…the First Posting of September
Frequent readers may have noticed my news posts have been light these past few weeks. The reason is one that may shock people who read a lot of newspaper columnists and blogs. The shocking, heart-wrenching God’s-Honest truth as to why I haven’t written much lately is – I haven’t had much to write about.
There, you read it here first. A writer not writing when there is nothing to write about.
But, I did want to write something again now that our dog-days of summer are past. So, here goes. A news post about not much of anything at all, all strung together and packaged in bright, shiny non-lead-free wrappings for the reading pleasure of our many fans.
Moped commuting is mostly working out well. We’ve had a few rough spots and a bit of a learning curve, but that’s okay. We’ve learned that riding a moped in high winds (such as that caused by an approaching thunderstorm) is not good as the moped is so light it tends to blow around, even at a red light.
The manual choke is a bit tricky to use and gives the motor a “personality.” We bought the Moped with 1 mile on the engine, and the mileage for the first tank of gas was only about 35 MPG. As the engine breaks in (now at about 110 miles on the odometer) the mileage is increasing to its current 50 MPG. The MPG for this model is advertised as 65 to 70, so we’ll see what happens.
I’ve learned that the Potomac River is very different waters than the Pascagoula River and Mississippi Sound. The Potomac is a lot deeper which means I don’t spend so much effort trying to avoid plowing up the bottoms with my engine prop. Not plowing up the bottom is also a good thing as there is more rock around here, as opposed to the Pascagoula which was all mud. The river is less protected from winds and larger which means more changing currents. So a typical day out on the water means a day bouncing around pretty hard when cruising, rocking and rolling when I’m at anchor. It’s meant learning all new boating skills and taking more safety precautions than I needed back down in Mississippi.
I have had a lot of chances to take the boat out this year. I think I’ve been out more often this season than any season since I first bought Sea Dreams back in October of 2002. Winnie’s been out with me a few times, but between her work schedule and just not caring much for fishing, I usually go out alone. I don’t mind as I really enjoy the solitude of being out on the water, getting a bit of fresh air and lots of sun. I really appreciate Winnie encouraging me to get out at least once each weekend, even when she could very easily be nagging me about weekend chores instead.
In our quest for the perfect home Winnie and I have continued with minor repairs and home improvement projects.
We had decided almost immediately after moving in to replace the existing over-the stove vent hood with microwave / vent combo. This seemingly small project ultimately involved tearing up a wall and rerouting ductwork, adding an electrical outlet and moving a cabinet. Once the cabinet was moved, we had to fill in gaps with new cabinet facings, and that all looked so nice we added a galley rail along the cabinet tops. The seemingly small project of installing a microwave was started in April and finished in early August.
No sooner were we finished with this project than Winnie set her sights on a more ambitious undertaking. Former owners had sort of built a bath in the basement where we have our den. It had never been finished, meaning; plumbing fixtures were mounted in a haphazard way, unfinished drywall, no finished floor and bare ceiling. This past Saturday morning, a few hours before Winnie was due at work, we were sitting in our den relaxing. Winnie suddenly suggested we look at finishing the basement bath. Somehow, two hours later all the fixtures (shower stall, toilet, and sink) were sitting out in the back yard and half the existing sheet rock was removed.
Now we have a basement full of building materials as we prepare to relocate the sink, install ceiling tile, install wall-tile board, lay ceramic tile flooring after we level out the existing concrete, and redo the bath’s electrical wiring. I figure we’ll be finished sometime around Christmas.
Division of Labor
When we’re not re-building the house we’re involved in other, more mundane, chores. Winnie’s work schedule at a local department store is keeping her busy. For the past several months she’s had to work both days on the weekends, with her days off during the week when I’m at work. She closes several nights each week which means returning home at around 10:30PM. So our division of labor has shifted. Most nights now I’m cleaning the kitchen and fixing my next-days lunch. On weekends I do the grocery shopping using a list Winnie prepares, and spend at least one afternoon out on my boat. On her weekdays off she’s mowing the lawn, gardening, running to the bank and post office, and working the home-improvement projects she can take on by herself. It’s becoming a comfortable arrangement, and really the first time since we’ve been married we’re settling into anything resembling a consistent routine.
We’re still hoping to heave children, and working to improve our chances. We’ve been consulting with several doctors ever since we’ve settled here in Virginia and learned a lot as result. We’ve both been recommended for minor out-patient surgery that is supposed to improve our chances of having children. We’re now both on a vitamin regiment, and a local Traditional Chinese Doctor is providing us herbal prescriptions to help. We’ve been poked, prodded, screened, tested, prescribed and reviewed for eight months now, and everyone says we’re real close to being in prime condition for having a baby. But, I have to go with the recommendation of my specialist as the best prescription I’ve ever received from a medical doctor. My specialist prescribed “A Lot of Sex” as the best approach to having a baby. Winnie was not amused.
So on that note, I conclude my news about not much of anything at all. Please come back often for more.