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Monday, January 21, 2019

Great Little Pump For Gasoline - Water - Mowers - Chain Saws

I have a big yard - I use a lot of gasoline for my mowers - edgers - chain saws - etc. I have some big gasoline tanks and cans that are cumbersome for an old guy to handle. This pump lets me precisely transfer gasoline to the mowers at about a 2 gallon per minute rate. No more lifting gas cans - especially those with the spring loaded nozzles.

I have also used it for water.

One nice feature - I can leave the gas can or tank on the floor - and transfer liquid up to the higher gas inlet on my riding mower.

The pump seems to be sturdy. I am looking forward to many years of use. I selected this one over others because it uses AA batteries. I keep a large inventory of that size battery.

Here is a feature you probably have not thought of - I have a hot tub - and sometime dirt collects in a corner. This pump with suck out the dirt along with a little water. It is very precise. I imagine it would work in aquariums/fish tanks.

Lunar Eclipse Directly Overhead At Midnight

Last night at about midnight - I walked out in the front yard to see a lunar eclipse. It was a clear cold night and stars were abundant. In the middle of the sky was a very large moon - in the shadow of the earth. It appeared red because some of the sunlight was passing thru the earth's atmosphere.

The moon orbits the earth in an oval shaped orbit called an ellipse. There the moon gets closer and farther from the earth every month. This lunar eclipse occurred during "supermen" when the moon is closest to the earth. The makes the moon appear bigger and brighter than normal. It takes over an hour for the moon to pass through the earth's shadow - so many people get to see it.

Tonight - Monday night - the moon will still be close - so you can see a very bright almost full moon. It will be much brighter so you will see less stars.

The above picture was taken with a hand held iPhone. I was too tired to get out a camera with a bigger lens and tripod for a better picture. When I was younger - I would have been better prepared.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Who Says Old People Are Unemployable?

We were reading the Sunday paper at breakfast - and this advertisement popped out at me. Since I am an expert on "Dried Plums and Bone Health" - I think I am a shoe-in.

My one problem is the money - it will put me in a much higher tax bracket. Do I have to claim the pay if they pay me in cash? If I took Social Security - would this affect my pension?

I do have lots of experience being a human guinea pig - I mainly do it for the parking pass.

Feel free to use this picture for anything - it is not copyrighted - nor did I pretend it was copyrighted.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Decluttering only helps so much if you’re still buying too much in the first place

