Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Furnace for Dad

This past day and a half has been really busy for me. I didn’t get to do anything more on the bathroom, but I did get a frantic phone call from Dad yesterday afternoon.

Dad’s neighbor was out shoveling her snow and she claimed she could smell gas. So she called the gas company and reported she smelled gas, which brings an immediate response from the gas company. Within a half hour there was a worker from the gas company knocking on Dad’s door. She told him there was a report of a gas leak and she needed to enter the home. Showing her credentials and seeing her company truck, Dad let her in his home.

Immediately she told him that she smelled carbon monoxide! (I knew you can’t smell carbon monoxide) He, being an employee of the gas company for over 35 years became very concerned. She wanted to go to the basement where the furnace is located. She had her O2 meter with her. He escorted her downstairs, she took her readings around the furnace and got a reading of 136PPM of carbon monoxide. She by law had to turn off the gas and electric to the furnace, and place a tag on it with the readings. Any reading over 60 is potentially lethal and can kill a person.

He became very frantic at this stage and wanted to phone call the company that installed the furnace. But not knowing the company went out of business, and failing to find their phone number, he phoned me. He was so shook up he couldn’t even tell me what the furnace was tagged out from, so he handed the phone to the gas company employee. She then explained what she had done and the reading she had from her meter. She then put Dad back on the phone. I tried to settle him down and tell him I would have a furnace company sent to his house immediately and to not worry, I would be there also within a half hour.

I arrived there to find Dad still pretty upset. I calmed him down and within a few minutes a service man arrived from Flame Furnace. I did most of the speaking to him, as I have worked around this type of equipment most of my career, and could tell by the answers he gave me to my questions he knew what he was doing and could be trusted. He showed me the signs as proof that the heat exchanger was indeed restricted and fumes were leaking into the basement from the restricted heat exchanger and burner on the furnace. After the inspection, I agreed 100% that the furnace needed to be replaced. Looking at the date the furnace was manufactured, he said we were within our 20 year warranty by a month. Which meant that the heat exchanger could be replaced, and he explained our several options that was available to us from the outcome of a class action law suit.

To make a long story short, within an hour, the order for a new furnace to be installed immediately was placed. Being late in the day made it difficult, and that they could only install the furnace temporally just so we would have heat throughout the night. Then the next day, today, they would finish the installation.

I stayed with Dad yesterday until 8pm when the installer finished for the night and the new furnace was heating the home safely.

I stopped at Home Depot to purchase a new humidifier, getting a new furnace needed a new humidifier as his old humidifier was also ready to quit working from age.

I returned at 7:30am this morning with the new humidifier and to stay with dad until the installation was complete. The installation was finally completed at 2pm. Everything working great and Dad feels much better now.

Thank God for the neighbor calling the gas company reporting a gas leak, even though there wasn’t any gas leak. What she smelled was the fumes from the incomplete combustion of the burners from Dad’s furnace.

It was kind of funny how Dad was going to go thank the neighbor for calling the gas company, forcing him to buy a new furnace. I told him he should look at the other side of the coin. Thank her for calling the gas company and saving your life! You could have died by the way the old furnace was working. I think after I explained it to him in a calm manner, he finally realized how lucky he was and had changed his thoughts about the neighbor completely. I guess I’ll just chalk it up to age creeping up on him.

All is fine now with Dad, I’m back home and might be able to continue on the bathroom painting tomorrow. Maybe before I go to my brothers home and show them how to set up a back up of their new computer.

Never a dull moment!Smile I’m just so thankful I am retired now and am available to help out my family.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Monday, February 21, 2011

More Snow! Bathroom almost done.

Yesterday I put the first coat of paint on the bathroom walls and ceiling. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well…before I could do that it took me 2 days to prep the walls and ceiling! Let me explain that.

A few years ago Wilma purchased some paint from Home Depot and proceeded to paint one of the bathrooms. We both agreed that she did a wonderful job and seeing as there was enough paint left over, why not do the other bathroom. So a few days later she painted the second bathroom.

Now fast forward a few months. The paint started to crack! All over the walls and ceiling. It looked like that “Special” paint you can buy that will crackle when it dries, giving it an “old time” look. But this paint wasn’t that kind. We watched as one bathroom crackled, then the other bathroom crackled. Crying face 

You can see the “crackle” effect on the wall. 100_0846

The lower bathroom she decorated in an old “out house” theme. So the crackle walls seemed to work. But upstairs it was really looking bad.

