Another Home Repair

All the moves are done. Chris is in Chicago; Simon is in Alabama; Olivia is tucked away in a dorm on campus at UCF. All came through without a hitch.
The picture shows the water ballet show at the dock this weekend.

Water Ballet Highlights
Water Ballet Highlights

This was a big week in the garden. I spotted blossoms on the zucchini plant and climbing tendrils popped out on the cucumbers. All of that was fairly well on schedule and the plants seem to be handling the August heat and humidity just fine. But the big thing was I planted the first four tomato plants; two standard sandwich tomatoes and two Roma, paste style. I had five of each plus some cherries that were getting leggy in the flat – ready, I think, for the garden. This is a big step in terms of their surviving so I did the small planting first and will make sure these survive for a couple of days before planting more. I did the full treatment – meaning digging a 12” x 12” x12” hole, filling it with compost then transplanted the seedling. I then installed a cardboard collar around the stem of each plant to protect them from the feared and dreaded cutworms. Cutworms are horrible creatures that must live dormant in the soil until they sense a tomato has been planted. Then they emerge at night and gnaw the stem through so when you come out in the morning you find the plant laying over separated right at ground level. In the past if I plant 10, chances are 2 will be gone the first night. The collars work but I usually am either too lazy or forget that step. Not this year – no short cuts. I’ll give these plants 2-3 days and if they survive, I’ll transplant another 8-10. I’m pretty sure I have enough compost to do the job but it’ll be close. Also, I planted these in rows that I’ve kept completely weed free and baking in the sun for 2 months so if I have nematode problems this time, I’m back to zero thoughts about how to control them. I didn’t use my sugar/clorox treatment because there were so many earth worms in the soil, I didn’t want to risk killing them along with the nematodes.

A few months back Tom was here and happened to mention that he had personally replaced the ice maker in his refrigerator. Ours has been acting up for a fair while now and Nancy figured that if Tom could fix his, I could fix ours. Both of us are slightly challenged when it comes to home repairs. The problem with the ice maker was that every once in a while, it must have been dripping water which caused the cubes to freeze together. Personally I could live with that problem for years especially knowing that a service call would end up being $250 and also knowing that you can still buy ice trays at the dollar store. Nancy was not deterred and, unbeknownst to me, ordered the replacement part online for $65 – about the same as 65 ice trays. There were a few hitches in the getalong but I had the replacement installed in about an hour and even had all the tools required so no emergency trip to the hardware store. According to the directions, it can take up to 24 hours for the first ice to form. It took 2. So from start to finish including making a batch of cubes, 3 hours. Overnight, the receiving tray was full of cubes. Mission Accomplished.

On my recent visit to the Doc for an annual check-up, he mentioned my BMI showed I was “slightly overweight” but not to worry. I told him I thought I was not overweight and that his measurement was off because he used the fully clothed weight but not the fully clothed height. That threw him off his game. I said that if he was going to use my fully clothed weight in the calculation, then he should use my height with shoes and socks. Believe it or not, he challenged my calculation and was surprised to see what difference a 2 pound pair of shoes with a 1” elevation mattered. I went (on paper) from overweight to just fine.

I guess today’s party line is that we don’t want to go into Syria or blast ISIS in Syria because we would be helping Assad. Gad’s. Seems like the perfect excuse to drop a few big ones on Assad while blowing up a few ISIS guys. This could be a win win but this administration is simply floundering around with indecision. In the end he’ll be forced into action, kicking and screaming. If it goes fine, he gets the credit; if it crashes

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