No matter the topic of my articles, readers will invariably comment, “Just tell people to buy less stuff.” And although I couldn’t agree more that consumption contributes to clutter and disorganization, I’m also aware that telling someone to just stop shopping is not a realistic solution.
Still, like a dieter who only temporarily changes what they eat, I can help people get rid of their belongings in an effort to organize their home, but they will be back in the same spot months later if they don’t fundamentally change their behavior in terms of what comes into their homes.
The habits around what we buy are complex, and the line between what we need and what we want is blurry. Real progress in terms of decluttering and organization requires changing our mind-sets and rethinking what we value. Which possessions are essential? Which items make us truly happy and which ones just weigh us down?
Yes, Marie Kondo’s popular book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up,” now a Netflix series, has prompted a discussion about which possessions are valuable and which ones we can part with because they don’t “spark joy.” But I would argue it’s even more important to make those decisions on the front end — when you’re online or in a store — so that everything surrounding you is something you need, use and enjoy. Here are some strategies.
Understand your motivation
Many people have one or two categories of items they’re inclined to overbuy. For some it is clothing or books, for some it’s food, and for others it may be office supplies. Take time to consider why you feel compelled to buy those items. Do you like the way it feels to buy a new sweater or a new book, do you worry about running out of food, or do office supplies help you feel like you have the tools to get yourself organized? Be cognizant of what is motivating you to buy those items and consider forgoing a purchase from time to time. Or, at the very least, for every one item you bring into your house, remove one item from the same category. Success breeds success. Once you feel more in control of your buying habits for one category, that can extend to other areas.
Rethink bulk-buying
Buying in bulk is a trend that seems here to stay, though I’ve never understood why it’s necessary to buy so much of one product at one time. I realize you can save a bit of money and time, but it’s important to consider the stress of fitting everything into your home, trying to use products before they expire and then disposing of what you inevitably don’t use.
Most of us live within a few miles of a drugstore or grocery store, and we’re also able to order online and have things delivered to us in a day or two. By all means, have some extra paper towels and toilet paper on hand. And if you’re planning a party or hosting guests, buy food and drinks in bulk. But one way to reduce the stuff weighing us down is to rethink whether it’s necessary to stock up on so many items that they’re no longer a convenience but a burden.
Fight 'just-in-case' impulses
It’s so easy to buy so many items in so many places — hats and gloves at the grocery store, food and paper products at the convenience store, office supplies and stationery at the book store — that people pile up purchases that fall into the impulse or “just-in-case” category. We’re not sure whether we really need it, but it’s there, so why not grab it — just to be safe? Or, we tell ourselves, it’s only $10, I’ll probably use it, and if I don’t need it or like it, I’ll just return it. Right? Wrong.
Shopping like this may give you the sense that you’re on top of things, but what you’re really doing is creating more work. If that item is a duplicate, doesn’t fit or you end up disliking it, you’ll have to decide, do I keep it? And if so, where? Or do you give it away? And to whom? Or do you return it? Those types of decisions tend to paralyze people, and the objects end up as clutter. This behavior, multiplied over dozens and dozens of purchases, not only clutters your house, it also causes stress.
Make a habit of not buying products just in case. Try to avoid impulse purchases and buying items just because they are a good deal or on sale. For some purchases, online or otherwise, enact a waiting period. Put the item in your virtual shopping cart and give yourself 24 hours before buying. And if you see something in a store, go home, check to see whether you really need it and spend a day considering whether you really want it. If you answer yes to both, make the purchase.
Look outside the buying box
Instead of immediately buying everything you need or want, consider whether there is another way you could obtain it. Perhaps you could check out a book from the library, or instead of buying a power washer that you’ll only use once or twice a year, borrow one from a neighbor. If you get creative, you can save money and won’t be saddled with so much stuff. Challenge yourself to think differently.

The term “mental load” became part of our vernacular a couple of years ago, and we think of the concept as the constant list of tasks on our to-do list. But our emotions are also taxed by all the clutter surrounding us. More stuff equals more stuff to organize, more items to clean, more to keep track of and more to eventually throw away, donate or recycle. Let’s make a goal to rethink how much stuff, and stress, we welcome into our homes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Fence That Keeps On Giving

Plastic fence on my trailer

I bought that trailer on the internet
Cash for the fence

A few years ago - when we were in our old house up the street - there was a lot across the street from our old home. Three young men lived there and they had three big diesel trucks. Their parents bought that house for them to go to FSU. Since we were selling our house - I asked their mother to "hide" the trucks a little. She happily build a fence. We really appreciated that.

The boys graduated from FSU - and the family sold the house. We - in turn - build a new home down the street and easily sold the old house. Everyone was happy.

The other day the new owner was tearing down the fence. They were stacking it at the curb. I stopped and asked them if I could have the fence. They were happy that I would haul it away. I put my trailer on my electric car and went to the site. I stacked all the fence neatly on my trailer.

My plans were simple - to sell the beautiful plastic fence on the Internet. There was 90 feet of 6 foot high fence. It was in excellent shape.

I advertised it on Facebook Marketplace for $300. I had 8 people inquire about it in the first few hours. I told all the buyers - first cash gets it. This morning at 9AM - a guy came with his Dodge Hemi truck. We decided to leave the fence on the trailer - hook it to his 390 HP truck - and take it to his place about 15 miles away. I went along and helped him unload.

While we were unloading - I noticed he had a big pile of black gardening screen mesh. He offered it to me - I took it. See you next story.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Christmas Camper Trip Home To Pennsylvania With Mum Mum

Lulu loves Christmas. She loves wrapping - giving presents and decorating. She loves seeing her family. A Christmas without family really bums her out. To me - it is my job to make it all happen. The grandkids look forward to Mum Mum's visits.

