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Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Friday, March 7, 2014

Two Weeks & Two Days at Home -- What a Time!!!

At the end of the last blog, I mentioned how long we would be at home before we left for another 6 week trip……. See title above!!

Here is a list of what we needed to accomplish:

1.  Have two of the foundation repair Companies re-do our foundation.

2.  Install tow bar, switches, lights, etc. on new Honda for towing.

3.  Have DISH installer set up the Bus for receiving satellite service.

4.  Both of us had 3-month doctor visits.

5.  Both of us had six month dental appointments

6.  Get driver’s door window fixed on old Honda (failed at Q).

7. Buy license and get old Honda inspected.

8.  Change out Bus air filter (purchased at Q)

9.  Mow & fertilize lawn and weed flower beds (Spring jobs)

10.  Clean up Bus and get ready for second trip


To make the two week time period more challenging. our granddaughter, Aubrey, had a National Cheer Competition in Livingston, TX over the middle weekend (Friday night to Sunday night), and asked us to attend.  When she asks, we can’t say no!!  Here are a couple of pictures (a little too much make-up for my liking, but nobody asked!)…..


Now we are down to 2 weeks or 14 days.  The last six items on the list went as expected, and took the amount of time that was estimated.  We had major problems with the first four!!

As background, we have had three different companies (due to expertise) work on leveling our house foundation.  The two that were supposed to come out and do a warranty fix to re-level in two days, decided that they needed the third company to come out first.  We have been messing with this for over a year, and I almost lost it!!!

This was on the first Tuesday, and I insisted that the work get done before we left for our next 6-week trip!  That required three companies that are usually scheduled about 3 months out to open a common day within two weeks.  After 36 hours, they decided that they could do it on Tuesday, March 4th with us leaving town on the morning of  Wednesday, March 5th!!  I agreed and we confirmed that it would get done before the quit on the 4th.

Previous repairs required breaking up concrete and putting holes in our back patio, living room floor in front of our fireplace, and the Master bedroom in back of the fireplace.  The latter two required removal of all furniture from these two rooms and taking up the carpet!!

Here are a few pictures to conjure up some sympathy for us.  Here is what our living room looked like AFTER the repair in November……


Two holes cut in the Master Bedroom looked similar right before we re-installed the carpet after the concrete patch cured.

Here are some random shots of this repair………


To explain, one company worked the beams on the perimeter of the house while a second raised the interior problem area, i.e., big fireplace!!  These two companies dig down and use concrete cylinders to raise the foundation under the beams with 10,000lb capacity jacks. The third company pumps a high pressure hardening mixture under the rest of the slab on the interior of the house.  The mixture could not raise the heavy fireplace!!

All of the work was done at the end of the day, except putting concrete over the holes, which they did at 8:00am on Wednesday.  They were through by 10:30am, and Patsy’s dental appointment was at 11:00am.  We were on the road at 1:00pm.

As a side note, I think I am finally pleased that my foundation is finally fixed.  They used a ‘altimeter’ style level tool to check elevations all around the house, and this time it was FLAT!!!  Now if it just stays that way, we are happy.  Looking back, they should have all done it at the same time in a coordinated manner from the beginning, instead of each working independently at different times!

Regards the Honda towing job, I expected it to be hard!  We purchased a 2012 Honda CRV new in 2012 to eventually replace the 2000 Honda CRV that we have towed since 1999,  for a total of 160,000 miles while driven another 212,000 miles.

It was hard for me to start towing a brand new car behind a Bus (with all the rocks and debris that it can get hit with), plus the newer Hondas require wiring additions to eliminate the need to pull fuses when towing, and installing the tow bar essentially requires removing the entire front end of the vehicle to replace the steel Honda bumper with the tow bar assembly which supports the towing hitch and acts as a bumper. (See pictures)

The following shows the removed front end with the new tow bar assembly/bumper sitting on the floor behind it……..


Here’s the poor Honda after we took the front off.  The Honda ‘bumper’ is still attached and is located below the radiator.  Thank God, my son, Rick, helped me!!!  Good boy!


