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August 20, 2005

Flat Tire / Klausen

I'll get to the reason I titled this entry as I did in a moment - allow me to walk you through my morning. I got up early so I could get a jump on the day - lots of mowing to do in the vineyard, but I also needed to clear paths to all the water components since the Loudoun Health Dept is coming out for inspections (previous entry outlines the permits...) Alas as I got in my Rodeo to head over, the fuel light came on, so I needed to make a pit stop at the gas station over by Harper's Ferry. I swung by the vineyard to get the diesel can (can always use some diesel for the tractor) and headed on down to the gas station. I pulled in a parked and reached for my wallet, and suddenly got that sick feeling you get when you realize you left your wallet at home. So there I am, truck on fumes with no $$$. Grrrrrr... So I go inside and lamely ask "can I make a credit card purchase if I have my card numbers memorized?" The way they looked at me I may as well have asked if I could borrow some uranium for my spaceship. So I went back out to the truck and started digging for change. Came up with $4! But now the tricky question on how to spend it - seeing as how it was supposed to be 95 degrees today I needed to get some drinks as well. I ended up getting a gatorade, 2 nutrigrains, and $2 of gas, the rationale being a quick MPG calculation in my head that would get me to the vineyard, then to the house, then to a gas station in Purcellville without having to push.

That crisis mitigated, I headed off to the vineyard. First chore was to clean out the sprayer, as it's not wise to leave chemicals sitting in the tank. So I fire up the hose and the water runs for about 30 seconds and shuts off. What the hell. So I start looking at the obvious - well pump fuse blown? loose wire? dead rat shorting the contacts? None of the above seemed to be causing the issue so as I was heading out to my truck to get some tools to start taking things apart, my next-door neighbor pulled into the driveway. I had seen her earlier as I turned off Rt. 9 onto Sagle, but didn't think anything of it. Turns out she was up there questioning the electric company as to why the power had been out since 2 am. So she dropped by to let me know, which was very sweet and prevented me from dismantling my entire well system (and the eventual temper tantrum that surely would have ensued.) OK so what a big goofy day I'm starting here!

Fine I'll clean the tank when the power comes back on - let's get the bush hawg hooked up and get some mowing done. Got the front of the house and rear done, then took the weed whacker to clear out the rest. Marked the well, septic tank, and drain field junction boxes with bamboo stakes and marking tape to the health inspector can easily find them. I figure if I make their life easy maybe they'll make mine easy. Naive I know...

Once that was done time to head out to the vineyard to mow, but first a quick run around the entryway off Sagle onto our property. Hadn't been done all summer so it was looking pretty ratty. And wouldn't you know it just as I was finishing that I heard it - POPpsssssssss. Grrrrrrrr again now why did I have to get a flat tire when I wanted to mow so bad? So I was just able to get the tractor back to the house before the tire actually worked it's way off the rim and that was that. Tire off, into the truck. No mowing today lads, which was a bummer because we had our friends the Klauses coming for a visit. So since they weren't scheduled to arrive for another hour, I decided to head out to the vineyard for some vine tying (always plenty of that to do!) But since I hadn't planned on tying vines I didn't wear protective clothing - recall I just sprayed a few days ago. So after an hour of sweating in the rows tying vines my skin just started to itch and burn like hell. Ack I think I had a reaction to the fungicide/insecticide mix. Quick head back to the house and rinse off, but skin still really itchy!!! So about this time the Klauses arrived, and I gave them a quick tour of the house. I thought that was actually quite hysterical because their home looks like it should be on the cover of Interior Decorating magazine, and our house is a condemned trash heap reeking of stray cat piss. "Are you tearing this down?" Uh, yeah.

So after the house tour we drove out to the vineyard for a look. As soon as I stepped out of the truck I started itching again, so we took a quick walk (keeping their kids away from the chemicals!) then cruised back to our rental shack so they could visit Tristan (and they brought us lunch!) - read about that on and see some pictures here.

On the way home I called Shannon and asked her to meet me at the door with some Benadryl - hopped right in the shower and got myself un-miserable from all the itchy/scratchy stuff. So we had a great visit which definitely put the goofy morning behind me!

Posted by Stephen at August 20, 2005 4:48 PM