April 11, 2015
Birthday Vacation on the Island
The Outlaws (they aren't really true in-laws anymore - LOL), that used to live in the next town over, moved to Rhode Island last fall. More precisely, they moved to an island, off of Rhode Island, to manage a timeshare resort. They kept telling me I should go out for a visit. Since I get my birthday off work as a holiday, and my BD fell on a Friday this year, it was a great time to take a 3-day weekend to go visit.
The tourist / vacation destination of Block Island, has not yet gotten underway so most "attractions" were not open, but that was okay, I wasn't going for ice cream, specialty chocolates or any of that stuff - just get away, see BIL & SIL, and generally recharge.
I left Friday morning to make the 1PM ferry (ferry only runs 3 times/day at this point, so timing is everything). As usually happens when I take vacation, I left in 40 degree weather and it was raining. It was the same when I got to the docks, and was supposed to stay that way for most of the weekend. Oh well, I expect nothing less! The view from the ferry was less than spectacular
So, I ended up taking a nap. Don't get to do that often, and obviously I needed it because I woke up just as we were approaching the breakwater of the island 55 minutes later. I texted SIL when I landed, and she came to get me; the timeshare community was only a couple of blocks away so I didn't have to wait long.
The rest of Friday afternoon I spent talking with SIL as she was finishing up ordering of linens and dishes needed for the units before prime season began. They had given me a room (thank you so much guys!) since they weren't full up yet. I also accompanied BIL to the dump, where I helped unload cardboard from kitchen cabinets that he had installed in some of the units. We also stopped at the local hardware store for plumbing supplies to finish installing kitchen sinks. With that, I got some idea of the lay of that part of the island, and BIL gave me histories of some of the features we passes (like "New" port - which used to be a lake and was opened up to the ocean for more portage).
That evening we walked to one of the few restaurants that was open for fish fry - walking is the main transport as everything is right there at the port, so it doesn't make sense to drive. At that point the rain had turned to intermittent drizzle, so we didn't get too wet. The fish was fabulous and we all returned to the resort gorged. I broke out the kindle and got in some reading before calling it a night.
Saturday I awoke to 40's, gray skies and massive wind. After making some tea, I curled up with the Kindle and read a bunch more. The outlaws expected several parties to arrive from the 1PM ferry, and they were doing last minute preparations, so I was left to my own devices. I walked the street along the beach and found the water was very pretty.
When I returned, it was shortly before the ferry was expected. SIL needed a couple of things done, so I was happy to help out. Then some of the guests started to arrive, so I retired to my room for more reading.
After the commotion died down, I decided to go walking a different direction. Even though it was still mighty windy, the sun had come out and it was warming up some. I found one trail, which I followed until it appeared to be getting close to town, then turned around to find more outlying area. I found the airport and the local air taxi. I was fascinated with the tail emblem and then suddenly realized it was the shape of the island.
After detouring for the pictures, I kept heading out, where I found another trail that went past this driveway.
Above the steps, I found that I was behind and above the airport
I was debating whether to go along the trail further (I was off the trail for the above pics, when I received a text from SIL asking where I was. I replied "I'm on some trail behind the airport." She replied that she wanted to make sure I wasn't bored. Ohh, no way! I decided to head back the way I had come as I wasn't sure how long the trail would continue before it found another road. When I got to the bench, I got another text from SIL saying she had ordered pizza and it would be ready in about 30 minutes.
I got back shortly before the pizza and we stuffed ourselves (obviously, this was not a wheat-free weekend for me). While we were eating, more guests arrived and SIL had to go check everyone in. I cleaned up (we had been eating at the picnic table). I then headed to the office, where SIL was checking in the last guest to arrive for the day. It was a youngish couple (anyone who appears under 45 is youngish to me now - LOL), who was asking about hiking. SIL hadn't yet gotten to any of the trails, so I was happy to give them some direction to the two trails I had found.
