I swear!

Posted November 15, 2019 By Ruth

The next coworker who looks at me in amazement and says “you’re wearing HOW MANY layers of coats??!!??”* isn’t going to like me very much when I respond.

Look people.

1: This is Upstate New York.

2:Its COLD out there.  And there’s nasty white crap falling out of the sky.  (we broke cold temperature records for November this week, but not snowfall records, cause see #1)

3: I work in the Garden & Seasonal department, which means that at any random point throughout my day I can end up outside doing stuff for extended periods of time

4: because of #3 I can end up sitting still on a forklift for extended periods

5: because of #’s 4,3,2, & 1 I can go from sitting on a forklift, and freezing my ass off, to having to help toss 50lb bags of wood pellets and sweating my ass off, with no notice

6: because of #’s 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 I need to be able to pull on enough warm coat layers to keep from freezing to death, or to be able to take off just enough warm layers to keep from sweating so much that I give myself hypothermia as soon as I stop sweating.  And none of those layers are fancy pretty dress for success stuff either.  Moisture wicking, and fleece, and Carhart are your friends when you work like this.

I’ll forgive the guy who just moved up here from Florida (poor kid has had one hell of a shock this past week).  The rest of them have lived in this area for most or all of their lives.  I shouldn’t be having to explain this!

 

*The answer to how many layers I have on when its this cold is: long sleeved moisture wicking shirt, short sleeved cotton blend over shirt, long sleeved zip up fleece, quilted lined zip up Carhartt hoodie, quilted lined water resistant heavy duty Carhartt coat.  Plus a set of insulated long johns in my locker, so that when I have to go spend an hour in the cold unloading a truck I can pull those on under my jeans, its to warm in the building to wear them all the time.  Plus fur lined hat with ear flaps.  Plus two layers of gloves.

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I’m failing at this blogging thing this year

Posted November 11, 2019 By Ruth

I keep meaning to do up a post weekly, and next thing I know a month as gone by.  Ooops.

Lets see.

The co-worker who was out on medical leave is back to work, and looks like he’s doing much better.  So I’m back to just working my  normal department.  Just in time for christmas crazy to start.

Garden is very done.  The peppers were holding on, then temps crashed hard, overnights of 20F is not conducive to live pepper plants.  Dammit.

It looks like we’re headed into a very wet winter.  There has been massive amounts of flooding this fall, and now that its turning cold its coming down as snow.  Which isn’t much of an improvement.

The old pool has been pulled up completely, now if only the yard would either dry out or freeze solid so that we can run a dump truck over it so we can fill the hole with gravel.

The 3D printer is in the house, we ran through two spools of filament in the space of 2 weeks.  We’re currently on a pause printing though as we are dealing with our first filament jam, and having to order parts because of it.

There’s probly more that has happened, but I’m off to work now, to sell snow shovels, salt, and snowblowers.  With a side helping of christmas glitter.  Yay.

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Frost and things

Posted October 14, 2019 By Ruth

So, the saturday after I posted my last post we got a frost, and not a mild one either.  It hung around till well past 8am in any area not immediately hit by the sun.  Finished off the melons, and most of the tomatoes (a couple plants in the middle of the garden are still alive, but that’s it).  However most of the peppers held up just fine.  We’ve had a couple lighter frosts since, but again, most of the peppers are still holding on.  So with Husband’s help I rearranged my shade canopy (over some of the peppers) to a frost protection lean-to.  Here’s hoping it’ll hold things long enough actually get those peppers to ripen.

Meanwhile Apollo is delighted by the colder temps, and peeved at us for lighting up the wood burning stove to counter the chill.

Yesterday, while bringing in Arty from the fenced run, I managed to get stung by a yellow jacket.  No clue where the damn thing came from, I didn’t brush against any weeds or flowers or the like, but when I bent my arm to grab his leash it got pinched in the inside of the elbow and stung me.  Spent the rest of the day yesterday taking a max dose of benadryl, and getting stabbing pains from shoulder to knuckles every time the benadryl started to wear off.  Today it hurts less, but itches more.  Yay.

