October 30, 2018 – New Flooring in Lanai

While walking around the yard examining my half-dead plants, I noticed that the lawn mower had broken one of the irrigation pipes where it comes out of the ground. I reported it to the office. A man came by the next day to fix it.  I asked him if he could help me figure out the five zones on the irrigation system controller.  He turned it to “manual” and turned on each zone in turn.  While doing so, he noticed that all of them were set to only three minutes, three times a week.  Not enough for the summer in Florida!  No wonder all my shrubs were sickly. 

One of our items on the fix-it list was the painted lanai floor.  The paint was peeling up.  When the painter came and patched the spots, he told us that they had mixed too much sand in the paint (to make the floor non-skid) and it would continue to peel.  We decided to go ahead and come up with some flooring. A neighbor recommended “pool decking”.

The man from Mid-State Stone , with a helper, arrived at 0800. Andy and I had already moved most of the patio furniture from the lanai; they moved the rest. Then I positioned myself inside the sliding glass door to watch them work.

They carried in bags of lentil-sized river gravel. This is the lanai at 0836.
The helper mixed up the epoxy in a blue bucket, measuring with two cook pots.
He made a pile of three bags of gravel, one each of black, white, and reddish-brown.
Then he mixed them thoroughly with a shovel.
He spread the pile with a rake.
The master began spreading and smoothing the gravel with a trowel.
The helper mixed the next batch as the master worked.
Here is a closer look.  It is smooth and shiny.
This man must have incredible abs and arms. He stretched out to do heavy work. He made grooves above the grooves in the concrete.
Finishing up the second row while the third row is spread.

Here is a pile of the three colors before being mixed.  The black and red have more brown in them than I was expecting.
It was fun to watch him pouring the thick epoxy into the gravel volcano.
The process was very similar to making biscuits.
Starting on the last row.
He used the bottle of water to keep the trowel wet so the epoxy would not accumulate on it.
Maybe he should have sprayed some on the soles of his shoes.
He was cornered while mixing the last batch of epoxy.
He made the well with his shoe.
Here is a closer look at the tiny gravel.
The master was taking a break in the golf cart while the helper spread the last batch of gravel.
He said he has been doing this for twenty years.  This is the leftover gravel at the end of the job.
The job is done.
They loaded their gear back into the truck at 1151.  I suppose they stopped for lunch before heading to the afternoon job.

Bill Snow called late in the afternoon to say that he and Mary would be spending the night at Lake Louisa State Park, just thirty minutes from us. So we drove down there to meet them and got there before they did.  We waited at the entrance gate.

Bill and Mary’s old fifth-wheel at Lake Louisa. They have bought a newer on.
The evening sun was shining through the Spanish Moss at their campsite.
Mary and Yuki

I also took a photo of Bill, but it turned out most unflattering.

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October 24, 2018 – Walk in PEAR Park

We took a trial walk through the Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural (PEAR) park and tried a route we had not followed before. Most of it was mowed walkways through the meadow.

Community Gardens

As pleasant as it was, Andy decided that it was too difficult for him to walk.  He wants smooth, level pavement.

October 23, 2018 – A Walk in Okahumpka Park

When we arrived home from our summer road trip, the air conditioning compressor had died and the house was HOT. The irrigation system was not working properly and all the flower beds and shrubs were half dead. We were approaching our one-year in the house and the end of the warranty.  I had already entered most of the little fixes before we left, so I just had to start the appointments for repairs. It all went well but was time-consuming.  We did manage to take a few walks, including an old favorite, Okahumpka Park.

September 14, 2018 – Gatlinburg, Tennessee

We did not stay long in Wisconsin.  Grandsons, Owen and Cam, were shocked to learn we were leaving so soon as we usually stay for weeks.  We rented a small trailer and hooked it up to the back of our little RV. George helped us load it up and turn things around to aim out of the driveway.

It was a two-day drive to Gatlinburg where we stopped in at Jake and Angie’s Wood Art. I had scouted out all the chainsaw carving shops in May and June.  Jake was busy carving when we pulled up.

There were plenty of works in progress too, mostly bears.

The bear I chose was standing with a little tilt, so Jake leveled the base for me.

There were lots of small bears on display in front of the store.

Turns out, Jake was heading to Marathon FL, the next day to carve the pilings on his father’s pier.

I didn’t take a picture of my bear.

We had planned to stay for the night, but it was early in the day.  We pulled out of Jake & Angie’s Wood Art and drove over the mountain through the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I guess we were like horses headed for the barn on the last leg of our long summer trip.

September 11, 2018 – Mequon, WI

Cam is in kindergarten and is so proud to be riding the big yellow school bus like his big brother. I think the bus driver was getting a kick out of the crazed grandma taking a picture.

Owen, on the other hand, is an old pro.

The tree house was complete.

The latest addition was the platform from the bridge to the top of the slide. The boys helped George build it.

Here it is from the top.

And, here is the tree house from the bridge.

September 9, 2018 – Mequon, Wisconsin

We left Maryland and took a quick trip back to Wisconsin to pick up my old roll-top desk that daughter Jennifer didn’t want any more. Jennifer took us on a new walk while the boys were in school. It is on the campus of Concordia University overlooking Lake Michigan.

That’s it: a zigzag sidewalk running down the tall bank.

Jennifer led the way.

There is also a staircase for those who want to take the short route. We did a bit of sidewalk and then some stairs.

This is looking back up from the bottom.

A man was weed-whacking on the massive hill.  Andy and I joked that Spence would love that.

The beach was full of pebbles and driftwood.

There were also some large boulders placed along the bottom of the hill to control erosion.  Jennifer showed us where grandson Owen likes to mine jewels.

Andy clung to the handrail going back up the stairs.  He made it all the way without too much trouble.  His new right knee is doing well and now we are planning for the new left knee.