Mid-May Wrap-Up

Beauty of Moscow Lilac in full bloom.

I’m wrapping-up a busy few days, so I’m going to touch a lot of bases lightly. Pardon the baseball reference, but the MLB Network replayed Game-7 of the 1979 World Series today. That’s the last time the Pittsburgh Pirates won a World Series.

Feast or Famine – During the nine, ten or however many weeks of collective isolation we’ve been dealing with, finding something on live television worth watching has been a challenge. I don’t watch a lot of TV, and I have streaming options, so this hasn’t been a crisis, but there’s a certain pleasure when I turn on the TV and find something I want to watch. Sunday afternoon, while the Pirates were beating the Baltimore Orioles, SyFy was showing “Dante’s Peak.” The movie is a little sappy, but it’s based on the eruption of Mt. St. Helen’s, which occurred while I was living in Seattle. In addition, AMC was showing “The Sons of Katie Elder” one of two western classics staring John Wayne and Dean Martin.

Yes, I know who won the baseball game, how the sons saved the ranch and how the mayor, her kids and the USGS scientist survive the volcano – doesn’t matter, this was good TV. Unfortunately the shows overlapped. Fortunately, I know them so well, it was easy to switch back and forth.

Walk & Sit – Maddie and I have been walking most mornings. Maddie has been getting crafty with her desire to sit. She seems to know which deck surface is in the sun at what times. She also seems to factor in the current temperature when deciding where and for how long we should sit.

Next Project – The next project will be the renovation of our garden shed. I will be replacing the siding, roof shingles and the single window. We are also planning to extend the roof toward the north, providing an open but covered area about 4′ (1.2m) wide by 10′ (3m) long. Partially because I want good plans and partially because I want to refamiliarize myself with my CAD (Computer Aided Design) software, I’ve been “drawing” detailed plans for the shed. I’ve been using TurboCAD since it first shipped almost 30 years ago. It’s an inexpensive yet very powerful CAD system, and it’s fun to play with use.

Clean-up – One of the least fun tasks in any project is cleaning up and putting the tools away. My tools are reasonable well organized. I know where to look when I need something, unless that something is still sitting in a toolbox since the last time it was used. Scrap material has to be tossed and, in this case, the old doors have to be disposed of. I may reuse the old storm door, on the side door to the garage, but I removed the glass from the entry door and cut it into small pieces.

Connecticut will be moving into its first stage of opening/unlocking/releasing us on Wednesday. I’m not sure what that means. Restaurants are allowed to open, but no bars, only outside seating and only while customers maintain a proper distance. I’m not sure if the restaurants we visit will be able to make any money under those restrictions. Barbers are allowed to begin seeing customers, but both have to wear masks and no procedure can be performed if it involves removing the mask. So much for getting my beard trimmed. And, if I shouldn’t be touching my mask, I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the hair that’s going to collect on it.

I think I’ll let a few people go first.


  1. Looks like you are making the most of all your time, Dan. Loved Dante’s Peak. For my money the best JW movie was Big Jake but we watched Sons recently as well. Good luck with the shed project. A pat on the head is what we all crave. Lucky Maddie!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You watching replay of Game 7 of the 1979 World Series and but it ends with Eddie Murray hitting a walk-off grand slam to give the Orioles the championship would be a cool episode for a reboot of “The Twilight Zone.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Dan – it might be a Panicle hydrangea … while the bridge T-shirt looks interesting. Good luck with the projects … everyone looks very relaxed and your beard has a way to go … could be white by the time you take yourself off to the barbers!! Take care and clever Maddie is all I can say … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the ID, Hilary. K keep after the beard, but I have know clue where it should be. I usually follow his live for four weeks and I still get lost. Worst case, it all comes off. But I don’t think it will come to that. Maddie is just a little too clever.


