Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Six More Tomato Plants Pulled, Mulch Applied

The gardener and my wife pulled out six tomato plants on Saturday – Snow White(2), the front yard Husky Cherry Red, Dr. Wyche's Yellow, Babywine, Green Zebra(1) and White Zebra.

After the loose tomatoes were picked up and thrown away, I started turning the dirt in the “koi pond”. I got about halfway done on Saturday. My wife covered the turned area with the ponderosa pine mulch remaining in the driveway.

The next day, Sunday, I finished turning the dirt in the “koi pond” and turned the dirt in the fallow area of the “corner office”. Then my wife and I distributed the remaining mulch in these areas as well as other areas in the front yard, using the rest of the mulch. We have leach stains from the mulch on the driveway that we hope will go away in time.

We have three tomato plants remaining in the back yard to be pulled in the near future.

It took us a fair amount of time to distribute the mulch, but we got it done. That seemed to be the theme for us in 2009 – everything took 17 steps, but it did get done.

Our tomatoes got vandalized three times in the beginning of the year, but we replanted each time and ended up having a great harvest.

Our friends Liz and Ricardo put up a patio cover frame for us. It took months for me to prime the wood twice and paint the wood twice, but it got done. Note to self: Prime and paint the wood first before assembling.

The ignition lock in my car broke in August. I needed to bring in my car to a local mechanic, who did the job. When I started the car, though, the ignition was catching. In fact, when I got home it caught again, requiring me to start the car in order to turn it off the put the key back in the release position.

After a couple of months I got a chance to visit my normal mechanic. They couldn't recreate the issue. First time I tried to start the car, it stuck. They recommended going back to the original mechanic and ask for it to be replaced with a factory part.

About a week later I did just that. They thought it was a factory part but they needed to put it on a rack to tell. Okay, fair enough, but I couldn't leave the car yet.

A couple of weeks later, I coordinated dropping the car off while my wife took me to work. They looked at it, discovered it wasn't a factory part, ordered it, but it wouldn't come in until the next day. I told them I couldn't come in the next day, but they understood, they'll just hold the part until I came by.

And about two weeks later after that, I arrived with the car. While I dropped it off, I had them look at a very slow tire leak in my wife's car that she had been dealing it for months. The found the leak and patched it. Later on my car was fixed and all was well.

I changed my business bank from a major bank to a credit union. There was a big problem getting the money transferred, getting checks printed and fixing all of the automatic deductions from the account. But it's all straightened out now and there's no artificial minimum balances on the account.

We looked to replace our windows in 2009. We had three people come out and give estimates through the months, eventually settling on one company. They replaced the windows and we were very happy with them, though one screen didn't fit and the spring was broken in another window. It took three visits to get it perfectly correct, but it's perfectly correct. Similar to the new mechanic, we were happy with the aftercare support and would use them again.

Our treasurer for our computer user group quit in 2009. It took a little while to find a replacement. More importantly, it took a bigger while to unsnarl everything. We weren't getting statements, a reissued debit card was never received, and so on. I got the bank to change our address, reissue a new debit card and get the new treasurer listed as a second signatory (that took several visits, we needed support documentation). We got our first statement in December in I don't know how long. It's pretty much straightened out.

We recently replaced our toilet. It required a follow up visit but all is well now.

None of these are a big deal and it all turned out for the best. We're happy to have overcome these challenges and others, laying down tracks for a happy 2010.