April 15, 2018

Some Story Telling Today

After a long rain delay

All the excitement started yesterday afternoon. No, not at Yankee Stadium. I was there in 2003 on my two week baseball tour. As you can tell I am in the upper deck and for those afraid of heights ... yes ... it was steep as I sat there enjoying a game on Saturday afternoon. The excitement I speak of was in my kitchen yesterday ... which leads to some story telling today with some old photos in random order.
With raining all night and most of the morning today all hound activities outside were canceled. I didn't have any photos to blog about so I decided to move through my different folders in Photos on my computer and pull out some to talk about. A lot of different ones and nothing specific. All random.

I am  at a standstill here on Sunday afternoon. There's been a rain delay in the Cincinnati Reds baseball game, and the Indy Race doesn't start for another hour out in Long Beach, CA. Yet, I have been very very busy today all because of the excitement on Saturday in my kitchen. Plus I have a water valve that won't move that I will talk about later.

This field of yellow is the same field that I showed you a few days ago that was under water. Since these 'weeds' show up around early May, I am not sure if they are going to arrive on time this year. After all, we might get a light snow tonight if the weather people are accurate.

I had a load of laundry in my Kenmore Heavy Duty 700 Series machine yesterday. The machine was given to me for free in 1997, that was after it was bought new in 1979 and used a lot. It has never given me any problems until yesterday. So not bad for a washer that is 38 years old. I never replaced it because it always worked and never needed repairs.

As I got up from the kitchen table to get a glass of water, I notice I had a few isolated large puddles of water on the floor ... but I didn't see a path from any of them to where the water came from. Is this real or a dream I asked myself ? But like anything that is old, there is always a chance for some excitement.

When I saw the first picture of Stella in August 2015, needing a home ... how could I pass up a bloodhound as good as that. Her 3rd owner in 6 years was giving her away.

I picked her up a few weeks later and she rode about 4 hours in my FJ without any issues. Since I didn't know if she would run away or not I put her on the 80' tether anchored in the field, when we got home. As you can tell below she was nervous and it was really hot.

Yesterday though, I calmly got my mop and bucket to clean up the water, then dried the floor off with a towel so I could get on my hands and knees with a bright LED flashlight to find out where the water is coming from. Usually it's my water heater that is telling me it's time to be replaced by flooding my kitchen unexpectedly but that wasn't it ... no water was coming from the water heater closet.

Then there it was ... very light moisture in front of the washer. At the time the wash machine was in it's rinse cycle so I was happy not to see a river of water rushing at me while I was close to the floor tracking where the water came from. I was not going to stop my laundry project as long as I didn't have a river gushing out from under the machine. So I rolled up a towel and jammed it down in front and a little under the wash machine. I'll just say that a few hours later when I finished two more loads of laundry (half loads) the saturated towel did not match the amount of water I saw on the floor earlier. At least I knew the wash machine was the source of the leak. Not a good sign.

On another hot summer day in 2011, notice Stella's tongue hanging out above in 2015, I picked up Heidi about 4 hour drive away. She rode in the car well that day and spent the first 30 minutes talking to me nonstop telling me her story. Later that afternoon she took her first walk in the field on a leash and decided it was pretty hot out there for that kind of exercise. The GABR thought she was 1-1/2 to 2 years old from what the vet told them but nothing confirmed officially. That estimate would put her around 9 years old this summer. Notice she came with long toenails.

Since the washer and matching dryer is in a closet 29" x 60" right behind my kitchen table, I was going to have to play some musical chairs if I was going to have enough room to check out under the wash machine. I didn't get that far.

I moved the kitchen table toward the island. I then slide out the 38 year old dryer that has only needed a small heating element that I replaced 10 years ago and slide that out of the way. Then the puzzle became complicated. Nothing ever goes smooth when I am involved with any kind of tools. It didn't go smooth today either and that is why I have time to sit here putting this blog post together. LOL

Sadie was a little more than 2 years old when she claimed the large leather chair with an ottomon. She still hangs out in that chair every night whether I am in the living room or not. No fear for those people that don't allow dogs on furniture ... I never have people visitors because I am a hermit. Am I serious ??? Yep.

Back to my washer inspection ... the first problem was, the two knobs that I needed to turn to shut off the water supply would not turn. I pulled out my trusty plumbing wrench but still careful enough not to break anything that would lead to an expensive plumbing bill by a professional. I was able to get one knob turned to shut of the water source for the hot water. The other knob was not moving.

So I took a can of Fabulous Blaster Penetrating Catalyst off of the shelf, sprayed the frozen valve and let it soak. Then I taped it with a hammer to hopefully loosen anything that was holding it. Then I applied more Blaster ... it didn't budge. I applied more and let it soak. While I waited I need to inspect the floor under the wash machine plus look for an clues on where the water was coming from.

This summer I hope to make it back to the nearby lake but this time rent one of their canoes for the day and head on on the lake. My friend and I did that last summer or maybe the summer before with his two canoes and it was fantastic.

As I was cleaning up the floor where the wash machine sat and had not been moved anytime that I could remember, I noticed some rust at the bottom of the wash machine on the side of it dead center. Definitely not a good sign but an informative one telling me I was going no further in my inspection to see what needed to be repaired. Besides with me unable to loosen that water valve to shut of the water source I would not be able to take off the water hose so I could pull the washer out far enough so I could flip it on it's side so I could take a look on the bottom of it.