While the young woman took their baby to their unit, the young man asked if they should drive, or if it was safe to walk there. I told him that most people gave wide berth to walker (as wide as they could, some roads were barely two cars wide), and as long as they walked facing traffic they would be good. I also told him that most of the people would wave to them - the islanders are truly friendly, even In the off-season.
After a few minutes of paperwork, SIL decided she wanted to show me the "Cliffs". Since it was late in the day (6-ish), she drove us there.
Island Birthday - Part 2
The Cliffs were truly grand - giving a great view of the ocean, with a very nice staircase down to about 100 feet above the sands.
We then went to another viewing area further down the road, before we headed back to the Resort.
When we got back, I broke out some wine that I had brought to celebrate their first opening (for them, not the resort). We had some good conversation while I played with their kitty. Eventually kitty got tired and decided my jacket was a really nice place to snooze.
Sunday morning, SIL wanted to go to the Easter Sunrise Service at 6:15AM. So, we started walking about 6. The horizon was starting to show color when we got there, The service was beautiful, and short. The sun broke thru the clouds on the horizon shortly after the service started.
When we turned to head to the church for breakfast, I saw that there was a full moon too.
The church put on a great breakfast of scrambled eggs, ham, bacon (fresh, not store bought), potatoes and French toast made with cinnamon raisin bread - with real maple syrup. I put in donations for both of us since they had provided my room and two large meals while I was there (I took salads, sardines and bananas with me for my other meals). We walked the long way back to the resort to help all the food settle.
All too soon it was time to board the ferry for my trip back home. I had a great time, got to see and hike some new territory, had great food and even better conversation. I am so blessed that they invited me to come down (and meant it!). I hope to go again in the fall, when there is more color.
February 14, 2015
House of Warm Critters
Last night it was -7 or -8 at 8 pm. Looked to be getting a really cold night, so I put the upstairs pellet stove in T-stat mode. Now, that sounds like a thermostat turns it on and off, but that would be SmartStat mode (which it normally is in - by the way Cop Car, the digital thermostat works great - thanks!) T-Stat mode is slightly different; I set the highest heat output it is allowed to get to (I set at #3, but the rang is 1-5) then if there is a call for heat, the stove goes directly to #3 output. If there is no call for heat, it idles at #1 output. So, it never goes out.
Since the thermostat is in the office, closer to the stove, it stays warmer than the bedroom by 2-4 degrees on a normal day. However, with the frigid temps, the bedroom temperature was getting to the lowest it has been, 66, since I put the stove in. I figured it would get even lower thru the night as the cold from the garage infiltrated the floor. So, by putting it on T-stat, there would be steady heat for the fan to push into the bedroom (dang, I should go into a big explanation of how the heat gets to the other side of the house, but I won't). This worked well and the bedroom was 68 when I awoke this morning.
Anyway, to back up at 8 pm last night - I came into the living room after checking the outside thermometer to see that Fuzzy looked like he knew how cold it was outside and was getting prepared in case the house got cold
Tory and Birdie seemed to be more confident that no such thing would happen.
And yes, I am staying toasty warm with the pellet stoves going - at half the fuel cost of when I used propane.
Best Insulated Wall of the House
Last Saturday I had a CPR class, that took a good portion of the day (last time I trained for CPR was when I went to babysitting class when I was 10 or 12). They had a portable defibrillator as part of the course. The instructor asked if anyone had not seen one used before and I was the only one (everyone else was renewing their CPR card). So, he handed it to me and asked me to figure it out. Very easy - boy have things come a long way when you can do such a thing with a 5 pound machine that retails fro less than $1k.
Well, once I got home, I started working on the basement foundation wall. Although I had R7 rigid foam on the wall, I still needed to get the studs in (the frame was there - just no studs) and then add fiberglass insulation on top of the foam.
I had already gotten the lumber, which had been cut to 8' so that it would fit in my car. I then used the sliding miter saw to cut them to the actual length (63") and proceeded to install them every 16 inches.
