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Certified organic poultry farmer in SE Mass

Life in general
Hot days are leaving and fall weather has come. I'm glad for the change, the drought and heat were extreme this summer. Watering the garden was a chore, I left it for after 5 PM since my garden is in the shade then. I have pulled out the jalapeño peppers and planted some swiss chard and spinach with a late crop of dill. The only parsley available was Italian, which hasn't produced nearly as well as curly leaf parsley. The horseradish has done very well...the leaves are 4 feet high and I have had to prune them back since they shade some of the other plants. The cucumbers did OK, I had to buy in some started cukes b/c insects ate the newly sprouted seeds right to the soil line. I am going to remedy the carbon issue with 40# of greensand which will help the soil absorb and hold water.

I went back to work at my client's last week. It's been too hot and dry to attempt any transplanting. My client has issues with her back and dragging a hose or carrying a watering can is something she can't do every day. The two days Sam and I worked, we cleared out an area about 25X50' of bittersweet vines that had overgrown an area to a height of about 4'. Some of the vines were climbing saplings and were heading for her cable wire. The pile of vines is huge and we will have a lot of burning to do next spring. The area looks so good without all the vines obscuring the ground cover...and the client is very happy with the results.

I took my Volvo for an undercoating job yesterday. The car will be ready today. It's a small price to pay to protect this wonderful car from winter road salt and ocean effects. I know the salt is in the air...I see it on the windows after a foggy night. Soon, I hope to have a new radio installed, it's been several years without tunes or NPR! I have new door pockets to put in, too. I've had the for at least three years, still in the box.

The fires out west have been unreal. Smoke has reached the east coast! We don't have any air quality issues yet, but the sky is milky from upper atmosphere smoke. The night sky is dim.

There is no virus in our building yet. Several other larger housing complexes have closed due to infection. We are lucky. Massachusetts is going back to school, most classes are held outdoors when weather permits. I know the kids are anxious, want to learn but have anxiety about getting sick. I'm not sure the schools in this city are ready for students, at least that's what I heard from a friend who is in the teaching system. We shall see how well the schools are prepared to keep the kids safe...and the staff personnel.

Time to start my day! Thanks for reading!
Summer is winding down

Seems somehow my internet connection to copper.net was hacked on September 3 and some other dates...must be the "excellent" internet service and the bad WiFi unit I had. pcsforpeople finally sent me a replacement unit just recently. Sprint provides the internet service and they were so helpful in setting up the new unit. I discovered where the nearest Sprint tower is. Only .3 miles away, but the elevated highway is between the tower and my residence. I think high-volume traffic as well as 18+ wheelers disturbs the signal, for there are times when the signal is interrupted. Lots of buffering. But the new unit works much better and doesn't overheat while charging...or just on.

Interesting that I had to write a complaint to BBB in their home town to get any response. I put in a complaint in late December, 2019, a phone call as well as an  email. Sprint also put in an incident # to pcsforpeople. Now, if my math is correct, that makes it nine months before any response from pcsforpeople. Of course, their reason for any delays is COVID-19. But December, 2019 was long before this pandemic! Anyway, for my trouble and inconvenience, I was given an extra 90 day subscription for my WiFi.

Then again...pcsforpeople LIED to the BBB...they said they made "multiple attempts to reach me by phone and email" when they called me once...from a phone number NOT associated with their business. And only one email which said the warranty was out and they couldn't do anything...but I could purchase a new unit from them (at a cost of $80.00)!

Interesting to find out Sprint sells the unit to pcsforpeople with a one year warranty...but pcsforpeople has altered that warranty to six months. Sprint says there were many issues with the WiFi unit I had but the newer model didn't have those same issues. The replacement unit is a later model.

