Sunny Sunday

It sure was a beautiful day today. Almost unfair, considering that we’re not really supposed to be out in it… at least not around other folks. 72 degrees, sunny, big poofy clouds, and lots of gusty wind to blow through the house. I ran out of pop last night, so I knew I was gonna have to go somewhere today, and that somewhere ended up being the gas station / quicky mart up the road.

They had the front double doors and the side door propped open, so the wind was blowing through the store just like it was outside. They also had signs that let people know that they only wanted five people at a time in the store, and asked folks to wait outside until someone left if the store was already “full.”

There was only one other customer inside the store when I went in, and she was over in the Subway part of the store. (I can guarantee you that I’m not buying a sub with fresh, cold, been-sitting-out-in-a-bin-all-day toppings on it.) So I grabbed some pop, some pretzels, some smokes, and then hit the road. The fella behind the counter didn’t seem too stressed, even though we both stood back from the counter except for the few moments when it was unavoidable.

But I was so distracted by the amazing weather that I found myself just sitting out on the porch, messing around with the phone to make a crude 3D scan of the houseΒ (works best w/touch interface), taking the cat out to smell the trees and the grass, and generally not doing anything productive the whole day. It really felt like a weekend day.

Oh, I did watch the iRacing NASCAR 125 race from “virtual” Texas in the afternoon, and it was pretty darn good like last weekend’s was. The race even had a sponsor, although I can’t remember who it was, and it looked like drivers and teams had some sponsorship deals going on as well. Looks like it might be sticking around for a while.

So yeah, it was nice to “waste” a day when it was as nice as it was, and when there was good stuff on the TV to distract. Getting ready to watch “Bad Boys for Life” here in a few, and then I’ll gather up all my mail and bills and shit so it’ll be ready for me sometime tomorrow after the grumpy from waking up wears off. I hope y’all were able to have a decent day as well.

Spring Birds

I noticed yesterday evening that my “spring birds” are starting to return to the big pine tree again. I’d say that it’s been five years in a row now that they’ve chosen that tree as the place where they spend their nights. 😊 They haven’t reached their full numbers yet, but I think that I still might try to do a time-lapse of them all landing tonight. Not sure if it’ll be that good, but it will at least serve as a test in case I wanna do another / better one once the tree fills up. It makes a person wonder how and why they chose this tree, and how they know or remember to return to it in the spring. πŸ€”

Had a really hard time falling to sleep last night. It was after 2am, and my anxiety levels were at their lowest point for the day… so I kinda hated to “give that up” by going to sleep. πŸ˜• Days are more anxious than usual, for obvious reasons, so once you’ve reached those early morning hours it just feels nice that you “made it” through the day, everything feels like it has calmed down, and the chance for any unexpected BS popping up feels a whole lot less.

Meh… that’s all I’ve really got at the moment… πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ So, no rambling… unusual, eh?

Unremarkable Weekend

(I know… if it was unremarkable, then why am I “remarking” in four big paragraphs? Just go with it… 😏 )

I’ve got mixed feelings about the weekend. Part of me feels like I should have worked on some crap around the house, but then not having done much of that – most of my aches and pains have lessened a bunch compared to last week. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ So I suppose that means I did things right. Definitely caught up on my sleep, made a big-ish trip to the grocery store (even though I forgot a couple of key things and will need to go back tomorrow), plus I took the car through the wash so she could get a bath. πŸ˜ŽπŸš—πŸšΏ

The weather today was surprising, having not read the forecast. 😯 Sunny, in the 60s, with some pretty gusty wind. πŸ˜ƒ Every now and then I’d hear my big pine tree out front singing from the air passing through it, along with some random creaks and groans from my roof when the gusts got really crazy. 😳🏠πŸŒͺ️ It sorta tempted me to go out and find something fun to do in the nice weather, but I came up empty for ideas. None of my cameras are charged… hell, I’d have to actually remember where I even put them… so taking some random pics was a no-go. Then with my knees just now feeling mostly better, even going for a small hike around Rising or Alley Parks just wouldn’t have been the best idea. πŸ•οΈπŸ₯ΎπŸ˜Ÿ Β Enjoying it from my living room with the window open was perfectly acceptable. 😌