  4. Good movies! Thank you for extending the pat to Maddie. :-) Garden shed update – now, you’re really grabbing my attention. LOL Here’s a suggestion that you didn’t ask for – put a fold down shelf under the window so the Editor can put any seedlings or annuals that can’t go out yet. We just did that in our garage. You know I’ll stay tuned to every move. :-) Yes, to letting all those other folks go first!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a good suggestion, Judy. We have a couple places where that could work. The extension area could also be wrapped in plastic. It gets strong sun until just about this pint in the year when the maple tree leafs out. Of course, I had thought that the deck outside my workshop could be transformed into a greenhouse in the spring. Little did I know Maddie had other plans.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Enjoyed the pat on Maddie’s head, Dan. We’re also slowly coming out of lockdown – a myriad of unknowns and questions. COVID is certainly not shy of offering us mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Sons of Katie Elder. I’ve been forced to watch that over and over and over ad nauseaum for 36 years. I believe I can recite the dialogue verbatim.
    Interested in the Moscow Lilac. It’s lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m glad to see your state is not yet opening its bars on Wednesday. Sad for you, yes, as I’m sure you’d like to end the virtual visits and go for the real ones. However, you saw that opening bars didn’t go so well in WI. I have my first massage appointment in two months tonight and while I’m angsting just a little over this, I am looking forward to the end result. As for hair appointments, my stylist is not yet setting appointments, so I’ll cross that bridge later.

    I found a new TV show by accident this weekend on Netflix. It’s called “Hell on Wheels” and it stars Anson Mount (Captain Pike) and Colm Meaney (Chief O’Brien). It’s a story of post Civil War and building of the transcontinental railroad, but contains plenty of bloodiness, bigotry and mean people. It’s graphic, so not sure how much you like that stuff, but I was hooked after the first episode. There are good people in this too.

    Hope you have a great week, Dan. The overhang to the shed looks like another place that you and Maddie could relax under, although she looks perfectly content on her garage porch.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I switched from Netflix to Hulu, so I guess I won’t be able to see that, unless it’s just a show the Netflix carries. I’ll look around. Good characters and trains, what could go wrong?

      We have purposely decided to extend the field stone walk under the overhang, and NOT add another deck surface. That would leave us with having to raise the door and step down into the shed AND fight with Maddie over another space meant for a human purpose.

      I can wait on a haircut. I see no reason to come out covered in hair and still not have a decent trim job on my beard. I can look bad without spending any money. And, the best part of my haircuts is meeting my best friend afterward for breakfast. We can’t do that, so…

      I’ll let the places open up and we’ll see how that goes. I got time.

      I hope you have a great week!


  8. A bridgeT-shirt!! Lol. Maddie’s park is looking beautiful as are your lilacs. Definitely looks like another ‘Maddie deck’ in the making! 😂😂 A girl just can’t have too many decks, you know! I like Judy’s idea of a fold down shelf. But I’m afraid it will hold more bottles of beer than seedlings! 🤗

    Your beard looks pretty trim Dan. I think you’re good for awhile.

    Our weather pattern has changed from a rainy week to dry until the weekend. I’ll take it.

    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    • The tee shirt has images of 16 bridges in Pittsburgh. I’ve driven over most of them, and when I worked on the riverboat, I sailed under all of them (although two were under construction at the time). Faith and I have walked over several and we paddles a rented kayak under a few. I just had to have it.

      This will NOT be a Maddie deck. The area under it will be field stone, like the walk up to the shed. No chair, although it will be the winter home of the little white bench.

      I keep after my beard, Ginger, but the line is badly out of whack. Oh well, no one here is complaining.

      We have a rainy week ahead, if the forecast is accurate.

      Take care. Enjoy the dry.


  9. I think that plant is Lacecap Hydrangea. I had some in my backyard for many years, and now have Oakleaf Hydrangea. Both very pretty. I am so impressed with Maddie the Weathergirl. She knows the time and the temps! My husband really likes my hairdresser–he and I go back almost 20 years. But my husband is sure to trim up his beard/moustache before my appointment so Rodney can inspect and tell him ‘Good job!’ Husband prefers doing his own trimming….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the ID help. Maddie has turned out to be very clever in getting what she wants. She seems to know what time it is, and which deck to drag me to.

      I do a pretty good job trimming my beard, but I let it grow at least a week before going to the barber, so he has something to work with. I trim it again after he’s done. I like it a little shorter than he’s willing to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s good to hear your state will be reopening things! I too am waiting to go see my hairstylist. I’ll ping her this week and ask how it’s going.

