Finn had a friend over for a playdate on Saturday so Jen and I took the opportunity to get things done around the house.
We hauled the cucumber tubs out of the greenhouse and dumped them at the edge of the yard. They were infested with whiteflies, which had disappeared since my first mention and then returned in force. I then mixed up some of the insecticidal soap and sprayed the shit out of all the remaining tomato plants. After two treatments there were hundreds of dead whiteflies laying on the edges of the tubs, so hopefully with a few more applications I can save the rest of the plants. The box fan I’d put in there died sometime back in late July so there’s been no real air movement in there, which is also bad.
We pulled a Dagma and an other Oaxaca from the big plants and a handful of black, yellow and cherry tomatoes from the others, and a lot of them found their way into our salad Saturday night. I also swapped out the green rain barrel on the platform behind the greenhouse, which has a leak somewhere, for one of the soda barrels and pumped the water from Friday’s rainstorm into it. With that and one more good rainstorm we should be able to make it through the fall without going to the hose (with the exception of our vacation, everything I’ve used in the greenhouse has been rainwater, and I’m pretty proud of that).
Sunday we did some errands and in the afternoon I went over to Christi & Glenn’s house to help wake up their Acura, which has been slumbering in their garage since it french-kissed a Prius in 2016. They parked it in the garage because it’s in need of serious bodywork before it can be roadworthy again. Miraculously, even though the top of the radiator has been pushed back 4″ and the bumper mounts are pushed downwards 6″, it hasn’t leaked any critical fluids. I brought over a set of ramps, a siphon kit, a set of tools, and jumper cables in the Scout. First I checked all the fluids to see how it looked and found everything topped off. I pulled the battery and cleaned the cables and posts. Then we looked at siphoning the gas but were thwarted by a metal screen at the base of the fuel tank, so we jacked it up, pulled the tire off, and used a handy drain plug to empty the tank. Once the varnish was out we put about 2 gallons of good gas in it, stuck the tire back on, and hooked the battery back up. With the cables from the Scout on it, it only took two tries (I had to adjust the cable for the best connection) to fire the car right up.
We let it idle for a while, then Glenn turned it around in the driveway so that the exhaust was facing outward and pulled it back inside before the temp gauge crept up (the inlet hose to the radiator is kinked shut at a 90˚ angle from the impact). He’s thrilled and I’m happy for them to have it running again. I left him with instructions for a trickle charger and some tarps to keep the varmints off.
Labor Day was quiet for us. I woke Finn up at 7AM to go do some soccer drills on the field across the street, and we stayed out for about 40 minutes before the gnats and Finley’s bladder brought us back inside. Mama had started a pumpkin pancake assembly line so we helped her finish that and chowed on pancakes and hash browns for a hearty breakfast.
After that, we geared up for a hike in Patapsco and happened across another Scout parked at the trailhead: a yellow Scout I’ve seen around Baltimore for years. We met the owner, snapped a picture, and then descended down the trail into the park. After the second flood they had the trailhead closed off for repairs so the usual route I used to take with Rob and Matt was off limits; we followed a longer southern route that eventually linked up with the main trail I was used to and wound up at the river at the bottom. After a bathroom break we took out shoes off and cooled off in the river for a while, letting the fish nibble on our toes. Then we headed back up the trail and home into the air conditioning.
We made a quick run to Lowes for some bathroom caulk and Jen and I decided we needed a full-size plastic skeleton to sit on our front porch for Halloween, which made Finn happier than if we’d given her a barrel full of candy. Jen promptly christened him Brutus. We propped him up in the back of the Scout, and out on the road we were admonished by a fellow driver to make sure he was buckled up.
At home we relaxed for a bit and I tackled the back lawn, which was 5″ high and gone to seed. Every second row filled the bag on the mower and I’d have to stop and empty it, which took longer and made things hotter. I had sweat pouring down my face by the time I finished. Then I shot the plants in the greenhouse with more insecticidal soap to kill the whiteflies, which are now greatly diminished but have taken up residence on the tomatoes. After watering and tending to the plants I called it a day and came inside for the last time.
After cracking a cold beer we sat down and opened up a new family boardgame: Payday, which is an updated version of the game Renie and I used to play when we were Finn’s age. It’s more complicated now and doesn’t look nearly as cool as the original but we still had a lot of fun.
After dinner we busied ourselves with getting Finn ready for the first day of 4th grade. Jesus, time is flying by.