Out And A Boat


Forest Park Boathouse Buoys

Forest Park Boathouse Buoys

Today, was the first decent day weather-wise that we’ve had in about a week. I took full advantage of this little respite from winter by getting out and about as often as I could. In addition to my usual walk to the grocery store, I also went to the botanical gardens and strolled around there too. It is way too early yet for the outdoor gardens to have awakened yet from winter hibernation. Even the Witch Hazel is not very close to blossoming. There were plenty of flowers to be found in the various houses at the garden and I took plenty of photos of them all. In the afternoon I bicycled in Forest Park, thereby doubling my 2017 mileage total.

Red Cactus Flower


Red Cactus Flower at the Huntington

Red Cactus Flower at the Huntington

It has been a decidedly rainy and rather dreary Martin Luther King Day here. There was not much in the way of observance of this holiday by us. I did toy with the idea of going to see the movie, Hidden Figures, but I couldn’t muster the energy to actually get out to watch it. It is a historical drama set during the sixties space race period. It dwells upon three black women that were NASA’s ‘computers’ at the time. They had an IBM down the hall, but the astronauts trusted these women’s figures more than the machine’s. I’ll see it eventually.

Anne has been busy all weekend working on her latest quilt creation. She got her new iron to work today and her project really seems to be coming together nicely. Sorry, but I’m sworn to secrecy on it. So, I can’t talk any further about it.

Our toilet has all but stopped dripping and I am cautiously optimistic that it will soon fix itself. Nothing like a little lime in your water to gum things up. The front yard is still a mess and today’s rain isn’t really helping that much, but as soon as I can I’ll be seeding and sodding. It should look better soon enough.  

We watched Victoria together last night. This PBS (nee BBC) TV series has all the makings of the next Downton Abby. On the plus side, it has upped its game on the British aristocracy angle. You can’t get much more uppity than the queen. On the downside though, this is a historical drama that is primarily based in fact, which means all those lovely plot twists are already revealed. All you have to do is google them. At future Victoria watching parties, this could lead to some of the most delightful spoilers being revealed by the more well-informed, if not well-behaved members of the viewing public. Sounds positively wicked!

A Series of Unfortunate Events


Purple Cactus Flower at the Huntington

Purple Cactus Flower at the Huntington

I am not speaking about the events that befell those poor, poor Baudelaire children. Although, I am watching and quite enjoying Netflix’s new Lemony Snicket series that features them. No, these events occurred much closer to home. There are some days that it is probably for the best not to get out of bed. Just rollover and go back to sleep. That would have been the wise thing to do today. Well, it’s too late for all that now.

This day dawned rather innocently enough. The second round of freezing rain that was forecasted never materialized. Instead, we got just regular old wet rain. We’ve been getting enough of it lately that the sump pump can now be regularly heard roaring in its corner of the basement. It all began, when Anne flushed the toilet. “I didn’t do it. It was on accident.” It flushed fine, but then it made an odd sound. On closer investigation, I discovered that the reservoir tank was not refilling itself. We both tried fiddling with the plumbing in the toilet tank, but no joy. What used to be called the ballcock is now more politely referred to as simply the valve. It looks different from the old ballcock used to look, but it performs the same function and in much the same way. It does act as a valve letting the tank refill and it has a float so that when the water level reaches the right height it stops filling.

At this point I decided to go to the hardware store and get a new ballcock or valve or whatever. I hopped into the Prius, which I had pulled quite away forward in the driveway. My thinking being that if we did get the expected ice storm, I didn’t want one of the branches from our last Silver Maple dropping on it. Well, to make a long story short, I got stuck in the mud. Our driveway is just two narrow strips of concrete and in this season those concrete strips are afloat in a sea of mud. Backing up I first slipped off of the concrete and then just at the crest of the driveway, with two wheels on either side of said crest, the wheels began to spin digging a pair of ruts. I gave up when I heard the bottom of the car scraping on the crest. I called a wrecker and was told that it would be at least two-hours before it arrived. That estimate turned out to be wildly optimistic.

Figuring that I had plenty of time, if only I knew, I went to the hardware store and picked up the device. I was back with the thingy lickety-split. I removed the old one and installed the new one without too much difficulty. Except, then it continued to drip. I fiddled with it. As of writing the dripping is much reduced and I am content to leave a pot under it for tonight. The tow-truck eventually arrived and the Prius was successfully extracted from its predicament. The only real downside to the whole event was that since the flatbed truck was as long as the street is wide a certain amount of backing and filling was needed to position the truck. All this maneuvering created even more ruts. The yard was already a mess from last summer’s neglect, now it looks like a war zone. Come spring, gardening will be my new hobby. I guess that’s about it. Oh wait, Anne’s iron died and she had to get a new one, which also might or might not be working.