UPDATE#23 09/01 TO 09/30/2010   

Howdy Everybody,

The adventures of 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and thru 08/31/2010 have been published on the website.  We continue with the latest edition.

 UPDATE 2010 #23  09/01/2010 to 09/30/2010

At last update, we were visiting Judy’s family in Lufkin, Texas.  Welcome back to our continuing adventure…



     Judy and I are having a wonderful visit with two of her kids, their wives, and five of her grandkids.  Mark, Scott, and I went to a great little Mexican market.  The guys picked out some fantastically marinated beef meat for the dinner extravaganza.  On the super-hot gas griddle, Scott sizzled a pile of adobo seasoned Fajita slabs.  Thinly sliced, the succulently tender meat strips were heaped into flour tortillas, thence topped with cheese and a variety of other enhancements.  Man, oh man, they were soooo gooood.  I wish we had a place like that market near us and a chef as talented as Scott to fix ‘em.



     The grandsons were over to the guesthouse early this morning.  It was so early that she had just gotten out of the shower.  They were all ready to give Grandma Judy some loving hugs. 



     It was only a relatively short visit to Lufkin.  We got ourselves around and began the 5+-hour drive back to our place in San Antonio. 



     Scott and Mary came to our home to take us down to Rockport, TX.  After about a 3-hour ride, we arrived at Key Allegro Marina.


     The weather was perfect under those Texas “Blue, Clear Skies”.


     Mary has been doing some redecorating in the Master Stateroom.  The new bedding really brightens up the comfortable, king-sized bed.


     This weekend, the work list was put on the back burner.  It was party time!


     Everybody loves Scott.  Each and every guest was excited to be aboard the luxury yacht for the homecoming party


     Scott’s friend, Terry, and the legendary man himself…


     This is our main-man, JD.  We have known him since he was a lad.  He grew up with his Mom and Dad aboard their sailboats, (MUSIC MAN) and then, (FAITH).  In his late teens, he set out on his own sailing adventures by single-handing his own boat on some long voyages.  Still living on his sailboat, JD has enlisted in the US NAVY and is awaiting his deployment orders.  He is a great young man and we certainly wish him all the best that life can offer.


     Scott has always attracted the pretty ones, like “bees to honey”.  The gals all donned their stylish, “GOT GEMBA?” shirts.  Wow, just too sexy!!!  This is certainly a dynamite, bevy of beauties…



     Mary is still entrenched in her work ethic.  She thinks that her office would absolutely collapse if she missed a day (and maybe it would).  We headed back to San Antonio in this gorgeous Sunday afternoon.  A twisted oak tree provided a picturesque setting for our Judy and Mary.


     Judy and Fred…


     I don’t think that Judy would totally agree with Mary’s license plate frame.  I'm very sure of one thing, I’m not going to get tricked into that discussion…



     Even though I have been working steadily from dawn to dusk, my project list seems to be growing faster than my accomplishments.  As I start each little project, it turns out to be more complex and I dig in further to do it right.  The pedestal platform for the furnace/air handler base needed much attention.  Shown here, I have reinforced the supports and replaced some of the structure.  To improve the efficiency, I lined the entire air box with heavy insulation board.  When I finish the side panels, they too will be faced with high factor insulation panels.  Each panel has to be custom cut.


     Judy worked on the kitchen back door.  Still masked off in this picture, the steel door had to be scraped, sanded, and refinished with oil-based paint.



     We were delighted to have visitors to our home.  The boys from ADAMAS DE MARIS were here to spend the night with us.  With the torrid Texas temperatures, the “Yankee” boys were looking for a way to cool down.  Skip and Judy turned the air-bubblers and water-jets on high and soothed themselves in the swirling water.


     My very long time buddy, JD (ADAMAS DE MARIS) and I sought the shady patio and a fan to keep us cool.  It is wonderful to have them here.  As you may remember, JD is a member of the Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club and loves to spend the winters in the Bahamas.  We have sailed together extensively and enjoyed each other’s friendship for almost three decades.


     With the sun decorations hung, the deck resurfaced and painted up, and the new custom cover for the spa pool, the patio renovation project is coming together nicely.


     I have completed the rebuild of the air-conditioning unit housing and the sitting bench.  The deck lights were refinished and reinstalled.



     The tap water in San Antonio comes from the Edwards Aquifer.  The underground, limestone reservoirs are infamous for the hard water that they supply.  Most everyone has resorted to the use of water softeners to reduce the calcium deposits and hardness factors.  Several years ago, our old softener decided to fail.  I have deferred its replacement until now.  In this picture, the salt tub has already been removed and the resin catalyst processor was still plumbed in.


     Another project that needed attention was a rotting section of the patio to garage doorframe.  Through annual fees, the Homeowners Association undertakes the responsibility of exterior maintenance (roofs and personal improvements not included).  A simple phone call scheduled a maintenance technician/carpenter to attend to the issue.


     In Texas, we don’t have basements in our homes.  For my workshop, I have converted one side of the two-car garage for my project center.  I made this handy device to be a “jig” for ripping and cutting long, straight spans with my circular saw.  Since each different brand of saw has unique measurements, the guide must be matched to the individual saw.  Now, all of my panel cuts will be accurate and perfectly straight.


