Clean bill of health

Great news! Joey’s PET scan showed him clean of the cancer. He goes back in 3 months for follow-up blood work and in 6 months for another PET scan. The only medication is vitamin B12 for the numbness in his fingers and toes. Nancy is bouncing off the walls. Me too.

Definitely fall weather. I made the first wardrobe adjustment after stepping outside the other morning. No more sleeveless shirts for 7 months or so. The uniform of the day is now a short sleeve tee shirt, shorts and flip flops. Next month I’ll most likely have to switch from shorts to long pants and from flip flops to tennis shoes with socks. Maybe even long sleeve shirts if it gets too harsh. This could be the shortest fall on record. They are forecasting winter for Thursday.

The second eagle is back. She was soaring along with her best buddy this morning. So I can cross that off my to do list.

Nancy had a big quilting weekend. Her club arranged for a quilting superstar to come and teach for a couple of days so she was gone from 7AM to 4PM Friday and Saturday. I gather it was a total success and she learned some life changing tidbits – such as how to make a 3D bow tie quilt square.

We’re actually eating out of the garden again. That makes it all seem worthwhile. It’s 100% planted out at this time and I have seeds started in containers to fill in the areas which will be killed off with a frost. The trick is in timing things so that you have a steady flow with a good mix rather than a ton all coming online at the same time. With a few exceptions, most of the cool weather crops keep fairly well even after picking so even the timing is less critical in cool weather. The cucumber vines are absolutely loaded with fruit with a few ready to pick now. I never cease to be amazed how many cucumbers you get from just one vine. So why do I plant 4?

And I found out a little more about the sugar/nematode relationship. I was right that the nematodes – also called eel worms to give you a feel for what they look like – are attracted to and consume the sugar. The sugar dries them out so they die of dehydration. Not sure what the clorox does so I’m planting some rows with the clorox and some without.

Because I write so much about fishing and gardening you probably think I know a little about the subjects. But what I really know something about is taking backlashes out of casting reels. I have years and years of experience with my own and those of others and have developed great techniques and much patience in dealing with ferocious birds nests. Which gets me to my story.

Last week Simon gave me a reel to fix. Bass Pro Shops has promotionals where people turn in old reels in exchange for a discount on new ones. Simon works occasionally at BPS as part of a Boy Scout program and last week they brought out a box of reels they had taken in on exchange and let the boys pick one to keep. Simon made a good choice and picked up a Quantum Flippin’ casting reel. I would guess the reel would have retailed for close to $100 new. It needed some work but after taking it apart and cleaning it, the reel seemed ready for some field testing. I noticed that it was actually overloaded with line; very good line of the braided carbon fiber variety. The kind that costs maybe 10 cents a yard. The previous owner had spooled on perhaps 500 yds. I found that out because it was loosely spooled and I trolled out the whole spool and rewound it under tension. Still too much line so I jettisoned maybe a 100′ or so and proceeded with the field testing. It turned out to be a very fast reel with a good magnetic drag system and I was generally pleased that it turned out so well and knew Si would be happy with it after he got used to the faster spool.

Over the next couple of days I would take it down to the dock and make a few casts just to be sure that it stayed tuned. Some reels do just fine right after a cleaning but gum up quickly. So this morning I was down there and a fish broke, maybe 150′ out from me. I was casting a small, 1/8 oz jig and figured I had a chance to reach it if I really laid one out there. I put everything I had into the cast – full arm, full body – but failed to notice that the lure had gotten tangled up with one of the cables on the boat hoist. In all my life I have never had a backlash like this. In fact, I’d never seen one so bad and, trust me, I’ve seen some really nasty backlashes This was truly the grandmother of all backlashes. I picked at it for about 5 minutes and knew it was a losing cause so I broke out the scissors. Even cutting and hacking, it took me a half hour to clear the mess. In the end I probably lost another 100′ of line but now it’s just about right. I should have taken that off before but hated to pitch such really good line. The good news is that with less line, the reel is casting like a dream.

3 thoughts on “Clean bill of health

  1. Thank the Lord! We are so happy to hear Joey has beaten cancer! Please give him our love and congratulations. Tell Nancy it must have been all that good nutrition she provided. Don’t kid yourself – the kitchen will never close for any of her boys. Love you all. J & J

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