Monday, March 07, 2011
The mirror frame hides the bottom edge where the silver has flaked off on the bottom fourth to half an inch, but the glass is so thick that you can see the back of the frame in the mirror. I guess you can't have everything. There is another mirror hanging on the wall, and when I look close I can see a gap between the frame and the back of the mirror, but it is very small. The mirror must be single strength glass, or even specially thin. The dark patches are three mirrors reflecting me taking the pictures. I have lived here for seven years, but I never noticed before that you can see a prefect left profile in the door mirror if you open the door all the way, and a right profile of half of your head in the big mirror if you hold the open door just right - which is what happened when I took the picture. It just goes to show that you are blind to things that you don't know, even when they are staring you in the face.
The BW likes the frame a lot, so I guess it was worth the effort. Here's the picture.
I also have a couple of pictures that show how I braced the end posts of the trellis, and control the tension on the grape wires, and then how the ropes are rigged to train the vines vertically. Here they are.
You can see how I ran all three wires through to top hole - first the support wire, then the brace wire for the first end, and then how I wrapped the wire all the way around the post before running the other end through the 5/8 inch hole.
And this shows the ropes in place of the treated poles. This arrangement keeps the leeching chemicals away from the plants, will support the climbing vines, and is all that is needed to train the to grow straight up.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Today was partly sunny but had a lot of cloud cover, and is overcast now. I took some pictures, but it was hard because when the sun is shining and behind me, I can't see what the camera is going to capture. The Meyer lemon tree is completely covered in buds and blossoms now, and I counted 16 buds and blooms on the Eureka lemon, which I just planted. They are both everbearing, like the lime tree, so we should have all the lemons and limes we can use this summer. There is even the first blossom on the pink grapefruit tree, so I think spring is starting. The peach tree is covered with peaches again, and I'm glad I pruned it back. I also trimmed a couple of low branches off the Meyer lemon and the lime tree yesterday.
There was a broken picket on Rob's fence and the BW was worried that one of the dogs would try to dig out, so I put up another picket to keep our yards separate. That makes the fourth one, but I got smarter - I was able to pound it down into the ground about three inches so it matches the old ones in the fence. Then I pulled the screws out of the other three new ones and pounded them into the sand too before I put the screws back. Then I went along and found about 20 more pickets that were still standing up, but had nails rusted off and were very loose with no top connection to the fence, and put a primed screw in each one at the top.
After that I cut the blocks from a 2 by 4 and used poster putty to put the mirror frame up. It made the BW very happy, she loves the frame, but the mirror got five inches shorter in both length and width.
After that I used a sledge hammer to knock the broken support staff back and forth until I could get it out of the ground. It was broken off about five inches above the ground, but it was sunk in 18 inches, and I couldn't move it with my bare hands. Then I went to Ace Hardware and bought 50 feet of quarter inch rope. I drilled three eights inch holes in the four marker stakes, cut and sealed four pieces of rope, and tied a not in one end of each, threaded them through the holes, and tied them to the top wire with a tent rope knot so I could tighten them up if necessary.
I took pictures today. Here they are.
Meyer Lemon Tree Today
Eureka Lemon Tree
Meyer Lemon Tree cropped to show buds
Peach Tree today cropped to show peaches (but I counted five after I blew it up and looked. The tree is full of peaches.
And I forgot to take a picture of the mirror frame. That gives me something to do for tomorrow.
Saturday, March 05, 2011
I groomed the dog today (gave Gracie a haircut) and skipped Ralphy because the BW didn't think he needed it. Gracie almost didn't look like a dog - more like a walking pile of fur. It was about two inches long and fluffy, so her legs looked like they were almost touching each other and her tail was a joke. After I took it down to about a half inch and skinned her feet with a trim clipper, she looked like a different dog. Ralphy has shivering fits from time to time and jumps up in my lap to get warm, and his coat is thinner and a lot shorter - maybe an inch for the guard hairs, and not so much undercoat. It's warmer, but he has shivering fits at 74 degrees, so he can go a while longer.
Then I sunk an anchor in and put a brace on the east end of the grape trellis and finally got back to the mirror frame. I had painted it again, and let it cure for a few more days. Today I laid out the placement for all the velcro strips, sanded the back of the frame with 600 grit paper to get it nice and smooth, cut up the strips, and stuck them on the frame and mirror. Because everything is laid out so the frame will overlap an eighth of an inch on the bottom and three eights of an inch on the top, the last step is to cut two blocks, one two and a half inches high and one two and three eights high, both. They have to be at least three quarters of an inch thick because when we stick it up I don't think we will be able to get it off easily, so it needs to be placed precisely, and the only way I can think of to guarantee that is to rest it on a solid surface at the right height, then slide it in, with the bottom touching first. I need to coach the BW a couple of times before we do the deed, but everything should fit. The velcro adhesive achieves full strength after 24 hours, so we are waiting one more day before the big event. It is surprising how long it takes to turn out a simple frame, but I have plenty of time.