You will notice in this picture, that I missed taping the seam between the bottom foam boards, I actually knocked the studs out (they weren't screwed in yet, taped up the seams, then reinstalled the studs.
Then I installed the fiberglass batting. I tore off the bottom portion of the paper in case water comes from the garage, it won't soak up thru the paper.
Now I am at a stand still in that room. I can't put up sheetrock until I tear out the wall next to the garage, but I won't do that until it gets a bit warmer outside. Plus, I need to get sheetrock, which I will have to arrange delivery of since my car can't handle anything that large.
As to the title of this post, this is the best insulated wall that I have; R7 rigid foam insulation and R13 fiberglass insulation on top. Kind of sad since it will be one of the least used rooms in the house (as far as time spent in it goes anyway).
November 22, 2014
Monday morning I got up and there was nothing exciting happening outside when I let Fuzzy out. 15 minutes later when I let him back in, it was snowing. That wasn't unexpected. Then by the time I left for work it had turned to sleet. That was not what I was hoping for.
Then, on the way to work I suddenly realized that my new auto insurance comapny had not yet sent me a bill. Two months ago I had called my agent informing her that the EX and I needed to split up our auto insurance. She did some research and found a company that would cost me $300 less per year than if I stuck with my old company. I don't know why they do that - the old company would rais my cost by nearly $300 becasue I was no longer insureing 2 vehicles with them. That is even though I insure my house with them. Stupid because they lost a customer. Anyway, the old insurance expired on 11/5 (or 15, I'm not sure). New insurance I hadn't gotten anything from. And seeing all the idiots on the roads that wanted to ride my bumper even though I was going the speed limit (and salt trucks were not out for the most part).
Called my insurance agent, who to her credit was in the office at 7:45 (I was planning on leaving her a message). She looked it up and the sign up was still "pending". However, she informed me that I did have insurance and sent me a temporary card by emial just in case I needed it. Great agent who I really appreciate. Finally got a bill yesterday, so I am feeling better about this small issue.
Then, I got home Monday evening and eagerly looked at the bathroom ceiling. The sleet had changed to rain, and we had gotten plenty of it thu the day, so it was a good test for the new boot the contractor put in place a couple of weeks ago. Hey, no wetness - Halalluha! I did catch wiffs of dampness, but didn't see anything amiss, so figured it was my imagination
At 9:15, I was getting ready for bed; brushing my teeth and washing my face. I turned off the sink water and realized I still heard running water - NOT GOOD. I then realized that water was pouring out of the door to the vanity - REALLY NOT GOOD.
I opened the door and started searching for a buste water pipe. Nope, no such thing. Then I saw this:
Okay, the paper towel wasn't there, but the drain pipes had separated. I moved everything out of the cabinet, including drawers, mopped up all the water, place the paper towel in the lower pipe to block off sewage smells, placed a mixing bowel in the sink in case I turned the water on in the morning, and went to bed.
During lunch on Tuesday I ran to the local Lowes (it is a mile away from work) and picked up a couple of flexible flanges as that is what broke. I had to study plumbing stuff for a while before I understood what I need since I have never done any type of plumbing work before. Put the flange on that evening, and it is holding fine. So although I had a bit of bad luck, I think it all turned out al right.
November 19, 2014
States I Have Visited
I am sure of these states. I was probably in Oregon too but don't remember as I was young (I do remember WA though)
Create Your Own Visited States Map
November 08, 2014
Good Deed for the Day
I ran into town to get a few things from the local hardware store. I noticed an older couple loaded with plastic grocery bags and backpacks walking the opposite direction and thought to myself if they were still walking when I was headed home, then I would offer them a ride.
By the time I got out of Aubuchons, I had forgotten all about the coupld. But I saw them walking a little ways down the road so turned into a parking lot and told them that they looked like they were pretty loaded down - would they like a ride?
