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Monday, February 2, 2009

Operation: Clean Paws (Part Two)

This past weekend we didn't make any progress on Operation: Clean Paws. Instead we went to the Bay Area, then worked on cleaning the house, went to the movies, and ran some errands.

On Friday we met up with my parents at the cardiologist's office in Oakland--I got to meet my dad's doctor (who I just love and trust completely with my dad's well being) and find out firsthand what the options are at the point in the diagnosis. You'll recall that my dad is in the midst of navigating a potentially very serious heart arrhythmia along with very high blood pressure.

My dad takes his blood pressure and pulse every morning, 3 times in a row for accuracy, with a home monitor. So when he met with Dr. Lee he presented him with several graphs of these stats (including 3 point running averages, highs, lows, etc.). The doctor just beamed when he saw this--he said he loves working with smart people like Doctor Levie who take control of their health like that. (I just thought it was dorky...but to each his own I guess.) You can tell he adores referring to my dad as "doctor," as when he talks to his assistant or nurse and says "Rosa, could you make sure Doctor Levie gets an appointment set up for 3 months from now?" And then Rosa responds, "of course, Doctor Lee, I will take good care of Doctor Levie."

When we got to Livermore we let the dogs run around the yards for a while while my dad and I took measurements of the area where he plans on setting up a greenhouse. Somehow we convinced my dad to eat someplace other than Emil Villa's for dinner. Our family friend, Gayla, joined us for delicious Thai food at Lemongrass. Since my parents have no idea what types of Thai dishes are good, Dave and I were in charge of ordering. (Thai is one of our top 3 favorite types of foods--along with Indian and Japanese.) Dave says that Thai and Indian foods are our achilles heal.) The food was soooooooooo good. We were amazed that my dad enjoyed his food (but he did point out that if he had to choose he'd choose EV or Hanabishi instead--I guess you just can't teach an old dog, or dad, new tricks).

The rest of the weekend was spent at home in Davis, which was nice. Dave was supposed to help his brother rototill his yard on Saturday but he never materialized so Dave wasted much of the afternoon waiting around (I was napping since I didn't get much sleep at my parents' house the night before--2 dogs and 2 humans on a full sized bed does not work. At 4am I ended up moving to the floor, which was better). That was the only real opportunity to work on the yard the whole weekend. Oh well. are some pictures of the rest of what we did the first weekend.

A year and a half ago we installed gutters along the west side of our house. For some reason the previous owner only had them on the other side, leaving this side to collect water all along the foundation (which is really, really not good when you have a slab foundation and expansive soils). To divert the water away from the house, Dave dug a tench so we could bury a drain line under our soon-to-be gravel path:
Here you can see the nifty green pop-up emitter on the right--the water will drain to the flower bed along the fence:
Next we needed to remove some concrete near the water connection so we could lay a water line (and power line) for our soon-to-be trash can hut and landscaping alongside the driveway (for an eventual sprinkler, sprinkler valve, and hose):

Here I am digging the trench under the fence to the front of the house. We did not make that hole in the fence to aid in my trenching--that was courtesy of our darling Potatoes who dug his way out back in the spring while I was at school. He's now an indoor dog while Mama is not home:
And here I am being distracted by a very cute baby girl. Ruby was very unhappy being inside and away from her mama so we finally let her outside to "help." Have you ever seen anything to precious?

Hugs for Mama:
Kisses for Mama:
In the trench with Mama:
(I cannot tell you how much she melts my heart!)

Ok...back on topic: we finally got the water pipe and electrical conduit laid, primed, and glued. I'd never done this type of thing before and Dave had to teach me how to do it. I have to admit that I loooooooooooove it when Dave teaches me things like this. It makes me fall even deeper in love with him (I know that's so cheesy, but it is so true). =)
My parents are (hopefully) coming up to see us this weekend and we're hopeful that we can get my dad's help with this project. We have to test the water line, run the electrical, bury the pipes, lay the wooden siding for the paths and then finally start tamping-down the aggregate base. That's a lot, I know. But it will be worth it (I have to keep telling myself that).

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