Friday, May 15, 2009

No Change

Not much happening, short of tomato branch training. The rose transplanted into the spot once occupied by Black Zebra isn't looking good.

My wife will water today.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Six Plants With New Tomatoes!

Lots of new tomatoes!

In the back yard, Husky Gold, Black From Tula and Italian Ice have tomatoes.

In the front yard, Cherokee Purple, Paul Robeson and the injured Jaune Coeur de Pigeon have tomatoes.

And while it won't help me this year, it looks like I will be getting our rototiller back soon. The warranty company gave authorization of the engine rebuild three weeks after the work was done.

While “training” Sweet Olive, I inadvertently knocked off a tomato. No big deal, there's dozens more where that came from.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jaune Flamme Has Tomatoes!

My wife watered the front and back yard tomatoes yesterday. I came home for lunch and watered all the containers in the back, including the tomato plants.

Jaune Flamme, the slightly injured plant in the “corner office” is our first front yard tomato plant to get tomatoes. It has at least two tomatoes on it.

Also, my wife completed the tubs (or “moats” as I call it) around the back yard tomatoes. She's putting in tons of effort into these plants. If they do well, it's mostly due to her efforts.

Completing the thought on a personal point made in Monday's posting regarding the two situations, it's the use of children as props in personal wars that is just so flat out wrong on every front. In a phrase, it's using children as weapons of family destruction.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Quedlinburger Is Hanging On

Quedlinburger Fruehe Liebe was wilting by the time I got home last night and didn't look good. Jaune Coeur de Pigeon looks okay.

I took shower head apart and got rid of any gunk inside.

We have an idea whose causing the vandalism. We're in the process of borrowing security cameras from Ricardo and Liz, who may be by this weekend to continue the work on the patio cover.

I took a hand weeder and loosened the dirt around all the back yard tomato plants planted in the ground. While doing this, I continued to “train” the tomato branches. Yellow Perfection is looking great – it's nearly three feet tall.

Oh, side note, Patio has multiple tomatoes on it.

After dinner, my wife and I moved the loosened dirt with our hands and made a basic moat around the tomatoes. My wife started at one end, and I started in the other end. They were all completed, but my wife will fix what I did today. That should take about 15 – 20 minutes.

My wife took a shower in the evening. She said the shower head is fixed. I took a shower in the morning and it appears fine to me.

I got a call from the rototiller repair person. He got the letter I sent to Wells Fargo disputing the charge. We talked. His facts are wrong. This isn't working. But I'll call the warranty repair company to see if I can get it this worked out.

Wells Fargo just called me to verify I'm still disputing the charge. Yes, I am.

With the exception of Nyagous in the “koi pond” and the damaged ones, all the plants look great. Even the ones planted late are catching up, especially White Currant.

Quedlinburger Fruehe Liebe looks better this morning, not wilted.

My wife moved a rose into the space once occupied by Black Zebra.

Oh, and my wife now wishes to replace Kornesevije with something else.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Busy Weekend

Man, it's been a busy few days. Mostly with, well, life.

Friday was exhausting. Before work, I fixed our new shower head, which was dribbling the water. Did a full day's work. Put together an email for a client in Canada, whose checks (made out in US dollars) are being held up by my bank. It took a little while to formulate. Wrote three page letter explaining to Wells Fargo and others, such as Home Depot (both where purchased and home office), the repair shop and the Ryobi warranty company explaining the problems I'm having getting our rototiller back from the repair person. Continued to follow up with trying to get a speaker for our user group. I succeeded in that, but I need to post it to our web site. I followed up directly with our (soon to be ex-) treasurer, trying to pave the way for a smooth transition. Checked out a property in Chatsworth, liked it. Put paycheck in bank. Wrote checks out to my wife, one of my credit cards, the phone bill, the water bill, and another payee in Texas. Got stamps at the post office. Prepared large envelopes for rototiller dispute. Three were ready to go, and two weren't. The two that weren't were put in my briefcase for Monday. Mailed out everything I could. I'm sure there are other things forgotten by now.

Oh yeah, I continued to train the limbs on our tomato plants, both front and back. My wife watered some of the front yard tomatoes. SunSugar has multiple tomatoes on it.

On Saturday...I woke up early to meet my mechanic down in Westminster. I try to do this on the days I have a client meeting in Rancho Palos Verdes. I was expecting some minor adjustments, but the mechanic came back roughly with “you need rear brakes, bad”. OK, fine, I can handle this. I called my client asking for a postponement. He called back a few minutes later, no problem. Good. Back at the shop, I dealt with a laptop, trying to get it to connect to the Internet. Took a while, but I fixed it. Car fixed a little past noon. I'm four hundred dollars lighter and I'm still hungry. Quick lunch. Met with client, meeting went well. Then my wife and I were to meet up with our “seed lady”, but I was too far away to make it work in one car. I went there directly myself. My wife arrived only about 10 minutes after I showed. Got a tour of the new house. The “seed lady” went off to a meeting while we watched her child. Oops! Apparently there's no meeting. Again, no problem. We go to dinner at Canter's.

