Friday, July 22, 2011
Everything I Touch is Broken
It's a bit frustrating ...okay, a LOT frustrating.
Everything I need to use seems to be broken. I don't know if it is frustrating because I have deep-seated control issues or because that insane earworm song from my childhood about a hole in my bucket and why don't I fix it?
I think this inexplicable phase of my summer started a week ago Sunday. My son had been playing basketball with varied results. The team has had a somewhat variable performance this year, unlike last year where we dusted the courts with all-comers. One, the team lost three senior starters. Because we have had a good, if not great team, the last three-years running, much better teams have been willing to play us.
The boys who are seniors have been very dedicated to a dream of getting to state. They and their parents have dedicated a lot of time to pursuit of that dream. With the disappointing end to last season and the lack of dedication of the incoming juniors, the team is struggling to find its way. Many games this summer the team totaled 5 or 6 seniors. We lost games against good teams with a bench of 10-12 players simply because the boys were exhausted.
So Sunday after one of these exhausting basketball marathons with only 5 boys playing 11 games in 4 days, we both came home exhausted (me mentally, sometimes its been hard to watch, and my son physically).
I decided to make supper, carbs for him, a salad picked from the garden for me. I live in the village so it is never really dark, but colors lose their hues. I have a lot of different greens available to me: chard, cabbage and broccoli leaves, spinach, mustard, beets, head and leaf lettuce. I remember seeing a seedling of an euphorbia 'Snow on the Mountain'. When it is juvenile, the leaves lack the showy white margins. I remember thinking I should weed it out, because it is poisonous, but I was just too tired.
A side note here, cows can and will eat euphorbias. Hey, they have four stomachs! Reputedly, Abe Lincoln's mother died from drinking the milk from cows that ingested euphorbia. Every time she started to feel better they gave her some milk, thinking it was the most nutritious thing she could get, and they continued to poison her in small doses.
I washed my lettuce leaf by leaf. I chopped it up and put it in a bowl. About six to eight hours later, I was vomiting up my supper. My stomach obviously knows what is good for me and those couple small leaves of euphobia were not about to pass. I spent the night and part of the next day on the cool tile floor of my bathroom.
So from bad basketball, to bad salad, I move right along to rusty rims on my Ford truck. I have decent tires on my truck, but rusty rims. They don't always hold air. I travel with a tire gage and know all the places with air pumps. Generally, not a big deal, nuisance only. Being sick two days, put my tire inflating schedule out of whack. Result: a flat tire.
So, I task my son to haul my dad's air compressor out freom the farm, so I can pump up my tires. Unknown to me, he transports it on its side rather than upright. We start it up, it doesn't build pressure. I grill him, as I am checking various things on the compressor. Transport position come out. I decide to leave it upright in the back of the truck and come back to this problem in a day. Same problem. So what got broke? Maybe a gasket or the intake value, but it is beyond my knowledge. I am sure my dad and brother will rain down bad karma on me for the broken air compressor, but that bird has not roosted yet.
Insert 4 days with heat indexes up to 115 degrees F and record-breaking temperatures where just thinking of going outdoors breaks a sweat.
Yesterday, the dew point fell into the mid-60s and the temperatures were only in the upper 80s and low 90s. It felt like a spring day with a gentle breeze.
So truck has one badly flat tire, and I decide that fix a flat stuff in a can might allow me enough pressure to limp over to the gas station a couple blocks from me. It gives me nothing. Unless that tire stem is at the 6 o'clock potion, you can forget that stuff. It just doesn't work right (two experiences now). Trying to get the wheel in that position, the tire comes off the rim.
So now I am changing a tire. My son and my Ex will tell you, I am a very capable tire-changing person. My dad would not allow me to get my license until I could check and change the oil and change a flat tire. (Funny, how times change. I never change my own oil; environmentally, disposal is such a hassle, and rightfully so. And for safety, I generally do not drive my tires to failure, I spend too much time on the road, often with poor driving conditions.)
So, the Ford is a rust bucket, a rust bucket with new decent leaf spring so I can safely carry the loads I do. I tried four different places on the frame in attempt to jack it up high enough that the leaf springs are not compensating. No luck. I can not get the truck wheel off the ground. (And yes, with leverage (my weight bouncing on my wrench, I have managed to loosen all the nuts on the wheels so once I do get it off the ground that wheel will be coming off.
So I ran out to the farm for some 4x4s, and a couple a cement block and will attempt to jack it up by jacking up the axle, not my preferred jacking point, given that I have to be partially under the truck to do it.
And, did I mention the Mantis tiller is not starting again?
But the daylilies are in bloom and some are simply gorgeous.