Disappointed !!

TV antenna

Assembly of antenna

Sections of PVC pipe

Working on antenna

91 degrees at 12:16

95 degrees at 4:02

Getting ready to hoist antenna

92 degrees at 5:57

In the air

Despite the heat, I worked on the antenna this morning. This afternoon, a trip to Lowe’s for a few more fittings. The antenna is light weight but at the end of the PVC-pipe it feels heavy. I couldn’t hoist it alone. After the evening meal in the Dining Room (lasagna), a volunteer (strong young man) helped me hoist the antenna. It was a surprise to observe that rigid PVC became very flexible. Smiley face disappointedI’m disappointed!! I consider that arrangement “temporary.” Furthermore, after another scan for channels, I’ve no better reception than when at lower location. I gained channels but they are all Spanish and two Japanese (or Chinese?). I don’t have ABC or CBS. The antenna rotates 360 degrees so I’ll keep trying to improve reception.

Twenty-twenty hindsight (Thursday, July 24, 2014, 8:00): The antenna is eighteen feet off the ground. At that height, I’m receiving forty-two stations. ~~ Sooner or later, I’ll put the TV antenna and WiFi antenna on a tall metal pipe.

Smiley face TV8:40 AM (Thursday, July 24, 2014): Hallelujah!!! I have CBS This Morning. I love, love, love Charlie Rose. I haven’t seen Charlie since I left North Carolina more than nine months ago. I used to follow him on PBS, too.

Sizzling hot !!



Olive OylWeatherman said (4:00 PM news) 96 degrees and “feels like 107 degrees.” I’m so uncomfortable!!


Postscript: If any consolation, Las Vegas will experience 110 degrees on Wednesday. (I’m not the only one suffering from the heat!!)

Welcome to my world !!

Five blocks downTime and temperatureSignalThe Houston weather man said we would have a heat index of 103 to 110 degrees today. My usually reliable indoor/outdoor thermometer reported 104 degrees actual temperature at 9:38. Do I have a “for”casting instrument?? I changed the batteries less than two months ago so it should be OK. I brought the “signal” device indoors so it will (hopefully) start getting and sending the correct message. ~~ An hour earlier, I put down two more paving stones. The heat and humidity drove me indoors. I’m forced to work on indoor projects in the air-conditioned trailer. I’d rather be outdoors!! ~~ It is so nice to have weather and news reports in my trailer. So far, I’m delighted with my new TV antenna.


Energizer BunnyPostscript, Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 7:00 AM: Cheap products from China!! A Walmart purchase less than six months ago!! This morning, the “atomic” clock is five hours slow. It, too, had new Energizer Max batteries on June 10th. I’ll salvage the batteries and trash the clock!!

Lorraine’s Believe It or Not !!

Time and temperature outside

Signal is in the refrigerator

Time and temperature indoorsIf it were not so horribly hot and humid, this would be amusing. I’m believing the little clock is accurate–outdoors in the shade. LOL with smiley faceThe “signal” device for the wall clock is in the refrigerator and indicates 101 degrees outside temperature. IMHO, this would be a great joke for April first (LOL).

Ignoramus ??

Boy do I feel stupid; I’m calling myself an ignoramus. Men have an aptitude for mechanics and electronics (I think); I have to work at it!! ~~ “The guys” where I live told me there was undoubtedly a TV “booster” somewhere in the Carriage. They referenced “a switch” but I hadn’t seen any unidentified switches anywhere. “Oh, it might be in the bedroom; it might be in a closet or cupboard.” An e-mail pen-pal friend said hers was next to something resembling a socket for a cigarette lighter. “Yes, I have one of those.” But I didn’t see any “switch.” Today I climbed on a step ladder and stuck my head in the cupboard. On the back side of TV lead-in, a little green light, and a tiny button that turned the light on and off. It took some maneuvering but I was able to trace the TV lead and it goes to a connection for a satellite dish. The point is: “They” said it existed; I couldn’t find it. ~~ Smiley face with moneySetting up the new TV antenna has been a challenge. But I’m delighted with reception plus the fact that I’m saving money–not tied to a two-year contract with Dish or Direct. One CARE resident said her bill is over $60. per month; another resident said her bill is over $150. per month. All well and good… but I don’t have enough retirement income for that luxury. Seventy dollars for the antenna and twelve dollars for ground wire, re-bar, and two PVC-pipe fittings. Okay, I’ll call myself resourceful.

