Friday, August 23, 2013

Another Mission for LRROF

 

I got a call last night about helping to move five Lab puppies from Georgia to New Port Richey, Florida. I met our Georgia contact, Cindy, at the usual spot near Alachua, close to Gainesville and we transferred the little rascals from the crate in her car to the crate in mine. I tried to get some pictures, but they were so active it was almost impossible.

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This guy was the only yellow one in the litter. All his brothers are black. Although they have been through a lot, they were all very active and appreciated any attention. Little tails were wagging wildly from the time I picked them up.

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This, of course is one of the blacks. They were all males because the breeder in Georgia only keeps the females from a litter. The males are sent to a shelter or worse.

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I had little trouble with them on the trip south except for one who became a yelper from time to time. Also, about half way during the two hour trip someone did a mess in the corner of the cage and it became quite smelly in the car. There was no getting away from it so I breathed through my mouth the rest of the way.

 

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When the dogs were picked up from some shelter a few days ago they were literally covered with fleas. You can see the white spots in the coat on this pup, but all the pups were full of scabby patches caused by all the fleas. The vet they were taken to had to give them each two flea treatments to stop the problem. I understand that the problem was so bad that the skin around their eyes was all swollen. I would hope that there is a place in Hell for someone who would allow this to happen.

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When I got to New Port Richey, Lewis had our hands full giving all five pups a bath and placing them in a clean cage. Then we washed down my crate. The towels I had inside the crate ended up in Lewis’s trash. This guy seemed to have the most personality and he was the first chosen by foster parents. His life is about to improve immensely.

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That’s Lewis on the right. The other couple are fostering two of the pups. They already have three Labs of their own, but still step in to help with the influx of more dogs. I meet some of the greatest people working with LRROF, Labrador Retriever Rescue Of Florida

With my crate all clean and placed in my Jeep, I headed home before the other people came to pick up the other three pups. It was 95 degrees out, but I drove with the windows open for about an hour. All in all, from my house in the morning to my return in the afternoon, I drove 250 miles. This has been a very busy season for Lab rescue. Most of the time there are happy endings. I brought in two dogs last week and one was adopted within two days and someone was there to look at the other one today. This is volunteering that really makes me feel good. Gotta give my three and extra cookie and an extra hug tonight.

 

Later.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

SISYPHUS

 

According to Greek legend, Sisyphus was a man on the bad side of the Gods. His punishment was to roll a large boulder up a hill, but it would always roll back down so he had to do it over and over and………..

I’m not quite like Sisyphus, but some days there are similarities. A few days ago I finally reached the stage of my re-tile job where I actually started to lay tile. In preparation, I laid down a line that would keep the tiles straight as I went along. At least it was supposed to.

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This is how far I got on the first day. Well, that’s not completely true. This is how far I got before I realized that my alignment on the last section, (the one in the lower left of the picture), was 1/2 inch off the line with no easy way to keep going and make it all come out right in the end. Hence, I removed the tiles and took them outside to wash off the thinset (cement). Then I scraped up as much from the floor as I could and washed it clean.

 

Starting on my second day, I was very careful about following the line and once I got going it was going well.  I was working in the hall and there was no room to deviate. I continued up the hall and into the family room, being certain to keep the first tile aligned properly. As I entered the family room I started laying tile along the wall away from the hall. I thought I was  doing well. It looked OK to me at the time.

 

It didn’t look right this morning and I was dismayed to find that the further I got from the main line, the further I deviated from the proper direction and in the morning light it looked terrible. I couldn’t believe that I thought it looked so good the night before. So, like Sisyphus, I had  to attack the boulder again. The tile had not completely set, so I was able to get them up with out breaking any and they were all reusable. I got out my Bosch concrete grinder and removed the adhesive.

 

Next, before any foolishness, I struck four more chalk lines, parallel to the first and at the proper distance to lay more tile exactly. After that, it went well and I THINK that I have the situation under control.

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I don’t recall ever having a job this demanding.

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I had an audience, but they were not a lot of help. Just a trio of construction site gawkers.

Later.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

More Than I Can Chew???

 

I don’t think so……….not yet at least. This all started when Helen decided that she wanted to “Do Over” the family room. We have been here 31 years and it is now in its third make-over, and I really like it just the way it is. In fact, I really liked it as it was in the second generation, too. Then I agreed to new furniture, off white leather and the old wallpaper was not right with the new furniture. Thus we had the room re-papered. It’s much lighter and I really do like it.

We still had the original floor.

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Three colors of earth tones put in a random pattern. I still remember Mr. Ritter, the tile man, questioning our pattern or lack of pattern. It was a foreign concept to him and he was uncomfortable taking the tiles at random and putting them in place. It wasn’t perfect, but we were well satisfied with the result.

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Over the years there has been a lot of wear in some places and I admit that it was time to make a change. Now, this is not a change that Helen would undertake. She was committed to removing the vinyl wall covering and painting the walls. UGH! So, in a moment of enlightenment, I tossed out the idea of changing the tile. Helen bit almost before the words were out of my mouth. In the next few weeks we visited a number of tile suppliers and took home samples to see in our home. Finally, we found one at Home depot that seemed to be the right shade and fit in with our d├ęcor and cabinetry. I returned and bought a whole box so we could lay it out and be really sure that it would have the look we wanted.

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I don’t drink, so I’m not sure what possessed me to start ripping up tiles one Friday night a couple of weeks ago. This is what it looked like by Saturday afternoon. Removing ceramic tile by hand with a hammer and chisel is no easy task, but I finally got it done.

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Most of the tiles came up, leaving the mortar behind. Unfortunately, some came up pulling the mortar and some concrete with it. You can see the white patches in the picture above where the concrete pulled away. I called my tiling advisor at Home Depot and was told that all those holes had to be leveled with concrete before laying the tiles. Moreover, we had to identify ALL HOLLOW SOUNDING areas and remove the loose concrete from those areas as well. I went over much of the floor and found several places that required work. Meanwhile, Helen became the tapping guru and tapped her way all around the floor identifying hollow spots with an “X”. I dug up all those areas and today I started applying concrete to the low areas.

Oh, beside that, I’ve been working on the windshield washer on the Lincoln. Success! repairing a leak in the pool plumbing. Success, but found two more leaks. And replaced the seal in the pool pump. Not successful. Sad smile  Helen took the pump to a local repair shop and we’ll have it back tomorrow.

It would be an understatement to say the I’m surprised at the amount of work this is taking. If I had known that it would be this involved, I may have settled for a redo of the walls. However, I AM making progress and should start actually laying tile by the weekend. I WILL complete this job on time and under budget, but that’s because I have no time limit and we never set a limit to the cost. In fact, when I scoped out the job, the kind of tile Helen wanted ran between $3.00 and $7.00 a square foot. When Helen and I finally found the right color, it was $2.79 a square foot. That’s how I found the money for my new Kayak.

I’ll be chewing for awhile, and I’ll certainly do another blog with the after pictures.

Later.