What to do now? I just knew deep down that the new paint, even being thick, wouldn’t fill in all those cracks. But I tried over the door on the wall. Nope, you could see the crackle affect through the new paint. So the only thing left for me to do was fill all the crackle cracks. Using drywall “mud” I had to put a thin coat on every square inch of drywall. Ceiling and walls. My arms still hurt from that job! Next came the sponge wet sanding. That took at least 2 hours, but everything came out looking pretty good. Re-coup for the rest of that day.

Yesterday the first coat of paint was applied. Looked great, no more “crackle” effect. Did you ever notice that it doesn’t matter how much you pay for paint, it never covers in just one coat? When Wilma and I went to Home Depot to purchase the paint for the bathroom, we didn’t want a repeat of the last time. So we purchased their “top of the line” paint. At $35.00 per gallon it better be great paint!

Yesterday afternoon came the snow. It started around 3pm, a real fine snow. I didn’t think much of it as I was watching NASCAR at Daytona. What a great race! By the end of the race, I looked outside and the ground was covered, and the snow was still falling. Around 8pm I got the video camera out and took a video of our deck. We had already received 5 inches with a prediction of anywhere between 8 and 12 inches by morning.

An inch per hour fell until we had a total of 12 inches!

First thing this morning I was out clearing all the fresh snow, all 12 inches of it! I also took care of my neighbors by doing their sidewalks and drives. I know they really appreciate it.

Taking a break now, then on to the second coat of paint in the bathroom. Pictures to follow.

PS: This is the first time I’ve tried a video on my blog. Don’t know if it will work or not, seemed to take a long time to upload. We will see. Send me a comment what you think. Should I keep video or not?

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bathroom Vanity Partially Installed

For the past couple days I’ve been working on the installation of our new bathroom vanity in our 2nd. floor bathroom.

The original builder of our home was NOT a licensed builder. We knew this when we purchased the home over 33 years ago. I knew that there were several flaws to the home and so far it’s been alright.

The original vanity was “home made” on the fly. Made out of pressboard with contact paper stuck to it, trying to make it look like a fine piece of furniture. He had store bought the Formica top and sink, and built the base around that.

He had the floor professionally done with ceramic tile. Great job of that I must say. But I think “I” would have had the floor all done first, then put the vanity in. But not this guy! He had the tile floor done up tight to his home made vanity, which worked fine as long as one would not ever want to replace the vanity.

This was my largest challenge. As the home made vanity, after removal, didn’t leave the same “foot print” as the replacement. The original vanity was about 2 inches deeper than the replacement. This leaves a space in front of the new vanity missing the ceramic tile. There is no way that I would ever find the same color and pattern of the original floor, being at least 33 yrs. old. I also was not interested in tearing up a perfectly good ceramic tile floor and having it all re-done. Too many $$$ to do that! The area is under the toe space of the new vanity. At least that’s what I think it’s called. Wilma assures me that after I am done, and she gets her chance to “decorate” the room, you won’t be able to notice the area. I’m hoping she is right, because it’s like my saying goes, “It is what it is!”

I didn’t think to take a picture of the “before.” Embarrassed smileBut I will have a picture of the “after” when it’s all completed. Besides I think I would be a little ashamed to post a before picture.

I just got off the US Post Office web site. I tracked the outcome of my certified letter I sent to Outdoor Adventures last Saturday. It shows that they received it on Monday at 11:30am. So tomorrow I’m going to give them another call to verify that they are going to accept me getting out of the new contract. I’m sure they will, but I just want to hear it from them and then verify the fee will be removed from my Charge Card.

So that’s it for now.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I’m now a New Member of Passport America!

Last Thursday morning Wilma and I attended a Members Only presentation, put on by the RV Resort Outdoor Adventures that we belong to. The presentation was put on by an outside firm, I believe from California because of the area code on their phones, and the mailing address of the Resort package that we purchased. The Package we purchased was supposed to be an improvement to our existing package, which it is, and no doubt the company (Resort Parks International, RPI for short) is a reputable company.

