A Little Bitty Bug Took Me Down

An old song by Burl Ives is streaming through my mind. I love the lyrics because they are melancholy, and with a slight change of lyrics the song fits my current mood. The song is a Little Bitty Tear. . .

It has been eight days since I tested positive for Covid, and this is the first day I feel well enough to write anything. Mostly I feel nothing but exhaustion. Most likely I will tire myself into a nap by the time i finish this short post. Yes, I am double vaccinated but not boosted. Not that the boost would matter any. All I can believe is that life would be much more miserable if I were unvaxxed.

Looking back on the past days I have come to remember that I have had flu that hit me harder than this thing, and recovered. The Asian flu of 1957 in particular, put me down long enough to have to drop a physics class, and to interrupt my pursuit of an engineering degree. That bout cost me a full year extra of college. The biological difference between Asian and Covid is about sixty-five years. I can truly say that I feel the age effect dragging me down a rabbit hole into another universe.

Covid beat me up and stopped all the projects I had in the fire. In fact, today is the first time in a week that my exercise consisted of walking down the stairs to inspect the “house in a house” project to see where I left off. No doubt, I had worn myself down by pushing hard to complete the job, thus opening the door for the virus to take over. If I out live this event I may even finish the house in a house dream.

Meanwhile, looking out my kitchen window at the 2022 Monet’s Vision I see only unwanted natives overtaking the orderliness of a once manicured garden.

It’s time for the nap.

I Lost the Race

No one knew I was running in a race until I announced it today. What kind of race was it? It is the race to finish building a house in a house(HIAH), and installing a new kind of floor, against planting a garden. Our spring weather has been cold and rainy thus spurring me to complete the indoor projects. But money, energy, and time ran out, and slowed the progress. In the meantime Spring has sprung, and suddenly we went from 50 degrees with rain to ninety degrees and sun. Things that grow love the hotter situation, unless we are speaking about tulips and daffodils.

The last frost free day is listed as 15 May in the Farmer’s Almanac, and today being Friday the thirteenth means there are still two days to fear planting. Since the temperature has hovered in the low nineties for the past three days I think it is safe to stop worrying about a killing frost. Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I’ve hired a flooring contractor to assist me with the floor, and I shopped for materials this week. The construction will continue on the HIAH, but the race was lost, and I had to drop everything to help Lovely with the vegetable garden. When it comes to planting a garden she seems to suffer from ADD. Her focus is pointed only in one direction, “Get’ter Done!”

My job was to spade the freshly spread compost and mix it into the soil, hook up the hose, and attach the sprinkler head. Done!

Next on the bucket-list was a death cleaning project to disassemble Peggy’s wheel-chair ramp. Since she is floating in heaven and the ramp takes up 20% of the patio I took it down. Thank God for lithium batteries and portable drills.

The next challenge will be to complete the HIAH in time for the grandson to move in.

Swedish Death Cleaning

Today, I spent the day clearing my desk. It never ceases to amaze me as to what I find on the day I clear my desk. Since I have been busy building a house in a house and frustrating myself with a floor installation that is over my head, my desk has piled high with junk mail mixed with bills(or is that junk mail too?), and lots of Lions Club notes and agenda’s. You name it and it’s piled high on my desk.

I finished reading “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson and decided that it was time to put it into practice. For those of you who don’t know what death cleaning is I’ll give you the short version, it is getting rid of your stuff before you die. As I cleared my desk I needed places to put papers that I am not ready to part with. I opened a file drawer, and tried to squeeze a single sheet of paper into a file jacket. Here was a drawer a full eighteen inches in depth, and it was stuffed tight. Aha! I started to look into the files. Most of it was junk, and without looking very hard I decided it was time to part with hand fulls of it. In a mere thirty seconds I had cleared enough space for more recent things that I might need again. I didn’t stop, I was like a mad-man possessed with a strong desire to clear my life of clutter, and needless stuff. When I finished one file drawer, I opened another. Aha again, I put my hand on three inches of old Lions Club notes. Pull, Joe. One hard tug and the files eased upward and came out of the stuffed drawer. The remaining jackets took a deep breath. and I had more space to file precious papers off my cluttered desk. I will sleep better tonight knowing that my kids will not have to work very hard clearing shit after my demise.

Actually, I could have written the book myself. I have been on a purge mission for the last three years. Ever since my wife Peggy died I have been on a project to empty the house. I did a pretty good job too, I might add. I might have downsized and moved into a smaller space had the desired apartment become available. I have been on the waiting list for four years, and a unit became available while Peggy was still alive. I was not ready to move while she continued to breath.

Two years later it happened, again, I fell for a new lady. Now, she is bringing her stuff into the house, and I am back at square one. When it comes to choosing between a lady and clearing my stuff, death cleaning merely amounts to a reset.

Sad News

There are so many things racing through my mind I don’t really know what to write about and writing about everything will only make things worse. So I must pick one topic and stay with it.

This morning I received a call from the wife of a very dear friend. The instant I saw her name come up on caller ID I knew what it meant. She called to tell my that her husband died. Her husband happens to be a lifelong friend from grammar school days. How many of us can brag about being in touch with a kid from the eight grade? For seventy years we stayed in touch, and kept up to date.

A childhood song immediately popped into my mind and the melody keeps replaying in a loop through all the confusion in my mind. Sung in 1956 by the most popular quartet of the day, The Four Lads.