Our campsite in Washington

Living in Florida away from family can be the worst time of the year. So Lulu set up her Christmas tree early. She wanted to travel north in the camper. Even with all the bad weather possibilities - the luxury of stacking her wrapped presents in the camper for a trip north is the incentive.

Everhart 9 in Washington for Christmas

On December 19th - we pulled out of Tallahassee - all our camper cabinets filled with presents and citrus fruit. When we were kids - fresh tangerines and oranges in our stockings were a treat. So I picked two baskets full right before we pulled out. In the old days - Henry Flagler would load fresh citrus fruit on his train trips north to incite people to visit his hotels in Florida. One of the original reasons for football bowl games was to encourage people to head to Florida for the winter.

Two nights with Paul and Evelyn in NC
We planned to spend the first night in the camper on the road - but while we were zooming along the highway without stops - we soon decided to hit our first destination early. Paul and Evelyn live in St. James Plantation - next to Southport NC. They encouraged us to keep coming and spend 2 nights. We loved our stay in their beautiful new home. Paul had solar panels put on his home the day before - we enjoyed the mechanics and science. It was 700 miles from home to Southport NC.  (Dec 19 - 21)

Our next stop would be Drew's. It was 200 miles to Richmond. The weather was good. We had sunshine - and 40s and 50s. It was time for Christmas presents for the grandkids. The Everhart Home was lovely for Christmas. I got to go to a VCU basketball game with Drew and Jack. VCU has sold out 125 games straight - about 9000 people each. Lulu went to see Mary Poppins with Robin and Kate. (Dec 21 - 23)

The camper at Drew's in Richmond

The busiest road we hit was I-95 from Richmond to Washington DC. We hit some traffic and a slowdown for a wreck - but covered the 100 miles without a mishap. I always think of the 2 capitals in the Civil War being so close - even in 1865 - they were a few hours apart by train. But when President Lincoln visited the defeated capital - he chose to come by boat. He went down the Potomac and up the James River. It was nice having the bathroom in our Roadtrek on this segment of the trip. Lulu also fixed our meals on the road - we love stopping at restaurants but find the meals are high in calories. We still love Cracker Barrel - and BBQ places - just not the calories.

Max loves Mum Mum reading to him

In Washington DC - we parked the Roadtrek in Keith's driveway. It fit perfectly and we ran an extension cord to keep the batteries charged and the furnace - hot water - and refrigerator running. We stayed in the Hilton across the street but we kept the camper thermostat set to 60 degrees so that the tanks would not freeze. We also put pink non-toxic antifreeze in the tanks. (Dec 23-27)

WASHINGTON HILTON - Our home for 4 nights.

The National Cathedral - Liz went
to school there

Lulu got a great deal with the Hilton. Over the holidays it is empty - and we got an executive room for $110 a night with tax. Keith's home is right across Florida Avenue. For 5 days - we enjoyed visiting with Max on his first real Christmas. It was the best. On December 23rd - the Everhart 9 gathered for dinner and presents. Lulu made chicken and pasta. We walked around Washington - enjoying the sights of a shutdown city. Lulu brought along an extra Christmas tree for our hotel.

When we checked into the Hilton - we drove right up to the front door in the Roadtrek. Lulu unloaded all her presents - bags - and holiday stuff. The bell hop went nuts over the camper - we invited him in. Maybe he just wanted a big tip - he should know better with me. When Lulu checked in - she put a $20 bill between her license and credit card. She asked for an upgrade to the executive suites. The host complied. But she also gave Lulu 8 - $25 breakfast buffet coupons - the best breakfast in the town. Diet be damned! She then handed the $20 back saying - this will not be necessary  :-)  We only paid $110 a night for 4 nights - and we got $200 in free buffets! This is the hotel where Reagan was shot. In our eyes - it will change to the hotel that gave us all those free buffets. I then drove the camper across the street and parked it on Keith's land - and plugged it into 120 volts. We could have stayed right in the camper - but the Hilton was awesome.


Roy S Everhart at National Cemetery

Lulu had given me my presents - a rear camera system for the camper - and AirPods - on Christmas. But when we woke up on Dec 27th - she took my head in her hands - looked me in the eye - and said "I am going to rock your world today!" It was more of a threat or warning. She just said to follow her directions today - no back talk.

