


Yesterday I welded the inserts on the end of the tubing


and installed the tie-rod on the van.


Today I will adjust the toe in/out. Then I should be able to drive the van up to IC next week with the new chairs and all the plastic pipe I have to buy for the new spring.

We got the RV out of the shop yesterday but they didn’t fix the AC so we will have to take it back in a couple weeks.

Okay, that’s it for today.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


RV Repairs, CT Scan, New Chairs and a Guitar 08-27-14


We got up early Monday morning and took the RV to the mechanic in Windsor to get it serviced and have the generator fixed.

After that we went to our financial adviser to check our finances. Things are still ok so I guess we can continue doing what we are doing.

The rest of the day I worked on trying to get my new computer working. There are still a couple of issues to straighten out  but it is getting better.


I got up around 6:30 Tuesday morning. I had to get a CT scan at 8:00.
After the scan Patti and I went out to breakfast at Hanks Creek Side Cafe.

After breakfast we went to the UPS store to get some stuff laminated. From there we went up to Windsor where we picked up Joanne and Dave and went to the Salvation Army store at Litton Springs.

We bought two more chairs for the cabin

One office chair with wheels. I don’t think the wheels will work on the uneven floor in the cabin but the chair is comfortable and was only $10.00.


The other chair is to replace one that is always kept behind the table for when we are playing cards or have guests. The old one is very uncomfortable. 
The “new” one
is an old style and kind of beat up so it will fit nicely with the cabin’s decor. It is also more comfortable that the one that is there now.


We also found a guitar for Harvey to use for a beginning guitar class he is taking this semester.


The guitar is a 3/4 size so it may not work for him but it only cost us $15.00 so if he can’t use it, it’s no big deal.

On the way back to Joanne and Dave’s we stopped for a late lunch.

Then we went to their house and visited for a while.

Around 6:00 we went to Applebee's for dessert. Their Triple Chocolate Meltdown dessert was awesome.

Ok that’s it for now. 


Monday, August 25, 2014

A week at the cabin 08-18 to 08-23 one

This blog is too long to publish as one post so I have to publish it in two parts. Here is part one.

Monday 08-18

Arrived at cabin around noon, unloaded jeep and moved into the cabin. 
Here is the new power supply for the XM radio in place.


I decided to take the top off the jeep.
I was going to take off the top hardware but found that I had left all my tools at home.

The refrigerator wasn’t working right but I had no tools to take it apart. “Wait a minute, I have a multi tool


and my cordless drill”.
The chuck on the drill fit’s the hex head screws that I have the back to the fridge held on with.

I took the back off the fridge and found that the flame tube was full of crud


so I used my small 12V air compressor to blow the stuff out of the flame tube. The fridge now works.
I replaced the back cover and g
oofed off rest of day.

Tuesday 08-19

After breakfast  I drove the jeep up hill to drag a tree out of the woods to cut up later.


After that I swept down a bunch of cob webs that had accumulated around the windows and screens and some from the rafters as well

Around 10:00 I took a walk.
I started up the road to the bear spring; turned off at the old hooter


Went down that trail to gully that I am going to call Nutmeg creek. There was some water in gully.


I thought about climbing the gully until I took a good look at all the debris in the way


so I walked back to the spring road turned left and began climbing the road to the crossing.

When I got to the Nutmeg Creek crossing I turned right climbed the very steep hill


until I arrive at the place where lots of California Nutmeg trees grow; hence the name Nutmeg Creek.
There is water seeping from the ground here.

I walked around there for a while looking for more springs. After a while I headed back to the cabin.
Got back at 2:30.
I noticed that there was no water coming from the overflow of the cabin spring. I went up the hill to check it out. As it turned out the overflow pipe had come apart at a fitting when I pulled on it to move the pipe so it would water a plumb tree.


After that was fixed and water was running from the overflow pipe in to the water feature.


I just hung out the rest of the day, enjoying a book and the breeze on my front porch.


Wednesday 08-20

It was a little foggy when I woke up this morning so after breakfast I took the jeep and the chainsaw up the hill to cut up the tree that I had pulled out on Tuesday.
I cut up most of it on the hill side but that is real hard on an already hurting back so I loaded what I had cut into the back of the jeep along with a piece about six feet long to be cut up down on the flat by the cabin.


Once at the cabin I stacked the wood from the jeep on the nice big stack that Joanne, Darlene and Dave gathered from the hill side.

I cut the big piece on the peeling horse. It’s easier on the back that way

Sat around and read for a while then, I took a walk up to the gate to unlock it for Bob. I stopped at both benches for a rest along the way.


Tried this macro shot of thistle and flies.


Bob showed up around 8:00.
We sat around and visited until around 10:00, then wandered off to our beds.

End of episode one.

