June 25, 2016
Tory 5/2000 to 6/23/16
Several weeks ago I noticed that Tory's purring changed in depth and timber. He was also slowly loosing weight, although I could only tell because I picked him up every morning into my lap while at the computer before leaving for work. Monday he didn't eat enough for me to tell that he had eaten. Tuesday and Wednesday were the same (Fuzzy eats different food, which Tory wouldn't touch). I thought I felt a hard lump in his throat, but was unsure.
Thursday morning I took him to the vet. She confirmed that he had a restriction growing along his windpipe that was squeezing it shut. Thus, the change in his purring/snoring (he was working hard to breathe) and probably the culprit for his not wishing to eat. It was a hard mass along the full length of his windpipe, and there was no way they could remove it. My choices were to take him home and watch him decline for the next couple of weeks before putting down, or let him go then.
I had already prepared myself over the last couple of days (hoping for the best, fearing the worst) and had spent extra special time the previous night and that morning - I held him as he drew his last breath on the examine table.
This is the most at peace I have been with helping a furry friend to the end. I didn't wait too long as I did for some, circumstances didn't force the decision too soon as happened with others, I had the opportunity to help as I didn't get to for a couple of others. He went before his struggle became a burden.
Pictures taken 6/22 and 6/23
He looks remarkably good for a 16 year old cat who had, at best, 2-3 weeks to live. I miss my lap kitty, but know it was for the best.
Rest easy my friend.
June 19, 2016
Happy Father's Day
Wishing for my Dad a fantastic day that goes just the way he wants it to!
June 11, 2016
Blooms are Coming
A few things have managed to bloom even though we are having a cool, dry spring:
The iris is from Cop Car - planted last summer. I'm surprised it bloomed as conventional wisdom says not to expect blooms for 2-3 years after dividing. I had a couple of this color bloom, and several purple iris bloom (you can see some in the background behind the lupine in the picture below)
I don't think the rhodies out front ever have a bad year - no matter how bad they look after a winter!
A red squirrel was scolding me as I was reading under the crabapple tree.
This is an area that during early spring I had pulled everything I could; poison ivy, blackberries and oriental bittersweet were prevalent along with some "good" plants, but I didn't discriminate. The last 3 weekends I have sprayed for poison ivy and the invasive vines. Last weekend, after spraying and letting it dry for several hours, I covered it with heavy plastic, heavy gardener's fabric, then mulch. Hopefully the smothering will finish off the stuff in that area.
I have to smother a 3-4' section alongside the back of that rock wall too. Then I will be religiously spraying in and around the rock wall and the huge stump all summer and into the fall (that is about a 3' diameter stump that poison ivy has thoroughly entrenched itself on the right).
I knew I had poison ivy coming out of the trees behind the house, and out of the swamp to the right of the house, but yesterday I found a good size patch just outside the fence on the left side of the property toward the back corner. I'm officially surrounded :(
June 04, 2016
Bathroom Progress - Part Too
Monday, being a holiday, I was off work when I decided I would tackle the part of the bathroom tear down that really made me nervous - I decided to cut out the subfloor. Now, when the carpenter came in to do the wall, door and tub, he was supposed to tear out the floor and replace it. But he decided not to because the part under the bathtub was still sturdy (and fairly new). Never mind that I had told him that other parts of the floor were dry rotted and/or water damaged. ever mind that I told him that I needed a nice smooth surface to lay linoleum on. Never mind that then would have been the best time to remove flooring since EVERYTHING was out of the bathroom except the toilet. Oh no, he decided I didn't need a new floor so put in the two walls on top of the old floor.
AARRGGHH! So, I have known that somehow I would need to cut out part of the floor and replace it. Around Christmas, on one of my numerous visits to the BBS, I saw a great deal in-store on a Dremel UltraSaw and extra blades. Plus, I could get another 5% off for using their credit card. So, with the bathroom floor specifically in mind, I bought it (and as an added bonus, got free 2 year replacement plan because I was nice to the cashier)
Anywho, Monday I decided it would be a good time to disconnect plumbing, move the vanity out, empty the linen chest and remove it, then figure out how to cut the floor straight enough, remove said floor, and install new plywood. One would have thought I would at least start the project on Sunday, giving me two days (just in case), but no - I loafed on Sunday :)
Part way into the start of ripping up the floor. I was experimenting on how it would work (you can see the linen chest on the right - I hadn't removed it yet).
