Special Guest Appearance at the Lake

Big doin’s coming up in Lake Mary with a graduation celebration for Olivia and Simon. Such big doin’s that Tommy Jr. came in from Chicago for the festivities. It just so happens that he has a steady lady friend, Julia, who has family in Jacksonville and it worked out that she could be here in Florida this week. Tommy drove up to Jax, picked her up and they spent the afternoon here at the lake. It was a rainy day but that probably was for the better since they were stuck in the house talking to us instead of down at the lake having lake fun. In the house meant in the kitchen. While I whipped up my special chicken cacciatore with home made pasta, we were able to just get to know each other over good smells and good wine. The meal was capped off with some special apple pie that Julia’s mother had made. Really looking forward to the event Saturday. Tina’s Utah and Idaho folks will be there and it’s been a few years since we’ve seen them so lots of catching up to do.

I mentioned the pole beans as starting to put out goodies. I picked a couple pounds today, 10 days ahead of the calculated pick date. It’s a variety called Algarve which I’ve never grown before. So far, so good. They’re a flat. Romano style bean. But here’s one that will really rock your world – I planted some jalapeno pepper seeds and some eggplant seeds at the same time and the pepper seeds sprouted a week before the first eggplant. How’s that for a shocker. Can’t forget the I also picked the first handful of cherry tomatoes. The only thing memorable about that is that they are from plants that self seeded and are producing well before the ones I babied and nourished from seed. It’s going to be interesting to see if these renegades produce as many as the first generation coming a few weeks from now. Even more unusual is that we’re still catching speckled perch in the lake. They’re usually done by February and for sure by the end of March but this year, they seem to be holding on. Couple that with the giant ladyfish I’ve been catching and maybe there is something to global warming. Thing is, I’m lovin’ it; a silver lining.

A couple months back I posted that Mark had fixed the sprinkler system. We’ve had plenty of natural water since then and I never turned on the sprinklers until the beginning of this week. The system is set up with 3 water circuits and a controller that sets up the timing and duration of each circuit. It can also be operated manually and that’s what I started with – turn on section A, then to B and C. “A” worked just fine but B was dead, nothing, nada. I removed the covers on the individual control valves and saw something weird with the B controller. It was totally covered with some brown, gelatinous, goop that looked like something from am alien horror movie. I got a bucket of water, washed the stuff away and went back to the control box to start the process again. As if by magic it worked albeit with less pressure than “A” but probably enough to live. I ran it for 30 minutes and gradually the pressure returned to normal so perhaps that goop had gotten deeper into the system than just the control valve or maybe when we did the repair, mud and dirt got trapped in the pipes and just had to work itself out. Whatever, it seems to be working just fine now. Section C has lots of plumbing problems but nothing wrong with the controller or main valve. I just have to suck it up, tear that string up and redo it. Procrastination in action.

As a side note – I woke up early this AM with the feared and dreaded lower back-side pain; kidney stone? I did quite a bit of heavy lifting yesterday on trees so it’s possible I strained something; fingers crossed. Or, could this be the revenge of the green drink?

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