7-29-12 Sunday (Fire Vs. Fired)

We started Saturday with some cleaning and organizing.  I’m ashamed to say that we haven’t vacuumed (other than Roomba) in a while.  Typically when the house gets vacuumed, Jim is the person to do it.  He’s so thorough it’s sickening.  He moves as much furniture as he can, and dusts too.  Me?  I vacuum around crap.  Let’s see, that table has been sitting there, no one can see under it, we’ll just vacuum around it.  I’m done quickly and meanwhile Jim is still in the first room.  I know he vacuums correctly and we’ll just leave that as one of those things that he excels in.  That’s fine by me.  “No honey, you vacuum.  You’re so much better at it.”  Jim started vacuuming on Friday.  He got the upstairs done.  He did some of the downstairs and I took over on Saturday.

Jim started his garage project.  Reorganization.  It’s a tight squeeze in the garage especially with the Mazda 6 being a pretty big vehicle.  The plans?  Hang slat board and narrower shelving.  We already have the hardware from our old house, we just need the boards purchased, cut and hung. 

While Jim tore apart the garage, I cleaned all the bathrooms, vacuumed and mopped.  I found some more cat toys here and there and had those moments of sadness. 

The garage project came to a halt.  He had done all he could without the materials he needed.  We showered and went out for a late lunch to Savor Café with a Half Off Depot certificate.  It was a quaint place with great views of the uptown skyline.  We weren’t feeling very food adventurous so Jim had a burger and I had a club.  The club came as a Panini.  I wasn’t really expecting it that way but it was good.  For dessert (we had to spend $30 (I totally thought of my friend Norma, the fitness Queen, because I used the excuse of having a coupon to eat more food.)), Jim had Coca-Cola Cake and I had Peanut Butter Pie.  Yum.  Sorry, I forgot photos.

Next up, somewhat related to the above paragraph, we dropped off some clothes to Goodwill.  Our dryer is defective and keeps shrinking our clothes.  This Goodwill was only open for donations.  The store itself burned in February due arson by a disgruntled employee (according to the employee there) who had been fired.  Who burns a Goodwill?  That’s like setting fire to a church.  Who gets fired from Goodwill?  Wow.

Our Lowes in town did not sell slat board.  Via their website, Jim located some at a Lowes in a far off land.  Strangely, 2 Lowes locations sold it but one in particular had it for $15 a board less!  The location was eerie-dead.  Like hardly any customers.  It’s a very nice store and would seem that it was built to conform with certain architectural neighborhood requirements.  I asked the guy who was cutting our lumber why it was so dead for a Saturday.  He said the bulk of their business is commercial during the week. 

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We bought an orchid at Lowes. 

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We’ve wanted one but couldn’t ever have any live plants in the house because the cat would chew, mutilate and then usually puke it back up.  There’s nothing good about Clea passing but there are many plusses to not having a kitty.  No hair all over, litter box scooping, meows for food, paw prints on the counter, hair dust balls, puke, and hair.  Did I mention hair?  Anyway, I did make a little memorial for her using a frame we already had (I printed a newer photo), one of her mouse toys and the sympathy card from the vet.

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OK, so now for a happy note.  Maybe even funny.  Here’s the features of a phone holder I recently purchased.  I love the wording, the poor translation into English.


On Sunday I did the weekly shopping while Jim continued his garage project.

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It’s his birthday today!  We went to Waffle House for breakfast.  What a dive but oh so good.  For dinner we went to Chima again.  Today was the last day for Charlotte Restaurant Week.  Even though we went to Chima last weekend, we enjoyed it enough to go again.  We even did the upgraded version.   Nom, nom, nom.

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And just for fun:

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Last week at The Rusty Rudder was a bottle of mayo:

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Intrigued over the “no refrigeration needed” I just had to take a photo and research.  Interested?  Read about refrigerating mayo and ketchup here.  Not interested?  Bite me.

7-27-12 Friday (Getting A Jump On Sleep)

Sunday we went to lunch with Beth.  Jim and I have lived here 2.5 years and haven’t really been to Lake Norman which is within spitting (more on that later) distance.  We don’t really know much about the activities, restaurants and etcetera.  Jim remembered friend, Deanna, posting about visits there so he went to her Facebook page and looked through her various check-ins and status posts.  He also texted her for recommendations.  We settled on The Rusty Rudder for brunch.  The food was good and the view was amazing!

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On Monday night I made a double batch of turkey meatloaf.  I made 8 small loaves, put them in small loaf pans and froze them.  Nom nom nom.

