Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Waning Days of Summer

I haven't posted much in the way of gardening news in the last few weeks. That's partly because my vegetable garden has been on auto pilot for the most part, aside for my periodically running the soaker hose during the really hot spells.

The vegetable garden is winding down now; I pulled out all the squash plants, overwhelmed with squash vine borers and powdery mildew, a week or so ago. The tomatoes and string beans are still coming, and I have three or four green bell peppers ready for the picking. The freezer is packed with blanched zucchini, string beans, spaghetti squash and tomato sauce.

In a few weeks, I'll be posting my final tally for the estimated market value of all my vegetable produce. I've done a preliminary calculation and I must say it's pretty impressive for a small garden-for-one.

There have been two other things distracting me from my gardening for the past month. First, during the past 6 weeks, I've been helping a neighbor prepare for a garage sale, and this weekend was the sale.  She did pretty well, taking in about $300; I brought a few of my things over as well and was perfectly pleased to earn about $27. Two of my neighbor's other friends came by for a time, along with the guy who cuts her lawn, who happens to be a friend of mine.I hadn't talked to him in about three years, so we spent most of today catching up while we sat in at the garage sale.

All I can say is, it was a tremendous amount of work, sorting, organizing and pricing items, dragging items out of the house, tending to the sale both days this weekend, and then repacking unsold items for Good Will, the local senior center and the landfill. I also dragged a few things down to the roadside and was pleased that most of it was scooped up by passer-bys.

The other item demanding my attention was my job search. After a long hiatus of nothing shaking on the job front, I interviewed for two different job in the past two weeks and believe it's possible I could get an offer from either or both of them. I hope to have some definitive news in the next week and am crossing my fingers after many months of total inactivity.

The waning days of summer and cooler weather are always a bittersweet time for me. Perhaps it's the signal of the end of one season nearing and another, less welcome, one approaching that often makes me feel a little melancholy this time of year.

I am already preparing for the winter season. I had my furnace tuned up and filled up the oil tank last month. Last week, I had a very worthwhile home energy audit done for just $50. It was amazing to me how effectively the blower door test revealed invisible air leaks throughout my home. Where was the biggest leak? The door that leads to my walk-up attic. All leaks found were addressed before retesting so as to gauge the degree of improvement achieved by caulking and weatherstripping. I'd highly recommend a home energy audit to anyone considering one.

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