The salesmen, as I will call them, or “package presenters” mainly focused on the Condo time share rentals and Cruises. There are a few perks that our park, Outdoor Adventures adds also. When questioning the salesmen on exactly what our park adds to my existing package we were told just about what they knew we wanted to hear. So we signed for the additional benefits that RPI would furnish and looked forward to utilizing the added features that Outdoor Adventures were going to give us.

The next morning, I decided to phone the Outdoor Adventures main office and talk to “our people” about this new package I had just purchased. I spoke to Dee Dee, a knowledgeable person that took her time explaining the new package and answering my questions and concerns. Asking her the exact same questions that we asked the salesmen, she gave us all together different answers. I told her how it was not explained to us that way and I felt I was given a shady presentation. She became very concerned at that point expressing her apologies to me as a member, assuring that the salesmen were not presenting the package correctly, and that she was going to follow up on my complaint. I mentioned that I might, after talking it over with Wilma, cancel the contract and asked her exactly what she needed if we did cancel. “Just a written letter expressing that you wish to cancel the RPI Preferred contract and maintain your present contract” and have it post dated no later than 5 working days from the signing of the RPI Preferred contract. After our conversations were complete, I thanked her and hung up.

Telling Wilma what I had just been told about our so called “enhancements” at our parks, didn’t make her very happy. We both agreed that we were misled about the true benefits and we both agreed to cancel the contract. So today I went to the post office with the letter in a sealed envelope and mailed it as a certified letter. That should take care of that!

You know I’m a firm believer that “you can get more bees with honey than with vinegar”. So why don’t these salesmen just be honest. Answer the questions truthfully and let the people decide for themselves if they want to sign or not!

After returning home from the post office, I went on the computer to plan our next trip this April. I knew that being a member of Outdoor Adventures, I was still qualified to obtain membership in Adventure Outdoor Resorts. I had previously, many years ago, utilized Adventure Outdoor Resorts, (AOR) while traveling to Florida and Missouri. It wasn’t bad, did save us money on our camping stays, (only $8.00 per night) at that time. But we found that there was not a very large selection of campgrounds participating in AOR, so your choices were very limited. For example, our trip to Branson, Missouri had only one campground that participated, and it was a parking lot! Not very happy buy again it saved us big $$$ on our stay in Branson.

Looking at the route that we are going to take next April, and looking at the AOR parks along that route wasn’t pleasing to me at all. Our first planned stop there were again only a couple campgrounds within 25 miles of our route. And both campgrounds were not going to be open the first of April.

Then I had a flash in the noggin! I remembered reading Nick's Blog, which I do every day, and he made a stop at the Passport America camping club last month. He explained how he belonged to many different clubs in the past, and he believes that the Passport America club is one of the better ones.

Getting on the Passport America web site, I checked out how many campgrounds participated with them and was amazed to say the least! Never being a member of Passport America, I figured we might as well take into account the recommendation of Nick Russell and join. I reached for my cell and gave them a call after I could not connect with them on the web. A young lady helped me sign up for a year and I should have my “membership package” within a week. I mentioned to her about their web site, and that I wasn’t able to sign up online. She assured me they were in the process of moving the server and were aware of the site not being completely operational.

Hopefully we will have better luck with Passport America than what we had with AOR, and we are looking forward to our upcoming trip.

Anyone have any comments about Passport America or RPI, I’m all ears. I would much appreciate your comments, both pro and con. Any “heads up” situations with Passport America would be greatly appreciated also.


Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Flat Repaired & More Snow!

Yesterday morning Tina phoned telling us that she woke up this morning and noticed her tire went flat during the night. She had to go to work at 2pm and asked her mom if she would be able to take her. Of course Wilma said she would.
I in the meantime got ready to go over to her home to remove the flat tire and get it repaired. Loaded up the piece of carpet I have knowing that I would be on the cold drive outside, my jack and 4 way lug wrench. Off I go to Tina’s home.
Noticed right away that this wasn’t going to be as easy as one would think as there was a build up of snow and ice where the car tires pack it down on the drive. This made getting the jack under the car a challenge, but I managed to get it the third try. The tire came off with no problem, off to Belle Tire for the repair. Sat there for an hour before it was fixed at no charge. Seems that the tire had leaked around the rim, so a good cleaning of the rim was in order before the tire was re mounted.
Back to Tina’s to mount the tire. A few challenges was accomplished again with the jack, ice and snow, but the tire was put back on the car and ready for Tina before she had to go to work. I guess it was around 1pm by the time I completed the job. She is one happy little girl, well you know she still is my little girl !
After returning home, put the jack and carpet away I retreated for the warm house.
Within a half hour it started!
Looking out the front door.
It was a fine snow falling straight down. But it just kept snowing and snowing.

