Paint Job

Nancy and I are officially getting old. Yesterday we were kicking back deciding what to do and thought about painting our bathroom. Nancy had mentioned something last week about wanting to paint a bathroom so we decided to go for it. Our bathroom is fairly small with lots of big windows and tile so it couldn’t be a big deal. I was fairly sure the toughest task ahead was to agree on a color. Nancy and I are “basic white” kind of people. Our logic was that you could add color with the decor and a basic color went with anything and made for an easy resale. We did agree to try something a little bolder than our previous choices. Nancy said that whatever color I wanted was just fine with her. Yeah, right. So we went to Lowes and I picked a color fairly quickly. Her first reaction was fairly cool and she suggested a few options but the choices were so overwhelming that she quickly backed off and just said to pick whatever I wanted. I recognize a trap when I see one, having been married for a 100 years but I was anxious to quit shopping so I stepped into it and bought the paint. I figured that the worst thing that could happen is that she hates it and we have to repaint it to whatever color she really wants. Paint is cheap and it’s a small room.

Nancy and I painted the whole house in Bountiful ourselves. That house was 4700 square feet and, believe it or not, took 75 gallons of paint. That included primer for the new walls and ceilings as well. We purchased paint in 5 gallon buckets – 15 to be exact. So we do know something about the task and recognized that this tiny bathroom was a nothing job. It does have high ceilings and a few challenges getting to the highest areas because of the bathtub. A few get down on your knees areas around the toilet. But all in all, a piece of cake. We got it all taped and painted in just under 4 hours including several timeouts. We used less than 1/2 gallon of paint to give you an idea of the scope of the project. But I can’t believe how sore we are all over. Back aches, leg cramps, and overall fatigue. It was a double Advil night. You would have thought we’d painted the Taj Majal for all the belly aching we did. I’m sure glad we opted for a small bathroom to start. We might, just might, do the other bathroom sometime in the future but without a doubt this cleared our heads of any thoughts of a major paint job in the future. Our clocks have been reset! 15 years ago, this would have been child’s play.

And the best part of all – Nancy loves the color – coffee gelato. Good thing because the chances of doing it over again are zero, zip, nada, ain’t goin to happen. Now she has the daunting task of trying to match towels to the new color.

I’m Golden, really

Had the gold target pellets implanted today. So my net worth probably went up about $600. The process was completed in under 10 minutes and painless. It was a bit uncomfortable and something you’d vote not to do but certainly nothing to fear or worry about. Next Friday I have the CAT scan from which the radiation profile is developed and then the actual treatments start the following week. I think from this point on the process is totally non-invasive and the worst part will probably be waiting in the office. The treatments are 5 days a week for 8 weeks which I guess takes me on into May. Haven’t got an appointment time yet so not sure how big an inconvenience the whole thing will be. Since the treatments will overlap the week we have at Flagler Beach in April, I have to find out whether I can adjust the schedule to be compatible with high tide when I most like to fish. What a bummer it would be if I’m getting zapped when I should be catching fish.

Freeze report

It didn’t happen. The 11PM news Friday night forecast that the temps in our area would be between 26 and 30 degrees for more than 4 hours between midnight and 8AM That’s what they call a hard freeze which is a killing freeze for sensitive plants. I covered a few items I cared about including both grapefruit trees. The picture above is the larger tree covered with our car cover – I had to make a choice between grapefruit next season or a cold car. The only other precaution was to run a bit of water all night to keep the pipes from freezing. I heard that was a good thing to do even though I doubt seriously the pipes would freeze. I woke up at 4AM and checked the outside thermometer which read 40 degrees. Much, much warmer than I expected. I checked back at 7AM and it was still reading (or reading again) 40 degrees. Based on that I was relieved that once again the forecasters were wrong. Then I got to thinking, I don’t really recall ever seeing that thermometer going below 40 degrees. So I brought it in and put it in the freezer for a couple of minutes. Sure enough it dropped right away to 32 so the 40 degree reading was probably realistic. Within a few minutes of rehanging it outside (out of the sun) it returned to 40.

I bundled up and went outside to do a walk thru check. I have few very sensitive plants that crater at the first sign of frost – Impatiens and Elephant Ears. I have these scattered throughout the property so I have some feel for spot areas as well as general damage. I found one New Guinea Impatien plant nailed; a couple looking sad but still alive; but mostly all looking alive and well. The Elephant Ears seemed to have made it with one or two leaves showing damage. A couple of years ago, these guys all crashed down to the roots when we dipped below 32 for a couple of hours. So my best guess is that we probably did hit the freezing mark but just barely and for a short duration. No doubt our proximity to Lake George, the second largest lake in Florida, and our own little lake Inez create a micro climate that keeps us just a bit milder than the surrounding area. It’s supposed to warm up close to 80 by Wednesday so perhaps that’s it for winter – or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part.

I can also report that the bream and shiners ate up the fish food I tossed them like a school of piranha. That’s been the case for the past 2 weeks so we now have absolute proof that a little cold doesn’t put down the fish.

The bottom line is that I’m quite confident the grapefruit crop has survived another scare. To be on the safe side, I’m going to leave the cover on until the nighttime temps are solidly in the 50’s – maybe Monday.

