I’ve finally gotten the pool water nice and clear,  so that I can see all the way down to the bottom of the deep end, clearly.  It took a while, which is normal.  I am the pool maintenance staff.  Chemical addition,  and balance is up to me for the next three months.  Haven’t had to fish out any frogs after a rain storm yet, but that probably will become necessary if the herons fishing by the pond for them miss a few.

Hooray!  I had to order a replacement part for our automatic vacuum.  So be it.  It’s a lot cheaper than replacing the entire thing, plus, it still works w/o thepart, and I can use the manual vacuum I have in the meantime.

Hello, skirtini!  That exposes as much flesh as I am willing to.

On another topic, I fired up my 3300 psi  Ryobi pressure washer that has a Honda engine.  Very nice piece of equipment.  It really does get the job done.


No, not I.  Who knows what the certifiably cuckoo Nickster is up to nowadays?  I fixed my German cuckoo clock today, and got it reset to the minute.  Of all the clocks in my house, that one’s my favorite.  I really do prefer hearing one “cuh-coo” for each hour to a a series of bing-bong-bing-bongs, and an additional bong, two, or three, depending upon which quarter hour it is.

I love antique clocks.  There’s nothing wrong with an 1800s Seth Thomas grandfather clock, other than it has lead weights that are a pain to rewind.  They’re lovely clocks.  I have one.  It’s a pain in the ass to move 3″, let alone from one house to another.  Still, I prefer my cuckoo clock, and my 1800s schoolhouse clock, because I don’t have to wash my hands every time I have to rewind them, and adjust lead weights.

Herr Cuckoo is working again.



Pool Opening

Holy guacamole, Batman!  A couple of months ago, I scheduled the pool opening for today.  As the woman at the pool company I use told me over the phone, “it’ll be in the morning, before noon, but I can’t give you a tighter time frame than that.”  I was thinking maybe sometime between 8:00 and noon, depending upon whether we were their first job of the day, or further down the list.  They showed up a little before 7:30.  My other half woke me up by announcing “they’re here.” Continue reading

Niagara Cave

For at least six years in a row, we’ve been going to Minnesota over Memorial Day Weekend.  It’s a good 2700 mile round trip for family get togethers for one or another celebration.  My husband’s cousin drives up from NM, so we’re not the only ones who drive there, rather than fly, and rent a car.  This time, it was for our niece’s college graduation.  I much prefer swinging through Iowa and up to the ‘Sconsin, and across route; there’s much less traffic that way, since it avoids Chicago, Madison, and the Wisconsin Dells.

We had most of Saturday to ourselves, so we drove to Niagara Cave.  It was well worth the trip.  I have no issues with claustrophobia.  Overall, I preferred Cave of the Winds, in/near Colorado Springs, but this one is very different, and very cool — both literally, and figuratively.  On a 98F day, yeah, a cave is a nice place to be.  I was feeling the quad and glute muscle workout the next day, though, after the long, steep climb out of there.  The admission fee for a one hour guided tour is reasonable.

I’d love to go see Laurel Caverns, too, but it’s one of those things that I wouldn’t do unless I was staying in the area; it’s not a day trip.

Computer Repair

*sigh*  The fan died on my main laptop computer.  It’ll be in for a hardware repair for a couple of days.  It’ll take them that long to get in the right part.  Not a big deal.  I can take either this machine or a tablet with me to MN, if I don’t get my beloved favorite back before we leave.  The price they quoted me is fair.  It’s a bitch to park within three blocks of their storefront, but it can be done.

Believe it or not, three companies I contacted, that billed themselves as computer repair shops, replied that they were not equipped to deal with hardware issues.  *groan*  If it was a software issue, I could have fixed it myself.  I don’t happen to have a bunch of spare hardware parts on hand.  A bazillion connection cords, yes, but not guts.

So, I brought it in to a local storefront operation owned and run by a 30-something guy with tattoo sleeves, and his two assistants, who told me beforehand, via email, “We can fix that, no problem.  We like hardware fixes.”  They all knew exactly what was needed when the one assistant opened it up.  Not one doubt among all three that I had correctly diagnosed the problem before dropping it off with them.  Yup, the fan’s shot.  Still, getting it fixed is a helluva lot cheaper than replacing it with any sort of new computer that I’d actually want.

The most annoying thing is getting used to the keyboard on this even older 15″ model, after all these years.

First world problems, right?