I have been busy with multiple projects. My cousin bought a new picnic table from a sawmill in Rochester. We are both familiar with this sawmill, we both lived in Rochester for a long time. The table is rough cut lumber with many splinter possibilities. The first thing we did was soak the legs of the table in wood preservative in coffee cans. Then I sanded all surfaces & rounded off sharp corners. I applied a clear coat of wood preservative. The table came out so nice, my cousin said if her kitchen was big enough, she would put the table inside.

The next step is to cut up her old table and dispose of the wood. It isn't pressure treated, so it could be burned in a wood stove or campfire. It's plenty seasoned...and will burn well. The hardware parts will be cut away and put into the outside pick up. The town picks up every other week...

Then move the new table to the spot where the old table was. Her 150# Rotti will love it! He is such a 2 year old, even tho' he is six. He loves to play, but you have to be careful for he doesn't know his size or strength! My cuz gave him an old kitchen broom and he swings it all over the place. You have to watch him b/c he will hit you with the handle and knock you off your feet! He is such a kid! He has decided he loves me and we get along nicely considering he is a very scary dog...size and breed. He is my cousin's protector.

I did give up two of my vacuums (I collect vacuums...isn't that funny!). Maintenance here will fix and use them in the building. I still have five vacuums...and one that belongs to my neighbor. That one needs cleaning and possibly filters replaced. A hoover, it isn't anything I would buy, but it's what she has. I am the vacuum cleaner cleaner in the apartment complex. Kind of funny, but someone has to do it!

I've been working on an old, oak dining chair. I think it's from the late 1800's. It's wood pegged, no screws. The rungs needed to be re-glued, I took it over to my friend's shop. He has all the nice clamps that I needed to hold and tighten the rungs. We found one leg also needed to be glued to the chair seat. We glued and left it for a week. A good glue, the frame is very sturdy now. The seat was originally caned, so I will have to learn how to cane over this winter. I have a Lincoln Rocker that also needs some caning, so I can work on both at the same time. My mom could cane. She says it's hard on the hands...I will find out how hard this winter.

The unusual comments on my blog have been deleted. Those comments about Lyme disease remain. Thanks for reading!

Time for me to wrap this up for today. It's Labor Day Weekend! Summer was so hot and I'm glad it's on the wane! Enjoy your weekend!
Life in the pademic
My internet has been very poor over the past few months. Provider claims it has to do with in-home work & online student use. But I have had problems early in the year. I got very frustrated with waiting on hold for an hour and a half, just to be disconnected. Happened many times...so I wrote a letter to BBB in their city...and seems someone heard my complaint...after six months of being ignored. I bought a TV in late June (first large screen TV, only 32") and spent more time buffering than watching! Also, my laptop froze while I was online many times and I had to take it for repair. I wrote a letter to the CEO of the provider company, I'm sure he got it...but no response from him either...I need a replacement battery for my WiFi hot spot, can't find it online, and was told that the internet provider (who also provided the WiFi hot spot...cost me $80.00) is responsible for a new battery. I can't find one on line...so I am pulling the battery out of the WiFi hot spot every time I leave the house. Battery is swollen and the unit gets hot, I 'm afraid of a fire!

One week, I spent ten hours on hold...my phone service provider, Apple Care & pcsforpeople. The phone provider got back to me and suggested I need up upgrade my iPhone...at a cost of $350.00. Apple Care said I have an older phone and that might be the reason for
my phone issues. But I am not in the mood to spend that money on a phone right now!

I bought a TV in June, the Father's Day sale. I had to wait two weeks for delivery. I set up the TV but had serious issues with my internet. More time spent buffering than watching. I have complained to my internet provider (pcsforpeople.com) without results. I called Sprint, the manufacturers of the WiFi hot spot. They were very helpful and said the swollen battery was probably the reason for the bad internet. They put in an "incident report" with the provider. No response from the provider. I have emailed the provider with the need for a replacement battery, I have called, waited 1 1/2 hours on hold to be disconnected...this happened on several occasions. I finally wrote a complaint to BBB in their city last week when I had better internet. Seems the internet provider is NOT a member of BBB but I was able to read some of the other complaints lodged against the internet provider. All but one was unsavory. Seems BBB contacts the provider with complaints and issues the provider's reply. Interestingly enough, a few days after lodging my complaint with BBB, my internet has improved immensely. But still no replacement battery for the WiFi.

