March twelfth, 2013

I haven’t added anything for some time. I just got my laptop back from Todd, and I have spent a lot of time cleaning up the mess I made with the Macintosh hermaphrodite. I also discovered that I hadn’t shared my photos from Iran, so I spent some time learning this new version of Microsoft Word, and I uploaded all my photos, plus, a treasure trove of memories, in a scrapbook put together by Pam. She made a lot of nice scrapbooks, which I hope to make available at a later time. I am also working to clean up biopt2, which is presentable in its present condition, but has photos which are unattached to the text. On Tuesday, I received a priority mail envelope, full of pictures, which I scanned and put up at's%20Album. On Wednesday I received a priority box, and I have begun to upload these at  I need to take a break from this and get to work outside.


As I try to write, my puppies are trying to get my attention, and it reminds me that I have to talk about my loving dogs.

My Puppies

In biopt1 I wrote about my dog, Buddy, and when we lost him, Denise and I were left craving his company.  A week without a dog is all we could bear, and we drove to the feed store in Rio Linda, and pulled an ad off the bulletin board. And after one telephone call, forty five minutes later, we had two dogs in our lap.

When we got them home, we arranged to take them to our vet, and right away, we had to pour several hundred dollars into getting them well. They had skin mites, and fleas, and who knows what else? As soon as they were strong enough, we had them neutered.

They are such a hopeless mix of breeds, that even though the female has “Basset” characteristics, they could come from dachshund, and the male has long wiry hair like a terrier. And to top it off, they are brindle???

I have taken so many pictures of them that it is difficult to find some really good ones.





They are in trouble today (April 19 2013) because they got into Denise’s pigeon coop and killed two of her birds. Have you ever seen a more innocent looking face?



The puppies love Opie!




March 20, 2013

This is the first chance I’ve had to sit down and write for a few days. 

I have been spraying “Roundup” on the foxtails. Buster had to be put to sleep to have a foxtail removed, last year. I’ve been working on them for the last four or five years, and I’m finally getting the upper hand. Denise’s mom has been here, working on the computer, looking for crochet patterns. She likes paper copies, and I finally ran out of ink, so I paid a trip to Costco, yesterday, and spent five hundred and fifty dollars. So much for having a little extra! Most of that was for Cialis, but the large inks are sixty five dollars a set. I always get doggie treats, toilet paper, and butter, and this time, I bought fifty two razors for myself.

Steve’s brother Charlie called me last night, and we did a team view to clear up some of the problems I’ve been having. I do so many things on the computer that no one else does, and I still have so much to learn. Most of my problems turn out to be “beginner” problems.

I wrote a scathing criticism of Google Chrome, only part of which, applies. The part about suggesting the wrong sites to search still stands. The rest was my own ignorance, and I learned how to adjust the page to fit the screen. Todd showed me how to do that once before, but he showed me so many things, I guess it slipped my mind. I’ll remove that from my index page sometime today. There’s a few other things that need to be removed, also.

It is raining today, so I can work on that.

Singin’ Lori talked Denise into taking five pigeons from her. The poor creatures had been locked in her garage for so long, in a tiny cage, and when Denise set them up in a spacious cage, outside, their condition began to improve, immediately. I took her to the “Redneck” pet shop in Rio Linda, and bought a can of “Permectrin”, a flea and mite powder. She put that on them two days ago, and already they have stopped pecking themselves. They are lucky creatures to have her taking care of them.

March 23, 2013

It’s Saturday, and I just finished uploading the last of the photos Dale sent to me.

March 30, 2013

Easter Eve. Tim invited us up to the house for Easter egg hunt, and barbecue. I spent yesterday slow cooking a brisket that I had cured with a recipe I found on line.


By the time I sliced it on my deli slicer, it crumbled into mush, and looked awful, but tasted so good.

I asked Tim if I could snap a few photos of some of the projects I worked on when I lived with my folks.


The first one is the first deck I built, right outside the front door.   The second photo is the deck I built outside the back door, from the front yard.




And looking at the back door. I modified the rail for Jim Edens, and poured a pad at the bottom of the steps.




And the octagonal driveway.





And the yard set up for company.

We couldn’t stay for the barbecue,  because we had Singin’ Lori coming with Easter dinner.



A quick look at the “lean to” I built for the Barbados.


March 30, 2013

The day before Easter, Lori got here about ten o’ clock, and brought chicken for the Barbie, and fresh veggies for stir fry. It was absolutely delicious.

I caught her sitting in the rocking chair that she sold to us, years ago. There is a worn spot on the left armrest where her wedding ring rubbed, when she rocked Ivy to sleep.



