Packing Up for a Month

It’s the weekend before we leave Monday morning for our month-long trip. Fiona is excited to see her sister Rachelle. That’s a photo there of the two of them last August when Rachelle came to Rice Lake, Wisconsin to visit.

What do you take with you when you know you’ll be gone a month? And you’re on a budget and know you don’t want to eat out too  much so you have to bring food stuffs along. Easy! We’ve done this so often it really doesn’t take us long at all.

Joel and I did some shopping for on-the-road snacks and drinks yesterday. Things like:

  • Water, iced tea, apple juice boxes for Fiona, lemonade mix, hot cocoa mix for Fiona
  • Chips, pretzels, pita crackers, fruit & grain bars
  • Black olives (Sue loves those), three-bean salad, baked beans
  • Chocolate – milk chocolate and M&Ms for Fiona, lots of dark chocolate for the adults

We still have to get the giant jar of green olives and Sue has to make bread rolls for making vegetable sandwiches for the road. Isn’t this exciting?

Water (FAWM 2011 #6)

The past few years I’ve written a handful of songs with our daughter Rachelle. This year we did something experimental; I just played a chord progression on the guitar and sent it to her, and she just improvised some lyrics over it and sent it back. I decided it needed some harmony so I sang some more.

After I’d recorded the guitar part, I discovered I’d left all kinds of effects turned on; the echo and reverb were set to 11 so it’s, well, a little spacey. Rachelle liked it, so we ran with it and got this:

Listen to ‘Water’

Getting Ready for the Canfields (Another Guest Post)

Caitlyn  James
Caitlyn James
Caitlyn is back. I am not sure what that means; does she keep coming here because we’re coming there? This is something to be looked into, eh? In the meantime, here’s Caitlyn . . .

I should have taken a picture of myself last night. It was getting dark and I was covered in muddy streaks. Cute. Or, maybe not … having no photographic evidence to the contrary – oh, did I mention I was soaking wet in patches and my left hairs were drenched and stuck to my face? – we’ll go with cute.

In my enthusiasm to make your lives, and mine, better ( I have invested in a hose timer. I got it last year at end of season for half the regular $50 price. Problem is, I need a hose going to the front and one going to the backyard. Okay, hose splitter.

We have those cute little click-on/click-off gadgets for the hoses and all the attachments that are used with a hose. At one time I thought this meant I only needed one gun-like nozzle and it could go wherever I went. Turns out, really I need one for each hose and rarely have to click them off or on. Before I had two, I did click more, but I was always going out the “wrong” door so I would end up waiting until a later that never came (hello dying plants), or moving the potted plants to the hose, or using the watering can. All annoying and more time consuming than hunting down the nozzle. Obviously, having one at each side of the house is more convenient – and I do click-on and off for sprinklers.

As you can see, I am invested in the clicking technology. So, I buy a special $10 splitter thing with the pokey-out click part on it. I could have bought a 2-hose attachment for $4 with the regular screw-them-together system. Should ‘a done it.

The hose does not have a receptacle for the pokey-out part. This means buying a special adapter click piece or attaching the sprinkler right to the tap. It is possible that I could … shocking … take it back. Start over.

Canadian Tire is a pretty dependable taker-backer of things so I guess I’ll dig the packaging out of the recycling and give it a try, in spite of it being used twice. Once to see if it worked (I had one special adapter already) and once this a.m., when the sprinkler came on automatically while we slept. Cool.

Sounds like I’ve solved all the problems of efficient crop watering.

Not so fast.

The reason I was striped with mud last night is that there are only a couple of sweet spots for the sprinklers. Unless the Canfields are inclined to “enjoy” their own muddy striped messing about, I want to position hoses and sprinklers in such a way that everything gets watered at once. It is possible. Easily, when there are two hoses linked together.

Almost possible with one hose. If I thread it through this garden, move the wheelbarrow, under the soaking wet 6 foot high rhododendron, while dragging the whole schmozzle through the mud that is the filled-in-new-sewer-connection-trench-soon-to-be-garden-shed-pad-and-walkway.

And, anyone who has ever tried to position a sprinkler perfectly knows that even if you start out by turning the water on and off, you eventually do the ‘watch and leap’ while the sprinkler sprinkles … full force in your face, on your head, through the left side of your t-shirt, and now all over the porch and its furniture as you swing things around wildly trying to save yourself from drowning.

Now, you have your picture. I sure hope you Canfields appreciate it when you wake to an already watered homestead! ;-)