For your interest I’ve labeled the picture “Proof that Al Gore is an Idiot”. In fact, we could use a little Global Warming on days like these. Where is it when we need it, huh Al? Here’s the part I don’t get – when we were having a warm Fall, there was stuff on TV constantly about Global warming. Now that we’re experiencing record cold and record snowfalls – records that go back over 100 years – why has all the global warming news disappeared? And how come the recently released Danish study that shows the globe has warmed 0.6 degrees C in the past 100 years and zero, nada, nothing for the past 10 years not been reported in the big media? That same study also pointed out that solar activity, large flares etc, that were quite high in the 80’s and mid 90’s, have more or less gone away in the past 10 years – the same 10 years with no global temp rise. I’m also wondering what happened to the hole in the ozone layer. Don’t you remember 10 years ago that the ozone layer was opening at the poles and we were facing a disaster due to x-rays or cosmic rays or whatever coming thru the hole. Why haven’t we heard about the hole in the ozone layer closing? Al gore, you’re an idiot.

Valentine Day

The tulips were a Valentine day present for Nancy from Chris. The reason for the picture is to show the miraculous recovery. They came in a dry box along with the vase and instructions for handling that included cutting a piece off each stem while under warm, running water. And there were several packages of powder to be added to the vase. We untied the bands around the bunches, placed them in the vase and noticed immediately that they were in sad shape. All drooped over so the blossoms were actually touching the table. Nancy called Chris and told him how beautiful they were and decided not to mention the droop problem. By 10 PM last night, one lone white guy in the middle was perked up and I’m trying to figure a way to prop them up to take a picture so they would look alive. Overnight the powder worked it’s magic and they were all standing up nice and perky. So I got the picture I wanted without faking it. That powder must have been tulip viagra.

But I have another plant problem and no magic powder. The weather forecasters are guessing a hard freeze Friday night and Saturday morning. The last forecast was wrong but this one looks more serious. And for us this time it’s a big deal since the grapefruit trees have broken out in new foliage and blossoms. I can deal with losing the tangerines; I can deal with losing the guavas; in fact I can deal with losing damn near anything that’s not tough enough to make it but …………… not the grapefruit. A threatened freeze last year wasn’t a big deal because the trees were small enough that I could cover them and save the greyhound crop. Now they’re too tall to cover. I guess I could break out the generator and get an electric heater but that seems a bit over the top – doesn’t it???? A bonfire is out of the question.

On the health front – Nancy is fully recovered from a bout of food poisoning that started last Thursday night about 10 PM and didn’t really back off until Monday. Nice weekend for her. Tonight is Brian’s Barbecue night, the scene of last Thursday’s dinner so I’m wondering if Nancy will order the ribs again. There were three of us that all ate the same thing and she was the only casualty so maybe it was from the calzone she had at lunch. If it was the ribs, it came on a bad night – all the ribs you can eat night. There were giant rib platters flying out of the kitchen. We just had a small luncheon portion so I’m thinking that it would be unlikely that Nancy scored the one and only bad rib among the thousands being served if in fact it was the ribs. So I’ll be watching closely before I order to see if the ribs platters are sailing out of the kitchen or if there’s a switch to pulled pork sandwiches. Or if we’re the only customers.

Tornado news

The tornadoes passed about 20 miles to the south of us so we had no damage at all. We got a good ole Florida rain storm with plenty of thunder and lightning but really no wind here. We slept through it all and would not have even known it was happening if one of Nancy’s bridge friends hadn’t called at 5:30AM to check on us. Ironically Nancy and I took a drive last Saturday to a farmer’s market in Leesburg and for lunch at Gator Joe’s in Oklawaha. That took us through Lady Lake, the scene of so much destruction. We drove home across highway 42 through Paisley where most of the deaths occurred. If you would have asked, I would not have guessed 16 people even lived in Paisley – it’s a very tiny community. We’ll wait a few days before venturing into the areas that were hit to really assess the damage for ourselves. We have a favorite restaurant on the St John’s River, the Wharf, which might have sustained some damage since it was very close to, if not right in the path. A couple from my high school graduating class live very close to there and I’m trying to get some information on their situation. They’re close enough that they often take their boat to the Wharf for lunch. So far the only information we have regarding someone fairly close was Nancy’s friend, Susan, in Debary. Debary was just a few miles south of the destructive path, much closer than us. Someone on their street had a tree come through the roof but the big problem was that the next day was trash pickup for recycle stuff and everyone had material on the side of the road. I guess the area looked like a trash landfill the next morning. Get a mental image of Budweiser cans flying at 100mph. Other places we’ll be checking out will be the Deland Bridge Club – big loss for Nancy if it craters; Beef O’Brady’s, our wing spot; and Mi Mexico our favorite Mexican restaurant. All would appear to have been very close to the crossing path.

Tom and Tina live about 30 miles south of the path so they too got some rain but no wind damage. Joey’s in the Bahamas with his boat so of course he made out fine. . The storm more or less missed Brevard County where all of his property is. My sister is also in Brevard County and reported a little rain, thunder and lightning. All of the destruction took place in a narrow swath so you are either in the path or not.

We appreciate all the calls and emails we got expressing concern.