As soon as I thought about getting my guitar out, she was gone, and Steve and Kimberly showed up with a “Honey Baked Ham”,

and a ton of fresh berries and other goodies.


March 31, 2013

Russ Farnell snuck up on me today. We always have a good chat, when he is here. I found a few photos to share with him. He updated the text,

which is what got me started going back through everything, again.


April 6, 2013

Just finished a quick edit of bunches 1 thru 23. Started yesterday, and downloaded all of the bunches I put up.

Dale wrote today that he is getting back to work on these, and I really do need the help.

April 9, 2013

Got an email from Todd today. He took photos of the apple trees we planted. His camera was in focus.



Monday April 22, 2013

So many things have happened since I last made an entry, that I must take time to catch up One of the reasons I’m writing all of this down is because I am becoming increasingly forgetful, and I am having such an interesting life, I want to share it with anyone interested.

About two weeks ago, I met with Craig and Russ. We got together at Denny’s in West Sac. And had a good visit. We are already planning another meeting.

About a week ago John called Denise and said he needed help mowing his place. I went up there with the intention of mowing for him on “his” mower. It turned out that his was out of gas, and all he really wanted was some gas. I brought him my five gallon can and filled his tank. He went to start it and the battery was dead, so I helped him hook up the charger. I took Denise and the dogs home, and I drove my mower back up to his place, and by the time I got there, he was already working on the front yard. I wonder how safe it is for him to drive the mower. It isn’t safe for him to have gas and electricity within a few feet of each other. Maria and Robert don’t communicate with us, so I don’t know how they feel about this. I really don’t even know how Suzie feels about this, except I’m sure she’s glad to have him out of the house.

I went ahead and mowed his front yard adjacent to Dale’s place, and when I finished, I started working on the back. While I was blazing a trail from one pasture to another, I hit a metal channel in the ground, and broke off the left blade bearing housing, so I am in a battle with Home Depot over getting it fixed on the extended warranty I bought for two hundred dollars. I just got off the phone with them for the second time. The first time I called, I got a foreign accent (I’m guessing Russian), and the girl hadn’t turned up the volume on her phone. I had scanned all of my documents, and put them online so they could see my receipts, and the problem parts. They asked me to send an email with all my documents. Then the second time I called, I got the same foreign accent girl, and she wanted me to repeat everything in the email over the phone. I finally got in line to make an appointment for service, and am waiting for another call (from the warranty carrier?????) (to make an appointment for service?????). It’s nice doing business with you guys.

I am out of blood pressure meds, and cholesterol and diabetic meds, also. I am dreading going to the doctor to get my new prescriptions. The last time I went, they insisted they wanted to see me every three months, to have blood drawn. I went across the street to get my labs done, and the girl that drew my blood was sick with the flu, and I caught it, and gave it to everyone that came through my door. It was a devastating two or three days, but was completely gone in six. I am reluctant to go in again, and am trying to decide which day is best to go in as a walk in. It’ll probably be Wednesday, as that will hopefully be not too busy.

We also got our recommendation for cannabis renewed over the phone

I have so many things to work on, so I will close for now. When I resolve some of my issues, I will start another chapter. When my autorecover takes longer than three minutes, my laptop is getting ready to tell me the virtual memory is too low, and as I write this, up pops the warning.

It is almost midnight, but I had to come back and make a final entry that I forgot about, earlier. I contacted Bob Snyder today, and he informed me that Tom Pryor had passed away. He was the guy next door at Oroville. A lady he was caring for (???), Johnette, was the one responsible for Buddy’s terrible behavior, and she passed away about the time Buddy died.


Thursday 4/25/13

I went to the Carmichael Clinic this morning. I got up early and showered, trying not to think about it too much. It would be easy to talk myself out of it. I did yesterday! I didn’t sleep well, worrying about it, and I woke up not feeling well. Denise told me to ask for Haq, one of the new P.As. When I got to the desk, the girl was pessimistic about me being seen sooner than three hours. I got called in within forty minutes, and my weight was 194, and my blood pressure was 205/110. No wonder I felt like crap! I waited in a room for another hour and a half. I did ask for Haq, and I got her, and she rewrote my prescriptions, exactly the way I asked, and for over a year, and no labs. They don’t write paper prescriptions any more, but instead she entered them on her laptop, and “E” mailed them to the Costco pharmacy. I could have picked them up on my way home, but I had one dose left at home, so I procrastinated another day.

