Nothing Much Archive

Black Friday Reminder

Posted November 24, 2017 By Ruth

Don’t forget that those sales clerks and cashiers are humans too.  And they’re not responsible for corporate’s policies or stocking strategies.  Screaming at them because you don’t like it won’t change a thing, except for their opinion of you.

I’m off to work where I can safely expect to deal with a minimum of 2 customer meltdowns over lack of advertised stock.

Drive safely everyone!

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Busy

Posted November 21, 2017 By Ruth

Been both busy and not busy.  And not had much I wanted to bother to type up.

We broke cold temp records for the area back at the beginning of Nov.  And it snowed Sunday night, and it actually stuck long enough for Apollo to enjoy it.  It’ll probably melt today, high is predicted to be 51.  I took pictures but haven’t remembered to get them off the camera.

Life keeps trying to beat us over the head, and we keep resisting.  I’d hoped to build a small greenhouse structure to replace the cheap plastic things I use, but that won’t be happening this winter after all.  Which means buying a new set of cheap plastic things, because I kept forgetting to put away the two from last summer and I’m pretty sure the sun has killed the plastic (though to be fair, one of them needed to be replaced anyway).

This will be Husband’s first holidays without his mother and he’s taking it about as expected.  As in, when his sister asked him if he had Thanksgiving plans he was struck speechless, cause no, Thanksgiving has always meant his mother cooked…..

We’ve been trying to switch the cats over to a mostly wet food diet.  While they’ll both eat wet food no problem Trouble tends to be a grazer, which doesn’t work so well with set meal times of wet food, and so she looks like losing weight again, which she really doesn’t need to do.  But if I try to put out kibble for her Shadow gobbles it up.  Now SHADOW needs to lose weight, but of course its not that simple.  I do have a “food tray” that requires them to pull out the kibble bits piece by piece to get them, but once Shadow figured that out it stopped slowing him down.  There are a few different food bowls that will only open to the animal wearing the sensor tag, but I’m not sure I can convince her to wear a collar, she’s never worn one before.  Plus they’re not especially cheap, and the cheapest one definitely has some issues, based on the reviews.  There’s a really nice looking one that’ll trigger off of the animal’s microchip, and getting her chipped would be simple enough, but it’s $140.  And I can’t quite convince myself to spend that much when I don’t know that she’d even use it.  Choices.

Christmas is in full swing at work.  Except for the live christmas trees.  Which apparently got lost or something.  Us and two other stores haven’t gotten their deliveries yet.  The truck carrying them  has completely disappeared.  Awesome huh?

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Speaking of fire extinguishers

Posted November 9, 2017 By Ruth

I forgot to post about this.

Over the summer, I was standing at the service desk trying to untangle a mass of spider wraps when a pair of customers walked in the front door “do you know that your cigarette butt holder thing is on fire??”  I’m thinking ok, so there’s a little smoke coming out the top, not a big deal, and walk outside to look.

Yah, it wasn’t a little smoke coming out the top.

Call a manager “hey, the cigarette butt holder outside the main entrance is on fire, like, I can see the flames on fire”.  “Can you toss a bottle of water on it?”  “Well, I can, but I’m pretty sure it’s way beyond that point……”

Walk back inside, grab the fire extinguisher right inside the door, and put out the fire.

It’s easy enough to figure out what happened.  Customers are constantly using it as a trash can, tossing receipts and other paper in it.  Then someone tossed in a lit butt.

By the time the customer alerted me to it the fire had not only melted the plastic, it was burning the melted plastic.

Lotsa fun…….

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Massive Fire Extinguisher Recall

Posted November 2, 2017 By Ruth

This has made major news media, so hopefully it’ll be all over the place by tomorrow, but just in case, spread the word.

If you bought a Kidde brand fire extinguisher any time in the last 45 years you need to check and see if its part of this recall.  If you bought a fire extinguisher from Home Depot, Sears, Walmart, and any number of other big name stores, you are very likely to have a Kidde extinguisher, even if it doesn’t say Kidde as the brand, double check it.

Seriously.

