Archive for June, 2017

In no particular order…

I now share the following items of interest (although they may not be of general interest).

On April 29, 2017, our fair unincorporated area experienced a flood of unprecedented and terrifying proportions. The creek rose higher than it ever has in anyone’s memory, and some folks have lived around here for a long time and can remember a lot. It came to within five feet of the bridge and was some 15 feet deep. Our house was fine – we had only four inches of water in the cellar – but the devastation throughout the county was almost unimaginable.

I was quite ill for seven weeks with the most intense and insane poison ivy reaction imaginable, and two weeks into The Untreatable Itch, my physical and emotional health was further compromised by An Acute Asian Stomach Virus, about which all I will say is that it’s a good thing I like our most patriotic room. We are beginning to receive the bills for my medical care, and while they are substantial, the God who is healing my body and soul is also providing all we need.

Scott’s mom came for a visit, and for the ten days she was here, she washed ALL the dishes – voluntarily and without a word of complaint. We played crazy amounts of three-handed bridge and a new and highly addictive card game called “Minus Five.” We also saw “Moses” at Sight and Sound, which we all enjoyed, although I thought the ending was too religious and hokey. For me personally, “Noah” still trumps them all.

Scott planned and many dear friends helped execute a Crossover Celebration to mark Andrew’s transition from boyhood to manhood in conjunction with his 18th birthday. Judy Daniel and Scott put together a truly wonderful keepsake book of letters written for the occasion, and I think it’s accurate to say something along the lines of “I laughed, I cried, it moved me, Bob.”

Scott took a group of guys and and their kids on a massive float trip on the Buffalo on the day before Father’s Day. I say massive because the planning, the promoting, the preparing, the procuring (of canoes and kayaks and paddles and life jackets and a canoe trailer and hitches and trailer locks), the labeling, the loading, and the leading of the whole excursion… well, “massive” is just the best word for all that Scott did. And I’m pretty sure a good time was had by all. Note for the future: sunscreen is always indicated when floating – even on cool, cloudy days. They floated Woolum to Baker Ford and were gone for quite a while. A small prize will be awarded to the person who comes closest to guessing the total number of hours involved (from departure from home to arrival back at home).

Josiah moved from his 3rd floor two-bedroom apartment in one complex in Springfield (which he had initially been sharing with two roommates, but then with only one roommate, and most recently with zero roommates) to a different 3rd floor studio apartment in another complex, also in Springfield. Housekeeping has never been Jo’s strong suit – actually, I think he may have a void in that suit – so he wisely hired his brother, a professional cleaner with five years experience, to thoroughly clean his extremely dirty apartment. (Actually, it may not have been cleaned in a year. When Andrew asked him what cleaning supplies and products he had, Josiah said he had a mop and a dishcloth. And that was the literal truth!) It turned out to be a mutually beneficial arrangement: Andrew earned money, and Jo got an apartment clean enough to hopefully recoup his deposit. Ah, brotherly affection – or at least appreciation!

Andrew has moved now into Katie’s room. Well, it was Katie’s room; now it’s Andrew’s! We wanted to give him some privacy and a bigger space, so while I was so very sick, Scott single-handedly boxed up and moved all Katie’s stuff out of there and surprised Andrew by “giving” him the third floor as an 18th birthday gift. Andrew is now planning how he wants his room and the attic bathroom painted. We have a friend at church whom we may hire to remove that peeling bathroom wallpaper and do the painting. Now it’s time for me to get used to calling, “Annnn-DREW!” like I used to call “Kayyyy-TIE!” (They both use the same pitch, so it brings back warm memories.)

And thus ends today’s reminiscences of “interesting things.”

 

Volunteering

I saw something wonderful this evening when I was spraying the garden.

No, I don’t do the organic thing. Every few weeks I toss handfuls of cheap-o, dry, chemical tomato fertilizer around the base of my plants and water it in to make them dark green and lovely, and when I see lacy leaves, I spray them with another wonderful chemical product that fights fungal infections and keeps insects from eating them. I was doing the latter this evening when I spied something orange among the lush, healthy-looking tomato plants in the pot labeled “Oaxacan Jewel.”

Each of my pots has two plants this year because I was too wimpy to cull the seedlings, and even after I gave a few plants away, I still had way too many – so I planted all of them. The Oaxacan Jewels are yellow tomatoes that grow huge, heavy, and hideous-looking, cracking long before they’re ripe, but I planted them again this year because they have absolutely The. Very. Best. Flavor. Imaginable.

My goal is always to get a ripe tomato by the 4th of July, but even though I usually start my seeds around Valentine’s Day, that never happens. I always pick for the first time in the second or third week of July. And this year I started them around Scott’s birthday, which made for only one month of tending before planting instead of two, and I punted the peat pellets, which made for much less work during that one month. Having started them so much later than usual, I figured it would be late July before I could pick anything.

But it seems that while one of the plants in the Oaxacan Jewel pot is indeed a Oaxacan Jewel, and the other plant must’ve come from a stray grape tomato seed that found its way into the Oaxacan Jewel seed packet. And sure enough, today I picked one lone grape tomato! And it, as well as all the other still-green grape tomatoes on that plant, has blossom end rot, but the good news is that my Early Girl, First Prize, Better Bush, Big Beef, and Oaxacan Jewel plants all have lots of nice, green, growing fruit, none of which is plagued by blossom end rot. I worked some more egg shells (calcium) into the soil of the affected plant, so although the current grape tomatoes may not be edible, hopefully subsequently-formed ones will be. No great loss, as I wasn’t expecting any grape tomatoes anyway.

I’m just very glad to see something getting ripe out there!