I got several calls from Scott today, and during the first one, my warranty agent for my mower called and explained that I would have to do some more foot work to get my mower fixed. She suggested that I have “Bliss Equipment” pick it up, fix it and, deliver it. I would be reimbursed for transportation, but I would have to pay up front, and wait to see if my claim would be honored or denied. Still not feeling well, I lay down and took a nap.

So tomorrow I have to mail a cust. satisf. thingy to the post office. There is a copy of the letter in my documents. I also must renew my disability placard, and I will look tonight to see if I can do that on line. If not, I must purchase a five dollar money order, and depend on the post office for the rest. (I am uncomfortable about that.) I should get it within fifteen days. I looked and you can’t renew on line, so I found my old checkbook and put everything in an envelope, and mailed it to Virginia?????  My other expires June 2013. Just in time.  Then it’s Costco for meds, and come home to make arrangements with “Bliss”. Going to be a busy day, again.

It’s ten after ten, and I feel so much better. I had a huge bowl of ice cream, and watched a couple good movies. I just checked my blood pressure for the fifth time, today. The top came down to one fifty immediately, but diastolic stayed at ninety five for most of the day. Just now it was 105/72. If I take my medicine every day, that is where it stays. Scary day!



I just want to make a quick note here, before I forget. Yesterday was the fortieth anniversary of the train explosion. (4-28-73) It was a devastating event where a train loaded with munitions exploded. It moved most of the nearby buildings off their foundations. John Pibb said the drywall was completely blown off of his house???????????????.  The folk’s house was moved off the foundation and all the glass shattered. I still find shrapnel in the yard, and one of the pieces I found many years ago, I gave to my grandson, with a copy of the story I found on line. Then about fifteen years ago, I was coming home from the store, and the CHP had the road blocked just before Poker Lane. I sat in my car for three hours, and couldn’t even drink the beer I had bought. When I was finally allowed to pass, I got home and found Denise watching the news. They had been excavating, and had found an unexploded bomb. I had to wait until the “experts” (blow raspberry here) said it was safe to pass. We watched the news for several more hours, when, they detonated the bomb we could hear it at the house.

I am waiting for a mobile repairman to call about my riding mower.

My blood pressure is really high, (195/110) and I don’t feel good, but the lawn is overdue for mowing, so if I take it real easy, and take a couple breaks, I hope I can finish outside the fence.. This has to be done with a push mower.

Got that finished. I took two breaks and both times I checked my blood pressure. I was exhausted, and I thought it would be higher, if anything, but the first time it came down to 150/95. The second time it was 110/72. Go figger!.

My repairman called today, and made an appointment for tomorrow afternoon.

Denise took some photos of the baby Canadians. I will insert a photo here, and maybe upload a clip to YOUTUBE.





This is the second year that we are aware of that Canadians have hatched here. Six hatched, and five flew away.

They paid several visits and I got several shots of their returns. This time I was able to count eight babies.



I will spend the evening working on “my personal albums”. Everyone’s computer is so much faster,   I will start to consolidate some of these pages.

It’s time to hit it. It is past midnight, and I don’t feel sleepy. I got a nice nap this afternoon. If I lay down, I will probably fall right to sleep!


Friday May 17, 2013

It has been a couple of weeks that I have had so much to do that I was unable to sit down and write. I got my mower repaired. I finished mowing,

and started on the pasture. It is nothing but foxtails. No sooner than I had finished mowing, and came in the house, Buster started shaking his head,

so we made a trip to the vet, and he took out a foxtail for the sum of two hundred fifty dollars. They both need a rabies shot, so we got that, too.

I got a few new photos of the baby geese. They are growing so fast that they will be gone before we know it.



A couple weeks ago.                               A couple days ago.





Memorial Day-5-27-13

I am having a hard time sitting down and writing. I am so far behind with everything. It was supposed to rain today, so I used that for an excuse to do nothing. The truth is that I haven’t felt well for some time.

I need to get some pictures of the baby geese, but the only new pictures I have to add are a week or two old. I did get a picture of a six foot gopher snake yesterday.

You can see it looks like it could be a diamondback rattler, but the head is narrower than the body, and the tail comes to a point, with no rattles. I couldn’t be sure at first, so I dumped a gallon of water on it to make it move so I could see it better. It would take a rattler twenty years to get that big. Denise and I googled it, and we saw several pictures of gopher snakes, exactly like ours.

I had a sirloin tip soaking in a “corned beef” brine. Day before yesterday, they had soaked for ten days, so I put it on the Barbie to smoke for two hours. Then, I brought it in and boiled it for four more. It was warm, and tender, and delicious, the best I have ever tasted. It was in three pieces, and I did the other two, exactly the same, yesterday. I took one up to Tim, and he really liked it. Denise cut into ours, and she said it was the best she had ever tasted. I also have a gallon of golden plums I need to finish preserving.