CNN Article

Consumer Reports page

Consumer Project Safety Commission page

Kidde’s page for the recall

This recall includes Canada as well as the USA, though the large majority of the extinguishers were sold in the USA.  So the Canadians reading this need to check theirs too!

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Fall in Upstate NY

Posted October 5, 2017 By Ruth

So, last post was on Sept 18th.  Sept 27th (Wednesday) we broke high temp records.  Sept 28th temps crashed, and we had several days of barely making a high of 70.  Yesterday, Oct 4th, we had a high of 80.  Tomorrow, Friday, they’re predicting a high of 69.  Saturday its going to be 80 again.  Next Thursday the predicted high is 62.

At least we shouldn’t be getting a frost any time soon, based on current predictions.  We came close last Saturday night, but it didn’t quite happen.

I finished getting black plastic on the empty garden beds.  Put frost covers back on the remaining peppers.

Gave myself a lovely set of bruises up and down my right arm moving heavy stuff at work, but hey, no bandaids required!  I’ll take it.

The husband of a co-worker died unexpectedly, and I agreed to work an opening shift to cover for her.  My body still hasn’t recovered from the 4:15am wake-up.

Arty decided that he was going to play lapdog:

Not much else going on here right now.  Have fun all!

Garden and General update

Posted September 4, 2017 By Ruth

Didn’t mean to go radio silent for so long, its been a busy couple weeks!  Plus I kept forgetting to get garden photos, and so kept delaying posting till I could get photos, and then forgetting to get photos…..

Pulled this giant carrot out of the garden:

The variety name is Oxheart, they can reach over 1lb in weight in about 90 days.  I didn’t weigh this one, but it sure was big!  Good carrot flavor too, I was worried it would be tough, but it wasn’t.  There’s still another giant one out there to be pulled.

My second try at picking a Snow Leopard melon I left it on the vine to long, and it split (from the blossom end) in a bit split taking over half the melon.  However the undamaged half was EXTREMELY tasty.  My 3rd attempt was just about perfect I think, it was showing signs of being about to split, but hadn’t quite, and was just about as nice tasting as the 2nd.

Tomatoes are just about done, the vines are dying back.

Today’s weather we’re predicted to hit 80 out there, but then its going to drop back to the unseasonably cool temps of upper 60’s to low 70’s, with nights in the 50’s or cooler.  Tomorrow I’m probably going to drop frost covers on the melons and peppers to see if I can convince them to finish ripening.

This past week was State Fair week, normal State Fair weather is hot, 90’s, and sometimes nasty raining.  Instead we had cool and sunny.  I understand that the Fair was packed both weekends and most evenings.  We went on this past Friday during mid-day and it wasn’t to bad crowds wise.

No Honey Dew melons for me this year it looks like.  I have a picture from several weeks ago that appeared to be a fertilized female flower, but the baby fruit died off instead, and I haven’t seen any others even close since.

We got a couple cantaloupe.  One watermelon.  There’s a BUNCH of Green Nutmeg melons out there, but none of them appear to be ripe yet.  They’re a close relative of the cantaloupe and so should fall off the vine when they’re ripe, but none of them have done so yet.

I’ve been having a HORRID time with bug damage on my hot peppers this year.  Damage identical to the damage I was seeing on the paprika peppers last year.  Minimal leaf damage, but fruit rotting on the plant after huge holes chewed into the peppers.  I found this bug on a severely damaged Hungarian Hot Wax pepper and posted the photo on a hot pepper group on FB:

 

This fellow is likely one of the variety of Leaf Footed Bugs, a relative of the Stink Bug.  And some varieties do indeed do this sort of damage.  I treated all the peppers with pyrethrum just over a week ago, very carefully staying away from any remaining blossoms, and will likely do so again this week.  And I’ll have to remember to do so in the spring after planting too.