I have been doing OK, we have had extreme heat waves here. Dry for two months, we are now having a few cloudy, cool days and some rain. A relief for sure! My garden has needed watering almost every day...and it's hard on me b/c the hose is about 150 feet and I have to drag it then pull it back and recoil it. And I am working with soil that is mostly carbon and doesn't absorb water...or absorbs it into the top few inches (like a sponge) and the water doesn't get to the root zone.I will buy in 40# of greensand this fall and turn it into the garden soil. That will help with the carbon issue...then hope to gather seaweed from the beach and top off the garden for the winter. These things should help with the lack of tilth in the soil. Too much carbon can be addressed with greensand...and the seaweed will decompose and help. Soil is an ongoing project.

If you remember, I replaced my soil (about the top 4 - 6") with "organic soil" which was chopped up wood and not completely composted. I dealt with termites last year and had more this year. They ate all my radishes in the ground! The termites were eating as I pulled the radishes up! I didn't do an early spring soil drench and had too many beetles...Japanese, Asian & Oriental...chewing off the tops of any new sprouted seedlings. That's where my basil & cucumber plants went. I bought in started cukes & basil to replace the eaten ones. The beetles were so hungry, they were eating my horseradish leaves!!! It will be interesting when I dig horseradish to see if the termites have eaten the horseradish roots too!

Again this season, there is petty theft of veggies in garden areas by some who are too lazy to grow their own. My cucumbers are doing nicely but need constant water. With the next few days of cool. cloudy and rainy weather, I hope the need for watering is less.

I had a homeless house guest for three weeks. She has been living in the nearby park and with all the extreme heat has been suffering. I brought her to my apartment. She showed a lack of social abilities in that she wouldn't follow some basic house rules. I was firm about washing hands when entering the apartment...she felt running water was enough. I stressed that my health was at risk since I am older and have breathing issues but she just didn't want to comply. She is a heavy smoker and I didn't want all that smoke in my house, so she went outside...and spit all over the walkway! I had spoken to her about the spitting issue...but again, she didn't seem to feel there was anything wrong. I suggested spitting in the grass rather than on the walkways, but she wasn't interested. I helped her get some paperwork done...she lost all her papers to a thief in the park. So I got her a medical records release form and a housing application for city housing. But it came out that she had been tossed out of city housing for some issue or another. She makes bad decisions that affect her and then she blames others. So, some underlying condition exists here. I did all I could for her and she is now back in the park. And I was called into the office and reprimanded for having her here!

I have been visiting with my cousin for several months now. She and I grew up together, she lived two towns over from us after we settled in Acushnet. I was 11 then. Her mom was my favorite aunt and I was always at their house when we were kids. We are very alike in many ways. She has been taking care of her aging, ill husband who died two years back. She has a 150# rottweiler who is her personal body guard. She was fearful that he would attack me...but I have the best cookies in the world...and he is now my best friend. He's like a two year old...wants to be noticed, must be the center of attention and loves to play. We are getting along just fine. My cousin is happy since he needs more than one person in his life. I am also concerned if something happens to her and she needs emergency help. The EMT's could never get to her without killing the dog. He will let me into the yard or house without any trouble. This is a good thing!

Household projects are mostly cleaning up after the house guest. Nothing is selling, at least not much. I did sell my drafting table and made a friend of the buyer. He is an antenna guy and is working on making me an antenna for my TV so I can get PBS. With a Roku TV and Amazon Prime streaming, I do have choices but no PBS. If the antenna works, this will be a bonus!!!

I hope all of my readers are well and staying safe. Numbers if infected people have increased last week, as some folks are careless and not taking precautions. The younger folks are convinced that COVID-19 is just a joke. However, our election is at risk...and the donald won't assist the post office with funding to handle the voting mail in ballots that might clog the UPSP system.