Watching All the Girls Go By

Standing on a corner watching all the girls go by
Standing on a corner watching all the girls go by
Brother you don't know a nicer occupation
Matter of fact, neither do I
Than standing on a corner watching all the girls
Watching all the girls, watching all the girls go by

I'm the cat that got the cream
Haven't got a girl but I can dream
Haven't got a girl but I can wish
So I'll take me down to Main street
And that's where I select my imaginary dish

Standing on a corner watching all the girls go by
Standing on a corner giving all the girls the eye
Brother if you've got a rich imagination
Give it a whirl, give it a try
Try standing on a corner watching all the girls
Watching all the girls, watching all the girls go by

Brother you can't go to jail for what you're thinking
Or for that woo look in your eye
Standing on the corner watching all the girls
Watching all the girls, watching all the girls go by

This song documents the most popular activity I found myself engaged in during my 12-14 yo period. Many times my buddy Bob was standing right next to me, along with Kenny, and Jack.

Now it is time to put on my best shirt, and my smiley face to celebrate Bob’s entry into eternal peace. It is wine time! Here’s to you Bob, keep playing those sweet songs on sax for the angels.

Do It Yourself Disaster

In a previous post I wrote about building a house within a house. So far that project is going well, but is on hold for a couple of reasons: 1. I ran out of materials, 2. while waiting for material delivery I began another project. The second project seemed to be a shoo-in. I believed I could do it with my eyes closed and both hands tied behind my back. I have some experience laying tile both wall and floor, and this project is similar. Only the material is different. The generic name for it is laminate flooring. The actual material manufacturer shall remain nameless but it begins with a P and ends with an O.

I prepped myself by watching a youtube video done by a man who has been installing this type of flooring for fifteen years. It was kind of like learning how to talk from a Phd. I was without any knowledge and he was immensely over qualified. I should have sought out an amateur who made a video of his very first floor installation. No matter, I jumped into the job with relish. On the very first day, I began with the boards laying north to south. The literature in the package mentioned the ease with which the boards with a patented tongue and groove locking mechanism snap together and lock to keep from separating. I must mention that the room has an angled entry way, a door into a bathroom, and a closet also on an angle. All three on the very same wall. (entry door at 45 deg, a door into the bath, followed by a door into a closet at 45 deg). Leave it to me with my vast years of experience to approach the job as a total novice and take on the most complex situation as my starting point. I worked for seven hours before I finally gave up for the day. I had laid four lines of board. Each time I added a new board in line-four, the boards in line-two jumped out of engagement. No matter what I did the separation of boards continued.

The next day, I started again, but decided to change the direction of the boards from N-S to East-West. This would give the first line of boards more stability, and prevent the random separation. Wrong! The lines kept moving out of position. To solve the problem I nailed one end of each line down to prevent movement. This worked for a couple of lines and I felt confident that I was on my way to finishing the job. I was somewhere on line nine when I looked over my shoulder to the left and saw that line three had jumped out of engagement. WTF! Calm down, I said to myself. Take it all apart and reset everything. I did, but the problem only seemed to get worse. By this time my frustration level has peaked and it was time for some wine.

Before beginning again I discussed the problem with a friend who has installed many of these floors. He gave me several pointers about why the boards are separating. The next day I began by disassembling the entire job into neat piles of boards in the line they were in so I could reassemble them in the same order. That is when I noticed a spot in the sub-floor that was uneven, and it was in the spot where all the separation was happening. In good conscience I could not overlook this dip in the floor. A visit to Home Depot cured the dipping problem with the purchase of something called quick-set. Spreading this very pliable mortar on the floor and troweling it smooth filled the dip, but it took several hours to cure. It was the week end so I took a rest.

On Sunday I had to change the five gallon water bottle on our dispenser. I have done this many times, but this time I did something a teensy bit different, and felt an instantaneous ice pick enter my back. That sharp pain is the end of my story. It has been thirty hours since my back pain began and it will take a week or more to nurse it back to a point where I can move without fear of inducing a new shot of pain. In the meantime my new floor sits in piles awaiting my amateur methodology to return.

While all this amateurism was happening, Lovely has been goading me to let an expert do the job. I tried doing that today with an online search of services. The program stopped working at the end when it is supposed to give an answer.

This DIY project reminds me of a time fifty years ago when I got the idea to refinish our kitchen cabinets with a new color. To do the job right I removed the doors and took them to my shop. There they stayed being worked on and off for three years while I struggled with varnish remover to strip a factory applied finish. All that time, my poor wife Barb lived with her kitchen cabinets exposed to the world. In the meantime, I experimented with removers and various chemicals to find bare wood, I don’t remember what the combination was but I finally struck gold and stained the doors. I could write a book about that project.

The Tree of Life

All you need to know about life, the universe, everything

Nutsrok

The humor and humanity of storytelling.

Tracey J Boothe Publishing Blog

Nature, books, exploring, publishing, photography, video, short films, lifestyle

Jim Campbell's

"Inside Every Progressive Is A Totalitarian Screaming To Get Out"

Wavy and Anchored

The waves may come crashing down, but they will not break me.

Journeyman's Journal

This is a journal of the art of woodworking by hand

KetoJENic Vibe

🥓🥑🍳 Health and Wellness based, Easy Recipes, and Keto Product Reviews

The Lockdown Chef

A cooking survival guide for those who don't know how

My Serene Words

Seeking Solace in the horizon of life & beyond

MRS. T’S CORNER

https://www.tangietwoods

ESL Ventures

Teach ESL and Travel the World

Heart Felt

This platform is for the people who likes to talk straight from the heart🤩

Suzette B's Blog

Inspiration and Spirituality **Award Free**

Bhutadarma

Nothing is impossible (at least that does not violate the laws of physics). When you can..violate the laws of physics!

I Know I Made You Smile

cartoons/humor/fiction/nonfiction

galesmind

Come take a journey through my mind