Painful evening

Tuesday had started off dull but soon brightened up and I had been able to do more work on the ramp. This morning (6 th March) I removed the temporary plywood covering soon after I had returned from my early morning walk.

It now only needs the final screed to smooth it all out and that will get done when the weather permits as usual. Once that had been done it was breakfast time and I was especially hungry as I hadn’t eaten since lunch time the previous day. I missed out on my evening meal because I had been to see the dentist late in the afternoon. He had to extract a tooth which couldn’t be repaired as it had deteriorated too much. Fortunately it was located at the side of my mouth and doesn’t spoil my smile! Had it been on view I would have had it replaced and that could still be a possibility if I feel it necessary. Anyway I was encouraged not to eat for three hours and to follow the aftercare instructions. It would have been eight o’clock before I could eat anything but I chose not to so that the healing would not be impeded. However by that time the injection had worn off and the pain began to increase. By late evening it was at it’s worse but I didn’t take any drugs to alleviate it. I won’t take drugs unless it is absolutely necessary. It made getting off to sleep harder but after a while I nodded off. When I awoke all the pain had gone. My next routine appointment will be in September. Friday I see the doctor also for a routine appointment.

Shirley Anne

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I wasn’t sure……

…..if the promised respite from the dull wet and windy weather was going to happen on Tuesday morning (5 th March) because when I arose nothing much had changed. No it wasn’t raining at that time, around six o’clock so there was some hope. The reason I wanted a break from the poor weather was because I wanted to add some more base concrete to the ramp behind the garage I am in the process of altering. I got dressed and ate breakfast and about a quarter after seven put on my overalls and boots and decided to give it a go. First I had to get the van out of the garage in order to remove the large panel of plywood I would use to cover the work once done. While unpacking the mixer and setting everything up there was a light falling of rain and I began to think it pointless to continue. Nevertheless I plodded on regardless and filled the mixer with sand and gravel followed by the cement. The rain began to disappear and the sky started to brighten up. I added the water to the mixer now that everything had mixed together and poured out the contents into the wheelbarrow. One full mixer load fills the barrow to the brim which under normal circumstances would spill out if it was moved too far. Fortunately the job was only two metres from the mixer and I soon had the concrete tipped onto the ramp. I have an old stiff plastic yard brush which comes in handy for tamping down thin layers of concrete and I spread and levelled the mix. Normally I would use a spade to tamp down and remove any trapped air but this was only a few centimetres deep. By the time I had finished the sun began to shine though not where I was working which was still in the shade that early in the morning and time of year. I had thought the first stage would be enough before applying the top screed but changed my mind after checking the contour once it had dried and the covering had been removed. When this second stage has set and dried I will be able to finish with the screed. That may not happen for a further few days until the weather has settled. I covered the work with the plywood in case it rained but it wasn’t necessary, it stayed dry all day.

I paid a visit to the builders depot to collect more sand (yes I finally ran out of the stuff) and ‘granno’ or granite dust. Later in the day I had an appointment with the dentist.

Shirley Anne

Promises

CHILDREN OF GOD’S PROMISE (Galatians 4:4–5)

The law was given as a guardian, a steward of the relationship between God and his people until the promise of the coming Messiah was fulfilled. It was established by God to uphold a standard of holiness and make a way for people to temporarily atone for their sins. God determined the time between the giving of the law and the fulfillment of the promise for our benefit. Not a moment of what went on before Jesus came was wasted. The Israelites of the Old Testament lived with expectation, waiting for God to fulfill his promises. Like underage heirs, they were subject to their guardian, the law—and that arrangement made them no better off than slaves. But Jesus came “to redeem those under the law, that [they] might receive adoption to sonship” (v. 5). He was the fulfilled promise that made adoption into God’s eternal family possible. Believers are children of God. And they share in the mind-blowingly abundant inheritance of the Lord himself! There is no more uncertainty: God calls believers his beloved and they walk in the close, deeply affectionate, committed love of their heavenly Father. Jesus, thank you for freeing me from doubt, from slavery and from solitude. Thank you for making my adoption into God’s family possible. Amen.