We cn only hope for the best outcome for our election and our population.

Thanks for reading!

Ticks! Chainsaw & COVID-19
Two weeks on the tick bite antibiotic. Got another bite on Monday, but it was on me for just less than a half hour...and I'm already on tick meds. My Lyme disease test came back negative. But I think I may be one of those who test negative...

I have bad reactions to any vaccinations, so I don't get any. I don't take statins to lower my cholesterol, either. Sometimes, my doctor is frustrated with me over these issues. I stopped getting mammograms, too. Breast cancer doesn't run in my family but exposing myself to extra Xrays seems foolish. All my mammograms have been fine.

The concerns over the death of George Floyd has reached our city. There are peaceful demonstrations on main street corners, cars are blowing their horns in support. The police have been instructed to stay away from protesters, so far, no violence. No rioting or looting, either.

Fireworks are an issue now, many BOOMS!!! are heard each night. The cops are running all around, trying to find the BOOMS! When I took BB the dog out this morning for a walk around the blocks, I found many left-over firework canisters in the street. I am thinking the cops can't see...or don't want to see! Anyone who looked would see the remains of many explosive devices in the street!

Enough of this subject.

On a different channel, my laptop froze twice last night while streaming Amazon TV. This am, I downloaded and installed Spybot and ran the program. Seems I probably had a lot of intruders in my laptop, since things are running faster than they have in a long time. I guess Firefox doesn't keep them out.

I bought a new chainsaw yesterday. My old chainsaw from the late 1980's has bit the dust. Bad gas is the suspected culprit. But I have needed a chainsaw on several occasions. So, now I will have it when I need it. But I have learned a valuable lesson...don't lend your power tools out!

COVID-19 is still on the prowl, but the numbers in Mass are dropping. Not the same for Arizona and some other states that opened earlier. We practice safe distancing and lots of hand washing and sanitizer. BB has no concerns in this area, seems he can sniff what every he wants and stay well!

My neighbor broke her ankle several days ago. She was in surgery for 5 hours and is in extreme pain. Poor woman! The chain on her door had to be cut so they could get her out into the bus. She will have a long recovery and many weeks in rehab before she comes home. I'm going to send her a card at the hospital.

Gota get something done today! Stay safe and well...and thanks for reading!

Another tick bite!
I went out to my client's in Rochester on Tuesday afternoon to plant some Jack-in-the-Pulpits that another gardening friend had dug out of her garden. I picked some lilacs and came home. I was there for about 45 minutes. I did a tick check...and found nothing. The rest of the day was as usual.

I woke up at 1 AM in a sweat. I got up and sat in the living room. I became aware of an itch on my back...and found a tick getting itself buried in my skin. Almost out of reach! After a struggle, I removed the tick. The next morning, I had a friend come, scrub the bite with soap, dry and put Manuka honey and a band aid on the bite.

I called the clinic where I have my doctor. I left a message, a nurse called me back, took information and said someone would call me before the end of the day. No call...9 AM this morning I got a return call...and the outcome is that my practitioner has no openings till next week. Could I arrange a photo video visit to see the bite? No matter what I told them, they were NOT LISTENING! The bite is on my back, I can't reach it! How can I hold a phone for a video of this bite? Besides, I don't have any of that video crap set up on my iPhone!

Or I could come into urgent care.  I opted for urgent care...for cripe's sake! Who knew it would be so difficult to get the proper treatment for an infected tick bite???

So, ater today, I will head to urgent care. By then, the tick bite will be almost 48 hours old! The Lyme virus will have been running around my system for two days. Long enough for it to infect my system!

There is no need for such uneducated personnel to be taking such a caviler attitude about something as serious as an infected tick bite! No wonder our society is so unprepared for a pandemic! Lyme disease is a pandemic and no one knows about it!