Projects and Progress

My path restoration project – from the end of the driveway circle to the dock – is about 3/4 finished. About 25’ (out of 100’ ) left. I use newspaper as the base, then palmetto fronts over that and overtopped with pine needles. I get 3 newspapers, if you count the two local rags as newspapers, so I have a steady source yielding maybe 10 linear feet per week. The storm helped quite a bit in terms of bringing down pine needles so it will be relatively easy to finish it off in the next couple of weeks. My target is the end of the month and that looks achievable.

The garden is still in a semi inactive mode, a couple of cucumber plants, a couple of zucchinis and a few pole beans. These are all survivors of the storm, 6” of rain in one week with minor garden flooding and then a week of hot and dry. They look ragged but I’m doing my best to bring them back to health. The seedlings I started in the house are all doing well so there’s hope for a good conclusion. I might have mentioned reading an article about a guy that grows swiss chard and says they aren’t bothered by heat. I seriously doubted it but decided to plant a few seeds anyway, just for grins. Well they popped up – 6 plants. I made sun shades for them using palm fronds. I decided to very carefully remove 3 of them from the garden to yogurt cups that I brought onto the porch where I can totally protect them from the weather. Heartened by the fact that they even germinated, today I planted some Tuscan kale seeds and another variety of chard. Last season’s Tuscan kale handled the sun and heat until early June, by which time all the other kale had long since burned up. It would really change the complexion of the garden and the dinner table if these greens really can handle the heat.

The storm raised the lake level a few inches but it would take another 8-10” to overtop the dock. Tom bought a new kayak that was reportedly stable enough to allow standup operation – like a paddle board. He brought it up the lake but it was too late to try it so he just left it here. Joey helped me get it in the lake – too heavy for me to deal with by myself and I gave it a maiden voyage and fishing trip. I really had my doubts about standing up in it but decided to give it a try. I put my rod on the dock so nothing would be lost when I dumped it. Lo and behold, I was able to stand up. I was a little wobbly but after a few minutes stabilized – me not the boat. So I went back to the dock, retrieved my rod and tested the fishability. Bingo, got a nice bass – the nicest in quite some time, on the order of 5#’s. I still like my poke boat better for it’s lightness and ease of use but no doubt this new one is a more serious fishing platform.

Update – All is Good

It’s Monday noon and we’re starting to see just a little pick up in the breeze. Nothing beyond normal but all day yesterday it was dead calm. Yesterday we had a few rain storms pass over but not much – 1/2” total for the whole day. The action should start picking up tomorrow if you believe the party line. That’s only a week off from the projection last week. Can’t help but feel sorry for those poor folks in the Bahamas with the storm just parked right on them with really fierce winds and heavy duty rain. We get an update regarding the path every 6 hours starting at 5AM and it’s been nearly stationary for a few days now. If and when it turns north will determine what it does to us. All the current info looks like we’ll skirt the worst of it and maybe only get tropical storm winds and 6-8” of rain. Joey is much closer to the coast and further south so among us, he’s likely to see the most action. That’s amplified by the fact that he has a major house restoration going on and a boat being built in the back yard. My sister is in the same area as Joey.

I have the dock stuff fully tied down and anything that can fly, put away. I tried something different this time by using a 50’ water hose to tie down all the dock furniture.

Nothing to report from the garden. I transplanted my tomato seedlings over to individual small plastic yogurt containers and have them in the house. They made the first 24 hours without a single loss. That’s better than expected since usually a couple can’t take the shock. So right now I have 12 tomato plants in the queue. Only 5 green pepper seeds have germinated but those usually take a week longer than tomatoes so there’s still a possibility of a few more. None of the herb seeds I planted have germinated. Those have an expected 10-14 day germination cycle so we’re still ok on those. In the main garden, all the rain we are expecting should help unless it’s enough to cause flooding. You just never know and there’s plenty of time for corrections as necessary. There are a couple of good sized eggplants that could get hammered by the wind.

Nancy’s getting a little nervous and jerky since they cancelled the Monday bridge game and it’s starting to look like the Friday game may go the same way. Missing two or three games is really cruel and unusual punishment.