At dinner, I get a call from our neighbor. But their child is on the line. After about a minute, we hang up. Soon, another call. Same result. Soon thereafter there's a third call but I don't pick up.

We finish dinner and drop off the “seed lady” and son at their (soon to be) old residence. I get my car and we're off to go home.

We get home and the calls start again.

I'll leave out a bunch of details here, but basically this was a cry for attention. After the second call my wife had enough and went over to speak with the neighbor. For about 75 minutes. There's some sort of mutual understanding of which I don't know all the details.

I had predicted something like this to my wife about three weeks ago.

I had seen this type behavior before with my abusive brother, who picked it up from my abusive father. I could predict his behavior. Back at Thanksgiving 2003, I told my mother that I had located some lost relatives in Germany for her. Our relatives are great and I had a fabulous time there with them. It was the best part of my trip. My mother complemented me in front of my abusive brother's children...and all hell broke loose.

From that point forward, my abusive brother made it a point to insult me in front of his children when his wife wasn't around. Later on, he made it public. Needless to say that was unacceptable, childish, anti-family behavior. I wrote him, asking to stop. His basic reply was “you're unstable” – more of the same.

Life goes on.

On November 30, 2005, I went on a date with a person whom was recommended by a mutual friend of ours. We had met previously, but this was the first time alone. We went to the Macaroni Grill in Burbank (now closed) and had a great time.

I knew that if things continued along the trajectory of our first date, I'll need to decide if I really want to get married because we got along so well. In short, I knew this was the one.

So on our second date I told her of my abusive brother. To hear her tell it, she couldn't believe how a family member could be so obnoxious to others. She was seriously considering breaking it off because of the warning. She spoke to her boss who said something to the effect of “Every family has problems. You just deal with it.”

We progressed. In late February 2006, my girlfriend and I met my other brother Jim and his girlfriend Evie. During our visit, we said that we were going to Hawaii for a week the next day. We met for about 90 minutes, had a good time with laughs all around.

On the way home, I said. “My other brother will retaliate against you. We just had a great time with a family member and once he finds out, look out.”

While in Hawaii I got a call from my mother stating that my brother has in essence banned me from ever seeing his children again. That is, unless I learn how to “get along”. Fortunately the message is on my answering machine at home so my girlfriend can hear it as well.

Well, I told you so.

In essence my abusive brother, with this maneuver, was trying to separate me from his children, my mother and my girlfriend in one fell swoop.

He failed.

My brother Jim announced his engagement. Soon thereafter, so did I. We sent out engagement cards to most everyone we knew but not to my abusive brother.

My brother's wedding was first. My abusive brother and his wife eventually spoke to us, pretending nothing was wrong but making a point of keeping their kids away from both me and my wife. He never introduced his children to her. Now to be fair I didn't ask.

Near the very end of the reception my wife went to the restroom, for about three minutes. This was the only time during the five or so hours that my fiancee wasn't at my side. The abusive brother's wife walks over to me.

Everything is going to be all right.”

(Huh?) “And what is the context of that statement?”

She walks away.

Then she announces, loud enough for her children to hear, before returning to her seat.

Everything is going to be all right.” “With prayer.”

It never stops. And it's all predictable.

On Sunday I did more tomato branch training, moving the branches above the cage lines, training the branches to grow up more than out. But it was another busy day. We got in our cars, drove to Aunt Lucy's house, picked up Aunt Lucy and Frank and drove to Buca de Beppo in Huntington Beach for a Mother's Day celebration.

My mother and his friend Walter was there, as well as my wife's mother, father and other relatives, 14 in all. We had a pleasant time. We drove back to Aunt Lucy's, dropped off Lucy and Frank, headed home, and decompressed.

After an hour or so I went out to do more training on the front yard tomatoes. Quedlinburger Fruehe Liebe was leaning southward so I straightened it up. But Kornesevsije was broken at the base. I thought it was the wind last night that did it.

I told my wife the bad news. She got up off the bed to take a look. She looked at it, became shocked, and said someone kicked it. And look, next to it is Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, it's injured!! Quedlinburger Fruehe Liebe is wilting!!

I was wrong. We were vandalized again.

My wife was crying and very upset.

She built up the base around the two injured plants and placed bricks around the built base to help support these plants. But my wife was still very upset and later left a message with the police.

After a few hours we went out for a snack just to clear our heads.

We will not be planting a replacement for Kornesevsije.

In the morning, I checked the two injured plants. They didn't look much different than last night, so I think they will make it. But only time will tell.

My wife had finished watering the front yard plants on Saturday. The shower head isn't working again.

Life goes on.