Mr. Fix-it

Got a big workout today. George came over and asked if I would help him jerk a stump out of the ground. He had cut down an old camphor tree but wanted to use the area for something and needed the stump removed. His plan was to wrap a chain around the stump and then jerk it out with his truck. When I looked at the stump that approach sounded a bit optimistic to me and, after a few hard jerks, we set about digging it out and cutting the roots one by one using a hand axe and chain saw. Every time we had cut what we thought was the last root holding it, we’d hook up the truck and jerk. Finally after 3 hours of digging, cutting, and jerking it came out. We were both worn to a frazzle but feeling victorious. I headed to the lake, stripped down and jumped in. Wow, did that feel good.

Facing a real problem – the Kale and Collard greens have just about played out. I’m thinking that the end for my green drinks is now in sight for early July. The dark green Tuscan kale rolled over and died earlier this week and the curly leaf stuff is looking to follow suit. There are still a few new leaves popping out of the collards but I don’t think the plant will be able to keep up with the demand. I had hoped to be able to replace those with New Zealand spinach but those plants are not looking all that good either. No way am I going to buy them; that would just be wrong.

I mentioned a few posts back that on rainy days when Nancy is playing bridge in Palm Coast I hit the Flagler County library. Did that the other day and found an interesting book – “Unusual Vegetables”. It’s a thick book and the format is to discuss the veggies in alphabetical order. I made it up to something called comfrey ………………

I’m a real Mr. Fixit. I’ve been repair challenged all my life having been born with the equivalent of 5 thumbs so I get the shakes every time something breaks that seems repairable. This week I actually made 3 such repairs. I picked up the phone the other day and it was dead, dead, dead. What can go wrong with a phone beyond batteries and we had changed batteries just a few months back. I figured it was possible that the replacement battery just gave it up when Nancy chirped in and asked if it was the same handset she’d dropped yesterday. First I’d heard of it but took the back off the phone and sure enough, the connector between the battery and the phone had popped off. Hero. Went out to light the Holland grill and had to resort to a match when the electronic igniter wasn’t up to the job. The grill is new and it seems that every other lighting requires a match intervention. I decided to see if there was anything obvious and spotted nothing. A call to the manufacturer yielded a few suggestions and gave me the courage to start disassembling the heart of the grill. All the components seemed to be working individually but it wouldn’t consistently light and I also noticed that the flame seemed a bit too “orange”, a sign it was getting too much air. That’s a delicate adjustment but I dove in and, as if by magic, the flame is now mostly blue and it starts every time. The last repair job was on my favorite set of pruners. I was crunching down on a branch that was too big for them and they basically came apart in my hands. These are really good, really expensive clippers and also a gift from Joey so I was really bummed. I studied them closely and realized there was a way to take them apart and reassemble if I could get one nut off. It looked totally welded with rust but I took my time and soaked it in liquid wrench before breaking out the big wrench. It came apart, including a large spring that leaped out and I was able to put it back together- eventually correctly. It sort of worked but didn’t spring open the way it should have so I took it apart again and greased all the parts before reassembling. Shazamm – like new. Three fixes in one week is my new record. Three fixes in one month is probably a new record. I even did a sewing machine repair this month so I’m on a real roll.

The new leaf blower showed up – as if by magic.

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