The Shrimp Creole turned out great today. I thawed both containers, got the stuff warm in the microwave, then got it boiling in a sauce pan and let it simmer for 55 minutes. I left the shrimp in while it cooked. It got soupier, and nothing was crunchy. The BW added some ketchup to hers, but she liked it, so it turned out just fine. I guess I have better luck when I just follow my nose and use common sense when it's my turn to cook. I didn't think the time for each step was long enough, but I was following the chef's directions (blindly).
Friday, March 04, 2011
We have been having great weather, even warmer than average for this time of year - around 80 every day and 60 at night. I took the dogs with me to the bank yesterday morning, but Ralphy was dragging when we got home. I didn't have to carry him, but walking 2.6 miles is a little far for him, so we went for a 1.75 mile walk today, and it was just about right. We started at 9:00, and it was just 60, but was up to 64 by the time we got home again. It was a great day for a walk, and I didn' have to start before the sun came up.
I did deliver the dictionaries this morning, and asked if they had a hand truck that I could borrow because John Kiker said that he had borrowed one last year. At Lake St. George they said they did, and a guy was bringing it up for me. When he got there, he wanted to come out and pick them up, I guess so he could take them to some distribution area. It was great - not only did I find a place close to the door to park, but he took them off my hands right at my trunk. Last year I had to park almost at the end of the parking area, then make three trips back and forth to get them all in. It's obvious that I didn't ask enough questions, but now I'm educated.
This afternoon I took the BW shopping at Sweetbay to redeem a coupon for $10 off if you spent $40. It wasn't any problem to spend $80, so I got the discount, and part of the stuff was some Key West pink shrimp so I could make Chef Meg's Shrimp Creole. I had never done that sort of dish before, so I followed her directions precisely, except that I wound up cooking everything three times as long as the recipe said would do, and all the vegetables were still crunchy. Afterward I looked up another Shrimp Creole recipe, and it called for boiling stuff for three times as long as Chef Meg. Not only that, the recipe was only supposed to make 5 cups of finished Creole, and after two servings (half the recipe's yield - a total of 2 and a half cups) I still have more than 7 cups left. I put it all in two containers and stuck them in the freezer. After everything freezes to break down the cell walls, I'll put it back in a pot and boil it for a good half hour.
The final problem was the recipe called for a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper, which I did put in, and the BW thought it was way too hot. I offered to wash off the shrimp and let her eat them with shrimp sauce, but she's willing to give it another try.
Thursday, March 03, 2011
Tuesday I snarfed up a total of 1785 calories, 450 of which came from a small danish, a two ounce muffin, and a cinnamon roll. Yesterday I totaled a bit over 1800 calories, but about 1000 came from pastries of one sort or another. The class went fine, but the snacks got to me and I had a danish and three muffins, then more sweet stuff when I got home. Today I have had supper and my total is just 670. Thursdays I have to eat a little light, and I still gained a half pound since last week, but I am still well inside leeway.
Tuesday there were 11 people signed up, 10 of them showed up, and four walk-ins came to make a group of 14 people in the seminar. I always have a few extra books because you never know how many will actually be there. I made it through the first day in only 3 hours and 20 minutes, went straight to the surgery center, and picked up the BW at 12:40. She said they were getting pretty antsy having her sit there for about 35 minutes after they were done with her, but they always want everything their way. They could have let her sit in the waiting area, but didn't want her to walk until I was responsible.
I went through the entire second day and finished about two minutes late - 1:02, with a nice big hand from the group. Then I did the paperwork and got the stuff in the mail to California and Oldsmar. After that I had a little free time to do little chores, and then the Kiwanis meeting went two full hours before the board meeting, and it lasted another 40 minutes. I got home just before bedtime, with 116 dictionaries and 120 stickers. I drew Lake St. George Elementary for my school, so I spent this morning peeling stickers off of the page and sticking them inside the dictionaries. Tomorrow I'll call the school and deliver the dictionaries. One of the things we do is give a dictionary to every third grade student in North Pinellas County, eleven elementary schools, with a few spares for kids that transfer in. That takes 1200 dictionaries, and nearly $1,600. It was second only to Feast for donation amount, but this year it passed Feast. (Spoken like a treasurer.)
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