Sunday, April 29, 2012

Back to Being a Ranch Hand

It's finally warm enough to get out and rake the leaves left over from last fall. That's not saying much, because it's only 50 degrees, but bright sunshine, and it made me work even harder.

This is my favorite part...loading the leaves in the bucket of the New Holland, and taking them into the woods to dump them. Hey, that's where they came from to start with!

I have to admit that it takes me awhile to remember how to drive the New Holland, since I drive several different tractors around the two properties. Each of them are set up different. Oh well, I have all summer to get it right!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

All Together Now

I was wrong in my last post saying that we were only 3 hours from being home. Actually, the trip from Orlando to Albany only took 2 1/2 hours. Talk about a quantum leap! It all went smoothly, thanks to the Sky Caps and porters. With Mom being in a wheelchair, we got to board the plane first, pick our seats in the front, and then get off the plane first. Cindy, the 5 lb. Maltese, behaved exceptionaly well, and slept (without medication) the whole trip. She had only been in her carrier once or twice as a trial, so we were happy she adapted...something she doesn't do very well.

Reality hit hard when Dave picked us up and we walked out the airport door. It was 40 degrees out....BRRRRR! The next several days are predicted to be even colder, so we all need to get used this weather and adapt. I was really hoping that if we waited until the end of April, the weather would be better for Mom. Gee, we should have gone with Dave since he had 80+ degree weather when he arrived. Oh well, we'll just keep pushing the themostat in the house higher and higher.

It's good to be home again though, and fun to get everything reorganized. At least the leaves are starting to come out on the trees and the flowering bushes are beginning to bloom also. Soon my yard will hopefully look like this again.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rising Up

The road is now rising so the floodwaters don't. There has been a steady stream of dump trucks bringing in dirt and fill to raise the level of the road.
Perhaps they should have moved the water truck first?
The storm sewers are still being upgraded, as are the sidewalks. This looks to be another big road grinder that was unloaded, but it may just be stored here while they haul away the skidsteer.
Mom talked to the manager today and he said that the project will be completed way ahead of schedule, and may even be done by the time she returns in June. The neighborhood sure will look different.

Although it has been interesting to be a part of this experience, we're ready to get away from it all. Wednesday we rise up too, and fly home to take refuge at the edge of the woods. Time to get back to nature and see the deer, chipmunks, birds, and other wildlife. It's hard to believe I haven't been there in 5 months. Wow, we're only three hours away by jet!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Comings and Goings

Yesterday was a whirlwind of activity, in more ways than one. Some machinery left and some arrived.
Then some needed fuel.
Once again, we couldn't even get down the road again for awhile.
When we saw the project managers checking the plans, we were hoping that everything was put in the right place, so that they didn't have to start over!
Luckily the work moved down around the corner in time for me to go to the airport to pick up Dave and Jim. They flew in to DAB to drive the red pick-up back home!
This is the 2004 Ford Sport Trac that we found at the car show when we first arrived here in Daytona this spring. It's quite a step up from our 1993 Ford Ranger. Now I can throw my kayak in the back, put in a CD, turn on the A/C, set the cruise control, and head out to a lake or river. My knee is going to be so relieved, since it is also an automatic and I will no longer have to shift with the stiff clutch. Orignally Dave had it set up to have it shipped back to Glenville, but they just kept putting him off and not giving him a transport date. That's when he and Jim decided it would be quicker and cheaper to fly down and take turns driving it back home. They arrived at 2:30, had a swim in Mom's pool, did a quick system check of the truck, had dinner, and away they went. They will arrive home at about 5 P.M. tonight. This morning it all seemed like a dream, as I'm sure it does for them too!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Holey Moley"

The construction site got bigger today with storm sewers being installed.

It's a digger's dream...and nightmare too, when it started pouring rain. Now we are left with a big mud hole. The workers had to put black mesh down in the other sewers, so that the dirt and debris could be filtered out, and not run into the sewer they were working on.

Mom and I have learned so much this week. Maybe we'll have to be part of the crew on their next project...or not. LOL Well, maybe we could at least be their official photographers, since we seem to have lots of experience with that now!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Beat Goes On

Wow, and the beat rattles the house, especially when they drop the gigantic concrete pieces into the roll-off dumpsters.

