happy birthday to me, happy birthday……

I had a great 80th.   Chris and Vic came and spent a few days.  Both work from home so it was seamless for them to continue as usual in Florida.   Joey and Mark plus Tom and Tina joined us for a lunch happening at DJ’s on the river at Port Orange.   It’s a fun place with decent sea food in a giant Tiki Hut.   It’s the kind of place where people pull up in boats including both private and commercial fishing boats.   There’s an attached fresh fish market and we got to see one of the commercial boats pull up and start unloading a catch of sharks including one really large bull shark.   They cleaned them on the spot and wheeled the meat to the market.  

The next day we did Karlings for dinner, sans Joey and Mark who had to work.  As usual, an excellent meal.

I’ve been mostly working in the jungle removing grape vines, briars and other noxious vines attacking the trees.  Our neighbor to the north is never there now – moving – so I had the opportunity to work on that side of the jungle which has been growing uncontested for a couple of years now.  Looking much better so today I moved back to the garden to catch up on a couple weeks of low activity.   I tilled two full rows and rebuilt 2 walking paths before running out of energy.  I can go fairly consistently from 8 till 10 but by then, I’m totally drenched and staggering a bit.   Must be the 80 thing since I could go at least another hour last year.  I also turned two compost piles and planted a couple of plants – basil, green peppers, and egg plants.  It’s really late to be planting that stuff but the garden has really been difficult this year so maybe going against the grain is right for 2020.   I did have the good luck to get a nice rain a couple hours after the planting so they should get off to the right start. 

Nature Attack

Had an interesting wildlife observation today.  I was walking up to the mail box when  a really large bird landed on a branch in front of me.  It was an owl – not a rare bird but a rare sighting.  I kept walking toward him figuring he’d fly off but I actually walked right under the branch he was on so probably within 10’.   He kept an eye on me and I was watching him closely – they have serious claws and a fierce looking beak so anything was possible.  I walked up between the house and the sheds several times and he/she was there every time.

And if that wasn’t enough nature world – some critter, probably a raccoon, busted thru the screen of our front porch.   Never had that before.  Interestingly, Barbara had the same thing happen last night on the screen room of her dock.   Like us, she’s never had anything like that in the 35+ years they’ve lived here.   Her’s was a little more believable since she keeps fish food down on the dock.  We have a freezer on the porch but it’s hard to imagine the critters would know about that.  

I decided to power wash mildew off our sheds.  I’ve been pulling out the boston fern all around the sheds which exposed mildew growing on the shed walls.  They needed to be power washed.  Our power washer is very sensitive to AC power levels and I’ve had some trouble in the past operating the washer up there on long extension cables so I decided to try something different.   I broke out the generator, cranked it up and connected the power washer.  Worked like a world champ.   Started on the first pull – which bodes well for hurricane season.   The next problem was it about wore me out.  I’m ok power washing down as in washing the deck or straight across but working over my head proved taxing to say the least.  It wore me to a frazzle.   

Rain, Thunder and Lightning

The good news is that I have another few hours in the day to work in the yard and garden.   I used to watch a couple hours of news in the morning and then again in the early evening – since the news has gone 100% pandemic or Minneapolis or riots in general I’ve lost total interest.   I know about what time the local news is going to forecast weather so I can keep on top of what’s important. 

Tom continues to drag us kicking and screaming into the 21st century.   He got us an iPad and each week visits and adds a few more applications and loads of more viewing options.   For example, we have Sirius XM in the Buick and Tom thought that also allowed us to get the radio service on our computing devices at no extra charge.   Sure enough he checked out our account and signed in with passwords and computer stuff like that and sure enough, we get the radio on the iPad,  our desk top Mac and the laptop with no extra charge.   We also have HBO now and can download a ton of new shows to view at our leisure.   Way more content than we would ever have time to watch but we’re doing our best.  A big test of my technical ability is coming up today.   Our account manager at ML prepared some kind of presentation for me to update my account – aka sell me some things.   It’s a communication via the computer – I assume similar to the online doctor visit that I survived.   Supposedly they send me an email which contains a program to download and as if by magic, we are in contact and I can view his presentation.   I never feel comfortable with these interactions – can visualize me hitting the wrong key and blowing things up.   It’s very easy for me to screw up and not so easy to recover.  We’ll see.   To make it even more stressful, Nancy’s friend is coming over to work on quilts at the same time so I have to move my base of operation to the back room.   My plan is to have my account information on the iPad and the actual interaction to take place on my laptop.  Normally I would use the big screen desktop but that’s in quilt central.    

One good thing that came out of getting an office set up in the bedroom was it forced me/us to clean off the desk we’ve had in the bedroom.  Lots of throwaway and dust but the desk is looking brand new.  The significance of that is that the desk was Nancy and I’s first official furniture purchase.   We both remember buying it at Fedmart (or maybe it was Fedco) – a 60’s style Costco.  We tried to remember what it costs and both felt $50 was the right number.  That was a major investment for us back then.   Truth is, if I saw the same piece today in Costco, I’d like the design and fab just the same.   

Finally getting some rain.  It’s looking like we’ll accumulate 6” or so over the next few days – good news for the garden and the compost piles.   It also ends the burn ban we’ve been under for a month or so.  I admit I haven’t been religious about observing the ban but still, this is better.   As much as we need the rain, I do hate the ferocious lightning that accompanies it.  Big boomers, close by!