Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday blues...

A few weeks ago, while on "vacation" I had mentioned we took the older two grandkids to a Natural History Museum. Parts of it they enjoyed, parts they found boring; at almost 8 and almost 6 I can understand that...

One part they didn't like was when I asked what they thought of their cousins. There was a display of the entire human genome transposed with that of chimpanzees; it took up an "L" shaped wall that would probably be at least 6 feet by 12 feet. The differences were highlighted, and though it would have been easy to miscount with all the other distractions, I only found 10. I couldn't have missed more than a few...

So I took a photo of my cousins and I-

When I turned around Dottie was trying to help Talia look through the vertical scope on one of the displays-

so I went over and knelt on one leg so she could stand on it instead of Dottie trying to hold her.

For years now this museum has had a display that shows something of the real world in real time; the kids were impressed with this one!

We showed them that the bees are so smart that the ones that are carrying pollen back to the hive walk on the bottom and one side of the tube, and the ones going back out walk on the top and the other side. If only humans were as courteous on the road!

I should have probably tried for a better close-up of the hive, but keeping an eye on which child was doing what and where was about all the 2 of us could handle!

One of the floors displays snakes and some of the other "critters" native to our state. The kids are still talking about the snakes. By the time we finished that last floor, Dottie and I both were about walked out; Talia needed to "go", so I sat down on the steps while Dillon was looking over the rail at one of the fossils he found so boring earlier-

Little did I know when I tripped the shutter, lol! So I'm being a bit vague about the name of the museum, just in case, though I'm sure they must expect this to a certain extent!

We got Bill moved out of his (thank goodness) walkout basement apartment and into the 3rd story one they were moving into. We're very glad the fridge, washer and dryer came with it, as getting their treadmill and excercise bike, along with a full length sofa, queen size bed, and two computer desks were enough big things to deal with for us older folks! Her Dad came and helped, and I'll be forever grateful, as it was raining off and on, 90, and the humidity was terrible! They didn't have power until today, so the only A/C was in our trucks as we made trips back and forth, and in the old apartment as we were loading up. The staircase was narrow enough that the bed and the couch had to be passed over the rail at the top of each set of steps because it wouldn't make the corner. The treadmill we would get to the top and then lean it to shorten it enough to go around the rail, but it's a heavy commercial one. I thought it might kill us before we got it there!

We started at 8 and got the small chest freezer moved to my sisters so it could plug back in, then got their bed moved before the rain started or her Dad got there. Though it was a queen, it isn't a top dollar one so Bill, Laura and I could handle it before her Dad got there. Laura had worked the night before, so she was already exhausted, and after the last of the big things were moved her Dad took the things they weren't taking (dining room set and tables) with him and headed home. Laura went to my sisters to sleep, and Dottie, Bill and I made the last half dozen trips with clothes and smaller things.

By 8 when we made the last trips up the steps it was getting too dark to see in the apartment, Bill was exhausted and Dottie and I were pretty wiped out as well. We went and bought them some cleaning supplies and left them at the old place and they were going back to clean this morning; I spackled nail holes and then we ferried Bill and his car to my sister's house to sleep a few hours before Laura woke up and they went back to clean. She was planning on getting up at 3AM, as she also had class today and they were trying to catch the utiliities people at their new apartment as well.

We got home a bit after 9, got Dottie through the shower and started the laundry she needed for today, then I ran through before the washing machine hit the first rinse. By the time we ate it was 10; Dottie went to get up to put her plate in the sink and her replacement knee wasn't very the time she felt like moving again it was a bit after 12 and she went to bed. I kept our laundry running until 4:30AM.

She was up at 8 to go to work, I slept 'til a bit after 1 and have been running laundry since. Now it's time to start getting ready for my shift...hopefully less than 9.8 like they his us with last Monday!

Hope the weekend was kind to you all and that the photos bring a smile or two to lighten those "Monday blues"...


Friday, July 27, 2007

More from RFK...

