A New Car in the Family

As expected, I over did it on the fall seed planting. I have the seeds which have a life expectancy so once I get started, why not go big. Also since it’s a high risk crop, I decided to try a wide variety rather than depend on just a few varieties. The final count is a dozen tomato peat pots among 6 different varieties, 2 of each. Add 6 bell peppers, 4 eggplants, and two basil’s to round out the fall seedling starts. I’ll also plant a few summer squash plants directly in the garden sometime in Mid September, weather permitting. Don’t assume that 100% of the seed plantings listed above will actually turn into future transplants. Germination is normally something less than 100% so in each little pot, I put two seeds. It does happen that both the seeds or neither of the seeds will germinate. In about 2 weeks I’ll have some feeling for how many transplants could make the garden. These seed pots are sitting in a plastic tray – “floating” in an inch of water – on the kitchen counter. I want them to be protected from large temp swings, bugs, sunlight until they have germinated. One of the things I have to be very careful of is losing track of which variety is in which peat pot. All the varieties look alike when immature and I really want to determine which variety is best suited for our climate. It’s not a big surprise that somewhere in between germination and transplant, they become mixed up. Labels wash off, well meaning people “move” them.

Bought/leased a new car. The Toyota we’ve had since ’96 was sending end of life warning signals. It had about 230,000 miles with the original power train and transmission and the A/C was intermittent – a really bad problem in a Florida summer so we decided it was time to look for a replacement. I evaluated several different cars and finally settled on a new Buick Encore – a small, SUV body style. It’s a little bigger than I was thinking but I really enjoyed driving it around the lot and was able to strike what I considered a decent deal. It also had more “goodies” than I was thinking but…………. It’s the model above the “basic” with a special engine, the Bose noise cancellation system and extra fancy wheels and trim. None of that matters to me but…….. That, plus Tom had previously done research on the Encore and had decided that would probably be his next buy. That pushed my decision toward the Buick. This is our first lease, 27 months, 12000 miles per year. Nancy is a little nervous about that but I think it’s a good fit for the routine driving we do. And we still have the Grand Marquis for longer drives and the truck – but not sure for how much longer on that. I drive it so rarely now that it’s suffering from a lack of use.

We made the purchase on Saturday then Nancy and I went back on Monday to actually take delivery and give up the Toyota. It’s so much more electronics oriented that it’s going to take me a while to really feel comfortable with the basic operations. The whole starting and shutting off process is no longer just a key in the ignition and I have this nagging feeling that I’m going to end up some time outside the car trying to figure out how to get in. The sales guy gave me a walk thru but it was a bit overwhelming. It complicated everything that I don’t have a smart phone. I told the guy that a gas pedal, break peddle and steering wheel are all I really needed. I get 3 months of free onstar which seems like something I would never want but Nancy seems to think otherwise. We’ll see.

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