Taken from NIV The Jesus Bible

Dear reader perhaps you would like these promises too? They are yours too when you turn to God through Jesus Christ. It isn’t a hard decision to make though many think it is for all sorts of reasons. It is the easiest and best decision you could ever make in your entire life. Remember that the life you now have will end one day so wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that there is something better to look forward to afterward? There’s only one way to find out and that is to seek God in your present life. Once you depart from this world it will be too late. God is faithful and will keep His promises if you believe and trust in Him. The way is through Jesus Christ, He is the way, the truth and the life and no-one comes to The Father except through Him!

Shirley Anne

What a night!

It was still windy on Monday morning when I went out for my walk. We had yet another storm blow over the country from the evening before and on through the night. Thank goodness I had slept through the worst of it. I walked northward from home on a slightly different route and for most of the time the wind was at my back. It made conditions seem colder than they actually were, especially when walking in the shadow of tall buildings. Eventually I turned toward the beach and it was even windier! Nice though I have to admit. The tide was coming in, the first time I have seen it for quite some time. I guess I never got the timing right! Despite how lovely and bracing the fresh sea air was after a while I’d had enough and turned inland and out of the wind. In a way I was glad to be back home after two hours fighting the elements. I had no plans for the day. Although the sun had been shining it rained on and off after ten o’clock. A good or bad reason for not continuing with the concrete laying depending on how you look at it. I would rather it be fine for at least a day or two and perhaps the work might be completed. It will have to be shelved for another day.

‘I’ve had to book my appointment two weeks in advance, so we’ll both sit here until I feel unwell.’

Tomorrow I would be paying a visit to the dentist, probably for a filling renewal. It had been a couple of weeks since I had the toothache prompting the appointment. It had been the only available appointment at that time. The surgery would have accommodated me immediately had the pain been unbearable but in fact it had almost disappeared a couple of days later and remains so as I write this. Naturally I will keep the appointment and will probably get the refill. On Friday this week I have another appointment but this one with the doctor for a routine check-up and repeat prescription for my medications. How jolly eh?

Shirley Anne

Might be a while

I had a really good night’s sleep Saturday through Sunday interrupted just the once for a visit to the you know where. I had eaten quite late in the evening on Saturday so wasn’t feeling hungry when I awoke. Consequently I skipped breakfast and instead went into the garden to remove the temporary covering I had placed over the newly laid concrete the day before.

The concrete had set alright so it was safe to remove the covering despite the light rain which was falling. In fact it had been twenty-four hours to the minute since it had been laid. Now you must remember that this is only the first stage so the surface is rough and the shape of the slope has yet to be altered. That will happen when I apply the next and hopefully the last layer. For that layer I will use a finer concrete mix using granite dust instead of small granite stones. It should blend in with the existing ramp and path. However the work may be delayed for quite a while because of the weather forecast indicating rain for many days ahead. Whilst we are looking at the picture the remaining tree branches and trunks still need cutting. The bags shown at the bottom right with bricks on them contain the soil I had removed from the larger bag which lay on the path where the ramp is being altered. That soil will be disposed of around the gardens. There are other bags containing sand and soil behind the second garage which also have to be dealt with. Plenty of things to keep me occupied in the weeks ahead.

Shirley Anne

Whilst I could.

As I write this on March 2 nd the weather is turning a little unpredictable with rain threatening to fall every few hours. It is however dry at the moment but could rain at any time. It appears it is going to be the best day out of the next four or five in respect of the rainfall. I made it my business therefore to get some work done outdoors at the rear of garage one, or the one in which my van sits and now the new lawnmower too. Obviously there are many other things in there some of which have wheels and need to be pushed out through the rear door for use occasionally. When I purchased the new mower I wanted to see if I needed to alter the concrete ramp behind the door to make it easier to push those wheeled items into the garden and especially the new mower. When it arrived yesterday I was able to see how difficult the existing ramp might be unless it was altered but I always had the feeling the ramp needed altering anyway. Immediately after breakfast I brought out the cement mixer and its stand together with tools with which to begin the work. First I set up the mixer and then using a heavy lump hammer broke into pieces several of the old used bricks I had to make rubble. Doing that had two advantages, first I could at last dispose of them and second, I would need less concrete too! I was extending the existing ramp with a view to making it less difficult to manoeuvre when wheeling out the mower and the other things. It took two full mixer loads to establish a base with which to follow up with a finer screed covering a few days later or when the weather permitted. Because rain was set to fall I covered the finished concrete with some old pieces of plywood temporarily.