What Fifteen Cents Will Buy

On Saturday, we ran errands, which included stopping off at a local nursery.  On our list were a few veggies that didn’t germinate for us indoors under lights, and some herbs that either were victims of winter-kill, or are annuals.  Their prices are on par with the big box stores, except that they also have six-cells of some things, instead of only single pots, and they have a customer loyalty program.  Applied “rewards” from a previous purchase to get a few bucks off, which made the purchase come in easily $10-$15 below what it would have cost at Home Depot or Lowes.

I realized I had forgotten to get oregano.  Usually, that comes back in the Spring, but this year it didn’t.  Anyway, all I needed was a 4″ pot of it.  When the “rewards” from Saturday’s purchase were applied toward it, all I owed was 15 cents, which happened to be the amount of tax.  I basically got the plant for free, but they were still responsible for collecting state tax.  I’m sure their accounting system to handle it is up to snuff.

They have one of those systems in which if you agree to provide your name and address to be added to their database, you’re automatically in the rewards program.  Sure, they can (sort of) track your purchases, but the rewards are worth it, if you shop there.  They ring things up as “cell pack, 2 @ $1.79, herb, 3 @ $2.49, perennial, 1 @ $19.99” etc., so there’s no real record of exactly what you purchased, but the customer loyalty rewards accumulate in the database, and they accumulate fast.

On Saturday, while many people were milling around, the owner was outside, ready to write up tickets for those of us who had carts with a bunch of stuff on them, and were ready to check out.  Today, he was working one of the registers.  It really is interesting chatting with the owner every so often about herbs and veggies, since he grows a pretty good assortment of both at his own house.

One of these days I ought to check out the nursery that’s only about 0.3 miles down the road from us, but for now, I like the rewards program the other nursery has, it’s only a couple of miles farther away, and I’ve been going there for nearly a decade.  Old habits can be broken, but only if there is a compelling reason to do so.

First World Problems

My vehicle registration came up for renewal.  I used to have to renew every year.  I can now renew for two years, instead of one, and can do so online, rather than mailing in the form with a check to our state capital.  My state government finally entered the modern world.

The way this now works, though, I could print out a bazillion duplcate registrations, if I want, now that I have the downloaded documents.  The process to get there, however, was like pulling stinging nettles.   What should have been a two minute process took 15.  Oh, but the payment went through within 90 seconds.

Gotta love government.

Another Saturday Morning; Another Visit from Jehovah’s Witnesses

Evidently, the previous owner of this house was amenable to Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Now that the weather’s warm, they stop by every other Saturday morning.  Sometimes, they ask for Connie.  They’re polite, kind of like Moonies, and I have no reason to be rude to them, but seriously, reading bible verses isn’t going to make me any happer in life than a sense of accomplishment.

Don’t most people feel at least a little bit of joy at getting a task done, and doing it well?  Ben was ready to be all over them, licking them to death, but I had him by the collar, just to make sure he didn’t knock them over.  I think they visited our nextdoor neighbors after us.  Mead would have completely knocked them over, and licked them to death.  Mead’s adorable, but he’s a big boy that has given me a few knee scrapes.

Anyway, I politely got rid of the two ladies, wishing them a great weekend.

What Fresh Hell is This?

Last night we took a four hour round trip driving to some place in Lancaster County to purchase a used welding table.  Three of it was driving; half an hour was inspecting it, working the deal, and getting it loaded onto our trailer.  It was in the 70s, so I left a few windows open in the house, and left them open overnight.  I’m glad I did, because it was already 78 by the time I got up this morning.  I love fresh air running through the house.  It beats the crap out of a sealed up house with stale air, and nothing but air freshener or scented wax melts to make a bit of a difference.

FWIW, the people who sold us the welding table were very cool.  They were out in the sticks, on a very large wooded lot that looked like a junkyard with three cinderblock structures, one of which was their house.  Ma ran the Deere tractor to load the thing onto our trailer, while Pop and Son negotiated the deal, and helped us back up and turn around the trailer to get out of their long, winding, gravel driveway.  It was a bit tricky, but no people or trees were harmed.

I still need to seal coat a convertible bench-to-picnic-table thing I assembled last weekend.  The blazing sun and mid-80s isn’t helping, but I can roll out an awning to get some shade.  Going from winter into summer within three days is weird, but it happens.  Let’s just hope it doesn’t screw up our veggie, fruit, and herb gardens.