Tuesday, May 29, 2007

This posting is a general update of what we are doing. First, if anyone reading this should have received Ainsley pictures by email, but didn't, contact us.

This weekend Dianne and I took a drive up to Breckenridge and had lunch at Bubba Gump. The drive was beautiful with green hills and snow capped peaks. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending upon your view, I was into the views, the drive, and the company, at the expense of the photography. The only pictures I took were at the restaurant, and those were not digital. (A later post?) There is only one picture in this post and it is not from the drive.

For lunch Dianne had shrimp scampi, and I had mahi mahi in a bourbon sauce with shrimp on it. Both dishes were delicious. As I am writing this I learned that this is a chain with locations in 10 states and 6 countries. Among the locations are San Francisco and Monterey California, and Denver Colorado. (The closest to Huston is New Orleans, and the closest to Vermont is NY City. There's no location on the west coast north of S.F.)

This spring we have been watching a robin family in front of our house. The nest is in a tree only about three feet from the ground (the nest not the tree) and feet from the sidewalk. This picture was taken within days of them flying. I'm standing on the sidewalk.

There are four babies, all upset over me taking their picture. I tried to capture mom or dad feeding them, but couldn't.

The tow truck company did the repairs to the gas tank. They had to remove, boil out, and fix the leak they caused. Though I didn't try to I came out ahead. I suspected that the tank might need boiling out, and now that is done. Today the car is in the shop to fix the original problem. I'm going through Chrysler withdrawals waiting for the car to be finished.

The garage project is still taking much of my time. It is not yet ready for the next photo update, though several things have change. In addition to some finishing touches, there's been one larger redesign. I had the window fan mounted 90 degrees different than designed. It seemed to be working until the whole unit fell off. The mounting brackets were not designed to hold the weight in the direction I mounted it. To fix this I replace the window. Now the window is mounted 90 degrees different than designed. The window was designed to swing out to the right. I mounted it to swing up and out. This will protect the fan from rain and allows the fan to be mounted as designed.

The new (used) window came from the Habitat for Humanity building supply outlet as have all the cabinets. For any home improvement project I recommend checking them out. There are outlet stores throughout the country. A list can be found at http://www.habitat.org/cd/env/restore.aspx. The double paned wood casement window cost $20. The most expensive cabinet in our project cost $60 or $65. Most of the items are used, but they also get new things. Our store has a section for flooring with rolls and boxes of materials. The last time we were there there were many boxes of dark prefinished wood flooring. To a great extent, if it is for a house, they might have it.

Hopefully the next posting will have more pictures and less rambling.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The garage is progressing. I have most of the pegboard hung, have started putting things away, and have started working on some of the decorative elements.

The wood boxes in the above picture will be part of the decorative elements. More on that in the next post.

We mounted two hoppers on the wall to hold dog food. Unfortunately there's still a lot to do, and one side of the garage is still unusable.
There was one major change in plans. We have been parking the Toyota Echo and the Honda Element in the garage, and the Chrysler was protected in a canvas garage. That changed.

I will not mention the name of the insurance company that caused the change, so lets just call it Republic Agriculture. Well Republic Agriculture sent us a renewal notice, but they had dropped the value of my appreciating car to "less than $2,200". So, I moved to Hagerty Insurance (real name). They specialize in collector vehicle insurance. For half the cost of Republic Agriculture we are insured for the agreed value of the car with a lower deductible. But, the car's normal storage must be locked in a garage. The little Echo is now in the canvas garage, and the huge Chrysler is in the main garage. Some of my tools followed the Echo.

This is a picture of the Chrysler in front taken for the insurance company. The stated primary use of the Chrysler on the insurance policy is "to take my wife on dates."

On other news, the Mother's day celebration did not go well. Gwen and Kent made reservations for dinner on Saturday. Dianne and I ran to a store near the restaurant to buy a large flower pot. We drove the Chrysler. Well, this is a date with my wife that went bad. The car stalled outside the store and had to be towed home. We called Gwen and said we would be late.

We requested and got a flatbed tow. When we got to the house there was a gas leak. Sometime during the trip the car had bounced and the cable holding the car hit the gas line. This picture shows the damage.

We had an almost full gas tank and a leak. Dianne, the tow truck driver, and I worked for hours getting as much gas out of the tank as possible. We missed the dinner, and we all got gas on us with the driver and I being saturated.

I'm married to an angel. I ruined her dinner, but she has not said anything negative about that.

On Sunday Gwen and Kent took Dianne and me out and lunch. They too refrained from mentioning that I had ruined dinner. (Thank you.)