Here and there

It’s been a rather slow summer for us, not too much going on.  We did manage to get away for a short (SHORT) trip to Charlotte, NC to visit  Erin and Joe and newly-arrived Ananda.  As it worked out, we got there too late to help carry in boxes and furniture (dang!), but we got in a nice visit.  We like their new rental house there, very spacious, nice neighborhood.  Ananda’s room has lots of room for her, so I think she’ll settle right in.  The weather in Charlotte will be quite a bit different than Denver, but she has had some exposure to those conditions during her visits with the Aaron/Maya gang in Tulsa.  So, now we wait for Baby Laurel to make her appearance in September.  I’m sure we’ll be going for interim visits while we wait.  It’s about a 10-hour trip, which Kate usually rounds off to 6-hours, for some reason.  Maybe she’s just psyching me for the ‘short’ drive 🙂

The garden just didn’t work out this year.  It seems that if you don’t take precautions, the wildlife will indeed consume everything you wanted to gather for yourself, and they come EARLY in the plant growth cycle.  The corn and okra sprouted up, grew a few inches, then the deer arrived to crop them right down to the ground.  I don’t pretend to be a farmer, and I’m certainly not familiar with this area, but accusing the deer is not baseless – I caught a doe out in the fenced area on a couple of occasions, munching away on the delicacies.  Oh, well, at least there are the tomatoes.  Nope, not to be – the deer ate the tops right off the plants.  Must be a hungry year, maybe the dryness and heat has driven them to the garden.  I recently gave up the effort and pulled down my ‘puny’ fence and drove the riding mower across the plot.  Maybe next year will be better – if I do put in a garden I’ll also be installing an electric fence.  Not trying to harm the wildlife, just want them to dine elsewhere.

As it turned out, the garden was not the only casualty of the summer.  Our good old 2004 Ford Escape SUV suddenly entered its infirm years.  As with any used vehicle you have to do occasional repairs, but after the latest incident, I figured maybe it was time to quit throwing money at it.  Recently, the ‘check engine’ light came on, and the car was running rough, so I took it to the auto parts place to make use of their engine fault code analyzer ( a free service offered by most parts places), and determined that  there was an ignition fault.  It was likely that it was one of the dedicated spark coils on one of the 6 cylinders, but it wouldn’t tell me which cylinder, so that was going to be a guessing game, which would begin with the purchase of a $60 part for my trial-and-error attempt.  As I discovered, I could only find 3 spark plugs, the others were hidden somewhere back at the rear of the engine.  Anyway, to have the work done for me was likely going to be in the $350 range, and I just decided that, all things considered (including worn-out tires), it was time to move up to a more recent vintage vehicle.  The Escape ‘sputtered’ me down to the Chevy dealership and I soon discovered that the air conditioner had also failed, just that morning.  So, long story short, I now have a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado parked out front.

Nice truck – powerful, smooth, quiet.  So, now I’ll have to go back the Craigslist folks and list my faithful old 1987 Chevy truck to free up a parking place and put a few dollars in my pocket.  Got $800?  Sold!

On the entertainment front, we have a fun outing scheduled for this evening.  We will be attending the Murder Mystery Dinner in beautiful downtown Corydon.  This will be a costume party occasion, and all the guests will have the opportunity to try to solve the murder mystery during the evening, using secret clues. I will be in costume as Capo ‘Toto’ Tequila, crime boss, and Kate will be in attendance as Vicki Ravioli, Capo Tequila’s wife.  We’ll get a nice meal and have some fun interactions with the other attendees.  We just might get ‘bumped off’ during the evening (it happened to me last year), so we’ll see how it goes.  Pssst, got a bullet-proof vest I can borrow?

Also on the entertainment front, we have some honored guests coming to stay with us in about a week.  Alek and Aleyna will be here with us for about a week, and we’re gonna have lotsa fun  🙂  We’ve been penciling in some things to do, some places to go, all that.  We’ll do all the usual things kids enjoy – quiet museums, watching history channel documentaries….. NOT!  🙂

Maybe we can find a few things they’ll enjoy about rural Indiana, hope the weather cooperates.  They’re great kids, we want them to take away some good memories!

That’s the update – we’re just staying busy being ourselves, trying to enjoy life and hopefully meet more nice folks along the trail.

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