A week at the Cabin 08-18 to 08-23 two

This is part two of “A week at the Cabin”.

Thursday 08-21

Got up at normal time (7:00) , fixed breakfast, ate breakfast. Enjoyed the morning sitting on the front porch with a cup of hot cocoa and a book in my hand.

Bob climbed out of his van around 9:00 and came over to sit on the porch while his coffee cooked. We sat for a while getting our caffeine charge. Eventually we put the tools in the jeep and drove up to the crossing. We parked the jeep at the crossing and climbed the steep hill alongside the gully.


We dug a little in the seep that I found a couple days ago. There is a little water here but not much.


We may tap this one at some other time.

We dug in another spot on the side of the creek and found some water but not much.
We climbed further up the hill until we came to a big fern area. 
Bob did some digging


and came up with a good seep with about as much flow as the cabin spring, maybe a little more.


So as it turned out, there are at least three possible springs that are “easy” to get at. The highest one up the hill is the one we are going to tap at this time. The other two we may tap at some later date.

Friday 08-22
Since there wasn’t any water going into it anyway; we disconnected the two lines going into the camp spring tank, brought the tank down to the cabin and put it into the back of the jeep to take up the road for the new spring. Also there was 500 feet of irrigation pipe and some tools in the jeep.
We assembled the parts we would need to tap the spring.

Here is Bob measuring and cutting the hardware cloth for a screen over the tap.


Here is the screen and the tap.

We loaded everything in the jeep and set off up the hill.


Once we got to the crossing, Bob rolled out the 500 feet of irrigation pipe


and pulled it 645 feet up a steep, steep climb to the ferns where the spring was hidden. It was all I could do to get up there carrying only a shovel and a couple of plastic parts in a plastic bucket.
This makes three days out of the last four that I have climbed this hill. I hope this is the last time for a while.

Bob prepared the spring and installed the tap.


He covered the tap with rocks then covered the rocks with plastic to keep surface water out of the tap, then covered the whole thing with dirt and local debris


to keep the critters out of the spring. It looks like about the same amount of water coming from this spring as there is coming from the cabin spring. That is plenty of water for our needs.

Joanne and Dave told Bob that they were coming up to night.
They arrived around 8:00 and we visited until around 10:00 when we all went of to our cots.

Saturday 08-23

I got up around 7:00 had breakfast and wrote in the blog some.
Around the third cup of cocoa people started stumbling into the cabin.
A little after 8:30, Joanne and Dave came in. Bob was the last to arrive around 9:30 and was bent almost double by his aching back. After enough time and several cups of coffee,
he got “straightened out”.

Around 11:00 Bob, Dave and I got in the jeep, to go up to the gate where they were going to drop down on the spring to place a stake at the spring so we can find it after a few years when it is all grown in.

On the way to the gate we came across Connie and Bruce, Joanne’s sister and brother-in-law, coming down the road. After a bit of greetings, they continued down the road and we went to the gate.
After dropping Bob and Dave off at the gate I returned to the cabin.
Connie and Bruce had their 9 year old grandson Trenton with them.
We visited for a bit and then Bruce, Trenton, and I got into the jeep and drove up the Bear Spring Rd to the crossing at Nutmeg Creek where we stopped to wait for Bob and Dave to come down the hill.
In a few minutes we could see them working their way down to us. After a bit we set the new tank in place on a flat just above the road.


Now I just have to buy another 1300 feet if plastic pipe and a few fittings and we will have a more dependable water source.

The rest of the day we just visited and checked out Connie’s jeep.
It is a 2005 Rubicon with lots of bells and whistles.
It is nice looking and is a dark silver color.
Later in the afternoon I took Bob back up the road so he could follow the pipe down the hill from another spring to check the pipe. When he got back he had a short piece of plastic pipe that had been chewed almost all the way through by rodents.


This will probably be an on going problem with pipe laying on the surface but there is no way it will all get buried.

Bob made some noodles for dinner.

He made the dough the night before. He rolled it out on the metal counter top.


After rolling the dough Bob folded it and cut it into strips.


And turned the dough into Pasta.


He fixed it with chicken and some vegetables.


A very good dinner.

Sunday 08-24

Got up just after 7:00 had breakfast and just hung out until around 1:00 when Bob left to go Kayak the Noyo River. After Bob left I started packing to go home and cleaning the cabin. I left around 3:30. Joanne and Dave left shortly after.

While I was at the cabin on Friday, Patti went to one of Harvey’s games it was only a scrimmage but Patti is something of a fan and will go to any game Harvey is in.


If you haven’t heard we had a serious earthquake in our area.
The city of Napa was hit pretty hard with several buildings destroyed.

Here is the extent of damage at our house.
The cupboard doors came open.


It was a great week at the cabin and I can’t wait until I can go back.