My neighbor on my north side has her property up for sale.  She’s in her upper 80’s, and her husband died a couple years ago.  The “kids” (who’re pushing retirement age themselves) have been helping care for things, but she’s decided she’s done.  She’s moved into an apartment in town and put things up for sale.  Crossing my fingers for a neighbor I can tolerate.

The co-worker who’s been out on medical leave is HOPEFULLY coming back at the end of Oct.  Crossing fingers.  The last time I saw him, over a month ago, he looked pretty damn frail, and was clearly not healing very well.  But the folks who’ve seen him more recently all agree that he’s doing MUCH better.

One of the libraries in the next county over has a Maker Lab, including 3d printers.  I’ve been going over periodically to play a bit and print things.  They put one of their older printers up for sale, it runs fine, but apparently the touch screen control pad is failing.  Normally a $2000+ machine, they’re selling it for $200.  I did a bit of checking, the manufacturer sells a replacement control panel for $80, and it appears to be a pretty straight forward swap.  So we’re buying it.

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Life in general

Posted September 29, 2019 By Ruth

Garden is mostly done, with a few exceptions.  I’ve got two baby watermelons still holding on and getting bigger, and the new pepper varieties have finally put out baby peppers, since they’re a colder hardy variety I might see if I can get away with tenting them and see if they’ll produce.

The pool walls are completely down.  Now if it would stop raining long enough for everything to dry out so we can  have a big ass gravel truck drive across the yard to delivery the gravel.

Work is still a bit crazy, I’m still covering for a co-worker with health problems, and now my “home” department is short a full time associate too.  Again.  *sigh*

I’ve been having a great deal of fun playing with my new spinning wheel.  And having to resist buying ALL THE FIBERS!!! to play with.

We found a baby Cedar Waxwing under one of our maple trees.

I couldn’t find the nest to put him back up unfortunately, and it was gone the next day.

Our fridge died, and we had to buy a new one in a hurry.

Note to self, cleaning the dog fur out the compressor intakes on a regular basis is probably a good idea.

For the first year, since we bought this house, I successfully grew Snapdragon flowers.

Aren’t they pretty?  Now to hope they’ll come back again next year…..

 

Garden, melons, etc, update

Posted August 30, 2019 By Ruth

I have finally picked enough tomatoes to fill a gallon ziplock bag.  Normally by this time I’ve got several bags full.

Those giant cucumbers are very very good when picked young.

An interesting note: the plants sharing a tire with a sunflower are less happy than the rest of the garden.  There are other plants in the garden equally unhappy, but everything sharing a tire with a sunflower is very unhappy.  Including the one tire of jalapenos, even though the rest of the jalapenos are fine.  I guess that my idea to spread the sunflowers around the garden instead of dedicating a tire or two was a bad one.

Something, I suspect a bunny, keeps trying to chew on plants, and then deciding they taste bad and leaving the cut off stalks to lay there.  Its very annoying.

Melon run down:

Boule d’Or: plant is pretty happy, but I  haven’t seen any actual melons form

Petit Gris: baby melons

Rich Sweetness: trying hard to hold on, at least one baby melon

Bateekh Samara: dead and no melons

Royal Gold Watermelon: plant isn’t happy, but its in a tire with a sunflower, its trying hard though

Golden Jenny: dead, bunny repellent failure (or maybe I forgot to treat it)

Noir d’Comes: had two melons!  Something ate them.  Plant very happy

Green Nutmeg: has a baby melon, plant reasonably happy

Kaho Watermelon:  Cross your fingers!

 

I have to add, many many houses where I normally see noticable gardens didn’t bother this year, or gave up early.  Its been a bad year for gardening.

Garden and general update

Posted August 5, 2019 By Ruth

Cross your fingers, but the Noir d’Comes melon has two baby melons on it, and at least two of the other melons have what appears to be fertilized female flowers…..now if only fall will hold off long enough I might get melons after all!

The biggest of the sunflowers is blooming.

Not as giant as hoped, but I’ll take what I can get.

The pool has gone from this:

to this:

Once the whole thing is gone we’ll fill the remaining hole with gravel, and put my to-be-greenhouse on it.

In completely unrelated news my new spinning wheel has arrived!