Location of the booster


Air-conditionerFurthermore: While I had the step ladder out, I pulled the filters on the air-conditioner and washed them. That’s something “the guys” told me to do. 

One, two, three…

…that’s enough for me (for today).

Three down

Looking west at three in place

Twenty-three moreIt takes a lot of energy to get the cement paving stones straight and level. These are not “exact” and I’ll have to work with them some more as they settle. Inch by inch it’s a cinch!!” Tape measureOnly one-hundred-thirty-two inches to go; twenty-three more blocks twelve inches wide. Actually (if my arithmetic is correct), it is two-hundred-sixty-four inches because there are two rows of paving stones. ~~ Because of the rainy weather, the youth group postponed their visit to help the CARE residents. ~~ I started moving dirt because the ground is soft from the recent heavy rain.

W. W. @ W.

Wonder Woman at Work!!

The package arrived with the antenna. I was very anxious to assemble!! My project has been “dampened” by heavy rain almost all afternoon. I got a little wet as I worked on my patio, and on my front steps “work bench.” Looking at the pictures, you’ll see why I need a rain barrel (or two, or three). A rain barrel is next; a friend challenged me to DIY (do it yourself). Yesterday I bought the faucet and necessary plumbing items; soon I’ll purchase a large trash receptacle. But this message is about a television antenna.

I’m on the computer because I’m at a stand-still outdoors. I need to wait until it stops raining to attach the pole mount to the roof of the storage building.

I shouldn’t pass judgement until I’ve finished the project and see if I have television reception BUT I find the parts extremely light-weight plastic and aluminum. I speculate it will blow away in the first heavy wind. Furthermore, there were not enough screws in the package to assemble as directed. Fortunately, I have many containers with nuts, bolts, screws and much miscellaneous.  From my supply, I was able to secure everything. The Internet advertisement led me to believe I’d have everything I needed with this order. The instructions call for steel or aluminum pipe between the mount and the antenna and I actually had some. (I’d planned to use heavy PVC pipe.) So I drilled holes in my metal pipe so it can be bolted to the mount, and two sections bolted together. Time will tell but I think it is all very flimsy. 


Starting to assemble

Rain water

Assembly of antenna

Needed an extra screw

Rain water full

Mounting pole

Drill, etc., on makeshift workbench

Time and temperature

Needed nuts and bolts

To secure the pole to mount

Container is full of rain water

Rain pouring off awning

Power to adapter

Time and temperature


7:00 PM and I’m back with good news: I have a beautiful TV picture!! I had the evening meal in the CARE Dining Room because I was not interested in fixing food for myself at home. It wasn’t raining when I walked back to my site so I immediately continued the process by screwing the mount to the roof. Then hoisted the antenna–on the two sections of metal pole–on to the mount. The antenna is stuck in the tree branches!!!!!!! Tomorrow I’ll (hopefully) find someone to saw off that limb. I continued with the necessary steps: Lead-in to side of the trailer, etc.  Ultimately, the test began inside the trailer as I pushed various buttons (on the TV remote control) in every effort to configure the antenna. Minutes of failure!! Suddenly–with a push of the “channel” button–I had a spectacular picture on my television. I couldn’t believe it: Antenna in the tree limbs; Houston over seventy miles away. (Twenty-eight channels.) ~~ It’s raining again; I had less than one hour to complete that phase of the project. What you see is only a temporary arrangement. I still think the current pole will go down in a wind storm. I’ll connect guy-wires” soon.

