Watching the Grass Grow

New Grass

After little more than a week and yesterday’s on-again and off-again all-day rain, shoots of new grass are springing un in our parking strip. I have a timer set for the sprinkler, so that every night this new grass gets watered. I’m amazed that it has sprouted so quickly and look forward to it coming in lusher and fuller. Well, that about it for excitement around here, watching the grass grow.

Drip, Drip, Drip

Japanese Garden Fountain

When we returned home after spending the summer at the cabin, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the city had finally removed the tree stump on the parking strip. I had been nagging the city’s forester about it for over a year. Last week, a worker returned to seed the bare patch of ground, where the stump had been. A couple of days ago, I seeded the rest of the parking strip, which was also pretty bare and setup a sprinkler on a timer to water the new grass every night. Both the front yard and backyard faucets drip. Over the summer, I had used their shutoff valves to stop that from happening, while we were away, but with commencing this watering regimen that was no longer an option.

So yesterday, I began what turned into an all-day project. I started with the backyard faucet, because it wasn’t being used for watering. I’ve decided that the backyard needs about a summer’s worth of weeding, before I start watering back there. I started taking that faucet apart and was able to loosen both the packing nut and the faucet’s spindle, but I couldn’t loosen the faucet’s handle from the spindle. It was being held on by a Phillip’s head screw that I couldn’t untighten and was beginning to strip. Switching faucets, I tried loosening the handle on the front yard faucet, which loosened right away. Returning to the backyard faucet, whether by peer pressure or maybe my muscle memory that faucet handle screw miraculously loosened. I had gotten the first faucet apart and now it was time to buy new parts. Taking a break, I visited two big-box hardware stores.

Menards was totally worthless and Home Depot only slightly less so. I bought a pack of ‘0’ sized stem washers there, which were the wrong size. Returning to Home Depot, I returned the ‘0’ size washers and bought ‘00’ sized washers for the stem and as it turned out the wrong size packing washers. On my third trip to the hardware store, I visited Scheidt True Value Hardware, the last remaining mom-and-pop hardware store still nearby. There the clerk suggested graphite packing cord, instead of a washer. I was somewhat leery of this but bought a pack anyway. Returning home, after cleaning the lime off of all of the parts, I reassembled the backyard faucet. I got it back together and voilà it worked, with no leaks. That was yesterday. Today, I fixed the front yard faucet, like lickity split. So, to recap, this project involved three trips to the hardware stores, really four, because I still have to return the last bad pack of washers and six YouTube videos. Still not too bad, if I do say so myself.

An Alarming Situation

Old AT&T Alarm System

We got notice from AT&T several months ago that they were getting out of the home alarm business. They are divesting themselves and turning over the business to Brinks, the armored car company. I was able to schedule an appointment this week for the changeover. Pictured is all of the old AT&T alarm system that was replaced with a single iPad sized device. The new system does a lot more than the old one did and operates about the same so no new learning curve. Unfortunately, the new iPad sized device is slightly too big for the spot on the wall, where the old keypad was situated, so it sticks out a little. No big deal, but not perfect either. Fundamentally, the old system had to be replaced, because it relies on G3 wireless technology, which is disappearing sometime this summer. Out with the old and in with the new.

Potted Plants

Potted Plants

Yesterday, was kind of a workday. We installed four floating shelves. After mission accomplished we went out for lunch at a Thai place called Crying Thaiger. Our next stop was Idle Hands Brewery, where Dave and I got matchy-matchy t-shirts, plus a few beers. Back home again and then prep for dinner. Maren made a blueberry galette, while Dave BBQed chicken and tofu shish-kabobs. Maren’s sister-in-law Bella joined us for dinner, with her two dogs, Teddy and Barry. Puck went a little crazy entertaining at the party. After dinner, we played a board game called Hues and Ques. A tough game to play for the colorblind. Today, we went out for breakfast at the Duo Wop Diner, a favorite local greasy spoon. Our next stop was Loews, where we stocked up on two shopping carts worth of gardening supplies. Dave was definitely in his element there. We came home again and planted the four tomato plants that Kim had gifted and Bella had dropped off. The dinosaurs are there in honor of the Apple TV+ series that we watched. Even Puck seemed facinated by it and she never watches TV.

Newly Stained Back Porch

The back porch project was completed yesterday, and I paid for it today via a bank draft. It looks really nice! Plus, we are currently experiencing wonderfully temperate weather too, so it is possible to pleasantly enjoy it now. We can walk on it today and by tomorrow, we can reinstall our porch furniture.

In other news, yesterday, one of our neighbors called us and asked for our help. She had been violently throwing-up and was in quite a bit of pain. She was at the local urgent care and needed a ride to the ER and also for one of us to drive her car home for her. We both hopped into our car and headed over there. I took her car home and Anne drove to the hospital. Her car was a Subaru Outback. It had a jumpy accelerator. All I had to do was just touch the pedal and the car would leap forward. That feature in the urgent care’s cramped and crowded lot made getting out of the lot a bit difficult, but I successfully maneuvered my way home without hitting anything. Anne ended up staying with the neighbor for most of the afternoon. Turns out she had gallstones. The hospital diagnosed this using ultrasound. They also gave her morphine for her pain, which seemed to have helped ease her discomfort quite a bit. Today, we saw our neighbor again and she is feeling much better. She is going to wait and see how she does and hopes that she won’t have to schedule surgery after all. She also gifted Anne a really nice-looking potted plant for her Good Samaritan turn.

Felt Sort of Funny Today

Anne Felting

Today, I was going to write about the replacement back porch step that I successfully installed, but it is not particularly photogenic, even if it was more work than expected. So, I decided to go with what Anne is doing today. She is wet felting. She took a class in this art form a couple of weeks ago, where she practiced her craft. In the interim she has had me fetching various things, like a roll of bubble wrap and a pool noodle. She has been doing her felting mainly on the porch but came into the kitchen where I photographed her. She described this particular fabric as looking like either just some rocks or a gnome with spaghetti in its beard. I’m going with the spaghetti-fied gnome.