Just about 2 weeks ago I went into my doctor with what seemed to be early UTI symptoms.  A constant feeling like I needed to pee mostly.  Thankfully it wasn’t actually painfull (I’ve had some really painfull UTIs) but I wanted to get it taken care of before it got that bad.  The in house urine test showed a small amount of blood, bacteria, and a 3rd thing I forget the name of, all indicative of a UTI.  The doctor gave me an antibiotic, and the urine sample was sent off to the lab to be sure of the bacteria type, and to make sure they weren’t missing anything.  Turns out that the bacteria type was only kinda sorta responsive to the antibiotic I was given, however since my symptoms appeared to be fading the decision was made to finish the course of antibiotics I was on, and then in another week do another urine test.

I finished the antibiotic last Tuesday.  Wednesday evening my UTI symptoms came back.  Called the doctor Thursday morning, and left a message, they called me back Friday morning.  By which time I was outright painful, including kidney pain.  They had me come in and go directly to the inhouse lab to leave a urine sample.  The inhouse test showed no blood, no bacteria, and none of whatever the 3rd thing was that I can’t remember.  But slightly high bilirubin.  The big lab test showed slightly elevated urethral flora.  THAT test result came in Saturday evening, I can see it on the patient portal.  Hoping to get a call from the doctor today with an idea of whats going on.  I’m still experiencing some kidney pain, and a constant need to pee, though its no longer an outright painful need to pee.  If I don’t get a call today I’ll have to call them tomorrow.

Pictures

Posted July 30, 2017 By Ruth

I went out and dug the weeds out of the cantaloupe tires, and lookit what I found!  Woot!

 

Butterfly!  I see them a fair bit, but don’t usually manage pictures.

 

Hummingbird Moth.  These guys I usually only see a few times a year, so I always try to get photos when I see them.

 

Black Pearl Peppers

 

And oh yah, bunnies.  I actually took this one a few days ago, through my front window.  This fellow was lounging less than 10ft from the window, with two dogs slavering on the other side of the glass……

General and garden update

Posted July 30, 2017 By Ruth

Its been an oddly busy week for me this week.  I say oddly because I didn’t actually work that many hours, but what I did was frustration filled, plus some stuff here at home, and well, time…..

This past Friday was Inventory day at work.  We’ve known this is coming for a several weeks of course, and as seems par for the course prepping for inventory always finds all sorts of problems.  What really needed to happen was back in February, when the run-up for summer really hit, was to tell everyone that Inventory was this year and so be extra careful making sure those pallets are tagged right…..but of course no one plans that far ahead (and I’m not sure that some folks would bother even if the rest of us did).  And of course there’s limits to how much work you can put into inventory prepping the sales shelves in advance, as customers alone will mess things up.  Course, with our freight crew we don’t need the customers to mess things up.

Monday I worked a 4.5hr shift.  Other than helping customers the only thing I did Monday was to get the first 3 bays of cleaning chemicals inventory ready.  This includes a fair bit of rack diving into cruddy, nasty and dirty areas to pull out stock that’s been pushed hither and yon.

Tuesday I worked a 4hr shift.  My plan was to do basic straightening on those first 3 bays, and start inventory prep on the 4th.  Instead I discovered that freight had unpacked boxes of stock the night before.  Why is this a bad thing?  Because they find the spot where the stock goes and just shove.  There were bottles EVERYWHERE.  This is an ongoing problem that has been complained about all over the store, and it hasn’t changed.  But that close to inventory……I went and found the manager on duty, and informed him that he should be glad my shift didn’t over lap with freight that day, because if it did he’d be writing me up before the end of the day.  Maybe I got through to him just how much of an issue it was this time.  I hope so.  Cause I really was that pissed.  I had to almost completely redo those three bays.

Thursday I worked a full day, and thankfully freight either didn’t unpack any freight, or they actually listened to management this time.  Either way I’ll take it.  Well, they didn’t unpack any freight in cleaning chemicals at any rate.  About two hours into my day that same manager came by and asked me to do BEAR tags in outside garden (BEAR tags are basically inventory tags for pallets that are in the overheads, I have no idea what the abbreviation stands for).  I asked him why, I KNOW my dept supervisory spent all day Monday tagging and verifying tags in outside garden……Wednesday night we received a Pavestone truck, and someone had put the pallets in the overheads without tags.  Yup.

I did actually manage to get most of the cleaning chemicals ready for inventory by the time I left Thursday.  I didn’t have to work Friday, here’s hoping things went smoothly.