Oh good, below the current self-stick tiles set on plywood, there are older self-stick tiles, oh and what? Hardwood flooring? Who in their right mind puts hardwood flooring in a bathroom?
And don't even get me started on the hole in the middle of the floor. I have no idea what the original configuration was (there were after all, 3 door headers in this small room), and I can't even conceive a configuration that would have a hole for a toilet or shower/bath there!
I actually made good time on this project. The hardest part was cutting the two pieces of plywood to install. I replaced an L-shape 83" long and 57" at its widest (no-o-o, couldn't be 48" or less, could it?). Eventually it all came together though.
So now I still have to do the are around the toilet - only because they used massive amounts of super glue on the self-stick tiles so they don't come off the plywood. However, my main mission was accomplished - with the floor replaced under where the new vanity will go, I can sheet rock the walls. Which at the rate this project has been going, will probably be some time in 2020 :D
Bathroom Progress - Finally!
Last weekend, being a long holiday weekend, I decided I had to tackle the remainder of the bathroom ceiling. As a refresher, this is what a portion of the ceiling looked like (the rest was torn out and sheet rocked last fall when I had the tub put in). Yes, parts of the ceiling were literally being held up by tape!
After I tore out the acoustical tiles, I weaved in some foil reflective insulation. I was hoping to install 1" rigid foam, but the strapping didn't allow for it. So, after taking inventory of what I had to help with insulation (and being unable to remove existing insulation, but its vapor barrier had deteriorated), I put in some foil reflective insulation. Sure, the insulation value isn't much but it makes an excellent vapor barrier, and would still be an improvement over the current state of thing. Plus, it is flexible, so was fairly easy to loop up thru the strapping and wedge between the roof joists.
I still need to tape and mud but it is at least progress.
May 28, 2016
1 Ton Down
Last weekend I moved a ton of pellets out of the yard and under nominal shelter. On Saturday I made a skinny pallet as where I was placing it only had a small area for the storage. I brought home a packing crate for a machine, that was nominally shaped like a pallet. After removing small pieces of wood that were sticking up as holders, I added a bunch of scrap wood across the base to creat the pallet. The original base only had 4 slats - the rest were added by me
The pallet was placed along one wall of the shed, then the stacking commenced.
Being an old shed, the roof leaks so I added plastic to keep the pellet bags dry (the bags have breathing holes so aren't water tight.
I plan on moving the other pellets that are in front of the shed into the house, then will tent the other 6 tons at some point.
May 22, 2016
Went in to make the bed and apparently Fuzzy liked the configuration it was in.
Needless to say the bedding did not get pulled up - wouldn't want to disturb the kitty ;D
What happens when a 30+ year old pyrex measuring cup meets a newish Ball canning jar
The Pyrex was only dropped about 6 inches as I was placing it in the dish drainer after washing it.
I did get a replacement, but it isn't the same somehow. The handle heats up in the microwave - not badly, but enough to make me wonder what the difference is.
A Few Spring Pictures
Not much happening besides mowing, work and other mundane things, but some of the plant life around here is finally convinced spring has arrived.
Phlox with a Primrose backdrop
The crab apple tree - it didn't have a real good bllom this year. I caugh this at what I thought was the beginning of the bloom on 5/13, but it was actually the best day to take the pic
Last weekend I could tell what vehicles were in that parking lot behind my house, andsee people walking down that street. The leaves were budding, but not in the way. This pic was taken yesterday.
The lilacs and forsythia did not bloom well this year, which I knew would happen since I severely pruned them during the summer (after this year's flower buds had developed). Some of the plants I put in last year are starting to develope, but it will be another year or two before they are picture ready. Other plants don't seem to have survived the winter; None of the redbud trees are even trying to put out any growth and 3 roses were lost (the two by the front door are coming back though). Looks like even some of the winterberry was lost, while others are coming in.
Hoping to find some time to work in the yard during the summer, bring some sapplings down, plant some shrubs that I overwintered in pots etc., but with my current schedule and the weather pattern, I'll be happy if I can just keep the lawn mowed and weeds down to a minimum in existing plant beds.
May 08, 2016
Happy Mother's Day to Cop Car - I hope you have an extra special day today!