Lowered the Boat

I had the root canal thing on Monday. It wasn’t near as much fun as I thought it would be. A couple of weeks ago I went for a routine cleaning and dental exam where the dentist picked up on an abscess under a crowned tooth. I went to a specialist who said it had been dead for quite some time. It turns out there was a natural drain going on so it never hurt but was dripping nasty material into my body – slow enough that my system could handle it. They drilled out the center of the tooth, down into 3 roots, cleaned out all the infection, and did a temporary filling. The process took 2 hours this trip and will take another 2 in a couple of weeks where the temporary fillings are replaced with permanent ones. I will say that there was no pain before, during, or after the procedure – unless you count a pain in the wallet.

It took three days but I did finally get through the whole garden-weeding and cutting back the plants that were past their prime, mostly tomatoes, and tilling those areas that hadn’t been done in several years. The compost pile is totally full a bit earlier than I had planned and kind of squishy with all the rain. I decided to take a walk on the wild side and plant some squash seeds directly in the garden. Normally that would be stupid in August but the cucumbers are doing so well that this may just be the exceptional season where it will work. The pic shows the load of fruit on just one plant. There is one slight difference between these summer cuc’s and the ones we pick in the spring – they’re more slender. They taste exactly the same and are the same length but don’t fill out as fully. I planted two different varieties of zucchini, a butternut, and a spaghetti squash. I also started tomato and pepper seeds inside and, another stretch crop, two varieties of cabbage. All of those will go in the garden mid September. Oh yeah, now picking pole beans and eggplant on a daily basis. That’s normal for the eggplant but not so much for the beans.

Loaded with Cuc's
Loaded with Cuc’s

Now that I have the garden under control, into the jungle. A year or so back I cleaned out several areas of palmettos to clear views to the lake. The thing with palmettos is that when you cut them down, even to ground level, in just a few weeks they put out new sprouts so it’s a continuous job. A month ago I tried to do something about that by spraying the cut areas with pruning paint. I thought that would stop new growth. Wrong. So today I went after them with chemical warfare. I buy undiluted, commercial grade generic round-up at the local nursery supply store. You dilute it 10-12:1 for normal use; that gets it down to Roundup strength. This time after I cut off a new sprout, I hit it with a few tablespoons of full strength juice. We’ll know in a couple of weeks how well that works. As an aside, I get a 2 gallon jug of this concentrate for $75 and it generally lasts me a couple of years.

The other jungle flora that keeps on coming are wild grapes. That was the toughest thing to get under semi control when we built the house and if I let it go, we’ll be wrapped up tight by vines. As soon as I start pulling the vines I think about someone I’ve actually never met. One time about 10 years ago when we were doing the initial clearing, Ali and Nancy were here helping. He and I were pulling down a particularly tough vine and he opined that his mother would go crazy to have all these grape vines and see us just pulling them down to be fed into a chipper or burned. They’re Lebanese and use grape leaves in lots of dishes so this would be the land of plenty. Somehow that stuck with me and she automatically pops into my mind as I yank them out of the trees.

Another big development – I lowered the Jon boat into the water. It had been hanging high and drive for several years when the water level was too low but now it’s back to normal. Based on the lake rise, we’ve also confirmed that we’ll host a lake party on the 31st of this month and based on that, I’m moving my jungle cleaning operation down to the path between the lake to the dock and to the area adjacent to the dock. It’ll take a couple of days to get that to where the less adventurous guests have no trouble getting to the dock.

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