Saturday I didn’t have to work at my job.  But it was Open Farm Day in my county.  My county is fairly agricultural, with a large number of small locally owned farms of various types.  Those farms can sign up to be part of the Open Farm Day program, where they basically (for this one day) invite the public to come and visit, see the farm, and buy things right there on location.  This is the 4th year that I helped man a table at the local buffalo farm.  I’ve been one of their customers since they first started selling meat, and so when they needed someone who could help explain how to cook buffalo meat, and flavors, and what not they asked if I’d be willing to help.  Paid for course, though the actual pay varies between cash and meat (which isn’t exactly a hardship!).  Buffalo meat is extremely popular here.  They can’t keep enough animals to keep up with demand.  In addition for Open Farm Day they sell buffalo burgers, and pulled BBQed buffalo brisket (along with local sweet corn and salt potatoes*).  Folks coming out for this event have quickly figured out that the buffalo farm is THE place to hit for lunch, and every year we sell out of food.  I help with the actual selling of the raw, frozen, meat.  Which means spending my day digging meat cuts out of the freezers and repeating myself over and over as to how to cook buffalo meat (its very like beef in many ways, but cooks alot like venison).  Its not especially physically demanding, but I’m always completely blasted by the end of the day.

This morning (Sunday) I hurt more than I ought to.  I guess digging stuff out of freezers is just enough different than my normal work to screw with me.  Oh well.

Our makeshift drainpipe is working well.  Though thankfully the worst of the insane monsoon season seems to have passed.

And with the passing of the crazy rains my garden is finally taking off.

Three nice big purple carrots.  I forget which variety these are off the top of my head (I grow 7 or 8 varieties of carrots, of which 3 are purple).   I’ve picked enough carrots at this point to clear space to plant more, so I put down seed for one of the sweet baby varieties which are quick growing.  Edit: they’re either Cosmic Purple Carrots or Purple Dragon Carrots.  I THINK they’re Cosmics, but it looks like I forgot to record which order I planted them in this year and Cosmics and Dragons look enough alike……

 

 

Baby Honeydew melon

 

Biker Billy Jalapenos

 

Bill Bean Tomatoes, starting to ripen!

 

Chocolate Habaneros

 

2nd planting of lettuce just starting to sprout.

 

Lima Beans (and weeds……)

 

Green Nutmeg melons.  I still haven’t seen any set fruit, but the vines look awesome considering that they were a hugely late start.  Cross fingers for fruit!

 

Sunflowers

 

Black Pearl Peppers.  Even if you don’t care for hot peppers these would be a striking ornamental planting for an annual bed!

 

The insanity that is my Black Plum Tomatoes!  The quick and dirty stacking of tomato cages didn’t work this year.  Oh well.

 

This is the mixed potato and corn bed (and weeds, can’t forget the weeds!).  SOMETHING, bunny sized, as apparently been nesting in it.  Yay.  At least they aren’t munching.

 

Snow Leopard melon, there’s at least a couple more good sized fruit coming along too.

Sugar Baby Watermelon

 

Speaking of munching…..SOMETHING (I’m thinking deer) keep trying to eat my Blazing Star flower stalks.  Apparently they’re not very tasty though, as I keep finding the severed heads next to the stalks.

 

One day’s harvest, my first two Black Gypsy tomatoes, more carrots, a couple Hungarian Hot Wax peppers, and some Black Plum tomatoes.

The bunnies are horrid this year.  I thought I had trouble keeping the new growth un-munched last year.  This year though, OMG.  Plus the damn things are basically LIVING in the garden, even when they aren’t munching!  Thankfully the damage has been minimal, due to weekly applications of Plantskydd.  But jeeeze!

My cantaloupe vines haven’t set fruit yet either, which is unusual for them, but those tires are some of the worst for weeds, and the vines aren’t as big as usual, I’m thinking the weeds are choking them out a bit.  Oh well.

