we have harvested our meager tongue of fire beans, onions and red potatoes. none of these groups had a soaker hose. amendments to these areas were also lacking. i tilled in the compost that i strewed across those areas a week or so ago along with the dead plants. we plan to plant some bush beans (our bean arch is not really producing many beans), some more beets, some pumpkins and possibly a different variety of cucumber.
i loaded several heaping wheel barrow loads of wheat straw and mulched the garden rows. the garden looks much better. the weekly panorama will show the improvements. i'll take a the series of shots and paste them together for an update this afternoon.
we went to a little neighborhood party at mikes last night. the kids had a great time. kassi has really warmed up to john and pam, our neighbors. they treat kids like big people. kassi and tristan really like to be treated as equals. kassi is hardly shy anymore. she had some revelation at her birthday party and ever since she has been much more out-going. john and pam both noticed it. john said that it validates the ritual of birthday parties. kassi also got a belated birthday present--a big pink ball. it was a huge hit.
i played an eighth of a game of horseshoes. i stink at horseshoes and didn't get any better last night. we had pig roasts on the barbecue--very delicious. mike uses the webber grill indirect method which takes a while but produces a superior entree.
our washing machine took a dump friday. i disassembled it and discovered that the belt from the motor around the drum pulley had managed to come off. i put it back on and realized that it is no longer aligned properly. the entire inner workings are molded plastic and afford no tracking adjustment. there is no obvious wear or reason for the misalignment. i spent the better part of friday trying to fix it. i am sure that planned obsolescence is the major factor in this break down. we bought the washer at sears and here in the ozarks no one will work on them (kenmore). springfield is the closest repair center and it would cost us a fortune (the better part of a new washer) to get it repaired. tom loaned us a washing machine for the interim--having kids doesn't allow for any down-time on washing clothes. the washer is an old style top loader and uses tons more water. on the bright side our old washer has been doing barely an adequate job for the past few months and is really noticeable having a perfectly working washer--our clothes smell better. the decision to get a new washer is made. i demand something that i can repair myself and cookie cutter plastic crap won't make the grade. we spent a bit of time researching washers and visited the local appliance store. they made a recommendation that we didn't expect and the unit seems to meet all our requirements--water and energy saving are some of our biggest additional concerns. now we just have to compile the necessary funds.