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Monday, April 3, 2017

The Daily Grind

You would think that, being retired, I would have all the time I need to do the things I want to do.  Sadly, no.  My activities expand to fill all available time.

Thursday was a great example (I'm behind a few days in my posts).

I started off the day with a haircut.  It had been 2 months...

I bought a new microwave oven a month ago.  After a couple weeks, it arced and popped twice even burned a black tunnel through a sweet potato.  It is more wattage and interior size than my previous one.  Trust me, I know not to put anything metal in the M/W after 25 years of them, LOL!  Keeping a pyrex measuring cup of water in it stopped the problem, but made me realize that it is designed to cook larger quantities of food than I routinely do.

And I decided there was no way I was going to get along with having a pyrex cup of water in the M/W for the next 8-10 years.  So I called Amazon about returning it.  I order a LOT of stuff from them, so they are forgiving about the occasional return.  They emailed a return label.

I repacked it so carefully I even put the peel-off plastic wrap back on!  I keep EVERYTHING from a box for 90 days, just for reasons like this.  But I had to get it back to UPS eventually and I wasn't looking forward to it.  The darn box was so big I could barely get my hands around it to carry it to the car, and the distance from customer parking to the UPS input desk seemed more than I wanted to do.  But I have a little handcart and that made it a lot easier.

Then I pulled it in the the input desk, the guy said "Wow, what are you shipping"?  I said I had a bad shoulder (sometimes a small lie eases conversation).  He casually picked it up and placed in on his counter.  Hey, he looked 25, and I'm not.  It's something you start to get used to in your 60s.

That taken care of, I drove home, where I discovered that another UPS guy had delivered a 50# bag of Nyger seed for the goldfinches.  I buy it that way because it is really cheaper per pound.  But the M/W was only 35# and this was 50#.  Yet I could lift it because it was a smaller box!  I could get my arms around it.

Ladies, when you complain that you can't reach to top shelfs of kitchen cabinets or lift heavier objects, I understand.  I'm 66 and 5'6".  I know the problems.  I have a few 2 step stepladders around the house for a reason.  Every time I buy a new pair of pants I have to bring then to an alterations guy saying make the inseam 25".  And he goes "Are you sure"?  Yeah...

Anyway, I was able to carry the 50# bag of Nyger seed to the basement (not easily).  So at the workbench, I had a 50# bag of nyger seeds and two 35# buckets of kitty litter and 2 cases of wine.  And 4 litter boxes to clean.  I knew what the next couple of hours was going to be like.

I used to buy kitty litter in 12# plastic jugs.  I saved them.  It is worth the effort to transfer it from the buckets to the jugs.  And I found a 12" funnel to help.  So I set the 12# jugs on a bucket on the floor and lift the 35# tubs to dump it into them through the huge funnel.  I can handle a 35# tub of litter but not a 35# box with a M/W in it.  Smaller!  30 minutes of pouring and I have 5 12# jugs easier to handle for the next few weeks.  Done!

Now I have the 50# bag of nyger seed (I should actually weigh those some day to make sure the supplier is honest).  I got it up on the workbench laying flat, put a 5 gallon bucket right underneth a corner overhanging the bench and cut it open carefully.  As I saw the spilling seeds were going right into the bucket slowly, I cut it open a bit more.  When the bucket was 3/4 filled I lifted the cut corner to prevent further flow.  Stuck a brick under the corner.

Remember the kitty litter jugs I mentioned I saved?   I have more.  I use them for nyger seed too.  They are rectangular and fit perfectly into my freezer with little wasted space and that keeps the seed lasting longer.  Goldfinches won't eat "old" seed, which is one reason I won't buy the smaller bags in department stores.  They sit around, get heated, and the birds don't want them.  The 50# bags come straight from a producer and straight into the freezer.

So with the workbench FINALLY cleared, I could FINALLY clean the litter boxes.  I try to do that daily, but I KNOW I've waited too long when they gather around waiting for the cleaning.  Or maybe they just find it amazing that I do that and like to watch.  Who knows what cats think?

I have found it easier to just lift the litterboxes to the workbench one at a time.  It is easier on my knees and I get to sweep away the loose litter around them.   I sweep the spilled litter (not output) into a dustpan and toss it back in a litterbox.  Waste not, want not.  The cats don't mind; litter material is litter material.

But that wasn't the end of the afternoon.  I had 3 flats of flower seedlings emerging on the bottom shelf and the lights were 12" away.  Way too far.  But 2 bulbs were burned out.  I have what I think is a very good rule.  Cats and plants get what they need before I do.  They can't take care of themselves indoors.

So I had to haul out 3 flats of seedlings, find 2 bulbs, and replace them.  The bottom shelf is the worst.  I had to place bulbs toward the back of the shelf and so crawled in on my back over the shelf.  Which is bad.  When I twist around like that, I usually get some back or rib muscle spasms.

They didn't want to go in.  It took 3 frustrating minutes to get one in, only 1 to get the other.  But 4 minutes on your back in discomfort is never fun.  But I did it and crawled back out.  Sure enough, soon as I stood up, muscle cramps!  Never fun.  But I won't stop gardening because of that.  Its worth it.

After that, since it was still daylight and heavy rains are coming today, I re-planted snow peas where the previous planting didn't come up.  I planted 20 originally and 9 came up.  So I planted 11 more.

And then, just to make sure all my seedlings were growing close the the indoors lights, I took all the flats off the shelves and rearranged the 6-packs.  Some seeds were 2" tall and some just emerging, so the re-arrangement was needed.  Now I have flats of newly-emerging seeds and taller ones grouped together. and each growing as close to the lights as possible.

All are as close to the light bulbs as possible. Matched in heightss

Then I made dinner, watched an hour of political talk TV and came here!  To blog personally and catly.

Quite a Day! 

1 comment:

Megan said...

My husband and I both work part-time from home in a very quite street (a cul de sac with no passing traffic) overlooking a national park (ie. not many neighbours), so our lives are (by choice) very quiet. I do understand the joys of finding so many things in our lives that interest us that even though we don't go out much or belong to community groups etc, we're still busy and productive and enjoying life. Good to read of your interests. Thanks for sharing.

Sydney, Australia