I will close for now. Tomorrow I promised to work on some of the holes where the mice and rats are coming in.


I started in the hall closet, next to the bathroom. I had to remove a cover to plumb the bath and shower. It was larger than it needed to be, and in the short amount of time that it was open, the place became infested with mice and rats. Denise got pretty upset with me for not covering the hole, but once I started making pieces to fit the notches, and other defects, she could see why I was reluctant to start. I finished the hole covering job, and I was exhausted, so I started today to close in the plumbing and build some shelves. After I got the hole plugged, I decided to take the door off, and build shelves, and leave it open. It took most of the day to make a false front and two shelves, but it gave me a place to stash my tools and stuff. I will hit it again, tomorrow.


Before I close I want to talk about my neighbor lady, Kim. I have never had a problem with her before, but about two weeks ago, she mowed half of the center strip. (Half is hers, and half is mine.) My mower was broken at the time, so I want out the next day, and mowed the other half by hand. Just last night, I saw her out there, mowing, and it looked like she had mowed the whole thing, so I went out to mow on my side of my driveway, and when I got through the gate, I noticed that she had only done half, again. I’m not sure what message she is trying to send, but to let her know that I GOT the message, I set my mower as low as it would go, and finished what she had left for me. Now my side is so short that it looks like her side needs mowing, already. Message received! I wish I could resolve the problems I have with my neighbors, but my sister and the Dooleys told some stories, and nobody wants to hear my side of it. PITY!


Finished the closet. Cleaned up my mess, and moved some stuff out of the bathroom into the closet. TOOK A COUPLE MORE PHOTOS.



Mike came today and we planted two giant redwoods. I put them in line with the two in the orchard, and twenty feet apart. I fired up the Barbie, and slow smoked two pork sirloins that I had put in brine on Monday.

You can’t beat Pete’s meat!


I always wanted to say that! Ever since my hunting days in Newfoundland, I have wanted to be an accomplished butcher. Over the years, I have tried to find frugal substitutes for expensive cuts of meat. The one thing I did find is that there is no substitute for the best. I am still trying to learn how to cook the different cuts, to bring out each one’s best features.

I have been studying some different methods of curing meat. Last week I did a corned beef with sirloin tip. After four hours on the smoker, and four in the slow cooker (in water), it was so tender that it was difficult to slice. On Monday, I brined two pork sirloins, and I cooked them on Friday, the same way I did the corned beef. Denise had it for breakfast, and I was hoping to figure out what to call it, by the way she described it to me. The best we could come up with was good ham or Canadian bacon.

Scott is back home after his bypass surgery, and Dale is there to help him. They got a tropical storm yesterday, and I’m waiting to hear about that.

I am making plans to put up some shelves in the kitchen. That was the beginning of plugging mouse holes, a couple weeks ago. I took off the rest of the wall cover, added Styrofoam insulation, and replaced the covering with birch plywood. This is a continuation of the job I started a year and a half ago when I put in the countertop and sink. It will look so much better with some shelves, instead of those cupboards.


I did another two hams and a corned beef. Denise’s mom came, so half of what I planned to give to Tim, I ended up giving to mom. They got heavy smoke for four hours, and were really good. Russ Farnell called and said he was coming, so he got here just about the time I was taking Tim his share. I introduced them, and we had a nice talk. I told Tim that Russ and I used to ride our bikes out here in the fifties. He told us how much he likes living in mom’s house. Jim Edens did a lot of work to fix up the place, but they never got the septic or the ducts for the heat pump fixed properly. Tim recently got those things fixed, and is living relatively trouble free. I feel bad for him that he has to put in so many hours.


Father’s Day. I got a call from Scott today. He is feeling better, and is able to get up, now. They got hit with one storm after another. I almost hate to tell them how beautiful it is here.


Costco today to drop off scripts. I got a new blood pressure cuff, and was relieved to see my pressure was not too bad. Picked up chicken noodle soup makin’s for tomorrow. I plan to go get gas, mow the orchard, (and half the center strip).


Got the mowing done. I need to prune trees, but Denise has other plans for tomorrow, so we’ll see. I want to go to Home Depot for plywood, to finish the south wall of the kitchen. Once that is finished, I can build shelves to replace the cabinets I tore out.

This is what it looks like now.



We got a few things done today. Denise went into K-Mart and I went into Smart and Final. The dogs waited in the truck in the shade, under a tree. When we got home, Maria Pibb called and asked me to mow for John. I went up there to talk to them, and John looked really good, and he knew who I was. I told them I would start in the morning.


