Nancy’s new toy

One of Nancy’s problems is poor lighting at her bridge clubs so she carries small portable LED lamps. These all operate on small, dry cell batteries that have a limited life and, of course, die in the middle of a game. I researched and found one that was powered by rechargeable batteries and although there was no spec that said how long it would run on a single charge, folks who had commented gave it mixed reviews – some said it would last 12 hours while others said you were lucky to get 2. Nancy’s bridge sessions are nominally 4 hours so I figured that even at the low end if she turned it off between hands, it might make it. For $20 it was worth the try. It came with a small charge but I put it on the charger for a couple of hours before doing a life test. There were no instructions to give you a hint about charging. By the end of 2 hours it was noticeably dimmer as were my hopes although I remember that any time we buy something with chargeable batteries, they request an overnight charge before using. I charged it overnight, about 12 hours, then started the life test. Alas, it made only 3 hours with the highest light intensity so even shutting it off between hands, it will be marginal She’ll have to supplement this lamp with one of the dry cell units – an improvement, but not a solution. (For the record, it took 2.5 hrs to fully recharge so you might get another hour with a 15 minute recharge during a break.) What we need is one with lithium ion batteries instead of Ni Cad’s. Maybe there’s something hidden away in the tool section of Home Depot or Lowes. I’ve seen lithium battery flashlights and shop lights but they are not really right for sitting on the card table.

Trying something different in the summer garden. I’ve tried growing sweet potatoes a few times with marginal success – and that’s being generous with the word “success”. What I’ve always done is pick up a couple of sweets from PUBLIX (the spell check is ok if it’s all in caps) and started sprouts from them with no knowledge at all of the origin. We have a produce market that advertises that all veggies are locally grown so I concluded that the local farmers would pick varieties that are suited for Florida so I bought a couple tubers there to grow the starts this summer. We’ll see. In the past I’ve gotten great vines but marginal tubers. It’s an ok crop to experiment with because most everything else in the garden is dead from the heat by mid July and my starter shoots should be ready to plant by then.

You know we have blueberries and you know we have zucchini so what else – we whipped up a couple loaves of blueberry-zucchini bread. I also threw in half a cup of dried cranberries to top it off. Thought about walnuts (and chocolate chips) but decided to save that addition for the next batch and to avoid a sensory overload. Incredible. It was more moist than other zucchini bread concoctions we’ve made and really tasty.

At the remodel – the drywall is complete including taping all the seams. The exterior painting is 90% complete. Pretty sure it will all be done by the end of the summer. Garett works for the school system and switches to a 4 day work week during the summer so that adds a day to the remodel job. I spent most of yesterday taping the seams, a job I had done before when we remodeled the Bountiful house. But the technology has changed and paper tape is replaced with a mesh plastic tape, sticky on one side. So much easier to use that two of us were able to do the whole house in one day – and that includes the ceilings.

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