Last Sunday, I went to care for my grandchildren while my daughter delivered her second child. (She stayed in the hospital three days.) During my stay, my 7 year old grand-daughter used the phrase “technically speaking” repeatedly and now, I’m gonna’ use it.
Technically speaking, I’ve been experiencing some big technical difficulties, which is one reason I’ve not put up a new post until today.
And because I think you’ll think this is interesting, I’ll give you a “show and tell.”
For the last two weeks, my Internet and phone service kept going out. I could get onto the Internet but three minutes later, the service was gone. Same with the landline. To make matters worse, I noticed I’ve not been receiving a bunch of blog feeds I subscribe to in my email. In other words, someone would put up a new blog post, but I never got notice of it. And in another weird twist, a follower who subscribes to my blog said she could no longer access it and that the message she saw indicated it had been deleted. Weird indeed.
One problem at a time, right? (And, yes, this post will include gardening stuff.)
I contacted my Internet service provider, and they sent a technician right away. Nice guy. He checked the signal at my modem, climbed the pole outside the house to check the connection there, looked at the cable coming into the house, and even explored my attic.
After about an hour, he found this (see photo below):
That’s 8 inches of bare copper cable wire you’re viewing.
Can you guess what happened?
Last February, rodents got under my house. I could hear them running around. I set traps with some help, but didn’t catch anything so I hired an exterminator who put out poison. The downside of the poison was that although it worked, my house smelled awful for about a month even after removing three dead rodents.
In any case, one of these “friendly” little guys ate my cable. Once the cable was replaced, the Internet and phone signal problems vanished.
Next, I contacted WordPress about the disappearing blog feeds and my blog’s address. Again, I dealt with helpful people. They investigated and said my email provider was bouncing a bunch of my WordPress emails.—They sent me copies of the returned error messages. Grrrr! You can bet I will be changing email providers very soon. As to the blog subscriber who says he/she can’t access my blog, WordPress thinks this person is entering the address incorrectly.
Back to gardening: When I left for four days to visit my daughter, I was concerned about keeping my plants alive. We were expecting an up-tick in the temperatures here–leaving the low to mid 80’s (+/-27 degrees Celsius) and hitting the mid-90’s (+/- 35 degrees Celsius). Before I left home, I watered all plants deeply, which took about 4 hours. Most of all, I was concerned about two hanging bicycle baskets that contain fragrant heirloom petunias.
It would be too difficult to remove the baskets from the chain and fence to which they’re anchored, but these baskets by their nature dry out quickly. I didn’t think the plants could survive four days without water. What to do?
A closer look.
Here’s what I did that worked!
The day prior to leaving, I put as much wood mulch into the baskets as I could. I watered the petunias deeply on the morning of my departure. After that, I soaked four sponges (2 per basket) in water and placed them on the soil’s surface (on top of the mulch) in the baskets. Finally, I took two old white t-shirts and used them to cover the baskets so that the plants would stay shaded. Wooden clothespins were used to secure the t-shirts to the baskets. (I figured white would reflect the heat.) The result: The petunias looked great when I came home. Yaaa!
Oh, and here’s a peek at the new baby:
Glad I’m back. Now to catch up on my blog reading! Happy blogging!