On Wednesday we had the a/c guy come out again.  He said all looked fine but the upstairs main supply hose may have been a little more kinked than it should be so he straightened that out.  When the outside temp is 95° or more here’s what happens.  The downstairs a/c is set at and maintains 73° or 74° (depending on our mood).  The upstairs a/c was set at 73° all day.  When we get home from work at 5:45pm the temp reads 75°.  Here’s how it was:

5:45 75°

6:45 77°

7:37 76°

8:16 76°

10:06 75°

That a/c is running all day.  I let Adams Homes know about what’s going on and here’s how that went down:

Hi!  I have talked to Caryl Mechanicals and was told this is not unusual with the heat we have been having and there is a 20° degree tolerance between inside and outside heat index, not temperature.  Shelly is the one I spoke with and she did have a few different options if you were not satisfied with that but it would not be covered as warranty.

Does anyone have any advice on this?  We plan to see what our options are.  We may call another a/c company or two. 

On Thursday I got stuck in traffic.  In the lane next to me:

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And a closer look:

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Friday night we went to dinner with Beth at a new restaurant, Don Pedro Mexican Restaurant.  It’s actually a small local chain.  The food was great, especially the table side guacamole.  It was fabulous.  The guacamole cart had big canisters of ingredients on it which blocked the making of the guacamole so that for me was a “tableside” fail.  Other than that fantastic.

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I mentioned spitting up top.  The other day while walking from my car to my work entrance, a guy several feet in front of me spit.  Do spitters not understand that it’s OK to swallow it?  Do they have over active salivary glands or something?  Is it cool to do?  It’s gross.  That’s all.

7-21-12 Saturday (Sagging Silhouettes)

An exciting day is planned for today!  First up, horse back riding.  We have a Juice in the City certificate for 2 at the Latta Plantation’s Nature Preserve with the Latta Equestrian Center.


So we get there and are asked who’s first time is it.  Jim has road several times so he get’s Maverick the horse.  Maverick’s annoying habit was that he liked to stop and eat… a lot more than other horses.  I get Maggie the horse.  The employee says Maggie should be fine, not usually for first timers but she should be fine.  ?????  Maggie likes to bite Maverick so don’t let her turn around.  She’s a little feisty but she’ll be OK.  Or was it she should be OK?  Another employee walks over and almost questions the woman’s assignment of Maggie to me.  I think positive thoughts.  We mount.  We follow the guide.  Jim is behind me.  I’m scared shit about 15 minutes of the ride, holding on for dear life and feeling like Maggie is walking extra hard because she knows it’s my first time and clearly she’s a bitch.  By 16 minutes I’m taking my camera out and snapping photos and videos of Jim and myself.  Weeeeeeeeeee.  At about 20 minutes my right shoulder hurts.  My right side kidney feels like it’s moving around and trading places with the left one.  I think my organs are playing musical organs.  I try to reposition myself but the pain keeps coming.  By 30 minutes I’m moaning.  No one can hear me moan which is how I’d prefer it.  At 40 minutes I’m hoping Maggie, who turned out to be a fine horse, would just stop and I’d be forced to walk back.  At minute 46 or so, it’s the end and it’s the happiest moment of the day for me.  Get me the f**k off this horse.  This shit is overrated.

2012-07-21 014Above: It’s a good thing the sign clarified it to be men.  I thought it was a cowgirl with sagging boobs.

2012-07-21 005Above: I’d like to buy an “i” please.  This sign looks like its been up there a long time.

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Above/Below: Jim and Maverick

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2012-07-21 012Above: Maggie.  On the left.  I don’t know the name of the guy on the right.

2012-07-21 013Above: Me!  Jim is in the background waving.  Damn good photo for a self portrait, huh?

Lunch!  We stopped at a little BBQ place we spotted called Lancaster’s Bar-B-Que.  It was pretty good but the pulled pork sandwich was overly spicy.  Even for me and I eat hot wings.  A few errands here and there and then off to Chima for Charlotte Restaurant Week.  Yum!

