Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Update to "Biker Chick - Blast From The Past "

Located this "lost" picture on my computer. It was one I wanted to post on previous blog. DH's double exposure that turned out great! Thanks for the reminder, Mike!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Big Trucks and Little Garages -

Truck and  Wall
This is how DH's F250 fits in our garage.  We have an alcove at the back of the garage and he has to back the truck in and fit the bumper into it for it to clear the garage doors.  As you can see from the picture, it is CLOSE!

The facing has a crack in it and I think we just need to take the little 6 inch or so wall out on both sides of the alcove so it has a little more give room!!

Finally . . . finished with laminating floors!

We finished with the guest bedroom yesterday.  We had problems with it but it is now done, thank goodness and everything is back in there.

Had to move things into my sewing room but it wouldn't all fit, so we also used the sitting room. What a mess!

Last of the carpet in the house!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Visit to Cedar Park and Leander.

We left home at 7:45 am to get an early start for our trip to Cedar Park. We wanted to avoid I-35 traffic as it was really bad last time we went that way so we took back roads to go past Cleburne down to Lampasas. Just before Cleburne got into traffic backed up for miles due to road construction work. Turned around, after sitting there and not going anywhere for a long time, went to Cleburne & took Hwy 174 to Meridian, then Hwy 22 to Hamilton and 281 on to Lampasas.

We had a good visit with sons, Mike & Jay and daughter-in- law, Rosario and a grandson, Todd thru the week. It is so nice to have our own little apartment there (5th wheel). And our daughter-in-law is a great cook! We also went thrift store shopping and to garage sales. Finished up a bit of electrical work and tried to stabilize a double gate but it is badly warped and needs replacing. 

The girls all had a great time. I think Coco was glad to get back home but when we left, she thought she was goiing with us. We kept her for a couple of weeks and I know she will miss our Daisy and Darlin' for awhile. The are so close in size- Daisy at 8 lbs, Coco at 9 lbs and Darlin' at 10 lbs. Such good little dogs.

The night before we left, another grandson came with his wife (Russ & Jessica) and our three great grandchildren (Amorina, Ryan & Brianna). They are growing so fast! I got good pictures of all but Brianna- camera did not cooperate. :(

We put up a fence for Mike (with some help from Jay) across the back of his yard. It was a challenge between the heat, humidity, mosquitos and the slope of the yard. We think it turned out nice and he likes it as well. He is trying to get several things done in preparation for the return from Bulgaria of Lili and Kalina (our daughter-in-law and granddaughter).

This was a challenge with the slope on that side.


Had to show his "Rambo" look!!

It was a good week. We worked hard but felt good about what we accomplished.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Shiftin' sands and unlevel houses -

The sand this house sits on shifts continuously. We notice the changes in the way the doors close or don't! We really noticed it in our master bedroom AFTER we put the laminate flooring in. Carpet had hidden a lot of things about this house.

The floor was shaped like an upside down large shallow bowl or a top. The middle raised and lower all around the edges. It is very hard for furniture to sit flat with a floor like that, to say nothing of trying to walk, especially half asleep!!

 Since we had put plywood underpayment down, then the laminate and made it fit fairly close, we figured we would have to cut all around the edges, next to the baseboard so it would not buckle when we flattened the floor out. We had no idea how much it would expand but wanted to take no chances.

We thought it would be simply to take a couple of shims out to lower the center. NOT!!! It has a 4X4 sitting tightly on top of a pier ANCHORED in concrete!

DH made a stiff back from two six foot 2X6's and set in under the floor joists, using concrete blocks, bricks and cut the 4X4 and removed it off the pier, allowing the floor to settle.  

There was not a lot of room to get the stiff back under the house so DH had to assemble it after he got the lumber down the access hole.

I wish I could have helped him under the house but I am very claustrophobic and there is only 14 inches of clearance under at that end of the house.  It came down noticeably but can still come down just under a half inch more to set on the stiff back. I am sure it will settle in time.

But for now it is SO much better! The bed frame actually sits on the floor at all four corners evenly. Yea!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Biker Chick - Blast From The Past

For so many years, I did not have a good feeling about myself. I wore thick coke-bottle bottom glasses and was very shy. I think that a lot of that changed when I started wearing contact lenses. I know I could see much better with them and felt more confident about myself and the way I looked. 
Shortly after that, I started my "biker lady" days. I had ridden a couple of small dirt bikes a couple of times – well, the first one my DH got me to ride was when we lived out from town – I was nervous and forgot where the brake was and managed to hit the house – a mobile home on THREE ACRES of land!! Another one rode me for a little while, but I really started seriously with a Suzuki 550. It was pretty tall for my short legs so I was on tiptoe holding it up. My HD made me a sign for the box on the back and I sold Avon off my bike. 
We went on poker runs and to bike rallies and always took our three kids with us. My DH had a sidecar and I pulled a little cargo trailer behind me with camping gear in it. We carried two ice chests, five sleeping bags, three tents, cooking utensils, clothes and a camera. There was a place for everything and it had to be there or it would not fit!! One child rode behind me, one behind DH and one in the sidecar. With each fill-up of gas the kids played musical chairs to take their turn in the sidecar. 

