Monday, May 23

Ob La Di

Ob-la-di ob-la-da life goes on bra
La-la how the life goes on.

Thought I’d best check in lest anyone think I’ve floated away. I haven’t. I’m still standing.

I’ve been doing a lot of things, but not taking any pictures. What—a post without pictures? Almost!

Now here’s something completely different. They came to measure the floor to see where the slab has torqued. Why? Well, if you remember, things are slipping, pulling the walls away from the floor and ceiling here and there.

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It’s called a manometer. Definition: An instrument for measuring the pressure acting on a column of fluid, with a U-shaped tube of liquid in which a difference in the pressures acting in the two arms of the tube causes the liquid to reach different heights in the two arms.

It appealed to my science-nerdness and I was completely curious. It’s actually a very simple concept, being that water seeks its own level. The water in the reservoir and hose is a constant. On the other end of the hose is a rod with a tube, and when the rod is touched to the floor, the water will go up or down if the floor is higher or lower in that spot. And then you get a map of the entire floor. Or, more correctly, the slab beneath.

It’s just another step in the ongoing saga of the five houses on our street whose slabs have torqued. No, it’s not fixed yet. Yes, they’re going to. It’s the when that’s impossible to pin down. Eventually.

In other news, my shoulder seems to be a little better this week. I wish I could say it was a lot better, but it’s a little better, at least I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m going to start physical therapy again. PT is seriously painful and I had to take some time off because my shoulder doesn’t like it one bit (read: I couldn’t take it no more). It likes better to do nothing at all, to be luxuriously perched on a pillow like a pampered pet. But that isn’t the best thing for it in the long run. Amazing how long it takes for something like this to heal. A broken bone would have healed by now (six weeks). Picture from Facebook: I miss my golf clubs. Seriously.

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Our little neighborhood of 50 Del Webb homes (there are 286 residences in the geezer community) held a potluck party yesterday. We usually do a thing in the street on warm summer evenings, but this time we held a brunch. There used to be a big welcome center here, and now that the developers have moved on to greener pastures it has been turned into a big party room. It comes equipped with big round tables and chairs to seat 100, a commercial kitchen, and the big doors open up to comfy outdoor seating under the umbrellas. What a nice gift from the developers. We had about 70-80 people, and we had bloody marys, fruits, endless pastries and endless egg dishes (all with bread in them of course), ham, sausages, but NO BACON! Still, the brunch was fabulous.

After brunch our friends Tom & Deborah from Carlsbad came to look at the house two doors down that is going up for sale in a few days. Everyone on our street knew they were coming and wanted to meet the potential new neighbors. Our next door neighbors actually showed up at our door and the impromptu party was terrific fun. But I don’t think they will be buying that house because it’s way overpriced—yes it has a lot of upgrades, but you can’t put a price on upgrades, houses are only worth what the current market is worth, at least in California. And, as Deborah so aptly put it, why should we pay a premium for stuff we don’t care about. But other houses will become available over time. We are so grateful to live here. Everyone is.

That’s pretty much all the news. I haven’t spent much time in the studio—my shoulder was so painful I couldn’t even draw—but I’m going to start up again now. I think. I hope. But I’ve read a couple books, and I’ve watched a lot of basketball and a few new series (amazon prime) on our new TV. Things that I ordinarily wouldn’t have time for.

So all is well. Life is good.

Wednesday, May 11

Now You See It, Now You Don’t

We downsized quite a bit when we moved into our new digs, and some of the furniture is too big for the house. Like this piece, for example:

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When we bought it we needed something to fill up the huge, cavernous great room. But in this house it’s about 110% too big for the room. It dwarfs the space.

That, and it only houses a small TV. JJ loves to watch sports on TV, and we often sit in the [tiny] bedroom watching the larger TV, sitting only a few inches away from it. So I said, Look. Why not just fix the problem already. Watching sports is one of your greatest pleasures in life and life is short. Get a new damn TV.

So we put a new TV on the wish list and it recently came to the top of the list. But making the change seemed like an unsurmountable task. Where to start?