So yeah, it was an almost totally “relaxed” weekend. It’s hard for me to not push myself to “do something” – but, at least for this weekend, I’m glad that I didn’t. πŸ™‚ It’s allowed me to be optimistic that the week’s gonna start off okay, at least when it comes to all my damaged parts. 😏🀞🏻 Only other thing that’s even close to “worth mentioning” is that I cancelled my YouTube TV. It was around $60 each month, and of the stuff that I watch on my TV, it honestly accounted for probably only 5% of my watch time. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ“Ί

It’s probably gonna make me a little twitchy once NASCAR is back on, but I’ll have to look around and see what other options there are. Whether it’s finding another way to watch the race, listen to the audio, or even use an app to see the race with little real-time computer generated cars… I’ll figure something out. 😎

 

EDIT: Gawd… not only did I not realize today was the Super Bowl, but I also forgot that it was Groundhog’s Day. And having family that came from that area in PA, that’s almost like a sin – not giving Punxsatawney Phil the weather-forecasting-attention that he deserves. Spoiler warning: apparently we’ll be having an early spring this year.

Seeing Some Happy

Wasn’t feeling great when I woke up this morning, before friggin’ dawn, but throughout the day things got progressively better. It helped that early in the day I got some good news from one of my friends… where upon opening her mail she learned that she regained full custody of her son. πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜Š This is definitely one of those “not my story to tell” things, since it’s pretty personal, but yeah… it was nice to see that the system finally did its job and justice was served.

As unfair as many of the past instances with the court have seemed, I don’t think anyone expected that favorable of an outcome. 😯 She deserves that outcome, so don’t get me wrong, but after so long you start to doubt that the system is capable of doing what’s right. So it’s gonna be a busy and exciting weekend for them… πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦β€πŸ‘¦ such a big change, almost out of the blue, but he’s already super happy – so it’s just a matter of getting all the logistical stuff ironed out and them getting used to the new “new.” πŸ™‚ I’m really excited and happy for the both of them. This is how it should be.

Then later in the evening Rick came over to work on my busted garage door. One of the springs broke quite a while ago, but with the various other stuff I’ve been dealing with – honestly it wasn’t that high on the priority list, so today just ended up being the first convenient time for him to mess with it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ He makes it all look so easy… especially to someone with a left arm that’s basically worthless when it comes to any kind of manual labor. πŸ™„πŸ˜ Didn’t take him long to get new 2x4s up where they’re needed and the new springs installed.

(There was more to it than that, w/ the cables, guides, track aligning, roller adjustments, etc… but yeah…)

The only glitch (for the moment) is that he wasn’t able to find any springs locally that match the ones that were originally on it. πŸ˜• These days, garage doors are made of super light material… but my garage door, a “two-car garage” garage door… is made of thick wood and weighs too effing much. πŸ˜„ So despite buying the strongest springs available, the old 1/3 HP garage door opener just wasn’t having it. It can lower the door, but to raise it again it requires someone giving the door a manual boost for the first part of the raising cycle.

But his suggestion sounds good to me. New garage door opener. The one that’s installed now is probably at least half as old as I am, and wasn’t really meant to handle a door as big and heavy as this one even when it was new. So I’m gonna look for a more powerful replacement over the weekend, and between that and the new springs – we’re pretty certain everything will work as it should again. 🧐🀞🏻 And like many things in this house, it was probably past-due for replacement anyway, so I’m all for this solution.

Talking with him while he worked… there’s not much he hasn’t done when it comes to building, remodeling, installing roofs, electrical work, deck builds, garage doors, well installations, etc. You name it, he’s probably done it. In fact he just recently quit his job at Lowe’s to completely go into business for himself. 😯 That takes some balls, but he knows the right people… not only to have continuous jobs lined up, but also having a good group of folks that he can pull into those jobs depending on the needs or specialties.

