Yesterday we celebrated my beautiful bride’s 40th birthday with family and friends. We cooked and ate way too much food (we legitimately had enough leftovers to fill an entire standard-size fridge; don’t let me do food estimations for your potluck), and then tested the handyman skills of the assembled men when my daughter yelled, “Dad, the ceiling is wet!” and we discovered that our inside HVAC unit had filled it’s drip pan and was overflowing through the attic and dripping through the ceiling.
Luckily, one the attendees had worked a home remodeling job in college many years ago and had an idea of what to do, so we got the system shutdown and dried out as best we could with a shop vac, then we pulled up the OSB, threw out three lawn-and leaf bags full of soaked-through insulation, and dried everything the best we could with towels before putting box fans on overnight to try to dry things out some more.
As of this morning, the temperature is still pleasantly tolerable in the house, the sheetrock in the ceiling appears to be drying marvelously, and we’re just waiting on the HVAC service to get here this evening (of their 3 on-call techs for this weekend, one had a heart attack and another is in the ER in unrelated incidents, so offer up a prayer if you will) to get everything repaired if they can.
Like of many of the trials that have hit out family recently, it’s shown us how wonderful our friends and neighbors are. There was no shortage of volunteer labor to get the attic flooring removed and dried out, and we had more offers of places to stay than we have people in the family. We really are blessed.
But wasn’t this supposed to be a garden blog post? Let’s get to the pix.
The squash and beans planted in my three sisters garden is starting to come up. I planted four hills, each with different variety of squash (vegetable spaghetti, butternut, cushaw, and something else I can’t remember at the moment). One hill didn’t come up (bad seeds?), so I planted a second hill of cushaws. I can hardly wait to eat the pies they’ll make this fall. If you’ve never had a cushaw pie, you’re missing a slice of heaven.
The one downside about the lot location we picked in out neighborhood is that we are at the apex of when several stands of trees funnels the wind, and the corn is getting absolutely pummeled, as the photo above shows. By he way, the smaller plants just starting to push through are my pole beans which will both fix nitrogen in the soil for the corn and also climb the corn stalks and help hold them against the wind when they are big enough. Until the beans are strong enough, I’ve stood-up and staked the larger corn plants like the one above to give their root systems a fighting chance against the wind. We’ll see how that works.
The four whiskey-barrel planters of potatoes that loved the long cool spring we’ve had are finally wilting, so we’ll be harvesting them this week. We did a check on one plant and found a firm tuber the size of a kid’s fist, so it looks like a good harvest is ahead of us.
We’ve got a dozen sweet potato plants started a month late (the first batch if seedlings got held up by USPS and died before we got them), but they are doing nicely.
For whatever reason, this is a phenomenal year for berry production in our area. The mulberry tree y’all ID’s for me that had never fruited before now fed the birds well for the past few weeks, and looks like it might be about to release even more. My neighbor’s strawberry plants in a small bed won’t stop producing, and she’s pulling in pounds of fruit per plant. The four blackberry bushes we have are doing very, very well, have flowed, and are already producing fruit. As they start to ripen, I’ll put some netting up to keep the birds out. They can have the mulberrys. I want the blackberries.
As the potatoes wilt in the summer heat, the pablano and cubanelle peppers I’ve planted are thriving. I’ve got four planted around the edges of the three sisters garden, put five more in the sacrificial garden, and have two more peppers of some variety that have volunteered in another bed where we’ve never planted peppers before that we can’t explain.
The scarificial garden behind the fence I’ve had no intention of weeding, but if I don’t then there will be no chance at all of the squash and beans getting established enough to choke them out, so I think I’ve got my afternoon planned… depending on what the HVAC brings.
Also, I wanted to give you guys an update on the pup.
He hasn’t had any follow-on seizures, and seems happy as can be. He goes back in two weeks for his follow-on bloodwork (we had him in for a checkup earlier in the week, but it was too early for bloodwork) so we can get an idea of his blood levels. My daughter is thrilled, and I thank everyone so much for your support. You guys are great.