After three weeks of devoting almost all my attention to getting my presentation ready for the microbial carbonates conference, and one week at the conference, I've been through yet another unpleasantly busy week. Actually, this is the only one that was really unpleasant. Thursday night, before we returned from the conference, the lift in my van suddenly decided it would no longer use its mighty powers to raise me up from street level to floor level. There is a hand crank, and what a joy it is to use! Everyone who has to use it, which of course never includes me, tells me so. Nevertheless, as all good things must come to an end, I called the repair shop on Monday. The repair shop in Tuscaloosa no longer exists, and that's a sad story [for another time, perhaps]. The one in Birmingham couldn't see me till Tuesday, so I spent Monday at home. Tuesday we drove an hour and then they were pretty efficient, only spending about an hour fixing the thing (even though the technicians were late to work that morning). Another hour in the car and then I was actually at work. The next morning the van's motor started behaving badly. My mechanic in town still is open, thank goodness, and knew right away what the problem was. An ignition coil or two later I was back in business, but it was nearly the end of the workday. So I only spent 2 ½ days at the office this past week, and of course spent a bunch of money on transportation.
One of the things I have been trying to do this week is review a book-length manuscript that I have been not getting around to for a couple of months. I thought I better get that done, not only because I should have done it awhile ago, but because I now have two other manuscripts, one I have to help write and one I have to finish writing. Within a couple of weeks I'll have another book length manuscript to revise. Fortunately, I love writing. Unfortunately, I don't love revising.
Daughter #2 is home; yesterday she attended a wedding. Tuesday we are driving to Kansas to visit family, attend a memorial for Spouse's mother, help daughter pack, and bring all of her stuff back to Alabama for the rest of the summer. So far they have gone shopping together and watched daytime TV (by which I mean reruns of evening shows during the day, not that stuff that was never intended to see the light of darkness) both of which activities I declined to participate in. This morning we are going to be enlightened, but I don't exactly remember the particular topic on which metaphoric photons will be shed.
I also wrote a couple of poems and sold part of one of them as a stand-alone poem. That part was funny and the rest wasn't entirely successful, so it's probably the least undesirable outcome that was likely. I think I will try to rework the other part in hopes of improving it.
Harvested and ate bell peppers and strawberries. The one tomato plant does not look good. Mowing is needed, and is supposed to be accomplished tomorrow. Zinnias and marigolds look better every day, along with ever increasing kinds of other flowers. By the way, the pepper plants were supposed to be hot peppers. They are not hot. They are even more remarkable. They are sweet peppers and actually grow in our garden and approach the expected size. We still have hot peppers preserved from last year, so we should be okay. I've been eating green radish seedpods. Many of my radish plants didn't really produce radishes, but some of them have produced seedpods. These are crunchy and taste a lot like radishes. I recommend them. The basil plants are small and probably need to be fertilized.
Spouse hasn't had time to keep up with the garden, because she has been preparing artwork for a show. The art is now in the show, which I hope to see later this month. She has been going to the gym about four times a week for approximately the last month. It's definitely doing her good, in several ways. But that's another thing taking away from gardening time. We have a new person mowing (starting tomorrow) and he might be willing to do other things as well, if he works out. That would help with the time situation.