"...I don't think that we're automatically correct or automatically right and morality is on our side or God is automatically on our side because were involved in a war. I don't think that the mere fact that the United States is involved in the use of force with an adversary makes everything that the United States then does absolutely correct. So I--the idea that we're involved in this kind of a struggle, if there are those within the United States that feel that the struggle could be ended more rapidly with less loss of life, that the terror and the destruction would be less if we took a different course, then I think that they should make their views known. I don't think they're less patriotic because they feel that. In fact, I think that they would be less patriotic if they didn't state their views and give their ideas, just because the United States is involved in this kind of a conflict as we are at the present time. Not to state any opposition, or say that we can't state an opposition because of the--the fact that we're involved in a struggle I think is an error. This is a difficult period of time, but the mere fact that we're shooting one another across the world doesn't make the United States automatically right. I think it should be examined. It doesn't make the course that we're following at the present time automatically right, automatically correct and I think that those who have a different point of view, no matter what their point of view might be and whether they are in favor of using increased force, or in favor of lessening the force, or even some--of pulling out unilaterally--I happen to disagree with that but I think they have a responsibility and a right to state those views, even though we're in a difficult period of time."

From a CBS television broadcast, May 15, 1967.

Of course, I'm sure now he'd be called a traitor like so many others!

Bill is moving this weekend, so I'll be missing until after my shift on Monday.

May the weekend be kind to each of you!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I remember...

"...we're killing the enemy and we are also killing many civilians. But we are doing it because they want it.

Now we changed, we switched. Maybe they don't want it but we want it. We are going in there, we're killing ..., we're killing children, we're killing women, we're killing innocent people. Because we don't want to have war fought on American soil. Or because they are twelve thousand miles away and they might get to be eleven thousand miles away.

Our whole moral position changes it seems to me.

Do we have the right here in the United States to say we are going to kill tens of thousands of people, make millions of people as we have refuges, kill women and children as we have.

There is thirty-five thousand people without and fifty thousand civilian casulties every year. Thousands of children are killed because of our efforts.

Do we have that right, here in the United States to perform these acts, because we want to protect ourselves so it is not a greater problem for us in the United States.

I very seriously question whether we have that right. And I think other people are fighting it, other people are carring the burden. But this is also our war. Those of us who stay here in the United States. We must feel it when...a villiage is destroyed and civilians are killed."

No, that's not from the debates. That's from a television interview given 40 years ago!

I've been spending some time with an old friend since the "You Tube" debates the other evening. No matter what page I open this book to, I find words that mean as much now as they did then!

Actually, perhaps they mean more now. I was 12 then...

Damn the man who extinguished the light and the hope I remember!

His name I won't mention because he doesn't deserve web hits!

9.8 last night; 9.2 tonight. Off to shower and sleep...


Addendum, 1PM Wednesday.

As I was wandering through the house to the bathroom about 10:30 I woke up just enough that RFK's statement at the beginning of this interview really hit me:

"We are going in there, we're killing ..., we're killing children, we're killing women, we're killing innocent people. Because we don't want to have war fought on American soil. Or because they are twelve thousand miles away...."

If I drive fown the street to the next block, or downtown and start shooting people there because they might come break into my house while I'm at work, I go to prison!

Is there really any difference?


Monday, July 23, 2007

Somewhere Murrow is smiling!

I love this man!

Borrowed from John-Marc; said so eloquently!

Thank you, sir!

Errands took up Saturday, the garage took up yesterday and I'm heading back to it now between thunderstorms.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sssssssssssssst-eam Heat!

Saturday; free Hazardous Waste day; up early to make the drop off with oil changes from Dottie's car and both boys rides along with a very old bottle of flea spray that was starting to "ooze" in the heat of the garage.

Home via Lowe's to pick up some blades for my new circular saw, an extra regular, a finish one and a cement one as I have a sidewalk I need to piece in before winter.

Earlier in the week I bought replacements for my 5 foot tall stepladders; one came from my Mom's Dad and it's mate from an estate sale 30 years ago. The sidebraces on both were being held in place with vise-grips and growing scarier with each ascent. They've been replaced with 6 footers, one fiberglass (to hopefully keep me from "getting bit" when I'm playing with electricity) and the other aluminum as the 'glass one doesn't have a paint shelf. The rung heights match so I can still use Dad's painter's board between them, which is where I'm headed as soon as I finish this coffee. New facia boards and soffets (sic?) to cut and caulk so perhaps I can prime them tomorrow.

After Lowe's I hit the carwash to blow the last remnants of the roof off the bedliner in my truck as Dottie has decided that our almost 10 year old BeautyRest is sagging enough to set off the arthritis in her back and in the hip she hasn't had replaced; if she feels like it after she gets off work tonight then we'll be going to buy replacements this evening. It will be deficit spending, like so many things of late, but if she gets to sleep through the night it's worth it!