It would only take a few hours to set enough to prevent any rain from affecting it. The old bricks I had used occupied the space on the raised concrete platform on the right in the picture. This base layer of concrete was left deliberately rough to enable the next layer to adhere better. I covered the mixer to allow it to remain outdoors for a few days.

So that was my Saturday morning taken care of. I wouldn’t be doing any more work until Monday.

Shirley Anne

A new mower….

….but first…..it is now March 1 st as I write. The day started off dull, cool and misty with rain threatening to fall and according to the forecast will do before nightfall. It is now the afternoon and a little warmer but still dull. I went for my walk before six o’clock so that I could return early and eat breakfast before the delivery of the new mower I had purchased on Monday. I wanted to get on with finishing the job of removing the moss from the roof which I had started yesterday but had to wait for the delivery. The guy delivering it arrived later than I had expected but still within the time slot between nine and ten o’clock as arranged. When he arrived he reversed onto the drive and proceeded to unload the mower. I had removed my van from the garage so that he could wheel it straight in. He instructed me on how to use it and then we pushed it through the rear door mostly to see if it would pass through. I have to say there was little spare space each side. I am thinking of ways to widen the doorway and also to lay more concrete outside to make the existing slope more gentle. Here is the picture of the mower standing inside the garage…

Here is the picture of the slope outside showing the doorway also…

We are not disposing the other mower which is in the shop being serviced but will keep it as a standby.

Once the guy had gone I plugged the mower into the power supply to charge its battery as he instructed I should do. Then I put on my overalls and set about finishing the moss removal before then dismantling the tower and storing it away in the garage. It was approaching one o’clock when I had finished and time for lunch. If the weather allows I will begin work on the concrete slope but first I will need to buy more materials though it will only be granite chippings for I already have enough sand and cement. Looks like the concrete mixer will be in use again. That must be one of the best things I have purchased in the last ten years for helping me do all my construction work and there has been plenty of that!

Shirley Anne

It just had to

It was the last day of February and it was completely different from the days in the week before. I was up early in order to do the weekly shopping and at that time, around seven-thirty, it was quite cool bordering on cold in fact. It was also dull and cloudy. February just had to have the last word to let us know it was technically still winter. I had eaten breakfast before doing the shopping run so when I returned home I was able to begin the task of scraping off the moss on the sloping roof outside my bedroom window. I had erected the scaffolding tower the day before. I took with me a hoe, hand brush, yard brush, bucket and soda crystals together with the garden hose. The hoe seemed the best tool for scraping off the moss and it proved so especially the moss out of normal reach. I did a section at a time scraping then switched to the yard and hand brushes to sweep it down toward me and into the rain gutter from where I handled it into the bucket. Obviously I was wearing gloves as I always do when doing messy and dirty jobs. Once a section was cleared I hosed it down to remove the debris the brushes hadn’t removed. The roof tiles are rough cast so things tend to stick to them. Had I paid for the re-roofing of the house I would have chosen smooth tiles or slates. The roof had been re-tiled by the previous owner just prior to us moving in back in the summer of 1988. After hosing down I sprinkled some of the crystals onto the roof the filled a bucket with water and added soda crystals before ‘splashing’ it onto the tiles. The soda crystals evidently kill any spores to prevent regrowth or at least stave it off for longer. I moved the tower to the next section and repeated the process. I took this picture from my bedroom window later showing the cleaned sections (about three-quarters of the roof)…

I did half of the area you can see (above) before lunch and the second half after lunch at which point February once again let me know it was February and it rained! The rain didn’t last too long but by then I I’d had enough for the day. I moved the tower once again in readiness for completing the last quarter of the roof….

As it happens the last quarter had far less moss on it so hopefully wouldn’t take long to remove. If it didn’t rain on March 1 st the next day it would get done. I was expecting the delivery of my new mower in the morning so it might have to wait.

