Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Things are...well, pretty much the same

First of all, it is REALLY HOT here! We have had over a week of +105 days, with many of them hitting 111. I won't have to go to hell, because I already LIVE here. My son calls this "Satan's Summer" and it has only just begun. Last summer was very hot also--I think we had 20 or 30 days of +110 weather. When it is so hot, even the pool is no fun and since we mainly work construction, Darling is out in it all day...although they start at 5 am now and finish up at 1:30. We try to give the guys a 10 minute water and salt break each hour or they drop in their tracks. We are lucky that we do a lot of foundation work, so they are usually underneath houses, where at least it is cooler.

We work on old least "old" for California. Most of the homes we work on are late 1800's-1940; nothing newer. Many of these homes were built on just a row of bricks, just inches from the dirt, with no crawl space. So when we do foundation work, it is really just sending a skinny guy in under the house with a little shovel and having him dig out the dirt and put it in a flat pan. The outside guy pulls the pan out with a rope, dumps it in a wheelbarrow and then wheels it to a trailer. Once the outside guy can fit in under the house, they take turns. It is pretty mindless work, but at least it is cool.

After all the digging is done, the house is jacked up and leveled and forms are built around the jacks so they can be cemented into place. Then a foundation wall is poured around the perimeter and extra support is built and cement poured under the house. It isn't brain surgery but it is labor intensive and therefore very expensive. Usually people are having foundation work done so they can sell the house; without a proper foundation, the buyers can't get a mortgage.

I've gotten approval for my surgery but my surgeon is out of the coutry doing a Doctors Without Borders thing...which is fine and dandy but I wish I had gotten fixed before he left. It's only been since MARCH.
I am having trouble with managing the pain right now; I think it is because it is so hot and then the drugs make me hotter. Last night was the worst. I just couldn;t cool off, so decided not to take anything. Well, what I found out was that it REALLY hurts with no drugs at all. I go in today to my primary and will see if there is something else I can take/do. It is the chronic pain part that is making me so crazy; if there was on end to it, I could handle it. Like having a doesn't go on for four or five months. Sure, it is intense, but it is relatively short term.
Even a broken bone gets set and heals. This however just gets worse as the weeks go by.

I'm still working on my butter yellow afgan for the beach is the perfect color for all of the blues in there. I had about 45 inches done and decided to rip it all out. I didn;t like the basketweave pattern (my favorite, just not for this) AND I was working with too small needles, so it was not soft and fluffy enough for me. My husband can't understand how I can just abandon it partway, rip it all out and restart. When I tell him it's just not right, he doesn;t get it...I'm making up the pattern, so what could possibly be "not right"?

Progress on the hotel is at a standstill. We are waiting for the elevator to be shipped from Connecticut. Then next year, we'll put in the heating and air what expense, I have no idea. Then pretty much all that needs to be done is painting the lobby, finshing the skylight and carpeting my bedroom. The kitchen just needs counters and appliances and it will be done. So 90 days of work.

This house will go on the market next spring when everything is in bloom. I'll get the kitchen garden planted so it looks good and of course, clean out the koi pond, which is a monumental task.

It has to be drained and I use the water to irrigate all the flower beds and lawns. The wildlife all has to be caught and put in tubs. I pressure wash it and work at filling and siphoning the ooky water until it is pretty clean. Then I treat the 50 or so gallons of leftover water with algae stuff and refill it. Before I put the fish in, I dump in 100 pounds of rock salt and turn on the waterfall, which clears the water up for two or three months. Then in go the fish. I have about 300 BIG goldfish, 30 koi and then the assorted turtles and frogs, so there is quite a lot of activity to watch.

I've got the cleaning down to a science, since I do it twice a year. But that's not until fall and then again in the spring. This year, I'm putting netting over the pond to keep leaves out; then once a week, I clear the net of all the leaves and put them in the composter. I use the pond water to keep it moist and of course, dump in all the coffe grounds I can get my hands on.

We've been attacked by little black ants in the heat...they are looking for water, so I have a sink full every morning. I called the bug guy the other day and he came by and sprayed the heck out of the house, the foundation and all the gardens.

When I retire, I want a little house with no yard.

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