Spring planting started

I planted a variety of cabbage that was advertised as best for slaw and salads. It produced a conical head as opposed to a round head. The other nice thing was the head was about 2 pounds, just right for us, as opposed to the giant heads I’ve grown in the past. I decided to make a Dutch cole slaw recipe which we found a few years ago and have used plenty of times. It’s vinegar, not mayo, based and is best made the day before. Turned out awesome but next time I’ll switch to apple cider vinegar.

I dodged a car repair bullet yesterday. We take the truck to Crescent City every Wednesday for Nancy’s bridge game. The problems I had in the past with the truck were traceable to not using it enough so we worked it into a regular time slot to avoid that in the future. It’s 20 miles to Crescent City so that puts 80, mostly highway, miles on every week. This past Wednesday I walked out to where it’s parked, started it and released the emergency brake. Oops, the brake light stayed lit and along with it, the ABS light. I exercised the brake a couple of times, restarted the truck a couple of times but the lights stayed on. No question the brake was fully released and reengaged properly so the problem had to be associated with the switch that controlled the light. Sounded like $100 to me. We drove up to Crescent City with zero problem as expected. So nothing too serious. On the afternoon trip back to pick her up, I remembered that a few months back I had a similar issue with the Mercury and learned, via the owners manual, that when the brake fluid level is low, the emergency brake light comes on. I bought brake fluid and sure enough the problem went away and has stayed away. Since the truck is a Ford and the Mercury is a Ford………….. I pulled over, opened the hood and found the brake fluid reservoir – way,way low. There’s an Auto Zone in Crescent City so I confidently went in, purchased fluid and filled the reservoir. The lights both went out instantly. Made my day. I’ll keep an eye on the reservoir to make sure there’s no serious leak but I’m feeling pretty good right now.

I started the spring indoor planting today with a dozen tomato seeds, 4 each of 3 varieties, and Basil. I had planned on starting green peppers too but found I had used all the seeds of the variety I wanted last year. I have plenty of pepper seeds but this particular variety performs so well and all others are marginal at best that it makes sense to stick with what works here. Peppers are very fussy. Assuming success with the seeds, the tomato plants should be ready for the garden in early March, maybe late Feb. The peppers shouldn’t be a problem since it’s looking like I nursed the fall plants thru the cold snaps we had and I’m actually seeing some new growth. The proof will be the appearance of blossoms.

I was ok to hear Trump throw a big tariff on solar panel imports. That whole industry has been unbelievably subsidized from the get go. Then I heard on the news that Al Gore agreed with Trump on this issue and that gave me pause. I can’t imagine being in agreement with Big Al so there must be something I don’t understand about the issue.
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Nancy got an interesting device yesterday. It came in a small box via USPS with a return address to the Library of Congress. We opened it and found a small plastic device along with a CD labeled users guide, a regular printed users guide, and a braille users guide. I read the instructions and learned that it was a “bill reader” – a device that told you the denomination of a currency bill. You slide in a bill and it announces the value – like one, two, five,ten – you get it. As you know, Nancy is very good with her hands so she had it operating in a few seconds – whereas it took me a couple of minutes.

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