Sunday through Saturday, May 23-31—A Cure for the Doldrums

Our visit with Ridge and parents continued Sunday, so we opted to play hooky from church and Sunday school, a rarity for us.  In our spring cleaning endeavor, Karyn helped immensely by pulling items off the top shelf of the pantry, and she and Kay packed up out-of-date items.  We have even begun checking “use by date” labels in stores and it’s amazing how many of the items are already out of day, particularly at small country stores, and at convenient stores.  Taking advantage of the weather, we drove to Norfork Lake, uncovered the pontoon, and enjoyed some time on a sandbar and then on the lake where Ridge went to sleep.  He woke up after only a short while, a bit cranky from all the excitement and lack of a long nap, so his folks loaded up and drove home.  We had anticipated their staying until Monday, and cancelled a get together with Frank and Diane, RVing friends from northwest Arkansas.  Hopefully, they understand and forgive us.  After a week away from the house, and company over the weekend, we collapsed and watched television for the rest of the evening, going to bed early!

After catching up on local, regional, and national events, we arose Monday morning to clean house, particularly since someone might possibly come to look at it!  And then, it was off to the driving range where I hit golf balls; I’m so frustrated that the thought of giving up the game entirely has surfaced.  Since I am not fishing the Norfork or White Rivers these days, the days get pretty long, and it’s a real struggle finding things interesting to do.  Consequently, the patio, porch, and deck get cleaned every morning.  And today, we hung the pontoon cover over the upper deck railing and washed it. 

Kay and I both got haircuts today, Tuesday, and ran several errands in Mountain Home.  I traded cars with her and had the chips in the Honda windshield repaired at Mountain Home Glass; we highly recommend them for any of one’s glass work.  In switching cars, I forgot part of my golf paraphernalia, and returned home while Kay spent most of the day in Mountain Home.  Bored, I drove back into town, picked up a copy of a blood panel from last Friday, and hit golf balls again, faring a bit better, though there were still enough bad hits to be frustrating. 

Our weather has been wet of late, and rain is forecast every day this week, putting a damper on outdoor activities, and we’re not seeing many birds or butterflies.  We are still slowly cleaning out excess stuff, room by room, as we don’t want to pay to move stuff we don’t want or need now or later. With extra time on hand, I have begun making popping bugs again, returning back to my first love of fly tying, in anticipation of fishing for bluegills and bass in the many lakes at Hot Springs Village.  We took down family photos today, Wednesday, and filled and spot painted nail holes, and making a a few small drywall repairs.

A few more repairs and spot painting were done Thursday, and the house looks great for showing.  In addition to cleaning out excess and preparing for our month stay in Hot Springs Village, Kay has been using the down time to read, and has finished a couple of books this week.  I downloaded all the photo cards not yet downloaded, and processed a few photos, including this one of a hummingbird trying to knock a butterfly off its feeder, taken several days ago.  The butterfly hung in there and continued sipping the sweet nectar.  With a couple dozen popping bugs ready for painting, I painted several a florescent chartreuse and others a baby blue, a color that really works for bluegill and smallmouth bass alike (a trick I learned from Harry Murray, a one of the nation’s most notable smallmouth fly fishers).  Over the course of the last couple of weeks, Kay has been working to resolve problems with an Amazon order for a couple of lamps.  The first set arrived about 3 weeks ago, and one of the bases was irregular and one of the shades had a broken strut.  They were supposed to have held the replacement set for shipping this week, but attempted to deliver last week while we were out of town, and since we were not here to receive them, they were sent back.  After a couple of calls, another set was delivered this week and looked even worse than the original set.  Here’s Kay’s review.

“I ordered one set of these lamps and when they arrived, the bases were dented, defective, shoddy workmanship and one of the shades had broken splines. I sent pictures of the defects and another set were delivered to me. Both of the bases were off set and positioned incorrectly. I am amazed at the lack of quality control at Uttermost. I am so sad because the lamps would have looked beautiful in my great room. But, I am not about to pay almost $500 for lamps that are shoddy and ill made. The company that I ordered these lamps from via the Amazon marketplace was wonderful to work with; positive, understanding, good communicators and anxious to satisfy me. They are homeandliving.com and I can recommend them wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, my experience with the Uttermost company has been tainted by this whole ordeal. I’m still looking for new lamps but I won’t be looking in their direction again.”

We took advantage of a break in the rain early Friday morning to put the clean cover back on the pontoon.  Back at the house, I installed kayak racks on the Expedition, and Kay trimmed shrubs and weeded.  We drove into Mountain Home where she took care of some business and I hit golf balls—better than the last few days, and back to where I was before getting new clubs.  I think the new ones are going to work just fine, and the distance is a bit longer than the old clubs.  If I can only get the slight fade to go away…  Back at home, I applied the final coating, epoxy, on the popping bugs to give them a great durable finish, and took a wonderful nap while Kay read.  The evening was spent packing—in getting the fly tying materials ready, I discovered that I have more rubber legs for popping bugs than most fly shops, no kidding!

More rain was forecast for today (Saturday), however, we started packing the cars early, beginning with loading the kayaks.  Gosh, the Expedition is tall, and we had to use a two-step stool to get them in their racks and tied down.  The SUV was wet from having set outside in all the rain because with the racks, it’s too high to get in the garage.  We’re taking both cars, and because the Expedition is larger, it will carry the bulk of items.  In anticipation of visits from Harper and Ridge, we are taking  the Pack-n-Play and car seat, which along with PFDs and paddles, and other grown-up toys, take up a good portion of the rear of the Expedition.  As with most other trips we take with high anticipation, we were packed and ready to go by noon, and nothing to do in the afternoon.  Guess that’s why the old Army adage, “hurry up and wait” originated!

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