By the next morning I figured we had an additional 6 – 8 inches of more snow. See that fine Motorhome sitting there behind my home all full of snow? Hopefully next year it won’t be there! Hopefully somewhere where it’s warm with palm trees! Be right back
Getting ready now for a relaxing afternoon watching the Super Bowl Game.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Weight Watchers for a week

Well we did it. Wilma and I made it through our first full week of weight watchers. I sure hope it gets easier with the measuring and calculating the amounts of food you have to eat. I was almost certain I would have put on more weight with all that I had to eat. I’ve eaten more fruit and vegies in the past week than I have eaten in a month! And that doesn’t count the regular food you must eat. But….we both lost weight!Open-mouthed smile
Total surprise to both of us. Gave us a boost to go at it another week. And seeing how we paid for 20 weeks, we are taking it just one week at a time.
On another subject, Wilma and I decided we would change the living room furniture around Thursday morning. Again my expectations of myself was more than realistic. After all the only furniture we wanted to move was the couch and the TV, so how long could it take? I’ll tell you….1 and a half days! Because we have a “component” stereo system there are a hundred million wires that needed to be un-hooked and re-hooked back again. Surprised smile
These photo’s were taken before the move.100_0835
The tall cabinet next to the TV is where the stereo system is. It can’t take too long, just un-hook the wires going to the TV from the stereo, move the cabinet and TV to the other side of the room, and move the couch where the TV was. Simple huh? Well it didn’t turn out that way at all. I new the Grandfather Clock was going to be moved, and that was the easiest. When the clock was out of the way, I moved the couch facing the fake fireplace. The light chair taken out of the room, and the recliner moved next to the window.
After labeling all the wires and un-hooking them from the TV it was time to move it across the room. So on hands and knees I pulled one side of the TV from the bottom, then moved to the other side to pull, working it slowly across the room. I did it on hands and knees as the first service man that set up the TV many years ago, told us never move the TV by pulling or pushing on the sides of the screen area. This would move the adjustments out of kilter as it’s a rear projection set. Getting the TV in place, it was time to move the stereo equipment. We wanted it to be placed where the Clock was, so when I got it almost in place I noticed the wires were not going to be long enough. Instead of going out and buying longer 100_0838100_0837wires, we decided to move the Curio cabinet to where the clock was, and the stereo where the Curio cabinet was. By now I’m getting tired, so I just hooked up the cable to the TV so we would be able to watch it if we wanted to.
Friday morning and I continue with re-hooking up the stereo wiring. Get the Stereo cabinet positioned and presto, everything worked. Job well done, even though I figured it would only take me a half day, not a day AND a half. Then on to our Weight Watchers meeting, from there grocery shopping and back home to relax the rest of the day.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter Snow Storm

There was snow. There was wind. Then today there was more snow. It looks like we received another 8 to 10 inches on top of the 4 inches we already had. The wind blew the snow into drifts in some areas, but not at our home.
DSC_2041 DSC_2044
Here are two pictures taken before the snow storm. You can see that at the front of the house, the sidewalk is at least 4 inches below the top of the snow. By the location of the deck, it gets winds that whip around the corner. This actually causes some snow to be blown off the deck.
DSC_2049 DSC_2048 DSC_2046This is how deep it got on the deck. Those are my foot steps leading to the garage where the snow blower is.
Now the weather forecast for tonight is that it’s going to go down to 5 above 0 F. And in a few days it is going to hit just 2 above 0 F. Wonderful, just wonderful. There goes my heating bill. Sad smile Hope everyone is staying warm. From the blogs I’ve been reading it sounds like it’s only warm in the lower South West corner of the country!

A special welcome to "Muffy's Marks" for joining us on our adventures. And a special welcome to ALL my followers, hopefully I won't be too awful boring.

Until next time, stay warm, be safe and God Bless.