Last Week of September: Griping about the Weather over Coffee

Sunday Morning Coffee

Holding a mug of strong, hot, black coffee. Wearing my rainy weather sweatshirt. Where’s the rain??

Yesterday the forecast was 80% chance of rain. I scurried around stowing outdoor furniture away from the damp.  What’s outside my window? Fog and mist…fog and mist rapidly thinning into sunshine. On the weather radar it’s green all around, leaving Petaluma high and dry.

September has been hot; consistently in the high eighties and nineties.  The fleas are dancing, prancing and reproducing.  Pet owners are complaining. Flea medicine is flying off the shelves.  So far they have stayed off of Sassy. For several years, I have used Advantage II on her. She has never had a bad reaction to it, but I am dubious about the safety of chemicals.

My sister suggested an anti-flea formula made from a variety of herbal oils.  It’s a great formula and it smells good to my nose.  The bad news is that it contains just about every odor that is anathema to cats.  No hope at all for getting enough of the stuff on her to do any good at all.  So it’s back to the tried and true chemicals.

FREE!! Three tubes of mixed herbal oils with overpowering strong scent.  Great for outhouses and fish markets!

And that is the week that was.

Forth Week of September: CPAP and Cucumbers

Finally!  My sister took possession of her CPAP machine; appropriately, it’s the model called Dreamstation.  This model is a vast improvement over the original CPAP masks that looked like something used on Hannibal Lector.

Continue reading “Forth Week of September: CPAP and Cucumbers”

Moments of Frantic Panic in the Third Week of September

Moments of Frantic Panic

Don’t worry! The title is misleading.  I got carried away with the look and sound of having “frantic” and “panic” together in the same line. However, I did experience  moments of  intense annoyance mixed with vexation and exasperation.

Misbehaving Car

Window Crash

My car misbehaved-twice.  First, the window lift motor on the driver’s side went kaplooy. Naturally, the motor failed when the window was DOWN, leaving me with a window that is permanently open (temporarily). I am putting around town with a sheet of clear plastic duct taped over the window. Ugly.

I am collecting repair estimates from Petaluma to Santa Rosa. Cost of a replacement motor is reasonable, but installing it requires removing both the exterior and interior door panels.  Given a choice, I would choose cars made with snap-in parts to self driving cars.

“Low Power” Light Dread

Sunday morning, when leaving for the Mystery Book Club meeting, my “low power light” flicked on followed by the “fix engine” light.  The first time that “low power” light showed up, I lost all engine power on the freeway, during the evening rush hour. That was a true frantic panic. So I always take that light very seriously.  Previous mechanics could never find the problem, so I spent an hour googling and found a GM maintenance note. The diagnosis was “crankcase vapors inside the throttle body.”  Serious as that sounds, it was a simple fix.  It remains to be seen if it is a REAL fix..

In Bed with The Bug

The icing on this cake of good time was a bout with random bug that put me in bed for a day, and close to home for the rest of the week. It’s so good to feel good again.

A Oil Slick  of Good News

There is a bright spot.  For years, my sister has touted the virtues of synthetic oil for preserving the life of an engine. I kept putting this off, In exasperation, she gifted me with five quarts of synthetic oil, one  bottle of engine flush, and an oil filter.  Wednesday, my mechanic flushed the old oil, installed the new oil filter, and added the synthetic oil. There was an immediate improvement in the sound of my engine

And that wraps up the week!


Garden Abundance, Garden Catastrophe

Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With pounds  of summer squash, zucchini, and patty pan squash. With pounds of tomatoes, half a dozen cucumbers, and a handful of jalapenos.

Dealing with Garden Abundance

Tomatoes are a huge favorite in this house, and we are eating them by the barrel. Mostly loaded into tomato sandwiches with lots of mayonnaise, a little basil and some a sprinkle of Himalayan salt (the pink stuff).  There is no rational answer to the question of why three kinds of squash were planted.  Finding ways to use them all is problematic.  We give away what we can, but most of the neighbors are looking to give away their overproduction.  We did discover a wonderful summer soup recipe that uses squash, onions and/or leeks, a little thyme and lemon juice. However, there is a limit to the soup.

Garden Catastrophe

Right now, I am in the doghouse. Practically overnight, all the squash plants became infested with fungus.  Although new healthy squshlets keep showing up, the leaves are turning yellow-brown and dying away.  I think a brown thumb is in my genes.  Perhaps this garden catastrophe was inevitable.  Nevertheless, I had a good time with my first genuine gardening experience and look forward to trying my luck next year, armed with new knowledge.

I am most definitely NOT including photos of the sad remains of the garden.




First Sunday in September at the Front Door

A Better Habit (I Hope)

Last Monday I finished a book about habits. Information About the Book

The juicy part of the book discussed methods for replacing one habit with a more desirable habit.  My friends and relatives all know I have a habit of neglecting “Sybal’s Front Door.”  My last entry was July, and that was after a gap of about five months.

I really want to replace the habit of neglect with the habit of posting every week.  This keeps my family and friends in the loop. It also gives me a moment to hammer a nail into the week because time passes so quickly these days.  Turn around and its April, turn around and its August, turn around and its Christmas. Continue reading “First Sunday in September at the Front Door”

The Value of Mistakes

While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.

– Henry C. Link

A well-known story is attributed to Watson, the founder of IBM.  A newly hired engineer had made a mistake costing the company a healthy chunk of change.  Facing Watson, the young engineer expected to be fired, but Watson said “why would I fire you when the company just spent a hundred thousand dollars on your education.

Just in case my fairy godmother shows up in this lifetime, my wish is to have discovered that quote fifty years earlier. There were far too many times I hesitated at the threshold then turned away from the door, worried. . .no, not worried, but fearful of making mistakes.

I was in third grade at a brand new school.  The teacher selected me to deliver the lunch money to the classroom next door.  I remember standing outside that door. My heart was going like a trip hammer, and I was terrified that I had made a mistake and that I was the wrong door.

Why is it that children are trained away from making mistakes? Maybe a better question to ask is what compels us to compare ourselves to others, then conclude our own inferiority? Perhaps it’s genetic. Some of us stop when they don’t immediate achieve a desired outcome; others keep on learning from undesirable outcomes until they achieve mastery.

Yeah well! Spending time with those questions just keeps me from pushing the “publish button.”  And before I go, here’s something else to chew on.  Would it make any difference if there were answers for me?