Construction is Finished — Almost — Sunroom 3

Construction Finished – Almost

Ahh . . . the continuing saga of construction: remodeling, replacing, upgrading and building is nearing completion. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Or, at least, we think we can — Bathroom, Heating, AC and Sunroom (patio enclosure) — and, of course, a depleted bank account. The work should last for several years (decades?) and enhance our retired lives, especially, Di’s.

I think it’s better to spend for retirement early (if you can) and enjoy the results for years, rather than delay things until they are absolutely necessary and having to rush getting them done.

Today saw most of the construction of Di’s sunroom completed and the backyard cleaned. The work on the “patio enclosure” is being done by Patios by B & B a local Orange County company. Its workers have been both neat and hardworking. Between the de-construction and construction at least seven different workers (plus the production manage and owner) have been involved. Questions are answered quickly and phone calls returned promptly.

The roof was finished and the rain gutters installed. Caulking was done and the room seals well. The room is usable and the cats won’t get outside.

On Monday the crew will be back to finish the electrical work — this includes adding lighting to the ceiling. The city inspector will come and check the construction. Finish work and the installation of the flooring can then begin.

Also, on Tuesday our Heating/AC folks (Cool Air Technologies) are coming out to see about extending our system to the new room. We may get some sort of blinds for the windows so the sun does not shine directly into Di’s eyes or make the TV unwatchable — need to have a cable outlet (TWC) installed, too.

The room is usable now — the amenities will follow at their own pace — quickly, if not yesterday, as far as Di is concerned.

Construction Sunroom 8
Sunroom 8
Construction Sunroom 9
Sunroom 9

Sunroom 10
Sunroom 10
Sunroom 11
Sunroom 11

Sunroom 12
Sunroom 12

Sunroom 2 — Deconstruction and Construction

Sunroom – Continued

Well, no work on the sunroom today.

Took Charlie to get her picture taken to renew her British passport today — No, a British passport picture is not the same as an American picture. Both the pose and size are a bit different.

Then, I took her to one of her favorite stores for a “little” shopping. The shop is called “Fleur de Lys” and is located on 17th Street in Costa Mesa — almost, but not quite, in Newport Beach. We got there a little after 1 pm and left about 3 pm — women and shopping . . .

They are supposed to do some work on the sunroom tomorrow, Saturday. Enough to be ready for final inspection on Monday. One thing that needs to be corrected is a wiring error that has an outdoor light switch connected to an indoor dual plug. Hopefully, the roof over the room is completed before any rain comes. We’re supposed to get a bit this weekend — I’ll believe it when I see it.

Also, on Saturday the electrician who installed our new 200 amp box is supposed to return and correct two things the city inspector found wrong. One is that the new copper grounding rod needs to be replaced with a stainless steel one — our local soil corrodes the copper too fast.

At any rate, here are some pictures of the sunroom as it now stands — sans roof.

Sunroom 4
Sunroom 4
Sunroom 5
Sunroom 5

Sunroom 6
Sunroom 6
Sunroom 7
Sunroom 7


The cats already like the new room — they can now follow my wife “outside” and they’re closer to the bird feeders.

On Tuesday the folks who re-did our Heating system, and added AC will be here to look at the new room (patio enclosure) and see about what is needed to connect it to the system. Quite soon, Charlie ought to be able to enjoy an “outside” room to smoke in and watch her TV shows — a room of her own in her back garden, but without the disadvantages of wind, rain and heat that plagued her on the patio.

Sunroom 1 — Deconstruction and Construction


Here we go again. Last month, or was it two months ago, we re-did one of our bathrooms so that Charlie had a walk-in shower / tub. Then we had to re-do the heating system and installed new ducting and AC. Now, we’re adding a patio enclosure / sunroom.

Two workers came last week and demolished — de-constructed — our patio cover. I have never seen a neater job of demolition. They also got rid of some of the brick-work where the new sunroom was going.

The next day two more workers came and poured concrete where the brick-work used to be. We now had a solid concrete slab for the sunroom. Rails for the walls and roof were also installed.

Yesterday work began on the sunroom itself. The following pictures are from yesterday and today. The guys work hard and clean up well.

Patio 2
Patio 2
Patio 3
Patio 3

Patio 4
Patio 4
Patio 5
Patio 5



Patio 6
Patio 6
Patio 7
Patio 7



Patio 8
Patio 8
Patio 9
Patio 9



Patio 10
Patio 10
Sunrrom 1
Sunrrom 1



Sunroom 2
Sunroom 2
Sunroom 3
Sunroom 3



While the work was going on in the backyard, I took my wife and one of her retired-teacher friends to a Christmas Lunch at her old school. After dropping them off, I drove back to HB. I stopped at TK’s for a “Big Bargain Special — hamburger and fries — and lunch at the beach. Parked at 17th and PCH and ate lunch on one of the concrete benches along the railing above the beach. Lord, what a beautiful day. Sunny, 62 degrees, a light breeze and clear as a bell. Ate lunch, took a walk to the water, snapped some pictures and read a chapter out of one of my three current books. A little after three o’clock, Charlie called and I went back to Santa Ana to pick her and her friend up and we returned home.

From 17th Street looking South.
From 17th Street looking South.
From 17th Street looking North.
From 17th Street looking North.

Just another almost perfect retired day in paradise.

Oh, yeah. Our gardener comes on Thursday — I don’t think he’ll get much work done in the back.