 2012-07-21 015Above: Erin and Josh

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2012-07-21 017Above: Jason, Ja-Nessa and Erin

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We had a great time!  What’s not to like?  It’s a mobile meat buffet on a stick.  A meat-fest.  We went here last year

7-20-12 Friday (Blame Game)

The other day Jim took Dasher for a mani/pedi and asked about the lab results from the growths that were removed.  They didn’t have it on file so they’d have to call the lab, get the results and call us back.  That was a little disappointing that to them it was important enough to charge us for lab analysis but not to follow up with said results.  I can’t knock Banfield much though because they generally have great “bedside manner”.  They always do follow up calls to check on the pets after an appointment.  I realize corporate may dictate that behavior and that the employee calling may herself not care, it’s important to me.  A few days later we receive a call from the veterinarian who has a very deep accent.  Blah, blah, cancer, removed, blah.  It was difficult to decipher.  We played the message over several times finally understanding that 1 or 2 of the removed growths were cancerous but that they removed them. 

A few days later, Jim spotted a new growth and took Dasher in to be checked out and get the exact info on the previous lab results.  For this particular visit, we were told that removal of the new growth would mean another trip to anesthesia-land and a cut-stitch-cone situation.  We were better to watch it carefully.

We’re still adjusting to Clea not being here anymore.  I’m not truly sure if Dasher really knows it or not.  Jim thinks he does, but I don’t think so.

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The magnolia/oak tree saga has come to an end.  Jim was fuming.  I just decided I had had enough and relinquished my titled as Adams Homes Warranty Coordinator.   I told him if it troubled him enough he could deal with it.  I don’t care anymore; poke me with a fork, I’m done.  A few days afterwards, Jim fired off an email to the warranty person.  I’ll admit it, I was ashamed of his email.  The tone was condescending and not professional.  I was really angry over it.  This created more drama feeling like this house had caused a fight between us.  A couple of weeks later, Jim resolved it with a manager person and they agreed to move the dwarf magnolia to the backyard and replace it with a new oak the same size as the other.  So we’re back to 2 oaks in the front yard and a cute magnolia in the backyard.  The magnolia had just started to bloom and we were worried about moving it.  Would that shock it?  Would it die?  If it does we’ll just have to buy another.  It’s probably like $50-$100?

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Jim called the a/c company out directly.  The air doesn’t seem to blow out very strong.  The upstairs won’t cool below 75 on a hot day until the sun goes down.  The repairman came out, went up in the attic, went to all the vents, and checked the unit outside.  He said the fan speed and dampener weight was set correctly.  That’s comforting since his company was the one that installed the a/c.  Jim said to me that it’s odd he would have admitted that.  I had the same issue with the plumbers way back.  They too said their comrades had done something wrong.  The a/c guy said he added extra Freon as well.  I didn’t talk to him.  Jim did.  I would have totally quizzed him on that one.  How does one add “extra”?  That implies the manufacturer doesn’t make it that cold but you can make it colder.  OR the builder didn’t want to pay for the extra Freon at the time of installation.  I don’t believe either theory.  The only explanation, to me anyway, is that it was low and has a leak?  We’ll watch it.  I wasn’t involved in the particular repair because Jim was picking his brain on programmable thermostats.  Months ago we had such a bad time getting several brands to work correctly.

In other news, I changed desks a couple of weeks ago.  I moved.  I got a window seat.  Nothing special.  I overlook the shipping-receiving area.   Yes, I actually took the time to draw it out for you:


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Speaking of work, they decided to cut out our email access.  I can only send email to someone within the company.  I can receive it from anyone though.  Only certain departments got the restriction.  Is it because I have access to accounts and such?  That’s dumb because I could always write that stuff down.  So what gives?  Why do other departments like underwriting have access but I don’t?  It really makes me feel like we’re the bottom dwellers of the business.  My job constantly does stuff that gets me down.  The morale is the lowest it’s ever been.  There’s so many fellow employees that complain about the constant changes.  I try to stay positive.  The free pizza and snacks they give out doesn’t negate the crap.  They watch us like we’re in a sweat shop at times. Why aren’t you on the phone?   The good news is that in October I can apply elsewhere in the company.  I look forward to staying with the company but just in a different capacity. 

7-15-12 Sunday (Vacation Projects)

For breakfast we went to the resort’s café.  We had egg sandwiches which were huge and tasty.  We came back to the RV so we Jim could do some outside projects.  I swear he’s not happy unless he builds or rigs something.  He bought all this PVC piping to create a more solid and rigid and maybe even a little more permanent of a sewer connection.   I think the old fashioned RV accordion sewer hose connections were good enough for now but OK.  What’d I do?  Uhhhh, well I straightened up the inside, vacuumed, organized, walked the dog, played Words With Friends… all equally important.

2012-07-14 001Above: Jim connects PCV for sewer.

2012-07-14 003Above: Here’s a photo of last weekend’s project.

