You just gotta love a good hardware store and there is light at the end of the chimney


I hurry up to the homestead.  There is a football game tonight.  I get there and walk over to the field and I see one of the opposing players going to the locker room.  When he opens the door he screams, “we’re three friggin touchdowns ahead”.  I think oh no, not a good night.  When I get to the stands it’s 12 to 18.  That guy will be surprised when he gets back on the field.  Falcons win and will be going to the playoffs.

I’m talking to one the guys from the breaking news last week.  He’s holding a plaque.  Before the game he and his son-in-law (see previous blog breaking news) were awarded the “Home Town Hero” award.  The school had a presentation before the game started and the 5th grade class also presented them with a huge card they made thanking them for saving the school from vandals.

The tomato plants look good.  It’s been in the 40’s so I will pick them all tomorrow in case it starts getting cold.

Uh oh – next morning I look out and it looks like heavy frost.  I go check and it looks like the tomatoes have frozen spots  The tomatoes are still blooming up a storm and so are the peppers.  The peppers are soft so they froze too.  I guess the growing season is truly over.

Someone is at the back door.  One of the town ladies has brought me some angel food cake.  Wow, when was the last time I had some of that.  She is here to see the girls volleyball tournament.  I call Denise to see if her neighbor’s daughter is playing.  I think about going over but decide I don’t have time  About that time Merietta knocks on my door again.  Her grand daughter is the coach of one of the visiting teams and she is done watching and going home so I decide I don’t need to go watch.

It’s a good time to head thirty minutes from anywhere to the hardware store.  WooHoo, just can’t go a week without going to the hardware store.  I need some stove pipe paint (I got the spray but no way I’m spraying in the house).  I will see if they have the brush on paint.  I need to replace the hardware Jerry used for my clothesline last week.  I need clothespins and a clothes pin bag,   I get to the hardware store and grab everything I need and I must go lust after the Traegor Smoker Grills.  Every time I go in I go look at them.  I want the mid-size model.  The small model won’t do a turkey so I think I need at least the mid-size.  Problem is it’s @ $800.  Every time I think about it I put it off.  This year I’m trying to decide if the small (junior/tailgating) size would work.  The problem is the control box has a smoke, medium and high and all the other sizes have a digital temperature control.  I think I really need that control.  I walk over and I see a junior size with a tag that says $299.99 (usually $469.00).  I ask the lady why it’s marked down.  They have come out with the small size with the digital temperature control on it so they are selling all the ones without that control.  Since I have been thinking all year the small one would probably do I say “I’ll take that one”.  A kid loads it up for me and now I am the proud owner of a new Traegor Smoker.  I just can’t seem to go to that stupid hardware store and just get what I need.  I always come back with something new.  Hey, I think I need this cool auger that goes on the end of my new drill.  We used one in Master Gardening this week to drill holes to plant bulbs.  Really sped up the job.  We all asked where he got it and of course he said “Ace Hardware”.  Just my luck they will have one next time I go in.  And of course it was the same brand drill I just bought.  I stop at Denise’s on the way home and drop off a pond skimmer I picked up for her.

I get home and the garden is totally wilted.  I guess it really did freeze everything.  No time like the present to start cleaning it up.  First thing I do is pull up all the soaker hoses I have throughout the beds.  I unhook the main line and take off the controller and store it all away for the winter.  I have been saving boxes from work to cover the beds once I pull them up.  I don’t want all the weed seeds to blow in them.  I’ll be right back where I was before if I don’t block the seeds from blowing in there.  The radish and onion bed is empty so I cut some cardboard and cover that one.  I just drive a wooden stake through it.  That should be enough to hold it from being blown away by the wind.  The cats have been using the round marigold garden so I clean that up and cover it up.  I have been procrastinating pulling the lettuce and cabbage that didn’t form heads.  Just had a lot of leaves.  I pull up the cabbage and take it to the compost pile.  I start pulling up the lettuce and hey, there is a reason I never got any lettuce, it’s turnips.  Wow, I have some really nice turnips here.  HAHAHA.  When it got so cold in the Spring and I thought it stunted the growth in those beds I replanted turnips where I thought there had been lettuce.  The turnip seed I planted before in the other bed came up and I harvested turnips there and just sat and watched with wonder at why I wasn’t getting any lettuce heads in the other bed.  All season long I whined that my lettuce didn’t form heads, just lots of leaves.  I cover the four beds that I had planted and I go around and gather all the plastic soil bags I have lying around trying to stifle weed growth.  I pull what weeds there are and put the bags in the beds I didn’t use this year.  Come Spring this will hopefully keep the beds weed free again.  I just can’t tackle the tomatoes and peppers and squash yet.  There are still tons (at least it feels like tons when I try to lift the plants) of tomatoes and peppers still attached to the plants.  I leave a couple of squash that are still lying there in hopes they will ripen just a little more.  The zucchini doesn’t look like the frost got it so I’ll leave it another week to see if the small ones will keep growing.  Next week I’m sure it will all be done.  When it all ends and everything  is cleaned up I’ll have some nice compost material.

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I decide I still have time to put up the last clothesline wire.  Last week Sandy and Jerry put up three lines and we ran out of hardware so with the replacements I got today to give back to them I got the rest of what I needed to finish.  My clothesline now has all four wires strung just waiting to be used.  I have the clothespins in the bag and ready.  I was wondering if I would be able to find a clothes pin bag since it’s such an old fashioned thing.   Don’t you just love a good old hardware store that has anything you need?  It reminds me of the hardware store I grew up with in Westminster.  Beans Hardware.  They finally closed their doors in the 80’s (I think) because the kids didn’t want to continue on and with the big box stores it kind of drove them out but there is something comforting about a hardware store that still has the things you want (and they are not made out of plastic).

Well, I didn’t have time to paint the stovepipe but I think I’ve accomplished quite enough for this time up.  I can finally see I’m getting some stuff done.  It was a good spring and summer.  I did the gardens, kept the weeds under control, got a lot more painting finished,  cleaned the chimney so I can use the wood stove and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel (or the chimney pipe).  All I have left to do is replace the cellar door, caulk the windows so the inside fountain will quit running; caulk that big crack in the wall in the stairway, decided if I want to replaster the whole wall or just patch it, paint the hallway, paint the stairs, paint the bathroom, move some cabinets in the kitchen before I paint there, paint the utility room, paint the outside of the house (should have got that done already), get a new electrical box installed, get a reverse osmosis for the water installed, keep the pipes from freezing again.  Those are the essentials, then I still want to refurbish the greenhouse, finish painting the chicken coop, bring up my beehive and get it going again, have a garage built, and………

The great news is I filed for Social Security so I will start getting checks in January so that means by December 1 I will change back to part time or have to retire (this would be in addition to my first retirement from the phone company).  Lots of choices and decisions!!  All I know is soon I will have more time to get this done and get back to doing some photography and art and canning and soap making and volunteering……..  This is good because unless I’m doing something like that my soul starts to dry up.  The last two years I’ve worked hard to make this happen so……upward and onward to better things!!


















About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
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2 Responses to You just gotta love a good hardware store and there is light at the end of the chimney

  1. Larry Ehemann says:

    Congratulations Patty on your life changes and hope it will be as much fun as my first 10 years of retirement. Looking forward to going to Ethiopia in January with Piper Mackay. Take care, Larry

  2. pbodwell says:

    That will be an interesting one!!

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