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Maintainers Weekly Chat April 14 - April 20

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Old 04-14-2014, 05:20 AM   #1
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Default Maintainers Weekly Chat April 14 - April 20

The big acceptance of summer around here was to purchase and put together a small Weber 'Q' model propane grill. We've been religious users of the standard Weber charcoal grill for ages. We finally broke down and got this one since DW wants to pop out on hot days and grill the chicken breasts without heating up the kitchen. It's small enough that we might have to fire up the charcoal one in addition for multiple guests.

I'm continuing to hold my own on snacks - that makes me very happy. Especially since summer offers the notion that 'trail mix' is the proper reward for walking anywhere, anytime. Trail mix is just the best stuff ever, but its high calories are well served keeping up the energy for a couple of hours of hard hiking on a trail - not for when one 'thinks' about going outside and decides to pop a handful of trail mix instead.
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:30 AM   #2
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Default Good Morning!

I am meeting with the guy who will replace our front porch today - I'm excited and looking forward to the facelift I have planned for the house. Tomorrow I meet with one of the potential landscapers and Wed. with the other. I'm hoping the City removes the tree stump from our front lawn soon so work can begin.

I think we may have carpenter ants - probably in the rear outside rafters - as I found 3 dead ones in DH's office yesterday. Apparently they don't eat the wood of the house the way termites do but they still need to be exterminated as they do excavate large areas for their colonies out of the wood. They eat nectar from aphids and keep aphids for that purpose. Interesting naturalistic stuff but not in my rafters please.

I'm going to have to go on an advertising blitz (delivering flyers next week and weekend) and come up with some new clients to help cover costs. Lots of new puppies out there. I just have to persuade 3 owners that they should choose me, out of the thousands of people now doing this, to walk their dog.

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Old 04-14-2014, 08:30 AM   #3
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Good morning! Spring has FINALLY sprung! The daffodils and hyacinths are blooming and we've turned off the heater and opened up the windows. At least, when it's not raining. It has been absolutely lovely to go outdoors without a coat and wear short sleeves. Plus I can put the girls into their short sleeve 12-month clothes before they outgrow them.

Followup to last week's thread -- when they "kiss" themselves in the mirror, it's more like eating their own face than actually kissing, in case that wasn't clear. At one point this weekend one of them (I forget who) was laying facedown on the floor with a mirror under her face just staring at herself and giggling. It was super cute! Here is a video of them playing and "talking" yesterday morning. C spent the entire day yesterday blowing raspberries nearly nonstop!

I did get us set up to have a free developmental screening for them. This afternoon someone is coming to do paperwork with us and will set up when the actual evaluation happens.

Dagmar, sorry about DH's BIL. Good luck with getting some new clients!

Krampus, hope that you can minimize the impact of the mistake.

Work continues to be nuts here but one way or another something should be somewhat resolved in a couple days -- either they'll agree to give us a few more weeks to figure things out or they'll cancel the project. I don't have too much invested in this yet so I don't really mind either way.
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:10 AM   #4
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Our golf course has fire ants. The weekend before last, I lost a ball in a flower bed and DH, MIL and I all stepped in to find the ball (we wear golf sandals). All three of us were bitten and I still have the marks to show for it. They sprayed the entire course last Friday for the ants and it was much nice playing this weekend. Saturday I started off having one of the best rounds of the year but it fell apart on the back nine. Sunday was less than stellar.

The weekend's temperatures were very nice--mid 80's where they should be. Last week''s high 90's can stay away for a while.

Happy Monday to all!
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:07 PM   #5
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I planted my vegetables in my garden beds over the weekend last weekend, and of course now the forecast calls for low 30s tonight and as low as 30 tomorrow night. Grumble grumble.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:22 PM   #6
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Sometimes owning your own business isn't all that fun. A couple of months ago we were so busy we were turning people away (little jobs like broken windows or small repairs). We just didn't have the man power. Today, DH informed the installers that we're so slow that we're going to have to lay off up to 5 of them (we have 12 installers). We're not expecting to be busy for at least 4 months. Such is the construction business. Not only is it incredibly difficult to tell someone they're no longer employed (even though there is a 90% chance of us rehiring them in the very near future) but some of these guys have been with us YEARS. They're like family. It really sucks. DH himself is taking a 25% pay cut and we've loaned the company close to $200,000 to keep it going the past few years.