2012-07-14 002Above: The color coordinating bathroom.

The air conditioning in the RV is keeping up wonderfully.  Temps inside have ranged from 66° to 72°.  No tripped breakers or anything like that.  The temperature outdoors has been in the low 90’s as opposed to last weekend’s 100andsomething. 

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Jim’s project came to a halt.  He needs more supplies.  And it goes on and on.  More elbows, more fittings, more pipes more whatevers so we took a nice long dip in the pool, came back to the RV and made lunch.  Yes, lunch in the RV.  Chicken-Feta-Spinach Sausage and something else Jim made and wanted that I don’t feel like talking about.  Never mind.  Let’s discuss.  He saw something somewhere about a red sauce pasta side dish and decided to BUY and MAKE a can of Spaghetti O’s type crap.  I took one spoonful and announced I couldn’t eat it.  He accused me of prejudging and that he knew I’d never really give it a chance (based on comments I made while he put said item into the shopping cart).  Feeling challenged, I took another spoonful and once again announced that it was gross.  That made it double gross.

Then… it was off to Walmart and Lowe’s.  What an exhausting day.  We attempted a nap and I think that lasted 30-45 minutes.   I’m not even sure if we really slept.  Now he’s back outside.  The rest of the day was relaxation and dinner in the RV.

Sunday came too early.  We packed up whatever needed to come home with us.  I vacuumed and mopped.  Jim loaded the car.  We took showers and then hit the road at about 11.  This was a perfect time.  We stopped at a McAlisters for lunch (they permitted dogs on the patio).  We unpacked and did our weekly grocery shopping and salad making for the week.  It was a great weekend.  Our next trip is planned for the first and last week of August.

7-13-12 Friday (We’re Tethered)

Ever have one of those days where everything seems to go wrong and then it’s to the point of asking in your head, “what else can go wrong” but you don’t ask out loud because some crazy rule in your childhood says never to ask that out loud and then the next day while blogging and typing in the date of the post you realize that it was Friday the 13th but then you remember that some of the bad things that happened to you weren’t nearly as bad at what happened to the people that “caused” the bad thing to happen to you?  Me too.

It was a simple plan really.  We were going to Augusta this weekend.  I had put in a request to get off work a couple of hours early.  On Thursday night Jim and I packed everything we could into the Mazda.  We had that bitch slap full too.  It was just a lot of stuff like supplies for making the sewer connection more permanent and other stuff for Jim that I’m sure we don’t really need.  I brought a nicer set of towels and things like that.  Anyway, on Friday Jim took the Jeep to work, I took the BMW and as you know, the Mazda was packed in the garage.

While on a break at work I saw a news story about a deadly accident on I-85S involving a tractor trailer.  One death, several injured.

My planned departure time was 3:30.  I was stuck on a call and didn’t get off the phone till 3:45.  The traffic to go home was horrendous.  What should have taken 15 minutes actually took me 50 minutes.  I had to pee so badly.  If I had been stuck much longer, surely Jim would have had a wet BMW seat.  3/4 of the way home a torrential rain let loose.  That was the moment of “what else can go wrong”.  I finally made it home and then wasted so much time mapping an alternate route.  With Jim’s emailed suggestions and Mapquests ability to tweak the route by dragging part of it, I was finally ready to go.  I shuffled cars, packed the last minute stuff and then set out to pick up Jim from work.  The route I was able to go got me there so fast, it was amazing.

So what else could go wrong?  Nothing.  That was it.  Yeah, I made it sound worse than it was probably because 1- Isn’t that how journalism sensationalism works?  2- It’s how I felt at the time.

We stopped for dinner in Columbia, SC at a Five Guys.  They had an outdoor patio that could accommodate Dasher.

When we arrived to the resort I realized we had forgotten our key to the gate.  Yes, we have to unlock, open/close the gate as we enter/leave the RV section.  It’s not a big deal as we don’t plan to leave too often.  We had to go back to the road, out and around which seemed like it took forever to stop at the front desk to get an extra key.

Unpacking the totes of crap from the trunk was pretty quick and easy.  We put away what we could, changed to swim trunks and went to the pool to cool off.  The pool is open 24 hours which is nice since it was just about 10pm.

The resort provides free wireless internet.  The last time we were here it was so incredibly slow we researched the use of carrier pigeons instead.  Warning: this might get too technical.  I’ve mention on a prior post about using a free Android (link to program from Android Market here) phone program called EasyTether. I’ve used the free “lite” version a few times here and there.  Sometimes it was a pain because my laptop wouldn’t recognize the connection or whatever plus I only needed it when we moved for a short time.


