Cause For Celebration

As my body ages my goals change to things that do not involve physical effort. There was a time when I exercised not for health but for the challenge of pushing my body to the limits. Now, I tend to remain seated. Is sitting an exercise? For twenty years my single biggest physical activity has been gardening followed by bicycling. If I could be biking while working the garden I’d be supremely happy. I have mentioned this many times, my garden has a name, “The Monet Vision”. To make it interesting I’ve added the theme after the name because I try to make it different every year, like Monet Vision-Golden Glow. This year I’ve decided to name it Monet Vision-Retired. Each year the theme depicts a color scheme or a specific floral planting. Because I am in the process of downsizing and will be giving up the castle sometime soon, I thought it necessary to redesign the garden to eliminate some maintenance. The problem is that I don’t quite know how to do that. I do, but the perfect scheme would cause me great amounts of energy expenditure and a large cash outlay. There was a time when the cash outlay would have been the greatest deterrent, but today it is the energy, both physical and mental, that challenges me.

One focal highlight of the garden is a water feature which I call the pond.  The pond gave me a new dimensions of plant life to exploit and enjoy. Even Monet needed water to grow his infamous water lilies. Water in the garden breeds mosquitoes and the pesky creatures defy enjoyment. To ward off the blood sucking pests a new element is introduced to the pond, i.e. mosquito eating fish. Ponds requires the movement of water to be effective in keeping fish. Fish require oxygen and moving water via water falls, and rapids add the oxygen, as well as soft sounds and contemplative visual scenes to sooth the soul. Last January, the mechanism for creating this water movement, i.e.the pump, died, and so did my fish. When water reaches thirty-two degrees F it changes phase and turns into ice. The water below the ice is probably at thirty-three degrees. I have worked with my hands and arms up to my elbows in such water and can testify that it is not pleasant, nor smart to do so.

During the winter I contemplated the maintenance needed to restart the water flowing again. The dead pump allowed the stream that connects the water fall to the pond to dry up. This enabled me to get into the stream and to rip out the pond grass from either side of the water fall. It sounded easy, but in reality it took me three weeks of intense labor to cut the roots of the grass and to lever the system out of the river bed with a crow bar. All of this was done while in a crouch with my knees on a pad and my toes crunched up under my weight. At my age, getting up from this position requires considerable energy and time for my joints to relax back into their normal position. Anyway, I opened up the stream from the grasses that were choking the water and forcing it to overflow the banks. This backup caused me to lose a lot of water every day and water although plentiful does not come free where I live. By the time the grasses were gone, the remainder of the weeds in the garden took off like one of Elon Musk’s rockets to the Space Station. Another six weeks later I had completed a 360 degree tour of weeding and shrub trimming around the house. It was now time to install the pump, but I hadn’t bought it yet. I went into COVID-19 shock when I learned the cost to replace the pump from the original Japanese manufacturer had risen to five hundred and fifty dollars a full 25% more than previous. Another week of research on the internet and I finally hit the check out button on a replacement for less than three hundred dollars.  Take a guess where it is made, yep you guessed it, Taiwan, ROC (Republic of China). It will be hard to swear off buying from China when it affects the pocket book so drastically. If my plan works, this will be the last pond pump that I will buy in my lifetime.

By the time, the pump arrived, the stream bed which had been dry all spring was now full of weeds again. Another two hours on my knees with my toes crunched under were needed to clear the stream bed before I could wrestle the pump into place and hooked up. The final step was to plug it in and pray it worked, it did, and that is cause to celebrate!

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One of My Best

Buy American, Stimulate the Economy

It was my practice to acknowledge contributors, but since the NSA is collecting our every keystroke and spying on us, I cannot tell you that this funny came from my cousin Sharon in California. Did ya get that NSA?

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Sometime this year, we taxpayers will again receive another ‘EconomicStimulus’ payment.

 This is indeed a very exciting program, and I’ll explain it by using a Q & A format:

 Q. What is an ‘Economic Stimulus’ payment ?

 A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

 Q.. Where will the government get this money ?

 A. From taxpayers.

 Q. So the government is giving me back my own money ?

 A. Only a smidgen of it.

 Q. What is the purpose of this payment ?

 A. The plan is for you to use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

 Q. But isn’t that stimulating the economy of China ?

 A. Shut up.

 Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the U.S. Economy by spending your stimulus check wisely:

 * If you spend the stimulus money at Wal-Mart, the money will go to China or Sri Lanka .

 * If you spend it on gasoline, your money will go to the Arabs.

 * If you purchase a computer, it will go to India , Taiwan or China .

 * If you purchase fruit and vegetables, it will go to Mexico ,Honduras and Guatemala ..

 * If you buy an efficient car, it will go to Japan or Korea .

 * If you purchase useless stuff, it will go to Taiwan .

 * If you pay your credit cards off, or buy stock, it will go to management bonuses and they will hide it offshore.

 Instead, keep the money in America by:

 1) Spending it at yard sales, or

 2) Going to ball games, or

 3) Spending it on prostitutes,

 4) Beer or

 5) Tattoos.

 (These are the only American businesses still operating in the U.S. )

 Conclusion:

Go to a ball game with a tattooed prostitute that you met at a yard sale and drink beer all day !

No need to thank me, I’m just glad I could be of help.

 

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