We drove the back way to Pennsylvania - through Frederick MD - and Gettysburg PA. When we got to Harrisburg - she said it was her turn to drive. I slid over. She turned toward Allentown - and got off the highway near Hershey. I wondered why we were going to Hershey - did she have a date set up in the Kissing Tower?

National Cemetery at Indiantown - near Hershey

When we were passing Fort Indiantown National Cemetery - she turned into the gate. I had no idea what was going on. She said to have my camera ready. It was nearing 3 PM - and I saw military troops nearby - guns - flags - cameras. I got out of the camper - she walked me to a wall. A couple of years ago - Lulu started research on my grandfather and it was all culminating here. On the wall was a plaque to honor him - Roy S Everhart - he was killed in action - on July 4th 1942 - on a ship sunk by the Germans in World War II.

Since I was his namesake grandson - previously the government had presented to me 4 medals that were awarded to my grandfather posthumously. As I was in tears - several of my cousins appeared out of nowhere. We hugged and kissed like old times. It was one of the most humbling moments of my life. Lulu rocked my world - she made me laugh and cry all in one day. While I may get lost about what all this means to me - the most important thing it meant to me was that NANCY went thru a lot of trouble for this to happen.

Even though my grandfather left the family when my Dad was young - I have chosen the Christian thing to do - to forgive him and honor his death for our country.

When I thought the surprise was over - an officer told me that there will be a full military honors ceremony for my grandfather at 3 PM.

We all went to the chapel. They had the ceremony - the bugle - the guns - the changing guards - the three blasts. Then the commander looked me in the eye and presented the honors to me - for my grandfather. I mumbled a few words. It was over.

Lulu and my friend Sally - had a dinner arranged locally. My cousins and I chatted a couple hours. Then we all parted. In a daze - we were back on the road - in the dark - at 6 PM. In an hour or so - we were at our next destination - a Residence Inn near our old hometown - Tamaqua PA.


Leiby's Restaurant counter still there

It took us about 1200 miles to get to Tamaqua from Tallahassee with our sidesteps. We like this Residence Inn - because it is close to Tamaqua - it is new - we get a suite with kitchen and living room - Lulu gets the rooms free on Marriot points - a nice pool - breakfast - and we can entertain. (Dec 27 - 30)

Mother and Daughter tea at Leiby's

We got a dusting of snow there - and the weather dropped a little below freezing. The camper stayed toasty because we left the heat on. We refilled our propane tank at Banditelli's. We visited Lulu's Mom. We went to Nesquehoning to see Lori's new home. We visited Aunt Delores in the Hi-Rise. We spent time with Paul and Shirley Dodson. We saw Jean and Bill Stolz and got a VIP tour of the Tamaqua Museum. We took Betty for dinner at Leiby's Restaurant. Lulu visited Jean at DiMaggios. I got to visit Ben and Melanie Turrano. I ran into Tish Hotsko at Boyer's. I also saw Kenny Brobst. George and MaryRuth Taylor came to the hotel to sit and gab with us. While dropping by our old house by the Bungalow - the new owner Regina Casella insisted we come in to see our old home. We loved the changes they made - and the beautiful decorations. It made us feel so good with another family enjoying the house - walking to schools - playing in the park - swimming in the Bungalow.

We got a tour of our old house.
We built it from a cedar kit.
Lived there 30 years.
We attended a church service with sister Lori and cousins Bill - and Ruthann at the Tamaqua PM Church on Hunter Street. We also attended a Christmas Eve ceremony at the Washington Cathedral. We enjoyed the Festival of Lights at the Washington National Zoo with Max - Keith - and Liz.

Cousins on Aunt Ethel's bench at
PM Church

Our last stop was in Wilmington DE to visit my sister Judy. We had supper at the country club. We wanted to spend one night in the camper on the trip - so Judy's driveway was big and had an electrical outlet. Temperatures hit 30 degrees - but the camper was warm. We had breakfast with Judy - had a shower indoors - and started home.