 

*Salt Potatoes are an extremely regional food.  Although they’ve been featured on a couple cooking shows, 9 times out of 10 when I find someone in other parts of the country who knows what salt potatoes are it’s because they have close family from the Central-Upstate NY state area.  The modern version of salt potatoes are sold prepackaged at the grocery store as 1lb of salt and 4lbs of small potatoes (about the size of baby potatoes, but not sold that way).  And no, they do not taste nearly as salty as everyone expects them to.  They’re extremely tasty though!

The joys of home ownership

Posted July 17, 2017 By Ruth

So, remember back when the front deck collapsed?  One of the things we did afterwards was put gutters on the house.  At least part of the collapse was caused by water damage, so it was worth it.

When we put the gutters on the house, everything that wasn’t tied into rain barrels was instead tied into a drainage pipe put in place by the former owners.  That should have been a warning to me, you, and everyone else right there, but yah……

So half the house’s gutters drained down a pipe, that exited over a corner of the leach field.

We had the septic tank pumped late winter/early spring 2016, it needed it.  We’ve always had some issues with water backing up into the tank, but nothing to serious.  But then last summer was so dry that we had no issues at all.

Till fall.

By early winter not only was water backing up into the tank, but the tank was backing up into the house.  Mumbling rude words about things that break we had the septic folks back out to pump the tank and do some quick trouble shooting.  The general consensus was that come spring we needed to have one of their guys come out and run a scope down the leach field, since that was the most likely cause of our sudden problem.

Except come spring I couldn’t get them to talk to me.  Long story I won’t bother to get into, but after 2 phone calls, an email, and a missed (by them) appointment I finally started calling around to find someone else to come out and look at the leach field.

Found someone to come out, we didn’t get things scoped, but they didn’t charge us either.  The resulting conversation basically decided two things.

1: old system, likely grandfathered in, and since the former owners had only put in a new tank, not a full new leach field they’d TECHNICALLY been legal.  However the whole leach was so far out of code that they weren’t going to be willing to do any repairs, it was going to need to be replaced completely, and due to the high water table, and low soil permeability it was likely going to need a raised bed system, which means an engineer…..

2: the likely cause of our current sudden problems was likely the extra water from the gutters.  Had a massive duh moment over that one.  Thankfully despite the monsoons we’ve been getting we’ve not had anything backing up into the house this spring/summer.  So far anyway.  But that water from the gutters needed to be diverted.

Our original plan had been to rent a trencher, and put in additional drainage pipe.  But with everything thats been going on that wasn’t going to happen.  So yesterday I spent a couple hours digging out the end of the drainage pipe, digging a level trench from it out to where it exited the little hill the house is on, and fitting on 30feet of additional drainage pipe.

Its makeshift as heck, it’ll have to be moved every time we mow, but maybe just maybe it’ll divert enough water to keep things from getting worse!

Speaking of which, this is a photo of the end of the buried pipe:

I didn’t dig up enough to read any markings on it, but it looks like a thin walled PVC.  But its also not any (current) standard size.  This is a closeup of the measurement of the diameter with the tape on the outside of the pipe:

Just a hair under 3 1/4 inches for the inside diameter.  I have no idea where they got the pipe.  I can’t find it anywhere.  3 inch fittings are too small.  4 inch are of course to big.  I finally jut bought the standard 4 inch flexible drainage pipe and dug up enough of the pipe in the ground to slide the 4 inch pipe over it enough to stay.

I don’t suppose anyone recognizes it?

Hostas

Posted May 28, 2017 By Ruth

You may remember that last year I planted a bunch of hostas in an odd corner of the yard.  And that the reason for it was that nothing else was thriving there, except for the weeds.

Not only did they come back up this year, they’re almost all quite large and thriving!

Not quite sure whats munching on that one, one other one is being munched on too.

 

Top right corner there is one of the ones that didn’t come up big, but since we had to kill a bull thistle that decided to sprout right next to it last fall I’m just thrilled it came up at all.

 

Is that not the cutest little hosta plant ever?  Its called Blue Mouse Ears and I want about 10 more to scatter around that area.  Unfortunately that was the one expensive pot of the bunch, so I’ll have to settle for 2 or 3 most likely, assuming I can find them local again.