Plus, Amy will be able to work from home, helping with the behind the scenes stuff like scheduling, accounting, and much of the other You have to do this now.” legal / payroll / insurance / etc type business stuff. πŸ˜πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ’»πŸ–¨οΈ Really hoping this works out for them, ‘cuz it’s gotta be a pretty good feeling to work when you want, where you want, on what you want, while having only yourself and your clients to answer to. πŸ™‚πŸ‘πŸ»

Garage Door Springs

After having a good start to the day yesterday, it was actually going back home that fucked up the rest of my day, evening, night, and now into the early morning hours. πŸ˜’ It’s a little after 2am right now, and I’ve tried just pushing it out of my head for the night, but that’s not gonna work. I need to ramble. 😏

Had a good visit with Dad, Toni, and Anna as planned. πŸ™‚ Skipped the drive across town to the hospital afterwards, also as planned before I even left the house, because I could just tell that I wasn’t gonna have the oomph for both. Not a big deal. I don’t think Toni prepared Anna for how I’ve been feeling lately though… 😏 because more than a couple times she asked if I just woke up, if I was tired, and looked at me like I was a weirdo when I was wetting a towel and cooling off my head. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But again, no big deal… it was a nice and long overdue visit, and we stayed about two hours.

Had just enough oomph for the drive back home, like I figured… but when I clicked to open the garage door, only the right side went up – and just a little bit – so I quickly hit the clicker again to stop it from whatever it was trying to do. 😠 And this is a little ironic, because in the past few weeks I’ve only been on Facebook a couple of times. The most recent time was to let people know I was here and okay, and the time before that I remember leaving a comment on someone’s post about garage door springs. πŸ™„ Such a random topic, I know, but I think she was looking to have hers replaced, and I commented something about how Dad and Grandpa B both said that you definitely didn’t wanna be standing next to one of them if they decided to go.

Well, that’s what happened yesterday. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Not awesome. Also, completely mentally and physically draining, at the push of a clicker and lurch of a busted garage door. Nothing I can do about it though, so I was hoping to just go “Nope” and go inside and not think about it for at least the rest of the night. But yeah, one of the springs popped in the middle, and with such force that there’s even broken pieces of wood on the floor of the garage from where things broke apart in the supporting rafters. 😯 (The door itself looks mostly okay from the outside) I’ll have to go out and get some shots of the damage whenever I wake up later today, not that I’m gonna be able to do anything about it for a while. Perfect timing, so to speak.

And it wasn’t even something that I had been slacking on. I bought a thing of grease that I specifically used for the tracks, rollers, and parts of the drive motor that function better with grease on it. But the shit is old… really old… so I can’t be that mad. I just wish it broke in a way that made it look more like a “repair” than a “replace.” But the door is crazy heavy, the old opener has struggled with it for a while, so replacement will be the best route when I’m able to get to it. And luckily, with that, there’s no huge hurry.

Silver linings: I wasn’t standing near it when it broke. Nobody else was standing near it when it broke. My car wasn’t underneath it (the door or the spring) when it broke. And it broke when the door was down instead of up, where it probably would have slammed down and shattered. 😬 So it could have been a heck of a lot worse. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€ All it means for now is that nothing will be entering or leaving the garage, which is fine – car’s already outside, and even though I’ve got a mower, I’ve also got my lawn d00ds that handle that right now. It’s just one of those “defeating” things where I know there’s not a damn thing I can do about it by myself, which means I’ll have another “big thing” to add to the schedule at some point. 😟 But like the AC install, it’ll be new, it’ll work better, it’ll fit better… and since most garage doors are steel molded to look like wood or vinyl siding, it’ll be a hell of a lot lighter.

Something that needed to be done eventually anyway… it just forces my hand at a really inconvenient time. πŸ˜• But now that I’ve barfed it out here, it should help me to put it out of my immediate thoughts for a little while… at least until the medical stuff is done or nearly done.