I used the “lite” version again and it worked great except some websites (Google, Facebook, Gmail) wouldn’t work.  Upon further research I discovered that it’s restricted NOT to work on HTTPS (secure) sites which are most of the ones I’d typically access.  I also found that getting the regular version is on $9.99 per copy.  A one time fee.  Not monthly or anything.  I bought two copies (for each phone) and it works just as fast as our internet connections at home.  Love it!  Jim even streamed youtube.  We’re also on a grandfathered unlimited data plan with Verizon! 

7-8-12 Sunday (It’s All In The Cards)

Friday: Due to the emergency vet visit last night we left the house a wreck and we got home late.  I think I was emotionally drained too.  I knew that the RV carpets were left wet.  The kitchen had pots, pans, ladles, strainer and everything else laying all around.  It was just going to have to be.  I decided to take a PTO day to clean the house, grocery shop, clean the RV carpets and get laundry done.  I also gathered Clea’s stuff like left over food, toys, litter boxes (1 in the RV) and started a donation box.  The litter boxes went right into the trash.  It may seem soon but I felt better de-Clea-ing the house.  All the dinette chairs had mats on them to stop Clea from laying on them.   Things like that.  Gone.  I just didn’t want to wait another week or more and then have memories to make me sad.  Right now some of the memories make me almost cry, I catch myself and remember that I did enough of that last night. 

It was time to clean out old credit cards:

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We left Clea’s pet carrier at the vet’s office and realized it as we drove away.  We don’t need it anymore and so we didn’t care.  We had already paid for services before the doctor had administered the chemicals.  We did that so we could just leave right after.  The vet’s office called a day or two later to tell us we forgot it.  I told her to donate it or whatever; we didn’t have a use for it.  She said “maybe you’ll get another cat.”  She was being sweet but the whole call was upsetting.  I started telling Jim about it and well, you know, I got sniffy, teary, and my voice cracked.

Tomorrow we take the RV to Augusta.  We’ll leave it there with an annual spot.  The goal of having a weekend getaway is on it’s way to reality.  I’m excited and hope it will be all I want it to be or something profound like that.

The neighbor’s pool is gone.  I think the ground was too sloped and their idea of adding posts or something didn’t work.  It’s been gone since Monday I think.  See the slope?

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On Saturday we packed up the RV, attached the Jeep and RV’d our way to Augusta to the gay hotel and campground.  We’re looking forward to making friends and having that weekend getaway.

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We arrived without incident.  No blown tires, car accident, awning misadventures or the like.  We were plagued with electrical issues for the weekend though but I’ll get to that in moment.

Setting up the RV took a while.  I leveled the RV, deployed the slide-out and setup the interior while Jim worked on the park connections (water, sewer and electric for you non-RV folk).  Jim had several people stop by to welcome us and we were even invited to a weekly cocktail party. 

Several times the RV breaker would trip.  Sometimes it was just the “climate control breaker” which stopped the a/c.  Another time or two it was the breaker at the connection post.  The gauge cord we used for one of the a/c units wasn’t quite big enough so we had to run out to the store.  We missed the cocktail party by the time we got home, ate dinner and showered.  The a/c had a hard time keeping up with the 2,456.52° temperatures.  With all of the power issues we could barely keep the RV below 76°.  Eventually with the sun down we were able to maintain and cool temperature.  The secondary electrical connection was fine but the primary still looked a little rough and we thought it would be fine.  We were wrong. 

227034211On Sunday we woke up to 1 a/c on and 1 a/c off.  The breaker tripped again.  We flipped it on a couple of times which resulted in a spark and some smoke at the connection box.  Poof!  Our cord was fried at the part we doubted would last.  Hey, I wasn’t in charge of cords.  I mentioned a week prior that the cord should be replaced.  What can I say?   We started the generator and Jim tracked down a new cord at Walmart of all places.    It’s a special cord for RVs so definitely not something from Lowes. 

We did get to enjoy the campground here and there.  They have a salt water pool that is warm.  Jim would have liked it to be cooler but I enjoyed it.  It was so damn hot; it was still refreshing to me.  Here’s our setup.

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There’s some really nice decks that people have built.  Here’s the nicest site we saw:

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I’ve been busy this week getting ready for another trip this weekend so I’ll have to fill in the blanks here and there.  Topics: Jeep brakes AGAIN, Beth drives the new car, and who knows what else I’ve forgotten.