    The flowers are gorgeous! The Moscow Lilac is my favorite; it’s the soft peachy colors.

    Looking forward to watching the new project get started.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They just announced today that they are not going to let barbers and hairdressers open in the first wave. I guess too many have complained that the restrictions are too much to deal with it. They were only planning to let one customer in the shop at a time, no blow-driers and no removing the masks.

      The Moscow Lilac is a very pretty flower. This one burst out ahead of the rest, but there are a few more on the way.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Have fun with CAD CAM and your project. I am wondering what will happen to this comment. I was replying to your comment using the WP bell and the next thing I know it was deleted. Happy and exciting Monday.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We’re not rushing out to take advantage of any of the covid relaxations either. Going to give things a couple weeks yet. Good luck with your shed project. I’m still patiently waiting for our lilacs to bloom. It will be awhile because still only leave buds. The tree you walk under with the flowers must be pretty, sorry can’t help you with what kind it is though.

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  13. I enjoyed both movies. My husband is going to put new siding on his work shop. It’s really in bad shape. He also has to replace a window pain that our oldest grandson broke throwing a ball when he was fourteen. He’s 28 now. I know, right? I’m not sure about anything going on in our world right now. I just know I don’t like it. It’s going to be ridiculous trying to eat out or even going out and having to keep our distance and wearing masks. I’ll just stay home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The door I recently replaced has needed to be replaced for years. Some projects get treated that way.

      I’m not going to rush back into things. I look forward to when I can go, sit at a bar and order some food – to eat there or to go – but have a beer while I wait for it.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The shed looks like a super project. We had 3D Architect many years ago and had a lot of fun designing makeovers. I love your bridges T-shirt. The flower photos were terrific. Also, I love to see Maddie get a pat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the project will be fun, John. I think I could have figured out the shed without the plans, but I really wanted to get familiar with the new version of the software before I start planning my workshop makeover. That may require a few iterations. I love the ability to look at the complete plan from different points of view. Also, since the shop will have a section of raised floor, I will have wires and dust collection lines under the floor. It will be good to document that.

      The tee shirt has images of 16 of Pittsburgh’s bridges. I think you would recognize most of them.

      I’m glad you liked the photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Western New York starts reopening tomorrow, but it’s just manufacturing and construction. Us regular workers will be going back in a couple of more weeks, along with hairdressers (thank heavens), but I believe sit-down restaurants aren’t for at least another month, along with movie theaters and other entertainment venues. In any event, this means hubby has only two weeks to finish those projects he outlined for himself seven or eight weeks ago. Of course, you have the pleasure of not having to return to work so will have plenty of time to finish your projects at your leisure. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am enjoying the fact that I don’t have to worry about going back to work. The company I used to work for will be conducting training for how they will go back, when they go back sometime in June. I’m going to shoot for slow and steady progress across these projects.

      I’ll let others put their toes in the water as things open up.

      Good luck CM.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Lovely shots, Dan. I can see that the beard thing would be a problem. My husband trims his own beard (but not often enough for me) and I cut/mostly buzz his hair, so we’re good there. Fortunately mine is doing find while getting longer and I can trim my own bangs reasonably well, because I don’t plan on finding a new stylist for awhile.

    I also wonder about restaurants being able to make money if they have to limit the number of patrons, as they generally need to work at near capacity to do well or even decently financially. They still have to have about the same amount of people working, which means tips will also be less. Bars? I’ll believe social distancing and other safety precautions when I see them. I already know that’s not happening in places here that have reopened.

    Happy Monday! My parents have been having a rodeo-watching orgy, but since we haven’t gotten TV here, we’re watching Netflix, CBS All-access (although all our favorite shows and the reason we got it haven’t new episodes due to the virus), and things from our DVD library. So far, so good.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hang in there, Janet. I can live on the streaming I have and perhaps the streaming I add (I’m thinking about adding CBS All Access). They backed off on barbers and hair stylists here. I think, they were made aware of how badly they misunderstood how those businesses operate.

      Restaurants are a difficult nut to crack. One owner mentioned that, after they are seated, there’s very little contact among customers. He’s arguing that they should be allowed to open and control crowds with reservations so there’s no lines.. Bars, yeah, you’re right, that’s hard.