My title is a reference to it being 84F. outside with about 88% humidity as it rained last night and this morning...breathing feels like you are in a sauna that's not quite up to temperature yet. Makes me think of a local history story I should tell sometime...

I got tagged while I was on vacation; if I can get these boards up this afternoon then perhaps I will put my reply up tomorrow. I need to go through some photos as well, as I have one really nice one of Dillon to share...

Angel seems to be turning back the time clock; though she gets up a little slow every now and then, if she doesn't start acting her age I'm going to start taking her medication instead of my WalMart Glucosamine Chondroitin! She's even taking to chasing the cat off when he badgers her for the first time since her hip acted up, a sight I thought I'd never see again!

A final thought: if Dick Cheney isn't part of the Executive branch, why is Bush handing power over to him while he goes in so they can look for his brain?


"Hill" had this video attached to a post earlier in the week, and I just now got around to listening to it; wiping away tears as I type now...huge lump in my chest...

So much much heart!


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Back in (under) the saddle again!

Alternatively titled; "The Best Laid Plans"...

We ended up cancelling our trip to Branson. Dottie bathed Angel on Monday (the 2nd) so she would be clean when she went to the kennel and so it would be done before the family 4th of July celebration. The dog seemed fine that afternoon. The next morning she couldn't use one hind leg. Having slept in 'til noon on Tuesday, we didn't realize there was a problem until too late in the afternoon to get her in to see the veterinarian, and she didn't seem to be in pain. We thought somehow perhaps her hip had been dislocated in moving her around during her bath; at almost 12 years old, we both cried ourselves to sleep that night and the next thinking that this "was the beginning of the end". I've watched her eyes change a bit these last few years and know the day is coming, but I'm not ready to deal with that yet! Wednesday Angel hobbled and had trouble getting up if she laid down on her "bad" leg, but truly enjoyed the family party (lots of sirloin scraps finding their way to her). For the first time ever she even hung around the doorway during the fireworks instead of hiding in the other end of the house!

Thursday I called and cancelled our reservations because there is no way we were putting her in the kennel when she was like that, and there was no way we could take her with us. She was starting to put weight on the leg again, and when we spoke to the vet he said he thought it might be a knee problem rather than a hip, and for us to withold food after 6 pm and bring her in the next morning at 7 so he could check her and do x-rays. As the day wore on she was doing better and better; we were almost afraid the examination would make things worse...

Friday we took her in and he worked her hip and knee joint and said that it was arthritis and that probably it was just the tub that set it off. He said that he had found a Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM product that seemed to work very very well for dogs in this situation. We knew James Coburn had taken up acting again after finding MSM helped his arthritis, though it's parent drug had some side effects we read about as we were researching options before Dottie had her hip and knee replaced.

The vet pointed out that at almost 12 she is well towards the end of her lifespan and that he has had dogs taking this longer than she will most likely live with no adverse effects. So we bought the medication and he refused to let us pay him for the office visit, the hour of his time we took, or cancelling the 3 day kennel stay!

That weekend we kept Dillon and Talia for two nights, built a couple of models and on Sunday took them to the Natural History Museum at KU. Photos will be posted later...some of it they loved, some they found boring, lol!

By Monday Angel was so much better that Dottie decided we could do a day trip to Springfield, MO if we let Angel out around 8AM and let John put her out on his way home from work and again around 10 if we werent' home. We left about 8:30 and were in Springfield for lunch at "Hemingway's" (one of the top restaurants in Springfield, conveniently located inside the Bass Pro Shop there). When I rebuilt some of my reels this spring I used the last of some of my spare parts I've had for years, and didn't have a replacement for another, so when we had planned our Branson trip we had planned to stop there so I could restock rather than try to order over the phone.

There is a "World of Wildlife" museum adjacent to them; it is a walkthrough habitat with turkeys, pheasants, grouse and prarie chickens, doves, and probably 50 other smaller bird species flying loose in a "natural" setting. There are bobcat, river otter, beaver and aquariums with most of the fish species of North America as well. I wish I had taken the Nikon...if the family vacation we are planning for next summer comes off then we'll be stopping there with the grandkids and I will!

We left around 6:30 headed for home, and got home just after sunset. Quite a daytrip!

