Monthly Archives: December 2015

Last Day of 2015

Today is the last day of 2015 and I had a few tasks to get finished before the New Year starts with a bang.

OK, some of them can wait until the next day or two but I have a very busy schedule for January so am trying to get done what I can.

My first big task of the day was to go to the pharmacy and pick up my allergy medicine and my daily multi-vitamin. I decided that since the pharmacy was only a little more than a mile away that it would be good to walk.

Deflategate, Tom Brady, Christmas DecorationsOn the way to the pharmacy I passed a house with a lawn full of deflated Christmas decorations. I wondered if perhaps they were New England Patriot fans and following after Tom Brady. OK, just kidding, but I saw a few interesting memes on the subject in the last month đŸ™‚

It does look like a Christmas massacre every morning as I drive to work, and a beautiful display every night as I pass it on the way home. See the last picture in my post December Evening Walk.

Lammers School, Tracy, California, Education, ParkOn the way back I took a long detour and walked to a park where an old one room school house is standing. They use the old Lammersville School house for educational programs throughout the year.

Thermostat, Home Repair, Replacing ThermostatMy task when I got home was to replace my thermostat. Fortunately the thermostat did not quit working entirely, but the Cool/Off/Heat switches are wearing out. They will loose contact when it gets cold and then the temperature resets to 70 degrees. Not too bad if you don’t let the house get too cold, but I like to let the temperature drop at night or when I travel. It usually resets at about 61 degrees which is warmer than I want.

I got home from England and the house was a nice toasty 70 degrees. Now I know why my heating bill was a bit high.

Thermostat, Wiring, Home repair. Heating and CoolingThe new thermostat was a bit smaller and had different mounting spots. This meant that I had to dig around and find a drill bit. Then I had to charge the battery for the drill.

Transferring the wires was not too hard and if it wouldn’t have been for having to hunt down tools the whole job would have only taken about  ten minutes.

New Thermostat, Home Repair, Heating and Cooling, HoneywellI went with a very basic thermostat similar to the one that I had. I have never used the programmable features of my old one, and probably won’t on this one. I looked at a few thermostats which you could control with your phone from anywhere in the world and had tons of programmable features, but I couldn’t see myself checking to see what the temperature was in my house from China or Germany.

I have always liked to control my thermostat manually. If it is cold turn it up or put on a sweater, or if it is hot turn on a fan while waiting for it to cool down.

Of course, I could just set it and forget it but my schedule is too variable.

Do you program your thermostat?



Winter Pruning III

When I got home this evening there was still a bit of light so I decided to start the pruning process for my rose bushes.

I typically have three stages in my pruning process. See Winter Pruning and Winter Pruning II. This evening I only completed the first stage.

In the first stage of pruning I cut back the longest canes and get the bush down to a manageable volume.

Pruning Roses, Mister Linoln, Annual PruningHere is my Mr. Lincoln rose bush which I planted earlier this year. You can see that it had a lot of growth this year. See Mister Lincoln Rose II for what it looked like when I planted it earlier this year.

Roses before pruning, winter roses, pruning, Winter cuttingHere are some of my other rose bushes. You can see that they were very tall this year. You can also see that there are some blooms still remaining on the bushes.

St. Patrick Rose, Rose Bushes, Winter Roses, PruningHere is a closeup of one of the nice yellow blooms on my St. Patrick rose bush.

St. patrick Roses, Vase, Winter Cuttings, PruningI picked four of the nicest blooms and put them in a vase and they are now sitting on top of a bookshelf.

Roses, Pruning, Winter Cutting, Yard WorkThe first stage does not require you to easily see what you are doing which was good since it was getting dark. I was able to finish the first stage, but will need to pick up all the cuttings tomorrow when I can see what I am doing.

Next up is the second stage where I do the detail pruning. In this stage I cut out all the dead wood and also thin out the base of the rose bush.

Stage three will be done in late January where I further prune the rose once it starts to grow leaves.