Monday, June 28, 2010

Stray Voltage

Stray thoughts on a hot June afternoon.

State of Play. Spent some of the weekend tending my poor neglected garden, until the heat drove me inside. Having spent so much time away from home it is currently "out of control". The zucchini are doing well, both the green and the yellow. We love them here in the Swamp. It really is a Native American food but my Italian/Irish/Swiss wife does a really good job with making things with it. I can't tell you how many different meals we have where the mild mannered zucchini is the star on the plate.

The beans are doing well too and so the potatoes. Both of these I added to the garden because I had them at my Uncle's late last year and they were so good I simply had to grow them. The Potatoes especially are so good right out of the ground.

My tomatoes are toast. I had 9 plants of the Roma or plumb variety but the wilt has all 9 in a death grip. I will have to pull them all out and send them away in the trash. I guess I have grown tomatoes too many years in the same space. I'll have a lot of work to do in the fall and winter to rehab the garden. I am not planning on growing any tomatoes next year. I am thinking of corn, maybe some Blue corn.

The Empire Strikes Back. I have a tax audit in late July, they want to go over two years worth of taxes, 2007 and 2008. The one year, 2007 I had a lot of extra income. I worked two jobs that year and had a lot of income to show for my efforts. I kept great records in anticipation of the problems of a monetary blip of this nature. Still, getting ready is a real pain. I have spoken with the "examiner" as they call them now, and he gave me some idea of his interest in my tax return and especially what I have to show him (basically anything over $1,000). Good think I have all the receipts from that year. He has hinted at a couple of areas where some discussion may ensue. He has me looking up the difference between a "Capital" improvement and routine maintenance. Should be an interesting discussion. I hate paying taxes.

The Wind and the Lion. I flew back to New Mexico for a weekend. My father is not doing well. He caught a cold late last year that eventually developed into Whooping cough. But he has still had problems and a recent CT Scan found cancer on his lungs, esophagus and liver. They are not sure how developed it is so a biopsy will occur later in July. He is a lifelong smoker so some of us were not surprised. Part of going out was not just to be with him but also to re-introduce my family to SN2. Seems the good Marine has departed ways with the USMC and was driving back to PA and his trail east would take him right into Albuquerque. So, I flew out to greet him and show him to the family. They had not seen him in some 12 to 15 years. After the weekend and a day, I returned to the Swamp by commercial air but SN2 is continuing east by car. I carried back with me 20 dozen packages of flour tortillas made at one of the long time tortillas factories in Albuquerque. Can't get anything close to this good east of the Mississippi. You should have seen the looks on the TSA screener!

Road Trip. The Good Wife and I travel this weekend (a holiday too) to some fancy place in Virginia. Family reunion, only this one is on her side of the family. These are people that very few if any of the PA side of her family has seen in maybe 30 or 40 years. She found them doing ancestry research, digging around in the family tree. We are driving with her parents with us, should be a woolly 8 hours in the car. This resort has a lot of activities available and I am taking advantage of one or two. Lying around with a book or a DVD player and a beer or two is my idea of a relaxing day or two. We will see. This place requires full pants, collared shirt and a sport coat for dinner and I kind of eschew that kind of dress for summer time meals.

More Stray thoughts soon enough.

BT: Jimmy T sends.


Buck said...

My best wishes for your father, Jimmy. It doesn't sound good, but modern medicine can work wonders.

re: Your garden. I sorely miss my gardening days. The best things about summer in Oklahoma... where I had my large garden/small truck farm... were picking dinner in June, July, and August. I loved my corn especially. My potatoes never made it past the "new potato" stage... we ripped 'em out of the ground when they were just about ping-pong ball size. And I had more danged tomatoes than you could shake a stick at...

JimmyT said...

Yeah Buck, I'd love to have a small farm or ranch. Live off what I grew or raised. Then hunted for the rest during the winter. If only!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.