Saturday, April 7, 2012

After a lot of progress......

We can take it easy for awhile. I've fixed all the things that have broken and we have brought the yard back to an acceptable condition. The pool chemistry is now fine and the temperature is at the lower level of what I consider swim-able. I prefer greater than 85 degrees and we're three or four degrees low, but I can accept that. The three dogs are OK with the temperature if they don't have to break ice to get in. Helen finds something in the upper 70s a preference, but at that temperature she has to swim alone.

The water is very clear, but it was like that from the moment I took the cover off. When we're away I cover the entire pool with a reflective silver tarp. On top of the tarp I place a special sump pump designed to keep the water off the pool cover. No sunlight or rain water gets into the pool, so there is no contamination or growth of algae. However, it takes a little while to get the chemical balance just right. Alkalinity increaser, chlorine stabilizer, and even a half gallon of muriatic acid. Now it's balanced and it will STAY balanced for a minimum of three days, unless it rains.

Morning, shortly after sunrise, this is the time of day where the pool area is best. Temperature near 70. No breeze. Birds singing in the trees. Quiet, well, quiet if the dogs are still in the house. Outside the land is THEIRS!!! Beware the crow or squirrel that tried to wander across the territory. But that will come later. Now is the time for the second cup of coffee and the news paper. Now and late October are the two best times of year here in our section of Florida.

Our trip to Mexico has not been forgotten. Each day we talk about going back in the fall, knowing a little more Spanish and a LOT more about what it's like in Mexico and where we want to go. I expect that next tear we will not be bringing as much home with us as we did this year. Oh, we have tee shirts and hats, bracelets and jewelry, but we also brought back some bigger stuff.

This is an authentic Mexican Fountain (Made in China, but imported by an authentic Mexican company). Helen first saw one at a Home Depot in Mazatlan and immediately fell in live with it. She was reluctant to get such an item only a couple of weeks into our Mexico vacation. Eventually, we bought this one in Guadalajara. For a while it resided in the Jeep, but it had to be moved to make room for more goodies. Fortunately, I was able to get the whole box in one of the basement storage areas.

This is the next item we purchased. On a road trip around Lake Patzcuaro we passed an area with several places selling these cast aluminum patio sets. Actually, they were selling a lot more, but Helen and I have been looking at patio sets for a couple of years now. This was purchased for a SMALL fraction of what it would cost here in Florida. I was amazed at what they fetch on Ebay. Perhaps we should bring back a set every year to sell. The profit would pay for the fuel to drive back. This set was not as easy to transport as the fountain, which was boxed and compact. I had to make two trips from the place we bought it because there was no way to get the table and four chairs in the Jeep. On the way home, the table (upside down) and two chairs rode in the Jeep. A third chair rode in the shower of the motorhome and the last chair rode in the bedroom. If it had a fifth chair, Helen would have had to fly home.

We had a visitor in the yard a few days ago. He (she?) and a few friends show up every year. This is a very good friend to have around as they prey on mice, frogs, lizards, and large bugs (Palmetto bugs?). They are non poisonous and help keep our home free of vermin. We do nothing to scare it away!

It was very serene as I stooped to get this closeup. Later on I check to see if it was still around and though it had moved a short way from where it was, it's hunting didn't take it far. It was probably also enjoying the warm sunshine.

We have the property taken care of and Helen's cataract surgery is over and very successful. Now we are working on my blood count and getting it where it should be. I was surprised to find that the iron level in my blood is very high, so I wondered why there would be a problem. Apparently the iron in the blood is only part of the system. What counts is the iron in the places where red blood cells are made, in the bone marrow and the liver. I never knew that about the liver. What actually matters is something called ferritin and is the catalyst that makes the iron work. The normal ferritin level is 110 to 120. Mine was 12. Yesterday I had the first of two ferritin infusions with the next coming Friday the 13th. Oh boy!!! I'm seeing a new (to me) hematologist who seems to be a lot sharper than the last two I've dealt with. We'll see how it all goes.

Saturday stutterings from Paul is over!



  1. the pool looks very inviting!..that is until the 'girls' get in there!

  2. We might even get Donna in the pool if it goes up another 5 degrees, we'll just tell her it's 90. For all practical purposes the rig is ready to travel. so let the next two weeks fly by. be safe out there, and have a great Easter. Sam & Donna.