Even Upstate We Can’t Escape “Grades”

Last weekend was Memorial Day and we thought it might be a good opportunity to have our furnace looked at since “cleaning and tune ups” are part of our maintenance package. A service technician came, stared at the furnace, fiddled a bit, and said it was just fine. Since I’m not a fan of the scary-monster basement, I quickly walked back up to the first floor of the house. What I didn’t realize with my hasty departure is that I left Lynn stuck with the service technician who immediately upon pronouncing the furnace “fine,” whipped out a laptop so that Lynn could do an online survey and “grade” the visit. WHAT?

Meanwhile, our contractor had installed our very expensive kitchen faucet to then tell us that while it might have been given an “A” in “Design World,” in fact it was a piece of crap and he decided it warranted an “F.”  Apparently, it came with an integrated supply line that was too narrow. (Trust me, I didn’t know what that was either until about 2 weeks ago – it’s the hot and cold supply lines that are permanently attached to the faucet.) Since the lines weren’t the proper size, if we wanted a drink of water, let’s just say it took a really, really long time to fill up an 8 ounce glass. Want to fill a pot with water to make pasta? Forget it, that’s at least a 20 minute task.

So while it looked good…

IMG_7360It needed to be replaced. So we went out and bought a new faucet that was half the price with two separate supply lines that would hopefully give us something that resembled a steady flow of water and not the trickle we were dealing with.

IMG_7366We also managed (I say we but Lynn did all the work) to put up one wall of kitchen cabinets with doors!

IMG_7347And while I had written in my last article about having a dishwasher that was useless because it wasn’t bolted to anything (an “F” in my book), Lynn did manage to screw it into our temporary plywood countertop which meant it was instantly usable and thus quickly became an “A.”

Meanwhile, the bird that had been creeping me out in my last post (she gets a “D” for scary) was really just sitting around waiting for her little birdies to hatch. They now spend a lot of time poking their little heads out of their nest while they wait for another bird to come and give them a worm or two to eat! I desperately tried to get a photograph of this happening in action but the bigger bird start flipping out at me when my camera kept “clicking” (no dumb ass it’s not a gun). Plus, Lynn was yelling at me that the bird was going to attack me! Geez! So this is the only shot I got.

IMG_7349The other Herculean task we managed to accomplish last Memorial Day weekend was some of the planting. Problem was there were so many weeds, it took us nearly 5 hours to dig them up before we could even start to plant! Which means by the time we got ready to plant, I could barely move. (I know that’s an “F” for being out of shape!)

Still this year, I put in at least 4 different kinds of tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, acorn squash, basil, carrots, spinach, Romaine lettuce, plus seeds that promise to sprout pumpkins and sunflowers!

IMG_7385I also planted a fair amount of marigolds hoping like last year that they will in fact keep the animals away. It obviously wasn’t going to work instantly though since last weekend we saw an “abbondanza” (as the Italians say) of animals with glimpses of at least 2 bunnies, 3 deer, a chipmunk and a very large snake hiding in the garage.

One of the bunnies immediately went for the carrots and when I tried to “shoo” him out of the garden, he freaked out and started hurling himself against the fence! Really, it was quite a sight to see. Luckily, he did manage to find a big enough hole in the fence to squeeze himself through. We’re hoping he was so traumatized by this experience that perhaps he’ll think of the garden as an evil place? (I’m kidding.)

This weekend we found new connectors (elbows and such) sitting on the floor waiting to be somehow hooked together so we have new PVC that will directly feed into our sewer line. (Yes, it does in fact look like a installation piece at a museum!)

IMG_7395Right now we have an old cast iron pipe that our contractor revealed was actually leaking in several places. This means since we’ve discovered this that when we flush the upstairs toilet, it leaks into a small hallway. (That’s a definite “F.”) So we try to flush as little as possible (when it’s yellow, let it mellow, when it’s brown, flush it down), but sometimes we forget.

Meanwhile, back outside, the meadow and the wildflowers this time of year are simply stunning. (That’s an “A.”)

IMG_7419IMG_7407My only concerns are that while I seem to technically have plenty of strawberries, (green leaves and little white flowers), I have yet to see one berry or even the beginnings of one.

IMG_7424The garlic however, seems about less than half the size that it was last year but perhaps I’m rushing things? When I did, in fact, check my pictures of garlic scapes from summers past, they actually came to maturity in early August.

IMG_7387I’m not going to grade my gardening skills or give a letter grade to what may or may not grow this season. Summer break is nearly upon us and with enough weed pulling, watering and good old sunshine, hopefully everything will bear fruit.

Oh yeah, on the drive home, even the gas station wanted me to do a survey to give them a grade! I “opted out.”


This entry was posted in Construction, Flowers, Furnace, Gardening, Garlic, kitchen, Renovation, The Property, Uncategorized, Vegetables and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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