We drove right by Washington and Richmond this time. We stopped at a Fairfield Inn in Smithfield NC and finally in Savannah GA so Lulu could shop at the outlets.

The whole trip took 2500 miles and 2 weeks. The camper performed great. We got between 14 and 18  miles per gallon. We cruised at 62 MPH. While one of us drove - the other napped - or read - or watched TV. We had lots of rain - but no freezing. We had a dusting of snow - nothing that stuck on the road.

Lulu loved her Christmas. She got to see almost everyone. We opened presents - had Christmas feasts - enjoyed the kids and grandkids and the places of our childhood. It recharged our batteries.

The highlight for me was the full military honors for my grandfather. She certainly rocked my world.

Lighthouse at Savannah Outlet Mall.
Paul and Evelyn's house - new solar panels.
Luna in Richmond opening presents.

The playground in DC - Washington Monument in back.

Making Christmas dinner.
Our National Cathedral -
Christmas Eve
Shopping in Boscov's in Hazleton.
Back of our old house - hot tub room.
Our old living room.
Lori's new home in Nesquehoning -
and our Roadtrek.
Tamaqua PM Church - Pastor Ricky Clemson

Monday, January 07, 2019

Camper - New Lights For Olds

Old camper headlights

Old camper headlight elements

I ordered new elements from Amazon

We just took a 2500 mile trip in our Roadtrek camper. It performed flawlessly. We drove in a lot of rain on the way home - luckily no snow - no freezing. 

Because I am 70 - I did not like the amount of light coming out of the 15 year old headlights. Probably it is because my eyes are old. I went online and looked at new headlight elements. There are lots of improvements in the last 15 years. I found a youtube review of 10 different elements that were tested. The reviewer suggested several brands - but he thought that the Lightening Dark 10000 were the best. These bulbs put out double the lumens while using less electricity than the originals. They also focus the light better than the old ones. 

I ordered a pair for $52 from Amazon. I will install them on Wednesday.

Electric Usage While On Vacation

My son Keith is an Energy Economist in Washington. Three years ago he bought us an energy monitor. It has faithfully watched our system - telling us what appliances are on - how much electricity we are using - and what our bill will be.

As you can see by the above chart - while we were on vacation - our electrical use dropped dramatically.

The biggest use by far is heating and cooling. While we were away - we had the heat turned down to 60 degrees. We had left the refrigerator on - and it was the biggest user of power. We leave 14 lights on outside although they are only LED bulbs. We also had them dimmed down - so they use virtually nothing. I consider them a great preventer of theft.

I unplugged the TV's - but kept the internet on because then we can watch our home TV programming on our iPhones and also see our security cameras.

The hot tub was off and drained.

The electric car was unplugged.

We have a gas tankless hot water heater - so it was off.

The Washer - dryer - dishwasher - were off.

Our electrical monitor is called You can see the electrical use on your iPhone - you can even control devices from the iPhone.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Roy S Everhart Received A Full Military Honors Ceremony At Indiantown Gap National Ceremony

Roy Everhart killed in action July 4th 1942
On July 4th 1942 - Roy S Everhart was killed in action on a Merchant Marine Ship off the coast of the Dominican Republic. His ship - the USS Norlandia was sunk by the German Submarine U-575. Everhart was among ten that were killed as the torpedo ripped through the engine room where he was stationed as a fireman/water tender. The rest of the crew made it safely to shore on lifeboats to tell the story.

Family at military honors ceremony

On December 27th 2018 - at 3 PM - a full military honors ceremony was held at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery where a memorial plaque was placed in his honor. The plaque shows his name - birth date - death date - his duty - and the name of his ship.

Those attending the ceremony were - Everhart's grandson Harry - granddaughter Jean Schelicher Arner - granddaughter Linda Schleicher Markell - granddaughter in law Cam MacFarland Schleicher - wife of grandson Nancy Cox Everhart - husband of granddaughter Larry Markell - and family friend Sally Bair.

Grandson Harry Everhart accepted the flag for the family. Previously - the following awards were presented to Everhart's grandson posthumously. He received - the Victory Medal - the Mariner's Medal - the Honorable Service Button - and the Merchant Marine Emblem.