I figured after 38 years it was time to replace it with a new or used one. So while the floor fan dried out the floor where the washer sat, I headed for the computer to find a washer, a dryer that could be delivered and installed for free plus take my 38 year old set far away.

Since I have retired 4 years ago I don't do as much laundry as I use to. Which made me think for a few split seconds wondering if I even needed to buy a washer and dryer. I usually only have a load of clothes and a load of hound blankets. There is a very nice laundry mat downtown with bigger washers and bigger dryers ... but that word "convenience" popped up again. Remember when I was using that word a few days ago during my rant about social media and computers ??

So although I have a new washer and dryer in "my shopping cart" on that website, not yet ordered, I may do some more thinking if I really want to pull that much money out of my account to buy something I rarely use. I could look for some used ones for sale but would that business haul away the older set I have now?

Plus as of 3pm, that water valve will not budge so I might have to call my local plumber for him to work his magic and prevent me from breaking something copper and have water spraying all over the kitchen while I run down the front yard to the water meter to shut the main water source off.

No matter what I decide ... when I am taking photos of butterflies again I will know it's really hot outside and that's a good thing.

I am going to make some calls around the local area tomorrow to see if I can someone that can haul away my old washer dryer set. I'll check Craig's list and eBay to see if anyone nearby is selling a used set ... yet I have these new machines on sale so I would be saving a little but not a lot. I would go to the Facebook Market Place or my local county yard sale group BUT that would put me back on Facebook. Do I really want to deal with "used" and find potential problems ???

Some of you might remember the time I bought a Class C RV just a few months after I proclaimed that I could not do any RV traveling because I could not travel with 3 dogs. Within the month of buying it I see oil on the grass like I saw water on my kitchen floor yesterday. I ended up replacing the oil cooler lines from the radiator to the oil filter ... in the center of the RV. So it was parked and winterized, survived a lot of snow and then was sold in late March or early April, the first week of warm weather.

The buyer did not test drive it but said he would return the next day to pick it up. He did and luckily by the time he did I was able to hose off all the mud out of the wheel wells and under the RV ... why ? ... because I got stuck in the backyard the afternoon after he left. I was going to fill it up with gas before he picked it up at noon the next day, but spent all of my time digging the rear double wheels out of my yard.

Speaking of vehicles ... all three hounds love to ride. They have not ridden that much in the blue JF that I bought last July but may this summer. Heidi has been on a few trips with me to the recycling center and left some hound dog drool to dry on the window sill by the side mirror.

Sadie seems to like the very small windows on the rear of the FJ ... Stella likes to be a close to the front as possible so she can give me directions and know if we are going through any fast food drive thru's for her. But I like a clean car, so they haven't ridden much. They will soon on our annual trip to the vet for checkups and shots.

There was the time in 2013 I was so close to buying the Lil Snoozy Trailer, the two bassets and one bloodhound drove down to Arkansas to pick it up. Having to spend the night gave me enough time to talk myself out of the deal and leave before dawn with the check still in my billfold. I still like that trailer and the design inside.

The following spring after backing out buying the trailer I had the new idea of buying a Nash Trailer (larger) and for that I would need a bigger tow vehicle. This 2006 Silverado 2500HD 4x4 caught my eye and I brought it home with me. What a great truck.

The only problem was I thought that new Silverado was a keeper so I decided to sell my perfect 1994 Chevy Cheyenne V8, full size bed, tow package and heavy duty rear shocks for towing. I mean why would anyone need two trucks ?? 2 hours after I sat the 1994 Chevy truck in the yard down by the highway with a For Sale on it ... it was sold.

47 days later I traded the 2006 Chevy Silverado for a 2007 Toyota FJ and was missing my old 1994 white truck and I still do to this day. There have been a few times in the past 4 years I've needed a pickup truck. The trouble is I cannot find anything that is as nice as the 1994 Chevy I had.

All of us (Me, Sadie and Stella) are hoping to see Heidi running or trotting through the tall grass this summer. When her ears are vertical you know she is at top speed.

Anyone remember the eclipse last August ? Knowing the hounds would not look at the sunshine I let them out with me as I sat outside just to experience the change in light. As you can see the day sunshine turned dim but we did not have a total blackout up here in 'the tropics' ... the next eclipse they will have to stay inside since it is suppose to pass right over our house.

November 2017 was the last time we have seen deer in the field. Did the ATV traffic drive them away since those ATVs have been going down into the gully on a regular basis. No deer mean Sadie and Stella do not have aerobic exercise to count on.

I've had three Mini Coopers in the past. One advantage is they are so small that not only will they let you in the 'lot' at Home Depot but you can drive right down the isle next to the product you want to load. In this case it was 400 pounds of landscape edgers.

Locally we have one of the oldest and tallest train trestles in the USA. A few years ago I grabbed the camera, found it after a long search, almost lost,  and took some photos of it. Two things I will not do that other people do. (1) I will not ride the train across that single track (2) I will not climb the supports from the ground level to the top.

The comparison of the FJ parked next to it, gives you some idea just how large that trestle is.

I was going to post this about three hours ago but since then have had a couple of long phone calls. I am going to sit and decide whether to buy a new washer and dryer. It can be delivered and installed by April 20. Or do I buy used and find someone to haul my old set away. Their "on sale" price will not last forever.

In the meantime I am going to flip the tv between the Indiana Pacers upset of Cleveland in Game 1 of the playoffs, then over to the IndyCar race in Long Beach and the last few innings of the Reds losing again for the 8th game in a row.

Otherwise a great day here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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