Tuesday, April 05, 2011
I got up early today, fed the dogs, read the paper, and got to Coral Gables before 8:00. I was overcome by the way the tables were set up, (27 places when the class was limited to 22 people) so I removed the chairs from one of the tables to make room for the class's name tags and registration slips. The first couple showed up at 8:10, which was way early, but they kept coming. Eventually 21 of the 22 showed up, and two strangers walked in. I made name plates for them and signed them up, and tonight I used 23 of the 25 certificates AARP sends me.
One lady told me twice that she and her husband had been to a number of these classes, and I was different from the rest of the instructors. She said I was more relaxed, and the others all seemed to be more ridged - so I told her that I wasn't a teacher and I was just being an engineer. Later I thought about it, and maybe the others were worried about all the requirements that they lay on you so you can't possibly satisfy them all. I just focus on getting the message driven into their heads, so they really understand the point that we are talking about. Tell a story, make a point.
I skipped lunch, came home and made certificates, and was all done by 3:30, which is pretty good for me. Tomorrow I should be done even earlier but then we have two Kiwanis meetings, starting at six and ending (I hope) by 8:30 or nine.
Monday, April 04, 2011
I read an article about Nordic Walking Poles on Spark, where they say that you can burn 40 per cent more calories without a perceived increase in exertion, and it sounded like a really good idea, because walking isn't nearly as demanding as the Airdyne was before my left knee gave out. As a result, I ordered some Nordic Poles at 5:00 PM Friday, which showed up at noon today, brand new and in perfect condition with all the accessories. Of course I had walked the dogs early in the morning, and had other chores at hand, but I did get to open them up and set everything up for the next time I have a chance to get out.
Then I tried to log on to Amazon.com to praise the seller, but the new password would not work again. I had trouble and set up my third password Friday, after several passes with the Amazon software. The third time through I finally gave up and called a human (who was in Costa Rica) and he had a hard time fixing the problem, mostly because he and I couldn't clearly understand each other. It did get fixed, and I did thank the vendor, and I wrote down a key to the Amazon password in my pocket notebook. It's not the actual password, just a reminder for me, but I'll keep it forever.
Now I need to call my 22 class participants.
Sunday, April 03, 2011
Well - I had something go wrong with my Spark page and connection - everything was screwed up, and I finally found out that I had two different Spark accounts with the same password, but with and without the extra character. That sort of explains why I lost everything nine months ago, and again lately. After I deleted the first account I am back to having favorite foods and private recipes that I can slam into the food tracking. Talk about being out to lunch - I was there twice.
Other than that, I have been doing chores and getting ready for a driving class next week. I have 22 students this month, and have just spent about \$15 on more pass-out copies and hand lettered place signs for all the students. I also used up all the extra books I have for this class, and will call everyone tomorrow to remind them that they really need to be there before the class starts to fill out the registration forms and pay their money. I'll do that tomorrow.
The good news is that I took the BW to the mall, and after several shoe stores plus Macy's and Sears, she decided the internet is probably the best way to shop. She has turned into a good shopper.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
This has been a slow week for outside business, but next week will be very busy. I will have four days where I have to be up at six and in Wednesday's case I'll have to go until 9PM, then be up again at six, and not home for supper until after seven on Thursday. Fortunately I don't have to be anywhere until noon Friday, and then the Kiwanis do the UPARC picnic on Saturday from 10 to 1:30. I am trying to figure out how to duck out of some of the volunteer opportunities because I have a hard time keeping up with the yard work and other chores around the house.
We have been planting this week - the BW stuck in lots of flowers of various ilk, and I planted an Arica palm for her in front. It replaces the giant one that she didn't like because of the dead frozen fronds, and which she made me cut off a couple of years ago. She thought it would just spring back, but it didn't. Fortunately, the new little one only cost nine dollars, so it was fairly easy to plant. The hard part was digging out enough leftover roots to make room to stick it in the ground.
Also, we haven't trimmed the hedge lately. It rained all day yesterday, and we got 2.4 inches of rain even though Pinellas was supposed to get 0.25 to 0.50 inches, and this afternoon it hailed. I haven't looked at the rain gauge yet, but I was glad I spent an hour digging out sand burrs and a couple of nutsedges. There were enough sand burrs to fill a plastic grocery bag, but that is only about the fourth one this year. Two years ago, when I started, I dug one bag a day, every day for a lot of weeks. It was probably 11 or 12 weeks total, and then I had to go back over the ground I had covered. If I get a good day, it's time to put out the pre-emergent herbicide again.
All the St. Augustine plugs I put out this spring looked great today - I think they are all happy, and I'm really surprised at the amount of St. Augustine in the back yard. I guess the grass is enough of a challenge to keep me out of trouble forever.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Yesterday I spent an hour and a half thawing, peeling, and chopping to make a big pot of navy bean soup, which turned out thick enough to satisfy me because I was careful to stop putting water in when I could first see a hint in the vegetables. Then I threw the turkey drumsticks in. The BW said it was good soup, and I just put in two bay leaves, plenty of parsley, some Italian spice, and a tablespoon or two of crushed red peppers. It’s not hot at all, but I pour in a lot of hot sauce in mine and it tastes great.
After that I planted the two muscadine grape vines I bought at Ace hardware on Wednesday. The bare root vines stopped growing, and I am worried that it’s too warm for them here. They are in full sun, fertilized and watered, but after I pinched off the side shoots to work on growing a trunk, they all stopped getting longer. Since I have a grape trellis not, I put a Noble muscadine vine at each end, which leaves 20 feet for each of them to grow on. They were grown here in Florida and came in one gallon pots with lots of leaves and shoots, and I left everything intact when I planted them. They are tied to the vertical ropes I put up for them, and I hope they will wrap around the rope and go like crazy. The leaves on the muscadines are noticeably different from the ones on the seedless grapes, so one or the other should grow. If they all grow I can either keep them smaller or dig out one or the other.
There was an article about the “origin” muscadine vine in one of the Carolinas in the paper recently. Apparently it was sprayed with some tree-killer by the local power company by mistake, but after trimming away the damaged parts it is doing well. Not bad for a 300 year old vine. (I think it was the original Scuppernog vine, but later people started calling any bronze colored vine a Scuppernog.)
If they can last 300 years, I assume these two will last as long as I do, and after that they’re on their own.
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