New toy, fav tools, new food, hummingbirds, and book worth reading

Whew! Can I cram all of that into one blog post? I think so. And things are so busy this time of year that I have to try.

About 7 years ago, Ben asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I answered, “My very own stringcutter (weed eater).” He recovered from his shock eventually, and bought me a Ryobi power head with the “quick link” feature to add attachments.

This was something like the day I said “We have to buy another shovel.” This was before we even had an outhouse out here. But we did have a 6-year-old daughter who had trouble planning ahead. She would say, “Mom, I have to go. I really have to go,” and of course Ben would be at the far end of the property with our only shovel. So we bought another shovel, and life got easier. Then we built an outhouse, and things were great. Now we have septic and real plumbing and I no longer have to get up in the middle of the night wondering what sort of animal has sought the relative warmth of the outhouse, a result, I’m sure, of listening to too much of The Dillards bluegrass music.

But I got my new weed eater. Ben really liked it, and so I never got to use it. It was always gone. But he complained about the smell of the exhaust, so I bought him the 4-cycle version, which used the same attachments. He loved it. But there was a hitch. The 4-cycle can’t be run tilting upward, so he couldn’t use the tree-pruning attachment. So I still lost my weedeater.

Yesterday I bought a new one. The company has been sold God-knows-how-many times, and for awhile you couldn’t get them at all. But they’re back, I have a new one, and I’m going to put an assortment of pink stuff on it so everyone knows it’s mine.

Josh, I’m not going to post unboxing pictures. They’d be very boring, as Ryobi has done a great job of minimizing their packaging.

I’m still in love with the hazel hoe and grape hoe in the garden. These heavy-headed cousins of the American hoe are SO useful. Too bad they’re so hard to find.

But I do have a new kitchen tool that I love, an itty-bitty colander (holds about 4 cups). I use it almost every day.

Yesterday I checked out at Bi-Mart and was leaving when a display caught my eye. “Beer Chips.” Now you have to at least stop and look at this, and I’m glad I did. It’s a new product from a Portland-based company–potato chips made with beer. They’re delicious–crispy, a little sweet, bet you can’t eat just one.

The hummingbirds, I think, have finally started nesting. Thank God! I’ve been filling the feeder 2 and sometimes 3 times each day. But their consumtion has dropped severely and the ones that remain are acting definitely hormonal.

When I should have been out gardening today, instead I was reading a rather amazing (and for someone like me depressing) book–Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. I have added Neil Postman to my list of authors I really want to talk with who are, unfortunately, dead.

This is a terrific book, and a must read for anyone who is worried about the sociological habits of the 21st century American. It was written more than 20 years ago. And reading it left me so depressed, because he is right, right, right, and there may be no fixing it.

Now it’s time to cook dinner. Leftover chili. If you haven’t discovered Carroll Shelby’s (former race car driver/ race car builder) chili mix, do so immediately. It’s terrific.


3 Responses to “New toy, fav tools, new food, hummingbirds, and book worth reading”

  1. Lisa Hostick Says:

    A very entertaining blog! I can only imagine what your new weedeater looks like.
    Thanks for the glimpse of “A Day In The Life Of Marianne”.

  2. mklekacz Says:

    Lisa, one thing I forgot: The best thing about the Beer Chips is the packaging. It’s eye-catching and clever, and on the back, printed upside down, it says, “If you can read this, you’re spilling your Beer Chips.”

  3. jackiesgarden Says:

    Whew! You DID get it all covered. I’m lucky if I can finish one subject! 🙂 Good job. I was laughing while reading this – as I just posted about my weed whacker ‘issues’. You can have ’em!

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