      I hope we can all hang in there as they try these things, correct the mistakes and, hopefully get it right.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Speaking of baseball, I’m sorry we didn’t get out to Pittsburgh to see the Phillies/Pirates series that was supposed to happen the second weekend of May! Our restaurants are still take-out only and no barber shops or salons. Soon, I hope!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Let’s not talk about the 1979 World Series, Dan. As an Orioles fan, I can’t say I enjoy it as much as you do! However, I should just let you enjoy it — as you say, it’s the last time the Pirates won a series. It hasn’t been quite as long for the birds (1983), so go ahead: turn up “We Are Family” and smile. ;P

    Great pics, as always! Magazine worthy, in fact. Hope the rest of May is nice for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Paul. I knew this would be a hard one for you. Still, it was good to see Willie smack a homer. I doubt the Pirates current owner will ever keep a star like that on the roster. He’s way too cheap. We should have the bird name. As soon as our young players are good enough, we let them fly away 🙁

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Don’t get me going on the masks, Dan. I am writing on mine when I get my hair done under protest. I am so desperate to get my hair done, I will wear that damn mask. Things are opening here slowly but not fast enough for me. These mandations are directly against the Constitution of the USA! I’m fired up today so forgive me. I’m done being forced to do something that I know is stupid. I’ve been reading the Constitutions of the United States of America and SO many of our freedoms have been violated. I’m sure you know all about it.
    I’ve been re-watching blockbuster movies on those days when I feel tired. Trying to go for walks every day but weather here hasn’t been very nice. FINALLY we are in for a break and the weather is getting better instead of warm, slam(!) cold, rain, snow.
    Truly enjoyed your gallery. There really is life in the form it needs to be …. we just have to get past the insanity that has taken our world prisoner. Whew! The words will no longer be silenced. I am an RN. I am connected to RN’s presently working and we ALL agree that what is happening should never have been allowed. deep breath
    Bless you for bringing sanity here. It is SO appreciated!! xo

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  20. We’re in the process of opening up here, too. Like you, we’ve opted to let others go first to the restaurants and retail stores. I like that Maddie has figured out what serves her best. I sense MuMu’s influence. 😸

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  21. I’m not into the live TV thing except for shows on the History channel and the Travel channel. Even at that, it’s more like the show are not stories and more like documentaries. I usually go for the movies. Anyway, the virus hasn’t had a lot of influence on what my TV preferences are. However, it sure is making my husband grumpy. The sports channels are disgusting right now.

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  22. Such beautiful flowers! I always love looking at the lilacs, and Charlie always surprises me by bringing in a couple of sprigs. I don’t know why it always surprises me, since he does it every year, but it’s always a happy surprise. :)

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  23. good luck on the shed project – and I hear ya on the clean up part after the various work is done…

    also – we are starting some reopening – and personally – I want gyms to be open – I miss my yoga classes – but that feels so selfish to say hen people need to work and we need to get the whole place going

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I am staying WAY back and letting others take the lead on stepping out, especially since Texas and Maryland have hit new case highs since reopening. Good luck, Dan, and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Great wrap up, Dan. I watched two Super Bowls and bit my nails even though I knew the outcome. Virtual teaching is really hard, and being creative for the youngest children when it’s all on a screen is stretching everybody pretty thin. ‘Nuff said. Your photo gallery was terrific. Looking forward to progress on the new project. Thanks for giving Maddie a pat.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I love the flower photos, and how it’s finally flower time :)
    I cut at my own hair last weekend. I dunno when I’ll call my stylist, I’ve gone years cutting my own hair before, but she’s the one that puts the sunshine yellow bits in and I have no business doin that.
    I’ve hit a bit of a dry spell in tv, but I have a new book Haha! With any luck, by the time I’m done, something new and interesting will appeal to me.
    The Mister was watching Game 4 of 2005 World Series last week, and he said it was nice, because he’d been at work during that. I was happy for him, but also, happy I had a book :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have stuff to read, stuff to write, stuff to build. I should be able to hold out a good long time. I do enjoy seeing some games I missed while traveling and just because I’m not where my teams are. My hair is ok. My gray streaks are still showing 😏

      Liked by 1 person

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