Friday, September 14, 2012

Microbes, Technology, Labors-of-Love, and "Go Big or Go Home" is not always appropriate...

I take a good deal of pride in my "I'm very seldom ill" health. So, when some microbe invades my space and puts me in "sick bay," (tell me you understood that to be a Star Trek reference rather than a nautical one), I tend to take it personally and react by going into hibernation. I rationalize that if I focus all my energies on kicking some virus/bacterial butt, then the little critter doesn't stand a chance! So, that's mostly what has occupied my time for the past week. Jimminy, I hate feeling sub-par.  At any rate, I am finally back to nearly humanoid.

On a related issue, technology is a wonderful tool, when it works. It seems that my land-line and home Internet connections have also been suffering from some ill. I've become quite the techie when it comes to rebooting and minor trouble shooting but this is WAY over my head. I've exchanged the modem, and contacted customer service (does answering computer-voice cues on your key pad really equate to customer service?) with no results. FINALLY, the company is sending out a repair person today. I must admit, while it has been something of an inconvenience not having access to my computer, I have not missed the seemingly endless ringing of the land-line caused by political pollsters, wanna-be elects and other nuisance callers.

Matched set of "wine drinking"
chairs on the back deck...come
try them out.
This is the first Labor Day holiday that I've celebrated since retiring last year. Perhaps I'm a bit more sensitive to the honor being paid to our workers, past and present, who do/did the work/labor to build our country, since my own labor has taken such a drastic shift. Although I no longer report to any outside agency, I find that I am a much harder task-master on myself than I thought I'd be. In some regards, being retired means that I am not held to a clock/calendar/routine; but, in others, I find that I push myself to finish projects that I would have let drag on during my "working life."  Is this some weird, "you must complete the project by X date" that has become imprinted into my DNA? Whatever the cause, I decided to share some recently completed projects that I am quite proud of as a tribute to Labor Day. (Obviously this post was initiated prior to my technology issues, please forgive the "dated" references). 

Hidden compartment with
plastic storage bin included.

Night stand with hidden compartment

Speaking of projects, since returning to the land of the humanoids, I have hit the never-ending project list with a vengeance.  Unfortunately, these are not the projects that necessarily result in any cool, obvious-to-everyone conclusion. These projects include working in the yard (just under an acre), and in the garden beds etc.  One particular chore that I have put off for WAY too long is trimming the rosemary bushes in what started life as our herb bed. Where once I grew thyme, oregano, basil, cilantro, chives, and rosemary, I now have the rosemary bushes from the land of the giants.  The two small original plants have taken over the 4x8 raised planter bed they used to share with the herbs above. I decided it was finally time to show the rosemary who is boss in our little corner of the world.

As you've probably guessed, I have quite a collection of tools. For my woodworking and building projects, for example, I have a selection of several different kinds of hammers, saws, clamps, etc. For gardening, I also have a bit of a selection, though not nearly as extensive. Lets face it, gardening is actually more labor intensive than building. At any rate, when deciding how best to enter into this battle with the pesky rosemary, I decided, "Go Big." So, yep, I pulled out a chain saw and reved it up. Now normally, my "Go Big or Go Home" philosophy is a good one, if not something of an over-kill at times. This was not one of those times. The chain saw was nearly useless. Even though some of the branches were certainly large enough to have been a challenge for my saw, they were outnumbered by the smaller, more limber of the branches. The tool that proved the most useful was an electric hedge trimmer, followed by a hand (completely manual) clipper. As so many of my DIY heroes would say, "it is important to have the correct tool for the job."

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