Down in the Drain and Playing With Cement All

Reader Contribution by Nebraska Dave
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The unseasonably cool weather continues through August and into September here. It makes for great sleeping nights to enjoy with the windows open but the gardens here are still suffering from the lack of heat for the warm weather vegetables. No one has really complained about too many tomatoes this year. My last count for tomatoes from four plants was about 20. They were indeed delicious but there’s no more behind this harvest. What a strange year. I’ve never seen anything like it in all my gardening years. Eggplants are doing well but small, and potatoes are the star again this year. Well, the potato tops look good. I haven’t ventured beneath the tops just yet to check out the actual potatoes. I may start scratching around in another couple weeks. Tops are beginning to dry out.

Those of you that have read my blog know that my least favorite thing to work on is plumbing. It seems to be the plague of my life.

Many months ago, I detected a water leak that came from under the washer. Being the person that I am, I decided since there was a drain in the laundry room to take care of the water on the floor, I would do what I always do. What’s that you say? I would just use the washer with the leak until the leak was just too big or it just quit washing. Use it until it dies is my motto. Amazingly the leak quit and life was good again.

Buzz buzz buzz (fast forwarding two years). Yes, two years went by without so much as a drop of water. And then it happened. A river flowed out from under the washer. I thought, “This is it. It’s dead.” Just for grins I wanted to isolate the problem and decide if it was worth fixing. Running through a wash cycle, I determined it wasn’t the washer at all but the 49-year-old drain that had rusted out. I was rather excited that it was only plumbing this time.

Ten bucks worth of parts and a little PVC cement and all fixed. Now comes the floor clean-up. The washer hasn’t been moved in about 15 years. There’s plenty of yucky on the floor. A Pinesol soak and scrub, and it’s good to go for another 15 years. Another maintenance job done.

One of the things that I like doing is to help those in need who can’t spend much or anything on repair projects.

This is a set of concrete steps under repair for a friend of mine. This started with an agreement to just repair one step. Well, I did such a good job she wanted to do the rest of the steps and arms. These steps had red indoor/outdoor carpet glued to the stairs. Chunks of steps were missing and the side of the arm had huge holes in it. Window screen was stuffed into the holes and regular concrete was used to cover the screen. Then Cement-All was used to cover the hole side. It turned out pretty well for my first attempt at step repair.

Labor Day found me out on the mighty Platte River in a borrowed kayak.

Here I am just taking a break on the river. Four hours of paddling was good for some sore muscles the next day. This little kayak was a little spooky at first. Not only was keeping the kayak heading in the right direction a challenge, but keeping it from rolling and upright was a skill that had to be quickly learned. This was the first time I was in a kayak this small and in moving water. After about an hour, I had mastered control of the vessel. Rarely do you find the Platte River being other than mostly sandbars this time of the year. Because of the unusually wet August, the river was up and kayaking was magnificent. The day was a Top 10 day and the best of all there were no bugs. It really was an awesome way to spend Labor Day.

One last thing about the prostate and then we will never speak of this again. Planting the seeds of death went well with a couple days of just a twinge of nausea and some weakness. By the third day, all systems were functioning again and mowing the grass was done. I could tell the endurance level was not up to par just yet. After two weeks, I’m back to normal as you can see with projects being worked and life is once again on track.

See you out in the garden. I have post holes to dig, fences to build, grass to mow, weeds to pull and gardens to reclaim. Until the next time.

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