And I’m having to remind myself to finish chores before sitting down to play!

a request

Posted August 3, 2019 By Ruth

Update: ok, its clearly a blog problem.  Using a troubleshooting/health checker plugin I narrowed it down to something specific about the theme I’m using.  So now to decide if I want to try to fix the theme, or use a different one.  Yay.

 

Over on the left side bar is a search option.  Can a few people try that search function and let me know if it works for them?  Something simple, like searching for “garden” ought to do it.  Its not working for me (I get an error message), and I’m trying to figure out if its my computer or the blog.

Garden update

Posted July 28, 2019 By Ruth

The garden in general is not going to produce much this year.  That cold wet spring/early summer just completely shot it.  Everything’s alive, well, except for the Golden Jenny melon, which apparently I missed getting rabbit repellent on, but only about half the peppers have peppers growing on them, and I’ve not seen a single melon yet.  Tomatoes are producing, but aren’t nearly as big as usual.

Its not just the garden either.  Usually by this time the hibiscus are getting ready to bloom.  But not this year.

They’re not unhappy, as you can see, but they’ve got only the tiniest of buds on them.

The sunflowers are getting bigger.

The biggest is now at least a couple feet taller than Husband, who’s 6’2″.

The tadpoles in the rain barrels have started turning into frogs.

 

 

Antiperspirant

Posted July 14, 2019 By Ruth

I’ve posted before about how I’m allergic to some antiperspirants.  I’d been using Almay’s hypoallergenic formula for years, in the solid form as I’m not a fan of gels or roll-ons, but a few years ago Almay discontinued the solid form.  I never did find out why, attempts to contact them failed massively.  Since then I’ve been using Dove’s unscented Sensitive Skin antiperspirant with no problems.

Till the past couple weeks.

The past couple weeks I’d started noticing my underarms itching on occasion.  It didn’t really penetrate my brain though, till this past Wednesday evening when I realized that my underarms were ITCHING.  Crap.

Dug out the stick of Almay gel antiperspirant I’d stuffed in the back of the cabinet.  I’m working a job that not only requires me to be outside in the sun a fair bit, but also requires me to do a fair bit of physical labor, and I absolutely sweat.  Not wearing anything wasn’t an option.  But thankfully the itching went away pretty much as soon as I switched.

But that puts me back to using a gel, and I’m really not a fan of gel antiperspirants, I really really prefer a solid.  If a deodorant worked well enough for me I’d totally be willing to go that direction, but not one of the ones I’d tried previous worked for more than a couple hours for me, even when I wasn’t sweating all the time!

But this time I noticed something interesting as I was looking at ingredient lists.  Almay’s aluminium of choice is Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate.  The aluminium in most of the other antiperspirants on the shelves, including the Dove formula I’d been using is Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex Gly.  I’d swear that when I was checking back in 2008 that they all used to same form, but I can’t prove that.  Not sure when it changed either.

Going through the lineup of antiperspirants and deodorants at the grocery store I found one other antiperspirant that uses yet a 3rd form of aluminium, and one deodorant that says that it works for up to 48 hours.  I guess its back to experimentation time!

Garden Update

Posted July 13, 2019 By Ruth

The weather has settled out some.  Several days of hot and dry and then some rain.  That I can live with.

On an amusing  note, apparently I didn’t need to worry about mosquito larva in my rain barrels this year:

There’s upwards of a couple hundred tadpoles in each barrel!

Went out to the garden today to do some weeding and thinning.  Came in with a handful of “baby” carrots, 5 or 6 early tomatoes, and then had to go back out for a handful of Miniature White Cucumbers.

The Hollyhock is blooming.

The Noir d’Comes Melon is taking off.

 

But most of them melons look more like this one (Kaho Watermelon).

 

Most of the giant Sunflowers are looking good, this is the biggest of the bunch so far, and its just a bit taller than I am.

The garden appears to be home to a bunch of Garter snakes this year.  I always see a few, but this year every time I turn around I see another, and they’re all different sizes too, so it’s definitely different snakes.  Everything from a little tiny fellow who was MAYBE 6″ long, all the way up to this one, who was bigger around than the garden hoses and had a head the width of a quarter!