What’s For Dinner

Bacon Cheeseburger

Every once in a while it’s good to just sit down to a meal that is decadent but also delicious. I ground up a pound of top round for four lean quarter pounder beef patties, but The Better Half took it to a whole other new level with the bacon, cheddar and condiments that made this wonderful treat.

The Arizona Pasta Salad on the side was also great, but not so much decadent as the ‘burger; the salad consisted of fresh cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, black olives and the pasta. It was all good.

TBH ate about half of her burger, but (I can’t believe) I ate the whole thing. We will have the other two leftover quarter pounders for lunch during the coming week, albeit without the bacon.

Life is good on the retirement farm.

Trailer Battery Maintenance Day

Charging Batteries

I went over across the road to the trailer today to check on the battery level. It was a bit low under load, so I drove the generator over to the trailer, fired it up and plugged the trailer into the AC.

While charging the batteries, I put another couple of hours on the generator, so after the next time we do that in a couple of weeks, it will be time to change the oil in the generator. Also, As summer approaches, we will be checking the water level in the two “golf cart” six-volt batteries that we recently replaced.

While we’re anxious to go somewhere in the trailer, all that is on hold pending completion of the RV Drive. Speaking of that, the concrete pour did not take place because of windy conditions with gusts to 25 MPH today. They will be out again on Monday providing light wind conditions are in effect.

Construction Update IX

The concrete crew poured the first ten yards of concrete today. The ready-mix truck backed up the driveway from the west side and dispensed the ‘mud’ for the first slab that runs from the existing concrete driveway to the corner of the patio. There is a little cutout in that area where we keep the compost bin, wheelbarrow and hose caddy. They built a form around that area so no concrete would go in the little ‘utility island.’

Image: Clickable to alternate between pouring and the finished slab

The second ten yards of concrete will be here in the morning. This load should provide enough concrete to finish the driveway to the end of the new wall behind the house. The final load won’t show up until next Tuesday because the concrete trucks were all booked on Monday.

The Tuesday load will provide for finishing the RV Drive plus pouring a skirt section to finish the existing driveway. Currently, there is a four-inch falloff at the bottom of the drive by the road. The skirt will smooth that transition out.

Also in the Tuesday batch, they will install a small circular pad by the courtyard to accommodate a sleeve to hold the base of a flagpole which we are also having installed. That should be the last of the concrete work.

The Sinking

The Sinking

One hundred and three years ago today, RMS Titanic hit the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean. That’s one of two disasters we recognize on this date, the second being “Wealth Redistribution Day” a.k.a. IRS Tax Deadline.

Unjust taxation was the catalyst for the first American Revolution. Today our fundamental rights are again being violated by unjust taxation for purposes not authorized by our Constitution.

Excerpt from The Patriot Post Daily Digest:

Where did your tax money go? Just shy of half of all federal tax revenue goes to major entitlements — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other health care programs. (Before we move on, to be crystal clear, some government benefits are “earned,” like Social Security or military benefits. These stand in contrast to “unearned” benefits of welfare, food stamps and the like.) Another 20% goes to various wealth transfer programs like unemployment benefits and food stamps. That’s more than two-thirds of the federal budget that goes from your pocket to someone else’s. See why we call it “Income Redistribution Day”?

Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t note that ObamaCare subsidies factored into millions of returns for the first time this year. And that’s going to mean a lot of, er, adjustments. According to Investor’s Business Daily’s Betsy McCaughey, “If you enrolled in ObamaCare in 2014 and got a subsidy to pay for it, you’re at risk of losing your refund. Surprise: You may even owe Uncle Sam money. Only 4% of people who signed up for ObamaCare got the correct subsidy, so a whopping 96% will see their tax bill adjusted, some up and others down. Who would design a system that’s right only 4% of the time?” Democrats, that’s who.

The Titanic sank over a hundred years ago; the Constitution and the freedom it guarantees is foundering today. God help us.

Construction Update VIII

RV Drive Grading Complete

As promised last week by our prime contractor, the concrete crew showed up today and completed the grading of the area where the RV pad is going to be. They “sort of” graded the driveway to the west, but there were some problems with the footing where the walls down by the road were built. It seems that the grade to the road where the concrete surfaces are to be is lower than the footings in a couple of places. I’m told that this can be corrected.

The image above shows the area where the trailer will be parked when the project is complete. This is where we previously had the trailer before moving it across the road to get it out of the way of our project.

I’m just guessing at the next steps for the RV pad section of the drive: First, forms will have to be built for some places along the edge of the concrete. Then the fabric to reinforce the concrete will have to be positioned. After that, (I’m still guessing) the first section of concrete will be delivered and laid out.

Rainfall that lands on this side of the RV hookups (in the image) will flow toward the camera. On the other side of the hookups, water will flow down the driveway to the road or along the little creek just to the west of the house and through the special blocks in the front wall that allow water to flow out to the road. At least, that’s the intent.

West Lot Cleanup

West Lot Panorama Before and After

This is a (clickable) panorama of the before and after state of The Better Half’s rock and cactus garden west of the house. After removing several creosote bushes from the front of the house, she decided that we should do the same in this other area of the property. Both panorama shots taken from the courtyard.

TBH and I didn’t do the work. We hired a young man from the neighborhood who was looking for some odd-jobs sort of work. “Chad,” as he is known, made quick work of removing several “greasewoods,” as he called them, from the west lot. The rest he trimmed back into small bushes per our request.

There will be a few more odd-jobs around the property in the months to come after the construction project comes to a completion. We hope Chad will be available again when those new chores come up.

Lemons in Progress

Future LemonsHaving recently cut back the lemon tree in our little “orchard,” I went out to see the progress of lemon production, albeit very tiny lemons. I was definitely not disappointed to see a lot of branches that looked like the one in the (clickable) image. It looks like we’re off and running for another bumper crop of dozens of these gorgeous lemons.

We made enough Limoncello last year to fill a crate of bottles, so we probably won’t make as much this time around. Shipping alcoholic beverages is verboten by the USPS and the other carriers pose simply too many loops to jump through to make them a viable choice to send our product to friends and relatives. We advised our friends and relatives to come and get ‘em, but thus far we have no takers.

We managed to give away enough lemons locally last year to neighbors, the guys that were slated to build our block walls and a bunch of them to an adult day care and rehab center in town. The latter were thankful and told us that lemon pies were in their future.

We intend to juice a lot of the lemons and freeze the juice in ice cube trays to be used as needed for recipes and other applications. TBH bags the frozen cubes and takes them out as the need arises.

Construction Update VII

Improved Hookups

In the last update, I complained about the RV hookups, the appearance of the hose bib in particular. After I posted that update, I complained about the “unsightliness” of the water connection to the general contractor who then contacted the sub that was doing the hookups.

Over the last two days, the sub and his helper finished the water connection by taking the pipe under the wall, looping it up and out of the front of the wall. It is less of an eyesore now and after the wall gets painted, it shouldn’t be too obtrusive.

After the hookup guys were gone, I went out to inspect the work. The water hookup worked when I opened the faucet and water flowed after a few pockets of air were expelled. I looked at the 30 amp electrical outlet and saw that they had installed it upside down (again - it was that way four years ago with the original installation). I got out the tools, made sure the 30 amp RV breaker was off, and fixed the plug orientation.

The next step is when the concrete guys show up to start grading and forming for the slabs that will pave the RV drive. I understand that our job is next in their queue and work should start on or about the 14th of the month.

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