Each of the other items, electrical wiring to the rear lights from the front, hooking up the plug from the Bus, running the ‘safety break-away’ switch wiring from the tow bar through the firewall, installing the fuse-switch assembly, and installing a new 12v accessory plug in the Honda directly wired from the battery all were more difficult that I expected, and took more time!  But, it is done, we we now are towing and enjoying a new “TOAD” on our trips.

The DISH installation was anything, but normal and easy.  We had some Direct TV receivers (one each for living room and bedroom TV’s) in the Bus, but we did not have local service (NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, etc.) with Direct TV.  This makes it difficult to keep up with our favorite weekly TV shows and to watch special things like the Super Bowl, in the middle of the desert!   I also wanted HD reception, and DISH has it with my Kingdome dish, and Direct TV does not. 

The installer that I used, G&A Electronics of Victoria, were great, and the owner, Greg turned out to be a great guy to work with, and would not settle for anything but perfect!!   The issues came from an the installation in an RV plus my satellite system is six years old.  I think some of it was from the way one of us lives…………. and I know it ain't me so it must be Greg!! 

Greg, who is certified to work with Direct TV, DISH, and Kingdome, had to do an upgrade on the Kingdome, and also had to do a lot of special programming of the receivers.  He had to make several trips to the Bus which was parked in our driveway. Greg personally did all of the work on my system.  We got to know each other very well, but the B@$T@&D wouldn’t give me his cell phone number……….claiming that I would be the type that would call him at 2:00AM.   Everybody knows that the only time that I would do this is when the DISH is not working!!!!!!!!

Greg brought my second (and last) receiver out to the house on the Wednesday morning that we left town.  So far, all is working well, and we now can watch all channels in HD while driving down the road…….. not that I would even think of doing that!

My quarterly doctor’s appointment was the forth task that cost more time than we expected.  Patsy and I had appointments at the same time, and I let her go first because she had plans to have lunch with some friends.  I don’t have that problem…….. no friends!!!

Patsy got finished and left (we took separate cars).  When I went into the nurse’s office for the pre-visit stuff (vitals, record updates, complaints, etc.), she was overly eager to tell me that this visit would include my annual physical……… and then pointed one of her fingers up in the air to indicate that the Doc was going to look up by back side!!   She has the type of personality that I usually do well with and we banter a lot, so I kind of expect that type of treatment.  When I call and ask for a favor, like sending a prescription to a Wal-Mart in a far away state, she really takes care of it.  She is a really good person, but I sure hope she doesn’t read this because I don’t want to know that I appreciate her………. oh, I forgot, she can’t read!!!

Next, she took me into the exam room and said that a part of the physical was an EKG, and had me take off my shirt and lay down on the table.  She hooked up the wires and ran the EKG…… and then ran out of the room.  She re-appeared in a couple of minutes and the doctor was with her. 

He ran another EKG, and started asking me questions about chest pains either now or in the past few days.  I told him that I had a little indigestion the night before (MY BIG MISTAKE), but that it was nothing special.  He said he was pretty sure that I had had a significant heart attack!!!!

He told me to put my shirt back on and sent me straight to the emergency room at the hospital across the street.  At the ER, they put me in a wheel chair, took my clothes off and put me in a gown, and began to hook up more EKG wires, putting in an IV, drawing blood, and surrounding me with a mass of people poking, prodding, and asking me a lot of questions.


Bottom line…….. they drew a lot of blood about 2 hours apart and the enzyme readings came back OK.  My appointment was at 10:00AM, and I finally got out of the hospital and home at 5:00PM!!!   Most of this day was lost.  Plus, I now had another appointment at 3:00PM on Tuesday!

In spite of all of the above, we are now in Little Rock, taking care of our other granddaughter, Rachel, while her parents continue to unpack boxes and stuff to get moved into their new house.

More later………………

1 comment:

Dennis Phillips said...

That looked like some major work! And major, since it took three companies, since apparently two won't be enough. They did this in a day? Amazing. And it looks like you're very satisfied with the result so all of the hassles were worth it.
Dennis Phillips @ SchaferConstructionInc.com