Full on Winter

This is the most boring time for my gardening. The garden is thoroughly weeded, the walk paths between the planting rows are all redone. There’s no new material going into the compost piles. Almost all the seedlings started over the past month have been transplanted and the direct seeding has been done. So there’s nothing to do but check to see what’s surviving and what seeds are germinating. The seed germination is the biggest concern since you can’t see what’s going on under the soil and there’s no fixed timing for seeds to germinate. For example, the carrot seed pack says germination will take anywhere from 3 to 20 days. It takes more patience than I can muster to leave something alone -wondering if I should be replanting. The weather has finally turned favorable with mostly filtered sun and enough light rain and my best guess now is that I should know soon whether this will be a totally successful season or something less.

My shopping job got much more complicated this week. Normally I do light shopping on Monday’s and Friday’s while Nancy is playing bridge and after I fish the surf. That routine was changed this week when Nancy came down with something mid week that cancelled the Friday trip and threatened our planned Saturday shopping trip to Publix. She expected to be better on Saturday but instead ended up at the Instacare. We could just drop the weekend catch-up shopping but this was a Publix gas card week. What that’s about is that about once a month Public offers a special – a $50 Shell gas card for $40. The rules are that for every $50 you purchase in groceries, you can buy one of these gas cards. So, for example, if you buy $100 in groceries, you can purchase 2 cards – a $100 value for $80. Can’t pass that up. To maximize the deal, you only want to buy in $50 increments – a total bill of $50, $100, $150 etc. You wouldn’t want a total of $149 – good for only two cards, so you have to keep track of what you’re putting in the cart. You get it. When I’m doing the shopping, we make a list. When Nancy goes it’s more free style. She’s pretty good at hitting the right numbers and knows the prices much better than I do. I knew this was going to be a big shopping day since it was a gas card day and coincidentally, we were low on gas cards. I decided to take the laptop and create a spreadsheet to generate the list. The spreadsheet would list everything she wanted and then as I made the purchase, I’d put in the price in. The program would keep a running total. I wanted to hit $150 + and qualify for 3 gas cards. It worked like a world champ – several shopping ladies asked me about it. I hit $155 which is pretty much right on target. The nice thing was that I didn’t have to develop a special spreadsheet. I found that the good folks at Apple built in a template on the spreadsheet program, Numbers, which is standard on all their computers.

update – It’s Monday and Nancy is feeling well enough to hit the bridge tables today. Whatever they prescribed at the Insta care did the job.

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