Wednesday found me measuring the roof of the garage and going to Lowe's to buy shingles, edging, underlayment, etc.. Got that all home and unloaded and found out they had put rain in the forecast for Thursday so we called Bill and told him to stay home with Laura instead of coming in from Lawrence to help; I had thought I could do it in 4 days by myself, so with his help 3 should be a breeze.

Thursday I tore off the old guttering and facia and soffet boards and tried to gather tarps to scrape the 3 old roofs onto, went to Lowe's to buy the lumber to rebuild them and make a stake bed for my pickup.

Friday we started before 7 peeling up the old ridge and starting to do the tear off. The first casualty was my grandfather's ATS&F coal scuttle; the weld where the handle joined the shovel cracked. Dottie made the trip to Lowe's to buy two replacements; she made a lot of those trips over the weekend!

By the time all the old roofs were off, the rotten decking was pulled and everything loaded in the truck it was too late to go to the landfill. Dottie took Bill home, and I figured up what I needed for replacement decking, cleaned up and went to Lowe's.

Saturday found me cutting the first replacment board around 6:45 AM. Up the ladder to attach it; perfect length, two inches too narrow. It seems Dad used 1x10's on one side, but 1x12's on the other.

I cut some scab rafter ends and put them in while we waited for the landfill to open, then we went and unloaded my truck. My half ton Chevy weighed almost 7400 across the scales...

Lowe's on the way home for 1x12's; the rest of the day was lost scabbing in rafter's and replacing decking. Around 6 we got the first piece of underlayment up and Bill and I were both fried (90's and humid, and I don't deal with it like I used to).

We had been supposed to take a one hour rail excursion on Sunday with John and his family and my sister; Dottie called everyone to cancel, as there was no way this was going to be done by noon! This was the first anyone else knew of what I'd been up to.

Bill wanted to start fresh in the morning, and that sounded good to me! We went in the house to clean up and eat, and found them saying it was going to rain in about 2 hours with a chance of hail! So much for 3 dry days in a row!

I have a 60x30 tarp I used to use in the winter if I had to work in the driveway; I could attach it to the front of the garage and run a kerosene heater under it so I didn't have to leave the boat out in the weather (it has wood under the carpet). We draped it over the garage and used the bundles of shingles to weight the bottom edge. We finished and Dottie hadn't been gone for 5 minutes on her way to take Bill home when the rain hit. It poured for about 45 minutes, then tapered off and quit about 45 minutes later.

Sunday we started at 6:30 again, on the side that would be in the sun first, trying to work fast enough to stay in shade. No such luck! Between laying the felt, then the edging, and unwrapping the shingles to let them dry after the rain, we had about 1/3 of the first side up at noon when John showed up. I had been trying not to bother him, as he works 60 hour weeks too often, sometimes more, and needs his weekends to recuperate. Thank goodness he did, because it was about 98 and humid as can be. He had done some roofing before, so we started taking turns on the roof so someone could cool off while 2 of us worked. By the time 2 more hours had gone by the two of them wouldn't come down anymore because they were so worried about me in the heat.

The first side was done between 2 and 3; there was a break to eat and then they started up the second side. I bucked shingles up the ladder and was the gopher, and they had me set the flasing for the stovepipe, but made me stay down the rest of the time. I figured out that the last roof I helped Dad with I was 16 and he was 43 and he never did another; he always paid someone else. I understand why now, though I couldn't have paid someone for the tear off and replacing the old 1x's, they'd have wanted to plywood it, and the budget just wasn't there for that!

Dottie and I cut the ridge shingles and they went down just after dark with the help of a 500 watt quartz light I clamped to the boys swingset on one side and my drop cord lying on the other.

I feel very guilty about them doing so much of this; Dad is supposed to be the cavalry coming to the rescue, not the other way around! I went back to work last night and my aches and pains had aches and pains. My feet were killing me, my hands are (still) swollen and I have bruises I had no idea how I got. I hope the two of them are bouncing back better than I am! Yesterday I went back out and did some things before work and got warmer than I wanted to; today I slept 'til 1 and haven't set foot outside yet!

I still have facia and soffet to replace, and then new guttering to buy and put up. Before I do I need to replace my grandfather's 50 year old aluminum ladder and it's mate I've had for 30 years as the side braces are giving out and the idea of landing like a pancake doesn't enthuse me!

Thank you for all the kind wishes and comments during my absence; hopefully tonight when I get home I'll be with it enough mentally to start catching up with all of you!

I hope life has been kind in the meantime!