Now the first sidecar we got was a lot smaller and not covered when someone was in it. We thought one of the kids would drown in it, in the rain before we found a nice relative to dry us out and drill holes in the bottom to drain it. We decided to go for a larger, better model that was fully enclosed from England.

I remember one vacation in particular, I think it was in a Kansas state park. We arrived when the campground was almost empty- everyone was out on the lake. We got our camp all set up and when the people came back and saw our camp, they thought we must have a car somewhere to carry all that. The people were so nice and fixed us a very good fish dinner with their catch. When we packed up to leave, we had an audience so the could see how we got it all on those two bikes and little trailer. 
Just barely see the duck I am holding.
For a short while, we belonged to a motorcycle club. I enjoyed it even though I had to prominently display a rubber duck - passed to a rider each time they dropped their bike. I think I had it on three separate occasions!! 

Club vests
 We resigned from the club after I overheard a couple of ladies saying we would never fit in as long as we brought our kids with us! I didn't even know they had kids - never saw them but ours went with us everywhere. We became our own club - I made us vests with koala bears on them. 

I guess I was mean spirited when we went to that club's events with our kids wearing t-shirts that read "Motorcycling is a FAMILY affair"!  (Couldn't find the pictures of those to post here.) 

We met lots of really nice people on our travels. My Suzuki used a lot of oil so no one wanted to ride behind me - they said I was spraying for mosquitoes!!

I told my HD one day that it was undignified for an Avon lady to have chain lube on her pants - I wanted a shaft drive - a Honda Gold Wing 1000. Some friends that we went to rallys with, owned a bike shop in Lubbock so I sold my Suzuki to an Avon customer's husband. I rode behind DH on his bike from Odessa to their shop to check one out that he said was made for me. The more I thought about a bigger bike, the more scared I got. I mean - on my tiptoes with a 550 - I took off for our local Honda shop and asked if I could just sit on a Gold Wing to make sure I could touch the ground. LOL. 
See the Avon sign on the back!
Mercy, when I first saw that 1000, it really scared me. It was HUGE. It had all the crash bars on it, the fairing (windshield) was built for a Harley, with four headlights across the front. Also had a huge Harley trunk on the back and two Moto Guzzi saddle bags, that would hold two sleeping bags each. Also had air horns that really got people's attention. I drove it a few blocks and did fine with it. It was nice and so different from my old one. We hooked up my CB radio and took off for Odessa. On the way, I radioed my DH and asked if you ever had to put it in 5th gear- it was so quiet.
 I admit that I dropped my Gold Wing several times and had to get help picking it up but only one bad scare. I was on the way home from work when an 18 wheeler ran a stop sign right in front of me. Split second decision time - hit him broadside or lay it down - the pavement looked like a better choice. My foot pegs dug into the asphalt so I did not slide under the truck but watched as the wheels of the truck passed by - too close to my head. I saw the driver look in his outside mirror and he had to have seen me laying in the roadway but kept going! A driver behind the truck saw what he did and asked me if I was hurt and what he could do. I told him I wanted the license number of that #%*¥+^ truck and he took off and got it for me. I did not persue it with the company but the driver did call and say he did not know it happened but was sorry anyway. I was not hurt but it finished off the ujoint that had been going out on my bike. 
  Before my DH repaired the bike, he sanded it all and painted it for me. It went from red to white with black trim- resembling a police bike. I had no more trouble. I got a kick out of listening to the truck drivers on my CB out on I-20, when they saw me coming thinking I was a "smokey". LOL My bike used to be parked outside the police station on a regular basis - I had some good Avon customers inside. Also got some blank looks from bag boys when they carried a full loaf of groceries out to my bike! I admit, once I had to bungee the sack of potatoes in the passenger seat!! LOL I put 50,000 miles on my Gold Wing before I sold it and upgraded to a Honda Aspencade 1100. 
 We had many wonderful adventures as a family on our bikes. I know that God was always rode with us and kept us safe. Of course, my DH loves to tell of my learning to ride. He said it was like watching the Laugh-In tricycle. He took me to a deserted street, told me to ride to the end, turn around and come back. I rode to the end, dropped the bike, picked it up and rode back -OVER and OVER!! There many more stories about those days and kids have some stories too - not sure I want some of them told. LOL 
 We gave up our bikes several years ago, but at times I really miss it and remember how I felt of being out there riding - such a feeling of freedom- just me and GOD and all that HE created!