light in winter

After we have dinner Terry and I put our feet up on the bed and read the newspaper before going on to other reading material. We have a ceiling fan light and two floor lamps. I had long felt that the light from the ceiling fan was insufficient and finally I asked Terry for her thoughts. She agreed.

ceiling fan lightThe ceiling fan light uses bulbs with the thin candelabra-style base. I headed over to Lowe’s to find something brighter. I found GE Reveal clear 60 watt bulbs. I bought those and installed them. That really has made a huge difference.

We’re really not supposed to use more than 40 watt bulbs in that fixture, but we only use the lights for a few hours each evening and we’re right there the entire time. If need be we can replace them with 60 watt-equivalent LEDs, which I might do anyway, just to be on the safe side.

In any case, we really love the increased level of lighting.

yes, I’m misbehaving

cookiesA while back I wrote a rather self-satisfied blog entry about how I no longer craved sweets. It was true at the time, but things change.

I have been dealing with a health issue and for several weeks I had to grapple with a medical insurance coverage issue, which, finally, seems to have been resolved. Never mind what’s happening in Washington. In the midst of all that I began buying chocolate chip cookie dough and baking cookies.

It’s not terribly healthy, but it’s comforting and helps relieve the stress.

You’re right, Linda Ellerbee, “And so it goes.”

our newest garden tool

When we left Gilroy in May 2015 we left a lot of stuff behind: donated to charity or given to neighbors. Garden tools were among what we gave up, including our electric hedge trimmer. We’ve gotten by fine without it, though it’s meant a bit more manual work.

Recently, however, our neighbor expressed concern about the vines growing along our shared fence. Seems in the past she has had an unpleasant experience replacing a fence due to overgrowth. I thought about renting a hedge trimmer to handle the job, but I realized that by the time I paid all the rental fees I could buy one.

So I did.

I cut back the vines by the fence and whacked down the hedge on the other side of the house which I had previously attacked by hand.

A worthwhile purchase.


hedge trimmer

giving away razors and selling razor blades

The phrase “giving away razors and selling razor blades” came into common use when discussing inkjet printers. The printers sold for a very low price but one got sticker shock when buying the ink cartridges. I had a similar experience recently.

label makerOur long-time, trusty label maker gave up and died. It refused to spit out the labels we tried to create. Changing the batteries had no effect. I eventually decided to replace it, so I made a trip to Staples. They had quite a selection ranging in price all the way from $19.95 to $64.95. I didn’t see anything in the more expensive models that made them worth the price, so I bought the $19.95 model. It came with a white label cartridge and I bought a transparent label cartridge.

It was only when I got home that I realized that the transparent cartridge was $9.95. Really? There’s a case of (almost) giving away razors and selling razor blades.

The new label maker is quite nice, by the way. It has a whole lot more features than the old one, which we must have had for fifteen years or more. It includes an LED display, which the old one did not have. We were making labels blind and only saw our mistakes when we printed the label. We’ll get good use out of this new label maker.

two more LEDs?

surge protectorThere are electrical outlets on either side of the bed. On the left, Terry’s side, the upper outlet is controlled by a wall switch. We have a lamp plugged in there. The bottom had the bed warmer plugged in, and Terry unplugged it in whenever she used the heating pad. So she didn’t have to do that I plugged in a three-plug extender. That worked fine for a long time. But after her knee replacement surgery she needed cold not heat. She did, however, use the lower plug for charging her iPhone. Problem was, the three-plug came out with the charger, aggravating Terry, who had enough to deal with.

So I moved the bed warmer plug over to my side. To do this I tried to install a six-plug extender that we had on hand. Turned out it was dead, dead, dead. Instead I plugged in a five-outlet surge protector that I had in my trusty wire box. It has two LEDs. With all of our electronics, we have LEDs all over the house.

So now we have two more. I guess that’s OK. What’s two more LEDs?

paying tribute to the yard waste gods

Some Disney movies should not be seen by young children. I mean, poor Bambi, losing his mother in the forest fire. One Disney movie that younger children should not see is Darby O’Gill and the Little People. The only part of the movie that I recall is near the end, when Darby has called the Death Coach because his wife is very ill and he doesn’t want to see her suffer. But by the time the Death Coach shows up she has gotten better. Problem is, when the Death Coach is called someone has to get in. So Darby does, allowing his wife to live. And they let six-year-olds see this stuff? Really?

This has everything to do with yard waste.

yard waste toterWe put three toters on trash day: trash, recycling, and yard waste. A couple of years ago our disposal company, CR&R, expanded the yard waste to include food waste as well. They have built a state-of-the-art facility that turns yard waste and food waste into natural gas (which helps to power CR&R’s trucks) and fertilizer.

I make sure that there is yard waste to put out each week. First of all, our yard needs that much maintenance in any case. And second, I fear the consequences of not putting out the yard waste toter. As in Darby O’Gill, the yard waste gods have their demands and must be appeased.

And besides, I am doing a Good Thing. Our yard waste and food waste are made good use of and turned into fertilizer and natural gas. I like contributing to the cause in that way.

farewell to a local institution

I believe that I am correct in stating that DJ’s Restaurant here in Hemet was the longest continuously operating locally-owned restaurant in the San Jacinto Valley. That ended at 3:00 p.m. on October 31. We almost lost DJ’s once before a couple of years ago, but they were able to work things out with the landlord. This time the landlord wanted a ten-year lease, and that was just too much for owner Grace at her age.

DJs signIt’s a shame. The family, that is, Terry and I, my brother Brian and sister-in-law Bobbie, my dad, and sometimes Bobbie and Brian’s son Eric and his daughter, get together regularly for breakfast on Saturday. If my brother calls and asks me where I’d like to go and we haven’t been to DJ’s in the past couple of weeks that is always my suggestion.

Grace, her daughter, and other crew members, many of them family members, are great hosts. The food is tasty, down home local restaurant fare and the service first-class.

DJ’s is not replaceable. We will miss it.