They were happy to accept a ride, and it turns out that they live in an apartment building just a couple of blocks away - one I pass anyway, so I didn't even have to drive out of my way to deposit them to their "doorstep".
He (predictably) had lost his license so couldn't legally drive his truck (I'm guessing DWI). Never heard why she couldn't drive the truck, but didn't ask and figured it was none of my business. I was on the walking end early in my life (car broke down and had no money) and had plenty of people offer me rides, so figured this was a chance to pay it forward.
Felt good to be able to do for others who weren't looking for help, but could appreciate when it was offered.
May 17, 2014
Can't Blame Autocorrect
Emailed someone about my day earlier and included this little tidbit, "got nothing done basically except weeing some of the flower gardens . . "
That person emailed me back, too polite to point out my wording, but I noticed it as I reread myportion. OMG - I was WEEING the garden. Not weeding, weeing.
Can't even blame autocorrect for that HHLOL (hangs head and laughing out loud)
April 23, 2014
Dear MA Unemployment,
That brand new website that you are so proud of is light years behind NH's in user friendliness, organization and useability. And I'm talking about NH's website that I used back in 2004! When I submit paperwork, I expect it to be submitted; I don't expect it to sit there and do nothing - every time regardless of which browser I use. When you tell me to submit online, I don't expect to have to mail it because it won't submit. And, I expect if it doesn't submit, to let me know that it didn't work.
I expect it to take URL's when asked for a URL - and not have it complain that I didn't put in a valid email address. And, when I put in an email address (because it complained about the URL and specifically said it was looking for an email address), it still complains and I have to back out and redo the entire thing to MAYBE get it to go thru.
When I have actions pending, I expect a notification to pop up somewhere. I shouldn't have to guess - expecially since finding those notifications is like a treasure hunt, without a good prize at the end. Oh, and those notifications have some strange ID, that doesn't match with the ID of the submissions that I am making (or trying to make) online, so I have to guess which it goes to. Could you give the two items that are related some sort of matching ID, if only the title?
The programmers, project managers, and debuggers should be fired for making such a poor product and allowing that poor product to be released for public use when it does not do what it is supposedly designed to do. MA citizens, and those that work in MA - this is your tax dollars supporting very poor work!
March 27, 2014
More Changes to Bogies Life
So the big news for Bogie is that since life hasn't thrown me enough curve balls in the last 10 months, I apparently needed one more - I have lost my job. The Company has decided to mothball the plant as the market conditions for our product make it impossible to make money. I thought since I worked for a huge company with deep pockets, it would be safer. But somehow smaller companies are still able to get investors to keep them afloat, while the mother company is no longer willing to invest. Which is weird since the plant has not even been open for 2 years, and we lost less money last year than we were allowed.
So, once again, for the second time in 16 months, I am hitting the pavement. I really wish I could find a position with the same parent company as I would be able to keep a decent amount of vacation time. Speaking of vacations. A long time ago I mentioned how every time I have a vacation planned (other than to see family), something comes up to keep me from taking it. Yep, had a vacation planned for July with good riding in new territory with people I have known on-line for years. That got cancelled in a hurry. Only good news was I hadn't made airline reservations yet.
The closure announcement was sudden. The decision was made late Friday, and announced on Monday. It was so fast that there wasn't any time for rumors to fly, so everyone was taken completely by surprise.
Last day of work was Tuesday (that was actually exit orientation) and by yesterday afternoon I had 4 resumes out. But these days even if they really like you, it takes at least a month to get hired since they have to do background checks, drug tests and physicals.
Dang, if this had happened before I bought the house, I would have had options (like relocating to another state and working for the same company if a position becasme available). But now my hands are tied as there is no way I could get what I had to put out for the place - all stemming from the way I financed it. The good news is that I don't have to worry about a house payment, so can survive quite a while withouth that worry.
Wouldn't want my life to be stress-free now would we?