Garden Update

This past week, Sylvia spent a lot of time in the garden.  Most of her time was spent tending to hail damage from the big storm.  She removed lots of leaves and stems from zucchini and cucumber plants.  Ditto for tomatoes, where she pruned many severely damaged branches.  Hail had stripped a multitude of tomatoes from the vines.

Saddest for us was the state of the rhubarb.  The leaves looked like lace doilies and the stalks were badly bruised in many places.  Sylvia trimmed away the damaged parts and it looks very healthy again.

Fortunately, the jalapeños suffered minimal damage.  We did test that last night with some yummy poppers for supper.  We also had some super-good coleslaw with fresh cabbage that didn’t end up in the [now fermenting] sauerkraut.

These two cabbages had a combined weight of 16 lbs.

A head tucked underneath his arm . . . Two cabbages with combined weight of 16 lbs.

I can’t find words to describe how incredibly delicious Sylvia’s slaw was.  (I had two very large helpings. :food: )  Life is good! :woot:


How can a guy call himself a blogger and only post once in an entire week, and it was someone else’s video to boot.  That would be me, and the week was last week.


Oh yes, Sylvia returned home after ten days of vacation with her dad.  That was also after the flood.  She kept me busy for the first half of the week.  Arthur Ritis (aka arthritis) kept me hurting for the rest of that time.  We did get a lot done.

Monday, we met our Bryant, Barbara and Briana (aka the 3Bs) for a fun evening together.  We were celebrating Briana’s return from RN internship in Iowa, Sylvia’s return from vacation, an upcoming birthday and an upcoming anniversary.  We went to Chez Olga in the Eastown neighborhood of Grand Rapids.  The restaurant is small, but the food is fabulous.  That is if you like creole (Haitian) style cuisine.  I had the Curry goat with #3 heat (scale of 0 to 10).  I had been warned.  That was one of the finest dishes I’ve eaten in quite a while. :food:   Next time I’ll go for the #4 level.  (That will leave left overs that are too hot for Sylvia.  On second thought . . . no changes.)

Briana has her clinical assignment for this fall semester.  She’s assigned to the surgical oncology (fourth) floor of the Lacks Cancer Center.  I’m excited about that and so is she.  That’s where she visited me after my surgery last October.  (Nine months later and still cancer free.)

Catching Up

This past week has been very busy.  I had intended to put up a few more posts, but life got in the way.

Sylvia returned last evening after ten days with her father.  We (Sylvia, Nellie and I) were all glad to have her home once more.  Before she left, we had wrapped up this project.

The back side of the entry way

The back side of the entry way

This was the final step in beautifying the garage and entry way (formerly called mudroom) and erecting barriers for burrowing critters.

This morning, Sylvia worked in the garden, cleaning up hail damage.  My project was to dispose of carpeting from the basement.  Mission accomplished.

Did you hear about the tragic fatality this weekend.  Here is the video.


After the Storm

I had planned to post this a couple of days ago, but life intervened.  Has that ever happened to you?

A week ago (Saturday after the hail storm), I went out to check the garden.  Here’s what I found:


Tomatoes were damaged, but will survive.


Zucchini had tattered leaves, broken stems and fruit decorated with hail pox.  We’ll have more than enough for our own use, and will give away more than half the harvest.

I had sent some home home with son, Bryant, on Sunday.  When he met me for lunch on Thursday he gave me a loaf of chocolate zucchini bread that Barbara had made.  As he handed it to me he said, “Barbara wanted to return some of that zucchini to you.”  I thanked him and assured him I’d be glad to “lend” Barbara as much of that as she would like. :food:


Poor rhubarb!  Look at the lace-doily leaves.  Lots of bruises on the stalks.  Nevertheless, there should be plenty for pies and jams.

I’d show you a photo of my habenero peppers, but I don’t even want to think about the damage they suffered.  :cry:   Maybe if I do enjoy a harvest from those plants, I’ll show you before and after shots.


Before the Storm


What a weekend – Pt 2

Once I discovered water in the basement, there was no time for photos.  There are no images to go with this post.  Okay, I’ll relent.  Here’s how I felt.



Brad K broke his ankle in this one.  He went on to win the championship.  Perhaps a good omen for me?

I spent Saturday rescuing items from the water.  I pulled smaller chunks of carpet outdoors and draped them over bushes.  When I only had some larger carpet chunks to go, I realized I couldn’t handle it.  They were water logged and were far too heavy.

That night Sylvia suggested using the shop vac to pick up excess water.  That was the key, but not for Saturday.  I was sore, tired and my back was hurting very bad. :frustrate:

At church on Sunday a couple of friends offered to help me.  I gratefully accepted.

As I was about to sit down to a bowl of Raisin Bran for lunch, by son, Bryant, called.  He said, “I heard you might need some help.”  His mother had called and he would arrive about the same time as Larry and Ron from church.

Larry brought his shop vac and with two vacs and four of us working we had cleared things out in a couple of hours.  While I mounted the front-end loader on the tractor, the guys carried out the carpet.  I carried them on the loader to the front deck, where they draped the carpets over the rails.

Larry went to the church and came back a short while later with some floor fans.  We set them up and the basement began to dry.

Bryant stayed on for a couple more hours and helped me clean up some other storm damage.  He also pruned a low hanging tree in front of the garage door.

Monday, rain threatened and I had to close basement windows and retrieve some items drying in the sun.  Finished just before the rain began.  The forecast said less than 0.1 inches.  That was WRONG.  The rain gauge had 1.4 inches of rain.

Monday about five PM, I saw Larry’s truck coming up the driveway.  I met him at the garage door.  He and his wife, Carmen, had taken dinner to a neighbor and her family.  The neighbor just had knee replacement surgery.  Carmen prepare another generous portion, which they delivered to my door.  Yes, a beautiful boiled dinner with cabbage, potato, onion, carrot and a large chunk of ham from one of their hogs.  Wow!

So hats off to Ron, Bryant, Larry and Carmen.  Nothing makes a man wealthier than having friends and family like that.

What a weekend – Pt 1

Friday marked the beginning of a new month.  Sylvia spent most of the morning packing and loading the car, and by lunch-time she was at her father’s house.  That afternoon they drove to Glen Lake, which is near the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore and sand dunes.  Sylvia’s great grandfather built a cottage there many years ago.  It’s a great place for a vacation, and that’s what they’re doing.

About six PM, I heard the sound of rain on the roof.  This time it was louder than normal and a single look told the story.  Hail the size of very large peas accounted for the din.

Hail.  Lots of hail was quickly washed away by rain water

Hail. Lots of hail was quickly washed away by rain water

What do you think of that?  The warm earth and heavy rain washed the hail quickly away.

Down the driveway went the hail

Down the driveway went the hail

Lots and lots of rain fell.  Nellie was frightened and hid under a chair.

The normally small drainage area grew greatly during the storm

The normally small drainage area grew greatly during the storm

Bliss Drain became a lake.  Look at that rain gauge.  Yes, that’s 4.5 inches in about an hour.  Hail fell for over a half hour.

When Nellie came to hide under a chair, she was running and acted upset.  Later, I went to investigate.  About an inch of water in a basement that is always dry.  It’s nice to live on a hill.  But despite that a lot of stuff got wet.

It was going to be a busy weekend for me.  More next time.


Beside Granny’s Garden pt. 2

I’ve been watching that wasp nest and hoping that this would happen:

Yum yum!

Yum yum!

We use to see this happen when we lived in Connecticut.  I believe it is a bird that pulled the raid.  However, I did not witness it happen.

Does anyone have an idea on how this happened?  Please?