Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Runnin Around

Good thing I had a week or so to do little or nothing. That's defined as reading, catching up on TV, letting dogs in/out, getting dressed/undressed - or not, refilling hummer feeders, etc. Like I said, nothing.

At least it gave the knees a break.  Now I'm making up for it. I got one of my bigger rocks slabbed, ready for sawing/grinding/polishing/mounting, after a month's worth of impediments. I got some volunteer assignments so I have stuff to do for the club, and because of getting some of that accomplished, I got some pieces submitted, past the jury process, and up for sale in the shop. I also got feedback on how to do it better, much of which boils down to using different wire than my instructor a year ago told us to use. Of course, honing my skills with wire is another part of it.

The back yard pruning is started. It needs to mostly wait for this time of year, called "late winter", or otherwise noted as when the temperatures rise up into the upper 70s and the 80s again.  Winter. One bush is left, but it's a biggie and needs to be cut back to the ground. Then the pieces need to be cut up to fit into a discarded dog food bag so the bazillion thorns on them do not bother the garbage pickup crew.

We don't want to in any way bother those guys. So far they treat us very well.

I found the latest spot in the fence where Ellie has been getting out, and put a couple chunks of concrete in front of it. The first one is to block the hole. The second is to keep the first one where it'll do some good. I also bought tent stake nails which can be pounded into the ground on either side of that first chunk on another day to keep it in place should the second chunk not do it. She can dig, after all.

There have been doctor visits and related phone calls. The orthopedic surgeon requires a primary care visit within 3 weeks of surgery  (there'd be another one but my cardiologist sent a written note), and the primary requires an x-ray and lab work. I just visited the lab for a retest after one questionable result from January and now I'm right back. The bruise from the last needle stick barely had time to fade. Hmmm, I might throw in my mammogram too while I'm thinking about it. AND while I can actually stand for it. Literally.

I need iron pills before surgery so that - I think - I have plenty extra blood built up inside to spill all over with the first scalpel slice. And the next. And the rest. That was another trip to the store, but I found some groceries I was getting a bit low on while I was there.

There was the first visit to the one store which actually carries the wire recommended to me for jewelry use. I did say first. It lasted just long enough to find out that no, they have no electric shopping carts, nor any department signs over the aisles so you don't have to walk every single one of them to find that one thing. I'll head back when I feel like dismantling and reassembling my little scooter for the trip. I have to get over being pissed off at them first.

There was the trip to the pharmacy to drop off the scrip for the Percoset which I'll need to replace the ibuprofin I won't be allowed to take before the surgery because after all these years somebody has decided that ibuprofin actually is a blood thinner. They have insisted it wasn't since, well, forever, or at least 1985 when I started using it regularly. (Yes, I still have a great stomach and kidneys, thanks for asking. Liver too, since I never used Tylenol because it didn't do what I needed.)

There will be a return trip to pick up the pills, no hurry because I still have a few days before I start to switch over, but I have to get them within 7 days or they change their minds about letting me take the stuff. Just 'cause, you know, there are always folks out there that take the stuff like candy and spoil it for the rest of us.

There was the ER visit with Steve who was having severe gastrointestinal pain. He got new meds and a new worry. They found a spot on his chest x-ray. It's possible it's "just" scar tissue from getting valley fever after first moving down here, but until they can find an expert that his insurance will pay for so he can get a definitive diagnosis, we just don't know. The words "spot" and "lung" seldom go together innocuously.

Then there was the trip to Home Depot to look for shower surrounds. Sure, the old curved plastic one probably cost $13.95 when it was first put in a hundred years ago, or at least looks and behaves like it's that old and cheap. I mean, if you push on it because your balance isn't perfect during your shower, there grows another hole. But we were looking for one because the old one has to come out so that the plumbing in the wall between both showers can be replaced.

Last year we were down to one functional shower. The knob that pulls out to switch water from tub to shower in the master bath just kept coming... away in my hand. Since I don't do the bath thing, just shower, the tub became, in effect, a catch-all. The toilet plunger has an extra long handle and doesn't go easily under the sink. The toilet cleaner and scrubbing bubbles sit there, just because I'm lazy. And the bathroom wastebasket sits there because it keeps the dogs out of it. They seem to think snotty tissues are a delicacy. I could flush them, the tissues I mean, but it's a desert down here and water is expensive.

The other shower was mostly working just fine if you didn't mind the holes, and mostly the water wasn't aimed at them anyway. But late last week it refused to shut off. Funny, eh? One won't turn on, one won't turn off. I yelled for Steve and he managed his guy brute force powers to pound it back against the wall. (My hero!) So now we're down two showers and have to resort to kitchen sink cleanups the way my mother did.

She called them spit baths. I doubt spitting was actually involved.

In a pinch, we can hit the showers at the community center pool.

Or maybe you can just chose not to visit us for a bit.

Anyway, back to Home Depot. While we were looking for surrounds, an employee helpfully directed us to store staff who could hook us up with handymen. While they couldn't vouch for them, they did vouch for them. In other words, they have recommended them to other customers who couldn't quite do it themselves and were happy with someone who could. They (H. D.) asked for our feedback on the people/companies they recommended to make sure they were still skillful, inexpensive, speedy, and trustworthy. All in all we were in there just under an hour. Good thing they have several electric shopping carts!

1st bit of feedback: of the 4 recommendations, one called us after we were promised by H.D. that we'd hear from them all  within 24-48 hours. Granted, it was Superbowl weekend, but we were in there Friday morning and expect a contact by Tuesday morning to qualify for the 48 hours. Of the one who called, he inspected the job, asked questions to make sure we both were discussing the same job (break out wall on 1 side, replace plumbing for both sides, put drywall back on and replace old surround with new one, reinstalling sliding glass doors). He was back with his estimate later that same day. We both needed a few days, him to finish current jobs, me to transfer funds out of an IRA with all that paperwork. Monday morning he will pick me up, we'll go to Home Depot together, and I can select the style of fixtures and surround. It will be completed before the end of the week, with one shower functioning after the first day, and water will be off to the whole house for only a few hours.

If we like his work as well as we like his price, we've got a few other projects we'd like done. I'm thinking maybe after my knees and I recover from this last week or so.

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