Back To Basics

Hi, I’m here! Just thought I’d give you an update on how my garden grows. Well, I’m picking squash faster than I can use it, but I’m finding ways to use it. Raw in salads, with arugula and fruit and cut up in chunks in spaghetti sauce. I’m thinking of making a squash version of zucchini bread. It can’t be much different, can it? The tomatoes are popping all over the place, but are still green. I’ve been using my herbs (mostly the basil and parsley) in just about every dish, though I find it’s not so great on Cheerio*s. Who am I kidding? I don’t eat Cheerio*s. That has to be the worst cereal ever! And my corn! Thanks to a ‘how to pick corn’ video I found on YouTube, I’ve learned that corn has both boy and girlie parts. And one of my corn stalks has girlie parts!! That’s the silk and the flowers that pop up at the top of the stalks is the boy part and in the wind (or sometimes by shaking) the pollen from the flowers falls on the silk and that’s what makes the corn grow. So much fun.

I haven’t been able to use any of my thyme because wasps took up residence in that pot. And now it seems the thyme is withering, but also it looks like the wasps have vacated. So, with that in mind, maybe it’s time to harvest and let it dry before it all dies. We bought these alleged wasp traps that supposedly attract every known flying pest including yellow jackets and hornets.  So far I’ve trapped countless gnats and one cricket. I find my flip flop takes care of the wasps just fine.

So, on the heels of the smoking ban, (which I still take issue with) yet another governmental intervention is afoot. It’s been in the works for a while, but now the incandescent light bulb we’re so familiar with is being phased out in favor of the curly CFL (compact fluorescent tube light bulb) because they are money saving. Yeah, they might save money, but do you know how many I’ve replaced already? I have some bulbs in the house that still work that have not been changed in the 13 ½ years we live here. And, those CFL’s, as it turns out, is a hazardous affair should they break. Of course, cleaning up a broken light bulb isn’t fun, but it’s simple in comparison. Sweep up the broken pieces, vacuum, and walk around barefoot to find what’s left on the floor.

There’s a whole safety-ensured procedure for collecting shattered CFL’s; a before, during and after, all just short of a Hazmat team setting up shop in front or your house. The directions for “before” are: vacate the area of people and pets; air out the room for up to 10 minutes, shutting off the air conditioning (or heat). But to save time, during that 10 minutes you can collect cleaning materials; stiff cardboard, sticky tape, damp paper towels and a glass jar with a lid.  The “during”: be thorough (really, Einstein?) and place the remnants in a lidded glass jar. “After”: promptly place all debris in a protected area until it can be disposed of properly and don’t leave any clean up materials indoors. Continue to air out the room and leave the air conditioning (or heat) off for several hours. Thank you, Government! All I want to do is see in the dark.

Of course you can prevent all this by allowing the bulb to cool; handle bulbs carefully (Einstein is busy today!); don’t install in fixtures that can be knocked over; use a drop cloth or a towel when changing a bulb.

Anyone for candle dipping?

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