September-October 2020:

I reworked my automatic watering system by moving the controller to the deck side of the house from inside of the garage. I reused the existing wires going under the house to control 4 valves closer to the garage side of the house. Then I strung new wire to the valves on this side of the house.

This allowed me to add 2 new valves so I can be more flexible getting water to the different areas.


Existing manual valve.

I added 2 new valves here.

AT&T Gateway.

Another excitement was the installation of AT&T Fiber 1000 Internet service to my house. It was a pretty straight forward and painless change. I was able to cancel Comcast/Xfinity the next day. No complains about Comcast except for the slow upload speed.

September 28, 2020. This is the day Joel and Elaine drove down for a visit. There was quite a wind that blew over the 3 umbrellas and a large plant! Fire broke out in the Napa area that morning too, which brought smoke to the Bay Area in the days since.

Marcus and Bae invited us over for socially distanced supper on their patio. Marcus brought out the TV so we could watch the first presidential debate.




Bae brought out an impossible burger for me. In addition to hamburgers, we had a green salad and potato salad. Lemon cake for dessert.

Abby is checking things out!

Soooooooooooo bad! (The debate.)

The "Gathering" for the conference to which Smyrna belongs what going on the week of Joel and Elaine's visit and we were able to participate using Zoom. There were 140 people this day.

Zoom screen for the UCC gathering.

On Saturday, Bae, Marcus, Jon and Charles came over for socially distanced lunch on the deck. We made quiche. Elaine baked Ginger Molasses cookies ... sooooo good.

On Monday, October 5, Rob and Diane had a crew working on repaving the upper part of the shared driveway. This will dress up the area around the new deluxe studio in the background of the first photo.

Watch the YouTube video that I made of the visit to the Studio:


Glenda (Yoder) San0's English Toffee:

One day I finally made Glenda's English Toffee candy recipe with a lot of help from Elaine


Starting to cool on the granite countertop.

Adding milk chocolate chips (recipe called for dark chocolate and the melting point might have been better for this type of candy.

Adding chopped Oregon walnuts.

The disaster happened after this photo, The candy we solidly glued to the counter top and had to be chiseled off. Resulted in very sharp fragments!

Today Elaine made cornbread muffins using the silicone muffin liners we got from the Amazon store in Berkeley. Does a great job.

Friday October 9, 2020:

Marcus and Bae invited us over for supper on their patio. Joel and Elaine helped me load up the van with large pots. I left plants in 3 of the pots: cymbidian orchid, minature canna and hydrangea.


Through the breezeway.

More pots.

Unloading pots.

Abby checking out the new plants/pots.

Bae and Marcus gave us to bunches of carrots to take. Their food delivery came while we were there.

Bae's tomato plant in pot on deck.

Lemon tree in their backyard


Saturday October 10, 2020: Reno or bust!

We drove to Reno for the day. over 3 hours each way. We attened the gathering to celebrate the life of our first cousin Clinton's wife Marie. It was held outside in Clinton's front yard and in the back yard.

We drove first to the Reno airport to pick up Barbara. From there we stopped for a little lunch and then on to Clinton's. He daughter Annette helped arrange the gathering and has been staying in Reno during the pandemic. She lives in Seattle and we saw Annette when we were there in February.

Clinton's brother Marvin with Joel.

Barbara, Clinton and Marvin

Elaine with Marvin's wife Anne.

Other guests in the yard.