Shirley Anne

Enough already

Wednesday morning was a go for a walk time so I was up reasonably early to make it outside before seven-thirty. It didn’t feel cold when I put my head out of the window earlier but I knew better than not to wrap up warm and true enough it was cold. By that I mean it was no warmer than seven deg. C with a slight wind blowing. I saw a few people walking their dogs but most people were in their cars driving somewhere, probably to work for most of them. In a way I am so glad I no longer have to do that but it doesn’t mean I want to lounge about all day doing nothing either. It was actually a pleasant walk as most of them are. I had determined to make the most of what promised to be another fine and warm day. Yes, it was forecast to be somewhere in the mid-teens temperature wise so after breakfast I put on my overalls and went into the garage to dig out all the scaffolding tower pieces to begin assembling it at the rear of the house. It took me a while to erect it fully for there was no-one to hand me the pieces from below. I am also a little slower than I used to be which is probably better for safety reasons. Besides there isn’t the same urgency in getting things done than was the case when I was younger with little spare time. Now I have all the time in the world. It was after one o’clock by the time I had it done and returned indoors for lunch.

The problems I faced where in keeping it vertical on the slightly sloping pathway, deciding where the safety bars and strengthening bars should be placed and where to place the platforms. There are two platforms supplied with the tower but I found in the past when using it that it was better to have a third. I constructed one using thick plywood a couple of years ago but I only use it lower down the tower. It helps getting the next platform in position much easier and of course the top platform is fixed in position by standing on the second one. Without the bottom platform it becomes difficult to fit the next one. Anyway that was all I did for the day, enough is enough, I wasn’t going to spend the rest of the afternoon working, after all the sun was shining and the patio looked inviting in the now lovely and warm day. You will be curious to know why I erected the tower no doubt.

In the second picture (taken a few years ago) you can see the sloping roof beneath the two windows on the left (which happens to be my bedroom). The roof gets moss growing on it which I have removed a few times over the years and there is a gutter which fills up with dead moss and wind-blown leaves. Occasionally I use a long pole with an attachment from my bedroom windows to scoop out the gutter so that it falls to the ground below but it is awkward. So once in a while I erect the tower and do a more thorough job. I will need to treat the moss to kill it off. Now you know why the tower is there and why I didn’t want to do any work after lunch. There’s always tomorrow and the day after and…… you get the picture.

Shirley Anne

Back in the routine

I am referring to gardening and the beginning of a new season. Although as I write this at the end of February there is still another three and a half weeks to go before the official start of Spring it certainly feels like it has arrived already! This afternoon for instance I spent a couple of hours out on the patio sunbathing! According to the forecast at the moment (4 o’clock) it is 17 deg C. That is most unusual but very welcome. It had been a pleasant day yesterday too and I did spend time in the warm sunshine though it wasn’t as warm as today being 14 deg C. As there was little wind it felt that much warmer. I haven’t been sitting around doing nothing all day for this morning I have been quite busy. I was looking out of the window after breakfast and remembered that I had intended to feed the birds so that was my first job. The bird feeder was empty and the bird table was also empty so both were filled again. Then I noticed the bird bath was dry so that got filled with water too. We haven’t had much rain lately which normally keeps it filled. My next task was to empty out that bag of sand I mentioned in yesterday’s post though when I started to do it I found it was filled with soil. I had forgotten that was where I put some of the soil I had removed from the lawn when constructing the feature late last year. The sand had been put into smaller bags and placed inside the garage to free the bag for filling with soil.

I removed the soil and put it into individual smaller bags for use later elsewhere.

There is still another large bag filled with soil and grass sods which I had at that time placed under cover behind the second garage. That has yet to be sorted but it will take a couple of hours to do. I left it for another day, preferably when it would be cool though it is located in a place which never gets direct sunlight. Having done that work I began removing dead stalks from many of the flowers and shrubs in the borders and generally tidied up where necessary. The lawn needs cutting but as you now know from yesterday’s post I am without a mower at the moment. That isn’t strictly true for there are two old electric mowers in the garage but I doubt they would be able to tackle the longer grass and would take ages to do if they could.

Shirley Anne