     The installation of the new water softener required a lot of re-plumbing.  Using a blowtorch, I had to remove the existing valves, and then sweat in new fittings to accommodate the updated unit.  These days, the advanced units have digital controls, water saving features, and an integrated tank.  It will be great to have nice, soft water for our showers again.  No more ugly water spots on the tiles, sinks, and dishware. Note the completed air box structure under the air handler.  So tell me, “do I do nice work, or what?”


     When the association carpenter arrived, I couldn’t resist getting involved in the doorframe repair.  Together, we accomplished the repairs and it is like new again.



     When the patio home was built, wood paneling was the sophisticated choice and vogue of interior design.  With time, designers have invoked fashionable changes that have rendered this once tasteful feature passé.  Some years ago, we conceded to lighten up the living area by renovating the largest wall and installing new wallboard painted in a light color.  Since then, Judy has hoped I would upgrade the rest of the room.   Again, I conceded to her more tasteful desires and began to plan the project.  The next several pictures show the “Before”.


     Windows in both my office and the living area featured dark wood shutters.  Although these are coming back in design trends, we agreed that for the look we wanted, they would have to go.



     I was quick to admit that this was a project that exceeded my sole capacity.  Thoroughly satisfied and impressed with Tyler from Premier Remodeling, I called him for his expert assistance.  By using his ideas and skills, we formulated a plan and commenced the renovations.  The first step was to remove all of the existing wood panels.  I had imagined that we would have to replace all of the wallboard.  Tyler said that he could rescue the existing walls and obtain excellent results. 


     The shutters were disassembled, the upper and lower moldings removed, and the paneling stripped away in stages.


     A part of the project was to renovate the cocktail bar area.  One of my jobs was to remove the glass racks, lighting fixtures, shelving, and various other accessories.


     Panel by panel, the removal process revealed the bare walls.  Tyler and I worked steadily.  He is such a good craftsman and is always careful and considerate of our home.  There is an obvious pride in everything he does.


     The project included replacing the wet bar counter and shelf. I tackled the removal of the plumbing fixtures and sink.  The cabinets will be refinished to reflect a more modern look.


     I was pleased that Tyler would be able to eliminate the need to replace the wallboard.


     Note how carefully that Tyler placed the construction paper on the tile floor to protect the surface from any damage.  I’m impressed.


     Here, the wet bar counter has been ripped out.


     Here, you can see the protected floor.  Note the upgraded doors that Tyler installed a couple of weeks ago.  So far, we have only changed out the downstairs doors.  Later, I hope to upgrade the upstairs doors from their existing flat panels.



     To further protect our room furnishings, we covered everything with a variety of plastic sheeting and old bedding sheets.


     Tyler carefully and skillfully restored the wall surfaces using a three-stage process.  He first applied a base coat of quick drying “mud” to the needed areas.  After sanding, he applied a smoother, slow-drying compound that required overnight setting.  Note how well the taped construction paper protected the tiles from splatters.  Over the following week, the renovations continued to include the finishing coats of plaster “mud” and subsequent texturing.  While he was at it, he made several repairs to other wall surfaces throughout the houserooms.



     The kitchen counters had always “bugged” Judy’s sense of design.  Formerly, they were the outdated, butcher-block pattern.  Together, Judy and I selected a new counter design that we both liked very much.  With Tyler’s professional assistance, we proceeded to replace and update the kitchen area.  It was my job to prepare the area and do the finish work.  It was Tyler’s job to cut and install the new counter surface.


     Tyler custom cut and constructed the new counter area for the wet bar.  Judy worked on refinishing the liquor cabinets and I did the plumbing and faucet repair tasks.  All of these projects are really starting to take shape and we are thrilled with the emerging new look.  Of course, we still have lots more to do.


     The trim work on the carpeted stairway was dull, crude, and much too plain.  Prodded by Judy’s impetus, I activated our plan to improve the situation by installing new trim moldings.


     To replace the removed shutters, I installed modern, wide-slat blinds.  When Judy designs and sews the window treatments, it is going to look so good.


     For the kitchen counters, I came up with the addition of embossed wood trim that I spray-painted to accent the backsplashes.


     Another separate project in progress was the design and construction of a headboard for the master bed.  I conceived an idea and made the plans for a unique construction.  I would employ a framed, shutter design braced with side supports and a top shelf.


     My compound miter saw has been invaluable for this type of construction.  Without it, my molding projects and headboard project would not have been successful.


     With all of this construction going on, the garages became a total workshop and the vehicles were relegated to street parking.

     In the next update edition, we will explore the progress and advances in the renovation projects.  I hope you will return to the website for more on our continuing adventures.





       We sincerely hope that you will review the previous years of compilations to give context to the current editions.  Please let us know if you have any special suggestions and thoughts.

     REMEMBER:  The website is now fully active and you can visit it at any time.  You can also review any of the previous logs from the years 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 to learn more about the crew and their many adventures.  Enjoy.


   You may contact us via email anytime.

Thanks for allowing us to share our life and adventures with you.

Lotsa Luv,

Fred Reed and Judy Law




              "AMARSEis pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY".

                 Our website is:   www.amarse.net   .

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