I got up early, drank some coffee, and got out the door around eight fifteen. I had the field next to Dale’s mowed and had started on the front yard, when John finally came out, and he wanted to help, so he got on his mower, and started on another part of the yard. I finally caught up to him in his lower pasture, and in less than two hours, the mowing was complete. I had planned to take my tractor today. John was ok with that yesterday, so I left, planning to come back later. Patricia was here, so I went to Costco to pick up my meds, and I always buy toilet paper, butter, doggie treats (duck breast jerkey), and Sensodyne toothpaste. I got extras of everything so I don’t have to go for a while. When I got home, I was tired, and I still had things to do, so I put off getting the tractor today. I still haven’t bought grain for the critters yet, so I guess I’ll do that first thing in the morning.

As I write, I see on the news that they are expecting rain, Monday and Tuesday, so that will probably alter our plans with Todd. We’ll see! I will close for today.


Got an early start this morning, and as soon as I had a few swallows of coffee, I went to Watt ave to get feed. When I got home, I jumped in the shower and headed over to Riverside/Auburn to get a haircut. The guy said it would be a while, so I left, and went to Harbor Freight where I got a few drill bits, some new saw blades. And I bought one of those eight dollar triple head shavers. On the way home, I stopped at Home depot, and got a sheet of plywood to finish the south wall in the kitchen. As I started to turn up Sunset Hills Lane, I noticed several cars at John’s, so I stopped up there, and their helper, Jessesaid it would be ok to take the tractor. John and Suzie came out and were going to walk down to the barn with me, but I noticed John was wearing a bag, and Suzie said the nurse was due to arrive, soon, so I told them I could go by myself. I drove the tractor home with a flat tire, and Patricia gave me a ride back up, to pick up my truck. I am so relieved to have that back, that I felt exhausted, and I laid down and took a nap.


Yesterday I smoked two hams and a corned beef, and about five o’clock, I decided there was enough time to bake a couple loaves of rye bread. I don’t remember if I wrote about it or not, but, a couple years ago I got disgusted that I had to pay five dollars a loaf for rye bread (if I could find it), so I went on line (one of my first purchases) and bought a forty two pound bucket of whole rye. At another site I bought caraway (one of the most important ingredients of rye bread), and nutmeg, and sesame, and a bunch of goodies. I started making the best rye bread on the planet.

So, last night I got my digital scale out and proceeded to measure ingredients. I went to weigh my mixing b owl, and my scale died. I changed batteries, but after five years of heavy use, the chip finally died. I had to eyeball everything, and in spite of that, I turned out four small loaves of delicious rye bread. We ate a half loaf last night, and I saw Denise nibbling on it a while ago.

It was a busy day for me. We are expecting rain at around noon, so I cut the plywood I bought the other day, and finished the kitchen’s south wall. I pulled a tarp over the tractor, but just before I did, I took several pictures.






There’s so much to do to get caught up, I probably won’t write for a while, so I will close for now and upload what I have.

July 9, 2013

It has been a while since I added anything, and a lot has happened. I have been working on the kitchen, adding shelves, and covering the area under the countertop. I want to add a garbage bin, and under the sink, I built a step that pulls out, and exposes a small storage area (for bleach, cleanser, ant spray, etc). We had a hot spell, and I had an episode with back pain, so I stopped working on that for a while.

Tomorrow is payday, and I planned to get a few groceries, and some lumber to work on the kitchen.  But, as luck would have it, I got a call from Maria Pibb. I have been planning to call her to see if the grass needed mowing, again. Instead, she called me and asked me to mow. This may be my chance to get the log splitter that I have partly paid for. As soon as I have had a swallow of coffee, in the morning, I’ll go up and mow the lawn again.

I have been running on empty for some time. I didn’t go outside on the fourth to watch the fireworks. It seems like it takes so long to get anything done. Denise has wanted new carpet for a while, and finally, the other day, she went to home depot, and got a twelve by twenty roll of cheap carpet, and one day, while I was napping, she tore the house apart, and installed the carpet, by herself. I took some pictures, and I will add them here, along with some other things on my camera.


                                                                                              The last photos of the old carpet.



                I always have a puppy attached to my foot!                                                        Denise, her new carpet, and her puppies.




                                                                                        New carpet really brightened the place up.



The trash bin will go on the end.               Some tools on the step.                                          Need to close in on the dishwasher side.


Some shelves. I plan to add more. If I were twenty years younger, I would have had this finished. L

This is going in to autorecovery every few minutes. That is telling me I need to close this part two out, and start part three.


To be continued: see biopt3