Tuesday, May 20, 2008
What’s the last thing you want to hear on the first hundred degree day of the year??? “Honey, the air conditioner is blowing hot air”. I was sure it had something to do with the water. For those of you unfamiliar with evaporative air conditioners they cool the air dramatically by pulling the dry hot air through screens soaked with water. This only really works with dry air that has little or no humidity.
Taking the screens off to access the interior I quickly saw that my suspicions were correct. Everything water touched was coated with mineral deposits and the pump was totally plugged up. Some of the tubes feeding water to the screens were also blocked. I spent a couple of hours cleaning and adjusting everything. We will have to replace the screens this year and probably every year as they too are plugged up. That will have to wait till we have some money, probably when we get the yearly CRP check.
Everything that handles water in this house is attacked by the hardness. The faucets leak and one of the new multiple outlet faucets I got to distribute water to the garden has lost one of the outlets due to mineral buildup. We were offered a washer and dryer and in fact we have a washer we brought with us from Toledo, but the water is so hard that washing clothes in it probably isn’t a good idea. Watering the plants has to be done carefully as water that dries on the leafs leaves a residue that burns them and can kill a plant. I think I’ve done that to a number of plants in the garden. Even the soaker hoses will eventually stop up. I snagged a swimming pool pump and filter housing that some one had thrown away at the landfill with the idea of seeing if I can use it to filter the water. If nothing else it can help push water through the hundreds of feet of water hose to maintain pressure at the sprinklers. Well, there’s a catch…I can’t use the sprinklers except at night when the sun won’t evaporate the water and burn the leaves. I was out till eleven thirty last night running them.
I got very discouraged, almost depressed, last night as I worked under the full moon. I was planting more green beans and snap peas. The instructions on them said to plant every two or three weeks to so you can have fresh harvestable vegetables for an extended period. As I did I saw that the seventy five foot long rows I planted before were almost bare. There are only three green bean plants and two of the sugar snap peas. I don’t quite know what I’ve done wrong. It’s hard to know when you can’t remember what you did in the first place. Was it the water? Was it the intense sun? Was it …? I just don’t know. What I know is that I don’t keep up despite working all day and sometimes into the night. There are always things I plan but don’t get too. Part of that is because of the brain injury as I forget what I was doing and get distracted easily. I stay busy but not always on what I should be doing. In addition to that, every time I go to Midland it ends up being for several hours and things don’t get done at home.
The plants Cherie bought that we put in the ground yesterday (actually two days ago) are all in very bad shape. It is frustrating. I know that you must “harden” plants that have been grown in a protective environment but just don’t remember it when I need too. As is true in most things with me I must relearn things several times before they stay. Cherie almost cried when she saw them. This place is hard on plants. We’ve lost all our berry plants now and two of the grapes. Three apple trees are gone as well and lots of the stuff in the garden just isn’t there or not doing well. The potatoes on the other hand are just booming. I swear they grew six inches overnight.
It’s noon now. Man this heat is killing me. I’ve been mowing more of the weeds I’d started on days ago. Almost got that all done. Came in twice to drink a big glass of tea and cool down. While I’m thinking of it I’ll write about the swarm of bees we saw a few days ago. I’ve been intending to write about it ever since but keep forgetting as usual. I was walking from the south side of the property towards the house when I heard an all to familiar sound. It was the droning buzz that hundreds of bees make. “NO! They’re back” I thought and started looking to see where they were. I didn’t see any activity around the garage or greenhouse so headed around to the front. Then I heard as the sound seemed to change the direction it was coming from so I looked up. Just passing overhead was a black cloud of bees swarming in a large boiling ball of moving bodies. WHOA!!! “CHERIE, Where Are You” I called, hearing her talking on her cell phone. “I’m on the phone, what do you want?” she called back impatiently. “There’s a swarm of bees flying over” I explained. By this time they were halfway down our property line heading away. They were still visible well past the end of our property, which is a half mile away. Cherie got the binoculars and we watched till they disappeared. I’ll need to drive down to the well later and make sure they didn’t make that their home. You can’t tell if they are Africanized bees when they are swarming, at least I can’t. If they are regular honey bees I would be happy and would invest in a hive to move them to. One of our long term goals is to have honey bees to harvest fresh honey from.
I’m going to go to Midland now to poop scoop at Janie’s and go online. We got the Texas Agriculture magazine that the Farm Bureau puts out yesterday. In it was an ad featuring a special for members. It’s a satellite internet hookup that comes complete with a free installation. The price is hundreds of dollars less than others we have looked at. I think it’s somewhere around $249.00 if I remember right. That includes the first month free. The monthly fee is fifty nine dollars, which is what we were paying Alltel for their sucky service that didn’t work half the time. It’s going to be a stretch but we will go for it. I’m not sure how the credit problems will affect it but we will try.