Read 2 (2015)

2015 Reading List

In reverse order these are the books I’ve read this year. Some of them have been reviewed on my Book Reviews page and most of those, If not all of them, have also been posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Currently reading: Daring (Kris Longknife) by Mike Shepherd

  1. The Cost of Victory by Jay Allen: 3 of 5 stars
  2. Liaden Universe Constellation III by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller: 4 of 5 stars
  3. Phoenix in Shadow by Ryk E. Spoor: 4 of 5 stars
  4. W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton: 4 of 5 stars
  5. The Spellsong War by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.: 4 of 5 stars
  6. The Elysium Commission by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.: 4 of 5 stars
  7. Infinity Beach by Jack McDevitt: 4 of 5 stars
  8. Monsters of the Earth (The Books of the Elements #3) by David Drake: 3 of 5 stars
  9. The Forgotten Room by Lincoln Child: 4 of 5 stars
  10. Steadfast by Jack Campbell: 4 of 5 stars
  11. Dragon in Exile by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller: 5 of 5 stars
  12. Balance Point by Robert Buettner: 3 of 5 stars
  13. Shadow of Freedom by David Weber: 3 of 5 stars
  14. Survivor by Mike Shepherd: 4 1/2 of 5 stars
  15. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough: 4 of 5 stars
  16. Paradigms Lost by Ryk E. Spoor: 3 of 5 stars
  17. The 47 Ronin Story by John Allyn: 2 of 5 stars
  18. The Better Part of Valor (Confederation #2) Tanya Huff: 4 of 5 stars
  19. Valor’s Choice (Confederation #1) Tanya Huff: 4 of 5 stars
  20. The Clone Apocalypse by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #10): 2 of 5 stars
  21. The Clone Assassin by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #9): 4 of 5 stars
  22. The Clone Sedition by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #8): 4 of 5 stars
  23. The Clone Redemption by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #7): 4 of 5 stars
  24. Madness in Solidar by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (The Imager Portfolio #9): 4.5 of 5 stars
  25. Castaway Planet by Eric Flint and Ryk E. Spoor: 3 of 5 stars
  26. Undercity by Catherine Asaro: 4 of 5 stars
  27. The Clone Empire by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #6): 4 of 5 stars
  28. The Clone Betrayal by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #5): 4 of 5 stars
  29. The Clone Elite by Steven L. Kent (Rogue Clone #4): 4 of 5 stars
  30. Antiagon Fire  (The Imager Portfolio #7) by L.E. Modesitt Jr.: 4 of 5 stars
  31. Imager’s Battalion by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (The Imager Portfolio #6): 4 of 5 stars
  32. Princeps by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (The Imager Portfolio #5): 4 of 5 stars
  33. Carousel Seas by Sharon Lee (Archer’s Beach #3): 4 of 5 stars
  34. Scholar by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (The Imager Portfolio #4): 4 of 5 stars
  35. The Life and Times of Horatio Hornblower: A Biography of C. S. Forester’s Famous Naval Hero by C. Northcote Parkinson: 4 of 5 stars
  36. The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F. Hamilton (A Commonwealth Novel): 3 of 5 stars


These are books I’ve read before and re-read during July and August when I had no new books on hand. It does not include my re-reading of all of the Liaden books to get myself set for Dragon in Exile.

  1. A Rising Thunder – David Weber
  2. Shadow of Freedom – David Weber
  3. The Shadow of Saganami – David Weber
  4. Watch on the Rhine – John Ringo, Tom Kratman
  5. A Cruel Wind (A Shadow of All Night Falling; October’s Baby; All Darkness Met) – Glen Cook
  6. Dread Empire’s Fall: The Sundering – Walter Jon Williams
  7. The Thin Man – Dashiell Hammett
  8. The Glass Key – Dashiell Hammett
  9. The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett
  10. The Dain Curse – Dashiell Hammett
  11. Red Harvest – Dashiell Hammett
  12. The Truth of Valor – Tanya Huff
  13. Valor’s Trial – Tanya Huff
  14. City on Fire – Walter Jon Williams
  15. The Way to Glory – David Drake
  16. The Far Side of the Stars – David Drake
  17. Ambassador of Progress – Walter Jon Williams
  18. Target (Vicky Peterwald) – Mike Shepherd
  19. The Warmasters – David Drake, David Weber, Eric Flint
  20. Paying the Piper – David Drake
  21. In Fury Born – David Weber
  22. Night’s Master – Tanith Lee
  23. The Birthgrave – Tanith Lee
  24. The Gods Themselves – Isaac Assimov
  25. Judas Unchained – Peter F. Hamilton
  26. Pandora’s Star – Peter F. Hamilton

Root Beam Float

Here I am on vacation again. I know some of you think this is a redundant statement as I have been retired some three years now, but it is not. There is something about being away from home that adds to the experience.

While reading today’s edition of the Grand Forks Herald, I came upon the following recipes:

White Wine Sangria:

  • 2 bottles of dry white wine
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of brandy
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
  • 3 cups of assorted sliced fruit
  • Combine all ingredients in a clear glass serving pitcher. Stir gently and let ingredients sit for 8 to 24 hours. Serve chilled.
  • (Wine snobs, please, omit the brandy, agave nectar/honey and fruit.)

Root Beam Float:

  • 8 ounces of root beer
  • 1 ounce Jim Beam or bourbon of choice (here’s a chance to get rid of/use the bottle of Old Crow your great-aunt Matilda gave you twenty years ago)
  • 2-3 curls of zest from an orange
  • 1/2 cup vanilla bean ice cream
  • Combine the first three ingredients in a float glass. Stir gently to combine bourbon and root beer. Top with vanilla bean ice cream and serve.

Ah, well, time to take the wife shopping. will return in an hour or three. Will open a beer and resume reading one of my books–either Phoenix in Shadow by Ryk E. Spoor or Liaden Universe Constellation: Volume III by Sharon Lee.

Oh, yeah–here are Smoke and Mist, also on vacation. Smoke and Mist at HB North