It's going to be tough around here this week.
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:00 PM   #7
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You all have inspired me to get my backyard cleaned up! I won't go as far as planting this year! But I am going to address the massive weed pile that at one time held a gardenia and azaleas that were killed in a freeze about three years ago. I can't tackle it myself so going to find someone to pay to take it out while on spring break ... in two more days!!! Starts on Thursday but have to teach at the college that night. But just doing that is still a break!

Bill, that's great on holding off on snacks!
Dagmar, awesome on porch people! Did DH look for a car yet? Although probably too much to think about with everything else going on. Hope you get some new pets to watch!

Jessica, love the video! So sweet!

Allison, that sounds very stressful. Hope it turns soon. My DH has always worked commission only. Not nearly as stressful as having other people and families relying on you, but stressful enough for me!

What's up with ants these days! Two of you mentioned them. About a week ago I put two letters in my mailbox to be picked up. Then a few hours later I went to see if mail person had come (our flag broke off). I opened up the mailbox and it was swarming with big black carpenter ants all over the two letters!!! There was this white stuff that was clear in little pellets all over the place. The ants were running around in a frenzy. I was shocked and scared! I wondered if they were getting the glue from the envelopes or what! So I had to pull the letters out with two sticks and the shake them off and then spray in the mailbox. Haven't seen any since, but they are probably in my big weed garden along with snakes and other critters.

But ants are just part of it! A parent at my school was attacked by bears yesterday, just a few miles from my house! A bear knocked down my neighbors bird feeder, completely bending the pole to get the food. I feel sorry for the bears because for whatever reason there are so many more and they have put several down this year. Of course, not sorry enough to dare fed them which is what some people are doing causing all this to happen.


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Old 04-15-2014, 08:27 AM   #8
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Okay, I spoke too soon about spring, it snowed last night and there are still flurries this morning. Sigh.

Sharon, that is scary about the bears! I didn't know there were even bears in Florida. I guess I thought they didn't live in hot climates! We have had a few little ants in the house but nothing worth doing anything about. I think they just came in because there was so much rain last week.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:45 AM   #9
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No ants for us; they either froze to death or the mice ate them. No bears either, but if they are willing to eat deer, I will happily adopt some.
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:13 AM   #10
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Gardner friends - my plants are all wilty after the cold last night. We did get a light frost for a couple of hours apparently. When I went to bed it wasn't supposed to get quite that cold so I missed it. Are they all goners?

Bears attacking people in Florida? I don't guess I knew they lived that far down either. Scary.
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:19 AM   #11
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Shannon - ooh, wilty is not a good thing. At best, they will have a growth setback. Wilty is due to the cells freezing and bursting. If they don't perk up quick in the warmth and sunshine, the damage is probably permanent. Some veggies can take it, some can't. Good luck!
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:56 AM   #12
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I was afraid of that, Becky. All the leaves are still green this morning, but what I'm reading says that it is a matter of time before they brown. Sadness. At least they were still new enough that they haven't spread much - I should just be able to pop them out and drop new plants in the same spots.

I have all tomatoes and peppers right now, and those seem to be ones that can't handle even a light frost.
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:59 AM   #13
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Bummer, Shannon. Yep, tomatoes and peppers are notoriously delicate. We don't plant ours until early May, and even then with hot caps and ground skirts. DH won't plant them til the soil temp at 6" down is at least 50F. Lessons learned from a lot of killed seedlings.
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:30 AM   #14
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Tried to post earlier but 3FC was hanging. Shannon, have you got some old net curtains or horticultural fleece to put over them tonight? Newspaper will also work if there isn't a breeze. Or you could get DS to sellotape big sheets together and weight the whole thing down at the edges. Take off in the morning, obviously. Better safe than sorry.

Agree with Becky. Good luck!
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:31 AM   #15
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Worth a go, imho.
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