Temporary set-up

Weak signal

Scanning for channels

First image, Church Channel

Channel 2, NBC Houston

Weather report

Wonder woman


Postscript, Friday, July 18, 2014, 2:30 PM: More pictures. This morning I lowered the antenna and experimented with the elements to get the best service.  Now the antenna is rotating according to instructions (it just took me a period of time to figure out the “P’s” and “Q’s”). Originally, I thought the “gizmo” and adapter would be in the storage shed with coaxial lead-in going several directions. This is much better!! (Last night the “gizmo” was dangling on the coaxial cable, in a plastic bag to protect it from the rain. Repeat: This indoor arrangement is much better.) With lowered antenna, thirteen stations.

Lowered the antenna

Early arrangement


Gizmo near the TV

Dr. Oz

Dr. Phil

Brian Williams

If at first you don't succeed

A new project !!

Smiley face sweating

Sweat is pouring off me; I’ve been working in the yard at 91 degrees (in the shade and I wasn’t always in the shade). I’m getting ready for a group of young people–from a local Church–coming to do projects for residents at CARE. I’ve been planning to widen my patio by adding cement “paving stones.” Today I purchased twenty-six… and young men loaded them at the retail store. Tomorrow, Lord willing, young people will unload them from my KIA. Furthermore, Lord willing, they will dig out about two inches of soil in an area three feet wide by twelve feet long. (Nice addition to my patio, don’t you think??) I’ll do the actual placement in the days to follow because I’ll be persnickety about alignment and being level. I’ve borrowed a wheelbarrow to haul the dirt away. I’ve purchased 36 bottles of water, and four large containers of lemonade, so my helpers can quench their thirst. (The refrigerator in my BIG trailer is small; I could only get in twenty-two bottles of water and four lemonade.) I’ll give the group a generous donation because extremely well worth it to have extra pairs of hands.

Cement blocks in KIA

One stone temporarily in position

Two stones temporarily in positionOh yes, regarding “sweat is pouring off me”: I wanted to create a small part of the project so the young people can visualize what I’m planning to do.

Scorching heat91 degrees in the shadeAnother job for them: Remove things from the storage building and return them to the storage building in such a way that I have things better organized plus more space to move around. We’ll see how that goes.

Smiley face angry with umbrellaPostscript, Thursday, July 17, 2014, 7:30 AM: “Rain, rain, go away; come again another day.”  Yes, we have drizzling rain and I fear my projects are on “hold.” I actually love a rainy day because it cools the air BUT this is inconvenient!! ~~ More details later.

Pickin’ up the pace !!

Speed limit any speedRunningSpending time on the computer is relaxing after a busy morning. ~~ First, I “whacked” knee-high weeds; second, trimmed low hanging limbs. True story: I moved the picnic table closer to my container garden so “maintenance” could mow that front portion of my yard (and I wouldn’t have to weed whack). Then I was told there were too many low-hanging limbs and the mower driver was hitting the limbs. Always some excuse!! First they wouldn’t mow because I had “too much stuff” in my yard. I’m on my own!! Look at all the good exercise I get working in my yard; I’m not complaining. ~~ Yesterday a brief but hard rain storm. It filled my new large tub quickly. (Doesn’t that look better than a dozen or more dish pans, waste baskets, etc.??) I still plan to order a large rain barrel (when I get “a round tuit”). I did order a TV antenna. After successfully installing the WiFi antenna, I’ve been researching (on the Internet) long-range TV antennas. We are more than seventy miles from Houston so I can’t get “through-the-air” with antenna on the roof of my 5th-wheel trailer. I refuse to pay the exorbitant rate for Dish or Direct TV, and no cable here.  ~~ Square dancing tonight; more exercise.

Trimming limbs

Pile of limbs

Fewer limbs hanging down

Fire ants

Rain in gauge

Tub for rain water

Rain water off trailer

Time and temperature

Time and temperature

Filled the bird feeders

Sunflower seeds

Food for squirrels

Time and temperature

Smiley face sweating