Prepping to Prep

With all of the rain and warm weather, it’s getting to be about that time for mowing to start up again. I’ve already talked to my lawn d00d and got that all set up, but I still have to get out there and get things kinda cleaned up beforehand. I’ve got lots of plants that start growing before the first mowing even happens, plus the still-standing corpses of plants that grew and died last season… so I’m gonna do my best to get rid of all of that stuff, which will actually make the mowing that much easier for d00d’s mowing guys.

This work shouldn’t be too taxing, but I’m still planning on using the better part of a day to do it. Also today I’ve been gathering names and numbers for bush trimming services, so tomorrow I’ll be able to make some calls (hopefully) so I can get some estimates for the bushes around the house as well as the ones along the rear of the property. I hate spending money, but since I didn’t have anything done with them last year – I guess I can mentally take whatever it costs and divide it by two, telling myself that it was actually for service that covers two seasons of “bush stuff.”

Surprisingly, I got a decent night of sleep last night, so that’s gonna make today easier… half chill, half prepping for stuff that I need to do this coming week. I’ll be glad when all of the “outside stuff” has been handled though. It’s the same as the inside of the house… my brain just relaxes more easily when things are cleaned up and looking nice. And right now the outside of my property looks pretty rough.

Surveying

Almost screwed up today. Well, maybe I did screw up a little. Opened the garage door to take some boxes and trash out to the buggy, then decided to sit outside for a couple of minutes since it was sunny and almost warm. But then I decided to take a walk to around the back of the house to check out the condition of things. See, I had someone mowing my grass all last summer, and I honestly never even really looked out back. I can see the bushes at the back through the various windows, but it is really only in passing.

First thing I noticed was that one of the flower tree things had died and rotted during the winter. 😐 I was actually able to easily break off many of the limbs and also push over most of the base of it that was still in the ground. It’s not completely gone yet, but it was nice to do something that noticeable without pushing my limits. And the hedges at the back that I mentioned… they’re overgrown and have other sorts of trees growing up in random spots within them, so I won’t be able to put them off for another season.

The other big-ish things that will have to be dealt with are all of the evergreen bushes that surround the house, and the strangely large tree that has grown up inside of the huge pine tree out front. 😳 The bushes in the rear and on the north side are probably small enough that I will (or would) be able to take care of them, but the others are way beyond my ability. And thankfully they did a good job weed whacking the flower gardens (and just mowing over the stuff that I told them to mow over) so they don’t look that bad.

So here’s where I’m at. I know there are quite a few things that I’d be able to do, but I would really only be able to do small bits at a time, over a span of several days for each of the things… so is that really worth it? πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Cringing each day as I go out to do the small amount of work that I can do before it fucks my shoulders and neck, and hoping that I never bump up against that point. 😬 Doesn’t sound like an awesome way to spend my spring, and it risks stealing a bunch of days that might otherwise be days that I’d feel like leaving the house. So I guess I’ve made my decision. 😟

As much as I hate spending money when I feel like I don’t absolutely have to, this is a situation where the right call is to just hire some d00ds to do it. Why should I spend (likely) several days trimming the smaller bushes, when a full time landscaper type person will probably come and bust through all of them in a couple of hours – whether I’ve trimmed anything or not. πŸ˜’ There are a couple more examples of that same scenario but with different stuff in the yard, so I just have to suck it up and accept that I can’t do it and get someone who can. That’s a hard thing to admit. πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

The one thing that has saved me from getting too twitchy about this today is the thought that even if I have someone come in and do everything that needs to be done… the amount I’m gonna have to pay is still gonna be less than one month’s rent in a decent apartment. And then, other than mowing, none of it will really need to be done again until the same time next year – or even longer if I have someone chop the bushes on the property line down to nubs. 🀨 So I’m gonna make a list of what I need to have done and what I’d like to have done, and then probably call my uncle after the weekend to talk to him about it and see if he has any d00ds that he can recommend.

Not being in constant miserable pain > swallowing my pride / being a tightwad