Today there were just two guys running the big backhoe/loader and the skid-steer...actually a father and son team (We're getting to know these guys so well that pretty soon we'll have to bake them cookies!). They had to tear up and remove all the concrete catch basins for the storm sewers. There had to have been at least 20 dumpsters. As soon as one was filled, there was another delivered, following the workers down the road, making it very efficient.

Mom and I went out earlier, but then they took out the end of her driveway.

The whole road was pretty much impossible to traverse today.

Later on they brought in dirt and graded off the driveway and road. Plus a water truck went around to pack everything down. It's not pretty, but at least it's driveable.

Another piece of equipment arrived this evening. I didn't see what it was because I was out walking, but saw the huge trailer it came on. Mom said it motored down around the corner.

Tomorrow's another day...hope the sunrise is as pretty as it was this morning when we woke up to the beep, beep beeps of the machines. I'm not too sure if this is a good or bad sign, but we're getting used to all the commotion! I think the workers are all going to miss us when we head north next week.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Heavy Metal

It's been a busy two days in the neighborhood. The truck arrived yesterday and the new concrete sidewalks were poured.

They came out beautiful, and are now up to standard regulations at a foot wider than the original.

Today the roadwork began. The blacktop has been milled and a huge grader followed that.

In the middle of the road grinding, more concrete arrived for the side street's walkways, and a tree service cut down several large trees that were on city property and in the way.

The chipper was huge and I would love to have it in the woods at home. One of the workers posed for me, pretending to hold up the tree trunk that wouldn't fall down.

I think (or at least hope) all the workers are getting a kick out of Mom and I watching everything going on and taking photos. We really are interested in how things work and what's happening next.

Later in the day, other large equipment arrived, but none (except the grader) have been pressed into service...yet.

I bet we find out what jobs are planned for all this 'heavy metal', when they fire up the engines at 7 A.M. tomorrow!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pow Wow in the Park

How convenient to have the park that holds the annual Pow Wow and Mother Earth celebration about a mile and a half away from Mom's house. I walked over there this morning, and enjoyed myself so much, I ended up staying almost 4 hours! I've never been to a Pow Wow before and it was interesting watching and listening to all the different exhibitions. I was relieved that they were trying to incorporate history and education for not only the Native American tribes and culture, but also for preserving our environment.

There were displays about nature, and they brought out baby alligators, snakes, a skunk, and a tortoise. All were rescued and the speaker really drove home the point not to have these animals as pets (or at least be aware of what happens when these animals and reptiles grow up!).

There was a young bison, and a demonstration about wolves. All the wolves in this show have been rescued and one was even 15 years old. More interesting information was told to the crowd about the Alpha Male, Female, and pack instinct.

Several spectacular horses were on sight, and they were quite photogenic and patient with children wanting to pet them. At least one of these horses had Spanish ancestors. This is coincidental since the wild horses of Abaco are called Spanish Barbs.

My favorite part of the day was the dancing exhibition.

The outfit colors were beautiful and the music beat was infectious. They held tribal dances where the audience was welcome to join, and this elderly man was so excited to be a part of the action, complete with headdress and face paint.

The hoop dancer has been doing this since he was a young boy, starting with one hoop. He can now handle 19 hoops all together and not get caught up in any of them.

The costumes and dancing actually reminded me a bit of the Bahamas Junkanoo. It certainly shows that many nationalities have similar ways to celebrate their heritage and environment.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Here and There

Dave flew back home earlier this week, but I will be here in Daytona until April 25th. That's when Mom and I (and her Maltese, Cindy) are flying to Albany. Mom and Cindy will stay with us in Glenville for a month, before going to visit my sister Sue and family in New Hampshire. Mom has been reading my blog about all we did last summer and wants to see it all in person!

Dave has been busy getting all the utilities back in service, getting the vehicles back on the road, making sure the house in Glenville and Ticonderoga survived the winter okay, and getting the motorcycle shop ready to reopen for the season.

Meanwhile, Mom and I are being 'entertained' by construction workers here in her neighborhood. Her street is being torn apart for new sewers, road and sidewalks, due to previous flooding problems. Today they started on the sidewalks, and they even have to relocate her sprinklers.

In one day they have accomplished quite a bit, and the lines and forms for the new walkways are almost done already. I'll keep you posted on the progress both here and there.