First we had to get rid of “The Brown Monstah” as I call it. We took color photos around to the three big consignment shops in the area and they all said sorry, not interested, nobody wants them anymore. Figures. So we called Salvation Army, and if you know anything at all about how this works, you know that you have to put your donation curbside. But they relented when we told them we are old.

But when they got here and saw the size of the thing they had to move they said, “No Seenyore, uh-uh. No way. Hasta la vista.” Then JJ got hot and looked like he was going to pop a vein and they said, “Okay, okay Meester, we take it.”

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If this thing makes it there in one piece, I’ll be surprised.

But it’s gone. Bye bye. We also sent the TV, but the audio components were old and didn’t really work.

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We shopped online at potterybarn.com and found this. It wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but it works and we had some coupons and free shipping, so this is what we got.

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We called cousin John to come put it in. John does great work. He is expensive, but very efficient, thorough, and neat. He knows his stuff and does it right. And you can call him any time, day or night, if you forget how to turn it on.

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Here it is in it’s new home. It is hooked up to the internet and I can get all sorts of music and videos. The new receiver/amplifier is great and we have for-real surround-sound now. and a subwoofer that works. What a difference—ohmygosh it’s fantastic! And just in time for basketball finals.

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Monday, May 9

New Orleans Jazz Fest

Hey, long time no see. We have been roamin’ around. First we met our friends Sarah & Bill in New Orleans for some 4-F. That would be Fun, Frolic, Food, Fest. Jazz Fest, that is.

I did not take my big camera but instead relied on my cell phone. I have figured out how to get phone pictures to the laptop: Facebook! Upload, right-click, save.

I tried to take a selfie. Debra said, “Smile!” I can’t, I’m concentratin’. Didn’t turn out very good, I’m no good with selfies. I can’t see the little screen!

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We did get to see some terrific acts. This is Wayne Toups. He plays a blend of zydeco and cajun called Zydecajun, which I love! You can hear him HERE.

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I spent a lot of time in the Gospel Tent because when the music’s good, it’s incredible! Yowza! But I couldn’t find a sample to share that comes close to the amazing grace that good gospel music imparts to your soul. Can I get an AMEN!

We were very lucky that we went to Jazz Fest on Friday, because it rained buckets on Thursday. While we went on a day without rain, the mud was—well, think Woodstock. Lots and lots of mud. The locals wore colorful rainboots, which I thought odd until I saw them dancing in the deep mud without a care in the world.

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It rained triple buckets on Saturday, and they closed the whole thing down. Photo courtesy of NOLA.com.

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Saturday we were at the airport, which was also closed while the thunderstorm blew through.

Another thing we did in New Orleans was eat. It’s something we do well.

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Here is the appetizer cheese plate at Emeril’s NOLA, exquisite in its simplicity.

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I had the fried chicken. Everything was delicious but all that gluten made me sick.  (Asthma. But I’m better now.) There is not a single thing on this plate that does not have gluten in it. Oh well. Never again. At least I didn’t eat too much that night—forced portion control. The rosemary gravy has a squirt of jalapeño pepper jelly in it. Fabulous!

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I was seriously glutenated by the fourth night when we got to K-Paul’s, but I HAD to have a fried oyster or two. It’s one of the things I look forward to when I go to New Orleans. That and grits.

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I like ‘em raw, too. It’s like eating the ocean. Felix’s Oyster House.

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Saturday we had brunch with my cousin Jim and his wonderful wife Sherree, who live in New Orleans part time, before we hailed a cab for the airport. JJ had the French toast. He said it was like gooey bread pudding inside.

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The above-mentioned storm also shut down the airport, but we were dry and they had wine. People kept coming in through security but nobody was going anywhere. Serious lightning and thunder, and torrential rain. Once the airport opened for business again, it was astonishing how quickly everyone worked to get caught up. Planes everywhere. Coming and going.

We were going to Sarah & Bill’s lake house. Weather was fairly cold most of the time, but we did get out on the lake for a spin.

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Thank you, Sarah & Bill, for your wonderful, generous hospitality. Next time, OUR house!

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